ground and sleep easy/' he replied, adding, 'Tni
thinking, Mr. Blarnett, that the dogs'll do better to
stay at home on such a day as this."
The Mister opened one eye and remarked that it
would sure be madness to go up on the hills in such
weather. "But me friend Tom Philipson will give us
a bite to eat," he added serenely, "and you'll travel
far before you find the like of the old brandy that hell
put in yourjjlass." He nudged Kegworthy with his
elbow, and I inwardly hoped that Tom Philipson5 s
hospitality wouldn't be too alcoholic.
For it was my solemn purpose that we should travel
away from brandy rather than that it should be an
object of pilgrimage. Tom Philipson, it transpired,
was the owner of a big house; he also owned some of
the surrounding country, the aspect of which fully
justified its reputation for roughness and infertility.
The village which was part of his property appeared
to be an assortment of stone hovels in very bad repair.
I may as well say at once that when we arrived at
Tom Philipson's the M.F.H. had already decided
that hunting was out of the question, and was about
to go home. The hounds had already departed. Hos-
pitality was all that awaited us, and after all there
was nothing wrong with an early luncheon in a
spacious and remote old Irish mansion. There was
nothing wrong with Tom Philipson either. He was
middle-aged, a famous character in that part of the
world, and had something of the grand manner about
him. My recollection of him is that he was extremely
good company, and full of rich-flavoured Irish talk.
What could have been more delightful than to sit in
a dignified dining-room and listen to such a man,
while the rain pelted against the windows and a wood
fire glowed and blazed in the immense fireplace, and