Chapter 169755449

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter TitleTHE EVICTION.
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Full Date1897-01-03
Page Number8
Word Count3193
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleTruth (Sydney)
Trove TitleAn Australian Anarchist
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[All Rights Reserved.]

(Bl V. L. THOMAS.)

Chapter X. , THE EVICTION.

' In oar opening chapter it wae stated tbat BO spot in the Dis-United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland looked lovelier than the front of Bannerdown Hall in tbe county of Wilts. A few weeks later.

perhaps none looked poorer cr more . miserable than the village of Ballyma cart in tbe south of Ireland, Yet both Balljrmacart and Bannerdown belonged t* the- same noble owner. The farmers' homesteads and laborers' cottages and allotments on the Bannerdown Estate made: it. the ..model estate of the West of England ; the cabins and rookeries that housed the farmers and villagers of Bally - toacart were tbe most squalid in tbe whole ?f Ireland. Yet Ballymacart, sb one can see still from traces left, had once been the model estate of all Ireland. But, after the Union, the lords and the younger : ?ens, toe, who represented tbe county, I spent their time in Lendoo. Then tbe young heiress married the Marquis e£ Skuaerdown,tbe great ' house was closed, and Ballymacart became an absentee es tate. . The rents were now farmed out to * Cork firm ef agents, who exacted the

last peony from the tenants er sold them out The old landlords had resided on the estate, and thus bad given much employment. Tlie moneylpaid to as rent wss paid back is wages to fi^e artisans, for whose skill the little plains was remarkable, and the shop keeps** ruefully remark now, there was little trouble iv. ' meeting tbeir house rsfcis in those days, i'ar there was always a, 'contra' acoeont ar the Great House. But all this had changed, and for years toast tho people were ah out as well off as { xhs EeTPtian fellaheen, fche fruits of whose

inductiT' are wasted o- the harems of Cairo and CenstantinopV- Yet people ? wonderlbat there is an m 'b question, i Desiring 1° spend a fev ' weeks in Ire land, Sir William Samuels communicated ?with the Marquis of Bairns 'down's agent. The house at £a|iymacart ,-the Marquis had never occupied - in fact, V® had never 'seen bis Irish property. If'-, was now , empty, 'but could with a litfl.9 eare be madt Jhabitable for a short period. They would be glad to let it to th&' tenant of tho . English seat. Sir William a ccord ingly resolved to spend a few wee ks in Ireland, where he had 'seme relate ves.. flriraah&w, the Lancashire manufacturer, anxious to work up some facts for ti?t\

nest session in the House ef Commons, which threatened te bo a very Irish onsi and to speak with the authority of tbe man who had been there, promised to go too. His affairs in tbe North, the mines and the mills, however, required bis atten- j tion for a few days, eo be invited the Samuels to his substantial home in that, picturesque Lancashire glen. When he followed the Samuels to Ballymacart, and beeame a visitor at tbe long unoccupied j Great House, as the neasantrv callod it. ,

V the 'smart' papers duly noted the .' Blatter in a paragraph. Society made np . V its mind that Hartley Gritaehaw and Vera Samuels were engaged. Society said what match. It was better tbat these 'pareenus should many one another than contaminate the aristocracy. Bah! Many a match-making peeress regretted that her dear lamb had missed e aol)Ls,U: ' party* as the rich manufacturerj known as a rising man in the Heuse.'whila several h'roken-do'Wn holders of titlis sighed for . the Australian heiress's fortune.

Two mornings after his arrival. Grim-.; ehaw drove out with Sir William and Miss Samuels. They passed through the streets of Ballymacart. It was one of the decay ing {towns of the South and West to which a Minister in'the .House of Commons alluded a &w years ago. There were several, largo buildings in a most dilapidated con dition. Had he inquired into their bis tory, GnmBhaw might have learned & few faots that would net quite harmonise with the theories propounded in the Cobden dtth pamphlets whioh he so eagerly read. Sevtrplof the buildings had been corn stores. . But after the introduction of .Freetjrubt bomgrowing became nnprofit ^tWe in TrBfm£ and the farmers turned Iheir stable into^afcture. There was less wrajfrown and, 'consequently, less need for ,'4*rn stores. The little corn now grevirn -was taken to the larger towns. , iQneef those tumble-down rookeries was ja cj^ing, another a scutching mill, and a third' wss a hatfactory. Ballymacart was j neted for tho quality o£ its hats, n&uoh I womby the Irish peasantry. But these1 woM*u idle. The population had been radubed by the famine of '47, but the. iiatBi'^id not stop there. In the natural 'Oldof Of 'things the loss of the famine «hMui :havo been recouped in a few fyWrtt The people who died ofi shonld I have left mora zoom for the airmen. I

