Then tell her we are very sorry that we cannot have the pleasure, that it is the editor’s big washing-day.
Washing, children’s washing. That we are sitting up to the elbows in soapsuds.
And I am to—
You’re a blockhead! [At the door.] Bellmaus!
Stay here and receive the visitor. [Gives him the card.]
Ah, that is the new ballet-dancer who is expected here. [Inspecting his coat.] But I’m not dressed for it!
All the more dressed she will be. [To MILLER.] Show the lady in.
But really I cannot—
Oh the devil, don’t put on airs! [Goes to the table, puts papers in the drawer, seizes his hat.]
Enter MADAME PAVONI.
Have I the honor of seeing before me the editor of the Union?
To be sure—that is to say—won’t you kindly be seated? [Pushes up chairs.]
Adelaide is clear-sighted and clever. How can she possibly fail to see through that fellow?
Mr. Editor, the intelligent articles about art which adorn your paper—have prompted me—
BOLZ. (having made up his mind).
I must gain entrance into this club-fete!
[Exit with a bow to the lady. BELLMAUS and MADAME PAVONI sit facing each other.]
The COLONEL’S summer parlor. In the foreground on the right IDA and ADELAIDE, next to ADELAIDE the COLONEL, all sitting. In front of them a table with coffee set.
COLONEL (in conversation with ADELAIDE, laughing).
A splendid story, and cleverly told! I am heartily glad that you are with us, dear Adelaide. Now, at any rate, we shall talk about something else at table besides this everlasting politics! H’m! The professor has not come today. He never used to miss our coffee-hour.
[Pause; ADELAIDE and IDA look at each other. IDA sighs.]
Perhaps he has work to do.
Or he is vexed with us because I am going to the fete tonight.
Nonsense, you are not his wife nor even openly his fiancee. You are in your father’s house and belong in my circle.—H’m! I see he treasures it up against me that I did some plain speaking the other day. I think I was a little impatient.