Gaeltacht Minnesota

Crúba na Cinniúna

This year's reading project is a "novel for adult learners" about the "Hooves of Fate", if you will.




Back to Will's Class Page | Project Background | Plot Summary & Notes

Note: I've put the plot summary in reverse order, so that you see the most recent excerpt first. Use the "plot summary" link above to quickly jump over the background information and get to the summaries and grammar/vocabulary notes.

Catch-up Resource

Use this page to catch up, using the summary in English, when you miss a class. Look, good intentions are admirable, but most of the time, if you've missed a segment, it is going to be pretty hard to read what you missed and read the next section that's coming up. So don't worry about it, use the English summaries below to keep you in the flow of the plot, and if you really are that virtuous, you can always go back and read what you missed later.

The synopsis will not be a full translation. It will be a summary of the action, in English. But that will be enough to let you keep up with the key story points without having to find the time to do your own translation of the missed assignment.

Project Background

Crúba na Cinniúna, by Áine Ní Fhoghlú, was published in 2009 and was an Oireachtas prize-winner for "adult learner" novels.


All of our students have dealt with these kinds of books before, so it is a good way to get everyone "on the same page" (pun intended) as we develop a new class with its own style and approach. Having some common material that we can all bring our varied experiences to should be very helpful.

Although much of the vocabulary in the book may be new and might need looking up, the grammar structures in these "adult learner" books are more basic. That means they give us a lot of repetition in seeing how some basic forms work. And I am a great believer that seeing grammar patterns enough times comes before learning to apply grammar rules.Aine Ni Fhoghlu

Another way of saying it is that the translation aspect of the homework is reasonably manageable, and that frees our attention somewhat to look at forms and how the language works a little more.

I will try to highlight grammar wrinkles in each assignment, as part of the summary below.

The Author

Áine Ní Fhoghlú is a poet and teacher (creative writing) who was born (1959) and raised in the Port Láirge (Waterford) Gaeltacht of An Rinn ("Ring"), a Gaeltacht that has some unique dialect features. This was her first of several books in the "adult learner" category.

As poet, she was won the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry prize and the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, and others.

For a taste of her poetry, several samples with her own Irish translations, visit this poetry site. You'll find a biography and, at the right side of the page, links to four of her poems (one of which we did in class). You can also see and hear her read one of her poems in Irish, Do Chaitlín 1978, in this YouTube video.

Plot Summary & Notes

As mentioned at the top of this page, count on using this plot summary to catch up if you don't happen to get to a particular week's reading, and peek at it for a preview of interesting grammar/vocabulary points in the next assignment (depending somewhat on my available time).. The summary is organized by class night, most recent at the top. Note that paragraph breaks in the English summary do not necessarily correspond to the Irish version.

#30, Nov 2, Finish Book!

Notes of Interest

(Starting from the break on P. 52)

Plot Summary

(Yay! We did it!)

He was looking in Siobhán's eyes., she lowering and raising her eyes shyly and fumbling with a paper sugar packet on the table. "How  … How are you?" said Siobhán clumsily. "Me? No problems. How are you? That's a question that is much more important."

"Well enough," she said". "I am here on a week's holiday with my aunt Mairéad. What brings you to these parts?"

"O, long story. Well, it's my native region but my uncle dies a couple of months ago and he left a house and farm tome  in his will. The paperwork is just finished for a week now and I came back from Dublin yesterday to see the place. It's located in a really beautiful area about their miles west from this town there are horses on the farm …" He saw a disturbed look come over Siobhán's face. "Oh, yeah, I forgot you don't like horses," he said have jokingly and pretending to be apologetic. She told him all her adventures  since they said a sad, fearful, strange goodbye to each other that night on Pembroke Road. The welcome she got when she came home. The torment she got from the  media seeking interviews. How she had to change her phone number. Liam and Donna. She was able to laugh not that the Gardaí thought Liam was letting them know that she was kidnapped on behalf of the kidnappers, when he was really only trying to help. But it wasn't funny at the time. Liam living in England now. Delighted to accept the new job that was offered to him when he was over there at that conference. Donna in prison. The month she herself spent in Spain to forget everything. She often thought of him as she was lying out on the beaches of Costa del Sol, she said, and her wondering whether she would ever meet  him again. And everything she did since.

“I had great luck,” said Jack, that they only gave me a suspended sentence. Since it happened, well, that you managed to escape,” he said with roguery in his eyes, “they weren’t entirely sure at first what part I had in the story. I was out in front when the Gardaí made their rush on the house and I pretended that I was only visiting the place. But, of course, my name was in Jazzer’s little book and I had to explain the truth to them in the end.”

He stretched his hand across the table and laid it on Siobhán’s hand. She felt a strange, but comfortable, shiver run through her. She didn’t want him to move his hand. All the same there were plenty of questions he still had to answer before she would be fully at her ease with him.

“I am really sorry about everything that happened to you, Siobhán, and I am ashamed that I had anything to do with that whole terrible story. Now that I have the farm and I will be able to sell a house lot or two and I will pay my debts to Jazzer when he comes out of prison. I will have plenty of time for that, he won’t be seen again for fifteen years! Be sure I won’t go into debt again with anyone.

Jack ordered another cup of coffee and they stayed there chatting for more than an hour. When they were standing outside on the sidewalk Siobhán pulled out her mobile phone. “Hello, Auntie Máiréad? It’s me. Listen, I’ve just met … an old friend of mine here and I’m going for a ride with him into the evening,” him making funny gestures at her. “Right enough then, don’t be worried if you don’t see me until later. Bye for now.” Jack had his arm around her waist as they were walking toward the car.

They were motoring back down the country road in the June sun, the sun roof open. Siobhán felt a nice light breeze blowing through her hair. Freedom. She put her head back. Jack pushed a button to start the CD player and Bob Dylan started singing, “One more cup of coffee for the road.” They looked at each other contentedly. “It is an ill wind that blows no good,” said Jack, as they went out of sight with the mountains, lakes, and fields of Mayo on every side of them. “You are right,” answered Siobhán, “it’s ill indeed.”

#29, Oct 26, to break on P 52

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

(we did not quite get to the break on 52, we got near the bottom of 51, so this summary goes as far as we did)

Siobhán was seated in a  restaurant in Castlebar in County Mayo and the summer sun was scalding in the window on her face. She felt warm, comfortable and safe. She  stirred her coffee idly, her spoon making music on the side of the cup as she thought about all the adventures that has just happened to her before last Christmas. She had requested, from the school authorities,  a year-long professional break and there  wasn't any problem with that. "Take a break!" said the principal to her. "Take it easy as long as you like. Your post will be waiting for you whenever you want to come back."

Siobhán was grateful for it, but her opinion was that we would not be returning. She was sick of the life of the big town. Sick of teaching. She wasn't sure of anything except that she needed a change in her life.

She thought about poor Liam and how the Gardaí thought that he was working for the kidnappers and that he was selling drugs until they caught Donna in the house on Pembroke Road and at last she told the truth to them in regard to Liam and how she used him. At least they apologized to him when  the truth of the story was revealed.

She thought about the Garda Thomas Quinn and how she told the incident of the horse to him. Him! Passing all the information back to the gangsters! She was fingering the silver chain that she had on her neck for six months now, her thumb under it and it being run from side to side thoughtfully.

"I like your chain", said the voice behind her. Siobhán started (was startled) from her thoughts. That voice! She recognized it without looking at him. Didn't she here it every day for a week with a blindfold on her! She turned around slowly, timidly and who would be standing there next to her but The Supper Man as she used to call him – Jack Learmont – as she found out during the court case. Him standing there smiling at her, revealing his white teeth. Colored by the sun, in blue jeans and his two arms bare and sunburned under a yellow t-shirt. Her heart pounding suddenly in a  very strange way. He pull the chair out and asked: "Do you mind?"

She couldn't say a word but she nodded her head letting him know that he was welcome.


#28, Oct 19, Chapter 9

Notes of Interest

Not sure we'll get through the whole thing by the 19th, but I'm posting notes for the entire chapter here.

Plot Summary

Siobhán’s heart was pounding and she was sweating when her feet hit the gravel path outside. There was a like in the open window of the room on the third floor about here and she could hear the voices talking. She stayed close to the wall to avoid the light beam and the palms of her two hands felt the rough surface of the wall that was at her back. Around the corner. Down the path opposite the house. She turned left out of the gate and started running like the wind. She had only gone 100 meters or so when she say a Garda patrol car coming in her direction.

She was so weak with fear, with fatigue and with hunger that she threw herself in front of the car, waving her hands wildly in the air. “Stop! Stop! Please! Gardaí! Help me! Gardaí!

“God help us, look out or you will be killed!” said the Garda to her, them pulling in to the side of the street and he getting out of the car. “What kind of lunatic are you anyway? Hey, wait. Aren’t you …?”

“It’s … it’s me.” She could hardly speak from weakness and breathlessness. “I am Siobhán Ní Thuama. I have just escaped from a house down the road. The men are still in the house but you will have to be quick for they will know any minute that I have escaped and they will leave the place.

The Garda reached out his hand and grabbed the radio. “Urgent! Urgent! Attention! Headquarters, attention! #3756 here. Emergency on Pembroke Road! Gang of kidnappers in a house. Prisoner freed ..” The answer came quickly from Headquarters: “#3756, this is Headquarters. Take the woman to Pearse Street station and return to the station with her. Leave the rest to us. Good work!”

Up on the third floor the argument was still going on, some of them saying they should kill Siobhán immediately and the rest of them saying they should let her free when they heard a loud noise downstairs. Deco went down to see what was there and got the shock of his life when he saw ten men with black helmets (?) and machine guns in their hands running up the stairs in a rush toward him, bellowing; “Gardaí! Gardaí! Put down your arms! You are all under arrest. Give up!” In the room, Jazzer and two others grabbed their handguns and started shooting bullets down the stair. One of the Gardaí let loose a blast from his machine gun up in his direction.

“Oh, I’m hit!” yelled Jazzer as he fell to the floor. “Me, too!” said another one of them, he hand covered with blood that was pouring out of his leg. One of the attacking group was hit, too, in the shoulder. Shortly the rest of them put their hands in the air and the Gardaí too them downstairs and into two vans that were waiting for them outside.

The Gardaí in the station were very interested in the notebook that was in Jazzer’s pocket when he was captured. They found lists of names of buyers and sellers of drugs. Addresses. Numbers and names in foreign countries. And lots of other very interesting information.

The Garda Tomás Ó Cuinn sitting in the office on night in Baile an Leacan station when two of his colleagues walked in. “The game is  up, Tom. You’re under arrest.”o

“You!” said the other man, disgusted. “Bringing bad reputation on all of us. No wonder the gangsters had all the information about us. A spy in our midst! I’m ashamed of you.”

“But, but, I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said innocently.

“Quit your fooling now. Your name was in a notebook of your friend Jazzer. He paid you a big sum or money to divulge information. For a  good long time now. You’ll get imprisonment out of this, don’t doubt that. Don’t you know that what goes around always comes around?”

#27, Oct 12 Finish Chapter 8

Notes of Interest

P. 45

P. 46

Plot Summary

They walked inside past him and started searching the rooms. Liam was very confused/upset. They went into his office. One of them sat down at his computer and started it up. “Would someone tell me what is going on?” “Don’t you know”, said one of them in a quiet voice, “about the kidnapping?” “What kidnapping?” said Liam.

“Don’t try to be clever with us. We are referring to your friend Siobhán. Don’t pretend that you don’t  know about it.”

“Here, boss!” said a loud voice from Liam’s room. The man who was in charge ran in and the man inside had a bag in hand. “Look what I found!”

“Be careful!” said the boss. “Watch you don’t put your fingerprints on the plastic!” He looked inside the bag. “Hmm, very interesting indeed! White powder in small bags and tablets in a box. It seems you thought you could hoodwink us, you fool You will have a bed in the station tonight, son!” he said as he looked sharply at Liam.

“But, it’s not mine …”

“Don’t bother with the excuses, you will have plenty of time to make up your stories in a bit. Put the handcuffs on him and take him to the station. We will stay here and finish the search.” Two of the Garda roughly moved Liam out toward the patrol car.

The postman in B.S. was on his usual course around the neighborhood. “I have a letter for the O’M house again today, he said to himself as he turning right up the long little road. “Mmm… isn’t that strange,” he thought, “that big old wreck of a garage, a light inside and cars outside. That place has been abandoned for years.” He left the engine running and got out of the car out of curiosity. He walked around the back and looked inside a dirty, broken window. “God save us!” he said to himself, “one, two, three, four, five men inside … and what is it that they are handling? It looks like jewels!”

There was furniture, pictures and silver goods and plenty of boxes that weren’t opened yet to be seen standing all over the place. The postman leapt back into his car quickly before he was seen and he took his letters to the O’M household. On the way home that evening he visited the Garda station but by the time they reached the garage that night there was not a soul there and everything was cleaned out of the place. The postman was both surprised and disappointed.

#26, Oct 5, to break top 45

Notes of Interest

This is mostly pretty straightforward, but ...

Plot Summary

Liam was exhausted after his business trip to London.It was midnight when he was turning the key in the door. He walked into the quiet, dark hall. Donna was not there (before him). And Siobhán wasn't there either. He would stop in at the Gardaí in the morning to see what was going on, he thought. But, alas, as it happened, he would not have a chance to do that.

As around twenty to seven in the morning, and him still in a deep sleep, strong knocking on the door awoke him. He looked at the clock. Who could be there, in the name of God?

"Gardaí!"said the man who was standing in ordinary clothes, four others in Garda uniforms and one other person in plain clothes behind them. "Here is my identity card and these are my colleagues. We have a warrant to search this house. And a warrant to arrest you. You are Liam Ó Cuimín? Now, stand back and let us in, please". Liam got an awful shock: "But, why? what ... the reason? ... What have we done?" and he still sleepy,nothing on him but underpants and t-shirt.

"Leave the questions to us, son" said the Garda without uniform, "and it's likely that there will be plenty of them for you to answer. Did you think you would escape abroad after leaving us that message about the kidnappers? Do we seem like a bunch of fools to you?" Liam tried to explain to them how matters were that night. That he drove alll over the place trying to find Siobhán. That there was a danger that he would miss his flight. That his phone battery was failing when he called from the airport...

But all the Gardaí got out of the message was a report that Siobhán was missing. And airport PA announcements in the background, before the unknown person hung up.

#25, Sept 21, CH 8 to top 44

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

In Kildare the Gardaí had been going house to house for a week. The whole town was talking about the story. The place was alive with reporters, staying in the hotels in the center of the town and they were worse than the Gardaí, questioning people young and old to see if they could make a couple of news stories for themselves.

In the staff room at school the teachers were talking about the story every day. There wasn't anyone as content as Sophie that she had a new topic of conversation at the lunch table: "I can't believe it", she said dramatically, "that such a thing is happening to us. Poor Siobhán, who knows how she is? The Gardaí aren't releasing any information about the story."

"Who would have believed a week ago all that has happened within a week,"said Séamas, another teacher. Local teacher kidnapped! Gang of drug gangster operating in the area! Big armed robbery on an estate 50 miles from us and two million euro worth of valuable goods snatched! The world is turning entirely to the bad, the Gardaí don't have enough power, I say."

"Yeah", said another one of the teachers,"and those two lads Seán and Brian captured with drugs in their possession, there's a chance they won't be convicted in court, even. Think of how bold they were, selling drugs under our noses outside of school every day!"

Sophie broke in again: "I read in the paper that someone was being sought by the Gardaí -- a woman -- on suspicion that she was providing the drugs to those young lads. A woman from Dublin, it seems."

#24, Sept 14, End Chapt 7 (P. 42)

Notes of Interest

Although this is a long passage, most of it seems pretty straightforward:

Plot Summary

The person came into the room and for a second or two, he didn't speak a word. Siobhán spoke, turning her head sideways so that he would get a better "view" of her: "Who's there? Do you have a meal for me? I'm perished with hunger. It's hours since I ate. I have a pain in my stomach …"

Suddenly she was left rooted to the spot. She felt two hands on her face, releasing the blindfold gently from her eyes. The heat of his breath was to be felt on her cheek. The light from the 40-watt bulb out in the corridor was filling the room with a soft yellow glow and it lit up the man's face that was opposite her. In the twenties, same age as herself, maybe. He was tall enough, taller than herself. Dark curly hair, brown color on his clean-shaven skin and big honest dark eyes. Siobhán thought he was handsome. Very handsome. She opened her mouth in wonder to maybe ask a question, but he laid his finger softly on her lips to stop her. "Listen to  me carefully." His voice in a strong whisper. An urgent tone in his voice. He wasn't a city man, certainly. His talk was halting, nervous. "You are in Dublin. On Pembroke Road. Do you know the city?"

"A little", she said.

"Turn left after you walk out the gate. Continue walking in the same direction all the way into city center. You will come to Steven's Green. Gardaí will be on duty there. Tell your story to one of them. You have been in the news for a week now. They will recognize you. They intend to move you from here in the middle of the night. I don't know where they will take you and if you don't leave now …"

He stopped and lowered his eyes to the ground. Siobhán understood, he didn't have to say anything more. It was on their minds to kill her. Her heart started pounding again. Started to sweat. He wanted to set her free. Afraid to leave and afraid to stay.

"But what about you" she asked him. "What will happen to you if you let me escape? Will they kill you?"

She couldn't believe what she had just said. She was worried about him! Worried about one of the men who had kept her in prison for … seven days and seven nights! But she couldn't reject the worried feeling.

He spoke again: "I will say that you asked to go to the toiled and when I turned my back for a second you had escaped. Don't be worried about me. At the top of this stair there's a small landing. You will see a widow on the left side. It is  open. One of the other lads was smoking a cigarette earlier and he forgot to close it afterwards. At least they won't be able to blame me for that. When you go out through the window be very quiet landing on the ground as there is a gravel footpath below you. You will have to walk carefully so you aren't heard. They are all in the room directly about you on the third floor. If there is a window open above there they could hear you.

Listen to me now! There's a light that comes on by itself if anyone walks under its beam. You gave to stay tight against the wall so that you don't put it on. Do you hear me? Be really careful. These people are very dangerous."

"but … what about …" She felt the tears coming in her eyes, the warmth soothing her. This man was honest. Too honest to be a kidnapper. "Can I ask you one question?", her looking pleadingly at him. "Ask quickly", he said" for you don't have much time. One of them could come down  at any minute."

"Why? Why are you part of a gang like this? You're not a cruel person. You're not a horrible person? what business to you have with criminals and horrible gangsters? There was pity and regret in her voice as she spoke.

"Look, it's a long story and we don't have time for it now. I had debts. Heavy debts. Jazzer loaned me money. I was a fool to take it from him. I didn't understand the hold it could give him on me. But it did. I was going deeper in quicksand with each step I took. Now, Siobhán, go. Go while you have the chance. And when you reach the gate run like the wind because I will have to raise the alarm fairly quickly or they will suspect me. Good luck."

Siobhán looked in his eyes. There was sadness to be seen in them. Slowly, he took the silver chain from his throat over his head and put it down on Siobhán's throat. "Now, go as quickly as you can". With that she was gone up the stair, avoiding the third step on the way.

#23, Aug 24, bottom P 38

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

The fierce argument that was going on outside the door woke her from her nap. "I suggest we take her out now and put an end to her!" Siobhán thought her heart would stop. A woman's voice. Speaking urgently and crossly. Dublin accent. It wasn't what she was saying that put the  greatest terror on her, but the voice itself. She recognized that voice! She didn't have any doubt. The woman continue talking. It was Donna! Donna! No wonder they would have all that knowledge about her. One of their own in her house every day. An awful shudder ran through her. Poor Liam. Then another awful though occurred to her. Was Liam in on it? She immediately put that out of her mind. Things couldn't get any crazier than this. The voice carried on, hotly, crossly; Things are getting too hot. The Gardaí nabbed one of those young fools I was dealing stuff to and the idiot gave them my name. Now they want to question me. If she gets a change to talk to them that will be the end of me. Jazzer. Look, you're my uncle. You have to protect me."

"Stop with your complaining." There's more than just you in question here. Didn't she recognize me from the picture that was broadcast on the television? Don't be thinking only of yourself, girl! We have to think about lots of things. We won't do anything g with her yet."

"But, Jazzer …" Donna again. He answered her in a firm, authoritative voice" We will have a meeting with the other lads tonight and we will decide then what to do. You  are right in so far as we have to do something without delay. But if we do the wrong thing  it could upset everything. We'll see tonight."

Hunger was hurting her stomach now. Siobhán felt that  it was a very long time since she heard the argument outside her door. No dinner have been brought  yet and she was sure that it was wall past the usual time. Suddenly she heard the footsteps coming down the old wooden stair. They had her in the basement of the house, she had made out that much. Old house. There was a creak on the third step from the end. By this time she recognized the various footsteps that came toward her. It wasn't the usual dinner man. He was slower, heavier on the stair. Lighter footsteps, more like the supper man, the man she liked. But quicker than usual. She her the key being put in the e lock. Her blindfold was hanging loose around her neck. She pulled it up quickly over her eyes so that she would not see the person who came in. the kidnappers were very strict about that rule and by this time she was so used to it that she didn't even think about it.

#22, Aug 10, End Chapt. 6 (P.36)

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

There was no way for her to measure the time except for counting the meals that were brought to her. She started thinking about home. The school. What was up with her friends in the staff room today? She was probably the subject of their talk since she went missing. And Liam. He would be very worried about her and he was probably well questioned by the Gardaí by this time, to see whether he had any information about her. No harm in saying that they would want, very much, to  talk to Liam. But as it happened, the Gardaí didn’t encounter Liam.

She stretched out her hand and grabbed the water bottle she was given last night. She took a sip. She swished it around in  her mouth. She pushed it through her teeth and sucked it back in again. Her teeth were dirty. They wouldn’t let her have a toothbrush. She rubbed her teeth with a bit of tissue she found in her pocket. She thought about what “the supper man” had had to say to her earlier: “I’ll try to get a mattress for you. And a pillow to lay your head on at night. It must be very hard to sleep like this on the hard floor. I’m sorry things are like this for you,” but he stopped talking suddenly when he heard heavy steps on the stair.

In the apartment in Killdare Liam had hardly noticed that Siobhán hadn’t come home that night of the kidnapping until he looked at his watch and saw that it was almost 10:30. He had spent three hours preparing to go to the airport. The flight to London was leaving at five to one in the morning. A conference for managers of rec and sport centers. He would have to attend. There was no getting out of it. He didn’t feel the time sleeping away until now that he started worrying. It was  strange. She usually was home a lot earlier and he knew that she wasn’t relaxed lately. He knew that it was her custom to go out for a walk after a stressful day at school. But she never stayed out on a night in the middle of the week like this. He looked at his watch again. Twenty to eleven. He looked at his plane ticket. Boarding at five to twelve. He grabbed the car keys. He would have time to make a quick dash before heading toward Dublin airport.

He had searched the whole town when he thought of the carpark in which she left her car now and then. But it was a mile outside of town. In the wrong direction. He was pressed now, looking at his watch. Time flying. He would miss his flight if he wasn’t very quick. He turned onto the country road. In the darkness his lights found Siobhán’s license plate. He pulled in next to the car, worried.  With his own engine still running, he pulled the handbrake and got out. He looked in the car. There wasn’t anyone in it, but nothing seemed out of order. He tried the doors. Locked. There wasn’t anything for it but a call to the Gardaí. Time was flying. He would call from the airport when he was checked in.

#21, July 27, First Break on P. 34

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

The days came and went. They were long tedium for her every day. Three of them were guarding her, telling by their footsteps.One man (regularly) brought her breakfast. A bit of toast and a cup of tea for breakfast. Horrid tea, usually, too strong. This man never spoke. He left the plate inside the door without a word.

A bigger meal a couple of hours after that from the second man, with "Here's your dinner" growled at her later from the rough voice of the middle-aged man who mercilessly pulled her into the car the day she was kidnapped. The same ugly voice every night. A smell of stale tobacco from his breath and clothes when he came in. And the smell of sweat. He disgusted her.

Then her thoughts turned to the supper man. She didn't associate the same fear or disgust with the way she felt when he came in. The way he laid the plate down next to her. Nice and easy. As if he didn't want to frighten her. Strange how the other senses worked when one of them was out of commission. Hard to explain. Everything was hard to explain in this gloomy, ugly place.

She slept a while. She didn't have any idea how long. She heard the footsteps. The key in the lock. Her pulse started pounding again. She had to put the blindfold on her eyes before the door would be opened and she wasn't allowed to remove it until she would hear the key being turned in the lock again. She knew the rules well by this time. Running shoe footsteps across the floor toward her and something was laid next to her. "Here you go. Eat this" The sudden talk surprised her. Immediate small relief. Was this the supper man talking to her? A young man's voice. A voice that was somehow sincere. Accent from the west of Ireland, she thought. He wasn't from Dublin, anyway. She thought it worth an attempt to get a little information if she could. "Where, where am I", the first words that came haltingly out of her. "What are you going to do with me?"Quiet for a minute, a step or two toward the door, but then he stopped and turned toward her: "I'm not in charge. I don't know."

"Are you going to kill me? If so ..."The voice interrupted her. She found gentleness in his voice now. He laid his hand softly on Siobhán's hand but she drew back as he was grabbing where her hands were still sore from the tie. "Look, don't be afraid. I don't think they are going to kill you. As I understand it, they need a chance to get a couple of people safe out of the country and then I would say that you will be released. You are the only witness the Gardaí have in this whole mess and without you the Gardaí don't have any case against them." Then he left without saying anything more. She sat on the floorr, her back against the wall, thinking about what he had said. It was incredible but she liked his company. And she didn't mind when he laid his hand on her. She was content, if she would admit the truth. She felt comfortable with him. Well, more comfortable than with the others. She thought that he was out of place in this strange scene, somehow.

#20, July 13, Break on P. 31

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

The door opened and a teeny bit of light spread under the blindfold that was tied tightly around her eyes. She moved a bit but the pain was so bad that she was content to stay still, although she was very uncomfortable. She was lying on her let side on the floor, her knees bent toward her chin, her hands still tied behind her back and her ankles tied to each other. Something heavy slid across the wooden floor toward her and a man’s voice said, harshly, “There’s your meal. Eat it.” “Wait, wait a second. Will you release the tie on my hands? I won't be able to eat anything if you don’t.” The man took a Stanley knife out of his pocket and with a sudden rough movement of his hand, (he) cut the tie. With that he left and Siobhán heard the key being turned in the door. She was really scared now. Where was she? How long was she there? Would she be killed? It wouldn’t matter to this drug gang. They weren’t reluctant to kill people who would interfere in their business. She had heard plenty of stories about their sort. She couldn’t tell day from night as it was completely dark. She drew her freed hands to her and stretched them out in front of her. Oh, the pain, but the relief also. She stuck her thumbs under her blindfold and slit it over her head. Relief. There wasn’t a bit of light but what was coming through the keyhole. She looked around her. Nothing to see. Pitch dark. Her eyes were sore from the blindfold she word for a long time. She didn't know how long. There wasn’t any window as far as she knew. Shortly her eyes became used to the dark and to the small ray of light coming through the keyhole. She saw a small cupboard in the corner. Cardboard boxes all over the place, closed up with tape. Torn boxes thrown around the place. She gathered the torn boxes. They would make a bed for her. It was impossible to sleep on the dirty mat that was under her. She looked down at her wrists they were cut and bruised but what she didn’t see were the black and blue marks that were cut into her skin by the hard plastic, and the red blood that was crusted on them.

#19, June 22, end of P. 28

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

He took something out of his pocket and pressed it to her back. It was hard. It hurt her. "I have a gun in your back. It's up to you now. You can cooperate or I will put a bullet in your back. There's nothing for you but heartbreak anyway. I'd much rather that you would be entirely out of the way."

Her heart was pounding and her breathing heavy. She turned her face from side to side, trying to draw breath.

"Stay still!" he shouted loudly in her ear again, and he started tying her two wrists with plastic ties like those used for electric cables. Then he rose from her back. The relief! But the ties were cutting into her skin. Then he got another sort of cable and tied her ankles together. Too tight. Now this was hurting her, too. Incredible pain. Siobhán tried to make herself a little more comfortable but every time she moved the pain become worse.

All sorts of things were running through her mind. Who in the world were these people? Where were they taking her? What did they want? What had she done? It wasn't long until she thought of the adventure of the horse and all the strange things that had just happened to her since. Every sort of thing occurred to her at that moment? Were they going to kill her? Would anyone look for her? At least her own car was in the car park by the road. When Liam would notice that she hadn't returned he would call the Gardaí.

