SHE is standing in the same place as before, peeling potatoes again. The same filled buckets of potatoes are at her feet. Silence. HE emerges at length, tucking in his shirt, yawning as if just woken from sleep.

He

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Morning, my lovely.

 

Good morrow, my ducklet. How do thee sleep?

 

Restless, for shame… Although with the new dawn, I find my countenance has much improved. I’d wager, we’ll have half that top field of barley reaped by sundown tonight!

 

Oh. That would be… most opportune.

 

We are owed a reprieve, and I should not be surprised if we did not see a reversal of our fortunes on the near horizon. I feel it in my bones.

 

Oh my dearest, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could put aside all these troubles for one All Saint’s Day? Oh, it would be a regal day – Margery Dawkins could make her rabbit pie, and we could have ourselves a Wicker Man! What fun it would be…

 

Such an All Saints is most probable, should all hands pull their correct weight. Why, we’ll have that barley in by lunchtime should Stuart decide to rejoin us men – and who knows? Perhaps Peter will even make an appearance an well!

 

Oh… yes. Peter. Of course.

 

Chin up, my petal – the plow cannot but help but part unyielding soil. (He collects his reaping tools) I shall see thee anon.

 

He moves to the door, as if to leave. He is almost through the portal.

 

Dearest!

 

(Stopping) Yes, my pet?

 

I was thinking…

 

Here’s trouble.

 

… Maybe you didn’t have to go out to field today?

 

Silence.

 

Well. I should like to hear your plan for bringing in all that barley if I do not, my love.

 

They stare at one another. A beat. Then she scurries over to a hiding hole, and returns with a small handful of coins.

 

What’s that then?

 

Money.

 

Money? Where’d you…? Did you…?

 

I didn’t! I mean, I didn’t steal it! Not really. Only, every time you’d send me to market to buy sundries, I’d sometimes ferret one away… just a copper, here and there… and I don’t know why, only I did… And I was thinking about what you said, about the barley… and with winter coming, and… Peter… Is it enough?

 

Enough for what?

 

To get to Brighton Way.

 

He steps forward slowly to look at the coins in her hands.

 

Well… I couldn’t say. I suppose, perhaps, it might buy a small pony… (Warming to the idea) And we’d have to travel lightly, off the main roads, at least… It’s a long way to Brighton, but not as far as one would think… (Suddenly cold) But we couldn’t!

 

Why ever not?

 

It’s… it’s by the seaside, of course. I can’t fish! I mean, I never have… We’d starve!

 

But surely it isn’t hard? /

 

And the barely… it wouldn’t grow in all that sand. We’d have no livelihood.

 

We could grow something else. Whatever takes /

 

But we couldn’t! The Foremen needs me here. How else will they bring in the crops before winter? And Margery Dawkins! If she is sick, who will bring her bread, if not for you? The town, my love… The town needs us.

 

A horrible silence.

 

You’re right, dear heart. All that… sand… down Bright-Way… I’ve never touched sand. How would I sweep it? I couldn’t! And all that… blustery air…

 

The salt would catch in our throats /

 

I would choke on it, I would /

 

We would!

 

No, ducklet. It’s best we’d not. (Beat) Nothing good will come of it. 

 

Silence. He goes to leave again, but stops himself on the threshold.

 

Dearest, I… I’ve had a thought.

 

(Hopeful) Yes?

 

Those coppers… (He returns to her. He meets her eyes. Goes to say something. Chickens out.) I… I reckon they’d be just about right for a new mattock. Mine has… gone dull.

 

He holds out his hand. She looks at it, grief stricken. A beat. She folds the coins into his hand and looks away. He looks at the coins in his hand, grief stricken. He puts them slowly into his pocket. She will not look at him. He turns to leave. He stops at the door. He composes himself. He turns to her.

 

Never fear, me lovely – I see bright things for us… on the horizon.

 

A beat. She composes herself, and turns to look at him.

 

And I too, my dearest.

 

They smile at each other. The smile is fleeting. He leaves to field. She looks after him. She goes to speak, but doesn’t. The door closes. She picks up a potato, and starts to peel slowly. She starts to hum to herself. “Let’s Go Fly A Kite”. She reaches the end of the melody. She coughs into her hand. Looks at it. Blackout.