But since then? Afterwards?
Since then I have killed it innumerable times. By daylight and in the dark. Killed it in hatred—and in revenge—and in anguish.
[Goes close up to the table and asks softly.] Irene—tell me now at last—after all these years—why did you go away from me? You disappeared so utterly—left not a trace behind—–
[Shaking her head slowly.] Oh Arnold—why should I tell you that now— from the world beyond the grave.
Was there some one else whom you had come to love?
There was one who had no longer any use for my love—any use for my life.
[Changing the subject.] H’m—don’t let us talk any more of the past—–
No, no—by all means let us not talk of what is beyond the grave—what is now beyond the grave for me.
Where have you been, Irene? All my inquiries were fruitless—you seemed to have vanished away.
I went into the darkness—when the child stood transfigured in the light.
Have you travelled much about the world?
Yes. Travelled in many lands.
[Looks compassionately at her.] And what have you found to do, Irene?
[Turning her eyes upon him.] Wait a moment; let me see—. Yes, now I have it. I have posed on the turntable in variety-shows. Posed as a naked statue in living pictures. Raked in heaps of money. That was more than I could do with you; for you had none.—And then I turned the heads of all sorts of men. That too, was more than I could do with you, Arnold. You kept yourself better in hand.
[Hastening to pass the subject by.] And then you have married, too?
Yes; I married one of them.
Who is your husband?