[Sadly.] It was so in spirit and in truth.
Let me tell you, Arnold—it is for the sake of this child of ours that I have undertaken this long pilgrimage.
[Suddenly alert.] For the statue’s—–?
Call it what you will. I call it our child.
And now you want to see it? Finished? In marble, which you always thought so cold? [Eagerly.] You do not know, perhaps, that it is installed in a great museum somewhere—far out in the world?
I have heard a sort of legend about it.
And museums were always a horror to you. You called them grave-vaults—–
I will make a pilgrimage to the place where my soul and my child’s soul lie buried.
[Uneasy and alarmed.] You must never see that statue again! Do you hear, Irene! I implore you—! Never, never see it again!
Perhaps you think it would mean death to me a second time?
[Clenching his hands together.] Oh, I don’t know what I think.—But how could I ever imagine that you would fix your mind so immovably on that statue? You, who went away from me—before it was completed.
It was completed. That was why I could go away from you—and leave you alone.
[Sits with his elbows upon his knees, rocking his head from side to side, with his hands before his eyes.] It was not what it afterwards became.
[Quietly but quick as lightning, half-unsheathes a narrow-bladed sharp knife which she carried in her breast, and asks in a hoarse whisper.] Arnold—have you done any evil to our child?
[Evasively.] Any evil?—How can I be sure what you would call it?
[Breathless.] Tell me at once: what have you done to the child?
I will tell you, if you will sit and listen quietly to what I say.