Mary started up against the brother, and wasn't it a shame for him, she said, to be scandalising her with his talk, and wouldn't it be fitter for him to have some respect for his only sister. The other brothers helped this one now, and the end of the whole matter was that before they left the public-house the match was made between John Garvey and Mary.
"Follow my advice, Mary," said the eldest brother; "go straight to the priest's house and be married offhand: sure there's no good in waiting."
"Wouldn't it be a shame before all the neighbours for me to marry on the day of my first husband's funeral?"
"Sure the neighbours needn't know that you are married. Let them think that John is in service with you."
"The priest wouldn't marry us," said Mary, "if we asked him."
"Believe me, he'll marry you if you pay him well," said the brother.
Whether in her heart Mary was willing or not, no one knew, but she consented. "Have no fear," said the brothers; "no one will know anything of the marriage but the priest and ourselves."
They went to the priest's house, and when all were inside, the servant-girl went up to the priest and said that Mrs. Foley was below in the kitchen. The priest came. He said he was very sorry for her loss, and asked what could he do for her? what was it brought her?
"Oh, father," said she, "I am in a very bad way as I am. Every one will be striving to rob me, and nobody to do my work. My brothers tell me that if I'1l be said by them I'll marry, and I'm thinking to follow their advice, and it's that that brought me."
"Oh, you villain of a woman, to marry a second time on the day of your first husband's funeral!"
"Don't blame me, father," said Mary; "maybe you'd have another mind from what you have if you were in my place. Sure no one need be the wiser. Marry me to this man here, John Garvey, and I'll give you three pounds."
"I will not take it from you," said the priest.
"Well, father, I'll give you all the money I have in my pocket: I'll give you five pounds."
"I'll not marry you," said the priest.
With that, one of the brothers took Mary aside and said: "Say that you'll give him the big pig you have as well as the money."
"Well, father," said Mary, "with the five pounds I'll give you a fat pig that'll keep you in bacon for a twelvemonth."
Now one of the brothers spoke up: "There is no need of publishing the marriage at present. People will think that John Garvey is in service with my sister."
The priest wanted to refuse, and was opening his mouth, but the first word wasn't out when the curate took him aside and said:
"Why not marry the poor woman? Marry her. No one will be the worse for it, and no one the wiser; and, besides, you'll have a supply of fine bacon."
The priest consented at last. One of the brothers and the priest's own servant-girl were the witnesses, and nobody knew a word of what happened. Mary Foley that was - she was Mary Garvey now - paid the five pounds, left good health with the priest, and was thankful to him. Herself and her new husband went home and the brothers went to their own houses. There was no one before the young couple but the servant-girl and Tom Foley's mother. The old woman was surprised when she saw John Garvey, and wondered what brought him on the evening of Tom's funeral.
Mary sent the servant-girl about a mile away on an errand, and when the girl was gone she turned to Garvey and said:
"Well, John, bring your sister to-morrow to work for me, and I'll not delay you any longer."
With that John turned away and Mary went with Foley's mother to an outhouse. While they were gone, Garvey went back, walked into his wife's room, shut the door, and stopped inside. After a time the servant girl came home and went to bed in her own place, and the poor old mother was left alone at the hearth, lamenting and mourning for her son dead and buried.
When the light was out and all was still and quiet, about ten o'clock, Tom Foley came home, after burying his brother. He tried to open the door. It was bolted; he knocked. The mother went to the door, and when she heard Tom's voice she was frightened and asked what was troubling his soul, to say that he'd come back from the other world after being buried that day.
"Oh, mother," said Foley, "open the door and leave me in."
"I will not," said the mother. "You cannot come in, my son; but tell me what is troubling your soul. I'll have Masses said for you and give alms."
Foley was very tired after the journey, and couldn't stop at the door any longer. He went to the barn; there was a large heap of straw in one end of it, and four or five pigs with the big pig at the other end. Foley lay down in the straw and soon he was asleep.
During the evening the parish priest began to be in dread that the woman might change her mind; now that she was married she might put the pig aside and he'd be left without his bacon. So he called his servant-boy and told him to bring the big pig from Mrs. Foley's.
The boy took a whip and went to Tom's house for the pig. He knew well where was the barn and where was the pig. When he came to the barn he went in and stirred up the pigs; they began to screech and make a great noise. The big pig being so bulky and strong, wouldn't go out, and Foley woke up with the screeching. He looked around to know what was troubling the pigs, and saw the boy striving to take the big one away with him. Tom was in very bad humour, so he made after the boy and gave him a good blow in the back with a wattle, and asked, is it stealing he was at that hour of the night?