In This Issue
Explore the February 1945 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
SUMMARY. — This is the story of three generations of an Irish family. In the small, crumbling village of Castlerampart, the most prominent man is Theodore Coniffe, the village landlord. He is as penny-pinching as his wife Katherine is vain. Their two daughters, Theresa and Sara, grow up to be young ladies of property, if not of good looks. While they are still in their teens, Katherine dies in giving birth to her third daughter, Lily. The older girls assume the responsibility of Lily’s upbringing and she becomes the timid Cinderella of the household. She is sixteen years younger than Theresa, and the bossing she receives from her oldest sister threatens to drain the youth from Lily’s not very robust character.
The household is upset when a young lawyer appears in the village. Old Theodore sees in Cornelius Galloway a potential son-in-law. Cornelius divides his attention between Theresa and Sara, but on an enchanted evening it is to Lily, the sixteen-year-old, that he proposes. After their honeymoon, the newlyweds drive home in their new coach (bought at Theodore’s expense), an extravagance which at first nettles and then tickles the old man. Cornelius is a spender. He buys a spirited mare and rides to hounds with the local gentry. He starts to build a new house outside town, but his career is cut short when, in the fifth month of his marriage, he is killed in the hunting field.