Well, I heard something of the kind; at least he is said to be much interested in a young lady. People are talking of it.
Why, that would be—no, I don’t believe it. (Hastily.) But I’ll ask him about it at once.
Well, he would be the last person to tell you. One learns such things from a man’s friends and acquaintances. The village people ought to know it, I suppose, if a Rosenau man marries.
Of course they should. I must get at the truth of that.
You would have to go about it the right way. You know how crafty he is.
Oh, I’ll get round him all right. I’ll find some way.
Go, dear Korb! [Exit KORB.] Those were sad tidings with which the Colonel met me. Conrad—immoral, unworthy? It is impossible! A noble character cannot change to that extent. I do not believe one word of what they say!
Editorial room of the “Union.” Doors in the centre and on both sides. On the left, in the foreground, a desk with newspapers and documents. On the right, a similar, smaller table. Chairs.
Enter BOLZ, through the side door on the right, then MILLER through the centre door.
Miller! Factotum! Where is the mail?
MILLER (nimbly with a package of letters and newspapers).
Here is the mail, Mr. Bolz; and here, from the press, is the proof-sheet of this evening’s issue to be corrected.
BOLZ (at the table on the left quickly opening, looking through, and marking letters with a pencil).
I have already corrected the proof, old rascal!
Not quite. Down here is still the “Miscellaneous” which Mr. Bellmaus gave the type-setters.
Let us have it!
[Reads in the newspaper.]
“Washing stolen from the yard”—“Triplets born”—“Concert”—“Concert”—“Meeting of an Association”—“Theatre”—all in order—“Newly invented engine”—“The great sea-serpent spied.”
What the deuce is this? Is he bringing up the old sea-serpent again? It ought to be cooked into a jelly for him, and he be made to eat it cold.
[Hurries to the door on the right.]
Bellmaus, monster, come out!
BELLMAUS (from the right, pen in hand).
What is the matter! Why all this noise?
Bellmaus, when we did you the honor of intrusting you with the odds and ends for this newspaper, we never expected you to bring the everlasting great sea-serpent writhing through the columns of our journal!—How could you put in that worn-out old lie?