Summer Reading: One Wing Willie

Short story excerpt by MARY HOLLIDAY

LET me introduce you to “One Wing Willie”.

He was a thin dark haired long term Irish bachelor of average height, well-spoken to the point of deferential as though he had been high born or had been used to being around such people.

Nobody was ever told, least of all us children, of his origins or indeed how he developed the amazing skills he demonstrated while with my family.

However there was some speculation we children “listened into” when the adults thought we were out climbing trees.

But I’m losing the run of myself here and need to get this story going.

It was speculated Willie may have come from one of them big estates up north, set up during the Ulster plantation, maybe Antrim or Tyrone.

Takes a lot of money to maintain the upkeep of those places.

Folks said there was a woman involved too, a tragic story to be sure.

Josephine was the prettiest of the daughters, with wild red ringlets, piercing green eyes, an infectious laugh and a tiny waist any man would want to put his hands around.

Wandering in the garden one day Josephine and Willie set eyes on each other and time ceased to exist.

However Josephine’s father was in financial trouble, apart from the estate running costs, his gambling and womanising lead him into such disrepute that we was in serious danger of losing his parliamentary set in Westminster.

The pretty daughter was his way out of trouble….

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