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then he stopped because his Dad was coming towards him again.this time his mother grabbed a kitchen knife and held it in front of her and said ‘If you touch him again ill knife you, you swine.’his father looked at her face and he knew that she would do what she saidhe walked back to the table, and said pour me a mug of tea, theres no hurry I will get you, you little shit.’his mam said ‘little shit is he well let me tell you he is just fourteen but he is more of a man than you will ever be, now pour your own tea come on robbie we can go to bed.’as they went through the kitchen door he threw a mug at them the mug hit the wall near to maureens head but she just shut the door.It was the monday morning robbie felt a tug on his arm and his mother saying come on son, its half past five you need a wash then a bite to eat before you go to work.robbie went into the kitchen and saw that the coal kettle was half empty he knew then that his dad had used some coal instead of going to bed where he would be warm under the blanket.his mam was pouring a mug of tea and she said ‘that shows you what kind of man I married he used the coal to sit up half the night smoking his pipe not giving a thought to the kids.’robbie went out into the cold morning air it had been snowing very hard and his toes were starting to ache already and he was not half way to work.he went down with the other boys and men his job was to drive a pony dragging a tub along the drift tunnel.he was there until six oclock that night then he came up to the surface again it was dark again he did not see daylight until a Saturday and a sunday.he was walking home when he came to the village pub and as he went by he stopped and took a look through the window and he saw his father sitting at a table with his arm around a woman they were laughing and joking.robbie decided to let his dad know that he knew about the woman he went to the door and stepped into the pub at first his father had not seen him come in but the man behind the bar said ‘thats your boy george isnt it.’‘george looked up and shouted. ‘Get off home you or I will tan your hide.’robbie just turned around and carried on home.he did not tell his Mam that he had seen his dad he thought that she had enough to put up with without telling her about him.while he was eating his dinner his mother said ‘I had a letter from your uncle Joe Son and he said he is coming down to see us this weekend.’robbie said ‘Oh thats great ma.’robbie did think it was great because his uncle joe was married but they did not have any family and every time they came down to see them they always brought some food because they were a bit more well off than they were.they would bring a big ham and pigs knuckles and bacon with lots of vegetables such as a bag of potatoes and carrots and onions and so on.they used to bring that much it would last for a couple of weeks.after her news of her brother coming down she said ‘take a look at the coal house robbie its just about empty I dont think theres enough coal in there for another two days and its getting colder every day.’‘dont worry ma I will go to the pit heap tomorrow when I finish my shift.’‘oh i dont like to ask your son but what else can i do if we run out of coal then the kids will suffer and marys got a cold already.’‘dont worry ma I will get some coal you know I can pick a full bag in a couple of hours, and what i get tomorrow will keep us going until the weekend then me and jack can go all day saturday and sunday.’‘oh i dont know about sunday son you know what the local priest will say about working on sundays.’‘yes ma maybe but will he come along on saturday and put coal in the coal house. you know he wont ma its all right for him to give out orders but we need to get coal for the kids.and i dont care what he says sorry ma but thats the way i feel, i know Ma that he will get at you when i am at work but he just better stay away from me.’