Dubliners by James Joyce
A Mother

Dublin The Sisters
An Encounter
After the Race
Two Gallants
The Boarding House
A Little Cloud
A Painful Case
Ivy Day in the Committee Room
A Mother
The Dead

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[4598]     A MOTHER
[4600]     MR HOLOHAN, assistant secretary of the Eire Abu Society, had
[4601]     been walking up and down Dublin for nearly a month, with his
[4602]     hands and pockets full of dirty pieces of paper, arranging about the
[4603]     series of concerts. He had a game leg and for this his friends called
[4604]     him Hoppy Holohan. He walked up and down constantly, stood by
[4605]     the hour at street corners arguing the point and made notes; but in
[4606]     the end it was Mrs. Kearney who arranged everything.
[4608]     Miss Devlin had become Mrs. Kearney out of spite. She had been
[4609]     educated in a high-class convent, where she had learned French
[4610]     and music. As she was naturally pale and unbending in manner she
[4611]     made few friends at school. When she came to the age of marriage
[4612]     she was sent out to many houses, where her playing and ivory
[4613]     manners were much admired. She sat amid the chilly circle of her
[4614]     accomplishments, waiting for some suitor to brave it and offer her
[4615]     a brilliant life. But the young men whom she met were ordinary
[4616]     and she gave them no encouragement, trying to console her
[4617]     romantic desires by eating a great deal of Turkish Delight in
[4618]     secret. However, when she drew near the limit and her friends
[4619]     began to loosen their tongues about her, she silenced them by
[4620]     marrying Mr. Kearney, who was a bootmaker on Ormond Quay.
[4622]     He was much older than she. His conversation, which was serious,
[4623]     took place at intervals in his great brown beard. After the first year
[4624]     of married life, Mrs. Kearney perceived that such a man would
[4625]     wear better than a romantic person, but she never put her own
[4626]     romantic ideas away. He was sober, thrifty and pious; he went to
[4627]     the altar every first Friday, sometimes with her, oftener by himself.
[4628]     But she never weakened in her religion and was a good wife to
[4629]     him. At some party in a strange house when she lifted her eyebrow
[4630]     ever so slightly he stood up to take his leave and, when his cough
[4631]     troubled him, she put the eider-down quilt over his feet and made a
[4632]     strong rum punch. For his part, he was a model father. By paying a
[4633]     small sum every week into a society, he ensured for both his
[4634]     daughters a dowry of one hundred pounds each when they came to
[4635]     the age of twenty-four. He sent the older daughter, Kathleen, to a
[4636]     good convent, where she learned French and music, and afterward
[4637]     paid her fees at the Academy. Every year in the month of July Mrs.
[4638]     Kearney found occasion to say to some friend:
[4640]     "My good man is packing us off to Skerries for a few weeks."
[4642]     If it was not Skerries it was Howth or Greystones.
[4644]     When the Irish Revival began to be appreciable Mrs. Kearney
[4645]     determined to take advantage of her daughter's name and brought
[4646]     an Irish teacher to the house. Kathleen and her sister sent Irish
[4647]     picture postcards to their friends and these friends sent back other
[4648]     Irish picture postcards. On special Sundays, when Mr. Kearney
[4649]     went with his family to the pro-cathedral, a little crowd of people
[4650]     would assemble after mass at the corner of Cathedral Street. They
[4651]     were all friends of the Kearneys--musical friends or Nationalist
[4652]     friends; and, when they had played every little counter of gossip,
[4653]     they shook hands with one another all together, laughing at the
[4654]     crossing of so man hands, and said good-bye to one another in
[4655]     Irish. Soon the name of Miss Kathleen Kearney began to be heard
[4656]     often on people's lips. People said that she was very clever at
[4657]     music and a very nice girl and, moreover, that she was a believer
[4658]     in the language movement. Mrs. Kearney was well content at this.
