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CHARACTERS

WILLIAM DRISCOLL A public-house keeper
DENNIS LOGAN
BERNARD FALVEY
GARRET DEVLIN
BARRY NAGLE
POLICE AND TOWNSPEOPLE

A COMEDY IN ONE ACT

Scene: Back parlor of a country public house. The proprietor, William Driscoll, a man of about fifty with a very dour expression, sings as he sweeps the floor:

“Oh, the days are gone, when Beauty bright
My heart’s chain wove;
When the dream of life from morn till night
Was love, still love.
New hope may bloom,
And days may come
Of milder, calmer beam,
But there’s nothing half so sweet in life
As love’s young dream.
No, there’s nothing half so sweet in life
As love’s young dream.”

[Logan, a stranger, enters.

LOGAN
Good mornin’.

DRISCOLL
Good mornin’ and good luck. What can I do for you?

LOGAN
I’ll have a glass of the best whiskey.

DRISCOLL
All right, my good man. You shall get it.

[Exit.

LOGAN (takes up the morning paper, sits on the table, and speaks aloud) Be the pipers that played the dead march for Moses, but I’m twice as big a fool as I thought I was. And knowledge of that sort is cold comfort for any man. What’s this I see here? “Daring burglary in the town of Castlemorgan. During the early hours of the morning, the house of Michael Cassily was broken into, and five pound notes, a gentleman’s watch and a pair of silver candlesticks were stolen. So far, no arrests have been made, but the police have every hope of bringing those who committed the offence to justice, because Mr. Cassily states that he saw two men leaving by the back entrance, and found a piece of a coat-tail hanging from a nail on the porch.”

[He lifts up his coat, and discovers a piece missing from the tail, and is about to take it off for a closer inspection when the publican enters with the whiskey.

DRISCOLL (as he places the whiskey upon the table) This is your drink, stranger, and believe me, you couldn’t get a better drop of whiskey in the whole United Kingdom, not even if you went to the King’s palace itself for it.

LOGAN
’Tis good, you say.

DRISCOLL
None better, and wonderful stuff to put heart into a
man.

LOGAN (drinks it off)
’Tis the good flavor it has surely. (Pauses awhile)
I think I’ll have another, for ’tis plenty of heart I’ll
be wantin’ before the day goes to its close.

DRISCOLL ‘Tis easy to feel plucky in the mornin’, but ’tis a brave man who can feel happy at the heel of day, especially if he has an uneasy conscience and an empty stomach.

LOGAN Hunger plays the devil with us all. A man with an empty stomach, an empty purse, and an empty house, except for a scoldin’ wife, can never be happy.

DRISCOLL That’s so, but if that’s all you have to contend with, you haven’t much to worry about. Sure I thought by your looks and the way you spoke that you might have killed a man and had the bloodhounds after you.

LOGAN A man’s conscience is worse than having bloodhounds after him, if he has to spend months in idleness through no fault of his own, and no one to look for sympathy from but a scoldin’ wife.

DRISCOLL The Lord protect us from scoldin’ wives, anyway. They’re the scourge of Hell. But there are worse things than being married to a wife with no control over her temper. You might be like the thief who broke into the house of Michael Cassily and stole his grandfather’s watch and chain and silver candlestick.

LOGAN
And when did all this happen?

DRISCOLL
During the small hours of the mornin’.

LOGAN
That was a damnable thing to do.

DRISCOLL ‘Twas more foolish than anythin’ else, because, if Michael Cassily should ever lay hands upon the man who stole his belongings, he’d shoot at him the way you’d shoot at a rabbit in a ditch and kill him as dead as one of Egypt’s kings.

LOGAN
The Lord save us! You don’t mean what you say.

DRISCOLL
I do, and every word of it. And a sure shot he is too.
Indeed ’tis said that nothing in the sky or on the land
could escape him when he has a gun in his hand.

LOGAN
I heard before comin’ to this town that he was a very
quiet and inoffensive man.

DRISCOLL And so he is a quiet man when he’s left alone. But when his temper is up, the devil himself is a gentleman to him.

LOGAN
I’ll have another glass of whiskey.
[Exit the publican. While he is away, Logan looks at
the torn part of his coat, and a stranger enters.

BARNARD FALVEY (saunters into the back kitchen, picks a piece of wet paper off the floor, and tries to light it at the fire for the purpose of lighting his pipe, and after several unsuccessful attempts, he turns to Logan) Good mornin’, and God bless you, stranger.

LOGAN
Good mornin’, kindly.

FALVEY
It looks as though we were goin’ to have a spell of
fine weather.

LOGAN
Judgin’ by the way the wind is, it would seem so.

FALVEY
‘Tis splendid weather for walkin’ or tillin’ the land.

LOGAN
‘Tis good weather for anythin’.

FALVEY
All the same, ’tis a long stretch of a road from here
to Ballinore. How far is it, I wonder?

LOGAN
Twenty miles at least.

FALVEY
Every step of it, and a long road for a man with the
rheumatics and bronchitis too.

LOGAN
And what brought you from Ballinore?

FALVEY And what would bring any poor man from his native town but lookin’ for work. And that’s a hard thing to be doin’ when a man hasn’t a friend to help him towards a job.

LOGAN
A man can always make friends if he wants to.

FALVEY ‘Tis no easy thing for a man who hasn’t a sleutherin’ tongue and the takin’ way with him to make friends, stranger.

LOGAN
’Tis easy enough to make fine weather friends. But
I suppose a friend isn’t worth a damn unless he can
help a man when he’s in trouble.

FALVEY To have a lot of money is the easiest way of makin’ friends. But when a man hasn’t either money or the sleutherin’ tongue, he can’t expect to have any more of the world’s goods than myself.

LOGAN
And have you no friends at all among all the millions
of people on the face of the earth?

FALVEY The devil a one ever bothers their head about me but myself. And what I can do for myself is hardly worth doin’ for any one.

LOGAN
After all, when a man has his health and enough to
eat, he should be contented.

FALVEY But how could you expect the likes of me to be contented when I didn’t break my fast this blessed day yet, and all I have in the world is the bit of tobacco you see in my old pipe, and unless you’re not as dacent as you look, ’tis hungry maybe I’ll be until I find a turnip field before the fall of night.

LOGAN
Would you drink a pint of porter and eat a penny bun?

FALVEY
Indeed I would, and remember the one in my prayers
who’d give them to me.

LOGAN (knocks and the publican enters) Bring this man a pint of porter and give him one of the penny buns or two that you have on the porter barrel in the shop.

DRISCOLL
Indeed I will and much good may they do him.

[Places pint of porter and bread in front of Falvey who begins to eat and drink.

FALVEY God bless your noble soul and may you be long spared to do good in the world. (As he eats) There’s no sauce like hunger, and no friend like the friend in need.

LOGAN That’s true. Now tell me, do you expect to get work in this town?

FALVEY
’Tis my intention to try.

LOGAN You’d have as much chance of slippin’ into heaven with your soul as black as a skillet from mortal sins, unknownst to St. Peter, as you’d have of gettin’ a job with an old coat like that.

FALVEY
And what can I do, God help me, when I have no
other?

LOGAN I’ll swap with you, and then you’ll have some chance, but otherwise you might as well walk back to where you came from.

FALVEY But I couldn’t take a coat from a strange gentleman like yourself and have an easy conscience. Sure, this old coat of mine is only fit to be used for a scarecrow.

LOGAN You’re a fool to be talkin’ like that, stranger. Don’t you know that you must take all you can get and give away as little as you can if you want to be successful in life?

FALVEY And why, then, should you be givin’ me your coat when you want it yourself?

LOGAN You had better say no more, lest I might change my mind. Sure, ’tis sorry I may be to-night when I’m facing the cold winds on the lonely roads that I exchanged my fine warm coat for an old threadbare garment that a rag man wouldn’t give a child a lump of candy for.

FALVEY Sure, St. Francis himself couldn’t do more, and he that tore his coat in two and shared it with the beggars.

LOGAN ’Tis easy for a saint of God to be good, when he feels that he’ll be rewarded for his self-sacrifice, but have no more old talk and give me that old coat of yours, or if you don’t I might change my mind, and then you’ll have plenty of time to regret your foolishness.

FALVEY Very well, stranger, very well. (They exchange coats) May the Lord spare you all the days you want to live, and may you never want for anythin’ but the ill wishes of your enemies.

LOGAN That coat makes you look like a gentleman, and if you only had a better hat, and a good shave, you might get some old widow with a small farm to marry you, if you are a bachelor.

