Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Columbia Workshop
Show: The Well of the Saints
Date: Feb 19 1938

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
NARRATOR (2 lines)
MARY DOUL, ugly, weather-beaten, blind beggar
MARTIN DOUL, her husband, who matches her description
TIMMY, vigorous smith
MOLLY BYRNE, pretty young woman
BRIDE, another young woman
MAT SIMON (2 lines)
THE SAINT, a wandering Friar
and a CROWD

NOTE: This transcript does not make any effort to reproduce the characters' Irish dialect. They frequently, but not always, drop the 'g' from their verbs and pronounce 'my' and 'myself' as 'me' and 'meself,' et cetera.

ANNOUNCER:

The Columbia Workshop!

MUSIC:

INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BACKGROUND

NARRATOR:

(IMPRESSIVE) Did ever you hear tell of a place across a bit of the sea, where there is an island, and the grave of the four beautiful saints? There's a green ferny well behind of that place, and if you put a drop of the water out of it on the eyes of a blind man, you'll make him see as well as any person is walking the world.

MUSIC:

TO A GRAND FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, the Columbia Workshop offers the first radio presentation of the famous Irish folk play "The Well of the Saints." As conceived by John Millington Synge, one of Ireland's greatest dramatists, this delightful fantasy blending mysticism with humor, rich in the poetry and music of the Irish peasantry, provides an unusual opportunity for experimental presentation. The version you're about to hear, while faithful to the original play, is freely adapted for the medium of radio drama.

NARRATOR:

Our scene is a lonely mountainous district in the east of Ireland one or more centuries ago. Along a rough country road--

MUSIC:

HALTING, TO MIMIC THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BLIND ... CROSSFADES WITH--

SOUND:

HALTING, CAREFUL FOOTSTEPS SCRAPE ALONG ON DIRT ROAD

MARY DOUL:

What place are we now, Martin Doul?

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, passing the gap.

MARY DOUL:

The length of that!

MARTIN DOUL:

You were that length plaiting your yellow hair; you have the morning lost on us.

MARY DOUL:

Aw, gimme the rushes.

MARTIN DOUL:

Aye.

MARY DOUL:

Little time left we have to shred them.

SOUND:

THEY SIT AND BEGIN TO SHRED THE RUSHES

MARTIN DOUL:

(GOOD-NATURED TEASING) Mary, it's a queer cracked voice you have, and I do be wondering odd times if you have any splendour at all, for the time I was a young lad, and had fine sight, 'twas the ones with sweet voices were the best in face.

MARY DOUL:

Let you not be making the like of that talk when you've heard Timmy the smith, and Mat Simon, and a power beside, saying fine things of my face.

MARTIN DOUL:

I heard Molly Byrne saying at the fall of night it was little more than a fright you were.

MARY DOUL:

She was jealous, God forgive her, because Timmy the smith was after praising my hair.

MARTIN DOUL:

(MOCK IRONY) Ah, jealous!

MARY DOUL:

Ay, jealous, Martin Doul. Ah, the young and the silly do be always making game of them that's blind.

MARTIN DOUL:

I do be thinking in the long nights it'd be a grand thing if we could see ourselves for an hour, or a minute itself, the way we'd surely know we were the finest man and the finest woman of the seven counties of the east. And then the seeing rabble below might be destroying their souls telling bad lies, and we'd never heed a thing they'd say.

MARY DOUL:

If you weren't a big fool, you wouldn't be heeding their fool's lies, the like of what Molly Byrne was telling to yourself.

MARTIN DOUL:

If it's lies she does be telling, she's a sweet, beautiful voice you'd never tire of hearing. It should be a fine, soft, rounded woman, I'm thinking, would have a voice the like of that. She's a great one for drawing the men, and Timmy himself is after getting mighty fussy if she come walking by.

MARY DOUL:

Let you not be minding if it's flat or rounded she is; for she's a flighty, foolish woman, and Timmy's a fool to be taking a notice of her -- she with her loud, braying laugh.

MARTIN DOUL:

(URGENTLY SHUSHING HER) Here, whisht, whisht. There's some one coming on the road now.

MARY DOUL:

(HURRIED, HUSHED) Well, let you put the rushes away out of their sight, or they'll be picking it out with the spying eyes they have, and saying it's rich we are, and not giving us a thing at all.

SOUND:

RUSHES BUNDLED AWAY DURING ABOVE ... FOOTSTEPS APPROACH ON DIRT ROAD

MARTIN DOUL:

(LOUD BEGGAR'S VOICE) Leave a bit of silver for blind Martin, your honour! Leave a bit of silver, or a penny copper itself, and we'll be praying the Lord to bless you going away!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT BEHIND--

TIMMY:

(LAUGHS HEARTILY) And you letting on a while back you knew my step!

MARTIN DOUL:

(SURPRISED, NATURAL VOICE) Timmy the smith!

TIMMY:

Ah, Martin, I'm after hearing wonders today.

MARTIN DOUL:

Ach, you're always hearing queer wonderful things, and the lot of them nothing at all.

TIMMY:

I tell you, it's in this place there'll be a bigger wonder done in a short while than ever was done in the whole of the western world.

MARY DOUL:

(AMUSED DISBELIEF) There'll be wonders -- in this place, is it?

TIMMY:

Here at the crossing of the roads.

MARTIN DOUL:

Are they putting up a still behind the rocks?

TIMMY: It's not a still they're bringing, or the like of it either.

MARTIN DOUL:

(SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED) Oh.

MARY DOUL:

(GHOULISH THRILL) Maybe they're hanging a thief! I'm told it's a great sight to see a man hanging by his neck! (UNENTHUSIASTIC) Ah, but what joy would that be to ourselves, and we not seeing it at all?

TIMMY:

They're hanging no one this day, Mary Doul. And yet, with the help of God, you'll see a power hanged before you die.

MARY DOUL:

What way would I see a power hanged, and I a dark woman since the seventh year of my age?

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... MYSTICAL

TIMMY:

(IMPRESSIVE) Did you ever hear tell of a place across a bit of the sea, where there's an island, and the grave of the four beautiful saints? There's a ferny well, I'm told, behind of that place, and if you put a drop of the water out of it on the eyes of a blind man, you'll make him see as well as any person is walking the world.

MUSIC:

TURNS HOPEFUL

MARTIN DOUL:

Is that the truth, Timmy? Oh, I'm thinking you're telling a lie now.

TIMMY:

Ah, that's the truth, Martin Doul, and you may believe it now, for you're after believing a power of things weren't as likely at all.

MARY DOUL:

Tell us your wonder, Timmy.

TIMMY:

Ah, it's a fine holy man will do it, a saint of the Almighty God, who's going 'round through the churches of Ireland, with a long cloak on him, and naked feet, for he's brought a sup of water slung at his side, and, with the like of him, any little drop is enough to cure the dying, or to make the blind see.

MARTIN DOUL:

(THRILLED) Mary! Mary! Think of it now! We'll be seeing each other this day!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIDGE

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS ... THEN IN BACKGROUND

TIMMY:

But where at all is the Saint, Molly Byrne?

MOLLY BYRNE:

He's after going up to the woods to say a prayer, and he's coming on this road to the church.

TIMMY:

Ah, it'd be a fine thing if some one in this place could pray the like of him.

MOLLY BYRNE:

Timmy! (LAUGHS) Look at the great trembling Martin has shaking him.

TIMMY:

God help him. What will he be doing when he sees his wife this day? I'm thinking it was bad work we did when we let on she was fine-looking, and not a wrinkled, wizened hag the way she is.

MAT SIMON:

Why should he be vexed, and we after giving him great joy and the pride, the time that he was blind?

TIMMY:

Look! The saint's coming now. Ah, isn't it a fine, brave man he'd be, if it wasn't for the fasting?

SAINT:

(OFF) Where are these two poor people?

BIZ:

CROWD MURMUR OUT

TIMMY:

Ah, they're here, holy father; they do be always sitting here at the crossing of the roads, asking a bit of copper from them that do pass, or stripping rushes for lights.

SAINT:

(CLOSER, TO MARTIN AND MARY) It's a hard life you've had, not seeing the sun or the moon, or the holy priests itself praying to the Lord, but it's the like of you who are brave in a bad time will make a fine use of the gift of sight the Almighty God will bring to you today.

MARTIN DOUL:

Or when the Lord looks on herself, who is a fine woman.

TIMMY:

(ADMONISHES) Whisht now, Martin, and be listening to the Saint.

SAINT:

Mary Doul, go you up to the church and await me there.

SOUND:

MARY TRUDGES OFF

SAINT:

Martin, I'll cure you first. Kneel down before me now. And let you be making your mind still and saying praises in your heart.

MUSIC:

SOMBER AND EERIE, IN BACKGROUND

SAINT:

(SOLEMN) Here upon your eyes I place the water from the well of the four saints. (PAUSE) Laus Patri sit et Filio cum Spiritu Paraclito Qui Suae dono gratiae misertus est Hiberniae.

MUSIC:

OUT WITH--

MARTIN DOUL:

(ECSTATIC) Oh, glory be to God!

BIZ:

CROWD GASPS AND MURMURS

SAINT:

I'll go up now to the church to say a prayer for Mary Doul. (MOVING OFF, TO CROWD) And do you all stay back here and be saying a prayer for your own sake.

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, glory be to God! I see now surely. I see the walls of the church, and the green bits of ferns in them, and the holy father walking up through the door. And - and that's Timmy! I know Timmy by the black of his head! And that's Mat Simon! I know Mat by the length of his legs! Ha! And-- (STOPS SHORT, IMPRESSED) Oh, it was no lie they told me, Mary Doul. The blessings of God on this day, and them that brought me the Saint, for it's grand hair you have, and soft skin, and eyes that would make the saints fall down out of the sky. Hold up your head, Mary, the way I'll see it's richer I am than the great kings of the east. Hold up your head, I'm saying, for it's soon you'll be seeing me, and I not a bad one at all.

MOLLY BYRNE:

(SHARP) Let you keep away from me, and not be soiling my chin!

BIZ:

CROWD LAUGHS

MARTIN DOUL:

(PUZZLED) It's Molly's voice you have.

MOLLY BYRNE:

Well, why wouldn't I have my own voice? Do you think I'm a ghost?

MARTIN DOUL:

(TO CROWD) Which of you all is herself? (TO BRIDE) Is it you is Mary Doul? I'm thinking you're more the like of what they said.

BRIDE:

I'm not your wife, and let you be getting out of my way!

BIZ:

CROWD LAUGHS

MARTIN DOUL:

Is it yourself it is?

GIRL:

(LAUGHS, SCORNFUL) I never seen any person that took me for blind, and a seeing woman, I'm thinking, would never wed the like of you!

BIZ:

CROWD LAUGHS AND JEERS ("Try again, Martin Doul!" "Try again!" "You'll be finding her yet!")

MARTIN DOUL:

Where is it you have her hidden away? Ah, you're thinking you're a fine lot to be making game of myself and the woman I've heard called the great wonder of the west!

MARY DOUL:

(APPROACHES, EXPECTANT) Which of you is Martin Doul?!

MARTIN DOUL:

(TO HIMSELF) It's her voice surely.

MUSIC:

SAD AND SOBER, STARTS AT [X]

MOLLY BYRNE:

(MOCKING, TO MARTIN) Go up now and take her under the chin and be speaking the way you spoke to my self. (TO MARY) And you, Mary -- you're not saying a word. [X] Well, what is it you think of _him_self, with the fat legs on him, and the little neck like a ram?

MARY DOUL:

(DISAPPOINTED) I'm thinking it's a poor thing when the Lord God gives you sight and puts the like of that man in your way.

MARTIN DOUL:

(STUNG) It's on your own two knees you should be thanking the Lord God you're not looking on yourself!

MARY DOUL:

(DEFENSIVE) If I'm not so fine as some of them said, I have my hair, and big eyes, and my white skin.

