Story no. 43. Uh. . . just trust me, okay? I will catch up with the illustrations. Okay, don’t trust me. YOU SHOULDN’T TRUST ME AT THIS POINT, because I am a lying liar who lies about getting watercolors done. DRAMATIC SIGH.
The new arrivals were thin-faced and more than a little haggard. Their English was mediocre and their Irish nonexistent. They had come, they said, all the way from the western foothills of the Alps. To avoid the nuclear drift they had gone south until they reached the coast, where they had built a raft that they could navigate along the coastline. Once they had passed the strait, though, the open ocean became too much for their improvised vessel, and they had had to go south again, until they could find and bargain with one of the remaining fisher villages there for passage on a craft to Ireland.
Auntie didn’t ask what they had bargained, or how long they had been on the journey, or how many people their group had comprised when they started. Gwen privately thought that the shadows echoing in the face of the small blonde woman suggested more rather than less, longer rather than shorter, and rather more than the three bedraggled refugees now standing under the Big Tree.