Part 2 out of 5
that the smell of incense and boots would make Dora
feel bad. What rot! It was lovely. This afternoon
we are going to Ramsau, it's lovely there.
April 16th. Father went home to-day. We go
home to-morrow. At Whitsuntide Ada's mother is
going to bring her to be confirmed. They are all
coming to stay with us. I got stuck in a bog on the
bank of the Ramsau. It was awful. But the doctor
pulled me out and then we did all laugh so when we
saw what my shoes and stockings were like. Luckily
I was able to catch hold of a tree stump or I should
have sunk right in.
April 18th. Hella says it was splendid at the Brioni
Islands. She is frightfully sunburned. I don't like
that, so I shall _never_ go to the _south_. Hella says that
if one marries in winter one _must_ spend one's honeymoon
in the south. That would not suit me, I should
just put off my marriage till the summer.
Ada is only 13 not 14 like Dora, and the parish
priest makes a tremendous fuss because she's not
confirmed yet. Her mother is going to bring her to be
confirmed soon. We are not going to be confirmed
because Father and Mother don't want to be bothered
with it. Still I should like to be confirmed, for then
one _has_ to have a watch, and one can ask for something
else at Christmas.
April 21st. Our lessons are something frightful
just now. The school inspector is coming soon. It's
always very disagreeable. Mme A. says: The in-
spection is for the staff not for the pupils. Still, it's
horrid for the pupils too first of all because we get
blamed at the time and secondly because the staff
makes such a frightful row about it afterwards. Dora
says that a bad inspection can make one's report 2
degrees worse. By the way, that reminds me that
I have not yet written why Oswald did not come home
at Easter. _Although his reports were not at all good_,
he was allowed to go to Aunt Alma's at Pola, because
this year Richard comes home for the holidays for
the last time. After that he's going away for three
years in the steamship "Ozean" to the East or Turkey
or Persia, I don't quite know where. If Oswald likes
he can go into the Navy too in two years.
May 9th. The school inspector came to-day, first
of all in natural history, thank goodness I wasn't
in for it that time, and then in German; I was in
that, reading and in the table of contents of the
Wandering Bells. Thank goodness I got through
May 14th. It's Mother's birthday to-day. We've
had simply no time to work anything for her, so we
got a wonderful electric lamp for her bed table, the
switch is a bunch of grapes and the stand is made
of brass. She was so pleased with it. Yesterday
Frau v. R. was here. She's a friend of Mother's and
of Hella's mother. I should like to have music lessons
from Frau v. R., she gives lessons since her husband
who was a major died though she is quite well off.
May 15th. That must have been true about the
inspection; in the interval to-day Professor Igel-
Nikel said to the Herr Religionsprofessor: Well, he
will go on coming all through the week and then we
shall be all right for this year. _We_, of course that
means the staff. But really the staff can't help it if
the pupils are no good. Though Oswald says it's
all the fault of the staff. I shall be glad too when
the inspection is over. The staff is always quite
different when the inspector is there, some are better,
some are stricter, and Mme. A. says: I always feel
quite ill with anxiety.
May 29th. At Whitsuntide Frau Doctor Haslinger
came from Hainfeld with Ada and the two boys for
the confirmation. On Whitsunday the doctor came
too and in the evening they all went home again.
Ada is very pretty, but she looks countrified. I'm
not going to be confirmed anyhow. We had to wait
3 hours, though the Friday before Whitsunday was
a very fine day. Dora did not come; only Mother
and I and Ada and her mother. The women who
were selling white favours all thought that I was one
of the candidates because I wore a white dress too.
Ada was rather put out about it. On Saturday we
were in town in the morning and afternoon because
Ada liked that better than the Kahlenberg; on Sunday
morning we went to Schonbrunn and in the afternoon
they went home. The watch they gave to Ada was a
lovely one and Dora and I gave her a gold chain for
a locket. She enjoyed herself immensely, except that
on Sunday she had a frightful headache. Because
she is not used to town noises.
May 31st. Ada knows a good deal already, but
not everything. I told her a few things. In H. last
winter a girl drowned herself because she was going
to have a baby. It made a great sensation and her
mother told her a little, but not everything. Ada
once saw a bitch having her pups, but she didn't tell
her mother about it; she thought that her mother might
be very angry. Still, she could not help it, the dog
belonged to their next door neighbour and she hap-
pened to see it in the out-house. Ada is expecting
_it_ to begin every day for she is nearly 14. In H. every
grown-up girl has an admirer. Ada says she will
have one as soon as she is 14; she knows who it will be.
June 3rd. Ada wrote to-day to thank Mother about
the confirmation and she wrote to me as well. It is
strange that she did not make friends with Dora but
with me. I think that Dora won't talk about _those_
things, at least only with her friends in the high
school, especially with Frieda Ertl. That is why Ada
made friends with me, though I am 2 years younger.
She is really an awfully nice girl.
June 19th. One thing after another goes missing
in our class, first it was Fleischer's galoshes, then my
new gloves, three times money was missing, and today
Fraulein Steiner's new vanity bag. There was a
great enquiry. But nothing was found out. We all
think it is Schmolka. But no one will tell. To-day
we could none of us attend to our lessons especially
when Sch. left the room at half past 11.
June 20th. In our closet the school servant found
some beads on the floor but since she did not know
anything she threw them into the dustbin. Was it
really Sch.? It would be a dirty trick. Frl. St. is
frightfully upset because her betrothed gave her the
vanity bag for a birthday present and his photo was
in it. But I'm really sorry for Sch. Nobody will
speak to her although nothing is proved yet. She is
frightfully pale and her eyes are always full of tears.
Hella thinks too that perhaps she didn't do it, for she
is one of Frl. St.'s favourites and she is very fond of
her herself. She always carries the copybooks home
June 22nd. Our closet was stopped up and when
the porter came to see what was the matter he found
the vanity bag. But what use is it to Frl. now; she
can't possibly use it any more. We giggled all through
lessons whenever we caught one another's eye and the
staff was in a frightful rage. Only Frau Doktor M.
said: "Now please get through with your laughing
over this extremely unsavoury affair, and then have
done with it."
June 23rd. There was a frightful row to-day.
Verbenowitsch was collecting the German copybooks
and when Sch. wanted to hand up her copybook she
said: Please give up your copybook yourself; I won't
have anything to do with (then there was a long
pause) you. We were all apalled and Sch. went as
white as a sheet. At 10 o'clock she begged permission
to leave the room because she felt bad. I'm sure her
mother will come to speak about it to-morrow.
June 24th. Sch.'s mother did not come after all.
Verbenowitsch said: Of course not! Sch. did not
come either. Hella says she couldn't stand anything
like that, she would rather drown herself. I don't
know, one wants _other_ reasons for drowning oneself.
Still, I should tell Father so that he could speak about
it at school. Franke said: Yes, that's all very well,
because _you_ didn't do it; but _if_ one had done it one
would not dare to say anything at home. Besides,
Sch.'s father is an invalid, he's quite paralysed, has
been bedridden for two years and can't speak.
June 27th. To-day Hella and I walked home with
Frau Doktor M. Really she always goes home alone
but Hella suddenly left me and went up to Frau
Doktor in the street and said: Please excuse me Frau
Doktor for bothering you in the street, we _must_ speak
to you. She got quite red. Then Frau Doktor said:
"What's the matter?" And Hella said: "Isn't it
possible to find out who took the vanity bag? If
it wasn't Sch. the way the other girls treat her will
make her quite ill, and if it was we can't stand having
her among us any longer." Hella was really splendid
and Frau Doktor M. made us tell her everything that
had happened, including about Verbenowitsch and
the copybooks; and we saw quite clearly she had tears
in her eyes and she said: "The poor child! Children
I promise I will do what I can for her." We both
kissed her hand and my heart beat furiously. And
Hella said: "You are an angel." I could never have
managed to say a thing like that.
