• December Bride
  • Part One



for. Sarah's mother with her cold reproachful look. As if he were bound

to go when she said, go; and come when she said, come. To hell with ye,

he said inwardly, you’re nothing to me.

But his gesture stirred the old woman. Not content with knowing

that her silence filled both the young people with remorse and anger

she turned to her daughter, ’ Where were ye, when I was at church?” she


"We went over the fields to the head o’ the brae" answered the

girl without raising her eye3 from her plate.

“Waren’t ye left tae look after the house?" demanded Martha.

"There now, Martha" interrupted Frank angrily, "the house didna

run away."

Mrtha ignored him. Her whole attention was fixed on her daughter.

”Since when hae ye taken to skiltin the fields on a sabbath? Look at

yourself - you’re as tossed and through-other as if you’d been doing a

day’s work. What ways that to behave on the Sabbath?"

Sarah sprang up from the table* "Lay me alone!” she cried. "I’ll

go out in the fields when I want, Sunday or any other day!”

Martha had risen to her feet also, her face flushed and fingers

plucking at her apron. Hamilton, who had been eating stolidly during

all this talk, now rapped the table irritably with his spoon. "Sit

down, Martha," he said "and let us get on wi’ our dinner."'

Martha turned on him. "Listen to me, Hamilton Echlin, and you

Sarah, and you Frank. If there’s not a charge in this house I'm going

tae leave it and go back tae Banyil. God forgive me - I should ha’

spoken out before. But I’m no going to see my daughter run about a

heathen, if the memory o’ your father won’t send yous t’church, as

Silence, Fields
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna049", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 05/20/2022 - 23:46, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna049