It's 1848. The O'Mally family are about to board the ship that will take them to their new life in New Brunswick. The scene opens at the quay. There is a hustle and bustle of people ready to board the ship. There is a line-up and a gentleman in a suit checking on the people (a medical examiner) before they board. He has two rough looking men standing beside him. Patrick, Molly, Ma and Danny are standing with their stuff. MOLLY Come on Ma, we have to be checked by the medical examiner before we board. MA Iím not having no man poking and prodding me before I board a ship I donít want to board, to go to a place I have no interest in going to. MOLLY They have to check for cholera and the typhoid Ma. Just then a commotion is heard. The examiner checks a man and his family. EXAMINER No! MAN What! But weíre not sick! Weíre not sick I tell you! Please. . . The examiner motions to the two men who drag the man and his wife away. EXAMINER (Oblivious to the pleading) Next! MAN Weíve paid our money for the trip, We have saved for two years, we have nothing left, you have to let us go! The men drop him away from the line, his sobbing wife drops to his side. MAN Please!. . Please!. . .Oh God!. . (they both weep) MOLLY Oh dear Patrick. . . She is about to approach them when Patrick stops her. PATRICK No, Molly, theyíre sick, stay away from them. There is another man standing close by and hears this. MAN 2 They ainít sick, just poor. PATRICK What do you mean? MAN 2 Watch. . . They watch another family approach the examiner. He is checking the two children and as he checks the manís throat, the man discreetly slips him some money. The examiner checks the amount quickly, slips it into his pocket and then signs the paper. EXAMINER Yes for three! The two men stand aside and let them board. MAN 2 Did you catch that? PATRICK (shocked) The scoundrelís taking a bribe! MAN No bribe, no board. MA Well, that rules me out, Iím broke. Come on! She goes to leave but is stopped by Molly. MOLLY MA! Patrick, what are we going to do? We donít have a piece of spare copper between us. DANNY We shouldnít have to, this is wrong and Iím gonna. . . . Danny goes to speak to the Examiner, the man stops him. MAN If you intend to board that ship I wouldnít do that sonny. PATRICK Heís right Dan. . . . During this another family with four kids (six altogether) are being examined. The father hands a bribe to the examiner. He nods at the men who stand aside to start to let them board. EXAMINER Yes. . . .for five. They stop the last child, a young girl of around seven from boarding. The father stops and turns to the examiner. FATHER Wait! Sheís with us, thatís our daughter. Erin. ERIN Daddy! EXAMINER (Ignoring the pleaís) Next! FATHER What are you doing! Stop. . . The examiner directs his henchmen to sort it out. They hit the father over his head knocking him out. Others come along and carry him onto the ship. They also drag the girlís crying mother with him. MOTHER Erin! No, please, my little girl. . . ERIN Mommy. . . She goes over to the line up of people to plead her case but they turn away not wanting to jeopardize their own chances. ERIN (CONTíD) Help me. . .please. . .please. . One of her brothers stands on the boarding gangplank looking at her. He raises his hand and waves a gentle wave at her, she waves back as he disappears from view. She walks away and leans against a wall, she slides down it and buries her head. MOLLY Oh Patrick, we must help her. PATRICK No Mol, look around you, are we to help them all? Molly looks around and sees lots of people begging and lying under rags. Some are crying, some look lost and hungry, some donít move at all. PATRICK (CONTíD) We have to think about us now, or that will be us. Iíll have to give the examiner the money we were to live on when we get to Canada. MOLLY No Pat, whatís the use of going to Canada if we are to die of starvation when we get there. MA My sentiments exactly! MOLLY (taking off her ring) Here. PATRICK No Mol, not your ring. MOLLY Yes Patrick! Youíll give him this and weíll speak no more of it. (she puts it in his hand) Danny, whereís Kathleen? The ships about to sail? DANNY I donít know, she was supposed to be here an hour ago. You get in line Iíll join you as soon as she gets here. PATRICK. Alright, come on Ma. MA I will not! I am not going anywhere without Danny. (she sits in defiance) DANNY Go Dad, weíll bring Gran with us. You better see if heíll take that ring. PATRICK Come on Mol. MOLLY Danny. . . . DANNY Itíll be alright Ma, I promise. By this time the line up is almost gone. Molly goes to the examiner and he checks her out quickly. Patrick walks up and hands him the ring. EXAMINER How many? PATRICK Five. Him over there, (pointing to Danny) the woman sitting next to him and a girl. The examiner bites the ring to see if itís real. He grins and puts it in his pocket. EXAMINER Yes for five. One of the henchmen writes it down. Patrick and Molly board the ship. Shawn arrives in a hurry. SHAWN Danny, I thought Iíd missed you. They shake hands. DANNY No, Iím waiting for Kathleen, sheís late. SHAWN Danny. . . DANNY I donít know why, she knows we sail at eleven. SHAWN Dan. . . . .itís about Kathleen. DANNY What is it Shawn? SHAWN She ainít coming. DANNY What are you talking about? Of course sheís coming (he goes up to Shawn and grabs him) Youíre lying! SHAWN No Dan, sheís not coming. I think she told her father and. . . . DANNY Why would she do that? She promised me she wouldnít say anything. (he starts to leave) Iím going to get her. SHAWN Dan! Itís four miles from here. Youíll miss the ship, itís about to leave dock. Besides her dad will never let her go. DANNY Why! Why is this happening? I canít leave Ireland without her. SHAWN She told me to tell you to write to her, she said sheíll follow you in a few weeks once her father had settled down. DANNY I canít do it, I canít go without her. The sound of the shipís horn is heard. Molly appears on the deck from the ship. MOLLY Danny, come on, youíre going to miss the ship. DANNY But mom, Kathleenís not here, she said sheís not coming. MOLLY Oh Danny. SONG 5 Moment In Time. About the torment that Danny feels with chorusís from Molly, Shawn, and Ma and the little girl Erin. HENCHMAN Three more to board, youíd better hurry. SHAWN Go Dan, Kathleen will follow soon. DANNY (Going over to Shawn, grabbing him again) Promise me Shawn, promise me youíll get Kathleen on the next ship. SHAWN I promise Dan, but send the letter to me in case her father sees it. Iíll make sure she gets it and writes back. Now go! DANNY (Lost and confused) Come on Gran. The little girl Erin gets up and watches them. Danny helps Gran up to the examiner. He goes first and they pass him. Then he is about to check Ma. MA Young man, prod me with that thing (oral stick) and a disease will be the least of your ailments! He decides not to check her and motions the henchmen to let her by. EXAMINER Whereís the other? Thereís supposed to be a third, a girl. DANNY Oh, thereís no. . . MA (cutting him off) Oh yes, Erin! Come here young lady, Little Erin suddenly realizes that she means her and rushes to her side. The Examiner who doesnít notice anything except what is important to him checks her mouth and her glands and allows her to go past. Ma holds her hand. MA We almost left without you dear. ERIN Sorry Grandma. The examiner and henchmen walk away. The girls mother rushes down the gangplank to hug her daughter. They all walk up but Danny, he stands looking out to Shawn, raises his hand and waves goodbye.