• December Bride
  • Part Two



Chapter Two.

Spring came, warm and turbulent. The drab sheets on the hillsides
ware torn under the ploughman's heel and a tawny light rose from the soil.
The sower came, scattering wisely from his sheet, then the plunging harrow
driving the hard silver grain underground, and lastly tho roller, clanging
like a bell as it wheeled, and leaving, for all the boulders piled upon it,
faint pock-marks of hooves in the smooth soil. Rain-showers came leaping
through the hills and were gone before the sun had time to shadow. Five
times a lean cat stole across the dose of Rathard carrying a kitten in
her Jaws. She went straight as an arrow, her head close to the ground and
the proud cock trotted cut of her way.

In the house, Sarah sat at her bedroom window overlooking the rath in
the wrinkles of whose broken walls primroses were already gleaming. The
men were out and there was a deep silence in the house. Nothing stirred
and the beat of the kitchen clock did not penetrate through the closed
door. The shawl that she had drawn over her head to go out had fallen
down on her shoulders. She put her hand swiftly to her body feeling the
movement below her heart again. No need now to go down to Agnes Sampson.
She was to have a child. A stunned look came into her eyes. "I am
having a child," she said aloud, impatiently, as if upbraiding herself
for her lack of understanding. She put her hands over her face, and sat
like this for a long time, staring through her fingers. A wagtail, bobbing
and dipping on the sill, took fright and flew off.

She rose slowly, as if very weary and went up to the kitchen. The
untended fire fell in a cloud of ash and flames, she built it up again

Ploughman, Kitchen
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna099", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Thu, 06/13/2024 - 16:59, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna099