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Main > Irish folktales > Fairy tale "The Iron Crucifix"

The Iron Crucifix

And that was all. He tried his best to get her to say more, but she would not. But it did not take her a minute to think what to do. And it was so simple that she wondered why she had never thought of it before. It was a wonder, too, that Terence Sullivan did not think of it himself and know that she would do it. But he was not clever in some ways, though he was so clever in others.

The next day Kathleen met Terence in the Park, and she said to him: "Terence, we must not stay here for a single minute. You must come straight home with me. I want you to see my father and my grandmother."

And Terence went straight home with her and she told her grandmother who he was—and indeed she had told her of him before—and that she had met him in the Park. Her father came soon and Terence was introduced to him too.

After that Terence came often and Kathleen seldom met him in the Park, though they still walked there sometimes. Mrs. O'Brien and John were immensely pleased with him. It was the strangest thing to see how much he liked to be in a house, just because it was a house, and how wonderful the ways of people who lived in a house seemed to him. When he and Kathleen sat together in a corner of the room and John sat reading a paper and Mrs. O'Brien knitting and reading a book at the same time, it was as astonishing a sight to him as it would be to you to see a dozen mermaids playing at the bottom of the sea.

"Isn't it beautiful?" he whispered to Kathleen.

"Isn't what beautiful?" Kathleen asked.

"The way you live here," Terence answered. "All these years, you know, I have just come out of the hill to go to school, and then I have gone back again. I have seen the people outside, but I never was in one of their houses before. And don't you ever dance?"

"Why, of course we do," Kathleen said; "we go to balls sometimes, and to parties where there is dancing, and then—"

"But do you never dance here, where you live?"

"Oh, yes, sometimes we do, but the rooms are not large enough to do it very well, you know.

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