And suppose I betray you?
Then I’d kill you.
Now I am going to kill you if you merely try to back out. You know too much, brother.
You are joking.
Maybe I am joking. I am such a jolly fellow. I like to laugh.
When you first came here, you were gay. Tell me, Mr. Savva (looking around cautiously), did you ever kill a man, a real live man?
I did. I cut the throat of that rich business man I told you about.
KONDRATY (waving his hand)
Now I see that you are joking. Well, good-bye, I am going. Don’t you hang around here either. The gate will soon be closed. Oh, my—I am never afraid—but just as soon as I begin to think of the hall, it’s awful. There are shadows there now. Good night.
[Kondraty disappears in the dark. Lightning. Savva remains leaning on the railing to stare at the white tombstones that are momentarily revealed by the flashes of lightning.
SAVVA (to the graves)
Well, you dead ones, are you going to turn over in your graves or not? For some reason I don’t feel very cheerful—oh, ye dead—I don’t feel the least bit cheerful. (Lightning)
THE THIRD ACT
A festively decorated room with three windows to the street. One window is open, but the curtain is drawn. An open door, painted dark, leads into the room seen in the first act.
It is night and dark. Through the windows can be heard the continuous tramp of the pilgrims on their way to the monastery for the next day’s celebration. Some are barefoot; some wear boots or bast shoes. Their steps are quick and eager, or slow and weary. They walk singly or in groups of two or three, the majority in silence, though now and then suppressed, indistinct talking may be heard. Starting from somewhere far off to the left, the sound of the footsteps and the talking, muffled at first, approaches and grows louder, until at times it seems to fill the whole room. Then it dies away in the distance again. The impression is that of some tremendous movement, elemental and irrepressible.
At the table, lighted only by a flickering stump of a tallow candle, sit Speransky and Tony. The latter is very drunk. Cucumbers, herring, and bottles of whiskey are on the table. The rest of the room is entirely dark. Occasionally the wind blows the white curtain at the window and sets the candle flame tossing.