A Bit O' Love
[He turns to a book-case on a table against the far wall, and taking out a book,
finds his place in it. While he stands thus with his back to the girls, MERCY
JARLAND comes in from the green. She also is about sixteen, with fair hair and
china-blue eyes. She glides in quickly, hiding something behind her, and sits
down on the seat next the door. And at once there is a whispering.]
STRANGWAY. [Turning to them] Good morning, Mercy.
MERCY. Good morning, Mr. Strangway.
STRANGWAY. Now, yesterday I was telling you what our Lord's coming meant
to the world. I want you to understand that before He came there wasn't really
love, as we know it. I don't mean to say that there weren't many good people; but
there wasn't love for the sake of loving. D'you think you understand what I mean?
[MERCY fidgets. GLADYS'S eyes are following a fly.]
IVY. Yes, Mr. Strangway.
STRANGWAY. It isn't enough to love people because they're good to you, or
because in some way or other you're going to get something by it. We have to
love because we love loving. That's the great thing- -without that we're nothing
GLADYS. Please, what is Pagans?
STRANGWAY. That's what the first Christians called the people who lived in the
villages and were not yet Christians, Gladys.
MERCY. We live in a village, but we're Christians.
STRANGWAY. [With a smile] Yes, Mercy; and what is a Christian?
[MERCY kicks afoot, sideways against her neighbour, frowns over her china-
blare eyes, is silent; then, as his question passes on, makes a quick little face,
wriggles, and looks behind her.]
IVY. 'Tis a man--whu--whu----
CONNIE. [Who speaks rather thickly, as if she had a permanent slight cold]
Please, Mr. Strangway, 'tis a man what goes to church.