They came to Barney from every corner. From the North and down the Bank the Campbell’s from Àird nan Saor, from the West and over the County Bridge the O’Connors from Ciarraige Luachra and the Cunninghams from Waterford. He saw them all from his vantage point high on the roof of the old Mill. As she crossed from the South over the Green Bridge and the mighty Tees he looked down and trembled.
He closed his eyes and sensed the rush of wind and the distant sound of gunfire over Bowes Moor. He thought also of another fair girl from long ago and the Black Prince in black armour buried at Canterbury and the Black Prince made of wood at the Bowes. There have been many fair Naseby girls, Elizabeth and Violet, Hilda and Wynifred, the lovely Gwendalon Jean and Zena, Decima, June and Julia. And now the one that crossed from the South.
They gathered in the garden of the big house on Thorngate, a magical place of high walls, grass, and flowers. On the horizon the mother tree sheltered her three trees, it was the sign and it was made for this, laughter, hide and seek and singing Judges and the second Warm Age.