Drumcondra, Dublin, 7pm, The Literary Couple

Sean was impatiently awaiting the return of his wife from her Irish class. He had written to Mary to ask her to go directly to the Lennox's, and she should have received the letter by the six o'clock post. The maid, however, could not remember if the mistress had received any post and Mary had left no message. So, here he was, sure that they would be late, because it would take them two tram rides to get from Drumcondra to Rathgar. Not that the Lennox's were fussy in terms of punctuality; their "At Homes" were very informal. But this evening Sean had heard a rumour that there were to be some of the important names of the Revival along - almost certainly A.E. and Synge and possibly even Yeats. He did not want to risk missing them. Most of all, Sean wished to meet Synge, the man who had written Riders to the Sea, the play that the couple had seen last February, that had changed their lives. It had inspired Mary to learn Irish and he himself to take out a subscription to An Claidheamh Soluis and book a holiday in Connemara in July. He only hoped the sanitation in the cottage he had booked was better than the one the Lennoxes had stayed in during Easter. Getting back to the land was all very well, but one really did require some form of water closet.

He lit a Sláinte cigarette and thought what an exciting time it was to be alive. Mary would probably complain about him smoking indoors, but his nerves needed it. Plans were afoot to have a permanent base for the Irish Literary Theatre and the town was awash with poets and dramatists. And there was Mary at the door, dressed in a Donegal tweed skirt and her face flushed with hurry. "Dia Dhuit, a stór," she said. "Ready to be off?

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