O'Connell Street, Dublin, 8pm, The Shop Girl

Elsie stood under the clock at Clery's and waited for her young man to appear. The evening was still bright and breezy, with scudding clouds that threatened rain. Elsie hoped that the rain would keep off; she was wearing her new picture hat with the French Flowers on it and she did not want it ruined. Elsie looked into the window, admiring the summer fashions. The sale would be on soon, and she planned to get a new dress. She wished she could work in Clery's instead of Tyler's, where she was currently employed, but she knew the chances were slim.Nearly all of Clery's staff were country people; they said that William Martin Murphy thought the people from the country more honest and less likely to make trouble.

There was a red coat approaching, across from the Pillar. Was it him? She had met him at the Mirus Bazaar the previous week; it had been a wonderful affair, with fireworks and music and thousands of people from all over Dublin. It was a pity there had been that trouble at the end, with the drunks, but then that was always the trouble with any event in Dublin, unless it was a Temperance one. Her mother would kill her if she knew she was out meeting a Tommy, but Elsie had told her she was going out for a stroll with her friends from the shop. Elsie knew that soldiers had an awful reputation, but she was quite sure that Michael was different.

Around her, young men waited for girls and girls waited for young men. She noticed the tall girl with the red-brown hair had gone off with a sharp-faced man in a sailor's cap. But here was Michael, smiling as he made his way past the Gresham to where she stood. Would he take her to the Empire or the Tivoli? She hoped he wouldn't just want to take her for a walk to Ringsend or somewhere like that; after a long day on the shop floor her feet were killing her.

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