It looks as if Kathleen may finally be fed up with Albert, and the letter she sent should have made him realise. Still in 1958, she leaves on the train to Dublin with Teresa and the other cousins instead of waiting for him: more fool him for putting a prospective work order first in his priorities.
Teresa puts her foot in it on the way there, when she asks Kathleen if she doesn’t miss the nights of passion she’d had with Albert on his occasional visits. When she sees the look on Kathleen’s face, she realises that there hadn’t been any such nights, and apologises. Kathleen explains that she’d thought that he’d just been being respectful, but had, nevertheless, been surprised when he hadn’t even had a try. Teresa tells her how insulting that was and wonders what the matter was with him. They both have a laugh about it.
When they get to Dublin, they check into their hotel then go to Bewleys for lunch. Kathleen was fascinated by the city. The girls had a trip on a tour bus then walked down O’Connell Street before going into a bar. They were having fun.
Later, at the hotel after having a shower, Teresa and Kathleen talk. Teresa apologises again for what she’d said on the train. Kathleen laughs it off. Teresa tells her that she wouldn’t even buy a dress without trying it on let alone commit her life to a man. They have a nap before dinner and wake up just in time.
After dinner, they all walk down to the River to see the sights by night and ‘gawp at all the lovely fellas’. Lots of other people were out enjoying themselves. Other folk were drunk, but it was some people outside a pub that drew Teresa’s attention. One of them seemed to be begging. She tells the others that she’s going to give the beggar some money. The others chip in. When she re-joins them, she’s concerned about the beggar having to sleep on the streets. They go back to the hotel to have a drink and decide on their plans for the following day.
The next morning, Teresa and Kathleen arise early and go for a stroll beside the River before breakfast. As they walk, Teresa comments that there’s no sign of the people who were begging. Back at the hotel, she confides to Kathleen that she’s worried. She hadn’t said anything to Kathleen the night before – not wanting to spoil her evening – but she thinks that the girl she gave the money to may have been Veronica.
Kathleen is truly upset. She feels a sense of obligation to find Veronica and help her. She remembers a promise that she’d made to Veronica as a child. Teresa makes her go down for breakfast and they agree to try to find her. Following their route from the previous night they locate the pub outside which the girl had been begging and ask the owner what he knows about her. Veronica’s name doesn’t ring any bells with him, but he suggests that if Veronica had been there ‘after business’ the previous night, she might be in the city centre during the day.
Kathleen asks him to explain, but Teresa drags her out of the pub and has to spell out to her what he meant – and that they need to move elsewhere, as it seems that they may be in a red-light district. She doesn’t fancy being propositioned. They search the city but find no trace of her, so they visit Bewleys again for a coffee. They then head towards the university, nearing which Teresa ponders whether they offer degrees in that kind of ‘business’. They give up on their hunt and have lunch before going to the shops to look for clothes and for presents to take back to the family.
What happens next in Dublin for the girls isn’t revealed because the next couple of chapters tell Veronica’s story. Tomorrow’s post will have a look at that.
The featured photo today is again one that I took while on holiday in Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Eire. I took it with a Pentax K3-ii 24 MP cropped sensor camera paired with a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at f/16 and 16 mm. The shutter speed was 1/15 secs and the ISO was 400.