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being bundled through the gloom until we arrived at
Mrs. O'Donnell's door. About half-way home, The
Mister—who had said nothing since his tribute to
Tom Philipson's glory as a gunman—suddenly said
to the driver, "Stop at O'Grady's."

Soon afterwards we drew up, and The Mister led
the way into a comfortless little house, where Mr.
O'Grady made us welcome in a bleak front room,
glaringly lit by a lamp which caused a strong smell
of paraffin oil to be the keynote of the atmospheric
conditions. There seemed no special reason why we
were calling on O'Grady, but he handed each of us
a tumbler containing three parts raw whisky to one
part water. While I was wondering how on earth I
could dispose of mine without drinking it, my com-
panions swallowed the fiery fluid unblenchingly, and
did not say "No" to a second dose. O'Grady sus-
tained the conversation with comments on what the
hounds had been doing lately and what the foxes had
been doing to his poultry. The Mister blinked at the
lamp and made noises which somewhat suggested a
meditative hen. When we got up to go, he remarked
in confidential tones to O'Grady, "I have yet to make
up me mind about the little red horse that ye desire
to sell me." This, apparently, epitomized the object
of our visit to O'Grady. My head ached, but the
night air was refreshing, though I had some doubts
as to its effect on my obviously "half-seas-over"
friends. Hope died in me when The Mister, after
getting into the car, instructed the driver to "stop
at Finnigan's".

I did not ask The Mister why he wanted to stop at
Finnigan's, nor did I ask him not to. At the best of
times he wasn't a man whose wishes one felt inclined
to frustrate, and he was now alcoholically impervious