Maurya (sitting down on a stool at the fire). He won’t go this day with the wind rising from the south and west. He won’t go this day, for the young priest will stop him surely.

Nora. He’ll not stop him, mother; and I heard Eamon Simon and Stephen Pheety and Colum Shawn saying he would go.

Maurya. Where is he itself?

Nora. He went down to see would there be another boat sailing in the week, and I’m thinking it won’t be long till he’s here now, for the tide’s turning at the green head, and the hooker’s tacking from the east.

Cathleen. I hear some one passing the big stones.

Nora (looking out). He’s coming now, and he in a hurry.

Bartley (comes in ana looks round the room. Speaking sadly and quietly). Where is the bit of new rope, Cathleen, was bought in Connemara?

Cathleen (coming down). Give it to him, Nora; it’s on a nail by the white boards. I hung it up this morning, for the pig with the black feet was eating it.

Nora (giving him a rope). Is that it, Bartley?

Maurya. You’d do right to leave that rope, Bartley, hanging by the boards (Bartley takes the rope). It will be wanting in this place, I’m telling you, if Michael is washed up to-morrow morning, or the next morning, or any morning in the week; for it’s a deep grave we’ll make him, by the grace of God.

Bartley (beginning to work with the rope). I’ve no halter the way I can ride down on the mare, and I must go now quickly. This is the one boat going for two weeks or beyond it, and the fair will be a good fair for horses, I heard them saying below.

Maurya. It’s a hard thing they’ll be saying below if the body is washed up and there’s no man in it to make the coffin, and I after giving a big price for the finest white boards you’d find in Connemara.

She looks round at the boards.

Bartley. How would it be washed up, and we after looking each day for nine days, and a strong wind blowing a while back from the west and south?

Maurya. If it isn’t found itself, that wind is raising the sea, and there was a star up against the moon, and it rising in the night. If it was a hundred horses, or a thousand horses, you had itself, what is the price of a thousand horses against a son where there is one son only?

Bartley (working at the halter, to Cathleen). Let you go down each day, and see the sheep aren’t jumping in on the rye, and if the jobber comes you can sell the pig with the black feet if there is a good price going.

Maurya. How would the like of her get a good price for a pig?

Bartley (to Cathleen). If the west wind holds with the last bit of the moon let you and Nora get up weed enough for another cock for the kelp. It’s hard set we’ll be from this day with no one in it but one man to work.

Maurya. It’s hard set we’ll be surely the day you’re drowned with the rest. What way will I live and the girls with me, and I an old woman looking for the grave?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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