Saturday, July 15, 1815
Lady Persephone Norris has informed her brother, Captain Houghton, that she intends to sail for England by August 1. She did not feel it necessary to return to Thistledown Farm, but wishes to give me time to make my decision without any undue influence on her part. I appreciate her delicacy of feeling, however it worries me that my children won’t have met her before sailing away in her company.
All this was conveyed to us when Capt. Houghton came to visit Evvy on Friday last. It was obvious the true intention of his visit was to woo my sweet sister. Unfortunately for him, Hector had come earlier and had taken Evvy and Henry to the Randalls in his cart.
Evvy will need to make her preference known shortly or the two men in question may come to blows. Everett stayed for tea with mother only as long as polite society requires and left us quite out of sorts.
We had another visitor today. Mr. O’Meara, Arthur’s father-in-law, drove into our yard in his ramshackle wagon, almost overturning my laundry tub and crashing into our garden fence. Of course, he was not in a clear state of mind. He was drunk and slurring his speech. He practically fell out of his wagon and immediately had to be helped up by Father and William.
“Where’s my grandson?” he demanded.
“Where has my good for nothin’ son-in-law taken him? Why ain’t I seen the lad in weeks?”
In consideration of the poor treatment his daughter Kathleen received at the hands of her father and brothers, I was not shocked to hear that Arthur was limiting the familiarity of his infant son with his O’Meara relatives. Had I not been acquainted with other more amiable people of their fair land, I might have formed a very jaundiced opinion of their kind. Today, Mr. O’Meara was not the best representation of their considerable charms. He wore his shabbiest breeches and his homespun shirt was in filthy tatters. I felt some compassion for his situation, but knew his only sorrow at the passing of his daughter was for the many services she had rendered.
Needless to say, we were not able to answer O’Meara’s questions other than to remind him that Adam was in his father’s care and would come to no harm. This reassurance did not placate him at all.
“I know me rights,” he slurred, “ and I want to see me grandson, afore I quit this place.”
“Now O’Meara, when and where are you planning to go?” asked William. “Surely you won’t abandon your home and property.”
“Weesht,and I’ll do what I like, I will. Me son Darnell will give me a home. There’s nothin’ here for me now, no wife nor daughter to give me comfort. Little Adam should be with his kin, not a gormless, limbless pa.”
“Now O’Meara, you are in your cups and making no sense at all,”said my Father. “Go home and sleep this off. We will tell Arthur you wish to speak to him, but I warn you, he shan’t see you if you are three sheets to the wind.”
William and Father put O’Meara back in his wagon, William took the reins and put them in his hand. O’Meara looked down from the wagon blearily, and said , “Hold yer horses, Price. I ain’t done all I came to do.”
O’ Meara scratched his head and then added, “Liam and Seamus have quit this side, but ye best beware of Jake Bourke.”
I just froze! With that warning he drove his horses out of sight.