Bah! Better death, than a life of terror like that in France to-day.
Good heavens, Nanette! Fewer words than these have guillotined our betters! Can you never hold your tongue?
Never!—while I have a truth to tell.
Tell the truth! Good Lord, that’s fatal.
Aye, for in these noble days of liberty we are only free to lie.
[Turning away in disgust.]
Damn it! I must run or be ruined.
[Starts to go, but, in passing window, recoils with a cry of dismay.]
[Points out of window.
[Contemptuously looking out of window.]
There goes the Phantom!
The dumb girl of the guillotine!
Who glides like a phantom through the streets, without home, friend, or occupation.
Except to stand by the scaffold, and count the heads that fall from the guillotine.
They say that calamity overtakes everyone she follows: that it’s disaster to stand in her way, and sure death to notice her.
Aye, even those who think themselves too great to believe in God, have faith in the fatal power of this pale child. My God! look there!
Good Lord!—It’s Mademoiselle Diane! She’s crossing the street in front of the Phantom.
Aye!—Go.—Hurry Mademoiselle here, before she has a chance to heed this messenger of misery.
Goddess of Reason, save us all!
Goddess of Reason!—A fine deity for days as mad as these:
[Crossing to mantel and looking at KAUVAR’S picture.]
Ah, Citizen Kauvar!—Patriot!—Revolutionist!—Bold son of Liberty, as you are!—You’d love this age of terror less if it brought death to Mademoiselle Diane.—Yes, I’ve watched ye, sturdy citizen, and in spite of your stern devotion to the Republic, I suspect you carry another idol in your heart.