Murphy made to move but found some resistance at work against him.
“Milligan. Milligan, are you awake?”
He hadn’t been, but the sound of Murphy’s voice jarred him to consciousness.
“Murphy? Is that you?”
“Of course it bloody well is.”
“Can you move?”
“I don’t know. Can’t you?”
“I think my head’s been nailed to the floor.”
“Don’t be daft, man. Who’d do a thing like that?”
“That I have no idea. Will you have a look?”
“I don’t think I can, Murphy.”
“I think they did the same to me.”
“You’re just saying that. Try.”
Milligan tried and to his great relief found that his head had not been nailed to the floor. That said, his head felt as if it had all the whiskey he had swallowed the previous night swilling around in it. It took a minute to settle, exactly the length of Murphy’s patience.
“There’s no blood.”
“Good. I’d hate for there to be blood. Especially mine.”
“Me too, Murphy. I think I’d be sick.”
“So why can’t I move my head?”
“Chair leg. On your hood.” Milligan shoved the chair from off Murphy’s cowl. “Try now.”
With that Murphy sat bolt upright, far too quickly.
“Oh, Jaysus, Mary and all the saints—my head! What were we drinking last night?”
The bottle lay beside the hearth. Milligan picked it up and read off the label to himself.
“To be sure it was a drop of the good stuff.”
“Do you think you could make it onto your feet?”
“If my life depended upon it.”
“We should get dressed and be away from here.”
“If you say so, Murphy, but I’m not so sure where we’d want to get to in a hurry.”
Murphy didn’t answer. He was involved trying to work himself into a standing position with the aid of the chair; it was a comical sight if you found that kind of thing amusing. Megan McCullough, who was standing in the doorway, did not. She found it nigh on hysterical and by the time Murphy was as vertical as he was likely to get in the short term, Megan was bent double with laughter herself, and by the time she’d recovered from that she caught sight of Milligan who had managed to get himself entangled in his cassock and was standing there naked from the waist down and was off again. Thankfully only the man’s buttocks were exposed to her. Tears were streaming down her face by the time the barman made his entrance.
“Megan! Gentlemen! For the love of God!”