June 28th. To-day Sch. was there again, but Frau
Doktor M. did not say anything. Hella and I kept
on looking at her and Hella cleared her throat three
times and Frau Doktor said: Bruckner, do stop clearing
your throat; it will only make your sore throat
worse: But it seemed to me her eyes twinkled as she
said it. So she hasn't forgotten. I wanted to speak
to Sch., but Hella said: Wait a bit, we must give the
Frau Doktor a chance. She's taken the matter in
hand. To-morrow before 9 we'll walk up and down
in front of her house till she comes out.
June 30th. Unluckily yesterday was a holiday and
to-day Frau Doktor's first lesson began at 11. But
she has already had a talk with Sch. only we don't
know when and where; certainly it was not in
the interval and she did not send for Sch. during
July 1st. To-day we walked to school with her
She _is_ such a dear. Children, she said, this is such
a painful matter, and it is difficult to find a way out.
Sch. insists that she did not do it, and whether she
did it or not these days are burning themselves into
her soul and Hella asked: "Please, Frau Doktor
advise us what to do, speak to her or not?" Then
she said: Children I think that after this affair she
won't come back to us next year; you will be doing a
good work if you make these last days bearable to
her. You were never intimate with her, but to give
her a friendly word or two will do you no harm and
may help her. You 2 have a high standing in the
class; your example will do good. We walked with
her till we reached the school, and because we were
there we could not kiss her hand but Hella said out
loud: How sweet you are! She must have heard it.
But Sch. was not at school. Father says he's glad
that the term is nearly over, for I have been quite
crazy about this affair. Still, he thinks that Hella and
I should talk to Sch. So does Mother. But Dora
said: Yes that's all right but you must not go too far.
July 5th. Sch. was not at school to-day. To-morrow
we are to get our reports.
July 6th. We cried like anything I and Hella and
Verbenowitsch because we shan't see Frau Doktor M.
any more for nearly 3 months. I only had 2 in History
and Natural History, but 1 in everything else.
Franke says: Anyone who is not in Professor Igel-
Nigl's good books can find out that he's cranky and
stupid and _he_ could never get a one. Father is quite
pleased. Of course Dora has got only ones and Hella
has three twos. Lizzi, I think, has 3 or 4. Father
has given each of us a 2 crown piece, we can blow it,
he says and Mother has given us a lace collar.
July 9th. We are going to Hainfeld this summer,
its jolly, I'm awfully pleased; but not until the 20th
because Father can't get away till then and Mother
won't leave Father so long alone. It is only a few
days anyhow. It's a pity Hella's gone already, she
left early this morning for Parsch near Salzburg,
what a horrid name and Hella too doesn't like saying
it; I can't think how anyone can give a place such a
nasty name. They have rented a house.
July 12th. It's shockingly dull. Nearly every day
I have a quarrel with Dora because she's so conceited
Oswald came home yesterday. He's fearfully smart
nearly as tall as Father only about a quarter head
shorter, but then Father's tremendously tall. And his
voice is quite deep, it was not before. And he has
parted his hair on one side, it suits him very well.
He says his moustache is growing already but it isn't;
one could see it if it were; five hairs don't make a
July 19th. Thank goodness we're going at last the
day after to-morrow. Father wanted Mother to go
away with us earlier, but she would not. It would
have been nicer if she had.
July 24th. Our house is only 3 doors away from
the Hs. Ada and I spend the whole day together.
There happens to be a schoolfellow of Dora's here,
one she gets on with quite well, Rosa Tilofsky
Oswald says that Hainfeld bores him to death and
that he shall get a friend to invite him somewhere.
Nothing will induce him to spend the whole holidays
here. His name for Ada is: "Country Simplicity."
If he only knew how much she knows. Rosa T. he
calls a "Pimple Complex" because she has two or
three pimples. Oswald has some fault to find with
every girl he comes across. He says of Dora: She
is a green frog, for she always looks so pale and has
cold hands, and he says of me: You can't say anything
about her yet: "_She_ is still nothing but an
unripe embryo." Thank goodness I know from the
natural history lessons what an embryo is, a little
frog; "I got in a frightful wax and Father said:
Don't you worry, he's still a long way from being a
man or he would be more polite to his sisters and
their lady friends." This annoyed him frightfully,
and since then he never says a word when Ada and
Rosa are with us. My birthday is coming soon, thank
goodness I shall be 12 then, only 2 years more and
I shall be 14; I am so glad. Hella wrote to me to-
day for the second time. In August she is going to
Hungary to stay with her uncle, he has a great estate
and she will learn to ride there.
AGE TWELVE TO THIRTEEN
August 1st. It was awfully jolly on my birthday.
We drove to Glashutte where it is lovely; there we
cooked our own dinner in the inn for the landlady
was ill and so was the cook. On one's birthday everyone
is always so nice to one. What I like most of all
is the Ebeseder paint-box, and the book too. But
I never have any time to read. Hella sent me a
lovely picture: Maternal Happiness, a dachshund
with two puppies, simply sweet. When I go home
I shall hang it up near the door over the bookcase.
Ada gave me a silk purse which she had worked for
me herself. Aunt Dora gave me a diary, but I can't
use it because I prefer to write upon loose sheets.
Grandfather and Grandmother at B. sent me a great
piece of marzipan, splendid. Ada thinks it lovely;
she didn't know marzipan before.
August 9th. When it's not holidays Ada goes to
school in St. Polten staying there with her aunt and
uncle, because the school in H. is not so good as the
school in St. P. Perhaps next term she is coming to
Vienna, for she has finished with the middle school
and has to go on learning. But she has no near
relations in Vienna where she could stay. She might
come to live with us, Dora could have a room to herself
as she always wants, and Ada and I could share
a room. I would much rather share a room with her
than with Dora who is always making such a fuss.
August 10th. I do really think! A boy can always
get what he wants. Oswald is really going for
a fortnight to Znaim to stay with his chum; only
Oswald of course. I should like to see what would
happen if Dora or I wanted to go anywhere. A boy
has a fine time. It's the injustice of the thing which
makes me furious. For we know for certain that he's
had a _bad_ report, even though he does not tell us
anything about it. But of course that doesn't matter.
They throw every 2 in our teeth and when he gets
several Satisfactories he can go wherever he likes.
His chum too; he only got to know Max Rozny this
year and he's a chum already. Hella and I have
been chums since we were in the second in the elementary
school and Dora and Frieda Ertl since they went
to the High School. We both gave him a piece of
our mind about friendship. He laughed scornfully
and said: That's all right, the friendships of _men_
become closer as the years pass, but the friendships
of you girls go up in smoke as soon as the first admirer
turns up. What cheek. Whatever happens Hella and
I shall stick to one another till we're married, for we
want to be married on the same day. Naturally she
will probably get engaged before me but she _must_
wait for me before she's married. That's simply her
duty as a friend.
August 12th. Oswald went away yesterday and we
had another scene just before he left because he wanted
one of us to go with him to the station and help
carry his luggage. As if we were his servants. Ada
wanted to volunteer to carry it, but Dora gave her
a nudge and luckily she understood directly. Sometimes,
but only sometimes, when Dora gets in a wax
she is rather like Hella. She thinks it's better that
Oswald has gone away because otherwise there are
always rows. That's because she always comes off
second-best. For really he is cleverer than she is.
And when he wants to make her really angry he says
something to her in Latin which she can't understand.
I think that's the real reason why she's learning Latin.
I must say I would not bother myself so about a thing
like that. I really wouldn't bother.
August 15th. To-day I posted the parcel to Hella,
a silver-wire watchchain; I made it in four days.
