(A Drama in Three Acts)
James Kitchener Davies
"We saw the heavenly potter,
Whose wheel was wet with tears."
who put me on the path of literature.
The Welsh Drama Society, Swansea,
who performed 'Cwm Glo' for the first time
on February 7, 1935
|.Morgan Lewis||.Colliery manager, under 40 years old|
|.Bet Lewis||.His sister, about 27 years old|
|.Idwal||.Collier, Bet's boyfriend, about 30 years old|
|.Dai Davies||.Collier, middle-aged|
|.Mrs Davies||.His wife, about the same age|
|.Marged||.His daughter, 15 years old|
|.Richard Evans||.Collier, elderly man|
LOCATIONS AND TIMES
Scene 1: a parting underground. Breakfast time
Scene 2: kitchen in a collier's house. Later the same morning.
Scene: the garden in front of the manager's house. Mid-summer, three years later.
Scene 1: main road in front of the manager's house. An October night a year later
Scene 2: kitchen in a collier's house (as in Act 1). A fortnight later.
Note: 'Cwm Glo' is any industrial valley in South Wales. The time is the early 1930's.
ACT ONE: SCENE ONE
A parting underground. Breakfast time.
The material for this play is things that happen every day in every mining valley in the South. All that is required is a period of four years for the seeds of the first two scenes to grow: they mature into their appropriate fruit inexorably.
When the curtain rises the stage is dark with coal dust, except that a miner's lamp, hanging from one of a pair of timbers near the centre of the stage, is creating a clear circle of light, like a halo, around the head of that miner. As our eyes grow accustomed to the darkness, we can see before us a parting underground and a gleaming railway running from the top left to the bottom right. Another railway runs from it to the coalface, which is somewhere to the right. The dust clears and we see Dai Davies, a middle-aged man, sitting in front of a timber collar and eating, while trying at the same time to read a newspaper.
Without raising his head from the paper he reaches for his tommy box and his jack alternately, and his posture does not change when we hear his voice:
DAI: Hey, come on Dick. Who are you working for then? It's time for a bite. The worker deserves his food. Come away, Bob. Leave that stall alone now.
BOB: (From the top tunnel) Right, I'm coming now. (Shortly Richard Evans comes from the lower tunnel. He is a man of sixty years, with a genial, almost puckish face. He puts his coat on as he approaches. Idwal, a thirty year old man emerges from the same place, but turns back to lift his coat off a nail in another collar; he throws it across his shoulders. Bob, a boy of sixteen, comes from the top tunnel and goes straight to where Dai and Dick are sitting)
DICK: (walking ahead) You're in a hurry this morning aren't you? (He pulls his watch from his pocket) It's five to nine now; it's at nine we usually have breakfast. In more of a hurry to fill your belly than to fill drams today again, I suppose. (He sits, and as Bob arrives): It's you, boy bach, that's cutting coal for both of you, is it? (As Bob is about to sit he is stopped and made to kneel. Idwal stands at the collar with his back to the others) Come say grace, my boy. (Dick raises his hand to indicate the saying of grace, and Dai turns a page of his paper noisily)
BOB: (simply) O Lord, bless our food, that keeps us alive so that we can serve you. For Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.
DAI: God help us, Dick, you enjoy deceiving these children. What good does it do anyone to say grace, I'd like to know? Not that it makes any difference to me; you go ahead. But you'd do better to let the boy fill his belly than to say grace. Neither me nor Idwal ever say grace, and we haven't died yet, eh, Id?
DICK:It doesn't matter much to me what you two believe, but bread and butter can taste better for having said thank you for it, can't it Bob?
BOB: To be sure. If there wasn't something to it Mam wouldn't have bothered to teach us to say grace, or say prayers, for that matter. And Dick Evans isn't such a fool to do that for so many years if there was nothing to it. Why don't you say thanks for these blessings, Id?
IDWAL: (sitting down) I really don't know, Bob. But the more I read and think, the less I can see that God - whoever or whatever that is - has anything to do with it. If I work to get a wage I'll have breakfast without anybody's help. If I don't get a wage I'll perish I'm afraid, without anyone missing me.
DICK: (intending to explain) But Idwal, surely
IDWAL: (interrupting) Is there anything in that paper, Dai? I didn't see a paper last night, or anything about the voting on the working hours in the wool factories. What happened?
BOB: (laughing) Dai doesn't care about parliament or politics or voting or anybody else's working hours, or about Providence or God either. Did you get any luck on the horses yesterday, Dai?
DAI: (raising his head from his paper) Eh? Oh yes, I did, son; yes, yes; if you want to know: ten to one, my boy. And I've got a horse today as well; a snip - twenty to one. (He notices, on putting his hand into his box and looking, that it is empty. He takes a long swig from his jack, and then the turns to look into Bob's box) What have you got this morning? Hell, egg sandwiches. He, he, he! You won't eat all those. Let's see (He stretches out his scrawny fist and takes two slices from the box, and takes two mouthfuls without hesitation)
BOB: Hey! Put those back. Mam gave those to me, not to you.
DAI: Get lost! (He takes two more mouthfuls) He, he, he!
DICK: (to Bob) Leave the fool alone. He's shameless as a pig. Look, I've got an apple for you. (He gives one to him) Do you want one, Id? (He throws one to him) Take it.
BOB and IDWAL:Thanks.
DICK: You should be ashamed of yourself, Dai.
DAI: (grandly) Yes, maybe; but I'm not , see. Listen, Id, what's the good of bothering about government and working hours? Have you got a bob? Give it to me to put on Lucky Jim. Sure snip, twenty to one.
DICK: If that game pays so well why are you so daft as to come down here then? It's a good thing that these boys are more sensible than you. (He turns to Idwal) On the wireless last night it said that the government carried the vote, and that the bill is safe up to the committee stage.
IDWAL: Good. I hope
DAI: (as if he had heard neither Dick nor Idwal) This is the chance of a lifetime. First class horse! (Reading the paper) 'This gallop goes to show that Lucky Jim is now back to his best.' Gordon Doni is on his back too. 'He went right away and finished ten lengths in front of Opojac.' There's a breed for you, boy. Pedigree! There's no horse better than him this year. And I got the tip from the right place, my boy. Good Luck was his mother and Jim Crow was his father. Lucky Star and Starlight were related to him on one side, and My Jim and Croc Crow in his blood on the other side. Have you got a bah! (He notices that Idwal is not listening to him. While Dai was nattering away, Idwal had taken a piece of chalk from his pocket, and on a coal box had drawn a diagram of Pythagoras' theorem. He recited the theorem to himself while following the lines, sometimes with his finger through the air, sometimes with the chalk on the diagram. Bob goes over to him and looks at him in silence. When he saw that he had stopped, at the same time as Dai asks for the shilling he asks him )
BOB: What are you doing? Show me.
IDWAL: You don't know enough geometry to follow this, I'm afraid. It's one of the most difficult I have to do. Pythagoras' theorem.
BOB: Something to do with those square areas it is, isn't it?
IDWAL: Yes. See the right-angled triangle?
BOB: The ABC triangle. Yes.
IDWAL: I've got to prove that the square on the long side - the hypotenuse AC, see it? The square ACDE is the same area exactly as the two squares on AB and BC together. The square on AC equals the sum of the squares on the other two sides.
BOB: (following the diagram with his finger) ACDE is the same area exactly as ABFG plus BCHK.
IDWAL: Yes, that's it.
DAI: What a fool you are, muddling your head with that nonsense.
IDWAL: Oh, shut up! Mind your own business. Get on with your horses.
DICK: Leave them alone, Dai. Idwal needs these things to get his certificate. Do you know that he is going to sit his exams this summer? But it beats me what good that stuff is for. Total nonsense!
IDWAL: Prove that the square on AC equals the sum of the squares on the other two sides.
BOB: Yes, but how?
IDWAL: Oh, easy. From B drop a perpendicular on AC, cutting AC
DAI: (bending down and picking up a handful of wet small coal and throwing it wildly at the diagram) Oh damn he,he,he! That's spoiled your fun now anyway.
DICK: (to Idwal, who is rising to confront Dai) Let him be, Id, senseless pig that he is. Come, eat your food. We don't have a lot of time to have that's it .(Idwal sits down, ashamed for Dai and respecting Dick's wisdom) Finish your food.
BOB: (breaking the uncomfortable silence) Well, really, a measly breakfast I've got today, feeding Dai and all.
DICK: Huh, yes indeed, my boy; but Dai's belly will be too full to bend, you can venture. Here, (he hands a chunk of currant bread to him) take this currant bread, I can't finish it.
DAI: What the hell's wrong with you? You could think that it's you who's paying me. (He makes himself comfortable , as if to take a nap) I do enough for the money I get, by damn! What good does it do anyone to work his guts out. It's them (pointing up to the top tunnel) that'll get all the profits, and a fat lot of work they do. Dai knows enough politics, wireless or no, to understand that much, at least. I came from that face five minutes before you, and now I'm having a little spell while you three finish. And maybe my bootlaces will have snapped, or something, when you go back and I'll get the minimum on Friday. And how much more will Id get after he's muddled his head?
IDWAL: That was all right back in 1919, but you'll get caught out as sure as you're sitting there.
BOB: And I'll be up the road then.
DAI: Caught out! By who? Who is going to catch me? Who's going to know that I had five minutes before breakfast? (The others show their distaste) One thing I'd like now is a pinch of tobacco. (He pulls an empty box out of his pocket) Have you got a small pinch, Dick?
DICK: Yes, thanks. (But he makes no movement)
DAI: Well, how about a strand then?
DICK: Oh, that's a different tune now. (Idwal an Bob laugh) When was the last time you bought tobacco, Dai?
DAI: You bastard, making fun of me! (He takes his clay pipe from his pocket) I'd like to have a whiff of this now. (All three look at him in amazement, and then Dick knocks the pipe from his mouth with a sudden swipe of his hand, grabs it and holds it up momentarily)
DICK: You devil! How did you bring that down here? You're weak in the head, and daft enough to light it. (He tramples it to pieces) There!
DAI: O right, right; you're very particular. There was no harm in that - I forgot that it was in my pocket, that's all. And you've brought blood to my mouth.
BOB: Forgetting to take your pipe from your pocket; and forgetting to put baco in. Good man, Dai.
IDWAL: And you got off lightly with a bit of blood from your mouth, my lad. Do you know you could get jail for that?
DAI: (turning his back on them) Oh stop your drivel.
DICK: Bob, how much muck is in your dram this morning? I'm sure you can't have filled it all clean on your own; and you loaded most of it, didn't you? If you get caught for loading dirty coal, out you'll go on your head.
BOB: (looking at Dai) I told him that. The coal I put on top is fine, but I don't know what's in the middle.
DICK: If I was a fireman, I would have no choice but to do without you, Dai.
DAI: If you were a fireman I'd have to get another road maybe. But Ianto Lloyd's all right (Raising his hand to his lips) A pint in 'The Lion'. Bloody hell, boys you're stupid.
BOB: But what if Morgan Lewis, the manager, came down? What would happen to us then?
DAI: Morgan Lewis! The old dog. He's got nothing to say. If he says anything I'll give him his history, right enough. His name stinks right through Cwm Glo.
IDWAL: Shut your mouth, Dai Davies! What right have you got to say anything about anyone? You shut your mouth about Morgan Lewis.
DAI: Oh, touchy aren't you? Why are you touchy? What have you got to be touchy about?
DICK: There's a reason for everything. Be sensible. You enjoy looking for everything bad about people. There are only lies from types like you about Morgan Lewis. You'd better be careful or you'll find yourself in the everlasting bonfire eventually.
DAI: Oh, the saint that you are! Don't worry about me. I can prove everything I say.
IDWAL: Dai, if your not careful I'll box your ears, and be glad of having done one good turn today at least.
DAI: You'd like to! A good boy scout, to be sure. Perhaps that's why Bet Lewis likes you. I'll be damned, Id, you've got the cheek of the devil hanging about the manager's house on the excuse of courting his sister. (Guffawing) Perhaps she's like Moc, her brother.
DICK: For heaven's sake, hold your tongue, Dai.
IDWAL: Leave him alone. He'll say something before long that will make me give him a clout. That will shut his mouth, for sure. (He gets up to return to work, having tired of Dai's talk)
DAI: You stick with Bet, my boy. God knows what you'll get from old Moc; but I don't think you'll get Bet from him very easily. Perhaps there are questions about things like that in the exams. He, he, he!
IDWAL: (turning back) Look here, Dai, that's enough now. Get up so that I can put a stop to your yapping. Stand up, the blackguard that you are. (Dai does not move. Bob jumps out of the way to make room for the fight that he's longed to see)
BOB: Go on, Id. Come on, Dai. You like to boast you can fight. Now, come on.
DICK: Leave it there, Idwal. Don't take any notice of him. He's only provoking you to get you angry. (Idwal turns away) But you know, Dai, you deserve the biggest hiding you've ever had for talking like that.
DAI: (laughing) Damn, Idwal thinks a lot of Bet. He scared me a bit just then. (Bob returns to his work and we hear him counselling Idwal, who is hanging up his coat and gathering his things)
BOB: You should have given him one right under his ear, and a left hook to his chops.
IDWAL: You'd better be careful he doesn't hear you. You'll have to work with him all the time, remember.
BOB: (going out of sight) Oh, I'm not afraid of him.
DICK: (collecting his box and rising onto one knee) You shouldn't speak like that in front of these boys.
DAI: It's their fault; they started it. And Bob knows just as much as me.
DICK: You have a little girl yourself, you know. What influence do you expect to have on her? I pity poor Mrs Davies!
DAI: You don't have to bother about them. Nobody's given you the right to interfere in my business, have they? Although you pretend to be so pious, and pray round and about.
DICK: No, no. But the poor things, I say, to be in your care.
DAI: Don't worry about them. They're having a pretty good time. Shut your mouth about them.
DICK: And Mrs Davies isn't too strong, is she?
DAI: The old girl's right enough; you don't have to fuss about her. There's a lot of life in her yet.
DICK: And little Marged, let's see, she'd be fourteen now?
DAI: No, fifteen.
DICK: I'm sorry for her.
DAI: She's well enough. While the old lady is able, not a hair on her head will be harmed. And the little devil knows how to turn her mother round her little finger. Bet Lewis, the manager's sister, gives them something every day too. Damn, she's growing into a good-looking girl too, my boy.
DICK: Look after her, for God's sake, if you've got nothing else to be proud of. (He rises to his feet and looks down at Dai) Dai, good luck to you. You ought to get a pension for not working, or for spreading lies. The only pity is that these lads are in your care. If you're not careful you'll have taken Bob's job from him and put him on the road with no dole or anything. And if he's with you for too long he'll lose his character too, I'm afraid. (He moves away)
DAI: Where do you preach on Sunday? You'd better get down on your knees to hold a revivalist meeting. Listen, here's a new hymn for you: 'There was a young woman from Rhyl ' (Quick footfalls come from the left tunnel) Old Ianto Lloyd is coming. (He turns to look and sees a red light; he panics, leaps to his feet and collects his box and jack, but leaves the newspaper on the floor, open and untidy) Hell, no! Morgan Lewis, the manager (It's easy to see that he's perplexed and angry)
LEWIS: Good morning, Dai.
DAI: Good morning, sir, it's a fine morning.
LEWIS: How are things going?
DAI: Fairly well. It's a tough coalface.
LEWIS: Yes, as usual it seems. (Dai moves towards the face) Why are you losing so much time lately?
DAI: The wife isn't too well, sir.
LEWIS: Dai bach, have you forgotten that you live within a stone's throw of our house? I hear that you were dead drunk the night before last. Where do you get the money to slake that terrible thirst that bothers you so much? (He sees the newspaper on the ground, puts the tip of his stick through it and raises it) You're out on the booze every time a horse comes in it seems. You've got better use for your pennies, I'm sure. (He goes past Dai, past the coal dram and in towards the face, and we hear his distant voice greeting Bob cheerfully) How are you, boy bach? Do you get enough work? Take care of that lamp.
BOB: Right, sir.
DAI: (to himself, and with a smile on his face) This is the devil's luck, and there's no coaxing him. (He goes to the coal dram) And this looks bad too That damned boy. Damn, damn, damn (swearing under his breath, so that his words are incomprehensible; but his posture speaks for itself)
LEWIS: (from inside) Is it you or Dai who's to blame for all this small coal underfoot? You're a bit untidy in your work. Be more careful, my boy. (He returns to the coal dram, and breaks the lumps on the top with his hand. He looks more closely at them. He puts his hand in among the coal and lifts a piece of slag into view and throws it to the ground. Dai goes past him back to his face) Teach the boy to be tidier, Dai, or he'll be good for nothing; that place is terrible. (His hand comes across another lump of slag and he places it on the edge of the dram, in view. As he calls Dai he goes past the front end of the dram and stands at its lower end. When Dai emerges he stands where Morgan Lewis had stood) Come here, Dai at once!
DAI: (from inside) Right. (After he comes into view) What's wrong, sir? Here's
LEWIS: (interrupting him) I've noticed that a lot of muck is being tipped these last few days.
DAI: (uncertain as to whether he is expected to say something) Is there? Oh
LEWIS: And there's a lot of slag in this. (He throws the lumps on the edge of the dram to the ground) This isn't good enough (He thrusts his hand into the middle of the dram, pulls out a handful of wet, small coal and carries it in his hand to centre - stage. Dai's eyes follow him, and there is uncertainty on his face) It's not surprising that we can't sell coal. What do you expect but to lose markets with coal like this! (He lets the coal fall through his fingers to the floor) And it's you and your sort who will be the first to complain when these pits have closed.
DAI: (sneakily) That boy, sir. Bob Bob, come here.
LEWIS: I pay you to teach that lad properly. How many drams have you filled today?
DAI: This is the first this morning But I've been waiting for the haulier for some time now, sir.
BOB: (emerging) Were you calling, Dai?
LEWIS: We don't need you. You go back to your work my boy No, tell me Was it you that filled this dram?
BOB: I filled the top part, sir.
LEWIS: And only this one has been filled by you this morning? Why is that?
BOB: I've been working flat out, sir. (A scowl from Dai)
DAI: He's a feeble boy, and he doesn't believe in working too hard.
LEWIS: Be quiet! Don't tell me any more lies. (To Bob) All right, my boy (Bob leaves with a smile of pleasure on his face which the manager doesn't see; he calls to the other tunnel) Richard Evans, it's you isn't it? Come here for a minute. (To Dai) I'm afraid you'll have to go, Dai.
DICK: Hello, good morning, sir,
LEWIS: Good morning, Dick. There's a pretty good place here? How much have you done this morning?
DICK: We've just sent the second one out. The third is almost empty in there. The place isn't bad. We can finish it all right now.
LEWIS: that's what I thought. And this is the only one that Dai has filled And it's terrible. (Everybody stands uneasily) I'm sorry about Mrs Davies, and little Marged, but there we are; what can I do? Put your coat on.
DICK: Oh! Mr Lewis!
LEWIS: What else can I do? Dai loses almost half his time - horses and beer; he's untidy, he's not worth his salt; and what he does is more of a loss than anything else. You heard, Dai; collect your tools.
DAI: Oh, it's like that, is it? I'm quite willing to go. He, he, he! What sense is there in working my guts out here so that you can take the money? I'm more than ready
DICK: Give him one more chance, Mr Lewis.
LEWIS: What good would that do? He'll be exactly the same. No, I can't give him another chance.
DAI: There's no need for you to beg for me, Dick. He, he, he! He's a fine one to reproach me for my horses and my beer. Horses and beer are respectable compared to some of the things he enjoys. There's wine and
LEWIS: All right, go now before something worse happens to you. Call at the office for your cards.
DAI: I hope to God the same luck will come to you! And it will come, it will come. This company will have had the best out of you before long and you'll be unloaded onto that tip out there - too old and to stiff to bend.
LEWIS: Did you hear me tell you to go? Now then!
DAI: Yes, yes, my boy. Did you hear me tell you and Dick? There are plenty of young boys out on the road now to fill your shoes Idwal will be a manager one day maybe - if he gets fair play. He, he, he! (Morgan Lewis goes into the face so as not to listen to any more) Right, my boys (Going to the left tunnel) And do what you like with your job! Pickle it! (The light dims)
DICK: (after Dai has gone from sight) Well, well There's a fine life ahead of him, poor man; and his family too Well, well. (He turns to his place. The light dims)
AT ONE: SCENE TWO
The kitchen of a collier's house, later that morning. We see a room that evinces poverty; this is suggested by the material of the chair and sofa, and the curtains. But it is poverty we see, and not neglect; everything is clean and tidy. On the left are two doors. The farther one leads to the back of the house, the other to the stairs and the front door. At the back is a window, and under it stands the sofa. There are two family photos on either side if the window. On the right, there is a wall cupboard in the farther corner and in the centre is the fireplace with an oven to one side of it. On the mantelpiece there are two brass candlesticks and a few tin boxes. There is a rod under the mantelpiece with a tea towel on one end and a hand towel on the other. There are two armchairs, one on either side of the fire - one low and comfortable on the near side, and one old-fashioned type with a high back on the far side. On the middle of the floor is a table, and on it a loaf of bread and dishes. Behind the table is a stool, and another stool near the fire. There is a small fire in the grate.
MRS DAVIES: (fussily pouring hot water into the teapot which she puts on the hob, and then turning to the table to cut bread and butter; there is only a small pat of butter on the plate) Marged is late, isn't she? I didn't hear the children pass just now. (She turns to the fire and stirs the tea in the teapot) She'll come now, as cold as I don't know what. (After a while a heavy, impatient knock is heard on the door) Here she is. (She goes to open the front door) Come, my little one, you're almost frozen.
MARGED: (coming in ahead of her and taking off a cravat and cap and an overcoat that is too small for her, and throwing them carelessly onto the nearest stool. Her mother gathers them up and hangs them up properly while Marged warms her fingers by the dim fire and casts her eyes across the table) What's for dinner? Only bread and butter?
MRS DAVIES: Yes, love; there's nothing else to be had. I failed to
MARGED: Huh! There's no relish in coming home for dinner. Nothing but bread and butter. (She scowls at the grate) And a fire enough to frighten a ghost. Why didn't you cook dinner today? And that coat is too small for me (She sits at the head of the table, nearest the fire)
MRS DAVIES: Yes, it is, bach. You'll get another one by the summer. Take this tea now, for you to warm up.
MARGED: Where's that piece of ham you left from yesterday?
MRS DAVIES: I put it in your father's box. That's the only thing I had to give him for breakfast in work this morning.
MARGED: He gets everything. Why couldn't you have kept that for me?
MRS DAVIES: (after pouring a cup of tea for herself she sits at the other end of the table. She cuts a slice of bread. She reaches for a pound of margarine from the cupboard. She opens it and puts some of it on the bread) Have you got enough bread and butter?
MARGED: I've got enough bread, but there's no butter on it. (She clears the butter plate) You've got a lot of butter there.
MRS DAVIES: No I haven't got any butter. This is margarine, and you don't like margarine.
MARGED: Isn't there any cake for tea? (She sees that there is none) There's nothing here, and Bet never calls now too.
MRS DAVIES: Oh, I don't know. You can't say that. It was she who brought that ham here, and gave us that butter too. (Marged carries on eating, and her mother stirs her tea)
MARGED: They were giving out shoes in school today.
MRS DAVIES: Were they? Did you get anything ? No; what day did you get ?
MARGED: (interrupting) No, I never get anything good!
MRS DAVIES: Oh, Marged, you got that coat and cap and scarf the other day.
MARGED: They're all too small for me!
MRS DAVIES: (turning on her) You're lucky to have them, I'd say!
MARGED: You, Mam, think that (but there's a knock on the door)
MRS DAVIES: Who's there, I wonder? (She opens the door) Oh, Miss Lewis, it's you. Come in How are you? (They both enter)
BET: Oh I'm very well, thanks. And you?
MRS DAVIES: We're pretty well, thanks. Eating our allowance, as you can see.
BET: Yes; and here's a drop of soup for you. (Handing a jug to Mrs Davies, who accepts it)
MRS DAVIES: You shouldn't do this all the time.
BET: That's all right. A little drop for Marged it is. I want her to run an errand for me after, if she will. Someone came to the house, or I would have been here earlier.
MRS DAVIES: Will you take a drop, Marged? (She pours a cupful)
MARGED: I don't like 'cawl'.
MRS DAVIES: But it will warm you up. Take some, there's a good girl. Look, Miss Lewis has come
MARGED: I don't like old soup. (She rises from her stool and sits in the arm chair)
BET: All right, Marged fach. I thought it would do you good; warm you up in this cold weather. But it doesn't matter; your mother will drink it. You take it, Mrs Davies.
MRS DAVIES: (breaking bread into the cup of soup) I certainly will. But children nowadays are so unlike us in the old days. It's all cakes and jam now. But Take a seat, Miss Lewis; come to the fire to warm your hands - they're sure to be cold enough. (She pours the remaining soup into a basin and puts it in the oven)
BET: I'm all right, Mrs Davies.
