• December Bride
  • Part One



"You’re looking rightly, too” ventured Agnes tentatively, when her

husband’s steps had died away.

Fergus gave the short bitter laugh of a man who could reveal untold

agony within if he had a mind to. "I was thinking of putting an end to

myself in the lough" he said, gazing straight into the fire.

“Here ye now?” queried Agnes looking up from her knitting, "Aye,

maybe you're not as well as ye look - come, tell ould Agnes.”

Her remark had the desired effect. Pentland’s reserve went down

like a flimsy barrier before the trouble he had been nursing for so long,

springing up from his chair, he thrust his hands into his pockets and

strode distractedly up and down the kitchen. "To tell ye the God’s truth,

Agnes, l*n a verry worrit man, and I dont know what way to turn, at all!”

Re come back to her and the crisp bulbs dangled and swung bohind his head.

“S1t down, son" said Agnes, "and tell me what’s putting these wild

thoughts in your head. Hut the little outburst had eased him, and as ho

sat down he felt his trouble to be unreal after all, and he regretted that

he had come.

He sat gazing gloomily at the dancing flames, his head sun in his

shoulders. ‘Ach, it’s nothing" he said at last “My mind’s aye chasing


"Ah, it's something, or ye wudna carry on like that" returned Agnes,

Jerking her knitting back into her lap. “Hae ye got your_elf into trouble

wi' a girl, or something o* that sort?"

"In a manner o' speaking - yes,"

"Is it Stewartie Purdy’s lass?"

It is not:” he declared emphatically, looking sharply at her,

“Aye, well then, is it Martha Gomartin’s girl?"

Kitchen, Outburst
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna042", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 05/21/2022 - 01:04, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna042