Home for Christmas A Poetrical
by
Esha and Hamish McGee





Dedication

For those who suffered and were lost to the Great War
and to those who were and continue to be  touched by it.




                        Act I                            Home
                                    Scene I             Children

                        Act II                          War
                                    Scene I             A Celebration
                                    Scene II           Bad News
                                    Scene III          The Departure
                                    Scene I V         Letters to and from the Front
                                    Scene V           Volunteers
                                    Scene VI          Dead Donald
                                    Scene VII         Letter to a Brother
                                    Scene VIII       The Power of Prayer
                                    Scene IX          Hamburg

                        Act III                         Home
                                    Scene I             Home for Christmas




Cast of Characters

Ramsay McGee Son of Robert and Leanna McGee
Eilidh McGee Daughter of Robert and Leanna McGee
Robert McGee         Father of Ramsay and Eilidh
Leanna McGee Mother of Ramsay and Eilidh
Donald Skilton Cousin of Ramsay and Eilidh
Blair Piper and village acquaintance of Ramsay McGee
“Sarg” Sergeant in trench with British soldiers
Volker German Soldier, brother to Clara
Clara German Nurse, Volker’s sister
1st British Soldier/Cellist Injured soldier in crater
2nd British Soldier Injured soldier in crater
1st Bearer Indian Bearer
2nd Bearer Indian Bearer
German Soldiers, Nurses Soldiers and Nurses in German camp





Act I – Home

Act I – Scene I : Children

Setting
It is the Summer of 1894. We open in the garden of a country house in Scotland.

The scene opens with Eilidh (7 years old) pushing her younger brother Ramsay (4 years old) on a swing attached to the branch of a tree in the garden of their country home. They are happy, laughing together. The girl leaves her brother momentarily to pick a flower. As she picks it and turns back to give it to her brother, she sees another, older boy (Donald – 10 years old) push her brother from the swing. Ramsay falls and injures his knee. He fights back the tears, lying on his back on the ground and looks angrily at Donald who walks around the swing and kicks his leg. Ramsay lets out a scream of pain as Donald looks up to see Eilidh running towards them. Donald runs off in the opposite direction. Eilidh kneels at her brother’ side.

Eilidh :             Ramsay! Are you all right? Don’t cry. Oh, my! Your knees are bleeding.

She looks over the garden wall at the fleeing Donald.

                        Donald Skilton! Just you wait ‘till I tell my mother!

She helps her brother to the house, shouting “Mother!” Leanna appears from the backdoor of the house and helps carry Ramsay into the         parlour.

Leanna :           Oh, Ramsay, what have ye done! Put him here Eilidh on the chair and let me have a look at his knees.

Eilidh :             It was Donald mother. I saw him. He pushed Ramsay from the swing …

Leanna :           Oh wheest, girl! Let me tend to Ramsay will ye!

Eilidh :             But mother! It was Donald! I saw him with my own eyes. He’s a wicked, wicked boy!

Leanna :           Well that’s as may be. We’ll take care of Donald if need be, later. For now let me tend to your brother. Go and fetch me some water, the iodine solution and the bandages. And wash your hands with                 the carbolic because I’ll need ye to help me.

Eilidh dutifully but angrily, obeys.

Leanna :           Now Ramsay, we’ll talk about what happened later. But for now, you know I’ll need to clean your knees and put some iodine onthem. You’ll be a br ave boy for your mother won’t you? It’s going to hurt but you won’t cry will you? Not in front of Eilidh?

Ramsay looks at his mother, wipes the tears from his eyes.

Ramsay :         I’ll be brave, mother.

Leanna :           That’s my wee soldier! You’re my strong and brave boy. You’ll look after us all won’t you?

Ramsay nods again as Leanna hugs him. Eilidh returns. Leanna washes the wounds; Ramsay clenches his fists but does not make any sound.

Leanna :           Now Eilidh, listen here. I’ll need you to help me, so listen carefully. Take that and wipe the blood when I say so.

Leanna, cleans the wounds and Eilidh dutifully helps. Ramsay, grimaces but make no sound.

Leanna :           That’s good Eilidh. I can always count on you to take care of your brother. You’re a good girl. I’m sorry I snapped at you earlier. Now Ramsay, I need to do this you know that? And mind what I asked ye? It’s to stop the poison spreading in the wound.

Ramsay nods his head. Leanna applies the iodine. Ramsay lets out a stifled whimper. Eilidh starts to cry.

