Teddy, my first novel in this two-part mini-series is available on Amazon;
A short extract from chapter 2;
“But Miss McGrath, you are only 7 or so years older than some of us. How old was he?”
“38.” Please stop, Bonnie thought as her chest ached.
“How did he die?” Bonnie did not know how she would cope with this. She grabbed the little stool which was tucked away in the corner and sat herself down.
“Well now, I shall tell you all. My Father was called John McGrath. He was a tailor and worked for Mr Vaan. A lot of you will walk past that shop on the way to school, I imagine.”
“Well, Father started off as a tailor but when Mother and he moved to this village, Mr Vaan’s shop was not there, so he had no option but to find alternate work. Five winters ago, he worked in the fields; digging turnips, raking the land and doing other jobs. It was such hard work and we had a bitterly cold and wet winter that year. Father was forced to work for at least 14 hours a day, 6 days a week with only Sunday off.”
Bonnie gazed around at the silenced children. They all listened so intently to her tale that she thought it only fair to continue.
“He grew tired and it all became too much for him.”
“Did he die in the field?!” One child gasped. Bonnie shook her head.
“No Bessie. He grew so tired, Doctor Wilson feared for his health and persuaded him to leave. Then, by chance, when I was walking home from school, I saw an advertisement in Mr Vaan’s window.”
“The tailor shop?”
“Yes Bessie. You see my Father used to be a tailor, but until then there was no use for his skills. Mr Vaan was new to the area at that point, but luckily for Father he needed a helping hand in his shop. So, after Father had rested, he visited Mr Vaan and got the job. Unfortunately, even after he left the fields; he was not himself. He always had coughs and colds and had no energy. He-he caught Pneumonia. My Mother thinks that someone suffering from it might have come into the shop and given it to Father. He was so ill.” Bonnie whispered.
“And-and then he died?”
“What did he look like?”
“No, when he died.”
Bonnie knew that the children would be curious. She scratched her wrist and thought for a moment.
“He was peaceful. When his eyes were closed, it was as if he was sleeping.”
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014