Contents I II
SCENESame as Act Three, about nine oclock of a foggy night two days later. The whistles of steamers in the harbor can be heard. The cabin is lighted by a small lamp on the table. A suit case stands in the middle of the floor. ANNA is sitting in the rocking-chair. She wears a hat, is all dressed up as in Act One. Her face is pale, looks terribly tired and worn, as if the two days just past had been ones of suffering and sleepless nights. She stares before her despondently, her chin in her hands. There is a timid knock on the door in rear. ANNA jumps to her feet with a startled exclamation and looks toward the door with an expression of mingled hope and fear.
Come in. (Then summoning her couragemore resolutely.) Come
in. (The door is opened and CHRIS appears in the doorway. He is in a very bleary, bedraggled condition, suffering from the after effects of his drunk. A tin pail full of foaming beer is in his hand. He comes forward, his eyes avoiding ANNAS. He mutters stupidly.) Its foggy.
ANNA—(Looking him over with contempt.)
So you come back at last, did you? You’re a fine looking sight! (Then jeeringly.) I thought youd beaten it for good on account of the disgrace Id brought on you.
CHRIS—(Wincingfaintly.) Dont say dat,
Anna, please! (He sits in a chair by the table, setting down the can of beer, holding his head in his hands.)
ANNA—(Looks at him with a certain sympathy.) Whats the trouble? Feeling sick?
CHRIS—(Dully.) Inside my head feel sick.
ANNAWell, what dyou
expect after being soused for two days? (Resentfully.) It serves you right. A fine thingyou leaving me alone on this barge all that time!
CHRIS—(Humbly.) Aym sorry, Anna.
CHRISBut Aym not sick inside head vay you mean. Aym sick from tank too much about you, about me.
ANNAAnd how about me? Dyou suppose I aint been thinking, too?
sorry, Anna. (He sees her bag and gives a start.) You pack your bag, Anna? You vas going?
ANNA—(Forcibly.) Yes, I was going right back to what you think.
ANNAI went ashore to get a train for New York. Id been waiting and waiting till I was sick of it. Then I changed my mind and decided not to go to-day. But Im going first thing to-morrow, so itll all be the same in the end.
CHRIS—(Raising his headpleadingly.) No, you never do dat, Anna!
ANNA—(With a sneer.) Why not, Id like to know?
CHRISYou dont never gat to dodat vayno more, Ay tal you. Ay fix dat up all right.
ANNA—(Suspiciously.) Fix what up?
CHRIS—(Not seeming to have heard her questionsadly.) You vas vaiting, you say? You vasnt vaiting for me, Ay bet.
ANNA—(Callously.) Youd win.
CHRISFor dat Irish
Yes—if you want to know! (Then with a forlorn laugh.) If he did come back itd only be cause he wanted to beat me up or kill me, I suppose. But even if he did, Id rather have him come than not show up at all. I wouldnt care what he did.
CHRISAy guess its true you vas in love with him all right.
CHRIS—(Turning to her earnestly.) And Aym sorry for you like hell he dont come, Anna!
ANNA—(Softened.) Seems to me youve changed your tune a lot.
CHRISAyve been tanking, and Ay guess it vas all my faultall bad tangs dat
happen to you. (Pleadingly.) You try for not hate me, Anna. Aym crazy ole fool, dats all.
ANNAWho said I hated you?
CHRISAym sorry for everytang Ay do wrong for you, Anna. Ay vant for you be happy all rest of your life for make up! It make you happy marry dat Irish
fallar, Ay vant it, too.
ANNA—(Dully.)Well, there aint no chance. But Im glad you think different about it, anyway.
CHRIS—(Supplicatingly.) And you tankmaybeyou forgive me sometime?
ANNA—(With a wan smile.) Ill forgive you right now.
CHRIS—(Seizing her hand and kissing itbrokenly.) Anna lilla! Anna lilla!
ANNA—(Touched but a bit embarrassed.) Dont bawl about it. There aint nothing to forgive, anyway. It aint your fault, and it aint mine, and it aint his neither. Were all poor nuts, and things happen, and we yust get mixed in wrong, thats all.
