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Six years have come and gone since that September evening, and our little twelve-year-old Grania has grown into a tall, broad-chested maiden, vigorous as a frond of bracken in that fostering Atlantic air, so cruel to weaklings, so friendly to those who are already by nature strong. Other changes have followed of a less benignant character. Con O’Malley is dead. Sundry causes, but chiefly, alas! whisky, have made an end of the stout master of the hooker, and in consequence that good ship has{100} had to be sold, and Inishmaan has been left hookerless. Honor O’Malley, always delicate, had become a confirmed invalid, had not for many months left her own dusky corner of the cabin, nay, was only too likely before long to change it for a yet duskier abode. The Shan Dalys?— 충청도오피 well, there is not much to say about the Shan Dalys. Shan himself had grown even a more confirmed vagrant than before. He lived no one knew how, or where, for he was given to disappearing from Inishmaan for a week or more at a time, reappearing more ragged, if possible, than usual, with bloodshot eyes, tangled beard, and all the signs of having slept in holes or under the banks of ditches, a vagrant upon the face of the earth. The poor wife was, if anything, more of a moving skeleton than when we saw her last. Of the many children born to them only two survived, Phelim and a little girl of five. Happy for{101} the rest that fate had been pitiful, for in any less kindly country those left would literally have starved. Phelim was supported almost wholly by the O’Malley sisters, and not a day in the week passed without his coming, as a matter of course, to share their rations.

To turn to a more cheerful subject. Murdough Blake had grown up, as he had promised to do, into a tall, active, lissom young fellow. In his archaic clothes of yellowish flannel, spun, woven, bleached, made upon the island, in the cow’s skin pampooties which give every Aranite his peculiarly shuffling and at the same time swinging step, he ought to have rejoiced the inmost heart of a painter, had a painter ever thought of going to the Aran isles in search of subjects, a ridiculous supposition, for who would dream of doing so? He was anything but satisfied, however, with his own clothes, his own standing, his own prospects in life, or, for that{102} matter, with anything else about him, excepting with young Murdough Blake himself, who was clearly too exceptional a person to be wasted upon such a spot as Inishmaan.