Conchubor (sharply). Has no one come with news for me?
Old Woman. Ive seen no one at all, Conchubor.
Conchubor (watches her working for a moment, then makes sure opening at back is closed). Go up then to Emain, youre not wanting here. (A noise heard left.) Who is that?
Old Woman (going left). Its Lavarcham coming again. Shes a great wonder for jogging back and forward through the world, and I made certain shed be off to meet them; but shes coming alone, Conchubor, my dear child Deirdre isnt with her at all.
Conchubor. Go up so and leave us.
Old Woman (pleadingly). Id be well pleased to set my eyes on Deirdre if shes coming this night, as were told.
Conchubor (impatiently). Its not long till youll see her. But Ive matters with Lavarcham, and let you go now, Im saying.
He shows her out right, as Lavarcham comes in on the left.
Lavarcham (looking round her with suspicion). This is a queer place to find you, and its a queer place to be lodging Naisi and his brothers, and Deirdre with them, and the lot of us tired out with the long way we have been walking.
Conchubor. Youve come along with them the whole journey?
Lavarcham. I have, then, though Ive no call now to be wandering that length to a wedding or a burial, or the two together. (She sits down wearily.) Its a poor thing the way me and you is getting old, Conchubor, and Im thinking you yourself have no call to be loitering this place getting your death, maybe, in the cold of night.
Conchubor. Im waiting only to know is Fergus stopped in the north.
Lavarcham (more sharply). Hes stopped, surely, and thats a trick has me thinking you have it in mind to bring trouble this night on Emain and Ireland and the big worlds east beyond them. (She goes to him.) And yet youd do well to be going to your dun, and not putting shame on her meeting the High King, and she seamed and sweaty and in great disorder from the dust of many roads. (Laughing derisively.) Ah, Conchubor, my lad, beauty goes quickly in the woods, and youd let a great gasp, I tell you, if you set your eyes this night on Deirdre.
Conchubor (fiercely). Its little I care if shes white and worn, for its I did rear her from a child. I should have a good right to meet and see her always.
Lavarcham. A good right is it? Havent the blind a good right to be seeing, and the lame to be dancing, and the dummies singing tunes? Its that right you have to be looking for gaiety on Deirdres lips. (Coaxingly.) Come on to your dun, Im saying, and leave her quiet for one night itself.
Conchubor (with sudden anger). Ill not go, when its long enough I am above in my dun stretching east and west without a comrade, and I more needy, maybe, than the thieves of Meath. You think Im old and wise, but I tell you the wise know the old must die, and theyll leave no chance for a thing slipping from them theyve set their blood to win.
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