The General is apoplectic. He would yell, no doubt, and strike me, but he cannot afford to yell, and if he strikes me I might betray him, through my bruises if not my words. I see him realize also, with the shock of a man who is not used to being in this position, that he has no choice. If he wants Nakshedil dead, he must agree to my requests.
Wilhelm doesn't know what he will say to her if he catches up. He isn't even sure that he will try to speak to her again. All he knows as he makes his way across the busy market square is that he wants to keep her in his sight just a little while longer, because her smile made him feel like someone other than pudgy Wilhelm from the paper store. He knows that once she slips away, life will become boring and ordinary once more.