The Dart

Another excerpt from a new story I am working on:

Classic sailing yacht


Ruth and I grew closer and closer as the months turned into years. Often times we would go out on the Dart in “Lilly” and explore the area stopping from time to time on a bank of cool grass upriver a way. We talked…erm…she talked of many things.  She was a young woman now. Gone were the boyish locks. Her hair now fell to her shoulders, fashionably coifed with natural curls that were interspersed and intertwined within wave upon wave of strawberry blond tresses that were particularly radiant in the afterglow of a late afternoon sun. Her complexion was flawless and was all the more exotic and welcoming by just a hint of makeup. She was naturally beautiful. Well proportioned, athletic, strong. Her breasts were mature and full, not large, just perfect for her physical size.  She had her mother’s eyes I was told. Hazel green for the most part with the slightest touch of grey and an intimation of violet if the sunlight graced her features just so. You could almost detect the coloured hint of violet in a surprise reflective measure of sunlight only to lose sight of it on closer inspection.

“Whaaaat” she would say, teasingly, as my gaze burrowed into her eyes.

“Your eyes Ruth.” I thought they to be green, hazel perhaps, but just then I could detect some violet. Violet, for heaven’s sake?”

“My eyes are green Nigel Filtness.” she laughed as if she needed to scold me, turn me straight. “Maybe a tad hazel but green predominantly.”

Predominantly…predominantly? She had a better way with words than I will ever have. Her diction and enunciation were precise, flawless really, unlike the guttural slang that came out of my mouth. I was intimidated by her yet she never belittled me.

“I like you Nigel Filtness.” she would announce, as if she was my queen and I her peon…jester. “King….Nigel”, never the Queen. I may be female but I would be KING of all of England, and Wales, maybe Scotland, Ireland perhaps. No, no never Scotland as I can never understand the brogue there.” She giggled. “But Ireland? Ah, the land of song, poetry, romance and tragedy. Oh forlorn and suffering, tragic Ireland be: the Emerald Isle.

“Ireland?” I would ask of her as I lay on my back, my eyes closed, the sun high in the sky but on with its western slide.

“Yes Ireland Nigel” she sat there, smiling, as if pleased with her own insight, sitting as she was with her legs flat out across the grass in front of her with her arms back and to her sides holding her up. “Yes Ireland Nigel, the land of Yeats, of Shaw, of Oscar Wilde…”

“Oh the “poofter” I interjected.

Not saying a word she looked down at me with a scorn that could mortally wound.

“Of Oscar Wilde, Joyce, Michael Collins…” she paused and sighed a long passionate sounding sigh…of the revolutionaries, 1916 Ireland with Padraigh Pearse…”

“Who?” I countered.

“Padraigh Pearse Nigel. Padraigh was an Irish romantic: a poet, scholar, barrister, revolutionary of the 1916 Irish Rebellion. He was a tragic figure – a naive Irish ideologue hero. He was executed as one of the Irish rebels of the Easter Riots.”

“Oh, you don’t say” was about all I could say. I felt extremely low intellectually whenever I was with Ruth.

Nevertheless Ruth and I became inseparable. “Lilly” and “Lillian” were our common thread; our common bond; and our common love for sailing. Soon, the intricacies of Lillian’s unique gaff rig configuration became second nature to both of us. We knew “Lillian’s” quirks like the backs of our palms. It was not long before Mr Sommers had full confidence in both of us. And before long it was not an unusual sight for the Dartmouth and Kingswear sailing community to recognize us both for what we were: respected local seafarers. “Lillian,” and us, became synonymous with the regulars of the sailing community, particularly those members of the Royal Dartmouth Yacht Club, of which Mr Sommers was a lifetime member, as an icon of the Dart maritime environment. Even the Royal Naval College took note of us, particularly Petty Officer Brand.

A nice song: