Is that why you are so ready to set off with him—out into the wilds?
[Curtly.] I don’t know. [Turning towards him.] You are ugly, too, Rubek.
Have you only just discovered it?
No, I have seen it for long.
[Shrugging his shoulders.] One doesn’t grow younger. One doesn’t grow younger, Frau Maia.
It’s not that sort of ugliness that I mean at all. But there has come to be such an expression of fatigue, of utter weariness, in your eyes —when you deign, once in a while, to cast a glance at me.
Have you noticed that?
[Nods.] Little by little this evil look has come into your eyes. It seems almost as though you were nursing some dark plot against me.
Indeed? [In a friendly but earnest tone.] Come here and sit beside me, Maia; and let us talk a little.
[Half rising.] Then will you let me sit upon your knee? As I used to in the early days?
No, you mustn’t—people can see us from the hotel. [Moves a little.] But you can sit here on the bench—at my side.
No, thank you; in that case I’d rather lie here, where I am. I can hear you quite well here. [Looks inquiringly at him.] Well, what is it you want to say to me?
[Begins slowly.] What do you think was my real reason for agreeing to make this tour?
Well—I remember you declared, among other things, that it was going to do me such a tremendous lot of good. But—but—–
But now I don’t believe the least little bit that that was the reason—–
Then what is your theory about it now?
I think now that it was on account of that pale lady.