[Smiles and looks at him.] Am I to take these as oracular utterances, Mr. Ulfheim?
Lord preserve me from playing the oracle! [Urgently, pointing up towards the heights.] But don’t you see that the storm is upon us? Don’t you hear the blasts of wind?
[Listening.] They sound like the prelude to the Resurrection Day.
They are storm-blasts form the peaks, man! Just look how the clouds are rolling and sinking—soon they’ll be all around us like a winding -sheet!
[With a start and shiver.] I know that sheet!
[Drawing ULFHEIM away.] Let us make haste and get down.
[To PROFESSOR RUBEK.] I cannot help more than one. Take refuge in the hut in the mean-time—while the storm lasts. Then I shall send people up to fetch the two of you away.
[In terror.] To fetch us away! No, no!
[Harshly.] To take you by force if necessary—for it’s a matter of life and death here. Now, you know it. [To MAIA.] Come, then—and don’t fear to trust yourself in your comrade’s hands.
[Clinging to him.] Oh, how I shall rejoice and sing, if I get down with a whole skin!
[Begins the descent and calls to the others.] You’ll wait, then, in the hut, till the men come with ropes, and fetch you away.
[ULFHEIM, with MAIA in his
arms, clambers rapidly but warily down
[Looks for some time at PROFESSOR RUBEK with terror-stricken eyes.] Did you hear that, Arnold?—men are coming up to fetch me away! Many men will come up here—–
Do not be alarmed, Irene!
[In growing terror.] And she, the woman in black—she will come too. For she must have missed me long ago. And then she will seize me, Arnold! And put me in the strait-waistcoat. Oh, she has it with her, in her box. I have seen it with my own eyes—–
Not a soul shall be suffered to touch you.