By Raymond Williams

While railwayman Harry expense abruptly suffers a stroke, his son returns from London to the Welsh border village of his upbringing, and to his family's prior.

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Example text

Price? ’ ‘Aye. ’ ‘Glad to meet you, my boy, certainly. ’ ‘They said your good man was married, when they sent me his bit of paper. ’ ‘We’ve got to get lodgings. ’ ‘Lodgings is no trouble. ’ The stationmaster looked again at his new signalman. He had heard well of him, and the first impression was good, but there was something there that disturbed and slowed. ’ he said briskly, with a quick touch at the gummed pricks of his moustache. He was, after all, the stationmaster, and Price his new signalman and really no more than a lad.

He took out his big handkerchief, and folded it carefully before he lifted it to his face. 2 Once they were up on the road, Harry and Ellen could look out over the valley and the village in which they had come to live. To the east stood the Holy Mountain, the blue peak with the sudden rockfall on its western scarp. From the mountain to the north ran a ridge of high ground, and along it the grey Marcher castles. To the west, enclosing the valley, ran the Black Mountains: mile after mile of bracken and whin and heather, of black marsh and green springy turf, of rowan and stunted thorn and myrtle and bogcotton, roamed by the mountain sheep and the wild ponies.

He had to wait as they moved in from the door. In the space between the doors was a low shelf, with three red fire buckets. One was filled with sand, one with clear water, and the one in the middle had blue soapy water in it, and a big piece of yellow soap and a little hand brush on the shelf beside it. Tom Rees moved, and Harry could see Morgan Rosser. He was smiling and shaking hands with Ellen. ‘Here he is then,’ Tom Rees said. ’ Harry went up the step and across the box. They shook hands, and Morgan, though the smaller man, had the tighter grip.

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