Loyalists chapter 4.
Dinner with the priests
Dinner with Rev Jones
After the match
DINNER WITH PRIESTS
Duncan knocked on the door of the presbytery. A tall and hefty middle aged woman with the face of an ogress opened the door. Her facial features were over large and sagging
”Hello you must be Mr Self?” said the woman. She wore a faded blue dress with a floral pattern.
”Yes, I am. I have been invited for dinner and you are?” said Duncan
”I am Mrs Philbin the housekeeper. Now come in” said Mrs Philbin
Duncan made great play of wiping the soles of his shoes on the doormat before stepping over the threshold
”Mr Self” said Boyle loudly. The amiability on his face was unmistakable. They shook hands.
”Thank you for inviting me father” said Duncan.
The house was small but well furnished and spotless. He was brought into the drawing room that also functioned as a dining room. On the walls there were images of the Infant of Prague, a Pieta, St Anthony of Padua and of St Patrick.
Fr Forrester dressed in black silk jupes rose to meet him. ”Ah Mr Self so good of you to come. We have been so looking forward to it.”
”Thank you father” said Duncan ”I never thought I would have dinner with Roman Catholic priests”
”Catholic clergy have often got on well with Protestants” said Forrester ” I was reading about the bishops of Derry. They often had a good relationship with the Church of Ireland.”
”With the Church of Ireland? But the Bishop of Derry is…Oh of course. You mean your Bishop of Derry. There are two bishops of Derry” said Duncan
”We believe there is only one Bishop of Derry. Another man may style himself Bishop of Derry” said Boyle seriously.
”Now now – let’s not talk about that” said Forrester.
They all sat down and the housekeeper served tea.
”Tell me Mr Boyle about this new man in town – this pastor Savage as he calls himself. Leading his flock astray so far as I can see. Preaching anti Catholic invective all the time” said Forrester.
”Yes” said Self ”I am proud to say I have never heard his rants. All fire and brimstone and denouncing Catholics as Gog and Magog. It is very worrying. Some of the dimmer boys are taken in by him. His sons are at our school – Wycliffe, Tyndale and Coverdale they are called. Savage is always talking about Protestants martyrs.”
”Only fair I suppose. We are always talking about Catholic martyrs” said Forrester.
”there can be no comparison between dying for the truth and dying for a lie” said Boyle.
”Fr Boyle – you forget yourself. We have a Protestant guest” said Forrester. ”Find something pleasant to say to this man.”
”Mr Self I admire the Protestant choral tradition and music. Even Orange bands are good to listen to.” said Boyle
”That is better” said Forrester.
”Thank you father Boyle. I am not an Orangeman though” said Duncan
”Yes we know” said Boyle ”I do wish some Orangies would not say kick the pope and all that.”
”You architecture is the best. People have told me some cathedrals in France are sublime” said Duncan.
They moved to the dining table. Fr Forrester said grace and they then chorused amen.
As the housekeeper served the food she said ”there you go monsignor”
Later Duncan inquired, ”Excuse me Fr Forrester why are you called monsignor?”
”Because I am the senior of the priests here” said Forrester ”It is Italian.” Then he took a bite of potato.
”Mr Self” said Fr Boyle ”It is so strange but nice to break bread with a Protestant. I can see you do not have horns after all! I remember when I was little my sister Fionnula had a Protestant friend. She did not know it at first. After a while Fionnula found out that Mildred was a Proddy and said ‘Is it true are you really one of them? A Prod?’ and Mildred said ‘Aye but I do not have horns’ ” he giggled.
”I know it is amazing people can think we are so different. We look just the same we live just the same” said Duncan.
”We both venerate Patrick the saint of our isle” said Fr Forrester ”He founded the Catholic Church in Ireland.”
”Fr Forrester – with respect he founded the Church of Ireland. We own all the sites associated with him Down Cathedral, Christ Church in Dublin. St Patrick’s Dublin etc…” said Duncan.
”Once we have Home Rule we shall get them back – depend upon it” said Fr Boyle not trying to be menacing.
”Mr Self surely you know that Patrick was sent to Ireland by the Roman Pontiff.” said Fr Forrester
”I have heard that. I have also heard that that is a mediaeval invention. The Church was not very united in the 5th century. Besides there was only one church in the world then all that from Portugal to Palestine. Western Christianity was united with the Eastern Church. We might as well say that Patrick founded the Orthodox Church here.” said Duncan.
”Let’s agree to disagree” said Fr Forrester.
”All right then.” said Duncan
”Funnily enough we get on better with the Church of Ireland and with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Russians are very hard on the Poles – they are Catholics you see. In Russian Poland they suffer severely” said Fr Forrester. ;”The odd thing is that Orthodox worship is so beautiful – so ritualistic and so iconographic. A Polish priest told me. I have never seen an Orthodox church”
”Goodness me. Well I have heard about it. A sailor I knew visited Asia Minor many times – went to Greek churches there” said Duncan.
”Ireland is a Catholic country and always has been but despite what I said about Home Rule we shall not harm you. Just take back the ancient sites and you may then worship unmolested.” said Fr Boyle.
”Fr Boyle I am a keen student of history. When the King of England first came to Ireland we were saying mass in Irish. That does not really suit you or the Orangemen to acknowledge that. The English brought Roman Catholicism. The pope even ordered Henry II to come here to bring Catholicism. You may have heard of the papal bull Laudabiliter.” said Duncan
”Now Mr Self I shall deal with that” said Forrester. ”I loved history when I was at Maynooth. Yes, Henry II made us start saying mass in Latin, changed our monks’ tonsure, ended clerical marriage, those abuses, changed the date of Easter – all that is true. But politically that is of no consequence today. He was not given any mandate to do so by His Holiness. Laudabiliter is a Protestant forgery. There is not record of it in the Vatican library. I am aware of the Laudabiliter myth. But you are right that the English brought us back to Catholicism when we had lost our way. Must be hideously embarrassing for the Orange Order. ”
”Fathers – it is so good that we can discuss all this in a civilized fashion. As for the Orange Order – they only look back to the Plantations. They do not care much about Ireland before then” said Duncan.
”Mr Self we shall be holding a ceilidh at the parish hall on Saturday. Perhaps you would like to come along.” asked Duncan.
”A ceilidh? Like Irish dancing and music? I have been to a few dances but never a ceilidh. Will you be dancing yourself father?” asked Duncan.
”No” said Boyle in amusment more than irritation. ”It would be unbecoming for a priest to dance.”
