• December Bride
  • Part One



Chapter Six

After the death of Andrew there was no further talk as to whether

Sarah and her mother would remain at Rathard. Once the fever had passed its

crisis, rank came into the kitchen and sat crouched at the fire, while the

women went about their work, indoors and outdoors. His fever had been broken

by some concoction brewed by Agnes Sampson, and she came up each day with more

brews in which the herbs had changed their proportions, or to which fresh

ingredients had been added. The Echlins had a great regard for Agnes, and

soon Sarah also was looking forward with pleasure to the visits of this

laughter-loving old woman with the heavy bosom and slim ankles. hen her

light dancing step was heard in the close and she came into the kitchen,

talk sprang on people’s lips, and the fire which had been nodding in the

hearth drew up vigouously under the lowered kettle, as though it felt the

eye of its mistress. It was during one of these visits that Sarah learned

that Fergus Pentland had the gift of charming sick animals and people

suffering from eresipylis. "A lock of ungodly nonsense!" cried Martha angrily,

and Frank threw back his head and laughed for the first time since his

illness. Let him be better and get about his work again, prayed Sarah, as

she heard his laugh.

For in each of those few days she could almost feel the springs of

vitality and desire rise again in the man at the fireside. His eyes rarely

left her as she moved about the kitchen. He answered Martha from the corner

of his mouth as he gazed at her daughter.

She had been kneading bread at the table when suddenly he got up and

came towards her, his blanket drop ing from his shoulders onto the chair.

Death, Fireside
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna035", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Thu, 06/13/2024 - 17:39, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna035