“Peter,” said my father, with a stern look, though the tone of his voice had more of sorrow in it than anger, “this conduct, if you persist in it, will bring ruin on you, and grief and shame on my head and to your mother’s heart. Look there, boy, and answer me: Are not those presumptive evidences of your guilt? Where did they come from?” He pointed, as he spoke, to several head of game, pheasants, partridges, and hares, which lay on the ground, while I stood before him leaning on my gun, my eyes not daring to meet his, which I knew were fixed on me. My two dogs crouched at my feet, looking as if they also were culprits and fully comprehended the tenor of his words. My father was a clergyman, the vicar of a large parish in the south of Ireland, where the events I am now narrating took place. He was a tall man, with silvery locks and well-formed features. I think his hair was prematurely grey. The expression of his countenance was grave, and betokened firmness and decision, though his general character was mild in the extreme. He was a kind parent, in some respects too kind; and he was very indulgent towards the faults and errors of those not immediately connected with him. He was on good terms with the Roman Catholics of the neighbourhood, of which faith were the large majority of the population, and even with the priests; so that our family had few enemies, and were never in any way molested by the peasantry.