• December Bride
  • Part One



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.

Sexton, Churchyard
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna004", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 07/19/2024 - 12:39, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna004