The Right of Way by Gilbert Parker
Chapter LVI. Mrs. Flynn Speaks
Charley left Jo Portugais behind, and went home alone. He watched at a window till he saw Rosalie return. As she passed quickly down the street with Mrs. Flynn to her own door, he observed that her face was happier than he had seen it for many a day. Her step was lighter, there was a freedom in her air, a sense of confidence in her carriage.
She bore herself as one who had done a thing which relaxed a painful tension. There was a curious glow in her eyes and face, and this became deeper as, showing himself at the door, she saw him, smiled, and stood still. He came across the street and took her hand.
"You have been away," she said softly. "For a few days," he answered.
"At Vadrome Mountain."
"You have missed these last days of the Passion Play," she said, a shadow in her eyes.
"I was present to-day," he answered.
She turned away her head quickly, for the look in his eyes told her more than any words could have done, and Mrs. Flynn said:
"'Tis a day for everlastin' mimory, sir. For the part she played this day, the darlin', only such as she could play! 'Tis the innocent takin' the shame o' the guilty, and the tears do be comin' to me eyes. 'Tis not ould Widdy Flynn's eyes alone that's wet this day, but hearts do be weepin' for the love o' God."
Rosalie suddenly opened the door, and, without another look at Charley, entered the house.
"'Tis one in a million!" said Mrs. Flynn, in a confidential tone, for she had a fixed idea that Rosalie loved Charley and that he loved her, and that the only thing that stood in the way of their marriage was religion. From the first Charley had conquered Mrs. Flynn. That he was a tailor was a pity and a shame, but love was love, and the man had a head on him and a heart in him; and love was love! So Mrs. Flynn said:
"'Tis one that a man that's a man should do annything for, was it havin' the heart cut out uv him, or givin' the last drop uv his blood. Shure, for such as her, murder, or false witness, or givin' up the last wish or thought a man hugged to his boosom, would be as aisy as aisy."
Charley laughed to himself, her purpose was so obvious, but his heart went out to her, for she was a friend, and, whatever came to him, Rosalie would not be alone.
"I believe every word of yours," he said, shaking her hand, "and we'll see, you and I, that no man marries her who isn't ready to do what you say."
"Would you do it yourself--if it was you?" she asked, flushing for her boldness.
"I would," he answered.
"Then do it," she said, and fled inside the house and shut the door.
"Mrs. Flynn--good Mrs. Flynn!" he said, and went back sadly to his house, and shut himself up with his thoughts. When night drew on he went to bed, but he could not sleep. He got up after a time, and taking pen and paper, wrote for a long time. Having finished, he took what he had written, and placing it with the two packets-of money and pearls--which he had brought from his old home, he addressed it to the Cure, and going to the safe in the wall of the shop, placed them inside and locked the door.
Then he went to bed, and slept soundly--the deep sleep of the just.