Leanna :           Now Eilidh, if Ramsay can bear the sting, you can too! So stop that nonsense and help me, dae ye hear?

Eilidh :             Aye mother. But’s not easy for me. The watching’s worse than the bearing. I’d gladly have you put the purple on me, if it saved Ramsay.

Leanna :           Aye, ye say that. Ye dinnae ken what yer saying. Now there, Ramsay. Just a wee minute. We’ll have that bandage on and you’ll have a cup of milk and a sweetie. You’ll be up and about before the morning. Now Eilidh, away you go and fetch your father. He’ll carry Ramsay up to his room.

Eilidh leaves.

Leanna :           Now Ramsay my boy, you can cry if you want. It’s just you and me here. Just make sure there’s no tears when Eilidh’s around; you know how she frets.

Ramsay :         I’ll no cry, Mam. It dosnae matter how much it hurts.

Leanna :           That’s my boy! I’m so proud of ye.

Robert McGee arrives with Eilidh.

Robert :           What’s happened? Is the boy hurt?

Leanna :           Would I have called ye otherwise? Sometimes Robert, I wonder that a man so learned in words and so elevated in the university an’ all, can be so lacking in common sense! Your head’s so filled with books and learning, there’s no room for anything else!

Robert :           Aye, well, that’s as may be. Let’s be seeing what’s happened. It was Donald, did you say Ramsay? Pushed you off the swing, did he?

Ramsay says nothing. He looks in fear at his mother.

Robert :           Well, Ramsay? What is it? Was it Donald? Or did you say or do something to annoy him? I don’t think anybody would just up and hurt you for nothing.

Ramsay remains silent.

Leanna :           Just leave the boy alone Robert. He’s hurt bad enough. No need for your foolishness to add to the problem. You know he’s no a clipe! He might be but four years old, but he’s no the sort to be blaming others, even if they are to blame.

Robert :           Look here woman! I’m only trying to discover what happened. Well, boy? What about it? What did you do to provoke your cousin to such violence?

Eilidh :             But father! I told you! It was that wicked boy! Ramsay didn’t even know he was there …

Robert :           Child. That’s enough. Don’t interrupt me when I’m talking …

Leanna :           No, Robert! That’s enough from both of you. I’ll not have this nonsense when my boy needs rest. Robert you take him to his room and I’ll be up with some milk and sweeties for him after you.

Robert :           Och! Wheecht woman! There’s nothing the matter with him. He’ll be up to his scallywagging before I’m back. Come on Eilidh, we’re leaving. We’ll be back in an hour or so … when the lunch’ll be on the table I daresay, if that’s not too much trouble.

Leanna :           And where dae ye think ye’er goin’? It’s up those stairs with Ramsay you’ll be going afore ye do anything else. I need you to take him to his bed so’s he can rest.

Robert :           Come on Eilidh. We’re off. We’ll be back in time for lunch. I daresay, the boy’ll survive an hour or two … seeing as you’ve managed to stop him bleeding to death with your artful application of iodine and bandages.

Robert and Eilidh leave. Exit left.

Leanna :           Never you mind, Ramsay. We’ve the house to ourselves now. Are you settled there on the couch? I’ll go fetch the milk and the sweeties and a blanket. I bring your favourite book and read you a story. You can choose any one you want.

She leaves. Ramsay waits a few minutes. A bluebottle fly enters through the open window and irritates him. He tries to swat it away but falls off the couch. He let’s out a scream but quickly bites his fist to suppress his pain.

Leanna rushes back. Enter left.

Leanna :           Oh Ramsay! What have you done now!

Ramsay :         It was a fly mother. I tried to shoo it away, but I fell over. Don’t worry, it’s no sore.

Leanna :           I know. Your my brave, wee boy. I know.

She lifts him back onto the couch and hugs him again.

Leanna :           Now Ramsay, can I trust you lie still ‘till I come back? And never bother with that fly. I catch it later. I’ll just close the window in the meantime, so’s nae mair come in.

She leaves. Exit left.
Lights down.
Lights up.

We are in the kitchen as Leanna is pouring milk from a jug into a mug. She recalls the stifled scream of her son.

Music …

Song : Come to me bonny lad, my bonny boy, I’m here.
            There is no danger now, the pain will soon disappear.

            Know that I’m always here, beside you dear, I’m here.
            There is no cause to fear, for I am here, my dear.

            You need not worry now, or cry aloud, I’m here.
            Know that in your heart, your cries I’ll always hear.

            But for the moment, be assured, I’m here,
            And by your side I will always be near.

