[The Wife goes out. Man, with a friendly look to the corner where Someone in Gray stands, picks up the toy clown, plays with it, and gives its red nose a quick kiss. At that instant his Wife enters and Man speaks shamefacedly.
I was begging his pardon. I insulted this fool. Well, how is our dear boy?
He is so pale.
That’s nothing. It’ll pass away. He lost a lot of blood.
It makes me so sad to look at his poor shorn head. He had such beautiful golden curls.
They had to be cut so that the wound could be washed. Never mind, wife, his hair will grow again and be still finer. Did you keep what was cut off? Be sure to keep it. His precious, blood is on it.
Yes, I put it away in the chest, the last one left of all our wealth.
Don’t worry about wealth. Just wait until our son begins to work. He’ll restore all we’ve lost. I feel well again, wife, and I firmly believe in our future. Do you remember our poor little rosy room? The good neighbors scattered oak leaves in it, and you made a wreath of them and put it on my head and said I was a genius.
I say so still. Other people have ceased to appreciate you, but not I.
No, my dear little wife, you’re wrong. What genius creates outlives the old dirty bundle of rags known as the body, whereas I am still living, and my productions—
No, they’re not dead and they never will die. Do you remember that corner house you built ten years ago? Every evening at sunset you go to look at it. Is there a more beautiful building in the whole city, is there any with more depth to it?
Yes, I purposely built it so that the last rays of the setting sun should fall upon it and set its windows aglow. When the whole city is in darkness, my house is still taking leave of the sun. It was well done, and perhaps it will survive me a little while at least. What do you think?
Of course, my friend.
The only thing that hurts, wife, is that the people have forgotten me so soon. They might have remembered me a little longer, just a little longer.