Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 120

daddy fought in that war, son. Remember he went away before it started. Ah don't know where he went.'

'Ah think he must have gone to that Spain war. That's how he hasn't come to find us.'

His mother had started to fiddle with his tie. Some mornings his mother left the tie the way he had done it. Sometimes, like this morning, she fiddled with it and pulled, and in a minute she would say, 'Och, pet, Ah've made a mess of it, let me do it again for ye.' They both knew that she had not liked the way he had done it and this was her way of making it right. He thought his tie was fine. He did it the way Uncle Robbie had shown him last holidays at the farm. He hadn't had to wear a tie when he had first gone there at the beginning of the war and had gone to the village school. Well, he hadn't always gone to school. Auntie Ellen was soft on him and often let him stay off to help around the place. He suspected his mother knew this and although they had never spoken about it he wondered if it was one of the reasons she had written to Uncle Robbie, asking him to bring Hugh back to Glasgow. She was very keen on the schoolwork, his mother. And she’d missed him. She wasn’t that keen on him going to the farm but he had to in the holidays. She wouldn’t let him stay home on his own all day like some of the other children. The good thing was the farm work had made him stronger and he could stand up to the other boys a bit better now. And there were more boys who didn’t have fathers too.

'If my Daddy went back to the village, Granny would tell him we're here, wouldn't she? Sure she wid, Mammy? Sure Granny wid tell him we're here now?'