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The young lady displayed a rusty fork, vith considerable pride."
AND OTHER STORIES.
THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
g WARREN STREET.
1871r. 7 .^ "
HONOR O'MORE'S THREE HOMES.
" T'S of no use talking, Norah; you
may preach at me till you're
black in the face, and it won't
alter facts-and horrid, dull, dreary facts
they are. It's a hateful town, and a gloomy
house, and tiresome people-and that's the
truth, and you know it as well as I do."
And the speaker, a bright, sunny-faced girl
of thirteen, having by this time talked her-
self quite out of breath, jumped off the high
table on which she had been sitting during
this harangue to the knees of her loving
listener, and, throwing her arms round her
neck, gave her a hearty kiss.
Sure, darlint, I never said it wasn't; dull
4 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
it is, and no mistake; and if an old woman
like me feels it, it is hard on a bright bit of
a thing like you. But, Miss Honor, dear,
we can't help it, and there's just nothing
but to bear it bravely; and, my jewel, the
longest day ends at last, as well as the short-
est-glory be to God What would Father
Dominic say, I wonder ?"
"That's all very well, Norah," said the
girl, with an impatient sigh, and giving a
little shake to her nurse, as she still held
her clasped fondly round the neck; "only
you're not Father Dominic, and it's not your
place to scold, or lecture, or teach ; you're
just my own dear, darling Noreen, and
you've only got to pet and spoil and love
me. O Norah! my own nurse Norah!"
and Honor burst suddenly and passionately
into tears, "why did God take away my
father and mother, and leave me all alone in
this place, where I couldn't live only for you,
Norah made no answer except by taking
her darling in her arms, and hushing her
like a baby, till Honor's wild sobs had worn
themselves out ; and then she put the bright,
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
disordered hair from the wet, flushed face,
kissed the last drops from the long, dark
eyelashes, and, reverently signing the child's
brow with the holy cross, said:
"We can all bear a dale more than we
fancy, darlint; and he'll carry our load for
us when it gets too heavy; but it's a hard
lesson to learn, and you're young to learn it,
They made a pretty picture-the gentle
old woman, with her gray hair lying smooth-
ly under her snow-white cap, and the sweet
tranquillity of Christian old age, the chas-
tened brightness of Christian hope, in every
line of her features; and the bright, impe-
tuous girl, with her sweet Irish face, so like
her character, full of faults and irregulari-
ties, but beaming with truth and tenderness,
and ever changing in expression; for not
many minutes after her fit of crying she had
sprung to the window again, her blue eyes
dancing with fun, as she called on her nurse
to come and look at every face in the street,
and to point out one, "if she could," on
which these three words were not written,
" in capital letters," "Ulster, Antrim, Bel-
6 Honor O'3ore's Three Homes.
fast." "And that," said Honor, "is what I
call the climax of Protestantism, and every-
Honor O'More was the only child of a
young man of family and fortune, but, unfor-
tunately, not of prudence ; accordingly, he
spent the fortune in an" incredibly short time
after coming of age, and mortally offended
the family by marrying a very beautiful and
penniless girl, who lived only long enough
after Honor's birth to whisper a last request
-that her husband would never part Norah
Cregan, who had been her own nurse, from
her baby. Poor Mary O'More had more
reasons than one for this wish. Her hus-
band's family were utterly estranged by his
marriage; and the only female relations left
to her were two maiden half-sisters, very
many years older than herself, somewhat
stiff in manner and cold in feeling, and,
above all, Protestants. She knew her hus-
band would not be very likely to undertake
the personal charge of his child for many
years, and she saw that it would inevitably
be her little one's fate to be committed to
the care of the Miss Burkes in Protestant
Honor O'Iore's Three Homes.
Belfast. No wonder, then, that the poor
young mother so earnestly begged that
faithful, pious Norah Cregan might never
leave her little motherless child. The pro-
mise was given and kept; for, with all his
many faults, Gerald O'More would have
shrunk with horror from the thought of his
child's faith being interfered with. And so,
when the young widower went to India with
his regiment, baby Honor and her loving
Norah were left in the dull house in Belfast,
which we have heard the former abuse so
vehemently, and in which she grew up, the
one bright thing in it, to the time when
our story begins. Honor's father had given
strict injunctions in the matter of religion,
and the Miss Burkes behaved quite faith-
fully in this; so there was no fear of the lit-
tle maiden's greatest treasure being endan-
Norah Cregan was a rare woman, loving,
and utterly devoted to her nursling, as all
Irish nurses are. Clinging to her holy faith
with a firmness which, thank God, most of
her country-people possess, she had an intel-
ligent knowledge of that faith, and a judg-
8 Honor O'A'More's Three Homes.
ment and discretion in her conduct, which are
not common in any country, and which, add-
ed to her fervent piety, had made her re-
spected by every member of the Protestant
household, distrustfully as they had looked
on the popish nurse" thirteen years ago.
Father Dominic had watched most care-
fully over the little girl. He delighted in
her quick intelligence and warm, loving
heart, and, being an accomplished scholar,
he had taught her much besides the most
important lessons of all; and Honor was at
thirteen a very well-read girl of her age,
with a fair knowledge of Latin, and such a
store of Irish legend and romance, (Honor
called it early Irish history,") picked up no
-one knew how, that Father Dominic would
laughingly beg Miss Burke not to suppose
he vouched for the accuracy of Honor's won-
derful accounts of Brian Boru, etc., etc. I
suspect Norah thought them by far the most
brilliant part of her darling's mental store.
But I think I have been very disrespectful
to the mistresses of the house to delay their
introduction to you so long; so my next
chapter shall tell you more about them, and
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
you will see why poor impetuous Honor
O'More, in spite of a wonderful power of
happiness in herself, was by no means hap-
py in her first home.
IT is difficult to imagine an Irishwoman
who is cold, stiff, and unloving. But rare as
such a being fortunately is, Miss Burke was
a specimen of one. Her mind was as rigid
as her straight, unbending figure, and as nar-
row as her high, contracted forehead; and it
would scarcely be exaggeration to say that
her heart was as cold as the hard, steel-blue
eyes, that looked as if they had never been
softened by a tear, or brightened by one
genial thought. She was an utterly unsym-
pathetic woman; and is not that the es-
sence of all that is unlovable ? As a most
bigoted Protestant, the popish niece and her
attendant were a thorough annoyance to her;
and it was very greatly to her credit that
she never, in the smallest degree, interfered
with Honor in the matter of religion, nor
10 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
ever suffered her sister to do so. To be
sure, there was Norah-Norah, who would
have carried her darling off from Protestant
Ulster to her own native Kerry hills, and
worked for her night and day, rather than
suffer the treasure of her faith to be even
breathed upon. This said project of run-
ning away to the Kerry cabin, and cutting
turf from the bog, and milking the cows, etc.,
was, by the way, an idea which found great
favor with Honor, and of which she now
and then discussed the possibility with her
"You know, Norah, we should be as hap-
py again as in this nasty place; I should be
as happy as a queen. Now, where would be
the harm ? Do you think Aunt Judith would
break her heart fretting for us ?"
And the saucy Honor would laugh, and
make Norah laugh too, at the idea of Aunt
Judith's having a heart at all; or, if by any
chance she had, doing anything so silly as
"The harm, mavourneen ?" Norah would
answer; "just this, then: that your father
-God keep him safe from harm !--put us
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
here, and his word is the will of God for you,
my darlint; and no pain and no trouble
that he sends us is so sharp as what we
bring on ourselves whenever we go contrary
to him; so we must just be aisy, Miss Hon-
or dear. All this bother in the Injies will
be over soon, and we'll have your dear papa
back, and God will set you in the sunshine
then, my jewel-glory to his name !"
And, with all her wilful ways, Honor was
a sensible as well as a warm-hearted little
maid, and knew very well that the Kerry
cabin was as unsubstantial as any Spanish
castle; and it was only when Aunt Judith
had "frozen her quite entirely," or Aunt
Charlotte been provoking "past bearing,"
that she relieved her mind by telling No-
rah that she might begin to pack up at
once, for she meant to start for Kerry next
morning, "and no mistake."
"At least, I don't mean packing up exact-
ly; for, you see, heavy luggage would be ra-
ther inconvenient under the circumstances.
We must tie up our belongings in a couple
of handkerchiefs-that's the kind of thing
for tramps; only you must rough up your
12 Honor O'Mores Three Homes.
clear gray hair, and tie handkerchief No. 3
over your head instead of that clean cap,
Noreen darling; or else we shall make noth-
ing by begging on the road; it won't do
to be looking too respectable !"
And now it strikes me that I ought to
give a fuller description of Miss Charlotte
Burke. It is not so easy to do this; first,
because her sister always kept her in a state
of complete subjection; and secondly, be-
cause, without being in the least a quiet, she
was a very insignificant person. She was
much less alarming than her sister, but, to
my thinking, much more disagreeable. She
had all Miss Judith's bigotry without a par-
ticle of her sense of justice; and, without a
grain more feeling, possessed a sharpness of
temper and of tongue which were not among
the faults of the stern, commanding elder
sister. Miss Judith was hard-she could be
cruel, I believe ; but she did not prick and
sting you all day long as Miss Charlotte did:
in a word, Miss Judith was a clever tyrant,
Miss Charlotte a petty tormentor.
And now I think my readers will not won-
der that Honor was not very happy in this
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
household. Quite miserable she was not,
for it takes a great deal to make a young girl
of thirteen so, and especially an Irish girl;
so I dare say she was spared a good deal
by her naturally cheerful, merry spirit and
sunny, bright temper. Better still, she was
not without love: but for Norah, it would
have been hard work indeed for the poor
child; as it was, she had one loving heart al-
ways to rest on-one always ready to listen,
and sympathize, and understand her; and
only those whom God chooses to leave with-
out that blessing can quite know how great
a one it is. And, better still, best of all,
Honor loved her religion; and her religion
taught her that God's child must take all
things meekly from his hand, and that
Mary's little daughter must be humble and
submissive. Perhaps you think my little
heroine was not particularly meek, and I be-
lieve you are right. I do not want to make
her out better than she was, although I am
very fond of her. So, before we go on any
further, I will speak a little of her faults, and
then continue my story; and if I tell that
properly, you ought to be able to find out all
Honor O'M1ore's Three Homes.
the good, and the bad, too, for yourselves. I
must own, then, that little Honor had what
people have a bad habit of calling "a high
spirit," as if it were something rather grand,
when it really is pride; and you all know
that is at the bottom of nearly everything
wrong. Our Lady teaches us in the Mag-
nificat whom she thinks and whom God
thinks right: it is not the "lofty," is it?
Then Honor had a quick temper; when she
was angry, the passionate word came to her
lips very easily, and things were said which
she would have given a good deal in a little
time to unsay, if there were such a thing.
On the other hand, the quick temper was
not excited by every trifle; it took a good
deal to make her really angry, for she was
free from both selfishness and vanity; so,
when I have admitted that Honor was a lit-
tle wilful and impatient, and very heedless
and "wild," as Norah said, I really think I
have told the worst. It is pleasanter, is it
not, to look at the bright points ? so you will
like to know that she was loving and tender,
generous and kind, perfectly sincere and
truthful, and most genuinely humble.
