Girl Auction


Part 10

Up came the gun in one swift motion! But no – it wasn’t the vile would-be swain – or the father: it was Barker! Or something strangely like him…

The dog creature stopped right in front of her: facing her: gazing at her. In spite of her ‘Mammy-sent’ warmth, a chilly shiver ran down her spine. ‘Cripes – what next? Is this for the good – or is it the end for us?’ She heard a gasp from Babsie – who’d obviously swivelled from rear-watching, and seen the ‘apparition’ – for that was what it seemed like. ‘God – what next, this night?’ The creature – entity – shape – whatever – moved closer. Moll kept her nerve – and the Four Ten; but held fire. Suddenly, she knew this was a good manifestation – of what she wasn’t sure. Then, a second later – she knew it was – Barker! But, confusedly – she also knew – it wasn’t Barker! The dog that stood there was the dead spit of their lovely old sheep dog – but seemed bigger: much bigger – and younger. She lowered the gun, glad she hadn’t ‘pulled’ on him.

There was a strange luminance around her old canine friend, like he was some kind of ghost. What else could he be? Barker was asleep, back in the cold hallway, guarding little pals – who were long gone. Then, the ‘spectre’ did the Barker trick of old – stood up on his rear legs and placed a paw on each shoulder. Looking into his eyes, she saw there the real sign she was hoping for: Mammy was there, looking at her through the shining eyes of a great animal – who’d been but a ball of puppy fluff when she departed this hard life – for sweeter and gentler climes. And now, Mam’d sent him to protect her loved daughters! The seconds Barker and Molly looked into each other’s eyes were longer than centuries, and unspoken feelings and knowledge of each other travelled between them. All the love and respect that existed since the first wolf came to a warm camp fire, between faithful canine and generous decent human, was expressed by that all-encompassing gaze: two companions on this Earth, who have helped each other through life’s bitter hardships – and came out on the right side of the dark.

Now, Barker gave his old low growl of kinship, then swivelled away, and dropped into a fighting position. Back on all fours again, his was a much-changed stance – and aspect. Not the little growl of friendship now: an ominous rumble like distant thunder erupted from the mighty cavern of his chest. His posture changes: he stiffens, with hair standing straight up on his broad back. Now, he turns, haunches tense – his nose pointing urgently towards the salley tree. His eyes flashed sideways to her – then switched instantly back towards the salley.

Another deep warning growl rasped out into the freezing night. Now, suddenly, Molly knew all. The great dog was undoubtedly showing he was from ‘the other side’ – and had been sent to her and Babs. {This steely little miss – who had moved up close beside her – was dumbstruck! Not a geeks out of her, thugh! For the first time since she’d quit the safe warmth of Mammy’s womb, ten years ago – the feisty little warrior was completely speechless!}

We can only guess what she was thinking. Probably: ‘Cripes! What next is going to happen?

Sensing this understandable turmoil, Molly reached back to reassure the little miss. But she

got the quick whisper in her ear: “I’m all right Mollers – shoot any oul divil that shows up,


Now: “Do as I say, Babs: stay in there, close behind me,” she ordered, grimly. No need for

silence now – everything was out in the open. Except what was lurking, darkly, under the

salley tree. Before Moll could do one single thing more, the ‘New Barker’ made his move – an immensely fast one – quite outside the ability of the old dog they so well loved. In a surging rush, he bullocked his way into the bushes beside the salley tree – and immediately a most horrendous snarling and roaring split the silent frosty night! A few seconds later, out shot a sort of human shape {God save the mark!} – and who should it be? The bould Paudhaun! And attached to his ‘good’ leg was Barker – doing his level best to tear it loose from its owner’s vile frame!

Behind her, Molly heard a gulp. Wee sis didn’t know where to look, what with orders to watch the rear – and this drama out front – with the ‘Barker’ yowling and snarling, and

the Paudhaun grunting in the fashion of a seriously annoyed wild boar, and making savage belts with something in his hands – which turned out to look like – a shotgun! Was it? No – it was a lump of a big log.

As if this wasn’t enough to be going on with – little sis now spotted another danger: glancing back, she spied a shape emerging from the gloom, quite far back behind them. Though not wanting to miss the violent brawl out front – she knew that the Mollers would cope with that – somehow. But she watched the dadser – for it must be he – she did as she’d been told letting him come into ‘range.’ {She’d understood what Moll had meant about ‘don’t let anyone come closer than thirty yards without telling me’}. ‘Cranky miss’ guessed – correctly – that this was the effective range of the Four Ten shotgun… But she wouldn’t bother the Mollers about it until he hit close to that limit. Orders are orders, and big sis had enough on her plate with whatever was happening out front. They both had to trust in each other – did trust in each other: the front war was up to Molly… That young lady now had her weapon high and handy – up at the military ‘high port’ position – waiting to see if any events might occur that would enable her to intervene – and so turn them drastically in her favour. A warlike young lady she surely was – a natural fighter/leader. And a thinking one. In the few seconds that had elapsed since Barker dragged Paudhaun out of his hiding place, the two had battled it out savagely. The P was immensely strong, more like a bullock than a human. But the speed and ferocity of Barker was beginning to tell, and the lump of timber Paudhaun had picked up was having no effect on the strangely youthful sheep dog. Then – Molly thought it was over! The P made a sudden dash back into the bushes, taking Barker by complete surprise!

‘Cripes – we’ve won that one’ Moll cheered to herself – but before she could praise the big dog, Paudhaun came charging back out of the bushes – but this time he was certainly armed – with the afore-mentioned Twelve Bore shotgun! Barker’s initial attack must have been so sudden that he’d dropped the gun, at the butt of the salley.

Moll could see the fires of hate burning in those piggy eyes, as he swung the big gun in a wide arc, lining up Barker for both barrels. Just as he was going to pull, there was a sharp explosion – and the gun was blown to bits in his paws! Pieces of it flew in all directions, and maybe a few of his fingers with them, as the ‘fore-grip’ and barrels took the full charge from the Four Ten! The Barker – or whoever or whatever he was – had been saved. The erstwhile gunman looked completely dazed and frazzled, whacked and bewildered, and fell to the ground, shocked and shellacked out of the only few wits he had. All his power now seemed to be gone, and fear suffused even further his mottled blotchy chops. But he knew there was another cartridge up the ‘choke’ barrel of the Four-Ten – and thought frantically: ‘Jaysus – I’m for Boot Hill!’

And now the little sis was agog, suddenly yelling: “Cripes – this is great fun!

G’won Mollers – give it to the toe-rag!”….. To be continued.

To be continued….



The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of The Kilkenny Observer.


Previous Parade and St. Patrick’s Festival beat the rain as crowds come flocking
Next French and Polish communities celebrate as Mayor opens city doors for twins