Donagh: This will be such a day as will be made a boast of for ever in Carrabane. (Agnes goes out door to meet the people.)
Mrs. Ford: Let there be music and the sound of rejoicing and shouts from the hills. Let those who put their feet in anger upon us and who are themselves reduced to-day look back upon the strength they held and the power they lost.
Donagh: I will bid the music play up. (He goes out.)
Mrs. Ford (standing alone at the door): People of Carrabane, gather about the old house of Donagh Ford. Let the fight for the land in this place end where it began. Let the courage and the strength that Donagh Ford knew be in your blood from this day out. Let the spirit be good and the hand be strong for the work that the heart directs. Raise up your voices with my voice this day and let us make a great praise on the name of Ireland. (She raises her stick, straightening her old figure. The band strikes up and the people cheer outside as the curtain falls.)
The parish priest was in a very great hurry and yet anxious for a talk on his pet subject. He wanted to speak about the new temperance hall. Would I mind walking a little way with him while he did so? He had a great many things to attend to that day.... We made our way along the street together, left the town behind us, and presently reached that sinister appendage of all Irish country towns, the workhouse. The priest turned in the wide gate, and the porter, old, official, spectacled, came to meet him.
“Has the funeral gone?” asked the priest, a little breathless.
“I’ll see, Father.” The porter shuffled over the flags, a great door swung open; there was a vista of whitewashed walls, a chilly, vacant corridor, and beyond it a hall where old men were seated on forms at a long, white deal table. They were eating—a silent, grey, bent, beaten group. Through a glass partition we could see the porter in his office turning over the leaves of a great register.
“I find,” he said, coming out again, speaking as if he were giving evidence at a sworn inquiry, “that the remains of Martin Quirke, deceased, were removed at 4.15.”
“I am more than half an hour late,” said the priest, regarding his watch with some irritation.
We hurried out and along the road to the country, the priest trailing his umbrella behind him, speaking of the temperance hall but preoccupied about the funeral he had missed, my eyes marking the flight of flocks of starlings making westward.