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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 55 pages of information about When We Dead Awaken.

IRENE.

I killed them.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[Severely.] Now you are telling me lies again!

IRENE.

I have killed them, I tell you—­murdered them pitilessly.  As soon as ever they came into the world.  Oh, long, long before.  One after the other.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[Sadly and earnestly.] There is something hidden behind everything you say.

IRENE.

How can I help that?  Every word I say is whispered into my ear.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

I believe I am the only one that can divine your meaning.

IRENE.

Surely you ought to be the only one.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[Rests his hands on the table and looks intently at her.] Some of the strings of your nature have broken.

IRENE.

[Gently.] Does not that always happen when a young warm-blooded woman dies?

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

Oh Irene, have done with these wild imaginings—!  You are living!  Living—­living!

IRENE.

[Rises slowly from her chair and says, quivering.] I was dead for many years.  They came and bound me—­laced my arms together behind my back—.  Then they lowered me into a grave-vault, with iron bars before the loop-hole.  And with padded walls—­so that no one on the earth above could hear the grave-shrieks—.  But now I am beginning, in a way, to rise from the dead.

    [She seats herself again.]

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[After a pause.] In all this, do you hold me guilty?

IRENE.

Yes.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

Guilty of that—­your death, as you call it.

IRENE.

Guilty of the fact that I had to die. [Changing her tone to one of indifference.] Why don’t you sit down, Arnold?

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

May I?

IRENE.

Yes.—­You need not be afraid of being frozen.  I don’t think I am quite turned to ice yet.

PROFESSOR RUBEK.

[Moves a chair and seats himself at her table.] There, Irene.  Now we two are sitting together as in the old days.

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