as Dominic gathered from the perusal of those old letters, to whom the end so justified the means that red-handed crime took on the fair colours of virtue, his mother had loved, even while she feared him, with all the faithfulness and pure passion of her Irish blood. Pathetic combination, the patience and resignation of the one ever striving to temper the flaming zeal of the other, as though the spindrift of the Atlantic, sweeping inland from the dim sadness of far western coasts, should strive with relentless fierceness of sunglare outpoured on some high-lying walled city of arid central Spain! Mist is but a weak thing as against rock and fire; and what his mother must have suffered in moral and spiritual conflict, let alone all question of active dread, was to her son almost too cruel to contemplate, although it explained and justified much.
In 1860, when Dominic was a schoolboy of fourteen, his father left home on one of those sudden journeys the object and objective of which were alike concealed.
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