Bat, fceoauae ?£ the !-?« trade system, ttitro vas lesB room for thsm. Ireland's ? 'papulation was wanted in other parts of. tho world. The result was that the cot tage **d farm houio induBtriea declined lor want of hands. .There was no more spinning. The weavers had croBBed the Atlantic, so had the -shoemakers and the tailors. Ireland befqre *47 had enjoyed theSooialistfe ideal— production for nee. 'WbsfLtliewool was growing on the sheep's fcaok, the mother designed how it was to ^apportioned. It was te make a blue rjitttiMfet for Jfoe daughter, or a frieze coat ?ror, «5e son; Biri* /with the Freetrade sasfatM, wuie proAapSen f er speculation, *nd 'home labor waB crushed . out hy the .the j

The farmer had to run in debt f»r things, mere coarsely, bnt. more firmly, produced atone tine by the surplus labor of his own family, during tbe slack period of the year. Thus he has new a second rent to meet. The landlord ia not more exacting than tbe town merchants to whom he is ever in debt. They buy his produce and sell bim goods. Bat as they observe the doctrine of Freetrade, ' Buy cheap and sell dear,' there is a double logs for bim. So between the reduction of population which followed Kreetrade, and the im portation of foreign and English shoddy, the corn stores and the little mills had fallen into decay. Are the millions tbat have left Ireland any better off? Heaven only knows! We occasionally hear of a bonanza miner or an Australian squatter with an Irish name : several drink-shopians in both America and Australia bear Irish names : but what about tbe names in the police aud criminal reports V In forcing ' a primitive people into contact with a city life to which tbey were unused, Freetrade has not been such a blessing. It may

have been a curse. We hear a good deal about the bodies it has clothed,' never , a word about the souls it has damned. As they drove through the decaying and dilapidated streets only one building showed signs of prosperity. It was the police barrack, with ominous openings in the wall for tbe use of small arms. Else where the policeman is a messenger ef peace ; in Ireland he is a hostile foe. As tbey passed, a tall, athletic looking man, in the uniform of the Boyal Irish Con stabulary, stepped into the roadway, and, motioning the driver to stop, respectfully saluted them. ' Excuse me,' he said, his accent bearing only a slight trace of tbe brogue ; ' and above all, I hope I have not interfered with the comfort of the yonog lady ; but, as an officer of the law, I am placed in a peculiar position, in which gentlemen like yon might be of help to me. I know that aa o of you is a member of Parliament. Is either of you a magistrate for this oounty ?'

j ' I am not,' Baid Sir William. *Tn fact, ' I had bo notion of residing here until a few weeks ago,' ' Neither am I, I'm sorry to say,' cried GTimshaw, ' but, of course, as a member «f the House of Commons, I should do all in my power to aid an officer of the law, and 1 know my friend here is of the same mind. Can we be of any eOrvice to you? Tho M.P. began to foel that his visit had not been altogether lost Here was an incident which might furnish a speech in the House. ' Well, you see, gentlemen, it's like this — I'm Constable Hogan, with aorra one ia in the barrack except myself and a raw recrait that came out of the depot a few days ago. As you have heard, there is to be a big eviction to-day at Fogarty's Cross, 12 mileB away. All the available police in the county are drafted there, for bad work is feared. Cur seargeant and the rest of the men left here for there at day ibreik. Tbe sub-inspector and tbe resident magistrate are there too. Now, there is to- be a small eviction here to-day. We knew of it all along, and did not anticipate any trouble, for it is generally allowed that the tenant has himself to blame for being back with his rent. But public opi nion bas changed since yeBterday. I don't knew why, unless it'a the show tbat was here last night. I was present and came away before 'twas over. There was nothing

