Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/202

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felicity of having such comfort administered to his wounded spirit. As matters have unfortunately turned out, the die is cast; and as it is, I have resigned to my fate without one murmur of complaint."

On the voyage to Australia, Barrington was the means of saving the ship from being captured by his fellow-prisoners. A few of the most desperate convicts on board plotted to seize the vessel that was bearing them into exile, and to steer for America and freedom as soon as they had got rid of their gaolers. Availing themselves of the first favourable opportunity, they made a rush for the deck, but found an unexpected opponent in one who was wearing their own uniform of crime, for Barrington stood at the hatchway wielding a handspike, and kept them at bay until the officers appeared on the scene and quelled the mutiny. The two ringleaders were executed on the spot, and their followers were punished in a minor degree. For the great and important service he rendered at this critical moment, Barrington naturally received a large measure of liberty and indulgence during the remainder of the voyage; and, when the ship arrived at Sydney, the officers warmly commended him to the generous consideration of the governor of the colony, who not only gave him a full and immediate emancipation, but appointed him to the lucrative office of superintendent of convicts. Ever afterwards he was a changed man. He kept religiously to the straight path off duty, and his facile fingers were never known to stray into a strange pocket at the antipodes.[1] He settled in the mother

  1. One exception must be made to this remark. "When Barrington was a very old man, he heard that a certain lady, who held a high position in Sydney society, had been talking about him in an objectionable manner, and saying that, for her part, she would never believe he was such a fine gentleman in his youth, neither would she believe any of those silly stories about his marvellous