[4659]     Therefore she was not surprised when one day Mr. Holohan came
[4660]     to her and proposed that her daughter should be the accompanist at
[4661]     a series of four grand concerts which his Society was going to give
[4662]     in the Antient Concert Rooms. She brought him into the
[4663]     drawing-room, made him sit down and brought out the decanter
[4664]     and the silver biscuit-barrel. She entered heart and soul into the
[4665]     details of the enterprise, advised and dissuaded: and finally a
[4666]     contract was drawn up by which Kathleen was to receive eight
[4667]     guineas for her services as accompanist at the four grand concerts.
[4669]     As Mr. Holohan was a novice in such delicate matters as the
[4670]     wording of bills and the disposing of items for a programme, Mrs.
[4671]     Kearney helped him. She had tact. She knew what artistes should
[4672]     go into capitals and what artistes should go into small type. She
[4673]     knew that the first tenor would not like to come on after Mr.
[4674]     Meade's comic turn. To keep the audience continually diverted she
[4675]     slipped the doubtful items in between the old favourites. Mr.
[4676]     Holohan called to see her every day to have her advice on some
[4677]     point. She was invariably friendly and advising--homely, in fact.
[4678]     She pushed the decanter towards him, saying:
[4680]     "Now, help yourself, Mr. Holohan!"
[4682]     And while he was helping himself she said:
[4684]     "Don't be afraid! Don t be afraid of it! "
[4686]     Everything went on smoothly. Mrs. Kearney bought some lovely
[4687]     blush-pink charmeuse in Brown Thomas's to let into the front of
[4688]     Kathleen's dress. It cost a pretty penny; but there are occasions
[4689]     when a little expense is justifiable. She took a dozen of
[4690]     two-shilling tickets for the final concert and sent them to those
[4691]     friends who could not be trusted to come otherwise. She forgot
[4692]     nothing, and, thanks to her, everything that was to be done was
[4693]     done.
[4695]     The concerts were to be on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and
[4696]     Saturday. When Mrs. Kearney arrived with her daughter at the
[4697]     Antient Concert Rooms on Wednesday night she did not like the
[4698]     look of things. A few young men, wearing bright blue badges in
[4699]     their coats, stood idle in the vestibule; none of them wore evening
[4700]     dress. She passed by with her daughter and a quick glance through
[4701]     the open door of the hall showed her the cause of the stewards'
[4702]     idleness. At first she wondered had she mistaken the hour. No, it
[4703]     was twenty minutes to eight.
[4705]     In the dressing-room behind the stage she was introduced to the
[4706]     secretary of the Society, Mr. Fitzpatrick. She smiled and shook his
[4707]     hand. He was a little man, with a white, vacant face. She noticed
[4708]     that he wore his soft brown hat carelessly on the side of his head
[4709]     and that his accent was flat. He held a programme in his hand, and,
[4710]     while he was talking to her, he chewed one end of it into a moist
[4711]     pulp. He seemed to bear disappointments lightly. Mr. Holohan
[4712]     came into the dressingroom every few minutes with reports from
[4713]     the box- office. The artistes talked among themselves nervously,
[4714]     glanced from time to time at the mirror and rolled and unrolled
[4715]     their music. When it was nearly half-past eight, the few people in
[4716]     the hall began to express their desire to be entertained. Mr.
[4717]     Fitzpatrick came in, smiled vacantly at the room, and said:
[4719]     "Well now, ladies and gentlemen. I suppose we'd better open the
[4720]     ball."
[4722]     Mrs. Kearney rewarded his very flat final syllable with a quick
[4723]     stare of contempt, and then said to her daughter encouragingly:
[4725]     "Are you ready, dear?"
[4727]     When she had an opportunity, she called Mr. Holohan aside and
[4728]     asked him to tell her what it meant. Mr. Holohan did not know
[4729]     what it meant. He said that the committee had made a mistake in
[4730]     arranging for four concerts: four was too many.
[4732]     "And the artistes!" said Mrs. Kearney. "Of course they are doing
[4733]     their best, but really they are not good."
[4735]     Mr. Holohan admitted that the artistes were no good but the
[4736]     committee, he said, had decided to let the first three concerts go as
[4737]     they pleased and reserve all the talent for Saturday night. Mrs.
