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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.

SCENE I

It is just after sunset of an August evening.  The scene is a room in a mountain hut, furnished only with a table, benches. and a low broad window seat.  Through this window three rocky peaks are seen by the light of a moon which is slowly whitening the last hues of sunset.  An oil lamp is burning.  Seelchen, a mountain girl, eighteen years old, is humming a folk-song, and putting away in a cupboard freshly washed soup-bowls and glasses.  She is dressed in a tight-fitting black velvet bodice. square-cut at the neck and partly filled in with a gay handkerchief, coloured rose-pink, blue, and golden, like the alpen-rose, the gentian, and the mountain dandelion; alabaster beads, pale as edelweiss, are round her throat; her stiffened. white linen sleeves finish at the elbow; and her full well-worn skirt is of gentian blue.  The two thick plaits of her hair are crossed, and turned round her head.  As she puts away the last bowl, there is a knock; and Lamond opens the outer door.  He is young, tanned, and good-looking, dressed like a climber, and carries a plaid, a ruck-sack, and an ice-axe.

Lamond.  Good evening!

Seelchen.  Good evening, gentle Sir!

Lamond.  My name is Lamond.  I’m very late I fear.

Seelchen.  Do you wish to sleep here?

Lamond.  Please.

Seelchen.  All the beds are full—­it is a pity.  I will call Mother.

Lamond.  I’ve come to go up the Great Horn at sunrise.

Seelchen. [Awed] The Great Horn!  But he is impossible.

Lamond.  I am going to try that.

Seelchen.  There is the Wine Horn, and the Cow Horn.

Lamond.  I have climbed them.

Seelchen.  But he is so dangerous—­it is perhaps—­death.

Lamond.  Oh! that’s all right!  One must take one’s chance.

Seelchen.  And father has hurt his foot.  For guide, there is only
Mans Felsman.

Lamond.  The celebrated Felsman?

Seelchen. [Nodding; then looking at him with admiration] Are you that Herr Lamond who has climbed all our little mountains this year?

Lamond.  All but that big fellow.

Seelchen.  We have heard of you.  Will you not wait a day for father’s foot?

Lamond.  Ah! no.  I must go back home to-morrow.

Seelchen.  The gracious Sir is in a hurry.

Lamond. [Looking at her intently] Alas!

Seelchen.  Are you from London?  Is it very big?

Lamond.  Six million souls.

Seelchen.  Oh! [After a little pause] I have seen Cortina twice.

Lamond.  Do you live here all the year?

Seelchen.  In winter in the valley.

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