Delahoy's Mile

Chapter 1 | Contents | Chapter 3

(C) Copyright 1970 Robert Gordon Delahoy
and Roger Vaughan Carr.


Chapter 2

Woomelang - Speed 1914

New Year's Day 1914, and a hot inland wind spun whirlies of dust up the main street of Woomelang, rattling the dry leaves of the trees, probing under loose sheets of iron, slamming half-closed doors.

"Hey, look!" Rupe cried, running up to where I lay in the shade of the garden. "He gave 'em to me!"

Proudly he dropped a sugar bag beside me and knelt down with a shoulder box and partly opened the lid.

"A ferret?" I asked, peering in.

"And nets! Come on, let's go rabbiting!"

"It's too hot Rupe."

"No, it's not. Look, you look after the ferret and I'll go and get a cold drink each from mum. Then we'll go." He looked at me hopefully, eyes brightly excited, eager to try his new gift.

I shrugged. "Alright."

After he returned the empty glasses we walked out of town to the Hepworth brothers' sheep paddocks, climbing through the boundary fence and setting out to look for burrows.

The paddocks were brown and hard with summer, and the sun bounced from them and ached in the back of your eyes, until even Rupe's enthusiasm began to wane. By the time we were into their back paddock his shoulders had slumped, and he stopped and shook his head.

"I don't reckon this bloke's got any rabbits."

"No. Come on." I turned towards a windmill standing above a small dam and sheep trough. "Let's get a drink."

It was a pretty little dam, with cool, sweet, water, out of place here in these shimmering, brown, heat-hazed paddocks, and we lay on the bank and drank from our cupped hands, then splashed water across our faces.

"Why not have a swim?" Rupe suggested, and we raced each other to get our clothes off and be first in, swimming and fighting and stirring the mud up from the bottom of what we suddenly discovered to be the Hepworth brothers' Border Leicester stud sheep water supply.

"What'a you think you're doing in there?"

We turned in surprise, looking up at the angry face of Mr Ernie Hepworth, who leaned from the saddle of a tall horse, shaking his fist at us.

"Ah - just swimming, Mister."

"Out!" he roared. "Who are you?"

Rupe and I glanced at each other, and kept our mouths shut, watching helplessly as Mr Hepworth dismounted and picked up our trousers.

"I'll soon find out!" he roared, swinging back into the saddle. "Now, out!" And he turned his horse and rose away.

"Well, that was a lousy thing to do," Rupe said when we had run around the dam a few times to dry off and were putting on what was left of our clothing.

"I suppose it will take a while for the mud to settle though," I conceded, looking at the water.

"Ah .....," Rupe muttered in disgust, and picked up the bag of nets.

It was not so bad crossing back through the paddocks without trousers, but when we came to the railway fence we could see the porter folding up tarpaulins, and had to duck around the wheat stacks to avoid him. From there it was a quick gallop across the railway lines, into Dettman's timber yard, and along behind the racks of timber to the fence.

"Jove," Rupe muttered, looking across Station Street to our house, and I could see exactly what he meant. Woomelang had never been busier. People on both sides of the street, buggies and jinkers everywhere, and even Mr Dan Barbary chugging past in his T Model Ford.

"Better hide out till it gets dark Bob."

"Aw - I'm starting to shiver."

It was strange how cold you could get without your trousers, and even though the day had been another roaster, this sudden late afternoon chill which would drop down to the ground had quite a bite.

"I suppose we could make a dash for it," Rupe said doubtfully. "Let's wait a bit though."

We waited another ten minutes, and then, when there seemed to be a lull, made a dash for it. Straight into Mother and Mr Hepworth coming from our new shop, Mr Hepworth holding our trousers.

"Oh no! Oh dear me no!" Mother was protesting. "My boys would never do a thing like that – " She stopped, eyes fixed on our bare legs, mesmerised.

"Here's the trousers Mrs Delahoy." He handed them to Mother, then turned and lashed into us with his tongue.

"I know now," Mother said later, "why your father asked me to keep you out of the cities. Today's disgraceful episode has made me quite certain you will all be better off on the land."

She stood there in front of us, shaking her head, and it was quite a relief to her when George finished his contract and brought the teams back to Woomelang ready for the move.

George arranged to keep the sixteen Clydesdales in the saleyards until we were ready to leave, and when the time arrived brought the wagons around to the back fence ready for loading.

