An Irishman buries the hatchet with his enemies

He relaxed at that and even grinned slightly. He is a manual worker three times my size, and one blow would knock me into the middle of next week. He said he was tempted but he did not want to appear in the paper again on a murder charge!

It was a bad thing I did to him, he said, but there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then. After that it was quite emotional between us.

He got rid of some of his hurt and I got rid of my apologies. At the end he stuck out his hand and we shook it all away.

“You look a lot older now than you did back then,” he said. “Be careful on the drive back to Clare.”

We made no arrangement to meet again, but we will surely shake hands if we do.

Coming home I felt totally at peace. It is not pleasant to live so long with the reality of having wronged a fellow man. It feels very good to be forgiven.

After that it was a cakewalk to bury the last hatchet. We met for an afternoon coffee in a hotel bar and one handshake did the trick.

We had been very close friends before the break, and it all came back inside a few minutes conversation. He'd been the one to offer the olive branch, and I thanked him for that warmly and told of my experiences with the other two.

It was a lovely chat and we hugged before we parted, and we will surely meet again.

That's the small story. For the four or five of you who are still here can I strongly recommend to you the benefits of burying any hatchets you have in your closet.

It is as simple and easy as I've described above, and the feeling of peace that comes afterwards is so heartwarming as to be almost beyond words.

Hatchets are dangerous yokes to be carrying around for years. You are more likely to do yourself an injury than to harm anybody else.

Take my word for it.