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Mrs. Linde's husband died penniless, she has had to work extremely hard for the past few years in order to support her relatives. In the course of this conversation about their lives since they last met, Nora mentions Torvald’s new job and Mrs. Linde reveals that she came to see the Helmers to try to get a job from Torvald at the bank.
Mrs. Linde makes an offhand remark about how little Nora has had to worry about in life. She even calls Nora a child. Nora responds that she and Torvald both have had to work very hard to fund the life they have. In fact, she reports, early in their marriage, Torvald fell ill, and the doctor insisted that he must take a very costly vacation to Italy in order to recover. Since Torvald refused to borrow money, Nora borrowed it secretly, pretending it had come from her father. She has managed, secretly, to pay the quarterly installments and interest over the years. Nora now hopes that Torvald’s new job will provide her with enough money to pay off the debts entirely.