The Little Dream
THE FORMS OF SLEEP
It is just after sunset of an August evening. The scene is a room in a mountain hut,
furnished only with a table, benches. and a low broad window seat. Through this window
three rocky peaks are seen by the light of a moon which is slowly whitening the last hues
of sunset. An oil lamp is burning. SEELCHEN, a mountain girl, eighteen years old, is
humming a folk-song, and putting away in a cupboard freshly washed soup-bowls and
glasses. She is dressed in a tight-fitting black velvet bodice. square-cut at the neck and
partly filled in with a gay handkerchief, coloured rose-pink, blue, and golden, like the
alpen-rose, the gentian, and the mountain dandelion; alabaster beads, pale as edelweiss,
are round her throat; her stiffened. white linen sleeves finish at the elbow; and her full
well-worn skirt is of gentian blue. The two thick plaits of her hair are crossed, and turned
round her head. As she puts away the last bowl, there is a knock; and LAMOND opens
the outer door. He is young, tanned, and good-looking, dressed like a climber, and carries
a plaid, a ruck-sack, and an ice-axe.
LAMOND. Good evening!
SEELCHEN. Good evening, gentle Sir!
LAMOND. My name is Lamond. I'm very late I fear.
SEELCHEN. Do you wish to sleep here?
SEELCHEN. All the beds are full--it is a pity. I will call Mother.
LAMOND. I've come to go up the Great Horn at sunrise.
SEELCHEN. [Awed] The Great Horn! But he is impossible.
LAMOND. I am going to try that.
SEELCHEN. There is the Wine Horn, and the Cow Horn.
LAMOND. I have climbed them.
SEELCHEN. But he is so dangerous--it is perhaps--death.
LAMOND. Oh! that's all right! One must take one's chance.