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Of cours nike air max 1 e, we have always intended sooner or later to forsake this life of hotels and lodgings, and become either Irish landlords or tenants, or both, with a view to the better understanding of one burning Irish question. We heard of a charming house in County Down, which could be secured by renting it the first of May for the season; but as we could occupy it only for a month at most we were obliged to forego the opportunity.
“We have been told from time immemorial that absenteeism has been one of the curses of Ireland,” I remarked to Salemina; “so, whatever the charms of the cottage in Rostrevor, do not let us take it, and in so doing become absentee landlords.”
“It was you two who hired the ‘wee theekit hoosie’ in Pettybaw, nike air max 1 grey ” said Francesca. “I am going to be in the vanguard of the next house-hunting expedition; in fact, I have almost made up my mind to take my third of Benella and be an independent householder for a time. If I am ever to learn the management of an establishment before beginning to experiment on Ronald’s, now is the proper moment.”
“Ronald must have looked the future in the face when he asked you to marry him,” I replied, “although it is possible that he looked only at you, and therefore it is his duty to endure your maiden incapacities; but why should Salemina and I suffer you to experiment upon us, pray?”
It was Benel Nike air max 1 la, after all, who inveigled us into making our first political misstep; for, after avoiding the sin of absenteeism, we fell into one almost as black, inasmuch as we evicted a tenant. It is part of Benella’s heterogeneous and unusual duty to take a bicycle and scour the country in search of information for us: to find out where shops are, post-office, lodgings, places for good sketches, ruins, pretty roads for w nike air max 1 premium alks and drives, and many other things, too numerous to mention. She came home from one of these expeditions flushed with triumph.
“I’ve got you a house!” she exclaimed proudly. “There’s a lady in it now, but she’ll move out to-morrow when we move in; and we are to pay seventeen dollars fifty–I mean three pound ten–a week for the house, with privilege of renewal, and she throws in the hired girl.” (Benella is hopelessly provincial in the matter of language: butler, chef, boots, footman, scullery-maid, all come under the generic term of ‘help.’)
“I knew our week at this hotel was out to-morrow,” she continued, “and we’ve about used up this place, anyway, and the new village that I’ve b’en to is the prettiest place we’ve seen yet; it’s got an up-and-down hill to it, just like home, and the house I’ve partly rented is oppo nike air max 1 leopard site a fair green, where there’s a market every week, and Wednesday’s the day; and we’ll save money, for I shan’t cost you so much when we can housekeep.”
“Would you mind explaining a little more in detail,” asked Salemina quietly, “and telling me whether you have hired the house for yourself or for us?”
“For us all,” she replied genially–“you don’t suppose I’d leave you? I liked the looks of this cottage the first time I passed it, and I got acquainted with the hired girl by going in the side yard and asking for a drink. The next time I went I got acquainted with the lady, who’s got the most outlandish name that ever was wrote down, and here it is on a paper; and to-day I asked her if she didn’t want to rent her house for a week to three quiet ladies without children and only one of them married and him away. She said it wa’n’t her own, and I asked her if she couldn’t sublet to desirable parties–I knew she was as poor as Job’s turkey by her looks; and she said it would suit her well enough, if she had any place to go. I asked her if she wouldn’t like to travel, and she said no. Then I says, ‘Wouldn’t you like to go to visit some of your folks?’ And she said she s’posed she could stop a week with her son’s wife, just to oblige us. So I engaged a car to drive you down this afternoon just to look at the place; and if you like it we can easy move over to-morrow. The sun’s so hot I asked the stableman if he hadn’t got a top buggy, or a surrey, or a carryall; but he never heard tell of any of ’em; he didn’t even know a shay. I forgot to tell you the lady is a Protestant, and the hired girl’s name is Bridget Thunder, and she’s a Roman Catholic, but she seems extra smart and neat. I was kind of in hopes she wouldn’t be, for I thought I should enjoy trainin’ her, and doin’ that much for the country.”
And so we drove over to this village of Knockcool (Knockcool, by the way, means ‘Hill of Sleep’), as much t o make amends for Benella’s eccentricities as with any idea of falling in with her proposal. The house proved everything she said, and in Mrs. Wogan Odevaine Benella had found a person every whit as remarkable as herself. She is evidently an Irish gentlewoman of very small means, very flexible in her views and convictions, very talkative and amusing, and very much impressed with Benella as a product of New England institutions. We all took a fancy to one another at first sight, and we heard with real pleasure that her son’s wife lived only a few miles away. We insisted on paying the evicted lady the three pounds ten in advance for the first week. She seemed surprised, and we remembered that Irish tenants, though often capable of shedding blood for a good landlord, are generally averse to paying him rent. Mrs. Wogan Odevaine then drove away in high good humour, taking some personal belongings with her, and promising to drink tea with us some time during the week. She kissed Francesca good-bye, told her she was the prettiest creature she had nike air max 1 ebay ever seen, and asked if she might have a peep at all her hats and frocks when she came to visit us.