MARTIN DOUL:

(CRUEL) Ah, your hair, and your big eyes, is it? I'm telling you, there isn't a wisp on any gray mare on the ridge of the world isn't finer than the dirty twist on your head. There isn't two eyes in any starving sow isn't finer than the eyes you were calling bluer than the sea. (SAVAGE) Go on with you now! And be seeking a lonesome place where the earth can hide you away; for there's no man but would liefer be blind a hundred years than to be looking on the likes of you!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIDGE

SOUND:

TIMMY HAMMERS AT FORGE ... THEN INTERMITTENTLY, IN BACKGROUND

TIMMY:

(CALLS, UNHAPPY) Let you make haste out there, Martin Doul! I'll be putting up new fires at the turn of the day, and you haven't the half of them sticks cut yet.

SOUND:

MARTIN CHOPS WOOD ... THEN INTERMITTENTLY, IN BACKGROUND

MARTIN DOUL:

(GLOOMY) Oh, that's a hard, terrible stick, Timmy; a hard, terrible stick. It's destroyed I'll be, whacking your old thorns till the turn of day, and I with no food in my stomach would keep the life in a pig.

TIMMY:

Do you want me to be driving you off again to be walking the roads? (BRIEF HAMMERING) And I giving you your food, and a corner to sleep, and money with it!

MARTIN DOUL:

Ah, it's more I got a while since when I sat blinded in Grianan, than I get in this place working hard, and destroying myself, the length of the day.

SOUND:

TIMMY THROWS DOWN HIS HAMMER ... MARTIN CHOPS WOOD BRIEFLY BEHIND--

TIMMY:

Ah, is it turning now you are against your sight? You'd have a right to be minding, Martin Doul, for it's a power the Saint cured losing their sight after a while.

MARTIN DOUL:

Aw, let you not be tormenting yourself trying to make me afeard. You told me a power of bad lies the time I was blind, and it's right now for you to stop.

TIMMY:

It's no lie. You ask Mary Doul, for I've heard them say she's losing her sight again.

MARTIN DOUL:

Aw, let you not speak to me of her. Now, now, Timmy, isn't it a queer thing how she keeps passing by? She can't keep herself two days without looking on my face.

TIMMY:

(JEERING LAUGH) Looking on your face, is it?

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, you know rightly, Timmy, 'twas myself drove her away.

SOUND:

MARTIN CHOPS WOOD BRIEFLY BEHIND--

TIMMY:

Ha! There's the lie you're telling! It's little I care which one of you was driving the other. Let you not be idling here, or minding her at all, but hurry with them sticks!

SOUND:

TIMMY RESUMES HAMMERING, CONTINUES IN BACKGROUND

MARTIN DOUL:

What is it you're forever pounding away at, Timmy? I'm fair destroyed with the noise of it.

TIMMY:

I'm making a power of things you do have when you're settling with a wife, Martin Doul. I heard tell last night the Saint'll be passing again in a
short while, and I'll have him wed Molly Byrne with myself. He'd do it, I've heard them say, for not a penny at all.

SOUND:

WHATEVER TIMMY IS HAMMERING IS PLUNGED INTO WATER

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, Molly's a fine woman. And the Almighty God's made a fine match in the two of you.

TIMMY:

(PLEASED) Do you think so, Martin?

MARTIN DOUL:

For if you went to marrying a woman was the like of yourself, I'm thinking, you'd be having the fearfullest little children was ever seen in this world.

SOUND:

TIMMY STARTS HAMMERING AGAIN, BUT STOP SHORT ... MARTIN CHOPS WOOD BEHIND--

TIMMY:

(OFFENDED) The Lord forgive you! But it's a queer thing the way yourself and Mary Doul are forever talking of nothing, and thinking of nothing, but the way people do be looking in the face. It would be better maybe if the good Saint never given you back your sight at all.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

BACKGROUND OF CRICKETS CHIRPING, WIND BLOWING, ET CETERA ... MOLLY'S FOOTSTEPS TRUDGE DOWN PATH, THEN COME TO A STARTLED STOP AT HER EXCLAMATION--

MOLLY BYRNE:

(APPROACHES, SINGING "FOGGY DEW")
...was drawn o'er the dim weeping dawn
As to Shannon's side I return'd at last,
And the heart in my breast--
(STARTLED EXCLAMATION, SPEAKS) Who is it lurking there in the bushes?!