The pain in her wrists was so bad she felt like crying. She was like that for an uncertain amount of time. Dizziness in her head. Weakness Darkness. She fell unconscious.


#18, June 8, Through P. 27

Notes of Interest

P. 26

P. 27

Plot Summary

Looking back over her shoulder, she squeezed the plastic on the back of her key fob as a flash of the orange lights let her know the car was locked. She pulled up the zip on her jacket and straightened her wool cap down over her ears. She started walking quickly as she didn’t like slow walking. There wasn’t any benefit for her to get out of it. There was a view of the town below and of the yonder mountains. Every place was plenty bare at this time of year and a cold wind was blowing in her face, but it didn’t matter to her as it would be at her back as she returned. She was going through the adventure of the night before in her mind. And her visit to the Garda at lunchtime. At least that much was done. The young Garda took a statement from her about what happened but he was very reluctant to give her any information. She asked them about the Gardaí that snatched the patrol car that night but they didn’t want to say much to her. She told them that she recognized the man that was in the photograph that was on the news the other night and they showed it to her again to be completely sure. She was. The young Garda asked her if she recognized the other man who was in the patrol car. She didn’t. It was too dark. She asked them whether the van driver made contact with them but not much came out of that question.  She told them about the strange text and about the knocking on the window, and although they made note of everything, she didn’t feel like she was getting much satisfaction. But they said that they would be in touch with her again. Soon. And that she shouldn’t be worried. And she wasn’t right now. Although the wind was cold, she was hearty. She felt a taste of freedom. She put her face up and her head back and she forgot her troubles.

She had done about half a mile and was just coming toward the loop in the road when she heard a car coming from behind her. The engine slowed and Siobhan kept walking. It slowed again and out of the corner of her eye she saw that it had pulled up even with her. She looked in its direction. A wine colored car. Two men inside. License plate D but that’s all she noticed about it. The driver lowered his window and spoke to her in a Dublin accent: “Excuse me”, he said, with a map of the area in his hand. “Could you tell us where we are? We’re trying to find Woodtown but I think we took a wrong turn someplace.” Siobhán bent towards them and looked at the map without paying much attention to the man himself. She laid her finger on the spot where they were and showed them where they went astray. “If you turn back and go as far as the crossing …” She didn’t have a chance to finish the sentence when she felt rough hands pulling and dragging her into the car. The passenger had just leapt out and now he had a rough hold on her as he was pushing and stuffing her into the back seat. Siobhán used her elbows and gave him a couple of kicks in the legs but it didn’t do her any good as he was too strong for her. “Let me go, let me go! What are you doing?” she screamed, but he put his hand firmly over her mouth. She bit his hand. He yelled. He became mad and rougher. Started cursing her. In the blink of an eye, the door was slammed and the car was driving at full speed. Siobhán could hardly breathe. Her face was pressed to the seat. The heavy weight of the man was on her, his knee pressing into her back. Her arms were being pulled by him until she thought they would separate from her shoulders. “Stay still, girl, or it will be worse for you. “His crude voice and the smell of his ugly breath next to her face.

#17, May 18, First Page (25) Chapter 5

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

Siobhán tapped her fingers rhythmically, impatiently on the steering wheel. How in the name of God are the lights always red when you are in a hurry? And green when you are relaxed. “I am sick of this life in the big cit. Sick of trying to teach things to young people who don’t take any interest in education … day after day without a break. That place has gotten worse. Some of those young lads almost cursed you. They started openly smoking cigarettes on the grounds at lunchtime. Rumors of drugs growing by the day …” those were the thoughts that were running through her head when the light turned green.

She didn’t notice the car that was behind her. Turn to the right. Out on the country road. The car still following her. There was a small car park a mile out from there, a place where there was a good view of the surrounding area. Sometimes she used to park there and go walking. Especially if she had a headache after a hard day at school. That’s what she would do today. Twilight would not be long in coming but she would have a nice walk and she would be back before dark.

#16, May 4, end of Chapter 4

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

Uneasily, Siobhán pressed the button to turn off the phone and kept it pressed until the little screen went black. She laid it on the little table that was next to the bed and turned away.

It wasn’t long before the adventure of the horse was as large as life again before her eyes. But this time the window didn’t break. She stayed in the car and put down the latches to lock the doors. After a couple of minutes, the fat Garda came in her direction and started knocking on the window. His big face pressed against the glass and him knocking strongly. She woke with a start. She could still hear the knocking. She was sweating, glued to the spot and scared even to move her little toe.

She stared at the window through the darkness and she just barely saw the shadow through the light curtain and it bending down again around the window. It was hard for her to understand what was dream and what was reality. But now she was fully awake and she didn’t have any doubt. She heard a knock. She saw a shadow bending. She slid out of the bed, her heart pounding so hard that it was deafening. Then she heard a loud sound as if metal was falling on the path below.

She pulled her bathrobe on and went over to the window.  She raised the curtain and looked out. Nothing to see but the neighborhood cat going across the back garden. Nothing but … the ladder! The ladder that they usually had in the shed was thrown on the ground. That’s what she heard falling. And somebody had just been outside. It wasn’t her imagination playing tricks on her.

She was getting more worried than ever now. What in the name of God was happening to her? What was behind all this? She was completely unsettled and thinking deeply about the situation when she threw her bathrobe off again at the bottom of the bed. She looked at the small hands of the clock. Twenty-five to three. She climbed back under the quilt.

When the alarm rang, and the room was bright again with the morning, Siobhan felt like she hadn’t got a bit of sleep.

#15, April 27, 2nd break on P. 22

Notes of Interest

Due to travels, this ia perhaps a more cursory survey, and a later posting, than usual.

Plot Summary

It was a quiet moonlit night as Siobhán was sliding in between the sheets. She was exhausted every night lately, and it was like she never got enough sleep no mater what time she went to bed. She usually did a lilttle reading,but this night she wouldn't bother.The moon was a big lamp shining through the light curtains of her room, and there wasn't a sound to be heard but the screech of a cat in the distance. She was lying there thinking about everything that had happened that week. Trying to make sense of it all. A list in her head for tomorrow: work as usual, pay the mechanic, call her insurance company, call the tax office, and at lunch time into the big town to the Garda station to tell her story in full to them.

She was just imagining that visit when a beep from her cell phone brok into her thoiughts. Who would that be? Maybe Dearbhla from work with some good news that schoool was being closed unexpectedly! That would be a little too optimistic indeed! She looked at thescreen and saw the little envelope and the words "you have one message". She pressed the button and focused her eyes on the words that lit the blue screen in the darkness: "YOU ARE BEING WATCHED> WE KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU> OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND IT WILL BE THE WORSE FOR YOU."

A dream? No. She wasn't asleep yet. A prank. That's it. One of her friends was playing a joke on her. Someone who knew about the horse adventure and they thought they'd get a rise out of her. She looked again. Read it again carefully. She continued down to the end and pressed "message details": TIME RECEIVED: 00:19- SENDER: NO NUMBER. She read it again carefully, thoughtfully.

