• December Bride
  • Part Two



he s»w her, and taking her hand led her to Agnes’s cottage.

"I saw ye with Petie at the linthole," she said, smiling
down at him, ’were ye swimming a boat?”

”No. We were watching the wee black birds docking in the water.
Ma,” he said as they were passing Dineen’a cottage, Sarah looking
straight ahead. "I was going to play marlies wi’ the wee fella that
lives in there, but his ma called on him to come in.”

Sarah stopped abruptly, her face flushing with anger. "Andra,"
she said, shakin his hand to give her words emphasis, "if I ever
catch ye speaking to one of that breed, i’ll draw my hand across the
side of your head. D’ye hear me?"


"I’ll no let ye come back to Petie and Agnes," a threat that had
much greater effect on the child.

The boys were to see each other again that evening, for the last
time. It was the evening hour, between darkness and light, when blue
wraiths creep over the fields, the white dust ceene for a moment to
be luminous, and dark little winds come to roost in the hedges. This
is the time theft country children, reprieved from bed for another
minute dart round the houses in their bare feet, their hearts full
of a delicious terror of the dusk.

Andrew, tiring of the talk, went out and sat on the wall. Con
was kneeling disconsolately in the window of his house, staring out
at the glowing twilight. The eyes of the boys met in a long searching
stare. Each w«s searching the other for that longed-for acknowledgment.
When both of them, with poisoned words still percolating through their
young minds, witheld it, there could be only one result, Andrew screwed

Sarah, Andrew
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna156", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Wed, 01/19/2022 - 10:16, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna156?page=1