FALVEY Of course I’m a bachelor. Who’d be bothered with the likes of me for a husband. Sure, I wouldn’t raise my hand to a woman in a thousand years, and what do women care about a man unless he can earn lots of money and leather the devil out of them when they don’t behave themselves?

LOGAN That’s true. And when a man hasn’t any money to give his wife, the next best thing to do is to give her a good beatin’.

FALVEY That’s what my father used to say. But ’tis the lucky thing for me all the same that I’m not married, an’ that I strayed into a house like this to-day. Yet I don’t think ‘tis a bit fair for me to be wearin’ your fine coat and you wearin’ mine. You don’t look a bit comfortable in it.

LOGAN I feel comfortable, and far more comfortable than you can imagine; and after all that’s what matters. Every eye forms its own beauty, and when the heart is young, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

FALVEY That’s true! That’s true! But ’tis the dacent man you are, nevertheless, and ’tisn’t the likes of you that a poor man like myself meets every day.

LOGAN No, and it may be a long time again before you will meet another like me. But be that as it may, I must be going now, so here’s a shillin’ for you and go to the barber’s next door and have a shave before startin’ to look for work. (Hands shilling) Good-by.

FALVEY
Good-by, God bless you and long life to you.

[Exit Logan. Enter an old friend.

GARRET DEVLIN (walks slowly and takes the newspaper from the table, looks at the clock) Only half-past ten, and damn the bit to do. Ah, me! ah, me! One bloody day like another!

[Sits on the chair and yawns. Knocks for the publican. Enter Driscoll.

DRISCOLL
Good mornin’, Garret. Anythin’ new to-day?

DEVLIN
Yes, I have good news this mornin’.

DRISCOLL
An’ what is it?

DEVLIN Oh, not much, only that a grand-uncle of mine is after dyin’ in America and leavin’ me a fortune of a hundred thousand pounds.

DRISCOLL (sceptically) That’s a terrible responsibility for a poor man to have thrust upon him. What are you going to do with it at all?

DEVLIN Well, I was thinkin’ of buyin’ a new suit of clothes and dividin’ what’s left between the poor of the town, the Sisters of Charity, and the Salvation Army.

DRISCOLL Wisha, I’m sick and tired of hearin’ old yarns like that. I suppose ’tis the way that you want a half a glass of whiskey and haven’t the price of it.

DEVLIN How dare you insinuate such a thing. (Places a sovereign on the table) Give me a half a whiskey and no more old talk out of you.

DRISCOLL
And where did you get all that money?

DEVLIN
That’s my business. I got it from the captain in the
Salvation Army when I told him how much money I
was goin’ to give him by and by.

DRISCOLL Well, that’s the first and last donation you’ll ever get from the Salvation Army. Sure, if you got all the money that was to be left to you since I knew you first, you’d be buildin’ libraries all over the world like Carnegie to advertise your vanity.

DEVLIN ‘Tis nothin’ to you whether I will build libraries or public houses for the poor when I’ll get all the money that’s comin’ to me.

DRISCOLL Ah, wisha, I’m about sick and tired of hearin’ all the things you’re going to do.

DEVLIN (crossly) I don’t give a damn whether you are or not. Go and get me the whiskey, or I’ll get it elsewhere.

DRISCOLL (plausibly)
Very well, very well! I’ll get you the whiskey.

[Exit.

DEVLIN (to Falvey, who is still eating his loaf of bread)
Good mornin’, stranger.

FALVEY
Good mornin’ and good luck, sir.

DEVLIN
‘Tis a fine mornin’.

FALVEY
A glorious mornin’, thank God.

DEVLIN
Is that your breakfast that you’re eatin’?

FALVEY
Indeed it is, stranger, and maybe my dinner and
supper too.

DEVLIN
’Tis the hell of a thing to be poor.

FALVEY
Sure ’tis myself that knows it.

DEVLIN
And ’tis as bad to be rich and not to be able to get
any of your money like myself.

FALVEY
There’s trouble in everythin’, but no respect for the
poor.

DEVLIN None whatever! none whatever! And no greater misfortune could befall a man than to be poor and honest at the same time. But all the same I’ll be a millionaire when my money comes from America.

FALVEY
America must be a great country. One man is as
good as another there, I believe.

DEVLIN So they say, when both of them have nothin’. (Looking hard at the stranger) Tell me, haven’t I seen you somewhere before? What’s that your name is?

FALVEY
My name is Bernard Falvey, and I come from Ballinore.

DEVLIN Well, well, to be sure, and I’m Garret Devlin, your mother’s first cousin! Who’d ever think of meetin’ you here. The world is a small place after all!

FALVEY
It must be fifteen or more years since last we met.

DEVLIN
Every day of it. And what have you been doing
since? I’d hardly know you at all, the way you have
changed.

FALVEY
Workin’ when I wasn’t idle and idle when I wasn’t
workin’, but in trouble all the time.

DEVLIN You’re like myself. I too only exchange one kind of trouble for another. When I got married I had to live with the wife’s mother for two years, and when she died, I had to support my widowed sister-in-law’s three children. And when they were rared and fit to be earnin’ for themselves and be a help to me, they got drowned. Then my poor wife lost her senses, and I haven’t had peace or ease ever since. She thinks that she is the Queen of England, and that I’m the King.

FAVLEY
An’ have you no children?

DEVLIN
One boy.

FALVEY
An’ what does he do for a livin’?

DEVLIN
He’s a private in the militia, and his mother thinks
he’s the Prince of Wales.

FALVEY
God help us all, but ’tis the queer things that happen
to the poor.

DEVLIN
An’ what are you doin’ in these parts?

FALVEY
Lookin’ for work.

DEVLIN An’ that itself is the worst kind of hardship. I don’t think that there’s much doin’ these times for the natives, not to mention the strangers, though ’tis the strangers get the pickings wherever they go. We’ll have a look at the newspaper and see what’s doin’ anyway. (Reads from the advertisement columns) “Wanted a respectable man, to act as a coachman to His Lordship the Bishop. He must have a good appearance, have sober habits, and a knowledge of horses and the ways of the clergy.” That won’t do.

“Wanted, a young man of dashing appearance, with a good vocabulary to act as travelling salesman, must be well recommended, and have a thorough knowledge of the dry goods business.” That won’t do either.

“Wanted, a middle-aged man to act as companion to an invalid. He must have a knowledge of French and German, and be able to play the violin.” That won’t do.

“Wanted a man to make himself generally useful at
an undertaker’s establishment. Apply to Michael
Cassily. William O’Brien St.”
Bedad, but that’s the very job for you.

FALVEY
But how am I to get it?

DEVLIN
I’ll give you a letter of introduction to Micky Cassily.
He’s an old friend of mine.

FALVEY
Sure, that would be a great thing entirely.

DEVLIN Wait now, and I’ll make a man of you, and if you should ever become Lord Mayor of Cork or Dublin, you must not forget me.

FALVEY
Indeed, I’ll never be able to forget this blessed day,
and the kindness of the people I have met in Castlemorgan.

[Knocks for the publican, and walks up and down; when the publican enters, he assumes an air of great importance.

DRISCOLL
What’s the matter?

DEVLIN
I want you to oblige me with a few sheets of note
paper, a bottle of ink, and a writin’ pen.

DRISCOLL
And what do you want them for?

DEVLIN To write a letter of introduction for this poor man here. He’s lookin’ for work, and I want to help him to get it.

DRISCOLL
Then I’ll give them to you with pleasure.

[Exit.

DEVLIN You needn’t worry any more. I’ll get a job for you. Micky and myself are old friends. He buried my father and mother and all belongin’ to me. And although I do say it myself, there isn’t a better undertaker from here to Dublin. He’s as good a judge of a dead man as any one you ever met, and could measure the size of a coffin without using the tape at all. [Enter Driscoll.

DRISCOLL (as he places writing materials on the table) Here’s the writing material, and may good luck attend you.

DEVLIN
Thank you, very much. (To Falvey) Now to business.

[They both sit at the table, and Devlin commences to write.

Deadwoman’s Hill,
Goulnaspurra.

Dear Mr. Cassily:

I have the hon how’s that you spell honour? h-o-n-n-o-u-r, of course. Yes, that’s right. I have the honour, and likewise the (pauses) unprecedented that’s not an easy word to spell u-n-p-r-ee-s-c-ee-d-e-n-t-e-d that wasn’t such a hard word after all, and it looks fine in print (repeats) unprecedented and the great pleasure that spells p-l-e-a-s-u-r of introducing, that’s a stumbler of a word, i-n-t-r-d (to Falvey) Can you spell the rest of it?