”Then why do you attend?” asked Duncan.
”Fr Forrester and I attend to superintend the morals of young people. We are to see that the music and dance does not excite their passions to much – it can be an occasion of sin. We do not want any concupiscence. ” said Boyle.
Duncan was bemused. ”I see. Well fathers I am flattered to be invited. I will have to consider it. But should I go. Would it be wise?”
”Why not?” asked Forrester amicably.
”I remember my mother saying we are polite to Roman Catholics but not too friendly. We can be civil but not friends. It could be awkward. She would say what if you have a Catholic friend and you fall in love with his sister or he with yours. What are we going to down then? It would be very difficult. They want to get married. Can they? If so in which church? If they get married in the Catholic Church then the Prods will say he is a lepor. If they get married in the Protestant Church then he will be an outcast among the Catholics. And as for the child – neither fish nor fowl. The children grow up all confused. Rejected by both communions. ” said Duncan.
”With respect Mr Self it need not be that way at all, at all. They couple can we in the Catholic Church. The one true church if you do not mind me saying so. The Protestant need not convert but it would be very much appreciated if he or she came back to mother church. Your ancestors were Catholics till only four hundred years ago. Protestantism is a very new thing. What is four hundred years in eternity? All Protesants will return to the fold in time. Mark my words! See the error of your ways. I do not blame you. You are not a bad class of men. If I had been brought up in it I might not see the light either. But anyway if you married a Catholic girl you could stay a Protestant so long as you promise that the fruit of your union would be raised in our church.” said Forrester.
”Father – that is generous of you. But I am not sure it would be a good idea. No church would be happy for its children to be going over to the other side. I am not against your church or anything. In fact it is a lot better from what I hear than that awful Gospel Hall. But my children being brought up in the Roman Church? That is a big step. ” said Duncan.
”Not even married yet. We shall have you married off by Christmas” Father Boyle quipped.
”All right – I shall come!” Duncan heard himself say. Had that been a rush of blood to the head? He had second thoughts but dared not voice them. That would be discourteous.
TEA WITH JANE.
One afternoon Duncan having tea with his niece.
”Uncle Duncan are we Scottish?” asked Jane.
”Well no we are Irish. We are a little bit Scottish a long time ago.” said Duncan.
”Morag McAllister said that Protestants are Scottish.” said Jane. ”Her family came from Scotland.”
” A lot of people came from Scotland to this part of Ireland about 300 years ago. So she is kind of right. But English people came here too. The Scots and the English intermarried there because they were both Protestants and English speaking. We married the native Irish too but not so much because they are Catholic and back then they did not speak English.” said Duncan.
”So we are Scottish and Irish.” said Jane
”Yes and English. Just Irish now really. They used to call some people Scotch-Irish. Roughly speaking the Scots were Presbyterians and the English here were Church of Ireland. But then the Scots and English married each other so much nobody could really be called totally Scottish or English. We Ulster Protestants are the most British of all! A perfect mix of English, Scots and Native Irish too and some Welsh!” said Duncan.
”Aine McIlkenny said that Prods are British and not belong in Ireland. We should go back where we came from. Is that right? She said we have no right to be here.” said Jane.
”Jane some children here a lot of nonsense form their parents. Just ignore it. Aine maybe heard some horrible things from her parents so we try to forgive her.” said Duncan.
”But she says you can be British or Irish but not both – never. We love the King so we should get out. That is what she told me” said Jane. ”The Catholics are Irish and the Prods cannot be.”
”Jane well that was a nasty thing to say. You can be both” said Duncan. ”As for the Scots thing well the Scots were an Irish tribe from this part of Ireland. We moved to Caledonia a very long time ago.”
”Caledonia that is what the Romans called it.” said Jane
”Jane I can see why you won the history prize in school. You will be a headmistress one day.” said Duncan.
”I want to be a Professor of Everything!” said Jane gleefully.
”I cannot fault you for ambition. University! Only for posh boys really. Very, very few girls go to university. With a mind like yours I wish you could. But it is not going to happen. Sorry.” said Duncan. ”But as for the Scottish thing. The word Scotland does not come from Scotland funnily enough. We defeated the Picts – you know Pictii ‘painted ones’ in Latin that is what the Romans called them.”
”I have not started Latin yet” said Jane.
”You soon will do. I am no great shakes at it but I can help you with it a little. As a professor you would not far well without it! So we went to Scotland. After 1 000 years the Scottish Protestants coming to Ulster were really the same people coming home after 1 000 years” said Duncan.
”Was that not unfair on the Irish who were always here. Native Irish who spoke Irish and were Catholic?” said Jane
”Well kind of it was but they had rebelled against the king. In those days if you betrayed the king you did not just lose your land you lost your life. So the king was lenient just to take the land. There was a lot of fighting in Scotland and England between this king and that king. Those who lost had their land taken away. Remember almost everyone was a farmer till almost a hundred years ago.” said Duncan.
A few nights later Lord Johnson was in the front hall of Sperrin Hall. He wore a dark suit complete with a Masonic apron. His father came down the stairs similarly accoutered.
”My dear boy you are in camouflage. Hardly recognized you without a drink in your hand” said the Earl of Sperrin.
”Pater, do leave me be. I am trying to hard not to drink before the masonic meeting” said Lord Johnson.
”Jolly Good show, my boy, good show.” said Lord Sperrin.
”How are things in town?” asked Lord Johnson.
”Oh wonderful. Bit too crowded. Keeps getting bigger. So many Poles, Russians and all sorts. I saw a few Chinamen. Lots of Indians too. But Clarisse – she is my elixir of youth. I am a young man again! London is splendid. A capitol capital!” he quipped. ”This Home Rule business is bloody though. ” said the earl. ” I wish to go back to Dublin some time. It is like London – only chummier” he harrumphed.
Just then the doorbell rang and a footman showed in some masons who had alighted from a carriage.
Dr Mallon walked in.
”Ah Mallon!” said the earl. ”How good of you to join us.”
”Thank you m lord. I told my wife I was making a house call. She does not approve of the Freemasons” said Mallon
”Well I know Catholics don’t – apart from you. You are a very brave and broadminded man.” said the earl
”Thank you m lord. I would not like Monsignor Forrester to find out about it or he would denounce me from the pulpit.” said Mallon
”Mallon you are such a thoroughly decent chap it is a pity you are not an Orangeman. It is just like the Masons – so many words and symbols the same. The founder James Wilson was a Mason you see.” said the earl.
”M lord I consider it a compliment but the Orange Order would be a bridge too far. I am not prepared to convert. ” said Mallon
”There was a chap in Scotland converted from Roman Catholicism. Because head honcho of the Orangemen in Scotland. We do not hold his birth against him” said the earl.
The earl then glad handed the other guests. There were twenty Protestants and one other Catholic – Rory O’Flynn a Catholic gentleman farmer. Soon Duncan arrived.
They filed into the ballroom for their ceremonies. Before they started the earl remarked to Dr Mallon, ”Where is McAllister?”
”Dr McAllister is on duty. What if someone falls gravely ill m lord?”
”He is as good a Mason as any. Well he shall be here next time.” said the earl
”Yes, your lordship. We take it in turns.” said Mallon
Lord Johnson then addressed his father ”I am so looking forward to the cricket season properly starting. Only thing that helps me cut down on drink”
”You had better move to warmer climes my boy. At this rate the demon drink will kill you by 30. I know I have plenty more sons. If you go somewhere warmer then you can play cricket year round” said the earl.
”I had thought that pater but we must stop this beastly Home Rule business” said the lord
”No politics once inside a masonic meeting ” said the earl ”remember – any man may join the craft whatever his politics or religion.”
Duncan was sworn into the craft.
After the meeting they dined.
Lord Johnson asked Mallon, ”Will you be playing cricket this summer? We shall be practicing soon.”
”Yes, m lord. But I shall be playing for Armagh this year.” said Dr Mallon.
”Armagh? Kai su teknon.” said Lord Johnson.
”Forgive me” said Mallon sheepishly.
”Oh I shall. It is only a sport I tell you. Bloody good fun though. Thinking of going back to Varsity soon. Just finish one last cricket season. I am bored silly with learning. Too old for school! I am twenty. I am thick as two short planks so why bother with a degree. I shan’t graduate. Who cares? A peer does not need a degree” said Lord Johnson.
”Yes, your lordship. You are quite right.” Mallon smiled falsely. It struck him as wrong that someone so unbookish and indolent should have higher station than himself.
”An aristo can be an army officer. Never a naval officer!” said the lord. ”Royal Navy is a bit too hands on, a bit too dangerous if you ask me. Look at Nelson son of a penniless parson. Royal Naval officers are middling sorts. The tars are the roughest scrapings of the dockland bars – brothel born bastards. Only people have tattoos are sailors and tarts. I wonder what the connection is between those two groups!”
”I was in the Royal Navy for years m’ lord.” said Dr Mallon.
”Oh yes so you were. I heard. Ships’ doctor on Duke of York. Sailors were as I said I s’pose. Rough sorts. Scrapings of every gaol and teeming slum. Then they are consorting with ladies of the night I don’t doubt. Have of them had VD I shouldn’t wonder.” said Lord Johnson.
”Yes my lord I am afraid you are right. Not all bad men. Just poor – born poor. ” said Mallon knitting his brow in anxious solicitude, ‘‘A family for those who never had a family. Join the navy at twelve. At least that way these poor boys had a full belly for the first time in their lives, a roof over their heads, clothes. New clothes. Some of them could not believe it when they got new clothes I had to the medical on them when they wanted to take the Queen’s shilling. So many with rickett’s – you know bow legs. Had to turn down so many bantamweights. These seldom fed boys. Some of them were pleading crying for me to pass them anyway. Navy was their only meal ticket. I saw men of 20 who could not write their names. And you are right – some of them are the son’s of strumpets. I saw some born syphlitics. Had to turn them down for the navy.”
”My word Mallon – almost enough to turn a man into a socialist! But I remember what Salisbury said – socialism is beyond the pale of human tolerance. We cannot have surtax. They call it ”sir” tax. Only baronets and above have to pay it! Why should the blue blooded have to pay for the lower orders? Hoi pelloi are happy with their lot. Aren’t they? I give of my time to judge the school declamation competition. I have seen the Prod boys badly dressed. But Roman Catholic boys are in rags! But that is the way providence ordained it. That is what the chaplain said at school. I remember that hymn by Mrs C F Alexander ”The rich man in his castle/ The poor man at his gate/ God ordered their dominion/ He ordered their estate.” It is God’s will. I tell you -You can’t argue with God! Tell me Mallon – what was the ghastliest thing you ever say in the navy?”
”Well my lord. One time I saw a man hanged.” said the doctor
”Really” Lord Johnson gasped.
”My word what was it like?”
”A pirate my lord” said Dr Mallon, ”Captured him in the Persian Gulf. He was some class of Turk. I still remember his name. Samir Valiyev. Short, podgy ugly little toad. A real gargoyle with bug eyes. Not a swarthy chap – as white as a Christian. Anyway, he had been terrorizing the shipping lanes. Sunk a few fishing smacks. Enslaved the fishermen – fellow Mohammedans mind. He had attempted to ravish the women. They say he could not manage to sustain an erection – so obese he was. He had killed the women in a manner so gruesome I shall not even describe. Anyway drumhead court on board. Sentenced to hang. He exuded a real air of sheer evil. He was shouting oaths and threats. Then the curses died away and he was weeping like an infant – pleading with us. He nastied himself. His legs gave way. He to be carried on deck to be hanged from the yardarm. The hangman was a sailor who said he knew what he was doing. Had not read his Marwood.”
”Marwood – what on earth is that?” asked Lord Johnson.
”Marwood. You know – William Marwood. ” said Dr Mallon, ”Fully licensed public executioner. You know the ditty – ”if pa killed ma who’s kill pa? Marwood. ” Marwood wrote that table of drops. Tabulate the drop for the condemned’s weight so you break the vertebrae. As the only medical officer on board I had to witness execution – I was going to have to certify the man dead. I thought I would just turn away the moment he dropped down – have a cigarette for five minutes. Then come back and find a nice limp corpse to pronounce dead. Hangman did not know what he was doing. To short a drop even for that fat little ogre. So Valiyev hung their twisting and twitching. We had no hood for his face. His face, his purpling face and eyes bursting out – well I shall not even say. I am a medical man. I have seen some sickening sights but that was the worst of the lot. I started to feel sorry for the old imp.”
”Well I say! My word – so he died then?” said Lord Douglas.
”Oh yes he died. I even spoke to the hangman. We even considered cutting him down just so we could string him up again and do a clean job a minute later with a longer rope. But no – we could not bear to go through it again. Just get it over with. He expired all right. Took half a bloody hour of him gurgling. I vomited over the side. That was that. Thank God that was over. I was able to put my stethoscope to his chest and pronounce life extinct. Since then well – I have been against the death penalty. I could not ask another doctor to have to see what I have seen. I am hear to heal and not to kill. It is not killing a man in battle. This does not need to be done. If the sailor had dropped the pirate off right then he would have been snuffed out light a candle. ” said Dr Mallon
”My word it is quite a tale you tell – you old saltie. You not spinning me a yarn are you?” asked Lord Johnson jovially.
”No my lord I am not” said Dr Mallon. ”Old sea dog though I am – I am not spinning you a sailor’s yarn.”
”No, I s’pose not. Did not seem like much of a tall tale. Tell me – that sailor who hanged the pirate wrongly. Did he ever work as a hangman again?”
”Yes, my lord he emigrated to Australia and is an assistant hangman there. He runs a pub there called ‘Help the poor struggler.”’ said Dr Mallon.
Lord Johnson laughed raucously. ”He should have called it – the last drop.”
”Well I wrote to him. Is he liking his other profession? He said – it is nice work if you can get it.” said Dr Mallon
”I ‘d wager he has never had a complaint from a client!” said Lord Johnson.
”I asked him what hanging was like he said – it is a pain in the neck” he guffawed.
”Indeed” said Mallon. ”Odd thing was on the ship some of the sailors rushing forward to touch the pirate’s hand when I finally said he was dead. They are a superstitious lot mariners.”
”Touch his hand? WHy did the mariners want to touch a dead man’s hand.?” Lord Johnson was perplexed.
”The hand of glory. There is that old folk tale that a hanged man’s hand can cure certain maladies. The man must be dead before you touch it. Some say left hand only. Others say either hand. The hand does not need to touch the affected part of a man’s person. Just anywhere on the body will cure the affected organ. ” said Dr Mallon
”How very peculiar. Macabre!” said Lord Johnson.
”Yes it was. A rating wanted cut it off and boil that left hand. The fat from it is said to make a candle with magical properties. But the captain of the ship would not hear of it. We are not having any necromancy on a Christian ship he said. Quite right too. The pirate was buried at sea within ten minutes of me pronouncing him dead.” said Mallon.
”Great Caesar’s ghost! A frightful business. Attempting witchery on one of His Majesty’s ships.” said Lord Johnson.
”I was aboard Duke of York in Queen Victoria’s time” said Dr Mallon.
”I see, I see but still a frightful business, what? Tell me was there any sodomy among the other ranks?” asked Lord Johnson.
”Yes my lord, occasionally. If we found out that any bastard was a bugger we just shipped him off to the frog navy.” said Dr Mallon.
As the evening wore on more drink was taken. The Earl of Sperrin remarked to his son. ”Is that Sheffield over there?”. He indicated a middle aged man of 5’6” with a bald bonce but dense black hair around the rims of his head. He had a melancholic manner and very pallid skin. His morose brown eyes were topped by very bushy eyebrows and shifted shiftily in his drooping face that looked as though it has never once smiled.
”Yes m lord that is Sheffield.” said Lord Johnson.
”What is that Valkyrie doing here?” asked Lord Sperrin.
”Pater he was sworn into the craft whilst you in town.” said Lord Johnson.
”You should have written to me by Jove! An undertaker in the craft. Whatever next? I shouldn’t wonder if the Roman Catholic priesthood is asking to join next. That fellow was born with an undertaker’s face.” said Lord Sperrin.
”Type cast he is papa, type cast. Undertakers – they are seldom the fun sort. It wouldn’t do to have a chap as an undertaker if he is also in music hall.” said Lord Johnson.
DINNER WITH REVEREND JONES
Duncan dined with Reverend Jones. The clergyman spoke in his gentle and almost banal tone, ”Duncan you are doing so well teaching Sunday school. You are a man of such faith.”
”Thank you Rev Jones. Trouble is I am not a man of much faith more a man of doubt. That is why I was unsure about teaching Sunday school at all.” said Duncan.
”I see” Jones was stumped for a moment. ”Well a young man, a man with an inquiring mind should have some doubts. I was plagued by doubt as an undergraduate. But you must suppress them. How do you know that the devil does not put such heretical thoughts into your mind?”
”Well I am not sure that he does not” said Duncan
”There you are!” said Jones smiling for once.
”But Reverend Jones – the thing is about Abraham being told by God to sacrifice Isaac. How did he know that it was not satan putting those thoughts into his head? Thought projection. I read a psychiatric manual. Seemed like that” said Duncan/
”He knew. Oh – he just knew. That is what faith is” said Jones – doubt spreading across his face.
”There are other things. We broke away from Rome nigh on 400 years ago. We go by the word of Jesus. But where in the Bible does it say we need priests? Let alone deacons, archdeacons, canons, bishops, archbishops and all that jamboree? I know that many of the clergy are good and sincere men. Some of them are very giving. But some of them are takers. Some of the clerics are not there for the right reason – more concerned about the colour of their robe than helping the suffering.” said Duncan
”You are right I have been troubled by this myself sometimes. A simpler church a church that is not so proud and worldly would be good.” said Rev Jones. ”But we need some sort of order. We need to know who is who. Otherwise you get completed buffoons like Savage. A rabble rouser with his unbiblical ranting. ”
”The church buildings are so expensive. Think of what we could do with that money and those man hours. Decent housing for the poor, food for the starving, fire wood and coal for the cold. It seems immoral.” said Duncan.
”I agree some clergy are greedy. This is the fight that Jesus was fighting when he whipped the money lenders out of the temple” said Jones.
”Yes, I realise. But the same corruption has crept back into the church” said Duncan. ”What did we have the Reformation for if we are only a pale imitation of the Roman Catholics?”
”Anglicanism has its failing but it is still better than Roman Catholicism. We brought the Bible in a language understanded for the people. Men died for that. We do not have nepotism and so on. We do not have bishops living in such opulence. The Catholic Church has the pornocracy and such scandals – cardinals with mistresses and murder plots. The Church is human not divine. We try to serve the Lord and we all fall short. The clergy are sinners too. Who told you that clergy are sinless? I admit the sin of pride is one I have noticed in many clergymen. Some of them like the sound of their own voice too much” said Rev Jones.
