hand for a little longer. It wasn't too bad, was it?" "No she
replied "No, it wasn't, Thank ye, Mr Shorleyson." "Aye' echoed
HamiIton fumbling to take the minister's hand again, "Thank ye, thank
Sorleyson replaced the register, locked the cupboard, and opened
tie door leading to the church. ’Now’ he said.
The creak of the varnished door started the sexton from his seat
in the last pew. He peered down the glimmering aisle to make sure that
Sorleyson and the others were ready to leave the church, Then he slid
as quickly and quietly as a ferret round the main door into the porch.
Then he appeared, the men and woman nearest the church rose from the
gravestones and shook themselves. The sexton nodded abruptly and glanced
over his shoulder. Suddenly he threw up his hand in warning and started
back into the shadows.
Hamilton and Sarah came slowly out of the brown dusk of the porch and
hesitated uncertainly in the pale sunlight. Behind them came Andrew, his
face turned to the minister whose snowy collar gleamed in the shadow, then
the youth looked out towards the churchyard, his face contracted when he
saw the visiting country people, and with a word and a touch he urged the
newly-married couple forward.
Hamilton, tall and stooped, wore a dark hopsack suit of old-fashioned
cut with all four buttons of the Jacket fastened, the arm on which rested
Sarah’s hand was bent across his chest, holding in its fingers a bowler
hat. From his other knotted and discoloured hand hung a pair of gloves,
the fingers flat, stiff and unopened. When he left the shelter of the the church
the wind lifted the strands of hair that had been combed over his bald crown.