You pair of drunken loafers!
Sean O’Connell and Victor Wilkins took to the free drink as Mamma had said they would and began to shout remarks which were indelicate, with the promise of leading to even worse. Jinny rose in her wrath against them:
‘You pair of drunken loafers! Get back to the Scotland Road gutters you came from! There are decent people here, and if that doesn’t stop you, there are children, and if that doesn’t stop you, by Christ I’ll come over there myself and throw the pair of you out with my own hands.’
Victor subsided, muttering threats about the Irish, but Sean rose to his feet.
‘You’re a wonderful woman, Jinny,’ he said. ‘Begod, you’re a wonderful woman! Even if Ikey’s only half a man, you’re twice a woman.’
‘Keep your filthy tongue off my husband,’ Jinny shouted. She paused dangerously. ‘If it’s being a man you’re talking about, would you like me to tell the company one or two things your wife has told me in confidence? Come on now. Don’t sit down so quick. Well, then?’
‘Your health, Jinny.’ Sean raised a glass. ‘Your health, and Isaak’s health, and for God’s sake let me get drunk in peace. I’ll behave myself. I promise that.’
Isaak throughout sat beside her, smiling his approval. He had drunk as steadily as anyone, but drink with him, up to a point, only increased his natural assurance and confidence. And he knew where the point was, and did not go beyond it.