(A little before the song ends, Hadda Padda enters from the left, accompanied by the children. She wears a light summer dress with a chiffon scarf thrown over her shoulders. The children have come prepared to gather berries. One has a wooden box, one a coloured glass bottle half filled with berries, etc. They stop to listen until the song is finished.)
MAGGA. Who was singing?
HADDA PADDA. The summer guests down at the falls.—Well, children, hurry now and gather your berries. We’ll be going home soon. [Pointing to the right.] See that hollow? There must be lots of berries in there. [Sits down on a stone.]
SIGGA. Aren’t you coming along with us, Hadda Padda?
HADDA PADDA. No, you bring your berries back to me.
SIGGA [turning the bottle over in her palm]. Do you want some?
HADDA PADDA [staying her off]. No, no—not now.
DODDI. Oh, Hadda! I’ll gather the bluest berries for you.
LITTLE SKULI. When I come back I’ll bring you berries and flowers too.
MAGGA. You won’t wait for us, Hadda Padda.
HADDA PADDA [nodding assent—hand under cheek]. No—no.
ALL THE CHILDREN. Aren’t you going to wait for us?
HADDA PADDA [with a start, recovering herself]. Wait for you, yes—yes, of course—do you think I would run away from you? I will wait here till you come back. [The children go off to the right. Hadda remains seated for a moment, rises absent-mindedly, walks to and fro thoughtfully, sometimes stumbling. Then she sits down again, hiding her face in her hands.]
AN HERBORIST [enters from the right. On her shoulder she is carrying a canvas bag, half filled with herbs. She wears a knitted shawl and a parti-colored kerchief on her head. In her hand, she holds a large knife in a leather sheath]. Good evening, young lady!
HADDA PADDA [startled]. Good evening, Arngerd!
HERBORIST [putting the bag aside]. I seemed to recognise one of the sisters. It is you they call Hadda Padda.
HADDA PADDA. I came berrying with the children.
HERBORIST. I saw them down in the hollow.—It is lucky to visit the falls to-night.—I heard the song.—What a beautiful day! [Sits down]—Just look at the evening glow on that rock! [Smiles.] Its furrows seem like ruddy smiling lips!
HADDA PADDA [looking up]. Like bleeding wounds.
HERBORIST. Is the young lady in low spirits?
HADDA PADDA [keeps silent].
HERBORIST [looking at the slope]. What a host of blessed flowers! I’ll soon get my bag filled here. There are some of the right kind among them I’m sure.
HADDA PADDA. That is a pretty bag you have.
HERBORIST. I thought it an insult to the flowers to put them in a coarse sack, so I took my pillow case.