MRS DAVIES: I'll put this by for Davy when he comes home from work. (She gives Marged a little prod on the knee as she turns away from the fire) Marged, did you hear Miss Lewis say that she wants you to run an errand?
MARGED: (flustered, she marks the page of a book she is reading) Oh, bother
BET: I'd like Marged to go down to Cwm Glo instead of me. Will you, Marged?
MRS DAVIES: Of course she will. Marged, come, put your coat and cap on. (She fetches them and holds them for Marged)
MARGED: Oh, right. Mam, you drive me like a little dog, w !
BET: Can you bring me a pound of butter - not the best, just good enough to put into a cake. I don't like margarine in a cake, Mrs Davies.
MRS DAVIES: No, butter is better - if you can get it.
BET: And half a pound of sugar. Here's two shillings for you; it won't be more than that.
MRS DAVIES: Go on now, my dear. (Marged goes)
BET: Drink that soup while it's warm, Mrs Davies, or it won't do you any good. Go and sit by the fire there and take five minutes. (She hands the soup to her after she has sat down. She takes a big basin from the cupboard) There is water in the kettle, isn't there? And its warm?
MRS DAVIES: Yes, it's warm, but don't you trouble yourself: I'll do that now. You sit down.
BET: (having poured water into the basin and taken a tea cloth, she washes and dries the dishes in a leisurely fashion) Now, now, you sit there quietly and enjoy yourself; and take another cup of warm tea after it.
MRS DAVIES: (enjoying the luxury) Well, well, really, my girl, you'll be spoiling us all here.
BET: (laughing playfully) No danger. It's you who spoil people here. You almost smother Marged, and Dai Davies too. Running to tend them hand and foot, and both of them are much stronger than you. (Still laughing) For shame, Mrs Davies.
MRS DAVIES: I'm afraid you're right, Miss Lewis. But what can I do? Davy is so odd, poor thing; and then Marged is all I have.
BET: (She leaves the washing up and sits at the head of the table. She speaks quietly, kindly, but with the authority of one who is used to reasoning sensibly) Mrs Davies, why don't you give Marged something to do? She's old enough to do almost everything around the house instead of you. But in spite of that it's you that trot, trot round and about for her. A big lump like that! And it would be much better for her.
MRS DAVIES: Oh, she's a lot of help. I don't like to put on her, the little thing.
BET: She'll be leaving school now before long, and she won't be able to do anything, not even for herself.
MRS DAVIES: I don't want her to go into service for anyone, if I can help it. I'd like her to get a job in a shop, or something. She won't have to dirty her hands then. But it's not possible to
BET: But learning something about housework won't harm her. It won't be long before she marries, you know.
MRS DAVIES: Oh, Miss Lewis fach, don't talk about her marrying! That's what I did, marry too young. It's different for you. Idwal earns a good wage
BET: (turning on her) But learning housework will be good for her, until she gets a place in a shop. There's not much opportunity now for starting her up in a shop now; and what if she did get a start? It will only be small money that a shopkeeper anywhere would be willing to give her for years. It would be much better for you to think about putting her into service.
MRS DAVIES: I don't know. There's a place in the market, I think, on a bookstall for a girl like Marged - on a Wednesday night and Saturday. Maybe
BET: How much would she get for that?
MRS DAVIES: I can't say. Not much at first: a shilling maybe.
BET: And you think that's better for her than learning housework! (Regaining her composure) But there you are, you know best. I was thinking that Marged will be pretty ungrateful to you in years to come for not teaching her now to do something. What is she interested in? (Picking up the book that Marged left on the table) This is what she reads? This isn't the stuff (But she sees that Mrs Davies is lifting the edge of her apron) But why am I poking my nose in where it doesn't belong? I'm sorry.
MRS DAVIES: Bet fach, I know well enough that what you're saying is true. You're right, I know; that's what's so terrible. And here am I trying to keep Marged a little lady so that she won't have to go through what I have. She's still young: just a child. And she's a fine girl
BET: Yes, she's a fine enough girl. Marged is all right - if she gets fair play.
MRS DAVIES: But I don't have anyone else.
BET: Marged won't be with you for long now; and she won't thank you later on for mollycoddling her now. (A knock at the door) And here she is. Forgive me for speaking like that. (Bet goes to open the door) So you're back, Marged? Good girl. And you got everything. That sugar must have been heavy from Cwm Glo to here. (By now both of them are in the kitchen) And the change is right with you; you keep that for going. Be a good girl and help your mother now; wash that basin. I'll go then now, Mrs Davies. Thank you, Marged. (Marged retreats to the fire and sits in the armchair)
MRS DAVIES: Are you going, Miss Lewis? Here's the jug; and I can only thank you again, my girl - for everything. (She goes to open the door for Bet when a knock is heard) That's Davy; that's his knock. (She goes past Bet to open the door for Dai, and returns to stand in front of the window without uttering a word. Dai enters in his working clothes) Hello, Davy, you're home early, aren't you?
DAI: Yes, I am. (He sees Bet) Oh, good day, Miss Lewis.
BET: Good day What's wrong? Nobody's had an accident, you being home so early?
DAI: (slowly taking his box and jack from his pockets) No, nobody's had an accident as far as I know.
BET: Oh, that's a good job anyway. I was scared for a minute.
DAI: (giving her a long look) No, nobody has been hurt!
MRS DAVIES: What's wrong then? Why are you home so early?
DAI: I got the sack.
MRS DAVIES: The sack! Davy!
BET & MARGED: What?
MRS DAVIES: How did you get the sack? What did you do?
DAI: (looking at Bet. He is standing between the two women) Ask your brother! He's the manager; that's his business!
MRS DAVIES: Davy! I hope it wasn't a mistake. Who sacked you? Not Mr Lewis?
DAI: Come from there, Marged, so I can warm my hands.
BET: Well, I'm surprised at our Morgan. Did you do anything to get the sack?
DAI: No, nothing.
MRS DAVIES: Are you quite sure?
BET: Well, that's an odd thing, Morgan doing something like that with no reason. There's a mistake, surely. You didn't do anything for Morgan to tell you to go?
DAI: No, nothing. I did nothing.
BET: Did nothing. (She laughs) I understand now. Well, I'll go now, Mrs Davies good afternoon.
MRS DAVIES: Good afternoon, Miss Lewis, and thank you very much. The Good Lord will repay you sometime perhaps. (Bet opens the door herself and closes it after her)
DAI: Yes, good afternoon, to her and all the family. Good afternoon and goodbye; goodbye to you all, you bastards Why were you thanking her? Because her kind has put me on the road?
MRS DAVIES: She brought a drop of soup for you and Marged. Go and wash your hands now and you'll have it warm.
DAI: (without moving) Bring it here! What's that swanking all about?
MRS DAVIES: (reaching for the soup basin from the oven) Shall I put some bread in it?
MRS DAVIES: It's good 'cawl'.
DAI: Yes, it is, I'm sure. They can afford to put things in it. They live off the fat of the land; the fat of the land for them, and the crumbs for me. He, he! It's me and my kind that's fed him and his crew for years; it's time for them to feed me now it's about time, I think.
MRS DAVIES: There's ungrateful you are, Davy. Bet was
DAI: Ungrateful, by damn! I have a lot to be grateful for, have I? You're as bad as Dick Evans. Perhaps you'd like me to say 'Thank you, gentle Lord', like Dick does; but Moc Lewis and his family are the gentle Lord to you They have got my birth right, and here's me begging for a bowl of soup.
MRS DAVIES: But Mr Lewis' father was a poor man, and he himself used to work on the coal. It was through studying and reading that he became a manager.
DAI: He was too lazy to work, so he was made a manager. But that's how a lot of these managers have got their positions.
MRS DAVIES: (not able to restrain herself) The world has changed, hasn't it? He was made a manager, and you got
DAI: Shut your mouth! You aren't going to start moaning straight away, are you? It's a bit early for you to start yet.
MRS DAVIES: I'm sorry, Davy, but it's awful to think of you here with nothing to do through the winter.
DAI: (handing the empty basin to her. She puts it on the table) Here, take this! (reaching for a clay pipe from the mantelpiece, filling it and lighting it slowly while talking to Marged)
MARGED: Are you going to be at home every day from now on, not going to work at all?
DAI: Yes. Why? What difference will that make to you?
MARGED: Will you be here for breakfast and dinner and tea?
DAI: Yes, I will.
MARGED: And not going to work at all? Everyday will be like last Saturday, with mam crying and you cursing and swearing; not pulling your boots off; laughing all the time, and wanting me to sit on your knee.
MRS DAVIES: Will you take a cup of tea?
DAI: Keep your tea. I'm going to bed now.
MARGED: What about my new coat, if we don't have any money?
MRS DAVIES: You'll have a new coat, I hope, sweet. Davy, did you put a paper in for a load of coal after?
DAI: No, I didn't.
MRS DAVIES: There's nothing left in the 'cwtsh'. And I asked you to get it a week ago.
DAI: If I had done, you can venture that I wouldn't have got it. That old Moc Lewis
MRS DAVIES: Get it? Of course you would have got it. Everybody who works gets it when it's their turn. If we have to buy coal on the road now we'll all be in the workhouse. You'll have to carry some down from the level.
DAI: Me! Me! That's ripe! What do you think the dole's for then?
MARGED: We'll get a lot of money from the dole, won't we?
MRS DAVIES: Yes, we will, my love, a lot, you can venture. Your father thinks we can have food and clothes and coal and everything on that not to mention the rent!
DAI: What the hell's wrong with you? If I mentioned buying coal, I didn't say anything about food or clothes or rent, did I?
MRS DAVIES: How are we going to pay for those then?
DAI: Hell, you're stupid too. Old Mari Jones, Shop Fach, will be willing to give us all we need on the slate. She did it in 1921 and 26 - the time of the strikes. Why won't she now do you think?
MRS DAVIES: Why? Because she did in 21 and 26: and she hasn't had half that back yet. That's why. What good is six pence a week to pay off a debt of pounds?
DAI: You can change shops then!
MRS DAVIES: Yes, you can try it.
MARGED: But I can't see why we have to pay rent. One of our teachers, who teaches Civics, is always saying that it's stolen money, the money of landlords that have built houses in villages like Cwm Glo and rented them out for two or three times their value. We don't have to pay rent to them.
MRS DAVIES: Perhaps your Civics teacher is right, yes; but there are arrears on our rent book now, and if they get to be any more we won't have a house to live in.
DAI: (looking around him) That won't be much of a loss.
MRS DAVIES: But I'm afraid we may not get the dole even. There's work for you, I suppose, if you were willing to do it properly And what if one of us feels ill? (Looking at Marged) We can't live long without enough food.
DAI: (catching her eye) Marged fach will get food at school, w. You'll have to go down to the school to see what you can get out of the old schoolmaster; him and his kind get big salaries, and on our backs, too. He's sure to have milk or shoes or something for the children of poor people like us. Go and see him this afternoon.
MARGED: Old second-hand clothes, shapeless, old-fashioned, dirty - that's all you'll get at the school. I don't like old things from the Fund.
DAI: They give milk to some children, don't they?
MRS DAVIES: And it's me that's going to beg, is it?
DAI: (rising to his feet assertively) You're going down this afternoon, and it will be better for you not to give me any of your lip It's time for you, Marged, to start earning; you're fifteen now. I had to start years before your age.
MARGED: (grandly) Oh, did you?
DAI: You should be ashamed of yourself, and your mother too, to be at home here with nothing to do.
MARGED: What can I do? And you'll be idle at home now too.
DAI: Go into service - or a shop, if your mother prefers Go back to school now, out of the way and tell the schoolmaster that your mother is coming down this afternoon.
MRS DAVIES: Yes, it's time to go back to school now. (She hands her clothes to her and helps her to get dressed)
MARGED: (putting the book that she was reading into her pocket) So long then.
MRS DAVIES: So long (The door closes behind Marged) poor thing! Do you want a cup of tea?
MRS DAVIES: (starting to clear the table) Why did Morgan Lewis give you the sack, Davy? What was wrong?
DAI: I don't know; he was always a devil like that And he pretends to be such a gentleman. Bet brings food to you here every day, and gets all the gossip about me, and tells it to him after it's you who give her the gossip.
MRS DAVIES: What gossip, Davy bach? Bet doesn't get any 'clecs' from me. And Bet isn't one to
DAI: But come, my girl, there are a lot of 'clecs' about me in Cwm Glo too - and there will be more before long. Every dog will have its day. You'll see, boyo! The worm will turn
MRS DAVIES: Don't let him hear you say things like that, with no truth in them, or perhaps he'll put you in jail.
DAI: Let him. The King will keep me then, and the parish will look after you and Marged I'm going to bed for an hour or two; there's a football match later.
MRS DAVIES: (as he stretches out) There's a kettle of water ready here, and it's warm. I'll go and fetch the bowl for you now.
DAI: I don't need the bowl. I'm not dirty; I wasn't underground long enough did you hear me? Leave it alone!
MRS DAVIES: (going to the back) But I put clean clothes on the bed this morning, and you'll dirty them.
DAI: Leave that bowl alone I told you. Are you listening?
MRS DAVIES: (carrying the bowl and putting it on the hearth, and getting hold of the kettle) Here it is, look. You won't be two minutes. And there are clean clothes on the bed for you. (She pours the water) Come on now.
DAI: (taking off his coat and waistcoat) Stop fussing. I am not going to wash now: just my hands. (starting to do that) I'm not dirty. (Mrs Davies finishes clearing the table while he splashes water all aver the place. He notices that there's a muffler around his neck) Look, undo this muffler. (She does this) Where's the towel? (But he sees that it is to hand) Oh That's it, I'm off to bed now
MRS DAVIES: Off you go now
DAI: (at the foot of the stairs) You're coming too, you know. (Mrs Davies stands helpless. Dai climbs the stairs. Mrs Davies comes to herself with an 'oh well'. She struggles to carry the bowl to the back. After a pregnant pause she returns to pick up the soap and flannel. She hears Dai upstairs)
DAI: Hey! Shape it! (Mrs Davies remains rooted to the spot, then she turns to look languidly and dispiritedly towards the stairs)
A garden in front of the manager's house.
Mid-summer - some three years later.
Marged has become a beautiful, graceful young woman.
The women are wearing light summer clothes, but one can distinguish the difference in social class between Bet and Marged by the material and cut of their dresses. Idwal is wearing light homespun clothes. Morgan Lewis is wearing light tennis clothes, although he has a collar and tie.
On the right of the stage is the front door of the manager's house - a handsome door with fine windows on either side. On the porch in front of the door stand a wicker chair, a table and a wicker settle. The lawn stretches to the back and melts into the brushwood and shrubbery under the spell of a summer evening.
The entrance from the road is on the upper left.
Bet and Idwal, seated on the settle, are in the middle of a heated debate.
BET: No, Idwal. (Rising) It's out of the question. What would people say if they got to know?
IDWAL: (argumentatively) How would they know; and what difference would it make if they did in view of the benefit of the thing to our lives? That's what counts really, not what anyone else thinks.
BET: That sounds all very well. But you know it's not true. Now, don't argue. You've got better things to do than waste time on this. (At this moment Bet is very fetching. She leans towards him, as if soliciting a kiss) Come here.
IDWAL: Don't, please! It's meaningless, and there's no relish in it. I'm tired of nothing but the same old kissing.
BET: Oh, really! Nothing but the same old kissing, is it? Don't then. You don't love me, Idwal.
IDWAL: (slowly, and close to her) Do you love me? Do you?
BET: You know very well, silly. Id, dear, don't I tell you every day that I do?
IDWAL: Well, Bet, Bet, why then don't you come?
BET: (interrupting him firmly) Give me a kiss! Give me a
IDWAL: I can't Don't. Sometimes I think that you love me as completely as I love you to the depths of our being and the next minute you shatter my hopes to bits I don't understand you being content with kissing, just kissing and so much more at hand.
BET: You frighten me when you talk like that, Id.
IDWAL: Now that's the truth. (He rises) You're afraid of loving. True love overcomes fear I'm not afraid of anything
BET: Except of waiting until we're married! True love overcomes every fear.
IDWAL: I've no right to ask you to marry me not on the money I'm earning now.
BET: (sitting at ease and showing her engagement ring) But you've done that already. And you've got your certificate. You'll get a job as a manager before long, and then
IDWAL: (impatiently) By then we'll be too old. That's the truth too old and the savour gone. There are scores of young chaps with certificates like mine, and they'll not get a job as a manager any more than I will ever!
BET: But I'm willing to wait and to love you too.
IDWAL: Loves wastes away with waiting
BET: We have to have faith. 'Your will be done'. It's no good kicking against the pricks like you're doing.
IDWAL: (speechifying) What's His Will then? A negative, spineless, martyrdom? Accepting without a grumble every social taboo? Eternal self-sacrifice? The Divine Will isn't forever saying 'Don't, don't, don't!' - and only that. When two young people in their prime come together it's they who keep life going. What more is the Will of God than to use the energies that He planted in us, to keep life itself alive? But the rules of our society completely deny all this. With our mouths we say 'Your Will' but we do their will God in his magnanimity gave us the energies of sex and the vigour of youth to do His Will; we have made it impossible for two young people to join and create anything it's only to the middle-aged that that is given, because they obeyed Mammon and not God (Moving towards her) We have to choke love and destroy passion, deny the grace that God gave us, because we haven't got enough money to marry. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul by it?
BET: You speak well, Id, and maybe you're right in all that. But you can't change it. Try and you'll be broken like a wave on a rock. I know the passion of love love like yours but it will tear us apart!
IDWAL: It's God's Will that we join for life. That is a marriage with God; but it's man's marriage laws that are dividing us. Bet, there's no sense in not coming with me.
BET: One day I'll prove it to you. (She rises with dignity) Idwal (overpoweringly close to him) you know that I love you
IDWAL: (about to kiss her) I know.
IDWAL (disappointed) That's it only deceiving a man
BET: No. There's someone at the gate. (They turn to look towards the gate. After a short while a voice is heard)
DICK: Hello! It's me Good afternoon, Miss Lewis.
BET: How are you, Mr Evans? Welcome. We heard you coming.
DICK: (approaching) Well, Idwal my boy, how are you?
IDWAL: Fine, thanks. Are you well?
DICK: Yes, thanks. (Playfully) As well as an old man can hope to be. I've had more than my alloted span, you know.
BET: It's good to hear you talking like that, Dick. Morgan was saying that he'd stopped you working last week. It's a pity, and you as healthy as ever.
DICK: Yes, yes; but I can't complain. There are a lot of young boys coming up after me that'll be glad to get my job. They're young, with their lives ahead of them. It's their turn now.
IDWAL: You're teasing me now, aren't you? I know that I've said many times that the old should give way to the young. It's easier to say that on a platform than to say it to a man like you, Dick. But at the time I was thinking of the pensions for the workers, like the teachers and the police have, and not putting them on the scrap-heap after they've given their lives in serving the company.
BET: The Federation should have insisted on pensions a long time ago instead of wasting money on endless strikes.
DICK: Maybe, Miss Lewis. But perhaps it would be worse on the workers today if the Federation had done without the strikes. I'm not sure that it was a waste of time; and we'll have a chance with the pensions yet, I hope.
BET: Come into the house. Perhaps Morgan can do something about getting your job back for you. He'll be glad to see you anyway.
DICK: No, don't: wait, if you don't mind. I thought you all might think that that's why I called here tonight. But honestly, I didn't call on my own account. But I'd like to see Mr Lewis to see if it's not possible to get a start for old Dai Davies, poor man. Is Mr Lewis in?
IDWAL: Well, well, well, you're a strange one. Abraham praying for Lot in today's Sodom and Gomorrah. But you're daft, Dick. You remember what sort of chap Dai was.
DICK: But I called there last night. And it's really tight on them. It is indeed, as you know, Miss Lewis.
BET: It's tight on Mrs Davies. She's the one that's suffering. Dai's not suffering at all, or Marged either. They won't suffer as long as they can sponge off someone else. Marged's nearly nineteen, and she hasn't done a stroke of work in her life. She stayed at school while she could still get a pint of milk for nothing there. Why don't they give her something to do?
IDWAL: What is there that she can do any more than dozens of others today? She could have worked in a shop until she was sixteen, then she would have had to go. Her insurance stamps would be too dear, and enough other girls leaving school every month willing to do the same job for nothing. Children today are too old at sixteen.
BET: She would have learned to do something at least. She'll come to trouble before long I'm afraid; and what's worse, she can't do that on her own.
DICK: Mrs Davies has got to take a lot of the blame for spoiling the child so much. But I'd like Mr Lewis to try Dai once more.
BET: I'll go and find him now (at the door of the house) but I don't think there's much hope Dai himself is such a dangerous creature. (They watch her go into the house)
IDWAL: This is a strange and terrible world. A man's faith goes to pieces. 'God is Love' in the middle of a hell of a place like Cwm Glo. What good are a couple of good turns among so many people?
DICK: Five loaves and two fishes are the materials for the miracle today too, you know.
IDWAL: What interest could God have in such swinishness as there is in this place? The good Lord and so powerful too!
DICK: (lighting his pipe in a leisurely manner, and taking a seat) How have you thought of the Lilies of the Field and the Sparrow?
IDWAL: That the Heavenly Father knows about every sparrow that falls?
DICK: Yes, and every lily that is here, today and tomorrow, thrown in the oven.
IDWAL: Perhaps He's too busy with them to bother with more important things. Someone has said just that: 'But God was too busy watching his sparrows fall.'
DICK: Very clever. But Cynan has a much clearer vision. He says that a new world is no more important than a primrose, nor a city more important than a worm the world is not complete without lilies: perhaps the purpose of the whole of creation is to make a home for a sparrow. 'Not a sparrow falls without your Father.' God himself falls when a sparrow falls. (A heavy silence) And what is David Davies, poor man, but one more sparrow?
LEWIS: (who entered at the beginning of the speech, and stood in the door listening with amusement) Yes, Dick, you're right there: and a pretty cheap sparrow too. You could surely get two of his sort for a farthing.
DICK: (on his feet) Hello, Mr Lewis, I didn't see you there. Good afternoon.
LEWIS: How are things? Fair? (He comes forward) Bet said that you'd come to see me about Dai Davies. Why are you bothered about him? He's not worth it.
DICK: Perhaps he isn't; but I was thinking
IDWAL: (mischievously) But that's what Dick was trying to do now - persuade me that Dai was a very important being.
LEWIS: I heard him. He called him a sparrow, didn't he? It's worth remembering that they were two for a farthing in the market.
DICK: It's we that put a price on sparrows, and buy them two for a farthing. We created the market in the first place. The potter is just as careful in fashioning a bird as he is in creating a new world, and when he fails there are just as many tears on his cheeks. His stamp is just as plain on Davies' face as it is on yours or mine.
LEWIS: But it's Dai who's responsible for being where he is.
DICK: Is it? I'm not so sure about that either But there we are, there's no need to argue about that. I was only thinking that all the blame doesn't lie with Dai.
LEWIS: Doesn't it, by damn? On who would you put the blame then?
DICK: We're all responsible for Dai's state, and everyone like him, Mr Lewis. Me and you and Idwal; it's we that raise the walls of our houses so close that there's no room for the sparrow's wings to grow.
LEWIS: (to settle the argument) 'And he took his journey to a distant land and there wasted his substance with riotous living.' That's the verse on the subject. And nobody forced him to, did they? Now, come on, Dick!
DICK: Do you remember the other characters in the parable?
IDWAL: The elder brother that stayed at home; he wasn't much better.
LEWIS: And the compassionate father. I was as compassionate as I could be to Dai, if that's where you're taking the argument.
DICK: There's another character in the parable, and no-one pays him any attention. Did you ever think of yourself as 'a citizen of that land', the one who was so at home there that he kept pigs in its fields? He didn't take a trip there like the prodigal son; he lived there. Was it him or the prodigal son that was the worse, I wonder?
DICK: We are like him.
LEWIS: But why are we like him? I don't get your point.
DICK: I don't mean you alone, but you and me, and Idwal and Bet, and everybody: our society. It was we who made the Distant Land, and it is we who are there to await the prodigal; and when he's perished enough to accept husks, we are there to offer them to him. When his belly is empty enough and he can't turn on us we offer him work - but nothing better than feeding pigs! Our pigs!
IDWAL: (getting the point and warming to it) The big shops paying small money to girls, and expecting them to supplement their wages by dubious means; industrial companies squeezing workers' pay so much that they have to cut each other's throats - competition, competition, in the name of freedom; workers turning their backs on the unions and becoming blacklegs; soldiers and the police urging them on; men making beer for the wretches to forget their misery, lest they come to their senses and destroy the citizens of the Distant Land. That's what you mean, isn't it, Dick?
DICK: Yes, and more. You and I are citizens of that country too, you know. It's we who are giving the husks of mercy to the prodigals, and believing by that that we are compassionate fathers: it's easier to endow hospitals and churches and schools with our spare money - handing out husks - than it is to smash the Distant Land an fashion a new world. They'll be raising monuments to us.
IDWAL: Every mercy is a good insurance policy, isn't it?
BET: (coming from the house with a tray laden with wine and glasses. There's a neat package under her arm; she puts it on the table) Well, well, you men can certainly talk; I could hear you at the front of the house. Take this for your throats; you're sure to need it after all that debating.
LEWIS: Yes, come on. You, Dick, should be a preacher, or a prime minister
IDWAL: Talk about blacklegs! You're one of them, Dick, taking work away from preachers with your talk!
DICK: Hold on! If I hadn't talked so much you wouldn't have had this wine. (raising his glass) I'm sure you'll join me. Your good health, Miss (And playfully to Idwal) and every blessing.
BET: Thank you. (They drink) Id, you can finish with the debate and come out with me
IDWAL: They talk about choosing the lesser evil What will I do?
DICK: What choice have you got between the fair and the foul? If your not careful I'll offer myself, old as I am and find myself in heaven!
BET: (bowing) Oh thank you, Mr Evans.
LEWIS: Hearing you pay a compliment to a young woman makes you seem young, Dick.
IDWAL: (facetiously) I'm ready now.
BET: There are some old clothes in this parcel. Perhaps Mrs Davies would be glad of them for Marged. Here they are, Morgan: give them if one of them happens to call.
LEWIS: It's not likely that anyone will call, is it?
IDWAL: Perhaps we'll see someone when we go out. Good night, Mr Evans.
DICK: Good night, my girl. Look after him, if you can.
BET: I'll do my best. Good night, Morgan. Perhaps we'll be late home if we go to the pictures.
LEWIS: You go; I'll be all right. Have a nice time.
BET: Come on then, Id.
IDWAL: Right; good night, you two, and good luck with the debate.
LEWIS and DICK: Cheerio! Good night.
BET: Cheerio! (Dick and Lewis stand, watching them until they disappear)
LEWIS: Sit down, Dick.
DICK: No, I have to go now too. I've kept you far too long. You've got a lot of things to do, I'm sure. Can I make my request again?
LEWIS: Dick bach, it's no use: don't worry any more about Dai. It's a mistake to give a man like Dai a job in any pit.
DICK: Not at all, Mr Lewis! It pays in the long run to give work to men like that. They've got no idea how to make use of their leisure time
LEWIS: He's good for nothing. He loads dirty coal; loses hours of work; does harm to every lad that comes into his company. The coal trade, everyone that meets him suffers.
DICK: The coal trade is responsible for the pickle he's in.
LEWIS: Hell, man, are you sulking? The only thing the coal trade has done is to give him money to get drunk over the years.
DICK: If these pits hadn't been sunk in so much haste, and these houses not raised higgledy-piggledy, and these streets not designed so narrow just to make room for more houses; if the profits had been used to keep the valley pretty and its greenery free from rubble, to arrange a tidy town and build comfortable houses, Dai wouldn't be looking for company in the pub. Or oblivion in horses and beer.
LEWIS: There you go again as bad as Idwal. The best thing that could happen to him is to get put in jail during a strike: the path to Parliament is not long after that - just an election away. The certificate he's got is good for nothing: managers don't die frequently enough.
DICK: I'm sorry to upset you. But it's a pity you can't see your way clear to giving Dai his job back. Well, I'm going now. Thanks for the welcome.
LEWIS: If you have to go now. (Escorting him) But I'd like to have a chat to you about a lot of things.
DICK: (almost out of sight) I'd better go now. There's no hope for Dai then?
LEWIS: I'm afraid there isn't, really, Dick. But thanks for coming to see me. Come again soon.
DICK: Thank you very much. I will come. Good night.
LEWIS: Make the most of your leisure hours, old chap: you deserve it. I'll be glad to have them. (He turns to the table and pours another glass of wine. He spots the packet of clothes and fiddles with it. The light is slowly fading as night draws in) Oh Hell! What's the good of pondering? (since that is what he's doing) It's all a merry-go-round - work manager wages strikes (stopping himself) Oh hell. (Drinks more wine) There's no point in giving Dai work. They don't try - any of them. (He fiddles with the packet of clothes) Marged hasn't learned to do anything. But she's getting to be a lovely girl. A nice little body Damn it, her coming back and fore here. But it's my fault. I've encouraged her familiarity. And she's sure to call again tonight. And what if Idwal and Bet marry?
MARGED: (grown into an attractive young woman) Good night, Mr Lewis.
LEWIS: Good night hello, Marged. Why have you come here tonight?
MARGED: (approaching) Oh, you don't want me to come then?
LEWIS: No I don't. Go home. Who told you to come?
MARGED: Oh, no-one!
LEWIS: There's no use in coming here like this. Who told you that Bet was out?
LEWIS: How did you know she was out then?
MARGED: I saw her going somewhere with Idwal? (A pause. Morgan Lewis scrutinizes her shapeliness; he turns away from her with an effort)
LEWIS: I'm going to the house.
MARGED: I'll go then.
LEWIS: Right, you go. (Turning back at the threshold) Good night. (Marged turns to go) Marged! Bet has given you some clothes here. You'd better take them. Here they are. Take them.
MARGED: (taking the clothes and turning to go again) Goodnight. Say 'Thanks very much' to Miss Lewis
LEWIS: (after Marged has started on her way) Look, will you take a sip of wine? (As she turns back he pours for her)
MARGED: (taking and drinking the wine. There's a mischievous glint in her eye that weakens Lewis' will. He sits near her) Thank you.
LEWIS: (having taken a sip) Come here. (She comes, and he pulls her onto his knee) Do you like sitting here?
MARGED: No, I don't. (Pretending to struggle) Leave me alone. For shame!
LEWIS: All right, girl, go home now.
MARGED: Don't tease me.
LEWIS: All right, bach. (realizing the danger and throwing her from him onto her feet)
MARGED: Right you are, I'm not coming back again.
LEWIS: Very well. Good night. (He stands awhile watching Marged approach the turn in the path) Marged! Marged, look here, here's half-a-crown for you - to go to the pictures or something. Come and get it. (Putting it into her hand) And don't ever come here again when Bet's out.
MARGED: (taking the money) Thank you, sir.
LEWIS: You'd better leave those clothes here. Don't take them with you.
MARGED: Why not?
LEWIS: Leave them, or I'll have to say that you've been here. You didn't talk to Bet, did you? She didn't tell you to come?
LEWIS: Well, don't take them then. They don't have to know that you've been here at all.
MARGED: Oh, right. I don't mind. (She turns to go) Goodnight.
LEWIS: (after she has gone a few steps) Oh dash it, come back here.
MARGED: Not again tonight Cheerio.
LEWIS: Come here. (He runs after her. He catches her easily and caresses her playfully) You little devil! Why didn't you come back?
MARGED: (pleased) You don't want me anymore.
LEWIS: Don't I? Who said? (Leading her in the direction of the garden) You haven't been in the garden with me for some time. I've got lots of things to show you.
MARGED: Have you? But what if Miss Lewis comes back?
LEWIS: Oh, she won't be back for hours. Has anyone ever told you that you're a pretty thing?
MARGED: Oh, Mr Lewis, no! Why?
LEWIS: (putting his arms around her tightly, then putting her at arm's length from him) Damn, you're Come here
DAI: (standing before them) Steady on, my boy! Very pretty indeed.
LEWIS: What are you doing here? What do you want?
DAI: (in a leisurely manner) Nothing just come to look for Marged perhaps: it's a father's duty to take care of his children, isn't it?
MARGED: How did you know I was here?
DAI: Mind your own business. I didn't know, or I would have brought the strap with me, my lady!
LEWIS: What are you doing here?
DAI: Miss Lewis said that she had a parcel for the old lady. I only had to call in to get it.
LEWIS: Why didn't you come straight up to the house, instead of hiding in the hedges like a thief?
DAI: (smirking) I saw that you had better company: I could wait a while.
LEWIS: Blackguard! Sneaking about my house! Have you no shame?
DAI: Hey, hey, who are you calling a blackguard, I'd like to know? Who are you then? Shame indeed!
LEWIS: I'll show you who I am. Get out of her at once!
DAI: Can I take Marged? Ach! Get lost, you. Do you think I'm a fool? I knew you were up to these shenanigans; but I didn't know that you (looking at Marged) oh you little fool.
MARGED: What are you saying, Dad? What do you mean?
DAI: What am I saying? Didn't you hear me? Go home! This is your father's business. Go, quickly. Or I (Marged turns to leave) I'll settle with him for you. (Remembering) Hey, show me! That money that's in your hand! Cough up!
MARGED: It's mine. I got it to go to the pictures. (She runs out)
DAI: (noticing the clothes) You haven't taken all your wages He, he he!
LEWIS: Look here, Dai, you're prattling on as if I'd done harm to Marged. Marged's all right.
DAI: Is she? You're a fine one to say that. I'd prefer to believe what I saw, my boy and what other people say about you.
LEWIS: All right, go home now then, or maybe we'll fall out.
DAI: What the hell do you take me for? Do you think that half-a-crown is enough for Marged? You're making a mistake, my lad.
LEWIS: I don't follow you.
DAI: Don't you? I'll spell it out for you. Cwm Glo would be glad of a little story like this, wouldn't it, eh? And about the manager too! Hell, it's good!
LEWIS: Shut your mouth! I know what you're threatening: it's blackmail. And you know what the punishment is for that? Jail, my boy.
DAI: And you'll enjoy going through the law courts, won't you? That's a sure way of letting the world see your dirty washing. And you know that I'm right! If it's only what I saw tonight!
LEWIS: What did you see? Nothing! And there's not one witness.
DAI: I saw enough, I think; and the people of Cwm Glo will be keen to know. There's plenty of smoke already: it won't take much to fan a flame.
LEWIS: (realizing that he is cornered) Dai, listen I'll make you an offer. Perhaps you've seen Dick Evans , and he's told you; we were talking about it tonight.
DAI: Talking? About what? Dick didn't tell me anything.
LEWIS: Didn't he? Maybe not but I've decided to give your job back to you. You can start at the beginning of the week: you'll get a lighter job for a while, something at the pithead. You've been out a long time now.
DAI: (laughing) Give me my job back! Have you had a conversion, say? Job back indeed! If I've been able to live for three years without
LEWIS: But I'm sure you'll be glad of getting work to earn some money: it must be pretty hard on you.
DAI: What does that matter to you? Half-a-crown to go to the pictures a bundle of clothes; and Bet gave those. Perhaps she knows!
LEWIS: Shut your mouth. Thinking of doing you a good turn I was. Don't you dare say a word about Bet, or to her either; or to anybody else! But your job is ready for you.
DAI: I'm going to be a gentleman like you from now on, you'll see. Don't tell Bet! He, he! Or anyone else! My pretty boy, it'll be fun seeing the people of Cwm Glo turning away when you come round the corner! Bloody hell, what a laugh!
LEWIS: (threatening him) Dai, for pity's sake, shut your mouth if you know what's good for you. Go home quietly and come back tomorrow morning if you've changed your mind about the job.
DAI: About the job? Oh yes; the occasional ten bob will be nothing to you, with the big money you get. You don't want Bet to know. (In a low voice and up close to Lewis) Very well; you know what to do.
LEWIS: (giving him a push) Get out, you Blackguard! Go home! Go to the devil, before I call the police! (He goes to the house)
DAI: (watching him) Right you are, my boy. You call the police; I'll call the town crier, and we'll see how you like it. (He shakes his fist at the house as if to curse it) Job back indeed! You get on with it go to hell, you and your job (He turns away) He, he, he!
ACT THREE: SCENE ONE
Main road outside the manager's house.
An October evening a year on.
A year has passed. It's a cold October evening. The light from the lamp on the left is flickering in the wind. The garden of the manager's house is the backdrop, and there are tall bare trees and bushes to be seen behind the wall that runs between the garden and the main road. The road runs from right to left across the stage.
Towards the centre of the wall is an iron gate, which opens onto the steps that go up to the garden.Dai Davies is pacing back and fore in the shadow of the garden wall, as if he had lost patience waiting for someone. He looks up towards the house. He crosses the road and faces thegate. He gives a piercing whistle. He waits, then turns to walk, tapping out the ash from his clay pipe.
DAI: What's the matter with the rascal, I wonder? He's bloody slow. It's cold standing about here waiting. (He stands not far from the gate) Hell, I've a good mind to go up to the house to see him. What do I care about his visitors? (But instead of that he gives another piercing whistle and crosses the road while looking at the house. Then, suddenly, he goes to the gate and opens it, and is about to climb the steps when a voice comes from the top of the flight)
LEWIS: Why are you making so much noise? People can hear you.
DAI: What do I care? What's your game, I'd like to know, keeping me freezing out here! You'll have to
LEWIS: But I told you that there are strangers in the house: people to do with work, and I can't leave them straight away.
DAI: I was about to come up to the house to get you. People to do with work, you say: perhaps it's me they want to see. If you don't want me to come up to the house you come here quickly, my lad.
LEWIS: For pity's sake, listen to me
DAI: Come on: it's cold, waiting ; and I've waited long enough for you tonight. Come on, my boy!
LEWIS: What do you want now?
DAI: Well, if I ever heard such a thing! What do I want, indeed! What do you think I want? A couple of red roses from the garden maybe. Not likely, my boy.
LEWIS: Look here, I've given you the money
DAI: Come on, (threatening to go past him to the house) or maybe you'd like me to go up to those fine gentlemen you've got in the house! Perhaps you'd rather I spoke to them?
LEWIS: How much do you want? This is the last time you'll get anything from me, you know
DAI: Oh, right you are; there's enough time for that later. How much do I want? Hush someone's coming Be quick!
LEWIS: It's Bet and Idwal. Go along the road a minute and hide; I'll go into the hedge there until they go by. (He goes, and Dai goes along the road)
DAI: (under his breath as he goes) Damn, I've got a good mind to tell (Idwal and Bet come to the gate, dressed in warm overcoats)
BET: I thought I saw someone at the gate. That's odd. Didn't you see anyone?
IDWAL: No, I didn't: there was nobody there. You must be seeing things. (They wait at the gate) Am I to come up to the house tonight?
BET: I don't know. Do you want to come?
IDWAL: It's not for me to say. Do you want me to come? I don't feel like coming when you say it like that (Mimicking her voice) 'Do you want to come?'
BET: (laughing) You silly thing. But do you know, Id, I'd like to wring your neck sometimes. Why do you have to ask tonight, more than any other night? You know that you're welcome. Come on; open the gate for me. (He opens the gate for her and holds it wide open, without passing through it) Aren't you coming then?
IDWAL: I don't know.
BET: Oh, all right then. Goodnight (But she makes no movement)
IDWAL: Listen, Bet, (taking her hand and drawing her to him) answer me.
BET: Answer you: answer you about what?
IDWAL: You know very well what.
BET: No, I don't, really. What? Why don't you come to the house as usual? What's the matter?
IDWAL: You know very well what I've asked you.
BET: (impatiently) No, I don't.
IDWAL (equally impatiently) All right then, there's no use talking about it anymore, is there? (Tenderly) You don't love me Bet.
BET: Don't I?
IDWAL: No, you don't, or you'd be willing to come with me. (Angrily) All you want is a man's company, to be in fashion. Other girls keep small dogs for that: you'd better get a collar and lead for me. Loving you is just feeble, platonic, spineless friendship!
BET: You insist that the whole miracle of loving is that a body should be close to a body. You want my whole soul without giving anything back to me in exchange. Before I can give myself to you like that I have to own all your thoughts.
IDWAL: That's why I'm asking you, pleading with you to come to London with me. Come of your own accord, of your own free will.
BET: Oh, Idwal, I'm glad that you're asking this of me, and not of another girl. I'm so glad that I could squeeze you now and kiss you. (They embrace, almost unconsciously) There. But I can't come with you!
IDWAL: Why not, then? Every young couple does the same at some time or another.
BET: But that's exactly why not; I want our love to be lovelier, purer. You couldn't say the things you say to me to any other girl, could you, Idwal?
IDWAL: Sometimes I think I'd like to, if I could.
BET: Well, I've answered you now. Come on up.
IDWAL: No, I'm not coming tonight, thank you.
BET: Oh, he's sulking is he?
IDWAL: I don't feel like coming up any longer tonight.
BET: Come on, little diddums; Mammy's little boy he is, every little bit.
IDWAL: (angrily) I can't come! Don't provoke me. (He holds her by her arms and gazes long and deep into her eyes) Don't make fun of me.
BET: Well, come up as usual.
IDWAL: I can't come. Why should I come? What do I want?
BET: (turning on her heel) Oh, right. Goodnight then.
IDWAL: Goodnight Listen, Bet, come here. (She turns) Tomorrow night after supper?
BET: After supper! Not before then?
IDWAL: What's the point of coming before then?
BET: Oh, no point, I suppose. Please yourself, bach. After supper then. Goodnight.
IDWAL: (when he sees that she is serious) You're going, just like that? (no reply) Bet, Bet, listen (no reply) Oh, like that, is it? Right, my lady (He turns away from the gate while searching for a cigarette and a match; he lights up contemplatively, fighting the desire to make up. He crosses to the gate again, and leans heavily on it; then he is about to open it and follow Bet when he is disturbed by the mischievous Marged)
MARGED: Hello, Id.
IDWAL: Hello, Marged. Where did you come from; you gave me a fright.
MARGED: This is the main road, you know. There's a place to say 'goodnight'. I'm surprised at you, and Bet Lewis.
IDWAL: Oh, yes. Maybe you should mind your own business.
MARGED: (frivolously) Oh, sorry. (Approaching him) She wasn't very nice tonight was she? That's a pity! That's how girls are these days. They toy with the boys. Have you got a match?
IDWAL: No, I haven't; and you shouldn't smoke.
MARGED: Give me a light. You can't say that you haven't got a light, man. (Idwal gives her a light, and they look right into each other's eyes) Thanks Oh, well, I'll go now then. Goodnight.
IDWAL: (moving away) Goodnight. MARGED: You go home this way, don't you?
IDWAL: No yes. But I'm not coming yet.
MARGED: Oh, aren't you? Perhaps she'll come out again. Don't freeze there! Good luck, old boy. (She turns to go when she sees that her cigarette has gone out) Oh damn, look, Id, my fag's gone out. Give me another light.
IDWAL: (He pulls a box from his pocket and light a match; Marged blows and puts it out on purpose) Why did you do that , you little devil?
MARGED: I really don't know. For fun.
IDWAL: You know what the penalty is for that, don't you?
MARGED: No, I don't know. What?
IDWAL: (gazing at her and seeing how shapely she is) You don't know?
IDWAL: Really? You don't know?
MARGED: No I don't!
IDWAL: (kissing her suddenly) Now you know!
MARGED: Oh, like that, is it? What if Bet's watching, and she sees you doing that? You'd better be careful, my boy.
IDWAL: (with nothing better to say) Why?
MARGED: Why? You should know why. Come on, give me a light. (He offers her a light from his cigarette. She comes very near to him, and then changes her mind) No, another match, please.
IDWAL: So that you can put it out again?
MARGED: Maybe and so that you (Id loses control, holds her and kisses her)
IDWAL: can get another kiss from you. (Marged laughs wickedly; Idwal pulls frantically on his cigarette)
MARGED: Well, I'd better go, I suppose. (She sets off. Idwal throws his cigarette away; he glances at the house)
IDWAL: Wait, I'm coming with you.
MARGED: You're ready to come now then? What if Bet comes out to look for you? Perhaps she's in the upstairs windows.
IDWAL: I don't care.
MARGED: Don't you? (She turns back and thumbs her nose at him scornfully without Idwal seeing her; then they leave. The stage is empty for a second or two, until Morgan Lewis returns. He calls cautiously to Dai)
LEWIS: What a mess! What would Bet say? Perhaps I should tell but if I start to tell (He gives a low whistle, and Dai enters) Did they see you, Dai?
DAI: No, I don't think so; but I had to squeeze into the hedge when they were passing. (Brushing off the dirt and shaking his coat) Did you see them?
DAI: I did too! Hell, things are getting better here, Moc. If a man keeps his eyes open perhaps he'll come across another little nest, don't you think, Moc? Damn it all. This is sweet! And maybe, maybe, maybe we'll come across another little nest before long!
LEWIS: (wincing under the threat) What do you mean?
DAI: You know all right, my boy. Come on now.
LEWIS: What are you going to do?
DAI: Nothing, yet. I was just thinking that you wouldn't like this story to grow wings any more than the other one, and if it doesn't make any difference to you, well, maybe But there it is, it's not worth much, not yet anyway.
LEWIS: If you think that I'm going to shut you up
DAI: You won't do that, not unless it pays you to. You never did anything for nothing for anybody. But hell's bells, I've got a new hold on you now. You can't wriggle out now! (He holds out his hand and speaks quietly and masterfully) Come on, it's cold. Hurry
LEWIS: (defeated) How much do you want?
DAI: How much have you got? And you'd better be more generous than usual: it's no joke coming up here so often.
LEWIS: (handing him some bank notes) Take it, and you mustn't come up here again This is the last time, you know.
DAI: Do I? We'll see. (He pockets the money) Goodnight now, Mr Lewis, thank you, Sir. (he emphasises the titles. Both of them leave; Lewis goes through the gate, closing it after him) Oh, hey hey, listen. Wait! There's one more thing I wanted to say to you. Come here.
LEWIS: (leaning on the gate) What do you want now?
DAI: (slowly and deliberately) Dick Evans is the only tidy bloke I know of. You must give him his job back. He's not too old to work.
LEWIS: What the hell next? You've got a nerve! I can't give him his job back; that's enough of that. Mind your own business! (He turns away)
DAI: Can't you? We'll see. If he isn't back by (but Lewis has gone from sight) But, there we are; he'll be back right enough. Hell, this is a good joke. (He lights his pipe and puffs at it at his leisure) Dick is a straight old boy like a die and I never heard anyone like him on his knees. Never in my life. Pray bloody hell what a prayer maker!
ACT THREE: SCENE TWO
The kitchen in a collier's house (As in Act 1 Scene 2)
A fortnight has passed.
The kitchen is even more austere than last time. Mrs Davies enters with a bundle of clothes folded neatly. There is an open bag, half full, in the middle of the floor in front of the table. She puts the clothes at the corner of the table, and places them one by one in the bag. She rises from her knees and goes to the fireplace. She takes more clothes from the line by the hearth and carries them to the bag.
MRS DAVIES: Well, that's the lot. I think. (She stands over the bag, musing. Then she lifts her apron and wipes away a tear) She will go I can't stop her, even if I tried; her will is stronger than mine
MARGED: (coming from upstairs smartly dressed, her coat over her arm and a hat in her hand. She throws them on the table) Is my blue petticoat in?
MRS DAVIES: Yes, it's in; everything's in now, I think.
MARGED: (rummaging in the bag) Where's that white silk petticoat?
MRS DAVIES: The one Bet Lewis gave you?
MRS DAVIES: Why do you want to take that? It's got holes in it.
MARGED: Where is it? I'm taking that as a nest-egg. Perhaps it will bring me luck.
MRS DAVIES: What do you mean? Nest-egg? Luck? From that old petticoat? Tell me what do you mean?
MARGED: Oh, nothing. Are you going to get it for me?
MRS DAVIES: (moving towards the stairs) Where is it with you then? But I can't see what good that rag will be
MARGED: In the top drawer, next to the window; or perhaps it's at the foot of the bed.
MRS DAVIES: (sniffling tearfully as she goes) All right.
MARGED: (impatiently) Don't make that old noise, please. (Her mother goes upstairs. Marged tries to tidy her hair and put powder on her face in the mirror over the fireplace) Did you get it?
MRS DAVIES: No. It's not here anywhere - not in the drawer or on the bed.
MARGED: It's here somewhere. (She stands behind the bag and looks down at it) It will be a good job, being a barmaid in Cardiff. (She stands ruminating, smiling at some memory. Her mother comes from the stairs)
MRS DAVIES: (back in the kitchen) Here it is, but it needs some mending. (She takes the petticoat with her as she reaches for a needle and thread from the pincushion. Then she sits and sews at the table)
MARGED: My brown shoes aren't in. Where are they?
MRS DAVIES: They're in the back. (She rises to find them, leaving her sewing at the corner of the table. Marged picks up the petticoat in a tight bundle in her hand. She gives it a wild kiss. But suddenly, in a fit of temper, she throws the petticoat onto the nearest chair)
MARGED: Bet's been wearing that. What will I do with it? Idwal's a handsome lad. (Just as suddenly she grabs the petticoat again. She stands behind the table, laughing almost hysterically. Then, angry with herself, she throws the petticoat back onto the chair. Her mother enters with the shoes wrapped in brown paper. She puts them in the bag and returns to the table to carry on with her sewing. She can't find the petticoat)
MRS DAVIES: Where's that petticoat? What have you done with it?
MARGED: I'm not taking it.
MRS DAVIES: Oh! No, I thought you had enough without that now. Leave it to me. (She goes to collect it, and hangs it on the line. While she's doing this there's a knock on the door) Who's that, I wonder? Go and open the door, Marged.
MARGED: No, I won't go; you go. (Mrs Davies goes. Marged turns to the mantelpiece and takes the shilling or two in coins that are there, counts them and puts them in her bag)
MRS DAVIES: (at the door) Come in, Richard Evans, you've become something of a stranger recently. Come in. (Back in the kitchen) If you can find a seat. I'm sorry, things are a bit untidy here. We're packing, you see.
DICK: Oh, I'll find a place.
MRS DAVIES: Go to that chair there. I'll clear it now. Marged is going away, you see.
DICK: (going past her to the chair and sitting) Hello, Marged fach, how are you tonight? Going away, are you? Where are you going? Holidays, is it?
MARGED: Certainly not. I'm going to my job.
DICK: Oh, very good. It'll be much better for you. I hope you've got a good job.
MARGED: Yes, it's A1.
MRS DAVIES: She's going to Cardiff.
DICK: To Cardiff! Well, living in Cardiff will be a new experience for you, my girl. What are you going to do? A shop - or housework?
MARGED: (angrily, because her mother is sniffling again) Don't make that noise, Mam. Barmaid.
MRS DAVIES: Yes, a barmaid, Mr Evans bach. I've tried my best to persuade her not to go; but she insists on going. (She bends to inspect the bag)
DICK: Why are you going to a job like that, Marged?
MARGED: Because that's the first advert I saw. And there'll be plenty of life there after this hole. There's nothing here - only a cinema, and walking back and fore along the High Street. And stuff the High Street! And going to chapel on Sunday. I'm going to Cardiff because there's more life there.
DICK: I'm afraid you'll find that life is pretty dull there too. A place doesn't make much difference. There'll be nothing in Cardiff either, but a high street, pictures and a chapel.
MARGED: There'll be no chapel for me, anyway. The pictures in Cardiff are different, and there are theatres there too.
DICK: The high street is different too, you'll see; the main street of Cardiff is a dangerous place, you know.
MARGED: (laughing) Do you think that I'm afraid of the traffic?
DICK: My fine girl, things a lot worse than motor cars can run over you. But there we are, you know best.
MRS DAVIES: I've been begging her not to go, but she's too big to listen to me. She's stronger than me. There's no use in me opening
MARGED: I've said that I'm going, and go I will - and then! What difference does it make to anybody where I go, or what happens to me?
DICK: There we are. You know best. (He changes the topic. Marged goes out to the back) I was calling, Mrs Davies I was calling, thinking perhaps you know that I've had a fresh start?
MRS DAVIES: I know. Davy told me. I'm very glad. I'd be happy if he had a start. He's been out over four years now.
DICK: And I've had one pay packet too.
MRS DAVIES: Very good indeed. Of course you have. Those things at best aren't very heavy these days.
DICK: They aren't to be sure. But I was thinking maybe (pulling a ten shilling note from his pocket and offering it to Mrs Davies) maybe this would be of some help to you.
MRS DAVIES: Oh no, I can't, really, Mr Ifans bach no, I can't, really thank you very much anyway. No I'm all right now, thanks. And you'll need it yourself.
DICK: No, no, you take it: it's not much. (He puts it on the corner of the table)
MRS DAVIES: No, really, I can't. I know that your heart
DICK: Oh well, give it to Marged then, to start her life in the big city. She'll be pleased to have a shilling or two to hand, I'm sure. (There's a knock at the door)
MRS DAVIES: Who can that be now? That's not Davy's knock. (She goes to open the door. While she's gone, Dick takes the ten shilling note and puts it in the folds of the clothes in the bag)
LEWIS: (from the door) Good afternoon, Mrs Davies. Is Dai Davies in?
MRS DAVIES: No, he isn't. But come in, Mr Lewis. (By now in the kitchen) Richard Evans is here. Did you want to see Davy? Come in, he won't be long, I don't think.
LEWIS: Hello, Dick, are you well tonight?
DICK: Yes, I am, Sir; and you too, I see.
LEWIS: Yes, fairly well, thanks. (He sees the bag) Someone's preparing for holidays, I see. You, Mrs Davies?
MRS DAVIES: No, indeed, there's not many holidays for anyone here, I'm afraid. It's Marged - she's going to Cardiff tonight.
LEWIS: (he sits in the big chair, Dick having risen for him and gone to sit at the back) To Cardiff? What's there then, if it's any business of mine?
MRS DAVIES: She's going into service; people around here are talking because she's idle at home. She's had a job in Cardiff
MRS DAVIES: (changing the subject) I'm glad that Richard Evans has had another start. He's as good a worker as anyone there, I'm sure.
LEWIS: Yes, he is indeed.
DICK: No, really. I feel very stiff these days. Old age doesn't come on its own, look here.
MRS DAVIES: Being idle for so long makes it difficult to bend, sure to be. I'd be afraid to see Davy go back now, after four years idle. A man is more likely to get an injury. (She bends to close the bag, and then puts it conveniently by the door) I'd be afraid, I'm sure.
LEWIS: Tut, tut; a careful man is quite safe.
DICK: He is that.
MRS DAVIES: (raising her head and coming purposefully to the matter that's worrying her) Our Dai is coming across a lot of money recently. Seeing him handling money, and not knowing where it's come from, frightens me sometimes. I'd like to see him working.
LEWIS: What? Dai? Money?
DICK: (laughing) He's had luck with a horse or two, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.
LEWIS: (with relief) Yes, sure to be; there's no need for you to worry, Mrs Davies fach. Your Dai's a dab hand at picking a winner, isn't he, Dick?
DICK: That's a fact; if there was ever a dab hand at it, it's Dick.
MRS DAVIES: No. This has been going on now for months, and Davy's luck with the horses never lasts so long, or puts so much money in his hands.
DICK: Well, perhaps he earns a fair few pennies; there are a lot of things a chap like Dai can do; he's decent enough.
LEWIS: Yes, yes. And he's decent enough, as you say. Shovelling a load of coal for someone or other, and carrying coal from the tip and a lot of small things like that.
DICK: There's nothing for you to be frightened about, my girl. What's there for you to be frightened of?
MRS DAVIES: No, I don't suppose there is. And yet perhaps he's stealing it. I'm afraid to ask him, in case You both know him and I didn't know who to tell, and I had to tell someone. There's no knowing; maybe he's stealing He goes back and fore to that pub and there's money going around there.
DICK: (laughing) No, there's not, really, Mrs Davies fach. Don't believe such a thing. They know their customers well enough.
LEWIS: (wanting to put an end to this topic) No, there's not much danger but perhaps he is, all the same that is I'll talk to him tonight.
MRS DAVIES: Yes, I'd like you to. He'll listen to you perhaps. And he thinks a lot of you, Richard Evans.
DICK: Does he Why do you think that, Mrs Davies?
MRS DAVIES: (smiling) Oh, he does, really. When he's had a drop too much, he's sure to say something about you. And these last weeks - I don't know whether or not it's because he's drunk more often - he says some odd things. (She pauses for a while, as if in a quandary as to what or what not to say. Lewis is uneasy)
DICK: (sympathizing) Does he, poor thing?
MRS DAVIES: He's very strange. I don't know if but he's quite harmless too.
DICK: The things he says aren't important or nasty, I suppose?
MRS DAVIES: He doesn't say anything bad about you, Richard Davies.
DICK: Oh, good.
MRS DAVIES: He says sometimes that he got your job back for you - senseless little things like that, in his drink; nothing more.
LEWIS: (panicking a little) He says that (he laughs) in his cups you say! Ha, ha very good to be sure, Dai.
DICK: What made him think that. I wonder?
MRS DAVIES: I don't know - but he does. And he likes to talk about your talent in the prayer meeting (gaining in courage) and he chats about you often, Mr Lewis, especially when he mentions money. (Repenting suddenly) I don't know what's come over him! I'm afraid sometimes that he's starting to lose his mind, from the silly things he says.
DICK: Poor man. (She sniffles a little) But don't you cry, Mrs Davies. You're getting upset about nothing. Dai's all right, w.
LEWIS: (in cold fear) He's going off his head if he's saying What sort of things does he say about me?
MRS DAVIES: (lamely) I don't know; not much. I shouldn't have opened my mouth and I'm inclined to think, and suspect It's my fault (Marged had come to stand in the frame of the back door when Lewis was speaking, but nobody noticed her. Looking like a doll, she makes a pretty picture in the doorway. Everyone turns to look at her when she starts speaking)
MARGED: He says very strange things, Mr Lewis. Odd things, jumbled, wild, senseless they are. He's very drunk, and he's going off his head - or perhaps he's wiser and more sober than all of you. Who knows? And you, Morgan Lewis, and Dick and Idwal and Bet are all in it somewhere.
MRS DAVIES: Marged, be quiet! Don't say any more. It's my fault.
MARGED: (not taking any notice, she comes forward, imitating her drunken father and echoing his words) My ass, this is tasty! Hey here's half a crown for you to go to the pictures! Marged take all of your wages
MRS DAVIES: Stop, Marged, stop! I'm begging you! Stop, my little one!
MARGED: (not listening) Dick Evans trying to get my job back for me I'm the manager now it's me who's giving Dick his job what the devil does it matter to you? but we'll see, old boy You know how much I want Thank you very much, Mr Lewis. He, he, he! Dick Evans on his knees bloody hell I'm the man
MRS DAVIES: (interrupting her after 'knees') Stop, Marged, I'm begging you don't my little one. (Marged laughs heartily. When Dick starts to speak she turns swiftly and leans on the table to listen to him)
DICK: Men go like that sometimes - and you shouldn't make fun of him, Marged. The thing uppermost in their minds, that's what presses on them, especially when they're asleep, it seems. And that's what your father is doing when he's drunk - sleeping. It's because he's out of work he talks about work and wages - and it's natural for him to put the blame on Mr Lewis - you're the manager, you see. And he and I worked together side by side for years - that's why he talks about me, more than likely. No, Marged, you shouldn't make fun of him. It's perfectly natural for him to chatter
MARGED: (acting again) We'll see, old boy oh yes, oh yes about Idwal and Bet hell, I've got a hold another hold there's no use wriggling (Suddenly she falls onto the stool in wild, hysterical laughter)
MRS DAVIES: Oh, darling, stop! (She weeps. A knock is heard. Dick and Lewis rise, facing each other) That's Davy's knock - he's home. (She opens the door)
DICK: What's this about, Morgan Lewis? There's something behind this that I don't understand.
DAI: (from the door) Hello, old girl! Yes I'm famous, thanks in top form What did you say? Oh! It's old Moc. (by now he is in the kitchen, and has seen Lewis and Dick) Hello, Mr Manager. How are you, old mate?
LEWIS: Hello, Dai. (Everyone is standing. Dai crosses over to the lower arm chair)
DAI: It's a funny old world, isn't it? It was me that used to come to you it was me that used to come cap in hand and say 'Sir'. How do you like it, coming cap in hand to consult the manager, eh, Moc?
DICK: Dai, what's wrong with you? Are you sulking, or what? (There's a knock on the door)
MRS DAVIES: Who's there? Marged, go and see. (Marged goes to the door. Mrs Davies bends down in front of Dai and unties hid bootlaces) Look here, Davy, lift your foot; and you'd better hold your tongue; and try to be civil at least.
MARGED: (from the door) Yes, Mr Lewis is here. Come in, both of you.
BET: We haven't got much time. Give this key to
MARGED: Come in for a minute, w. You won't lose much time. Come in. (Bet and Idwal follow her in. They're dressed for a journey, and Idwal is carrying a bag. They stand near the door)
BET: Well, well. There's a full house here. How are you all? (Marged offers her a chair) No, we're not staying, thanks. We're going to catch the train. Morgan, here's the key for you. We thought we'd better tell you that we're on our way.
LEWIS: All right. I hope you enjoy yourselves. You're going to London, you said?
IDWAL: Yes, I'll be back in time for work on Monday night. And I'll look after Bet.
LEWIS: Right you are. She's in your hands, remember.
DAI: Yes, I hope you enjoy yourselves. Damn, very nice too. Marged, aren't you going? He doesn't want you tonight, does he? Dash it all, Id, you're a terrible boy
LEWIS: Dai, be quiet
MARGED: What's wrong, Mr Lewis? I'd really like to go to London. What were you saying, dad?
DICK: Marged, please! You're not helping anyone now, you know.
MARGED: (giddily) Dear me! Nobody's given me much help, as far as I know; except for what Bet's done for me; and I'm going to help Bet. If I don't tell now it will be too late - Dad will have told.
MRS DAVIES: Say what, Marged? What have you got to say! It's better for you to be quiet.
