Yes, they are overjoyed. They act as if they were drunk. You can’t make out what they are saying. A miracle, a miracle. Father Kirill keeps grunting like a pig “Oui, oui, oui.” They put cold compresses on his head. He is fat, and he may pass out any moment. No, I can’t stand it here. Come, let us go. I’ll take you home, Miss Olympiada.
No, Vassya dear, I’ll go in there.
Don’t go, for heaven’s sake. They’ll crush you, as they did that woman. They are all like drunk. They are carrying on and shouting like mad, with their eyes wide open. Listen. Can’t you hear them?
You are still a boy, Vassya. You don’t understand. Why, it’s a miracle. All their lives these people have been waiting for a miracle. Perhaps they had already begun to despair, and now—O Lord! It’s enough to make you mad with joy. Yesterday, when I heard the cry of “a miracle,” I thought: “No, it’s impossible. How could it happen?” But then I saw them crying, crossing themselves, and going down on their knees. And the ringing of the alarm bell stopped.
Oh, it was Afanassy who rang. He’s terribly strong, a regular giant.
And the only thing heard was “A miracle, a miracle!” No one spoke, and yet one kept hearing “A miracle, a miracle,” as if the whole earth had become articulate. And even now, when I close my eyes, I hear “A miracle, a miracle!” (She closes her eyes and listens with an ecstatic smile) How splendid!
I am sorry for Mr. Savva. Listen to the noise they are making.
Oh, don’t talk about him. He’ll have to answer to God. Are they going to sing “Christ is arisen” instead of the usual hymn when they carry the ikon in the procession to-day? Vassya, do you hear? I am asking you a question.
Yes, they say that they are. Go home, Miss Olympiada, won’t you?
You can go, if you like.
But how can I leave you alone? They’ll come tearing down here soon. For heaven’s sake, there is Mr. Savva!
[Savva comes in hatless. His face is dark and stormy. There are lines under his eyes. He looks sideways with a steady stare. Frequently he glances around and seems to be listening to something. His gait is heavy, but quick. Noticing Lipa and the Friar, he turns and walks toward them. At his approach Lipa rises and turns away.