Veronica gets some visitors

Arthur is having difficulty concentrating at work. The wedding will be the following Saturday. He’s starting to doubt that Kathleen will come. At that moment he receives a phone call. His stomach turns over when he hears Kathleen’s voice asking can they talk for five minutes.

She tells him that she’d like to come to the wedding, but asks whether it would be possible for her to meet Veronica beforehand – to avoid her being upset on her wedding day, as would happen if Kathleen were just to appear out of the blue. She asks, if it were possible, if the meeting could be that night, as she and Sean were staying at a hotel in Dublin at the moment. She suggests that Arthur and Sean could go out for a pint together while she talks to Veronica. He agrees and the visit time is fixed for six that night.

Arthur worries that Veronica will never forgive him if it all goes wrong. When he arrives home, she notices that he seems edgy – he puts it down to wedding nerves. After their meal, when she’s loading dishes into the sink, the doorbell rings. He says that he’ll answer it. She hears Arthur speaking to someone and the door closing. When she sees Kathleen she begins to cry. Kathleen asks why she’s never told her where she’s been living. She replies that she’d thought that Kathleen would hate her.

Kathleen introduces Sean, and Veronica thanks Arthur for what he’s done on her behalf. The two men go for a pint and the two women begin their long overdue talk. Veronica asks how Jonah is – she refers to him as John James – his baptismal name. Kathleen presents her with a photograph. She sees the resemblance to her dada straight away. On the back of the photo is a message to her that Jonah has written. She is overcome that Jonah knows about her. Kathleen explains that he’s always known, and tells her about how Jonah helps around the farm. She tells Veronica that no-one hates her and that she’s missed her – that she will always be grateful to her for leaving Jonah with her. They have a long talk and Kathleen promises Veronica that she’ll be able to meet Jonah.

Veronica thanks Kathleen for coming and, when the men return the two women agree to meet the following day. Veronica takes Kathleen to the café where she works and introduces her to Mary. They then go to Bewleys for a coffee. While they are there, Kathleen tells her about the trip that she and the cousins had made to Dublin some years previously, when Teresa had given some money from them all to someone they’d thought was a beggar. She says that Teresa had thought afterwards that it might have been Veronica, and how they’d gone looking for her. Veronica remembered when someone had handed her some coins – at the time she’d been recovering having fainted.

Veronica asks Kathleen what had happened that she hadn’t married Albert. Kathleen explains that the fact that nothing had happened, or seemed likely to happen, was the reason. She tells Veronica that she thinks that Arthur is a lovely man, invites her to come to the farm sometime and promises that they can put her and Arthur up. When they part, Kathleen wishes her luck for the following day and tells her not to be late. She returns to meet Sean and they return to their hotel. Veronica goes back to the apartment bursting with happiness.

Tomorrow – Veronica gets some more visitors.

Today’s featured photograph is yet another of the village of Sneem on the Ring of Kerry, taken, as usual for that trip, with my Pentax K3-ii camera and 16-85 mm lens. The shutter speed was 1/50 secs, the aperture f/8, the focal length 16 mm, and the ISO 400.

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