HADDA PADDA. The idea flashed upon me. That is why I called. I knew your pride. But suddenly I grew nervous. I seemed so far from all human life. Since you don’t want Steindor to hold the rope, he must stand some place where I can always see him. Steindor, stand where I can see you. Now and then you’ll call to me. You’ll just call: Hadda Padda! and I will answer: Yes. Then we will get word from each other. Here, on the edge, you can see me—[points to the farther edge]—down there on the ledge, I can see you perfectly.
INGOLF. Yes, do that, Steindor.
STEINDOR. Alright. [Goes there.]
HADDA PADDA. Why don’t you place your feet in the hole, so that you will sit more securely?
INGOLF. Are you afraid I’m sitting too near the edge?
HADDA PADDA [takes the end of the rope]. There is no knot on the end. Fancy, if the rope slipped out of your hands. [Ties a knot in it.]
INGOLF. Why are you so frightened?
HADDA PADDA. I don’t know....It wasn’t fair to prevent Steindor from holding the rope with you.
INGOLF. If you are so afraid, of course we will both hold the rope.
HADDA PADDA. I don’t know....Oh—no, hold it alone. I also want to see some one, to see him stand there, and hear him call to me.
INGOLF. I prefer that.
HADDA PADDA. But now if it should slip from you—! If you open your hand a hair’s breadth too much, you will lose the rope! [She starts with a shudder.]
INGOLF. I shall let the rope slide over my shoulder—will you be more at ease then?
HADDA PADDA. If you tie it around your waist, so that it will be impossible for you to let go of me—then I will be at ease.
INGOLF (gazes intently at her, as if to penetrate the mysterious veil which envelopes her manner, her words, and her actions. Suddenly he grasps the end of the rope and ties it around his waist).
HADDA PADDA [sits down on the edge]. I nearly forgot the spade. I will dig up an angelica, and take it along with me. (Disappears below the edge. The rope slides for a time.)
INGOLF. You can see her, Steindor?
STEINDOR. She is like an expert rope-climber. She is keeping herself from the rock with the spade.
INGOLF. Don’t lose sight of her. Tell me how she is getting along.
STEINDOR. I am not anxious about her going down. Now she is about passing the ledge. There, now you can let the rope slide quicker.
INGOLF. It is strange how the rope slides out of my hands. It is as if a living worm were boring out through them.
STEINDOR (calls). Hadda Padda!
THE VOICE OF HADDA PADDA. Yes.
STEINDOR. She is flying down ... Now the rope is turning ... It is strange to see some one else lowered down.
INGOLF. Is it still turning?