‘How are things about town?’ he asked, in a friendly way.
One word borrowed another,
… though my feet itched to be away. He wondered why I was risking a walk up into the moors and the mountain when it was obvious that, before long, it would be teeming with rain.
Sure, I might have asked why they were saving the corn in such circumstances: but retrospect’s a great thing. I never thought. I denied it anyway, pointing out that it was sunny and bright.
‘Aye,’ says he. ‘The day’s a ‘pet’. Too sunny, too early.
Already it’s closing up the valley.’
I thought that was a heat-haze I detected below. ‘Ach, no!’ he insisted.
‘Sure isn’t that why my family’s going hammer and tongs at saving the corn?’
With regret in his voice, he wished they had a little more help. Just one able-bodied man would make all the difference.
‘Oh, well, good fordther to you, that has nothing better to do that to enjoy yourself. Ach, no matter. If you’re wringing wet on the way down in a couple of hours, call in anyway. To dry yourself. You’ll be welcome!’
‘Twas the sympathy that stopped me in my tracks. I saw the woman of the house coming over the stile with a big can and a wicker basket. He saw her too and invited:
‘Wait a minute. Here she is with a sup o’ tay. I’m sure there’s an extra mug and it will freshen you up for the walk.
As it happened, there was a mug. Me. I just couldn’t refuse: and I couldn’t just accept and move off. The old rogue kept so close to me, and kept the craic moving so well that I was caught for the day!
… more later …