Girl Auction


Part 15

Well, as described many times, it was a bitter frigid night out in the bleak Five Acre. And now, for Mikey Connolly, it had turned into Siberia.

Be that as it may, he’d have to try something. “Babsie, I’ll be going soon. You girls must have a plan, and I know nothing of it. It’s no good me carping – your minds are made up. You, the Mollers, and the cat – you’ll all be gone. I don’t deserve anything much – and I can’t complain. I’m being paid out. His brain in turmoil, MC suddenly took an incautious step

forward. Suddenly, the phantom Barker’s deep bass voice dropped much further down – to an ominous rumbling pitch: and from this Mikey would swear he sensed – felt – that the

unseen head and jaws turned towards him! All of a sudden, he thought again of his straw-tick bed in the cold house – with terrific fondness! Now, the Babsie spoke again: “Now Mr Connolly, you’d better go, and let us get on with our journey.” “Speak no more to me. No ‘goodbyes’ – leave them out –and leave now”. Talk to the Mollers, if she’ll let you. Then go straight back to the house. This unseen supernatural lad will shadow you all the way. Don’t even dream of cutting through the Dacent’s fields to warn or gang up with him. You’re a dead little dadser if you do – isn’t that so, Mr Madra?” A rumble like savage October thunder suddenly shook even more icicles of dark chill into the iron-frosted air of the Five Acre!

His racketing flying thoughts are now interrupted by the calm {but chilly} Mollers, who simply flings over her shoulder: “Golden good, Babs! You have Mr Connolly dead to rights!” Then, to the downcast dadser: “I’ll treat you better than you would me, father – if the boot was on the other foot. So have a last word, if you want to. Be sharp, and keep your distance.”

Silence for a few seconds, then Mikey spoke. No aggression, just a weary, beaten voice. “Molly, you’ll hardly believe me when I say I regret how I’ve treated you two. I can’t stop you now – and I won’t try again. You can cross me off the list of the dangers that surely face you. But I want to warn you about the Paudhaun: he’s very dangerous. And that mother of his? A pure serpent! She has no fear of any law – she’ll hunt him after you.

“So don’t rule out another ambush, somewhere along whatever lonely road you girls take. He’s got a ‘Twelve Bore’ shotgun – much bigger than that Four Ten. Would he use it? Don’t know. Believe me, I’m desperate ashamed for ‘selling you off’ to him. You may not know, but he’s pals with ‘Wild Jiminy’ Finnigan – who built that fast car to go with his racing pony. That gig can outrun any trap, jarvey car, or carriage in the country. And he’ll loan it to the Dacent – they’re pally. That Jiminy’s a caution: but he’s not bad – just mad. The Dacent is both. “Now, Mollers, you mightn’t believe me, but I don’t want that Paudhaun to catch you. I told you about Jiminy Finnigan’s gig – and how fast it is. Whether you’re heading for Queenstown to catch a ship, I don’t know – don’t want to. Dublin to Liverpool is the obvious way: which means you should head in the opposite direction – towards Cork! The Dacent’ll have to choose. But I tell you – if he guesses right, he’ll run you down.

If I were you, I’d tip along as handy as I could until just before daylight, then hook it up a side road, and hole up in a haybarn. Plenty of them, everywhere. If dogs bark, go to the next one. Get up top of the ‘spans’, go right to the back, burrow down. Then pull wisps over yourselves, and don’t even whisper. I couldn’t protect you Mollers if you’re brought back. Even the RIC wouldn’t interfere because of the dowry-paper I signed. “However, if you make it, and stay away until you’re twenty-one, then the Dacent can do nothing. But he’s dangerous, Mollers – I can’t tell you that enough times. He’ll do anything to get you. I didn’t just sign you away for the gold, Moll – I was afraid of the Dacent. I thought he might burn the house down and kill us all.”

“Right-oh, father, you’ve had your say. Pity it’s the first attempt you’ve made to put anything straight. But it’s rather a late try, don’t you think, go now while you still can.

Now, as big sis stood silent, Babsie thought on, in silence. She knew that the defeated dadser must be almost home, and though feeling wretched over the breakup, Molly’d still ordered him to light the oil lamp – their Mammy’s treasured possession, and put it in their

bedroom window – to prove he was back in the house. She’d also warned him to put the light out and relight it every few minutes – to make sure he wasn’t after sloping off to warn the Dacent about where he thought his runaway children were heading.

After Molly gave him the ‘lamp signal’ instructions, Babsie had slipped in a few quiet words. “Heed the Mollers, Mikey: my magic hound here will be only the shake of a tail behind you. He knows the way back there, so don’t get tricksy – don’t get dangerous ideas.

“Well, Babsie, it looks like we’re on our way at last, out of this freezing Five.

Are you ready to make a cut for the Tree Bridge? It’s open ground to there, no cover at

all. And I only have one cartridge left for this Four Ten.

“I can’t see much, but things don’t look too bad out there in the open, Babs” said Molly, “we have no option, anyway – time is moving on – and we won’t sprout wings. Let’s head for the

river, right now.” …….

To be continued….


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


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