[Turns to go, meets ADELAIDE.]
Male chorus, close at hand again: “Within the precincts of our town;” trumpets join in; then many voices: “Long live COLONEL BERG! Hurrah!” ADELAIDE has entered on the left, during the noise.
Well, is the whole town upside-down today?
I’ve done my share; he is half converted. Good night!
COLONEL (throwing the lantern on the ground—in a rage).
To the devil with all journalists!
Male chorus, SENDEN, BLUMENBERG and many other gentlemen, in procession, are visible through the door into the garden; the deputation comes in; chorus and lantern-bearers form a group at the entrance.
SENDEN (with a loud voice while the curtain is lowered).
Colonel, the Club has the honor of greeting its revered members!
The COLONEL’S summer parlor. COLONEL enters from the garden, followed by CARL.
COLONEL (on entering, crossly).
Who ordered William to bring the horse round in front
of the bedrooms?
The brute makes a noise with his hoofs that would wake the dead.
Are you not going to ride today, Colonel?
No. Take the horse to the stable!
Yes, Colonel. [Exit.]
COLONEL (rings, CARL reappears at the door).
Is Miss Runeck at home?
She is in her room; the judge has been with her an hour already.
What? Early in the morning?
Here she is herself.
[Exit as soon as ADELAIDE enters.]
Enter ADELAIDE and KORB through the door on the right.
ADELAIDE (to KORB).
You had better remain near the garden gate, and when the said young man comes bring him to us.
[Going up to him and examining him gaily.]
How is the weather today?
Gray, girl, gray and stormy. Vexation and grief are buzzing round in my head until it is fit to burst. How is the child?
Better. She was wise enough to fall asleep toward morning. Now she is sad, but calm.
This very calmness annoys me. If she would only once shriek and tear her hair a bit! It would be horrible, but there would be something natural about it. It is this smiling and then turning away to dry secret tears that makes me lose my composure. It is unnatural in my child.
Possibly she knows her father’s kind heart better than he does himself; possibly she still has hopes.