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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 507 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12.

“You are in a scoffing mood, Geert, and yet you may be right.  But I for my part, insignificant though I be, must confess, that I consider all this charming and that our Havelland cities are nothing in comparison.  When the Emperor’s birthday is celebrated in our region the only flags hoisted are just the black and white, with perhaps a bit of red here and there, but that is not to be compared with the world of flags you speak of.  Generally speaking, I find over and over again, as I have already said, that everything here has a certain foreign air about it, and I have not yet seen or heard a thing that has not more or less amazed me.  Yesterday evening, for example, there was that remarkable ship out in the hall, and behind it the shark and the crocodile.  And here your own room.  Everything so oriental and, I cannot help repeating, everything as in the palace of an Indian prince.”

“Well and good!  I congratulate you, Princess.”

“And then upstairs the social room with its long curtains, which sweep over the floor.”

“Now what, pray, do you know about that room?”

“Nothing beyond what I just told you.  For about an hour while I lay awake in the night it seemed to me as though I heard shoes gliding over the floor, and as though there were dancing, and something almost like music, too.  But all very quiet.  I told Johanna about it this morning, merely in order to excuse myself for sleeping so long afterwards.  She told me that it came from the long curtains up in the social room.  I think we shall put a stop to that by cutting off a piece of the curtains or at least closing the windows.  The weather will soon turn stormy enough, anyhow.  The middle of November is the time, you know.”

Innstetten was a trifle embarrassed and sat with a puzzled look on his face, seemingly undecided whether or not he should attempt to allay all these fears.  Finally he made up his mind to ignore them.  “You are quite right, Effi, we can shorten the long curtains upstairs.  But there is no hurry about it, especially as it is not certain whether it will do any good.  It may be something else, in the chimney, or a worm in the wood, or a polecat.  For we have polecats here.  But, in any case, before we undertake any changes you must first examine our whole house, under my guidance; that goes without saying.  We can do it in a quarter of an hour.  Then you make your toilette, dress up just a little bit, for in reality you are most charming as you are now.  You must get ready for our friend Gieshuebler.  It is now past ten, and I should be very much mistaken in him if he did not put in his appearance here at eleven, or at twelve at the very latest, in order most devotedly to lay his homage at your feet.  This, by the way, is the kind of language he indulges in.  Otherwise he is, as I have already said, a capital man, who will become your friend, if I know him and you aright.”

CHAPTER VIII

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