Join date: Jun 12, 2022


As if he were starting a race he sprang forward and ran. He ran until he thought his heart would burst, for it was uphill all the way after he left the docks, and when finally he staggered into the kitchen he dropped on to the floor and held his side against the painful stitch before he could speak to them all hanging over him. And when he did speak it was to Janie he addressed himself

They walked quickly, almost on the point of a run, all the way back with him into Shields in the dark, Paddy, Ruth, Lizzie and Janie, and for hours they all waited in the little side room. It was against the rules, but the night sister had taken pity on them and brought them in out of the cold.

Janie left the Infirmary around eleven o’clock to slip back to her place, and the look on her face checked the upbraiding from the cook and her master and mistress. The master and mistress were deeply concerned over the incident and gave her leave to visit the hospital first thing in the morning.

Fortunately it was not more than five minutes’ walk from the house, they said, so she was to go upstairs and rest, as she would need all her strength to face the future.

It was a term that ordinary people used when a man had died and a woman was left to fend for herself and her family with no hope of help but the questionable charity of the Poor House. It was as if Rory were already gone. Well, the family expected he would go before dawn, didn’t they? Men in his condition usually went out about three in the morning.

She asked politely if she could go back now because she’d like to be with him when he went.

Her master and mistress held a short conference in the drawing-room and then they gave her their permission.


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