The future of their whirlwind romance now depended on Albert’s view of the adventurous Irishman. The two men returned to Albert’s study. Albert liked the Irish – they were great workers on the houses he built – but he wanted to know more about Otway’s family back in Ireland.
“My grandfather William Thomas married Elisa Guinness, a granddaughter of Arthur Guinness, the founder of the brewing family. His eldest son, George Arthur, joined Arthur Guinness Ltd after leaving Trinity College, Dublin, and became the Chief Engineer and Chief Brewer. Uncle Edmund ran the horse transport department, transporting the Guinness around the country. My father, Francis Albert, was a barley buyer and set up F. A. Waller Ltd, the Maltings in Banagher in Offaly, to provide the malt for the brewery. Uncle Robert did the same at Nenagh in Tipperary.”
“And as Guinness is very popular, and I am sure profitable, the family has money?”
“It was once said that every drop of Guinness drunk in Ireland had passed through a Waller’s hand.”
“So you could look after Margaret in the way she has been accustomed?”
“Of course, I am the Managing Director of F. A. Waller and also the chief chemist.”
“That sounds perfect. I’ve heard of the Irish gentry marrying Englishwomen for their money. Let me tell you, Otway, if you ever had a penny from me, it would be a loan and I would charge a commercial interest rate.”