Lennox Robinson.

Two plays: Harvest; The Clancy name online

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and ... I feel I owe it all to you ; how can I ever
thank you ?

Lordan. I'm sure I'm delighted to hear it.
Mary. Yes, I'm very grateful to you ; I don't think
you'd know me if you met me in London. I don't wear
an old shawl over my head the way I did long ago . . .
you'd swear I was one of the greatest ladies in the land,
and not . . . little Mary Hurley. And fifty pounds,
don't forget the fifty pounds ! You'll send the Hayes'
girls over soon, won't you ?

Lordan. To be sure I will, now that I know how well
you're getting on.

Mary. Ah, you're a public benefactor.

Enter Maurice.
Maurice. Well, Jack, isn't this the great news we're
after getting from Patrick ? Fifty pounds 1 That'll put
us on our legs again. Look here, you're not fit for farm
work at all ; go away back to Dublin, and we'll neither of
us say another word about . . . that other money. . . .
Jack. Yes, I'm going, never fear, and you can do what
you like about the blasted money. I hope I'll never see
this cursed place again ; before a month there'll be a few
thousand miles of clean salt water between me and
Ireland. Ireland ! I hate the very word ! {Goes out)
Maurice. Well, now.

Mary {carelessly). Poor old Jack ! Well, I must be off
or I'll miss the train. Did you bring down my box ?
Maurice. Yes, it's in the car.

6o Harvest

Mary. I suppose father is somewhere outside ?

Maurice. He's waiting at the bottom of the bohereen
to say good-bye to you.

Mary. All right. . . . {Goes over and kisses Maurice)
Good-bye, Maurice, and good luck. Good-bye, Mr.

Lordan. You're really going back. Ah, I told your
father that you could never settle down in Knockmalgloss
after London. He'll be sorry you're going, but it's for
your own good.

Mary. Of course it is. Good-bye again and . . .
thanks. {With a last brilliant smile she goes out)

Maurice. We'll be all right now if Patrick keeps on
sending the money.

Lordan. Mary told me the money didn't come from
Patrick. She said she earned it herself.

Maurice. She did not then. Didn't I ask her for
money the day after she came home, and didn't she say
she had only two sovereigns ; ay, and she cried because
she couldn't help her father.

Lordan. But why did she tell me she earned it herself
just now ?

Maurice. She was joking you. I bet you she was
laughing at you all the time.

Lordan. Laughing ? . . . she was indeed. Well,
I'm glad of that, because she said some bitter things that
I nearly began to believe were true, but if she was only
joking . . .

Maurice. To be sure that's all she was doing. She
was always a great one for a joke. {Bridget e?iters)
Did you hear the grand news, Bridget ?

Bridget. I did so. You're a made man, Maurice.

Maurice. And you're a made woman. Look here now,
when will you be ready to marry me ?

Bridget. Ah, sure, I suppose as soon as you're ready
to have me ?

Maurice. The sooner the better then.

Bridget. All right so. . . . And whisper, Maurice,

Harvest 6i

you said hard and wicked things to the schoolmaster the
other day, haven't you a right now to go over and shake
him by the hand and beg his pardon ? Wasn't it the
education Patrick got put him in the way of earning that
fifty pounds ?

Maurice. You're right. Here's my hand, Mr. Lordan
and I'm sorry for what I said to you a while ago. It's
only to-day I'm beginning to understand what a terrible
lot we owe you.

Lordan. Not at all, Maurice, not at all. I only did
the little I could — it wasn't much — I wish it was more.
. . . There's the Hayes' girls and two boys of Thomas
O'Sullivan and Bridget Mahony from the forge — may
God grant me a few more years of health and strength
till I do with them what I've done with Mary and Patrick.

Bridget. Amen to that. {Maurice nods his head)







Scene — ^he livingroom of an Irish farmhouse


Scene — Interior of Mrs. Clancy's cottage. On the left
a fireflace and a door leading to an inner room. At the
hack a window and a dresser^ and at the right-hand corner
a door leading to the open. Outside this door at the left-
hand side as you go out is a small bench, the end of which
is just visible when the door is open. On the right is a settle.
When the curtain rises John Clancy is discovered
sitting over the fire in a rather dejected attitude. The
lower half of the door is shut. A woman and a man pass
the window, and the woman knocks with her knuckles on
the door.