”Yes, Reverend Jones” said Duncan relieved at the clergymans’s reaction. ”I am glad that you recognize that. This is what puts the average Joe off. All the thing about calling a man reverened , right reverend, very reverend, lord bishop and all that. Where is all that in the Gospel? Jesus was humble and some clergy are so haughty. I know that Roman Catholics are worse – treating the pope like he is pharaoh. They call their cardinals princes of the church. They want earthly power.”
”The thing is your average Christian is a simple minded sort. He does not understand the theology but he does know a splendid church when he sees one. We need the colourful robes and the handsome buildings and the fine titles. Even a simpleton then knows that the church is important and our message is vital. You said it yourself – extreme Protestantism is ascetic. It takes the colour and the joy out of life. Jesus wants us to celebrate the wonders of creation” said Jones.
”Rev Jones – where do you stand on this whole Home Rule business?” said Duncan.
”I am basically against but I do not talk politics. You know those who are episcopally ordained are not supposed to have politics – cannot be elected. ” said Jones ”We are not an established church, not since 1870. But there is still this notion abroad that we ought to be linked to our kith and kin in Great Britain. I want to keep things the way they are now. Probably because that is what I am used to. I am not against Home Rule for the rest of Ireland. They want it down there. Have to admit it. Even in Dublin 8 out of ten want it. So let them have it. But not in Ulster if you please. But do not go telling people that. There are even a couple of Protestants who want it. But half my congregation would be against me for not being staunch enough against Home Rule!”
”I see. I do not want it either. As you say the South is a forlorn hope. They want it. Let them have it – fair enough. But does it have to be so bad there? They say they may bring in tariffs. Ruin the economy. Tories wanted tariffs – imperial preference. Home Rulers were against it but maybe just to cosy up to their Liberal allies” said Duncan. ”Redmond says he is against tariffs but not so sure he believe them.”
”I know on the face of it Home Rule does not have to be bad. Just a return to what we had prior to the Union. But things have moved on. Times have changed. The Catholics did not get much of a say back then and now they do. Of course it is their right. Home Rule in itself is tolerable but where will it lead? A republic? A confessional state? They might form an alliance with France or Germany. Bring foreign troops into the country. Most Catholics consider the English to be foreign you see. Daft isn’t it? The British Army is our army. The Royal Navy is our navy. The army is more Irish than English. ” said Jones.
”Quite right. England would never have won anything if it were not for us.” said Duncan. ”We have achieved so much. The Empire is Ireland’s empire.”
”We brought civilization to whole continents. My uncle was a missionary out in India. He brought the Bible to the heathen there. Oddly the district commissioner would only let him prosyletise to the untouchables.” said Jones.
”The untouchables? Forgive me Rev Jones I do not know what you mean.” said Duncan.
”The untouchables are a cast of people they are outcasts like lepers in days of yore. Not that they have leprosy. They are shunned by their own race. It is the Hindus or is it the Mohammedans they are? Anyway they are spurned like rabid curs.” said Jones, ” My uncle brought the blessings and the light of the Gospel to those poor dark unbelievers. And now they are Christian.”
”Very good.” said Duncan. ”He was like St Patrick. ”
”Indeed. The flag follows the cross. It was English missionaries who go to India before the East India Company. ” said Jones. ”Our imperialism makes me so proud to be Irish. Only thing makes me ashamed is Oscar Wilde.”
”Oh yes well I have had Englishmen rib me about him” said Duncan.
”I know. When I was a boy people said only Englishmen were guilty of that sin. But there we have it. Still he was a very gifted playwright. I saw a few of his plays before the scandal broke. He was a splendid raconteur. My aunt’s husband knew him at Trinity.” said Rev Jones.
Out of curiosity Duncan went along to a meeting at the Gospel Hall. It was a midweek evening. Many working class people were there for free entertainment. They wore ragged clothes and some children were discalced. Pastor Justin Savage sat at the side of the edge with his arms folded and scowling. The congregation were all seated. They muttered. Savage then cleared his throat significantly. The hubbub slowly subsided. He then glowered at them a moment before rising to his feet.
Pastor Savage walked to the wooden podium with dramatic slowness. The tension mounted. He paused again and frowned. His stormy face scanned the congregation. His flaming glance had them waiting for his first utterance. What was he going to say?
”Fellow Protestants! ” he roared. It came as a relief to the congregation to hear him speak at last. ”We have the devil in our midst.”
The people gasped in horror.
”The spectre of popery haunts us. Make no mistake – be’elzebub is in this district and active – very active. His band of followers are the papists. The nuns are his witches and the popish priests are his warlocks. I have it on good authority that only last week papists in Cavan kidnapped a Protestant baby. They cut the babies arms and legs off and watched the poor child bleed to death.”
A woman fainted.
”That is the savagery that typifies popery. It is the mass – their satanic ceremony. We must stand firm against the pure evil that is Romanists. Have no truck with the RCs. The Rat Catchers. We call them that because they catch rats. They use to the rats to try to spread pestilence among the clean living Protestant folk. The taig is a rat himself. You have seen them crooked and filthy – papists living in sewers.” he spat out the words.
Savage note the trust in the congregation’s eyes.
”Good Protestant people – arm yourselves. We must be on our guard and ever vigilant. We must be unsleeping for the papist means to do us harm. There are those among us who are weak willed and feeble minded. They say – oh but the popeheads are Christians too, they pray to the same lord. Let us go easy on the papishes. Let us show forbearance to the papist. Treat the papist with compassion and he will be decent. There are some who sell to papists, who buy from papists, who hire papists or who work for papists. I say it is a fool who would trust the romanists. The papist cannot be trusted. He only ever plots and plans our downfall. Do not let the treacherous papist complete his dastardly plan. He would stab us in the back the minute he gets the chance. Never trust a papist. We shall not slumber or sleep. For the sick minded the fiendish romanist is forever schemeing to slaughter us. You shall not do any trade with any papist. You shall not make the acquaintance of popery. Some of ye in moments of weakness have been kind to the papist. Would you trust the devil himself? If a papist seems nice to you it is a Judas kiss! There are some that has sisters and brothers who have walked out with a papist. There is one who has a sister married to a papist and another has a brother married to a papist. It is an abomination in the sight of the lord. Ye shall not suffer your children to marry satan’s spawn! If you do a good deed to a Romanist then you spit on the graves the many millions of Protestant that the papist murdered not twenty miles from here!”
The audience cheered its approval.
