• December Bride
  • Part One



face. His breath smelt of whiskey. "It’s me,” he said, stepping out into
the light. Hamilton’s face lit up. ’eh, is it you, Shuey?. Sarah," he said,
'ye know Shuey Carspindle of Lusky woods?" The man ducked and touched his
forehead. I hope you’re well, ma’am," he said. Get up, Shuey,” continued
Hamilton, lifting the man’s basket into the cart. I’ll leave ye down at
your loanen.” The man hesitated; then, "I’m much obliged t’ye” he replied,
and climbed up by the wheelhub and sat down on the floor of the cart behind

"And had ye a brave' day at Belfast, ma’am? he enquired when he had
found his basket again.

"I had indeed,” answered Sarah, ”and had you, Mr Carspindle?"

The man behind then smacked his lips. Fair enough, ma'am, fair
enough. But going to Belfast is no newance to me. Sure I’ve been going
to Belfast market ever since I was the height av two peats. I went first
wi’ my da, God rest him, five and forty years ago. My da was a very wicked
wee man and told the daftest tales. Did ye take notice av all the church
steeples sticking up out av the town, ma’am?” he asked, prodding Sarah in
the ribs.

"I did that.” •

“Well, the ould boy told me that God and St. Peter were travelling
over Ireland on a cloud onct, and God dandered out to the edge and peeped
over, ’Where would that be now, says God, pullin at his beard and looking
by the way he was mystified. St. Peter takes a keek down. ’Oh-ho’ says he,
not to be taken in, ’sure ye know rightly that’s Belfast.' 'Is it now,”
says God, ’so that’s where there all coming from? By-my-name!* says he,
wi’ all them sharp points sticking up I thought it was a harrow, cowped

Belfast, Saint Peter
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna078", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 06/16/2024 - 06:05, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna078