BARSSEGH. I want it at once.
OSSEP. Then come with me. You shall have it. The sooner a man is rid of a bad thing, the better it is. Give me the note! No, don’t give it to me, for you don’t trust me. You are not worthy of trusting me. Take it yourself and come with me. We will go at once to the bazaar, sell it, then you can have your money. I may lose something by it. It makes no difference. It is easier to bear this misfortune than to talk to you. Do you hear? Shall we go?
BARSSEGH. What do you mean?
OSSEP. Get the note, I tell you! Don’t you hear?
BARSSEGH. What kind of a note?
OSSEP. Rostom’s note.
BARSSEGH. Rostom’s’ note? What is this note to you?
OSSEP. What is it to me? It is no word, indeed, that you can deny. It is a document.
BARSSEGH. What is it to you that I have this document in my hands? That is mine and Rostom’s business.
OSSEP. Yours and Rostom’s business! [Pauses.] It is, I see, not yet enough that you lie. You are a thief and a robber beside. What people say of you is really true; namely, that you have robbed everybody, and by this means have acquired your wealth. Yes, it is true that you have ruined twenty-five families; that you have put out their candle and lighted yours by it. Now I see, for the first time, that everything that people say about you is true. Now I believe, indeed, that these chairs, this sofa, this mirror, your coat, your cane—in a word, every article that you call yours—represents some person you have robbed. Take my bones and add to them. Make the measure full. You have made your conscience a stone and will hear nothing; but I tell you, one day it will awake, and every object that lies or stands here will begin to speak and hold up to you your villanies. Then you can go and justify yourself before your Maker. Shame upon him who still calls you a human being! [Exit by the middle door.
BARSSEGH. Ha! ha! ha! [Exit at the right.
SCENE I—OSSEP’S HOUSE
NATO [stands before the mirror elegantly dressed, and, while she prinks, hums a European melody. Then she draws out of her pocket a little photograph and speaks to herself while looking in the mirror]. O my treasure! my treasure! [Presses the photo to her breast and kisses it.] Mon cher! Come; we will dance. [Dances around the table.] Tra-la-la, Tra-la-la. [Sits down at the right.] Alexander; my Alexander; dear Alexander! Yes, you are really an angel. Why are you so handsome? You have black eyes and I also have black. Then arched eyebrows just like me. [Touches her eyebrows.] A pretty little mustache, which I lack. Which of us is more beautiful, I or you? You are handsomest; no, I am handsomest [springing up]. We will see at once.