Contents I II
SCENETen days later. The stern of the deeply-laden barge, SIMEON WINTHROP, at anchor in the outer harbor of Provincetown, Mass. It is ten oclock at night. Dense fog shrouds the barge on all sides, and she floats motionless on a calm. A lantern set up on an immense coil of thick hawser sheds a dull, filtering light on objects near itthe heavy steel bits for making fast the tow lines, etc. In the rear is the cabin, its misty windows glowing wanly with the light of a lamp inside. The chimney of the cabin stove rises a few feet above the roof. The doleful tolling of bells, on Long Point, on ships at anchor, breaks the silence at regular intervals.
As the curtain rises, ANNA is discovered standing near the coil of rope on which the lantern is placed. She looks healthy, transformed, the natural color has come back to her face. She has on a black, oilskin coat, but wears no hat. She is staring out into the fog astern with an expression of awed wonder. The cabin door is pushed open and CHRIS appears. He is dressed in yellow oilskinscoat, pants, souwesterand wears high sea-boots.
CHRIS—(The glare from the cabin still in his eyes, peers blinkingly astern.)
Anna! (Receiving no reply, he calls again, this time with apparent apprehension.) Anna!
ANNA—(With a startmaking a gesture with her hand as if to impose silencein a hushed whisper.) Yes, here I am. What dyou want?
CHRIS—(Walks over to hersolicitously.) Dont you come turn in, Anna? Its lateafter four bells. It aint good for you stay out here in fog, Ay tank.
not? (With a trace of strange exultation.) I love this fog!
Honest! It’s so— (She hesitates, groping for a word.)Funny and still. I feel as if I wasout of things altogether.
CHRIS—(Spitting disgustedly.) Fogs vorst one of her dirty tricks, py
ANNA—(With a short laugh.) Beefing about the sea again? Im getting sos I love it, the little Ive seen.
CHRIS—(Glancing at her moodily.) Dats foolish talk, Anna. You see her more, you dont talk dat
vay. (Then seeing her irritation, he hastily adopts a more cheerful tone.) But Aym glad you like it on barge. Aym
glad it makes you feel good again. (With a placating grin.) You like live like dis alone with ole fader, eh?
ANNASure I do. Everythings been so different from anything I ever come across before. And nowthis fogGee, I wouldnt have missed it for nothing. I never thought living on ships was so different from land. Gee, Id yust love to work on it, honest I would, if I was a man. I dont wonder you always been a sailor.
CHRIS—(Vehemently.) Ay aint sailor, Anna. And dis aint
real sea. You only see nice part. (Then as she doesnt answer, he continues hopefully.) Vell, fog lift in morning, Ay tank.
ANNA—(The exultation again in her voice.) I love it! I dont give a rap if it never lifts!
(CHRIS fidgets from one foot to the other worriedly. ANNA continues slowly, after a pause.) It makes me feel cleanout heres if Id taken a bath.
CHRIS—(After a pause.) You better go in cabinread book. Dat put you to sleep.
ANNAI dont want to sleep. I want to stay out hereand think about things.
CHRIS—(Walks away from her toward the cabinthen comes back.) You act funny to-night, Anna.
ANNA—(Her voice rising angrily.)
Say, what’re you trying to do—make things rotten? You been kind as kind
can be to me and I certainly appreciate it—only don’t spoil it all now.
(Then, seeing the hurt expression on her fathers face, she forces a smile.)
Let’s talk of something else. Come. Sit down here. (She points to the coil of rope.)
CHRIS—(Sits down beside her with a sigh.) Its gatting pooty late in night, Anna. Must be near five bells.
ANNA—(Interestedly.) Five bells? What time is that?
CHRISHalf past ten.
ANNAFunny I dont know nothing about sea talkbut those cousins was always talking crops and that stuff. Gee, wasnt I sick of itand of them!
CHRISYou dont like live on farm, Anna?
told you a hundred times I hated it. (Decidedly.) I’d rather have
one drop of ocean than all the farms in the world! Honest! And you
wouldn’t like a farm, neither. Here’s where you belong. (She makes a sweeping gesture seaward.) But not on a coal barge. You belong on a real ship, sailing all over the world.
CHRIS—(Moodily.) Ayve done dat many year, Anna, when Ay vas damn fool.
Oh, rats! (After a pause she speaks musingly.) Was the men in our family always sailorsas far back as you know about?
CHRIS—(Shortly.) Yes. Damn fools! All men in our village on coast, Sveden, go to sea. Aint nutting else for dem to do. My fader die on board ship in Indian Ocean. Hes buried at sea. Ay dont never know him only little bit. Den my tree broder, oldern me, dey go on ships. Den Ay go, too. Den my moder shes left all lone. She die pooty quick after datall lone. Ve vas all avay
on voyage when she die. (He pauses sadly.) Two my broder dey gat lost on fishing boat same like your broders vas drowned. My oder broder, he save money, give up sea, den he die home in bed. Hes only one dat ole davil
don’t kill. (Defiantly.) But me, Ay bet you Ay die ashore in bed, too!
ANNAWere all of em yust plain sailors?
CHRISAble body seaman, most of
dem. (With a certain pride.) Dey vas all smart seaman, too—A one.
(Then after hesitating a momentshyly.) Ay vas bosun.
CHRISDats kind of officer.
ANNAGee, that was fine. What does he do?
CHRIS—(After a seconds hesitation, plunged into gloom again by his fear of her enthusiasm.) Hard vork all time. Its rotten, Ay tal
you, for go to sea. (Determined to disgust her with sea lifevolubly.) Deyre all fool
fallar, dem fallar in our family. Dey all vork rotten yob on sea for
nutting, dont care nutting but yust gat big pay day in pocket, gat drunk, gat robbed, ship avay again on oder voyage. Dey dont come home. Dey dont do anytang like good man do. And dat ole
davil, sea, sooner, later she svallow dem up.
ANNA—(With an excited laugh.)
Good sports, I’d call ’em. (Then hastily.) But saylistendid all the women of the family marry sailors?
CHRIS—(Eagerlyseeing a chance to drive home his point.) Yesand its bad on dem like hell vorst of all. Dey dont see deir men only once in long while. Dey set and vait all lone. And vhen deir boys grows up, go to sea, dey sit and vait
some more. (Vehemently.) Any gel marry sailor, shes crazy fool! Your moder she tal
you same tang if she vas alive. (He relapses into an attitude of somber brooding.)
ANNA—(After a pausedreamily.) Funny! I do feel sort ofnutty, to-night. I feel old.
I’d been living a long, long time—out here in the fog. (Frowning perplexedly.) I dont know how to tell you yust
what I mean. It’s like I’d come home after a long visit away some place.
It all seems like I’d been here before lots of times—on boats—in this
same fog. (With a short laugh.) You must think Im off my base.
CHRIS—(Gruffly.) Anybody feel funny dat vay in fog.
ANNA—(Persistently.) But why dyou spose I feel sosolike Id found something Id missed and been looking fors if this was the right place for me to fit in? And I seem to have forgoteverything thats happenedlike it didnt matter no more. And I feel clean, somehowlike you feel yust
after you’ve took a bath. And I feel happy for once—yes, honest!—happier
than I ever been anywhere before! (As CHRIS makes no comment but a heavy sigh, she continues wonderingly.) Its nutty for me to feel that way, dont you think?
CHRIS—(A grim foreboding in his voice.) Ay tank Aym damn fool for bring you on voyage, Anna.
ANNA—(Impressed by his tone.) You talknutty to-night yourself. You act s if you was scared something was going to happen.
CHRISOnly God know
ANNA—(Half-mockingly.) Then itll be Gawds will, like the preachers saywhat does happen.
CHRIS—(Starts to his feet with fierce protest.) No! Dat ole
davil, sea, she aint God! (In the pause of silence that comes after his defiance a hail in a mans husky, exhausted voice comes faintly out of the fog to port.) Ahoy!
(CHRIS gives a startled exclamation.)
