And sure enough, the old grandfather in the hall was striking nine, when Paddy MacFarlane walked into the dining room and spotted Connor, on his own at a table in the far corner; he stopped at a couple of other tables, saying "good morning," to acquaintances, before reaching Connor's table, where they shook hands and MacFarlane said: "top o the mornin' me boyo, and did you sleep well?" and Connor replied: "not a peep out o me till day-break," and gave the local man a wink, which he returned, with a grin: "now, where did ye learn that little code, Connor? where are ye from?" and Connor answered truthfully: "born and bred in Glasgow to a Kerryman and his wife from Rosscommon; I worked for Alec on an archaeological dig down by Melrose, d'ye know the place, Paddy?" and received a non-committal nod: "and the code, Connor, how d'ye know that?" at which Connor lowered his head and leant across the table, to whisper: "we've still got cousins in dear ould Ireland, so we hear things – a word here or there, a hint, a bit of gossip, something about The Peep o' Day Boys and The Defenders, and Vaward is the Word and The Shan Van Vocht! – and I can even spell it in Irish – and of course most of the Glasgow papers have correspondents over here, seeing as there's a sizeable Irish readership in the Dear Green Place – which Hibernians like to think is a reference to their presence in the city!" and MacFarlane seemed to consider this answer sensical, for he called for a pot of tea, which was soon brought by a slightly older boy, with the same face as Manus, and Paddy introduced him to Connor as Liam: "ye'll probably see a lot of Liam, for he's my Runner, when he's not here, he carries and delivers letter faster than the Government Post, and not just in Dungannon, mind, for the Gallaghers have a wide extended family network right across the North, from Belfast to Galway Bay, and young Liam here is the mastermind behind it – and it's a very professional organisation, in fact, I've heard tell, Liam, that your bhoys even carry letters to and from the Castle, is that a fact?" and Liam grinned: "surely, Mister MacFarlane, and how else would you know their contents?" and laughing, Paddy slapped a sovereign onto the table, pushing it towards Liam as he said: "would you please let Danny Doubleday know that I'll be in the fountain at 10.30?" and with a nod, Liam pocketed the coin and quickly walked out: "what fountain?" asked Connor, and MacFarlane told him: it's The Fountain, on William Street, it's a newspaper office, a hostelry, considered by some to be a den of vice, and others to be a place of learning – or a finger-jam for loggerheads trying to get onto the first step of the ladder! we even host sangschaws, kind of festivals for the Irish language arts, you know, singing, poetry, music and dance, there's a way to strengthen yer thews, a bit of Irish dancing," he grinned, then: " it's also where I conduct my business, with my Partner, Mr Doubleday, and we have a little proposition to make to you, Mr O'Hare and your confederate, Mr Curle, which I feel sure you will be bound to accept!" and he tapped the side of his nose, and poured them each another cup of tea, and called for soda bread and jam, saying to Connor: "eat up, lad, you should always prepare for the possibility of an arduous day, with plenty of rowel, in the hope that it may instead be an easy one!"