“Mary, my love,” she said, catching my eye, “I’m just telling her ladyship I don’t know in the world what I’ll do when you are gone.”
My husband was there too, wearing a heavy overcoat with the collar up, and receiving from a group of insular gentlemen their cheerful prognostics of a bad passage.
“’Deed, but I’m fearing it will be a dirty passage, my lord.”
“Chut!” said my father. “The wind’s from the south-west. They’ll soon get shelter.”
The first of our two cars came round and my husband’s valet went off in advance with our luggage. Then the second car arrived, and the time came for our departure. I think I kissed everybody. Everybody seemed to be crying—everybody except myself, for my tears were all gone by this time.
Just as we were about to start, the storm, which must certainly have fallen for a while, sprang up suddenly, and when Tommy the Mate (barely recognisable in borrowed black garments) opened the door the wind came rushing into the house with a long-drawn whirr.
I had said good-bye to the old man, and was stepping into the porch when I remembered Father Dan. He was standing in his shabby sack coat with a sorrowful face in a dark corner by the door, as if he had placed himself there to see the last of me. I wanted to put my arms around his neck, but I knew that would be wrong, so I dropped to my knees and kissed his hand and he gave me his blessing.
My husband, who was waiting by the side of the throbbing automobile, said impatiently:
“Come, come, dear, don’t keep me in the rain.”
I got into the landaulette, my husband got in after me, the car began to move, there were cries from within the house ("Good-bye!” “Good luck”) which sounded like stifled shrieks as they were carried off by the wind without, and then we were under weigh.
As we turned the corner of the drive something prompted me to look back at my mother’s window—with its memories of my first going to school.
At the next moment we were crossing the bridge—with its memories of Martin Conrad and William Rufus.
At the next we were on the road.
“Thank God, that’s over,” said my husband. Then, half apologetically, he added: “You didn’t seem to enjoy it any more than myself, my dear.”
At the entrance to our village a number of men stood firing guns; in the middle a group of girls were stretching a rope across the road; a number of small flags, torn by the wind and wet with the rain, were rattling on flagstaffs hung out from some of the window sills; a few women, with shawls over their heads, were sheltering on the weather side of their porches to see us pass.
My husband was impatient of our simple island customs. Once or twice he lowered the window of the car, threw out a handful of silver and at the same time urged the chauffeur to drive quicker. As soon as we were clear of the village he fell back in his seat, saying: