• December Bride
  • Part One

Hanna075

70

Although living only twenty miles from Belfast, Sarah had never
been in the city before. Now she sat high in the cart, turning her head
from side aa she watched the teeming crowds of oilstained men crossing
the road, some under the horse’s very nose, and some waiting impatiently
until the traffic slackened.

“Where would they be coming from?" she asked, her eyes wide with
surprise, "They’re shipyard workers, Hamilton explained, pointing with
his whip to where a mass of slendar gantries like a piece of jagged lace
stood at the bottom of a hill with a sliver of grey water at their feet,
"and this is their dinner-hour."

She stared in wonder at a woman who shot out of a low doorway, like
a cork out of a bottle, with a rabble of laughing dirty children tumbling
behind her onto the pavement. A man in a tweed cap stood in the door-
way shouting and shaking his fist. the woman passed close to the cart
Sarah saw that she was weeping.

They passed over the bridges leading into the town and Hamilton
left the horse and cart in Cromac Square. He led Sarah to the variety
market where old women, surrounded by piles of bedsteads, clothes,
pictures, boxes of fruit and tottering columns of books, paused only in
their monotonous cries to blow on their numbed fingers. Sarah bought a
lustre Jug and a worn paisley shawl for her mother. When Hamilton saw
her eyeing two highly glazed and warty figures of a highland girl and
her lover on whose delph plaid a tartan was daubed, he fished with finger
and thumb in the slit pocket close to his waistband.

They carried their purchases back to the square and laid the figures,
wrapped in straw, at the bottom of the cart. When Hamilton had shaken up

Coverage: 
1951
Keywords: 
Children, Cromac
Citation: 
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna075", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Wed, 05/19/2021 - 00:36, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna075