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Join date: Jun 12, 2022


Rory passed the critical time of 3 a.m. He was still breathing at five o’clock in the morning, but the night sister informed them now that he might remain in a coma for days and that they should go home

Ruth and Paddy nodded at her in obedience because they both knew that Paddy must get to work; and Ruth said to Janie, ‘You must get back an’ all, lass. Don’t take too much advantage an’ they’ll let you out again.’ And Janie, numb with agony, could only nod to this sound advice. But Lizzie refused to budge. Here she was, she said, and here she’d remain until she knew he was either going or staying. And Jimmy said he’d stay too, until it was time to go to work.

So Ruth and Paddy nodded a silent good-bye to Janie when their ways parted at Westoe and walked without exchanging a word through the dark streets that were already filling with men on their way to the shipyards, the docks, and farther into Jarrow to Palmer’s. But when they had passed through the arches and came to where the road divided Paddy said, ‘I’d better go straight on up else I’ll be late.’

‘You’ve got your good suit on.’

‘Bugger me good suit!’

Ruth peered at him through the darkness before she said quietly, ‘If he goes things’ll be tight, think on that. There’ll be less for beer and nowt for clothes. I depended on him.’


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