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, God save you, Molly Byrne.

MOLLY BYRNE:

Oh, it's you, Martin Doul.

MARTIN DOUL:

Aye.

MOLLY BYRNE:

Well, it's a fine thing you're doing, to be skulking there in the dark and frightening people half out of their wits.

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, I was hearing the sound of your voice the way I used to when I was not seeing you at all. For it's many a fine thing your voice would put a poor dark fellow in mind.

MOLLY BYRNE:

(INDIGNANT) That's a queer kind of talk to be giving a girl who's soon to be wed. I'll tell your wife if you talk to me the like of that.

MARTIN DOUL:

(SHARP) Oh, is there no living person can speak a score of words to me, without putting me in mind of the old woman?! (LEVEL) It's the truth I'm telling you, Molly. You'd do right not to marry a man like Timmy the smith who's seen the bad days of the world. It's them that's been blind can see the fine things is in a woman the like of yourself.

MOLLY BYRNE:

(NERVOUS, SCARED) Let me go, Martin Doul. It's that talk you'd hear from a man would be losing his mind!

MARTIN DOUL:

Aw, come along with myself, for I'm seeing you now, maybe, the way no man has seen you in the world. Let you come on now, I'm saying, to the lands of Iveragh and the Reeks of Cork, where you won't set down the width of your two feet and not be crushing fine flowers, and making sweet smells in the air.

MOLLY BYRNE:

(PANICS) Leave me go, Martin Doul! Leave me go--! (GASPS FOR BREATH AS--)

SOUND:

HER FOOTSTEPS RUN OFF INTO THE WOODS ... MARTIN TRIES TO FOLLOW

MARTIN DOUL:

Where are you, Molly? I - I can't see you.

MOLLY BYRNE:

(WHIMPERS)

MARTIN DOUL:

Come, Molly! Come with me!

SOUND:

MARTIN CATCHES MOLLY

MOLLY BYRNE:

No! Will you let me go?! It seems that them that loses their sight, loses their senses along with it! I'll be telling Timmy about this. And it's well you know he has a great strength in his arm, and it's a power of things it's broken a sight harder than the old bone of your skull!

MARTIN DOUL:

Aw, let you not put shame on me, Molly. And I after saying fine words to you, and dreaming dreams in the night.

SOUND:

EXTREMELY LOUD CLAP OF THUNDER

MARTIN DOUL:

Is it a storm of thunder is coming, or the last end of the world?

SOUND:

ANOTHER THUNDERCLAP

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, the heavens is closing, I'm thinking, with darkness and great trouble passing in the sky. Molly?

SOUND:

MARTIN'S FOOTSTEPS, IN BACKGROUND

MARTIN DOUL:

Where are you, Molly? I - I can't see you. Come back. Oh, don't leave me alone in the dark. The devil made you for a wicked--

SOUND:

MARTIN STUMBLES AND FALLS ... CRICKET AND WIND BACKGROUND ABRUPTLY GROWS NOISIER

MARTIN DOUL:

(SCREAMS IN HORROR) It's blind I am again! Blind! And that's the last thing I'm to set my sight on in the life of the world -- the black scorn of a woman!

MUSIC:

TYMPANI ACCENT ... THEN BRIDGE

SOUND:

HALTING FOOTSTEPS OF MARTIN DOUL, GROPING HIS WAY ON PATH

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, it's destroyed I'll be, walking the roads.

SOUND:

MARTIN DOUL SITS

MARTIN DOUL:

(EXHALES) I've not passed a soul since the morning. It's lonesome I'll be from this day.

MUSIC:

GRIM, IN BACKGROUND

MARTIN DOUL:

And if living people is a bad lot, yet Mary Doul, herself, and she a dirty, wrinkled-looking hag, was better maybe to be sitting along with than no one at all.

