For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Orpheus and his Lute”

Frank O'Connor


“Take an oath first, then,” said the bandmaster. “Not a drop of drink till we have the instruments back!”

“Not a drop,” they said.

“That we might be killed stone dead.”

“That we might be killed stone dead.”

“Well, for the love of God, remember it,” said the bandmaster.

To give them their due, they kept that promise better than ever they kept the pledge, but it did them very little good. Once people get a notion into their heads that a thing is dead, 'tis damned. Even Father Dennehy, the great priest for the bands, wouldn't give them a hand. He said they were after giving too much scandal. God rest the poor man, if he can hear the pipers' bands where he is now,  he might be sorry for giving Irishtown the hard word.

We read it in Bones of Contention.