The Story of Bawn

Katharine Tynan
The Story of Bawn

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Title: The Story of Bawn
Author: Katharine Tynan
Release Date: February 17, 2006 [EBook #17784]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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Published March 2, 1907
Printed in Great Britain
I. Myself 1 II. The Ghosts 7 III. The Creamery 16 IV. Richard Dawson
24 V. The Nurse 33 VI. One Side of a Story 42 VII. Old, Unhappy,
Far-off Things 50 VIII. The Stile in the Wood 55 IX. A Rough Lover
63 X. The Trap 70 XI. The Friend 78 XII. The Enemy 86 XIII.
Enlightenment 93 XIV. The Miniature 102 XV. The Empty House 108
XVI. The Portrait 116 XVII. The Will of Others 122 XVIII. Flight 129
XIX. The Crying in the Night 137 XX. An Eavesdropper 144 XXI. The
New Maid 152 XXII. The Dinner-party 160 XXIII. The Bargain 167
XXIV. The Blow Falls 175 XXV. The Lover 183 XXVI. The Tribunal
191 XXVII. Brosna 199 XXVIII. The Quick and the Dead 207 XXIX.
The Sickness 215 XXX. The Dark Days 223 XXXI. The
Wedding-dress 231 XXXII. The New Home 239 XXXIII. The End of It
249 XXXIV. The Knocking at the Door 257 XXXV. The Messenger
266 XXXVI. The Old Lovers 275 XXXVII. The Judgment of God 283
XXXVIII. Confession 289 XXXIX. The Bridegroom Comes 299 XL.
King Cophetua 307


I am Bawn Devereux, and I have lived as long as I remember at
Aghadoe Abbey with my grandfather and grandmother, the Lord and
Lady St. Leger.
At one time we were a family of five. There was my Uncle Luke, and
there was my cousin Theobald.
Theobald was my boy cousin, and we played together up and down the
long corridors in winter, and in the darkness of the underground
passage, in summer in the woods and shrubberies and gardens, and we
were happy together.
I was eager to please Theobald, and I put away from me my natural
shrinkings from things he did not mind, lest he should despise me and
be dissatisfied with me, longing for a boy's company. I would do all he
did, and I must have been a famous tomboy. But my reward was that he
never seemed to desire other company than mine.
Once, indeed, I remember that when he handed me live bait to put upon
the hook I turned suddenly pale and burst into tears.
When I had done it I looked at him apprehensively, dreading to see his
contempt written in his face, but there was no such thing. There was
instead the dawn of a new feeling. My cousin's face wore such an
expression as I had never seen in it before. He was at this time a tall
boy of fifteen, and Bridget Connor, my grandmother's maid, was
making me my first long frock.
He looked at me with that strange expression, and he said, "Poor little
It was the beginning of the new order of things in which I fagged for
him no more, but was spared the labours and fatigues I had endured
cheerfully during our early years. Indeed, I often wonder now at the
things I did for him, such things as the feminine nature turns from with
horror, although they seem to come naturally enough to a boy.
That day I heard my grandfather and grandmother discussing me.

Theobald was playing in a cricket match in the neighbourhood, and I
was at home, reading in one of the recesses of the library. The book
was Thackeray's "Henry Esmond," and I was so lost in the romance and
tenderness of it--I was at that chapter where Harry returns bringing his
sheaves with him--that I did not notice what they were saying till my
own name caught my ears.
I remember that the afternoon had come on wet, and that while I read
the wet branches of the lilac beat against the leaded window. I could
see the flowers through an open pane, and smell their delightful
perfume. There was an apple tree in view, too, with all its blossoms
hanging in pink limpness.
I had forgotten my grandfather and grandmother sitting
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