Leaving Home, Of the Fields, Lately, and Salt-Water Moon: Three Mercer Plays

Leaving Home, Of the Fields, Lately, and Salt-Water Moon: Three Mercer Plays

David French

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 088784829X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Leaving Home tells the story of the Mercers, a Newfoundland family that has lost its way after emigrating. The sequel, Of the Fields, Lately, finds son Ben returning home to find his mother trying to sustain his father after a heart attack. Rounding out the trilogy is the prequel, Salt-Water Moon, focusing on Mary, a fierce teenager with “steel in her heart.” Brilliantly blending comedy and tragedy, these important realist plays appear for the first time together in this illustrated edition, with a new introduction by the author and a foreword by Arthur Schultz.

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speaks the gospel truth, you do. JACOB I never could say two words in a row to that one, without he takes offence. Not two bloody words! MARY collects the supper plates. BILL and KATHY remain seated. Look. He didn’t finish half his plate. (calling) Come out and eat the rest of your supper, Ben. There’s no food wasted in this house. (slight pause) Take it in to him, Mary. MARY (picking up BEN’S chair) You — you’re the cause of it. You’re enough to spoil anyone’s appetite. JACOB Ah, for

Ben’s moving in with Bill and Kathy. Taking their spare room. JACOB He is like hell! BEN I am! JACOB You’m not! BEN I am! JACOB Don’t be foolish! MINNIE I t’ought he knowed, Mary. I t’ought the kids had told him. JACOB No, Minnie, they neglected to mention it. I’m not surprised! MINNIE I wouldn’t have put me big foot in me mouth otherwise. JACOB Why should I know any more what goes on in my own house than the stranger on the street? I’m only his father. I’m not the one they all

you carries on. Just keep it up. Don’t t’ink for one minute you’m too old yet! BEN Come on. Hit me. I’m not scared. Hit me. You’d never see me again! MARY (slapping BEN) Shut right up. You’re just as bad as he is! MINNIE Two of a kind, maid. Two peas in a pod. That’s why they don’t get on. JACOB Why the hell do you suppose we slaved to buy this house, if it wasn’t for you two? And now you won’t stick around long enough to help pay back a red cent. You’d rather pay rent to a stranger!

how we met. JACOB What’s her name? BEN Sarah . . . JACOB Well, you bring her home next time you comes, you hear? I’d like to meet her. Will you do that for me? BEN Sure, Dad . . . (He rises.) JACOB (as BEN crosses behind the armchair) And don’t stay away so long next time, Ben. (a beat) Your mother worries . . . He buries himself in his newspaper. Cross fade of lights so that BEN and JACOB end up in spots, BEN facing the audience. JACOB remains sitting in the armchair, his face hidden

better not say a word to your father about Ben moving out. I’ll tell him myself after the wedding. JACOB (off) Mary! MARY (calling) What is it, boy? JACOB (off) Come here! I can’t get this goddamn button fast! MARY It’s one of those mysteries how he made it t’rough life this far. If he didn’t have me, he wouldn’t know which leg of his pants was which. (She exits.) BILL (slight pause) You told her, huh? She doesn’t seem to mind. BEN Keep your voice down. You want Dad to hear? BILL

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