Bernard MacLaverty

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In Cal by MacLaverty, what happens after Cal is discovered to be squatting?

After Cal is discovered to be squatting, Mrs. Morton allows him to continue to live there, and he enters into an intimate relationship with Marcella.

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In Cal by Bernard MacLaverty, the title character, Cal McCrystal, has nowhere to live after his father, Shamie, refuses to bow to Protestant threats and the Protestants burn down the McCrystal home. Cal, who is a member of the IRA (Irish Republican Army), goes to live in a cottage on the Morton farm. Ironically, Cal was involved in the murder of Robert Morton and is in love with Morton's widow, Marcella.

For a while, Cal manages to hide out at the cottage, but someone notices him light a cigarette one night, and Cal thinks his squatting days are over. The elder Mrs. Morton (Marcella's mother-in-law), however, allows Cal to stay. It is easier to have him there than to try to prevent others from living in the cottage. Cal has performed some tasks for Mrs. Morton in the past, but she has no idea about his involvement in her son's death.

Cal continues to live in the cottage, and Marcella visits him there. They become intimate. Cal learns that the IRA is involved in a plot to blow up the library where Marcella works, and terrified that she will be killed, Cal gives the police a tip. His friends are arrested, but he escapes until he is arrested a few days later. He never tells Marcella about his involvement in her husband's death or this latest plot.

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