ANNA—(Jumping to her feet.) Whats that?
CHRIS—(Who has regained his composuresheepishly.) Py golly, dat scare me for minute. Its only some fallar
hail, Anna—loose his course in fog. Must be fisherman’s power boat. His
engine break down, Ay guess. (The ahoy comes again through the wall of fog, sounding much nearer this time. CHRIS goes over to the port bulwark.) Sound from dis
side. She come in from open sea. (He holds his hands to his mouth, megaphone-fashion, and shouts back.) Ahoy, dere! Vhats trouble?
THE VOICE—(This time sounding nearer but up forward toward the bow.)
Heave a rope when we come alongside. (Then irritably.) Where are ye, ye scut?
CHRISAy hear dem rowing. Dey
come up by bow, Ay tank. (Then shouting out again.) Dis
ye are! (There is a muffled sound of oars in oar-locks.)
ANNA—(Half to herselfresentfully.) Why dont that guy stay where he belongs?
CHRIS—(Hurriedly.) Ay go up bow. All hands asleep cepting fallar on
vatch. Ay gat heave line to dat fallar. (He picks up a coil of rope and hurries off toward the bow. ANNA walks back toward the extreme stern as if she wanted to remain as much isolated as possible. She turns her back on the proceedings and stares out into the fog. THE VOICE is heard again shouting Ahoy and CHRIS answering Dis
vay. Then there is a pausethe murmur of excited voicesthen the scuffling of feet. CHRIS appears from around the cabin to port. He is supporting the limp form of a man dressed in dungarees, holding one of the mans arms around his neck. The deckhand, JOHNSON, a young, blond Swede, follows him, helping along another exhausted man similar fashion. ANNA turns to look at them. CHRIS stops for a secondvolubly.) Anna! You come help, vill you? You find vhiskey in cabin. Dese fallars need drink for fix
dem. Dey vas near dead.
ANNA—(Hurrying to him.) Surebut who are they? Whats the trouble?
fallars. Deir steamer gat wrecked. Dey been five days in open boatfour fallars—only
one left able stand up. Come, Anna. (She precedes him into the cabin, holding the door open while he and JOHNSON carry in their burdens. The door is shut, then opened again as JOHNSON comes out. CHRISS voice shouts after him.) Go gat oder
sir. (He goes. The door is closed again. MAT BURKE stumbles in around the port side of the cabin. He moves slowly, feeling his way uncertainly, keeping hold of the port bulwark with his right hand to steady himself. He is stripped to the waist, has on nothing but a pair of dirty dungaree pants. He is a powerful, broad-chested six-footer, his face handsome in a hard, rough, bold, defiant way. He is about thirty, in the full power of his heavy-muscled, immense strength. His dark eyes are bloodshot and wild from sleeplessness. The muscles of his arms and shoulders are lumped in knots and bunches, the veins of his fore-arms stand out like blue cords. He finds his way to the coil of hawser and sits down on it facing the cabin, his back bowed, head in his hands, in an attitude of spent weariness.)
BURKE—(Talking aloud to himself.) Row, ye divil!
Row! (Then lifting his head and looking about him.) What’s this
tub? Well, we’re safe anyway—with the help of God. (He makes the sign of the cross mechanically. JOHNSON comes along the deck to port, supporting the fourth man, who is babbling to himself incoherently. BURKE glances at him disdainfully.) Is it losing the small wits ye iver had, ye are? Deck-scrubbing
scut! (They pass him and go into the cabin, leaving the door open. BURKE sags forward wearily.) Im bate outbate out entirely.
ANNA—(Comes out of the cabin with a tumbler quarter-full of whiskey in her hand. She gives a start when she sees BURKE so near her, the light from the open door falling full on him. Then, overcoming what is evidently a feeling of repulsion, she comes up beside him.) Here you are. Heres a drink for you. You need it, I guess.
BURKE—(Lifting his head slowlyconfusedly.) Is it dreaming I am?
ANNA(Half smiling.) Drink it and youll find it aint no dream.
hell with the drink—but I’ll take it just the same. (He tosses it down.) Aah! Im needin’
that—and ’tis fine stuff. (Looking up at her with frank, grinning admiration.)
But ’twasn’t the booze I meant when I said, was I dreaming. I thought
you was some mermaid out of the sea come to torment me. (He reaches out to feel of her arm.) Aye, rale flesh and blood, divil a less.
ANNA—(Coldly. Stepping back from him.) Cut that.
BURKEBut tell me, isnt this a barge Im onor isnt it?
BURKEAnd what is a fine handsome woman the like of you doing on this scow?
Never you mind. (Then half-amused in spite of herself.) Say, youre a great one, honeststarting right in kidding after what you been through.
BURKE—(Delightedproudly.) Ah, it was nothingaisy for a rale
man with guts to him, the like of me. (He laughs.) All in the days work, darlin’.
(Then, more seriously but still in a boastful tone, confidentially.) But I wont be denying twas a damn narrow squeak. Wed all ought to be with Davy Jones at the bottom of the sea, be rights. And only for me, Im telling you, and the great strength and guts is in me, wed be being scoffed by the fishes this minute!
Gee, you hate yourself, don’t you? (Then turning away from him indifferently.) Well, youd better come in and lie down. You must want to sleep.
BURKE—(Stungrising unsteadily to his feet with chest out and head thrown backresentfully.) Lie down and sleep, is it? Divil a wink Im after having for two days and nights and divil a bit Im needing now. Let you not be thinking Im the like of them three weak scuts
come in the boat with me. I could lick the three of them sitting down
with one hand tied behind me. They may be bate out, but I’m not—and I’ve
been rowing the boat with them lying in the bottom not able to raise a
hand for the last two days we was in it. (Furiously, as he sees this is making no impression on her.) And I can lick all hands on this tub, wan be wan, tired as I am!
ANNA—(Sarcastically.) Gee, aint
you a hard guy! (Then, with a trace of sympathy, as she notices him swaying from weakness.)
But never mind that fight talk. I’ll take your word for all you’ve said.
Go on and sit down out here, anyway, if I can’t get you to come inside.
(He sits down weakly.) Youre all in, you might as well own up to it.
BURKE—(Fiercely.) The hell I am!
ANNA—(Coldly.) Well, be stubborn then for all I care. And I must say I dont care for your language. The men I know dont pull that rough stuff when ladies are around.
BURKE—(Getting unsteadily to his feet againin a rage.) Ladies! Ho-ho! Divil
mend you! Let you not be making game of me. What would ladies be doing
on this bloody hulk? (As ANNA attempts to go to the cabin, he lurches into her path.) Aisy,
now! You’re not the old Square-head’s woman, I suppose you’ll be telling
me next—living in his cabin with him, no less! (Seeing the cold, hostile expression on ANNAS face, he suddenly changes his tone to one of boisterous joviality.) But I do be thinking, iver since the first look my eyes took at you, that its a fool you are to be wasting yourselfa fine, handsome girlon a stumpy runt of a man like that old Swede. Theres too many strapping great lads on the sea would give their hearts blood for one kiss of you!
ANNA—(Scornfully.) Lads like you, eh?
BURKE—(Grinning.) Ye take the words out o my mouth. Im the proper lad for you, if its meself
do be saying it. (With a quick movement he puts his arms about her waist.) Whisht, now, me daisy! Himselfs
in the cabin. It’s wan of your kisses I’m needing to take the tiredness
from me bones. Wan kiss, now! (He presses her to him and attempts to kiss her.)
ANNA—(Struggling fiercely.) Leggo of me, you big
mut! (She pushes him away with all her might. BURKE, weak and tottering, is caught off his guard. He is thrown down backward and, in falling, hits his head a hard thump against the bulwark. He lies there still, knocked out for the moment. ANNA stands for a second, looking down at him frightenedly. Then she kneels down beside him and raises his head to her knee, staring into his face anxiously for some sign of life.)
BURKE—(Stirring a bitmutteringly.)
God stiffen it! (He opens his eyes and blinks up at her with vague wonder.)
ANNA—(Letting his head sink back on the deck, rising to her feet with a sigh of relief.) Youre coming to all right, eh? Gee, I was scared for a moment Id killed you.
BURKE—(With difficulty rising to a sitting positionscornfully.)
Killed, is it? It’d take more than a bit of a blow to crack my thick
skull. (Then looking at her with the most intense admiration.) But, glory be, its a power of strength is in them two fine arms of yours. Theres not a man in the world can say the same as you, that he seen Mat Burke lying at his feet and him dead to the world.
Forget it. I’m sorry it happened, see? (Burke rises and sits on bench. Then severely.) Only you had no right to be getting fresh with me. Listen, now, and dont go getting any more wrong notions. Im on this barge because Im making a trip with my father. The captains my father. Now you know.
BURKEThe old squarethe old Swede, I mean?
BURKE—(Risingpeering at her face.) Sure I might have known it, if I wasnt a bloody fool from birth. Where elsed you get that fine yellow hair is like a golden crown on your head.
ANNA—(With an amused laugh.)
Say, nothing stops you, does it? (Then attempting a severe tone again.) But dont you think you ought to be apologizing for what you said and done yust a minute ago, instead of trying to kid me with that mush?
Mush! (Then bending forward toward her with very intense earnestness.) Indade
and I will ask your pardon a thousand times—and on my knees, if ye like.
I didn’t mean a word of what I said or did. (Resentful again for a second.) But divil a woman in all the ports of the world has iver made a great fool of me that way before!
ANNA—(With amused sarcasm.) I see. You mean youre a lady-killer and they all fall for you.
Leave off your fooling! ’Tis that is after getting my back up at you. (Earnestly.)
’Tis no lie I’m telling you about the women. (Ruefully.) Though its a great jackass I am to be mistaking you, even in anger, for the like of them cows on the waterfront is the only women Ive met up with since I was growed
to a man. (As ANNA shrinks away from him at this, he hurries on pleadingly.) Im a hard, rough man and Im not fit, Im thinking, to be kissing the shoe-soles of a fine, dacent
girl the like of yourself. ’Tis only the ignorance of your kind made me
see you wrong. So you’ll forgive me, for the love of God, and let us be
friends from this out. (Passionately.) I’m thinking I’d rather be
friends with you than have my wish for anything else in the world. (He holds out his hand to her shyly.)
ANNA—(Looking queerly at him, perplexed and worried, but moved and pleased in spite of herselftakes his hand uncertainly.) Sure.
BURKE—(With boyish delight.)
God bless you! (In his excitement he squeezes her hand tight.)
BURKE—(Hastily dropping her handruefully.)
Your pardon, Miss. ’Tis a clumsy ape I am. (Then simplyglancing down his arm proudly.) Its great power I have in my hand and arm, and I do be forgetting it at times.
ANNA—(Nursing her crushed hand and glancing at his arm, not without a trace of his own admiration.) Gee, youre some strong, all right.
BURKE—(Delighted.) Its no lie, and why shouldnt I be, with me shoveling a million tons of coal in the stokeholes
of ships since I was a lad only. (He pats the coil of hawser invitingly.)
Let you sit down, now, Miss, and I’ll be telling you a bit of myself,
and you’ll be telling me a bit of yourself, and in an hour we’ll be as
old friends as if we was born in the same house. (He pulls at her sleeve shyly.) Sit down now, if you plaze.
ANNA—(With a half laugh.)
Well— (She sits down.) But we wont talk about me, see? You tell me about yourself and about the wreck.
BURKE—(Flattered.) Ill tell you, surely. But can I be asking you one question, Miss, has my head in a puzzle?
ANNA—(Guardedly.) WellI dunnowhat is it?
BURKEWhat is it you do when youre not taking a trip with the Old Man? For Im thinking a fine girl the like of you aint living always on this tub.
ANNA—(Uneasily.) Noof course I aint.
(She searches his face suspiciously, afraid there may be some hidden insinuation in his words. Seeing his simple frankness, she goes on confidently.) Well, Ill tell you. Im a governess, see? I take care of kids for people and learn them things.
BURKE—(Impressed.) A governess, is it? You must be smart, surely.
ANNABut lets not talk about me. Tell me about the wreck, like you promised me you would.
BURKE—(Importantly.) Twas this way, Miss. Two weeks out we ran into the divils own storm, and she sprang wan hell of a leak up forard.
The skipper was hoping to make Boston before another blow would finish
her, but ten days back we met up with another storm the like of the
first, only worse. Four days we was in it with green seas raking over
her from bow to stern. That was a terrible time, God help us. (Proudly.)
And if ’twasn’t for me and my great strength, I’m telling you—and it’s
God’s truth—there’d been mutiny itself in the stokehole. ’Twas me held
them to it, with a kick to wan and a clout to another, and they not
caring a damn for the engineers any more, but fearing a clout of my
right arm more than they’d fear the sea itself. (He glances at her anxiously, eager for her approval.)
ANNA—(Concealing a smileamused by this boyish boasting of his.) You did some hard work, didnt you?
BURKE—(Promptly.) I did that! Im a divil for sticking it out when them thats weak give up. But much good it did anyone! Twas a mad, fightin scramble in the last seconds with each man for himself. I disremember how it come about, but there was the four of us in wan boat and when we was raised high on a great wave I took a look about and divil a sight there was of ship or men on top of the sea.
ANNA—(In a subdued voice.) Then all the others was drowned?
BURKEThey was, surely.
ANNA—(With a shudder.) What a terrible end!
BURKE—(Turns to her.) A terrible end for the like of them swabs does live on land, maybe. But for the like of us does be roaming the seas, a good end, Im telling youquick and clane.
ANNA—(Struck by the word.) Yes, clean. Thats yust the word forall of itthe way it makes me feel.
sea, you mean? (Interestedly.) Im thinking you have a bit of it in your blood, too. Your Old Man wasnt only a barge ratbegging your pardonall his life, by the cut of him.
ANNANo, he was bosun on sailing ships for years. And all the men on both sides of the family have gone to sea as far back as he remembers, he says. All the women have married sailors, too.
BURKE—(With intense satisfaction.) Did they, now? They had spirit in them. Its only on the sea youd find rale
men with guts is fit to wed with fine, high-tempered girls (Then he adds half-boldly) the like of yourself.
ANNA—(With a laugh.) There you go kiddin’
again. (Then seeing his hurt expressionquickly.) But you was going to tell me about yourself. Youre Irish, of course I can tell that.
BURKEYes, thank God, though Ive not seen a sight of it in fifteen years or more.
ANNA—(Thoughtfully.) Sailors never do go home hardly, do they? Thats what my father was saying.
wasn’t telling no lie. (With sudden melancholy.) Its a hard and lonesome life, the sea is. The only women youd meet in the ports of the world whod be willing to speak you a kind word isnt woman at all. You know the kind I mane, and theyre a poor, wicked lot, God forgive them. Theyre looking to steal the money from you only.
ANNA—(Her face avertedrising to her feetagitatedly.) I thinkI guess Id better see whats doing inside.
BURKE—(Afraid he has offended herbeseechingly.) Dont go, Im saying! Is it Ive given you offence with my talk of the like of them? Dont heed it at all! Im clumsy in my wits when it comes to talking proper with a girl the like of you. And why wouldnt I be? Since the day I left home for to go to sea punching coal, this is the first time Ive had a word with a rale, dacent woman. So dont turn your back on me now, and we beginning to be friends.
ANNA—(Turning to him againforcing a smile.) Im not sore at you, honest.
BURKE—(Gratefully.) God bless you!
ANNA—(Changing the subject abruptly.) But if you honestly think the seas such a rotten life, why dont you get out of it?
Work on land, is it? (She nods. He spits scornfully.) Digging
spuds in the muck from dawn to dark, I suppose? (Vehemently.) I wasnt made for it, Miss.
