On a rainy afternoon in September, Georg lost his pleasure in work so completely over the desire to go into the rain, that he stood, barely thinking, in sturdy shoes, rubber coat and cap outside the door, with wide open nostrils the cold, fresh dampness of the Drawing air into the lungs.
Wonderful was the emptiness of the veiled park. Georg left; the rain fell almost lovingly, with caressing lightness, over the glades of the meadows, devotional, sometimes completely absorbed in soul, dissolving into misting dampness, sinking into veils into the quietly tolerant tops. The soggy trails never seemed to enter. All the foliage was still deep green, here and there speckled with a delicate yellow; Only where nut trees stood did the wet yellow glow. The groups of trees and bushes, banded together by the rain wrapping, seemed more beautifully divided. Evenly, the silence trickled with the whisper of moisture; all preserved peace in receiving the refreshment.
Walking around in linden-like thoughts, Georg came to the gray, steaming mirror of the pond, to the bench, where Kaddosch spoke long before Sigurd. Esther, little Esther – what had become of her at the bottom of the great waters? It was a rainy day, more violent than this, when the two entered, dripping and laughing, and there were disguises and laughter.
Matt, very faded, the colors of memory shone through the foggy rain of the years.
Did not it get better? thought Georg; and more serious? ‘A good spirit keeps the balance above me …’ I remember: here I sat, as I had become Balto-Borussia, and wondered what weight would once have this experience. To weigh correctly, probably not enough time has passed, but I think: I’m beyond the last episode. A mild heart defect, avoiding alcoholic drinks, the memory of Tozzi, of Schwalbe – that is probably everything, as far as I can see, and not much.
Georg went on wandering in a sudden yearning for his father. – I could have much more of him, he realized, and that’s why it’s a pity he never writes. No, for exchange of ideas he is not available – set, I would have something to exchange -; his life is limited to achievement. In addition, a hint from Magda’s last letter occurred to him, as if his father was trying to walk again; he probably kept that secret or made it clear that it was to be ignored as long as it did not succeed. Strange man, who he was! Was he really going to voluntarily put this shackle on the sick woman’s back? And why did he want to go now? Of course, he was younger than his fathers would think, three, forty-four, and soon he could have just as much to do …
Georg had reached the end of the lime-tree avenue in a wide arc and found himself heading for Cordelia’s house. Looking at the clock, he found that seven was imminent. Maybe she was there – she used to water every night the flowers and give the vase flowers fresh water. And if she did not come, could not it be nice without her in her perfume circle?
Immediately, strolling up the silent Alleestraße between gardens and country houses, George opened the gate and climbed the winding path to the house, which was now enclosed in a wreath of dahlias, black-red, yellow, white, and fire-colored, all heads dotted with drops of metal , But under the porch sat, very still and so absorbed, that he did not hear or hear anything about it, a little book before his eyes, Ezekiel. At George’s call, he returned to himself, startled, and fiercely came forward, with a melancholy mouth, but cheerful eyes. George asked what he was reading; He brought the book, a New Testament.
Did he understand what he was reading?
“Gnä Frau has painted me what i read derf. Very nice, very nice saying. ”
Right Georg found a few lines here and there, a paragraph thickly framed in pencil. “I should learn by heart,” Ezekiel declared eagerly. “She’ll listen to me then.”
“Well then tell me a verse! One that you like, – or maybe the gracious lady … ”
Ezekiel frowned, thinking heavily. “There are just so many,” he said questionably, but the next moment he began to speak and stuttered, but quite correctly together:
“Nobody lives for him, and nobody dies for him. If we live, then we live to the Lord, we die, then we die to the Lord, because we live or die, then we are of the Lord, the saying has found so beautiful woman. ”
“Very beautiful, Ezekiel!” He smiled laboriously. “Do you understand it?”
“I do not care so much. I already think something. Me san catholic, me two, “he suddenly declared.
“Ah, you and the gracious wife?”
“Yes, me san catholic.”
Georg knew nothing now, gave the poor devil his book again and went into the house.
Gently greeting him received the small living room, dimmer, narrower than usual. George went to the window, and he came, as he saw beyond the house leading gravel path big sunflowers stood, the heads lowered, heavy rain beads, – again Magda’s letter in memory : he had been standing in tears, so bent in sadness for the deceased. George had told her, incapable of false feelings before her, that no mother had died for him, and this had almost deepened her grief.
