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THE RETURN OF PADDY KINSELLA
Bryan MacMahon
December 06, 1954
This work of a young Irish writer is included in 'The Red Petticoat,' to be published by E. P. Dutton
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December 06, 1954

The Return Of Paddy Kinsella

This work of a young Irish writer is included in 'The Red Petticoat,' to be published by E. P. Dutton

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"Where's the girl?" Paddy asked. He was standing at the end of the kitchen.

"She's in the front room. You're not goin' to...?"

Paddy was already at the door of the other room.

"She sleeps like a cat," Timothy warned urgently. "If she tells the mother about me, the fat'll be in the fire!"

Paddy opened the door of the front room. Breathing heavily, he began fumbling with the matchbox again. Across the window moved the scudding night light of the sky. The match light came up and showed a quilt patterned with candlewick. Then, abruptly, where the bedclothes had been a taut ball there was no longer a ball. As if playing a merry game, the little girl, like Jill-in-the-box, flax-curled and blue-eyed, sprang up.

"Who is it?" she asked fearlessly. The match light was high above her.

Paddy did not reply.

The girl laughed ringingly. "You're in the kitchen, Timothy Hannigan," she called out. "I know your snuffle."

"Holy God!" Timothy breathed.

"I heard you talking too, boyo," she said gleefully as the ember died in Paddy's fingers.

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