II, Theaterstücke 9, (Der grüne Kakadu. Drei Einakter, 2), Die Gefährtin. Schauspiel in einem Akt (Der Wittwer), Seite 9

9.2. Die box 14/7
OLGA:—It is more difficult than I imagined.
snug asleep up in my room. Besides, I very often take a
ROB (Impatiently, but for all that master of himself) :—
stroll in the garden at a late hour—
Well, well—
ROB:—Along our path, eh?
OLGA:—I came to beg a favor of you.
OLGA:—Dur—I suppose you refer to the one that winds
ROB:—If it’s in my power.
in and out among the trellis vines?
OLGA:—Easily. It affects certain letters which I wrote
ROB:—I always think of that as belonging especially to
poor Eveline and which, if possible, I'd like tc have back.
you and me.
ROB:—But why this haste?
OLGA:—I often take the air in it alone.
OLGA:—I thought that the first step you wouid naturally
ROB:—Ves, but not at night.
take would be—
OI.GA:—In the evening somtimes. It’s only then that
one can appreciate how lovely it -eally is.
OLGA (Pointing to the escritoire) :— The very onc yon
ROB:—What an air of indescribable repose it has!
were about to take when I entered. (In a zubdued ione of
OLGA (Tenderly) :—Hasr't it? That’s precisely why you
voice.) I’d do it, too, if one I loved should—die.
must make up your mind to visit us again—soon. Vou'li be
ROB (Slightly perturbed) :—Loved—loved—.
cheerfuller up at our house than here.
OLGA:— The one who was close to me. It helps to arouse
ROB:-Maybe so. (Looks at her a moment, then turng bis
in one’s mind the image of the dead. (She speaks the fol¬
back t# #he audience.) See! That was where we filed out.
lowing like a dassage got by rote.) You see, my letters might
(Olga nods.) Can you realize that all this happened only a
have come to your notice first, and that is why I came.
few hours ago? And can you—now that the night is upon
There are matters in them which must, by no means, be re¬
us—picture to your mind the afternoon sunlight playing over
vealed to you; which were intended from one woman to an¬
that dark road? Odd, indeed! I even seem to hear the rum¬
other. Especially certain letters I wrote two c three years
bling of the carriages! (Pause. He is pery nervous and
ralks disconnectedly.) You are right. There were a great
ROB:—Where are they? Do you know where they have
mang friends here. And, one must consider, all came from
been put?
the city; that’s quite rip, you know. Did you see the
OLGA:—If you'll only let me, I shall have no trouble in
wreath my students sent!
finding them.
ROB:—You wish to look for—
ROB:—It was magnificent, wasn't it? And what expres¬
OLGA:—It is the simplest way, I think, since I know
sions of sympathy generally! Several of my colleagues in¬
where they are. However, if you wish you can unlock the
terrupted their vacations to be present. It is truly very—
drawer and I will tell you exactly—
how shall I put it Chesitates)—amiable of thein, don't yon
ROB:—Never mind; here’s the key.
OLGA:—Thanks. Pray don't regard me as secretive.
OLGA:—Quite the customary thing, I should say.
ROB:—Oh, no!
ROB:—To be sure! But I keep asking myself whether
OLGA:—Some day I shall reveal all to you—I mean all
at bottom my bereavement, taken all in all, is really deserv¬
that Eveline knew, even though it be at the risk of forfeiting
ing of this widespread sympathy—or expression of sympathy.
your esteem. But thus, by chance, I wouldn't like to have
OLGA (Quite shocked) :—How can you think that?
you discover them.
ROB:—Because I suffer so little. I only know that she is
ROB:—I assure vou you will always command my esteem.
n0 more. I am conscious of the bare fact with feelings so
OLGA:—Who knows? You know you have always over¬
shockingly unequivocal that it tortures me to think of it; dut
estimated me.
within all is icy and transparent as the air on winter dawns.
ROB:—I cannot bring myself to believe that these letters
OLGA:—This feeling cannot last. The awakening pang
contain something unknown to me. (Pause.) What’s more,
will come—and that will be better for you in the end.
it isn't your own secrets you wish to preserve.
ROB:—Who knows whether it will come? It all happened
OLGA (Shrezdly) :—Whose, then?
too long ago.
ROB:—The secrets of someone eise.
OLGA (Suxprised):Too long ago! What happened too
OLGA:—What makcs you think so? Eveline had no
long ago?
secrets which you did not share.
ROB:—The giving of herself—ourselves—to one another.
ROB:-I'm not inquisitive. You may take your letters.
OLGA:—Of course. But that is what usually happens in
OL.GA (Unlocking the drawer and gearching) :—Herethey
most marriages. (She çoes toward the balcony and sud¬
are! Ves. (She takes out a small dackage tied woith a blue
ribbon, holds it so that Robert cannot see. Finallz she Klyly
denly sdies the wreath.)
ROB:—Last to arrive. It’s from Dr. Hausmann.
tucks it under her zorap.) And now I must go. Good-by.
OLGA:—Ah! (She reads the card. Robert watches her
(She turns to go.)
ROB:—Wouldn't it be a good thing to glance into the
closely. She is uneasy under his gase.)
OLGA:—Has he arrived get?
other drawer as well? You know it needs but a hasty note
or to render all your precautions useless.
ROB:—No. I telegraphed him at once to Scheveningen,
OLGA (With less confidence) :—How useless?
and I would not be surprised to see him here—today yet.
ROB:—You might have spared yourself all this trouble,
If when be arrives at Vienna he loses no time——
OLGA:—I'm sure he won't.
OLGA:—What do you mean?
ROB:—Then he ought to be here in precisely one hour.
OLGA (Wüh forced confidence) :—What a great blow for
ROB—You, above all, who were familiar with the rela¬
tions between Eveline and myself.
OLGA:—They were no worse than such relations ordi¬
ROB:—No doubt. (Pause, then quietly): Be candid with
narily are after ten years. But I don't see how that concerns
me, Olga. There is another reason for your coming here
again today. I read it in your manner. Tell me, quite
my letters.
ROB:—And do you really believe that even ten years ago