None of us lives for him, and none of us dies of his own. George thought he had remembered the entire passage, so one thing in the other. – Let’s live, that’s how we live the Lord … Also in those words was a reminder of Magda’s gentle figure. – That’s why we live or die, so we are the Lord’s. – It sounded very comforting; sounded like hands that let nothing slip away.
Georg felt like answering her letter; not to answer, – what would be the answer to pain? – but to write. Alone how to start?
Now, seated in front of the secretary, George saw himself on the left, behind the bluish glass veil of the mirror, a little strange not only by the magnificent framing of ledges and mirrors, the candles, and the dull-blue vase that stood there today, overhanging the edge yellow rose heads, but above all by the concealment, which made him appear to himself as in another room, sitting alone, without an hour, without time, not passing away. So lonely you always look when you’re alone, he thought. It was tantalizing to see that he was about to turn away, but now he saw something new in his, by the way, as always seeming features, a small wrinkle buried near the left corner of his mouth, whose origin he did not understand, until, unnoticed, he closed his mouth . that this mouth movement expressed something like – contempt. – To that, he said, resolvingly turning away, seems to me to have little cause. – Unless contempt for yourself, another voice continued in him, which he ignored, looking for stationery in Cordelia’s writing-book.
But first he found a letter with his address from her hand on it, beautiful, big, round, clearly written in Latin script, turned him around – he was open – thought it was probably as he had gotten from time to time, if it was because she once had to refuse him, be it for no better reason than to send a signal, a tender thought, a little verse-and rightly, as he arrogantly pulled out and unfolded the bow, he read verses:
Oh come, beloved, the hallways are happy,
The stork and the star and related natures.
The birch trees shimmer in white on a greener drift,
As I write in the bark with burning pin:
O come, beloved, at festive hours,
We want to soak, we want to mouth!
The poor soul.
Well, here I am! Georg was happy, but where are you staying? – How lovely she had glued it together again, not at all sensitive, small and fresh like a bunch of violets! She was a jewel.
But he wanted to write to Magda, and that did not start. As he stalked through the bookshelves behind him, collapsing in the corner next to the sofa, Irene wondered what Magda had asked for and found yesterday with a detective novel in the workbench. And at the same moment he had such a beautiful mocking speech about her, with so many distinctive and smooth phrases in his head, that he hastily fetched some fresh sheets from the portfolio, drew his holder, and began to write.
So, this is Irene Herzbruch! Her desire to hear from her embraces mine, to speak of her. Well, let’s start, let’s give you a description.
You know that she and her husband moved into their Langenhagen summer apartment a few months ago, probably also that they will share this apartment – a photograph with – Herzbruch’s sister, Dora Vehm and her husband. By the way, after spending three whole and half days outside, I barely saw the men. Dr. V. has his practice and consultations in the city, H. ditto his publishing house. Dora Vehms perhaps remembers Irene’s wedding: looking gorgeous, with dark skin, black hair, shiny black eyes and a beautiful, safe and free posture. The voice sometimes a bit shrill, for example, when she says: No, that’s really weird! – (N. b.) That all women in social interaction have to get used to such exaggerated words as they are mad, or divine or charming.) This capable woman is the author of a folk food establishment, where workers and women are given a nutritious lunch for 40 or 50 pfennigs, and this institution manages them all alone, and does not even inappropriately dispense food; furthermore, she is the chairman of some women’s association; she also directs her household; besides, she has friends to whom she writes long letters; besides, she sings, and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with This capable woman is the originator of a folk food establishment, where workers and women are given a nutritious lunch for 40 or 50 pfennigs, and this institution manages them all alone, and does not even inappropriately dispense food; furthermore, she is the chairman of some women’s association; she also directs her household; besides, she has friends to whom she writes long letters; besides, she sings, and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with This capable woman is the originator of a folk food establishment, where workers and women are given a nutritious lunch for 40 or 50 pfennigs, and this institution manages them all alone, and does not even inappropriately dispense food; furthermore, she is the chairman of some women’s association; she also directs her household; besides, she has friends to whom she writes long letters; besides, she sings, and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with and this institution guides them all by itself, and does not even inappropriately distribute the food itself; furthermore, she is the chairman of some women’s association; she also directs her household; besides, she has friends to whom she writes long letters; besides, she sings, and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with and this institution guides them all by itself, and does not even inappropriately distribute the food itself; furthermore, she is the chairman of some women’s association; she also directs her household; besides, she has friends to whom she writes long letters; besides, she sings, and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with and not bad at all; furthermore she goes to many concerts, theaters, lectures, lectures; furthermore, she is astonishingly versed in beautiful literature, and on her table lie Knoop, Kierkegaard, Hamsun, and the story of Dr. Ing. Citizen of Hans Carossa; and finally she has two adorable children of three and five years, boys and girls, with she is, undeniably, never less than a full half of the day together. One should take an example. And not that this whole thing would be an obsessed rat-king or serpent-bale, from which all these different activities sometimes licked that head to swallow something, but without restlessness, without skill, rolling on a single, gentle and level line It is cheerful, serene and cheerful, and always has, for a thirteenth time in the twelfth hour.
