I’ll take the best man.
An’ I’ll take the lot.
[The police try to arrest them, and a desperate struggle ensues. The police lose their caps and belts, but eventually succeed in overpowering them.
MRS. COTTER (rushes to the rescue) O boys, for my sake, an’ for the sake o’ ye’r wives an’ families, have no crossness but lave the house quietly.
PADNA (as he struggles with the Sergeant) Don’t fret, ma’am. We’ll have no crossness. All we want is to wipe the police from the face o’ the earth altogether.
That’s all. We’ll have no crossness.
[Handcuffs are placed on Micus and Padna.
Take these min to the Barrack.
[They struggle violently, and sing as they leave the house.
PADNA and MICUS (together)
“When boyhood’s fire was in my blood,
I read of ancient freemen
For Grace and Rome who bravely stood,
Three hundred men and three men.
And then I prayed I yet might see
Our fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland, long a province, be
A Nation once again.”
[Mrs. Cotter follows them to the door, and while the Head is alone, he writes in his notebook, talking aloud as he does so.
HEAD “Found drunk an’ disorderly on the licensed premises o’ Mrs. Cotter, Ballyferris, during prohibited hours. Using bad an’ offensive language. Resistin’ arrest, assaultin’ the police, an’ doin’ sayrious damage to their garments. Singin’ songs of a nature likely to cause rebellion an’ threatenin’ to exterminate the whole Royal Irish Constabulary.” (Places book back in pocket)
[There is a little whiskey in each of the three glasses that were placed on the mantleshelf. The Head pours
the contents of each into one and drinks it before Mrs. Cotter returns. Enter Mrs. Cotter.
MRS. COTTER Oh, Head, you won’t be hard on a lone widow, will ye? Don’t prosecute thim poor min. Sure, they have done no more harm than y’erselves.
HEAD (as he stands at door)
Mrs. Cotter, ma’am! I’m surprised at you.
For what, Head?
To think that you’d dare attempt to interfere with
me in the discharge o’ me duty!
* * * * *
A COMEDY IN ONE ACT
MARTIN O’FLYNN A Resident Magistrate
CORNELIUS JOHN MICHAEL O’CROWLEY A New Justice of the Peace
PHELAN DUFFY A Barrister-at-Law
BRENNAN CASSIDY A Solicitor
PETER DWYER Clerk of the Petty Sessions Court
MARGARET FENNELL Wife of Richard Fennell
SERGEANT HEALY A Member of the Royal Irish Constabulary
CONSTABLE O’RYAN A Member of the R.I.C.
CONSTABLE MCCARTHY A Member of the R.I.C.