• December Bride
  • Part One



shaking and cringing with joy around Carspindle as he lowered himself to
the ground.

"Have ye got your basket now?" Hamilton asked.

"I have, and I’m muoh obliged to ye. Here, hold hard a minute".

He came round to the front of the cart and held up his bottle. "Old
friends, Hami, old friends," he urged, seeing tho man in the cart

"H’m. Give me the hold of it," said Echlin, grasping the bottle.
He tilted it to his mouth and was seized with a violent fit of coughing.

Carspindle reached up and took the bottle from his hand. "Are ye rightly,
Hami?” he asked.

"Damn it!" shouted Echlin, whooping for breath, "it near choked me".

He shook the reins. "Goodnight".

"Goodnight, Hami. Goodnight, ma’am, and I’m much obliged again."

"You’re welcome," said Echlin as tho horse moved off.

High above them the stars glittered, chill and remote. Streams fell
silent, stones and trees cracked in the grip of tho frost, and the earth
resounded like a bell under the horse’s foot. They wore entering the
townland of Lusky woods and tho road, gleaming faintly in the starlight,
undulated onward through boglands checkered with crisped heather and black
peat banks. Echlin’s body was lapped in a warm stupor. From his
shoulders downward ho felt relaxed and drooping. His legs were relaxed
and bowed so that his feet lay sole to sole on the floor of tho cart. But
his neck and head were rigid, balanced between the knifepoints of the bitter

Bottle, Frost
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna085", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 06/16/2024 - 06:29, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna085