Konrad was so drunk that he shot after every female figure that appeared in the nocturnal streets, overtook her, paused under a lantern to look at her, and drove back in horror. Now he was chasing a fried fish who came from a company and was accompanied home by the maid. She returned his looks cool and curious. But suddenly he lacked the courage to speak to her. He couldn’t get himself up and turned mechanically into a side street.
He had taken a few steps when he saw a red curtain glowing behind a ground floor window. So there had to be light behind it.
That’s something, he thought, he didn’t know why himself, and knocked softly on the window with his cane. Once twice.
My God, thought Esther, should it be a friend of Kurt’s? She threw a handkerchief around her bare shoulders and peered through the crack in the curtain. She only saw an indistinct shadow. She opened the window a little.
“I want to come in,” said Konrad, “open up!”
She pushed back the window and leaned quietly out. Then she looked into his hot, excited face, his greedily tense eyes and heard his voice vibrate. He dropped the stick and raised both arms like an adorant: “You …”
It bewitched her: the gloomy, lustful street, the wild lover and the whole tingling situation: Kurt could step in at any moment and catch her.
He was over in the study writing a treatise, he could write for hours – he often sat over his manuscripts until dawn – but he might as well open the door at any moment.
She crept to the door and listened in the corridor.
Then she locked it carefully, padded over the carpet to the window and said: “You have to go through the window.”
Konrad was in the room with a swing.
And when he saw the beautiful woman in her night gown, with a sharp hairstyle, black, narrow eyes and a pale yellow, soft forehead, who stood before him like a picture from a Japanese woodcut – he became sober from his drunkenness and furious with love.
He groaned and pressed his head to her chest.
“Quiet, dearest,” she kissed his hair, pulled away from him tenderly, and tripped over to the door, listening. Then she reached against the wall on the right and turned off the electric light.
Konrad went through the window the same way he had come, a blue silk bow from the neck trim of her nightgown in his fist.
“What is that?” said Kurt, while he was taking off his shirt, “Is that the blue bow missing on your collar?”
“Yes,” said Esther indifferently, feeling her neck so that her fingertips played with her breasts, “the laundress is too careless. Then she forgot the bow again …
For Fiete Wilhelm
She was the great-granddaughter of French emigrants.
Margarete Andoux’s smile hung over the small town like an eternal spring sky. What would the little town be without Margarete Andoux’s smile? Who knew about her? From their hissing Polish name, their dirty, indifferent streets? How could I tell a story about her if it wasn’t for Margarete Andoux? Her smile fluttered into the misty offices, the poorly lighted shops, the cramped and dim furnished rooms. Through the windows of the school houses, even if half of them were whitewashed, so that no inattentive glances wandered down the street, this smile slipped like morning sun into the bare rooms. The teacher moved restlessly and embarrassedly on his doublé glasses and blinked his eyes as if an insect had flown into them. But the teenage students, these brats who have just started,
Even the name, if you put it in your mouth like a delicacy: Margarete Andoux. His tongue caressed him and would not let go of him and held him back until he finally broke away and died in a durmoll – “doux” – which slipped over into a pleading “you”.
They all loved Margarete Andoux. The dwarf but cocky cloth manufacturer Kellermann, who had inherited the business from his fathers, had never left the small town, but had a huge mouth in the city council, he and his mouth shrank into nothingness when he met Margarete Andoux, and carried his hat in his hands, as it had before Our Lady, for at least ten minutes before putting it on again. He loved Margarete Andoux. The spirited senior teacher Klingebiel, who had done his doctorate, traveled extensively and had seven children in an eight-year marriage: he loved Margarete Andoux. The baker’s boy who brought the rolls to Margarete Andoux’s aunt, with whom she lived: he loved her. The upholsterer who came to fix the curtains, the stove fitter, the mayor, the little one,
The women, however, hated Margarete Andoux and her smile, which stole the eyes and hearts of their husbands from them. Most of all, Margarete Andoux was hated by Isabelle Kersten. She was the second most beautiful girl in town and her best friend. At that time there was a lost law student crouching in the small town, who probably dragged twelve semesters on his hunched back. After his father had recently paid him a debt of five thousand marks with a heavy and painful heart, he was now giving him money for the last time so that he could prepare for his exam in the tranquility of the countryside.
Adalbert Klinger wore long and short marks from his fraternity time on his left cheek and forehead, which lay unnaturally deep red, like lines drawn in red ink, on his pale yellow skin. The alcohol drove them on. Adalbert Klinger drank. But his calm, brown, half-pinched eyes and sensual, somewhat crooked mouth had a confusing effect on women. All the women in the small town loved him, whom men despised for his limp inability to work. They didn’t even consider him worthy of hate. But Isabelle Kersten loved him most of all.
This Adalbert Klinger alone of all men did not greet Margarete Andoux. He didn’t even look when he met her on the street, his coat collar open, his torso bent forward, the cigarette in the corner of his mouth.
Margarete Andoux was astonished. She usually accepted homage with a smile, of course. Why didn’t this … this person greet you? Didn’t he know her? He knew all the women in town and greeted them. And the girls were in love with him overall – how could he delight in overlooking them?
She spoke to Isabelle Kersten, who secretly felt triumph and malicious joy.
“He probably doesn’t know you,” said Isabelle Kersten. «Has he already been introduced to you? No? So what.”
Margarete Andoux and Isabelle Kersten, white-violet, walked arm in arm to the promenade concert, which the town band organized on Sundays in the market square.
Adalbert Klinger trudged along.
“Look out,” said Isabelle Kersten. “He knows me, he -“
Isabelle Kersten turned pale. Adalbert Klinger had passed and did not say hello. She blamed her friend.
“He doesn’t suffer you,” she said mockingly.
Margarete Andoux shrugged her shoulders and said nothing thoughtfully. What did he have against her? And how she struggled and struggled, her thoughts could not get away from him. She suffered, but she did not know what to do. She felt compelled to look at Adalbert Klinger inside and out. “I’ll think it through to the end,” she thought.
And she lay awake that night brooding.
Shadows flew over them and there was a dark hum and singing in things. Where have I heard this monotonous melody? It’s just a note and yet a melody. And nobody knows the tone. Everyone has it in them, and nobody can say it or sing it.
Margarete Andoux became restless. She lost her security with this man, who she did not know and to whom her smile was indifferent. She was terrified of how she occupied herself with him and sank into him.
She was now trying to meet him on the street, ran past his apartment on the ground floor without an umbrella in the rain, so that he might come out and offer her his company. She found out when he was going to the twilight drink and literally watched him. When he approached, she smiled. The smile asked for pity. Without looking at her or turning his head, he swerved past her. She fevered: what did he want from her? What did he hit her, what did he trample her? – And she humbled herself so far that she looked around at him and stood in the alley until his gray, swaying silhouette disappeared into a house.
One day she was sitting on the balcony. He turned the corner below. She quickly dropped a glove on the pavement in front of him. He didn’t pick it up. She bit into her handkerchief in angry disappointment and cramped in tears. What use was her beautiful, charming smile if it seduced all men, except this one whom it so painfully longed for. For God’s sake, I don’t love him, she interrupted her thoughts. No, no, she laughed, I’m just mad that he doesn’t want to see me. Because now I know one thing very well: he doesn’t want to see me.
And she wondered how to force him to look at her. How she hated him!
In front of the city, on the Oderdamme, Adalbert Klinger and Margarete Andoux met. It was winter and black ice. Margarete Andoux stumbled and fell. Adalbert Klinger pushed his head deeper into his coat, whistled softly through his teeth and stared at the current that carried the ground ice. Margarete Andoux had to help herself to her feet.
How do I allow myself to be treated, how I have to be treated, she gritted and cried.
One night after nine the bell rang at the student’s apartment. Adalbert Klinger tossed the “Contes drolatiques” that he had just read on the bed, took a hasty swig from his tankard and opened it.
“Please just come closer, Fraulein,” he said politely, “you wish?”
Margarete Andoux stood before him. Her lips trembled and her hands reached for a hold in the booming emptiness. “May I help you cast off?” He took off her jacket. Then he led her to the sofa and got a bottle of champagne and two glasses from the glass cabinet.
Margarete Andoux smiled.
Three days later, Adalbert Klinger, a twelfth semester student of law, got drunk at his regulars’ table until he was unconscious. He had won his bet brilliantly. He had already put the bottle of sparkling wine on his profit account that evening.
On the way home he hit the pavement with his head and lay there. He died of a concussion the next day.
Margarete Andoux went to the morgue, where he was laid out in a clean, white shirt. His throws shone pale purple on the waxy skin.
On the upper neck, almost invisible, was a small, apparently fresh, jagged scar, as if a rat or cat had bitten it.
And Margarete Andoux smiled.
The race came to a very interesting and completely unexpected end. After Imperator had led up to a hundred meters from the goal and the victory seemed certain to him, Atalanta, who ran in fourth place, pushed by an angry force, suddenly sat forward and came across the finish line at a light, apparently effortless gallop with a horse’s length ahead of Imperator.
There was tremendous excitement, the crowd was pushing, the grooms sprang up – but before the jockey Harsley who had ridden Atalanta could be lifted from his horse, Atalanta shied, reared up, and overturned the jockey, who was too weak to be able to hold on to the lawn. He fell so miserably that a wooden stake stuck in his chest and he lost consciousness. People shouted for the doctor, for the paramedics who were there immediately and dragged him to the clinic. For weeks the jockey struggled with death in excruciating pain. The lungs were severely injured. He spat blood. A guard watched his bedside night after night. One of the nurses couldn’t cope with him because, in a fever, tantrums grabbed him like wild dogs and dragged him out of the pillow.
And through all of his feverish dreams a word rang out, at first timid, soft, caressing, then pleading, demanding: “Tilly”. And finally, even during the day, there was only one word on his lips: “Tilly”. One tried cautiously to search him for the meaning of the word, but he never came to full consciousness. “Maybe his bride,” said the professor. But nobody knew of a bride. “A lover,” said the young resident, making a smart, self-evident face. He had never been seen, like the other jockeys, with girls of the demi-world or ladies of society. Finally a secret lover was advised. But wouldn’t she have asked about him long ago? Hadn’t the accident been sentimentally draped in all the newspapers? So a lady of the higher circles
The sick man’s lips sounded increasingly stormy, plaintive, and desolate: “Tilly.” A feature section appeared in a major newspaper, entitled “Tilly …” and then a few items, but nothing happened, Tilly made no notice.
One day when the keeper tried to give him his second breakfast – milk – with a drinking tube, he jumped out of bed before he could be held, knocked the glass tube aside so that the milk flowed over the pillow, and leaned against it Window. “Tilly,” he whispered, staring out. A horse had creaked down in the street.
The guard reported the incident to the professor. And now it was clear to all: he longed for a horse named Tilly. That was soon in the stable of Mr. W., of Harsley’s master, found. It was the Atalanta whom the jockey had named Tilly for himself. And he had only baptized her like that for himself, no one else was allowed to call her that.
“We want to give him pleasure,” said the professor, “he has a week at most anyway.”
And on a warm morning the sick jockey, wrapped in blankets, was driven into the hospital courtyard. A crystal clear, blue sky arched over the buildings and glistened behind the green leaves of the linden trees. Some of the convalescents from the third division walked quietly and quietly on the shining gravel paths in their dirty gray asylum clothes.
Suddenly the gate at the porter’s house was opened and Atalanta was shown in by a servant. She danced with small, flirtatious steps, flapped her tail and stuck her head straight and stiff in the sun. Flashing highlights reflected off their brown, smooth fur.
The jockey had closed his eyelids.
When he heard Atalanta’s walk, he tore it open and raised his arms joyfully. Now she neighed – very close to him. And stood still. He could grab her head. He was trembling and crying. The guard straightened him up in the pillow, then he grabbed her head with both hands, pulled him down and kissed her wide, hay-smelling mouth, around which her breath snorted in barely visible white clouds.
“Tilly,” he said, smiling, and sank back, breathing happily.
The professor gave a sign: the animal should be carried away again. Tilly gave him a long, smooth look and turned around, pawing. Before you came to your senses, she kicked out and hit the jockey in the middle of the forehead. He was dead instantly.
“A poignant death,” said the old professor.
“… to be promoted to the afterlife by his lover,” said the young assistant doctor and wrote the death certificate.
In the wake of Count R., to whom his extraordinary fortune permitted the most expensive quirks and vagaries, was a young man who, at first noticed by a few, in the course of strange events which only turned out to be strange when viewed from the rear, at least for a day the conversation should form not only the immediate vicinity of the count, but the whole world. The count had hired him as a valet on the basis of excellent certificates he presented. In the first few days Albert gained the greatest trust of the count through his fine and quiet manners. He read his wishes from his look and gestures and performed his services with fanatical zeal, which astonished the Count in no small degree until he gradually got used to it, yes no longer do without the cautiousness and unobtrusiveness of his being and always have it around. Albert was about twenty-two years old. His black, faintly bluish hair was parted in the middle, his light eyes were protected by very long eyelashes, so that a sharp, flashing look sometimes emerged from the thicket like a lance. The nose was a little bumpy: the face did not appear disfigured, its otherwise soft features more energetically drawn. There was a faint bluish sheen on the upper lip. The most beautiful thing about him were his narrow, little hands. Sometimes the count did not refrain from caressing her. “You are an aristocrat, Albert,” he said with a smile. “It’s as if they were so sick and pale from the memories of their fathers.” His hair was slightly shimmering blue and parted in the middle, his light eyes were protected by very long eyelashes, so that a sharp, flashing look sometimes emerged from the thicket like a lance. The nose was a little bumpy: the face did not appear disfigured, its otherwise soft features more energetically drawn. There was a faint bluish sheen on the upper lip. The most beautiful thing about him were his narrow, little hands. Sometimes the count did not refrain from caressing her. “You are an aristocrat, Albert,” he said with a smile. “It’s as if they were so sick and pale from the memories of their fathers.” His hair was slightly shimmering blue and parted in the middle, his light eyes were protected by very long eyelashes, so that a sharp, flashing look sometimes emerged from the thicket like a lance. The nose was a little bumpy: the face did not appear disfigured, its otherwise soft features more vigorously drawn. There was a faint bluish sheen on the upper lip. The most beautiful thing about him were his narrow, little hands. Sometimes the count did not refrain from caressing her. “You are an aristocrat, Albert,” he said with a smile. “It’s as if they were so sick and pale from the memories of their fathers.” The nose was a little bumpy: the face did not appear disfigured, its otherwise soft features more energetically drawn. There was a faint bluish sheen on the upper lip. The most beautiful thing about him were his narrow, little hands. Sometimes the count did not refrain from caressing her. “You are an aristocrat, Albert,” he said with a smile. “It’s as if they were so sick and pale from the memories of their fathers.” The nose was a little bumpy: the face did not appear disfigured, its otherwise soft features more vigorously drawn. There was a faint bluish sheen on the upper lip. The most beautiful thing about him were his narrow, little hands. Sometimes the count did not refrain from caressing her. “You are an aristocrat, Albert,” he said with a smile. “It’s as if they were so sick and pale from the memories of their fathers.”
“Of their hope,” replied Albert. The count looked at him in astonishment.
The count also confided in Albert his various affairs of love. He gave him all the instructions orally, only needed a few suggestive words for Albert to understand him completely. In this way he was relieved not only of lengthy arguments, but also of the lengthy reflections that Albert had in store for him. The count’s mistresses were not reluctant to see the young man who was so conscious of himself, who spoke little and always achieved a great deal. Many fell in love with his slender gait, which revealed something calculating and a little coquettish in its measuredness, and gave him furtive hints. He saw it and smiled silently dismissive and melancholy.
One morning when Albert came into the Count’s bedroom to help him dress, the Count called him over. He had a red velvet box on the bedspread, opened it by pressing a hidden button and took out a golden ring adorned with a huge turquoise. Without saying anything, he took Albert’s hand and lit it. Albert trembled, his eyes opened in shock, his breath gasped. Then he fell down before the Count, tears welled up, and he kissed his hands. Then again he suddenly jumped up, looked at the count with a horrified look, and stormed out the door.
The count couldn’t get this incident out of his head for a few days. He had never been used to such overflowing emotional effusions from his servants, whose gratitude for shown benefits had always shown itself only externally and coldly. Was it with Albert gratitude, confusion about the precious gift, that threw him out of the regularity of his controlled and deliberate movements and feelings? He thought of questioning Albert. He thought it would be very interesting psychologically … but after all he didn’t dare, for fear of tearing open unknown wounds in his soul without willing. Because this was the first servant who seemed to him to have something like a soul. After a week he had forgotten what he finally felt was the minor pains of his servant in new adventures and amusements.
Albert wore the ring with a holy shyness that did not let it go and did not remove it from his fingers at night. He now separated completely from the rest of the service staff, from whom he had previously kept away from him as far as possible, because, jealous of his preferred position with the Count, they cunningly alluded to immoral relations between him and the Count in rough and mean words . It hurt him for the Count’s sake, whom he saw so disgracefully suspected, and he blushed violently every time such a word flew at him from ambush like a poisoned arrow, but he kept silent about the Count to spare him anger and pain .
In the meantime the count began a love affair which drove him into a waste of his money and strength, which was unusual for him. He, whose age was now forty, increased his passion to such a frenzy that he no longer seemed to be able to control his senses and was ready to sacrifice hundreds of thousands in order to win her favor. In vain that his friends persuaded him to reason, in vain that his brother-in-law, at the same time his best friend, Baron F., traveled here and tried to placate him and to keep him back from the folly by all logical means. He did not allow any argument to come up to him, and like an immature youth, who was childishly in love for the first time, who was driven about in all the lists and lusts of love, had no other weapon against her than a monotonous: “I love her, I will love her forever ,
In this case too Albert mediated the correspondence and the almost daily meetings between the count and his lady. He also went to great lengths to protect the material interests of his master, which he hoped did not succeed. The lady, widow of a middle-class official and of lower class (her father ran a small brewery), was as beautiful as she was reckless. By the generosity and unscrupulous devotion of the Count, she suddenly found herself able to satisfy all, even the most senseless and superfluous wishes, and although she had been a thrifty housewife for her husband in her very short marriage, she now lost all measure and Overview and let the gold pieces roll by the thousands through her little hands.
If the lady’s hustle and bustle was not stopped, Albert foresaw the count’s ruin and thought about saving him. In this case his influence on the count was very little. Logic didn’t catch on. He said: “If I perish, I perish with her.” So he had to find some way of influencing the lady. Chance brought him the help he wanted here.
The lady, tired of the Count’s exaggerated caresses – her love for him had always been very superficial and was largely determined by his wealth – demanded amusements and adventures that all the theater and variety boxes that the Count made available to her, could not grant. Since she had daily opportunities to admire Albert’s very modest but indomitable demeanor, which was increased by the pinched self-discipline that he practiced, she suspected in him, as far as education in the things of the world was concerned, a relative of her. The Count found her now and then of a frightening delicacy of taste in matters of art, music for example, and so she soon felt drawn to Albert in the right sense of the word. He held the threads of her fate taut in his hand.
As soon as Albert recognized the lady’s mood, he was anxious to maintain it and stir it up wisely. Whenever he spoke to her he looked straight and inquiringly into her face, and she sucked a dark voluptuousness from his gaze that often stopped her speech and didn’t know what to do next. He took care not to accidentally touch her hand, which made her lips tremble, and so drove her into a passion no less fiery and unrestrained than that which the count felt for her.
When Albert believed the lady to be docile enough, he stepped into her boudoir one afternoon, and without further preamble he told her with a firmness that softened the sadness of his looks: he wanted to be at her longing, provided she swore to him, He said the word “on oath” twice, while he looked at his hands, which stared at the lady with fearful delight, swore to protect the count’s fortune and not to exceed a certain monthly sum by giving her the necessary consequences showed further waste in black images. The lady, although vaguely suspecting the degradation of her situation, was nevertheless so weakened by desire that she consented without further ado, repeated the oath that had been given to her and sank into an armchair, crying. Albert stepped up to her gently kissed her hair and promised to give her his love in one of the next nights. “Give me a deposit,” she said through tears, since she felt that it might slip away from her. He left her the ring that the Count had given him as a pledge and said goodbye.
The Count did not remember ever seeing his servant so tidy and cheerful as he was that evening when he was undressing. Albert told him the funniest purrs about the area, about the Count’s friends, and portrayed some of their human weaknesses and foolishness so well that the Count could not stop laughing. But in the end Albert became serious, and when he wished him good night, he was seized with violent restlessness. He hesitated, then he wildly grabbed the Count’s hand and covered it with many kisses. The Count, who found the heat and fervor of the kisses scary, quickly withdrew his hand.
The next morning Albert, who suspected the Count was still in the bedroom, went into his study without knocking. Like Loth’s wife, he stood frozen at the door post. He had surprised the count and the lady with an intimate caress. The lady, red with shame at having exposed herself to her real lover, hid her head, sobbing, in the pillow of the divan. The count, however, started out indignantly, and in his embarrassment and anger that Albert was still standing in the doorway, unable to find words, he pointed him out with a hasty, angry gesture that made him shudder.
Albert, however, stood stiff and frozen, his eyes as glassy and empty as two dead bullets directed at the count. Then his body began to tremble and convulsively, his nostrils vibrated, he tore at the doorman with both hands, and with a horrific scream he bit his way into it, to a clatter along with the doorman who broke away from their pole Falling ground.
The count carried the fainted lady into the next room and instructed the people, who had meanwhile been summoned by the noise, to bring Albert to his room and call a doctor at once.
Albert lay dead on the mattress. A touch of foam shimmered in front of his lips, the color of his hands and face was yellowish-gray.
The doctor came. Only the count was still present during the examination. When the doctor tore Albert’s shirt open, he suddenly turned to the count with a puzzled and questioning look.
“It’s a girl,” he said softly.
Albert opened his eyes and when he saw the Count he smiled a wistful smile that begged for forgiveness: “The ring …”
It was her last word. In the evening she died. She had not been able to survive the sight of seeing the lover physically resting in the arms of another woman. For a week the fate of this girl, fantastically embellished by the newspapers, was the talk of the day around the world. The count, however, was deeply shaken and fell into a melancholy from which no woman was able to save him. He gave her the ring to her grave and with the ring his own life.
When the humble little laurel went for a walk, with tripping, careful steps that begged the ground for forgiveness for touching him, he would stop every ten seconds to stare after a woman. She might be pretty or ugly, tall or short, if only she had big bosom. He was ashamed and blushed when he looked, but he had to look. And still stared after the young lady had long since disappeared in the bus or around the street corner. In the evening, in his little furnished room on the fourth floor, he opened his window, let in the blue, shivering night sky, and looked fearfully and reverently at the stars to see if they could help him in his need. And he prayed to the good Lord and gave up dirty sins and thoughts. But he didn’t get any better; the prayer brought the temptations of his heart painfully close to his mind, so that he shuddered at his corruption and yet could not detach himself from it. He fought and whimpered and trembled in his desecration of prayer. White, strong-breasted women strode through his dreams and twined and clung to his moral strength so that he could not tear it away. They fed on her. And like lianas her flaming arms wrapped around his thoughts when he wanted to escape them. He lay awake for nights with a red face and throbbing pulses, or he crouched and looked at the yellow window curtain, at which the gas lamps from the street cast flickering images that wafted like sighs that had become visible over the yellow cloth. His requests to God grew more insincere day by day. He didn’t regret the lust of his thoughts at all, he just babbled it to himself because he loved the vague and insecure and feared the truth. He hated his thoughts, oh yes! But he only hated them because they were so feeble and never turned into action.
How he envied his colleagues in the office when they told stories of women. Almost everyone had a “relationship” that they took to the concert garden or the dance hall in the evenings: shop girls, telephone maids, clothing loops. They spoke a fully developed erotic jargon that sounded terribly raw. Her girls called her “bolts, syringes”. Going out with their girl they called “tying the goat”. To seduce a girl meant “bend over”, and anyone who had not managed to do it at least once was considered a “wimpy” tail. Poor Laurel had therefore succumbed to their compassionate contempt. No matter how hard he tried to hide his true nature, they soon found his way and mocked him. Don Juan des Kontors, a young man named Ziegenbein, who wore artistically twisted ties, the ends of which fluttered like flags over the waistcoat and skirt, and pulled the left foot a little, struck the front of the little laurel on the chicken breast and chattered: “Always go, my dear laurel, always go for the bacon. Don’t worry. There is a huge amount of women – see me! You can’t save yourself from them. Still, “he spat on his hands and got back on his seat,” it sucks sometimes. See me, dear Laurel. To use a parable, a comparison! I am like the queen bee, there are bees all around me, and I am in it, very deep. Getting out of there means difficult. ” And slowly he began to paint on a calligraphic D, while the whole office grinned admiringly in agreement, but the little laurel, seeing through it, turned pale and red alternately. From now on he secretly eyed Mr. Ziegenbein as often as he could, curious, almost tortured by the agony of the expectation to find out why Mr. Ziegenbein had such a lasting effect on women. He wasn’t pretty – apart from his tie, which he used to change every day. He wore a white tie on Sunday, blue on Monday, green on Wednesday, the color of hope since it was now Sunday again, and so on. The color of each day meant a symbol to him. Mr. Ziegenbein was not pretty, his nose even grew beyond the brown mustache to his lips, Mr. Ziegenbein even limps – and yet …? By his cleverness? The little laurel shrugged his shoulders contemptuously. Wisdom, education, he was ahead of them all. Who of them read poetry or even tried their hand at poetry? Or went to the theater? If he could have impressed a girl through education! It was clear to him that education would not get hold of girls. Yes, that is why he thought disdainfully of the girls that they did not know how to appreciate spiritual grace – but he longed for their bodies and burned for them. He secretly peeked into his pocket mirror quickly: beautiful … he was as beautiful as Mr. Ziegenbein for a long time, even if his eyes shimmered in a blue that seemed too watered down. So why was it that the girls didn’t like him? He remembered that he hadn’t even tried it, that he had only ever felt the contempt of the girls from a distance and read it from their eyes. Couldn’t he be mistaken? A stone rolled from his heart! He wanted to dare, he wanted to speak to a girl once! – The little laurel adoration of the female sex was always on the whole. He had never loved a single particular one, whoever crossed his path and looked passable enough had been considered a “woman” to him, as a woman par excellence at that moment, until the next moment perhaps brought the replacement.
On the evening after business hours, little Laurel strolled through the streets and looked shyly in the face of shopkeepers, factory workers and those others who had always seemed to him the most beautiful. Every now and then he would catch a glimpse of the children catching hay hoppers in the meadow, grabbing them hastily, for fear that it might otherwise spring from him. But he couldn’t make up his mind to run after a girl, there were so many, and if he took a few steps behind a blonde, a brown girl came along who he liked a lot more. Then a little black woman tripped, two friends giggling on her arm. She was a cocky toad and turned him big round looks and leaned longingly towards him. But he misunderstood their courtesy: he held his breath in amorous fright, his water-blue eyes opened wide and looked like delicate blue plates made of Delft china. Then he took a deep breath and reflected: he had to go after her. But where was she? Far in the distance her red blouse shone like a poppy on a gray-green meadow. He ran and ran, pushed women ungalant aside with his elbow, stepped on the patent leather boots of a gentleman and wanted to shout: “Stop the thief, stop the thief!” Because, he told himself, she stole my heart, as the novels always say, usually around the fiftieth page when the declaration of love is near. When he finally caught up with her, her friends were no longer with her, she left, laughing and swinging her violet-colored bag, accompanied by a young man, apparently a student,
Poor little Laurel stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and stood with narrowed eyes and cramped lips, immobile, as if under an uncomfortably cold shower.
«‹Abendpost›, ‹Abendpost›!” shouted someone close to him. And a schoolboy with a fat, smart face planted himself hard in front of him and beeped: “You, Münneken, you go on, you disturb the traffic.”
A few passers-by laughed.
The little laurel went on. His defeat pained him. He had no desire for further adventures. Angry, he went into a standing beer hall, drank a few glasses of beer, and set off on his way home. His previously so lively desire had given way to an empty, dead feeling in which anger, hope, resignation and weariness fought for priority. Nobody wanted to achieve victory, his thoughts flowed into a swampy chaos that disgusted him.
That night he closed the window and did not look at the stars.
The next day he had a headache. He made such a pale, dreadful impression that suggestive remarks were made in the office and Don Juan, Herr Ziegenbein, made an assertion that drove his head with shame – because it unfortunately lacked the truth. Then he realized again that he owed it to his honor to finally get a girl. And that evening he set off again, this time possessed by daring daring. Today he didn’t trust every daring girl’s look, and so he couldn’t make up his mind and was already walking the streets for an hour when he saw a girl at the bars of a villa in the suburbs, whose steel-blue gaze hissed like lightning into his water-blue eyes. Straw yellow hair was braided around her head like a wreath of harvest,
The little laurel circled around her like a bat, embarrassed, turned red, choked on a connection; suddenly he stepped towards her with a jerk.
“Allow … please, my lady, wait … for … someone?”
She said slowly and boringly, without looking at him: “Not to you.”
Little Laurel stood beside her for five minutes, feeling an ingloriously lost battle. He wanted to do it well somehow. But he found no words. He went into the standing beer hall and made his way home. For three days he did not think about women at all and worked in the office with a zeal as if he wanted to earn a raise in salary.
On the fourth day, his amorous thoughts returned. And he did not take them ungraciously, did they cause him enough unrest. For the time being he kept her in check. They behaved so well that he could even look at the porter’s daughter, without undressing her, out of childlike pleasure.
But on July 23rd – it is the most important day in the life of the little laurel and deserves to be made famous – the little laurel threatened to melt into love longing for the whole day. He secretly prayed to God in the office that he might fulfill his only request.
That evening – it was a warm summer evening, when no bank was unoccupied by lovers and even the policemen patrolling the park in pairs – he went home again after business hours, put on a new red silk tie and splashed himself with perfume “Queen” of the night »on the skirt. He let his walking stick dance happily between his fingers. Today he turned his gaze preferentially to those women who are so distinctly dressed and make such an exclusive impression, who also occupy an exclusive position in society. One likes to invite them to supper through the back door, but whips them away from the front staircase, “Only for gentlemen”.
Little Laurel knew that there is love for money. He had hesitated often enough whether he should even try it. But as charming as these women seemed to him – who looked much more beautiful than shopkeepers, mumsells and chambermaids – he had a principle, and that told him that this love for money was immoral, indeed mean. Because everyone could own the woman they might just want if they only had money. Today, as he dealt with this problem again, it surprisingly showed him new sides. How could these girls not also – love? Wouldn’t you really love some, to whom you waved with strange looks, perhaps – without money – if you could him, his good heart, got to know his character better? What if he …? The little laurel sought understanding in the eyes of the beautifully dressed ladies … for love; wouldn’t he find it with one – at least one?
Then a slender beauty brushed against him. Her eyes were small and brown, and her well-shaped breasts stood out clearly under the white blouse. She wasn’t wearing a corset. Little Laurel felt dizzy. This, this … it was. He ran behind her, then next to her and took off his hat. She laughed when she saw the little one. Then they turned into a side street, then into a house. It went up four flights of stairs. Four flights of stairs, like mine, thought little Laurel. She unlocked, let him in, and slammed the door again. “Take off,” she said, and released the needles from the hat, which she carefully placed on a chair.
“How do you like him?” she pointed to the hat.
Little Laurel had not said a word so far, only looked at her again and again in amazement, anxiety and very much in love. If she just wants to love him … love … without money. Because that’s not love … with money.
“Say,” and she rubbed her breasts against his upper arm, “are you going to give me something?”
He was frightened.
He fell down in front of her, his head was between her knees: he groaned, and the words came out of his mouth like crumbs and blocks that detached themselves from the rock of his suffering, awkwardly, with restrained tears, love me … why do you want money? Then it’s not love … Then it’s sin … A woman has never loved me … why do you want money? Why don’t you love me? “
The girl looked down at him with pious eyes, like the Madonna at a penitent who confesses his heart to her.
She gently tugged at his hair: “Child, you’re not paying me … I really love you … look … you just give me something – voluntarily … completely voluntarily.”
Little Laurel understood slowly, then he cheered: that was love! –
In the office he was now sporting a smug creature. In passing he let it be known that he had a lover, a lover.
He visited his “mistress” three times a week, each time bringing her a small gift of money.
Incidentally, his window rose again at night. The blue night sky came in and brought with it the stars that, once witnesses of his distress, now became witnesses of his happiness.
After almost six months, poor little Laurel invited to the wedding.
“You are touchingly impudent,” said the girl – but she wasn’t serious.
“The moon is behaving outrageously conspicuously today,” he stated with a melancholy look at the pale night sky. Fields and bushes lay covered with white dust.
It was a light mood like on sultry summer days just before sunrise.
The girl laughed: like girls laughing in excitement of love, cooing, sobbing.
Inside the house a voice called: “Anna.”
“I have to go in,” she offered to kiss her lips, “sleep well, Herr Adjunkt.”
She was already gone around the corner.
He waited a minute, then stepped into the house from the main entrance on Dorfstrasse.
In the front dining room, a couple of carters and peasant sons cursed, sniffed and drank their corn.
He kicked open the door to the dignitaries’ room. It was empty. He sat down at a table. The landlord came and lit a kerosene lamp.
“Much honor, Mr. Adjunkt, what can I give?”
“Half a red wine.”
He thought for a while, hesitated, then finally picked up his wallet and placed a twenty-mark piece on the roughly planed wooden table.
The landlord brought wine, a glass and a napkin. He covered a corner of the table.
“Mr. Landlord!” He was about to leave and turned around. “This is yours.” He pointed to the gold piece.
“Should I change?” said the landlord eagerly.
The other fended off. “It is entirely yours.”
He listened to the front dining room. Then they raved and raved that the pane of the intermediate door rattled.
“If you let me into the girl’s room today!” he added slowly. Then he took a sip and looked at the landlord expectantly. The landlord’s eyes caressed the yellow glow. “It’s not my daughter,” he whispered indecisively.
“Should I light up another lamp?” said the adjunct, “perhaps one cannot see properly?”
“Good,” said the landlord hastily, as if he couldn’t get rid of them quickly enough, “if the girl doesn’t mind, what’s my business?”
The landlord was called in the front room. He fetched the gold coin like you catch a fly, bowed and said: “I wish you a good rest, Herr Adjunkt.”
“Anna,” said the landlord the next morning, “come on, give me your hand.” She stood at the barrel washing glasses, wiped her hand on her dress and handed it to him. When she withdrew it, she saw that there was a five-mark piece in the hollow space.
“What shoud that?” Surprised, she looked over at the host.
He grinned. “Mr. Adjunct showed me his appreciation, there, half is for you.”
The coin fell to the floor with a clang. At the same time her face was blazing red and snow-white.
In the evening she was found hanged on the bedpost.
A romance novel from Schwabing
I have no fatherland.
I have no motherland.
Every foreign language touches me at home.
I am a Polish princess: pretty but sloppy.
This is my worldview.
Actually I should be wearing a monocle.
I win a little cowbell on the Munich welfare lottery.
I tie it around my neck and let it ring.
Everyone wants to be my shepherd.
I am marietta.
But I’m not quite Marietta yet.
I want to be Marietta.
I am still wavering.
Am sparkling fire.
And a lot of smoke.
I have a messy, buttoned orange blouse and at night in the Simplicissimus I tell blue fables and gray anecdotes from Klabund.
Some of them are just a faint pink and taste like raspberry compote.
I get four marks for the evening and not even a warm supper.
I’m looking for extra income.
Yesterday a very young man with a smooth face came to the Simplicissimus with Etzel.
Etzel said: “The gentleman would like to have a manuscript typed!”
I can type in a typewriter, because I was busy for a while in the office of the magazine “lese ”(at the Rindermarkt).
I said, “I’ll be happy to do it.”
The young man ordered a glass of punch for me.
I sat down next to him on the bench.
We didn’t talk much.
Once he shyly put his arm around my waist.
Emmy Hennings sang the song about the “Beenekens”. It screeched like a Danish seagull rising from the waves of the Kattegat.
“Come tomorrow morning at eleven and get the manuscript,” said the young man, and left.
He walked like a high school student and with the eyes of a pirate.
He was wearing a sail-blonde suit.
It smelled of seaweed and blew.
The young man lives on Kaulbachstrasse 56, ground floor.
The door was open when I came and he said, “Will you come with me a little?” Here is the manuscript! ” On the table was a postal order from “Jugend”.
I took the manuscript.
It was verse.
I asked him: “Did you do that?”
“Oh no,” he smiled, “certainly not!”
But I believed it was him.
– We went through Kaulbachstrasse.
– In the sun.
He took off his hat and the sun settled on him like a golden bird.
“I have a fine act,” I said.
I had to say something. “Habermann painted me.”
He looked through my blouse and said: “Maybe!”
An Italian flower seller was crouching on the corner of Kaulbachstrasse and Veterinärstrasse.
He bought a red carnation from her and gave it to me.
I felt that he was giving it to me.
He is haughty.
I do not like him.
He said goodbye.
To get to a typewriter, I climbed through a ground floor window at night to the Heinrich FS Bachmair publishing house, where I used to work as a lady. I typed the poems on official letterhead from the Heinrich FS Bachmair publishing house because I couldn’t find any other paper.
Becher came with Dorka and surprised me.
He wanted to hit me. “What are you doing here, you carrion?”
But Dorka reassured him.
They went into the next room and on the sofa together.
The young man was no longer in Munich.
I took the manuscript to a gentleman whom he had designated me in writing.
I received eight marks.
I hated the young man in the distance.
Who was a stranger to me.
Which was “over” for me.
Like an aviator.
I had to go.
I vomited Munich.
Major Hoffmann said to me in Café Stefanie: “Wouldn’t you like to be a model for the Princess of Thurn und Taxis?”
I said: “I would love to” (… I have a beautiful act. Habermann painted me…). They sent me the travel money by telegram and I drove.
The photograph of the Princess von Thurn und Taxis always hangs over my bed. She is a princely woman. Your gifts are princely.
