In the re-opened center of the hall, suddenly, without knowing how they had gotten there so quickly, a gypsy and a young girl, his daughter, stood.
They had been members of a gang that had ravaged Rappoltsweiler on their wanderings about ten years before. They had been held here for a long time by the severe illness of the husband’s wife, and they had been caught after their deaths. They had taken pity on the poor man and his teenage girl, tolerated her here, and since he was a quiet and skilful man, who tried to nourish himself honestly with all sorts of patchwork on broken dishes, he had been, after he was with his daughter in the church of St. Gregory had been baptized, admitted to the brotherhood of the Kessler, ie the coppersmiths and tinkers, which the Lord of Rathsamhausen shielded as the Earl of Rappoltstein the Pfeiferbruderschaft. And since he was also a master in violin playing, He also found willing acceptance in the great Spielmannsbunde. They lived in a hut outside the city, lonely in the forest. The man was in exercise traveling a lot, probably taking his violin, but not his daughter. She wandered about the woods like a shy animal, and one did not know what she was living in the absence of her father, therefore whispered to a secret protector who was to lovingly take care of her, although she was never accompanied by her father Man saw and could say anything bad.
The man, named Farkas, was a real gypsy with his skin and hair, and his daughter Hashop also looked at her ancestry at first sight. She was not really handsome, but on the slender, supple figure, the brown face with the luxuriant black hair that she had been stuffing with flowers all day, the flashing eyes and the white teeth between the red lips unspeakable sensual charm and magic poured out.
There were the two now. Farkas in his gypsy dress, high up, his violin under his chin, his bow in his hand, and Hashop in a short dress and a tight bodice above the blooming growth, his upper body slightly bent back, his arms thrust into his sides, his left foot outstretched that only the tip touched the ground, like a bronze statue, sculpted by an artist. At the first violin stroke she jumped to a bacchanalian dance. At first, the melody and movements kept a measured beat. The dancer stepped forward and back, as if hesitating, for a second in a picturesque position, turned, writhed with calm grace, and swayed with a slight wavering on his hips. Gradually, however, play and dance became livelier and more lively. The girl began to accompany the notes of the violin with the tambourine, which she handled with perfect skill. It was as if the two instruments were calling and answering each other, intertwining with each other, merging with each other, fanning each other with ever-faster, bolder dancing. The violin cheered and cheered in rapid runs and jumps, the tambourine rolled and hummed, rang and rattled with its clamps. With a pleasing roundness in the attitude of the arms, Hashop swung and swung in his right hand, now in his left, now over his head, threw it up, and caught it again. At the same time her dance became nimbler, more exuberant, wilder. She floated, flew and fluttered over and over, bent down, leaned over, sprang up and shook her curls; A demonic fire flickered on her face, and out of her eyes flashed a heavy-bridged passion. But with all her soft lines, she never went beyond the boundaries of beauty and natural grace.
And strange! It was as if the non-fatigued were playing all their arts only in front of one of the many here, who with rigid admiration followed the sensual-exaggerating dance of the deeply excited. And this one was Egenolf, who stood next to Leontine in the front row. As if he were the only one to celebrate here, to whom alone in honor and love she showed herself in her seductive movements and positions, she always turned to him, which made him visibly embarrassed. Then, when her gaze struck Leontines by chance, a mocking look crossed her features, and she whirled around the proud Countess in a half-playful, half-provocative manner. She pulled a flower out of her hair, offered it to Leontinen as it floated over, and when she reached for it, Hashop flinched and threw it at Egenolf. One flower at a time, she broke away from her head, soon tossing Egenolf, now Schmasman, now the Whistler King, from the head, causing her hair to lose its hold, and now to flow freely and long over her shoulders and back.
At last she gave her father a wink; he concluded his glowing play with a powerful finale, and again the dancer stood motionless for a moment like a picture of ore. Then with a hot gaze a salutary bow to Egenolf, and away as if submerged, she disappeared into the crowd.