[4738]     Kearney said nothing, but, as the mediocre items followed one
[4739]     another on the platform and the few people in the hall grew fewer
[4740]     and fewer, she began to regret that she had put herself to any
[4741]     expense for such a concert. There was something she didn't like in
[4742]     the look of things and Mr. Fitzpatrick's vacant smile irritated her
[4743]     very much. However, she said nothing and waited to see how it
[4744]     would end. The concert expired shortly before ten, and everyone
[4745]     went home quickly.
[4747]     The concert on Thursday night was better attended, but Mrs.
[4748]     Kearney saw at once that the house was filled with paper. The
[4749]     audience behaved indecorously, as if the concert were an informal
[4750]     dress rehearsal. Mr. Fitzpatrick seemed to enjoy himself; he was
[4751]     quite unconscious that Mrs. Kearney was taking angry note of his
[4752]     conduct. He stood at the edge of the screen, from time to time
[4753]     jutting out his head and exchanging a laugh with two friends in the
[4754]     corner of the balcony. In the course of the evening, Mrs. Kearney
[4755]     learned that the Friday concert was to be abandoned and that the
[4756]     committee was going to move heaven and earth to secure a
[4757]     bumper house on Saturday night. When she heard this, she sought
[4758]     out Mr. Holohan. She buttonholed him as he was limping out
[4759]     quickly with a glass of lemonade for a young lady and asked him
[4760]     was it true. Yes. it was true.
[4762]     "But, of course, that doesn't alter the contract," she said. "The
[4763]     contract was for four concerts."
[4765]     Mr. Holohan seemed to be in a hurry; he advised her to speak to
[4766]     Mr. Fitzpatrick. Mrs. Kearney was now beginning to be alarmed.
[4767]     She called Mr. Fitzpatrick away from his screen and told him that
[4768]     her daughter had signed for four concerts and that, of course,
[4769]     according to the terms of the contract, she should receive the sum
[4770]     originally stipulated for, whether the society gave the four concerts
[4771]     or not. Mr. Fitzpatrick, who did not catch the point at issue very
[4772]     quickly, seemed unable to resolve the difficulty and said that he
[4773]     would bring the matter before the committee. Mrs. Kearney's anger
[4774]     began to flutter in her cheek and she had all she could do to keep
[4775]     from asking:
[4777]     "And who is the Cometty pray?"
[4779]     But she knew that it would not be ladylike to do that: so she was
[4780]     silent.
[4782]     Little boys were sent out into the principal streets of Dublin early
[4783]     on Friday morning with bundles of handbills. Special puffs
[4784]     appeared in all the evening papers, reminding the music loving
[4785]     public of the treat which was in store for it on the following
[4786]     evening. Mrs. Kearney was somewhat reassured, but be thought
[4787]     well to tell her husband part of her suspicions. He listened
[4788]     carefully and said that perhaps it would be better if he went with
[4789]     her on Saturday night. She agreed. She respected her husband in
[4790]     the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as
[4791]     something large, secure and fixed; and though she knew the small
[4792]     number of his talents she appreciated his abstract value as a male.
[4793]     She was glad that he had suggested coming with her. She thought
[4794]     her plans over.
[4796]     The night of the grand concert came. Mrs. Kearney, with her
[4797]     husband and daughter, arrived at the Antient Concert Rooms
[4798]     three-quarters of an hour before the time at which the concert was
[4799]     to begin. By ill luck it was a rainy evening. Mrs. Kearney placed
[4800]     her daughter's clothes and music in charge of her husband and
[4801]     went all over the building looking for Mr. Holohan or Mr.
[4802]     Fitzpatrick. She could find neither. She asked the stewards was any
[4803]     member of the committee in the hall and, after a great deal of
[4804]     trouble, a steward brought out a little woman named Miss Beirne
[4805]     to whom Mrs. Kearney explained that she wanted to see one of the
[4806]     secretaries. Miss Beirne expected them any minute and asked
[4807]     could she do anything. Mrs. Kearney looked searchingly at the
[4808]     oldish face which was screwed into an expression of trustfulness
[4809]     and enthusiasm and answered:
[4811]     "No, thank you!"
