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Bound East for Cardiff: Eugene G. O Neill

The Game : Louise Bryant

King Arthur s Socks: Floyd Dell




Copyright, 1915 by Louise Bryant.
Copyright, 1916 by Eugene G. O Nettl,

Copyright, 1916 by Floyd Dell.

Copyright, 1916 by Frank Shay.

Application for permission to perform these plays
may be made to the Provincetown Players, 139
Macdougal Street, New York; no performance can
take place without arrangement with the owners of
the acting rights.


A Sea Play
By Eugene G. O Neill

Bound East for Cardiff



As Produced at the Playwrights Theatre
New York City


SCOTTY . / .




IVAN . .














Bound East for Cardiff

SCENE, : The seamen s forecastle on a British tramp
steamer- an irregular shaped compartment the sides of
which almost meet at the far end to form a triangle. Sleep
ing bunks about six feet long, ranged three deep with a
space of three feet separating the upper from the lower, are
built against the sides. On the right above the bunks
three or four port holes can be seen. In front of the bunks,
rough wooden benches. Over the bunks on the left, a
lamp in a bracket. In the left foreground, a doorway. On
the floor near it, a pail with a tin dipper. Oilskins are
hanging from a hook near the doorway.

The far side of the forecastle is so narrow that it contains
only one series of bunks.

In under the bunks a glimpse can be had of sea-chests,
suitcases, seaboots, etc., jammed in indiscriminately.

At regular intervals of a minute or so the blast of the
steamers whistle can be heard above all the other sounds.

Five men are sitting on the benches talking. They are

dressed in dirty patched suits of dungaree, flannel shirts,

and all are in their stocking feet. Four of the men are

pulling on pipes and the air is heavy with rancid tobacco

.smoke. Sitting on the top bunk in the left foreground a

blonde Norwegian is softly playing some folk song on a

battered accordion. He stops from time to time to listen

Jo the conversation.


In the lower bunk in the rear a dark-haired, middle-aged
man is lying apparently asleep. One of his arms is stretched
limply over the side of the bunk. His face is very pale and
drops of clammy perspiration glisten on his forehead.

It is nearing the end of the dog watch about ten minutes
to eight in the evening.

COCKY: (A weazened runt of a man. He is telling a
story. The others are listening with amused, incredulous
faces, interrupting him at the end of each sentence with
loud derisive guffaws.) Maikin love to me, she was! It s
Gawd s truth ! A bloomin nigger ! Greased all over with
coconut oil, she was. Gawd blimey, I couldn t stand er.
Bloody old cow, I says; and with that I fetched er a biff
on the ear wot knocked er silly, an " (He is interrupted
by a roar of laughter from the others.)

DAVIS: (A middle-aged man zvith brown hair and mus
tache.) You re a liar, Cocky.

SCOTTY: (A dark young fellow.) Ho-ho! Ye werr
neverr in New Guinea in yourr life, I m thinkin .

OLESON : (A Swede with an enormous blonde mustache
with ponderous sarcasm.) Yust tink of it! You say she
wass a cannibal, Cocky?

DRISCOU,: (A red haired giant with the battered features
of a prizefighter.) How cud ye doubt ut, Oleson? A
quane av the naygurs she musta been surely. Who else
wud think herself aqual to fallin in love with a beauthiful,
divil-may-care rake av a man the loike av Cocky? (A
burst of laughter from the crowd.)


COCKY: (Indignantly.) Gawd strike me dead if it ain t
true, every bleedin word of it. Appened ten year ago
come Christmas.

SCOTTY : T was a Christmas dinner she had her eyes on.
DAVIS: He d a been a tough old bird.

DRISCOLL: T is lucky for both av ye ye escaped; for the
quane av the cannibal isles wad a died av the belly ache the
day afther Christmas, divil a doubt av ut. (The laughter
at this is long and loud.)

COCKY: (Sullenly.) Blarsted fat eads! (The sick man
in the lower bunk in the rear groans and moves restlessly.
There is a hushed silence. All the men turn and stare at

DRISCOU,: Ssshh! (In a hushed whisper.) We d best
not be talkin so loud and him tryin to have a bit av a
sleep. (He tiptoes softly to the side of the bunk.) Yank!
You d be wantin a drink av wather, maybe? (Yank does
not reply. Driscoll bends over and looks at him.) It s
asleep he is, sure enough. His breath is chokin in his
throat loike wather gurglin in a poipe. (He comes back
quietly and sits down. All are silent, avoiding each other s
eyes. )

COCKY: (After a pause.) Pore devil! Its over the side
for im, Gawd elp im.

DRISCOU, : Stop your croakin ! He s not dead yet and,
praise God he ll have many a long day yet before him.


SCOTTY: (Shaking his head doubtfully.) He s baad, mon,
he s verry baad.

DAVIS: Lucky he s alive. Many a man s light woulda
gone out after a fall like that.

GIBSON : You saw him fall ?

DAVIS : Right next to him. He and me was goin down
in Number Two hold to do some chippin . He puts his leg
over careless-like and misses the ladder and plumps straight
down to the bottom. I was scared to look over for a
minute, and then I heard him groan and I scuttled down
after him. He was hurt bad inside Jor the blood was drip-
pin from the side of his mouth. He was groanin hard
but he never let a word out of him.

COCKY : An you blokes remember when we auled irn in
ere? Oh ell, e says, oh ell like that, and nothink else.

OLESON : Did the captain know where he iss hurted ?

COCKY : That silly ol josser ! Wot the ell would e know
abaht anythink?

SCOTTY: (Scornfully.) He fiddles in his mouth wi a bit
of glass.

DRISCOLL: (Angrily.) The divil s own life ut is to be
out on the lonely sea wid nothin betune you and a grave in
the ocean, but a spindle-shanked, grey-whiskered auld fool
the loike av him. T was enough to make a saint shwear
to see him wid his gold watch in his hand, tryin to look as
wise as an owl on a tree, and all the toime he not knowin
whether t was cholery or the barber s itch was the matther
wid Yank.



SCOTT Y : (Sardonically.) He gave him a dose of salts,
na doot ?

DRISCOLI, : Divil a thing he gave him at all, but looked in
the book he had wid him, and shook his head, and walked
out widout savin a word, the second mate afther him no
wiser than himself, God s curse on the two av thim!

COCKY: (After a pause.) Yank was a good shipmate,
pore beggar. Lent me four bob in Noo Yark, e did.

DRISCOLL: (Warmly.) A good shipmate he was and is r
none betther. Ye said no more than the truth, Cocky.
Five years and more ut is since first I shipped wid him, and
we ve stuck together iver since through good luck and bad.
Fights we ve had, God help us,. but t was only when we d
a bit av drink taken, and we always shook hands the nixt
mornin . Whativer was his was mine, and many s the
toime I d a been on the beach or worse, but for him. And
now (His voice trembles as he fights to control his
emotion.) "Divil take me if I m not startin to blubber
loike an auld woman, and he not dead at all but goin /to
live many a long year yet, maybe.

DAVIS : The sleep ll do him good. He seems better now.
OLESON : If he wude eat something.

DRISCOLL: Wud ye have him be eatin in his condishun?
Sure its hard enough on the rest av us wid nothin the
matther wid our insides to be stomachin the skoff on this
rusty lime- juicer.

SCOTT Y: (Indignantly.) It s a starvation ship.



DAVIS: Plenty o work and no food and the owners
ridin around in carriages !

OUSSO.N: Hash, hash! Stew, stew! Marmalade, py
damn! (He spits disgustedly.)

COCKY : Bloody swill ! Fit only for swine is wot I say.

DRISCOIX: And the dishwather they disguise wid the
name av tea ! And the putty they call bread ! My belly
feels loike I d swalleyed a dozen rivets at the thought av
ut! And sea-biscuit that d break the teeth av a lion if
he had the misfortune to take a bite at one ! ( Unconscious
ly they have all raised their voices, forgetting the sick man
in their sailor s delight at finding something to grumble

THE; NORWEGIAN: (Stops playing accordion says
slowly) And rot-ten po-tay-toes ! ; (He starts in playing
again. The sick man gives a groan of pain.)

DRISCOU,: (Holding up his hand.) Shut your mouths,
all av you. T is a hell av a thing for us to be complainin
about our guts, and a sick man maybe dyin listenin to us.
(Gets up and shakes his fist at the Norwegian.)\ God stiffen
you, ye square-head scut! Put down that organ av yours
or I ll break your ugly face for you. Is that banshee
schreechin fit music for a sick man? (The Norwegian
puts his accordion in the bunk and lays back and closes his
eyes. Driscoll goes over and stands beside Yank. The
steamer s whistle sounds particularly loud in the silence.)

DAVIS: Damn this fog! (Reaches in under a bunk and
yanks out a pair of seaboots which he pulls on.) My look-



out next, too. Must be nearly eight bells, boys. (With
the exception of Oleson, all the men sitting up put on oil
skins, sou westers, seaboots, etc. in preparation for the
ivatch on deck. Oleson crawls into a lower bunk on the

SCOTTY: My wheel.

OLESON: (Disgustedly.) Nothm but yust dirty weather
all dis voyage. I yust can t sleep when weestle blow. (He
turns his back to the light and is soon fast asleep and

SCOTTY : If this fog keeps up, I m tellin ye, we ll no be in
Cardiff for a week or more.

DRISCOLL: T was just such a night as this the auld Dover
wint down. Just about this toime it was, too, and we all
sittin round in the fo castle, Yank beside me, whin all av
a suddint we heard a great slitherin crash, and the ship
heeled over till we was all in a heap on wan side. What
came afther I disremimber exactly, except t was a hard
shift to get the boats over the side before the auld tea-
kittle sank. Yank was in the same boat wid me, and sivin
morthal days we drifted wid scarcely a drop of wather or
a bite to chew on. T was Yank here that held me down
whin I wanted to jump into the ocean, roarin mad wid the
thirst. . . Picked up we were on the same day wid only Yank
in his senses, and him steerin the boat.

COCKY: (Protestingly.) Blimey but you re a cheerful
blighter, Driscoll ! Talkin abaht shipwrecks in this ere
blushin fog. / ( Yank groans and stirs uneasily, opening
his eyes. Driscoll hurries to his side.)



DRISCOIX: Are you feelin any betther, Yank?
YANK: (In a weak voice.) No.

DRISCOU,: Sure you must be. You look as sthrong as
an ox. (Appealing to the others.) Am I tellin him a lie?

DAVIS : The sleep s done you good.

COCKY : You ll be avin your pint of beer in Cardiff this
day week.

SCOTTY : And fish and chips, mon !

YANK: (Peevishly.) What re yuh all liein fur? D yuh
think I m scared to (He hesitates as if frightened by the
word he is about to say.)

DRISCOU, : Don t be thinkin such things ! ( The ships
bell is heard heavily tolling eight times. From the fore
castle head above, the voice of the lookout rises in a long
zvail: Aaalls welll. The men look uncertainly at Yank as
if undecided whether to say good bye or not.)

YANK: (In an agony of fear.} Don t leave me, Drisc!
I m dyin , I tell yuh. I won t stay here alone with every
one snorin . I ll go out on deck. (He makes a feeble at
tempt to rise but sinks back with a sharp groan. His breath
comes in wheezy gasps.) Don t leave me, Drisc! (His
face grows white and his head falls back with a jerk)

DRISCOLL: Don t be worryin , Yank. I ll not move a
step out av here and let that divil av a bosun curse his
black head off. You speak a word to the -bosun, Cocky.
Tell him that Yank is bad took and I ll be stayin wid him
a while yet.



COCKY: Right-o (Cocky, Davis, and Scotty go out

COCKY: (From the alleyway.) Gawd blimey, the fog s
thick as soup.

DRISCOLL: Are ye satisfied now, Yank? (Receiving no
answer he bends over the still form.) He s fainted, God
help him! (He gets a tin dipper from the bucket, and
bathes Yanks forehead with the water. Yank shudders
and opens his eyes.)