MUSIC:

BRIEFLY SORROWFUL, THEN OUT BEHIND--

MARTIN DOUL:

(EXHALES, THEN STARTLED) Eh?! Who's that?! (NO ANSWER) I'll be destroyed sitting alone and losing my senses this time the way I'm after losing my sight, for it'd make any person afeard to be sitting up hearing the sound of his breath. Oh, merciful God, set my foot on the path this day, and I'll be saying prayers morning and night, and not straining my ear after young girls, or doing any bad thing till I die.

SOUND:

MARY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH DURING ABOVE ... THEN OUT WITH--

MARY DOUL:

(COOL) Let you not be telling lies to the Almighty God.

MARTIN DOUL:

Mary Doul, is it? (WITH RELIEF) Is it Mary Doul, I'm saying?

MARY DOUL:

There's a sweet tone in your voice I've not heard for a space. You're taking me for Molly Byrne, I'm thinking.

MARTIN DOUL:

Och, you've no call to be talking, for I've heard tell you're as blind as myself.

MARY DOUL:

If I am, I'm bearing in mind I'm married to a little dark stump of a fellow looks the fool of the world.

MARTIN DOUL:

And you'll be bearing in mind, I'm thinking, what you seen a while back when you looked down into a well, or a clear pool, maybe, when there was no wind stirring and a good light in the sky.

MARY DOUL:

I'm minding that surely, for if I'm not the way the liars were saying below, I seen a thing in them pools put joy and blessing in my heart.

MARTIN DOUL:

(LAUGHS) Oh, God help you, Mary Doul, if you're not a wonder for looks, you're the maddest female is walking the counties of the east.

MARY DOUL:

I am not, Martin. (WITH GREAT RELISH) For when I seen myself in them pools, I seen my hair would be gray or white, maybe, in a short while, and I seen with it that I'd a face would be a great wonder when it'll have soft white hair falling around it, the way when I'm an old woman there won't be the like of me surely.

MARTIN DOUL:

(ADMIRINGLY) Ah, you're a cute thinking woman, Mary Doul, and 'tis no lie. (EAGERLY) Now-now-now, tell me now, now -- would you say would there be a whiteness the like of that coming upon me?

MARY DOUL:

(WITH CONTEMPT) On you, God help you?! Heh! In a short while, you'll have a head on you as bald as an old turnip you'd see rolling round in the muck.

MARTIN DOUL:

Oh, that's a hard word to be saying now, for I was thinking if I'd a bit of comfort, the like of yourself, it's not far off we'd be from the good days that went before. But I'll never rest easy, thinking you're a gray, beautiful woman, and myself a pitiful show.

MARY DOUL:

I can't help your looks, Martin Doul. It wasn't myself made you -- with your rat's eyes, and your big ears, and your griseldy chin.

MARTIN DOUL:

(WITH DELIGHT) Oh! There's one thing you've forgot!

MARY DOUL:

Your slouching feet, is it? Or your hooky neck, or your two knees is black with knocking one on the other?

MARTIN DOUL:

I've this to say, Mary Doul. (WITH GREAT RELISH) I'll be letting my beard grow in a short while, a beautiful, long, white, silken, streamy beard -- and you wouldn't see the like of it in the eastern world! Ah, a white beard's a grand thing on an old man, a grand thing for making the quality stop and be stretching out their hands with good silver or gold, and a beard's a thing you'll never have, so you may be holding your tongue now!

MARY DOUL:

(LAUGHS CHEERFULLY) Well, we're a great pair, surely, and it's great times we'll have yet, maybe, and a great talking before we die.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS, THEN IN BACKGROUND

MAT SIMON:

I've heard tell Martin Doul and Mary Doul were seen this day upon and about the road.

TIMMY:

Ah, it's a great pity to see the two of them groping about in the darkness. And they after seeing for a time the grand sights is filling the world.

MUSIC:

HALTING, TO SIGNAL THE APPROACH OF MARTIN AND MARY ... IN BACKGROUND

MOLLY BYRNE:

We were thinking, holy father, you'd have pity on them and cure them again.