Oh, I wanted to write about Irene. You notice that I worship and adore this woman. Of the monument that I have set in my heart, this was just a very miserable impression. A hurray to all brave women, Bernhard Kellermann would say. So now Irene.
When I first came to her, – yes, so you see the house is beautifully situated on a hill, which rises slowly from the road slowly: vegetable fields are at the bottom, then comes a flower garden – all new and very sparse, especially around this season, then meadows with the house in the middle; the rear side is overgrown with the ‘hedge’ as it is called here, that is to say, bushes and undergrowth, hazel shrubs, ash trees, pastures, even pine trees, a true thicket, water pond and finally a small, worn-out quarry. Yes, so there I found Irene, following her voice, which was audible from afar: you! They still have their fusel in their eyes! What they are? you are nothing more than a drunken pig, you know that? Go home and sleep off your intoxication – and so on. Yes, there she stood, legs apart, in the bean-bed, swinging a spade, but the so-called gardener was really very drunk, and was about to become violent. Another time I found her at noon on the grass in the thicket with a novel by Skowronnek. And the third time she carried the compost with the fork from a small trolley and distributed it over the melon beds.
This would be Irene? Of course, of course! And what would be much against it, if not – yes, how should I describe it?
Look, if the wife of a knight’s estate, whose existence depends purely on his fields, flower beds and stables, had such a way, that would be excellent, although it would still be necessary to ask whether the way to a monastery would have been necessary. What is old, oldest male demand on a woman? That she does what she needs with grace. What does grace mean? It is precisely that lightness and serenity of gestures, that inconspicuousness, indeed invisibility of action, that overhang of the aisle, so that nothing of all the effort of effort appears before other eyes, but the surplus and freedom to other things, just the grace of Dora Vehm, which that is exactly that of the trapeze artist, who, after every performance, has to pretend to the spectator, with a smile on his lips and with outstretched arms, that his performance is child’s play, done away with between two small breaths. She goes in these things up to self-destruction. Of course, if she has to feed her chickens five in the morning, she will, of course, fall asleep to Glock neune. All this in order to be able to eat self-caught asparagus and homemade plum jam in winter. “And the whole thing,” we hear my father say, “is as if on the wall -, etc.” Slowly, her mind wraps around. She does not read any books except the ones shown above. She always had a taste for crude words and phrases; Rhinozeros is her favorite word, which she of course wastes happily on herself. Look at it: in a salmon-colored dressing gown, ruffles on neck and sleeves as usual, with her gently and long-rounded hips – still they are – a thousand golden curls around the crimson face, tapping her forefinger with her index finger and saying:
After all, one does not know how long she will do it. Further, her husband’s absence is also to be considered, but again – the social science department of his publishing house, and the new journal of the same character that he is about to found, could give her enough opportunity to live a more serious life together with him and perform dignified, effective, and sustained activity instead of tearing away Summer’s to eat Winter’s. She felt well, she says, and that is the true purpose of man, to eat and drink, and to make sure that one has food and drink. Your violin, if you should ask for it, has been forgotten for months. Certainly: construction and equipment She had to be able to manage the house and garden pretty much alone, and it has also become charming, but why? She does not live, she’s always busy. Her clothes are adorable, she does them herself, Renate too, but I never saw Renate at the tailor’s table.
Yes, if it were not for the children – you know, I love children – and Dora Vehm, I would probably give up this traffic. Sometimes H. is also present in the evening, and the doctor too is a fine, admittedly very quiet, withdrawn person, but when one only needs to touch something under the sky, there is a nice, serious conversation, one feels one fine germ fall into the chest, and the hour was not in vain.
Honestly, Magda: In the guest book of our corps, I found the following, strange verses of my dad, as far as I know the only ones he ever made, free after Storm:
Never have an opinion!
