Yes, they’re Vazykin’s. I was there yesterday, Mr. Savva. I caught a whole handful of fireflies, but as I ran—(He grows sorrowful at the memory) My, how they are shouting! What are they up to anyway? Did you say they killed three, Mr. Tropinin? Was that what you said?
What are they pushing and jostling for anyhow? He’ll be carried in the procession and they can all see Him.
When will they carry Him?
FRIAR (looking up)
It won’t be long now.
They’ll sing “Christ is Arisen” to-day.
Is that so? Didn’t I arrange a feast-day for them though?
[Tony and Speransky appear.
Are these fellows here too? For goodness’ sake, what do they want? What are they looking for? I don’t like it. Mr. Tropinin, come; let’s go away from here.
They are coming this way, Speransky—
Aha! The “Tramp of Death” is approaching.
[Lipa looks at him in astonishment. The Friar presses his hand to his bosom in a state of agitation.
What are you saying? Oh, God! Why did you
say that? You mustn’t do it.
This is no tramp of death, nothing of the kind.
It’s a kind of story he has written—Good morning, good morning. What can I do for you?
Mr. Anthony Tropinin is looking for you, Mr. Savva.
What do you want?
TONY (very sadly, hiding a little behind Speransky)
FRIAR (listening attentively and then speaking with passion) What are you running around for then, and whom are you hunting? If you want nothing, do nothing. But you are running around and hunting, hunting. It isn’t nice, I tell you!
TONY (after a passing glance at the Friar he fixes
his gaze on
What do you want?
[Tony makes no answer, but hides behind Speransky, looking over his shoulder. In the course of what follows he keeps steadily looking at Savva. His lips and eyebrows twitch, and at times he presses both his hands hard against his mouth.