in it to cause commotion ; but, anyway, something is up. I can see it in the manner of tbe boys, and Faddy Flynn, the publican, when I went across to gulp down a nip, a few minutes ago, told me' ^oloofc .out for squalls, and, while I was aftray, a' messenger came up front Ryan's — that's w here tiie e vie tien is to be-rt?4Mr that tbe bailiffs and the sheriffs men round a crowd collecting, and wanted to know whether we could sendthein stay help. But what can 1 do with only a recruit here and the sergeant atid the rest of the men at Fogarty's Cross ? Yet, if tbese bailiffs , get 'hurt, Til be reprimanded for net being there.' Grimshaw, - ordinarily so cool, became excited. ' Here .be was in tbe midst of a real Irish row, such as attracted attention in the English papers, and in the House. He'd : only be too happy to assist the constable if he could. 'An idea has strnok me,' said Constable Hogan. 'The raw recrait isn't worth tnuoh, but, provided he locks the doors and let's no ene in till I come baek, be can aaoant guard at the barrack. Then, I can g# down and have a look at Evan's placet, I'd like you, sir, as a member ef the House of Commons, to come down and be - a

witness, for not a decent person in Ireland wonld give evidence in ear favor in a case ef this kind; Yon see, I'm set a sergeant, and my . conduct on suoh an occasion may mean censure or promotion in the future. I'm a bit ' anxious, so if you cone with ae, the other gentleman and the lady can drive on, . and after it's over I can show Lyon to the house.' 'Ah,' laughed Vera Samuels, 'Pa -and I are net so foolish as to miss a treat. Why we have been lesgiig to Ste one of these evictions that thopapsrs stake so rtttch ?fc' ' If you are bsat en gsing, then go we must,' said Sir William, 'I t«e would like te witkess ene of those scenes, distrsssiag as they most be.' ' All right, sir,' said Constable Hogan, 'Tell the coachman to drive slowly, and I'll walk ahead.' In a quarter of an hoar they wore at Ryan's. The scene .that met. their, ayes was ludicrous. Walter Watson, Australia's popular M.L.A., had reached the perora tion ef a speeob on the iniquity of Irish landlordism. Much against Morton's will -he tad mounted the stump— the tail of a cart - His speeoh movodhis heareraj old. farmers who had . heard O'ConneU and Shiel, Lucas and Shaman Crawford, Davitt aad Pornell, averred that none «f them could move a crowd as could this young Australian. . Yet Watson after wards admitted that the speech was vir-. -tually- a repetition of one previously de livered by, him in the New Sonth Wales Assembly. He had only substituted the' landlords for the squatters ; but the effect, was as' magical as if he had spoken inth all the inppijration that oemes from new born passion. 'I fear there's going to be bad work,', said Ooutablfc Hogan. 'I think, if . the young lady would allow it, 'twould ho better if you drove off to Father Peter's': - you see his house 'at the top of the hill ; and tell him to come «var atones ; that I Bent you,' ho added, addressing Sir William. 'As for you, air,' he said to Grimshaw, ' Td like yon to remain here, juBt te be . able to tell after how I-actodintbia trying emergency, ifer I'm sure the crowd, will have their own story when it's all over,* Sir William 1 drove off to the priest's heme. His daughter, however, preferred, lo remain. . She even smiled , on seeing . 'Walgett Watson gesticulating wildly as Morton tried te restrain bim. ' But in a

moment she too became excited. The bailiffs, in striving to force an entrance, faad ceme into contact with old Mrs. Kyan, They were not over nice in tbeir methods. Neither was ehe. The old lady belonged to a family renowned'in the days of fac tion fights. She now adopted an old dodge. By taking off ber stocking and placing a large stone inside she had de vised a rather formidable slung shot. With tbis ehe began to belabor the limbs of the law. Well, a bailiff is not an over-chivalrous animal. In self-defence they laid hands on ber. With a wild scream Mademoiselle Viola, 1 the foreign young lady who had sung at the concert the ni|;ht before, dashed for ward and throwing bsr arms around tlie neck of the old woman's assailant dragged him to the ground. Stranger still, Vera Samuels sprang to her side and cried, 'The coward, to hit a poor old woman!' Vallambresa and Watson also attacked the bailiffs, whose lives were in danger. Constable Hogan, Grimshaw, and Morton pulled the young ladies back, and tried to reason with tbe crowd. But all to no use. Headed by Colonel Dwyer, the peasants, numbering hundreds, were about to wreak vengeance on the bailiffs — to tear them limb from limb, as Vallambrosa urged them, when Sir William Samuels' carriage came tearing: along the macadamised road.