Inner things are always hidden.
What the neighbor you regret,
Are you doing today, are you doing tomorrow.
So I would not have allowed myself this opinion about the good Irene, if I had not even during the Trassenberger months seriously fumbled at myself and would have thought, what I was, and who I should be. I have also worked very hard, because the canceled Altenrepener semester pressed strong enough, and even if tangible little may have come out of it – an overview, fleeting enough, about that The whole, over this enormously horrendous possession and field of work Papa – so I have nevertheless sustained a great deal of zest for work and zeal for the future. Glad I am there – may I say that once? – that you, always kind and understanding, have remained true to my path, and hope with me, and trust me. Because you do, are not you? Your letters were so nice to me! Will not you come back to A. soon so I can hear you sing? Or is the voice still not ready? No, no, in your modesty do you not say that to me: Your singing is better than Irene’s jam glasses. Weiland Josef Montfort gave me once – the magnanimous! – a word; it is from Solomon and reads: Receive your heart, for from it comes the life. From the heart comes your voice, from an omniscient heart,
Irene has her heart invaded; may she relish her misery in the winter. –
Georg paused. The aftermath, he thought, had spoiled the conclusion; now he could not end this way, and a transition was hard to find. He also seemed to lack something, yes, the main thing was not yet testified with the few words towards the end, his grateful feeling for her and …
He got up, walked to the window, noticed that the rain was falling harder, and closed it. At once the noise muffled, but Georg noticed that it had darkened meanwhile, he had to come to an end. The room slowly faded before his eyes, and he could still see something red glowing from the coffee table, the ruby glass he had once brought with him. There was an indistinct flood in him, he again saw the letter destined for Magda, sat down in front of it and wrote:
I had to lay down the quill and stand at the window for a long time. It is dim, the rain beats on the windows. I found Esther’s Voliere with Irene, where is Esther? – How are we all swirled apart! That we can always do this and that, but nothing can be kept of it. Who would hold his own heart, let alone strangers? Irresistibly attracted, we drift on to ever new vertebrae, and it is frightening that the thing that glowed the wildest cools the quickest. Away, dear friend, I do not know anything about you, but like the good, always the same Benno here – of course I forgot to call the Allzubescheidenen, as I just counted those who stayed here – so I see you there: a permanent in the fray, a gentle pillar in circles, a constant, soft, but in every still so mysterious audible tone,
In gratitude of yours
Georg was stopping to write his name. – What’s that? he says, breathing heavily, what did you do there? You lied. You did not think of her, but felt Cordelia, and the feeling just a little transformed that it fit …
But if it fits, he had to disprove himself, then it somehow has its validity. It was just that I could not think of Magda, but if I really do, seriously, that’s how I feel, as I wrote, and – yes, and above all, that’s what I felt: she’ll always stay, always –
And Cordelia? Is it conceivable to ever be without her?
Now I stop thinking for at least three hours, he thought, laughing angrily, signing, folding and closing the letter in an envelope he addressed, whereupon he rose to enjoy the twilight in the corner of the sofa and remember the most tender, the only one …
As he settled down, however, he realized that he was sitting on something hard, book-like, and pulled out a large folder in file format with blue cardboard covers, opened it, and read in the twilight the large and swung-title-text written by Cordelia’s hand : Theodosis; below, smaller: tragedy.
Was that a role? He had never heard the name. And now, as he turned the page and found verses, Cordelia’s handwriting, unlike now, seemed less youthful; and already in the process of reading the above list of persons-Pelagios, whom Thespesios had already found out-he held himself back, touched by a kind of scent or breath that stopped him; He closed the book again and put it on the table.
And then he heard clearly through the rain sound the approach of an automobile; it grew louder, came very close and then fell silent. She had to be. Georg was in no time across the room, down the stairs, under the pillars in front of the door, just as she came up the road, hatless, in the green raincoat, and in the next moment held her in his arms.
In the room above, he eagerly pulled her to the sofa as she noticed the booklet and – for the first time he thought he saw it – drew her eyes hostile. – “Did you find it?” She asked.
“It was in the corner of the sofa. Should not I see it? ”
“Why not? The old thing. “With that she had taken it, went to the box cabinet, opened a drawer below and put it in. In the slipping with hands and knees, she seemed to lose herself, slowly straightened up and walked to the window.
