'It's not like you to be frightened, Heloise.'
'All this has happened because I'm here. Because I am an English wife at Lahardane.'
She it was, Heloise insisted, who drew attention to the house, but her husband doubted it. He reminded her that what had been attempted at Lahardane was part of a pattern that was repeated all over Ireland. The nature of the house, the possession of land even though it had dwindled, the family's army connection, would have been enough to bring that trouble in the night. And he had to admit that the urge to cause destruction, whatever its origin, could not be assumed to have been stifled by the stand he'd taken. For some time afterwards Everard Gault slept in the afternoon and watched by night; and although no one disturbed his vigil, this concern with protection, and his wife's apprehension, created in the household further depths of disquiet, a nerviness that affected everyone, including in the end the household's child.
Reprinted from The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor by permission of Viking, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 2002, William Trevor. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
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