            Come to me, little one, I’m here … (repeat to fade)

Lights fade to darkness
End of Act 1, scene 1



Act II – War

Scene I : A Celebration


Setting
It is the late evening of 4th August 1914. We are in the main  lounge of the McGee household. Friends and extended family have gathered to celebrate a double event. Robert McGee is about to address the people gathered and make an announcement.


Leanna :           Now Robert, don’t do your usual and rabbit on for hours. These are our friends and family. They have a good idea of why they’re here so you don’t need to labour the point. Besides, I doubt if the children will thank you for drawing so much attention to them. You know fine well how Eilidh and Ramsay abhor the limelight. So for pity’s sake, if you must make a fuss, keep it short. It’s bad enough you organising this dinner, but to make speeches and all! What were you thinking! In fact, I doubt you thought much on it!

Robert :           Wheest woman! I’ll do what I need to do. Now you just make sure everyone’s glass is filled. Leave the rest to me.

Leanna leaves her husband to tell the maids to fill the guests’ glasses with champagne.

Robert :           Now everyone, if you could just turn your attention to me for a moment. Aye Donald, that means you too. Just keep your mouth busy eating the sandwiches and leave the talking to me for a change. Thank you. Now everyone, I want to thank you for taking the trouble to come on this fine evening to grace our humble home and share with us the fine and wonderful achievements with which the good Lord has blessed us. I think most of you will know that I myself was denied the opportunity of doing the Lord’s work abroad. Now, that was difficult for me to accept, but where the Lord’s involved, there no point in debating the point or, God forbid, arguing. There’s but to do what He asks. However, while He takes with one hand He is bountiful with the other. I cannot spread the healing work and the message of the Lord, but He has looked kindly enough on me to grant that my son, Ramsay, has now completed his study at the university; he is a doctor.

There is a round of hushed applause as the guests look around to see an embarrassed Ramsay beside his mother. As the applause dies down, Robert continues his address.


It is my earnest wish that he now finds himself a wife, and in that I hope he is as blessed as I have been, so that he can do what I was never able to do – spread the Word and the healing that God in His Grace has granted him. I’m hoping that as soon as he is married, he and his wife will be away to the furthest reaches of the earth to do what must be done.

More hushed applause, raising of glasses and admiring looks at Ramsay, who looks increasingly embarrassed and uncomfortable.

Robert :           But, be that as it may, I cannot fully express the joy I have in knowing that my boy shall complete the work which I have begun, and to that end I want you all to lift up your glasses, and drink a toast to his future.

The guests all lift their glasses towards Ramsay, who has a sheepish smile on his face.

Robert :           Aye and that’s not all my good friends. My lovely daughter is to be wed to Duncan. You all know him, he’s a good and                              industrious boy and well suited to her.

There is a polite cheer from the guests.

Robert :           It is not often that a man is graced with a daughter who is the equal of his wife in so very many ways. Eilidh has waited longer than most to agree to the marriage and it’s not for the want of trying on the part of her fiancé of, what is it now, nigh on four years. I would have to say, that alongside his patience, his taste in the fairer sex is a worthy, worthy trait in a man so young of years. Now, it’s said that in some strange cultures abroad in the lands of the heathen, when a man’s daughter is married, he should pay the husband’s family a dowry for taking her off his hands.

There is polite laughter from the guests.

Well you can imagine what my response would be to anyone who               came to me with outstretched hands in those circumstances. Let’s just say that he’d be eating his meals standing at the table for a fortnight and my right shoe would be well polished!

More laughter from the guests.

But enough! The man that’s taking my Eilidh has the greatest                      treasure the Lord ever gave Mankind, and make no mistake, she’ll not be just a trinket for him to wear on his arm. She’ll be a good wife and mother as all women should. She’ll bear him many a bonny lass, and an army of fit, fine young men. There’ll be no more talk of going to medical school like her brother. Now doubtless you’ve heard of women who choose to do that south of the border. Well, we’ll not be having that nonsense here I can tell you. Women doctors! Why, next you’ll have them becoming lawyers or the like, or maybe they’ll want to be building the ships on the Clyde, or maybe even planting and ploughing the fields …

A few male voices shout muffled agreement. The women throw glaring looks at them.

