• December Bride
  • Part One



Edwin Sorleyson’s peace of mind, he was only too well aware of his

selfishness, his boredom with hi3 life, his inability to return his

wife’s affection. He had honestly tried in the first years of their

life together to be a loving husband, and it was with both a knowledge

of failure and a sense of relief that he watched their relationship

change to that of strangers, bound for a lifelong duress to stifle

the fruitless blaze of anger, and perform all the little acts that

convention expected.

Sorleyson was a creature of habit and he went into hisstudy

every Thursday afternoon to refurbish his sermons. He took down one

of his favourite poets, Pollok,or Heber or James Montgomery, and began

to road, pausing only to make notes. Then his pencil fell, his notes

were forgotten and he slipped the volume forward on the table and leant

back with a lover’s smile on his lips. At this point he sighed, lifted

his pencil, adjusted his spectacles and set himself again at his

macabre task. On the following Sabbath evening the congregation of

Ravara would be edified by a discourse liberally sprinkled with

quotations from the lesser nineteenth-century poets, or listen again

with drowsy loyalty to "God, nature and Hobble Burns."

He was seated at his study table when the sound of a springcart

passing on the road below made him glance out of the winnow. He saw

the figures of old Mrs Gomartin and Hamilton Echlin nod along above the

level of the hedge. His interest in the Rathard household still being

active he rose and looked down at the departing cart. In the back of it

he saw various bundles and baskets and after deciding that they were on

their way to market glanced idly around the sombre countryside before

Husband, Macabre
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna055", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 05/21/2022 - 00:29, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna055