Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

1 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

17Ae ^attermath.


17Ae ^attermath. By LILIAN BOWEN ROWLANDS. There are chords in the human heart-strange varying strings-which are only struck by accident." Hur's a good dawter but a main lonesome nay- bour," said the villagers in Upper and Lower Solva. Judith Pryce paid no attention to their censure or approval. She had the tolerance of indifference, and in her slow, silent fashion, moved amongst them a creature apart from the little world in which they had their being. She lived with her mother in a one-room cottage overlooking Solva's Pill, and she worked from the first streak of pale dawn to the first star which peeped forth in the sky. Thou wilt over-do thyself maaid," Jacob the lobster catcher, told her as he watched her ascend the steep hill, a heavy pitcher upon her head. Judith threw back her answer at him her face resolutely turned to where the white cottages climb to Upper Solva, "Let me be," she cried sullenly, if I die an' be buried I shaana ax ya f'r a verra bit o' land to lie in." That there was a keynote to Judith's history I was confident; that the keynote had something to do with a man,-being a woman, how could I doubt. Judith interested me. Her personality was in contrast, her individuality more pronounced than the majority of those who dwelt along that surge-tossed coast. Did Judith ever have a lover ? I asked one of the labbigans or gossips of the place one day. .f Yis was the dame's response, sh' wass keepin' compiny wi' a man som' tim' sin'. A mortal cursed fellow he wass indeed. A shonk tidy man t' be sure t' look at." Was she fond of him?" "Fond Honey. Well ya see wi' hur t'is hard t' tell. He got into a bad scrape. He wass consarn'd so they all say yin th' robbery a' St. David's. An' he got away in th' dead o' night when th' carriers are thick as soot, an' thar binst no moon an' stars. An' sin th' thar night, folk say he's hidin in som' forraign part." What did Judith say? Say she nevar says ought. Sh' help'd him, they say, off. Evar sin then she's bin dumber an' mor' down like nor evar." After that I often noticed her looking seaward, and perchance I have imagined rather than have seen the yearning in her eyes. Do you like looking at the sea? I stopped to ask her one morning as I passed her, seated on a low green-clothed rock, with bare feet lapped by the in- coming tide. She had been gathering laver, and a great mass clouds of rich-brown seaweed was heaped in a cowell by her side. The autumn sun drew ladders of light across its moist wealth, and shone through the long, wide leaves, which fell over the rude basket. She was gazing when I spoke at the blue billowy space between the Stack Rock and Ramsey's hilly island. Yis," she said without turning her head, I donna mind it." The haven looks dry an unbeautiful at low tide," I continued by way of engaging her in conversation it is nigh high tide now isn't it ? I dessay I haven't the tim' t' be givin' 't th' thought." "Judith," I ventured once more in a gentler and more persuasive tone, is there any trouble you would like to tell me of. Is there any help I could give you ? Without another word she sprang hastily to her feet, kicking the cowell fiercely from her, If folks be poor," she cried passionately, superb pride flashing from her dark eyes, thar's no call thayr hearts 'll'd be lay waste f'r other folks t' glare on. Thar's a corner in th' warld f'r eviry 'wn joy an' sorrow." The following winter was a very severe one, and great distress prevailed along the wild, rocky shore. Many a trading vessel and fishing smack found their destruction outside St. David's head or on the dreary desolation of Newgale and Druidstons' sand. Some- time in near touch of the beacon lights of "The Bishops and St. Ann's." Judith had never complained throughout the long dark days, and all attempts at charity had been met by her with contemptuous disdain, I'm lathy she would say, "an' I caan wark." Thus with trepid- ation I at length summoned up courage to approach Judith more fully on the subject. Lately her cheeks had grown wan, and she would stop ever so many times going up the hill. The room wherein the two women, mother and daughter, lived out their dull mean existences was destitute of almost any furniture. A net hung here and there kept out the draught, a wretched ball fire burnt black in the grate, on the wooden table was the remains of the last meal,-a few crusts of barley bread, an old brown tea pot, and a cold suet dum- pling, or as they call it in Pembrokeshire, a trolly. Judith was chalking the stone floor, the elder woman was staring between the bars. It's that cauld," she kept mumbling, Ay Judith my honey ya be lathy, but I caana kip f'rm thinkin ya caana kip us f'rm stivlin an' starvin' The younger woman turned flashing resentful eyes on me, poor folk," she cried, must hav' em as chose t' com' an' listen; Mother," she added fiercely" Ya hav' no reet t' tell hur ought." It must com' mumbled the old woman, ya canna bear the heft much longer honey. Things 're lookin' main dim, main dim." An' if they be," exclaimed Judith hastily rising from her knees, if the carriers hide th' sun thar's