Memories, Georg thought; she has become sad. – No, this time I do not want to prove tenderness by silence, as always. Remembrance wants to be solved, not crushed – and he went quietly to her, pulled her close to her and asked gently, stroking her hair: “Why did you put it away?” – She was silent. How her hair smelled! She was breathing heavily.
“Do not you want to read to me?” He asked again, feeling a faint pang in her shoulders. “Or play?” He added, even more softly.
She remained silent for a long while. Then, breathing harder, she asked softly, “How do I know I can play?”
Now he thought it best to be silent. Deeper and heavier, her chest surged.
“Would you like it?” She whispered barely audible and cleared her throat. – He hugged her. “Wait a minute,” she said quickly, squeezing around him, running across the room and disappearing.
It had become quite dark. Georg, standing at the window, thought: I should never ask! she said in the beginning – and now it comes, of course. That’s the way it is in life. A real Elsa would not have even asked: Who are you? Where are you from? – One day it would have been self-evident, and then it probably would not have been half as bad, as Lohengrin announced …
He had to wait a long time to get back. Silently and solemnly, on inaudible feet, she appeared in the dark room, dark in her hair and heavy black coat; only her face shone very white.
“Sit down in the sofa,” she begged, and he did. She stopped in front of the box closet, put one hand quietly in the other, and spoke, her face turned to the window, only after a long time:
“Theodosis was a poor soul. She was born dumb and blind. Yet there was a man who loved her, to whom she was married, and was killed by a rival the same night. Now comes her old teacher Thespesios, who taught her as a child to understand the pressure of his fingers in her hand and to reciprocate, and tell her what has happened. The terror burns through her, she blazes up, she can speak. ”
Cordelia was silent. George, in strangely deep excitement, as he had never heard her voice so deep and sonorous, so full of budding music, saw her eyes wandering about the room, with a distant gaze, unspeakably solemn, up to him, yet she saw him not on.
Suddenly her coat slipped from her shoulders – her body gleamed almost metallic in the darkness – slid to her hips, where her left hand held him; the right stretched forward a little, stiff as if it were being grasped by another. She kept her head lowered, listening; then a gurgling sound escaped somewhere: “Woe to me!”
The right was still in the same position, her left hand moved to her mouth, her eyes were horrified, her coat was on the floor, but now that Georg was not hearing words, an immoderate voice flooded the room like an angel in thunderous wings –
“My mouth! what about my mouth? he is burning!
Woe, I’m burning! a flame struck
Out of my mouth, and everything is on fire.
What is? I hear a terrible one
Disfigured voice. My voice is!
I could not hold her … ”
She was silent: she was still standing like she was first. Georg shook all over. This never-known voice! This singing power, this sultry, voluptuous music, and verses that she brandished like torches and daggers, flaming, triumphant, into his breast. And now – only her arms stretched out a little to a helpless gesture of embracing, body bowed lower – she sang on:
“O stone at my mouth, O cold pillar!
O mouth, I close you to this stone,
So dumb were you, so icy that night,
Since another’s mouth burned over you,
Into you, but you were stone … ”
She threw her hands up and back to her neck, her face up:
“Now shout, crushed stone, now it’s over,
That I only hear this awful,
A confused voice, which only became a cry
Created, just to scream! ”
Falling forward again, she folded her hands in the height of her breast, she squirmed tenderly, Georg now saw her face, alienated, her eyes closed, narrowed; she smiled at Gram:
“O my childhood!
O my yearning, sweet and painful!
Since all the world was full of songs and sounded,
How sounded every thing, how spoke of love
The smallest, my hands were on it,
You cup, from which I drank, you ring, you vase,
Happy eloquent, and smiled at me,
That I loved you deeply from my pain.
Then sometimes shame, as if everything was once
Silent, and no noise as in the last,
Petrified depths, mumbling darkly in me,
The voice, my voice, the buried,
Workers … I could not help her. ”
Was that game? Did she now overcome real pain? But there was no pain, she smiled again, but the hands fell apart, fell away, ignorant closed to her thighs, where they stuck, and she stood now, a helplessly curved figure …
“How could she
Sweet sounds once! Oh, how could she?
Caress! all the dumb hearts should
To be satisfied and happy by her. It would
The ancient, divine, invisible wings
Be visible again on her shoulders,
Carry in the sky, float towards … ”
Her voice, sweetened to the most intimate intimacy, whispered in the whisper of the most ardent longing:
“I wanted to serve you. O in showers
Should they stand and listen: Listen, it sounds
The earth, yes the earth sounds, the old one.
