MAJA {a little hurt and jarred}. Perhaps this lady has been one of your models, Rubek ? Search your memory.

RUBEK {looks cuttingly at her}. Model ?

MAJA {with a provoking smile}. In your younger days, I mean. You are said to have had such innumerable models — long ago, of course.

RUBEK {in the same tone}. Oh, no, little Frau Maja. I have in reality had only one single model. One and one only for everything I have done.

While this misunderstanding is finding outlet in the foregoing conversation, the inspector, all at once, takes fright at some person who is approaching. He attempts to escape into the hotel, but the high-pitched voice of the person who is approaching arrests him.

ULFHEIM’S voice {heard outside}. Stop a moment, man. Devil take it all, can’t you stop? Why do you always scuttle away from me?

With these words, uttered in strident tones, the second chief actor enters on the scene. He is described as a great bear-killer, thin, tall, of uncertain age, and muscular. He is accompanied by his servant, Lars, and a couple of sporting dogs. Lars does not speak a single word in the play. Ulfheim at present dismisses him with a kick, and approaches Mr. and Mrs. Rubek. He falls into conversation with them, for Rubek is known to him as the celebrated sculptor. On sculpture this savage hunter offers some original remarks.

ULFHEIM … We both work in a hard material, madam — both your husband and I. He struggles with his marble blocks, I daresay; and I struggle with tense and quivering bear-sinews. And we both of us win the fight in the end — subdue and master our material. We don’t give in until we have got the better of it, though it fight never so hard.

RUBEK {deep in thought}. There’s a great deal of truth in what you say.