The Irish lad – Alyson Hilbourne

5000 words Historical Fiction

When the navies build a canal across Papa’s land Emma is captivated by a wild-eyed Irish lad. She has to accept nothing can come of the relationship, so she marries the man of her parents’ choice. Later, at a low point, she meets him again and an arrangement is made.

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“Can I? Can I really, Mama?” Tobias looked at his mother unable to believe his luck. Emma smiled back. “Certainly, as far as the next lock gate. Be careful you don’t fall in!” She glanced at the man in stern of the canal boat but he shrugged and gave a crooked grin that ended with a dimple deep in his cheek. He put out his arms to catch the boy as he jumped down into the barge from the bank. Emma knew Tobias was safer with Malachi than anywhere but it was hard to let him go. Malachi made a clicking sound with his tongue, flicked the long rein and the big horse ambled forward taking the weight of the boat.

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