“No, indeed. Better it would be if she got herself well and fit before coming back to all that work.” She paused, eyeing the young man as she, too, got to her feet. “And then think how clumsy Ella’s been this last year. Black eyes, split lips … well, if she’s on crutches God above knows how she might injure herself. Better that she goes and stays with her sister until she’s fit to … take care of herself. See?”
Glyn, leaving the house with a grateful smile on his lips and murder in his heart, saw only too well. Mrs Dafydd thought it was he who was responsible for those black eyes and bruised arms. If the truth were known it was Ella, and no one else. They had been married six years, yet Ella had born him no child, and people were talking! She’d had fine sons by Ben, yet by him she had not quickened once. His mother told him that folk were even doubting that he had fathered Jessica. They said that for all his talk Glyn Pritchard could not give a woman a child, not even a fine woman like Ella. Of course it was all Ella’s fault. She must know some way of preventing herself from quickening, for God knew he made love to her on every conceivable occasion. And, being older than he, perhaps she denied him the male dominance which had brought her to bed of four sons when she and Ben were married.
She was always so certain of herself that he had rather enjoyed the new wariness which crept into her voice and movements. It was proving who was the dominant partner, he told himself; she might be five years the elder but she was no match for him physically. Yet still there was no sign of a child. And now he had given her a little tap, and she was in the infirmary and Mrs Dafydd was going on as if he were a secret wife-beater when he was no such thing! Damn it all, a man had to be master in his own house – especially when the woman was older.
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