Bill and Harry had both given notice, and Mr Ellis wrote transfers to the Turriff East School for Rupe and I, and we left school to help with loading the wagons.

One was a Rawling, the other a May and Miller. Big wagons with six inch wide steel tyres to cope with the Mallee sands. They could haul large loads with an eight horse team, although nothing like the loads of the big sand schooners of the bullockies.

"What's that?" Rupe asked, as George and Bill loaded a tall, box-like structure onto the back of the wagon. "Looks like a sentry box."

"That's right," George said. "Going to set it up at the front gate of the new property and you're going to stand guard in it with a pitchfork."

"Garn …..," said Rupe, a little unsure. "Not really?"

"Don't you reckon?" Bill asked, and that was all Rupe could get from them as they went on loading the furniture and household goods.

Six o'clock on the morning of the day, we left Bill and George yoked up an eight horse team to each of the wagons, and with Wally up beside George, and Harry up with Bill, pulled out for our new home at Speed.

"See you along the road."


Mother turned back to the house. "Come on boys, let's hurry and get the house cleaned up."
As the morning moved on various friends and neighbours came by to lend a hand, or just say goodbye, and by ten o'clock when we were finished and Chester and Snowy were yoked up and waiting, there was quite a crowd to see us off.


"Come back and visit ….."

Mother climbed up into the single seater hooded buggy and lifted the reins. She was an experienced horsewoman, and with a last goodbye flicked the whip out across the ponies backs, sending them away in a fast trot up past the water tower and out along the main Sea Lake road.

Where the road forked, we went straight on towards Speed. It was really only a track amongst the mallee stumps, and you had to be quite skilful to guide a buggy between them.

About five miles past the fork we sighted the wagons stopped ahead, the lead one down at the front on one side. Mother drove the buggy around them through the whipstick mallee, and stopped where George and Wally were digging at the off-side front wheel which had sunk into a crab hole and bogged.

"G'day," George called, standing his shovel in the sand. "Hit a bit of a soft patch here."

He climbed back onto his wagon, gathering the ribbons in one hand, and stood the team up. "Right! Into it!"

He sent the whiplash snapping out above them, and the great shoulders of the Clydesdales hit the collars as one. Leather creaked and wood protested as chains snapped taught, a moment of immobility as great bunched muscles built up against dead weight, and suddenly the wagon rolled, and the wheel came up out of the crab hole.

"Into it!" George yelled to them, but with a groaning twist the back wheel dropped down into the hole and locked the team stationary.

"Wheee ….., wheee ….., whoa back!" George cried, and the team eased off the strain and stood as George climbed down. "We'll get the other horses."

"Why'd you stop them when they were still pulling?" Bill asked in surprise.

George stopped and leaned against the tray of the wagon and unhooked a water bag, taking a long drink from the ceramic neck. "Never let them pull till they stop Bill. Soon as you know you're bogged, call them back. Once they know they're stuck they'll start to panic and pull all over the place."

He wiped the neck of the canvas bag with the back of his hand and passed it across to Bill. "See the way I stand them up by giving them a call before I start? That's to give them a chance to be ready to pull when I call, so they all hit the collars at once. If I didn't stand them up first they'd all move off at different times and lose most of the pull."
"Yeah ….." Bill nodded. "Yeah, I see."

George was really proud of these horses. "They'll pull till they drop you know. Fact is, you've got to keep an eye out they don't choke themselves when they're really digging in. Get their haunches up and their chests down on the ground, and they'd rather choke to death on the collars than stop before you tell them."

He leaned away from the tray and went back to the other wagon, taking out the leading six and leaving only the shafters, and with Bill helping yoked them to the eight in the first team.

Then George went around each of them, patting and talking to every one as though they were human beings, then climbed back onto the wagon and stood them up. "Right! Into it!"

Fourteen long-legged Clydesdales hit the collars, and the wagon lurched up out of the crab hole and onto solid ground.

"Whee ….., whoa-back, whee ….., whoa-back." George grinned and jumped down. "Easy if you've got the horse power."

They walked back to look at the soft patch to see if there was any way around it for the second wagon, brushing at the swarming flies. Rupe cut a small shoot of mallee leaves for Mother to use to brush them away from her face, and handed it up to her.

Harry, standing beside the buggy talking to Mother, suddenly choked, and began to cough and splutter, his face turning red, one hand smacking at his chest.

