Frank knocked on his brother Jimmy’s door at midnight.
“Happy Hogmanay! Thought I’d be your first footer.”
“Welcome, and come on in! Happy Hogmanay, Margaret!”
It was a cold, still night. There was no cloud cover, and the quarter moon was bright against the sky. Frank, Margaret, and a rather sleepy Jack walked into the brightly lit house, full of the Sharp clan, animated with the joy of the new year. The children went into the basement to play for a while, but soon sleep overtook them. Margaret and Ness went down to check when the basement went silent and found the cousins curled up on the floor, each wrapped in a blanket that had been thoughtfully left for them.
Margaret put her finger to her lips and smiled as the two women quietly went upstairs and closed the basement door.
“A wee dram fer th’ New Year, then.” Da Sharp was in a jovial mood. “Here’s tae 1925! A guid New Year to one an' aw, and many mair may ye see!" He walked around, pouring a few ounces of single malt into everyone’s raised glass.
“An’ a guid New Year tae ye!”
The lively chatter ended after a couple of hours, and all but Frank and Margaret went back to their houses.
“Ye kin tak’ the bairn’s room, Frank. The weans wull sleep doonstairs, as they are noo.”
Margaret spoke up. “Very kind of you. We will take up that offer. Guid nicht.” She had slipped into broad Scots, but realizing what she had done, she lowered her head and glanced briefly at Frank. She reached over, took Frank’s hand, and led him over to the stairs. “We’ll be headed up now. The first ferry comes early.”
Frank and Margaret went up and took the bairn’s bed. Several minutes later, they heard Jimmy and Ness enter their room and close the door.
Frank rolled over to Margaret, placed a hand on her breast, and whispered, “Let’s start the new year off with a bang, Margaret.”
She stifled a laugh, rolled on her side, and kissed her husband. “I think that would be a fitting start.”
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