Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, British Fiction Series)
At age seventeen, Charles O’Malley was tall and broad-shouldered, deadly with a gun and sure in the saddle. He possessed in abundance the qualities of generosity and honor expected of Godfrey O’Malley’s nephew. Godfrey, of O’Malley Castle, Galway, was still a good man on a horse and quick to pass the bottle. In his ruined old castle hard by the River Shannon, he held the staunch affections of his tenants.
Old Godfrey was standing for election to the Irish Parliament. Unable to leave home during the election campaign, he sent Charles to the home of a distant cousin named Blake to ask his support in the coming election. Blake, however, belonged to the opposition, and although Charles did his best to win help for his uncle, he hardly knew how to handle the situation.
Part of the trouble was Lucy Dashwood. She and her father were visiting Blake while the General tried to buy some good Galway property. Charles was jealous of the General’s aide, Captain Hammersley, who was attentive to Lucy. At a fox hunt, Charles led the way at first, but Hammersley kept up with him. Charles’s horse fell backward in jumping a wall. With cool daring, Charles kept on and took a ditch bordered by a stone rampart. Hammersley, not to be outdone, took the ditch too but fell heavily. Charles was first at the kill, but both he and Hammersley had to spend several days in bed.
One night at dinner, one of the guests spoke insultingly of Godfrey...
(The entire section is 1084 words.)
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