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The Rising of the Moon:The untold story of the Irish potato famine PT 3

We left at dusk; the four of us traveling into the deep of the night. Struggling up the series of dales, and hills until we came to a lone cottage that looked like a good storm would blow it over, and looked like it was uninhibited for many years. A tall man with blue-grey eyes welcomed us cautiously, knowing we were safe with our simple traditional garb. “Come, welcome! Ah, look we have lass in our ranks!” Heads turned immediately in my general direction. “What are you all staring at?” I asked contemptuously. “I suppose you’ve seen a girl before.” Receiving a few laughs, but the speaker’s face remained firm. “Lass, this is of incredible importance; the Campbells as well as the others up north, have been pushing people off the land. Scores upon scores are leavin’!” “Aye they shouldn’t be here! This is our Eire, our Ireland!” a younger man declared with curly unkempt hair. “Then shouldn’t we teach them a lesson, lads?” I queried and the scruffy man turned toward me. “And what lesson do you propose exactly, O’Callahan?” he had a conspiring look in his eyes, and a devious grin spreading across his dimples. I walked over to him, so we stood face to face and only a few footsteps apart. “A bloody one, that’ll drive their red coated arses all the way back to their bothersome Queen herself!” In return, I received a roar of thunderous applause. “And what might your name be?” “Fianna, sir. May I inquire yours?” “Conor O’Brien. Do you know how to shoot?” I was startled by his straightforwardness of his question. “Yes, I assure you.” We had learned to when we were younger. “Well, Fianna we will have to fight soon up at the Ulster Castle, their big stronghold.” “I had a feeling, how many are you there? Of us, I mean.” Conor paused noticeably. “Fifty. Might even be a hundred if we convinced those up north.”
“And if they find us?” Conor gave a grave look that I was becoming well accustomed to from all over Donegal. “Death to us all. We will be completely taken off the land, and they’ll clear it, most definitely. It is for certain that out odds are very miniscule.” I tried my hardest to comprehend the consequences of myself as well as my family. “Someone must, Conor. If we did not, then Ireland would truly be lost, and she can never be lost as long as there are people like you and I and the rest of them us willing to fight that battle for her.” “I look forward to fighting with you.”Conor said earnestly, raising his glass. “For Ireland and all her children!” As the men drank their beer, a mere boy of 12, Emerged out of breathe calling for Mr. Connolly. “A riot broke out in the town square! People are going outright mad!” “Are the Brits in the square as well?” he inquired tepidly. “Yes sir, several redcoats were—“
He turned to Pa timidly. “Mr. Campbell came by your home, inquiring about the rent, sir.” Pa’s face burned indignantly placing a firm hand on Seamus’s shoulder. “Did he now?” he asked nonchalantly, he nodded at me and Kevin as we began out the door without a moment to lose, his face ruddy with frustration his hand grasping the skin off of Seamus’s shoulder as we kept going. Arriving through the door, I saw Mr. Campbell patiently awaiting us in the kitchen, with his ever present uptight frown contorting his face. “Ah, Mr. O’Callahan. How are you faring this evening?” Pa watched him agonizingly. “The rent is due in two weeks and that has been clear,” he accentuated curtly, leaning over the table. “Angus, that time has been absolved. The rent is due on Sunday. If you do not have it, I’ll have to take your land.” Striding out the door into the night as soon as he came. Pa spat at his receding figure. “That two faced British arse! How dare him!” He clutched his fist, his face looking abnormally older. Ma tried to speak soothing words, but all was forgotten when he burst through the cottage door. “It was ours, first, you bleeding hearted coward!” He yelled after him and sank to the earth, embracing our wrecked land.



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