Opening Scene - part five
(Ned enters with a blood stained handkerchief clutched to his nose.)
Ned Heddo Dad.
Mother (Aghast) Oh my darling boy, what's happened? Come on my precious angel, come and sit down so I can look at you. (She crosses to him and ushers him into one of the chairs.)
Ned Id's all right mum, honestly.
Mother Who's mummy's brave little soldier then? Look daddy, he comes in covered in blood and he tells his mumsy that it's all right. Isnít he a treasure.
Father Does it hurt lad?
Mother (Before Ned can answer) Of course it must hurt! Edmund is just being; very courageous that's all.
Ned Mum, actually ...
Mother Now you just keep your head tipped back poppet or you'll get blood everywhere. Sit quietly for a moment cherub and it will stop. (She examines his nose.) There, I think that's done it. Stay exactly as you are and I'll fetch a flannel to wash your face. (She bustles off and reappears with a bowl and large flannel.)
Father Elizabeth, stop fussing over the lad. He's said that he's all right.
Mother All right! He comes in dripping with blood and he's all right? (During this speech she wipes Ned's face rather vigorously, reflecting her annoyance with his father.) How can you be so heartless! If you really cared about Edmund you would go out and catch the bullies that did this to him.
Father But we don't even know what happened!
Mother It doesn't take a genius to work it out! This is the second time he's come home like this in a week.
Father Let's ask Ned shall we
Mother Very well. Edmund, it was those boys from the village wasn't it?
Ned I don't think that it was all Ö
Mother Don't cover up for them dear. You must always tell your mummy the truth. (With melodramatic intense sympathy)
Ned (Hesitates for a moment but he knows he will have to agree with his mother) Yes.
Mother There, I told you so! Oh those brutes, those scoundrels! Well, what are you going to do about it?
Father If I go out there and give them a good hiding how will that help Ned? It's more likely to make matters worse!
Ned (Recovering.) I think dad's right mum. Besides, I feel fine now.
Mother Oh perhaps you're right - but something should be done to stop them. I don't see why they have to pick on Edmund all of the time. (To Ned.) Just try to avoid them in future dear.
Ned I'll do my best mum.
(She ruffles his hair then goes out to carry on preparing the meal.)