I hope she'll get it safely, one can never be sure in
August 17th. We are so frightfully busy with
Japanese lanterns and fir garlands. The people who
have received birthday honours are illuminating and
decorating their houses. While we were at work Ada
told me a _few things_. She knows more than Hella
and me, because her father is a doctor. He tells her
mother a good deal and Ada overhears a lot of things
though they generally stop talking when she comes
in. Ada would like awfully to be an actress. I never
thought of such a thing though I've been to the
August 22nd. Hella is awfully pleased with the
chain; she is wearing it. She is really learning to
ride at her cousin's. It's a pity he's called Lajos.
But Ludwig is not any better. He seems to be awfully
nice and smart, but it's a pity he's 22 already.
August 25th. Ada is frightfully keen on the theatre.
She has often been to the theatre in St. Polten and
she is in love with an actor with whom all the ladies
in St. Polten are in love. That is why she wants
to be an actress and so that she can live _free and
unfettered_. That is why she would like so much to
come to Vienna. I wish she could come and live with
us. She says she is pining away in H. for it's
a dull hole. She says she can't stand these _cramping
conditions_. In St. Polten she spent all her pocket
money upon flowers for _him_. She always said that
she had to buy such a lot of copybooks and things
for school. That's where she's lucky not to be at
home, for I could not easily take in Mother like that.
It would not work. One always has too little pocket
money anyhow, and when one lives at home one's
parents know just what copybooks one has. I should
like to go away from home for a few months. Ada
says it is very good for one, for then one learns to
know the world; at home, she says, one only grows
_musty_ and _fusty_. When she talks like that she really
looks like an actress and she certainly has talent;
her German master at school says so too. She can
recite long poems and the girls are always asking the
master to let her recite.
August 30th. To-day Ada recited Geibel's poem,
The Death of Tiberius, it was splendid; she is a
born actress and it's a horrid shame she can't go on
the stage; she is to teach French or sewing. But she
says she's going on the stage; I expect she will get
her way somehow.
August 31st. Oswald's having a fine long fortnight;
he's still there and can stay till September 4th!!
If it had been Dora or me. There would have been
a frightful hulabaloo. But Oswald may do _anything_.
Ada says: We girls must take for ourselves what
the world won't give us of its own free will.
September 5th. In the forest the other day I
promised Ada to ask Mother to let her come and stay
with us so that she could be trained for the stage.
I asked Mother to-day, but she said it was quite out
of the question. Ada's parents simply could not afford
it. If she has talent, the thing comes of itself and she
need only go to a school of Dramatic Art so that she
could more easily get a good Theatre says Ada. So
I don't see why it should be so frightfully expensive.
I'm awfully sorry for Ada.
September 10th. Oh we have all been so excited.
I've got to pack up my diary because we're going
home to-morrow. I must write as quickly as I can.
There have been some gypsies here for three days,
and yesterday one of the women came into the garden
through the back gate and looked at our hands and
told our fortunes, mine and Ada's and Dora's. Of
course we don't believe it, but she told Ada that
she would have a great but short career after many
difficult struggles. That fits in perfectly. But she
made a frightful mess of it with me: Great happiness
awaits me when I am _as old again as I am now_; a
great passion and great wealth. Of course that must
mean that I am to marry at 24. At 24! How
absurd! Dora says that I look much younger than 12
so that she meant 20 or even 18. But that's just
as silly, for Dr. H., who is a doctor and knows so
many girls, says I look _older_ than my age. So that
it's impossible that the old gypsy woman could have
thought I was only 10 or even 9. Dora's fortune was
that in a _few_ years she was to have much trouble and
then happiness. And she told Ada that her line of
life was broken!!
September 14th. Oswald left early this morning,
Father kissed him on both cheeks and said: For
God's sake be a good chap this last year at school.
He has to matriculate this year, it's frightfully difficult.
But he says that anyone who has cheek enough can
get through all right. He says that cheek is often
more help than a lot of swoting and grinding. I know
he's right; but unfortunately at the moment it never
occurs to me what I ought to do. I often think
afterwards, you ought to have said this or that. Hella
is really wonderful; and Franke too, though she's not
particularly clever, can always make a smart answer.
If only half of what Oswald says he says to the professors
is true, then I can't understand why he is not
expelled from every Gym. says Mother. Oswald says:
If one only puts it in the right way no one can say
anything. But that doesn't hold always.
September 16th. Hella is coming back to-day.
That's why I'm writing in the morning, because she's
coming here in the afternoon. I'm awfully glad. I
have begged Mother to buy a lovely cake, one of the
kind Hella and I are both so fond of.
September 20th. Only a word or two. School
began again to-day. Thank goodness Frau Doktor M.
still takes our class. Frl. Steiner took her doctor's
degree at the end of the school year. In history we
have a new Frau Doktor, but we don't know her
name yet. The Vischer woman has been _married_ in
the holidays!!! It's enough to make one split with
laughing that anyone should marry _her!!!_ Dora
says she wouldn't like to be her husband; but most
likely he will soon get a divorce. Besides, spectacles
in a woman are awful. I can put up with a pincenez
for one does not wear them all the time. But spectacles!
Dora says too that she can't understand how
a man can marry a woman with spectacles. Hella
often says it makes her feel quite sick when Vischer
glares at her through her spectacles. We have a new
natural history professor. I'm awfully glad that
three of our mistresses have doctors degrees and that
we have one or really 2 professors, for we have the
Religionsprofessor too. In the Third they are frightfully
annoyed because only one of their mistresses has
a doctor's degree. Dora has 2 doctors and three
September 25th. All the girls are madly in love
with Professor Wilke the natural history professor.
Hella and I walked behind him to-day all the way
home. He is a splendid looking man, so tall that his
head nearly touches the lamp when he stands up
quickly, and a splendid fair beard like fire when the
sun shines on it; a Sun God! we call him S. G., but
no one knows what it means and who we are talking
September 29th. Schmolka has left, I suppose because
of Frl. St.'s vanity bag. Two other girls have
left and three new one's have come, but neither I
nor Hella like them.
October 1st. It was my turn in Natural History
to-day I worked frightfully hard and _He_ was
splendid. We are to look after the pictures and the
animals _all through the term_. How jolly. Hella and
I always wear the same coloured hair ribbons and in
the Nat. Hist. lesson we always put tissue paper of
the same colour on the desk. He wants us to keep
notebooks, observations on Nature. We have bound
ours in lilac paper, exactly the same shade as his
necktie. On Tuesdays and Fridays we have to come to
school at half past 8 to get things ready. Oh how
happy I am.
October 9th. _He_ is a cousin of our gymnastic
master, splendid! This is how we found it out. We,
Hella and I, are always going past the Cafe Sick
because he always has his afternoon coffee there.
And on Thursday when we passed by there before
the gymnastic lesson there was the gymnastic master
sitting with him. Of course we bowed to them as
we passed and in the gymnastic lesson Herr Baar
said to us: So you two are tormented and pestered
by my cousin in natural history? "Pestered" we said,
o no, it's the most delightful lesson in the whole week.
"Is that so?" said he, "I won't forget to let him know."
Of course we begged and prayed him not to give us
away, saying it would be awful. But we do hope he
October 20th. Frau Doktor Steiner's mother is
dead. We are so sorry for her. Some of us are
going to the funeral, I mayn't go, Mother says it is
not suitable, and Hella is not allowed to go either, I
wonder if _He_ will go? I'm sure he will, for really he
October 23rd. Frau Doktor St. looks frightfully
pale. Franke says she will certainly get married
soon now that both her parents are dead. Her fiance
often fetches her from the Lyz, I mean he waits for
her in L. Street. Hella thinks an awful lot of him of
course, because he's an officer. I don't think much
of him myself, he's too short and too fat. He's only
a very little taller than Frl. St. I think a husband
should be nearly a head taller than his wife, or at least
half a head taller, like our Father and Mother.
October 29th. We have such a frightful lot of
work to do that we're not taking season tickets this
winter, but are going to pay each time when we go
skating. I wish we knew whether _He_ skates, and
where. Hella thinks that with great caution we might
find out from his cousin during the gymnastic lesson.
