• December Bride
  • Part One



the door, his bellows, penetrating the storm, were answered by his plaintive

dams as they stood heads buried in the whins and tails out to the rain.

Pentland came stamping into the kitchen and it seemed to Sarah that some of

his good-nature had worn away. "Sorra take it for a bad beast, that!” he

declared, slapping his chafed hands on his soaked sleeves. The farmhand,

standing in the doorway, declared that it would be folly to attempt to drag

the ram over the island and suggested throwing him on the slipe and hauling •

him down to the boat.

Hamilton agreed with this, but Andrew seemed determined to oppose any

suggestions of Pentland's, and declared that a man could carry the beast

round the island, and going out he caught the ram by his woolly pow and with

the unwilling help of his sons raised it on his shoulders. But his triumph

was short-lived. The muscular arm could not hold the writhing animal, and

after a few staggering steps the ram slithered out of his grasp and would

have been away into the mist had not the servingman caught the tether and

Hamilton thrown himself on the animal(s fleecy back. "That’s enough o'

this foolishness” said Hamilton sharply, taking the rope in his hands. "Away

and fetch the slipe, Geordie,” he 3aid to the man, and when it was dragged

out the ram was tied and laid upon it.

By this time the Echlins were soaked and Mrs Pentland would have

delayed them further to dry themselves, but they were determined to go. Fergus

returned to- the kitchen with an armful of oilskins. As he unknotted the

strings of Sarah’s sou'wester he bent hi3 mouth to her ear "Let's hope there's

warmth and sunshine when ye come back" he said.

She looked up at him from tinder the hood. "Then its the summer ye want

to see us again?" she asked with a smile on her lips.

"Ah, I didn’t mean that, at all!” he protested laughingly. "Leave me to

Farmhand, Oilskins
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna022", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 06/16/2024 - 06:45, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna022?page=2