Into Exile - Part Two
Into Exile, Part Two
Narrator: Dawn broke grey and misty as the ferry steamed up into Belfast Lough. Kevin saw the green lands of Antrim and Down on
either side. He was home again! His hatred of the night before had passed. It was replaced by a dull acceptance and a growing sense of anxiety as he wondered how his mother was. She was not in the best of health.
(Interior small terrace house in Belfast)
Mother: He said he wouldn't be long. He went out about nine. You know, he never was much of a drinker, Kevin.
Kevin: He was not, Ma.
Mother : Well, we heard the noise of it going off in here. We were watching TV. We never thought much of it - you get used to the
sound of bombs, don't you? The RUC man came to the door - it must have been just after 10. And Brede was here. Thank God. They'd found his wallet in the wreckage ... burnt at the edges it was. They'd got his address from his driving licence.
Kevin: How's Brede taking it?
Mother: Oh, she's a wonderfully strong girl.
Since you went, she's had to be. You haven't met Seamus yet? They want to get engaged. Your Dad liked him. Nice boy.
Kevin: Engaged? I'm looking forward to seeing her.
Mother: Well, she'll be home for her dinner after twelve. She's been great since you left. What I'd have done without her I don't know, Kevin, I swear, I don't.
Kevin: I'm sorry I wasn't here.
Mother: You've come home now.
Kevin: Yes. But I'm not home for good.
Mother: I don't know what the world's coming to. I'm frightened sometimes this business'll kill us all.
Kevin: I think I'll take a walk - is there anything you want from the shops, Ma?
Mother: No, Brede's bringing what I need. Where are you going? You be careful.
Kevin: Don't worry. Just along to the river and back.
Mother: I'm sure there's plenty round here remember you married a Protestant.
Kevin: I was wondering when you'd ask after Sadie.
Mother: Did she come with you?
Kevin: No. I left her in London. We thought it best.
Mother: Oh, don't be long. I've stew for dinner.
Kevin: Don't worry, Ma. I'll be careful.
Narrator: As he walked through the familiar streets of Belfast, Kevin McCoy felt as though he had never been away. Perhaps he'd been more homesick than he'd realised. It felt really good seeing all the old places and the faces he had grown up with. People assumed that he had realised his mistake and had come back
(In the dress shop)
Rita: Any word of when he's coming home?
Sadie: No. It's not easy for him. His family need him.
Rita: I'd have thought you'd come before his family now.
Sadie: You don't understand, Rita.
Rita: I'll say I don't. Especially getting married at 17. Alright, I'll shut up. - What're you doing tonight?
Sadie: Same as every night. Cook something. Eat it. Wash up. Listen to the radio. My life's packed full of fun.
Rita: You've had nearly two weeks of sitting in looking at the four walls. Why don't you come out with the gang tonight?
Sadie: I can't.
Rita: We're going to the Whisky A Gogo in Soho. It'll be a laugh.
Sadie: Is your friend Joe going?
Sadie: No. I can't.
Rita: He's dead keen on you, you know. He's always talking about how pretty you are and how he really fancies you.
Sadie: Well, I'm not keen on him. If he's coming, I'd prefer to sit alone in the bedsit.
Rita: What've you got against him?
Sadie: Nothing. But I'm married and he won't take no for an answer.
Rita: Hello, a customer. Good morning, can I help you?
Sadie: (Effort as she hangs skirts and mutters to herself) If only you'd give me a hint about when you'd be back, Kevin McCoy.
Joe: Hello! Starting talking to yourself now?
Sadie: You! You always turn up like a bad penny, don't you?
Joe: That's a nice welcome to someone who's taking you out tonight, I must say. Tadaa! Flowers.
Sadie: How did you know I like roses?
Joe: You've got taste. Listen, I had a lucky day at the races yesterday, and I'm paying for a big Chinese meal tonight, so don't eat anything between now and eight, right?
Sadie: Why're you doing this, Joe?
Joe: Why am I doing what?
Sadie: You know.
Joe: No, I don't. Look Sadie, I want to be your friend, okay? What's wrong with that? Don't you think Kevin will be eating with friends over in Belfast? Eh? Where's the harm?
Sadie: Take your flowers and give them to someone else. And if I want a Chinese meal, I'll buy my own.
Joe: You're so ... ah, well, think about what I said. See you tonight, Rita?
Rita: Bye, Joe. She only comes in to look, that old dear, she never buys a ... what's the matter?
Sadie: Oh Rita! What am I to do?
Rita: This is all Kevin's fault. Come out with us tonight. Let Joe buy you a meal. Who's to know?
Sadie: I would.
Rita: I think you're being too hard on yourself. Quick, quick, dry your eyes and look busy! Cullen's just parking her car.
Sadie: Dear Kevin, Got your letter. Thanks. You ask for news.
There's not much. Last Friday a few of the girls were going out for a Chinese meal, so I went too. I hope you don't mind. I have been without you for three weeks. When are you coming back?
Kevin: Dear Sadie, Of course you must go out and enjoy yourself.
I understand that. Was Rita's funny friend Joe with you, I wonder? Brede has been wonderful looking after Ma. She is engaged to this really nice fellow from Tyrone - I think there will be another wedding in the McCoy family before long. There were more riots and shootings last night and a bomb went off at McTurk's bar. Your husband, Kevin.
P.S. I saw Kate Murphy in the street, and she asked me to send you her love. Poor Kate, she's had a rough time of it. She seems very cheerful all the same.
(Sadie's room. Angry crumpling up of letter)
Sadie: Kate again. Joe's right. The old girl friends are closing in. She's a Catholic too - like him. Sends her love indeed.
Sadie: Who's there?
Mulcahy: It's me, Father Mulcahy. Can I see you a minute Sadie?
Sadie: Kevin's not here. He's still away in Belfast.
Mulcahy: Have you had any word from him when he'll be coming back?
Sadie: Come away in, Father.
Mulcahy: Thanks, Sadie.
Sadie: Sorry about the state of the place. I was meaning to tidy up a bit, but. ..
Mulcahy: How're you coping on your own?
Sadie: Sit down. Would you like a cup of coffee or something?
Mulcahy: Only if you're having one yourself?
Sadie: Why not? I'll put the kettle on.
Mulcahy: So how are you keeping?
Sadie: Fine. You know. Who am I fooling? It's not been too good. I don't know what he's up to over there. A week he said.
Mulcahy: I'm sure he will be back as soon as he's able, Sadie.
Sadie: Will he? I don't know. My friends at work say I'm daft to put up with it. Och, you didn't come to hear my moaning I'm sure.
Mulcahy: It's about Kevin's job. Mr Davies was asking me if I'd heard anything, that's why I came round. He's very busy in the shop and needs Kevin back. Or if not, some other assistant, I'm trying to get him to keep Kevin's job open, but. ..
Sadie: Here's the last letter I had from him. I've just been reading it again. It came over a week ago.
Mulcahy: I wouldn't like you to think I was prying. Your letters are private I'm sure.
Sadie: Once maybe. Read away, Father. There is nothing personal in it. I used to get letters like this from penpals in England. (Bitter laugh) Kevin's become my penpal, that 's it!
Mulcahy: Sadie, I'm sorry. You sit down and let me make the coffee. Whatever's happened?
Sadie: I don't know. I honestly don't know. When he left we were in love, and now he writes like we're strangers.
(Quiet pub - London)
Sadie: Are you trying to get me drunk?
Joe: You could drink me under the table, girl. I know all about you Irish. Heard from Kevin?
Sadie: I thought you were taking me out to forget my troubles, Joe. Let's forget about Kevin and Ireland.
Joe: Suits me.
Sadie: Just for tonight, eh?
Joe: Here's looking at you, kid.
Sadie: Cheers! Now what will we talk about? What's this I hear about the Beatles getting back together?
Joe: What's this I hear about you moving in with Rita?
Sadie: I can't afford the bedsit in Brant Road.
Joe: It'll be good for you to share with Rita. She's always game for a laugh.
Sadie: That's all you care about, isn't it? Having a good time and a laugh?
Joe: You only live once, kid. This is all there is. One life. You have to get every bit of fun out of it if you can.
Sadie: Maybe you're right Joe. Let's see if you can drink me under the table. Same again, barman!
(Mother's house in Belfast)
Brede: Well? What did you think of him?
Kevin: (Teasing) Who?
Brede: Oh, don't kid around, Kevin. Ma says you liked him.
Kevin: He seems a decent fella. For a farmer's son.
Brede: He is. We'd planned to marry in June. Of course I can't marry him. Not now.
Kevin: Why not?
Brede: How can I go off to live in Tyrone and leave mother here on her own? Her heart isn't good. Dad knew. That's why he'd hardly ever go out of an evening. The night he was killed he'd only gone out for half an hour.
Kevin: What're you saying, Brede?
Brede: I'm saying I have to look after Mother now that Dad is gone.
Kevin: But that's not fair.
Brede: Fair or not - that's it. Seamus's father wants us to live on the farm. It's a lovely cottage. Away from all this.
Kevin: You can't sacrifice yourself like this.
Brede: Ma sacrificed herself for us. Quiet, she's coming back. The little ones must be settled for the night.
Kevin: I'm here now. I'll take responsibility for Ma.
Brede: But what about Sadie - back in London?
Kevin: Leave that to me.
* * *
Mulcahy: Sadie? Is that you, child?
Sadie: Hello, Father. You don't mind me sitting in here, do you?
Mulcahy: Course not, Sadie. Is something wrong?
Sadie: I just came to say goodbye.
Mulcahy: You're going back to Ireland to be with Kevin?
Sadie: I don't think he wants me anymore. He hasn't written for three weeks.
(Distant riots as heard from inside mother's
house in the Bogside, Belfast)
Mother: Burning houses it looks like.
Kevin: Come away from the window, Ma.
Mother: It's like the end of the world. (Gasp of pain) Ah!
Brede: Ma! Quick, Kevin, get hold of her.
Mother: Oh, it's ... my tablets are there on the table.
Brede: I'll get them.
Kevin: Don't try to speak, Ma. Brede's getting your tablets.
Mother: Oh, it hurts me. It'll be the death of me. That's what your Dad used to say. It'll be the death of us both, I'm thinking.
Mulcahy: Kevin is a very good boy - he is looking after his family.
Sadie: And me? What about me? Aren't I his wife?
Mulcahy: I'm sure he must feel as though he's being pulled apart.
Sadie: If only I knew what was going on. His mother always hated me. She'll be poisoning his mind against me. He sounds so cold in his letters - when he can be bothered to write one.
Mulcahy: If he's anything like I was at 17, he' ll not be much good at writing letters.
Sadie: It feels like it's over - Kevin and me.
Mulcahy: You're confused - both of you. Remember one thing, Sadie. You married for better or worse.
Sadie: You sound like a priest.
Mulcahy: I am a priest!
Sadie: I know. It's just the worse is worse than I could've imagined.
Kevin: I brought you some grapes.
Mother: Oh, thanks, son. That's her, the nurse I was telling you about over there. A sweet smile, hasn't she? Oh, I'm a right old nuisance.
Kevin: Listen Ma. You can't live on your own in Belfast. Not now. I've had a chat with Seamus last night. He thinks his dad might be willing to let you have a farm cottage near where he and Brede will be living after their marriage. It'd mean a home in the country for you and the little ones.
Mother: You mean it? Oh glory be, that'd answer my prayers.
Kevin: Well, it's not settled yet, but I'm going to see Seamus's Dad today.
Mother: You're a good boy, Kevin.
Kevin: I'm glad you think so, Ma. Now you rest and get well again.
(Farmyard in Ireland)
O'Brien: You must be Kevin. Seamus told me you were a big fellow.
Kevin: Pleased to meet you, Mr O'Brien. It's a fine place you have here.
O'Brien: I'll show you round, then we can have a nice cup of tea. Seamus says your Ma's getting better.
Kevin: It was a close thing. We need to get her out of Belfast.
O'Brien: Have you worked on a farm before, Kevin?
Kevin: What are you talking about? I'm not here looking for a job.
O'Brien: What are you here for then? If you'll excuse my bluntness.
Kevin: Seamus said you'd a cottage that Ma and the little ones could have.
O'Brien: I have. But it's a worker's cottage.
Kevin: We'll pay you rent.
O'Brien: Oh, it's not a question of rent.
Kevin: You thought I'd work on the farm?
O'Brien: Seamus must have thought you understood - your Ma can have the cottage, Kevin, but only if you are working for me.
Kevin: I see.
O'Brien: Can I be frank with you, Kevin?
O'Brien: I need a good reliable man. You strike me as the responsible type. Give me a good day's work, and I'll pay you fair and give your mother a safe place away from the danger and the bad memories. Now, what do you say?
Kevin: You really want me to work for you?
O'Brien: Sure, what more could you want? Look around you. Green rolling hills. Peace and security.
Kevin: I have a problem, Mr O'Brien. I have a Protestant wife waiting for me in London.
O'Brien: Well, I'll tell you. I play cards every Wednesday night. Around that table we are a mixed bunch - people's religion is their
business as far as I'm concerned. Sure the priest is there sometimes with Wilson, my Protestant neighbour. Your wife would be welcome, Kevin. More than welcome.
* * *
Mother: Why don't you come right out with it, Kevin. I know why you won't agree to us going to live on that farm in Tyrone - it's
because you're still hoping she'll come back to you. Your little Protestant.
Kevin: Don't call her that!
Mother: Well, it's what she is, isn't it?
Brede: Ma, don't!
Mother: Your Dad was heartbroken when the pair of you ran away.
Kevin: Please, Ma. I just need time to consider.
Brede: Sadie could come and live on the farm with us.
Kevin: Brede, I don't think that would work.
Mother: Well, if she does, then I won't. I won't live under the same roof with her.
Brede: If Sadie'll agree to coming back to Ireland, then all our troubles will be over. Eh, Kevin?
Kevin: Like I say, I'll have to think about it.
Mother: Where are you going? We're just going to eat.
Brede: You ask a lot of him, Ma. If Kevin agrees to work for Seamus' father, then I think you should welcome Sadie into our family.
Mother: One Protestant living with all us Catholics? I wish her joy of it.
(Father Mulcahy's study)
Mulcahy: Sure County Tyrone is a pretty place.
Sadie: A bus to town two times a week! Imagine it! That's what he says in his letter. I couldn't stand it. I'd be stuck out there with his family. All those McCoys.
Mulcahy: All those Catholics, do you mean? You of all people, Sadie, eh? Tell me, do you want to be with Kevin?
Sadie: You know I do. I've waited for him three months.
Mulcahy: Good. Now, it can't have been easy for him to write the letter. He's asking you to do something difficult - the question is... do you love him enough to do it?
Sadie: No, the question is, why hasn't he said he loves me? Does he really want me there?
Mother: Oh, it's you Kevin - I was just having a lie down.
Kevin: How're you feeling?
Mother: Oh, not too good.
Kevin: I've had a letter from Sadie, Ma.
Kevin: She isn't coming. She's staying in London. It's all over if I don't go back.
Mother: Well, that's up to her. What're you looking like that for? Now, you're not saying you are going to ruin Brede and Seamus's chances, are you, by crawling back to her. No, you can't.
Kevin: You're getting that cottage in Tyrone, don't you worry, Ma. Soon as you're well enough to move.
(Living room - door closes)
Brede: Have you told her?
Kevin: I couldn ' t.
Brede: Kevin, your place is with your wife. Sure Ma will be fine. Mr O'Brien is well content to let them have the cottage next to ours now he knows all the facts.
Kevin: He's a good man, and you're a good big sister. I'll send you money to pay her upkeep from London.
Brede: Take my advice and go on the night boat. You've time. I'll explain to Ma.
Kevin: Will you, Brede? I can't wait to see Sadie's face when I walk in the front door tomorrow morning.
Brede: What you and Sadie have is very precious.
Kevin: I can't live without her, Brede.
Brede: Pack a bag. I'll get the door.
Kevin: I'd better go. Just in case ...
Brede: Nonsense. Go on, now!
(Distant door open. Silence)
Kevin: Brede? Who is it?
(There is no reply except for a brief and distant word of surprise from Brede)
Kevin: Brede? Oh my god, no!
(Kevin runs in panic to the door)
Sadie: Hello, Kevin.
Sadie: Did you get my letter? No, don't say a word. I was mad when I wrote it. Look, I'll come to County Tyrone - I'll come anywhere to be with you!
Kevin: Oh, I was just coming to London to be with you. I was just packing.
Sadie: Oh, I love you.
Mother: What's going on? - Oh.
Kevin: Ma, this is my wife. Sadie, meet Ma.
Narrator: Kevin saw his mother's cold welcome to Sadie. He knew it would be impossible for her to live with them. Early next
morning they were leaving Ireland together once more. Where they would end up, they didn't know. But wherever it was, they would
be together, and they hoped it would be a peaceful place of their own.