After two years, Kathleen is now happily settled in Wexford, but she and her friend Veronica, who’s still in England, correspond regularly- every two weeks or so. She’s received a letter from Veronica telling her that she’s met someone and they’ve been talking about marriage. However, Veronica’s next letter reports that she’s pregnant and, although the father wasn’t happy about the news, he’d agreed to marry her. She asks Kathleen to be her bridesmaid. Albert – Veronica’s brother and the fella that Kathleen likes so much – is now home from the army and will be giving his sister away. Kathleen senses though that something is not quite right. She discusses it with her mother, Maggie, and agrees to return to England for the wedding.
When she disembarks from the ship at Liverpool, she is amazed and delighted to be met by Albert. She drops her case, runs to him and he picks her up in his arms. They hug each other and express their happiness at seeing each other again. Their bus back to St Helens isn’t due, so they go to a café for a cup of tea. Kathleen has lots of questions for him. Among his answers he mentions that the husband-to-be is a Dooley – a family with a bad reputation – and he’s a drinker who’s had a history of getting into bother.
Kathleen eventually asks Albert how he’s getting on and whether he’s met anyone special. He tells her that he’d met someone perfect for him when he’d met her years ago and that she’s the one who’s sitting with him. He professes his love for her but says that he’d understand if she’d met someone in Ireland. She tells him that she hadn’t realised that he’d felt that way, that she loved him too and that she’d wept on the ship that had taken her away from him to Ireland. As they leave the café, they kiss and confirm that they love each other.
They return to St Helens, having agreed not to tell Veronica yet about their love. Over the next day or so they all join in with preparations for the wedding, but Kathleen notices that Veronica didn’t seem really interested. Three days after her return, Kathleen meets Terry, the prospective bridegroom, for the first time. She dislikes and distrusts him on sight as being arrogant and a flirt. It’s clear to her that Veronica’s mum, Betty feels the same.
While Kathleen’s telling Albert of her suspicions, Veronica comes into the room, sees how they’re looking at each other and tells them that she can see how they feel about each other. She’s delighted. Kathleen persuades Veronica to come to the park with her for a walk. While they’re out, Kathleen asks Veronica what the matter is. Veronica confesses that she’s realised what a terrible mistake she’s made – she’d felt that Terry had been going to hit her when he found out about the baby.
Kathleen assures her that she needn’t marry him. They concoct a plot whereby Terry will be told that the baby has miscarried and that the doctor has told her to rest and to go for a holiday by the sea. Veronica will then return with Kathleen to Ireland and have the baby there. A cover story about an absent husband will satisfy the doctor, priest and neighbours there. Before they leave, as expected, Terry calls to suggest that the marriage be postponed.
Knowing that Kathleen will be leaving him again to go to Ireland, Albert worries about their future. In the meantime, having finished his National Service a while ago, he’s now working as an apprentice carpenter. He vows to save for a deposit on a house, hoping she’ll return in a year or two. In the meantime, both Kathleen and Veronica’s mum, Betty, realise that problems lie ahead. Veronica won’t be able to return home with the baby. Everyone will know that it’s Terry’s. Betty worries that her daughter is not the maternal kind anyway.
Kathleen and Albert talk. She’ll have to stay in Ireland until the future of Veronica and the baby have been worked out. He’ll work and save and she’ll look forward to a reunion soon.
Tomorrow – a return to Wexford – but for how long?
Today’s photo is one I took while on a day trip from the cottage where we stayed in Eyeries, on the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Eire. We were driving around the coast and stopped at a village called Allihies. This is one of several photos I took there. I assume that the building on he hill is some sort of mine. I used a Pentax K3 ii 24 MP cropped sensor camera handheld with a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 68 mm and f/16. The ISO was 200 and the shutter speed was 1/50 seconds.