I Knew That
Every One Of Them Would Be Drowned In The Sea In A Few Years And
Battered Naked On The Rocks, Or Would Die In His Own Cottage And Be
Buried With Another Fearful Scene In The Graveyard I Had Come From.
When I got up this morning I found that the people had gone to Mass
and latched the kitchen door from the outside, so that I could not
open it to give myself light.
I sat for nearly an hour beside the fire with a curious feeling that
I should be quite alone in this little cottage. I am so used to
sitting here with the people that I have never felt the room before
as a place where any man might live and work by himself. After a
while as I waited, with just light enough from the chimney to let me
see the rafters and the greyness of the walls, I became
indescribably mournful, for I felt that this little corner on the
face of the world, and the people who live in it, have a peace and
dignity from which we are shut for ever.
While I was dreaming, the old woman came in in a great hurry and
made tea for me and the young priest, who followed her a little
later drenched with rain and spray.
The curate who has charge of the middle and south islands has a
wearisome and dangerous task. He comes to this island or Inishere on
Saturday night - whenever the sea is calm enough - and has Mass the
first thing on Sunday morning.
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