Darby O'Gill and the Good People/The Banshee's Comb/Chapter 1
THE DIPLOMACY OF BRIDGET
'Twas the mendin' of clothes that All Sowls' afthernoon in Elizabeth Ann Egan's kitchen that naturally brought up the subject of husbands an' the best ways to manage them. An' if there's one thing more than another that makes me take me hat off to the women, 'tis the owdacious way the most down-throdden of their sex will brag about her blaggard husband.
Not that ayther one or the other of the foive busy-tongued and busy-fingered neighbour women who bint above their sewing or knitting that afthernoon were down-throdden; be no manner of manes; far, far from it. They were so filled with matrimonial contintedness that they fairly thrampled down one another to be first in praising the wondherful men of their choice. Every woman proudly claimed to own an' conthrol the handsomest, loikeliest man that ever throd in brogues.
They talked so fast an' they talked so loud that 'twas a thryin' long while before meek-woiced little Margit Doyle could squeege her husband, Dan'l John, sideways into the argyment. An' even when she did get him to the fore, the other women had appropryated all the hayroic qualifications for their own men, so that there was nothing left for Dan'l but the common lavings; an' that dayprivation nettled Margit an' vexed her sore. But she took her chanst when it came, poor as it was, an' boulted in.
Jabbing the air as though her needle were a dagger, she broke into the discoorse.
"I wouldn't thrade my Dan for the King of Rooshia or the Imperor of Chiney," says she, peering dayfiant around the room. No one sided with that raymark, an' no one argyed agin it, an' this vexed her the more.
"The Kingdom of Chiney is where the most supharior tay comes from," says Caycelia Crow. She was a large, solemn woman, was Misthress Crow, an a gr-r-reat histhorian.
"No," says Margit, scorning the intherruption, "not if the two men were rowled into one," says she.
"Why," says Caycelia Crow, an' her deep woice tolled like a passing bell—"why," says she, "should any dacint woman be wantin' to marry one of thim haythen Imperors? Sure they're all ambiguious," she says, looking around proud of the grand worrud.
Elizabeth Ann sthopped the spinning-wheel the betther to listen, while the others turned bothered faces to the histhorian.
"Ambiguious," says Misthress Crow, raisin' her woice in the middle part of the worrud; "ambiguious," she says again, "manes that accordin' to the laygal laws of some furrin parts, a man may marry four or five wives if he has a mind to."
At this Margit bristled up like a bantam-hin.
"Do you mane to say, Caycelia Crow," says she, dhroppin' in her lap the weskit she was mendin', "do you intind to substantiate that I'm wishin' to marry the Imperor of Chiney, or," she says, her woice growin' high an' cutting as an east wind, "do you wish to inferentiate that if my Dan'l had the lave he'd be ambiguious? Will you plaze tell these friends an' neighbours," she says, wavin' a hand, "which of the two of us you was minded to insinuate against?"
The attackt was so sudden an' so unexpected that Misthress Crow was too bewildhered to dayfind herself. The poor woman only sat starin' stupid at Margit.
The others sunk back in their chairs spacheless with consternaytion till Mollie Scanlan, wishin' to pacificate the sitiwation, an' winkin' friendly at Caycelia, spoke up sootherin'.
"Thrue for ye, Margit Doyle," says she. "What kind of talk is that for ye to be talkin', Caycelia?" says she. "Sure if Dan'l John were to be med the Imperor of Chiney to-morrow he'd hesitate an' dayliberate a long time before bringin' in one of them ambiguious women to you an' the childher. I'd like to see him thry it. It'ud be a sore an' a sorrowful day for him, I'm thinkin'."
At thim worruds, Margit, in her mind's eye, saw Dan'l John standin' ferninst her with an ambiguious haythen woman on aich side of him, an' the picture riled the blood in her heart.
"Oh, ho!" says she, turning on poor, shrinkin' Mollie with a smile, an' that same smile had loaded guns an' pistols in it. "An' will you plaze be so kind an' condesinden', Misthress Scanlan," says she, "to explain what you ever saw or heerd tell of in my Dan'l John's actions, that'ud make you think he'd contimplate such schoundrel endayvours," says she, thrimblin'.
The only answer to the question was from the tay-kettle. It was singin' high an' impident on the hob.