#14, April 20, Break bottom P. 21

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

The picture filled the television screen. Siobhán's heart filled with fright. "Oh, I don't want to watch the news," said Donna suddenly, quickly changing the channel. "Quick, change it back! Change it back!" said Siobhán in an urgent voice as she snatched the remote from her hand to change it back again. The picture was gone. But she had seen enough. She didn't have any doubt. That was him. That was the driver of the Garda car the night the wild horse escaped. No wonder the 'Gardaí' didn't have any interest in her that night! They were part of the gang of robbers! Well, wasn't she a fool, thinking she could get any help from them?

"What's wrong with you?", Donna noticing how scared Siobhán was. "That man ... that..."

"Who, this one?"

"No, the man who was on the screen when you changed the channel. That's him!"

"Oh, what are you talking about, Siobhán? What nonsense are you on about?"

Siobhán plopped back into the armchair. "The night I had the accident, the night the window was broken in my car. Well, there was a Garda patrol car there and the Garda who was driving, well, that was him that was on the news now. I'm sure of it. The man the Gardaí want to question! I'm sure. I have to talk to them tomorrow. My information could help them a lot."

#13, April 13, Break bottom P. 20

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

Note that the rest of P. 19 has been added to the summary in the next secion, this summary mostly covers P. 20.

“Well, I got my car back all right. But I haven’t spoken with the Gardaí yet. Between working every day, trying to make a doctor’s appointment, dealing with the garage and everything, I’m spent.” The Gardaí, she thought to herself. She had clean forgotten that the van driver had promised her that he would put the Gardaí in touch with her…

The news reader drew her attention: “More facts have come to light the last couple of days on account of the big incident in which around 2 million euro worth of goods were stolen from the Haughton-Landsbury estate, next to Bally Leacan a week ago. Here’s our reporter Séamus Ó Tiamáin:

"The Gardaí have let it be known that they are doing an investigation into the big robbery that happened a week ago last night. It is believed that a criminal gang that is based south of Dublin is guilty and that this is the same gang that has been importing and dealing drugs on a major scale for the past couple of months. It seems that this crowd was watching the estate for a long time and that they knew the owners were overseas. It is also come to light that they snatched a Garda patrol car that night. Anyone who was in that area that night is requested to contact the Garda without delay to give them any knowledge they have. This evening the Gardaí released this picture of the man they would like to question in connection with this event."

#12, April 6, start Ch. 4 (p. 19)

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary (April 6, short segment of P 19)

Restless Night

Donna was already in the sitting room when Siobhán returned from work in the evening. “Well?” she said, looking over her shoulder. Siobhán wasn’t sure whether it was disrespect or lack of interest. “My, but she makes me angry,” Siobhán said to herself. “Plopped in the chair, leg over the arm, like she owned the place.” Siobhán could never relax when she (Donna) was around. Remote in her hand, hopping from channel to channel, hardly seeing anything properly. Chewing gum. Big gold earrings. Blonde stripes in her hair, growing out now and her own dark color showing itself again.

“Has Liam come home yet?” “Yeah, he went out to the shop. There wasn’t any milk.” Siobhán looked at the clock. Exactly six o’clock. “Could you put the news on, please?” she said to Donna. “I’ve hardly seen a news report for a week, with the stress ana strain I’ve been under since the accident happened the other night.” “Oh, yeah, Liam was telling me. But everything is all right now, it seems, isn’t it?” said Donna.

#11, March 23, end Ch. 3

Notes of Interest (P. 18)

Not too much in this short segment, but note:

Plot Summary

"I am very grateful to you, "said Jazzer, hurrying as if he was under a lot of pressure. Down the passage quickly. Glance over shoulder. Inside. Lock the door. Small window. He could just barely manage it. Up with him, foot on the sink. Out. A bunch of young lads in the dark alley, their hoods up, taking drags from cigarettes and kicking something that wasn't there. They looked up with surprise at the fat bundle that had squeezed itself out into the dirty street. "You there! You didn't see anything. "They were stepping on each other for the 50 € note they would pick up from the spot where it fell.

With a sigh of relief, Jazzer slid away until he was lost among the evening shoppers.

#10, March 16, to bottom P. 16

Notes of Interest

Bottom P. 15

Page 16

Plot Summary

Down in the street, Jazzer glanced over his shoulder (frequently). He’d rather that he didn’t have to visit the lads in the apartment but the usual messenger was out of action for a while due to the events of the previous week. He was walking toward downtown until he came to a bus stop just as one was coming. He jumped in just as the bus was pulling out again. That was one of his old tricks to make sure no one was following him. He landed in O’Connell street, walking again, stopping every now and then to look into a shop window, apparently. A while like that, a glance over his shoulder. Out of  the corner of his eye now he saw a young man a ways down the street from him stopping to look in another shop window. “Damn! A detective.” He was too well known around town by this time. He shouldn’t be so active in ordinary affairs anymore. It was too easy for him to be recognized.

And he was getting a little flabby lately. He wasn’t as fit as he used to be. He was starting to sweat.

If he would be searched with the stuff he was carrying that would be an end to everything. And although he had a hand gun to protect himself, it would be better if he didn’t have to use it in the crowded streets.  He had no escape.

He had come to a department store on Anraí street, in he went. He wove in and out  of the clothes racks. Your man following just behind him. The women’s underwear department. He ought to buy some nice sexy pieces for his partner for Christmas. Maybe his shadower wouldn’t want to follow him in there. And if he did, it  would be very clear what was going on and Jazzer would get a good look at him. These lads preferred not to be recognized if possible.

“Excuse me, could you help me please?: “Certainly, said the perky attendant. “What would you like, sir” “Well, I’d like to buy a Christmas gift for my girl and I’m looking for your help, if you don’t mind But, first, I have to use the toilet and, well … “, pretending to be a little embarrassed, “I don’t have time to go back up the stair to the public one.” “Oh, no matter”, says the attendant, “if you go in that door, down the passage past the women’s dressing room and the door on the left at the end that’s that staff toilet. You can use that one and I will be collecting some nice things for you while I’m waiting for you.”

#9, March 2, Ch. 3 to middle P. 15

Notes of Interest

Bottom of 14

Top of 15

Plot Summary

... He was reasonably new on the job and you couldn't be too careful with the way the Gardai were working these days. "What time tomorrow will the shipment be ready/" Deco answered: If we work most of the night and take our chances to get some sleep we could be done by midday." "Good enough," said Jazzter." "I'll wait until tomorrow to collect it. I'll send the furniture truck to fetch it. There will be a few things coming in -- a sofa, chairs, a table and a couple of beds. The lads will take some of the old material out and make sure the stuff is well hidden in the pieces that go out. I'll take a sample package with me to a customer I'm meeting later." He took one of the bags that had a closed seal on it and he stuffed it inside his belt, putting it carefully in the front of his underpants.

#8, February 23, Ch. 3 to bottom P. 14

This segment goes to the last full sentence on P. 14: Bhí Jimmy ceart go leor ach ní raibh go leor aithne aige ar Deco fós.

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

“Hello, Deco here” said the man who answered”. “Jazzer here, how’s the work going?”

“Fine. Jimmy’s here with me and the two of us have been working from 8 in the morning, but there’s still a long night ahead of us. Any activity out there?”

“Yeah, a little. Some of the new young detectives are trying to make names for themselves but don’t worry. I’ll lose them quicklly. I’ll be with you in a quarter hour or so, expect my knock on the door.”

