[She is obliged to restrain MARY, who wishes to throw herself at the FORESTER’s feet].
From now on we are two. Go away! Go away! Wilkens is rich, and I am a poor man in spite of my right. You’re going after the money. I’ll not prevent you. But if you say you have acted rightly—then—and now the matter is disposed of. Not one more word about it.
The same. Enter WILLIAM.
FORESTER (seated on the right of the stage).
Come here, William. Where did you leave Andrew?
I waited for him a quarter of an hour at the Boundary Inn.
Perhaps he thought you were coming later—
Andrew has not come back with him? I can’t get my uncle’s words out of my head.
[MARY lights the lamp and puts it on the table by the FORESTER.]
Did you ask the lawyer how long it would be before the matter is settled? Till I have my rights?
He refuses to institute proceedings.
SOPHY (drawing a deep breath; aside).
Then there is still some hope left!
FORESTER (rises; quite perplexed).
He says you are not in the right, father.
Not in the right?
[Is obliged to sit down.]
SOPHY (as before).
If he only would yield.
He said state officials could not be deposed, unless it could be proved against them that they deserved it. But you were not a state official; your master was not the state, but he who owned the forest, the owner of the estate.
FORESTER (with suppressed anger).
Then, if I were an official of the state, Stein would not be allowed to do me an injustice. And because I am not, he is allowed to brand me as a scoundrel?—You did not understand him rightly, William!
He repeated it to me three times—
Because you did not represent the matter to him as it is—that already your great-grandfather had been forester of Duesterwalde, and your grandfather after him, and that for forty years, throughout the whole valley, people have called me the Hereditary Forester.