Now, Bridget O'Gill, knowin' woman that she was, had wisely kept out of the discoorse. She sat apart, calmly knittin' one of Darby's winther stockings. As she listened, howsumever, she couldn't keep back a sly smile that lifted one corner of her mouth.
"Isn't it a poor an' a pittiful case," said Misthress Doyle, glaring savage from one to the other, "that a dacint man, the father of noine childher, eight of them livin', an' one gone for a sojer—isn't it a burnin' shame," she says, whumperin', "that such a daycint man must have his char-ack-ther thrajuiced before his own wife— Will you be so good as to tell me what you're laughing at, Bridget O'Gill, ma'am?" she blazed.
Bridget, flutthering guilty, thried to hide the misfortunate smile, but 'twas too late.
"Bekase, if it is my husband you're mocking at," says Margit, "let me tell you, fair an' plain, his ayquils don't live in the County of Tipperary, let alone this parish! 'Tis thrue," she says, tossin' her head, "he hasn't spint six months with the Good People—he knows nothin' of the fairies—but he has more sinse than those that have. At any rate, he isn't afeard of ghosts like a knowledgeable man that I could mintion."
That last thrust touched a sore spot in the heart of Bridget. Although Darby O'Gill would fight a dozen livin' men, if needful, 'twas well known he had an unraysonable fear of ghosts. So, Bridget said never a worrud, but her brown eyes began to sparkle, an' her red lips were dhrawn up to the size of a button.
Margit saw how hard she'd hit, an' she wint on thriumphant.
"My Dan'l John'ud sleep in a churchyard. He's done it," says she, crowin'.
Bridget could hould in no longer. "I'd be sore an' sorry," she says, "if a husband of mine were druv to do such a thing as that for the sake of a little pace and quiet," says she, turnin' her chowlder.
Tare an' 'ounds, but that was the sthroke! "The Lord bless us!" mutthered Mollie Scanlan. Margit's mind wint up in the air an' staid there whirlin', whilst she herself sat gasping an' panting for a rayply. 'Twas a thrilling, suspenseful minute.
The chiney shepherd and shepherdess on the mantel sthopped ogling their eyes an' looked shocked at aich other; at the same time Bob, the linnet, in his wooden cage at the door, quit his singin' an' cocked his head the betther to listen; the surprised tay-kettle gave a gasp an' a gurgle, an' splutthered over the fire. In the turrible silence Elizabeth Egan got up to wet the tay. Settin' the taypot in the fender she spoke, an' she spoke raysentful.
"Any sinsible man is afeard of ghosts," says she.
"Oh, indade," says Margit, ketching her breath. "Is that so? Well, sinsible or onsinsible," says she, "this will be Halloween, an' there's not a man in the parish who would walk past the churchyard up to Cormac McCarthy's house, where the Banshee keened last night, except my Dan'l!" says she, thriumphant.
The hurt pride in Bridget rose at that an' forced from her angry lips a foolish promise.
"Huh! we hear ducks talkin'," she says, coolly rowling up Darby's stocking, an' sticking the needle in the ball of yarn. "This afthernoon I was at Cormac McCarthy's," she says, "an' there wasn't a bit of tay in the house for poor Eileen, so I promised Cormac I'd send him up a handful. Now, be the same token, I promise you my Darby will make no bones of going on that errant this night."
"Ho! ho! ho!" laughed Margit. "If he has the courage to do it bid him sthop in to me on his way back, an' I'll send to you a fine settin' of eggs from my black Spanish hin."
What sharp worrud Misthress O'Gill would have flung back in answer no one knows, bekase whin once purvoked she has few ayquils for sarcastic langwidge, but just then Elizabeth Ann put in Bridget's hand a steaming cup of good, sthrong tay. Now, whusky, ale, an' porther are all good enough in their places, yer honour—I've nothing to intimidate aginst them—but for a comforting, soothering, edayfing buverage give me a cup of foine black tay. So this day the cups were filled only the second time, when the subject of husbands was complately dhropped, an' the conwersation wandhered to the misdajmeanours of Anthony Sullivan's goat.
All this time the women had been so busy with their talkin' an' argyfyin' that the creeping darkness of a coming storm had stolen unnoticed into the room, making the fire glow brighter and redder on the hearth. A faint flare of lightning, follyed be a low grumble of thunder, brought the women to their feet.
