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A Bit O' Love

STRANGWAY. She didn't. Your wife was a brave woman. A dear woman.
CREMER. I never thought to luse 'er. She never told me 'ow bad she was, afore
she tuk to 'er bed. 'Tis a dreadful thing to luse a wife, zurr.
STRANGWAY. [Tightening his lips, that tremble] Yes. But don't give way! Bear
up, Jack!
CREMER. Seems funny 'er goin' blue-bell time, an' the sun shinin' so warm. I
picked up an 'orse-shu yesterday. I can't never 'ave 'er back, zurr.
[His face quivers again.]
STRANGWAY. Some day you'll join her. Think! Some lose their wives for ever.
CREMER. I don't believe as there's a future life, zurr. I think we goo to sleep like
the beasts.
STRANGWAY. We're told otherwise. But come here! [Drawing him to the
window] Look! Listen! To sleep in that! Even if we do, it won't be so bad, Jack,
will it?
CREMER. She wer' a gude wife to me--no man didn't 'ave no better wife.
STRANGWAY. [Putting his hand out] Take hold--hard--harder! I want yours as
much as you want mine. Pray for me, Jack, and I'll pray for you. And we won't
give way, will we?
CREMER. [To whom the strangeness of these words has given some relief] No,
zurr; thank 'ee, zurr. 'Tes no gude, I expect. Only, I'll miss 'er. Thank 'ee, zurr;
kindly.
[He lifts his hand to his head, turns, and uncertainly goes out to the kitchen.
And STRANGWAY stays where he is, not knowing what to do. They blindly he
takes up his flute, and hatless, hurries out into the air.]
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