They are often together in the Cafe. I should like
to know what they talk about, they are always laughing
such a lot, especially when we go by.
October 31st. Ada has written to me. She is
_awfully_ unhappy. She is back in St. P., in a continuation
school. But the actor is not there any more.
She writes that she yearns to throw off her chains
which lie heavy on her soul. Poor darling. No one
can help her. That is, her Mother could help her
but she won't. It must be awful. Hella thinks that
her parents will not allow her to go on the stage until
she has tried to do herself a mischief; then things may
be better. It's quite true, what can her mother be
thinking of when she knows how fearfully unhappy
Ada is. After all, why on earth shouldn't she go on
the stage when she has so much talent? All her
mistresses and masters at the middle school praised
her reciting tremendously and one of them said in so
many words that she had _great dramatic talent_.
Masters don't flatter one; except . . .; first of all
_He_ is not just an ordinary master but a professor, and
secondly _He_ is quite, quite different from all others
When he strokes his beard I become quite hot and cold
with extasy. And the way he lifts up his coat tails
as he sits down. It's lovely, I do want to kiss him.
Hella and I take turns to put our penholder on his
desk so that _he_ can hallow it with his hand as he
writes. Afterwards in the arithmetic lesson when I
write with it, I keep looking at Hella and she looks
back at me and we both know what the other is thinking
November 15th. It's a holiday to-day so at last I
can write once more. We have such a frightful lot
to do that I simply can't manage to write. Besides
Mother is often ill. She has been laid up again for
the last 4 days. It's awfully dull and dreary. Of
course I had time to write those days, but then I
didn't want to write. As soon as Mother is well again
she's going to the Lyz to ask how we are getting on
I'm awfully glad because of S.G.
November 28th. Mother came to school to-day
and saw him too. I took her to him and he was
heavenly. He said: I am very pleased with your
daughter; she's very keen and clever. Then he turned
over the pages of his notebook as if to look at his
notes. But really he knows by heart how we all work.
That is not _all_ of course. That would be impossible
with so many girls; and he teaches in the science
school as well where there are even more boys than
December 5th. Skating to-day I saw the Gold
Fairy. She is awfully pretty, but I really don't think
her so lovely as I did last year. Hella says she never
could think what had happened to my eyes. "You
were madly in love with her and you never noticed
that she has a typical Bohemian nose," said Hella.
Of course that's not true, but now my taste is _quite
different_. Still, I said how d'you do to her and she
was very nice. When she speaks she is really charming,
and I do love her gold stoppings. Frau Doktor
M. has two too and when she laughs its heavenly.
December 8th. I do wish Dora would keep her
silly jokes to herself. When the Trobisch's were all
here to-day they were talking about the school and
she said: "Gretl has a fresh enthusiasm each year;
last year it was Frau Doktor Malburg and this
year it's Professor Wilke. Frau Doktor Malburg
has fallen from grace now." If I had wanted to
I could have begun about the two students on the
ice. But I'm not like that so I merely looked at
her with contempt and gave her a kick under the
table. And she had the cheek to say: What's the
matter? Oh, of course these tender secrets of the
heart must not be disclosed. Never mind Gretl, it
does not matter at your age, for things don't cut deep."
But she was rightly paid out: Frau von Tr. and
Father roared with laughter and Frau v. Tr. said:
"Why, grandmother, have you been looking at your
white hair in the glass?" Oh, how I did laugh, and
she was so frightfully put out that she blushed like
fire, and in the evening _she_ said to _me_ that I was an
ill-mannered pig. That's why I did not tell her that
she'd left her composition book on the table and to-
morrow she has to give it in. It's all the same to _me_,
for I'm an ill-mannered pig.
December 9th. It's awful. At 2 o'clock this afternoon
Hella was taken to the Low sanatorium and was
operated on at once. Appendicitis. Her mother has
just telephoned that the operation has been successful.
But the doctors said that 2 hours later it would have
been too late. My knees are trembling and my hand
shakes as I write. She has not slept off the anisthetic
December 10th. Hella is frightfully weak; no one
can see her except her father and mother, not even
Lizzi. On St. Nicholas Day we had such a jolly time
and ate such a lot of sweets that we almost made ourselves
sick. But its impossible that she got appendicitis
from that. On Monday evening, when we were
going home after the gym lesson, she said she did
not feel at all well. The night before last she had a
rigor and the first thing in the morning the doctor
said that she must go to hospital at once for an
December 11th. All the girls at school are frightfully
excited about Hella, and Frau Dr. St. was
awfully nice and put off mathematics till next Tuesday.
On Sunday I am going to see Hella. She does
want to see me so and so do I want to see her.
December 12th. She is still very weak and doesn't
care about anything; I got her mother to take some
roses and violets from me, she did like them so much.
December 14th. This afternoon I was with Hella
from two until a quarter to 4. She is so pale and when I
came in we both cried such a lot. I brought her
some more flowers and I told her directly that when
he sees me Prof. W. always asks after her. So do the
other members of the staff especially Frau Doktor M.
The girls want to visit her but her mother won't let
them. When anyone is lying in bed they look quite
different, like strangers. I said so to Hella, and she
said: We can never be strangers to one another,
not even in death. Then I burst out crying again
and both our mothers said I must go away because
it was too exciting for Hella.
December 15th. I was with Hella again to-day.
She passed me a little note asking me to get from her
locker the parcel with the blotting-book for her father
and the key basket for her mother and bring it to her
because the things are not ready yet for Christmas.
December 16th. Hella's better to-day. I've got to
paint the blotting-book for her father. Thank goodness
I can. She'll be able to finish the key basket
herself, that's nothing.
December 18th. The Bruckners are all frightfully
unhappy for it won't be a real Christmas if Hella has
to stay in hospital over Christmas. But perhaps she
will for since yesterday she has not been so well,
the doctors can't make out why she suddenly had
fever once more. For she didn't let on that I had
brought her some burnt almonds because she's so
awfully fond of them. But now I'm so terribly
frightened that she'll have to have another operation.
December 19th. Directly after school I went to
see Hella again for I had been so anxious I could
not sleep all night. Thank goodness she's better. One
of the doctors said that if she'd been in a private
house he would have felt sure it was an error in diet,
but since she was in hospital that could be excluded.
So it was from the burnt almonds and the two sticks
of marzipan. Hella thinks it was the marzipan, for
they were large ones at 20 hellers each because nuts
lie heavy on the stomach. She had a pain already
while I was still there, but she wouldn't say anything
about it because it was her fault that I'd brought her
the sweets. She can beg as much as she likes now,
I shan't bring her anything but flowers, and they
can't make her ill. Of course it would be different
if it were true about the "Vengeance of Flowers."
But that's all nonsense, and besides I don't bring any
December 20th. I am so glad, to-morrow or Tuesday
Hella can come home, in time for the Christmas
tree. Now I know what to give her, a long chair,
Father will let me, for I have not enough money myself
but Father will give me as much as I want. Oh
there's no one like Father! To-morrow he's going to
take me to the Wahringerstrasse to buy one.
December 21st. I was only a very short time with
Hella to-day because Father came to fetch me soon.
At first she was a little hurt, but then she saw that
we had important business so she said: All right
as long as it is not anything made of marzipan. That
nearly gave us both away. For when we were in the
street Father asked me: Why did Hella say that
about marzipan? So I said quickly: Since she's
been ill she has a perfect loathing for sweets.
Thank goodness Father didn't notice anything. But
I do hate having to tell fibs to Father. First of all
I always feel that he'll see through it, and secondly
anyhow I don't like telling fibs to him. The couch
is lovely, a Turkish pattern with long tassels on the
round bolster. Father wanted to pay for it altogether,
but I said: No, then it would not be my present, and
so I paid five crowns and Father 37. To-morrow
early it will be sent to the Bruckners.
December 22nd. Hella is going home to-morrow.
She has already been up a little, but she is still so
weak that she has to lean on someone when she walks.
She is awfully glad she is going home, for she says
in a hospital one always feels as if one was going to
die. She's quite right. The first time I went to see
her I nearly burst out crying on the stairs. And afterwards
we both really did cry frightfully. Her mother
knows about the couch, but it has not been sent yet.
I do hope they won't forget about it at the shop.
December 23rd. Hella went home to-day. Her
father carried her upstairs while I held her hand.
The two tenants in the mezzanin came out to congratulate
her and the old privy councillor on the
second story and his wife sent down a great pot of
lilac. She was so tired that I came away at 5 o'clock
so that she could rest. To-morrow I'm going to their
Christmas tree first and then to ours. Because of
Hella the Br's are going to have the present giving at
5 o'clock, we shall have ours as usual at 7.
December 26th. Yesterday and the day before I
simply could not write a word. It was lovely here
and at Hella's. I shan't write down all the things
I got, because I've no time, and besides I know anyhow.
Hella was awfully pleased with the couch, her
father carried her into the room and laid her on the
sofa. Her mother cried. It was touching. It's certainly
awfully nice to have got through a bad illness,
when everyone takes care of one, and when no one
denies you the first place. I don't grudge it to Hella.
She's such a darling. Yesterday I was there all day,
and after dinner, when she had to go to sleep, she said:
Open the drawer of my writing-table, the lowest one
on the right, and you'll find my diary there if you
want to read it. I shall never forget it! It's true
that we agreed we would let one another read our
diaries, but we've never done it yet; after all we're
a little shy of one another, and besides after a long
time one can't remember exactly what one has written.
What she writes is always quite short, never more than
half a page, but what she writes is always important.
Of course she couldn't sleep but instead I had to read
her a lot of things out of her diary, especially the
holidays when she was in Hungary. She was made
much of there. By two cadets and her two cousins.
We laughed so madly over some things that it hurt
Hella's wound and I had to stop reading.
December 29th. We were put in such a frightful
rage yesterday. This is how it happened. It is a
long time since we both gave up playing with dolls
and things of that sort but when I was rummaging
in Hella's box I came across the dolls' things; they
were quite at the bottom where Hella never looked
at them. I took out the little Paris model and she
said: Give it here and bring all the things that belong
to it. I arranged them all on her bed and we were
trying all sorts of things. Then Mother and Dora
came. When they came in Dora gave such a spiteful
look and said: Ah, at their favourite occupation:
look, Lizzi, their cheeks are quite red with excitement
over their play. Wasn't it impertinent. We playing
with dolls! Even if we had been, what business was
it of hers to make fun of us? Hella was in a frightful
rage and to-day she said: "One is never safe from
spies; please put all those things away in the box so
that I shan't see them any more." It really is too
stupid that one should always be reproached about
dolls as if it was something disgraceful. After all,
one doesn't really understand until later how all the
things are made; when one is 7 or 8 or still more
when one is quite a little girl and one first gets dolls,
one does not understand whether they are pretty and
nicely dressed or not. Still, to-day we've done with
dolls for ever. A good day to turn over a new leaf,
for the day after to-morrow is New Year's Day.
But what annoys me most of all was this piece
of cheek of Dora's; she says that Lizzi said: "We
used to delight in those things at one time," but I
was in such a rage that I did not hear it. But to
eat all the best things off the Christmas tree on the
sly!!! I saw it myself, _that_ is nothing. _That's_ quite
fit and proper for a girl of 15. After supper yesterday
I asked: But what's become of the second marzipan
sandwich, I'm sure there were two on the tree. And I
looked at her steadily till she got quite red. And after
a time I said: the big basket of vegetables is gone
too. Then she said. Yes, I took it, I don't need to
ask your permission. As for the sandwich, Oswald
took that. I was in such a temper, and then Father
said: Come, come, you little witch, cool your wrath
with the second sandwich and wash it down with a
sip of liqueur. For Grandfather sent Father a bottle
December 30th. This is a fine ending to the year.
I've no interest in the school any longer. We're silly
little fools, love-sick and forward minxes. That's all
the thanks we get for having gone every Tuesday
and Friday to the school at half past 8 to arrange
everything and dust everything and then he can say a
thing like that. I shall never write _he_ with a big h
again; he is not worthy of it. And I had to swallow
it all, choke it down, for I simply must not excite
Hella. It made me frightfully angry when Mother
told me, but still I'm glad for I know what line to
take now. Mother was paying a call yesterday and
the sister of our gymnastic master, who is at the ----
High School, happened to be there, and she told
Mother that her cousin Dr. W. is so much annoyed
because the girls in the high school are so forward.
Such silly little fools, and the little minxes begin it
already in the First Class. _For that reason he prefers
to teach_ boys, they are fond of him too but they don't
make themselves such an _infernal nuisance_. Well,
now that I know _I_ shant make myself a nuisance to
him any more. On Friday, when the next lesson is,
I shall go there 2 minutes before nine and take the
things into the class-room without saying a word. And
I shall tell Kalinsky too that we're such an _infernal
nuisance_ to him. Just fancy, as if _we_ were in the
January 1st, 19--. This business with Prof. W.
makes me perfectly furious. Hella kept on asking
yesterday what was the matter, said I seemed different
somehow. But thank goodness I was able to keep
it in. I must keep it in for the sake of her health,
even if it makes me ill. Anyway what use is life now.
Since people are so falsehearted. He always looked so
awfully nice and charming; when I think of the way
in which he asked how Hella was and all the time he
was so false!!! If Hella only knew. Aha, to-morrow!
January 2nd. I treated him _abominably_. Knocked
at the door--Good-morning, Herr Prof. please what
do we want for the lesson to-day? He very civilly:
Nothing particular to-day. Well, what sort of a
Christmas did you have--I: Thank you, much as
usual.--He turned round and stared at me: It does
not seem to have been; to judge from your manner.
--I: There are quite other reasons for that. He:
O-o-h? He may well say O-o-h! For he has not
the least idea that I know the way in which he speaks
January 6th. To-day Hella was able to go out for
her first drive. She's much better now and will come
back to school by the middle of the month. I _must_
tell her before that or she'll get a shock. Yesterday
she asked: Does not S. C. ask about me any more?--
Oh yes, I fibbed, but not so often as before. And
she said: That's the way it goes, out of sight out
of mind. What will happen when she learns the
truth. Anyhow I shan't tell her until she's quite
January 10th. I've had to tell Hella already.
She was talking so enthusiastically about S. G. At
first I said nothing. And then she said: What are
you making such a face for? Are not you allowed
to arrange the things any more?--I: _Allowed_? Of
course I'm _allowed_, but I don't _want_ to any more.
I did not tell Hella _how_ bad I feel about it; for I
really _was_ madly in love with him.
January 12th. Hella must have been madly in love
with him too or rather must be in love with him still.
On Sunday evening she was so much upset that her
mother believed she was going to have a relapse. She
had pains and diarrea at the same time. Thank goodness
she's got over it like me. She said to-day: Don't
let's bother ourselves about it any more. We wasted
our feelings (not love!!) on an unworthy object. At
such moments she is magnificent, especially now when
she is still so pale. Besides in the holidays and now
since she has been ill she has grown tremendously.
Before I was a little taller and now she is a quarter
head taller than me. Dora is frightfully annoyed
because I am nearly as tall as she is. Thank goodness
it makes me look older than 12 1/2.
Hella is not to come to school on January 15th, for
her mother is going to take her to Tyrol for 2 or 3
January 18th. It's horridly dull with Hella away.
Only now do I realise, since her illness. I am always
feeling as if she had fallen ill again. Her mother
has taken her to Meran, they are coming back in
the beginning of February.
