Mary (in a feigned tone of pacification, with the bundle still in her hand). It’s not a drouth but a heartburn I have this day, Sarah Casey, so I’m going down to cool my gullet at the blessed well; and I’ll sell the can to the parson’s daughter below, a harmless poor creature would fill your hand with shillings for a brace of lies.

Sarah. Leave down the tin can, Mary Byrne, for I hear the drouth upon your tongue to-day.

Mary. There’s not a drink-house from this place to the fair, Sarah Casey; the way you’ll find me below with the full price, and not a farthing gone. (She turns to go off left.)

Sarah (jumping up, and picking up the hammer threateningly). Put down that can, I’m saying.

Mary (looking at her for a moment in terror, and putting down the bundle in the ditch). Is it raving mad you’re going, Sarah Casey, and you the pride of women to destroy the world?

Sarah (going up to her, and giving her a push off left). I’ll show you if it’s raving mad I am. Go on from this place, I’m saying, and be wary now.

Mary (turning back after her). If I go, I’ll be telling old and young you’re a weathered heathen savage, Sarah Casey, the one did put down a head of the parson’s cabbage to boil in the pot with your clothes (the Priest comes in behind her, on the left, and listens), and quenched the flaming candles on the throne of God the time your shadow fell within the pillars of the chapel door.

Sarah turns on her, and she springs round nearly into the Priest’s arms. When she sees him, she claps her shawl over her mouth, and goes up towards the ditch, laughing to herself.

Priest (going to Sarah, half terrified at the language that he has heard). Well, aren’t you a fearful lot? I’m thinking it’s only humbug you were making at the fall of night, and you won’t need me at all.

Sarah (with anger still in her voice). Humbug is it! Would you be turning back upon your spoken promise in the face of God?

Priest (dubiously). I’m thinking you were never christened, Sarah Casey; and it would be a queer job to go dealing Christian sacraments unto the like of you. (Persuasively, feeling in his pocket.) So it would be best, maybe, I’d give you a shilling for to drink my health, and let you walk on, and not trouble me at all.

Sarah. That’s your talking, is it? If you don’t stand to your spoken word, holy father, I’ll make my own complaint to the mitred bishop in the face of all.

Priest. You’d do that!

Sarah. I would surely, holy father, if I walked to the city of Dublin with blood and blisters on my naked feet.

Priest (uneasily scratching his ear). I wish this day was done, Sarah Casey; for I’m thinking it’s a risky thing getting mixed in any matters with the like of you.

Sarah. Be hasty then, and you’ll have us done with before you’d think at all.

Priest (giving in). Well, maybe it’s right you are, and let you come up to the chapel when you see me looking from the door.

He goes up into the chapel.

Sarah (calling after him). We will, and God preserve you, holy father.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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