CHRIS—(Eagerly.) You say right tang, Anna, py golly! It aint
nobody’s fault! (Shaking his fist.) Its dat ole
ANNA—(With an exasperated laugh.) Gee, wont you ever can that stuff?
(CHRIS relapses into injured silence. After a pause ANNA continues curiously.) You said a minute ago youd fixed something upabout me. What was it?
CHRIS—(After a hesitating pause.) Aym shipping avay on sea again, Anna.
CHRISAy sign on steamer sail to-morrow. Ay gat my ole yobbosun.
(ANNA stares at him. As he goes on, a bitter smile comes over her face.) Ay tank dats best tang for you. Ay only bring you bad luck, Ay tank. Ay make your moders life sorry. Ay dont vant make yours dat way, but Ay do yust same. Dat ole
davil, sea, she make me Yonah man aint no good for nobody. And Ay tank now it aint no use fight with sea. No man dat live going to beat her, py
ANNA—(With a laugh of helpless bitterness.) So thats how youve fixed me, is it?
CHRISYes, Ay tank if dat ole davil gat me back she leave you alone den.
ANNA—(Bitterly.) But, for Gawds
sake, don’t you see, you’re doing the same thing you’ve always done?
Don’t you see—? (But she sees the look of obsessed stubbornness on her fathers face and gives it up helplessly.) But whats the use of talking. You aint right, thats what. Ill never blame you for nothing no more. But how you could figure out that was fixing me!
CHRISDat aint all. Ay gat dem fallars in steamship office to pay you all money coming to me every month vhile Aym
ANNA—(With a hard laugh.) Thanks. But I guess I wont be hard up for no small change.
CHRIS—(Hurthumbly.) It aint much, Ay know, but its plenty for keep you so you never gat go back
ANNA—(Shortly.) Shut up, will you? Well talk about it later, see?
CHRIS—(After a pauseingratiatingly.) You like Ay go ashore look for dat Irish
ANNA—(Angrily.) Not much! Think I want to drag him back?
CHRIS—(After a pauseuncomfortably.) Py golly, dat booze dont go
vell. Give me fever, Ay tank. Ay feel hot like hell. (He takes off his coat and lets it drop on the floor. There is a loud thud.)
ANNA—(With a start.)
What you got in your pocket, for Pete’s sake—a ton of lead? (She reaches down, takes the coat and pulls out a revolverlooks from it to him in amazement.) A gun? What were you doing with this?
CHRIS—(Sheepishly.) Ay forgat. Aint nutting. Aint loaded, anyvay.
ANNA—(Breaking it open to make surethen closing it againlooking at him suspiciously.) That aint telling me why you got it?
CHRIS—(Sheepishly.) Aym ole fool. Ay gat it vhen Ay go ashore first. Ay tank den its all fault of dat Irish
ANNA—(With a shudder.) Say, youre crazier than I thought. I never dreamt youd go that far.
CHRIS—(Quickly.) Ay dont. Ay gat better sense right avay. Ay dont never buy bullets even. It aint his fault, Ay know.
ANNA—(Still suspicious of him.)
Well, I’ll take care of this for a while, loaded or not. (She puts it in the drawer of table and closes the drawer.)
CHRIS—(Placatingly.) Throw it overboard if you vant.
Ay don’t care. (Then after a pause.) Py golly, Ay tank Ay go lie down. Ay feel sick.
(ANNA takes a magazine from the table. CHRIS hesitates by her chair.) Ve talk again before Ay go, yes?
ANNA—(Dully.) Wheres this ship going to?
CHRISCape Town. Dats
in South Africa. She’s British steamer called Londonderry. (He stands hesitatinglyfinally blurts out.) Annayou forgive me sure?
ANNA—(Wearily.) Sure I do. You aint to blame. Youre yustwhat you arelike me.
CHRIS—(Pleadingly.) Denyou lat me kiss you again once?
ANNA—(Raising her faceforcing a wan smile.) Sure. No hard feelings.
