The RedeemerHarry Hole investigates a mistaken assassination
IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS
Liam bounded up and was shaking his hand again. ‘Everything is in your room, Reverend, I hope you’ll be happy with us. Welcome again to Broughadoon.’ ‘Thank you, we’re thrilled to be here.’ A lean, handsome, Irish face, he thought, with intense blue eyes and hair graying at the temples. ‘I don’t believe we met when I visited a few years ago.’ “I was helping rebuild the west wing of the oul’ place, and keepin’ my head down. There’s still work going on, I hope it won’t disturb you. Anyway, you’ll see more of me this trip, I’ll be cookin’ your breakfast and givin’ a hand with dinner.’ ‘The full Irish breakfast I so fondly remember?’ ‘And skip the blood pudding, Anna says.’ ‘Correct. My wife, however, will have the full Irish, straight up. The books. I don’t recall seeing so many books last time, or paintings.’ ‘My father’s library passed to me, we finally got the shelves built last spring.’ ‘Beautiful millwork on the shelves.’ ‘Thanks.’ ‘You did it?’ ‘I did. My Da was a builder, I grew up with a hammer an’ saw. I wanted his books to have a good show. A few good pictures also passed to me, including a Barret you’ll see in the dining room—it’s a beauty in afternoon light. ‘Anyway, books and pictures for me, and the house up the hill for my older brother, Paddy, thanks to God.’ ‘Thanks to God!' Sitting nearby with Seamus, William thumped his cane on the floor. ‘Refresh my memory. What’s the meaning of the name, Broughadoon?’ ‘From the Irish, both an duin—hut of the fort.’ ‘This being the hut, and the fort being…?’ ‘Catharmore—on th’ hill above.’ ‘So. It’s a pleasure to see an open fire.’ ‘Ireland’s gone modern, I’m afraid, though Anna and I try to keep some of the oul’ ways. Speakin’ of oul’ ways, sorry about the power, ‘t is usually back on in no time.’ Through the open window, he glimpsed the tail lights of the Volvo disappearing along the road. And there, on the antlers of a mounted deer head, hung Aengus’s hat, as shapeless off as it had been on. ‘Aengus Malone forgot his hat,’ he told Liam. He felt oddly remorseful. ‘So he did. We’ll leave it just there til he comes again.’ They had no plans for Aengus to come again, as they’d be traveling with Stirling Moss in the future. ‘A pity he left it,’ he said, ‘his old mum gave it to him.’ ‘Aengus Malone forgot his hat,’ William announced to Seamus. ‘Leave it just there til he comes again.’ Seamus was filling his pipe. “Aye,’ he said, looking up and smiling. ‘Will do.’ On going in to dinner, he spied a large, well-thumbed book lying open on a table by the dining room door. Names lined the pages. ‘Want to sign the guestbook?’ he asked Cynthia. ‘I’ll do it tomorrow; I’m famished.’ He couldn’t resist. Squinting in the dusky light of the candle sconces, he picked up the pen and made the inscription. Timothy A. Kavanagh, Mitford, North Carolina. There. His Irish name in an Irish book, on the heels of an Irish rainstorm. It was official.
From IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS by JAN KARON. Published by arrangement with VIKING, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright (c) JAN KARON, 2010.
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