YANK: (Slowly.) I thought I was goin then. Wha
did yuh wanta wake me up fur?

DRISCOU,: (With forced gaiety.) Is it wishful for
heaven ye are?

YANK: (Gloomily.) Hell, I guess.

DRISCOU,: (Crossing himself involuntarily.) For the
love av the saints don t be talkin loike that! You d give
a man the creeps. It s chippin rust on deck you ll be in a
day or two wid the best av us. (Yank does not answer
but closes his eyes wearily. The seamen who has been on
lookout, a young Englishman, comes in and takes off his
dripping oilskins. While he is doing this the man whose
turn at the wheel has been relieved enters. He is a dark
burly fellow with a round stupid face. The Englishman
steps softly over to Driscoll. The other crawls into a lower

THE ENGLISHMAN : (Whispering.) How s Yank.
DRISCOLL: Betther. Ask him yourself. He s awake.



YANK: I m all right, Smitty.

SMITTY: Glad to hear it, Yank. (He crawls to an upper
bunk and is soon asleep.)

(The stupid faced seaman who came in after Smitty
twists his head in the direction of the sick man.) You
feel glide, Jank?

YANK: (Wearily.) Yes, Ivan.

IVAN: Dots gude. (He rolls over on his side and falls
asleep immediately.)

YANK: (After a pause broken only by snores with a
bitter laugh.) Good bye and good luck to the lot of you !

DRISCOU,: Is ut painin you again?

YANK: It hurts like hell here (He points to the lower
part of his chest on the left side.) I guess my old pump s
busted. Ooohh! (A spasm of pain contracts his pale
features. He presses his hand to his side and writhes on
the thin mattress of his bunk. The perspiration stands out
in beads on his forehead.)

DRISCOLL: (Terrified.) Yank! Yank! What is ut?
(Jumping to his feet.) I ll run for the captain. ( He starts
for the doorway.)

YANK: (Sitting up in his bunk, frantic with fear.) Uon t
leave me, Drisc ! For God s sake don t leave me alone !
(He leans over the side of his bunk and spits. Drisc oil
comes back to him.) Blood! Ugh!

DRISCOLL: Blood again! I d best be gettin the captain.



YANK: No, no, don t leave me! If yuh do I ll git up
and follow you. I ain t no coward but I m scared to stay
here with all of them asleep and snorin . (Driscoll, not
knowing what to do, sits down on the bench beside him.
He grows calmer and sinks back on the mattress.) The
captain can t do me no good, yuh know it yourself. The
pain ain t so bad now, but I thought it had me then. It
was like a buzz-saw cuttin into me.

DRISCOU,: (Fiercely.) God blarst ut!

(The captain and the second mate of the steamer enter
the forecastle. The captain is an old man with grey mus
tache and whiskers. The mate is clean shaven and middle-
aged. Both are dressed in simple blue uniforms.)

THE CAPTAIN : (Taking out his watch and feeling Yank s
pulse.) And how is the sick man?

YANK: (Feebly.) All right, sir.

THE CAPTAIN: And the pain in the chest?

YANK: It still hurts, sir, worse than ever.

THE CAPTAIN: (Taking a thermometer from his pocket
and putting it in Yank s mouth.) Here. Be sure and keep
this in under your tongue, not over it.

THE MATE: (After a pause.) Isn t this your watch on
deck, Driscoll?

DRISCOU,: Yes, sorr, but Yank was fearin to be alone,

THE CAPTAIN : That s all right, Driscoll.
DRISCOU,: Thank ye, sorr.



THE: CAPTAIN : (Stares at his watch for a moment or so;
then take si the thermometer from Yank s mouth and goes
to the lamp to read it. His expression grows very grave.
He beckons the mate and Driscoll to the corner near the
doorway. Yank watches them furtively. The captain
speaks in a low voice to the mate. ) Way up, both of them.
(To Driscoll.) Has he been spitting blood again?

DRISCOLL: Not much for the hour just past, sorr, but
before that

THE: CAPTAIN : A great deal ?

DRISCOLL: Yes, sorr.

