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.
ravens, which in that part of the country are called “crappies.”  Crappy Zachy, who had a wooden leg, spent most of his time knitting woolen stockings and jackets; and with his knitting he used to sit about in the village wherever there was any opportunity to gossip.  This gossiping, in the course of which he heard all sorts of news, was a source of some very profitable side-business for him.  He was what they called the “marriage-maker” of the region; for in those parts, where there are large, separate estates, marriages are generally managed through agents, who find out accurately the relative circumstances of the prospective couples, and arrange everything beforehand.  When a marriage of this kind had been brought about, Crappy Zachy used to play the fiddle at the wedding, for he had quite a reputation in the region as a fiddler; moreover, when his hands were tired from fiddling, he could play the clarionet and the horn.  In fact, he was an undoubted genius.

Damie’s whining and sensitive nature was very disgusting to Crappy Zachy, and he tried to cure him of it by giving him plenty to cry about and teasing him whenever he could.

Thus the two little stems which had sprouted in the same garden were transplanted into different soils.  The position and the nature of the ground, and the qualities that were inherent in each stem, made them grow up very differently.

CHAPTER IV

“OPEN, DOOR”

All Souls’ Day came.  It was dull and foggy, and the children stood among a crowd of people assembled in the churchyard.  Crappy Zachy had led Damie there by the hand, but Amrei had come alone, without Black Marianne; many were angry at the hard-hearted woman, while a few hit a part of the truth when they said that Marianne did not like to visit graves, because she did not know where her husband’s grave was.  Amrei was quiet and did not shed a tear, while Damie wept bitterly at the pitying remarks of the bystanders, more especially because Crappy Zachy had given him several sly pinches and pokes.  For a time Amrei, in a dreamy, forgetful way, stood gazing at the lights on the heads of the graves, watching the flame consume the wax and the wick grow blacker, and blacker, until at last the light was quite burnt out.

In the crowd a man, wearing handsome, town-made clothes and with a ribbon in his button-hole, was moving about here and there.  It was the High Commissioner of Public Works, Severin, who, on a trip of inspection, had come to visit the graves of his parents, Brosi and Moni.  His brothers and sisters and other relatives were constantly crowding around him with a kind of deferential respect; in fact, the usual reverence of the occasion was almost entirely diverted, nearly all the attention being fixed upon this stranger.  Amrei also looked at him, and asked Crappy Zachy: 

“Is that a bridegroom?”

“Why?”

“Because he has a ribbon in his button-hole.”

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