[4813]     The little woman hoped they would have a good house. She looked
[4814]     out at the rain until the melancholy of the wet street effaced all the
[4815]     trustfulness and enthusiasm from her twisted features. Then she
[4816]     gave a little sigh and said:
[4818]     "Ah, well! We did our best, the dear knows."
[4820]     Mrs. Kearney had to go back to the dressing-room.
[4822]     The artistes were arriving. The bass and the second tenor had
[4823]     already come. The bass, Mr. Duggan, was a slender young man
[4824]     with a scattered black moustache. He was the son of a hall porter
[4825]     in an office in the city and, as a boy, he had sung prolonged bass
[4826]     notes in the resounding hall. From this humble state he had raised
[4827]     himself until he had become a first-rate artiste. He had appeared in
[4828]     grand opera. One night, when an operatic artiste had fallen ill, he
[4829]     had undertaken the part of the king in the opera of Maritana at the
[4830]     Queen's Theatre. He sang his music with great feeling and volume
[4831]     and was warmly welcomed by the gallery; but, unfortunately, he
[4832]     marred the good impression by wiping his nose in his gloved hand
[4833]     once or twice out of thoughtlessness. He was unassuming and
[4834]     spoke little. He said yous so softly that it passed unnoticed and he
[4835]     never drank anything stronger than milk for his voice's sake. Mr.
[4836]     Bell, the second tenor, was a fair-haired little man who competed
[4837]     every year for prizes at the Feis Ceoil. On his fourth trial he had
[4838]     been awarded a bronze medal. He was extremely nervous and
[4839]     extremely jealous of other tenors and he covered his nervous
[4840]     jealousy with an ebullient friendliness. It was his humour to have
[4841]     people know what an ordeal a concert was to him. Therefore when
[4842]     he saw Mr. Duggan he went over to him and asked:
[4844]     "Are you in it too? "
[4846]     "Yes," said Mr. Duggan.
[4848]     Mr. Bell laughed at his fellow-sufferer, held out his hand and said:
[4850]     "Shake!"
[4852]     Mrs. Kearney passed by these two young men and went to the edge
[4853]     of the screen to view the house. The seats were being filled up
[4854]     rapidly and a pleasant noise circulated in the auditorium. She came
[4855]     back and spoke to her husband privately. Their conversation was
[4856]     evidently about Kathleen for they both glanced at her often as she
[4857]     stood chatting to one of her Nationalist friends, Miss Healy, the
[4858]     contralto. An unknown solitary woman with a pale face walked
[4859]     through the room. The women followed with keen eyes the faded
[4860]     blue dress which was stretched upon a meagre body. Someone said
[4861]     that she was Madam Glynn, the soprano.
[4863]     "I wonder where did they dig her up," said Kathleen to Miss Healy.
[4864]     "I'm sure I never heard of her."
[4866]     Miss Healy had to smile. Mr. Holohan limped into the
[4867]     dressing-room at that moment and the two young ladies asked him
[4868]     who was the unknown woman. Mr. Holohan said that she was
[4869]     Madam Glynn from London. Madam Glynn took her stand in a
[4870]     corner of the room, holding a roll of music stiffly before her and
[4871]     from time to time changing the direction of her startled gaze. The
[4872]     shadow took her faded dress into shelter but fell revengefully into
[4873]     the little cup behind her collar-bone. The noise of the hall became
[4874]     more audible. The first tenor and the baritone arrived together.
[4875]     They were both well dressed, stout and complacent and they
[4876]     brought a breath of opulence among the company.
[4878]     Mrs. Kearney brought her daughter over to them, and talked to
[4879]     them amiably. She wanted to be on good terms with them but,
[4880]     while she strove to be polite, her eyes followed Mr. Holohan in his
[4881]     limping and devious courses. As soon as she could she excused
[4882]     herself and went out after him.