"Whatever is the matter son?"

"Sw-swallowed a fly! St-stuck in me windpipe!"

"Oh dear," Mother said, and looked as though she were going to be ill.

"Here." Wally took a water bag from the wagon. "Wash it down with this."

Harry grabbed the water bag and gulped down a mouthful. "Struth," he managed weakly. "Gone down. Can't feel it any more." Then he got a funny, surprised look on his face. "Must have swallowed it! Ugh!" and turned away and heaved up.

Rupe turned to me, concerned. "Pretty crook, ain't he?"

"Yeah, well he swallowed a fly."

"Ah, I know that, but I'm not crook and I've been swallowing the little buggers for the last ten minutes."

When Harry had recovered a little, Mother stepped down from the buggy, deciding we would have lunch before we moved on.

George gathered dry sticks and started a fire, filling the billies from the canvas water bags and hanging them above the flames, while Mother selected a small clearing on the east side of the track and spread a spotless white tablecloth over two rugs.

Rupe and I were looking to the west over the rolled and burnt mallee, watching the whirley-winds, or willie-willies. Fisher, our little black cobber from our school days at Jeparit, always said they were a sign of dry weather coming. There was one giant we were watching spiralling its dust hundreds of feet up into the air, and we turned away reluctantly when Mother called us for lunch.

Harry seemed to have recovered a bit, and was sipping a cup of black tea as we sat down with the others around the spread of cold chicken, fresh bread, and all the other enticements of the lunch Mother had prepared.

"This is the life!" Bill said happily, holding up a chicken leg. "Picnics every day."

But he had not lifted the chicken leg as far as his mouth when the whirley-wind hit us, "Dead centre," as Rupe said afterwards. The peace around us exploded in stinging, choking dust, as wind roared and howled and ripped away all semblance of order.

The tablecloth, rugs, chicken, cups, saucers, plates and everything else not tied down, spun upwards and disappeared in the blast.

The mallee gums bent and twisted and whipped about as the whirley tried to uproot them. Dust stung our eyes and went down our throats, while at the same time the very air in our lungs was sucked away.

This roaring, ranting, twisting gale –


Absolute silence.

Ringing in your ears in a dead calm that seemed alien.

And then a horse screamed, and George was up and running from the destruction towards the lead wagon where one of the horses had gone down in the panic. Thirteen great bodies rearing and lashing out in blind fear.

Prince, the horse that was down, had one of the leading chains wrapped around one of his hind legs, well up on the haunch, the chain cutting into the flesh as the other horses dragged against it.

"Come back!" Rupe screamed in fear. But George raced in amongst the plunging team.

"Whoa there! Steady! Whoa-up! Steady boy, steady!"

He pushed in amongst them to Prince, pulling the hame strap undone, which slackened the chain, talking to them. "Steady there! Easy Prince. Steady."
He pulled the chain from around the horse's leg, stepping back as Prince heaved to his feet, then moving back in amongst them, the great Clydesdales losing their fear as the familiar voice soothed them.

When they stood quietly again we turned to our picnic spot, and poor Mother. Her veil had blown off, hair down around her shoulders, face streaked white where tears ran down through the black ash and dust.

Harry put an arm around her and helped her back into the buggy, wetting his handkerchief and wiping the tears from her face.

Rupe and I went searching for the picnic. We found the rugs and tablecloth wrapped around mallee trees about twenty yards away. But the cups, plates and food had completely disappeared.

"Jove," said Rupe thoughtfully. "That was a hungry sort of whirley-wind. Took all the tucker."

We took the tablecloth and rugs back to the buggy, where Mother seemed to be regaining her composure. "Well, we were caught napping," she said suddenly, and burst into laughter.

"Well Mother," George said when her laughter began to die. "I think you had better go onto the property with Bob and Rupe. No good waiting with us."

"Alright," she agreed, and Rupe and I climbed back into the buggy. Mother picked up the reins, the ponies stepping forward quickly, glad to be moving again.

We drove on through the afternoon, Mother kept busy guiding the buggy between the stumps, until, approaching evening, we crested a hill and Mother drew the ponies to a halt and pointed ahead.

Spread out before us, backed by the acrid semi-desert of virgin country, was an area of cleared land sloping gently away to a homestead, with a stand of trees on the west side, and standing apart from it a stable and sheds.