The meeting was at first stunned by the enjoyed spectacle, the showpiece of the whole evening. But then the jubilation broke out and roared like a mighty wave through the hall. Farkas was crowded round and congratulated himself Schmasman and Loder came to him and expressed the so highly honored hand. After Hashop one searched in vain; Nobody knew where she had stayed.
Egenolf was out of humor; he had been worried about the homage paid to him by the Gypsy woman, fearing that it would draw conclusions about secret relations between him and the hot-blooded girl. And that this really happened, he soon noticed the curiously questioning looks with which he was viewed. He had to endure this as a consequence of Hashop’s careless behavior, but with deep grief he was filled with the realization that Leontine seemed to have taken such a suspicion against him. A distrustful look struck him from her eyes too, and she had become monosyllabic and thoughtful. What should he do to dissuade her from the suspicion that he was better acquainted with Hashop? he could not tell her: that’s over since I saw you, Wear your picture in the heart. He helplessly stood beside her and read his condemnation in her grave face.
In this distress, the intelligent Imagina came to his aid, understanding his predicament of Leontine and determined to free him from it by giving him the opportunity to justify himself.
She approached the two, indulging in praise of the gypsy’s entrancing dance, and added teasingly, threatening with her finger, “And you, Egenolf, seem to have taken her especially close to her heart; It was true, as if she danced here just for you. Am I not right, Countess Leontine? ”
“It almost seemed like it,” Leontine replied wearily.
“See?” Imagina continued, “just be careful not to let her get on the net!”
Egenolf understood immediately, smiled and said: “Yes, it almost seemed to me that I had made an unconscious conquest of it; only I do not know how that should have happened. I met her a few times in the woods when she begged me, and I always gave her something in abundance, and- ”
“And now she danced her thanks and jumped on you today,” Imagina laughed, “of course! Everything is explained by this, but you see that one must be careful with his benefits, for they can be misinterpreted by one of malicious people. ”
“I do not want to hope it happens in this case,” he said cheekily.
“Certainly not of ours, my dear Egenolf!” Imagina assured him with a sincere tone and a mischievous sidelong glance. “But, in short, write this maternal admonition nicely behind your ear!”
“Shall be dutifully done, Reverend Mrs. Muhme!” He laughed, and Imagina and Leontine laughed.
With this the matter had been abolished and Egenolf was convinced that he was again standing in front of Leontine in Engels-innocent. O how grateful he was to his lovely savior Imagina! –
Farkas’ violin playing and Haschop’s dance could no longer be surpassed by any other feat, and the older gentlemen were of the opinion that it was now time to go to their evening drink in the Rathskeller, where certainly everything was ready for their reception. They moved away, one with the others, the other without a farewell from the understanding wife who was left to watch over the youth in the hall. For now the general dance was to begin here, in which all those present, the young lords and fairy-tale girls, citizens and people of the game people, took part and in which Dimot should now come to her rights.
The light-hearted maid liked the exuberant, gay bustle beyond measure, and since she still lacked acquaintances there, she was very pleased that Hashop, who had now reappeared, joined her zuthulich and, if not one of them danced, not from her side wich. The cuddly Gypsy knew how to ingratiate herself so quickly with Dimot that in the few hours they became the best friends. She had a lot to tell about life on the Hohkönigsburg and asked the chatteringly about her young mistress, about which she demanded to know all sorts of things.
This continual fellowship with Dimot, however, did not prevent Hashop from constantly observing Leontinen sharply, and most sharply when Count Egenolf spoke to the beautiful Countess.
As she said goodbye, Hashop asked her new friend, “May I visit you at the top of the castle?”
“Oh sure! That would make you very happy, “replied Dimot. “I’ll let Thorhut know she’ll let you in.”
Then Hashop’s eyes flashed lustily, and she said quickly, “Thank you! I’m coming.”