SAINT:

I would, maybe, but where are they at all? I have little time left when I have the two of you to wed in the church.

MOLLY BYRNE:

Look up the road, Timmy! Isn't it them coming now?

TIMMY:

It is surely. (CALLS) Martin! Martin Doul!

BIZ:

CROWD MURMUR SUBSIDES

MUSIC:

CROSSFADES WITH--

SOUND:

MARTIN AND MARY'S HALTING FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

TIMMY:

This way, Martin Doul. You were near losing a great chance this day.

MARTIN DOUL:

(ANNOYED) Oh, what is it you want, Timmy, that you can't leave us in peace?

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT

TIMMY:

The Saint's come to marry Molly to me, and I'm after speaking a word for yourselves, the way he'll be curing you now.

SAINT:

It's many a time those are cured with the water from the Well of the Saints lose their sight when a time is gone, but those I cure a second time go on seeing till the hour of death.

SOUND:

OF WATER IN METAL CUP

SAINT:

I've a few drops only left of the water, but, with the help of God, it'll be enough for the two of you. Let you kneel down now upon the road.

MARTIN DOUL:

We're not asking our sight, holy father, and let you walk on your own way, and be fasting, or praying, or doing anything that you will, but leave us here in peace, at the crossing of the roads, for it's best we are this way, and we're not asking to see.

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS WITH CONFUSION

SAINT:

Is your mind gone that you've no wish to be cured this day, or to be living or working, or looking on the wonders of the world?

MARTIN DOUL:

(IRONIC) Oh, them is great sights, holy father. What was it I seen when I first opened my eyes but your own bleeding feet, and they cut with the stones? Ah, that was a great sight, maybe. And what was it I seen my last day but black scorn looking out from the eyes of the girl you're coming to marry -- the Lord forgive you -- with Timmy the smith. That was a great sight, maybe. And what--?

MOLLY BYRNE:

(INTERRUPTS, QUICKLY) Let you not mind him, holy father; for it's bad things he was saying to me a while back -- and you'd do right surely to leave him in darkness, for it's that is best fitting the wickedness of his heart!

TIMMY:

That's the truth, Molly. (TO SAINT) But would you cure Mary Doul, your reverence, who's a poor quiet woman, never did hurt to any?

SAINT:

(TO MARY DOUL) If you have any sense, Mary, kneel down at my feet, and I'll bring the sight again into your eyes.

MARY DOUL:

Let us be as we are, holy father, and then we'll be known again in a short while as the people is happy and blind, and be having an easy time, with no trouble to live, and we getting halfpence on the road.

MOLLY BYRNE:

(LOW, URGENT) Let you not be a raving fool, Mary. Kneel down and let him give you your sight.

TIMMY:

(LOW, URGENT, TO MARY DOUL) If it's choosing a wilful blindness that you are, I'm thinking there isn't anyone in this place will ever be giving you anything at all.

MARY DOUL:

(HALF PERSUADED) That's the truth, maybe.

SAINT:

Kneel down now, Mary Doul, for it's in haste I am to be going on with the marriage and be walking my own way before the fall of night.

MARTIN DOUL:

Then be off on your way and let you not be meddling with the likes of us! What call have you to be coming between married people -- that you're not understanding at all at all -- and be making a great mess with the holy water you have? Go on now, I'm saying!

SAINT:

If it was a seeing man I heard talking to me the like of that, I'd put a black curse on him would weigh down his soul!

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS AGREEMENT

MARTIN DOUL:

Come along now, Mary, and don't be minding him at all.

SAINT:

(IMPERIOUS, TO CROWD) Let you take this man and drive him down upon the road!

BIZ:

AN INSTANT LYNCH MOB -- MURMUR AND SCUFFLE AS CROWD SEIZES MARTIN DOUL

MARTIN DOUL:

(STRUGGLES, DESPERATE) Make them leave go, holy father! Make them leave me go, and you may cure us this day, or do anything you will now!

SAINT:

(TO CROWD) Let him be!

