GUDMUND. [Looks searchingly at her.]
I scarce can say.
You may doubtless read it in many a way;
But its truest meaning, methinks, is clear:
The church can never sever two that hold each other dear.
GUDMUND. [To himself.]
Ye saints, if she should—? Lest worse
’Tis time indeed I told her all!
Do you wish for my happiness—Margit, tell!
MARGIT. [In joyful agitation.]
Wish for it! I!
Then, wot you well,
The joy of my life now rests with you—
MARGIT. [With an outburst.]
Listen! ’tis the time you knew—
[He stops suddenly.
[Voices and laughter are heard by the river bank. SIGNE and
other GIRLS enter from the right, accompanied by KNUT,
ERIK, and several YOUNGER MEN.
[Still at a distance.] Gudmund Alfson! Wait; I must speak a word with you.
[He stops, talking to
ERIK. The other GUESTS in the meantime
enter the house.
[To herself.] The joy of his life—!
What else can he mean
but—! [Half aloud.] Signe—my dear, dear sister!
[She puts her arm round
SIGNE’s waist, and they go towards
the back talking to each other.
[Softly as he follows them with his eyes.] Aye, so it were wisest. Both Signe and I must away from Solhoug. Knut Gesling has shown himself my friend; he will help me.
[Softly, to ERIK.] Yes, yes, I say, Gudmund is her kinsman; he can best plead my cause.
Well, as you will.
[He goes into the house.
[Approaching.] Listen, Gudmund—
[Smiling.] Come you to tell me that you dare no longer let me go free.
Dare! Be at your ease as to that. Knut Gesling dares whatever he will. No, ’tis another matter. You know that here in the district, I am held to be a wild, unruly companion—
Aye, and if rumour lies not—
Why no, much that it reports may be true enough. But now, I must tell you—
[They go, conversing, up towards the back.
[To MARGIT, as they come forward beside the house.] I understand you not. You speak as though an unlooked-for happiness had befallen you. What is in your mind?