John. Yes ?

The Woman. Good-day, John. Is the mother inside ?

John. She is not, Mrs. Spillane, but I'm expecting her
every minute. Will you step in ?

Mrs. Spillane. I will then. For she told me and
Eugene to come here at three o'clock to-day the way
she'd settle accounts with us, and though it isn't much
after two now, I won't go back the road again. Come
on in, Eugene. {Enter Eugene Roche.)

Eugene. Fine day, John.

John. 'Tis so. {He draws two chairs to the table.)
Wouldn't you sit down ? {They do so. John goes to the
door and looks out) I don't see her coming, but I'm
sure she won't be long. She went to Bandon by the
early train to get the money out of the bank. I
drove her to the station, but Michael Good was going
and coming back the same time as herself, and he said
he'd give her a lift home.


66 The Clancy Name

Eugene {contemptuously). She might be all night on
the road then. Did you ever see such a set of old bloody
nags as Michael Good has ?

John {without interest). They're not much indeed.

Mrs. Spillane. I'll stay on for an hour or two
anyway. 'Twould be a pity after the trouble she went
to drawing the money that we wouldn't be here to get

Eugene. That's true, ma'am, we'll wait.

Mrs. Spillane. And when once you've left your work
of an afternoon 'tisn't worth your while to put your hand
to it again. It's a wonder you're not sticking potatoes,
John ; a fine, dry day like this.

John. Ah sure, I was sticking yesterday and the day

Mrs. Spillane. 'Tis easy seen your mother's away.
There's not many idle hands where she is.

John. There is not.

Mrs. Spillane. A great one for the work entirely.
They say she was down complaining to Father Mahony
last year that she couldn't get the harvest in by reason
of the saints' days.

Eugene. It's a queer thing if she'd grudge a man's
going to Mass.

Mrs. Spillane. Ah, 'twas the only fine week we had
last harvest, the week there was James Tanner's funeral
a-Monday, Mass a-Tuesday, Ballineen Races a-Wednes-
day, Cornelius Sullivan's daughter buried a-Friday, and
the corn rotting on the ground.

Eugene. She needn't complain then, she got big
money for it the same as she always did. (To John)
I heard you got a great price for your springers ?

John. Eighteen pound apiece, last Wednesday at

Mrs. Spillane. In the name of God is that a fact ?

Eugene. Well, well !

Mrs. Spillane. Don't talk to me ! Sarah Clancy has
the divil's own luck.

The Clancy Name d^

John {without enthusiasm). It was a good price.

Mrs. Spillane. What ! Good !

Eugene. I always say that the day James Clancy died
wasn't the worst day for his widow.

Mrs. Spillane. You're right, Eugene, though it's
a hard thing to be saying in this house. Poor James
Clancy — God rest his soul ! — a kind man, and a good
man, but not much of a man on a farm.

Eugene. Not much indeed, but a nice little ball of a
man and a Clancy every inch of him.

Mrs. Spillane. Herself's more of a Clancy if
you ask me. What with pride and management,
and good farming — 'tisn't every woman would
battle it out the way she did — and I'm thinking,
Eugene, if we'd asked a bigger interest of her we'd have
got it.

Eugene {sentimentally). Ah well, well, you wouldn't
be hard on a neighbour in trouble ; (practically) and
she was a stiff one to drive a bargain with. Maybe you
don't remember the day and she dressed in black and her
hands trembling with the fear of the farm being sold over
her head, and for all her fears, and for all her black, divil
a bit would she give us only five per cent.

Mrs. Spillane. Sure I remember. Well, indeed, I
don't grudge it her, her farm is a credit to the parish.

Eugene. Not like poor Pat Nyhan's.

John. Is it true he's after losing two sheep ?

Eugene. Yes indeed, they strayed on him after he
bought them at the fair a- Wednesday, and I hear he went
to the police about them, and . . .

