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ARREARS PAID UP.
As may be supposed, when the farmers awoke and found that they had been out-manoeuvred, they were very wrathful. A large and threatening crowd assembled, and there was some attempt at disorder; but it was seen that the force was overpowering, and that there was nothing to do but to accept the situation. Within half an hour all the farmers whose cattle had been seized had paid up their rent and costs in full, and were sullenly driving their cattle home. More work had, however, to be done before breakfast; so sending half the force to make things comfortable at Massy Lodge, where we intended to take up our quarters, we proceeded with the other to a farm a couple of miles farther on. On reaching it, the cattle could be seen half a mile away, being driven up the side of the mountain by several men. The sheriff gave chase; but as I could see the cattle against the skyline disappearing over the mountain-top, and as the men were unable to follow over such rough country, he returned to the farmhouse.
A FURIOUS FARMER.
He said he would seize the man's furniture, &c, if it was possible to carry it away in an army service - waggon. I informed him he should have every facility from me in carrying out the law, so a waggon was brought into the yard and backed against the hall-door. The bailiffs at once commenced loading it with everything found in the house. Tables, boxes, teapots, kettles, and every variety of article were indiscriminately packed on the waggon. The farmer became furious. He walked up and down in a passion, roundly abusing the sheriff. The man particularly wanted one of his boxes not to be distrained, as in it, he urged, were his clothes, "of no use to any one but himself." The sheriff, however, was obdurate. The farmer at last, in a fresh outburst of rage, called to the sheriff, stamping his foot and saying, "Til pay." He still, notwithstanding, asked for the box to be taken off the waggon and put back in the house. The sheriff would not consent. At last the farmer got up on the waggon, opened SUCCESSFUL COLLECTION. 167
the box, and, amidst general loud laughter, produced a roll of bank-notes from the bottom of the trunk, and handed over to the sheriff the £56 he owed in rent, with costs to the amount of about £17. We remained for six days at Massy Lodge, keeping ourselves in communication with the rest of the district by a line of post-cars we established with Kilfinane. Day after day the same work went on, until by the end of the week I should think the agent had recovered through the sheriff about as much money as he could well carry. In one instance only did he fail to realise, and in this case the owner of the farm had flitted, taking with him his goods, flocks and herds, wife and family. No one seemed to know where he had gone to. After each day's work was over we dined, and then sat out in front of the lodge, where the men lit a huge bonfire, and around which they amused themselves by singing songs, &c, always finishing up each night's performance with "God save the Queen," sung by the whole strength 168
SECRET PAYMENT OF RENT.
of the company! The strains of the National Anthem echoed each night from hill to hill, and must have been heard for miles across the valley. At sunset all proper precautions were taken, pickets and sentries being posted. On the day we returned to Kilfinane my attention on the march was attracted by the fact of the column halting. I saw Mr Townsend, with some police, crossing a field to a farmhouse, with a large sheet of paper in his hand, which he was flourishing about. On the agent rejoining the column, I inquired from him his object, and he informed me that the man had a little while ago paid his rent secretly, but had begged that one day—when the troops and police were passing—the form of serving him with a writ might be gone through, in order to save him from the wrath of the Land League. And this was "constitutional agitation"!
RELEASE OF FATHER SHEEHY. 169
RESTORATION OF ORDER IN DISTRICT — RELEASE OF FATHER SHEEHY AND SUSPECTS—REASONS FOR RELEASE—RETURN OF FATHER SHEEHY TO KILMALLOCK — SERIOUS RIOT— TREACHERY IN THE POST-OFFICE—DEPARTURE OF FATHER SHEEHY—HIS SPEECH AT KILMALLOCK—KEASONS FOR HIS DEPARTURE.
Towards the end of September, considering that the power of the law had been sufficiently established to enable me to retain the reins of power, it seemed to me desirable that I should at once recommend the Government to release Father Sheehy and the rest of the "suspects" from Kilmallock and Kilfinane. I hope it will be remarked that the Government had only exercised the powers given to it under the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act to a limited degree in my district. A hostile and upstart government had been found in power. It was evident that in other parts