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Mr. Kennedy had fired a pistol at Phineas Finn in Macpherson's Hotel with the manifest intention of blowing out the brains of his presumed enemy, and no public notice had been taken of the occurrence. Phineas himself had been only too willing to pass the thing by as a trifling accident, if he might be allowed to do so, and the Macphersons had been by far too true to their great friend to think of giving him in charge to the police. The affair had been talked about, and had come to the knowledge of reporters and editors. Most of the newspapers had contained paragraphs giving various accounts of the matter; and one or two had followed the example of The People's Banner in demanding that the police should investigate the matter. But the matter had not been investigated. The police were supposed to know nothing about it,—as how should they, no one having seen or heard the shot but they who were determined to be silent? Mr. Quintus Slide had been indignant all in vain, so far as Mr. Kennedy and his offence had been concerned. As soon as the pistol had been fired and Phineas had escaped from the room, the unfortunate man had sunk back in his chair, conscious of what he had done, knowing that he had made himself subject to the law, and expecting every minute that constables would enter the room to seize him. He had seen his enemy's hat lying on the floor, and, when nobody would come to fetch it, had thrown it down the stairs. After that he had sat waiting for the police, with the pistol, still loaded in every barrel but one, lying by his side,—hardly repenting the attempt, but trembling for the result,—till Macpherson, the landlord, who had been brought home from chapel, knocked at his door. There was very little said between them; and no positive allusion was made to the shot that had been fired; but Macpherson succeeded in getting the pistol into his possession,—as to which the unfortunate man put no impediment in his way, and he managed to have it understood that Mr. Kennedy's cousin should be summoned on the following morning. "Is anybody else coming?" Robert Kennedy asked, when the landlord was about to leave the room. "Naebody as I ken o', yet, laird," said Macpherson, "but likes they will." Nobody, however, did come, and the "laird" had spent the evening by himself in very wretched solitude.
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Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope was a novelist.

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