Helmer. Far from it, my dear fellow; it is simply nothing more than this childish nervousness I was telling you of. (They go into the right-hand room.)
Mrs. Linde. Gone out of town.
Nora. I could tell from your face.
Mrs. Linde. He is coming home tomorrow evening. I wrote a note for him.
Nora. You should have let it alone; you must prevent nothing. After all, it is splendid to be waiting for a wonderful thing to happen.
Mrs. Linde. What is it that you are waiting for?
Nora. Oh, you wouldn’t understand. Go in to them, I will come in a moment. (Mrs. Linde goes into the dining-room. Nora stands still for a little while, as if to compose herself. Then she looks at her watch.) Five o’clock. Seven hours until midnight; and then four-and-twenty hours until the next midnight. Then the Tarantella will be over. Twenty-four and seven? Thirty-one hours to live.
Helmer (from the doorway on the right). Where’s my little skylark?
Nora (going to him with her arms outstretched). Here she is!
(The same scene.—The table has been placed in the middle of the stage, with chairs around it. A lamp is burning on the table. The door into the hall stands open. Dance music is heard in the room above. Mrs. Linde is sitting at the table idly turning over the leaves of a book; she tries to read, but does not seem able to collect her thoughts. Every now and then she listens intently for a sound at the outer door.)
Mrs. Linde (looking at her watch). Not yet—and the time is nearly up. If only he does not—. (Listens again.) Ah, there he is. (Goes into the hall and opens the outer door carefully. Light footsteps are heard on the stairs. She whispers.) Come in. There is no one here.
Krogstad (in the doorway). I found a note from you at home. What does this mean?
Mrs. Linde. It is absolutely necessary that I should have a talk with you.
Krogstad. Really? And is it absolutely necessary that it should be here?
Mrs. Linde. It is impossible where I live; there is no private entrance to my rooms. Come in; we are quite alone. The maid is asleep, and the Helmers are at the dance upstairs.
Krogstad (coming into the room). Are the Helmers really at a dance tonight?
Mrs. Linde. Yes, why not?
Krogstad. Certainly—why not?
Mrs. Linde. Now, Nils, let us have a talk.
Krogstad. Can we two have anything to talk about?
Mrs. Linde. We have a great deal to talk about.
Krogstad. I shouldn’t have thought so.
Mrs. Linde. No, you have never properly understood me.
Krogstad. Was there anything else to understand except what was obvious to all the world—a heartless woman jilts a man when a more lucrative chance turns up?