Mrs. Spillane. The police ! Much satisfaction he'll
get there. He needn't be wasting his time going to the

Eugene. Ah well now, how well they found the calves
I lost myself last year.

Mrs. Spillane. An idle set. You'd see them sitting in
the barrack reading a newspaper any hour of the day.
Pon't talk to me about the police.

68 The Clancy Name

Eugene. Maybe it's the "Hue and Cry" they're reading.

Mrs. Spillane (with contempt). Hm ! If they were
a bit of good wouldn't they have found out^ before this
who it was killed James Power ?

Eugene {cautiously). Well, they might.

Mrs. Spillane. Arrah, of course, they could. It's my
opinion they don't w a n t to find out {darkly). 'Tisn't
for nothing that Sergeant Cantillon's wife is sister-in-law
to Benjamin Brien.

Eugene. Oh my, ma'am, d'ye think that now ?
And . . . whisper . . .

John {impatiently). Isn't there a thing in the world
you could be talking about only the murder ? Every-
where I go people are whispering, and gossiping, and . . .
and . . . God knows I'm sick of it. {His voice has become
more excited^ but with an effort he calms himself, and goes
towards the door). I'll go and see is my mother coming.

Mrs. Spillane {in astonishment). Well now, for all it's
an old story there hasn't anything much been happening
since — not even a trespass case with a cross-summons for
assault. You needn't be taking me up like that. (John
goes out). Well indeed ! . . . \{^o Eugene). As I was
saying, the police needn't go a mile beyond Brien's farm
to find out the truth about Jamsey.

Eugene. Well, well ! Still Benjamin's a quiet man,
except when he has drink taken.

Mrs. Spillane. I never said it was Benjamin Brien
done it, and don't you be going and putting it on me
saying that I did. You're a queer man, Eugene, the
notions you do pick up.

Eugene {apologetically). You said no such thing indeed,
it's only what I was thinking myself.

John {at the door). She's coming up the bohereen now.

Mrs. Spillane. He i s a terror when he has drink
taken, a red limb of the divil entirely. He'd have knocked
Jamsey before he'd know what he was doing.

John {impatiently). I'm teUing you she's coming.
She'll be here in another minute.

The Clancy Name 69

Mrs. Spillane. Will she then ? Pm glad of that.
Please God the bank in Bandon wasn't shut, but what
with half-days off and bank holidays it's more often
shut than open.

Eugene. 'Twouldn't be shut on a market day.

Mrs. Spillane. Much the lads behind the counter care
about market days. (Mrs. Clancy appears). Good-day
to you, Mrs. Clancy.

Mrs. Clancy. Good-day, Mrs. Spillane. How are you,
Eugene ?

Eugene. Fine, ma'am, how's yourself ?

Mrs. Clancy is dressed in a big black cloak with the
hood over her head. She has a large basket on her arm
full of parcels. She lays this down on the bench with a
sigh of relief and throws back her hood.

Mrs. Clancy. God Almighty ! But Pm tired dragging
that basket up from the Cross. (To John). Why
wouldn't you come to the Cross and meet me ?

John. I didn't think of it.

Mrs. Clancy. There's little would be thought of in
this house if it wasn't for me. I don't know what's come
to you lately ; I don't indeed . . .

Mrs. Spillane. It was a good market, Mrs. Clancy ?

Mrs. Clancy. Fair, Mrs. Spillane, just fair.
Eggs elevenpence, and butter tenpence halfpenny, and
only a poor price for fowl. Not that I had anything
to sell myself, but it's what I was told.

While she speaks she takes off her cloak and hangs it
up on a peg., turns up her dress and out of a pocket in her
petticoat takes a small canvas bag. Eugene and Mrs
Spillane watch her eagerly^ John goes outside and sits on
the bench.

Mrs. Spillane. Well then, Bandon market used to be
a great market for fowl.

Mrs: Clancy. It's not much now, by all accounts
{sitting down at the table and opening the bag). Well,
I've got you here to-day to pay you back the money
I borrowed from you five years ago when the Lislee bank

7© The Clancy Name

broke and my husband lost all his money. He was
always sickly, and the shock of losing his money and the
disgrace killed him altogether. So there was I, left
without a penny, and a whole bag of debts. There's
many a woman would have sold the farm and paid what
she could and rested content all her life, but I couldn't
do that. 'Twas never said before that a Clancy couldn't
pay his debts. " And," says I to myself, " please God
they'll never say that of him that's dead and gone."
Eugene. No, indeed.

Mrs. Clancy. There was nothing for me to do then
only to borrow money and try to keep the farm on —
though, mind you, the Clancys were never ones for
borrowing money — but sure 'twas the only thing to be
done. You were good neighbours to me that time, and
God knows I've worked day and night to pay you back.
Eugene. I'm sure it doesn't matter, ma'am, you're
welcome to the money.

Mrs. Spillane. Indeed you are.

Mrs. Clancy. Ah well, some people wouldn't mind,
but I couldn't get any ease or quietness as long as I owed
money. But, thank God, I can pay you off to-day
(countmg out money). And a good five per cent. I'm
giving you too, the way you wouldn't be saying that I
cheated you.

Mrs. Spillane. Five per cent.'s nothing so great.
Faith, if you'd gone to a gombeen man you wouldn't
be getting out of it so easy.

Mrs. Clancy. Five per cent.'s more than you'd get
from the bank. Well, we won't fight about it.
There's a hundred pounds for you, and twenty-five
pounds more for the five years I've had it. {Hands hir

Mrs. Spillane. Thank you, ma'am. (Jakes the money
and counts it very carefully).

Mrs. Clancy. And here, Eugene, is your two hundred,
and fifty as well.

Eugene {taking it and counting it). I'm sure it doesn't

The Clancy Name 71

matter, ma'am,^if there was more as honest as you the
country would be a different place.

Mrs. Spillane. Ninety, ninety-five, a hundred —
you may say that — ten, twenty, twenty-five.

Mrs. Clancy {comflacently). Well, Pm honest and
law-abiding anyhow. . . . What's the matter, Eugene ; I
didn't count it wrong, did I ?

EvGEi^E (doubtfully). N-no ; is that a good sovereign,
I wonder ? {showing her a coin).

Mrs. Clancy {glancing at it indignantly). As good as
the best. You wouldn't find any one putting bad coins
on m e.

Eugene {submissively adding the coin to his file). I'm
sure it doesn't matter, ma'am .... Yes, 'tis quite right.
'Twill be a great ease to you to have the farm cleared.

Mrs. Clancy. You may say that. I must see John
married, and then I'll die contented.

Mrs. Spillane. Indeed, 'tis time John got married.

Mrs. Clancy. But 'tisn't any girl at all would
suit me. John's a Clancy, and the Clancys have always
married good stock. I was a Clancy myself. The girl
must be of good family, and have as clean a name as our

Eugene. And indeed you'd want to be careful who
you'd marry now with an unhung murderer in the parish.

Mrs. Spillane. Poor Jamsey Power, indeed !

Mrs. Clancy. Ah, don't talk to me. How any one
could raise a hand against Jamsey. As quiet and decent
a man as you'd like to see. But sure that wouldn't stop

Eugene. Indeed it wouldn't. It's only this minute
we were talking about it all and wondering.

Mrs. Clancy. I suppose they'll never find out the
truth about him.

Mrs. Spillane. If they don't find it, it's because they
don't want to find it. Mind me . . .

Eugene. Yerra, for God's sake whisht, woman. 'Tis
easy for a clever laddo to fool the poUce.

72 The Clancy Name

Mrs. Clancy. I don't wonder at all at the police being
fooled. 'Tisn't so easy to come to the rights of a mystery.
What I wonder at is how the man who killed him can go
on day after day with the weight of that on him.

Eugene. You mean you wonder he doesn't give himself
up ?

Mrs. Clancy. Yes, for his own peace of mind — and
he might yet, for I've known a woman go and tell the
police two years after she killed her child.

Mrs. Spillane. Well !

Eugene. That was a queer thing, surely.

Mrs. Clancy. I don't think it was queer, and maybe
the same thing will happen about Jamsey.

