Click here to Download Young Mungo PDF Book by Douglas Stuart English having PDF Size 2.9 MB and No of Pages 367.
As they neared the corner, Mungo halted and shrugged the man’s hand from his shoulder. It was such an assertive gesture that it took everyone by surprise. Turning back, Mungo squinted up at the tenement flat, and his eyes began to twitch with one of their nervous spasms. As his mother watched him through the ear-of-wheat pattern of the net curtains.
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|Name of Book||Young Mungo|
|PDF Size||2.9 MB|
|No of Pages||367|
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She tried to convince herself that his twitch was a happy wink, a lovely Morse code that telegraphed everything would be okay. F. I. N. E. Her youngest son was like that. He smiled when he didn’t want to. He would do anything just to make other people feel better. Mo-Maw swept the curtain aside and leant on the window frame like a woman looking for company.
She raised her tea mug in one hand and tapped the glass with her pearlescent pink nails. It was a colour she had chosen to make her fingers appear fresher, because if her hands looked younger, then so might her face, so might her entire self. As she looked down upon him, Mungo shifted again, his feet turning towards home.
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She fluttered her painted fingers and shooed him away. Go! Her boy was stooped slightly, the rucksack a little hump on his back. Unsure of what he should take, he had packed it with half-hearted nonsense: an oversized Fair Isle jumper, teabags, his dog-eared sketchbook, a game of Ludo, and some half-used tubes of medicated ointment.
Yet he wavered on the corner as though the bag might tip him backwards into the gutter. MoMaw knew the bag was not heavy. She knew it was the bones of him that had become a dead weight. This was all for his own good and yet he dared stare up at her with a doleful look. It was too hot for his nonsense. He was fraying her nerves.
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Go! she mouthed again and took a swally of the cold tea. The two men idled at the bend. They shared a sigh and a glance and a chuckle, before putting down their bags and lighting cigarettes. Mo-Maw could tell they were itchy to be gone – these narrow streets didn’t like unknown faces – and she could see it took patience not to goad her boy on.
The men were canny enough not to pressure Mungo, not so close to home, not when he could still bolt. Their slitted eyes kept flicking towards him, watching, waiting to see what the boy would do next, while their hands ferreted inside their trouser pockets as they peeled their ball sacks from their thighs.
The day would be muggy and close. The younger man fiddled with himself. Mo-Maw licked the back of her bottom teeth. Mungo raised his hand to wave up at the window but Mo-Maw glowered down at him. He must have seen her face harden, or perhaps he thought waving was childish, because he aborted the gesture and grasped a fistful of air, which made him seem like a drowning man. Young Mungo PDF Book
In his baggy shorts and his oversized cagoule, he looked like a waif dressed in hand-me-downs. But as he pushed the cloud of curls away from his face, Mo-Maw saw his jaw tighten, and she was reminded of the determined young man that he was becoming. She tapped the glass again. Don’t you scowl at me.
Mungo knew it weighed heavily on his brother but it was foolish to think that Hamish could have raised him. They were too close in age. If you dropped a stone in a puddle, it was as though the ripple in front was expected to raise the one right behind it. Mungo was not very bright, but even he knew that would be impossible.
A ripple could do nothing more than let the next ripple follow in its wake, no sense of where it was headed itself. Mo-Maw didn’t like her children to call her Mammy, nor Mother, and never just Maw. She said she was too young for that shite. She had just turned fifteen when she came down with Hamish and was only nineteen when Mungo was born. Young Mungo PDF Book
They all came out so close together, they might have been arm-in-arm. Mungo was the only one who hadn’t burst forth singing. The other two came out raging, fists clenched and faces blue, but Mungo had just looked up at her in a sad way, she had said, like he was already expecting her to be a great disappointment.
Mo-Maw could pass for Jodie’s elder sister – she reminded her children of that daily. Mungo could remember the time the four of them shared one single Irn-Bru while waiting in line for The Jungle Book. Mungo had set Mo-Maw’s nerves on edge by asking for a hot dog from the corner cart. “I do like mustard,” he had protested.
He was only five. “Ye dinnae, Mungo,” Mo-Maw had threatened him, but her youngest was not a big eater. She hadn’t seen him eat anything of real substance in three whole days. He was a distracted little boy, more given to worrying and wandering and fidgeting than sitting at a kitchen table. Young Mungo PDF Book
“Ach, I lose birds all the time. That’s the game. When you let them go out on their own, they go as far as they want to go, you take a chance. If they want to come back, then they come back. If they don’t, then you lose them.” “Sounds like a country and western song.” James shrugged. “I think it’s honest in a way.”
“What? To be led away for a mad shag?” James looked at Mungo in a way that made Mungo feel childish. “If one of my birds leaves me, how can I be angry? It’s my fault for not making a good enough doocot for them. They must not have been happy enough to stay.” Two pigeons were pecking at each other through the wire of their cages.
James drew a hand between them and moved them apart. “You’d fuck off if you were unhappy, right?” he asked Mungo. “Mungo! Mungo!” Outside the doocot, someone was calling his name. That was the thing with being called Mungo, when someone called that name, they were definitely looking for him. Young Mungo PDF Book
Jodie sounded like she was excited and annoyed at the same time. Mungo stuck his head out of the shelter. She was surprised to see him emerge from the doocot. “What are you doing in there?” Mungo just shrugged and picked up his bag. “Why aren’t you at the café?” “Enzo let me away early.” James and Jodie barely acknowledged each other.
James was still clutching his prize pigeon and looking like nothing could ruin his day. “I’ve got news. Missus Campbell telt me something. You need to come with me.” Mungo slipped a strap over each shoulder. As he stepped away from the doocot James grabbed the spare fabric of his cagoule. “Haud on. Will you come back the morra?”
There was a brief moment where it seemed Mo-Maw didn’t know where she was. Then she collected herself and cradled Mungo’s head against her bosom. Mungo inhaled deeply, unsure of when he would be so near to her again. He felt her sink her weight on to her right hip as though she was grounding herself, then something shifted in her tone. Young Mungo PDF Book Download
All the earlier excitement was gone, her voice was flat, like someone had let all the air from a balloon. “No, no. You’re right, Jodie. I should stay here.” Jodie’s eyes grew wide as china saucers. Mungo knew he should say something to move Mo-Maw back towards Jocky but he did not. He put his arms around his mother and said nothing.
Mo-Maw was talking back to a game show. She was counting the last of her loose change as Mungo pulled his cagoule over his head. He hovered around her, sleekitly checked that what she was drinking was only tap water. Then he told her he would be back in a few hours. With the sudden reappearance of his mother it had been several days since he had last seen James.
Mungo still felt terrible that he had mentioned Mo-Maw’s return from Hades, with James’s own mammy dead – real, nonrefundable death. James wasn’t at his doocot, but a fresh spray of pigeon shit and sawdust said he had been there a little earlier. Mungo plodded back through the scheme. Young Mungo PDF Book Download
It was a dreich Sunday night, a perfect night for weekly baths and ironing work uniforms, and a lethargic malaise had fallen over the tenements. He knew the back of James’s flat faced his own, but he didn’t know the exact number. He tried to look casual as he dawdled along the empty street and checked each buzzer panelling for Jamieson.
Mungo was about to give up when at the last close he found the name written in green ink on the top buzzer. The reason he could not quite place James was because they attended different schools; his was not just another unknown face, lost in the scrum of an overrun state school.
James was a Catholic, and the Catholic was grinning as he poured two heaped bowls of sugar puffs and crumbled a chocolatey flake over the top. Mungo took his treat and tried not to look at the crucifixes. As milk dribbled down his chin, he resolved not to tell Hamish about the Fenian. They spent the evening in the glow of the electric fire watching a Royal Command Performance on television. Young Mungo PDF Book Download
They lay on the blue rug and crammed an endless procession of buttery shortbread into their mouths. English comedians were notoriously unfunny. English comedians performing in front of the Queen were unfunny and slick with a strange kind of slithery smarminess. On top of this, the man now performing had gone all limp in the wrist and something about him made the boys uncomfortable.
It was a loathsome sight, people were roaring at him, and the louder they laughed the more he swished and lisped. “When you leave,” asked Mungo, “where would you go?” James turned away from the comedian. He lowered his cheek to the floor. “I told ye already. Anywhere but here. I want to live somewhere where people aren’t always leaving.
I don’t mind being alone. It’s the fact they keep fucking off, again and again.” James looked at him. “Would you be awright if I left?” He shrugged. “Do what you like.” James lay between Mungo and the television. He was searching Mungo’s face in the flickering glow. “You are a bad liar, Mungo Hamilton.” Young Mungo PDF Book Download
He tried to lay a thick finger on Mungo’s cheekbone, right where the twitch had started. Mungo slapped him away. “Why does every fucker want to touch my face?” “More so when she’s drunk.” Mungo’s eyes were open in the darkness. The room looked strange and somehow familiar. He would have thought a Catholic’s bedroom would have been bare, or perhaps with crucifixes everywhere, but there were none.
He kept expecting to roll over and see Hamish eating cereal in his bed. “My sister says she’s not a mother at all. She says we were just a mistake that happened to a stupid young lassie and that she has regretted it ever since. After my dad died Mo-Maw decided she was going to put herself first.” “That’s not what mammies are supposed to do.”
“That’s another thing Jodie says.” He didn’t want to talk about them anymore. “What was yours like?” “Oh, she was the business,” James said very quickly. “Even when she was really sick, she pretended like she wasn’t. Every day I came home from school she wouldn’t let me out of her hug until I told her everything that had happened. Young Mungo PDF Book Free
If Geraldine got home after me she had to wait in line for her hug. It could take pure ages. My mammy called it the juicin’. She said if she didn’t hold us tight, we would ignore her. She squeezed us as hard as she could to get all of the good stuff out of us. She wouldnae let go until ye telt her absolutely everything.”
“That sounds nice.” “Aye. It was.” James coughed like there was a clog in his throat. Mungo could tell he was breathing deeply to keep himself from crying. Mungo didn’t know what to do. He reached out a hand and felt the sharpness of James’s shin bone. He made a fist and tapped along the bone, up and down, up and down, the way a doctor would probe a fracture.
He waited for James to pull away. But he didn’t, and Mungo folded first. He drew back his hand, laid it in the centre of his chest. “What was the best dinner she made?” “Weh-ll, is yer face still giving ye bother?” Every time E-O-W Nora saw him she asked the same thing. She was a stocky woman; a home help from Roystonhill who had searching eyes and skin that had yellowed like old kitchen paint. Young Mungo PDF Book Free
Her salt-and-pepper hair was clipped short and her mouth was puckered with fine lines from smoking forty a day for forty years. When she spoke, she prefaced everything with a long, drawn-out weh-ll. It served as a “who am I to say?” It seemed she said this as if to undermine her own opinion, in case God disagreed with her, and would crack the heavens and contradict her.