Scene: In the cellar brothel. A spacious basement in an old building; low-arched ceiling; high up on the wall, close to the ceiling, two deep, narrow windows, hung with curtains. On the sill, flower-pots. The rain is coming in through the windows. A flight of stairs leads to the door above, which is constructed like that of the entrance to a cabin on board ship. Half of the door is ajar, revealing the gloom of the night. Rain drips down. In the background of the cellar, several small compartments, separated from one another by thin partitions, and screened by thick black curtains. One of the curtains has been drawn aside; in the compartment are seen a bed, a wash-stand, a mirror and various toilet articles. A colored night-lamp sheds a dim light over the tiny room. The furniture of the cellar itself consists of several lounges, a table, benches and card-tables; on the walls, looking-glasses bedecked with gaudy ornaments; chromos representing women in suggestive poses. . .
On one of the lounges sleeps Shloyme; his long boots reach to a nearby bench. It is a night in spring.
The room is lighted by a large hanging-lamp.
[ 38 ]