The Story of Bawn

Katharine Tynan

The Story of Bawn

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Story of Bawn, by Katharine Tynan This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
Title: The Story of Bawn
Author: Katharine Tynan
Release Date: February 17, 2006 [EBook #17784]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Roger Frank and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

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 Bawn!"
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 by the library fire, within the hooded settle that made the fireside like a little room; and they had forgotten my presence, if indeed they had known of it.
"Bawn is the very moral of
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