The same room. In the corner by the piano stands the Christmas tree; it is stripped and dishevelled, with the stumps of burnt-out candles. Nor’s outdoor clothes are on the sofa.
[NORA, alone in the room, walks about restlessly. Eventually she stops by the sofa and picks up her cloak.]
NORA [letting the cloak fall again]: Someone’s coming! [She goes to the door to listen.] No – there’s no one there. Of course no one would come today. – not on Christmas Day. Nor tomorrow either. But perhaps… [She opens the door and looks out.] No, there’s nothing in the letter-box – it’s quiet empty. [Coming back into the room] What nonsense – he can’t really have meant it A thing like that couldn’t happen. It isn’t possible – I have three children!
[The NURSE comes in from the room on the left, with a huge cardboard box.]
NURSE: I’ve found the box with the fancy-dress at last.
NORA: Thank you; put it on the table.
NURSE: [doing so]: but it’s in a terrible state.
NORA: I should like to tear it all to pieces
NURSE: Heaven forbid! It can soon be put right. – it only needs a little patience.
NORA: Yes, I’ll go and get Mrs Linde to help me.
NURSE: You’re never going out again – in this awful weather? You’ll catch your death of cold, Miss Nora, Ma’am!
NORA: Well, there are worse things than that. How are the children?
NURSE: The poor little mites are playing with their presents, but –
NORA: Do they ask after me very much? [pg. 181 Penguins Classics]
NURSE: You see, they’re so used to having their Mamma with them