BIZ:

CROWD QUIETS BEHIND--

SAINT:

(TO CROWD) Let him be -- if his sense is come to him at last.

MARTIN DOUL:

(EXHALES IN RELIEF)

SAINT:

Kneel down now, the two of you.

SOUND:

MARTIN AND MARY KNEEL

MARTIN DOUL:

(OBEDIENTLY) I'm waiting now, holy father.

MARY DOUL:

(SADLY) I - I - I'm ready, holy father.

MUSIC:

SOMBER AND EERIE ... THEN IN BACKGROUND, OUT CLEANLY AT [X]

SAINT:

(SOLEMN) With the power of the water in this cup from the well of the four beauties of God, with the power of this water, I'm saying, that I put upon your eyes--

SOUND:

CLATTER OF METAL CUP ON GROUND [X] ... CROWD GASPS IN HORROR

MARY DOUL:

Martin?! What have you done?

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS ("Martin, what's wrong with you, man?") ... CONTINUES IN BACKGROUND

MARTIN DOUL:

(TRIUMPHANT) If I'm a poor dark sinner, I've sharp ears, and it's well I heard the little splash of water you had there in the cup! Go on now, holy father, for if you're a fine Saint itself, it's more sense is in a blind man, and more power maybe than you're thinking at all!

BIZ:

CROWD MEMBERS MURMUR SOURLY AND BEGIN TO MOUTH OFF ... SLOWLY BUILDING TO A FRENZY UNTIL LINES START TO OVERLAP--

CROWD:

It'd be an unlucky fearful thing to have the like of that man living near us.

Wouldn't he bring down a curse upon us from the heaven of God?

Go on now, Martin Doul!

Go on from this place, Martin Doul!

Let you not be bringing great storms on us!

Or droughts!

Or some power of the Lord!

Stone him!

Drive him out!

Drive him out!

Drive him out! Drive him out! (ET CETERA)

BIZ:

CROWD FRENZY HITS A PEAK

SAINT:

(SHOUTS) Let him be!

BIZ:

CROWD QUIETS BEHIND--

SAINT:

Let him be! (GRAVELY) They have chosen their lot. And the Lord have mercy on their souls.

MUSIC:

WARM IRISH THEME ... THEN BEHIND--

MARTIN DOUL:

(THOUGHTFUL) Come, Mary. Come along now and we'll be walking away from this place. For we've a right, I'm thinking, to be sitting blind, hearing the soft wind turning 'round the little leaves of the spring, and feeling the warmth of the sun, and smelling the sweet beautiful smell does be rising in the warm nights, and we not tormenting our souls with the sight of the gray days and the ugly men and the dirty feet is trampling the world.

MARY DOUL:

(HAPPY) That's the truth, Martin. And when I have my long, white hair and you your silken, streamy beard, there won't be a happier pair, I'm thinking, in the whole of the western world!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

The Columbia Workshop has presented the first radio performance of John Millington Synge's Irish folk play "The Well of the Saints."

The experiment tonight embodied the presentation of a fantasy with supernatural elements in terms of sound. Music and poetry are characteristics outstanding in Synge's plays, for, in his own words, "Every speech should be as fully flavored as a nut or apple."

To the patterns of colloquial Irish speech were added those of a special musical score in which various themes -- those of blindness and sight, for example -- were represented. Another problem presented by the drama was that of portraying the inner world of the blind characters to an audience dependent upon hearing for its understanding. The restoration of sight and the return of blindness create entirely different worlds for Martin and Mary Doul. One way of indicating that change to the listening audience was found in increasing or decreasing the sound background since the hearing of the characters would vary in sharpness with the return or loss of their visual powers.

We'll be glad to know what you thought of the program and to what extent do you feel it achieved its purpose. Please address your comments, criticisms, and suggestions to the Columbia Workshop, care of the Columbia network, New York City. "The Well of the Saints" was adapted for the Workshop by George Zachary who directed tonight's production. The musical score was written and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

MUSIC:

IRISH THEME ... TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

Next week at this same time, the Columbia Workshop will present "Night Patrol," written by Stuart Hawkins who will also direct the production. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.