Mary Doul. If you weren’t a big fool you wouldn’t heed them this hour, Martin Doul, for they’re a bad lot those that have their sight, and they do have great joy, the time they do be seeing a grand thing, to let on they don’t see it at all, and to be telling fool’s lies, the like of what Molly Byrne was telling to yourself.

Martin Doul. If it’s lies she does be telling she’s a sweet, beautiful voice you’d never tire to be hearing, if it was only the pig she’d be calling, or crying out in the long grass, maybe, after her hens. (Speaking pensively.) It should be a fine, soft, rounded woman, I’m thinking, would have a voice the like of that.

Mary Doul (sharply again, scandalized). Let you not be minding if it’s flat or rounded she is; for she’s a flighty, foolish woman you’ll hear when you’re off a long way, and she making a great noise and laughing at the well.

Martin Doul. Isn’t laughing a nice thing the time a woman’s young?

Mary Doul (bitterly). A nice thing is it? A nice thing to hear a woman making a loud braying laugh the like of that? Ah, she’s a great one for drawing the men, and you’ll hear Timmy himself, the time he does be sitting in his forge, getting mighty fussy if she’ll come walking from Grianan, the way you’ll hear his breath going, and he wringing his hands.

Martin Doul (slightly piqued). I’ve heard him say a power of times it’s nothing at all she is when you see her at the side of you, and yet I never heard any man’s breath getting uneasy the time he’d be looking on yourself.

Mary Doul. I’m not the like of the girls do be running round on the roads, swinging their legs, and they with their necks out looking on the men.… Ah, there’s a power of villainy walking the world, Martin Doul, among them that do be gadding around, with their gaping eyes, and their sweet words, and they with no sense in them at all.

Martin Doul (sadly). It’s the truth, maybe, and yet I’m told it’s a grand thing to see a young girl walking the road.

Mary Doul. You’d be as bad as the rest of them if you had your sight, and I did well, surely, not to marry a seeing man—it’s scores would have had me and welcome—for the seeing is a queer lot, and you’d never know the thing they’d do.

A moment’s pause.

Martin Doul (listening). There’s some one coming on the road.

Mary Doul. Let you put the pith away out of their sight, or they’ll be picking it out with the spying eyes they have, and saying it’s rich we are, and not sparing us a thing at all.

They bundle away the rushes. Timmy the smith comes in on left.

Martin Doul (with a begging voice). Leave a bit of silver for blind Martin, your honour. Leave a bit of silver, or a penny copper itself, and we’ll be praying the Lord to bless you and you going the way.

Timmy (stopping before them). And you letting on a while back you knew my step!

He sits down.

Martin (with his natural voice). I know it when Molly Byrne’s walking in front, or when she’s two perches, maybe, lagging behind; but it’s few times I’ve heard you walking up the like of that, as if you’d met a thing wasn’t right and you coming on the road.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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