Morse. [With relief] That’s zensible. Putt the motion to the meetin’.
Sol Potter. There ain’t no motion left to putt.
[Silence of consternation.]
[In the confusion Jim Bere is seen to stand up.]
Godleigh. Jim Bere to spike. Silence for Jim!
Voices. Aye! Silence for Jim!
Sol Potter. Well, Jim?
Jim. [Smiling and slow] Nothin’ duin’.
Trustaford. Bravo, Jim! Yu’m right. Best zense yet!
[Applause from the dumb-as-fishes.]
[With his smile brightening, Jim resumes his seat.]
Sol Potter. [Wiping his brow] Du seem to me, gentlemen, seem’ as we’m got into a bit of a tangle in a manner of spakin’, ’twid be the most zimplest and vairest way to begin all over vrom the beginnin’, so’s t’ave it all vair an’ square for every one.
[In the uproar Of “Aye”
and “No,” it is noticed that Tibby
Jarland is standing in front of her father with her finger, for
want of something better, in her mouth.]
Tibby. [In her stolid voice] Please, sister Mercy says, curate ’ave got to “Lastly.” [Jarland picks her up, and there is silence.] An’ please to come quick.
Jarland. Come on, mates; quietly now!
[He goes out, and all begin to follow him.]
Morse. [Slowest, save for Sol Potter] ’Tes rare lucky us was all agreed to hiss the curate afore us began the botherin’ old meetin’, or us widn’ ’ardly ’ave ’ad time to settle what to du.
Sol Potter. [Scratching his head] Aye, ’tes rare lucky; but I dunno if ’tes altogether reg’lar.
The village green before the churchyard and the yew-trees at the gate. Into the pitch dark under the yews, light comes out through the half-open church door. Figures are lurking, or moving stealthily—people waiting and listening to the sound of a voice speaking in the church words that are inaudible. Excited whispering and faint giggles come from the deepest yew-tree shade, made ghostly by the white faces and the frocks of young girls continually flitting up and back in the blackness. A girl’s figure comes flying out from the porch, down the path of light, and joins the stealthy group.
Whispering voice of mercy. Where’s ’e got to now, Gladys?
Whispering voice of Gladys. ’E’ve just finished.
Voice of Connie. Whu pushed t’door open?
Voice of Gladys. Tim Clyst I giv’ it a little push, meself.
Voice of Connie. Oh!
Voice of Gladys. Tim Clyst’s gone in!