CHRIS—(Kisses herbrokenly.) Anna lilla!
Ay—(He fights for words to express himself, but finds nonemiserablywith a sob.) Ay cant say it. Goodnight, Anna.
(He picks up the can of beer and goes slowly into the room on left, his shoulders bowed, his head sunk forward dejectedly. He closes the door after him. ANNA turns over the pages of the magazine, trying desperately to banish her thoughts by looking at the pictures. This fails to distract her, and flinging the magazine back on the table, she springs to her feet and walks about the cabin distractedly, clenching and unclenching her hands. She speaks aloud to herself in a tense, trembling voice.) Gawd,
I can’t stand this much longer! What am I waiting for anyway?—like a
damn fool! (She laughs helplessly, then checks herself abruptly, as she hears the sound of heavy footsteps on the deck outside. She appears to recognize these and her face lights up with joy. She gasps:)
Mat! (A strange terror seems suddenly to seize her. She rushes to the table, takes the revolver out of drawer and crouches down in the corner, left, behind the cupboard. A moment later the door is flung open and MAT BURKE appears in the doorway. He is in bad shapehis clothes torn and dirty, covered with sawdust as if he had been grovelling or sleeping on barroom floors. There is a red bruise on his forehead over one of his eyes, another over one cheekbone, his knuckles are skinned and rawplain evidence of the fighting he has been through on his bat. His eyes are bloodshot and heavy-lidded, his face has a bloated look. But beyond these appearancesthe results of heavy drinkingthere is an expression in his eyes of wild mental turmoil, of impotent animal rage baffled by its own abject misery.)
BURKE—(Peers blinkingly about the cabinhoarsely.)
Let you not be hiding from me, whoever’s here—though ’tis well you know
I’d have a right to come back and murder you. (He stops to listen. Hearing no sound, he closes the door behind him and comes forward to the table. He throws himself into the rocking-chairdespondently.)
There’s no one here, I’m thinking, and ’tis a great fool I am to be
coming. (With a sort of dumb, uncomprehending anguish.) Yerra, Mat Burke, tis a great jackass youve become and whats got into you at all, at all? Shes gone out of this long ago, Im telling you, and youll never see her face again.
(ANNA stands up, hesitating, struggling between joy and fear. BURKES eyes fall on ANNAS bag. He leans over to examine it.)
What’s this? (Joyfully.) It’s hers. She’s not gone! But where is
she? Ashore? (Darkly.) What would she be doing ashore on this
rotten night? (His face suddenly convulsed with grief and rage.)
’Tis that, is it? Oh, God’s curse on her! (Raging.) Ill wait till she comes and choke her dirty life out.
(ANNA starts, her face grows hard. She steps into the room, the revolver in her right hand by her side.)
ANNA—(In a cold, hard tone.) What are you doing here?
BURKE—(Wheeling about with a terrified gasp.)
Glory be to God! (They remain motionless and silent for a moment, holding each others eyes.)
ANNA—(In the same hard voice.) Well, cant you talk?
BURKE—(Trying to fall into an easy, careless tone.) Youve a years growth scared out of me, coming at me so sudden and me thinking I was alone.
ANNAYouve got your nerve butting in here without knocking or nothing. What dyou want?
Oh, nothing much. I was wanting to have a last word with you, that’s
all. (He moves a step toward her.)
ANNA—(Sharplyraising the revolver in her hand.) Careful now! Dont try getting too close. I heard what you said youd do to me.
BURKE—(Noticing the revolver for the first time.)
Is it murdering me you’d be now, God forgive you? (Then with a contemptuous laugh.)
Or is it thinking I’d be frightened by that old tin whistle? (He walks straight for her.)
ANNA—(Wildly.) Look out, I tell you!
BURKE—(Who has come so close that the revolver is almost touching his chest.)
Let you shoot, then! (Then with sudden wild grief.) Let you shoot, Im saying, and be done with it! Let you end me with a shot and Ill be thanking you, for its a rotten dogs life Ive lived the past two days since Ive known what you are, til Im after wishing I was never born at all!
ANNA—(Overcomeletting the revolver drop to the floor, as if her fingers had no strength to hold ithysterically.) What dyou
want coming here? Why don’t you beat it? Go on! (She passes him and sinks down in the rocking-chair.)
’Tis right you’d be asking why did I come. (Then angrily.) Tis because tis a great weak fool of the world I am, and me tormented with the wickedness youd told of yourself, and drinking oceans of booze thatd make me forget. Forget? Divil a word Id forget, and your face grinning always in front of my eyes, awake or asleep, til I do be thinking a madhouse is the proper place for me.
ANNA—(Glancing at his hands and facescornfully.) You look like you ought to be put away some place. Wonder you wasnt pulled in. You been scrapping, too, aint you?
BURKEI havewith every scut
would take off his coat to me! (Fiercely.) And each time Id be hitting one a clout in the mug, it wasnt his face Id be seeing at all, but yours, and me wanting to drive you a blow would knock you out of this world where I wouldnt be seeing or thinking more of you.
ANNA—(Her lips trembling pitifully.) Thanks!
BURKE—(Walking up and downdistractedly.) Thats right, make game of me! Oh, Im a great coward surely, to be coming back to speak with you at all. Youve a right to laugh at me.
ANNAI aint laughing at you, Mat.
BURKE—(Unheeding.) You to be what you are, and me to be Mat Burke, and me to be drove back to look at you again! Tis black shame is on me!
ANNA—(Resentfully.) Then get out. No ones holding you!
And me to listen to that talk from a woman like you and be frightened to
close her mouth with a slap! Oh, God help me, I’m a yellow coward for
all men to spit at! (Then furiously.) But I’ll not be getting out
of this ’till I’ve had me word. (Raising his fist threateningly.)
And let you look out how you’d drive me! (Letting his fist fall helplessly.) Dont be angry now! Im raving like a real lunatic, Im thinking, and the sorrow you put on me has my brains drownded
in grief. (Suddenly bending down to her and grasping her arm intensely.) Tell me its a lie, Im saying! Thats what Im after coming to hear you say.
ANNA—(Dully.) A lie? What?
BURKE—(With passionate entreaty.) All the badness you told me two days back. Sure it must be a lie! You was only making game of me, wasnt you? Tell me twas a lie, Anna, and Ill be saying prayers of thanks on my two knees to the Almighty God!
I can’t, Mat. (As he turns awayimploringly.) Oh, Mat, wont you see that no matter what I was I aint that any more? Why, listen! I packed up my bag this afternoon and went ashore. Id been waiting here all alone for two days, thinking maybe youd come backthinking maybe youd think over all Id saidand maybeoh, I dont know what I was hoping! But I was afraid to even go out of the cabin for a second, honestafraid you might come and not find me here. Then I gave up hope when you didnt show up and I went to the railroad station. I was going to New York. I was going back
BURKE—(Hoarsely.) Gods curse on you!
Mat! You hadn’t come, and I’d gave up hope. But—in the station—I
couldn’t go. I’d bought my ticket and everything. (She takes the ticket from her dress and tries to hold it before his eyes.) But I got to thinking about youand I couldnt take the trainI couldnt! So I come back hereto wait some more. Oh, Mat, dont you see Ive changed? Cant you forgive whats dead and goneand forget it?
BURKE—(Turning on herovercome by rage again.)
Forget, is it? I’ll not forget ’til my dying day, I’m telling you, and
me tormented with thoughts. (In a frenzy.) Oh, Im wishing I had wan of them fornenst me this minute and Id beat him with my fists till hed be a bloody corpse! Im wishing the whole lot of them will roast in hell til the Judgment Dayand yourself along with them, for youre as bad as they are.
Mat! (Then after a pausein a voice of dead, stony calm.) Well, youve had your say. Now you better beat it.
BURKE—(Starts slowly for the doorhesitatesthen after a pause.) And whatll you be doing?
ANNAWhat difference does it make to you?
BURKEIm asking you!
ANNA—(In the same tone.) My bags packed and I got my ticket. Ill go to New York to-morrow.