It was Jimmy who let him in. He saw a change in Jazzer’s attitude when he spoke. “We have to finish this damned business quickly, a lot faster than I thought. The heat’s on in the city and this business down in the countryside is putting pressure on our guys.”

“Where do things stand with that?” Jimmy was talking. “Are the news reports to be believed or are the Gardaí pretending to know more than they do? Hoping to pressure us so we do something foolish?”

“Well,” said Jazzer, “We managed to bring all the stuff with us but we’ll have to leave it in the depot for a few weeks until the heat is off and we can dispose of it. Everything would be fine if that veterinarian hadn’t been called out in the night. He's just been talking with the Gardaí already. There are one or two things to take care of still. One witness that needs to be silenced, maybe.”

Jazzer was very careful not to give away too much information. He knew Jimmy well enough but didn’t know Deco that well yet.

#7, February 2, Start Ch. 3 through top P. 14

We finished Chapter 2 on the 2nd, but I've just added that plot summary to the previous summary (#6)

Notes of Interest

Page 13

Page 14

Plot Summary; to bottom of first paragraph

(On Feb. 2, we got almost to the end of the first paragraph of Chapter 3, to the next to last sentence, ending in "le ceol meidhreach thosaigh sé ag bualadh.")

In a small apartment in Harold's Crossing two men sat at the kitchen table. There was no doubt about the "cottage industry" going on. The equipment told its own tale: two electronic scales, knives, spoons, brown plastic tape, packages of clear plastic holding blocks of white powder, empty bags yet to fill, two mobile phones and two .45 guns. Small bags were all over the place,some of them filled with white powder and sealed tight, others half filled. Hundreds of small tablets, some multicolored, others white with a pattern stamped on them. Blocks of brown substance yet to be cut and mixed. In the street below, big city traffic was moving slowly as usual this time of the evening. The pair kept a nervous eye on the street as if they had an appointment with someone. Suddenly one of the phones started vibrating and skittering on the table as a zippy tune began playing.

#6, January 26, Second part Ch. 2 (Plot Only)

See #5 for Notes of Interest in this segment

Plot Summary: Through "Bhain a lón as a gcuisneoir", near bottom p. 11

She often thought about changing careers. The majority of the lads were very nice but they were all falling out of formal education. Some of them had major difficulties at home. Others did their best but had learning disabilities. 16 was the average age. But these two, they had been big trouble lately. There were rumors that they had started dealing drugs in the evenings. Siobhán was talking to them about their behavior but she didn't like what she saw in their eyes, something she hadn't noticed before. A different sort of challenge, one that said they didn't care in the least about her. A challenge that said, "We have something going on that's way more important than you would understand". There was a new boldness in them lately. She thought again about the rumors.

"and it seems that the armed gang escaped with jewels and all sort of valuables. And the woman talking on the news said she had a terrible shock when the armed man entered her bedroom wearing a mask ..." It was Sophie who was talking, at the top of her lungs, as usual. If it wasn't tales of movie and pop starts that she was on about, it was some bit of new clothing that she had bought. She talked like the wind, and always loud. She hardly drew breath! Siobhán was too tired to listen to her today. Over to the sink, she got a cup, put a teabag in, filled the cup from the kettle. She got her lunch from the fridge.

Summary: rest of Chapter 2

From the corner of her eye she saw Sophie gesturing as she dramatically told of the previous night's adventure. The event itself couldn't compare with this woman, who continued "... and if it weren't that the vet was called to treat a sick horse, nobody would have known about it till morning." Siobhán pricked her ears. "It seems that some of the other horses on the estate became uneasy and one of them -- a valuable race horse -- broke out and went wild all over the road!"

Siobhán stood frozen in the middle of the staff room. What did she say, that a horse broke out ... valuables stolen? A shiver ran through her and she slowly drew near the table to sit down by the rest of them. Sarah moved down to give her space. Sophie was still talking -- it seemed that the thieves were watching the place every night, for six months! The Haughton-Landsburys were away in England but the caretaker and his wife were there, tied up with electric cables. "The armed men were apparently very sophisticated ..." Siobhán mumbled slowly, "Where did all this happen?" Sophie hardly glanced at her with a quick answer: "You know where the H-L estate is, a couple miles form Baile na Leacan." Siobhán turned aside so no one could see how that upset her? Could she be hearing this?

The bell rang loud and long and everyone stood up to return to their classes.

#5, January 12, rest of Chapter 2

Notes of Interest

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Plot Summary (January 12 - Part 1 of this assignment)

We got a few sentences into P.10, ending with Ba rang an-dúshlánach iad.

She was yawning and dragging her feet as she went downstairs to collect the letters that were on the floor. She threw them on the table and put the kettle on for a cup of coffee. That’s all she would have time for this morning. She got the dirty mug Liam left on the drain board and rinsed it out. The kettle purred and she put a spoon of coffee in the mug, the brown powder darkening and sticking to the bottom. She looked through the letters; a bill she wouldn’t open until later, a flyer from a charity, one from a supermarket about bargains on Christmas decorations and it was still November. She threw all of them aside, she would look at them properly tonight. Laptop in her backpack, a banana to eat on the way, key ring on her thumb, coat on her shoulder, the doorknocker rapped as she slammed the door.

When she sat down in the staff room at lunchtime the conversation was well under way. She was late coming in because she had to talk to two young lads from computing class. It was a very challenging class.

#4, December 8, Start Chapter 2 through bottom P. 8

Okay if you don't get through it all, there's just no place else to break that two-page paragraph!

Notes of Interest

Plot Summary

Siobhán awoke with a start from the sound of the letter box. She rubbed her eyes and squinted at the clock. Twenty after eight! She would not have time to take a shower, just to wash her hair quickly, letting it dry in the car

The car … she had forgotten for a minute that she didn’t have a car. She swung her legs out of bed and, ow!, she had pain in her neck. Turning her head from side to side, she felt a not in her muscles when she turned it to the left. She rubbed the sore spot as the events of the night before came back to her. Nightmare? No. The pain in her neck confirmed that.

She glanced at Liam’s room. They sat up late talking about events. The door was half open, bed clothes awry, dirty laundry on the floor. “Men!” Sometimes she asked herself why she took him as a roommate, spending half her time arguing about him being untidy. All the same, the rent was too big for one person and no one else answered the ad.

Anyway, with the support he gave her last night – driving 50 miles to pick her up from the accident, calling the garage to get the car, the conversation and comfort during the night – she wasn't going to complain to him today. And he was a nice person.

But as for Donna, his girlfriend, well, that was different. He hadn’t been going with her long, and although Siobhán didn’t have any romantic notions about Liam she hoped this relationship with the other woman wouldn’t last. She was coarse, and couldn’t leave Dublin behind her. They were only 40 miles from the big city but you would have thought she was living completely in the boonies. She was bitter about everything: not enough shops, not the latest movies, not enough night clubs or taxis, nothing pleased her. The sooner Liam could see that she was just using him for his money, and free membership in the club he managed.

He’d probably gone off at 7:30 as usual. Strange he didn’t wake her.

#3, November 24 class, finish chapter 1

One page, really, bottom of P. 4 and all of P. 6 (P.5 is an illustration)

Notes of Interest

pay attention to the use of beirt, with the article, with following genitive. It is easy to forget that beirt is a feminine noun.