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
"The child's mind is like a clear, bright
lake, that you can see down to the very bot-
tom of," Father Dominic would say to No-
rah. "No fear of Honor ever hiding any-
thing, she's just truth itself; a little sim-
ple, humble soul, that our Lord loves-one
of the 'clean of heart,' on whom his blessing
THE bother in the Injies," as Norah
Cregan called the terrible days of the Mu-
tiny, had not long begun at the time when
my story opened; and although the news-
papers told a tale serious enough to make
Honor's prayers more frequent and earnest
for the dear, absent, unknown father-whose
return was to be her release from the Bel-
fast house of correction," as she called the
respectable abode of the Miss Burkes-yet
neither she, nor others better able to
judge, dreamed of the terrors that were
coming. They were coming very near now.
Many of the children who read this story,
even, may remember how quickly one dread-
16 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
ful tale after another was told; some of
them, perhaps, have said Hail Marys" for
father or brother amidst those fearful scenes ;
if so, I hope they may have had to say a
"Te Deum" too, in thanksgiving for that
dear one's safe return.
I wonder, father, will it all be over
soon ?" said Honor one Saturday afternoon,
as she was just leaving the sacristy, after
performing her weekly office of dressing
Our Lady's altar. "Don't scold me for be-
ing impatient, now, for I've a good reason
The priest smiled rather sadly, and shook
his head. I don't think I can allow that,
my child; but perhaps we may say a good
"Well, father, it's horrid in that house;
you don't know half how bad it is. I don't
think I mind Aunt Judith so much, though
she does frighten me out of my wits some-
times ; but Aunt Charlotte I do believe she
thinks of all the hateful, irritating things in
the world to say to me. I am certain-"
Hush, Honor, my child; you forget
Honor O'More's ZYree Homes.
that charity thinketh no evil-endureth all
things-hopeth all things."
"But, father, do let me speak. She oughtn't
to talk against dear papa and my darling
dead mother-her own sister; at least, she
wasn't her very own sister, and I'm glad of
it," said the excited girl, rather incoherent-
ly; "but it's wicked of her to go saying
things to me-calling him extravagant and
wild, and her mad for marrying him. It
just makes me hate her."
"Hush," again said Father Dominic; and
gently taking Honor's hand, he led her to
the sacristy door, which he softly opened.
The evening was closing in, and the church
was dimly lit by the red light of the sanc-
tuary lamp. "Go into church, my child;
a few minutes spent with Him will teach
you what to-think of such a word as hatred ;
then come back to me, and I will take you
home, for it is getting late."
When Honor returned to the sacristy,
her bright eyes were red, and she knelt
down, without a word, at Father Dominic's
feet; in silence, too, he blessed her; and
they left the church together. On reaching
18 Honor 0'_ 1 ".-'s Three Homes.
the house, he bade her go up-stairs, as he
wished to speak to her aunts. She stood
with round, wide-opened eyes of wonder.
"Father !" She literally could say no more.
Go up-stairs, my child; you heard quite
rightly." Father Dominic smiled kindly at
Honor; but she saw his brow darken to
sternness the minute after, as he opened the
drawing-room door, and appeared, unan-
nounced, before the astonished eyes of the
Miss Charlotte jumped from her chair
with a little suppressed scream as the unex-
pected visitor entered the drawing-room.
Her sister was much too dignified a person
to show surprise at anything ; so, after a
look of cold inquiry, she begged the priest
to be seated, icily thanking Mr. Donovan"
for bringing her niece home. I think it was
very clever of her to have discovered the
good Capuchin's worldly designation ; how
she did so is a mystery. For all the world
she would not have asked a question on the
subject-that would have been like showing
interest about a popish priest ;" but neith-
er for all the world would she have sullied
Honor O'M3'ore's Three Homes.
her Protestant lips by speaking to him, or
of him, as Father" anything. It is gene-
rally supposed that she made her sister
ferret out the secret in some way or other,
after first binding her, under pain of some tre-
mendous punishment, not to reveal her anx-
iety on the matter. At first the good father
could hardly help smiling at being address-
ed by the almost forgotten name; but by
this time, as Honor said, he had "learnt to
answer to it beautifully." Just now he was
thinking of the object he had in coming
that evening, and this gave an unusual stern-
ness to his gentle, benevolent face. Honor's
passionate words in the sacristy had made
him think deeply; and even while he gave
her the reproof he saw needful, his kind
heart grieved for the poor child; and on
their way from the church he had drawn
from the subdued girl enough to make him
resolve to speak at once to her aunts. He
knew Miss Charlotte was the chief offender
in this matter, and he knew enough of her
sister to feel sure that she would be on his
side (rather against her will, perhaps) if she
were aware that Miss Charlotte had pre-
20 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
sumed to exceed her instructions, even in
the good work of tyrannizing over a young
Papist. So, you see, Father Dominic is go-
ing to be very cunning indeed.
"Miss Burke," he began, "you and I do
not think alike on many subjects, I am sorry
to say; but there are a few great truths which
we both reverence."
Miss Burke bowed stiffly.
"I am not wrong, I hope,n n including re-
spect to parents among them ?"
Miss Charlotte Burke began to feel very
uncomfortable; the priest's brow was knit
severely, and the tone of his voice sounded
stern and commanding; but he addressed
himself pointedly to her sister, and did not
even look toward her.
I am at a loss to understand you, sir,"
Miss Burke replied.
I will make my meaning quite clear,"
Father Dominic continued. If filial reve-
rence is a commandment of God, as well as
an instinct he has implanted in our nature,
then to outrage the feelings of a child is a
cruel wrong and a crying sin ; and if this is
so in the case of living parents, the wrong is
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
the deeper, and the sin the blacker, when the
blow is aimed at the heart of a motherless
girl, and at the memory of the dead. Miss
Charlotte Burke, do you understand me ?"
And the priest turned round till he faced
her directly, and flashed all the indignant
fire of his eye on the unworthy woman.
What is the meaning of all this ?" said
Miss Burke, glancing from Father Dominic
to her sister; "you can only speak of one
child, sir, in this house, and in this manner.
May I ask of what Honor O'More has com-
It can hardly be called 'complaining;'
poor child, it was the cry of a wounded spirit;
and I, who am even more to her than her
spiritual father ; I, to whom Gerald O'More
gave his child in charge ; I, who have to an-
swer to him for her one day, if it be the will
of God-and most certainly to God himself
-will not hear that cry in silence. Shame
on you i" said Father Dominic to the angry
yet humiliated woman, who dared not meet
his eye. "If you had no loving memory of
your poor young sister-God rest her soul !
--have you no reverence for the law of God,
22 Honor O'.4ore's Three Homes.
no compassion on that helpless child up-
stairs, that you have dared to speak of her
dead mother and her absent father as you
have done ?"
Miss Charlotte Burke began to talk very
fast and angrily, and of course not very clear-
ly. Her excuses were so very lame, and so
plainly proved her guilt in the matter, that
her sister contemptuously ordered her to
hold her tongue, adding, You were always
a fool, Charlotte-and a mischievous one into
Judith Burke was very angry; she was,
as I have said, a just woman in a measure;
and now her sense of justice forced her to
see not only that her sister was in the wrong
-that was nothing-but actually that a po-
pish priest was right ; so she was an gry with
them both, and with poor Honor most of all.
I believe she almost hated her for being the
cause of all this annoyance and mortification
to her haughty spirit. After a pause, she
"I do not see the use, Mr. Donovan, of
saying any more on the subject; my sister
has been very much in the wrong. Of course
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
she had no right to express her feelings as
she did"-and Miss Burke laid great stress
on the word, by way of marking her disap-
proval of poor Mary O'More's conduct in her
heart-" no right whatever. You may rest
assured it shall not occur again."
"I will take care, madam, that it never
does. Good evening." And Father Domi-
nic, with a grave inclination of the head, left
the room and the house.
I DARE say, my young readers, you are
wondering what Father Dominic meant by
those last words ; so, I assure you, was Miss
Burke. She knew very well that they
meant something, and something very de-
cided ; for he was not one to speak unless
his mind was very thoroughly made up on a
point. Miss Charlotte, who was a regular
coward, as all small tyrants are, thought it
a good opportunity to try to appease her sis-
ter, by beginning a discussion as to "what
he could mean." But her advances were
24 Honor O'Miiore's Three Homes.
not well received : her sister told her to hold
her tongue, "unless she thought she had not
made mischief enough." So the culprit es-
caped from the room just as Honor stole
into it. She could not see her stern aunt's
face ; but her attitude showed she was deep
in thought, and that of no pleasant kind.
So Honor sat down by the window, and
looked out into the Belfast street she so hated.
Often had she sat there in the twilight, see-
ing many things that were not passing out-
side: knights and ladies, and dwarfs and
fairies, all playing their parts in her beloved
Irish legends, or in fanciful tales of her own
weaving. For, you must remember, poor
Honor's life was a very dull, gray sort of
business in her ungenial home: no compa-
nions of her own age, no garden to work in
and care for, no pretty country to ramble
in. She knew none of those sweet, healthy,
natural pleasures which, I hope, are familiar
to many of you ; no hunting for wild-flowers,
no romps in the hay-fields, no gleaning in
harvest-time. Once, indeed, she had been
to the sea, after what she used to call, in
consequence, those blessed measles" ; and
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
that first sight of the most glorious of God's
works-never forgotten, I should think, by
any one-was much more to Honor than to
another child, to whom beautiful sights and
sounds are less rare.
"Sha'n't I catch something else, Norah
dear, very soon ?" she would wickedly say
sometimes. "There's a child comes to cha-
pel with such a thundering whooping-cough;
perhaps there's a chance for me. I have
thought of asking Father Dominic to let me
make believe. I've been practising the
whoop, and I can do it pretty well."
Well, I have rambled away from Honor's
twilight fancies. I only wanted to excuse
her in case any of you are very wise young
people, who think fairies, etc., great non-
sense." I am afraid I must confess that, if I
remember anything of my own childhood, it
is not only Irish children or town children
who give way to these things, and that they
-can come in the woods and fields pretty of-
ten. But I am afraid what I have just said
is undoing the excuse I began for my little
heroine; so I had better go on with my
26 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
It was one of Honor's saddest times. She
was, as you have seen, of such a bright,
hopeful temper, that if she had heard her
kind friend's last words, they would have
caused all sorts of happy hopes; and she
was such a simple, trusting little soul, that
she would have rested contentedly in the
thought that the dear father would "do
something," and that brighter days were
coming. As it was, Norah had found the
poor little maid lying in a fit of passionate
sobbing on her bed, with the names of her
dead mother and of her blessed heavenly
one coming every now and then from her
lips, half prayer and half complaint. The
good woman soothed and caressed her dar-
ling into quietness ; but still she went down
very sad; and as she looked out into the
darkening street, the tears fell hot and
heavy, though silently now, on the little list-
less hands. She envied little Katie Mur-
phy, the ragged orange-girl, who just then
passed the window; for she knew that her
mother was waiting in her poor room with
a hot cup of tea for her girleen," and many
a tender word and loving kiss.