”This is God’s own country. The Lord gave it to us! This is British Israelism. We have replaced the Jew as God’s own people. He commanded us to drive out the Canaanites. Like Joshua we shall knock down the walls of Jericho. We shall not suffer them to worship their false gods. We shall hew down their statues. We shall rent in sunder their idols. We are mandated to take their land and their chattels.” said Savage. ”We shall reduce the papist to the vilest servitude that he so richly deserves. ”
The audience hooted and stamped their feet.
”When the Rat Catchers are reduced to slavery we shall be masters over them. They are white negroes. We shall teach those lazy niggers to work. No wonder the papist is so poor – he is a loafer. The Lord of Hosts shall strengthen our arm. He shall remember how in former times he favoured the righteous over the wicked. Let us smite the ungodly a deathly blow. The papist practices the foulest Satanism worshipping gog and magog. They have goblins and hobgoblins in their mass houses. That is why the most sickening acts of debauchery take place in the mass houses every day. The papists have the nerve to call those mass houses ‘churches.”’
A cry of approval went up.
”There are those who say go easy on the RCs. As I said this is misguided at best. Never trust as RC. Those who want to compromise with the rat catchers are pusillanimous. They are limp wristed and lily livered. We are no yellow bellies. We recognize that to survive we must fight. Remember the siege of Derry. The papist hoards had us trapped in Londonderry. Like rats in a trap so they thought. The English ships came over. But the captain of the ship was a weak willed man – the kind that today would try to meet popery half way. That damnable coward would not save the suffering Protestant people of loyal Derry. The blood poured out from the noble hearted defenders of the city. The lion hearted people of Londonderry defended their home. The papists and their French allies used devilish cannon to bombard the city. What a cowardly and uncivilized tactic. But they could not break the spirit of the proud Protestant people of Londonderry. They suffered some terrible persecution. They were starving but not subjugated. The people ate cats and dogs. Many saw their children grow wan and pale and slip away. The limp and wasted body of an innocent babe was lowered into the damp clay. That was all the papists’ doing! Yet still the cowardly English would not rescue us! We poured out our life’s blood for King William. Till finally our Lord God put steel in the soul of an English captain. The ship Mountjoy broke the boom and lifted the siege. The cowardly Fenians fled as fast as their cloven hooves could carry them. Bog trotters back to the bogs. Croppies lie down! There are faithful Englishmen – faithful to their trust. There are good Scotchmen and Welsh. But more than a few English are wishy washy. They are like Lundy – too eager to sell us out. Look out for Judas. He wants his thirty pieces of silver. We are loyal to the Crown of England. We reject the demon drink. The papists make it to poison us. Be like Samson – fight for the Lord. Do not be beguiled by a papist Delilah and her potions. Temperance is the source of England’s might. ” said Savage.
A round of applause broke out. He lapped up the plaudits.
”The papist is poor because he is an idler. Some of you are poor because you are conned by papist. The Romanist is a thief. He send the gold to Rome to buy guns to slaughter us Protestant people. We are good and they are evil. It is them and us. The papist has horns under his skull. They come out at night when he sups with the devil. The Rat Catchers are responsible for all manner of crime and villainy. Every misdemeanor, mischief and felony has a papist behind it. Popery is evil – sheer unadulterated evil. It is false Christianity. It is polytheism. They make a mockery of Christinaity. Remmeber how they tortured and burnt so many brave Protestant martyrs. The papist is a sadist. So if you are poor you live in honest poverty. No shame in that. It is the Romanist who has made you poor. They laugh at our suffering. Let us laugh at them – have a ball as the Bible tell us too. Read the good book. We believe in using private judgment to understand the Holy Bible. The papist believes the stinking lies of the priests and prelates. Read Maria Monk – this woman revealed the sickening crimes and orgies that go on in mass houses. ”
Dr Mallon and Dr McAllister had just opened their surgery on a quiet midweek morning. No patients had yet arrived.
They sat smoking in the waiting room.
”These woodbines really are the finest” said Sean Mallon.
”Yes, you are so right Sean. They clear the lungs like nothing else. So good for opening the throat.” said Kyle McAllister.
”I know Kyle” said Mallon ”I never feel healthier when smoking these. Better than navy cut.”
”I recommend cigarettes to all my patients Sean” said McAllister ”not enough women smoke. I find that cigarettes have a most therapeutic effect on nervous conditions – hysteria and on night starvation, TB – you name it.”
”There is so much malnutrition in this district that is the trouble.” said Mallon.
”That’s right. SO many children brought into the world who the families cannot feed. I delivered Priscilla Woodham’s child last week – her fourteenth.” said McAllister.
”Well I was called to Nuala O’Prey’s last month and it was her twelfth. So you Prods beat us in that!” said Mallon. ”Mrs O’Prey is the most fertile Catholic woman in the parish.”
”The O’Prey’s are a fecund brood.” said McAllister. ”It is curious because people are always saying that Roman Catholics are more philogenerative than us. I found it a myth. You know I am a man for statistics. I register the births, marriages and deaths. Protestant women in this parish bear 4.9 children per capita and Roman Catholic women 4.7. So no significant difference. ”
”Of course the O’Prey’s did not ask me over the birth no need. Childbed is not an illness. The family can handle her confinement on their own. By God they have had plenty of practice!” Mallon chuckled. ”The O’Prey’s could never afford the fee. I waive the fee sometimes. But I am no charity. Haven’t I children of my own to educate? The O’Preys are tatie hokers so how could they ever afford to pay me a farthing never mind a guinea! Anyway they called me over because the infant was gravely ill. Meningitis. Don’t they live in a filthy kip. But by the time they called me in their was nothing to be done. I ‘d say they expect half their children to die. Haven’t they laid half a dozen of them in the earth. The one that was born to her last year was born to die. I could see it. A boy and very week. He did not last out the month God bless his wee soul.”
”What gets my goat” said McAllister ”is when the father pleads poverty. Says he cannot afford to pay an ob. Then don’t I see him tottering out of the pub that very night much the worse for wear. He has drink taken. ”
”I know, I know Kyle. There are so many chancers and hard luck stories. But something must be done for the wee folk. Some of them are as poor as church mice. It is not the children’s fault. A third of the children are malnourished. Even if they have enough praties they have nothing else besides. So bandy legged they grow up no meat or milk inside them. ” said Mallon
”You are not proposing socialized medicine?” said McAllister in a tone of horrified judgment.