FALVEY
i-n-t-e-r-w-e-i-n

DEVLIN
No. That’s not right. We had better call Bill
Driscoll. Are you there, Bill?
[Enter Driscoll.

DRISCOLL
What’s the matter?

DEVLIN
We want you to spell “introducing.”

DRISCOLL (wiping a pint measure)
With pleasure. (Confidently) i-n-t-u-r-d-e-w-c-i-n-g.

DEVLIN
Are you sure that is right?

DRISCOLL
Of course I am. What do you think I went to school
for?

DEVLIN Very well, I’ll take your word for it. But stay here awhile, because we may want your assistance soon again. This is an important matter, and we must give all our attention to it. I have the honor and likewise the unprecedented and the great pleasure of introducing to you a cousin of my own on my mother’s side, one Barney Falvey. He is a man of many and n-e-w-m-e-r-o-w-s. (To Driscoll) Isn’t that right?

DRISCOLL
That’s all right. Proceed.

DEVLIN numerous a-c-o-m-p-l-i-s-h-m-e-n-t-s. That sounds wrong, doesn’t it?

DRISCOLL
It sounds wrong, but let it go. No one will ever notice
the mistake, when we can’t find it out ourselves.

DEVLIN He has an i-n-g-a-n-o-s turn of mind, and can do all kinds of hard or easy work. He can p-l-o-w a field, milk a cow, mind childer, and make nearly every thing from a bird cage, a mousetrap, or a snuff box, to a coffin. He is w-i-l-i-n, o-b-l-i-g-i-n, and can put up with all kinds of abuse. He can look i-n-o-s-c-e-n-t or guilty, as the occasion may require and will, I’m sure, and certain, taking his accomplishments all round, prove to be the very man you are lookin’ for to fill the v-a-k-a-n-c-y in your highly respected e-s-t-a-b-1-i-shment. Anythin’ you can do for him will be considered a personal f-a-v-o-u-r by your old and e-s-t-e-a-m-ed friend,

Garret Devlin.

[He reads it over again aloud.

“Deadwoman’s Hill,
Goulnaspurra.

“Dear Mr. Cassily:

“I have the honour and likewise the unprecedented and great pleasure of introducin’ to you a cousin of my own on my mother’s side, one Barney Falvey. He is a man of many parts and numerous accomplishments. He has an ingenious turn of mind and can do all kinds of hard and easy work. He can plow a field, milk a cow, mind childer, and make nearly everythin’ from a bird cage, a mousetrap, or a snuff box, to a coffin. He is willin’ and obligin’ and can put up with all kinds of abuse. He can look innocent or guilty as the occasion may require, and will, I am certain and confident, taking his accomplishments all round, prove to be the very man you are lookin’ for to fill the vacancy in your highly respected establishment. Anythin’ that you can do for him will be considered a personal favour by your old and esteemed friend,

“Garret Devlin.”

That’s a great letter. Be God, sure ’twould nearly get the job for myself. But it would never do for one of my social standin’ to take such a position in this town.

FALVEY ’Tis a great thing to be able to put so many words together on paper. And ’tis the wonderful gift to have surely. A man that could write like you should be a secretary to the Lord Lieutenant himself, or writin’ sermons for the Pope of Rome.

DEVLIN Now, no more old palaver, talk is cheap, but it takes money to buy whiskey. Look as smart as you can (hands letter), and deliver this letter before it’s too late. There’s nothin’ like doin’ things with despatch when you’re in a hurry. Wait, your face is none too clean. Where’s your handkerchief? (Hands him an old dirty handkerchief. He drains the dregs of a pewter pint on the handkerchief, and wipes his face with it. Then he looks at Falvey’s boots) Glory be to God! but you’re a very careless man! When did you clean these boots last?

FALVEY Wisha, who could keep boots clean upon the dirty roads.

[Takes off his old hat and wipes his boots with it

DEVLIN That’s better. Now take off that old tie, and I’ll give you mine. But you must return it to me when you get the job. It belonged to my grandfather, and it always brought luck to the family.

[They exchange ties, and Devlin’s toilet is completed by brushing the legs of his old trousers with a sweeping brush.