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
I must be good, I must try," she thought;
"or what will become of me? Dear papa
left me here; and that's God's will for me,
as Norah says. And, 0 Mother Mary! do
bring him soon back, and make me patient
and good." And Honor made the sign of
the cross very humbly and reverently.
"Ring the bell, Honor, for tea and can-
dles." Aunt Judith's voice sounded colder
and harsher than usual. Have you been
sitting there long, child ? You have not
done a stitch of work to-day. Call your
Aunt Charlotte down-stairs, and get your
workbox ready; you will have a little time
before you go to bed."
I believe a good many quick, clever girls
of Honor's age will quite understand her
dislike to work; and I hope some of these
girls are as sensible and well-principled as
she was, in trying her very best to do it
well in spite of her dislike.
I don't mind it, when it's working for the
poor, or hemming your handkerchiefs, No-
reen dear," she would say; but bother those
horrid sheets of Aunt Judith's I always
28 Honor O'-L.- -.'s Three Homes.
shall believe the 'good people' play me
tricks, and make those same seams grow."
"Never mind, darlint," said the wise old
nurse; "it's a bit of a cross for you ; and
that's always a blessing."
So it was not any rebellion against the
sewing that caused Honor's weary sigh, as
she felt her way up the dark staircase to her
aunt's room. It was that dreary feeling we
most of us know, when the burden laid upon
us seems greater than we can bear;" when
life seems too hard, and, like the people in
the wilderness, we are discouraged because
of the way."
"Oh! I do wish something would hap-
pen; any change would be a comfort," she
Hush poor child ; those are rash words.
Something will soon happen; the "change"
is coming very near now.
Honor did her aunt's bidding, and the
three sat down to the evening meal: Aunt
Judith cold and distant, as usual; Aunt
Charlotte longing for a chance of finding
fault with Honor, but not daring to do so
unjustly, so she took her to task for all the
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
small improprieties she could discover-
for blinking at the light when she had just
come out of the dark; for sitting crooked on
her chair; for stooping; and, lastly, for her
untidy hair. Honor bore it all with perfect
good temper, and at the last accusation lifted
her hand to her head. The abundant brown
locks were certainly far from smooth, and
the net, which ought to have kept them to-
gether, was falling off. She looked at her
aunt with a pretty face of penitence.
I am so sorry. I know I'm a dreadful
figure ; I forgot my hair quite. Aunt Judith,
shall I go up-stairs and make it neat ?"
Finish your tea, Honor, and try to re-
collect something another day," was the cold
The poor worried child obeyed in silence.
Just as she put the cup to her lips, the
postman's sharp knock sounded at the door;
and she started so that the tea was in danger
of being spilt, and Miss Charlotte only just
lost another opening for a lecture.
0 Aunt Judith! the Indian mail's in, I
know. I can hear the postman asking Peter
30 Honor O'Mfore's Three Homes.
to pay the letters. It must be letters from
papa! Mayn't I go ? Please let me."
I dare say you are right," Miss Burke
answered; "and if so, you will have your
letter in a minute. There is no occasion to
rush into the hall for it."
Honor did not answer. She was too
much agitated for impatience. She stood
trembling all over, with crimson cheeks, and
tight-clasped hands, and bright, brimming
eyes fixed on the door. It opened at last,
and kind old Peter held out the expected
treasure with a radiant smile.
"Letthers, Miss Honor, jewel Injian
ones, and two of 'em My certy it's lit-
tle light you'll want for reading' 'em, barrin'
what's in your own two eyes this minute, God
bless them !" And Honor's right hand
shook old Peter's, while with the left she
took the letters. The kind word was very
sweet after that cold want of sympathy.
The girl's glad eyes read and re-read her
father's loving words.
"Best love to you both, Aunt Judith and
Charlotte. But it's a terribly short letter.
He says he is in such a hurry; but I'm to
Honor O'Mlore's Three Homes.
get a very long one next time-darling fa-
ther !" and she kissed her letter as she put it
in its envelope.
"Your other letter, Honor," said Miss
Charlotte, whose curiosity was greatly excit-
ed; "you have not opened it."
"Oh I forgot it."
Honor turned it listlessly over.
I wonder who can be writing to me from
She opened it, read a few words with a
puzzled look, turned to the signature for en-
lightenment, shook her head, and went back
to the first page. Her aunts' eyes were on her
face. Soon they saw it change to an ashy
whiteness; a dreadful expression of anguish
distorted every feature ; and I do not think
either of the sisters will ever forget the fear-
ful cry which rang through the house as
Honor dropped the letter, and fell fainting in
Judith Burke's arms.
THIS was what Father Dominic meant:
he had firmly resolved to remove Honor
32 Honor O'Mlore's Three Homes.
from her aunts' care, and to place her with
some good religious near Belfast, whose rule
bound them to the education of young girls.
Her father had begged him to consider him-
self free to change her home, if he thought
there was any danger for her in her present
one. It is true that Gerald O'More meant
danger to her faith; and of this Father
Dominic had no fear. Honor was a stead-
fast little daughter of the church, and with
his constant watchfulness and Norah's daily
care she was well fortified ; and besides, as
I said, the Miss Burkes had kept their pro-
mise in all essential points. Of course little
disagreeable things were said, and hints
thrown out, difficult to answer, but trying
enough to bear; still, as Norah often said, it
was a bit of the cross," and the good priest
bade her exercise patience, and bear all her
little trials as well as she could, for the love
of God. But lately he had begun to doubt
whether it was well for his child to remain in
this home; if her faith was not in danger, he
feared her character was. Honor's temper
was tried very much, and there was another
thing which he thought still more important.
Honor O'More's Three Hones.
I dare say you have seen that she was very
full of fun, as is the manner of her country;
and though this is innocent enough in itself,
yet it may make a person inclined to quiz,
and grow satirical and unamiable. Honor's
warm heart and humble spirit saved her from
this in a great measure ; but she had neither
love nor respect for her aunts; she saw both
what was unworthy and absurd in them very
clearly; and Father Dominic justly thought
that for a young girl to be without reverence
for those to whose authority she was bound
to submit, was the worst thing possible.
"I will take her to the good nuns," he
said to himself, as he walked slowly away
from Miss Burke's house. "The child will
give them all the loving reverence due to
them; there she will become all I wish to
see her, all her poor mother prayed she
might be. You shall soon have a second
and a happier home, my poor child."
And so she had, but not the one of which
Father Dominic was thinking: God had
ordered it otherwise.
And now we will return to Honor. This
was the terrible letter which had struck her
THonor O'More's Three Homes.
down in the midst of her hope and happi-
MY DEAR CHILD: You will wonder at a
stranger addressing you in this manner; but
when I tell you how great a friend I have
been of your father's ever since his coming
to this country, you will not look on me as a
stranger. My poor child, I will not tell you
to prepare yourself for what will be a dread-
ful blow; I will rather ask the good God to
help you bear it, and to give you comfort under
it; for he is especially the God of the father-
less, and you are now an orphan. Your
dear father was mortally wounded in one of
the first skirmishes we have had with the
natives ; and he breathed his last a few days
since in my arms. Fortunately my bunga-
low is not far from the scene of action, and
he had every care and not much suffering.
Above all, there was time to send a runner
for a priest; and he died a holy and happy
death, with all the consolations of the
church. He had not even any anxiety for
his dear little daughter to disturb his last
moments, for I gladly gave him the promise
Honor 0'JL' io's Three Homes. 37
and it's not always kith and kin that's kind.
est ; and shure He knows best, glory be to
him so we'll lave it all to him."
And Norah told her beads with a quiet
heat, and fell asleep at last with her head on
WHEN Honor woke from her long sleep,
and memory returned with the waking, she
wept long and bitterly in her nurse's arms.
But the tears did her good; and by the time
she had had some tea in her room, and dress-
ed herself, she was able to go down-stairs,
very white and sorrowful, but quite calm and
quiet, to Father Dominic, who had come to
tell Miss Burke his plans for Honor, and to
find them all scattered to the winds by the
last night's news.
0 father! it seems as if it couldn't be
true !" said the weeping girl; "it's just as if
all my life was taken away from me. I had
never thought of anything but living with
him and for him. I did love him so, though
38 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
I never saw him; and now I shall never see
him, my own dear dead father! And what
am I to do with my life ?"
The priest laid his hand soothingly on her
"Nothing, my child-at least, only one
thing. We have all got to do just one thing
with our lives, and it is always the same
thing: to lay them down at the feet of our
Lord, and ask him to do with them what he
wills, and what is most for his glory. Do
this with yours, Honor. Do it at once;
don't wait for the hard lessons and the sharp
sorrows of life to drive you to him. Go to
him at once, and make the offering, and then
there will be no fear, my child; rest your
heart on him, and he will give you peace."
Honor had had a heavy blow; but, of
course, it was not like the sorrow of parting
from one well known and loved. It was the
waking from a dream, the destruction of a
romance. No doubt, with her quick sensi-
tive nature, she felt it very much ; but there
was a great deal to be thankful for, and Fa-
ther Dominic dwelt on the blessed death-bed
of her father, and the loving care of his
Honor O'Aore's Three Homes.
friend, till Honor's tears were almost happy
ones. Then, above all, she was to leave the
"house of correction." What a vision of
beauty she conjured up at the thought of the
" Devonshire cottage" What speculations
there were with Norah as to the probable
age, appearance, and "niceness" of the two
girls of whom Mr. Morley spoke All very
wild, certainly, as they had no possible clue
to guide them in the matter; but that gave
all the more scope to imagination.
Anyway, Norah, it must be lovely in
Devonshire, Aunt Judith admits that; and
it will be charming to have companions-
' sisters,' he says. How nice to learn and do
things together But, Norah, how dreadful
if they should be quite grown up !"
Of Mr. Morley she thought much, though
she said little. How many things he would
be able to tell her of her father how well
he must have loved him! It was only to
Father Dominic that she spoke much of
him. He had been greatly pleased with
Mr. Morley's letter, and urged on Honor
the duty of obedience and reverence which
she owed to him. He quite hoped to find
40 Honor 0'Morc's Three Homes.
him one to whom she could look up as he
wished her to do. And so the days went
on. There was, as Mr. Morley had said,
not a bit too much time; and Honor's fin-
gers, as well as her thoughts, were very
busy. Her aunts took it all just as you
would have expected from their different
characters. They were both gentler than
before to their niece, and treated her fresh
sorrow with respect; sympathy was a thing
they could not understand. Miss Burke be-
haved as if Honor's removal were the most
natural thing in the world; while all the
time there was "at the back of her mind" a
feeling made up of annoyance, self-reproach,
and offended pride. She knew poor Gerald,
in whom family feeling-always strong in
an Irish heart-was very strong, would not
have had his child removed unless he had
suspected that she was not very happy, and
she knew that Honor had not been happy ;
so, you see, she was just enough to see the
truth, and too proud to own it or to amend
her fault. As for Miss Charlotte, she was
highly offended, very snappish, and very
firmly persuaded that she was ill-used by
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
every one, and that every one was to blame
-Father Dominic, Mr. Morley, poor Gerald
O'More, and Honor herself most of all-
every one, in short, except Miss Charlotte
Burke So I leave you to think how very
agreeable she made herself.
