No, how could I be mistaken in that?
[Looks at him with eager interest.] You have heard her yourself?
Yes. I myself have spoken to her—several times.—Only a few words, however; she is far from communicative. But—–
But Norwegian it was?
Thoroughly good Norwegian—perhaps with a little north-country accent.
[Gazing straight before him in amazement, whispers.] That too?
[A little hurt and jarred.] Perhaps this lady has been one of your models, Rubek? Search your memory.
[Looks cuttingly at her.] My models?
[With a provoking smile.] In your younger days, I mean. You are said to have had innumerable models—long ago, of course.
[In the same tone.] Oh no, little Frau Maia. I have in reality had only one single model. One and only one—for everything I have done.
[Who has turned away and stands looking out to the left.] If you’ll excuse me, I think I will take my leave. I see some one coming whom it is not particularly agreeable to meet. Especially in the presence of ladies.
[Looking in the same direction.] That sportsman there? Who is it?
It is a certain Mr. Ulfheim, from—–
Oh, Mr. Ulfheim—–
—the bear-killer, as they call him—–
I know him.
Who does not know him?
Very slightly, however. Is he on your list of patients—at last?
No, strangely enough—not as yet. He comes here only once a year—on his way up to his hunting-grounds.—Excuse me for the moment—–