The Stranger (looking at his watch). It is almost time for me to
go on board again. (Coming nearer.) Yes, yes, Ellida, now I have
done my duty. (Coming still nearer.) I have kept the word I gave
Ellida (beseechingly drawing away). Oh! don't touch me!
The Stranger. And so now you must think it over till tomorrow
Wangel. There is nothing to think over here. See that you get
The Stranger (still to ELLIDA). Now I'm going with the steamer up
the fjord. Tomorrow night I will come again, and then I shall
look for you here. You must wait for me here in the garden, for I
prefer settling the matter with you alone; you understand?
Ellida (in low, trembling tone). Do you hear that, Wangel?
Wangel. Only keep calm. We shall know how to prevent this visit.
The Stranger. Goodbye for the present, Ellida. So tomorrow
Ellida (imploringly). Oh! no, no! Do not come tomorrow night!
Never come here again!
The Stranger. And should you then have a mind to follow me over
Ellida. Oh, don't look at me like that!
The Stranger. I only mean that you must then be ready to set out.
Wangel. Go up to the house, Ellida.
Ellida. I cannot! Oh, help me! Save me, Wangel!
The Stranger. For you must remember that if you do not go with me
tomorrow, all is at an end.
Ellida (looks tremblingly at him). Then all is at an end? Forever?
The Stranger (nodding). Nothing can change it then, Ellida. I
shall never again come to this land. You will never see me again,
nor hear from me either. Then I shall be as one dead and gone
from you forever.
Ellida (breathing with difficulty). Oh!
The Stranger. So think carefully what you do. Goodbye! (He goes
to the fence and climbs over it, stands still, and says.) Yes,
Ellida; be ready for the journey tomorrow night. For then I
shall come and fetch you. (He goes slowly and calmly down the
footpath to the right.)
Ellida (looking after him for a time). Freely, he said; think--he
said that I must go with him freely!
Wangel. Only keep calm. Why, he's gone now, and you'll never see
Ellida. Oh! how can you say that? He's coming again tomorrow
Wangel. Let him come. He shall not meet you again in any case.
Ellida (shaking her head). Ah, Wangel! Do not believe you can
Wangel. I can, dearest; only trust me.
Ellida (pondering, and not listening to him). Now when he's been
here tomorrow night--and then when he has gone over seas in the
Wangel. Yes; what then?
Ellida. I should like to know if he will never, never come back
Wangel. No, dear Ellida. You may be quite sure of that. What
should he do here after this? Now that he has learnt from your
own lips that you will have nothing more to do with him. With
that the whole thing is over.
Ellida (to herself). Tomorrow, then, or never!
Wangel. And should it ever occur to him to come here again--
Wangel. Why, then, it is in our power to make him harmless.
Ellida. Oh! do not think that!
Wangel. It is in our power, I tell you. If you can get rid of him
in no other way, he must expiate the murder of the captain.
Ellida (passionately). No, no, no! Never that! We know nothing
about the murder of the captain! Nothing whatever!
Wangel. Know nothing? Why, he himself confessed it to you!
Ellida. No, nothing of that. If you say anything of it I shall
deny it. He shall not be imprisoned. He belongs out there--to the
open sea. He belongs out there!
Wangel (looks at her and says slowly). Ah! Ellida--Ellida!
Ellida (clinging passionately to him). Oh! dear, faithful one--
save me from this man!
Wangel (disengaging himself gently). Come, come with me!
(LYNGSTRAND and HILDE, both with fishing tackle, come in from the
right, along the pond.)
Lyngstrand (going quickly up to ELLIDA). Now, Mrs. Wangel, you
must hear something wonderful.
Wangel. What is it?
Lyngstrand. Fancy! We've seen the American!
Wangel. The American?
Hilde. Yes, I saw him, too.
Lyngstrand. He was going round the back of the garden, and thence
on board the great English steamer.
Wangel. How do you know the man?
Lyngstrand. Why, I went to sea with him once. I felt so certain
he'd been drowned--and now he's very much alive!
Wangel. Do you know anything more about him?
Lyngstrand. No. But I'm sure he's come to revenge himself upon
his faithless sailor-wife.
Wangel. What do you mean?
Hilde. Lyngstrand's going to use him for a work of art.
Wangel. I don't understand one word.
Ellida. You shall hear afterwards.
(ARNHOLM and BOLETTE come from the left along the footpath
outside the garden.)
Bolette (to those in the garden). Do come and see! The great
English steamer's just going up the fjord.
(A large steamer glides slowly past in the distance.)
Lyngstrand (to HILDE behind the garden fence). Tonight he's sure
to come to her.