[Curtly.] Renewed an acquaintance. [Rises.] What was it you wanted with me?
I only wanted to say this: you may do whatever you please, but I am not going with you on that disgusting steamboat.
Because I want to go up on the mountains and into the forests—that’s what I want. [Coaxingly.] Oh, you must let me do it, Rubek.—I shall be so good, so good afterwards!
Who is it that has put these ideas into your head?
Why he—that horrid bear-killer. Oh you cannot conceive all the marvelous things he has to tell about the mountains. And about life up there! They’re ugly, horrid, repulsive, most of the yarns he spins —for I almost believe he’s lying—but wonderfully alluring all the same. Oh, won’t you let me go with him? Only to see if what he says is true, you understand. May I, Rubek?
Yes, I have not the slightest objection. Off you go to the mountains— as far and as long as you please. I shall perhaps be going the same way myself.
[Quickly.] No, no, no, you needn’t do that! Not on my account!
I want to go to the mountains. I have made up my mind to go.
Oh thanks, thanks! May I tell the bear-killer at once?
Tell the bear-killer whatever you please.
Oh thanks, thanks, thanks! [Is about to take his hand; he repels the movement.] Oh, how dear and good you are to-day, Rubek!
[She runs into the hotel.
[At the same time the door
of the pavilion is softly and
noiselessly set ajar. The SISTER OF MERCY stands in the
opening, intently on the watch. No one sees her.
[Decidedly, turning to IRENE.] Shall we meet up there then?
[Rising slowly.] Yes, we shall certainly meet.—I have sought for you so long.
When did you begin to seek for me, Irene?