Page:Poet Lore, At the Chasm, volume 24, 1913.pdf/19

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from here and forget; if you can bear your fate heroically, you will find glory where love has not met you.' (He looks surprisedly at Cilka, who stands before him pale and downcast.) What is this, Cilka? That's like a letter from a novel.

Cilka.—Yes, it is a letter from a novel.

Karel.—Please don't talk riddles.

Cilka (with a little stronger animation).—Yes, it's from a novel.

Karel.—Then, for God's sake, tell me about it.

Cilka (smiling).—I am telling you that it is from a novel. Our Bohdan is writing a novel.

Karel.—Yes, but this is your handwriting.

Cilka.—Of course, it is mine.

Karel.—What then, are you assisting him?

Cilka (having now discovered the right clue).—Don't fear, I will not become a novelist.

Karel.—But, do explain this, will you?

Cilka.—Oh, give me time. Bohdan is writing a novel. In that novel a wife is supposed to desert her husband for the sake of an artist whom she secretly loves. They appoint a rendezvous, but at the final moment, the wife knows herself to be a mother—she loses her energy and lets the lover go without her.

Karel.—That is not a bad idea.

Cilka.—When you left here, Bohdan explained the plot to me. He is getting on well and is now as far as the letter. He is very anxious about it, he wants to write it as near to life as possible. He showed me a draft of that letter, but no woman placed in a similar position would ever write the way he did. It was too bombastic and full of shallow phraseology.

Karel (laughing).—That's pretty good. So he asked you to write it. Well, really, he had a good idea. At any rate it is truly feminine, a woman would write so in such a moment. (Still laughing.) Even the title and the end, 'You will find glory where love has not met you.' Very good, Cilka, good indeed.

Cilka.—Now, go and laugh at me.

Karel.—Apart from jest, let me congratulate you and Bohdan. But tell Bohdan that he should copy this letter into his manuscript. You must give me that for a keepsake.

Cilka (again frightened).—That letter?

Karel.—Yes, that letter.

Cilka.—But it's nonsensical, a trifle. Please tear it up, throw it away. I will write a better and a longer one for Bohdan. (She reaches for it.)