“Oh, yes, I’ll call him Mr. Trius, but I’ll make up such a song about him that everybody will know who it is about,” Kurt said threateningly.
“How can he help it when there is no ghost in Wildenstein about which he could tell you tales,” Mea remarked.
“Oh, he has enough to tell,” Kurt eagerly continued. “Many wonderful things must have happened in a castle that is a thousand years old. He knows them all and could tell us, but his only answer to every question is a beating. You know, Mea, that I do not believe in ghosts or spirits. But it is so exciting to imagine that an old, old Baron of Wallerstaetten might wander around the battlements in his armor. I love to imagine him standing under the old pine trees with wild eyes and threatening gestures. I love to think of fighting him, or telling him that I am not afraid.”
“Oh, yes, I am sure you would run away if the armoured knight with his wild eyes should come nearer,” said Mea. “It is never hard to be brave when one is as far away from danger as you are now.”
“Oho! so you think I would be afraid of a ghost,” Kurt exclaimed laughing. “I am sure that the ghost would rather run away from me if I shouted at him very loudly. I shall make a song about him soon and then we’ll go up and sing it for him. All my school friends want to go with me; Max, Hans and Clevi, his sister. You must come, too, Mea, and then you’ll see how the ghost will sneak away as soon as we scream at him and sing awfully loud.”
“But, Kurt, how can a ghost, which doesn’t exist, sneak away?” Mea exclaimed. “With all your wild ideas about fighting, you seem to really believe that there is a ghost in Wildenstein.”
“You must understand, Mea, that this is only to prove that there is none,” Kurt eagerly went on. “A real ghost could rush towards us, mad with rage, if we challenged him that way. You will see what happens. It will be a great triumph for me to prove to all the school and the village people that there is no restless ghost who wanders around Wildenstein.”
“No, I shan’t see it, because I won’t come. Mother does not want us to have anything to do with this story, you know that, Kurt! Oh, here comes Elvira! I must speak to her.”
With these words Mea suddenly flew down the mountainside. A girl of her own age was slowly coming up the incline. It was hard to tell if this measured walk was natural to her or was necessary to preserve the beautiful red and blue flowers on her little hat, which were not able to stand much commotion. It was clearly evident, however, that the approaching girl had no intention of changing her pace, despite the fact that she must have noticed long ago the friend who was hurrying towards her.
“She certainly could move her proud stilts a little quicker when she sees how Mea is running,” Kurt said angrily. “Mea shouldn’t do it. Oh, well, I shall make a song about Elvira that she won’t ever forget.”