ALEXANDER. Well, he told me so himself.
NATO. He was joking. Don’t believe
[Goes over to her friends, laughing.
ALEXANDER. Well, I can’t make it out.
I am not so stupid, however. Until
I have the money in my hands I will not cross this threshold again.
SALOME. Let us begin. [Guests begin to play.
CHACHO [coming from left]. Get this stuff out of the way.
SALOME. What is the matter? What has happened?
CHACHO. What was to happen? We are ruined. [Behind the scenes are heard threatening voices:] “Here! Yes! No.” [Then Ossep’s voice:] “Come in, come in.”
CHACHO [to Salome]. Do you not hear them?
Enter Barssegh through middle door.
BARSSEGH. This is really splendid! I work for my daily bread, and you illuminate your house on my money.
CHACHO [to Salome]. Now you have it.
SALOME [rising]. Are you mad? Show him out.
BARSSEGH. I will show you pretty soon who is to be shown out.
SALOME. Alexander, show this man out.
ALEXANDER [to Barssegh]. What do you want, sir? How can you indulge in such insolence?
BARSSEGH. That is not your affair, sir! I demand my money. Demand yours also if you can. You will be obliged to wait a long while for it.
CHACHO [to Barssegh]. Have you no conscience?
BARSSEGH. I want my money, and nothing more.
Enter Ossep, Gewo, a sheriff and his secretary, Dartscho, and several others.
OSSEP [opening the door with both hands as he enters]. Come in! come in! [The others follow him.] Play, play and laugh as much as you will over my misfortunes!
CHACHO [aside]. Now it is all over with us!
SALOME. Tell me, for God’s sake, the meaning of this.
OSSEP. God will judge you and me also. [To sheriff and others:] Come, make your inventory, put your seals on everything—the house, the furniture, and on the cards, too.
BARSSEGH. Make an inventory of everything.
[The sheriff lists furniture in the background
and puts a ticket on each piece. The guests
assemble, frightened, on the left side of the
SALOME [beating her head]. Good heavens!
MARTHA. This is a disgrace for us as well.
CHACHO [in a low voice to Martha]. You at least should be silent.
OSSEP [pointing to Barssegh]. He has stripped me of my honor. Now you will honor and esteem him. He will arrange for your parties. Yes, he, the man who takes the shirt from my back and possesses himself of all my property.