Everything will sound, everything is full of love,
We humans are loved, we are loved,
Because a blind man builds us golden bridges,
Because a voice came to serve us … ”
My God, she spoke of herself! That was her, she, and then stopped, remembered, said bluntly, “Now shout!” And suddenly flew up into the room in her arms, stood up in a long stretched out, aching as a raging flame:
“Oh, what about me
Now fling words, call their language, alas,
It’s just my dumbness that learned to talk
And everything passes! Oh that I sing!
Pushing into the souls with feeling
The names stammering, names, flowering, children,
In the wilting celestial, and words, words … ”
Was it over? Georg did not dare to move. She still stood as last, eyes closed. Then she seemed to waver. Georg jumped up and just arrived in time to catch her. She fell off against him like a pillar. He felt her sweat-covered and icy cold all over her body, but she did not faint, she trembled, he pulled his coat from the ground, trembling himself, and enveloped her in it, while thoughts within him were like sparks. Squeezing her, he whispered silently, “I know, I know everything now. Poorest, you’ve never been allowed to play what you could, you had – oh, I do not know what it was like, but now … Come on, “he said softly,” come, lie down, come on, it’s now Well! I know now … ”
She listened. “What do you know now?” She breathed.
“Oh – everything; what you are missing, who you are. But that has an end now. I can do anything for you, I- ”
“What do you want to do?” She asked, strangely melting and devoted.
“Oh … you know, the theater is nothing without my father, and I myself … you have everything for money. O the villains, now I know everything! What should I do, heart? Shall I go to the director tomorrow? Do you want to stay? Do you want to go to Berlin? Say, heart, you get yes! ”
“To – – Inten-danten?” She said faintly. His heart was melting in his chest. My God, why had she been silent, always silent!
Then he realized she was crying. And then she had already burst into sobs that his heart stopped in horror. She shuddered like a raging animal for several minutes, then bellowed out of her, she fell forward so hard that she dragged him along, he had to kneel to hold her, she was half on the ground, he sat up, she whimpered, he saw her face, the tears streaming down from her closed eyelids, while her mouth twisted, and she fell down again; he straightened her with difficulty; she fell over his other arm, lay on the ground, sobbing, sobbing, sobbing she gave out pain, whimpering from gasping chest, as if iron pieces were breaking in her, and there was no end.
George could only sit beside her and hold her hand, frozen with sympathy, until the outburst began to die away, the weeping lower, the fearful trembling ceasing; until he dared to set her up and lead her to the sofa where she would lie down and then become quiet. He dried her swollen face, the still-flowing eyes with his cloth, but now she took it away, pushed herself up a little higher on the pillows, opened her eyes, and looked at him. Her gaze – dark, barely visible in the dark, as its shadow was still over her – he did not understand, even she closed her eyelids soon, lay still and said softly:
“You know, Georg – we want to wait a little longer …”
“Oh, wait again!”
“Yes, Georg. Look: – – it’s all changed now, as I thought. I have to go now whole – turn around. I – but I do not want you in – getting into what I am now. “She looked at him again and seemed to smile. “His pride has a lot. I’d like to stay here, too, if it’s to be different someday. I’ll make an end here, and then – in Berlin – I’ll be completely free, then you’ll have it for me and you can do it with me. Do you want the net? George? ”
Georg squirmed and did not agree.
“Well, Georg, you have to see that! I can not do it all at once! Stop me: Berlin. Is that right, Georg? ”
Georg gave in for the moment. It’s still a month, on the one hand – and maybe she’s right. If at all, then at the very top, he thought, then kissed her tenderly and let her smooth her hair.
“But Cordelia,” he had to confess, “what can you do! It is unheard of! ”
“I can do something,” she said maternally. “And then for you …”
“As you only stand! Did you really stand with your feet closed all the time? Everything done with the poor and with the voice? Child, what’s your vote! ”
She smiled softly, closed her eyes, sighed, and stretched out.
“That’s good, Georg. So lying is good. And never talk much, you know! I’m resting a little. We still have the whole night. ”
All night … He carefully covered her with her coat to her chin, felt for her hand underneath and held her. Her face turned a little over. She lay still. And so he sat with her, happy, grateful to be good, helpful. The autumn rain hit hard against the windows. He heard the movement of the pendulum clock through the sound of the water, slowly, calmly, and his inners leveled, swelling through the ever gentler hour, like the overcast plain, to the magical woods of the future.