Among the greys and reds of the paddock was a bright patch of green. The new wheat, three hundred acres of what was to be our first harvest, on which was built so many hopes.

"There you are my sons. Our new home."

"All of that?" Rupe asked, awestruck.

"The whole square mile."

From one of the homestead chimneys a lazy plume of blue smoke wove upwards through the evening air, lending a touch of homeliness to the wide plains.

"Gee-up Chester, Snowy," Mother called to the ponies, touching the reins along their backs. "Mr Jennings' father is keeping an eye on the place until we arrive."

"Eighteen thousand square miles of scrub lands with open sand plains and barren rocky areas," Rupe quoted from school. "The Mallee seemed a forbidding country of no usefulness to the early explorers, but slowly the wheat farmers expanded outwards and proved its value for grain crops."

"Why is it called 'Mallee'?" Mother asked, amused.

"'Cause that's what the aboriginals called the gums growing there!"

These gums made up the bulk of the growth in the sand country. They had evolved to suit the environment by developing huge root stocks to cope with the desert sand, and instead of a single trunk had several slender ones.

In a general way, the Mallee runs to its northern boundary on the Murray River, and on the west to the South Australian border. In the east it dissolves slowly into higher rainfall country.

"I'd like to see them roll it," Rupe said.

It was fairly easy land to clear for grain, great horse or bullock teams pulling off-set rollers through the scrub to flatten it. Bullock teams were preferred as the thin trunks, split by the rollers, could stake and kill an animal, and a horse was a much more serious loss than a bullock.

After the rolled mallee had been burned, the ground could be disked and ploughed, but the great knobbed roots left in the ground were a great trouble and expense in broken harness and machinery.

Most of the land we had taken over from Mr Jennings had been rolled and worked, and as we jogged down to the gate it was hard to believe such a vast area of land was really ours.

"Cra ….., cra ….." A black crow lifted lazily from each gatepost as we approached, and flapped lazily away towards the haystack by the stable.

When we pulled up at the homestead old Mr Jennings, 'Pa' as we came to know him, came out to greet us. He was a slightly stooped figure, brown, lined face covered with a grey stubble. He wore a Davey Crockett cap of rabbit skins, and a big grin spread across his face.

"Come on in. You've had a long trip Mrs Delahoy."

"Thank you Mr Jennings." Mother turned the ponies a pace to the side to bring the front wheels away so she could step down. "Come on boys."

Chester and Snowy were tired, and stood quietly where we left them as we stepped up onto the verandah and followed Mr Jennings inside, and followed him around as he showed us through.

I liked the kitchen, with its big wood stove and open fireplace made from cocky-chaff bricks. You could only see these from the outside, as inside it was whitewashed, somewhat out of character with the rest of the house which was dusty and uncared for.

Mr Jennings owned the block on our west boundary where he lived with his wife, and after he had shown us through said he would have to be off home for tea.

"I'll show you boys where to put the ponies on my way."

He helped us unload the buggy, then we drove it down to the shed, unyoked the ponies and led them to the house dam for a drink. Back in the stable we put them in the stalls, and Mr Jennings took us down to the chaff house for a kerosene tin full of feed for them.

"Tip that in the feeders boys. I'll probably drop over tomorrow and meet your brothers and see if there's anything I can do for you."

Walking back to the house we became aware of the vast silence around us, evening stealing softly across a land bare of any sign of life except our house. After the hustle of Woomelang it seemed lonely, and I found myself wishing for some sound of life.

"Shhh!" Rupe said, stopping and cocking his head to one side. "Hear them?"

We came to learn in time of the incredible distance sounds could travel through this empty stillness, but when, at Rupe's question, I stopped and heard the sounds of the wagons and our brothers' voices, I could not understand how they had travelled so quickly.

But no, we went on back to the house, and it was a long time later before the wagons arrived at the gate, and came slowly up to the back of the house.

When the horses from the teams had been unyoked, watered and fed, Harry helped Mother prepare tea. It was after nine by then, and when the washing up was finally done we took our first real rest of the day, gathered around a mallee root fire.

"We'll just bring in the mattresses and lie them on the floor," Mother said. "The whole place will have to be scrubbed out before we bring the furniture in."

But Harry insisted that we bring Mother's bed in and assemble it properly, assuring her we would take it out again the next day while the scrubbing was done.