[4884]     "Mr. Holohan, I want to speak to you for a moment," she said.
[4886]     They went down to a discreet part of the corridor. Mrs Kearney
[4887]     asked him when was her daughter going to be paid. Mr. Holohan
[4888]     said that Mr. Fitzpatrick had charge of that. Mrs. Kearney said that
[4889]     she didn't know anything about Mr. Fitzpatrick. Her daughter had
[4890]     signed a contract for eight guineas and she would have to be paid.
[4891]     Mr. Holohan said that it wasn't his business.
[4893]     "Why isn't it your business?" asked Mrs. Kearney. "Didn't you
[4894]     yourself bring her the contract? Anyway, if it's not your business
[4895]     it's my business and I mean to see to it."
[4897]     "You'd better speak to Mr. Fitzpatrick," said Mr. Holohan
[4898]     distantly.
[4900]     "I don't know anything about Mr. Fitzpatrick," repeated Mrs.
[4901]     Kearney. "I have my contract, and I intend to see that it is carried
[4902]     out."
[4904]     When she came back to the dressing-room her cheeks were slightly
[4905]     suffused. The room was lively. Two men in outdoor dress had
[4906]     taken possession of the fireplace and were chatting familiarly with
[4907]     Miss Healy and the baritone. They were the Freeman man and Mr.
[4908]     O'Madden Burke. The Freeman man had come in to say that he
[4909]     could not wait for the concert as he had to report the lecture which
[4910]     an American priest was giving in the Mansion House. He said they
[4911]     were to leave the report for him at the Freeman office and he
[4912]     would see that it went in. He was a grey-haired man, with a
[4913]     plausible voice and careful manners. He held an extinguished cigar
[4914]     in his hand and the aroma of cigar smoke floated near him. He had
[4915]     not intended to stay a moment because concerts and artistes bored
[4916]     him considerably but he remained leaning against the mantelpiece.
[4917]     Miss Healy stood in front of him, talking and laughing. He was old
[4918]     enough to suspect one reason for her politeness but young enough
[4919]     in spirit to turn the moment to account. The warmth, fragrance and
[4920]     colour of her body appealed to his senses. He was pleasantly
[4921]     conscious that the bosom which he saw rise and fall slowly
[4922]     beneath him rose and fell at that moment for him, that the laughter
[4923]     and fragrance and wilful glances were his tribute. When he could
[4924]     stay no longer he took leave of her regretfully.
[4926]     "O'Madden Burke will write the notice," he explained to Mr.
[4927]     Holohan, "and I'll see it in."
[4929]     "Thank you very much, Mr. Hendrick," said Mr. Holohan. you'll
[4930]     see it in, I know. Now, won't you have a little something before
[4931]     you go?"
[4933]     "I don't mind," said Mr. Hendrick.
[4935]     The two men went along some tortuous passages and up a dark
[4936]     staircase and came to a secluded room where one of the stewards
[4937]     was uncorking bottles for a few gentlemen. One of these
[4938]     gentlemen was Mr. O'Madden Burke, who had found out the room
[4939]     by instinct. He was a suave, elderly man who balanced his
[4940]     imposing body, when at rest, upon a large silk umbrella. His
[4941]     magniloquent western name was the moral umbrella upon which
[4942]     he balanced the fine problem of his finances. He was widely
[4943]     respected.
[4945]     While Mr. Holohan was entertaining the Freeman man Mrs.
[4946]     Kearney was speaking so animatedly to her husband that he had to
[4947]     ask her to lower her voice. The conversation of the others in the
[4948]     dressing-room had become strained. Mr. Bell, the first item, stood
[4949]     ready with his music but the accompanist made no sign. Evidently
[4950]     something was wrong. Mr. Kearney looked straight before him,
[4951]     stroking his beard, while Mrs. Kearney spoke into Kathleen's ear
[4952]     with subdued emphasis. From the hall came sounds of
[4953]     encouragement, clapping and stamping of feet. The first tenor and
[4954]     the baritone and Miss Healy stood together, waiting tranquilly, but
[4955]     Mr. Bell's nerves were greatly agitated because he was afraid the
[4956]     audience would think that he had come late.
