As they turn to go in, a roar of a motor engine is heard off-stage. A searchlight blazes on Alec and Meli. The music stops.
ALEC: My God, it must be the Tans. Who else would be on the road at this time of night?
MELI: What are you going to do?
ALEC: I’ll get my service revolver.
MELI: Don’t you ever read the papers? The new Regulations came into force on the 27th. Possession of arms is now a criminal offence liable to the death penalty. For God sake, get rid of the gun.
ALEC: There’s no way that scum is coming into our house.
MELI: They’ll be drunk and be ready for a fight. On Boxing Day they broke into a dance in Bruff in County Limerick and killed five young men and wounded seventeen.
ALEC: Then I’ll talk to them.
MELI: Leave it to me, I’ll do the talking – at least I’m English.
A tall soldier, wearing a kilt and carrying bagpipes, steps into the beam and proceeds slowly to Meli and Alec.