Mark just stands there, still transfixed by the likeness he sees in the woman before him, Her father looks at Mark's shocked expression and he says, "Be of sound mind, me boy. It is the sister of me daughter that stands before you, not a ghost, mind you."
Mark looks at them and thinks, 'Her sister? Of coarse, I must be going daft.' Then he says, "Come inside, it's a hard wind that's out there."
THe father kindly shakes his head and says, "We won't be staying long. We just came to thank for the kind man who found our daughter."
Mark firmly says back, "Still, come in. The wind is a cold one and the women shouldn't have to stand in it."
They all come in then and Mark closes the door. The father continues to speak, "We are the O'Rielly's. We have just come to say our thanks. Me wife, she would 'ave died o' grief for the body if it warn't for you."
This time, a woman steps forward. She was a handsome woman with bright red hair and fair blue eyes steeped in kindness, but any fool can see that she is a mother and has cried nonstop. She takes off the black shawl on her head and she says, "Tis true, Mister O'Bridges. I 'ave so much to thank you for."
Mark shakes his head and says, "No need to thank me. T'was my honor as a man"
They all go quit then Mark asks, "May I ask the name of the young girl?"
The father sadly says, "She was me Peig....this be her sister, Leana and me wife, Molly."
This time Leana steps forward and she says "I be thankin' ye Mister O'Bridges."
Mark shakes his head again and says, "T' was like I said before. Ye have no need of thankin' me."
She smiles and says, "That may be, but we would have a request of ye."
"Of me?" asks Mark
"It may be strange to you, but we would ask that ye come to the funeral and wake we be having for me sister at the last of the week"
Mark thinks it over and he can't help but think 'The woman, she has the voice of the angels in heaven.' But he knocks that though out of his head and he says, "I shall be honored." The family smiles, then they turn to leave. When they go out and Mark closes the door, he scratches his head.
Mark stands nervously outside of the home where the wake is being held. He takes off his hat and looks around like a nervous cat. Just then the door opens and out walks Molly O'Reilly. She isn't dressed as she was before. She has on a crisp black dress and her hair is neatly pulled back in a bun. Her face is exquisite, but her eyes are still so full of sadness that will always be there.
She looks at him and smiles, at least a faint version of a smile and she says, "I be thankin' ye for coming, Mister O'Bridges."
He replies, "I said I would be and I am."
She looks at him and asks, "Ye look surprised. Is tis because I dress differently than the other night?"
He blushes with embarrassment and she says, "I just started me grief, Mister O' Bridges. I was hardly in charge of meself. Peig would have been shamed if she had see me. She always wanted me to look me best."
He gives a slight smile then he hears the voices inside and he asks, "Excuse me for asking, Mrs. O'Reilly, by why ye be out here and not in at the wake?"
This time she gives a sad smile and says, "I just had to get some air."
He nods his head then says, "I understand. I felt the same when I put me own mother to rest."
She smiles then says, "Please go inside. There's food and drink."
He goes inside and he sees a huge crowd of people walking about and sharing memories of the girl named Peig. Peig's humble coffin is up front and he goes
and pays his respect. Leana comes to him and says, "I see you came, Mister
He turns and says, "I be proud to, Miss O'Rielly."
She then tells him, "Leana, please."
"Only if ye be calling me Mark."
She nods her head then she says, "Come, let me introduce you to the rest of the
family of the O'Rielly's."
"Yes, mum" Mark goes with her and she introduces him to the rest of the family, who gladly tells him of the great times that Peig had given them."
After a while, Mark then excuses himself from a member of the family. He goes to the table to get a cup of coffee. As he does, he sees Leana pick up her black cloak and put it on. He asks, "Ye be not leaving, are ye?"
She looks at him and says, "Oh no Mister…..Mark, I get chilled very easily, tis all"
He nods his head and looks around. He sees a tall, blond haired man coming in and he turns and sees Leana pulling her cloak's hood on. She looks at the man and turns her head. Mark wonders, but doesn't say anything.