THE CAPTAIN: He hasn t eaten anything?

DRISCOLL: No, sorr.

THE: CAPTAIN : Did he drink that medicine I sent him ?

DRISCOLL: Yes, sorr, but it didn t stay down.

THE: CAPTAIN: (Shaking his head.) I m- afraid he s
very weak, il can t do anything else for him. Its too
serious for me. If this had only happened a week later
we d be in Cardiff in time to

DRISCOLL : Plaze help him someway, sorr !

THE CAPTAIN : (Impatiently.) But, my good man, I m
not a doctor. (More kindly as he sees Driscoll s grief.)
You and he have been shipmates a long time?

DRISCOLL: Five years and more, Sorr.



THE CAPTAIN : I see. Well, don t let him move. Keep
him quiet and we ll hope for the best. I ll read the matter
up and send him some medicine, something to ease the
pain, anyway. (Goes over to Yank.) Keep up your
courage. You ll be better to-morrow. (He breaks down
lamely before Yanks steady gaze.) We ll pull you through
all right and hm well coming Robinson? Dammit!
(He goes out hurriedly followed by the mate.)

DRISCOLL: (Trying to conceal his anxiety.) Didn t I tell
you you wasn t half as sick as you thought you was. The
Captain ll have you on deck cursin and swearin loike a
trooper before the week is out.

YANK: Don t lie, Drisc. I heard what he said, and if I
didn t I c d tell by the way I feel. I know what s goin
to happen. I m goin to (He hesitates for a second then
resolutely.) I m goin to die, that s what, and the sooner
the better!

DRISCOU, : ( Wildly.) No, and be damned to you, you re
not. I ll not let you.

YANK: It ain t no use, Drisc. I ain t got a chance, but
I ain t scared. Gimme a drink of water, will yuh, Drisc?
My throat s burnin up. (Driscoll brings the dipper full of
water and supports his head while he drinks in great gulps.)

DRiscoUv: (Seeking vainly for some word of comfort.)
Are ye feelin more aisy loike now?

YANK: Yes now when I know its all up. (A pause.)
You mustn t take it so hard, Drisc. I was just thinkin it
ain t as bad as people think dyin . I ain t never took



much stock in the truck them sky-pilots preach. I ain t
never had religion; but I know whatever it is what comes
after it can t be no worser n this. I don t like to leave you,
Drisc, but that s all.

DRISCOIX: (With a groan.) Lad, lad, don t be talkin .

YANK: This sailor life ain t much to cry about leavin
just one ship after another,/ hard work, small pay, and bum
grub; and when we git into port, just a drunk endin up in
a fight, and all your money gone, and then ship away
again. Never meetin no nice people ; never gittin outa
sailor town, hardly, in any port;/ travellin all over the
world and never seein none of it; without no one to care
whether you re alive or dead. (With a bitter smile.)
There ain t much in all that that d make yuh sorry to lose
it, Drisc.

DRISCOU,: (Gloomily.) Its a hell av a life, the sea.

YANK: (Musingly.) It must be great to stay on dry
land all your life and have a farm with a house of your
own with cows and pigs and chickens, way in the middle of
the land where yuh d never smell the sea or see a ship. It
must be great to have a wife, and kids to play with at
night after supperjwhen your work was done. It must
be great to have a home of your own, Drisc.

DRISCOU, : ( With a great sigh. ) It must, surely ; but
what s the use av thinkin av ut. Sudh things are not for
the loikes av us.

YANK: Sea-farin is all right when you re young and
don t care ; ] but we ain t chickens no more, and somehow, I



dunno, this last year has seemed rotten, and I ve had a
hunch I d quit with you, of course and we d save our
coin, and go to Canada or Argentine or some place and git
farm, just a small one, just enough to live on. I never
told yuh this cause I thought you d laugh at me.

DRISCOU,: (Enthusiastically.) Laugh at you, is ut?
When I m havin the same thoughts myself, toime afther
toime. Its a grand idea and we ll be doin ut sure if you ll
stop your crazy notions about about bein so sick.

YANK: (Sadly.) Too late. We shouldn t a made this
trip, and then How d all the fog git in here?


