“You forget that it may all turn out well yet.”
“It must not. A while ago, Wuellersdorf, when you were speaking about Crampas, you yourself spoke differently.”
Soon thereafter they had passed through the “Plantation” and the coachman was about to turn to the right toward the mole. “Drive to the left, rather. The mole can wait.”
The coachman turned to the left into the broad driveway, which ran behind the men’s bathhouse toward the forest. When they were within three hundred paces of the forest Wuellersdorf ordered the coachman to stop. Then the two walked through grinding sand down a rather broad driveway, which here cut at right angles through the three rows of dunes. All along the sides of the road stood thick clumps of lyme grass, and around them immortelles and a few blood-red pinks. Innstetten stooped down and put one of the pinks in his buttonhole. “The immortelles later.”
They walked on thus for five minutes. When they had come to the rather deep depression which ran along between the two outer rows of dunes they saw their opponents off to the left, Crampas and Buddenbrook, and with them good Dr. Hannemann, who held his hat in his hand, so that his white hair was waving in the wind.
Innstetten and Wuellersdorf walked up the sand defile; Buddenbrook came to meet them. They exchanged greetings and then the two seconds stepped aside for a brief conference. They agreed that the opponents should advance a tempo and shoot when ten paces apart. Then Buddenbrook returned to his place. Everything was attended to quickly, and the shots were fired. Crampas fell.
Innstetten stepped back a few paces and turned his face away from the scene. Wuellersdorf walked over to Buddenbrook and the two awaited the decision of the doctor, who shrugged his shoulders. At the same time Crampas indicated by a motion of his hand that he wished to say something. Wuellersdorf bowed down to him, nodded his assent to the few words, which could scarcely be heard as they came from the lips of the dying man, and then went toward Innstetten.
“Crampas wishes to speak to you, Innstetten. You must comply with his wish. He hasn’t three minutes more to live.”
Innstetten walked over to Crampas.
“Will you—” were the dying man’s last words. Then a painful, yet almost friendly expression in his eyes, and all was over.
In the evening of the same day Innstetten was back again in Berlin. He had taken the carriage, which he had left by the crossroad behind the dunes, directly for the railway station, without returning to Kessin, and had left to the seconds the duty of reporting to the authorities. On the train he had a compartment to himself, which enabled him to commune with his own mind and live the event all over again. He had the same thoughts as two days before, except that