Walk to Roundstone

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIV (3) | Start of Chapter

I determined, if possible, to see Roundstone that day, a walk of ten miles. Walked a few miles, when a little boy of ten years old came up with a staff, and was a pleasant companion, telling me many wonders of the wild barren country. Passing a pile of stones, he paused, and I walked on a few paces; he seemed fixed to the spot. I said, "it is a wild place, boy." "A dreadful place it has been, ma'am, for robbers. There is one buried under that pile of stones there, who lived about here, and stayed on that island in the lake you see back there; it was long they watched him, and at last one night they killed him, and put him under that pile of stones." I inquired after reaching the town, and was told that the story was true; that before Father Mathew had been there, Connemara was infested by robbers. I asked the boy to read; he did so intelligibly, and answered every question from the second of Matthew, respecting the birth of the Saviour, correctly. "And what," I asked, "is to become of this world?" "The great Judge will come and burn it up," was the answer. He was ready in the Scriptures, though he had been trained in the Catholic church.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.