éinne = anyone = aon duine

frith = anti, counter, frithchaite = thrown back, in a sense, thus "reflective"

daichead = 40 = dá + fichead

An gclúdóidh = future, "will cover"

Déarfainn = I would say, conditonal form. The verb "to say" is unusual in that the initial D is not lenited where you would expect (past, conditional, etc.)

Feach, tabhair dom = imperative forms.

note contrast forms in next to, and next to next to, last sentences.

The Plot

Before either of the two who were standing in the middle of the road even had a chance to look for the number of the local Garda, here came a white car with yellow reflecting stripes shining on the sides and the blue light with the letters GARDA on the roof. The car slowed and lowered the window. "Oh, what luck", said Siobhán, "God has sent you to us!" She showed great relief now. She lit into telling her story to them at full speed. It seemed odd to her when she had spoken her bit that the two Garda didn't have much of a reaction to the urgency in her boice.

"My carr is a mess", she said, "I am lucky I escaped with my life."

The two Garda looked at each other. One of them young, late 20's, the other man older, maybe 40, with a big belly under the steering wheel. For some reason, Siobhán didn't like him. Something was odd about the young man but she couldln't put her finger on it and she didn't have the time to be thinking about it now.

"Will your insurance cover you?" says the fat one. "My insurance! Aren't you going to get our of the car? You have to know who has horses in this area?" Her hot-tempered natuure was evident now, her voice becoming impatient and urgent. "I don't have to find out who is guilty of this ..." and she started giving the two of them some abuse.

The other driver stood forward and looked over Siobhán's shoulder at the Garda. "I would say that you should get out and look at the damage at least, take some details, maybe", him trying to calm Siobhán down and nudge the Garda at the same time.

"Look", he said, turning toward Siobhán, "Give me your p\hone number. I have a mind to go to the Garda station tomorrow and make an official complaint about this. I will give them your number and I will tell them to contact you as well."

The fat Garda released his seat belt and opened the door of the patrol car.

#2, November 10 class, pp. 3-4 (postponed to 11/17)

From the last few words on the bottom of P. 2 to the paragraph break at the bottom of P. 4.

Notes of Interest

Lots of sentence fragments, missing subject, verb, or both.

A lámha ar crith, rather than the ag crith you might expect.

A few lines into P.4, you'll see the past tense ghlaoidh: ghlaoigh would be more common.

go gcloisfí: autonomous conditional!

we talked about the vocative with female names ending in broad consonants, like Siobhán: final consontant is not slenderized.

Near the end of this passage, you'll run into a couple of -f(a)imid endings, as in Glaofaimid. These future forms correspond to -f(a)idh + muid.

Oh, and note a couple of very interesting mutations after den (= de + an) as in den mbaile : perhaps distinct to An Rinn?

The Plot

(continues mid-stream in paragraph from last assignment).

She drew back toward the door at lightning speed, just as the iron shoe struck a blow like a hammer on the seat above her shoulder. The horse was whinnying. Siobhán was screaming. Whinnying and screaming together. The car slid. The horse jumped and leapt and ran all over the road in a frenzy. Siobhán thought she was having a nightmare. This couldn't be happening!

And with that, it was gone. The engine still running, the car in the middle of the road, Siobhán in a panic. "I'd better put on my warning flashers" she thought quickly and she pulled to the side of the wall (hedge). She reached her shaking hand up and turned on the light above the mirror, in a cold sweat. Her heart was pounding, her breathing labored. She looked around her -- God in Heaven! -- there was broken glass all over the place, on the floor, in the chips, in her hair. A look in the mirror showed she was the color of death but -- a miracle -- not a mark on her.

She couldn't make any sense of it. Except for the smithereens all over the car, she'd think she imagined it. The was a big strip torn from the seat over her shoulder where the horse's shoe struck it. If she hadn't thrown herself to one side quickly enough, she would have got it in the face! Another shiver ran through her.

The phone? Where was her mobile phone? In her handbag. Where was the bag? On the floor on the passenger side, covered with bits of glass. She lifted it and shook the glass off. Her hand shaking, she found Liam's number and pushed the green button. It started ringing. But here were lights coming toward her. "I'd better give them a warning" she said to herself quickly and she flashed her headlights three or four times and got out of the car.

"Haló? Siobhán?" It was Liam's voice. At the same time a big van came in on the other side of the road and the man called out, "Is everything all right there?"

"Haló, Siobhán, are you there? Do you hear me?" "Yeah, just a second, there's ..." She turned to the driver who had stopped and told him, haltingly, what had just happened. Liam heard every word and was talking loudly, trying to be heard through the phone.

The other driver, out of the van now, took the phone: "Haló. She had a little accident but don't worry, she seems to be all right. A horse broke out of some place near here and went wild all over the road. We're in Ballynalacken, a little ways from town. The horse is a couple of miles away by now. I was coming in the other direction when it hit my side-view mirror and busted it. But It's a van I was driving and it couldn't do much damage. We will call the Gardaí and then call you back in a bit."

"Right," said Liam, "thanks. Could you put Siobhán back on, for a moment, please?

#1, November 3 class, pp. 1-2 ("Night Adventure")

Through the last full sentence on P.2, ending "ag lascadh ina treo".

Notes of Interest

Tenses are either simple past or conditional. Good conditional practice!

Couple of o-a swaps: fothrom for fothram, bas for bos.

Lots of genitive plurals that look just like common (nominative, subject) singular forms, e.g., mála na sceallóg, i mbarraí a méar.

Notice that since the heroine is a woman, there are plenty of possessives with no following mutation.

Nil -- ach to express "only"; the "sandwich" structure: of "ag baint X amach" to mean "reached".

The Plot

Siobhán gets in her car with a bag of hot "chips" (French fries), which warm her cold fingers. She had to stand in the cold for ten minutes at the fast food booth in the village.

There's a nip in the air and she shivers. She holds a fry between her teeth to avoid getting burned. She starts the car and turns up the heat, especially to clear the fog on the window, from the fries and from her breath. She looks in the rear-view mirror and pulls out on the road. A glance at the dash tells her it is 10:30 at night, and that it will be midnight before she reaches home. She only has a couple of miles of good road until she reaches the side roads, which could be frosted tonight.

The engine hums and she shifts with the palm of her hand to avoid getting grease on the gear stick. She hates the smell of grease and vinegar that seems to stick to the upholstery. It's worse than the smell of cigarette smoke.

She turns on the radio (RnaG) and hears a nice young woman with a Dublin accent announcing a Dylan song. She's on a nice wide road, thanks to EU money. There isn't a bit of traffic, as there are not many people like herself who would be out on a Tuesday night at this time. She sort of regrets that she started (teaching) this course in the first place, but she needed the Christmas money and 32 people signed up. She couldn't let them down with only two classes left. She was enjoying it in spite of the travel, making new friends, interesting, different people.

She hadn't (fully) engaged third gear when it happened. Like a flash of lightning a dark unrecognizable bulk ploughed through her windshield. The class shattered into smithereens all over the car. She hardly had time to notice the shock, fear, and disbelief that were all on top of each other. It came in towards her ... it couldn't be true ... here were two horse's hooves lashing in her direction.