”No, Kyle what do you take me for? Those socialist types with red ties and brown shoes? I am not want of those Labour Party clowns.” said Mallon. ”But Labour men are not entirely wrong when they say that the working man gets a bad deal for it. If he was decently fed in childhood and had a desk to study at – at home after school then he might come out able to write a half decent composition.”
”Well too true – we need a bit of Christian charity. ” said McAllister.
”Think of those Harley Street men on a thousand pounds a year. I met one of them once. He had been a missionary doctor in the slums of the East End. He said there he saved lives every single day. But on Harley Street he mostly saw patients who were only a trifle indisposed.” said Mallon.
”Such a waste of talent I know. But that is where the money is – buttering up rich old widows, malingerers and your hypochondriacs. Tell them to buy all the cocaine and heroin they need for their nerves.” said McAllister.
”those drugs ought to be controlled they are terrible dangerous.” said Mallon.
”Controlled. Come off it. Cocaine is a medicine – invented by a German ophthalmologist.” said McAllister. ”Control it indeed! This is a free country. A man has the right to walk into a pharmacy and buy whatever medicine he sees fit. What will the world come to if we put inspectors everywhere and will not allow people to purchase what they please. You will be banning alcohol next.”
”I am a drinking man too. No, I do not want a law against it. But some restriction on alcohol surely. You see a father drinking his week’s wages in an hour. Then his children starve. It cannot be right. Have some limit to drinking hours.” said Mallon.
”Well I agree with you on that. But that Father Mathew was wrong – take away are liberty. We are Irish – a free people. We have the right to drink.” said McAllister
”We do. He was not saying that a man who drinks should be made a felon. He was only inducing his followers to take the pledge.” said Mallon.
”That is not so bad then. Tell me – did you hear this rumour about Edward Scrope?” asked McAllister.
”Scrope – who is Scrope now?” asked Mallon
”Scrope , you know Scrope. Edward Scrope the doctor over in Shortisle.” said McAllister
”Ah yes rings a bell. Yes I met him a couple of times” said Mallon a lightbulb going off in his mind.
”You heard the rumours about him molesting women?” said McAllister.
”Yes, I did. It is coming back to me now. I had a few anonymous letters last year saying he was up to no good. He was molesting his female patients.” said Mallon.
”I had some too. More recently a man came to see me about his spinster sister being touched up. Unnecessary internal examinations. The pervert is drooling over theM. Touching them up . Making them totally undress. In a nude state for such a thing as a cough. Taking photos and saying it is ,medically necessary. He is wise enough not to do it to a married woman lest her husband take vengeance.” said McAllister.
‘I heard a girl’s father took exception. Gave Scrope a shiner. so he did.” said Mallon.
” I heard so too. The man punched Scrope’s lights out. But he kept doing it.” said McAllister.
”But can we believe this? Could these not be just malicious rumours.” said Mallon
”Who would false accuse. In all my years I never heard the like of it. So many anonymous letters. All by different hands. Graphology is a hobby of mine. There are quite a few complainants. People have had a word in my ear about it. That is why women are walking ten miles to be treated by us” said McAllister.
”I suppose you are right. Who would false accuse a doctor? The most respected man around. We are the authority. We are the educated ones. And we are still the richest in town after Lord Sperrin. ” said Mallon.
”I think this is credible. I have met Scrope and you can just tell he is a sex maniac. That defeated little mouse of a wife he has.” said McAllister.
”So what do we do? Nothing much we can do. It is bringing the profession into disrepute.” said Mallon
”It is good for our practise. More patients but women are being molested by that fiend.” said McAllister.
”If these women go to the RIC they can say there was indecent assault. It is up to them” said Mallon.
”We could go to the General Medical Council. But perhaps not. They would do nothing – say it is unproven. Should they even do anything?. Close ranks. He is one of ours.” said McAllister.
”Maybe you are right. He has done me a good turn now and then. Deserves another good turn” said Mallon.
”It would just cause a panic if it all came out in the open. Women would never come to use with their gynaecological issues. The female parts are most complex. Mons veneris is the trickiest anatomy I ever studied. ” said McAllister. ” The profession must not be left with egg on its face.”
”I suppose you are right. We are all physicians after all. Birds of a feather stick together! I have heard of women qualifying. I cannot believe a woman could make a decent doctor. They are not born to it. They cannot stand the sight of blood. ” said Mallon.
”Just bury the whole thing. Forget it. If women go to him they consent to it.” said McAllister.
”Least said soonest mended” said Mallon. ”Oh blow. I am out of woodbines. My daughter will be here in a minute. She always looks in before school. I will send her to the tobacconist. Get her to buy more cigarettes from O’Reilly’s.”
”Yes, good idea” said McAllister. ”You know this Children’ Act thing last year was it? I heard there are some shops will not sell cigarettes to children now.”
”That is madness. Have we become a dictatorship?” asked Mallon. ”We are not saying the children should smoke them just fetch them for their parents. Even if the children smoke – does them no harm. ”
”I agree. Healthiest thing in the world. Never trust a medical man who does not smoke.” said McAllister.
”Come to think of it I have never heard of a doctor who did not smoke” said Mallon ”Proves that it is essential. Tobacco has such health giving properties.”
”I agree – so salubrious. There was some doctor in England talking twaddle. Said cigarettes are bad for people. Never heard such horse cobblers in my life. The man ought to have been struck off the medical register” said McAllister.
”Hear hear. Cigarettes – I can never deliver a baby without smoking. Always helps performing a surgical operation to have a cigarette on the go.” said Mallon.
”No wonder people died young before Drake or was it Hawkins brought tobacco back from America. ” said McAllister.
”Trouble is there is this new talk of a law against people buying cocaine and heroin. Whatever next? People need to be able to take these drugs. Cocaine is just a pick me up.” said Mallon.
”I know what is the world coming to? Where will it end? I despair” said McAllister.
”You are so right. We must get more women smoking – cures their nervous diseases and hysteria.” said Mallon.
AFTER THE MATCH
Duncan’s team had been thrashed by Strabane Rovers. Duncan and his teammates met at O’Kelly’s Pub that night.
They sat sipping pints when Denis said ”Why is Jude not coming?”
”Ah he refuses to drink in any place owned by a Catholic” said Duncan.
”What a bigot” said Denis.
”There are some who think the way he does.” said Duncan.
”There are some Catholics think the same way” said Denis. ”I think it is going to get worse with all this Home Rule stuff.”