But the hands with which she extends them are those of a dethroned citizen.
While she is modeling me, I read from a book: “The Japanese Nightingale”.
Or I tell her all kinds of stories.
Then every hand caresses me and I am like the world.
I tell her that I slept in the stairwells and on a bench in the grounds of the Pinakothek.
Around four o’clock I opened my eyes and the sentry stood in front of me.
She smiled with her rifle on her shoulder: “Have you had a good rest?”
She said she was a baker and always had to get up early.
She likes to stand guard at night when the stars cross the sky like golden children, hand in hand.
You have a lot of fun being a soldier.
There were beautiful roses in the grounds: light and dark red.
The guard told me to pick some.
You watch out that no policeman comes.
It’s getting very cold.
I don’t have a coat.
I sleep with the merchant Hirsch.
It looks like a dusty book that you don’t like to pick up.
He sprays excitedly.
He has a brother and a friend who are both painters.
They mock: “You don’t come to the Marietta so easily! This is a bohemian girl. It’s not for money! “
Kaufmann Hirsch gave me fifty marks.
He proposes to me.
He is very concerned about me.
He has the waiter bring me a footstool.
I put my feet under the stool so you can’t see my torn shoes
He is very unhappy.
His brother and friend would have an ideal job.
He is only a merchant. What can he offer me?
I am an ideal girl. (I think he read Murger’s Bohème before he went to sleep with me.) I said I wasn’t as ideal a girl as he thought.
Because I would never sleep with him again.
Despite the fifty marks.
I won’t let myself hit the ground.
We are sitting in Café Stefanie.
The young man is there too.
He just came back.
While I was in Paris, he was in Switzerland.
I walked through the Red Sea in Paris with dry feet and the waves arched before me.
He still thinks he’s looking over me like a pebble.
But I’m a rock now.
He is frightened.
His forehead is bleeding from hitting the rock.
I love him.
His blood runs down my lap.
I tell him about Paris.
We drink Samos in the “Bunter Vogel”.
The nine of us drive into the Isar valley at night.
We run over a rabbit.
It was a rabbit and had three cubs in her womb.
The chauffeur will roast it.
His wife will serve it with a cucumber salad.
We get the idea to found a club and buy all of us green sashes.
It’s five in the morning.
The young day swings his yellow hat.
Out between the clouds.
We stroll through Leopoldstrasse.
The poplars are stiff like male limbs, but leafy.
I tell him about Paris.
He is silent like a parlograph in which everything is spoken, everything faithfully preserved.
Oh, that he should keep me completely!
Not just my language: my curls too.
My small breasts.
My crooked, obscene eyes, my towering feet.
And my thirsty mouth.
I am his child.
I’m curled up in his stomach.
Hands clenched into fists in front of my blind eyes.
Who do they want to hit when my eyes turn to see?
He will give birth to me.
In the morning he orders breakfast from his landlady.
Eggs, cocoa and ham.
His room is very small.
There are pictures on the walls that he bought at Auer Dult.
The piece for about 1.25 marks.
He says they are from Veronese, Habermann (I know him), Paolo Francese and Anton von Werner.
There is also an act in which the breasts swirl to the knees.
The mailman knocks.
I pull the covers over my head.
The young man gives me ten marks.
He smiled: he was going to write a feature section about me. In the “Berliner Tageblatt”.
He grants me a fee of ten marks. Perhaps he will earn a lot from me again if I go to Monte Carlo with him in the spring.
As his capital.
He would pay for the cloakroom for me.
And my shares would go up to well over 500 …
I tell the young man (he now hangs over my bed next to the Princess von Thurn und Taxis: a laughing face in a hat and coat) that I keep a diary.
I lead it like one leads a mule in the mountains: stony roads, past seething ravines and patina-green pastures.
But in the distance the white maiden with the silver horn shines, and Grindelwald rests in sunny silence.
He is enthusiastic.
He says I should bring him the diary sometime.
Maybe you could show it to your publisher.
Maybe he would print it.
When I left him, there was a crushed bouquet of carnations on the stairs.
Did he ever love me
My head is thrown around.
He is not human.
It is a forest with a thousand trees.
That stretches for another sun.
And its winds blow from Uruguay.
“Marietta” – said the young man, “I will question the heads of the hanged about myself …”
I was scared and laughed.
Because the hanged know every dark future.
“If they tell the truth, I’ll offer you a thaler, Marietta.”
He disappeared behind the curtain.
Suddenly there was screaming.
Not one scream: millions of horrific screams. It sounded from outside, from the street and threw me, I stood at the window, stunned back into the room.
I drew the curtain.
The young man was hanging on the stove hook.
His eyes crept out of their hollows like two black garden snails.
A brand new thaler lay on the ground at his feet.
I will never ask the heads of the hanged about me. (And of course I know how to interpret that horrific screaming when the young man died: it came from the nearby slaughterhouse. It roared from thousands of dying oxen, calves and pigs.) When I die, the oxen will not scream …
I long for the electric rush of the boulevards.
After the little prostitutes who flash like china in the evening.
After the thin flower girls who masturbate with one in the dim entrance for a fee.
My head is hanged.
The young man hanged me.
My head hangs vertically from the ceiling like a chandelier.
My eyes burn like wax candles.
I will receive the Holy Spirit immaculately.
As soon as the doorbell rang, Professor Runkel threw open the door and stood with a jerk in the class.
The chair flaps thundered down. – Then breathless silence. «Primus.» – It shot up, frightened. “What else can it be called?” Professor Runkel rolled his eyes so that only the white could be seen. The little Jew on the last bench began to giggle, softly, furtively. To be more careful, he crawled behind the broad back of the fat man in front.
“Assoiyez-vous,” stuttered the primus, and made his famous, submissive look.
Arnold Bubenreuther, when he looked at him, shuddered with disgust. – Runkel put his black slouch hat with the huge brim on the clothes rack and took off his green loden coat. A black, half-woolen summer paletot came out from under the loden coat.
The class kept quiet.
Arnold Bubenreuther looked out the window. He saw nothing but a piece of hot-blue summer sky in which the crippled and dusty crown of a chestnut tree hung.
Runkel took off the second coat and stormed onto the chair. He sat there with his head with his bushy mane stretched back, tugging at the two ends of his full brown beard.
“Who left the window open?” he suddenly shouted.
“I’ll keep him out of the window in a moment. Hell, you know, since the cursed cannonball hit me in the cursed thigh in the cursed war, I can’t take a train. – You, close the window. “
Someone slammed the bolt. The class ducked, grumbling. Now you could sit in this musty air for another full hour just because this guy liked it so much.
Runkel opened the class register. As if he could not see clearly, he brought his right hand to his eye and turned the book around with the other.
“Ordinary student,” he yelled.
Little, shy Penschke walked up to the desk with unsteady steps.
«What kind of font do you have? It should be raining farm boys or wooden clappers! That goes over the grazing midnight nights with ultraviolet shadows! Damn who can read this? Is that siamese? Arabic? This way? How around? “
Little Penschke was close to crying.
Bubenreuther shuffled his boots.
“Bubenreuther,” Runkel shot up like the devil of children’s toys from the box that represented the chair. “You think I can’t see you? I’ll take you by the ruff and throw you out of the temple with three hours of arrest. You can poison on it, you can take hydrogen cyanide on it. – Penschke, sit down, Bubenreuther, the reading, read, we are page …? »
“Sixty-two, Professor,” it sounded in unison.
«What, professor, professor? That’s devilish! Call me for my sake, Mr. Scholar, for me, Heinrich, but not this goddamn professor. – Bubenreuther, you haggle, read it. “
Bubenreuther read: «Nous avions perdu Gross-Goerschen; corn cette fois, entre Klein-Goerschen et Rahna, l’affaire allait encore devenir plus terrible… »
Runkel hissed and bit his lower lip so that his beard stood there like a bristly wall: “No Frenchman says avions, it means a-wü-ong, the second syllable for short: a-wüong. Continue reading.”
