FIRST VOICE Outside, the sun springs down on the rough and tumbling town. It runs through the hedges of Goosegog Lane, cuffing the birds to sing. Spring whips green down Cockle Row, and the shells ring out. Llaregyb this snip of a morning is wildfruit and warm, the streets, fields, sands and waters springing in the young sun.
SECOND VOICE Evans the Death presses hard with black gloves on the coffin of his breast in case his hearts jumps out,
EVANS THE DEATH (Harshly) Where's your dignity. Lie down.
SECOND VOICE Spring stirs Gossamer Beynon schoolmistress like spoon.
GOSSAMER BEYNON (Tearfully) Oh, what can I do? I'll never be refined if I twitch.
SECOND VOICE Spring this strong morning foams in a flame in Jack Black as he cobbles a high-heeled shoe for Mrs Dai Bread Two the gypsy, but he hammers it sternly out.
JACK BLACK (To a hammer rhythm) There is no leg belonging to the foot that belongs to this shoe.
SECOND VOICE The sun and the green breeze ship Captain Cat sea-memory again.
CAPTAIN CAT No, I'll take the mulatto, by God, who's captain here? Parlez-vous jig jig, Madam?
SECOND VOICE Mary Ann Sailors says very softly to herself as she looks out at Llaregyb Hill from the bedroom where she was born
MARY ANN SAILORS (Loudly) It is Spring in Llaregyb in the sun in my old age, and this is the Chosen Land.
[A choir of children's voices suddenly cries out on one, high, glad, long, sighing note]
FIRST VOICE And in Willy Nilly the Postman's dark and sizzling damp tea-coated misty pygmy kitchen where the spittingcat kettles throb and hop on the range, Mrs Willy Nilly steams open Mr Mog Edwards' letter to Miss Myfanwy Price and reads it aloud to Willy Nilly by the squint of the Spring sun through the one sealed window running with tears, while the drugged, bedraggled hens at the back door whimper and snivel for the lickerish bog-black tea.
MRS WILLY NILLY From Manchester House, Llaregyb. Sole Prop: Mr Mog Edwards (late of Twll), Linendraper, Haberdasher, Master Tailor, Costumier. For West End Negligee, Lingerie, Teagowns, Evening Dress, Trousseaux, Layettes. Also Ready to Wear for All Occasions. Economical Outfitting for Agricultural Employment Our Speciality, Wardrobes Bought. Among Our Satisfied Customers Ministers of Religion and J .P 's. Fittings by Appointment. Advertising Weekly in the Twll Bugle. Beloved Myfanwy Price my Bride in Heaven,
MOG EDWARDS I love you until Death do us part and then we shall be together for ever and ever. A new parcel of ribbons has come from Carmarthen to-day, all the colours in the rainbow. I wish I could tie a ribbon in your hair a white one but it cannot be. I dreamed last night you were all dripping wet and you sat on my lap as the Reverend Jenkins went down the street. I see you got a mermaid in your lap he said and he lifted his hat. He is a proper Christian. Not like Cherry Owen who said you should have thrown her back he said. Business is very poorly. Polly Garter bought two garters with roses but she never got stockings so what is the use I say. Mr Waldo tried to sell me a woman's nightie outsize he said he found it and we know where. I sold a packet of pins to Tom the Sailors to pick his teeth. If this goes on I shall be in the workhouse. My heart is in your bosom and yours is in mine. God be with you always Myfanwy Price and keep you lovely for me in His Heavenly Mansion. I must stop now and remain, Your Eternal, Mog Edwards.
MRS WILLY NILLY And then a little message with a rubber stamp. Shop at Mog's!!!
FIRST VOICE. And Willy Nilly, rumbling, jockeys out again to the three-seated shack called the House of Commons in the back where the hens weep, and sees, in sudden Springshine,
SECOND VOICE herring gulls heckling down to the harbour where the fishermen spit and prop the morning up and eye the fishy sea smooth to the sea's end as it lulls in blue. Green and gold money, tobacco, tinned salmon, hats with feathers, pots of fish-paste, warmth for the winter-to-be, weave and leap in it rich and slippery in the flash and shapes of fishes through the cold sea-streets. But with blue lazy eyes the fishermen gaze at that milkmaid whispering water with no nick or ripple as though it blew great guns and serpents and typhooned the town.
FISHERMAN Too rough for fishing to-day.
SECOND VOICE And they thank God, and gob at a gull for luck, and moss-slow and silent make their way uphill, from the still still sea, towards the Sailors Arms as the children
FIRST VOICE spank and scamper rough and singing out of school into the draggletail yard. And Captain Cat at his window says soft to himself the words of their song.
CAPTAIN CAT (To the beat of the singing) Johnnie Crack and Flossie Snail Kept their baby in a milking pail Flossie Snail and Johnnie Crack One would pull it out and one would put it back
O it's my turn now said Flossie Snail To take the baby from the milking pail And it's my turn now said Johnnie Crack To smack it on the head and put it back
Johnnie Crack and Flossie Snail Kept their baby in a milking pail One would put it back and one would pull it out And all it had to drink was ale and stout For Johnnie Crack and Flossie Snail Always used to say that stout and ale Was good for a baby in a milking pail.
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