Eugene. 'Twas a wicked thing, whoever done it.

Mrs. Clancy. Oh, 'twas an awful thing ! Well, no
Clancy was ever mixed up with a murder, thank God.
Here's myself and my son left the last of them, and I've
paid off all I owed, and John is a fine steady man that
any girl would like to marry.

Mrs. Spillane. Yes, you're right. . . . Now there's
my niece, my brother's daughter over at Kilmeen- — she's
a very nice girl.

Mrs. Clancy, Is it Julia Tobin you mean ?

Mrs. Spillane. Yes, Julia Tobin, my brother Tom's

Mrs. Clancy. What sort of a fortune hae she ?
I'm sure John would expect something good.

Mrs. Spillane. I believe she has about one hundred
pounds. (John disappears.)

Mrs. Clancy. Ah, sure, one hundred pounds ! That's
not much.

Mrs. Spillane. Well indeed, it's not bad considering
how things are in the country at present. Faith, there's
many a farmer's daughter nowadays couldn't put her
hand on twenty.

Mrs. Clancy. John would expect more, I'm sure.

Mrs. Spillane. Maybe her father would give her
more too, how do I know ? Can't he go over and see her.

The Clancy Name 73

Mrs. Clancy. Yes, he might stroll over there some
day. I think I've seen the girl myself, a big rough sort
of a girl.

Mrs. Spillane. That's her, and a red poll on her.
She's a great one on a farm.

Mrs. Clancy. I've heard tell of her. It's a
pity for her to have such a small fortune, but the
Tobins were never ones for money. It wasn't one
hundred pounds, but two hundred and twenty I
brought with me, and it wasn't considered over
much for a Clancy.

Mrs. Spillane. Well, if we Tobins don't have much
money we keep what we have anyway, and don't be
running to our neighbours to lend us some. You think
you're a great one, Mrs. Clancy, and that John can pick
and choose like a gentleman, but if he wants my niece he'd
better go at once, for there's another man would like to
get her if my brother would consent. {Rises indignantly)
Come on, Eugene.

Mrs. Clancy. Well, well, how hot you are. 'Twasn't
much I said. Sure the Tobins were always decent people,
aren't they my own cousins ? You're not going, surely ?
Wouldn't you sit down and have a sup of tea ; I wouldn't
be one minute wetting it ?

Mrs. Spillane. I couldn't wait, ma'am, thank you.
I must be for the road. Patsey Roche will give us a
lift home, so we mustn't miss him.

Mrs. Clancy. It's a pity you're in such a hurry. I'll
make John go over to Kilmeen on Sunday.

Mrs. Spillane. Do then, he won't be sorry. Are you
coming, Eugene ? Good-evening, Mrs. Clancy.

Mrs. Clancy. Good-evening.

Eugene. Good-evening, ma'am, and many thanks
for the money.

They go out together. Mrs. Clancy unpacks her basket,
opening the various parcels. While she does so John
comes in.

Mrs. Clancy. They're gone. I don't owe a penny of

74 The Clancy Name

money now. ( She looks at her son for congratulation of some
sort. He does not speak., and something in his attitude
makes her think he is in trouble) How's the cow, John ?

John. What ? The cow } Oh, she calved an hour
ago, she's all right.

Mrs. Clancy. I'm glad to hear that, I think you were
worritting over her. I can sit contented at the fireside
to-night, John, every one's paid now.

John goes and stands near the fire with his hack to her^
and makes no reply.

Mrs. Clancy. Haven't you e'er a word to give me ?
You might be a bit more pleased like. Maybe 'twas
nothing to you, but it was a great load to me to have
that debt on the farm.

John. Yes, of course. It's a great thing to have paid
them off.

Mrs. Clancy. Indeed it is. As I was saying to Bridget
Spillane all I want now is to see you married. The
Clancy name musn't die ouc, John.

John makes a stifled exclamation which his mother
does not quite hear.

Mrs. Clancy. There's Julia Tobin over at Kilmeen.
She's a nice girl and will have about one hundred pounds,
her aunt was telling me. I was thinking if you went over
there some day . . .

