Martin Doul (very miserably). It’s a hard thing for a man to have his sight, and he living near to the like of you (he cuts a stick and throws it away), or wed with a wife (cuts a stick); and I do be thinking it should be a hard thing for the Almighty God to be looking on the world, bad days, and on men the like of yourself walking around on it, and they slipping each way in the muck.

Timmy (with pot-hooks which he taps on anvil). You’d have a right to be minding, Martin Doul, for it’s a power the Saint cured lose their sight after a while. Mary Doul’s dimming again, I’ve heard them say; and I’m thinking the Lord, if He hears you making that talk, will have little pity left for you at all.

Martin Doul. There’s not a bit of fear of me losing my sight, and if it’s a dark day itself it’s too well I see every wicked wrinkle you have round by your eye.

Timmy (looking at him sharply). The day’s not dark since the clouds broke in the east.

Martin Doul. Let you not be tormenting yourself trying to make me afeard. You told me a power of bad lies the time I was blind, and it’s right now for you to stop, and be taking your rest (Mary Doul comes in unnoticed on right with a sack filled with green stuff on her arm), for it’s little ease or quiet any person would get if the big fools of Ireland weren’t weary at times. (He looks up and sees Mary Doul.) Oh, glory be to God, she’s coming again.

He begins to work busily with his back to her.

Timmy (amused, to Mary Doul, as she is going by without looking at them). Look on him now, Mary Doul. You’d be a great one for keeping him steady at his work, for he’s after idling and blathering to this hour from the dawn of day.

Mary Doul (stiffly). Of what is it you’re speaking, Timmy the smith?

Timmy (laughing). Of himself, surely. Look on him there, and he with the shirt on him ripping from his back. You’d have a right to come round this night, I’m thinking, and put a stitch into his clothes, for it’s long enough you are not speaking one to the other.

Mary Doul. Let the two of you not torment me at all.

She goes out left, with her head in the air.

Martin Doul (stops work and looks after her). Well, isn’t it a queer thing she can’t keep herself two days without looking on my face?

Timmy (jeeringly). Looking on your face is it? And she after going by with her head turned the way you’d see a priest going where there’d be a drunken man in the side ditch talking with a girl. (Martin Doul gets up and goes to corner of forge, and looks out left.) Come back here and don’t mind her at all. Come back here, I’m saying, you’ve no call to be spying behind her since she went off, and left you, in place of breaking her heart, trying to keep you in the decency of clothes and food.

Martin Doul (crying out indignantly). You know rightly, Timmy, it was myself drove her away.

Timmy. That’s a lie you’re telling, yet it’s little I care which one of you was driving the other, and let you walk back here, I’m saying, to your work.

Martin Doul (turning round). I’m coming, surely.

He stops and looks out right, going a step or two towards centre.

Timmy. On what is it you’re gaping, Martin Doul?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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