You will easily believe that Honor's one
deep grief in leaving Ireland was the part-
ing from the good father. Very lovingly,
too, did she look at the poor lowly chapel
where she had knelt and adored all her
short life-the dear little altar of Mary,
which had been her special care; the image
of St. Patrick, which she thought, I believe,
a masterpiece of art; everything there
was so dear to little Honor-dearer, she
felt, than any other church, however beauti-
ful, could ever be. And very fervently did
she pray there in these last weeks; very
earnest were her promises, very humble her
petitions, to the divine Dweller i# that
humble little tabernacle, as she knelt after
Communion on her last Sunday morning,
and, with simple, undoubting, unquestioning
faith, made the offering of her life as Father
Dominic had told her. '"Take it, and do
42 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
with it as you will, sweet Lord," so she
prayed; and that is a prayer that Jesus
dearly loves to hear, and will surely answer.
And at last there came one bright day in
April, when Honor had been very busy in-
deed. The packing was done, and she had
been with Father Dominic among her poor
friends. Blessings and prayers had been
given her in abundance; and when she had
paid a visit to the school-house, and made
her parting gifts, and kissed her little scho-
lars, and cried over them, the priest bade
her come away, for that she mist have a
quiet evening and a good night's rest.
"Your last night in Belfast, Honor; the
Devonshire cottage will soon be a reality to
you," said Father Dominic, wishing to make
Poor Honor! she was very tender-heart-
ed, and she felt almost affectionate toward
the hdbse and its inhabitants. It is nearly
always so when the last of anything comes.
She held a tight hold of Father Dominic's
hand, and drew him into the drawing-room.
It was getting dusk, and she did not at
first see that a stranger was with Aunt Ju-
Honor O'More's Three Homes. 43
dith; when she did, an overpowering fit of
shyness, and something deeper than shy-
ness, seized her. She saw a tall, stately-
looking man, with a face both bright and
grave, who came forward with both his
hands extended, and took those of the trem-
bling girl in a firm, gentle clasp. Then she
felt a kind, quiet kiss on her forehead, and a
voice, which set her at ease at once, said,
" Honor, dear child, thank God for giving
you to me."
She burst into tears then, but it was in
her new friend's arms that she wept them.
So the Irish home was left behind for ever;
and Honor and her new guardian were dash-
ing through England, express speed, getting
nearer and nearer to the Devonshire "ottage.
She did not feel nearly so shy with Mr.
Morley as she had expected. Something in
his grave, kind composure of manner set
one at ease with him wonderfully; and he
had an abundant share of that most happy
44 Honor O'Afore's Three Homes.
quality which we call "tact:" he always
seemed to say and do the right thing at the
right time and in the right way. Then,
above all, there were all the sacred associa-
tions with her father, which would alone
have bound her to a far less attractive person.
Mr. Morley knew all Honor was longing to
hear, and did not wait for any questions, but
quietly gave her at once a full account of her
father's last moments. The way in which
he did so went straight to the warm little
Irish heart. Before the tale was half told,
she had slid her hand into his ; and when it
was ended, her eyes were hidden on his shoul-
der. By and by Honor's questions began to
come. What a relief it was to hear that the
girls" were real girls," as she told Norah;
"not a bit grown up !" Isabel was not
quite a year older than herself, so she
would be a companion; and little six-year-
old Conny a delightful plaything.
"Then there is Frank, who will be quite
as good as a brother, though he is only my
nephew: he is a year older than Isabel, I
think, and a very fine fellow he is."
Honor learnt that Mr. Morley was not in
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
the army, but the civil service. His house
had been a home to her father when he first
went out, and the friendship then formed had
been deep and lasting, as we often see it is
between very different characters. Then
his sorrow came; Mrs. Morley died; and
after a while Isabel grew delicate; so it was
thought best to send her and her little sister
to England ; and for the last year they had
been at Malcombe Cottage with their go-
verness, Mrs. Grey; and the two fathers had
been still closer friends when they were
both alone in a foreign land.
"My brother is the great man at Mal-
combe," said Mr. Morley; "and warmly
pressed me to make the Hall my children's
home; but I thought it wiser to let them
begin at once with the much less stately
way of living which is suited to Mr. Morley,'
than to get accustomed to the grander line
of Sir Francis :' not that he is anything
but the simplest and kindest of country
gentlemen; only, you know, Honor, he is
the elder brother. And I am very glad it
was so arranged; for now that God has
given me a third daughter, I like to feel
46 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
that I am taking her to her sisters in her
very own home."
Honor held the kind hand very tight just
"The Hall is very near, though; and I
suspect we shall find the benefit of it in
many ways ; for I hear of ponies and pony-
carriages, and such things, which certainly
do not belong to the cottage."
It was a great joy to find that the chapel
was just within the Hall grounds, not a
quarter of an hour's walk.
And you will find our good priest quite
as kind as Father Dominic."
Honor's eyes filled, though she tried to
smile. No one could be like Father Domi-
nic to her. But she was very thankful-
very quietly happy, as she lay back in the
railway-carriage, listening to her kind guar-
dian's words; and feeling in her inmost
heart the loving care of the Father of the
fatherless. The railway journey was over
at last; and Honor woke up in bewilder-
ment from a long sleep, to the lights and
bustle of the station, and the warm greeting
of her guardian and his brother, a fine
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
hearty country gentleman, as Mr. Morley
had said. But Honor was very glad that he
did not talk and laugh quite as loud as Sir
Francis. He gave Honor a sounding kiss,
called her "Paddy from Cork," and fairly
lifted her into the carriage which was to take
them to Malcombe.
Quite well and jolly," he said, in answer
to his brother's inquiries. Miss Conny
was all for coming to the station with me;
didn't see any reason in my refusal; told
her it would be ten o'clock before we got
home; said she would come. Last I saw
of her, she was kicking away in Frank's
arms, mighty indignant at not getting her
way. She's a jolly little thing, is Conny."
And so the baronet went on, all that long
hilly drive; but Honor heard very little
after the account, of Conny's naughtiness.
She was fast asleep on Norah's shoulder,
and only woke with a start when the car-
riage stopped, and Sir Francis shouted,
"Here we are !"
A long, low white cottage, half smothered
in ivy, and backed by tall cliffs, whose fed.
tint was visible even in that light; and .th,
48 Hoinor O'More's Three Homes.
wide, lovely sea shimmering and trembling
to the moonbeams-this was Honor's first
glimpse of her second home. She stood
wondering at its loveliness, as if she could
not stir. The carriage had taken Sir Fran-
cis to the Hall, and she turned her eyes
from the tranquil beauty of the scene to
Laurence Morley's kind face, without speak-
ing. Then he led her gently into the warm,
lighted hall, and took her very tenderly in
"Honor, my dear little girl, my new
daughter, God bless you in your second
It was such a father's welcome, she felt;
and as she fell asleep, with her eyes still wet
with happy tears, she whispered: He
shook hands with my darling Norah, as
soon as he had kissed me. Oh I do love
him. I hope I shall be a good girl." And
her last prayer was a Hail Mary for him.
"CONNY, Conny, you mischievous mon-
key, come out and show yourself! They
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
are all at breakfast, waiting for your small
ladyship. Now come out of your hiding-
place, and I'll give you a ride on Brown
Bess this very day. What! won't that un-
earth you ?" and Frank Morley, who was
racing round the garden in search of his es-
pecial pet Conny, fairly ran against Honor
O'More as he rounded a corner of the shrub-
bery. She laughed and blushed as Frank, a
fine, manly boy of fifteen or sixteen, with
honest blue eyes, very like his name, lifted
his cap with natural courtesy, and begged
You are Miss O'More, of course," he
I am Honor O'More. I don't think any
one ever called me Miss."
"All right," laughed Frank. "That's
ever so much better; and I'm Frank Mor-
ley, you know. I don't think any one has
an idea that you are down-stairs, for Mrs
Grey talked of sending up your breakfast
when you woke ; and I was sent after little
Conny, to hinder her making a row and dis-
turbing you. So now suppose we finish the
game of hide-and-seek together ?"
50 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
Honor agreed willingly. "I have been
out such a long time," she said, and oh!
how beautiful the sea is I lay listening to
it before I got up; and then I ran down to
the beach as soon as ever I was dressed,
and I am only just come back to the gar-
"Then there you were, I suppose, when
we came from Mass ? Was it you we heard
singing at the bottom of the cliff?"
Honor nodded. It was so quiet," she
said. I had it all to myself, so I said my
prayers there; but I wish I had known the
way to the chapel."
'f Uncle Laurence brought me back to the
cottage to breakfast to make your acquaint-
ance," Frank went on. So don't forget
that I am your first friend here."
Just then Honor touched Frank's arm, as
she caught the glance of a bit of white pina-
fore among the laurels. She stopped where
she was, not to scare the child with a strange
face, while Frank ran to the little girl, and
caught her in his arms.
0 Conny! you little maid of the hay-
stack, what a wild-looking head! and the
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
pinafore all green, and your hands like-I
don't know what; what have you been up
It's the pig-nuts," said Conny confiden-
tially, pointing to a heap of those delica-
cies. I'm having them for breakfast, and
they're so good; there's a lot more down
there, and they come up quite easy with
this." And the young lady displayed a rusty
fork, with considerable pride.
Frank shouted with laughter: Breakfast-
ing on pig-nuts What do you mean, puss ?"
"It's nothing to laugh about," said Conny,
pouting and looking rueful: I can't come to
breakfast; I don't think I can ever come in
again; and it's very unkind to laugh, Frank,
when I've done something perfectly dread-
"What have you done, little woman ? I'll
be as grave as a judge, if you're in a scrape ;
but tell me what it is: you know you always
tell me everything, dear." And he soothed
the half-affronted little maiden very gently
and nicely, Honor thought.
"It's Mrs. Grey's eau-de-Cologne," began
Conny desperately. "I've turned it all to
52 Honor O'lore's Three Homes.
milk; indeed I have, Frank. Oh! it does
look so dreadfully white !" And the little
girl's eyes opened wide in horror at the re-
collection. You were all gone to Mass, and
I had got so hot running up and down stairs,
and I went into her room, and there it was
on the washing-stand. I knew it was nice
stuff to make one cool; for she gave some to
Bell when she came from riding, one day;
so I poured it into my hands, and rubbed it
on my face; and then I had taken such a
dreadful quantity, the bottle was half empty,
and I filled it up with water, and that made
it into milk."
"And so you ran out here to hide, eh,
"And I found the pig-nuts," said the
little culprit, who evidently took a secret
pride in this achievement.
