COLONEL. What’s going on here?
SENDEN. An outrageous scandal! The Union has kidnapped our two most important voters!
The COLONEL’S Summer Parlor.
The COLONEL in front, walking rapidly up and down. In the rear, ADELAIDE and IDA arm-in-arm, the latter in great agitation. A short pause. Then enter SENDEN.
SENDEN (hastily calling through centre door).
All goes well! 37 votes against 29.
Who has 37 votes?
Why you, Colonel, of course!
Of course! (Exit SENDEN.) The election day is unendurable! In no fight in my life did I have this feeling of fear. It is a mean cannon-fever of which any ensign might be ashamed. And it is a long time since I was an ensign!
[Stamping his foot.]
[Goes to rear of stage.]
IDA (coming forward with ADELAIDE).
This uncertainty is frightful. Only one thing is sure, I shall be unhappy whichever way this election turns out.
[Leans on ADELAIDE.]
Courage! Courage, little girl! Things may still turn out all right. Hide your anxiety from your father; he is in a state of mind, as it is, that does not please me at all.
Enter BLUMENBERG in haste; the COLONEL rushes toward him.
Now, sir, how do things stand?
41 votes for you, Colonel, 34 for our opponents; three have fallen on outsiders. The votes are being registered at very long intervals now, but the difference in your favor remains much the same. Eight more votes for you, Colonel, and the victory is won. We have every chance now of coming out ahead. I am hurrying back, the decisive moment is at hand. My compliments to the ladies!
[IDA hastens to him.]
Are you my good daughter?
My dear father!
I know what is troubling you, child. You are worse off than any one. Console yourself, Ida; if, as seems likely, the professor has to make way for the old soldier, then we’ll talk further on the matter. Oldendorf has not deserved it of me; there are many things about him that I do not like. But you are my only child. I shall think of that and of nothing else; but the very first thing to do is to break down the young man’s obstinacy.
[Releases IDA; walks up and down again.]
ADELAIDE (in the foreground, aside).
The barometer has risen, the sunshine of pardon breaks through the clouds. If only it were all over! Such excitement is infectious! (To IDA.) You see you do not yet have to think of entering a nunnery.