MARGED: It's about time you knew, Mam. All the pubs in Cwm Glo know by now. Dad has promised to keep his mouth shut, but every pint he drinks loosens his tongue a bit more. (Her father protests) All right, Dad, be quiet now. Morgan thinks that the money he gives him buys his silence; but it only pays him to talk.
DAI: Marged. You're telling lies. Look here, if you don't
MRS DAVIES: I don't understand. Shut his mouth give him money What has Morgan Lewis got to hide? I don't understand.
MARGED: You don't, Mam, but everyone else here is guessing.
IDWAL: Marged, for heaven's sake, be quiet now.
MARGED: Why? It's better that Mam hears it from me than from those nosy women of Cwm Glo. And it's time that Bet knew. It would be a pity for her to do anything without knowing, wouldn't it, Id? (She laughs) There won't be half as much enjoyment in London if she doesn't know.
BET: What should I know?
MARGED: Innocent litle Bet! Because you put off going with Idwal until tonight, he came with me one night - one night after you refused him. And here you are tonight, after giving in to him - too late.
BET: Idwal, with you? Lies! I don't believe you. Come on, Id, out of here!
DAI: Very good, Marged, off we go, it'll do this lot good to be cut down to size.
MARGED: Mind your business. Yes, Bet, Idwal with me. Sit down; you've got plenty of time to catch the train, and it would be a pity for Bet not to know everything now. (The pair are unwilling, but Marged is dominant) Sit down! (Bet sits)
MRS DAVIES: Marged, you've got to be quiet. Listen to reason, please!
MARGED: No! I've been quiet for too long; and I'm leaving here tonight. You know, Bet, that I've been going back and fore to your house, and running errands for you since I was a little girl. Well, when I started to grow, Morgan Lewis would like to put me on his knee and watch my body growing and getting shapely. Looking back I can understand it, and I'm right, aren't I, Morgan Lewis? Oh yes, I was pleased, and getting pocket money from him. But one day, about two years ago, dad caught us; ever since then he has been sucking Morgan Lewis' blood - and him scared stiff in case anybody got to know about it.
IDWAL Come, Bet, let's get away from this wickedness.
DICK: Yes, go; there's no need for you to be insulted like this, Miss Lewis. Marged, knowing this sort of thing won't be of any help to Bet.
MARGED: That depends on her!
BET: What did you say about Idwal?
MARGED: Do you remember - a really cold night, a fortnight ago, by your gate - when you went to the house without saying goodnight to Idwal? And poor Idwal letting you go. But you didn't see him turn back, and make as if to go after you and beg your pardon; that's what you wanted - him to take your hand and beg your pardon. But he didn't come. I came by and he didn't come. I saw everything, and he didn't come. He didn't come
BET: He didn't come? Well?
MARGED: I came from somewhere. Oh yes, that's my job, Bet fach, to come from somewhere to catch people at their weak moments - to get some revenge. Ask them that taught me my craft.
IDWAL: Come on. Let's catch the train.
BET: You go. I can't come now You've deceived me. (She doesn't weep)
IDWAL: No, I haven't, Bet. Come outside so I can talk to you. I haven't done anything.
BET: You needn't say any more. Marged has said quite enough. I understand you at last. Every girl is the same to you. (He protests) Don't say any more. (She pulls her engagement ring from her finger) You'll only get tangled up. Take it!
IDWAL: Oh, Bet, listen. Come outside with me, so that we can talk on our own. I'm sure if you'll give me the chance
BET: A chance for you to make a fool of me again? No, no thanks, sir!
DICK: Bet, go with him. I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding. It's a pity for you to end it all now: and it's all on account of Marged's lies. Go with him.
DAI: Oh, Marged's lies, is it, Dick? If Bet prefers the word of her brother, Moc, very well and good - say a few words, Moc.
BET: There's no need for Morgan to say anything, Dai Davies. I'm sorry to go against you, Dick Evans, but it's all over between Idwal and me - for good (She throws the ring on the table) It's yours, Id. Take it.
MRS DAVIES: Oh, my poor girl, take time to think. Your lives, both of you, are in the balance. Keep the ring until tomorrow; you'll understand each other better by then.
IDWAL: Let me take you back to the house. (offering to escort her)
BET: Idwal! Go! Let me be. This is the end. Go!
IDWAL: (realizing that there's no point in arguing, he makes a clear decision) And this is the end, is it? All right goodnight. (He exits, bag in hand. After he's gone Bet turns to her brother)
BET: Morgan, take me home Marged is not telling the truth about you, is she, Morgan? Come home with me, will you?
MARGED: Aren't I indeed? It's a lot truer than about Idwal - and that's all true!
MRS DAVIES: Don't say any more. You and Bet go home, Mr Lewis.
DICK: Marged fach, what's possessed you to say all this tonight? Why did you say it at all?
MARGED: It's best for Bet to know herself, isn't it? She doesn't believe anything about anyone any longer - any more than Mam and me do.
BET: I don't believe anything now, about anybody or anything. (She slumps into the chair and weeps - for the first time) Or I believe everything about everybody; and I don't know which is the crueller.
MRS DAVIES: Yes indeed, my little one. Both of them are a hellish lack of faith!
MARGED: You've never before looked under the shell of anything. It was nice to have a boy like Idwal to make a fuss of you, wasn't it? But now he's not nice enough to make a fuss of you - he's been with me; because he realized that he was good for nothing but to be an ornament for Bet, I'm glad for Id that I did what I did. He knows where he stands now at least.
BET: (rising angrily) You've got no right to talk about me like that. Mind your own business!
DICK: Go with her now, Lewis. You can see Dai again - when he's more sober.
DAI: Sober? Sober you said? Who's drunk then? Hell, Dick, I thought you were a friend
MRS DAVIES: Davy, don't start again! And you should be ashamed of yourself, Marged, showing your wanton ways to the world. For shame!
MARGED: My father's seen to that for me, often enough.
DAI: Me! I haven't. I've never said a word about you.
MARGED: No, only about Morgan Lewis and Idwal! And the world can read between the lines.
LEWIS: Listen here, Dai: if I come to know that you've uttered a word to anyone about what Marged's been prattling about I'll skin you!
MARGED: Ha, ha, ha! (She continues to laugh, then just as suddenly she turns in earnest and catches her mother's eye) There's not much difference between us, you know, Mam; you've had the worse bargain up to now. Many times since I've been old enough to notice, I've heard Dad forcing you, forcing you to do his will - whether you wanted to or not. It's sex that drives men .my father and Morgan Lewis and Idwal. And Dick? I don't know perhaps it was on his knees that he changed his loves and chose wisdom instead of women. There's a fine high street in Cardiff, Richard Evans, and pretty girls all along it. All the women of Cwm Glo, without ever going to Cardiff, have had to tread that high street. Or just stopped living, like Bet has stopped living. (She dresses quickly and grabs the bag while talking) And I have to catch the train - next stop, high street, Cardiff, and its open honesty. (She exits) Goodnight to you all. (They are all on their feet, looking at her, except Dai)
MRS DAVIES: Marged! Marged! Marged! (She collapses on the floor, and this prevents anybody from going after Marged. Bet rushes to her, and Dick Evans and Lewis are there too)
BET: Mrs Davies! Mrs Davies! What's wrong? (They put her on the sofa. Bet takes charge naturally) Morgan, bring a glass of water. (Lewis fetches it; he puts it to Mrs Davies' lips)
DAI: (There's an echo of the old courting days in his voice, which has been absent for so long) What's wrong? Peg fach? Peg?
BET: Sit down, Dai Davies - out of the way. We'd better take her to bed. Help her. I'll bring the candle. (She takes it from the shelf and lights it, while Dick and Lewis guide Mrs Davies upstairs. Dai follows them to the foot of the stairs) Dai, it's better for you to go after Marged! (She goes past him and up the stairs)
DAI: (scratching his head and crossing back to the table) Marged? Get Marged? Where's my cap? And my shoes ?
LEWIS: (having come downstairs) Where is the hot water bottle?
LEWIS: The bottle! Where is it?
DAI: It's in the back, I think yes, under the table. (Lewis takes the kettle out with him and fills the bottle. He brings it back to the kitchen, wrapped in a towel. While he does this Dai crosses over to the window and listens)
DAI: There goes the train now. Marged's caught it now. (He is sitting on the sofa when Lewis comes back in. Bet also comes downstairs, and takes the bottle)
BET: Fill the kettle again, and poke the fire a bit. Perhaps we'll need more water.
LEWIS: All right. You go up to Miss Davies now. (Bet goes upstairs. Lewis sees to the fire; then he and Dai look at each other for some time without speaking. Dai is on the sofa)
DAI: Well Mr Manager. (Lewis doesn't take his eyes off Dai, but he doesn't reply) Did you hear, say do you hear?
LEWIS: Don't provoke me anymore. After I did all you asked of me, this is what happens - you and your family have ruined Bet's life.
DAI: You're glad. You didn't venture to say it, but you don't want them to marry. You never did anything for Idwal.
LEWIS: You heard. Don't provoke me. You've spread it enough around Cwm Glo after all. I would have done better to face up to my bad behaviour in the first place - much better.
DAI: Why did you come here tonight?
LEWIS: It doesn't matter now. Now I'm seeing things clearly for the first time in ages. You noticed that I didn't say anything just then, when Marged was in hysterics? I decided then. You've had the last penny from me. Do you understand? the last penny.
DAI: (provocative to the bitter end) Hum! How do you work that out then?
LEWIS: Bet is in the soup now. It's all over for her. It was you that broke the bargain. This is the end of it.
DAI: You make it sound as though you've come out of it the worst by far It's only Bet and you that suffer, I suppose! What about me and the girl, and the wife? Bet suffering! he, he, he! not another penny you said we'll see, old boy Bet suffering perhaps she'll suffer a lot more, my boy.
LEWIS: What do you mean?
DAI: Do you think that you and Bet would like all of Cwm Glo to know of her and Idwal's little trip to the capital city, eh?
LEWIS: There was nothing in that. Bet did nothing out of place.
DAI: But a word about her will go far, you know. Your moral character and hers
LEWIS: Who are you to talk of moral character, and your own daughter where she is tonight? Who are you, I'd like to know?
DAI: Who sent her there, tell me? Eh? You or me?
LEWIS: I can't say; can you? You and me both, perhaps.
DAI: Right You're the kettle, I'm the pot. But let's say that Marged is bad, there's nothing odd about that; she was always a poor little girl - and a lot of those have ended up doing what Marged is doing tonight She is Dai Davies' daughter after all; and it's in the blood. But Bet Bet's different
LEWIS: Shut up about Bet. That's enough of your mouth.
DAI: Remember, Moc, Bet doesn't have to get hurt. Bet's got plenty of money. One whisper about her will be like a spark in the wind. Not one penny, you said? Come now, old boy, what about it now, eh? You didn't think of that, did you now?
LEWIS: I'll punch you in the teeth if you open your dirty mouth to Bet. I'll hit you if you say a word.
DAI: (rising) It's you that spoiled Marged fach. It's you that sent my wife ill to her bed. If Peg is going to die you will be her murderer and Dick Evans is a witness he, he! and poor Dick can't tell a lie. Murderer, murderer! Not a penny you said Murderer! (They stand face to face in the middle of the floor. As Dai utters the word 'murderer' for the last time Lewis punches him on the chin. Dai falls full length on the floor. He may have hit his head on the floor, for he has drawn his last breath when Lewis turns from the door to look again at him. When he sees him on the floor he kneels at his side in cold fear. He looks, shakes him and waits for a reply, every gesture revealing anxiety, fear, confusion)
LEWIS: (whispering) Dai! Dai! Dai! (He looks up at the ceiling, gets up, walks to the stairs and listens, then returns) Dai! Dai! Murderer? Murderer you said? Say that again, Dai for heaven's sake say that I'm a murderer say whatever you want say something Dai (He realizes how hopeless it is and makes for the door, but Bet is coming down the stairs. He stands in front of her to hide the body on the floor)
BET: Morgan! Morgan! What's wrong? (Dick comes downstairs behind Bet)
DICK: What's wrong here? I heard the noise Morgan Lewis, what's wrong? (Morgan flees, leaving Dick to find out for himself. He looks and then kneels beside Dai. He rises and tuns to Bet)
DICK: He's gone, Bet!
BET: Oh, good heavens. (She slumps into a chair. Dick tries to comfort her by putting his hand on her shoulder)
DICK: Don't break down now, my dear girl (Then, standing behind Bet, he simply and unaffectedly raises his right hand) Our Father who art in heaven
Note: This translation has been made for this web site.
© www.ammanfordtown.org.uk 2003
Date this page last updated: August 31, 2010