"Yes, but, Conny darling, it wasn't quite
a nice trick, because it was a little bit sly,
wasn't it ?" said her friend: "I mean, filling
up the bottle. Taking the eau-de-Cologne
was only mischief; but I don't like the other
Conny began to cry: "I said, I'd been
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
very dreadfully naughty, Frank; and so you
see I can't go in." And she put her little
chubby arms round his neck.
Conny! that's silly; you can't live in
the shrubbery always: you'd want some-
thing more than pig-nuts for dinner."
"There's the orchard," urged Conny.
"But apples and pears aren't ripe in May,
missy." And with a quiet decision, which re-
minded Honor of his uncle, he took Conny's
hand, while he sang:
"An autumn excuse
Is in summer no use,
Sweet Kitty Creagh!"
Conny still resisted: She'll be so angry,
Frank; I can't come unless you tell: do pro-
mise, that's a dear boy."
"I'll tell, you small coward; and I don't
think any one will scold you much to-day,
the first day of papa's coming home : come,
Conny, you will make him very sorry, if you
stop any longer, when he wants to see you
So Conny and her champion emerged
from the thicket; there was an outcry, and a
threatened return to the laurel-bushes, at the
54 Honor O'More's Three Homves.
sight of the "strange girl;" but Frank was
quite firm, and made the little rebel kiss
Honor; and then she subsided into awe-
struck silence, as they reached the lawn, and
saw the whole party coming to meet them.
"Mind, Frank, you promised," she whis-
"I know I did, Conny; now run to meet
papa." And the next minute everything was
a happy confusion of kisses and greetings;
and Mr. Morley turned back to the cottage,
with one arm round Honor, while Isabel
clung to the other.
VERY brightly and pleasantly that first
summer at the cottage passed. It was such
a new life to Honor; the freedom and ease
of country ways, and still more the freedom
and ease of heart. Can you not fancy what
a joy it was, after the gloom and restraint
of the "house of correction "? There were
discipline and regularity, indeed-there is no
real happiness without; and the little Irish
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
maiden especially needed them, with her
characteristic tendency to run wild; but the
rule of Mr. Morley was a very different thing
from that of Judith Burke; and if Honor
did think Mrs. Grey rather stiff and precise,
she was always just and kind; and her new
pupil accounted for her spice of formality,
as she did for every little peculiarity in
everybody, by calling it English," much to
the amusement of the Morley family. Ho-
nor talks of the manners and customs of the
English as if we were South-Sea Islanders,"
said her guardian, laughing. It was easy
to see the very strong affection with which
he regarded her: grave and naturally reserved
himself, there was an especial charm for him
in Honor's open, fearless nature, whose
quick impulses never made her ungentle, and
whose wildness" was never rude or un-
womanly. Mrs. Grey, in spite of the Eng-
lish" stiffness, thoroughly delighted in her
bright intelligence and eagerness to learn.
"Don't overdo it, my dear; you have plenty
of time before you," she said one day;
"I think you are taking rather a strong
dose of Rapin, and it is not very amusing
56 Honor O'Miore's Tlhruc IHomes.
reading either." Honor's eyes danced
merrily. "I think it's beyond everything
for dryness; but you know I'm rather be-
hindhand in history, dear Mrs. Grey, barring
the Irish kings; and you remember my
countryman who had to eat all his meals at
once to save time."
Little Conny, the pet of the house, was
especially devoted to her "new sister," and
almost as much so to Norah, who gave the
little girl all the caressing fondness which
could not be given to Honor, now that she
was over her books." Then Frank Morley
and she were sworn friends; they were a
good deal alike in character, and she sympa-
thized to his heart's content in his devoted
love for the sea and all that concerned it;
for Frank had chosen a sailor's life, and had
been recently appointed to the ship he was
to join in the autumn.
It's a real home, this time, Noreen,"
said the happy girl to her faithful friend.
"We never thought of this, did we, in the
days when we talked of the Kerry cabin ?
And you're not minding, Norah, are you ? it
won't do for you to start for Kerry by your-
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
self." And Honor looked half-anxiously
into her nurse's eyes to see if any yearning
after "the would country" could be read
My darlint', when your mother-God rest
her soul!-lay dying, and I said the words
to her that aised her heart of some of its
trouble over you, dear; when I tould her
that only death should part us-didn't I
mane the words as well as spake them?
and your home'll be mine, mavourneen; and
where it's well with you, it's well for me:
and it is well here, and the blessin' of God
and his Mother be on them that has given
the good and happy home to the orphan !"
So Honor was at rest on that score; and,
with one exception, everything at Malcombe
was as she wished. With one exception ; it
is never all sunshine, you know, or only for
a little while ; and it is the hand of a loving
father that mixes the drop of gall with the
cup of sweetness, and draws the cloudy veil
over the sun of joy. Honor's trouble was
this: she did not get on" with Isabel.
Perhaps of all her anticipations, that of find-
ing a sister and companion in her had been
58 Honor 0'_:,',.-'s Three Homes.
the one she had most often dwelt upon, and
she was chilled and disappointed beyond
measure by Isabel's unapproachable reserve.
It was incomprehensible to Honor that a
girl of fourteen could go on, day by day,
studying, working, walking with her, and
never thaw into friendliness, far less warm
into sisterly love ; but so it was. And poor
Honor admired Isabel so intensely; she
really was a girl of very superior mind and
unusual attainments: but Honor's enthusias-
tic temper made her exaggerate these, as
much as her humility of character made her
depreciate herself. The two girls had been
talking over some of their morning's reading,
one evening as they sat at work in the shady
porch, close by which was the window of Mr.
Morley's little study; and as he sat there,
he was listening with real interest to Isabel's
intelligent remarks, and Honor's bright,
picturesque way of putting things.
"All the same," said the latter, at the
close of the discussion; Pompey was some
trouble, before they finished him at Phar-
salia, though the ghost had prepared him
for ill-luck. I think he was what Frank
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
calls 'plucky,' to fight at all, after that warn-
Isabel looked at her with quiet astonish-
ment; then something, a little like contempt,
sounded in the clear, cold tones in which she
answered : Oh! I see what you are think-
ing of: isn't there a slight confusion in your
ideas, Honor, between Pompey and Brutus,
and Philippi and Pharsalia ?"
Honor blushed; but the merry laugh rang
out as she said, without a touch of temper,
"Anything but a slight confusion, Bell: I
must read up before I talk to you."
If there was any annoyance left by Isa-
bel's words, it was wiped out by a few which
came from the study-window:
"Remember, Honor, my child, that Bell
has been in training much longer than you;
lost time will be soon made up by quick
Irish brains, and, better still, by the true
heart that never does less than its very best:
you are uncommonly like your name, my
The look Isabel gave Honor was not good
to see just then.
60 Honor O'1More's Three Homes.
ISABEL MORLEY was, as I have said, a girl
of great intelligence: more than this, her
affections were remarkably warm and deep.
Though she was only a little child when her
mother died, she grieved for her loss with a
depth of sorrow, and for a length of time,
very unusual. And Honor noticed that, one
day when they were paying some visits to
their poor neighbors in the village, Isabel
turned away with a flushing cheek and qui-
vering lip as a fisherman's wife stooped to
kiss and caress her little girl. How Honor
felt for her! how she longed to give her
hand a little loving grasp, to tell of her sym-
pathy but she literally dared not. And yet
Isabel had never had the slightest quarrel
with Honor: you could not fancy the quiet,
graceful, little girl angry; she was always so
self-possessed, so dignified, almost too much
so for her fourteen years. Poor Honor used
to feel her inferiority to Queen Isabel," as
Frank called her a hundred times a day,
never more deeply than when she would
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
come flying into the school-room, breathless
with a hasty run in the garden-to "clear
her notions," as she said-her brown hair
tumbling in the old fashion from the net,
and her mind in rather a confused state-in
spite of the "run" that was to clear" it-
as to the whereabouts of pencils, books, or
slates. There sat Isabel, cool, fresh, and
neat, with her smooth braids, before her pile
of books; everything prepared and in or-
der ; and Honor's face would grow crimson
at the look of wonder with which the calm
dark eyes were lifted on her tumultuous en-
trance, and the quiet, If you please, Honor,
will you not upset all the books ?" Well,
order is a very good thing; there is no such
thing as real superiority without it ; only
somehow there seems a want of loveliness
in Isabel Morley, some dark spot, which
may spread, and sully much that is now fair
and promising. And so it was : the dark
spot was jealousy.
I spoke of Isabel's tender love for her
mother's memory; I must now tell you of
her deep, passionate love for her father. I
can use no other word; she admired him as
62 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
much as she loved him ; she thought of him
day and night; all that she did was in refe-
rence to him; his approval, his apprecia-
tion, was the one reward she longed for.
And was not all this right and good ? It
seems so : but I will try to show you the
flaw in it. It was selfishness. Isabel would
have been very much astonished to be told
so ; but it was the truth. She wished to be
first with every one, to a certain extent; she
was not quite pleased when her little sister
clung to Honor, and begged for "just one
pretty story ; no one's stories were like Ho-
nor's ; and she was so dear and kind, and
never thought things a trouble." Neither
did Isabel quite like to hear Mrs. Grey dwell
on Honor's quickness of apprehension, which
made her conclusions right nine times out
of ten, though she did arrive at them often
by a tremendous jump." Then Isabel was
a timid horsewoman, while Honor seemed
not to know what fear meant; and so she
became Frank's companion in the long rides,
which were among the greatest of half-holi-
day delights, and he was never tired of
praising her firm seat and light hand. I
Honor O'MIore's Three Homes. 63
shall get my father to give you a better
mount soon, Honor; I declare you are get-
ting too accomplished an Amazon for a pony,
even though it's such a pony as Fairy
Queen." And Honor laughed, and said her
ambition would not rise above Fairy Queen
for many a day. All this was bitter to Isa-
bel ; but it was nothing compared with the
intense jealousy she felt at her father's love
for Honor. Now, if Isabel's love had been
unselfish, she would have rejoiced in the
comfort it was to him to give his friend's
child the love and care of a father ; she
would have been glad that Honor was so
true and simple and affectionate, that her
father's guardianship was a pleasure, and in
no way a burden; in one word, she would
have thought more of him and less of her-
self. You must not suppose that Mr. Mor-
ley did not see how things were ; but he
knew Isabel's peculiar character, and he
thought a regular "lecture" on the subject
would do more harm than good; so he said
a very few words to Mrs. Grey, a good many
more to Mr. Moore, the priest; and for the
rest, he tried, by redoubled tenderness, to
64 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
show the poor jealous girl that no one had
taken her place in his heart; and he prayed
very earnestly for God's guidance, so that
he might deal wisely and tenderly with his
own motherless girl, as well as with poor
Gerald O'More's orphan.
This has been a dull chapter, I am afraid;
and it is not pleasant to look into the dark
corners of hearts, as we have been doing
with Isabel Morley's ; but, like many other
unpleasant occupations, it was necessary.
