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She it was, Heloise insisted, who drew attention to the house, but her husband doubted it. He reminded her that what had been attempted at Lahardane was part of a pattern that was repeated all over Ireland. The nature of the house, the possession of land even though it had dwindled, the family’s army connection, would have been enough to bring that trouble in the night. And he had to admit that the urge to cause destruction, whatever its origin, could not be assumed to have been stifled by the stand he’d taken. For some time afterwards Everard Gault slept in the afternoon and watched by night; and although no one disturbed his vigil, this concern with protection, and his wife’s apprehension, created in the household further depths of disquiet, a nerviness that affected everyone, including in the end the household’s child.

Dose "stand" in this phrase mean: his position as a captain and the whole phrase mean: he could not come the trouble to an end by his position?

Source: The Story of Lucy gault by william trevor

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What I'm gathering from this excerpt is that some type of trouble has been attracted to this couple's home which would cause damage to their property or to themselves. They are worrying about when/if something bad will happen.

For the specific statement in question:

And he had to admit that the urge to cause destruction, whatever its origin, could not be assumed to have been stifled by the stand he’d taken.

The husband took a stand, meaning he adopted a firm position on an issue and possibly made a show of his strong resolve at a previous point in the story.

Potential meanings of other parts of the phrase:

  • Urge to cause destruction, whatever its origin - I take the "urge to cause destruction" as the trouble they fear will impact their household. The part after the comma indicates that the origin of this trouble (which had been discussed previously in the passage) is inconsequential.
  • Could not be assumed to have been stifled by the stand he’d taken - The man can't know for sure that whatever stand he took previously was effective in stifling the "urge to cause destruction".

An edit, having read the summary of the full story on Wikipedia

I still haven't read the whole story, but based on the summary:

  • The stand he’d taken - There were some arsonists, the husband shot a warning shot and injured someone. This may be the stand he took.
  • Urge to cause destruction, whatever its origin - In the time and place where this story takes place, landowners are having their houses burned during a conflict.
  • Could not be assumed to have been stifled - The arsonists may not have been dissuaded from burning more houses, including his, just because he shot someone.
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  • Lots of thanks, so can we say: these trouble never come to an end because he had wounded someone? Dec 8 '20 at 8:13
  • I think what you're asking is if we can say that he inflamed the trouble further by shooting someone, therefore ensuring he and his family will never be safe unless they leave. It seems like a reasonable conclusion, but it would all depend on the rest of the story text.
    – mjjf
    Dec 8 '20 at 8:18

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