A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen Act II

NORA.
(goes to the hall door, opens it slightly and listens). He is going. He is not putting the letter in the box. Oh, no, no, that's impossible! (Opens the door by degrees.) What is that? He is standing outside. He is not going downstairs. Is he hesitating? Can he — ? (A letter drops into the box; then KROGSTAD'S footsteps are heard, till they die away as he goes downstairs. NORA utters a stifled cry, and runs across the room to the table by the sofa. A short pause.)

NORA.
In the letter-box. (Steals across to the hall-door.) There it lies — Torvald, Torvald, there is no hope for us now!

(MRS. LINDE comes in from the room on the left, carrying the dress.)

MRS. LINDE.
There, I can't see anything more to mend now. Would you like to try it on — ?

NORA.
(in a hoarse whisper). Christine, come here.

MRS. LINDE.
(throwing the dress down on the sofa). What is the matter with you? You look so agitated!

NORA.
Come here. Do you see that letter? There, look — you can see it through the glass in the letter-box.

MRS. LINDE.
Yes, I see it.

NORA.
That letter is from Krogstad.

MRS. LINDE.
Nora — it was Krogstad who lent you the money!

NORA.
Yes, and now Torvald will know all about it.

MRS. LINDE.
Believe me, Nora, that's the best thing for both of you.

NORA.
You don't know all. I forged a name.

MRS. LINDE.
Good heavens — !

NORA.
I only want to say this to you, Christine — you must be my witness.

MRS. LINDE.
Your witness! What do you mean? What am I to — ?

NORA.
If I should go out of my mind — and it might easily happen —

MRS. LINDE.
Nora!

NORA.
Or if anything else should happen to me — anything, for instance, that might prevent my being here —

MRS. LINDE.
Nora! Nora! you are quite out of your mind.

NORA.
And if it should happen that there were someone who wanted to take all the responsibility, all the blame, you understand —

MRS. LINDE.
Yes, yes — but how can you suppose — ?

NORA.
Then you must be my witness, that it is not true, Christine. I am not out of my mind at all; I am in my right senses now, and I tell you no one else has known anything about it; I and I alone, did the whole thing. Remember that.

MRS. LINDE.
I will, indeed. But I don't understand all this.

NORA.
How should you understand it? A wonderful thing is going to happen.

MRS. LINDE.
A wonderful thing?

NORA.
Yes, a wonderful thing! — But it is so terrible, Christine; it mustn't happen, not for all the world.

MRS. LINDE.
I will go at once and see Krogstad.

NORA.
Don't go to him; he will do you some harm.

MRS. LINDE.
There was a time when he would gladly do anything for my sake.

NORA.
He?

MRS. LINDE.
Where does he live?

NORA.
How should I know — ? Yes (feeling in her pocket) here is his card. But the letter, the letter — !

HELMER.
(calls from his room, knocking at the door). Nora.

NORA.
(cries out anxiously). Oh, what's that? What do you want?

HELMER.
Don't be so frightened. We are not coming in; you have locked the door. Are you trying on your dress?

NORA.
Yes, that's it. I look so nice, Torvald.

MRS. LINDE.
(who has read the card) I see he lives at the corner here.

NORA.
Yes, but it's no use. It is hopeless. The letter is lying there in the box.

MRS. LINDE.
And your husband keeps the key?

NORA.
Yes, always.

MRS. LINDE.
Krogstad must ask for his letter back unread, he must find some pretence —

NORA.
But it is just at this time that Torvald generally —

MRS. LINDE.
You must delay him. Go in to him in the meantime. I will come back as soon as I can. (She goes out hurriedly through the hall door.)

NORA.
(goes to HELMER'S door, opens it and peeps in). Torvald!

HELMER.
(from the inner room). Well? May I venture at last to come into my own room again? Come along, Rank, now you will see — ( Halting in the doorway.) But what is this?

NORA.
What is what, dear?

HELMER.
Rank led me to expect a splendid transformation.

RANK.
(in the doorway). I understood so, but evidently I was mistaken.

NORA.
Yes, nobody is to have the chance of admiring me in my dress until to-morrow.

HELMER.
But, my dear Nora, you look so worn out. Have you been practising too much?

NORA.
No, I have not practised at all.

HELMER.
But you will need to —

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