Having been most cordially granted permission to republish these letters in a collected form, it is my duty to mention that my mission from the Daily News was absolutely unfettered, either by instructions or introductions. It was thought that an independent and impartial account of the present condition of the disturbed districts of Ireland would be best secured by sending thither a writer without either Irish politics or Irish friends—in short, one who might occupy the stand-point of the too-often-quoted ''intelligent foreigner.'' Hence my little book is purely descriptive of the stirring scenes and deeply interesting people I have met with on my way through the counties of Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork, and Kerry. It is neither a political treatise, nor a dissertation on the tenure of land, but a plain record of my experience of a strange phase of national life. I have simply endeavoured to reflect as accurately as might be the salient features of a social and economic upheaval, soon I fervently hope, to pass into the domain of history; and in offering my work to the public must ask indulgence for the errors of omission and commission so difficult to avoid while travelling and writing rapidly in a country which, even to its own people, is a complex problem.
whose movements the country side would probably be well informed. But nobody knew anything at all about him. He might be at the Curragh, or he might be in Dublin, and then would, one informant thought, slip over to England and get out of the trouble, if he were wise. In one of the larger stores I saw that the mention of his name drew every eye upon me, and that the bystanders were greatly exercised as to my identity and my business. In this part of the country everybody knows everybody, and a stranger asking for a proscribed man excited native curiosity to a maddening pitch. Presently I was taken aside, led round a corner, and there told that most assuredly the man I sought had not come home from Dublin viâ Claremorris. Having a map of the county with me, I naturally suggested that he might have reached Lough Mask by way of Tuam, and, moreover, that, having a shrewd notion he would be shot at when occasion served, he would most likely try to get home by an unusual route on which he would hardl
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