Dermot O'Neil, was out fishing in a small boat that he usually went with his widowed mother in. The catch being good
Eventually the boy goes to sea. At some point in his career he decides to give up his Irish name, and takes an English one, Denham. Several incidents in which he distinguishes himself occur, and he is given the chance of becoming a midshipman, from which rank he duly rises by examination to Lieutenant. Meanwhile the Earl has obtained a position
Time goes on. The Earl's son and heir dies of an illness and is much lamented: he had been at sea pretty much as an equal in promotion with Denham. The Earl's time in the West Indies is up, and he and his family return to Ireland. Denham's ship visits Kilfinnan Bay, and he walks on shore, where it is possible he may have been recognised by O'Rourke and by a demented woman, who is not as mad as she seems.
Eventually the Earl dies, and to everyone's surprise Denham is not only revealed as our original young acquaintance, Dermot, but the lawyer states that Dermot's father was in the line of succession to the Earldom. This makes Dermot the new Earl. Cheers all round, but who wants to be saddled with a derilict castle and a bankrupt estate?
Author: W. H. G. Kingston
Title: The Heir of Kilfinnan
First Published by: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington