Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/142

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some face and charming manner would have atoned for any defects in his oratory, even with an audience more critical and less sympathetic than his. The personality which was to captivate thousands in after life, was reinforced by the grace and enthusiasm of fervid youth.

Recalling him as he then was, the abiding memory of him is that of his marvelously sweet smile, and his strikingly clear and frank gaze. The beauty of his face lay chiefly in his eyes. The official advertisement of his escape says that those eyes were brown, and prison descriptions are generally more accurate than flattering. Almost anybody, looking at him less closely, would have said that his eyes were black. As a matter of fact they were hazel, but his dark skin, and jet-black eyebrows and hair, gave an impression of blackness to the large, well formed eyes beneath. They were very expressive, whether flashing with some sudden fancy, or glowing with a deeper, burning thought, or sparkling with pure, boyish fun. There was another expression, which they sometimes wore at this period of his life, and which may b© described, for lack of a better word, as a hunted look—not a frightened or furtive, but an alert, watchful expression, which made it easy to understand how he could have deliberately armed himself, at Roderique, and again at Liverpool, with the firm intention of surrendering his liberty only with his life.

Yet with that determined look went the gay, good-humored, fan-loving soul which is the Irishman's one gift from Pandora's box. Even in Liverpool, when a fugitive for life and liberty, he could not resist the temptation of indulging his English friend's rather British sense of humor by occasionally stopping a policeman on the street, and asking to be directed to some imaginary destination. "The idea of an escaped convict asking a bobby to show him the way," furnished an innocent source of delight to his companion, who, in his turn, supplied amusement enough to O'Reilly. No portrait ever made of him does justice to that which was the great charm of his coun-