• December Bride
  • Part Three



A reed of laughter shook in Sarahs voice as she
answered "Aye, we'll want a best man." They passed
through the doorway and stood in the open air. She
nodded to where her son, a silhouette against the sky-
line, dragged a recalcitrant bullock across the lough
field. "Andra could come wi' us."

My God, said Sorleyson to himself, and turned his
mind from the thought as Sarah asked "And the sexton o'
the church'll be there?"

"The sexton - of the church?'*

"Aye. We'll be married in Ravara Church, and as
soon as ye can manage it." As if she guessed what was
in his thoughts, she swept her eyes disdainfully over
the countryside. "I'm too old now to be caring what they

"Well, I'll arrange it for you. Say a week from
Wednesday. Goodbye, Sarah, I'm glad I came. I hope I've
made a friend in you." Sarah returned the pressure of
his hand, her eyes smiling into his. "Thank ye, thank
ye" she said, and she watched the old blue car until it
had clattered out of sight.

That evening Sarah was restless. Half-a-dozen
times she picked up her glowering hoops, only to drop
them again and wander aimlessly round the house,
arranging and re-arranging the crockery on the dresser,
the ornaments on the parlour mantelshelf, or to pluck
the already lawn-smooth quilt on the spare bed. Then she
lit a candle stealthily, and holding it up, examined
her face in the parlour mirror. She got a brush and
tried to arrange her still heavy hair over a white strand
at her forehead. With a towel she rubbed her cheeks
until they burned.

When Andrew had gone to bed, Hamilton realised that
Sarah was not in the kitchen. He dragged his chair
forward and gazed into the black mouth of the passage.

Sarah, Crockery
Linen Hall Library, "Hanna265", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 05/09/2021 - 18:14, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/hanna265