warrant to tell stories of holy Ireland till he’d have the old women shedding down tears about their feet. Where will you find the like of them, I’m saying?

Shawn (timidly). If you don’t it’s a good job, maybe; for (with peculiar emphasis on the words) Father Reilly has small conceit to have that kind walking around and talking to the girls.

Pegeen (impatiently, throwing water from basin out of the door). Stop tormenting me with Father Reilly (imitating his voice) when I’m asking only what way I’ll pass these twelve hours of dark, and not take my death with the fear. (Looking out of door.)

Shawn (timidly). Would I fetch you the widow Quin, maybe?

Pegeen Is it the like of that murderer? You’ll not, surely.

Shawn (going to her, soothingly). Then I’m thinking himself will stop along with you when he sees you taking on, for it’ll be a long night-time with great darkness, and I’m after feeling a kind of fellow above in the furzy ditch, groaning wicked like a maddening dog, the way it’s good cause you have, maybe, to be fearing now.

Pegeen (turning on him sharply). What’s that? Is it a man you seen?

Shawn (retreating). I couldn’t see him at all; but I heard him groaning out, and breaking his heart. It should have been a young man from his words speaking.

Pegeen (going after him). And you never went near to see was he hurted or what ailed him at all?

Shawn I did not, Pegeen Mike. It was a dark, lonesome place to be hearing the like of him.

Pegeen Well, you’re a daring fellow, and if they find his corpse stretched above in the dews of dawn, what’ll you say then to the peelers, or the Justice of the Peace?

Shawn (thunderstruck). I wasn’t thinking of that. For the love of God, Pegeen Mike, don’t let on I was speaking of him. Don’t tell your father and the men is coming above; for if they heard that story, they’d have great blabbing this night at the wake.

Pegeen I’ll maybe tell them, and I’ll maybe not.

Shawn They are coming at the door, Will you whisht, I’m saying?

Pegeen Whisht yourself.

She goes behind counter. Michael James, fat jovial publican, comes in followed by Philly Cullen, who is thin and mistrusting, and Jimmy Farrell, who is fat and amorous, about forty-five.

Men (together). God bless you. The blessing of God on this place.

Pegeen God bless you kindly.

Michael (to men, who go to the counter). Sit down now, and take your rest. (Crosses to Shawn at the fire.) And how is it you are, Shawn Keogh? Are you coming over the sands to Kate Cassidy’s wake?

Shawn I am not, Michael James. I’m going home the short cut to my bed.

Pegeen (speaking across the counter). He’s right too, and have you no shame, Michael James, to be quitting off for the whole night, and leaving myself lonesome in the shop?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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