… well, well, we’ll not be seeing that happen in our life-time and the better we’ll be for it. Let the English do what they want. Here in Scotland we know what the future is. Let the men go hunting and gathering. The women are best looking after the bairns and house. The so-called progressives, as they call themselves, say a new world is coming, a new order of things where everyone will be equal and all will work on equal terms. Well, they’ll have to get the vote before anything else, and something tells me that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

They say there’s to be a war in Europe. Well, that’s what they say anyway. What do they know? Why would the heads of Europe, all related as they are, go to war with each other. Does not the Good Book tell us that a house divided cannot stand? Besides if they want to fight in Europe, why involve us? No, my friends war will not touch us for we stand in splendid isolation. Let the Balkans and the Austrians and the Hungarians and whoever else, fight if that’s what they want. Mr Asquith will not be drawn into an affair that is not of our making …

Eilidh “accidentally” knocks over a champagne glass from a tray offered her by a maid. As the guests have their attention distracted, Leanna takes the opportunity to whisper in her husband’s ear. Robert looks unsettled but gathers himself together. Leanna stands by his side taking his arm firmly in hers.

I gather I have been rambling somewhat … or eh, eh so I have been told …

He mumbles to himself and regains his composure…

… So it is my pleasure to ask you to ensure you glasses are filled, and to join me and, eh, eh, my lovely wife …

Leanna gives the gathered guests a strained smile.

… Leanna, in wishing my Ramsay and darling Eilidh, all the very best for the future.

The guests join in the toast and break up into small groups. Eilidh, Leanna and Ramsay move towards each other.

Ramsay :         Oh mother, thank God for that. He dosnae half belther on an on. Sometimes I wonder if kens what he’s sayin’.

Leanna :           Now Ramsay, that’s enough. He’s your father whatever else he might be.

Ramsay :         Aye, mother you’re right. But I thought parents were supposed to stop embarrassing their kids when the kids grew up!

Leanna :           (with mock offence) And just what do you mean by “parents” young man!

Eilidh :             Oh Ramsay! You’re no better than father! You’re always looking for fault in him. He’s just a bit … a bit … now what’s the word I’m looking for …

Ramsay :         Daft! I think that’s what you mean!

All three laugh.

Ramsay :         Mother, do you think there will be war in Europe?

Leanna :           I hope not, but I think so son …

She thinks to herself, drawing Ramsay close to her.

   … and if there is, let’s pray it doesn’t involve us.

Eilidh :             Well mother, if God listens to anyone, it’ll be to you.

Lights down.
Lights up.
Leanna is alone on stage.
Music …

Leanna :           Please don’t send me dreadful news,
                        ‘Though it’s not for me to choose.
                        Don’t let the fear, touch me here,
                        Pray how can you me refuse?

                        For once I wish my husband right,
                        That sense prevail and not the might.
                        Hear my prayer, if we go there,
                        Please don’t let it be a fight.

                        And still my heart; it knows no peace,
                        And gives no rest nor me release.
                        And if sleep comes, like a beating drum,
                        On it goes and does not cease.

                        But if You feel it must be war,
                        Don’t take my boy whom I adore.
                        No arms race and by your Grace,
                        I won’t ask for anymore.

Lights fade to darkness.

End of Act II, scene I.

Act II
Scene II – Bad News

Setting
It is the morning of 5th August 1914. We are in the dining room of the McGee household. All four family members are having breakfast. There is a knock at the front door.


Robert :           Mary! Mary, will you see to the door! Can a man not have his breakfast in peace!

After a minute or so, a young man (Donald – enter right) rushes into the kitchen followed by Mary, the maid, waving a newspaper.

Donald :          It’s war! It’s war! We’re in the war Uncle!

Robert :           Don’t talk nonsense Donald! What do you mean, “It’s war!”

Donald :          Aye, it’s true alright. We declared war last night. It’s here in the paper.

Robert :           Let me see that paper!

Robert reads the newspaper as Donald stands by him, fidgeting nervously. Robert’s expression changes from one of confusion to fear.

Eilidh :             What is it father? What’s bothering you?

Robert ignores her and continues to read. Eilidh casts her mother an anxious look.

Leanna :           What is it? Is it true?

Robert continues to read. There is silence as he comes to the end of the article.

Leanna :           Robert, for pity’s sake. What’s this all about?

Robert drops the newspaper into his lap and stares blankly ahead.

Leanna :           Och! Eilidh, give me that paper will you please?

Mary signals that she will take the newspaper to Leanna, but Eilidh steps forward preventing her. Eilidh takes the newspaper to her mother. Leanna reads it in disbelieving silence.

Ramsay :         Mother, what’s the matter?

