• December Bride
  • Part One




He placed his hand on his son's shoulder. "Are you tired?" he asked.

The young minister smiled and shook his head, “No, not very." Both men

turned and walked slowly across the lawn towards the house. "And your - most

remarkable wedding service, it went smoothly?"

"Yes, oh yes. When I prayed, 1 asked them to kneel. I think I did right

The father chose to ignore the note of query in his son's reply. Their feet

were sounding on the gravel before the house, when he suddenly said 'If the

reasons for most marriages were stated you would be astounded at the ingenuity

of your feilow men - and perhaps appalled at their courage. Fortunately, that

is not our business."

At this remark a look of uneasiness and annoyance came on the young man's

face. He shook his father’s shoulder gently. "You old cynic" he said with a

laugh. As Mr Sorleyson was long past the age when the epithet could be

considered a compliment he did not smile in reply. In silence the two men

mounted the worn steps of the manse.

Chapter Two

The farm of Rathgard sat crescent-shaped on a low green hill screened by

beech-trees from the misty winds that rose from the lough in the winter. on

summer evenings the cream-washed homestead eyed by the setting sun, blushed

warmly under the dark foliage. Swelling gently from the shores of Strangford

Lough, the hill had borne habitation for centuries. Behind the dwelling-house

lay an ancient rath from whence an earlier people had looked down on the

sinious waters of the lough, how nothing more martial was heard than the cry

of a cock, or the low piping of bees from the seven hives which sat in the

Cynic, Habitation
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna010", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Wed, 05/29/2024 - 22:22, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna010