him the list! There may be something more to do! (HAMAR goes out by the nearer door.
TJAELDE takes a letter out of his pocket.) Ah, of course! Shall I send the balance-sheet
to Berent? I am independent of the banks now. Still, I am not out of the wood yet. And,
anyway, it is a very pretty balance-sheet! Holst would be sure to see it, and that might be
useful--and it might annoy him, too. Besides, if I don't send it, they will think that my
promising to send it had put me into a hole, and that Lind had helped me out of it. I risk
least by sending it. (HAMAR comes back.) Look here, let him take this letter, too. It is
for Mr. Berent, at the Hotel Victoria.
Hamar. Is this an invitation? Because, if it is, we shall be thirteen at table.
Tjaelde. It is not an invitation. Be quick, before he goes. (HAMAR goes out again.) Oh,
if only it succeeds! Lind is the sort of man one can persuade--and I must, I must persuade
him! (Looks at his watch.) I have four whole hours to do it in. I have never felt so
hopeful--not for a long time. (Is lost in thought; then says quietly:) After all, sometimes a
crisis is a good thing--like a big wave that carries one on!--They have all had their
suspicions aroused now, and are all ready to get into a panic. (Sighs.) If only I could get
safely out of my difficulties without any one's suspecting it!--Oh, this anxious fear, night
and day!--all this mystery, these shifts, these concealments, this farce I have to keep up! I
go about my business as if I were in a dream. (Despairingly.) This shall be the last time--
my last performance of this sort! No more of it!--I only need a helping hand now, and I
have got it! But _have_ I got it? that is the question. Oh! if only, after this, I could know
what it was to have a good night's sleep and to wake in the morning free from anxiety!--
to join them at meals with an easy conscience!--come home in the evening and feel that it
was all done with! If only I had something to take my stand upon that I could call my
own--really and truly my own! I hardly dare to believe that there is a chance--I have so
often been disappointed! (HAMAR comes back.)
Hamar. There--that's done!
Tjaelde. Good Lord, what about a salute from our cannon? We must give him a salute!
Hamar. We have powder.
Tjaelde. Then send word up at once to Ole to see about it! (They hurry out. The curtain
(SCENE.--The same room. The table, which has been drawn to one side, is covered with
bottles of champagne aged dishes of fruit. MRS. TJAELDE and SIGNE, with a man-
servant and a maid, are busy preparing it. Through the door on the right a lively
conversation can be heard, and occasional bursts of laughter.)