Bubenreuther read and translated reasonably well. Runkel patted him on the shoulder: “Let the devil hold the light for the Eosin pig: the noble Baron von Bubenreuther once prepared. – Go on, Schulz. “
Schulz could hardly hold the book in his shaky hands for fear. He wore glasses, was pale, stupid, and very hardworking. Runkel liked to annoy him, but afterwards gave him “sufficient” at the censorship office because he never resisted him.
“Schulz,” he shouted at him, “you must have a monkey’s hair. I still have something to discuss with you – from yesterday, to pluck a chicken with you, not to say a rooster. Didn’t I forbid you to greet me when you were walking on the street with your parents? Why did you greet me? So that people stare at me and say: ‘Great Runkel is running again’, hey, what? “
The class bit back laughing with difficulty. But nobody was allowed to laugh. Whoever blurted out would inevitably be arrested.
There was a slight knock outside.
Runkel whirled around: “It’s to go to the ceiling with the maiden: who is disturbing the class? It’ll be full soon anyway, and you won’t get anywhere. Primus, take a look. “
The Primus opened the door and let the school clerk in, who handed Runkel a notebook and a pencil.
“It’s because of the heat break,” he said, pecking over at the boys.
All of a sudden a blissful smile played on all sullen, tired faces.
“Thank God.” Bubenreuther breathed it softly to himself.
“My dear Bubenreuther,” Runkel was in a good mood today, “moderate yourself. Heat vacation? It’s maddening, a hot vacation in this cold. I always freeze – always. See my two paletots. I could use fur. “
The clerk rang the bell. So today was the last hour.
“Prepare sixty-four and sixty-five. God bless our exit. Penschke will first write the exercises in the class register. Amen … »
Runkel raged through the streets, his floppy hat pressed over his forehead.
“Once again released from the damn brats – they don’t know what an effort it is for me to be who I am… Dear God, Dear God… if I don’t bully them, they bite me – how can Otherwise I’ll assure them of my superiority, I’ll have to take them under my thumb, otherwise they won’t believe it. And I’m superior to them … if only I could give it to this Bubenreuther. He has an impertinent face. “
Bubenreuther walked past him with two smaller students. Runkel first waved his hat with an ironic smile: “Tomorrow, tomorrow – are these your brothers, dear friend?”
Bubenreuther answered the question, while he turned a little backwards: “No, Mr. Scholar.” Then he lifted his cap.
“Sorry,” Runkel snarled, “sorry.”
If only I could get him, thought Runkel.
After ten minutes he stopped in front of a corner house. He adjusted his hat and cleaned his pince-nez. It seemed as if he was looking down one street, after the factory chimney or the church spire, or into the other street that already led to the open field: in the background a bluish-pale range of hills ran into hazy clouds. It just seemed like that. In truth, he looked up at the second floor of the corner house.
Would she know he would be free at eleven today? Would she even be there? If she’d checked the thermometer, she should have seen it was a hot vacation.
A yellow tulle curtain moved in a window on the second floor. A little later – and an elderly, black silk lady stepped out of the front door, wearing a pompadour over her arm and buttoning her gloves.
Runkel greeted them very gallantly, his movements suddenly lost the angular, grotesque aspect.
“You see, Professor,” she smiled, “that’s what I thought. You and your boys will be happy. – But there is also a thunderstorm in the air, “she added, pointing with the parasol at the cloudy horizon.
“Where are you going now – in the city park or across the field to Gerbersau?”
“To Gerbersau as soon as it suits you,” said Runkel with complete politeness. Every thought of the city and the high school affected him unpleasantly today. He could meet all kinds of students …
“The path under the poplars is shady, and afterwards the forest is cool and cozy in the heat,” he tried to bribe her.
“Well, where is your frosty disposition, dear Professor, are you not freezing for once? – But well, tanner’s pig is the watchword, “she agreed.
They started moving slowly.
Runkel was very monosyllabic.
I could have married her sooner. Damn why didn’t I?
The young lady chatted a lot and happily: about Ella Munker’s engagement to Lieutenant Beckey and that neither of them had any money and that he would probably have to become a police officer, if she was at all
wanted to get married once … from the meat price, the “barber of Seville” and the last Reichstag elections – she was passionate about politics. Runkel listened with half an ear. In the distance he saw a figure approaching that looked familiar.
He became restless and wanted to turn back.
“But why, dear Professor,” laughed the young lady, “we won’t do anything halved.”
The professor was terrified. The sweat was dripping from his forehead. –
Arnold Bubenreuther greeted the couple politely when he met the couple. Runkel completely forgot to say hello again – in his astonishment. This time he really forgot without any intention.
“Wasn’t that young Bubenreuther?” asked the young lady.
Runkel ignored the quiet question.
Where did this Bubenreuther leave his ironic face? he thought excitedly, wouldn’t he otherwise open it up every minute? And strange, I know for sure, he won’t tell the class about this encounter. Why? Does he – pity me?
Runkel made an angry face that the young lady stopped, frightened.
“What do you have, Professor?”
“Nothing, dear Fraulein,” Runkel smiled grimly, “I think the students hold their forbidden bars out here in Gerbersau. One ought to stop them. “
Secretly he thought: The Bubenreuth, this – dog has pity on me. He takes pity on me. If only I could catch him …
A Bulgarian War Story
So, children, no one should fool me: I slaughtered seven Muslim bastards and anti-alcoholics – Wasileff, throw your liquor container over to me – the intestines out of my body, then lay slightly wounded in front of Adrianople until one found it necessary to shoot an eye in my thigh, blue-gray, mouse-gray with a nice red stripe and a pus-yellow border. Why they dragged me to the hospital because I couldn’t walk, a pile of warm meat, nothing else. Now I feel well again, as a cow – if only your schnapps were better, Wasileff – but, by the beard of my ancestor: I don’t want to go through what I’ve been through again. If the air outside Adrianople is a little fresher, actually blew damn fresher than this sick, sick hospital tank here: I breathe it in like Rosenodeur and summarize my impressions in the patriotic shout: ‘Great Bulgaria!’ – but from now on let me be satisfied with it. I’ve done my duty. Cheers, Wasileff, so that Anita and the fatherland have children again!
But I wanted to tell you the story of how my thigh suddenly got a hole, a nice round hole. When I first noticed it back then, I didn’t fall over and over right away. Oh no, my brothers, a Georgeff is not that easy unless he is drunk. But I was anything but drunk back then. I was sober, damn sober.
So when I saw the little black hole, I first thought it was fun, and stuck a postage stamp over it – a postage stamp with the image of our illustrious Tsar. I had saved it for a letter to my loved one – Wasileff, don’t grin – but now there was a better use for it. In the evening I wanted to show the hole, the beautiful, small, black hole to the medic, when I was already there, just lying there. Blood poisoning, you see, blood poisoning, and it almost came off as hell. But St. Sebastian did not want me, a Georgeff, to scrape away so shamefully, and he still supported me and interceded in my dear death. And so I still live – in spite of that little brown pig.