"Marcy on us!" says Caycelia Crow, glad of an excuse to be gone, "do you hear that? We'll all be dhrownded before we raich home," says she.
In a minute the wisitors, afther dhraining their cups, were out in the road, aich hurryin' on her separate way, an' tying her bonnet-sthrings as she wint.
'Twas a heavy an' a guilty heart that Bridget carried home with her through the gathering storm. Although Darby was a nuntimate friend of the fairies, yet, as Margit Doyle said, he had such a black dhread of all other kinds of ghosts that to get him out on this threatening Halloween night, to walk past the churchyard, as he must do on his way to Cormac McCarthy's cottage, was a job ayquil to liftin' the Shannon bridge. How she was to manage it she couldn't for the life of her tell; but if the errant was left undone she would be the laughin'-stock of every woman in the parish.
But worst of all, an' what cut her heart the sorest, was that she had turned an act of neighbourly kindness into a wainglorious boast; an' that, she doubted not, was a mortal sin.
She had promised Cormac in the afthernoon that as soon as she got home she would send Darby over with some tay for poor little Eileen, an' now a big storm was gathering, an' before she could have supper ready, thry as hard as she could, black night might be upon them.
"To bring aise to the dying is the comfortingist privilege a man or woman can have, an' I've thraded it for a miserable settin' of eggs," she says. "Amn't I the unfortunit crachure," she thought, "to have let me pride rune me this away. What'll I do at all at all?" she cried. "Bad luck to the thought that took me out of me way to Elizabeth Egan's house!"
Then she med a wish that she might be able to get home in time to send Darby on his errant before the night came on. "If they laugh at me, that'll be my punishment, an' maybe it'll clane my sin," says she.
But the wish was in wain. For just as she crossed the stile to her own field the sun dhropped behind the hills as though he had been shot, an' the east wind swept up, carrying with it a sky full of black clouds an' rain.
That same All Sowls' night Darby O'Gill, the friend of the fairies, sat, as he had often sat before, amidst the dancin' shadows, ferninst his own crackling turf and wood fire, listening to the storm beat against his cottage windows. Little Mickey, his six-year-ould, cuddled asleep on his daddy's lap, whilst Bridget sat beside thim, the other childher cruedled around her. My, oh my, how the rain powered and hammered an' swirled!
Out in the highway the big dhrops smashed agin wayfarers' faces like blows from a fist, and once in a while, over the flooded moors and the far row of lonesome hills, the sullen lightning spurted red and angry, like the wicious flare of a wolcano.
You may well say 'twas perfect weather for Halloween—to-night whin the spirits of the dayparted dead visit once again their homes, and sit unseen, listening an' yearnin' about the ould hearthstones.
More than once that avenin' Darby'd shivered and shuddered at the wild shrieks and wails that swept over the chimney-tops; he bein' sartin sure that it wasn't the wind at all, but despairing woices that cried out to him from the could lips of the dead.
At last, afther one purticular doleful cry that rose and fell and lingered around the roof, the knowledgeable man raised his head and fetched a deep breath, and said to his wife Bridget:
"Do you hear that cry, avourneen? The dear Lord be marciful to the souls of the dayparted!" sighed he.
Bridget turned a throubled face toward him. "Amen," she says, speakin' softly; "and may He presarve them who are dying this night. Poor Eileen McCarthy—an' she the purty, light-footed colleen only married the few months! Haven't we the raysons to be thankul and grateful. We can never pray enough, Darby," says she.
Now the family had just got off their knees from night prayers, that had lasted half an hour, so thim last worruds worried Darby greatly.
"That woman," he says to himself, mighty sour, "is this minute contimplaytin' an' insinuatin' that we haven't said prayers enough for Eileen, when as it is, me two poor knees have blisters on thim as big as hin's eggs from kneelin'. An' if I don't look out," he says to himself again, "she'll put the childher to bed and then she's down on her knees for another hour, and me wid her; I'd never advise anyone to marry such a pious woman. I'm fairly kilt with rayligion, so I am. I must disthract her mind an' prevent her intintions," he says to himself.
"Maybe, Bridget," he says, out loud, as he was readying his pipe, "it ain't so bad afther all for Eileen. If we keep hoping for the best, we'll chate the worst out of a few good hours at any rate," says the knowledgeable man.
