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In the Shadow of the Glen

NORA It is, stranger. He's after dying on me, God forgive him, and there I am
now with a hundred sheep beyond on the hills, and no turf drawn for the winter.
TRAMP {Looking closely at the dead man.} It's a queer look is on him for a man
that's dead.
NORA {Half-humorously.} He was always queer, stranger, and I suppose them
that's queer and they living men will be queer bodies after.
TRAMP Isn't it a great wonder you're letting him lie there, and he is not tidied, or
laid out itself?
NORA {Coming to the bed.} I was afeard, stranger, for he put a black curse on
me this morning if I'ld touch his body the time he'ld die sudden, or let any one
touch it except his sister only, and it's ten miles away she lives in the big glen
over the hill.
TRAMP {Looking at her and nodding slowly.} It's a queer story he wouldn't let his
own wife touch him, and he dying quiet in his bed.
NORA He was an old man, and an odd man, stranger, and it's always up on the
hills he was thinking thoughts in the dark mist. {She pulls back a bit of the sheet.}
Lay your hand on him now, and tell me if it's cold he is surely.
TRAMP Is it getting the curse on me you'ld be, woman of the house? I wouldn't
lay my hand on him for the Lough Nahanagan and it filled with gold.
NORA {Looking uneasily at the body.} Maybe cold would be no sign of death with
the like of him, for he was always cold, every day since I knew him, -- and every
night, stranger, -- {she covers up his face and comes away from the bed}; but I'm
thinking it's dead he is surely, for he's complaining a while back of a pain in his
heart, and this morning, the time he was going off to Brittas for three days or four,
he was taken with a sharp turn. Then he went into his bed and he was saying it
was destroyed he was, the time the shadow was going up through the glen, and
when the sun set on the bog beyond he made a great lep, and let a great cry out
of him, and stiffened himself out the like of a dead sheep.
TRAMP {Crosses himself.} God rest his soul.
NORA {Pouring him out a glass of whisky.} Maybe that would do you better than
the milk of the sweetest cow in County Wicklow.
TRAMP The Almighty God reward you, and may it be to your good health. {He
drinks.}
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