The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 08 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 08.
that was asked of her?  Now her spirit unveiled its pictures, peopled the desolate future with them.  Uli was her husband; she had taken root in life, in the broad world; they were the centre about which a great household revolved, circling about their will.  In a hundred different forms this picture rose before her eyes, and ever fairer and lovelier became the harmony of its colors.  She no longer knew that she was driving in the wagon; her heart felt as light and happy as if she were already breathing the air of that world where there is no more care, no more sorrow—­but just then the wagon bumped over a stone.

Freneli did not feel it; but her aunt awoke with a long yawn and asked, finding it hard to collect her thoughts, “Where are we, hey?  I haven’t been asleep, I hope.”

Uli said, “If you look sharply, you can see our light yonder through the trees.”

“Gracious, how I have slept!  I wouldn’t have believed it.  If only Joggeli doesn’t scold because we’re so late.”

“It doesn’t matter,” said Uli; “and Blackie can rest tomorrow; we don’t need him.”

“Well, well,” said his mistress, “then that’s all the better.  But when horses get home late and have to start out early, that’s maltreatment.  Just imagine how we’d feel if they did the same to us—­run, run all the time, and no time for eating and sleeping.”

As they heard the approaching wagon, all the inhabitants of Slough Farm rushed out of the doors with candles and lanterns, some to the horse, others to the wagon; even Joggeli limped up, saying, “I thought you wouldn’t get here today, thought something had happened.”

CHAPTER XXV

THE PLOT BEGINS TO UNRAVEL, AND AS IT IS ABOUT TO SNARL AGAIN, A GIRL KNOCKS OUT THE TANGLE WITH A BEECH CUDGEL

[Freneli’s restless eagerness to give Uli her answer banishes sleep, and she rises before all the others, only to find Uli before her at the wash-trough, and there they plight their faith.  The mistress broaches the subject of the lease to Joggeli, but he will not hear to it.  Freneli, however, is not disturbed, but outlines the plan of action, which succeeds admirably.  Now comes the son-in-law and makes a scene, but Freneli trumps his ace by getting word to Johannes, who, already suspicious of the cotton-dealer, is glad to have a chance to spoke his wheel for him.  A frightful turmoil ensues, with Johannes pounding the table and threatening the cotton-dealer, while the latter, unterrified, calmly admits marrying Elsie for her money, and himself draws up a leasing plan which rather pleases Joggeli, but would exclude Uli.  While the others are arguing about this plan, the son-in-law attempts a private understanding with Freneli, to the effect that he will further Uli’s cause if she will be complaisant with him.  Freneli snatches up a beech-wood stick and belabors him soundly, while he yells for help, and finally escapes through an open door.  Freneli tells her story; the son-in-law sticks his head in at the door to say she lies, but the beech stick, hurled by Freneli’s strong hand, strikes him full in the face, and, minus three teeth, he finally quits the field of battle, completely routed, strewing the path of his retreat with noisy but vain threats.]

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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