[INGEBORG and HEMMING enter, after a pause, from the right.]
INGEBORG. Well, here we are up here! How lovely and bright and peaceful it is!
HEMMING. Yes, here we shall live happily together!
INGEBORG. But mark you well that you are my servant, and nothing else,—until my father has given his consent.
HEMMING. That he will never do!
INGEBORG. Never you mind,—we’ll find some means or other.—But now we must think about choosing a cabin to live in.
HEMMING. There are plenty of them around here. Over the whole valley there are deserted huts; everything is just the same as it was when the last people died in the terrible plague many years ago.
INGEBORG. Here I like it very much! Over there, too, there is just such an old hut; the water is near by, and the forest must surely be alive with game. You can fish and hunt; aye, we shall live a wonderful life!
HEMMING. Yea, forsooth, a wonderful life! I shall fish and hunt the while you gather berries and keep the house in order.
INGEBORG. Do I? No, that you must take care of!
HEMMING. Yes, yes, as you please. O, a delightful life we shall live!
[Stops and adds somewhat dejectedly.]
HEMMING. But when I stop to think a bit;—I have neither bow nor fishing outfit.
INGEBORG. [Likewise with an expression of despondency.] And it occurs to me there are no servants here who can help me.
HEMMING. That shall I willingly do!
INGEBORG. No, thanks.—And all my good clothes—I didn’t bring anything along except my bridal gown which I am wearing.
HEMMING. That was thoughtless of you!
INGEBORG. True enough, Hemming! And for that reason you shall steal down to Guldvik some night and bring me clothes and other things as much as I have need of.
HEMMING. And be hanged as a thief!
INGEBORG. No, you shall be careful and cautious,—that I warn you. But when finally the long winter comes? There are no people up here,—music and dancing we shall never have—Hemming! Shall we stay here or—
HEMMING. Well, where else is there we can go?
INGEBORG. [Impatiently.] Yes, but human beings cannot live here!
HEMMING. Why, surely, they can!
INGEBORG. Well, you see yourself they are all of them dead! Hemming! I think it best I go home to my father.
HEMMING. But what will become of me?
INGEBORG. You shall go to war!
HEMMING. To war! And be killed!
INGEBORG. Not at all! You shall perform some illustrious deed, and then will you be made a knight, and then will my father no longer be opposed to you.
HEMMING. Yes, but what if they kill me in the meantime?
INGEBORG. Well, we’ll have plenty of time to think about that. Today and tomorrow we shall have to remain here, I suppose; so long will the guests sit in the festive house and celebrate,—if they look for us, it will probably be about in the village; up here we can be safe and—
[She stops and listens.]
CHORUS. [Far away off the stage to the right.]
Away,—away to find Alfhild, the false, unkind; For all our woe and strife She must pay with her life!
HEMMING. Ingeborg! Ingeborg! They are after us!
INGEBORG. Where shall we find refuge?
HEMMING. Well, how can I know—
INGEBORG. Go into the hut; lock the door so that it can be bolted from within.
HEMMING. Yes, but—
INGEBORG. Do as I say! I shall go up on the hill the meanwhile and see if they are far away.
[She goes out to the right.]
HEMMING. Yes, yes! Alas, if only they don’t get us!
[He goes into the house.]