Glenties to Carrick

Samuel Gamble Bayne
Glenties to Carrick

IN some Irish hotels they set apart a room for the drummers to write and eat in, at lower prices than the public tariff, and this is as sacred ground as a Hindoo temple; for an ordinary personage to desecrate it by his presence is simply an unpardonable crime and is resented by the drummers accordingly. The doors are not always marked, and so it happened that I innocently wandered into this "reserved" room in the O'Donnell Hotel at Glenties and began to write a letter. I had hardly got as far as "Dear Sir," when the intrusion was noticed and promptly reported to the proprietor, who came in and apologetically asked me, "What line are ye in, sur?" to which I promptly responded, "Selling Power's Irish whiskey." He reported my vocation to "the committee," all were satisfied and I was allowed to finish my letter. Afterwards Mr. O'Donnell came to me and said with a wink: "It's all right, Mr. Bayne; your bluff went through with the boys, but 'tis my private opinion that ye're buyin' more whiskey than ye're sellin'."

Next morning when the sun rose we were off for Carrick, a scenery and ruin centre, the forts, etc., dating back to the sixth century. This was a favorite resort of Sir Frederick Leighton, the artist, who frequently spent his summers there. We took a noon rest at Ardara and then pushed on to complete our twenty-eight miles.

Before reaching Carrick we traversed the Glengesh Pass, a deep and beautiful ravine, " with verdure clad," the hills on both sides rising one thousand six hundred and fifty feet above sea level, their slopes ornamented with many water-falls, all joining to make up a brawling stream which rushed headlong down the valley. Altogether the place was a most charming one.

The pass was four miles long, and poor Bob could not make it with the load, so we got off and climbed the road on foot, while he fed and followed us with the empty car up the steep incline. We nursed him into Carrick, but he had to have a rest, and after getting it his owner drove him home. And so we parted with John, our worthy Jehu, and his good nag, Bob, both of whom had helped us well along on our pilgrimage.

As we were approaching Glengesh, we met a young Donegal girl on the road. She was dressed in black serge, and, although her feet were bare, her figure was erect and her carriage very graceful. She swung along the road with charming abandon, and might have shone at a "drawing-room" in Dublin Castle, the embodiment, the quintessence of unconscious grace.

Read "On an Irish Jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara" at your leisure

On an Irish jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara

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Samuel Gamble Bayne was born in Ramelton, County Donegal, and educated at Queen's University in Belfast. At the age of twenty-five he left for America with a view to making his fortune. He invested in an oil well in Pennsylvania and later founded a bank which subsequently came to be the JP Morgan Chase bank in New York. By the time this book was written he was wealthy enough to be referred to as a billionaire. His account of the tour through the north, west and south of Ireland is a pleasant snapshot of how that part of the country was in the early part of the 20th century. He describes what is to be seen, gives some background history and, through the illustrations especially, provides wonderful glimpses of the area's social history.

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