What are you saying?
None whatever. If you don’t believe me, ask the other monks. They’ll bear me out. We pray and pray, and beat our foreheads, and the result is nothing, absolutely nothing. If the image did nothing else than drive away the impure power! But it can’t do even that. It hangs there as if it were none of its business, and as soon as night comes, the stir and the gliding and the flitting around the corners begin again. The abbot says we are cowards, poor in spirit, and that we ought to be ashamed. But why are the images ineffective? The monks in the monastery say—
But it’s hard to believe it. It’s impossible. They say that the devil stole the real image long ago—the one that could perform miracles—and hung up his own picture instead.
Oh, God, what blasphemy! Why aren’t you ashamed to believe such vile, horrid stuff? You who are wearing a monk’s robe at that! You really ought to be lying in a puddle—it’s the proper place for you.
Now, now, don’t get mad. Don’t mind her, Father Kondraty, she doesn’t mean it. She is a good girl. But really, why don’t you leave the monastery? Why do you want to be fooling about here with shadows and devils?
KONDRATY (shrugging his shoulders)
I would like to leave; but where am I to go? I dropped work long ago. I am not used to it any more. Here at least I don’t have to worry about how to get a piece of bread. And as for the devil (cautiously winking to Savva as he turns to the window and fillips his neck with his fingers) I have a means against him.
Well, let’s go out and have a talk. You, face, will you send us some whiskey?
He isn’t telling the truth. There are no devils either. The devil couldn’t have hung up his picture if there’s no devil. It’s impossible. He had better ask me.
All right, we’ll speak about that later. Send us whiskey.
I won’t send you any whiskey either.
What a stupid fellow! I tell you what, father. You go out into the garden through that door. I’ll be, with you in a moment. Don’t lose yourself. (He goes out after Tony)
Good-bye, Miss Olympiada.