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Candle and Crib   By: (1852-)

Book cover

First Page:

CANDLE AND CRIB

[Illustration]

By K. F. PURDON.

Illustrated by BEATRICE ELVERY.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE FOLK OF FURRY FARM

[Illustration: "AS SOON AS HE WAS GONE, DIDN'T THE WOMAN THROW DOWN HER KNITTING, AND LAID HER HEAD UPON HER KNEES, AND CRIED"]

MAUNSEL & COMPANY, LTD.

DUBLIN AND LONDON ยท 1914

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. MOLONEY'S 1

II. THE STABLE 10

III. THE LETTER 18

IV. THE CRIB 34

CANDLE AND CRIB

CHAPTER I

MOLONEY'S

It would be hard to find a pleasanter, more friendly looking place in all Ardenoo than Moloney's of the Crooked Boreen, where Big Michael and the wife lived, a piece up from the high road. And well might you call the little causey "crooked" that led to their door! for rough and stony that boreen was, twisting and winding along by the bog side, this way and that way, the same as if it couldn't rightly make up its mind where it wanted to bring you. So it was all the more of a surprise when you did get to Moloney's, to find a house with such an appearance of comfort upon it, in such a place.

Long and low that house was, and very old. You could tell the great age of it by the thickness of the thatch, as well as by seeing, when you were standing inside upon the kitchen floor and looking up, that that same thatch was resting, not upon common planks, sawn with the grain and against the grain and every way, but upon the real boughs themselves, put there by them that had to choose carefully what would be suitable for their purpose, because there were few tools then for shaping timber. So that's how the branches were there yet, the same as ever, bark and twigs and all; ay, and as sound as the day they were put there, two hundred years before.

As for the walls at Moloney's ... mud, I'm not denying it! but the thickness of them! and the way they were kept white washed, inside and out! They'd dazzle you, to look at them; especially in the kitchen of an evening, when the fire would be strong. And that was a thing that occurred mostly always at Moloney's. For Herself was a most notorious Vanithee; and there's no better sign of good housekeeping than a clean, blazing hearth. Sure isn't that, as a body might say, the heart of the whole house? Heart or hearth, isn't it all the one thing, nearly? For if warmth and comfort for the body come from the one, doesn't love and pleasant kindness come from the other? Ay, indeed!

And now, here was the Christmas Eve come round again, when every one puts the best foot foremost, whether they can or not. And so by Moloney's. The darkness had fallen, and a wild, wet night it was, as ever came out of the heavens. But that only made the light seem the brighter and more coaxing that the fire was sending out over the half door, and through the little, twinkling bulls' eyes windows, as if it was trying to say, "Come along in, whoever you are that's outside in the cold and the rain! Look at the way the Woman has the floor swept, till there isn't a speck upon it! and the tables and stools scoured like the snow, and the big old pewter plates and dishes upon the dresser polished till they're shining like a goat's eyes from under a bed! Come in! Sure every one is welcome here to night, whether they come or not!"

And still in all... Continue reading book >>




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