Salemina says that Rhododendron Cottage (pronounced by Bridget Thunder ‘Roothythanthrum’) being the property of one landlord and the residence of four tenants at the same time makes us in a sense participators in the old system of rundale tenure, long since abolished. The good-will or tenant-right was infinitely subdivided, and the tiniest cheap nike air max 1 holdings sometimes existed in thirty-two pieces. The result of this joint tenure was an extraordinary tangle, particularly when it went so far as the subdivision of ‘one cow’s grass,’ or even of a horse, which, being owned jointly by three men, ultimately went lame, because none of them would pay for shoeing the fourth foot.
We have been here five days, and instead of reproving Benella, as we intended, for gross assumption of authority in the matter, we are more than ever her bond-slaves. The place is altogether charming, and here it is for you.
Knockcool Street is Knockcool village itself, as with almost all Irish towns; but the line of little thatched cabins is brightened at the far end by the neat house of Mrs. Wogan Odevaine, set a trifle back in its own garden, by the pillared porch of a modest hotel, and by the barracks of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The sign of the air max 1 Provincial Bank of Ireland almost faces our windows; and although it is used as a meal-shop the rest of the week, they tell us that two thousand pounds in money is needed there on fair-days. Next to it is a little house, the upper part of which is used as a Methodist chapel; and old Nancy, the caretaker, is already a good friend of ours. It is a humble house of prayer, but Nancy takes much pride in it, and showed us the melodeon, ‘worked by a young lady from Rossantach,’ the Sunday-school rooms, and even the cupboard where she keeps the jugs for the love-feast and the linen and wine for the sacrament, which is administered once in three years. Next comes the Hoeys’ cabin, where we have always a cordial welcome, but where we never go all together, for fear of embarrassing the family, which is a large one–three generations under one roof, and plenty of children in the last. Old Mrs. Hoey does not rightly know her age, she says; but her daughter Ellen was born the year of th nike air max 1 sale e Big Wind, and she herself was twenty-two when she was married, and you might allow a year between that and when Ellen was born, and make your own calculation.
She tells many stories of the Big Wind, which we learn was in 1839, making Ellen’s age about sixty-one and her mother’s eighty-four. The fury of the storm was such that it forced the water of the Lough far ashore, stranding the fish among the rocks, where they were found dead by hundreds. When next morning dawned there was confusion and ruin on every side: the cross had tumbled from the chapel, the tombstones were overturned in the graveyard, trees and branches blocked the roadways, cabins were stripped of their thatches, and cattle found dead in the fields; so it is small wonder old Mrs. Hoey remembers the day of Ellen’s birth, weak as she is on all other dates.
Ellen’s husband, Miles M’Gillan, is the carpenter on an estate in the neighbourhood. His shop opens out of the cabin, and I love to sit by the Hoey fireside, where the fan bellows, turned by a crank, brings in an instant a fresh flame to the sods of smoulderi cheap air max 1 ng turf, and watch a wee Colleen Bawn playing among her daddy’s shavings, tying them about her waist and fat wrists, hanging them on her ears and in among her brown curls. Mother Hoey says that I do not speak like an American–that I have not so many ‘caperin’s’ in my language, whatever they may be; and so we have long delightful chats together when I go in for a taste of Ellen’s griddle bread, cooked over the peat coals. Francesca, meantime, is calling on Mrs. O’Rourke, whose son has taken more than fifty bi nike air max 1 black cycle prizes; and no stranger can come to Knockcool without inspecting the brave show of silver, medals, and china that adorn the bedroom, and make the O’Rourkes the proudest couple in ould Donegal. Phelim O’Rourke smokes his dudeen on a bench by the door, and invites the passer-by to enter and examine the trophies. His trousers are held up with bits of rope arranged as suspenders; indeed, his toilet is so much a matter of strings that it must be a work of time to tie on his clothing in the morning, in case he takes it off at night, which is open to doubt; nevertheless it is he that’s the satisfied man, and the luck would be on him as well as on e’er a man alive, were he not kilt wid the cough intirely! Mrs. Phelim’s skirt shows a triangle of red flannel behind, where the two ends of the waistband fail to meet by about six inches, but are held together by a piece of white ball fringe. Any informality in this part of her costume is, however, more than atoned for by the presence of a dingy bonnet of magenta velvet, w cheap nike air max 1 hich she always dons for visitors.
The O’Rourke family is the essence of hospitality, so their kitchen is generally full of children and visitors; and on the occasion when Salemina issued from the prize bedroom, the guests were so busy with conversation that, to use their own language, divil a wan of thim clapt eyes on the O’Rourke puppy, and they did not notice that the baste was flound nike air max 1 red ering in a tub of soft, newly made butter standing on the floor. He was indeed desperately involved, being so completely wound up in the waxy mass that he could not climb over the tub’s edge. He looked comical and miserable enough in his plight: the children and the visitors thought so, and so did Francesca and I; but Salemina went directly home, and kept her room for an hour. She is so sensitive! Och, thin, it’s herself that’s the marthyr intirely! We cannot see that the incident affects us so long as we avoid the O’Rourkes’ butter; but she says, covering her eyes with her handkerchief and shuddering: “Suppose there are other tubs and other pup–Oh, I cannot bear the thought of it, dears! Please change the subject, and order me two hard-boiled eggs for dinner.” ③

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