"Come back to the fire when you've finished," Mother called as we went out to the wagons. When we were finished and came back to the fire, she opened the bible and read of the seven fat cows that came up out of the water, and of the seven lean cows that came up after them and ate them. And the wise man said there would be seven good years in which to prepare for the seven lean.
"Well," said Bill. "Let's hope we're starting in on the seven fat."

But when I went outside to the tank for a drink of water, I heard the honk-honk of swans flying overhead, and stepping down from the verandah and turning my head to listen, I could make out their direction.

They were heading south.

As we undressed amongst the mattresses in the dining room, I told the others about them.

"Do they worry you Bob?" Bill asked.

"Aw – not really."

"'Course they do," Rupe said. "Like the hungry whirley-winds."

George paused, a boot in one hand. "What about them?"

"It was one of the things Fisher told him," Rupe said.

"Like what?" They were interested now.

"Come on Bob. Tell us."

I shrugged. "Alright," and sat down cross-legged by the fireplace and closed my eyes. "This is what Fisher told me his elders taught him."

In my mind's eye I could see Fisher. The large, soft brown eyes, the nose just beginning to broaden, the beautiful hands with the well formed nails, and the lighter skin of his palms as he opened and closed his hands.

Swaying my body as he always did, and using the same sing-song voice, I began the legend:

"Once upon a time the Great Spirit of our land spoke to the Bird Spirit and said: "Why are you so foolish that you stay and die in the lands of the dried up rivers, where the lagoons and billabongs are but dust?"

"The Bird Spirit answered: "We do not know when this will happen, and when it does we know now what to do."

"I will tell you, said the Great Spirit to the Bird Spirit, and you will tell the living of your kind, and they will always remember.

"When you know, your living kind will fly south long before the day, and to protect yourselves from the eagle and the hawk you shall fly in a great 'V'. Your leader shall lead you as a spear through the sky, and scatter your enemies aside.""

As I swayed I drew the 'V' formation with my finger on the dusty floor.
"You must not fly willy-nilly, or one behind the other, for then you are open to your enemies. And if your leader is struck down the next shall take his place, but the form of your spear must not be broken.

"How shall we know when to go?

"When you see the hungry one reach up into the sky, then you will know it is time to fly south to the rivers and lakes beside the sea, and there you will wait until the Spirit of the Rain Clouds whispers you to return to the billabongs and the rivers."

I stopped and looked up at them. They were silent, watching me. "That's how Fisher told me."

"Well," said George slowly. "Let's hope your little black cobber is wrong. We don't want any darned drought this year."

"Well, it's only a bit of nonsense," Bill said without any real conviction. "You acted pretty good though Bob."

"Yes," agreed Rupe. "Not real bad."

"Come on. Time to turn in. Plenty to do tomorrow."

Tomorrow, to George, was five-thirty in the morning, and he dressed quietly and left for the stable to feed and water his horses.

Bill rolled onto his side. "You awake Harry?"


"George is up and dressed."

"This early?" Harry was shocked.

Bill pulled the bedclothes up around his shoulders and rolled over. "Yeah, it is a bit, isn't it?"

Bill and Harry were yet to learn the time you rose and the hours you worked on a farm were a little different to those of a solicitor's office and a general store. There were horses to feed and cows to milk even before you sat down to breakfast.

"Ah well," Harry sighed. "Better get up too I suppose. Be a bit to get done today."

He dressed and went out and lit the fire in the wood stove, filling the iron kettle and setting it over the flame. While it was heating he shaved and had a wash up, talking a moment to Bill before Bill wandered off to see where George had gone.

Rupe and I were awake, and when the fire was crackling in the stove, went out to see what was doing?

"Go and have a wash up and you can make the toast," Harry said, and took a cup of tea off to Mother.

After the cold of the washing water it was luxury to sit in front of the fire and toast the bread. The kitchen was quite warm, coals from the night before still alive in the big open fireplace.

"What's the time?" Wally asked from the doorway, rubbing at the sleep in his eyes. "Only just got to sleep." He came across and warmed his hands at the stove. "Got a cup of tea Harry."

"Be on in a minute Wally."

"Hullo boys." Mother came out with the empty cup and saucer and began helping Harry with the breakfast, setting the table when George and Bill came in.

"Found him feeding his horses!" Bill told Harry. "Reckons he always feeds them about now!"

