We had hard going the next day, with slashing rain turning the road to mud. At Tobercurry we were warned to avoid Collooney, a loyal town, and were cautioned that Sligo town was held by a strong garrison, with patrols upon the roads. We were able, with care, to move eastward between Sligo and Lough Gill, and then northward by a narrow coastal road to the village of Rosses Point, five miles from Sligo. Here, an acquaintance of MacCarthy's, a verse writer named O'Hart, kept a tavern, and through him we sent a message to Sam MacTier, the man whom I had come to meet. Poor MacTier, as everyone now knows, was on the Sligo executive of the Society of United Irishmen. It now seems to me curious that two different free masonries, of poetry and of politics, should have brought the four of us together for a few hours.
MacTier did not arrive until late evening, and MacCarthy, O'Hart, and I sat together through a long, wet afternoon. The tavern lies close to the strand, facing Sligo Bay, at a place called Memory Harbour. The bay was but dimly visible through the rain, leaden gray and angry in appearance. Rain fell in sheets upon the thatch, and ran from it in loud rivulets. There were no other patrons, and we spent the time chiefly at a low table by the fireplace, with jugs of hot punch. MacCarthy and O'Hart had at first but little to say to each other, as is often the case when men meet who share the same trade. O'Hart I think had some faint suspicion of our errand and disapproved of it. His wife, red of face and barefoot, brought in a large bowl of boiled potatoes which we ate in peasant fashion, placing the skins in a mound on the table, and dipping the peeled potatoes in a small dish of salt.