Irish republican

When Alec returns from the European trip, he becomes closer to his father and takes an interest in the family estate.

His father buys him a horse which he names Morrigan. As a result of all this Alec does not see Jerry for a while.

The next time he meets Jerry - to present him with a prize for winning a horse race - his mother suggests that Jerry may be involved with criminal activities.

She is perhaps suggesting that he is a part of the Irish Republican cause.

War breaks out.

Alicia says Alec must join up as she believes it is his duty to fight for the country.

Alec’s father is against the idea as he wants Alec to take over the family land and business.

Going to war

Alicia has been hearing about other young men in the area signing up and seems to relish the idea of her son bringing her glory.

She pictures herself being seen as a sympathetic figure who is making sacrifices for the war effort.

There is also a strong suggestion that she wants Alec to go to war to punish his father, who she seems to despise more and more.

Initially Alec has no intention of going to war and this infuriates Alicia.

To encourage him to join up for her own selfish reasons, she tells Alec that Frederick is not his biological father, and that the man who is has been dead for a long time.

Stunned by this news Alec leaves the house, full of anger at his mother.

Extra money

He meets a drunken Jerry, who informs him that he is joining the army the next morning.

Jerry’s father is already in the army, and the extra money from Jerry’s army wages would help his mother.

Alec - who is still frustrated at his mother and confused about what she revealed to him - impulsively decides to do the same. Both his parents are shocked at the suddenness of his decision.

His father still doesn’t want him to go, but Alicia tells Alec she is proud of him.