"You'll learn," George grinned. "You'll learn."

After breakfast we set out to inspect our new home in detail.

"Outside first," Harry said, and we followed him across the verandah.

The house was built on the side of a small sand hill, with the back at ground level and the front about three feet above at the edge of the verandah by the tank stand. The roof was two gabled sections, and extended over verandahs about ten feet wide along the south and east sides.

"Have to get them off and tighten them up," Harry said, indicating the long cracks in the hardwood floor of the verandahs where the boards had shrunk.

The roofs were of corrugated iron, feeding from their gutters into a five thousand gallon tank on a stand where the verandah met, and corrugated iron running lengthways covered the outside walls.

"Well, that's about that," George said when we had walked around the house, and we followed Mother back into the kitchen.

This was a long room with a dado, or skirting, which stood about four feet high, above it hessian papered with an uninteresting, dirty-brown coloured wallpaper.

From the end of the kitchen a door led into the long dining room, and another door to the right into Mother's bedroom. The other two bedrooms were entered from doors in the south wall, and it meant that to go to any room in the house you had to pass through the kitchen.

"Where's the bathroom?" Rupe asked.

George looked at Mother and grinned.

"Alright," she said. "I confess. There isn't one. I never even thought to look when we came to inspect."

Rupe's face lit up. "Jove! That's good!"

"Don't count your chicken," Mother warned him. "There's tubs hanging on the verandah."

Bill walked back out onto the verandah and looked at the bench with the tubs hanging on the wall above it. "That looks like it alright."

Rupe followed him out, but his interest was caught by something else. "Hey! Come and have a look at the sheds!"

He went running off towards the men's hut, not very far from the house, a building of mud and cock-chaff bricks with a tall sugar gum growing at one end.

It was the first house Mr Jennings had built when he selected the block, Mother told us as we walked across. It was about thirty feet long and twenty wide, with a mud brick chimney at the east end.

There was a single door leading into the first room, and another through the centre partition into the second room. There was only a small window, let into the end wall, but light and ventilation were no problem as there was no ceiling, and the roof simply corrugated iron nailed onto mallee saplings.

"And that's Mother Earth," Bill said, stamping on the floor. "Hard as a board."

On the way back to the house Mother said she and Harry were going to have a talk about alterations to the house, and the rest of us could start work by scrubbing it out.

"We want to have all the furniture in by tonight if we can. Come on Rupert. You too."

The room we had not inspected yet we found for ourselves in our own good time. It was a structure the Specialist would have been ashamed of in his apprenticeship years. Built of burnt corrugated iron, it was set around a huge hole in the ground, and left, as a toilet, much to be desired. The seat was a mallee stick you balanced on, not a wonderfully conceived arrangement, and quite frightening when you stopped to consider its potential for disaster.

But Mother had noticed this edifice in the mallee scrub at the back of the house on her first inspection, and the 'sentry box' Rupe had seen loaded onto the wagon at Woomelang was to replace it. Just a simple weatherboard box with a roof, door and two pans. We pulled the old one down and erected the new after we had scrubbed the house out and moved the furniture in.

Mother and Harry had decided the colours of the new wallpaper for each room, and to enclose the end of the south verandah as a sleepout. This would be mostly fly wire, and screens of the same were to be made for all the windows and the kitchen door.

"There's a carpenter called Mr Anderson who owns a block not far from here. He'll do the alterations and the papering for us."

By nightfall we had most of the furniture in place, and after tea Harry went into the dining room to the piano, and played until the rest of us had gone to bed, leaving only Mother sitting in the kitchen with the family bible.

There was the record of her marriage, and after it the names and birth dates of her and Geordie's children.

Emma Louise, 25, the first child, now so happily married to Rudie Huff.

George, 23.

William, 20.

Harry, 18, always so thoughtful and so kind, reminding her of his father.

Walter, 15, fair skinned and only a little chap, but so like brother Dan, the bullock driver.

Robert, 12, the quiet one. But there was mischief in him when he was with his younger brother.

And, finally, Rupert, 9, the baby of the family.

She closed the bible slowly, sitting with it there in her lap for several minutes before she stood and took it back to the dining room.

Harry closed the lid of the piano. "Cup of tea?"

She shook her head, resting a hand lightly on his shoulder.

"Goodnight son. And God bless you."

Chapter 1 | Contents | Chapter 3