women, their hands rolled in their aprons, peered through
the twigs of a thornbush.
Their scrutiny was short-lived. Mr Sorleyson was seen
nodding energetically to a remark of Mr Echlin’s, the sexton
flew; into the church-house and returned with the minister’s
overcoat into which he helped him after removing his Geneva
strings and billowing gown. The pound-note still being warm
on his thigh, the sexton, shielding the gesture from the
distant observers, endeavoured to shake hands with the party.
He secured Sarah’s fingertips, touched the closed hand of
Hamilton, and found that Andrew had mounted the trap and was
now drawing up the reins. The others followed, and the whip
being rattled in its cup, the vehicle moved away. The peasants
came running towards the sexton who stood cracking- his knuckles
in glee, his face wreathed in smiles.
The trap stopped about a quarter-of-a-mile from the
church at the mouth of a loanen, more dignified than that
which led to a farm because of its bevel-clipped hedges.
Here Sorleyson dismounted after shaking hands with the occupants
of the trap. Ho held the young man’s hand in his for a
second and spoke clearly and loudly. “why don’t you come down
some evening and see us, Andrew?" For a moment the strained
look left the other's face. He nodded. "I’ll try - some evening"
The manse which the Sorleysons occupied was visible a
short distance along the loanen. It was a pleasant, two-
storied, whitewashed building, seen through the scattered