INGOLF (laughing). You must take care, Steindor! (He holds the rope loosely in his hands. Gradually it is pulled down entirely, till it is in a straight line with Ingolf’s waist. Soon after the rope-end is seen hitting against the edge, touching Steindor’s foot.) THE VOICE OF HADDA PADDA. Didn’t it hit?
STEINDOR. Well, we can call it that.
INGOLF. You have to be careful, next time, Steindor!
STEINDOR. What! Won’t you try any more? Are you tying the rope around you?
INGOLF. Is she rested?
STEINDOR. She is tying the rope around her and is lowering herself down under the ledge.
INGOLF (looks at him in astonishment). What are you saying?
STEINDOR. But why has she made the rope so taut? (He is amazed.)
INGOLF. What is the matter?
STEINDOR. Hadda Padda is standing on her head in the air.
STEINDOR. She is bracing her feet against the rock. Look out! (Ingolf braces his feet against the sides of the hole. Steindor gets up.)
INGOLF. Stay where you are, and tell me—I’ll raise her up in a moment, [He pulls the rope with all his strength. A moment later he is dragged prostrate, out to the edge.]
STEINDOR (runs to him, catching hold of him). Great God! Is she insane? I wouldn’t have suspected this.
INGOLF (in a low voice). Where does she get that strength from?
(The rope is pulled still more violently than before; they are both dragged forward. Ingolf rolls on his back, using all his power to draw up the rope.)
INGOLF. Loosen the rope, quick! Ill try to hold on. (Steindor hurries to loosen the rope. While he is doing it, Ingolf struggles to hold fast. Now he is holding his arms high up in the air, rope in hand; now his arms are pulled down. Each time Steindor thinks he is on the verge of giving up, he lets go of the rope, and catches hold of Ingolf.)
STEINDOR. Now it is free! (Supports Ingolf. The rope is once more pulled so violently, that it is drawn through Ingolf’s hands right up to the knot. He holds on to the rope beyond the knot as for life, while they are both dragged further forward.)
STEINDOR (frightened). You must let go of the rope. That’s all you can do. It is better that she falls alone, than that she drag both of us with her. You must let go. Or I’ll let go.
INGOLF (looking directly at him). Let go, then, you coward!
STEINDOR. Why did you want me to untie the rope, if you intend to make her drag you down?
INGOLF (with icy calmness). Have you courage to hold me while I try to get up? (Gets up.)
STEINDOR (still supporting him). She is probably exhausted, now.
INGOLF (starts to pull the rope up. He is bare-headed, his hat is lying on the edge; his hair is wet with perspiration, which trickles down on his face. The very shape of his head seems strangely altered.) Leave me, Steindor, I am through with you.