IT was the evening of the 14th of Au-
gust; a lovely light rested on the trem-
bling waves of the bay; the plash of the
waves breaking on the white stones of
the beach (as intensely white as the "sil-
ver strand" of Loch Katrine) was the only
sound that broke the silence, except the
shivering noise made by the breeze among
the ivy-leaves, which clothe the cliffs of
that fair bay down to the water's edge, and
contrast so beautifully with the Devonshire
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
brown," or rather red, of the rocks. At the
foot of one of these sat Honor and Isabel; a
large basket of white lilies lay between them,
and Conny was playing about the beach
under Norah's watchful eye. Norah was
regularly installed now as Conny's nurse,
and the two were seldom apart. The girls
were on their way to the chapel, to dress the.
altars for the coming festival; and they had
sat down to enjoy the beauty of the evening,
and have a romp with the little one before
her bedtime. The romp was over now, and
Conny's moments were numbered; but the
small tyrant was coaxing extra ones from
Norah, with an utter disregard of the pro-
mise implied in the repeated, "Only five
minutes more, that's a darling Norah!"
"Well, Conny," said Isabel, rising from
her seat, it must be the last five minutes
this time, for we must go to the chapel."
And with a parting kiss the two girls took up
They talked of a great delight which was
to come in a few days. Frank had been
away, making some final preparations for his
66 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
first voyage; and now he was to return for
a fortnight to the cottage.
"And we shall really have him before the
feast is over," said Honor; so our Lady will
give us the treat, Bell. How I hope it will
be fine, that we may go over all our favorite
places together! O dear !" she said, break-
ing off with a little sigh, I wonder when we
shall all be together again: but we won't
think of that now."
In the park-avenue they met Mr. Moore;
he greeted them kindly, and admired the
lilies as much as Honor could desire.
"So you are to have your own way, Honor,
and put nothing but lilies in the church this
time. Well, they do you credit, I must say
and I don't wonder you gave yourself those
independent airs, and declined all that the
park hot-houses could afford."
Honor laughed and blushed with pleasure.
The lilies really were her very own ;" she
had had carte blanche from Mr. Morley to
spend what she liked in bulbs; he hoped she
would not quite ruin him, that was all. So
she had planted a goodly supply; and old
Stephen, the Hall gardener, who followed the
Honor O'Mfore's Three Homes.
general rule, and was devoted to Honor, had
taught her all about cultivating them ; and
the result was, as Mr. Moore said, that the
Hall gardens could not match the lilies in
It is so nice," she said, on the Assump-
tion, of all feasts in the year. I suppose the
lilies they found in our Blessed Lady's tomb
were just like these ; weren't they, father ?"
And Honor's blue eyes looked an entreaty
that no doubt might be expressed on the
"Well, dear child, I am no botanist, so I
cannot argue the point; but one account
speaks of roses, too, in the tomb. Shall we
send for some ? They are in great beauty at
the hall now."
"Not one, father," she said with a merry
laugh. "Isabel knows it was a promise;
don't you, Bell ?"
Isabel assented ; and then, with her quiet,
slightly superior air, asked if they had not
better begin their work.
Ah Isabel! it's well we have your author-
ity to keep us in order. Honor and I are
young and giddy, and our spirits run away
68 Honor O'Mfore's Three Homes.
with us. Well, God bless you, children! I
shall see wonders by the time I have said
At the gate of the little cemetery which
surrounded the chapel stood two or three of
the village-children with baskets, and a big
boy with three or four long wooden boxes,
like those used for mignonette in windows.
"What have the children got?" said
Honor. "The fern was all sent down to the
chapel hours ago, and Nelly King has a bas-
ket quite full of some green stuff; and what
Charlie Trent means by those boxes, I can't
guess. Ah Isabel! it's some secret of yours,
I know by your face. Now, do tell me."
Great was Honor's delight and admiration
when Isabel explained. She had seen a
church in London decorated for a great
festival, where on each super-altar boxes
were placed filled with green moss, out of
which the flowers rose tier upon tier.
"Now, Honor, don't you think your lilies
will be perfection done in that way, with the
stems well mossed up, and a good background
of fern ?"
Honor was almost breathless.
Honor O'iore's Three Homes.
O Bell! you are clever, you darling jewel.
It will be beyond everything; and our Lady
will like it so much I And oh! what is Ste-
phen bringing ?" as the old gardener came in
sight with some very choice flowers.
You said, nothing but lilies, Miss Honor;
now, these are some of my very best 'eximi-
um' lilies. Will you have them ?"
I am afraid some of my readers will be
very much shocked, but I must confess that
Honor actually jumped in her delight.
They worked for two hours ; and when they
came out of church, to call Mr. Moore to see
as much as he could by the. fading light, they
saw he was not alone; and, with a scream
of delight, they ran to welcome Frank, who
had just arrived unexpectedly. Even Isabel
became "demonstrative," Mr. Moore said;
and as all four walked through the sweet
August gloaming to the cottage, with the
little school-girls, laden with the empty bas-
kets, following, the girls broke into the hymn
which Isabel had been teaching the choir for
the coming feast: and when Mr. Morley met
70 Honor 0'i__l -.:'s T1hrce Homes.
them at the garden-gate, the whole party
"Mary, your Queen, ascends
Like the sweet moon at night."
THE morning broke bright and cloudless ;
and, unlike many fair beginnings, kept its
promise to the end. Honor was radiant when
Mr. Moore said the altars surpassed his ex-
pectations, and she was so eager to point out
all the wonders of Isabel's "invention," that
she seemed to think no credit at all due to
herself. It certainly was a success ; the tall
ranks of lilies, looking so pure and stately,
and, as little Constance said, so cool and
comfortable" in the damp bright moss. The
fern had been taken up in roots ; and if you
know how beautiful the lady-fern is, and how
luxuriantly it grows in the Devonshire lanes,
you can fancy what a lovely background its
plume-like fronds made. There was the
fairy-like maiden-hair too; and Stephen's
Honor O'Mlore's Three Homes.
"eximium" lilies were grouped on the altar-
After Mass there was a long delicious
walk to Balham Cove; a beautiful spot
about three miles off.
Frank carried the luncheon-basket, and
they took the meal under the cliffs. Norah
and Conny were with them, and a very merry
party they were. Honor never liked Frank
better than when he was with her dear old
nurse; and it was very pleasant to see the
fine manly boy so respectful and chivalrous
to the good old woman. He arranged a
comfortable seat for her, and waited on her
before he turned his attention to the young
ladies; and Honor's eyes watched him with
Isn't he just a little like Bayard when he
was a boy ?" she whispered to Isabel, her
enthusiasm for Frank giving her courage for
the historical allusion. And Norah said:
He's like a rale Christian gentleman, God
bless him !"
"Well, Norah dear, that's about what
layard was," answered Honor. And Frank,
who had caught the name, begged to know
72 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
what their "improving conversation" was.
Honor assured him it would be anything
but improving to him to be informed." But
something came of it that was very pleasant;
for Frank proposed that every one should
"tell a story," and made Norah begin;
which she did, by giving an interesting and
touching account of the days of persecution
in Ireland, and of the dangers and escapes
of many a hunted priest in her own native
Kerry. She told how the peasants used to
look in some particular hole in a rock from
time to time, and when they found a bundle
of vestments, then they knew that a priest
would come the next Sunday, in a frieze
coat and peasant's brogues, to say Mass at a
lonely farm among the hills, where the cheese-
room was the chapel, and where watchers
were placed at the door, to give warning if
the "priest-catchers" were in sight. She
told it with native feeling and point, and
they all thanked her warmly. Isabel follow-
ed with some of Froissart's charming epi-
sodes of history, well-remembered and grace-
fully and simply told. And then Honor gave
them Macaulay's Lay of Horatius," "for
Honor O'ore's Three Hoimes.
Frank's delectation;" and the "Legend of
the O'Donohue," "for her own and Conny's."
Frank gave an account of the loss of the
Kent East-Indiaman, which left Honor sob-
bing aloud, and brought tears to Isabel's
eyes too ; and, to wind up, Conny turns the
tears to laughter by a very spirited delivery
of the Careless Chicken." Frank built her
a throne of large stones, and crowned her
with pink seaweed, as a reward ; and Isabel
wished there were time to make a sketch of
her pretty little sister-she made such a
nice picture, with the glistening wreath on
her fair curls. But Frank was to row
them back to the Hall, and the boat was
waiting: that was the greatest treat of all.
And again, Sing, sing, ye angel bands,"
came sweetly over the water, as they neared
the land. They were just in time for din-
ner ; and then came the dear Benediction,
to close the glad day. First, too, there was
a procession of our Lady's image; Sir Fran-
cis and Mr. Morley carried it, Frank was
cross-bearer, and Isabel and Honor bore the
banners ; Conny, to her great delight, led
the school-children, strewing flowers, walk-
74 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
ing (as she impressively said) the very
next to our Lady," and singing hymns and
litanies with all her innocent heart. So it
was a very happy day, as all agreed. Honor
lingered behind a little, as they were all
strolling in the gardens after church, and did
not join in the talk of the others. She kiss-
ed Conny silently, when Norah brought the
happy, sleepy little thing for her good-
night," before taking her home; and when
Mr. Morley, noticing her manner, kindly
took her hand in his, he saw that her eyes
were full of tears.
Honor, my child, what ails you ? Have
you not had a pleasant day, too ?"
So happy, Uncle Laurence," (she always
called him so ;) only I was thinking-"
Of what, dear? Come, Honor bright, be
true to your name, and tell me the trouble."
"It's not just a trouble at all, and you'll
think it silly and nonsensical of me ; but I
was thinking how I wished dear, dear Father
Dominic could have some of those lilies.
They never would grow in that stuffy little
garden at Belfast. And then, Uncle Lau-
Honor O'Jore's Tthree Homes. 75
rence, I got thinking of the dear, poor little
chapel there, and I wondered who does our
Lady's altar now: and oh! indeed, I am
very, very happy and thankful, only I can't
help it to-night." And poor Honor broke
Her guardian soon soothed her into com-
posure; said he quite understood it all; she
had been a little overexcited.; and besides,
she would not be his own loving little Honor
if she did not think often with grateful ten-
derness of her first friend and father. And
as to the lilies, Honor, there are plenty of
them left. Shall we send a box of them to
Father Dominic for the Sunday within the
Octave ? Come, now, acknowledge that I
can have 'inventions' sometimes as well as
Aunt Morley is waiting coffee, papa;
will you come ?" said Isabel, in her coldest
and quietest voice, coming up to them just
as Honor was thanking her father with a
kiss for his happy idea.
76 Honor O'More's Threce Homes.
DON'T say anything, Frank ; please not:
it would make me so very unhappy, and
Uncle Laurence and every one; and get
her into such trouble."
"And richly she deserves it; I wouldn't
spare her one bit: I'm only afraid Uncle
Laurence won't say half-enough."
0 Frank, 1;'rank dear! do be kind and
good about it; think of all he's done for me
-giving me this happy home, being such a
father to me ; and then for me to be the one
to bring trouble on him, and about Bell, and
through you. 0 Frank! it would be too
Poor Honor's sobs were getting beyond
her control, and he said soothingly, There,
there, Honor; I never said I wouldn't hold
my tongue for your sake ; don't go and fret
any more about it: now hush, dear ; I pro-
mise. Honor, don't cry so terribly."