Leanna reads … Owing to the summary rejection by the German Government of the request made by his Majesty’s Government for assurances that the neutrality of Belgium will be respected, his Majesty’s Ambassador to Berlin has received his passports, and his Majesty’s Government declared to the German Government that a state of war exists between Great Britain and Germany as from 11 p.m. on August 4, 1914.

The room is silent as the full impact of the news dawns on them all.
Lights fade to darkness.
Lights up on Robert.

Music …

Robert :           I have no words to express myself,
                        I have no way to show my fear,
                        For the madness of the world,
                        The safety of my wife, son and girl.

                        How could I have been so, so wrong?
                        How could I have misunderstood?
                        The ways of men’s hearts and minds,
                        In my own head I cannot yet find.

He looks upwards.

                        But Your Will be done …
                        Your Will be done …

He whispers.

                        ‘Though it breaks my heart …
                        … for my son … my darling son …


End of Act II, scene II.


Act II
Scene III : Departure

Setting
One month later. We are in the McGees’ parlour. Robert is sitting in an easy chair reading a book while Leanna is in another crocheting.

Eilidh enters (right) the room.

Eilidh :             Mother, father …

Both parents turn to her. Leanna smiles invitingly.

Eilidh :             Mother, father don’t be angry. I couldn’t bear it if you loose your temper. Now, please just be calm and we can talk about this …

Leanna rises from her chair. Eilidh opens the door. Ramsay walks in, dressed in a soldier’s uniform, holding his cap in his hands.

Leanna :           Ramsay, my God! What have you done!

Ramsay :         Mother, don’t fret. I had to join up. I had no choice.

Robert :           No choice! What did I tell you! This war is nothing to do with us!

Ramsay :         Father, let’s not have that conversation again. Of course it’s everything to do with us. The whole country’s involved.

Robert rises to his feet. He throws the book into the chair behind him.

Robert :           We are not the whole country! This is nothing to do with us. I’ve told you that before and I’m bloody well telling you again. So you can just take that bloody uniform off, get back into your own clothes and we’ll say no on the matter.

Ramsay :         But father, taking the uniform off won’t change anything …

Robert :           It’ll change everything. I’ll not hear another word on the subject. Now get up to your room and thank the Good Lord I don’t take my foot to your backside for your foolishness.

Ramsay :         Father, it’s what I want. I want to defend my country …

Robert :           Defend your country! Defend your country! There’s been no bullet fired here in anger! And why do you think that is? Because this war has nothing to do with us.

Ramsay :         Father, listen to me. Do you really think the Germans will stop at Belgium? And after that? What then? It’ll be France and then it’ll be us.

Robert :           Listen lad! I’ll not hear another word of this. Now just you take that monstrosity of a uniform off and we’ll say no more on the matter.

Ramsay :         But father …

Robert :           Not another word. I’ll be in my room when you’ve come to your senses and brought that uniform to me – and don’t bother folding it neatly. After I’ve finished with it, it’ll barely be good for a rag.

Ramsay tries to protest but his mother and sister hold him back. Robert exits stage right.

Eilidh :             Oh Ramsay! What have you done! This will be father’s undoing. You don’t know how he feels about the war! His whole life has been about healing and spreading the word of God! Fighting in the war is everything he hates.

Ramsay :         (Harshly) Aye I ken. I’ve listened to him preach often enough … and not always in the pulpit!

Ramsay sees how this has hurt his sister. He softens his tone.

Ramsay :         Eilidh, mother … can’t you see this is what I believe? I need to do what I feel in here (punching his chest). It’s no shame or sin to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Is that not what father believes? You’ve read yourselves how the Germans are raping women and killing children, aye and nuns and all, in Belgium. If we don’t stop them now, who knows where it’ll end.

Leanna :           But in a war there’s killing … aye I know, and worse. There’s no denying it … But can you not see that it’s your duty to stay here and look after your father and sister and me? After all, who knows how long we’ll be here. And if it’s helping the war effort that’s what you want, why you can do that here. Your training means that you can be exempt from the forces and you can help by tending to the wounded when they’re brought back here. You’re father’s not without influence and I’ll see to it that no-one bothers you … And if anyone does, by God, they’ll answer to me.

Ramsay :         You see mother, that’s just why I have to go. I’m not a wee boy that needs looking after any more. I’ve my own mind, and I know what I need to do. I can be a missionary and do whatever you and father want when I come back. Anyway, everyone’s all saying we’ll be back for Christmas. You’ll hardly know I’ve been away.

