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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about Savva and the Life of Man.

Tell me, Savva, if I may ask—­are you in love with a woman?

SAVVA

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.

LIPA

Stick out what?

SAVVA

My love, or perhaps myself.  All I know is that one fine day she went away and left me.

LIPA (laughing)

And you?

SAVVA

Nothing.  I remained alone.

LIPA

Have you any friends, comrades?

SAVVA

No.

LIPA

Any enemies?  I mean is there anyone whom you particularly dislike, whom you hate?

SAVVA

Yes—­God.

LIPA (incredulously)

What?

SAVVA

God, I say—­the one whom you call your Saviour.

LIPA (shouting)

Don’t dare speak that way!  You’ve gone out of your mind!

SAVVA

Ah!  I touched your sensitive spot, did I?

LIPA

Don’t you dare!

SAVVA

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)

LIPA

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.

KONDRATY

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!

SAVVA

Amen!  You’re very late, my gracious lord!

KONDRATY

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—­

KONDRATY

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