• The play opens with Manus working with hedge-school student Sarah.
• Although everyone in the town has accepted that Sarah is unable to speak, Manus is trying to teach her to talk.
• Jimmy reads from Homer's Odyssey as Manus praises Sarah when she manages to repeat a sentence.
• Manus converses with Jimmy and jokes with Sarah easily as the three prepare the barn for that night's classes.
• Manus wonders why his father and master of the school, Hugh, has not shown up for classes yet.
• Using signs, Sarah tells him that Hugh has attended a christening and is probably enjoying drinks at a local pub.
• Meanwhile Sarah gets a bunch of flowers she has hidden in the straw at the barn and presents them to Manus, then runs away.
• Manus follows her, thanks her for the gift and prompts her to say the word "flowers."
• Maire, another...
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