June 06, 2006

The Dray Cart

Here's something I wrote back in Feburary 15 at night, 2006. I'm transferring some of my work from livejournal if you've noticed by now.

Father McHerod stood on the stone steps of the centuries old monastary. He breathed in that quiet cold irish air. He strolled through the church's garden admiring the simple dasies along the wall. He had never felt that the more exotic plants were any more appealing. He had the desire to live simply, humbly and peacefully. Every morn, he'd stand outside the church working the garden. But what's this? Something new came rushing down the road. It was Erlskine Thompson in a new dray cart.
'Mawning Fasssah' came from the hairy man
'Good morning Erlskine. What have you here now?'
'Oh this be one of the newest models. I even sent out to dublin to get gold parts.' He obviously was referring to the hubcaps and gold trimmed handle bars. Erlskine stepped out of the cart. The leather top wiggling as the fat man exited. 'What you be doing by planting so many flowers? And so many kinds as well. You shouldda done as I have suh. I invested all my money into potato farms. And look at me now!'
Reverend McHerod scanned the new man from felt bowler to patent leather shoes. He certainly looked profitable. 'No, my place is here with the church. I'm to help with the people. I'm starting a small vegetable garden on the monastary grounds.'
'No need for that. Grow potatoes and you'll be feeding the whole town.' With that, he made a paunchy turnaround and clumsily sat back into the dray. It drove away with the mare pulling it steadily.
'That man... Tsk. he'll be the ruin of the town.'

In 1848, the Potato Famine struck Ireland. Millions were starving and moved towards America to escape. Few such as Father McHerod survived from either funding from the catholic church or because of his vegetable garden that didnt include potatos at all.

Several years later. Father McHerod was nearly 72. He was a wise priest and already had a replacement for him sent in so he could live out the rest of his life in the garden. On the side, he still attended to some church masses and ran a small soup kitchen for the less fourtunate. To his shock and surprise, it was Erlskine Thompson eating at one of the tables.
'I'm shocked at you Erlskine Thompson. A richman feeding off of the church. A man like yourself should be ashamed.'
The man turned around. It looked like Erlskine Thompson, but only a vague remembrance of it. The man nodded and shuffled out the door. He was wearing the same felt bowler and shoes McHerod had seen Thompson in several years ago. Realizing what had happened, McHerod brought Thompson back in and started to ask.
'What happened?'
'Farm... all gone. I've got no more money. I cant afford passage to America anymore. I've sold my house, my fortune my land. What else do I have left worth a ticket to new yorke?'
'Do you still have the Dray?'
'Yes'
Father McHerod nodded
'You have to survive. What's the use in keeping that darned thing?'
'Never! I may be a poor man, but i was richer than you' He rushed out the door and jumped into the Dray with surprising agility. McHerod chased him out the door. The Dray rumbled quickly over the road. Off the road. Through a field. Realizing what was happening McHerod ran as fast as his church shoes could manage him. For an old man, he still had life in him. Donnfarlane is a coastal region, known for it's steep cliffs. Thompson was headed straight for one. McHerod leapt into the dray after catching up with it. Pushed Erlskine out and plummeted over the side. Erlskine still shaken looked over the cliffside. He still saw the father and the cart falling. Falling like a heavy rock thrown into the air. The horse was still harnessed to it. It whinnied before it hit the cold water below. The Cart splintered on the rocks. Erlskine grew nervous. He scanned the area below for any signs of life. The horse managed to break free and began to move towards the small pebbly beach. He saw McHerod's moving body. Paddling towards shore. Erlskine, overcome with relief, plopped onto the sweet smelling grass. He heard a yell. He looked over again. The tide was going out. It sucked McHerod underneath the waves, and then no more. Erlskine quickly ran towards the beach. The water lapped at his feet. A pair of glasses washed up. They were McHerod's very own.

Several Years Later.

You might have not heard, but what happened was almost a miracle. Erlskine revamped his ways. He helped the local community and helped with sunday mass. Thompson stood in the garden McHerod had worked with a delicate had for years. The Acadias were in full bloom. As were the dragonsnaps and Tulips. But one plant wasnt. The dasies growing against the wall still were drooping.
'I think I'll help you little flowers. Without the support of others, we may die.' At that moment, a young dashing fellow came riding up in an automobile. It was loud and fast.
'Morning Mr. Thompson. Lookee there. She's a beaut isint it? A brand new Essex Raceabout.'
'How could you afford this young Leary?'
'I invested all my money into a shirt factory. Triangle Shirtwaist I think they call it.'
'Change your ways young Leary. Before it ruins you. Have diversity, enjoy life not the money. Here.' he handed young Leary one of the daisies against the wall. The only good one that was left. Leary held it. Pondered for a moment then came words.
'I have to go into town er Mr. Thompson. I'll be arriving back by train. Will you be there with a Dray cart to pick me up?'
'Better yet, i'll walk you home.'

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