• December Bride
  • Part One



this country girl demanded from him such a pondering and weighing of

words. with a bland, slightly unreal smile he looked at her. "Can

you spare me a moment? », ill you sit down, please?"

She turned a chair slowly out from under the table and sat down

on the edge of it. The reassuring smile deepened a trifle on Mr.

Sorlsyson’s face. He nodded his head gently, hung his hat on his knee,

and placed the tips of his fingers together. ''I believe your mother

has left Rathard. Is that so?" and he nodded again, so winningly, as

if ail he sought was kindly confidence.

But all this, far from calming the girl, made her more hostile

and fearful. She nodded stiffly in reply, "She is," she said.

"Does she intend to stay away for long?" queried Mr Sorleyson

leaning forward, his fingers outstretched on the crown of his hat.

"She's gone for good. Did she send ye here?"

"No, no' said Mr Sorleyson hastily. "No: Mr Burke told me that

your mother had occupied his cottage again. I was surprised to hear

that she’d gone back alone," he added looking at Sarah closely.

"What’s surprising about that?" She demanded, "Isn’t it her own


"And yours?"

"And mine too, if ye want to know, Mr Sorleyson. But poor folk

have tae work - and the breaking up of poor folks’ homes is a small

matter." What’s a lie at this time and day, thought Sarah.

But it seemed to have convinced Mr Sorleyson. "Well, I see by

your remarks that you accept the responsibility of your mother. I’m

sure she’ll come to no want."

"Of course she’ll come to no want!” said the girl sharply.

Mother, Cottage
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna068", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 05/20/2022 - 23:57, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna068