• December Bride
  • Part Two



As th© time passed Sarah grew more careful in her mother's presence.
Every little while during the day she took her r.iilk or broth or tea, setting
them at her bedside and goi!^ back to the kitchen. Only in the dusk sho lit
the assail lamp in her mother’s room and read to hor from the Bible or 3at
talking a little and sewing.

One evening, as Sarah was about to go to bed, she heard her mother
oall. "What is it, mother?" she asked, when she got. to the old woman's

"Open the window a wee bit, daughter. I*m near choking". Sarah
lowered the upper part of the window and stood looking out. Away beyond
a ridge of night-black trees the sky was inlaid with shafts of green. A
star twinkled in the pale sky above the house and the mournful cry of a
whaup came from the lough, There was a sense of melancJioly and peace in
the scene, and the woman, silhouetted against the window, unconsciously
drew her hands over her full body. Even as sho did so there wan a ch.old.ng
inarticulate cry from the bed* She saw her mother rising in bed and caught
the glean in her distended eyes. "Sarahl" she cried, lifting her aim till
the sleeve fell back on her shrivelled shoulder, lhe daughter stood there,
stupid with fright, her hands still laid on her belly. In the indistinct
light the woman on the bed seemed to rise onto her ]cnees. Her grey hair
fell down over her face, veiling her eyas. She clawed it back and her
mouth worked as she tried to cry out again. Then with e horrible rattling
noise in her throat she pitched face forward on the bed. keeping with
terror, the girl ran forward and lifted her mother in her arms. The old
woman'a head lifted a little and a long shuddering breath came from her
lips, ilartha lay dead in her daughter's embrace.

Lough, Fright
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna109", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 07/19/2024 - 12:33, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna109