Widow Quin comes in and stands aghast behind him. He is facing Jimmy and Philly, who are on the left.
Jimmy Ask herself beyond. Shes the stuff hidden in her shawl.
Widow Quin (coming to Mahon quickly). you here, is it? You didnt go far at all?
Mahon I seen the coasting steamer passing, and I got a drought upon me and a cramping leg, so I said, The divil go along with him, and turned again. (Looking under her shawl.) And let you give me a supeen, for Im destroyed travelling since Tuesday was a week.
Widow Quin (getting a glass, in a cajoling tone). Sit down then by the fire and take your ease for a space. Youve a right to be destroyed indeed, with your walking, and fighting, and facing the sun (giving him poteen from a stone jar she has brought in). There now is a drink for you, and may it be to your happiness and length of life.
Mahon (taking glass greedily and sitting down by fire). God increase you!
Widow Quin (taking men to the right stealthily). Do you know what? That mans raving from his wound to-day, for I met him a while since telling a rambling tale of a tinker had him destroyed. Then he heard of Christys deed, and he up and says it was his son had cracked his skull. O isnt madness a fright, for hell go killing someone yet, and he thinking its the man has struck him so?
Jimmy (entirely convinced). Its a fright, surely. I knew a party was kicked in the head by a red mare, and he went killing horses a great while, till he eat the insides of a clock and died after.
Philly (with suspicion). Did he see Christy?
Widow Quin He didnt. (With a warning gesture.) Let you not be putting him in mind of him, or youll be likely summoned if theres murder done. (Looking round at Mahon.) Whisht! Hes listening. Wait now till you hear me taking him easy and unravelling all. (She goes to Mahon.) And what way are you feeling, mister? Are you in contentment now?
Mahon (slightly emotional from his drink). Im poorly only, for its a hard story the way Im left to-day, when it was I did tend him from his hour of birth, and he a dunce never reached his second book, the way hed come from school, manys the day, with his legs lamed under him, and he blackened with his beatings like a tinkers ass. Its a hard story, Im saying, the way some do have their next and nighest raising up a hand of murder on them, and some is lonesome getting their death with lamentation in the dead of night.
Widow Quin (not knowing what to say). To hear you talking so quiet, whod know you were the same fellow we seen pass to-day?
Mahon Im the same surely. The wrack and ruin of three score years; and its a terror to live that length, I tell you, and to have your sons going to the dogs against you, and you wore out scolding them, and skelping them, and God knows what.
Philly (to Jimmy). Hes not raving. (To Widow Quin.) Will you ask him what kind was his son?
Widow Quin (to Mahon, with a peculiar look). Was your son that hit you a lad of one year and a score maybe, a great hand at racing and lepping and licking the world?
Mahon (turning on her with a roar of rage). Didnt you hear me say he was the fool of men, the way from this out hell know the orphans lot with old and young making game of him and they swearing, raging, kicking at him like a mangy cur.