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By Diana Duff

Raised by means of eccentric grandparents at Annesgrove, an Irish stately domestic, Diana Duff grew up surrounded via kin ghosts, banshees and buried treasure. At 18, Diana entered the glamorous international of Nineteen Fifties Kenya, turning into a stand-in for Grace Kelly sooner than embarking on a occupation as a nurse. After marrying a tender officer within the Colonial provider, Diana spent her nights shivering and on my own, gun in hand, because the Mau Mau uprising threatened to engulf her. relocating to Tanganyika, Diana went directly to stumbled on the 1st inter-racial nursery tuition in East Africa earlier than a move observed the family members moving to South Africa within the Nineteen Sixties on the peak of apartheid.

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Example text

The suspense was killing me. ‘He’s whispering to her,’ said old Bill. ’ ‘Yerra,’ said Bill, slicing himself a plug off his tobacco. pmd 46 3/15/2005, 10:57 AM L E AV E S F R O M T H E F I G T R E E know the fella with the peeled willow wand that was here last year? Well, he had some class of a gift in him for finding water like. He found a spring of water for the cows in the forty-acre field with only the wand bent. Now this fella here is another of them queer characters. You couldn’t understand at all how it works for them, but the one inside there can talk to a horse like one human crayture can talk to another.

When he came back he was raging and we shouted at each other for an hour. I kept telling him I was a Brownie doing him a good turn but he just kept on roaring. My grandmother used to knit Doyle the most terrible woollen scarves on big wooden needles for Christmas. The colours were frightful; sometimes they would be mauve and yellow and sometimes purple and chocolate brown. She was getting blind in those days and dropped half the stitches. Doyle used to be sent for, round to the big porticoed front door on Christmas Day and given his scarf, wrapped in tissue paper.

You couldn’t understand at all how it works for them, but the one inside there can talk to a horse like one human crayture can talk to another. ’ I’d heard of Doctor Doolittle but this was news to me. ’ ‘Ah yerra, you wouldn’t like to encourage the likes of that fella too much. Bleddy horse thieves the lot of them. ’ ‘They don’t give them anything,’ said Bill, annoyed. ‘Aren’t I telling you? ’ At six o’clock the Whisperer came out of the loose-box leading the mare by her halter. She was as meek and docile as a lamb, not showing the whites of her eyes at all, but nuzzling his shoulder.

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