The Doctor closed his lips suddenly as if he had said something he had not intended to say.
“Nonsense. It’s none of my business. One has eyes and brains and one sees things, and comprehends things. I was suspicious the moment she refused to let me cut your arm off. Didn’t you suspect anything? But now I understand. Of course, of course.”
John Gal began to shake both his fists, forgetting for the moment that one of them was swollen. He groaned with pain.
“Oh, my arm, my arm! Don’t say another word, Doctor.”
“Not another word,” said the other.
A deep groan broke forth from the sick man’s chest as he clutched the Doctor’s arm with his right.
“Which Paul, Doctor? Which Paul do you mean? Who is he?” “You really mean to say you don’t know? Paul Nagy, your hired man.” The old peasant turned white. His lips were trembling and the blood rushed to his heart. His hand didn’t hurt him a bit now. He suddenly slapped his forehead and looked up.
“What a stupid fool I was. I should have noticed long ago. … That snake of a woman!”
“No use swearing at the woman, Mr. Gal. She has her youth; she’s lull of health and life. That’s what. She may yet be quite innocent, bill after all she’ll have to get married after you’re gone. … And gone you’ll be. …”
The old peasant moved with an effort and turned to the Doctor, who continued speaking:
“You have nothing to lose if she marries a younger man after you MU- gone. You wouldn’t know anything about it after you’re under the mi l h. And, besides, you ought to be glad she’ll have a handsome fellow for a husband. Good-looking chap, Paul!”
The old fellow was crunching his teeth. It sounded as if two tusks Inn I been ground against each other.
“You mustn’t be greedy, Mr. Gal. It would be a pity to let that wonderful body of hers waste away without embraces. Paul isn’t a fool, lie wouldn’t let a woman like her pass him by without taking a bite. Ilenides, she’ll have all your money, and the farm. The woman, too, would like to live. The only fool among you three is you, Mr. Gal.”
The peasant groaned again and the perspiration covered his forehead. In his heart was bitterness almost ready to overflow.
“You see, Mr. Gal, it would be better to hug her with one arm than with none at all.”
This was too much for the old man. He jumped up and extended his swollen arm toward the Doctor.
“Get your knife, Doctor, and cut away!”