Join date: Jun 12, 2022


John George now replaced the key in the back of the drawer; then they both left, locking the outer door behind them

As they walked together towards Laygate, Rory said stiffly, ‘What you going to do about this other business, have you got anything in mind?’

‘Aye. Aye, I have. I’m going to ask her the day. I’m going to ask her to just walk out and come to our place. She can stay hidden up there until we can get married in the registry office.’

‘Registry office?’

‘Aye, registry office. It’s just as bindin’ as any place else.’

‘It isn’t the same.’

‘Well, it’ll have to do for us.’

‘Aw, man.’ Rory shook his head slowly. ‘You let people walk over you; you’re so bloomin’ soft.’

‘I’m as God made me, we can’t help being what we are.’

‘You can help being a bloody fool, you’re not a bairn.’

‘Well, what do you expect me to do, leave her?’

‘You needn’t shout unless you want the whole street to know.’

They walked on in silence until simultaneously they both stopped at the place where their roads divided.

‘See you Monday then.’ Rory’s tone was kindly now and John George, looking at him, said, ‘Aye, see you Monday. And thanks Rory. I’ll pay you back, I promise I’ll pay you back.’

‘I’m not afraid of that, you always have.’

‘Aw . . . I wish, I wish I was like you, Rory. You’re right, I’m too soft to clag holes with, no gumption. I can never say no.’

It was on the tip of Rory’s tongue to come back with the retort, ‘And neither can your lass apparently.’ Janie had said no, and she’d kept both feet on the ground when she said it an’ all. But what he said and generously was, ‘People like you for what you are. You’re a good bloke.’ He made a small movement with his fist. ‘I’ll tell you something. You’re better liked than me, especially up in our house. It’s John George this, an’ John George that.’

‘Aw, go on, man, stop pulling me leg. But it’s nice of you to say it nevertheless, and as I said—’ he patted his pocket—I won’t forget this.’

‘That’s all right, man. So long, and good luck.’

‘So long . . . so long, Rory. And thanks. Thanks again.’

They went their ways, neither dreaming he would never see the other again.