ANNA—(With a laugh.) I thought youd say that.
BURKE—(Argumentatively.) But theres good jobs and bad jobs at sea, like thered be on land. Im thinking if its in the stokehole of a proper liner I was, Id be able to have a little house and be home to it wan week out of four. And Im thinking that maybe then Id have the luck to find a fine dacent girlthe like of yourself, nowwould be willing to wed with me.
ANNA—(Turning away from him with a short laughuneasily.) Why sure. Why not?
BURKE—(Edging up close to herexultantly.) Then you think a girl the like of yourself might maybe not mind the past at all but only be seeing the good herself put in me?
ANNA—(In the same tone.) Why, sure.
BURKE—(Passionately.) Shed not be sorry for it, Id take my oath! Tis no more drinking and roving about Id be doing then, but giving my pay day into her hand and staying at home with her as meek as a lamb each night of the week Id be in port.
ANNA—(Moved in spite of herself and troubled by this half-concealed proposalwith a forced laugh.) All you got to do is find the girl.
BURKEI have found her!
ANNA—(Half-frightenedlytrying to laugh it off.) You have? When? I thought you was saying
BURKE—(Boldly and forcefully.)
This night. (Hanging his headhumbly.) If she’ll be having
me. (Then raising his eyes to herssimply.) Tis you I mean.
ANNA—(Is held by his eyes for a momentthen shrinks back from him with a strange, broken laugh.) Sayare yougoing crazy? Are you trying to kid me? Proposingto me!for Gawds sake!on such short acquaintance?
(CHRIS comes out of the cabin and stands staring blinkingly astern. When he makes out Anna in such intimate proximity to this strange sailor, an angry expression comes over his face.)
BURKE—(Following herwith fierce, pleading insistence.) Im telling you theres the will of God in it that brought me safe through the storm and fog to the wan spot in the world where you was! Think of that now, and isnt it queer
CHRIS—(He comes toward them, raging, his fists clenched.) Anna, you gat in cabin, you hear!
ANNA—(All her emotions immediately transformed into resentment at his bullying tone.) Who dyou think youre talking toa slave?
CHRIS—(Hurthis voice breakingpleadingly.)
You need gat rest, Anna. You gat sleep. (She does not move. He turns on BURKE furiously). What you doing here, you sailor
fallar? You aint sick like oders. You gat in focstle. Dey
give you bunk. (Threateningly.) You hurry, Ay tal you!
ANNA—(Impulsively.) But he is sick. Look at him. He can hardly stand up.
BURKE—(Straightening and throwing out his chestwith a bold laugh.)
Is it giving me orders ye are, me bucko? Let you look out, then! With
wan hand, weak as I am, I can break ye in two and fling the pieces over
the side—and your crew after you. (Stopping abruptly.) I was
forgetting. You’re her Old Man and I’d not raise a fist to you for the
world. (His knees sag, he wavers and seems about to fall. ANNA utters an exclamation of alarm and hurries to his side.)
ANNA—(Talking one of his arms over her shoulder.) Come on in the cabin. You can have my bed if there aint no other place.
BURKE—(With jubilant happinessas they proceed toward the cabin.) Glory be to God, is it holding my arm about your neck you are! Anna! Anna! Sure its a sweet name is suited to you.
ANNA—(Guiding him carefully.) Sssh! Sssh!
BURKEWhisht, is it?
Indade, and Ill not. Ill be roaring it out like a fog horn over the sea! Youre the girl of the world and well be marrying soon and I dont care who knows it!
ANNA—(As she guides him through the cabin door.) Ssshh!
Never mind that talk. You go to sleep. (They go out of sight in the cabin. CHRIS, who has been listening to BURKES last words with open-mouthed amazement stands looking after them helplessly.)
CHRIS—(Turns suddenly and shakes his fist out at the seawith bitter hatred.) Dats your dirty trick, damn ole
davil, you! (Then in a frenzy of rage.) But, py God, you dont do
dat! Not while Aym living! No, py God, you dont!
(The Curtain Falls)