A stout, grey-haired old man sat beside | him. It was Father Peter, the parish priest. In his-band he bore a stout black thorn stick. With an agility remarkable for one of bis age,' he jumped out, and with one blow of his cudgel knocked down Colonel Dwyer. 'Get back you ruffiaas,' he cried. ' A bat le prelre viae I'anarchie,' bisBed Vallambrosa. ' Will you flinch at the sight of a Romish clergyman ? ' asked hie assistant, Professor Marker. ' Take that, you heretic scoundrel,' said the stout old priest, but Marker had flung himself to tne ground before tbe blackthorn bad time to get home. Walgett Watson attempted to rally the crosi.

* In the New boutu Wales Assembly when the Education Act was being passed, I hoped that tbe young Australian would never come to 'this ? ' 'Hold your tongue, sir,' cried his Beverence ; and Morton, Sir William, and Grimshaw pulled Watson away. 'And you,' asked tbe priest, 'what brings you here ? ' and he advanced towards Vallambrosa. The latter scowled, and dipped his band in an inside pocket. He grasped a re volver in the manner desperadoes adopt in American saloons. Fortunately Constable Hogan caught him by tbe arm, and pulled him away. The crowd, which a minute before was ready to., follow them to murder even, now began to threaten Watson, Marker, and Vallambrosa, for their defiance of tbe priest. Even Morton was blamed for in troducing heathens into a decent, respect able parish. As Sir William's carriage drove away that go'od gentleman was astonished to hear of his daughter's part in tbat transac tion. Hartley Grimshaw was busy with his notebook. He had seen what would yet astonish the House of Commons. A man of discretion, Constable Hogan told the stranger, Vallambrosa, that no chargc would bo pressed against him if he immediately left the village. The con stable knew that tho barrack force was weak. 'Clear out! yes, with pleasure,' ex claimed Vallambrosa. '1 despair of Ireland, and want to leave it at once. She may fight the landlord, and the foreign invader, but the spirit of Liberty will never thrive there while the priest enjovs sncb.sway an we have witnessed to-day. Marker and Viola, our Irish tour ends. We cross the Channel by ,-the next available boat!' ' And I go with you — for tbe present,' cried Watson. 'Morton, excuse me to your mother : but I think you'd be boy cotted — that's the word, I believe — if a heretic, like I am, were- to remain longer under your roof. I hope to soon see you on your return to Sydney.' Ah hour later a jaunting car left Bally macart for the nearest railway station. On one side were Viola 'and Watson ; on the other, Vallambrosa and Marker. The driver sat in front. Their luggage filled tbe well in tho centre.^ After bidding them good-bye, Morton stood mnsing in the centre of the road. ? What a queorly assorted lead 1 What a strange and beautiful girl 1 I'm not a physiognomist, eo cannot tell why I do not care for the look of that fellow, Marker. I'm iadeed sorry that Watson has fallen under the influence of Vallambrofea, the moit dangerous of revolutionists, because, unlike the ethers, he is both able and sincere. I hope they'll part company after they reach England,. But I ddn't think they'll pull together very long;

Watson cannot stand the trammels of discipline, and the other fellow believes in them. What strange creatures are women ! Natural enough that the foreign girl should fly at tho bailiff, but Jtljss Samuels. — By- rne way, Sir William has esked me to keep the affair out of the papers. Hognn says that'll be easy enough, for in tho present slate of the country, this eviction is regarded as enly a minor affair. If Father Peter hadn't, come up, though, 'twould have been serious enough, for Vallambrosa, to call him by that name, had arms, and he is not the man to hesitate about using them.' fro BE. CONTINUED,')