• Across the Barricades
  • Chapter 15



At that moment the soldiers clattered out of the Raffertys' house.
They were empty-handed.

"Satisfied?" demanded Mrs Rafferty.

They did not answer; they went on to the next door. Brian
Rafferty laughed, a loud triumphant laugh that made his mother look
over at him.

"Where have you been?" she called. "And where's your da? That's
what I'd like to know. He'd have given those louts hell if he'd
been here. Come on in for your supper."

"Go on to your mammy," said Kevin.

Brian glowered.

"Come on this minute," said his mother, and he went.

Kevin limped back up the street. The soldiers went from house to
house, followed by a crowd of jeering children. They came eventually
to the McCoys’.

Mr McCoy blustered for a few minutes with Uncle Albert interspering a fewputting in some
remarks and then Brede put her hand on her father's arm. "Might
just as well let them," she said. "Save a lot of time."

The soldiers were quiet and ashen-facedsolemn. Theirs was a difficult
job. They had to keep their tempers whilst all around were losing

They searched the McCoys house and found nothing. Kevin sighed with
relief, not that he had any reason to feel guilty, but for a few
minutes, when they were inside, it had come to him that Brian Rafferty
might have planted his gun in their backyard or under the stairs.

Joan Lingard
Jeering, Backyard
Linen Hall Library, "Lingard142", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Wed, 05/29/2024 - 23:07, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/lingard142