But Bridget only rowled the apron about her folded arms and shook her head sorrowful at the fire. Darby squinted carefully down the stem of his pipe, blew in it, took a sly glance at his wife, and wint on:
"Don't you raymember, Bridget," he says, "whin ould Mrs. Rafferty lay sick of a bad informaytion of the stomick; well, the banshee sat for a full hour keening an' cryin' before their house—just as it did last night outside Cormac McCarthy's. An' you know the banshee cried but once at Rafferty's, but never rayturned the second time. The informaytion left Julia, and all the wide worruld knows, even the King of Spain might know if he'd send to ax, that Julia Rafferty, as strong as a horse, was diggin' petaties in her own field as late as yesterday."
"The banshee comes three nights before anyone dies, doesn't it, daddy?" says little Mickey, waking up, all excited.
"It does that," says Darby, smilin' proud at the child's knowledgeableness; "and it's come but once to Eileen McCarthy."
"An' while the banshee cries, she sits combing her hair with a comb of goold, don't she, daddy?"
Bridget sat onaisy, bitin' her lips. Always an' ever she had sthrove to keep from the childher tidings of fairies and of banshees an' ghosts an' other onnatural people. Twice she trun a warning look at Darby, but he, not noticin', wint on, strokin' the little lad's hair, an' sayin' to him:
"It does, indade, avick; an' as she came but once to Mrs. Rafferty's, so we have rayson to hope she'll come no more to Cormac McCarthy's."
"Hush that nonsinse!" says Bridget, lookin' daggers; "sure Jack Doolan says that 'twas no banshee at all that come to Rafferty's, but only himself who had taken a drop too much at the fair, an' on his way home sat down to rest himself by Rafferty's door. He says that he stharted singin' pious hymns to kape off the evil spirits, and everyone knows that the same Jack Doolan has as turrible a woice for singin' as any banshee that ever twishted a lip," she says.
The woman's conthrayriness vexed Darby so he pounded his knee with his fist as he answered her: "You'll not deny, maybe," he says, "that the Costa Bower sthopped one night at the Hall, and——"
"Whist!" cried Bridget; "lave off," she says; "sure that's no kind of talk to be talkin' this night before the childher," says she.
"But mammy, I know what the Costa Bower is," cried little Mickey, sitting up straight in Darby's lap an' pinting his finger at his mother; "'tis I that knows well. The Costa Bower is a gr-r-reat black coach that comes in the night to carry down to Croagmah the dead people the banshee keened for."
The other childher by now were sitting boult upright, stiff as ramrods, and staring wild-eyed at Mickey.
"The coachman's head is cut off an' he houlds the reins this away," says the child, lettin' his hands fall limp an' open at his side. "Sometimes it's all wisable, an' then agin it's unwisable, but always whin it comes one can hear the turrible rumble of its wheels." Mickey's woice fell and, spreading out his hands, he spoke slow an' solemn. "One Halloween night in the woods down at the black pond, Danny Hogan heard it coming an' he jumped behind a stone. The threes couldn't sthop it, they wint right through it, an' as it passed Danny Hogan says he saw one white, dead face laned back agin the dark cushions, an' this is the night—All Sowls' night—whin it's sure to be out; now don't I know?" he says, thriumphant.
At that Bridget started to her feet. For a minute she stood spacheless with vexation at the wild, frighting notions that had got into the heads of her childher; then "Glory be!" she says, looking hard at Darby. You could have heard a pin dhrop in the room. Ould Malachi, the big yellow cat, who until this time lay coiled asleep on a stool, was the best judge of Bridget's charack-ter in that house. So, no sooner did he hear the worruds an' see Bridget start up, than he was on his own four feet, his back arched, his tail straight up, an' his two goolden eyes searchin' her face. One look was enough for him. The next instant he lept to the ground an' started for the far room. As he scampered through the door, he trew a swift look back at his comerades, the childher, an' that look said plain as any worruds could say:
"Run for it while you've time! Folly me; some one of us vagebones has done something murtherin'!"
Malachi was right; there would have been sayrious throuble for all hands, only that a softening thought was on Bridget that night which sobered her temper. She stopped a bit, the frown on her face clearing as she looked at the childher, an' she only said: "Come out of this! To bed with yez! I'm raising a pack of owdacious young romancers, an' I didn't know it. Mickey sthop that whimpering an' make haste with your clothes. The Lord help us, he's broke off another button. Look at that, now!" she says.