John {in a very low voice). Don't, mother.

Mrs. Clancy. Don't what ? What have you against
Julia Tobin ? She's a nice decent girl, and a great hand
on a farm, I'm told. You'll remember her, a big . . .

John. Oh, stop.

Mrs. Clancy. What's the matter ? What's wrong
with Julia .? If you've another girl in your mind, speak

John. It's not that at all, it's . . . (stops).

Mrs. Clancy. Well then, why couldn't you let me
tell you about Julia ?

John. You don't understand. You . . . I can't bear it,
I must tell you.

The Clancy Name 75

Mrs. Clancy. What are you to tell me ?

John. That . . . Ohy mother \ {turns away from her.)

Mrs. Clancy. Well ?

John. I . . . I . . . (silence).

Mrs. Clancy (frightened at last). What is it, John ?
What ails you ?

John. I . . . killed . . . James Power.

Mrs. Clancy. What ! What's this you're telling me ?

John. I . . . killed him.

Mrs. Clancy. Nonsense, you're dreaming. What for
would you kill him ?

John. I don't know, 'fore God I didn't mean to.
We had some words about a horse, and I struck him
with my stick and he fell . . .

Mrs. Clancy. John, it's not true, it's not the truth
you're telling me ?

John. Look in the big bog-hole and you'll find him.
The blood was all across his forehead.

Mrs. Clancy (turning away with a cry). Oh m'huira,
m'huira, may God pity me, what did I ever do to deserve
this ? My son a murderer, the Clancy name disgraced.
Oh, Holy Virgin, have pity on me ! John, it's not true,
it's not true ? {^he reads the answer in his face. She
sits at the table and rocks herself to and fro) I'll never be
able to look the neighbours in the face again. When
they praise the farm and the cattle and the good manage-
ment I'll be always thinking — if they only knew.

John (in a low passionless voice). They'll find out
quick enough.

Mrs. Clancy. Find out ?

John. I'm going to give myself up to the police.

Mrs. Clancy. The police !

John. Yes, mother, I can't bear it, the weight of it is
driving me mad, I must go to the police.

Mrs. Clancy. You'll do no such thing. Are you mad,
John ? Have you no thought for me ? Isn't it bad
enough to be the mother of a murderer without all the
country-side knowing it. Isn't ...

76 The Clancy Name

John. Stop ! I must do it, it's driving me mad
going on this way. Everyone looking at me, and then
Jamsey and the blood across his forehead. . . . Didn't I
/ hear you saying a minute ago that you didn't know how
anyone could bear it ? I must give myself up, I'll swing
for it, but I don't care.

Mrs. Clancy. No, you don't care and more shame to
you. Look at me that's toiled and worked for five years
to pay off the debt on the farm, that's denied myself
bite and sup, that's worked morning, noon, and night.
I've held my head high among the neighbours, and now
you want to make a disgrace of me. Have you no shame ?

John. Mother !

Mrs. Clancy. Shame ? No, you've no shame. A
Clancy a murderer ! Oh, Holy Virgin, have pity on me !

John. Have you no word of pity for me ? What does
the name matter ? Oh, mother, say you're sorry for me,
say you'll forgive me, and I'll go away happy, and let
them hang me if they will.

Mrs. Clancy. You're not going to the police ; have you
no sense .? No one will ever know who killed Jamsey,
the police never had their eye on you. Are you a fool
to go telling the police .? Half the county would be in
gaol if everyone went to the police when he had done
I John. I must tell.
V Mrs. Clancy. I say you won't.

John. You said yourself that the man who killed
Jamsey should give himself up.
__J Mrs. Clancy. Ah, but I didn't think then 'twas a
Clancy done it {coaxingly). I'm not going to let you
disgrace me and the Clancy name, John. Think of
your father's three brothers, all priests ; think of your
aunt married to a gentleman in Dublin ; think of me, a
poor widow woman, who's always been respected and
looked up to by the neighbours. You'll not disgrace
me, John, say you won't.

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Online LibraryLennox RobinsonTwo plays: Harvest; The Clancy name → online text (page 5 of 6)