You must be indulgent with Dr. Werdegast's weakness. He is the unfortunate victim of one of the commoner phobias, but in an extreme form. He has an intense and all-consuming horror of cats.
Come, Vitus, are we men or are we children? Of what use are all these melodramatic gestures? You say your soul was killed and that you have been dead all these years. And what of me? Did we not both die here in Marmorus fifteen years ago? Are we any the less victims of the war than those whose bodies were torn asunder? Are we not both the living dead? And now you come to me, playing at being an avenging angel ó childishly thirsty for my blood. We understand each other too well. We know too much of life. We shall play a little game, Vitus. A game of death, if you like. But under any circumstances, we shall have to wait until these people have gone, until we are alone.
Oh, it's nothing. Only an accident in the road below. I want you to stay in this room all day tomorrow Karen. You are the very core and meaning of my life. No one shall take you from me. Not even Vitus, not even your father.
Did you hear that, Vitus? The phone is dead. Even the phone is dead.
After all, better to be frightened than to be crushed.
I beg your indulgence my friend. Eighteen years ago, I left a girl so like your lovely wife to go to war...She was my wife. Have you ever heard of Kurgaal? It is a prison below Amsk...Many men have gone there. Few have returned. I have returned. After fifteen years, I have returned.
It has been a long time Hjalmar. The years have been kind to you.
You sold Marmorus to the Russians. You scurried away in the night and left us to die. Is it to be wondered that you should choose this place to build your house? A masterpiece of construction built upon the ruins of the masterpiece of destruction ó a masterpiece of murder. The murderer of 10,000 men returns to the place of his crime. Those who died were fortunate. I was taken prisoner at Kurgaal. Kurgaal, where the soul is killed, slowly. Fifteen years I've rotted in the darkness. But not to kill you, but to kill your soul ó slowly. Where is my wife, Karen, and my daughter?
It is indeed hard to describe. It's hard to describe his life ó or death. It may well be an atmosphere of death. This place was built upon the ruins of the same Ft. Marmorus that our unfortunate friend, the driver, described so vividly. Herr Poelzig commanded Marmorus during the last years of the war. He is perhaps sentimental about this spot.
We must bide our time until others aren't involved. This place is so undermined with dynamite that the slightest mistake by one of us would cause the destruction of all. Until I tell you different, you are his servant, not mine.
Do you know what I am going to do to you now? No? Did you ever see an animal skinned, Hjalmar? Ha, ha, ha. That's what I'm going to do to you now ó flay the skin from your body...slowly...bit by bit!
How does it feel to hang on your own embalming rack, Hjalmar?
It's the red switch, isn't it Hjalmar? The red switch ignites the dynamite. Five minutes and Marmaros, you and I, and your rotten cult will be no more...
It has been a good game.
All of this country was one of the greatest battlefields of the war. Tens of thousands of men died here. The ravine down there was piled twelve deep with dead and wounded men. The little river below was swollen red, a raging torrent of blood. And that high hill yonder where Engineer Poelzig now lives, was the site of Fort Marmorus. He built his home on its very foundations. Marmorus, the greatest graveyard in the world.
Well, I suppose we've got to have architects too. If I wanted to build a nice, cozy, unpretentious insane asylum, he'd be the man for it.
In Triple Murder, Mr. Alison's latest mystery thriller, he fulfills the promise shown...We feel, however, that Mr. Alison has, in a sense, overstepped the bounds of the matter of credibility. These things would never, but with a further stretch of the imagination, actually happen. We could wish that Mr. Alison would confine himself to the possible instead of letting his melodramatic imagination run away with him.