Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/139

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CHAPTER VI.


Arrival in Boston—Untoward Experience in a Steamship office—Public Lectures—His Personal Appearance—Characteristic Letters—Employed on The Pilot—At the Front with the Fenians—The Orange Riots in New York—O'Reilly sharply condemns the Rioters—A notable Editorial.


HE had not, so far as he knew, a single friend in all America, but the Fenians had not forgotten him. They had eagerly read the news of his escape, and were advised, through their correspondents in England, of his having taken passage on the Bombay. On the day after her arrival, as he was working on the deck, a Fenian delegate came on board and accosted him, whereupon ensued the following dialogue, as substantially told afterward:

"They tell me that Boyle O'Reilly's on this ship."

"Yes."

"The poet?'

"Yes."

"The man that got away from Australia? "

"Yes."

His visitor had grown visibly excited. At last he clutched O'Reilly's sleeve, and asked:

"Where is he?"

"Here."

"But where?"

"I'm the man."

His youthful appearance and unassuming manner were so out of keeping with his romantic career that the delegate was inclined to set him down as an impostor, but, to make sure, he invited the young man to meet some fellow Fenians. O'Reilly readily complied, going attired as he was in his sailor clothes. The Fenians, before whom he presented himself, cross-questioned him sharply, and were