Molly’s Story

Molly Foley illustration


“No,” you say, “you can’t make me.” You rise, collect your things, and leave.

“That’s my girl,” Father says, making you flush with pride. “Of course, we’ll have to find something else for you to do …”

That means work, but that sits fine with you. You can save money to go back to Ireland.

Your neighbours need help around the house — they’ve got all boys, no girls. Poor Mr. Schultz, not having a daughter like you. They mostly speak German, but you get on all right, helping Mrs. Schultz with the cooking and mending.

They’ve also got an Irish field hand: Daniel. A few years on, he approaches you while you’re hanging the washing. “Molly,” he says, “have you ever thought about Ireland ruling itself?”

“What, instead of Britain running the place?”

He nods. You pause, sock in hand. You’ve heard about people fighting for Irish freedom — but sometimes those fights turn violent, and rebels get arrested. That scares you — but when you get to Ireland, you want it free.

“Want to come to a meeting?” Daniel asks.

Do you go to the meeting or not?