How much of the story of Mary O'Neill is a work of my own imagination, and how much comes from an authentic source I do not consider it necessary to say. But as I have in this instance drawn more largely and directly from fact than is usually the practice of the novelist, I have thought it my duty to defeat all possible attempts at personal identification by altering and disguising the more important scenes and characters. Therefore this novel is not to be understood as referring to any living person or persons, and the convent school described in it is not to be identified with any similar educational institution in Rome
es the clashing of the rain against the window-panes was like the wash of billows over the port-holes of a ship at sea.
"Pity for the poor folk with their fireworks," said Father Dan.
"They'll eat their suppers for all that," said my father.
It was now dark, but my father would not allow the lamps to be lighted. There was therefore no light in his gaunt room except a sullen glow from the fire of peat and logs. Sometimes, in a momentary lull of the storm, an intermittent moan would come from the room above, followed by a dull hum of voices.
"Guess it can't be long now," my father would say.
"Praise the Lord," Father Dan would answer.
By seven the storm was at its height. The roaring of the wind in the wide chimney was as loud as thunder. Save for this the thunderous noise of the sea served to drown all sounds on the land. Nevertheless, in the midst of the clamour a loud rapping was heard at the front door. One of the maid-servants would have answered it, but my father