[4958]     Mr. Holohan and Mr. O'Madden Burke came into the room In a
[4959]     moment Mr. Holohan perceived the hush. He went over to Mrs.
[4960]     Kearney and spoke with her earnestly. While they were speaking
[4961]     the noise in the hall grew louder. Mr. Holohan became very red
[4962]     and excited. He spoke volubly, but Mrs. Kearney said curtly at
[4963]     intervals:
[4965]     "She won't go on. She must get her eight guineas."
[4967]     Mr. Holohan pointed desperately towards the hall where the
[4968]     audience was clapping and stamping. He appealed to Mr Kearney
[4969]     and to Kathleen. But Mr. Kearney continued to stroke his beard
[4970]     and Kathleen looked down, moving the point of her new shoe: it
[4971]     was not her fault. Mrs. Kearney repeated:
[4973]     "She won't go on without her money."
[4975]     After a swift struggle of tongues Mr. Holohan hobbled out in haste.
[4976]     The room was silent. When the strain of the silence had become
[4977]     somewhat painful Miss Healy said to the baritone:
[4979]     "Have you seen Mrs. Pat Campbell this week?"
[4981]     The baritone had not seen her but he had been told that she was
[4982]     very fine. The conversation went no further. The first tenor bent
[4983]     his head and began to count the links of the gold chain which was
[4984]     extended across his waist, smiling and humming random notes to
[4985]     observe the effect on the frontal sinus. From time to time everyone
[4986]     glanced at Mrs. Kearney.
[4988]     The noise in the auditorium had risen to a clamour when Mr.
[4989]     Fitzpatrick burst into the room, followed by Mr. Holohan who was
[4990]     panting. The clapping and stamping in the hall were punctuated by
[4991]     whistling. Mr. Fitzpatrick held a few banknotes in his hand. He
[4992]     counted out four into Mrs. Kearney's hand and said she would get
[4993]     the other half at the interval. Mrs. Kearney said:
[4995]     "This is four shillings short."
[4997]     But Kathleen gathered in her skirt and said: "Now. Mr. Bell," to
[4998]     the first item, who was shaking like an aspen. The singer and the
[4999]     accompanist went out together. The noise in hall died away. There
[5000]     was a pause of a few seconds: and then the piano was heard.
[5002]     The first part of the concert was very successful except for Madam
[5003]     Glynn's item. The poor lady sang Killarney in a bodiless gasping
[5004]     voice, with all the old-fashioned mannerisms of intonation and
[5005]     pronunciation which she believed lent elegance to her singing. She
[5006]     looked as if she had been resurrected from an old stage-wardrobe
[5007]     and the cheaper parts of the hall made fun of her high wailing
[5008]     notes. The first tenor and the contralto, however, brought down the
[5009]     house. Kathleen played a selection of Irish airs which was
[5010]     generously applauded. The first part closed with a stirring patriotic
[5011]     recitation delivered by a young lady who arranged amateur
[5012]     theatricals. It was deservedly applauded; and, when it was ended,
[5013]     the men went out for the interval, content.
[5015]     All this time the dressing-room was a hive of excitement. In one
[5016]     corner were Mr. Holohan, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Miss Beirne, two of the
[5017]     stewards, the baritone, the bass, and Mr. O'Madden Burke. Mr.
[5018]     O'Madden Burke said it was the most scandalous exhibition he had
[5019]     ever witnessed. Miss Kathleen Kearney's musical career was ended
[5020]     in Dublin after that, he said. The baritone was asked what did he
[5021]     think of Mrs. Kearney's conduct. He did not like to say anything.
[5022]     He had been paid his money and wished to be at peace with men.
[5023]     However, he said that Mrs. Kearney might have taken the artistes
[5024]     into consideration. The stewards and the secretaries debated hotly
[5025]     as to what should be done when the interval came.
