despair seems to be Libero’s only able crewman, as fools indulge
themselves in senseless blame and disorienting delusion. Libero sits in
the sun that is mocking him with its brilliance. The scribe is at his
feet, like a dog, the captain is free with his words, knowing they are
caught like flies by the pen-like spider fingers and put down on paper:
Salvation is at hand at all times, but where is the hand? Who must pay
so that the others can have it free?
eyes fall on Francesca trying to cheer up the twins with a ball made of
rags. Malchick, the dwarf, sits smoking sawdust rolled in a poem he
stole from the hunchback. Christina discusses church matters with her
If those who owe have to pay, then they feel the burden – the truth
strikes Libero – but if those who neither have drank nor have anything
to pay with, if innocent are forced to settle the bill, then those in
debt will feel the blessing…
He’s in there, lying in his blood… – Rasap walks by, with blood
oozing from his wound to his chest – A lie is not a lie if you say you
won’t and then you die!
Premonition follows, biting his lip: where do all these wonderful lines come from. For a moment Libero
patience, and when the living corpse passes he orders:
Quick, call everyone for a meeting in my quarters!
less than half an hour Libero’s cabin is full.
Where’s Mora? Where’s Clove? – ask Even and Odd.
We don’t need the witch! We don’t need the fool! – announces
Sibelius and Libero takes charge of the gathering:
We are aground on a finger of God! It’s a finger pointing upwards, to
the heaven, a finger pointing where one of us must go, in order for the
rest of us to proceed to the promised land…
What? – interrupts Malchick, dwarves having the inherent ability to
recognize when someone’s being singled out, but the other hush him up
for Libero to reveal the plan:
We have a virgin amongst ourselves, and who but a virgin can ascend
where the finger of God is pointing to? So we must do what needs to be
done and slay us a virgin in order for us to be on our way, to set the
Aye! – the crowd approves.
- No! – the twins cry – Francesca! Where is Francesca?