• December Bride
  • Part One



forgotten before the sod's healed over him.”

"Let us be, Martha" said Hamilton uneasily, turning a cup in

his hands. Frank stirred in the doorway but stood with his back to

them, listening.

"It's your own affair" said the old woman, rising. "But I’ll see

to it that Sarah doesn’t go that road."

“Quit it!” shouted Sarah. "Ye keep op talking o' me'as if I was

a helpless wean! Ye can go to your church if ye will, but your no

taking me!”

"Very well, then" said her mother. “We’re leaving this house as

soon as we can gather our wheen o' things thegither."

The girl turned and clutched Hamilton’s arm. "Hami, will ye give

me a job here?" She cried. Her eyes searched his face, and the man winced

in her grasp.

He released his arm from her fingers and crossed to the fireplace.

“It’s not for me toe interfere between you and your daughter, Martha.

You’re welcome tae bide here as long as ye wish, and I can't hinder ye if

ye want to go, for you’re neither blood nor kin tae us. You’ve done your

work well, and if ye go we maun get another. But go or stay, singly or

together, you’re as .free as the birds o* the air. That's my word."

For a long time mother and daughter looked at each other. The girl's

pale lips scarcely moved. "I'm staying” she said.The old woman turned

away to the door of the lower room, leaning faintly for a moment on the


She set about collecting her belongings with silent diligence. She

accepted Frank’s shamefaced offer of a wooden case for her linens. Of

Affair, Fireplace
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna052", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 06/16/2024 - 06:57, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna052