Fecha de registro: 14 jun 2022


He stood at the window now looking down on to the yard. The sun was glinting on the water; there were boats plying up and down the river; on the slipway Jimmy had set the keel of a new boat in the small stocks and he was working on it now. In the ordinary way he would have been down there helping him, they would have been exchanging jokes about what they would do when they had the monopoly of the river, or grinding their teeth at the Pitties and their tactics

As he looked down on Jimmy’s fair head, he was suddenly brought forward with a jerk, for there, coming round the side of the building, was Ruth and his da and Lizzie. It wasn’t the fact that they’d all turned up together to visit him, it was the expression on their faces that was riveting his attention for both Lizzie and Ruth were crying, openly crying as they talked rapidly to Jimmy, and his da was now holding out a paper to Jimmy. He watched Jimmy reading it, shake his head, then put his hand to his brow before turning and looking up at the window. Then they were all looking up at the window.

He didn’t step back but stared down at them as they remained still, their postures seemingly frozen into a group of statuary. He noticed that Lizzie was wearing her old shawl, and old it was, green in parts. And Ruth too was in a shawl; she nearly always wore a bonnet. And they both still had their aprons on.

He moved from the window and went to the door and, having opened it, looked down the steps at them. They came towards him. It was his father who mounted first, and he said to him, ‘What’s up?’ But Paddy didn’t answer, he just walked into the room, followed by Ruth and Lizzie and, lastly, Jimmy.

Rory’s gaze travelled from one to the other, then came to rest on Jimmy who was gripping the paper with both hands and staring at him.

He did not repeat his question to Jimmy, but took the paper from him and began to read.


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