The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 626 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12.

“No, Wilke, don’t bother with that.  It is our affair to dispose of the hulls—­Hertha, you must now wrap up the bundle and put a stone in it, so that it will sink better.  Then we will march out in a long funeral procession and bury the bundle at sea.”

Wilke smiled with satisfaction.  “Oh, Miss Effi, she’s a trump,” was about what he was thinking.  But Effi laid the paper bundle in the centre of the quickly gathered up tablecloth and said:  “Now let all four of us take hold, each by a corner, and sing something sorrowful.”

“Yes, Effi, that is easy enough to say, but what, pray, shall we sing?”

“Just anything.  It is quite immaterial, only it must have a rime in ‘oo;’ ‘oo’ is always a sad vowel.  Let us sing, say: 

  ’Flood, flood,
  Make it all good.’”

While Effi was solemnly intoning this litany, all four marched out upon the landing pier, stepped into the boat tied there, and from the further end of it slowly lowered into the pond the pebble-weighted paper bundle.

“Hertha, now your guilt is sunk out of sight,” said Effi, “in which connection it occurs to me, by the way, that in former times poor unfortunate women are said to have been thrown overboard thus from a boat, of course for unfaithfulness.”

“But not here, certainly.”

“No, not here,” laughed Effi, “such things do not take place here.  But they do in Constantinople and it just occurs to me that you must know about it, for you were present in the geography class when the teacher told about it.”

“Yes,” said Hulda, “he was always telling us about such things.  But one naturally forgets them in the course of time.”

“Not I, I remember things like that.”


The conversation ran on thus for some time, the girls recalling with mingled disgust and delight the school lessons they had had in common, and a great many of the teacher’s uncalled-for remarks.  Suddenly Hulda said:  “But you must make haste, Effi; why, you look—­why, what shall I say—­why, you look as though you had just come from a cherry picking, all rumpled and crumpled.  Linen always gets so badly creased, and that large white turned down collar—­oh, yes, I have it now; you look like a cabin boy.”

“Midshipman, if you please.  I must derive some advantage from my nobility.  But midshipman or cabin boy, only recently papa again promised me a mast, here close by the swing, with yards and a rope ladder.  Most assuredly I should like one and I should not allow anybody to interfere with my fastening the pennant at the top.  And you, Hulda, would climb up then on the other side and high in the air we would shout:  ‘Hurrah!’ and give each other a kiss.  By Jingo, that would be a sweet one.”

“‘By Jingo.’  Now just listen to that.  You really talk like a midshipman.  However, I shall take care not to climb up after you, I am not such a dare-devil.  Jahnke is quite right when he says, as he always does, that you have too much Billing in you, from your mother.  I am only a preacher’s daughter.”

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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