BURKE—(Helplessly.) You meanyoull be doing the same again?
BURKE—(In anguish.) Youll not! Dont torment me with that talk! Tis a
she-divil you are sent to drive me mad entirely!
ANNA—(Her voice breaking.) Oh, for Gawds sake, Mat, leave me alone! Go away! Dont you see Im licked? Why dyou want to keep on kicking me?
BURKE—(Indignantly.) And dont you deserve the worst Id say, God forgive you?
ANNAAll right, Maybe I do. But dont rub it in. Why aint you done what you said you was going to? Why aint you got that ship was going to take you to the other side of the earth where youd never see me again?
ANNA—(Startled.) Whatthen youre goinghonest?
BURKEI signed on to-day at noon, drunk as I wasand shes sailing to-morrow.
ANNAAnd wheres she going to?
ANNA—(The memory of having heard that name a little while before coming to herwith a start, confusedly.) Cape Town? Wheres that. Far away?
BURKETis at the end of Africa. Thats far for you.
ANNA—(Forcing a laugh.) Youre keeping your word all right, aint
you? (After a slight pausecuriously.) Whats the boats name?
ANNA—(It suddenly comes to her that this is the same ship her father is sailing on.)
The Londonderry! It’s the same—Oh, this is too much! (With wild, ironical laughter.) Ha-ha-ha!
BURKEWhats up with you now?
ANNAHa-ha-ha! Its funny, funny! Ill die laughing!
BURKE—(Irritated.) Laughing at what?
a secret. You’ll know soon enough. It’s funny. (Controlling herselfafter a pausecynically.) What kind of a place is this Cape Town? Plenty of dames there, I suppose?
BURKETo hell with them! That I may never see another woman to my dying hour!
ANNAThats what you say now, but Ill bet by the time you get there youll have forgot all about me and start in talking the same old bull you talked to me to the first one you meet.
BURKE—(Offended.) Ill not, then! God mend you, is it making me out to be the like of yourself you are, and you taking up with this one and that all the years of your life?
ANNA—(Angrily assertive.) Yes, thats yust what I do mean! You been doing the same thing all your life, picking up a new girl in every port. Howre you any better than I was?
Is it no shame you have at all? I’m a fool to be wasting talk on you and
you hardened in badness. I’ll go out of this and lave you alone forever.
(He starts for the doorthen stops to turn on her furiously.) And I suppose tis the same lies you told them all before that you told to me?
ANNA—(Indignantly.) Thats a lie! I never did!
BURKE—(Miserably.) Youd be saying that, anyway.
ANNA—(Forcibly, with growing intensity.) Are you trying to accuse meof being in lovereally in lovewith them?
BURKEIm thinking you were, surely.
ANNA—(Furiously, as if this were the last insultadvancing on him threateningly.)
You mutt, you! I’ve stood enough from you. Don’t you dare. (With scornful bitterness.) Love em! Oh, my Gawd!
You damn thick-head! Love ’em? (Savagely.) I hated em, I tell you! Hated em, hated em, hated em! And may Gawd strike me dead this minute and my mother, too, if she was alive, if I aint telling you the honest truth!
BURKE—(Immensely pleased by her vehemencea light beginning to break over his facebut still uncertain, torn between doubt and the desire to believehelplessly.) If I could only be believing you now!
Oh, what’s the use? What’s the use of me talking? What’s the use of
anything? (Pleadingly.) Oh, Mat, you mustn’t think that for a
second! You mustn’t! Think all the other bad about me you want to, and I
won’t kick, ’cause you’ve a right to. But don’t think that! (On the point of tears.) I couldnt bear it! Itd be yust too much to know you was going away where Id never see you againthinking that about me!
BURKE—(After an inward struggletenselyforcing out the words with difficulty.) If I was believingthat youd never had love for any other man in the world but meI could be forgetting the rest, maybe.
ANNA—(With a cry of joy.) Mat!
BURKE—(Slowly.) If tis truth youre after telling, Id have a right, maybe, to believe youd changedand that Id changed you myself til the thing youd been all your life wouldnt be you any more at all.
