Join date: Jun 14, 2022


‘Yes, to an old man, a widower with a grown-up family.’

It’s . . . it’s the best thing.’ She could hardly hear his voice but she was relieved that he had kept his promise and hadn’t gone for her for mentioning John George or his affairs. And now, a minute later, he was mumbling into her neck, ‘When he comes out I’ll set him up. I’ve . . . I’ve always meant to do something for him but now I can, I’ll set him up properly in something.’

‘Oh, Rory, Rory. Aw, that’s . . . that’s my Rory I knew you would. Aw ta, thanks, lad, thanks. I’ll tell the missis the morrow straight out, I’ll tell her me husband’s put his foot down and said no France and that I’ll have to be givin’ in me notice shortly. Oh, Rory, Rory . . .’

In the middle of the night she was wakened by him crying out. His arms were flaying about and when she put her hand on his head it came away wet with sweat and she cried at him, ‘Rory! Rory! wake up,’ but he continued to thrash about in the bed, gabbling out words from which she could distinguish bits of the conversation that they’d had last night. ‘I’ll make it up to John George, I will, I will. I always meant to.’ Then he began to shout, ‘’Twas being shut in, ’twas being shut in.’

When she finally managed to wake him he spluttered, ‘What’s it? What’s-the-matter?’ Then putting his hand to his head, he added, I was dreamin’ . . . Was I talking?’

‘Just jabbering. It was all the excitement.’

‘Aye, yes,’ he said, ’all the excitement. By! I’m wringing.’

‘Yes, you are. Lie down, right down under the clothes here.’ She drew him towards her and held him closely, soothing him as if he were a child, until he went to sleep again.


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