(Translation: "pirta" is a "potato.")
 
ACT II
 
SCENE 3
 
(The cottage in Antrim. JAMIE and WILLIE work outside, digging a hole with a pick and/or shovel. They break for a rest.)         
 
                                                               WILLIE
Jamie, do you remember the pirta sack trousers Anna made you once?
 
                                                               JAMIE
Aye, what of ‘em?
 
                                                              WILLIE
Did you ever think you could get used to anything if you were forced to have nothin’ else for a while?
 
                           JAMIE
What do you mean?
 
                                                               WILLIE
Me and you, Jamie, are pirta sack people. You know, purty damned rough. But your wife; well, Anna was a piece of fine linen from the day she walked down this road with you till this very minute. 
 
                                                               JAMIE
She’s hell on sayin’ words purcisely, but me and you are pretty thick. Now and then she might even use a pirta sack word herself, but she’s fine linen jist the same.
 
                                                               WILLIE
Well, one Sunday she says to me…
 
(SPOTLIGHT shines on ANNA on a different part of stage.)
 
                                                               ANNA
Willie, you see people through dirty specs.
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Anna)
How’s that, Anna?
 
                                                               ANNA
I don’t know, for I don’t wear your specs. However, each poor craitcher is made up of some good and much that isn’t so good; and you see only what isn’t so good!
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
Then she told me somethin’ which I never heard before.
 
                                                               ANNA
Willie, for twenty years I’ve seen the Son of Maan every day of my life!
 
                                                              WILLIE
                                                  (to Anna)
How can that be?
 
                                                               ANNA
I’ve more’n seen him. I’ve made tay for him, and broth on Sunday. I’ve mended his ol’ duds, washed his dirty clothes, shook his hand, stroked his hair, and said kind words to him!
 
                                                               JAMIE
                                                  (to Willie)
Aye; I’ve heard it many times meself. How did you respond?
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
As you would expect.  “God Almighty, Anna, you’re goin’ mad!”  Then she took her ol’ Bible and read me these words. I mind them well…
 
                                                               ANNA
                                                  (to Willie)
And Jazus said “when you do it to one of these craitchers, you do it to me!”
 
(SPOTLIGHT fades off ANNA.)
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
Well, I thunk and I thunk over them words and would you believe it—I begun to clean me specs.
 
                                                               JAMIE
                                                  (moved by the story)
How’d you do that?
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
One day the “Dummy” visited me stone pile. You mind her, don’t you?
 
                                                               JAMIE
The harlot who lived in the woods up Dublin road in summer…and Heaven only knows where in the winter?
 
                                                               WILLIE 
Aye.
 
                                                               JAMIE
I mind her; I do.
 
                                                               WILLIE
I never told you the story of when the Dummy came over to me pile one day, actin’ purty frisky.  But says I…
 
(SPOTLIGHT shines on DUMMY on a different part of the stage.)
 
                                                               WILLIE (cont.)
                                                 (to Dummy)
Dummy, if there’s anythin’ I can give you, I’ll give it.  But there’s nothin’ you can give me back!
 
                                                               DUMMY
You break stones for a livin’, don’t you?
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                 (to Dummy)
Aye.
 
                                                               DUMMY
What would you do if you were a lone woman and couldn’t get nothin’ to do at all?
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                 (to Dummy)  
        (BEAT) 
I dunno.
 
                                                               DUMMY
I don’t want to argue or palaver with a decent maan, but I’m terrible hungry.
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Dummy)
Look here, I’ve got a dozen pirtas I’m goin’ to roast for me dinner. I’ll roast them down there by the gate, and I’ll leave you some and a drink of buttermilk. When you see me leave the gate, you’ll know your dinner’s ready.
 
                                                               DUMMY
God save you. May your meal barrel never run empty and your bread be forever rough casted with butter!
 
(SPOTLIGHT fades off DUMMY.)
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
I begun to swither when she left. Says I, “Withero, is your specs clean? Can you see the Son of Maan in the Dummy?”  “Begorra, I dunno,” I says to meself. I scratched me head and swithered till I thought me brains would turn to stone.  Finally, I says, “Aye, ‘deed that must be the spark there what Anna talks about!”  Just then, I heard your wife’s voice—as plain as I hear me own now—and what d’you think Anna says?
 
(SPOTLIGHT shines on ANNA.)
 
                                                               ANNA
                                                  (to Willie)
So did you have the Son of Maan to dinner today, Willie?
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Anna)
Aye, Anna. I did.
 
                                                               ANNA
                                                  (disappointed)
And you’re givin’ him your leavings?
 
(SPOTLIGHT fades off ANNA.)
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
It was like a piece of stone cuttin’ the ball of me eye, Jamie. And it cut deep! I ran down the road and says to the Dummy…
 
(SPOTLIGHT shines on DUMMY, who raises her head up, sees WILLIE, and smiles…)
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Dummy)
I’ll tie a rag on a stick and when you see me wavin’ it, come and take your dinner and I’ll take what’s left!
 
                                                               WILLIE (cont.)
                                                  (to Jamie)
I didn’t wait for no answer, but went and did what I should.
 
(SPOTLIGHT fades off DUMMY.)
 
                                                               JAMIE 
You done right by her…
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (to Jamie)
That summer when she was hungry, she hung an ol’ rag on the thorn hedge down by where she camped, and I answered with a rag on a stick that she could share mine and take hers first. One day I told her your wife’s story about the Son of Maan.  It was the only time I ever talked with her.  Last winter she died in the poorhouse, but before she died, she sent me this.
 
(WILLIE pulls out a piece of paper yellow from his shirt pocket. JAMIE looks at it and looks at WILLIE.)
 
                                                               JAMIE
What’s it say?
 
(SPOTLIGHT shines on DUMMY.)
 
                                                               DUMMY
M Withero.  
Stone breaker. 
Dublin Road. 
Antrim. 
I seen Him in the ward last night and I’m content to go now. God save you kindly. 
THE DUMMY
 
                                                               JAMIE
Oh my, Willie…
 
                                                               WILLIE
                                                  (looking outward in self-reflection)
Aye.
 
(BLACKOUT)
 
 
                                         
 
                                     ©2016 Maikovich