Interview with Cenora
Hello, this is Caroline Clemmons back again at Sherry’s blog. Today, I invited Cenora Rose O’Neill, heroine of THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, for an interview. It’s only fair, since the hero was here yesterday.
Caroline: Cenora, please come in and sit down beside me.
Cenora: Sure and I’m happy to be here. (She looks around, nods to Sherry.) Ma’am. You shouldn’t have worn a green dress, ma’am. It’s bad luck, you know.
Sherry - Hi Cenora, Caroline, I understood that applied to wearing green at weddings. I'll keep your advice in mind in future, thank you :-)
Caroline: I don’t think Sherry is superstitious, Cenora. Won’t you tell us about your early life?
Cenora leans forward: Ack, didn’t we have a lovely wee plot o’ ground and cottage? Like as not you’d think it too small, but we were that happy, we were. Then, because of a situation I’d rather not discuss here, we were forced to leave with only the things we could carry. It was a sad time, I can tell you. Probably taking down that swallow’s nest caused the bad luck. Or mayhap it was when me brother Mac tipped over his chair.
Caroline: Yes, I imagine the time was sad, but I don’t think superstitions caused your misfortune. Readers can learn the reason from the book, so let’s move on. How did you come to be with the Irish Travelers?
Cenora: Weel, we had no place but the ground to sleep, did we? Winter was coming and we were that worried I can tell you. The Travelers offered to let us come with them, for the leader then was a kind and wise man. Soon we had our own wagon, and then a second one. And you can doubt me sayings if you wish, but I know they’re true.
Caroline: I see. How did you all come to be in Texas?
Cenora heaves a sigh: Through Da’s talking to a wealthy man, we were able to come to the United States. We thought we’d find land, but everywhere people chased us or told us to keep moving. It was just the same as in Ireland. Then, our kind leader died and a brute forced his way in charge. We wandered here and there, always moving west, until we ended up near Bandera in Texas.
Caroline: Heavens, I’ll bet you were tired. How did your family feel?
Cenora brushes away a tear: Poor Ma was getting weaker and weaker. And that brute I told you was our new leader--he wanted me for his wife. Sure and weren’t we in a panic? Like as not, we forgot to make three crosses on the bread the first time we moved into the second wagon.
Caroline shakes head: What was wrong with your mother?
Cenora: We didn’t know. The doctor we asked said it was “women’s complaints” and told her to take laudanum. Oh, but she needed more and more to ease the pain, and she grew weaker and weaker until we thought she’d surely die.
Caroline: I’m so sorry your mother suffered. What about the man who wanted to marry you?
Cenora: That boyo? Ha, I’d stab the man before I’d wed him. Didn’t his first two wives die after he’d beat them to death? And him calling each death an accidental fall. Accident, me eye. We saw the bruises on each one, and each growing old before her time from his mistreatment. Oh, I could tell you a thing or two about that man.
Caroline: But why would you stab him? Why not just say no to his proposal?
Cenora: That man wouldn’t take no. Didn’t he threaten to burn our wagons if I refused? I used Ma sickness as an excuse and said I couldn’t wed until she was well. She needed almost constant care, you see. Oh, but it was a terrible time.
Caroline: How did you meet Dallas?
Cenora: Ah, that sweet man. Weel, I was watching the young ones while their fathers traded horses and their mothers begged door to door. Two men kidnapped me and would have had their way with me if Dallas hadn’t come to my rescue.
Caroline: Thank you, Cenora. That brings us to the opening of THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE.
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