But who, my brothers, do you think that little brown pig was? And who did I get shot in the thigh from, my brothers? Was it a Turk, a regular Turkish soldier, who, rightly from his point of view, had chosen my beloved thigh as his shooting target? Was it a lurking rascal who suspected me to be in possession of riches and regarded himself as their inheritance? Was it a friendly neighbor, my brothers – in confidence, my brothers, I trust these Serbian freaks to do everything and a lot more. Far from it, my brothers … it was a pig, a little brown pig, a truffle pig, so to speak, that shot me in the thigh. With my own rifle. Yes. And ten paces away. It’s called a war. And war glory. So, my brothers, to go on with the neat description of what happened, it was a Thursday and I was on the outpost that evening. Believe it or not, Thursday has always been a kind of unlucky day for me, and I already had a hunch, but of course I didn’t know anything specific, in particular the little brown pig hadn’t even remotely occurred to me. Wonderful are the ways of fate, which is rightly called the God of desperate people. In particular, the little brown pig had not even remotely occurred to me. Wonderful are the ways of fate, which is rightly called the God of desperate people. In particular, the little brown pig had not even remotely occurred to me. Wonderful are the ways of fate, which is rightly called the God of desperate people.
So I stood on outposts, patrolled the earth hut in which our corporations camped, and a damned icy wind whistled, which blew down needle-point hailstones, which developed into a veritable hailstorm that came on in the dark – it was eleven o’clock I pelted down so that I lost hearing and seeing. I make my round, move away from the field guard within a hundred or two hundred paces – when I suddenly heard a whimper through the storm, the pitiful whimper of a … human voice? Or was it the voice of an animal? This uncertainty made me damn nervous, and I decided to get to the bottom of it. So carefully pushed me towards the noise. Incessantly this whimpering, now puffing, now screeching sound … I am very close to him now.
“Who’s there?” I shout and cock the tap.
Always just the same whistling whimper, like when a lung is thrusting out.
Now it’s my turn to let my electric flashlight play. And what, my brothers, did I see? Tied to a tree stump with rope? A goat? A mutton? No, a human … a woman. Yes, a woman. As beautiful as God, with the hair of an archangel, but with the eyes of the devil. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it at first because the other one blinded me, despite my electric flashlight. – A woman, in this bad weather in the open field, tied to a tree. Just two hours – and she’ll freeze to death.
I, very polite and gallant, as the Georgeffs have always been, bow and ask in a friendly manner: “Who are you, my lovely dove, my sweet pig?” I get no answer, just a horrified look from wonderful eyes, so that I almost regretted the last-named nickname. “Virgo,” I continue, “who are you?” And cut them loose with the bayonet.
Then she staggered – could hardly stand from the cold and excitement – to my chest, and now I saw that it was a Turkish woman, a real Turkish woman, who of course did not understand a word of our honorable Bulgarian mother tongue. So I supported her lovingly, she warmed up in my arms strangely quickly, as I was surprised to see … and suddenly she crawled up to me, her tongue came up from her little mouth and kissed and licked my neck. That was by no means unpleasant for me, who hadn’t fed a woman on the bosom for six weeks. And because I’m very tall, I kissed her forehead. “Hoh,” she whispered suddenly, “Hoh” and tugged at my coat.
She pointed into the dark.
Should she be a traitor? I thought and followed carefully. After ten or twelve paces we stood – what do you think, my brothers, of what? – in front of a car, a car with a hood, stuck in the dirt. She jumped into the car and under the deck as fast as a cat and waved to me. I follow like a panther. Lean my rifle against one of the side walls of the car and about to pull it towards me – when I happen to meet her eyes again. But those eyes almost pushed me back physically. For an inextinguishable hatred flared from them, which suddenly sobered me and made the blood coagulate in my veins like thick milk.
No sooner had the little brown pig noticed – the women, my brothers, have damn fine instincts – when she reached for my rifle and aimed at me. Grinning, sneering. You now believe, my brothers, that she was aiming for my heart or my head. Not even close. You don’t know the little brown pig. No, it aimed at my abdomen, you already know where to, and it is only thanks to St. Sebastian or Mother Maria that it passed and hit the thigh. What I am discussing here long and broader, my brothers, happened in three seconds. I immediately jumped to the side and tried to approach her sideways. Too late. The shot was right. And I donkey deserved it. But the little brown pig had disappeared in the dark. Thank God I still got my gun to pack
But who do you think, my brothers, that the little brown pig was? She was later caught and shot dead. Do you know why? That whimpering in front of the outpost that night was a trick of hers that every mutton fell for.
And then my brothers? Then she practiced her art of hatred and annihilation on everyone. With what, my brothers? With the dagger? With the rifle, as with me donkey? Oh no! With her body !! Just with her body !!! She infected no less than five hundred of our people with her accursed, filthy, incurable disease. Deliberately. For revenge. That’s what I call patriotism, my brothers. It worked more precisely than a howitzer battery. The little brown pig. The brown devil of Adrianople, as we then called her.
Cheers, my brothers! Wasileff, your schnapps and my story is finished.
Ladies, I hope you will not hold it against me for the little story I am telling you here: because it is rather frivolous. But I would like to inform you for your comfort that it happened in distant India. In Europe, as is well known, marriage is considered a sacrament, and never in Europe has a woman committed marriage to her husband. – –
Once upon a time there was a gentleman named Viradhara and a lady named Kamadamini. The latter was a young, tender and happy creature, while her husband Viradhara had already reached the age of which the Indian proverb says: “An old donkey no longer pulls”. Kamadamini now found that there were still enough young donkeys who would like to pull their little basket wagon, provided that she only harnessed them. Kamadamini did this, and got a reputation that even reached her old husband. The husband was most violently dismayed when he heard this, but remained silent and decided to put his female to the test. One day he said to her: “May my tender dove forgive me if I leave her alone for a few days, for I have to go on a long journey in business “- kissed her on the forehead and left the house, only to return there by a roundabout route and to enter the room through the window and hide under the bed. Viradhara had scarcely left the house when Kamadamini cleaned and decorated himself, baked small cakes in the best butter and the best flour and sent her servant with an invitation to a young gentleman who had often pulled the little wagon for her. The young gentleman also appeared with great joy; they ate and drank and then went to the room and to bed. she baked small cakes in the best butter and the best flour and sent her servant with an invitation to a young gentleman who had often pulled the little wagon for her. The young gentleman also appeared with great joy; they ate and drank and then went to the room and to bed. she baked small cakes in the best butter and the best flour and sent her servant with an invitation to a young gentleman who had often pulled her little wagon. The young gentleman also appeared with great joy; they ate and drank and then went to the room and to bed.
Here, Kamadamini accidentally touched her husband’s body with one foot, who was hidden to put her to the test. Smart, as women are in all bad things – excuse me, ladies: in India … – she knew immediately who was lying there and what it was about. When her lover wanted to embrace her, she pushed him back and said: “Lord, you must not touch me.” The young gentleman replied angrily: “I ask you to give me information, beautiful woman, why on earth would you have called for me?” She said: “I visited the temple of Kandika before sunrise. Suddenly a voice rang out: ‘Unfortunate one, you will be a widow within three months. ›- I was shocked to the bottom of my heart because I love my husband more than anything in the world, even more than my life or my honor. And I pleaded: ‘Goddess, is there a way to save my husband from doom?’ She replied, ‘Yes. I will tell you this remedy: you have to hug a strange man – so the death intended for your husband will pass over to this one, but he will live to be a hundred years old. ‘- So know that you may embrace me now, but that death of the goddess Kandika you are sure of … »
Then the young man smiled, because he began to understand the young woman, while the husband tossed and turned in his hiding place like a tomcat being petted. And the young gentleman said: “I will gladly take on death after I have been able to hug you”, and so they embraced and loved one another, while the husband tears because of the sacrifice his wife made to him out of love shed the emotion.
When the young man was about to leave, his husband crept out from under the bed. Tears still in his eyelashes, he hugged him, who acted very frightened, and said: “My lifesaver! My most loyal friend until your inevitable death! » And he kissed his wife and said: “You are the most loyal woman who has ever walked on earth. Blessed be.”
This is the end of my story, ladies and gentlemen, and in order to prevent any unpleasant misunderstanding, I note that such disloyal wives, such useless young fellows and such silly old husbands naturally occur only in India.