coming, and Mr Kilkelly and Kathleen Kearney. It would be splendid for Gretta too if she'd come. She's from Connacht, isn't she?'
`Her people are,' said Gabriel shortly.
`But you will come, won't you?' said Miss Ivors, laying her warm hand eagerly on his arm.
`The fact is,' said Gabriel, `I have just arranged to go—'
`Go where?' asked Miss Ivors.
`Well, you know, every year I go for a cycling tour with some fellows and so—'
`But where?' asked Miss Ivors.
`Well, we usually go to France or Belgium or perhaps Germany,' said Gabriel awkwardly.
`And why do you go to France and Belgium,' said Miss Ivors, `instead of visiting your own land?'
`Well,' said Gabriel, `it's partly to keep in touch with the languages and partly for a change.'
`And haven't you your own language to keep in touch with — Irish?' asked Miss Ivors.
`Well,' said Gabriel, `if it comes to that, you know, Irish is not my language.'
Their neighbours had turned to listen to the cross-examination. Gabriel glanced right and left nervously and tried to keep his good humour under the ordeal, which was making a blush invade his forehead.
`And haven't you your own land to visit,' continued Miss Ivors, `that you know nothing of, your own people, and your own country?'
`O, to tell you the truth,' retorted Gabriel suddenly, `I'm sick of my own country, sick of it!'
`Why?' asked Miss Ivors.
Gabriel did not answer, for his retort had heated him.
`Why?' repeated Miss Ivors.
They had to go visiting together and, as he had not answered her, Miss Ivors said warmly: