With Anna to leave the young with now and then, I was able to get in two sprees a week with Carl. Every Wednesday and Saturday noon I met him at the University and we had lunch together. Usually on Wednesdays we ate at the Cafe Rheingold, the spot I think of with most affection as I look back on Berlin.
We used to eat in the “Shell Room”—an individual chicken-and-rice pie (as much chicken as rice), a vegetable, and a glass of beer each, for thirty-five cents for both. Saturdays we hunted for different smaller out-of-the-way restaurants. Wednesday nights “Uncle K.” of the University of Wisconsin always came to supper, bringing a thirty-five-cent rebate his landlady allowed him when he ate out; and we had chicken every Wednesday night, which cost—a fat one—never more than fifty cents. (It was Uncle K. who wrote, “The world is so different with Carl gone!”) Once we rented bicycles and rode all through the Tiergarten, Carl and I, with the expected stiffness and soreness next day.
Then there was Christmas in Berlin. Three friends traveled up from Rome to be with us, two students came from Leipzig, and four from Berlin—eleven for dinner, and four chairs all told. It was a regular “La Boheme” festival—one guest appearing with a bottle of wine under his arm, another with a jar of caviare sent him from Russia. We had a gay week of it after Christmas, when the whole eleven of us went on some Dutch-treat spree every night, before going back to our studies.
Then came those last grueling months in Berlin, when Carl had a breakdown, and I got sick nursing him and had to go to a German hospital; and while I was there Jim was threatened with pneumonia and Nandy got tonsillitis. In the midst of it all the lease expired on our Wohnung, and Carl and Anna had to move the family out. We decided that we had had all we wanted of coaching in Berlin,—we came to that conclusion before any of the breakdowns,—threw our pride to the winds, borrowed more money from my good father, and as soon as the family was well enough to travel, we made for our ever-to-be-adored Heidelberg.