ANNA—(Hanging on his wordsbreathlessly.) Oh, Mat! Thats what I been trying to tell you all along!
BURKE—(Simply.) For Ive a power of strength in me to lead men the way I want, and women, too, maybe, and Im thinking Id change you to a new woman entirely, so Id never know, or you either, what kind of woman youd been in the past at all.
ANNAYes, you could, Mat! I know you could!
BURKEAnd Im thinking twasnt your fault, maybe, but having that old ape for a father that left you to grow up alone, made you what you was. And if I could be believing tis only me you
ANNA—(Distractedly.) You got to believe it, Mat! What can I do? Ill do anything, anything you want to prove Im not lying!
BURKE—(Suddenly seems to have a solution. He feels in the pocket of his coat and grasps somethingsolemnly.) Would you be willing to swear an oath, nowa terrible, fearful oath would send your soul to the divils in hell if you was lying?
ANNA—(Eagerly.) Sure, Ill swear, Maton anything!
BURKE—(Takes a small, cheap old crucifix from his pocket and holds it up for her to see.) Will you swear on this?
ANNA—(Reaching out for it.) Yes. Sure I will. Give it to me.
BURKE—(Holding it away.)
’Tis a cross was given me by my mother, God rest her soul. (He makes the sign of the cross mechanically.)
I was a lad only, and she told me to keep it by me if I’d be waking or
sleeping and never lose it, and it’d bring me luck. She died soon after.
But I’m after keeping it with me from that day to this, and I’m telling
you there’s great power in it, and ’tis great bad luck it’s saved me
from and me roaming the seas, and I having it tied round my neck when my
last ship sunk, and it bringing me safe to land when the others went to
their death. (Very earnestly.) And Im warning you now, if youd swear an oath on this, tis my old woman herself will be looking down from Hivin above, and praying Almighty God and the Saints to put a great curse on you if shed hear you swearing a lie!
ANNA—(Awed by his mannersuperstitiously.) I wouldnt have the nervehonestif it was a lie. But its the truth and I aint scared to swear. Give it to me.
BURKE—(Handing it to heralmost
frightenedly, as if he feared for her safety.) Be careful what youd swear, Im saying.
ANNA—(Holding the cross gingerly.) Wellwhat do you want me to swear? You say it.
BURKESwear Im the only man in the world ivir you felt love for.
ANNA—(Looking into his eyes steadily.) I swear it.
BURKEAnd that youll be forgetting from this day all the badness youve done and never do the like of it again.
ANNA—(Forcibly.) I swear it! I swear it by God!
BURKEAnd may the blackest curse of God strike you if youre lying. Say it now!
ANNAAnd may the blackest curse of God strike me if Im lying!
BURKE—(With a stupendous sigh.)
Oh, glory be to God, I’m after believing you now! (He takes the cross from her hand, his face beaming with joy, and puts it back in his pocket. He puts his arm about her waist and is about to kiss her when he stops, appalled by some terrible doubt.)
ANNA—(Alarmed.) Whats the matter with you?
BURKE—(With sudden fierce questioning.) Is it Catholic ye are?
ANNA—(Confused.) No. Why?
BURKE—(Filled with a sort of bewildered foreboding.)
Oh, God, help me! (With a dark glance of suspicion at her.) Theres some divils trickery in it, to be swearing an oath on a Catholic cross and you wan of the others.
ANNA—(Distractedly.) Oh, Mat, dont you believe me?
BURKE—(Miserably.) If it isnt a Catholic you are
ANNAI aint nothing. Whats the difference? Didnt you hear me swear?
Oh, I’d a right to stay away from you—but I couldn’t! I was loving you
in spite of it all and wanting to be with you, God forgive me, no matter
what you are. I’d go mad if I’d not have you! I’d be killing the world—
(He seizes her in his arms and kisses her fiercely.)
ANNA—(With a gasp of joy.) Mat!
BURKE—(Suddenly holding her away from him and staring into her eyes as if to probe into her soulslowly.) If your oath is no proper oath at all, Ill have to be taking your naked word for it and have you anyway, Im thinkingIm needing you that bad!
