[A pretty and richly-decorated garden-room, full of furniture, flowers, and plants.
At the back, open glass doors, leading out to a verandah. An extensive view over
the fiord. In the distance, wooded hillsides. A door in each of the side walls, the
one on the right a folding door, placed far back. In front on the right, a sofa, with
cushions and rugs. Beside the sofa, a small table, and chairs. In front, on the left,
a larger table, with arm-chairs around it. On the table stands an open hand-bag.
It is an early summer morning, with warm sunshine.]
[Mrs. RITA ALLMERS stands beside the table, facing towards the left, engaged
in unpacking the bag. She is a handsome, rather tall, well-developed blonde,
about thirty years of age, dressed in a light-coloured morning-gown.]
[Shortly after, Miss ASTA ALLMERS enters by the door on the right, wearing a
light brown summer dress, with hat, jacket, and parasol. Under her arm she
carries a locked portfolio of considerable size. She is slim, of middle height, with
dark hair, and deep, earnest eyes. Twenty-five years old.]
ASTA. [As she enters.] Good-morning, my dear Rita.
RITA. [Turns her head, and nods to her.] What! is that you, Asta? Come all the
way from town so early?
ASTA. [Takes of her things, and lays them on a chair beside the door.] Yes, such
a restless feeling came over me. I felt I must come out to-day, and see how little
Eyolf was getting on--and you too. [Lays the portfolio on the table beside the
sofa.] So I took the steamer, and here I am.
RITA. [Smiling to her.] And I daresay you met one or other of your friends on
board? Quite by chance, of course.
ASTA. [Quietly.] No, I did not meet a soul I knew. [Sees the bag.] Why, Rita,
what have you got there?
RITA. [Still unpacking.] Alfred's travelling-bag. Don't you recognise it?
ASTA. [Joyfully, approaching her.] What! Has Alfred come home?
RITA. Yes, only think--he came quite unexpectedly by the late train last night.
ASTA. Oh, then that was what my feeling meant! It was that that drew me out
here! And he hadn't written a line to let you know? Not even a post-card?
RITA. Not a single word.