Eccles Street, Dublin, 1am, The Policeman

Martin, unlike many of his colleagues in the Dublin Metropolitan Police, did not mind doing the late night beat around the north part of the city. His colleague James was, as usual, silent; one never knew what he was thinking, but he was a good man to have by your side in a scrap. It was true that there was sometimes trouble. The soldiers were the worst, wandering around the streets drunk; well, 5000 soldiers in one city were bound to cause trouble. So far tonight, they had encountered nothing worse than a voluble drunk medical student obviously looking for the stews and a clerk who had missed the last tram to Drumcondra and seemed unsure of his way home.

Martin watched curiously as a gentleman tried to negotiate the railings of the basement of 7 Eccles Street. A burglar? Hardly, thought Martin; more likely a gentleman who had forgotten his latch-key. He hesitated, unsure whether to offer to help or not. He had discovered that when he approached anyone in Dublin he was more than likely to be given a mouthful of abuse for being a policeman. He was still getting used to city ways; like practically all his colleagues living in Summerhill Station, he was not a native of the city.

St George's church was now striking the end of the first hour of June 17th 1904. Nearly half way through another year of the new century; and all, it would seem, was quiet in Dublin.

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