By 2075 Joe was fifty-three, already old beyond his years, world weary and lonely. He had given up on life. He sat by the indoor swimming pool in his luxury detached mansion, watching his machine, an A1 [unit TVC59] android for hours via his interactive computer monitor. He loved observing his assets being calculated. He had enough to never have to work again, yet Joe wanted more. It was all he lived for.
Rosie was a fine chestnut Irish draught horse with a wonderful temperament. My first cousins in Galway loved her. We rode her bareback when my mother Kate and her sister Auntie Margaret were too busy to complain about it. She had a strong earthy odour of sweat, horsehair, and muscle. The leather reins and harness were hard to grip when it rained so I made sure to wear tight black riding gloves. My cousins, especially Matthew were naturally gifted equestrians. Horses ran in my mother’s family I was repeatedly told.
Robert O’Hara Burke came from a wealthy Anglo-Irish family who resided in St Cleran’s, a fine country house near Craughwell, Co. Galway. Robert Burke was born in 1821 and when he was only 14 years of age, he was sent to study at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. The following year he went to Belgium for further education. At the age of 20 he joined the Imperial Austrian Army, in which he served for seven years.