Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

'H'm,' said the smallholder, 'I'm glad to hear that about you.' He put his stick under his arm, and reached for his cherry-wood pipe and filled it with Amlwch tobacco, and as he threw away the match after lighting up, he asked amid a cloud of smoke, 'After finishing your work, will you help the girl with the hens and chicks of an evening, and not go larking about with those daft boys up the lane?'

'I will,' I said once again, lest I be without a place. He drew himself up and pushed out his stomach as if he were the owner of a thousand acres: 'Well, I'll give you two pounds this first season, and if you behave I'll raise it by five shillings by the time winter comes, what do you say, Owen Evans?'

'Well, yes, but aren't you a bit hard with the wages, Gaffer?'

'Hard? What's the matter with you, man? Isn't it enough for him, and he'd have his belly full of food into the bargain? What else does the little bugger want? I don't know what these lads think they are. Where do they expect a farmer to get money from to pay them?'

In the end it was agreed on two pounds, with a down-payment of sixpence to clinch the bargain and all the conditions that went with it. So about eighteen pence a week was my wage when I first found employment, and I was glad enough of the job.

Gw+̂r o Baradwys (Gwasg Gee, 1963)


The Man at Chapel House

Gomer M. Roberts

Jenkin was living on his own, in Llety Siencyn, when I first came to know him. He was on the dole at the time, and his only delight in life — apart from reading — was wandering the slopes of Mynydd Penrhys, with a big black dog at his heels. He was a short, stoutish man, with broad shoulders and a large round head. His thick crop of yellowish-red hair was beginning to go grey. It must have been very difficult to put a comb through it, I should think, since it was so frizzy and disorderly. 'My head's a bit like heaven' he used to say, adding in English, 'for there is no parting there!' There had never been a hat or cap on that head of his, for the simple reason that

-97-

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Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • The Village School 1
  • Fear of the Sea 7
  • A Windy Night 9
  • The Late Lemuel Parry, Esq., J.P., O.B.E. 12
  • On Drowning a Cat 18
  • The House Across the Way 21
  • Weobley and St. Emilion 25
  • The Man in the Street 28
  • Old Dent 31
  • On Collecting Roads 34
  • 'their Land They Shall Lose' 42
  • The Red Flag 46
  • Strolling Players 50
  • One Sunday Afternoon 57
  • Salem 61
  • A Trip to the Circus 63
  • Thoughts on Coronation Day, 1953 68
  • From the Pulpit 72
  • How to Choose and Treat a Wife 77
  • To the Mountain 83
  • The Imperative Upon Me 88
  • Disenchantment 92
  • The Hiring Fair 94
  • The Man at Chapel House 97
  • Question and Answer 102
  • The Little Llandeilo Boots 105
  • My Last Day in Prison 108
  • A Discovery 118
  • A Land of Romance 121
  • Hi-Ho! 129
  • Ancestors 133
  • While Shaving 138
  • Of Time and Distance 141
  • A Methodist Deacon's Advice 146
  • Of Violets and Bells 148
  • Remembering Mrs Newbould 151
  • Good Morning, Lloyd 156
  • In Modesty and Trembling 162
  • Christmasn in the Valley 166
  • On Stammering 169
  • Butlins 172
  • A Millionaire 176
  • A Scene from Military Life 178
  • An Exile 180
  • The Fox Under Glass 183
  • A Doctor's Medicine 186
  • The Little Huts 189
  • Three Heads 191
  • On Memory 198
  • Uncle John's Boots 202
  • The Fur Coat 207
  • An Holy Kiss 214
  • Notes on Authors and Texts 217
  • Acknowledgements 238
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