Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/252

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had expressed a desire to see him and make a last confession. The time was short; a long distance had to be traversed; the roads were in a very bad condition, and the rivers were flooded. After a weary day's ride, Father Therry found his progress barred in the evening by a raging torrent, into which his horse could not possibly go, and on which no boat could live. But the brave priest was determined to reach his destination, and carry succour to a departing soul at all hazards. Seeing a man on the opposite side of the torrent, he asked him for help in God's name. The man, understanding the urgency of the case, procured a rope, and by means of a stone attached to a cord, threw it over to Father Therry, who hesitated not an instant, but tying the rope around his body, jumped into the swollen stream and was dragged across through the foaming waters. Without stopping for rest or changing his clothes, the Soggarth Aroon mounted another horse, and arrived just in time to give absolution to the doomed convict on the scaffold.

At another time, during the period of his unjustifiable suspension by the reigning governor, Father Therry was informed that a Catholic was dying in a prison hospital. It was late at night, and, when he came to the door, an armed sentry opposed his entrance. "I must come in," said the zealous priest. "My orders; I cannot permit you to pass," was the soldier's reply, as he brought his weapon into position. "But," Father Therry persisted in tones of anguish, "a Catholic is dying within—I am the priest—his eternal loss or salvation may depend on you—now which is your first duty?" The soldier was unable to resist this pathetic appeal. He clapped his musket to his side, and Father Therry walked in to give consolation to a departing soul.