ANNA—(Hurtreproachfully.) Mat! I swore, didnt I?
BURKE—(Defiantly, as if challenging fate.)
Oath or no oath, ’tis no matter. We’ll be wedded in the morning, with
the help of God. (Still more defiantly.) Well be happy now, the two of us, in spite of the divil!
(He crushes her to him and kisses her again. The door on the left is pushed open and CHRIS appears in the doorway. He stands blinking at them. At first the old expression of hatred of BURKE comes into his eyes instinctively. Then a look of resignation and relief takes its place. His face lights up with a sudden happy thought. He turns back into the bedroomreappears immediately with the tin can of beer in his handgrinning.)
CHRISVe have drink on this, py
golly! (They break away from each other with startled exclamations.)
God stiffen it! (He takes a step toward CHRIS threateningly.)
ANNA—(Happilyto her father.)
That’s the way to talk! (With a laugh.) And say, its about time for you and Mat to kiss and make up. Youre going to be shipmates on the Londonderry, did you know it?
BURKE—(Astounded.) Shipmates Has himself
CHRIS—(Equally astounded.) Ay vas bosun on her.
divil! (Then angrily.) Youd be going back to sea and leaving her alone, would you?
It’s all right, Mat. That’s where he belongs, and I want him to go. You
got to go, too; we’ll need the money. (With a laugh, as she gets the glasses.)
And as for me being alone, that runs in the family, and I’ll get used to
it. (Pouring out their glasses.) Ill get a little house somewhere and Ill make a regular place for you two to come back to,wait and see. And now you drink up and be friends.
BURKE—(Happilybut still a bit resentful against the old man.)
Sure! (Clinking his glass against CHRIS.)
Here’s luck to you! (He drinks.)
CHRIS—(Subduedhis face melancholy.) Skoal.
BURKE—(To Anna, with a wink.) Youll not be lonesome long. Ill see to that, with the help of God. Tis himself here will be having a grandchild to ride on his foot, Im telling you!
ANNA—(Turning away in embarrassment.)
Quit the kidding, now. (She picks up her bag and goes into the room on left. As soon as she is gone BURKE relapses into an attitude of gloomy thought. CHRIS stares at his beer absent-mindedly. Finally BURKE turns on him.)
BURKEIs it any religion at all you have, you and your Anna?
CHRIS—(Surprised.) Vhy yes. Ve vas Lutheran in ole country.
is it? (Then with a grim resignation, slowly, aloud to himself.) Well, Im damned then surely. Yerra, whats the difference? Tis the will of God, anyway.
CHRIS—(Moodily preoccupied with his own thoughtsspeaks with somber premonition as ANNA re-enters from the left.) Its funny. Its queer, yesyou and me shipping on same boat dat
vay. It aint right. Ay dont knowits dat funny vay ole davil sea do her vorst
dirty tricks, yes. It’s so. (He gets up and goes back and, opening the door, stares out into the darkness.)
BURKE—(Nodding his head in gloomy acquiescencewith a great sigh.) Im fearing maybe you have the right of it for once, divil take you.
ANNA—(Forcing a laugh.) Gee, Mat, you aint
agreeing with him, are you? (She comes forward and puts her arm about his shoulderwith a determined gaiety.) Aw say, whats the matter? Cut out the gloom. Were all fixed now, aint
we, me and you? (Pours out more beer into his glass and fills one for herselfslaps him on the back.)
Come on! Here’s to the sea, no matter what! Be a game sport and drink to
that! Come on! (She gulps down her glass. Burke banishes his superstitious premonitions with a defiant jerk of his head, grins up at her, and drinks to her toast.)
CHRIS—(Looking out into the nightlost in his somber preoccupationshakes his head and mutters.) Fog, fog, fog, all bloody time. You cant see vhere you vas going, no. Only dat ole
davil, sea—she knows! (The two stare at him. From the harbor comes the muffled, mournful wail of steamers whistles.)
(The Curtain Falls)