YANK: Everything looks misty. Must be my eyes gittin
weak, I guess. What was we talkin of a minute ago?
Oh yes, a farm. Its too late. (His mind wandering.)
Argentine, did I say? D yuh remember the times we ve
had in Buenos Aires? The moving pictures in Barracas?
Some class to them, d yiih remember?

DRISCOU,: (With satisfaction.) I do that; and so does
the piany player. He ll not be forgettin the black eye I
gave him in a hurry.

YANK : Remember the time we was there on the beach and
had to go to Tommy Moore s boarding house to git s hipped ?
And he sold us rotten oilskins and seaboots full of holes,
and shipped us on a skysail yarder round the Horn, and
took two months pay for it. And the days we used to sit
on the park benches along the Paseo Colon with the vigi-



lantes lookin hard at us? Abd the songs at the Sailor s
Opera where the guy played ragtime d yuh remember
them ?

DRISCOI.IV: I do, surely.

YANK : And La Plata phew, the stink of the hides ! I
always liked Argentine all except that booze, cana. How
drunk we used to git on that, remember?

DRiscoUv : ... Cud I forget ut? My head pains me at the
menshun av that divil s brew.

YANK : Remember the night I went crazy with the heat
in Singapore? And the time you was pinched by the cops
in Port Said? And the time we was both locked up in
Sydney for fightin ?

DRISCOU,: I do so.

YANK: And that fight on the dock at Cape Town. (His
voice betrays great inward perturbation.)

DRiscoUv: (Hastily.) Don t be thinkin av that now.
T is past and gone.

YANK: D yuh think He ll hold it up against me?
(Mystified.) Who s that?

YANK: God. They say He sees everything. He must
know it was done in fair fight, in self-defense, don t yuh

DRISCOU,: Av course. Ye stabbed him, and be damned
to him, for the skulkin swine he was, afther him tryin to



stick you in the back, and you not suspectin . Let your
conscience be aisy. I wisht I had nothin blacker than that
on my sowl. I d not be afraid av the angel Gabriel him

YANK: (With a shudder.) I c d see him a minute ago
with the blood spurtin out of his neck. Ugh !

The fever, ut is, that makes you see such
things. Give no heed to ut.

YANK: (Uncertainly.) You don t think He ll hold it up
agin me God, I mean.

DRISCOLI,: If there s justice in hiven, no! (Yank seems
comforted by this assurance.)

YANK: (After a pause.) We won t reach Cardiff for a
week at least. I ll be buried at sea.

DRISCOLL: (Putting his hands over his ears.} Ssshh!
I won t listen to you.

YANK: (As if he had not heard him.) Its as good a
place as any other, I s pose only I always wanted to be
buried on dry land. But what the hell ll I care then?
(Fretfully.) Why should it be a rotten night like this with
that damned whistle blowin and people snorin all around?
I wish the stars was out, and the moon, too ; I c d lie out on
deck and look at them, and it d make it easier to go

DRISCOLI, : For the love av God don t be talkin loike that !
YANK: Whatever pay s comin to me yuh can divvy up


with the rest of the boys ; and you take my watch. It ain t
worth much but its all I ve got.

DRISCOLL: But have ye no relations at all to call your

YANK : No, not as I know of. One thing I forgot : You
know Fanny the barmaid at the Red Stork in Cardiff?

DRISCOU,: Sure and who doesn t?

YANK : She s been good to me. She tried to lend me half
a crown when I was broke there last trip. Buy her the
biggest box of candy yuh c n find in Cardiff. (Breaking
down in a choking voice.} Its hard to ship on this voy
age I m goin on alone! (Driscoll reaches out and grasps
his hand. There is a pause during which both fight to
control themselves.) My throat s like a furnace. (He
gasps for air.) Gimme a drink of water, will yuh, Drisc?
(Driscoll gets him a dipper of water.) I wish this was a
pint of beer. Oooohh! (He chokes, his face convulsed

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Online LibrarySusan WarnerThe Provincetown plays (Volume 01) → online text (page 1 of 3)