DEVLIN (looking at him approvingly) If you always kept yourself as respectable lookin’ as that, you would never want for work, I’m thinkin’.

FALVEY (looking at himself in an old mirror) There’s somethin’ in what you say. Sure my mother always told me I was the best lookin’ in the family.

DEVLIN That may be, but your beauty isn’t of the fatal kind. (Shaking hands with him) Good luck now, and I’ll wait here until you’ll return.

FALVEY God bless you, God bless you, I’ll be back as soon as I can.

[Exit.

DEVLIN (knocks and orders another half of whiskey)
Another half one. That letter took a lot out of me.

DRISCOLL Literature, they say, is always a great strain on a man’s vitality. I was offered a job as proof reader on a newspaper one time, but my friends advised me not to take it.

DEVLIN Your friends were wise. Stayin’ up at night is bad for any man. ‘Tis hard enough to be up in the mornin’ without bein’ up at night as well.

DRISCOLL (places drink on table)
That’s true.

[Exit. A man of about forty-five enters, with a pint of porter in his hand. He sits near Devlin.

BARRY NAGLE
Good mornin’, stranger.

DEVLIN
Good mornin’.

NAGLE
’Tis a fine day for this time of year.

DEVLIN
This would be a fine day for any part of the year.

NAGLE
Fine weather is the least of the good things that the
poor is entitled to.

DEVLIN The poor have their wants, of course, but the rich, bad luck and misfortune to them one and all, have their troubles also, because they don’t know what they want, the discontented, lazy, good-for-nothin’ varmints. May they all perish be their own folly before the world or their money comes to an end.

NAGLE
’Tis only the poor who knows how bad the rich are.
And only the rich that can be hard on the poor. Have
you a match, if you please?

DEVLIN (handing a box)
You’ll find plenty in that.

NAGLE
All the comfort some of us have in this world is a
smoke, that’s when we have the tobacco, of course.

DEVLIN There’ll be smokin’ enough in the next world, they say, but that’s cold comfort to a man without the fillin’s of a pipe or a match to light it.

NAGLE
’Tis a great misfortune to be born at all.

DEVLIN That’s what I’ve often been thinkin’. And many’s the time I’ve cursed the day that my father met my mother. (Sadly) ’Twould be better for us all in spite of what the clergy say that we were all Protestants, or else died before we came to the use of reason. But things might be worse.

NAGLE Trouble comes to us all, and ’tis a consolation to know that the King must die as well as the beggar. Think of me, and I after losin’ my return ticket to Carlow, and I must be there to-night even if I have to walk every step of the way.

DEVLIN
And haven’t you the price of your ticket?

NAGLE The devil a penny at all have I, and unless I can sell my watch to buy my ticket with, I’ll lose my job, and then my wife and family must go to the workhouse.

DEVLIN God himself seems to be no friend of the poor. That was a terrible calamity to befall a stranger. How much will your ticket cost?

NAGLE Ten shillin’s, and I’m willin’ to part with my watch for that triflin’ sum, though ’twas my poor father’s, rest his soul. (Holds watch in his hand) Look at it, ’tis as fine a timepiece as eyes ever rested on. A solid silver watch, and a chain of solid gold, and all for ten shillin’s. And history enough attached to it to write a book.

DEVLIN
’Tis a bargain surely.

NAGLE A man wearin’ a watch and chain like that would get credit anywhere he’d be known, though ’twould be no use to a stranger.

DEVLIN Leave me see how ’twould look on me. (The stranger hands him the watch, and Devlin adjusts it to his vest front, walks up and down the room, and looks in the glass) Bedad, but you’re right. It does make a man feel good, and maybe better than he is.

NAGLE A man walkin’ into a friend’s house with ornamentation on him like that would get the lend of anythin’.

DEVLIN (confidently)
I believe he would.

NAGLE
Indeed you may say so.

DEVLIN
And you’ll sell it for ten shillin’s.

NAGLE
Yes, if you’ll be quick about it, because I must catch
the train and get home as soon as I can.

DEVLIN
Does it keep good time?

NAGLE
’Tis the best timekeeper that ever was.

DEVLIN (places watch to his ear) It has a good strong tick, anyway. I’ll give you the ten shillin’s for it. Here you are.

NAGLE (takes the money)
Thank you kindly, though it nearly breaks my heart
to part with it.

