The Goose Girl eBook

Harold MacGrath
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about The Goose Girl.

“Is there anything you want?” asked the clock-mender.

Herr Ludwig turned.  How old this clock-mender was, how very old!

“Yes,” he said.  “I’ve a watch I should like you to look over.”  And he carelessly laid the beautiful time-piece on the worn wooden counter.

The clock-mender literally pounced upon it.  “Where did you get a watch like this?” he demanded suspiciously.

“It is mine.  You will find my name engraved inside the back lid.”

The clock-mender pried open the case, adjusted his glass—­and dropped it, shaking with terror.

“You?” he whispered.

“Sh!” said Herr Ludwig, putting a finger to his lips.



The watch, slipping from the clock-mender’s hand, spun like a coin on the counter, while the clock-mender himself, his eyes bulging, his jaw dangling, it might be said, staggered back upon his stool.

“So this is the end?” he said in a kind of mutter.

“The end of what?” demanded the owner of the watch.

“Of all my labors, to me and to what little I have left!”

“Fiddlesticks!  I am here for no purpose regarding you, my comrade.  So far as I am concerned, your secret is as dead as it ever was.  I had a fancy that you were living in Paris.”

“Paris! Gott! For seventeen, eighteen years I have traveled hither and thither, always on some false clue.  Never a band of Gipsies I heard of that I did not seek them out.  Nothing, nothing!  You will never know what I have gone through, and uselessly, to prove my innocence.  It always comes back in a circle; what benefit to me would have been a crime like that of which I was accused?  Was I not high in honor?  Was I not wealthy?  Was not my home life a happy one?  What benefit to me, I say?” a growing fierceness in his voice and gestures.  “All my estates confiscated, my wife dead of shame, and I molding among these clocks!”

“But why the clocks?” in wonder.

“It was a pastime of mine when I was a boy.  I used to be tinkering among all the clocks in the house.  So I bought out this old shop.  From time to time I have left it in the hands of an assistant.  The grand duke has a wonderful Friesian clock.  One day it fell out of order, and the court jeweler could do nothing with it.  I was summoned, I!  No one recognized me, I have changed so.  I mended the clock and went away.”

“But what is the use of all this, now that her highness is found?”

“My honor; to the duke it is black as ever.”

“Have you gone forward any?”

“Like Sisyphus!  I had begun to give up hope, when the Gipsy I was seeking was seen by one of my agents.  He alone knows the secret.  And I am waiting, waiting.  But you believe, Ludwig?”

“Carl, you are as innocent of it all as I am or as my brother was.  Come with me to Jugendheit.”

Project Gutenberg
The Goose Girl from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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