January 24th. Since Hella has been ill, that is
really since, she went away, I spend most of my time
with Fritzi Hubner. She's awfully nice, though I did
not know it last year. Till Hella comes back she and
I sit together. For it's horrid to sit alone on a bench
Fritzi knows a good deal already. She would not
talk about it at first because it so often leads to trouble.
Her brother has told her everything. He's rather a
swell and is called Paul.
January 29th. Yesterday was the ice carnival and
Dora and I were allowed to go. I skated with Fritzi
and Paul most of the time and won 2 prizes, one
of them with Paul. And one of them skating in a
race with 5 other girls. Paul is awfully clever, he
says he's going into the army, the flying corps.
That's even more select than being on the general
staff. Her father is a major and he, I mean Paul,
ought to have gone to the military academy, but his
grandfather would not allow it. He is to choose for
himself. But of course he will become an officer.
Most boys want to be what their father is. But
Oswald is perhaps going into the Navy. I wish I
knew what Father meant once when he said to Mother:
Good God, I'm not doing it on my own account. I'm
only doing it because of Oswald. The two girls won't
get much out of it.
February 3rd. I've just been reading what I wrote
about Father. I am wondering what it can be. I
think that Father either wants to win the great prize
in the lottery or is perhaps going to buy a house.
But Dora and I would get something out of that, for
it would not belong to Oswald only.
February 4th. Yesterday I asked Mother about it.
But she said she didn't know; if it was anything
which concerned us, Father would tell us. But it
must be something, or Mother would not have told
Father in the evening that I had asked. I can't
endure these secrets. Why shouldn't we know that
Father's going to buy a house. Fritzi's grandfather
has a house in Brunn and another in Iglau. But
Fritzi is very simply dressed and her mother too.
February 9th. Thank goodness Hella is coming
back to-morrow, just before her birthday. Luckily
she can eat everything again so I am giving her a
huge bag of Viktor Schmid's sweets with a silver
sugar tongs. Mother and I are going to meet Hella
at the station. They are coming by the 8.20.
February 10th. I am so glad Hella is coming
to-day. I nearly could not meet her because Mother
is not very well to-day. But Father's going to take
me. Fritzi wanted to come and see Hella to-morrow
afternoon, but she can't. She's an awfully nice girl
and her brother is too, but on the first day Hella is
back we must be alone together. She said so too in
the last letter she wrote me. She's been away more
than 3 weeks. It's a frightfully long time when you
are fond of one another.
February 15th. I simply can't write my diary
because Hella and I spend all our free time together.
Yesterday we got our reports. Of course Hella has
not got one. Except in Geography and History I
have nothing but Ones, even in Natural History
although since New Year I have not done any work
in that subject. I detest Natural History. When
Hella comes back to school we are going to ask the
_sometime_ S. G. to relieve us from the labours of looking
after the things. Hella is still too weak to do it.
Hella is 13 already and Father says she is going to
be wonderfully pretty. _Going to be_, Father says; but
she's lovely already. She's been burned as brown as
a berry by the warm southern sun, and it really suits
_her_, though only her. I can't stand other people
when they are sun-burned. But really everything
suits Hella; when she was so pale in hospital, she
was lovely; and now she is just as lovely, only in quite
a different way. Oswald is quite right when he says:
You can measure a girl's beauty by the degree in which
she bears being sunburned without losing her good
looks. He really used to say that in the holidays
simply to annoy Dora and me, but he's quite right all
February 20th. The second half-year began yesterday.
They were all awfully nice to Hella, and Frau
Doktor M. stroked her cheeks and put her arm round
her so affectionately. Now for the chief thing. Today
was the Natural History lesson. We knocked at
the door and when we went in Prof. W. said: Ah
I'm glad to see you Bruckner; take care that you
don't give us all another fright. How are you?
Hella said: "Quite well, thank you, Herr Prof."
And as I looked at her she put on a frightfully serious
face and he said: It seems to me that you've caught
your friend's ill humour.--Hella: "Herr Prof., you
are really too kind, but we don't want to trouble you.
What things have we to take to the class-room? And
then we beg leave to resign our posts, for I don't feel
strong enough for the work." She said this in quite
a soldierly way, the way she is used to hear her father
speak. It sounded most distinguished. He looked
at us and said: "All right, two of the other pupils
will take it over." We don't know whether he really
noticed nothing or simply did not wish to show that
he had noticed. But as we shut the door I felt so
awfully sorry; for it was the last time, the very last
February 27th. In Natural History to-day I got
_Unsatisfactory_. I was not being questioned, but when
Klaiber could not answer anything I laughed, and he
said: Very well, Lainer, you correct her mistake.
But since I had been thinking of something quite different
I did not know what it was all about, and so I
got an Unsatisfactory. _Before_ of course that would
not have mattered; but now since . . . Hella and
Franke did all they could to console me and said:
"That does not matter, it wasn't an examination; he'll
_have_ to examine you properly later." Anyhow Franke
thinks that however hard I learn, I shall be well off
if he gives me a Satisfactory. She says no professor
can forget _such a defeat_. For we told her about the
silly little fools. She said, indeed, that we had made
it too obvious. That's not really true. But now she
takes our side, for she sees that we were in the right.
Verbenowitsch and Bennari bring in the things now.
They are much better suited for it. Hella's father did
not like her doing it anyhow; he says: The porter
or the maidservant are there for that--we never see
them all the year round, that's a fine thing.
March 8th. Easter does not come this year until
April 16th. I am going with the Bruckners to Cilli,
outside the town there they have a vineyard with a
country house. Hella needs a change. I am awfully
glad. All the flowers begin to come out there at the
end of March or beginning of April.
March 12th. Hella is not straightforward. We met
a gentleman to-day, very fashionably dressed with
gold-rimmed eyeglasses and a fair moustache. Hella
blushed furiously, and the gentleman took off his hat
and said: Ah, Fraulein Helenchen, you are looking
very well. How are you? He never looked at me,
and when he had gone she said: "That was Dr.
Fekete, who assisted at my operation."--"And you
tell me _that_ now for the first time?" Then she put
on an innocent air and said: "Of course, we've never
met him before," but I said: "I don't mean _that_.
If you knew how red you got you would not tell me
a lie." Then she said: "What am I telling you a lie
about? Do you think I'm in love with him? Not
in the very least."--But when one is _not_ in love one
does not blush like that. Anyhow I shan't tell everything
now either; I can hold my tongue too.
March 14th. Yesterday we did not talk to one another
so much as usual; I especially was very silent.
When the bell rang at 5 and I had just been doing
the translation Hella came and begged my pardon and
brought me some lovely violets, so of course I forgave
her. This is really the first time we've ever quarrelled.
First she wanted to bring me some sweets, but then
she decided upon violets, and I think that was much
more graceful. One gives sweets to a little child when
it has hurt itself or been in a temper. But flowers
are not for a child.
March 19th. Frieda Belay is dead. We are all
terribly upset. None of us were very intimate with
her, but now that she is dead we all remember that
she was a schoolfellow. She died of heart failure following
rheumatic fever. We all attended her funeral,
except Hella who was not allowed to come. Her
mother cried like anything and her grandmother still
more; her father cried too. We sent a wreath of white
roses with a lovely inscription: Death has snatched
you away in the flower of your youth--Your Schoolfellows.
I have no pleasure in anything to-day. I did not
see Frieda Belay after she was dead, but Franke was
there yesterday and saw her in her coffin. She says
she will never forget it, it gave her such a pang. In
the church Lampl had a fit of hysterics, for her mother
was buried only a month ago and now she was reminded
of it all and was frightfully upset. I cried
a lot too when I was with Hella. She fancied it was
because I was thinking she might have died last Dec.
But that wasn't it, I don't think about that sort of
thing. But when anyone dies it is so awfully sad.
