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WHITE, Patrick


‘What will you do when your husband goes?’

‘What I always do.’

She was washing the butter. The lapping of the water would not allow the silence to wrap her for very long. She reduced the butter, then built it up again, a solid fortress of it.

‘I will be here,’ she said, ‘for ever now.’

‘Have you no wish for further experience of life?’

She was suspicious of the words the stranger used. An educated gentleman.

‘What else would I want to know?’ she asked, staring at her fat butter.

‘Or revisit loved places?’

‘Ah,’ she said, lifting her head, and the shadows hanging from it, slyly sniffing the air at some ale-house corner, but almost immediately she dropped the lids over her searing eyes. ‘No,’ she said sulkily. ‘I do not love any other place, anyways enough to go back. This is my place.’