PASTOR (after an anxious pause, during which the FORESTER has not taken his eyes from the PASTOR’S face).
I hear nothing. That is your own heavy breathing that you hear.
FORESTER (begins to collapse again).
My own heavy breathing that I hear—
[Summons up courage, opens the door.]
My eyes deceive me? Where she is not, there I see her; and where she is, there I do not see her. Pastor, for God’s sake, tell me: “There lives Mary.”
[He has convulsively clutched the PASTOR’S arm.]
I do not see her. The bed there is untouched, the windows open—your wife—
FORESTER (rushes into the room).
Woman! Woman! Poor, poor woman!
SOPHY, like a ghost; can hardly stand or speak; dragged in forcibly by the FORESTER.
Where is my child?
Mother, what ails you?
[He supports her on one side, the PASTOR on the other.]
Andrew! At least one!
FORESTER (shakes her).
My child! My child! Where is my child?
SOPHY (with repulsion, but faintly).
Leave me, you—
To the Dell—you—
Creature, you lie!
Yes, she met me—in the fog—as I was coming—
That was William.
It was Mary, woman; Mary!
She cannot answer any more. She has fainted.
Take her away from the madman!
You mean to say that I—my own child—
[He and the PASTOR are busy about her, at the table to the right.]
STEIN (who in the meantime is trying to keep the FORESTER away from her).
Hands off, you madman!
Madman? God grant that I am!
[A knock is heard; he steps back in horror and stretches out his hands toward the door, as if warding off something.]
Nonsense! What do you want, the whole lot of you? Why, that is Mary. She is standing outside, and does not dare to come in, because she ran out in the night. She hasn’t the courage. I am severe—oh, I am severe! Silly wench!
[Stands up straight.]
Come what may!
[He rushes toward the door; before he reaches it, another knock is heard; he steps back again horrified and powerless.]