March 24th. I never heard of such a thing. I
can't go to Cilli with Hella. Her mother was at
her cousin's, and when she heard that she was going
to Cilli at Easter she asked her to take Melanie with
her. That is, she didn't ask straight out, but kept
on hinting until Hella's mother said: Let Melanie
come with us, it will help to set her up after her illness.
In the winter she had congestion of the lung.
Hella and I can't bear her because she's always spying
on us and is so utterly false. So of course I can't
go. Hella says too she's frightfully sorry, but when
_she_ is about we could never say a word about anything,
it would drive us crazy. She quite agrees
that I had better not come. But oh I'm so annoyed
for first of all I do so like going away with Hella
and secondly I should like to go away in the holidays
anyhow for nearly all the girls in our class are going
away. Still, there's nothing to be done. Hella's
mother says she can't see why we can't all 3 go
though it simply would not work. But we can't explain
it to her. Hella is so poetical and she says
"A beautiful dream vanished."
In Hella's mouth such fine words sound magnificent,
but when Dora uses such expressions they annoy me
frightfully because they don't come from her heart.
March 26th. The school performances finish today
with Waves of the Sea and Waves of Love. I'm
awfully fond of the theatre, but I never write anything
about that. For anyhow the play is written by a
poet and one can read it if one wants to, and one just
sees the rest anyhow. I can't make out what Dora
finds such a lot to scribble about always the day after
we've been to the theatre. I expect she's in love with
one of the actors and that's why she writes such a lot.
Besides we in the second class did not get tickets for
all the performances, but only the girls from the Fourth
upwards. Still, it did not matter much to me anyhow
for we often go in the evening and on Sunday
afternoons. But unfortunately I mayn't go in the
evening as a rule.
March 29th. To-day something horrible happened
to Dora and me. I simply can't write it down. She
was awfully nice and said: Two years ago on the
Metropolitan Railway the same thing had happened
when she was travelling with Mother on February
15th, she can never forget the date, to Hietzing to
see Frau v. Martini. Besides her and Mother there
was only one gentleman in the carriage, Mother always
travels second class. She and Mother were sitting
together and the gentleman was standing farther
down the carriage where Mother could not see him
but Dora could. And as Dora was looking he opened
his cloak and-- -- --! just what the man did to-day
at the house door. And when they got out of the
train Dora's boa got stuck in the door and she had to
turn round though she did not want to, and then she
saw again-- -- --! She simply could not sleep for
a whole month afterwards. I remember that time
when she could not sleep but I did not know why it
was. She never told anyone except Erika and the
same thing happened to her once. Dora says that
happens at least once to nearly every girl; and that
such men are "_abnormal_." I don't really know what
that means, but I did not like to ask. Perhaps Hella
will know. Of course I did not really look, but
Dora shivered and said: And _that_ is what one has
to endure. And then, when we were talking it over
she said to me that _that_ was why Mother was ill and
because she has had five children; Then I was very
silly and said: "But how from _that_?" one does not
get children from that? "Of course," she said I
thought you knew that already. That time there was
such a row with Mali about the waistband, I thought
you and Hella had heard all about everything." Then
I was silly again, really frightfully stupid; for instead
of telling her what I really knew I said: "Oh,
yes, I knew all about it except just that." Then she
burst out laughing and said: "After all, what you
and Hella know doesn't amount to much." And in
the end she told me a _little_. If it's really as Dora
says, then she is right when she says it is better not
to marry. One can fall in love, one must fall in love,
but one can just break off the engagement. Well,
that's the best way out of the difficulty for then no
one can say that you've never had a man in love with
you. We walked up and down in front of the school
for such a long time that we were very nearly late
and only got in just as the bell rang. On the way
home I told Hella the awful thing we'd seen the man
do. She does not know either what "abnormal" really
means _as far as this is concerned_. But now we shall
use it as an expression for something horrible. Of
course no one will understand us. And then Hella
told me about a drunken man who in Nagy K. . . .
was walking through the streets _like that_ and was
arrested. She says _too_ that one can never forget seeing
anything like _that_. Perhaps the man this morning
was drunk too. But he didn't look as if he were
drunk. And if he hadn't done _that_ one would really
have taken him for a fine gentleman. Hella knows
too that it is from _that_ that one gets children. She
explained it all to me and now I can quite understand
that _that_ must make one ill. Yesterday it was after
11 at night and so I'm finishing to-day. Hella says:
_That_ is the original sin, and _that_ is the sin which
Adam and Eve committed. Before I had always believed
the original sin was something quite different.
But that--that. Since yesterday I've been so upset
I always seem to be seeing _that_; really I did not look
at all, but I must have seen it all the same.
March 30th. I don't know why, but in the history
lesson to-day it all came into my head once more
what Dora had said of Father. But I really can't
believe it. Because of Father I'm really sorry that
I know it. Perhaps it does not all happen the way
Dora and Hella say. Generally I can trust Hella,
but of course she may be mistaken.
April 1st. To-day Dora told me a lot more. She
is quite different now from what she used to be.
One does not say P[eriod], but M[enstruation].
Only common people say P--. Or one can say one's
_like that_. Dora has had M-- since August before
last, and it is horribly disagreeable, because men always
know. That is why at the High School we have
only three men professors and all the other teachers
are women. Now Dora often does not have M-- and
then sometimes it's awfully bad, and that's why she's
anemic. That men always know, that's frightfully
April 4th. We talk a lot about such things now.
Dora certainly knows more than I do, that is not
more but better. But she isn't quite straightforward
all the same. When I asked her how she got to know
about it all, whether Erika told her or Frieda, she
said: "Oh, I don't know; one finds it all out somehow;
one need only use one's eyes and one's ears,
and then one can reason things out a little." But
seeing and hearing don't take one very far. I've always
kept my eyes open and I'm not so stupid as all
that. One must be told by some one, one _can't_ just
happen upon it by oneself.
April 6th. I don't care about paying visits now.
We used always to like going to see the Richters, but
to-day I found it dull. Now I know why Dora hates
going second class on the Metropolitan. I always
thought it was only to spite me because I like travelling
second. She never likes going second since _that_
happened. It seems one is often unjust to people
who never meant what one thought. But why did
she not tell me the truth? She says because I was
still a child then. That's all right, but what about
this winter when I was cross because we went Third
class to Schonbrunn; I really believed she did it to
annoy me, for I could not believe she was afraid that
in the second class, where one is often alone, somebody
would suddenly attack her with a knife. But
now I understand quite well, for of course she could
not tell Mother the truth and Father still less. And
in winter and spring there are really often no passengers
to speak of on the Metropolitan, especially on
the Outer Circle.
April 7th. Mother said to-day that at the Richters
yesterday we, especially I, had been frightfully dull
and stupid. Why had we kept on exchanging glances?
We had been most unmannerly. If she had only
known what we were thinking of when Frau Richter
said, the weather to-day is _certainly quite abnormal_;
we have not had such _abnormal_ heat for years. And
then when Herr Richter came home and spoke about
his brother who had spent the whole winter at
Hochschneeberg and said: Oh, my brother is a little
_abnormal_, I think he's got a tile loose in the upper
storey, I really thought I should burst. Luckily Frau
R. helped us once more to a tremendous lot of cake
and I was able to lean well forward over my plate.
And Mother said that I ate like a little glutton and
just as if I never had any cake at home. So Mother
was _very_ unjust to me, for the cake had nothing at
all to do with it. Dora says too that I must learn
to control myself better, that if I only watch her I'll
soon learn. That's all very well, but why should one
have to bother? If people did not use words that
really mean something quite different then other people
would not have to control themselves. Still, I
must learn to do it somehow.
