[VALERIAN'S study. VALERIAN is nervously pacing the room. LESSEP is seated by the desk, at the telephone. It is night.]
VALERIAN. Call the hospital again. There must be some news by now!
LESSEP [dials and speaks into phone]. Hullo. . . . Is that the Central Hospital? Mr. Valerian wishes to enquire for his butler, Mr. Manners. . . . Thank you. . . .
VALERIAN. I told him not to go into the city; and he disobeyed me--for the first time! He risked his life, Lessep: and do you know why? To try and find me a pot of caviare! Ridiculous, isn't it? [Going to window.] Tell me, is the plague really so bad, down there?
LESSEP. It's much worse than they admit. The newspapers are still ordered to minimize it; and they're burying all the dead by night.
VALERIAN. Extraordinary. . . . Up here, we inhabit another world!
LESSEP. But, Mr. Valerian, there's always the danger of infection. Even for us! Forgive my speaking of it