DEVLIN Life is made up of comin’ and goin’, and what we lose to-day we may gain to-morrow, and lose again the next day.

NAGLE
One man’s loss is another man’s profit, and that’s how
the world keeps movin’.

DEVLIN True. And there’s no use in being alive unless we can help each other. Sure ’tis for each other, and not by each other, that we should live.

NAGLE
’Pon my word, but to know how to live is the greatest
problem of all.

DEVLIN That’s so. Sometimes ’tis foolish to be wise and other times ’tis wise to be foolish, but the sensible man will always look out for himself and let his friends look after his enemies.

NAGLE
Every word you say is true, but I must be goin’ or I’ll
lose the train. So I’ll bid you good-by and good luck.

DEVIN
Good day and good luck to you also. (Exit Nagle)
The stranger was right. A man with a watch and
chain like this, and able to tell every one the time of
day, could get as much on his word as he’d want.

[Buttons his coat and takes up the newspaper, sits in the chair and commences to read. He is soon disturbed by the entrance of Bernard Falvey, Michael Cassily, two policemen, and several of the townspeople.

FIRST POLICEMAN (pointing to Devlin)
Is this the man who gave you the letter of introduction?

FALVEY That’s the man who has brought all this trouble on me, but I’m as innocent as the babe unborn of the charge of burglary.

FIRST POLICEMAN
Hold your tongue, I say. What greater proof could
we have than the torn coat which you’re wearin’?

FALVEY
I tell you that I got this coat from a stranger I met
in this house, this mornin’.

FIRST POLICEMAN And sure you’re the one who can look innocent, believe me. But this won’t be much good to you when you go before the magistrates. Now we’ll deal with your partner. (Places his hand on Devlin’s shoulder) I must arrest you on suspicion for being an accomplice of this strange man here who broke into Mr. Michael Cassily’s establishment last night, and stole five pound notes, two silver candlesticks and a silver watch and golden chain.

DEVLIN
Is it madness that has come upon the crowd of you?
Me that never stole anythin’ in my life, to be accused
of robbin’ from a dacent man like Michael Cassily!

SECOND POLICEMAN
Search him, constable.

FIRST POLICEMAN
Of course, I will. (He opens his coat, finds the watch
and chain, takes it off, hands it to Michael Cassily
)
Is that yours?

CASSILY
Yes, constable, that’s the watch and chain that was
stolen from my house this mornin’.

FIRST POLICEMAN
What have you to say for yourself now?

DEVLIN
Nothin’, only that I paid ten shillin’s to a stranger
less than half an hour ago.

FIRST POLICEMAN And where did you get the ten shillin’s, you that haven’t had ten shillin’s of your own altogether for ten years, but always borrowin’ money and tellin’ the people that you are goin’ to inherit a fortune from America?

DEVLIN
Tis the truth I’m tellin’ you.

FIRST POLICEMAN Nonsense, nonsense. What greater proof could we have of your guilt? This man here who you gave the letter of introduction is a stranger to the town and the piece of cloth that Mr. Cassily found hangin’ on a nail in his back porch after the burglary was committed, is the piece of cloth that is missin’ from this man’s coat. (Fits the piece of cloth) And we have found the identical watch and chain on your own person.

SECOND POLICEMAN
’Twas a clever scheme of the pair of them and no
doubt about it.

CASSILY I never thought that any one could add insult to injury in such a manner. I was always a friend to you, Garret Devlin, and you tried to get this man who had already robbed me, a position in my establishment so that he could rob me all the more.

FALVEY As sure as my great-grandfather is dead and gone, I tell you that I got this coat from a stranger in this very house.

DEVLIN And as sure as the devil has paid a visit this blessed day to Castlemorgan, I tell you I bought that watch and chain from a stranger also. William Driscoll will prove that there were two such men in his house.

FIRST POLICEMAN If William Driscoll says a word in your defence, he’ll be arrested on suspicion also. (To the publican) What have you to say?

DRISCOLL Not a word, constable, not a word. I know nothin’ at all about the matter except readin’ the account of the dreadful affair in the mornin’ paper. [First policeman places the handcuffs on both, and walks them towards the door.

DEVLIN
What’s goin’ to happen to us at all, at all?

FIRST POLICEMAN
The judge will tell you that at the next assizes.

CURTAIN