Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/50

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"I succeeded very well with all the regiments of the Dublin garrison except the Tenth Hussars, and I wanted to do the best I could with it, on account of the location of the barracks. The men were mainly English, but there were about a hundred Irishmen among them. Those I had met were mostly worthless, and I could make no headway. At last a young veterinary surgeon from Drogheda, named Harry Byrne, now dead—all the men of that period are dying off—was introduced to me by Colonel Kelly, the man afterward rescued in Manchester. He told me there was a young fellow of his acquaintance in the Tenth who would Just fill the bill. In half an hour we were on our way to Island Bridge on an outside car. We dismissed it some distance away and went into the barracks. The regiment had been stationed in Drogheda, and Byrne knew many of the officers and sergeants through his profession. In the barrack square we met a bluff, hearty sergeant major, an Englishman of the best type, whom Byrne knew. He told us O'Reilly was on picket at the royal barracks. There were heavy pickets of cavalry and infantry kept in readiness for emergencies at certain points in Dublin during these exciting times. We went into the canteen and had a drink and a chat with the old veteran, and he praised O'Reilly to the skies. He pronounced him the best young soldier in the regiment, and evidently thought there was a great future before him. 'I shouldn't wonder,' said he, 'if in five or six years that young fellow'd be a troop sawjent majah.'

"We went to the royal barracks, not far away, and, meeting some Fenian troopers of the Fifth Dragoon Guards, were soon piloted to where the picket of the Tenth was stationed. O'Reilly was in the stable tightening his saddle girths and getting ready to mount and start off to the viceregal lodge with" a dispatch for the lord lieutenant from Sir Hugh Rose, the commander of the forces; in Ireland. Byrne had just time to introduce us, and O'Reilly and I to make an appointment for the next evening, when he brought out his horse, sprang into the saddle, and was off. O' Reilly