She checked her tears by a strong effort,
thanked him in a broken voice, and began
excusing Isabel. She didn't mean half she
said, and I can make allowance for her."
Honor O'Mlore's Three Homes.
Of course you can, but I can't; and as
to not meaning it, I believe she did mean it:
you or I might say more than we meant, if
we got into a regular stew; but that's not
Isabel's way ; she's so hatefully cool and ag-
gravating, and keeps back more than ever
she lets out. There let's have done with
the horrid subject; but mind the conditions,
Miss Honor; you be ready when I bring up
Fairy Queen at three, or-" And Frank as-
sumed an expression of awful menace, which
made her laugh in spite of herself.
"And if she sees you, Frank, do say
something pleasant for my sake."
"' Be aisy, will you, Paddy ?' as my father
would say; you'll not get another promise
out of me: she's behaved abominably, and
I'm not sure I've done right, after all. Un-
cle Laurence ought to know. Now, don't
open your eyes in that horrified way; a pro-
mise is a promise, of course."
"Who says it isn't ?" And the boy and
girl started and looked frightened as Mr.
Morley came in and fixed his wondering eyes
on Frank's excited face and Honor's swollen
78 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
"What is all this? Honor-Frank-not
a quarrel, surely ?"
Oh! no, indeed, Uncle Laurence; it's
Honor's secret, though; so I can't tell you."
Honor looked gratefully at him.
Of course you can't, my boy ; but, Hon-
or, my child, will you tell me ? You see I
cannot help knowing of whom you were
speaking, and it is a great worry."
Honor knew it was, and more; he might
have said a painful anxiety, for Isabel was
older than her years, and the tendency I
have spoken of weighed heavily on him
sometimes. She looked much distressed.
"Dear Uncle Laurence, must I ? I don't
think I could bear it, indeed. I'll ask Mr.
Moore ; for indeed I don't feel I ought to tell
you. O Uncle Laurence, don't be vexed
with me !"
"I am not vexed with you, my darling; I
believe the right way is clear enough. I will
speak to Isabel myself." And Mr. Morley,
looking very grave and sorrowful, left the
Now, don't look so wild with fright, Hon-
or," said Frank, as the poor girl clasped her
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
hands in dismay; "Bell's in for a regular
wigging, I believe; and it's much the best
thing that could happen to her."
But it was in vain to try to comfort Honor
then. She hid her face in the sofa-pillows,
too nervous and miserable to cry now, while
Frank stood at the window making unsuc-
cessful attempts to whistle and appear easy
It was a bad business enough ; that happy
feast-day had ended sadly. Isabel's jealousy
had shown itself, as we saw, when she found
her father so loving and confidential with
Honor. All through the rest of the evening
it smouldered, every now and then breaking
out in little sarcastic speeches ; unkind, un-
loving attempts to bring Honor's weak points
forward in conversation; ungracious ways
to her and Frank. Of course all this did
not make her very pleasing; and Sir Francis
lavished double attentions on his "dear little
Paddy," seeing her snubbed by Isabel. Lady
Morley, who never liked her niece, was cold-
er than ever now; and Frank could hardly
restrain his indignation. Mr. Morley was
talking with the priest in another room, so
8o Honor O'MJore's Three Homes.
the evil spirit in Isabel's heart was uncheck-
ed by their presence. On the way back to
the cottage Frank proposed the ride to Ho-
nor. She was very unhappy at all that had
been going on, and nervously anxious to set
things straight; so she begged for a long
ramble in Malcombe Thicket instead, that
Isabel, who did not enjoy riding, might join
them. To Honor a ride was always a de-
light, and one with Frank an especial one;
but she was very eager to give it up now.
Isabel, however, was only irritated by poor
Honor's proposal; and, angry with herself
and all the world, said so many unjust and
cruel things, that Frank blazed forth in a
fury, which only made matters worse. It is
not pleasant to write down bitter speeches,
and I have said enough to explain matters.
Very slowly indeed did the moments pass
with Frank and Honor; everything seemed
so silent in the hush of the August noon-
tide. They could hear, far off, the boys call-
ing to each other in the fishing-boats in the
bay, and the scream of a gull sailing over it;
but such sounds only deepen the sense of
stillness; and they both felt it almost like
Honor O'Acre's Thrce Homes. 81
pain, when little Conny's ringing laugh came
to them from the garden. Presently the
study-door opened, and Honor sprang to
her feet. They heard Isabel go very slowly
up-stairs. Impetuous as usual, Honor rushed
to the door.
"Be quiet," said Frank. Where are you
"To her. I must go, Frank. Let me
I'll do no such thing; you can do no
good now, Honor. Leave her to herself,
and put on your habit. I'll have Fairy
Queen here by the time you're ready. Far
better to speak to Bell by and by, in the
With all her impulsive ways, Honor was
always easy to lead; so she went obediently
up-stairs, bathed her hot eyes, said a very
earnest prayer for her "sister Isabel," and
was waiting very pale and grave in the porch
when Frank came up with the horses.
Mr. Morley came to the door. His face
was grave and sad; but he took Honor's
face in both his hands, and *k1a-ii ,ey ry rklv-
y't y *
82 Honor O'fore's Three Homes.
ingly into the honest blue eyes that were
filling with tears again.
"Now, you must be a good child, and en-
joy your ride very much. Get a good gal-
lop on Balham Down; and let me see some
roses in your cheeks, do you hear? God
bless you, my child !" And he kissed her
very affectionately as he lifted her to the
In her unjust anger, her jealous misery,
Isabel Morley, behind her window-curtain,
heard and saw. In that moment she hated
"I will never be friends with her," she
muttered; I will never forgive her. I wish
one of us might die; I wish anything would
happen-anything to part us !"
Ah Isabel! poor sinful child! God for-
give you your rash, wild wish; God help
you through all the agony of remorse that is
awaiting you !
In another hour the "gallop on Balham
Down" was over, and Honor was lying
white and senseless on the grass, and Frank
kneeling by her side, praying in the anguish
of his heart that God would send some one
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
that way, and not let her die there on that
SHE lay very white and still on the wide,
open moor: even her lips were without co-
lor ; and poor Frank thought the calm blue
sky seemed so pitiless, shining down on the
death-like face and close-shut eyes. They had
forgotten all disagreeable, anxious thoughts
after awhile, in the delicious ride over sunny
Balham Down, the place Honor never tired
of, and in which she always found new beau-
ties. It was very lovelyjust then, in the warm
golden light of the August afternoon, flush-
ing the purple mantle of heather to richer
beauty, and the cool sea-breeze rustling the
fern and lifting the tresses of weeping-birch
that here and there dotted the common;
and the sea itself stretching away like a
great shining mirror till it met the sky in
the soft, hazy horizon-line. "Now for a
race, Honor," cried Frank; "Fairy Queen
is longing to be off." And off they set, full
of life and merriment. Frank never forgot
84 Honor O'MIorc's Three Homes.
Honor's face just as she got a little ahead of
him and turned to shake her whip in saucy
triumph; how bright and glad she looked,
with her brown curls blowing about her
flushed cheeks, and her blue eyes so full of
light and glee She urged her mettlesome
pony to a still quicker pace; then suddenly a
rabbit darted before her path. Fairy Queen
swerved in full career, and struck her foot
against a large stone that was imbedded in
the moss and heather. There was a crash,
a fall, a smothered cry, and Honor and her
pony seemed one dreadful undistinguishable
heap. Frank had checked his horse and
was kneeling by her side in a moment. He
never knew how long he knelt there in such
utter anguish as he had never known before,
now trying to feel if her heart was still beat-
ing, now looking with straining eyes across
the moor in hopes of seeing some human
creature besides himself and that motionless
form. Mother of God !" he cried aloud,
"help us both." And almost as he uttered
the words two figures came in sight, walk-
ing slowly and leisurely toward them; but
Frank's shouts soon quickened their pace,
Honor O'_ i.,-e's Three Homes.
and it was unspeakable relief to recognize
Mr. Moore and one of the Malcombe fisher-
men. When.they attempted to lift Honor,
consciousness seemed to return, but with it
so much suffering that her removal was evi-
dently impossible without some means of
conveyance; so Frank rode to the hall for
the carriage, and the priest wrote a few lines
on a leaf torn from his memorandum-book,
which he sent to the cottage by the fisher-
man to prepare Mr. Morley for their return.
And then for a long hour he watched and
prayed by Honor. For some time she lay
motionless as before, then drawing a deep
breath, she said, "Poor Isabel!"
"Do you know me, my child ?" said Mr.
Moore, taking her hand in one of his, while
he made the sign of the cross over her.
She smiled a very sweet but wandering
smile, and said, "I did lay it at his feet, fa-
ther-just what he chose-for his glory-is
it not good and dear of him to take it like
this ? such a poor, shabby, little offering, no
one else would take it; it will soon be over,
The tears stood in the good priest's eyes.
86 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
"That is very blessed, dear child," he said;
" you made your offering in your health and
strength, and he takes you at your word;
and you are quite willing, Honor ?"
Quite, father. You know you told me,"
she went on, still thinking she was speaking
to Father Dominic, "you said I must not
be driven, but go to him." After a pause
she again said: "Poor Isabel! I'm afraid
she will be so very miserable." And her lip
"Isabel is God's child too, Honor, and he
knows what she needs, as well as what you
need. You must trust him for her as well
as for yourself, my child; he can teach her
in his own way."
"Yes, yes," she answered, "it will be all
right; he knows so well."
It was spoken with such a happy certainty
and confidence in her Father's love and wis-
dom, that Mr. Moore involuntarily murmur-
ed, "Thou hast hidden these things from
the wise and prudent, and hast revealed
them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it
hath seemed good in thy sight."
After that, Honor lay quiet and silent till
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
the carriage was seen approaching, and Mr.
Moore said, "Now, my good, patient child,
here comes the carriage; you will soon be
at home now."
Her pale face crimsoned, and she shud-
dered all over. "Must I be moved ?" she
asked; then, after a pause, "Oh I know it
is silly to say that-of course I must; only
it did hurt so terribly when you and Frank
tried to lift me. I know I am very badly
hurt; I hope our Lord will help me not to
be impatient; but I am so afraid of being
He saw that, and dreaded it as much as
she did. It was the greatest comfort to him
to see that Mr. Sherriff, the surgeon, was in
the carriage, with poor old Norah, whose re-
strained agony was heart-rending to witness.
Mr. Moore, fearing the national impulsive-
ness, said a few earnest, affectionate words
on the necessity, for her darling's sake, of
"Ye needn't fear me, your riverence:
sure we've just got to help her, and make
her strong and brave to bear all she's got
to bear, my heart's darlint ; there'll be time
88 Ho;lor O'Jorie's Thrce Homes.
enough for the sorrow whin she's past it
The good priest was greatly moved : Go
to her, Norah, I can trust you."
