IRENE. We see the irretrievable only when {breaks short off}.

RUBEK {looks inquiringly at her}. When? . . .

IRENE. When we dead awaken.

The third act takes place on a wide plateau, high up on the hills. The ground is rent with yawning clefts. Looking to the right, one sees the range of the summits half-hidden in the moving mists. On the left stands an old, dismantled hut. It is in the early morning, when the skies are the colour of pearl. The day is beginning to break. Maja and Ulfheim come down to the plateau. Their feelings are sufficiently explained by the opening words.

MAJA {trying to tear herself loose}. Let me go! I et me go, I say!

ULFHEIM. Come, come! are you going to bite now? You’re as snappish as a wolf.

When Ulfheim will not cease his annoyances, Maja threatens to run over the crest of the neighbouring ridge. Ulfheim points out that she will dash herself to pieces. He has wisely sent Lars away after the hounds, that he may be uninterrupted. Lars, he says, may be trusted not to find the dogs too soon.

MAJA {looking angrily at him}. No, I daresay not.

ULFHEIM {catching at her arm}. For Lars — he knows my — my methods of sport, you see.

Maja, with enforced self-possession, tells him frankly what she thinks of him. Her uncomplimentary observations please the bearhunter very much. Maja requires all her tact to keep him in order. When she talks of going back to the hotel, he gallantly offers to carry her on his shoulders, for which suggestion he is promptly snubbed. The two are playing as a cat and a bird play. Out of their skirmish one speech of Ulfheim’s rises suddenly to arrest attention, as it throws some light on his former life.

ULFHEIM {with suppressed exasperation}. I once took a young girl — lifted her up from the mire of the streets, and carried her in my arms. Next my heart I carried her. So I would have borne her all through life, lest haply she should dash her foot against a stone …. {with a growling laugh.} And do you know what I got for my reward?