[5027]     "I agree with Miss Beirne," said Mr. O'Madden Burke. "Pay her
[5028]     nothing."
[5030]     In another corner of the room were Mrs. Kearney and he: husband,
[5031]     Mr. Bell, Miss Healy and the young lady who had to recite the
[5032]     patriotic piece. Mrs. Kearney said that the Committee had treated
[5033]     her scandalously. She had spared neither trouble nor expense and
[5034]     this was how she was repaid.
[5036]     They thought they had only a girl to deal with and that therefore,
[5037]     they could ride roughshod over her. But she would show them
[5038]     their mistake. They wouldn't have dared to have treated her like
[5039]     that if she had been a man. But she would see that her daughter got
[5040]     her rights: she wouldn't be fooled. If they didn't pay her to the last
[5041]     farthing she would make Dublin ring. Of course she was sorry for
[5042]     the sake of the artistes. But what else could she do? She appealed
[5043]     to the second tenor who said he thought she had not been well
[5044]     treated. Then she appealed to Miss Healy. Miss Healy wanted to
[5045]     join the other group but she did not like to do so because she was a
[5046]     great friend of Kathleen's and the Kearneys had often invited her to
[5047]     their house.
[5049]     As soon as the first part was ended Mr. Fitzpatrick and Mr.
[5050]     Holohan went over to Mrs. Kearney and told her that the other four
[5051]     guineas would be paid after the committee meeting on the
[5052]     following Tuesday and that, in case her daughter did not play for
[5053]     the second part, the committee would consider the contract broken
[5054]     and would pay nothing.
[5056]     "I haven't seen any committee," said Mrs. Kearney angrily. "My
[5057]     daughter has her contract. She will get four pounds eight into her
[5058]     hand or a foot she won't put on that platform."
[5060]     "I'm surprised at you, Mrs. Kearney," said Mr. Holohan. "I never
[5061]     thought you would treat us this way."
[5063]     "And what way did you treat me?" asked Mrs. Kearney.
[5065]     Her face was inundated with an angry colour and she looked as if
[5066]     she would attack someone with her hands.
[5068]     "I'm asking for my rights." she said.
[5070]     You might have some sense of decency," said Mr. Holohan.
[5072]     "Might I, indeed?... And when I ask when my daughter is going to
[5073]     be paid I can't get a civil answer."
[5075]     She tossed her head and assumed a haughty voice:
[5077]     "You must speak to the secretary. It's not my business. I'm a great
[5078]     fellow fol-the-diddle-I-do."
[5080]     "I thought you were a lady," said Mr. Holohan, walking away from
[5081]     her abruptly.
[5083]     After that Mrs. Kearney's conduct was condemned on all hands:
[5084]     everyone approved of what the committee had done. She stood at
[5085]     the door, haggard with rage, arguing with her husband and
[5086]     daughter, gesticulating with them. She waited until it was time for
[5087]     the second part to begin in the hope that the secretaries would
[5088]     approach her. But Miss Healy had kindly consented to play one or
[5089]     two accompaniments. Mrs. Kearney had to stand aside to allow the
[5090]     baritone and his accompanist to pass up to the platform. She stood
[5091]     still for an instant like an angry stone image and, when the first
[5092]     notes of the song struck her ear, she caught up her daughter's cloak
[5093]     and said to her husband:
[5095]     "Get a cab!"
[5097]     He went out at once. Mrs. Kearney wrapped the cloak round her
[5098]     daughter and followed him. As she passed through the doorway
[5099]     she stopped and glared into Mr. Holohan's face.
[5101]     "I'm not done with you yet," she said.
[5103]     "But I'm done with you," said Mr. Holohan.
[5105]     Kathleen followed her mother meekly. Mr. Holohan began to pace
[5106]     up and down the room, in order to cool himself for he his skin on
[5107]     fire.
[5109]     "That's a nice lady!" he said. "O, she's a nice lady!"
[5111]     You did the proper thing, Holohan," said Mr. O'Madden Burke,
[5112]     poised upon his umbrella in approval.