“I don’t see why we are going to Stuttgart. I never heard of it except in connection with men who ‘studied’ in Stuttgart. What’s there, Jimmie? An Academy?”
“I should say,” said Jimmie, waking up. “The Academy where Schiller studied.”
“That’s very interesting,” I broke in, “but it’s hardly enough to keep me there very long. Are there any queer little places—”
“Any concert-gardens?” asked Bee.
“Are the hotels good?” asked his wife.
“There is one hotel called Hotel Billfinger, which I’d like to try, because Mark Twain’s guide in ‘Innocents Abroad’ was named Billfinger. Remember?”
“He afterwards called him Ferguson, which I think is against the name and against the hotel,” I said. “Why do we stop except to break the journey?”
“Well, the real reason,” said Jimmie, with that timid air of his, “is because Baedeker says that in the Royal Library there are 7,200 Bibles in more than one hundred languages, and I thought if you stayed by them long enough you might get enough religion so that you would be less wearing on my nerves as a travelling companion. It wouldn’t take you long to master them. While you are studying, the rest of us will refresh ourselves in the Stadt-Garten, where Bee will find a band, where I shall find a restaurant, and where my wife can ponder over Baedeker’s choice information of the places where it is not proper to take a lady.”
Nobody pays any attention to Jimmie, so we all stared out of the windows to see that the town was beautifully situated, almost upon the Neckar, and surrounded by such vine-clad hills and green wooded heights as to make it seem like a painting.
But Bee was still unconvinced.
“It is the capital of Nuremberg and used to be the favourite residence of the Dukes of Nuremberg,” said Mrs. Jimmie, as we drove up to the hotel, not the Billfinger, let me remark in passing.
We found a band for Bee, and in the course of our stay in Stuttgart we heard any number of men’s choruses, students’ singing and the like. There was, too, the Museum of Art, and a fine one. There was also a lovely view, from the Eugen-Platz, of the city which lies below it. But after all, the Schloss-Garten and concerts to the contrary notwithstanding, there is an atmosphere about the law schools, museums, and collections of Stuttgart, which led frivolous pleasure-seekers like us to depart on the second day, for Nuremberg.
Jimmie has a curious way of selecting hotels. As the train neared that quaintest of old cities, toward which my heart warms anew as I think of it, he broke the silence as though we had held a long and heated argument on the matter.
“You might as well cease this useless discussion. I have decided to go to the Wittelsbacher Hof, Pfannenschmiedsgasse 22.”
“Good heavens!” I murmured.
“There you go, arguing!” cried Jimmie. “But can’t you see the advantages of all those extra letters on your note-paper when you write home?”