HEDDA [Without replying.] And supposing the pistol was not stolen, and the owner is discovered? What then? BRACK Well, Hedda—then comes the scandal! HEDDA The scandal! BRACK Yes, the scandal—of which you are so mortally afraid. (4.269-71)
It seems that this is Hedda’s weakness. For all her flagrant disregard of Victorian values and patriarchal restrictions, she is still victim to her surroundings and circumstances.