• Across the Barricades
  • Chapter 10



department storeshop. At the enquiry desk she asked which department
Sadie Jackson worked in.

"Hat department."

Hats were on the second floor. Brede woulddid not wait for the lift;
she ran up the stairs and arrived in the quiet hush of the hat depart-
ment with a stitch in hers side. There was no sign of Sadie. An
middle-aged woman in a black dress was helping a customer try on a
large yellow picture hat.

"Madam, it's absolutely perfect!" decalared the saleswoman. "It
shows off your face beautifully."

Madam did not seem so sure. She twisted this vay and that; looking
at herself in the mirror from every angle. Brede circled round the
hat stands, unable to imagine Sadie in such a settingplace.

"It really is your colour, madam." The saleswoman looked over her
shoulder at Brede. She ran her eyes over Brede's rather shabby
summer dress and scuffed sandals and obviously did not consider her
to be much of a prospect for the sale of a picture hat. Brede
blushed a little but stood her ground.

"I don’t know..." The customer fingered her chin, and then suddenly
made up her mind. She whipped off the hat. "No, I think I’ll leave
it for today, thank you."

"That's all right, madam," said the saleswoman, stiff-lipped.
She began to gather up the dozen or so hats that the customer had
been trying on for the past half-hour.

Brede approached her nervously. "Excuse me..."

Joan Lingard
Brede, Prospect
Linen Hall Library, "Lingard090", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 03/02/2024 - 11:01, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/lingard090