Join date: Jun 10, 2022


‘Well, he’s surly like at times. And I get vexed inside when I hear the way he speaks to Lizzie ’cos she’s a nice body, isn’t she . . . Lizzie? I like her . . . motherly, comfortable. Yet . . . yet at times he treats her like dirt. And I can’t understand it, ’cos he’s not like that outside, I mean when he’s collecting; he’s civility’s own self, and all the women like him. You know that, don’t you? All the women like him, ’cos he’s got a way with him. But the way he speaks to Lizzie

Janie paused in her walk and, putting her hand on John George’s arm, she drew him to a stop. Then flicking the falling snow away from her eyes, she asked quietly, Don’t you know why he goes on at Lizzie like that?’


‘He’s never told you?’


‘You mean he’s never told you an’ you’ve been workin’ with him and coming up to the house for . . . how many years?’

‘Four and over.’

‘Eeh! I can’t believe it. I thought you knew.’

‘Knew what?’

‘Well, that . . . that Lizzie, she’s . . . she’s his mother.’

Lizzie ?’ He bent his long length down to her. ‘Lizzie Rory’s mother? No! How does that come about? I don’t believe it.’

‘It’s true. It’s true. Come on, don’t let us stand here, we’ll be soaked.’

‘What . . . what about Mrs Connor? I mean . . . his mother . . . I mean.’

‘It’s all very simple, John George, when you know the ins and outs of it. You see they were married, Mr and Mrs Connor for six years an’ there was no sign of any bairn. Then Mr Connor gets a letter from Ireland from a half-cousin he had never seen. Her name was Lizzie O’Dowd. Her ma and da had died— as far as I can gather from starvation.


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