SARAH. To adopt me?
SAM. Ay, for a moother. A’m sorry tha can’t see thy way to let me. A didn’t mean no offence (turning to the door).
SARAH. ‘Ere, lad, tha tell me this. If A’d said tha might tak’ me for thy moother, what wouldst ha’ done?
SAM. Why, kissed thee, an’ takken thee oop in ma arms whoam to thy bed. It’s standin’ ready in yonder wi’ clean sheets an’ all, an’ a new quilt from Co-op. A ‘opes you’ll pardon th’ liberty o’ mentioning it.
SARAH. A new quilt, Sam? What’s color?
SAM. Red, wi’ blue stripes down ’er.
SARAH. A’m not a light weight, tha knows.
SAM. A’d carry thee easy—“Strong in th’ arm and weak in th’ yead.” It’s an ould sayin’, but it’s a good un, an’ it fits.
SARAH. Wilt tha try, Sam Horrocks? God bless thee, wilt tha try, lad?
SAM. Dost mean it, Mrs. Ormerod? Dost mean tha’ll coom? Tha’s not coddin’ a feller, art tha?
SARAH. No, A’m not coddin’. Kiss me, Sam, my son.
(He kisses her and lifts her in his arms.)
SAM. By gum, but that were good. A’ll coom back fur thy box.
SABAH. Carry me careful, tha great luny. A’m not a sack o’ flour.
SAM. Eh, but A likes to year thee talk. Yon was real mootherly, it were.
(Exit through door, carrying her.)
[CURTAIN at clink of latch]
[Footnote 1: Included by permission of Messrs. John W. Luce and Company.]
MAURYA, an old woman
BARTLEY, her son
CATHLEEN, her daughter
NORA, a younger daughter
MEN AND WOMEN
SCENE: An island off the West of Ireland. Cottage kitchen, with nets, oilskins, spinning-wheel, some new boards standing by the wall, etc. CATHLEEN, a girl of about twenty, finishes kneading cake, and puts it down in the pot-oven by the fire; then wipes her hands, and begins to spin at the wheel. NORA, a young girl, puts her head in at the door.
NORA (in a low voice). Where is she?
CATHLEEN. She’s lying down, God help her, and maybe sleeping, if she’s able.
(NORA comes in softly, and takes a bundle from under her shawl.)
CATHLEEN (spinning the wheel rapidly). What is it you have?
NOBA. The young priest is after bringing them. It’s a shirt and a plain stocking were got off a drowned man in Donegal.
(CATHLEEN stops her wheel with a sudden movement, and leans out to listen.)
NORA. We’re to find out if it’s Michael’s they are; some time herself will be down looking by the sea.
CATHLEEN. How would they be Michael’s, Nora? How would he go the length of that way to the far north?