Join date: Jun 14, 2022


‘It is with deep regret that we hear of the terrible tragedy that has overtaken a Shields family on holiday on the coast of France. Mr Charles Buckham, his wife, three children, and their nursemaid Mrs Jane Connor, together with Mr Buckham’s brother, are feared lost, after their yacht was caught in a great storm. Mrs Buckham’s body and that of one child were washed ashore, together with pieces of wreckage from the boat. There is little hope of any survivors. Two other boats were wrecked at the same time, with a total loss of twenty-six lives. Mr Charles Buckham was a prominent member

Someone must have brought a chair forward for him to sit on because when next he looked at them they were standing in a half-circle before him and they were all crying, even his da. His own eyes were dry; his whole body was dry, he was being shrivelled up; his mind had stopped working except for a section which oozed pain and ran like a burning acid down into his heart, and there it was etching out her name: Janie. Janie.

‘Janie. Janie’ he said the name aloud and turned and saw Lizzie lift up her white apron and fling it over her head, and when she began to moan like a banshee he made no protest because the sound was finding an echo within himself. ‘Janie. Janie. Aw, Janie, don’t go, Janie. Don’t be dead, Janie. Come back to me, Janie. Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. I’ll see about John George, honest to God I promise, now, right now. Oh, Janie.’

‘Give him a drop out of the bottle.’

Paddy put his hand into his inside pocket and drew out a flat flask of whisky and, picking up a cup, he almost half-filled it. Then handing it to Rory, he said, ‘Get it down you, lad. Get it down you. You need to be fortified. God knows you need to be fortified.’

When Lizzie suddenly cried, ‘Why does God bring disasters like this to us? What have we ever done to Him?’ Paddy turned on her, hissing, ‘Whist! woman. It’s questions like that that bring on disasters.’



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