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THE BOLD TARTAN MEN OF ULSTER

August 10, 2012

CHAPTER [1]The brew that Satan Drinks
The Bold Tartan Men of Ulster

This is a story based on true events set in the early nineteen seventies. I know them to be true, because it so happened that I was there. It is November 1973, and there was talk of civil war around the village.

Me, known around here as Glasgo, has a story to tell.
Oh and this is not one of those whimsy tales for those who are hoping for some slack or an attempt to be local hero. My aim is to remember and record its importance. Be warned, this is a true story of hard men and violence, the hardest men I ever knew. So hang in there. You think things are crazy today. Maybe, then nah, not like then, not with these fellas, I’ll tell ya.

I remembered how things were and believe me, those days were of absolute mayhem. Like I said, this is all true, give a bit of hype here or there.

So let’s take a wee walk, trust me, there is nothing to be afraid off, just follow me, I’ll tell ya more about the cause on the way, eh?’ Wanna a Wrigley? Hey, like my blade, eh?

“Are ye awake?” the voice abruptly kept sayin’.
My head dug deeper into the straw pillow and stayed there until the voice went away, again.
Below, unbeknown to me, blood seeped into my clothing from no seemingly painful wound.

Then he came at it again. “Are ye awake?” the voice kept asking, over and over and over again.

They were not words from my mates, or the words coming from my tiny bedroom, or the tiny living room where sometimes I dropped off. They were not from a mate who found me before the enemy had. Not this time. A theory hard to formulate with the pain drumming in my head, with no leeway, I fell right back to what seemed like my own nightmare. The drum remained. Slowly at first it tapped, then faster to a beat from a distant bedroom. Then pitched perfectly a little louder, a flute until then another bigger drum banged to the world. Eventually I knew from the echoes that ricocheted here and there, like rattles in my head, worse is to come.
I do remember the night before though, and there is where my nightmare led me. Fragmented at first, patches of scenes, and then slowly emerges the voices of men. Protestant voices, because of their Fenian slurs. Then came familiar ones and then more relief, then chill out and sleep Glasgo sleep, the Brits have gone home.

Nov 20th 1973 Craigantlet Hills, Co. Down, Tues 1.50 a.m.

A pursued blue ford van raced for home after a night of dance, booze, and no luck with women at Bangor. The men within have been there before, but this time had no idea they would run a waiting gauntlet of Peelers and Brits.

1111111111111111

“The blue flashin’ could be either one of the fawkin’ bastards,” Georgy cried, his voice banging off the tin interior.

“It’s the sirens that make the fawkin’ difference isn’t that right Angel,” I shouted.

“I think I’ll know a RUC siren when I hear one,” cried Georgy over the van’s creaks, squeaks, and winding crankshaft.
The whine of the two-liter motor revved to a crescendo. At 100 mph, it could not go faster over the hills. Be it all our backyard, it is not the sort of place to be racing a stolen ford transit van up and down it’s sharp brows and bendy narrow by-roads.

“Alright, Glasgo, how was I to know it’s the fawkin’ razzers,” Angel said as he moved further over Georgy’s legs to get a better view.

Georgy let out a scream, as Angel misplaced an elbow on one of his funny bones.

“FOR FAWK’S SAKE, Angel.”

“Take the next left, there!” Angel poked a finger out in front then bent it left untouched by Georgy’s pain.

“THAT’S A FAWKIN’ FIELD?”

“BETTER THAN AMBUSH ALLEY, HAVE YE FORGOTTEN, GLASGO?” Angel threw me one of his Elvis leers.

My butt hit hard against the rib metal floor, as I held onto the back of the passenger seat. Angel thought it funny, as his head bumped once then twice off the ceiling, when the van now shook, then rattled driving down that damn field. Georgy suddenly threw the steering left then right over-doing it like Steve Mc Queen. Again left where the van spun its rear wheels when traction caught, catapulting it forward, leaving behind smoke whirling upwards from mud. He still had to learn that the clutch needed proper pressing, as it clunked into gear one more time. Angel still laughing, when moments later, we realized why. Dumbstruck mustard was probably the

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2 Comments
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