victorious old heathen who had walked off with my luggage the price of a
car, partly for his bravery and partly for his impudence. The approach
to Castlebar from the station, about a mile, is bounded on one side by
Lord Lucan's demesne, shut in behind a high wall, over which the tall
trees wave their arms at you. Another domain, Spencer Park, I think, is
on the other side, and as it is only shut in by a hedge, one gets
delicious peeps at it as one goes along.
Went, with my new acquaintance, who got leave and put on plain clothes
for the occasion, to the small Presbyterian Church in Castlebar. There
were about a dozen present. Presbyterianism does not, as a rule,
flourish in Mayo, though there are a good many small congregations and
many mission schools.
My friend of "the force" got leave of absence for a day and having got
into plain clothes drove with me to Pontoon Bridge between Lough Conn
and Lough Cullin. As we passed the poor-house he told me of the awful
crush that took place round its doors, where the relief was served
during the scarcity. The press and struggle of the hungry creatures were
so dreadful that no serving could be attempted for some days.