There was no help for thim. So, with longin' looks trun back at their father, sittin' cosey before the fire, an' with consolin' winks an' nods from him, the childher followed their mother to the bedroom.
Thin, whilst Bridget was tucking the covers about them, an' hushing their complainings, Darby sat with his elbows on his knees, doing in his head a sum in figures; an' that sum was this:
"How much would it be worth this All Sowls' night for a man to go out that door and walk past the churchyard up to Cormac McCarthy, the stone-cutter's house?" One time he made the answer as low as tin pounds two shillings and thruppence, but as he did so a purticular loud blast went shrieking past outside, an' he raised the answer to one thousand five hundred an' tunty pounds sterling. "And cheap at that," he said aloud.
While he was studyin' thim saygacious questions, Bridget stole quietly behind and put a light hand on his chowlder. For a minute, thin, nayther of thim said a worrud.
Surprised at the silence, an' puzzled that little Mickey had escaped a larruping, Malachi crept from the far room an' stood still in the doorway judging his misthress. An' expression was on her face the cat couldn't quite make out. 'Twas an elevayted, pitying, good-hearted, daytermined look, such as a man wears when he goes into the sty to kill one of his own pigs for Christmas.
Malachi, being a wise an' expayieranced baste, daycided to take no chances, so he backed through the door again an' hid undher the dhresser to listen.
"I was just thinking, Darby avourneen," says the woman, half whuspering, "how we might this blessed night earn great credit for our two sowls."
"Wait!" says the sly man, straightening himself, an' raising a hand. "The very thing you're going to spake was in my own mind. I was just dayliberatin' that I hadn't done justice to-night to poor Eileen. I haven't said me prayers farvint enough. I niver can whin we're praying together, or whin I'm kneeling down. Thin, like every way else, there's something quare about me. The foinest prayers I ever say is whin I'm be myself alone in the fields," says the conniving villyan. "So, do you, Bridget, go in an' kneel down by the childher for a half hour or so, an' I'll sit here doing my best. If you should happen to look out at me ye might aisily think," he says, "that I was only sittin' here comfortably smoking my pipe, but at the same time prayers'll be whirlin' inside of me like a wind-mill," says he.
"Oh, thin, ain't I glad an' happy to hear you say thim worruds," says his wife, puttin' one foine arrum about his neck; "you've taken a load off my heart that's been weighing heavy on it all night, for I thought maybe you'd be afeard."
"Afeard of what?" axed Darby, liftin' his eyebrows. Malachi throtted bouldly in an' jumped up on the stool.
"You know Father Cassidy says," whuspered Bridget, "that a loving deed of the hands done for the disthressed is itself a prayer worth a week of common prayers."
"I have nothin' agin that sayin'," says Darby, his head cocked, an' he growin' suspicious.
Bridget wiped her forehead with her apron. "Well, this afthernoon I was at McCarthy's house," she wint on, soothering his hair with one hand, "an', oh, but the poor child was disthressed! Her cheeks were flaming with the faver. An', Darby, the thirst, the awful thirst! I looked about for a pinch of tay—there's nothing so coolin' for one in the faver as a cup of wake tay—an' the sorra scrap of it was in the house, so I tould Cormac that to-night, as soon as the childher were in bed, I'd send you over with a pinch."
Every one of Darby's four bones stiffened an' a mortial chill sthruck into his heart.
"Listen, darlint," she says, "the storm's dying down, so while you're putting on your greatcoat I'll wrap up the bit of tay." He shook her hand from his chowldhers.
"Woman," he says, with bitther politeness, "I think you said that we had a great chanst to get credit for our two sowls. That's what I think you raymarked and stibulated," says he.
"Arrah, shouldn't a woman have great praise an' credit who'll send her husband out on such a night as this," his wife says. "The worse the con-ditions, the more credit she'll get. If a ghost were to jump at ye as you go past the churchyard, oughtn't I be the happy woman entirely?" says Bridget.
There was a kind of a tinkle in her woice, such as comes when Bridget is telling jokes, so Darby, with a sudden hope in his mind, turned quick to look at her. But there she stood grim, unfeeling, an' daytermined as a pinted gun.
