Madame von Satow—–!
Yes, she who is always hanging at our heels. Yesterday evening she made her appearance up here too.
But what in all the world—–!
Oh, I know you knew her very well indeed—long before you knew me.
And had forgotten her, too—long before I knew you.
[Sitting upright.] Can you forget so easily, Rubek?
[Curtly.] Yes, very easily indeed. [Adds harshly.] When I want to forget.
Even a woman who has been a model to you?
When I have no more use for her—–
One who has stood to you undressed?
That means nothing—nothing for us artists. [With a change of tone.] And then—may I venture to ask—how was I to guess that she was in this country?
Oh, you might have seen her name in a Visitor’s List—in one of the newspapers.
But I had no idea of the name she now goes by. I had never heard of any Herr von Satow.
[Affecting weariness.] Oh well then, I suppose it must have been for some other reason that you were so set upon this journey.
[Seriously.] Yes, Maia—it was for another reason. A quite different reason. And that is what we must sooner or later have a clear explanation about.
[In a fit of suppressed laughter.] Heavens, how solemn you look!
[Suspiciously scrutinising her.] Yes, perhaps a little more solemn than necessary.
And that is a very good thing for us both.
You begin to make me feel curious, Rubek.