A Spectral Stowaway Opens the Door to Ireland's Pagan Past…
The nightmares torment me, Tom. I pray that if I tell someone what happened, peace will bless my remaining days. I’ve never told anyone, you see. When I came home from Boston in 1912, they’d have thought me a silly young girl. Today they’d think me a senile old widow. Yet you, my old schoolmate, are well aware that I am neither silly nor senile, for our friendship spans back eighty years, to our childhood here in Tubbercurry, when you knew me as Noreen Carbury. Since fate has returned you to Ireland after this long stretch of time, and since you’ve offered to listen…
I bought the trunk in Boston to prepare for a visit home. Such luggage served all classes of passengers voyaging then, and—what’s that? Didn’t I have the luggage I’d come with? Indeed not. I gave it away. Those tattered old boxes mismatched what I then perceived to be my bettered status.
The brand-new travel chests I acquired included the flat top trunk. A few extra pennies allowed me to choose a stylish one. Such a gloss it had on its dark oak slats! I still can see the swirl of the metal bands on its edges, embossed designs long since worn away. I’d earned an appreciable amount of money in the five years since I’d emigrated. Hard but honest work, you may be sure. The assorted trays inside the trunk held a great deal, and so I filled them with stylish clothes, the snippets of jewelry I’d purchased, and small gifts for my family. I meant to boast about how well I’d done. My parents, you see, had tried to dissuade me from leaving Ireland. They doubted I’d prosper in Boston. I proved them wrong, but you know what they say, Tom. Pride is the author of every sin.