By Edith Somerville and Violet Ross
"...made me feel as if I were being skillfully kicked downstairs." / Illustration by Edith Somerville
This week's Bonus article, free to all (no subscription necessary), finds Major Sinclair Yeates, R.M. (Resident Magistrate) posted to Ireland by the British Crown with the authority to adjudicate local disputes. He rents a house, Shreelane, for himself and his wife-to-be, Philippa, from Mr. Flurry Knox, Master of the local pack of foxhounds.
No one can accuse Philippa and me of having married in haste. As a matter of fact, it was but little under five years from that autumn evening on the river when I had said what is called in Ireland "the hard word," to the day in August when I was led to the altar by my best man, and was subsequently led away from it by Mrs. Sinclair Yeates. About two years out of the five had been spent by me at Shreelane in ceaseless warfare with drains, eaveshoots, chimneys, pumps; all those fundamentals, in short, that the ingenuous and improving tenant expects to find established as a basis from which to rise to higher things. As far as rising to higher things went, frequent ascents to the roof to search for leaks summed up my achievements; in fact, I suffered so general a shrinkage of my ideals that the triumph of making the hall-door bell ring blinded me to the fact that the rat-holes in the hall floor were nailed up with pieces of tin biscuit boxes, and that the casual visitor could, instead of leaving a card, have easily written his name in the damp on the walls.