Honor clasped her arms round her nurse's
neck: 0 my own darling Noreen! keep
close to me, and let me hold you so, and I'll
be quiet and good."
And so she was, dear child, but for a moan
of suffering which could not be repressed
from time to time, as the dreadful business
of lifting her, and placing her on the mat-
tress which was brought in the carriage, was
accomplished. Then she fainted away, and
they were glad to move on, so as to get
some part of the journey over while she
had no power to suffer. Mr. Sherriff shook
his head very sadly : "There must be seri-
ous injury to the spine," he said; I fear
the very worst."
Mr. Moore made a hasty sign to him to
say no more, on Norah's account; but she
looked in his face with her solemn, calm
eyes, and said, No fear of speaking truth
before me, gintlemen. I seen God's mark
on her darlin' face as she lay on the grass
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
there. He's calling you to himself, alanna;
glory be to him !"
SHE won't come," said Frank Morley
to his uncle, who was waiting to hear the
result of his attempts to induce Isabel to
come to Honor's room; "she was a long
while before she would even open the door,
and then it was no use. I could get noth-
ing from her but, 'I can't,' and she looks
dreadful, Uncle Laurence." Mr. Morley
put his hand affectionately on Frank's
shoulder, and with a low, "Thank you, my
boy; I will go to her myself," he passed on
to Isabel's room. He found her lying on
her bed, with her face turned to the wall.
" Isabel, my child." She shrank from her
father's gentle touch as if it scorched her;
but he went on firmly and quietly: Do you
know that Honor has a very short time to
live, and that she is asking for you every mo-
ment ? No one, not even Mr. Moore, can
calm her till she has seen you; you are
90 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
not going to take the peace from that dear
child's last hours by your refusal ? Isabel,
that would be very sinful."
She has forgivefi me," said Isabel, in a
hard, unnatural voice, which told of intense
pain violently suppressed ; "but I can't go
to her, now she's dying, and tell her I wish-
ed her to be lying there; and I can't go to
her without telling her-with a lie in my
MW. Morley looked at her steadily. You
did not wish Honor's death," he said. "I
do not believe it of you ; you are suffering
keenly, my poor child, and exaggerating the
case; tell me exactly what you did feel or
wish ; you are not likely to forget."
She shook her head sorrowfully. I felt
hatred to her, as she and Frank rode off, and
I said I wished anything would happen; and
you see what has happened."
Does that speech mean, Bell, that you
imagine Almighty God is taking dear Honor
to himself in consequence of your rash, sin-
ful words ?"
She looked up quickly. Of course not,
papa." Then, with a sudden softening of
Honor O'Mfore's Thr-ee Homes.
her whole expression : "I think he is taking
her because he loves her too well to leave
her in a sinful world any longer with me."
And she covered her face, crying bitterly.
Her father had scarcely ever seen her in
tears, and it was quite with a feeling of plea-
sure that he took her in his arms, and let
the poor child weep there.
Not with you, nor with any of us, much
longer, I think, and every moment is pre-
cious; so, my dearest, you will calm your-
self, and come; she loves you very dearly,
She shrank again, as if he hurt her. That
is the worst part," she said.
"Just now it seems so," answered Mr.
Morley. "But that feeling will not last.
You will be very thankful to remember all
her affection by and by; dear, loving little
Honor. And one word, my dear child, be-
fore we go. I do not want to lessen your
sense of the sin you have fallen into; you
know that; but I have no reproaches for
you, poor child; your own heart is giving
you enough. I want you to remember, that
anything like despair is-you know what,
92 Honoor O'MLorc's Three Homes.
Isabel; and I want you, as I said, not to ex-
aggerate your fault; that is not the way to
mend it. You spoke rash, sinful words in a
fit of jealous, unjust anger ; but you had no
deliberate wish for Honor's death. I hardly
like even to say such a thing. I think, Isa-
bel, the cherishing of that jealous feeling was
I know it," she murmured.
"And you know the cure ?"
"I have spoken to Mr. Moore," she said.
"I am to go to him to-morrow."
"There, then," and her father kissed her
gravely and tenderly, "I will not be your
confessor; but, Isabel dearest, you were un-
just to your father ; that must all end now.
Promise that this sad, stern lesson shall teach
you to trust in my love for you ; never doubt
that again. You will have to be Honor and
Isabel in one now."
Honor had sustained some injury to the
spine, which must prove fatal in a few hours,
it was thought. The kind old doctor's eyes
were full of tears when he ascertained the
truth; he could hardly bear to think of such
an end to the life of the bright, happy girl
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
who had been a favorite with him as with all.
She read the truth in his face; indeed she
had felt it from the first.
"Don't mind it, dear Mr. Sherriff; I don't."
And she drew down the old gentleman's face
to kiss her. You won't have to move me
again, will you ? and it doesn't pain me much
when I am quiet. Thank you; that is so
nice and comfortable. Your hands are so
light and tender, they would tell you, in my
country, you had been to school to the good
people; but it's more likely your angel-
guardian taught you." She was a good
deal exhausted by the examination, in spite
of the little bit of playfulness with which
the unselfish girl thought to cheer her old
friend. "And now, dear Bell must come,
and then Mr. Moore; .and then," she added
in a low, thrilling whisper, which only Norah
caught, as she bent over her, then you will
come, Jesus, my sweet Lord."
Isabel stole quietly to the little white bed,
and Honor felt her tears and kisses on her
hand. Honor, forgive !"
O Bell darling what ?" Then, with na-
tive tact. seeing that Isabel would not be
94 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
happy without her pardon, she said, Yes,
yes, I understand, dear; you know I do;
and so do you forgive me, for I have been a
sad torment to youi sometimes. And now,
dear Uncle Laurence, may I say good-by to
the servants, and Uncle Francis, and every
one, because I want to be very quiet all the
rest of the time ?"
It was done as she wished. I do not
think any of them ever forgot dear Honor
O'More's farewell. Poor Sir Francis could
not stand it at all, and went away sobbing
like a child. For every one there was a
sweet, loving word, and thanks to each for
all they had done for her. Frank pleaded
hard to stay with her to the last, and she
wished it to be so. Only once she nearly
lost her composure, when little Conny came
for her "good-night" kiss.
"Why are you lying there, Honor ? How
funny to go to bed before me; and you look
so white Did that nasty pony hurt you ?"
"Don't call pretty Fairy Queen names,
Conny; it wasn't her fault. Good-night,
my darling sweet little sister." And her lips
Holnor O'More's Three Homes.
quivered as she kissed the child again and
Conny was to go to the Hall for the night
with Lady Morley; and as Frank carried
her to the carriage, she said sadly and won-
deringly, Honor was going to cry; and so
are you, Frank; tell me why. I don't want
Honor is very happy, Conny, and some-
times that makes people cry."
This was quite beyond Conny; and she
was driven off, greatly wondering that peo-
ple should cry when they were happy."
Very happy, without a doubt, Honor was,
when, a little later, those who were to be
with her to the last were gathered in her
room. The last anointing, the last confes-
sion, were over, and very shortly Mr. Moore
was to return to give her Viaticum. He had
been summoned now to a still more pressing
need. She lay with one hand in her dear
nurse's, the other in her guardian's; her
eyes were almost constantly on the Cruci-
fix; now and then, as a thought came into
her mind, she spoke a few words. Uncle
96 Honor O'Mor-c's Three Homes.
dear, Norah will stop with Conny, won't
Surely, my Honor, we could spare her
less than ever now."
"You'll like to stop, Noreen ? You won't
run off to Kerry by yourself ?"
Don't be throublin' your dear heart for
me, mavourneen ; I'll stop an' be thankful."
The gentle old woman spoke in a quiet, re-
signed voice; she would "like" nothing
when her darling was gone-nothing but to
do and to bear the will of God. Then, after
a pause, "Frank will miss it all so much."
" Miss what, dear Honor?" She did not
seem to hear, but went on answering her
own thoughts. "But Jesus came, walking
upon the sea. He can make it up to him;
and it won't be long. When the morning
comes, he will stand upon the shore."
HONOR'S "morning" was very near the
dawning now; surely we may say so, whe-
ther there were, or were not, for her the puri-
Honor O'More's T/tce Homes.
fying fires of purgatory first. In any case,
for those who depart in the grace of God,
there will be that one sight of his beautiful
face, who is the eternal Morning; and the
night of sin, that thickest of all darkness,
will be past; and surely the memory of that
one sight of Jesus must breathe its sweetness
over all the "mountain of myrrh," where, in
longing, loving, willing suffering, his chosen
brides must wait, till the day break, and
the shadows retire." So Honor felt, as she
lay with the light of her last communion
shed around her. The first thing she said,
after that silent, blissful thanksgiving, was
when Mr. Moore gently came and took a
seat by her bed: Father, I can't be afraid
of purgatory; is that something wrong ?"
"I think, my child, it is, on the contrary,
a great grace. Almighty God is giving you
a very peaceful death. You are willing to
go there, if it is his will; but you just leave
it all to him. Is that it, Honor ?"
She smiled brightly. "That is it, quite;
it will be just the right time I shall be there,
so it doesn't matter; it will only be getting
ready to go home."
98 Honor O'More's Three Homes.
Your third home, and your last, my dar-
ling child," Mr. Morley said; "your one true
home on the everlasting hills."
The priest asked her presently if there was
anything on her mind; for he thought a
shade of sadness crossed her face for a mo-
ment. The tears stood in her eyes.
I am afraid I do fret just a little not to
see dear, dear Father Dominic; at least, not
to say fret, only it would have been nice to
get his blessing. You won't think me un-
grateful, father ?" And she laid her little
hand on Mr. Moore's.
Nay, dear child, it would be strange if
you did not feel so."
He must get the lilies, all the same,"
she said ; though I can't write and tell him
how you did them, dear Bell; and I don't
think he could have managed it anyhow:
dear father, I must wait to see him now."
Presently she said, in a very low, earnest
tone, while the quick, sensitive blush of deep
feeling flushed her pale face:" There is some-
thing I want him to know ; I hardly know
how to tell you; but I must try my best.
You know I wasn't very happy in Belfast,
Honor O'More's Three Homes.
and I used to think always about papa com-
ing back, and having a happy home with
him ; and father said, that though God didn't
let it be, perhaps he meant the hope of it to
help me on, to cheer me, when-when I was
-rather dull." The dear child would not
say a word that might seem unkind; and
Norah's tears fell fast, as her darling called
that dark dreary time "rather dull." She
turned her loving eyes on her guardian's
face, as she went on : Well, then, you came,
dear Uncle Laurence, and gave me this
dear, happy home: and you don't know what
it has been ; I don't mean only the love and
kindness-and Bell and Frank-all that
made the great happiness that can't be told;
but so much came besides: all the beauty
of this place; it did go so deep into my
heart; and-I couldn't say this, only that
I'm dying-I always wanted to give it up
for his sake, to offer up everything. I know
it is all very little-just nothing; only I did
so love it all; and I did so want to give it
up. And when I told him in a letter-Fa-
ther Dominic, I mean-he said I might keep
it all in my mind, and go on offering my life