Tell me, Savva, if I may ask—are you in love with a woman?
Ah, switched around to the subject of love after all—just like a woman! I hardly know what to say. I did love a girl, in a way, but she didn’t stick it out.
Stick out what?
My love, or perhaps myself. All I know is that one fine day she went away and left me.
Nothing. I remained alone.
Have you any friends, comrades?
Any enemies? I mean is there anyone whom you particularly dislike, whom you hate?
God, I say—the one whom you call your Saviour.
Don’t dare speak that way! You’ve gone out of your mind!
Ah! I touched your sensitive spot, did I?
Don’t you dare!
I thought you were a gentle dove, but you have a tongue like a snake’s. (He imitates the movements of a snake’s tongue with his finger)
Good Lord! How dare you, how can you speak like that of the Saviour? Why, one dares not look at him. Why have you come here?
[Kondraty appears at the door of the tavern, looks around, and enters quietly.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
Amen! You’re very late, my gracious lord!
I did the will of him who sent me. I was picking young little cucumbers for the Father Superior. He has them made into a dainty dish which he loves dearly for an appetizer. My, what infernal heat! I was in pools of perspiration before I got through.
SAVVA (to Lipa)
You see, here is a monk. He likes a drink. His cussing vocabulary isn’t bad. He is no fool, and as to women—