Matty Doolin by Catherine Cookson

By Catherine Cookson

Matty is fifteen and is leaving tuition in a couple of weeks' time. He desires to paintings with animals, and wish to get a task on a farm. yet his mom and dad say he's too younger to go away domestic - he needs to remain within the city and get a role in ship-building, like his father. additionally they say he can't cross on a tenting vacation together with his buddies. and so they say he can't retain his puppy, Nelson, simply because Nelson barks all day and eats his father's footwear. however it is due to Nelson that Matty reveals a brand new existence ...

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You filthy beggar, get out of here, don't touch me, if you lay a finger on me I'll cane you to death . . and he'd go back to the window with the broken panes, stark . naked. The old women and the nuns didn't dare cross the court with the orange trees anymore. We decided that the best thing was to board up the shutters of his cell. But he always managed to break them down. Until one night, as Don Clemente slept, I walled up his window with bricks and cement, the first window I walled up in the Casa.

It was witch­ craft, black magic, and that's why the peasants were being crushed under the weight of endless misfortunes. Over the bone­ dry plains, where the animals swollen with thirst were dying off, the head of the landowner's daughter, flapping huge sinewy ears that were like bat wings, would fly after the yellow bitch dog­ it was warty and scrawny like the girl's nursemaid-that guided the chonch6n to a place indicated by the rays of their accom­ plice, the moon, on the other side of the hills.

I'm the seventh old woman. I'll take it upon myself to watch over the Azcoitia about to be born. Iris's - 50 vomit, which I washed from the kitchen tiles, anointed me. I keep it wrapped in a floor rag, with my books and my manu­ scripts, under the bed, where all old women keep their things. THE FIRST TffiNG I had to do was win them over. If I didn't find a way to dazzle them, I'd be accepted by them in name only, even though I'd groveled for them. I let a few days go by while I laid my plans, letting them go on barely talking to me and watching me on the sly.

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