In the days that followed, Marsmain rode about the estate, a scowl on his face that made the workers tremble. Ballinmore lay comatose in the care of the dour, stout woman who had nursed him, after a fashion, before and visited by the sinister Dr. Swartz. Caroline could have escaped from her prison, but made no attempt to cajole the deaf mute who was manifestly against letting her go. Not that she wished punishment on the lovely young lady who had smiled at her when they first met, rather that she desired her company for her own sake and for the invalid's. She had always begged scraps at the kitchen door; now she begged with a fierce assiduity refusing to go till she had some share of the best: a slice of game put aside for the butler, the daintiest jellies. The creature appeared to be madder than ever, always on the prowl, looking and listening, though she could not hear; sensing the atmosphere, taking everything in. Communicating the intelligence she gathered as best she could. William understood a great deal, and Caroline set herself to learn the unspoken language.

Ninny managed to filch an occasional newspaper on the pretence that she needed it to wrap the precious food; along with the establishment papers that found their way to the kitchen, there were also subversive news-sheets procured from outside sources. The two in the tower had time to peruse them all and every day they learnt something new, if somewhat out of date. They read of the rebellion in Wexford. Within a few months this rising of the United Irishmen was to cost 30,000 lives and destroy the “Brotherhood of Affection”. The Houses of Parliament in College Green in all their newly refurbished splendour would soon close forever; Grattan's dream of independence would be swept away in the Act of Union. But that was yet to come.

Meantime, fashionable Dublin, though denied by curfew of its public entertainment, was enjoying a glorious summer for its last fling. Society pursued its pleasures under a cloudless sky, insensitive to the burning country mansions, the smell of blood on the green country grass. The pike, the pitchfork, the torturous triangle and the gallows were springing like noxious growths where the corn was trampled down. All this the pair in the tower studied while the light lasted.

Caroline learnt the words of “The Rising of the Moon” and fitted them to the tune she had heard Hughy whistle. So much heartened and improved in health was the invalid that he helped Caroline with her reading and sometimes joined in her songs. She taught him a little Gaelic and some of the French songs she had picked up. They discussed the Earl of Kingston’s trial, a much featured ceremonial, it seemed, when the peers of the realm assembled to see proper and fitting justice done to one of their own rank ..... a farce that entertained fashionable Dublin more than any theatrical performance. The verdict was a foregone conclusion.

When at last Nick chose to look in on the prisoners, Caroline was ready for him. Seeing no sign of remorse or repentance on his countenance, she refused to treat with him. When he tried to lay hands on her, she screamed. The girl was plainly crazy. That night, he brought Dr. Swartz to see her, but she refused to let him approach. Again she began the strange scream she had picked up, from Maureen. It maddened Nick. He strode forward as though to strike her, but Swartz seized him by the arm.

“Hold!” he cried. “Add no more to your guilt, Marsmain, or even I may not be able to clear your account. Young woman, cease crying and speak to me. What is it you want? Speak.”

“I want simple justice, that is all.”

“You mean you want your freedom?”

“And his,” she replied, indicating William.

“That cannot be, Caroline,” Nick said haughtily, “not the freedom you wish for him ..... freedom to usurp my heritage ..... to claim to be what he is not. She is mad, Dr. Swartz ..... cannot you see that?”

The doctor remained silent for a few minutes; then he turned to Nick.

“Poor thing,” he said, “there is little I can do. May I suggest that she be provided with some comforts ..... bedding ..... toilet articles ..... whatever she needs or asks for within reason, of course.”

“Let me have my harp,” she said quietly.

Marsmain complied with that request. He brought the harp at once. She smiled enchantingly at Dr. Swartz.

“A woman can always be coaxed,” he said to Nick as they walked away.

The coaxing began immediately. Blankets and pillows were provided, linens and a change of clothing, brushes for her hair, fresh water to wash. Marsmain fetched everything himself, handing the articles to Ninny without comment. He even brought a nosegay of flowers. Life was better for the prisoners. The harp was a great source of pleasure. They had roughened their throats trying to sing in the dusty atmosphere. Now they had music for dancing. Perhaps the shade of Lady Adeline danced. Certainly the deaf old woman sensed the rhythm and, lifting her skirts tried an occasional few steps. Capering in and out among the lumber, she looked so comical that, for the first time, Caroline heard William laugh aloud.

In the sunny world outside, June strung out a pageant of frivolity, of tragedy and death. Far away, in Wexford, a month-long struggle dragged to its fierce conclusion at Vinegar Hill. On June 21st the rebel encampment of 20,000 men, armed mainly with pikes, was surrounded by Government troops, General Lake commanding. None of his officers fought with greater ferocity and determination than Major John Ferriter. Lake's army celebrated the victory in the way of the time: bodies were used as targets for sword play. The escaping rebels celebrated delivery in their own way; they fired a makeshift hospital; from that conflagration rose the stench and hiss of burning bodies well into the following morning.

But Vinegar Hill settled nothing. Guerrilla war could go on forever. London’s strategy was to send a new Viceroy. Even before the unhappy Camden was recalled, his successor had been smuggled into Dublin by ordinary packet-boat. The sun had shone out of a cloudless sky for seven consecutive weeks. On June the 22nd, it rained on the state procession of dignitaries who followed Camden's coach to the quayside to board the Viceregal yacht, Dorset. The man who took Camden's place had, twenty years earlier, surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown. William Marsmain, for the first time in his life, read the news with some feeling of its pertinence to himself and the country in which he had hopes of living, a free man. He would never join in the social whirl of the capital but he was aware that that last fling was drawing to a close. Ominously, Lord Cornwallis chose to make his Viceregal H.Q. in the Phoenix Park rather than at Dublin Castle. Thus removed from the social centre, he lived like a general rather than a viceroy.

“How glad I am that I returned to Dublin when I did, dear Caroline. How brief was the last season of gaiety! What a pity you missed it. How stuffy the new Viceroy is. He entertains little, lives frugally, takes regular exercise for his health rather than to air his fine dress, devotes his time to his state duties and, of all things, sits at home with his family in the evenings! What a solemn place the Viceregal Lodge has become!”

Caroline did not see the letters that arrived for her ..... not till later. Gwendaline missed her during that June, wondered why she did not reply. Perhaps she did not receive the mail. Perhaps the replies were lost. There was so much unrest one could not be sure of anything. At the very outset of the rising the mail coaches had been selected as targets, signalling action. The plan miscarried that time, but another time, perhaps. Who knew?

Cork was comparatively tranquil. To Caroline, aloof in her tower, war and its horror were far away. Her own battle was immediate and very painful. The sun, beaming through the narrow dusty window, invited her to freedom; it would have been so easy to submit; but, when she looked at William's pale face and shattered body, she knew she could never betray his trust. Nick Marsmain, fretting to be away to join or prepare for battle, could neither cow her with threats nor woo her with flowers.