Patsy [meditatively]. Bedad, if dhat pig gets a howlt o the handle o the machine— [He shakes his head ominously and drifts away to the pigsty].
The parlor in Cornelius Doyle’s house. It communicates with the garden by a half glazed door. The fireplace is at the other side of the room, opposite the door and windows, the architect not having been sensitive to draughts. The table, rescued from the garden, is in the middle; and at it sits Keegan, the central figure in a rather crowded apartment.
Nora, sitting with her back to the fire at the end of the table, is playing backgammon across its corner with him, on his left hand. Aunt Judy, a little further back, sits facing the fire knitting, with her feet on the fender. A little to Keegan’s right, in front of the table, and almost sitting on it, is Barney Doran. Half a dozen friends of his, all men, are between him and the open door, supported by others outside. In the corner behind them is the sofa, of mahogany and horsehair, made up as a bed for Broadbent. Against the wall behind Keegan stands a mahogany sideboard. A door leading to the interior of the house is near the fireplace, behind Aunt Judy. There are chairs against the wall, one at each end of the sideboard. Keegan’s hat is on the one nearest the inner door; and his stick is leaning against it. A third chair, also against the wall, is near the garden door.
There is a strong contrast of emotional atmosphere between the two sides of the room. Keegan is extraordinarily stern: no game of backgammon could possibly make a man’s face so grim. Aunt Judy is quietly busy. Nora it trying to ignore Doran and attend to her game.
On the other hand Doran is reeling in an ecstasy of mischievous mirth which has infected all his friends. They are screaming with laughter, doubled up, leaning on the furniture and against the walls, shouting, screeching, crying.
Aunt Judy [as the noise lulls for a moment]. Arra hold your noise, Barney. What is there to laugh at?
Doran. It got its fut into the little hweel—[he is overcome afresh; and the rest collapse again].
Aunt Judy. Ah, have some sense: you’re like a parcel o childher. Nora, hit him a thump on the back: he’ll have a fit.
Doran [with squeezed eyes, exsuflicate with cachinnation] Frens, he sez to dhem outside Doolan’s: I’m takin the gintleman that pays the rint for a dhrive.
Aunt Judy. Who did he mean be that?
Doran. They call a pig that in England. That’s their notion of a joke.
Aunt Judy. Musha God help them if they can joke no better than that!
Doran [with renewed symptoms]. Thin—
Aunt Judy. Ah now don’t be tellin it all over and settin yourself off again, Barney.