[Softly, shaking his head.] I dare not—I dare not look at you.
Why dare you not look at me any more?
You have a shadow that tortures me. And I have the crushing weight of my conscience.
[With a glad cry of deliverance.] At last!
[Springs up.] Irene—what is it!
[Motioning him off.] Keep still, still, still! [Draws a deep breath and says, as though relieved of a burden.] There! Now they let me go. For this time.—Now we can sit down and talk as we used to—when I was alive.
Oh, if only we could talk as we used to.
Sit there, where you were sitting. I will sit here beside you.
[He sits down again.
She seats herself on another stone, close
[After a short interval of silence.] Now I have come back to you from the uttermost regions, Arnold.
Aye, truly, from an endless journey.
Come home to my lord and master—–
To our home;—to our own home, Irene.
Have you looked for my coming every single day?
How dared I look for you?
[With a sidelong glance.] No, I suppose you dared not. For you understood nothing.
Was it really not for the sake of some one else that you all of a sudden disappeared from me in that way?
Might it not quite well be for your sake, Arnold?
[Looks doubtfully at her.] I don’t understand you—–?
When I had served you with my soul and with my body—when the statue stood there finished—our child as you called it—then I laid at your feet the most precious sacrifice of all—by effacing myself for all time.