Ramsay hugs his mother. As he pulls back, he sees a tear fall from her eye. He smiles at her.
Lights fade to darkness. Lights up on Leanna alone at front centre stage.
Music …

Leanna (song)  There is that smile upon your bright face,
                        So full of love, so full of grace.
                        If you must go, then go now, depart,
                        And know that you have broken my heart.

                        Come back to me with that same smile,
                        And here I will wait, here for a while.
                        While you are gone, I pray you dream of me,
                        For I shall love you, eternally.

            Eilidh sings …

                        No-one will love you quite as I do,
                        To all of us here, I pray you stay true.
                        Father will forgive you, that you know,
                        I want you to stay … but know you must go.


Ramsay :         Och, Eilidh! There’s no need to make a fuss. I’m going and that’s all there is to the matter. I know father’ll not understand or even try to understand … Even Donald has signed up wi’ me.

Eilidh :             Donald! Signed up? With you? He’s such a scairdy cat, why would he want to go to the war?

Ramsay looks away, an anguished look on his face. Suddenly he pulls a white feather from his jacket.

Ramsay :         That’s why! See! I’ve only one! But Donald … he’s had four in the last two days and God knows how many more before that!                         Even he’s been shamed into joining up.

Leanna :           Ramsay, don’t you be foolhardy. Do you not see, it takes more courage to stay here than to go?

Ramsay :         Mother, I’ll not have you and Eilidh and aye, father as well, suffering the looks folks around here’ll give you, thinking I’m a coward.

Leanna :           There’s none around here’ll dare call you a coward, not while I’m around. They know we’re no cowards. Donald’s another matter altogether and well, the folks here know that.

Ramsay :         Och mother, there’s no use in all that. My mind’s made up and that an end to it. I’m going.

He tries to lighten the mood by adopting a more jovial tone.

Ramsay :         Look Donald and I – we’ve joined up wi’ a bunch of other lads. We’re all going together in our own Pals Brigade. If I get into any tight spots, I’ll just hold Donald up in front of me, like a shield.

Eilidh :             Fat lot of good that’ll do you – he’s so skinny, there’s nothing to him. He’ll not shield you from much.

There is an awkward silence. Ramsay looks at his pocket watch.

Ramsay :         Look, it’s time for me to go. There’s no point in me staying here. We’re off to our training tomorrow. I need to be in Glasgow before the hour’s out and it’s a good hours walk for me from here.

Leanna :           Ramsay please! Why, for pity’s sake, why?

Ramsay turns away from Leanna to face the audience.
Lights on Ramsay.

Ramsay :         Mother, it’s no good. I have to do this.

            Song …

                        I have no answers now but this I know,
                        There is a reason why I must go.
                        Please don’t break my heart and tell me, “No”.
                        It’s not for me to choose; I have to go.
                                                            I have to go.

                        I know it’s hard but I just can’t explain.
                        I know that this will cause you pain.
                        Know this that I shall ever be,
                        Beside you here, and you with me.
                                                            And you with me.

Ramsay kisses his mother on her cheek and walks away.

Leanna :           (Holding back her tears) At least let Johnny take you in the                        carriage.

Ramsay shakes his head. He is close to tears.

Leanna :           Just a minute Ramsay.

She pulls him to her and hugs him, holding him as her body shakes with her silent sobbing. Eventually she stops.

Leanna :           You’ll not forget to wish your father well.

Ramsay :         (Looking up at staircase) Goodbye father. I’ll miss you.

There is no answer.

Ramsay :         (Louder) Goodbye father. I’ll try to write … Pray for me.

He takes his mother by the shoulders and kisses her on the cheek and smiles a warm smile at her.

Ramsay :         Wish him well for me mother. And you Eilidh, tell him, I’ll think of him every day.

Ramsay, picks up his bag, slings it over his shoulder. He makes his way out of the room and the front door, whistling as he walks away. Exit right.
Leanna and Eilidh cry and wave to him.

Music …

Eilidh sings …
                        Do not be foolish, do not be brave,
                        Do not ask that I come to your grave.
                        Come back to me and mother’s embrace.
                        Oh how I love that smile on your face …
                        Come back to us with that smile on your face.

Lights fade and rise on Robert looking out of a window, his back to the audience. His right hand rises in a gesture of waving, but it suddenly falls to his side and he slumps to his right, falling to the floor.

Eilidh and Leanna sing …

                        Oh how I love that smile on your face …
                        Come back to us with that smile on your face.
                       
Lights fade to darkness.

End of Act II, scene III.