There, you see. With a little goodwill—–
—but just you try if you dare go that way.
[Doubtfully.] Do you think I can’t?
Never in this world—if you don’t let me help you.
[Uneasily.] Why, then come and help me! What else are you here for?
Would you rather I should take you on my back—–?
—or carry you in my arms?
Now do stop talking that rubbish!
[With suppressed exasperation.] I once took a young girl—lifted her up from the mire of the streets and carried her in my arms. Next my heart I carried her. So I would have borne her all through life— lest haply she should dash her foot against a stone. For her shoes were worn very thin when I found her—–
And yet you took her up and carried her next your heart?
Took her up out of the gutter and carried her as high and as carefully as I could. [With a growling laugh.] And do you know what I got for my reward?
No. What did you get?
[Looks at her, smiles and nods.] I got the horns! The horns that you can see so plainly. Is not that a comical story, madam bear-murderess?
Oh yes, comical enough! But I know another story that is still more comical.
How does that story go?
This is how it goes. There was once a stupid girl, who had both a father and a mother—but a rather poverty-stricken home. Then there came a high and mighty seigneur into the midst of all this poverty. And he took the girl in his arms—as you did—and travelled far, far away with her—–
Was she so anxious to be with him?
Yes, for she was stupid, you see.