Garthowen: A Story of a Welsh Homestead - Allen Raine

Garthowen: A Story of a Welsh Homestead

By Allen Raine

  • Release Date - Published: 2020-10-22
  • Book Genre: Historical
  • Author: Allen Raine
Our rating: 5/5 stars

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Garthowen: A Story of a Welsh Homestead Allen Raine read online review & book description:

It was a typical July day in a large seaport town of South Wales. There had been refreshing showers in the morning, giving place to a murky haze through which the late afternoon sun shone red and round. The small kitchen of No. 2 Bryn Street was insufferably hot, in spite of the wide-open door and window. A good fire burnt in the grate, however, for it was near tea-time, and Mrs. Parry knew that some of her lodgers would soon be coming in for their tea. One had already arrived, and, sitting on the settle in the chimney corner, was holding an animated conversation with his landlady, who stood before him, one hand akimbo on her side, the other brandishing a toasting fork. Her beady black eyes, her brick-red cheeks and hanks of coarse hair, were not beautiful to look upon, though to-day they were at their best, for the harsh voice was softened, and there was a humid gentleness in the eyes not habitual to them. Her companion was a young man about twenty-three years of age, dark, almost swarthy of hue, tanned by the suns and storms of foreign seas and many lands, As he sat there in the shade of the settle one caught a glance of black eyes and a gleam of white teeth, but the easy, lounging attitude did not show to advantage the splendid build of Gethin Owens. One of his large brown fists, resting on the rough deal table, was covered with tattooed hieroglyphics, an anchor, a mermaid, and a heart, of course! Anyone conversant with the Welsh language would have divined at once, by the long-drawn intonation of the first words in every remark, that the subject of conversation was one of sad or tender interest.
"Well, indeed," said Mrs. Parry, "the-r-e's missing you I'll be, Gethin! We are coming from the same place, you see, and you are knowing all about me, and I about you, and that I supp-o-s-e is making me feel more like a mother to you than to the other lodgers."
"Well, you have been like a mother to me, mending my clothes and watching me so sharp with the drink. Dei anwl! I don't think I ever took a glass with a friend without you finding me out, and calling me names. 'Drunken blackguard!' you called me one night, when as sure as I'm here I had only had a bottle of gingerpop in Jim Jones's shop," and he laughed boisterously.
"Well, well," said Mrs. Parry, "if I wronged you then, be bound you deserved the blame some other time, and 'twas for your own good I was telling you, my boy. Indeed, I wish I was going home with you to the old neighbourhood. The-r-e's glad they'll be to see you at Garthowen."
"Well, I don't know how my father will receive me," said her companion thoughtfully. "Ann and Will I am not afraid of, but the old man—he was very angry with me."
"What did you do long ago to make him so angry, Gethin? I have heard Tom Powell and Jim Bowen blaming him very much for being so hard to his eldest son; they said he was always more fond of Will than you, and was often beating you."
"Halt!" said Gethin, bringing his fist down so heavily on the table that the tea-things jingled, "not a word against the old man—the best father that ever walked, and I was the worst boy on Garthowen slopes, driving the chickens into the water, shooing the geese over the hedges, riding the horses full pelt down the stony roads, setting fire to the gorse bushes, mitching from school, and making the boys laugh in chapel; no wonder the old man turned me away."

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