"Oh, ho! is that the way it is?" he says. "Well, here's luck an' good fortune to the ghost or skellington that lays his hand on me this blessed night!" He stuck his two hands deep in his pockets and whirled one leg across the other—the most aggrawating thing a man can do. But Bridget was not the laste discouraged; she only made up her mind to come at him on his soft side, so she spoke up an' said:
"Suppose I was dying of the faver, Darby O'Gill, an' Cormac rayfused to bring over a pinch of tay to me. What, then, would ye think of the stone-cutter?"
Malachi, the cat, stopped licking his paws, an' trun a sharp, inquiring eye at his master.
"Bridget," says the knowledgeable man, giving his hand an argifying wave. "We have two separate ways of being good. Your way is to scurry round an' do good acts. My way is to keep from doing bad ones. An' who knows," he says, with a pious sigh, "which way is the betther one. It isn't for us to judge," says he, shakin' his head solemn at the fire.
Bridget walked out in front of him an' fowlded her arms tight.
"So you won't go," she says, sharp an' suddin'.
"The divil a foot!" says he, beginnin' to whustle.
You'd think, now, Bridget was bate, but she still hildt her trump card, an' until that was played an' lost the lad wasn't safe. "All right, me brave hayro," says she; "do you sit there be the fire; I'll go meself," she says. With that she bounced into the childher's room an' began to get ready her cloak an' hood.
For a minute Darby sat pokin' the fire, muttherin' to himself an' feeling very discommodious. Thin, just to show he wasn't the laste bit onaisy, the lad cleared his throat, and waggin' his head at the fire, began to sing:
"Yarra! as I walked out one mor-r-nin' all in the month of June
The primrosies and daisies o' cowslips were in bloom,
I spied a purty fair maid a-sthrollin' on the lea,
An' Rory Bory Alice, nor any other ould ancient haythan goddess was not half so fair as she.
Says I, 'Me purty fair maid, I'll take you for me bride.
An' if you'll pay no at-TIN-tion——'"
Glancing up sudden, he saw Malachi's eye on him, and if ever the faytures of a cat spoke silent but plain langwidge Malachi's face talked that minute to its master, and this is what it said:
"Well, of all the cowardly, creaking bostheens I ever see in all me born days you are the worst, Darby O'Gill. You've not only guve impidence to your wife—an' she's worth four of you—but you've gone back on the friends you purtended to——"
Malachi's faytures got no further in their insultin' raymarks, for at that Darby swooped up a big sod of turf an' let it fly at the owdacious baste.
Now it is well known that be a spontaneous trow like that no one ever yet hit a sinsible cat, but always an' ever in that unlucky endayvour he strikes a damaginger blow where it's not intinded. So it was this time.
Bridget, wearing her red cloak an' hood, was just coming through the door, an' that misfortunate sod of turf caught her fair an' square, right below the chist, an' she staggered back agin the wall.
Darby's consthernaytion an' complycation an' turpitaytion were beyant imaginaytion.
Bridget laned there gasping. If she felt as bad as she looked, four Dublint surgunts with their saws an' knives couldn't have done her a ha-porth of good. Howsumever, for all that, the sly woman had seen Malachi dodge an' go gallopin' away, but she purtendid to think 'twas at herself the turf was trun. Not that she scolded, or anything so common as that, but she went on like an early Christian marthyer who was just goin' to be inthrojuiced to the roaring loins.
Well, as you may aisy see, the poor man, her husband, hadn't a chanst in the worruld af ther that. Of course, to rightify himself, he'd face all the ghosts in Croaghmah. So, in a minute, he was standing in his greatcoat with his hand on the latch. There was a packet of tay in his pocket, an' he was a subdued an' conquered man.
He looked so woful that Bridget raypented an' almost raylinted.
"Raymember," he says, mournful, "if I'm caught this night be the Costa Bower, or be the banshee, take good care of the childher, an' raymember what I say—I didn't mane, Bridget, to hit ye with that sod of turf."
"Oh, ain't ye the foolish darlin' to be afeared," smiled Bridget back at him, but she was sayrious, too. "Don't you know that when one goes on an errant of marcy a score of God's white angels with swoords in their hands march before an' beside an' afther him, keeping his path free from danger?" With that she pulled his face down to hers, an' kissed him as she used in the ould courtin' days.
There's nothing puts so much high courage an' clear, steadfast purpose in a man's heart, if it be properly given, as a kiss from the woman he loves. So, with the warmth of that kiss to cheer him, Darby set his face agin the storm.