”Home Rule” a man ginger shouted. He was facing away from Duncan, Denis, Alan and their mates. He turned around. The very pale and blue eyed man glared at them. ”Home Rule? Are you saying we are not to have Home Rule?” he ranted. The bar had gone silent.
”I was not saying that I was just saying…” said Denis shyly.
”You are a Prod and you dare to come into a Catholic bar and say we are not gonna have Home Rule? Well I am telling youse different” the man gritted his teeth and lifted a bottle of beer menacingly. ”We are going to have Home Rule and we are going to kick you Orange scum into the sea. Do youse hear?”
”Um that is not what he was saying” said Duncan awkwardly.
”Shut up when you speak to me!” said the ginger man. A few of the ginger man’s friends gathered beside him and nodded threateningly.
”Kevin – please calm down I brought these lads in” said Alan.
”Alan you brought Prods in here?” said Kevin Maguire.
”Yes, Protestants come in from time to time it is normal” said Alan.
”It is not fucking normal while I am alive. You are an Orange loving traitor are youse?” said Kevin.
”Er… no… These lads are not Orangemen.” said Alan
”How do you know? How do you know so much about the Orange Order. You been going to the Orange Hall?” asked Kevin
”No, never.” said Alan.
”I am giving you and your Orange bastards pals ten second to get out of before we beat you black and blue. ” said Kevin.
”I will take a warning” said Duncan. ”Come on Denis” he pulled at his sleeve.
One of the team was minded to fight but the others pulled him out.
That Saturday evening Duncan put on his finest suit and trilby. He had spit polished his black brogues. He walked to the Catholic parochial hall.
A few youths stood by the door chewing the fat and smoking. Alan was among the knot of youths.
”Duncan – what are you doing here?” said Alan sounding anxious.
”Here for the ceilidh of course.” said Duncan smiling.
”This is a Catholic ceilidh. You do know that?” said Alan knitting his brow. Most of his crew were neutral but one scowled at Duncan.
”I know but the priests asked me along. ” said Duncan.
”The priests? Are you pulling my leg.” asked Alan confused.
”Not at all.” said Duncan nonchalantly.
Alan could see that Duncan spoke the truth. ”Then you will be as right as rain.”
Duncan has taken the precaution of fortifying himself with a few beers before he left the house. He noticed that most of the youths had done likewise.
On the door a 40 something man stood guard. The bouncer had dark brown hair around the side and rear of his head. Atop his pate he was bald as a coot. He had a slightly wide and long nose. One eye seemed a little dull but the other shone. He eyed Duncan unflinchingly. It was clear even with his shirt on that this man was musclebound. There was a no nonsense expression about him. Duncan stiffened as he approached.
”Evening wee lad” said the man firmly.
”Good evening” said Duncan self-consciously. The bouncer pointed to a sign stating the admission charge and Duncan handed it over.
He could heard the band playing tiddly idly eye music. The bodhran and accordion diddled away. Duncan stepped in. Once inside he was astonished to see that girls outnumbered boys ten to one and every boy there was was partnere and dancing. As soon as the crowd saw him a yelp of female glee went up.
Some girls chatted behind their hands pointing to him and giggled. They egged each other on and pushed each other forward. A buxom raven haired but non -pulchritudinous girl grabbed her friend by the hand. The friend was slender but hippy and had brown hair. The raven haired one almost dragged the brunette by the arm and bounded up to Duncan.
”Hello now this is my friend Aoife and you are going to dance with her.” said the chubby raven haired one.
Aoife was blushing and looking away. Duncan looked at her faded purple dress and noticed her disproportionately small chest.
”Ah all right yes” he said taken aback.
”Good” said the hefty one and forced Aoife’s hand into Duncan’s.
”And what is your name miss?” asked Duncan of the plump raven haired one.
”Philomena” she answered. ”You are to give my friend a good spin on the dance floor and no wandering hand” she glowered gravely.
Duncan noticed on the stage with the band the two priests. The glanced at him momentarily and smiled in approbation. They then continued scanning the dancers to see that no couple was getting carried away.
Duncan then started to dance with Aoife. ”I am not much of a dancer” he said trying to overcome his inhibition.
”Neither am I” said Aoife lifting her head up and making eye contact for the first time. He noticed she had plenty of acne on her pale skin especially around the mouth. She had brown eyes, a narrow nose and slightly high cheekbones – she was almost boyish but not bad looking.
Duncan felt eyes boring into him. Sometimes he caught the eye of others – they were looking at him questioningly.
”How come I never seen you here before. I have seen you around town” she shouted over the din.
”I never come here before. I am a Protestant.” he said.
”A Protestant!” she paused and her grip on his slackened. Then she resumed it. ”Wow I never danced with a Proddy dog before.” He should tell there was no malice in her words.
”So you do not mind do you.”
”Not really” she said. he deduced that she did – really. ”Bridie MacBride ran away with a Prod and married him. Her family never spoke to her again” she said parabolically.
”Well I am sorry for it. ” he said philosophically.
”But you are a handsome boy and good clothes. Do you have a job?” Aoife asked.
”A job? Of course I have a job . I am a schoolmaster.” said Duncan
”A schoolmaster” she swooned. ”I would love to be a schoolmistress. But I am in service. Had to leave school at 12. My parents needed my wages” said Aoife
”Why are there so few boys here” asked Duncan
”Because they go to the pub get drunk. No alcohol served in here. Lucky to find myself a fellow who is not drunk but you smell like a brewery still. some lads are blind drunk not allowed in – fighting in the streets. Many of the boys in the town are unemployed.” said Aoife. ”A girl is lucky if she can find herself a fellow in her who is not full of drink in him.”
The dance ended. They held hands and stared each wistfully. He could tell from her touch that she did not want this to end. But she tore herself away.
”You have to dance with Philomena now” she said
”All right then” said Duncan
He danced with the agriculturally proportioned Philomena without gusto. After that Philomena had taken a shine to him. He noticed that she was very forward.
”Dance again?” she asked.
”Ah no thanks. I would love to but I can’t to be honest with you” he lied embarrassedly. ”You danced the feet off me.” He did not desire her.
Duncan had twirls with several other maidens. By the end of the evening his knees were laughing. Then Kevin Maguire came along. ”Get out of here you filthy Proddy dogged or I will punch your lights out” he slurred drunkenly.
Duncan said ”I will take a warning” and walked out but not too hastily. He wished to retain some dignity.
”And don’t come back” shouted Kevin ”Or I will break your face for you. Do you hear?”