April 8th. We were terribly alarmed to-day; quite
early, at half past 8, they telephoned from the school
that Dora had suddenly been taken ill in the Latin
lesson and must be fetched in a carriage. Mother
drove down directly in a taxi and I went with her
because anyhow my lessons began at 9 and we found
Dora on the sofa in the office with the head sitting
by her and the head's friend, Frau Doktor Preisky,
who is a medical doctor, and they had loosened her
dress and put a cold compress on her head for she
had suddenly fainted in the Latin lesson. That's the
third time this year, so she must really have anemia.
I wanted to drive home with her, but Mother and Frau
Dr. P. said I'd better just go to my lessons. And as
I went out I heard Frau Dr. P. say: "That's a fine
healthy girl, a jolly little fellow." Really one should
only use that word of boys and men, but I suppose
she has got into the way of using it through being
with men so much. If one studies medicine one has
to learn all about _that_ and to look at everything. It
must be really horrid.
Dora is kept in bed to-day and our Doctor says too
that she's anemic. To-morrow or the day after Mother
is going to take her to see a specialist. Dora says it's
a lovely feeling to faint. Suddenly one can't hear
what people are saying and one feels quite weak and
then one does not know anything more. I wonder
if I shall ever faint? Very likely when-- -- -- We
talked a lot about everything we are interested in.
In the afternoon Hella came to ask after Dora, and
she thinks she looks awfully pretty in bed, an interesting
invalid and at the same time so distinguished
looking. It's quite true, we all look distinguished.
April 9th. To-day is Father and Mother's _wedding
day_. Now I know _what_ that really means. Dora says
it can't really be true that it is the most lovely day
in one's life, as everyone says it is, especially the poets.
She thinks that one must feel frightfully embarrassed
because after all everyone knows. . . . That's quite
true, but after all one need not tell anyone which
one's wedding day is. Dora says she will never tell
her children which her wedding day is. But it would
be a great pity if parents always did that for then in
every family there would be one anniversary the less.
And the more anniversaries there are, the jollier it is.
April 10th. To-morrow I'm going with Father to
Salzburg. Dora can't come, for they think she might
faint in the train. I'm rather glad really, though I've
nothing against her and I'm sorry for her, but it's
much nicer to go with Father alone. It's a long time
since I was in Salzburg. I'm so awfully glad to go.
Our spring coats and skirts are so pretty, dark green
with a silk lining striped green and gold-brown, and
light brown straw hats with daisies for the spring
and later we shall have cherries or roses. I'm taking
my diary so that I can write everything which _interests_
April 12th. I slept all the way in the train. Father
says I ground my teeth frightfully and was very restless:
but I did not know anything about it. We had
a compartment by ourselves, except just at first when
there was a gentleman there. Hella did not come with
us, because her aunt, who has just been married, is
coming to visit them. Really I'm quite glad, for I
like so much being with Father quite alone. This
afternoon we were in Hellbrunn and at the Rock
Theatre. It is wonderful.
April 13th. Father always calls me: Little Witch!
But I don't much like it when other people are there.
To-day we went up the Gaisberg. The weather was
lovely and the view magnificent. When I see so extensive
a view it always makes me feel sad. Because
there are so many people one does not know who perhaps
are very nice. I should like to be always travelling.
It would be splendid.
April 14th. I nearly got lost to-day. Father was
writing a letter to Mother and he let me go to see
the salt works; I don't know how it happened, but
suddenly I found myself a long way from anywhere,
in a place I did not know. Then an old gentleman
asked me what I was looking for; because I had
walked past the same place 3 times and I said we
were staying in the "Zur Post Hotel" and I did not
know how to find my way back. So he came with me
to show me and as we were talking it came out that
he had known Father at the university. So he came
in with me and Father was awfully glad to see him.
He is a barrister in Salzburg but he has a grey beard
already. As he was going away he said in an undertone
to Father: "I congratulate you old chap on
your daughter; she'll be something quite out of the
ordinary!" He whispered it really, but I heard all
the same. We spent all the afternoon with him at
the Kapuzinerberg. There was a splendid military
band; two young officers in the Yagers who were sitting
at the next table to ours kept on looking our way;
one was particularly handsome. My new summer
coat and skirt is awfully becoming everyone says.
Father says too: "I say, you'll soon be a young lady!
But don't grow up too quickly!" I can't make out
why he said that; I should like to be quite grown up;
but it will be a long time yet.
April 14th. It's been raining all day. How horrid.
One can't go anywhere. All the morning we were
walking about the town and saw several churches.
Then we were at the pastrycook's, where I ate 4 chocolate
eclairs and 2 tartlets. So I had no appetite for
April 15th. Just as I was writing yesterday Dr.
Gratzl sent up the hotel clerk to ask us to dinner.
We went, they live in the Hellbrunnerstrasse. He
has 4 daughters and 2 sons and the mother died three
years ago. One of the sons is a student in Graz and
the other is a lieutenant in the army; he is engaged
to be married. The daughters are quite old already;
one of them is 27 and is engaged. I think that is
horrid. The youngest (!!!) is 24. It is so funny
to say "the youngest" and then she is 24. Father
says she is very pretty and will certainly get married
At 24!! when she's not even engaged yet; I don't
believe she will. They have a large garden, 3 dogs
and 2 cats, which get on very well together. There
are steps leading up and down from room to room,
it is lovely, and all the windows are bow-windows.
Everything is so old-fashioned, even the furniture
I do think it's all so pretty. The hall is round like
a church. After tea we had candied fruits, stewed
fruit, and pastries. I had a huge go of stewed fruit.
They have a gramaphone and then Leni and I played
the piano. Just as we were going away Fritz, the
student, came in; he got quite red and in the hall
Dr. Gratzl said to me: "You've made a conquest
to-day." I don't really believe I have, but I do like
hearing it said. I'm sorry to say we are going away
to-morrow, for we are going to stay 2 days in Linz
with Uncle Theodor whom I don't know.
April 17th. Uncle Theodor is 60 already and Aunt
Lina is old too. Still, they are both awfully nice.
I did not know them before. We are staying with
them. In the evening their son and his wife came.
They are my cousins, and they brought their little
girl with them; I am really a sort of aunt of hers.
It's awfully funny to be an aunt when one is only 12
and 3/4 and when one's niece is 9. To-day we went
walking along the Danube. It only rained very gently
and not all the time.
April 18th. We are going home to-day. Of course
we have sent a lot of picture postcards to Mother
and Dora and Hella; we sent one to Oswald too. He
came home for Easter. I don't know whether he will
still be there to-morrow.
April 22nd. We've begun school again. Dora and
I generally walk to school together since she does not
go to the Latin lesson now because it was too great a
strain for her. The specialist Mother took her to see
wanted her to give up studying altogether, but she
absolutely refuses to do that. But I'm very furious
with her; she's learning Latin in secret. When I came
into the room the day before yesterday she was writing
out words and she shut her book quickly instead of
saying openly and honestly: Rita, don't tell Father
and Mother that I'm still studying in the evening:
"I trust your word." She could trust me perfectly
well. There are plenty of things I could tell if I
liked! Perhaps she fancies that I don't see that the
tall fair man always follows us to school in the morning.
Hella has noticed him too, besides he is frightfully
bald and must be at least 30. And I'm certain she
would not talk as much as she does to Hella and me
if it were not that she wants to talk about _that_. But
this deceitfulness annoys me frightfully. Otherwise
we are now quite intimate with one another.
April 24th. We went to confession and communion
to-day. I do hate confession; though it's never happened
to me what many girls have told me, even girls
in the Fifth. No priest has ever asked me about the
6th commandment; all they've asked is: In thought,
word, or deed? Still, I do hate going to confession,
and so does Dora. It's much nicer for Hella as a
Protestant for they have no confession. And at communion
I'm always terrified that the host might drop
out of my mouth. That would be awful. I expect
one would be immediately excommunicated as a
heretic. Dora was not allowed to come to confession
and com., Father would not let her. She must not
go out without her breakfast.
April 26th. In the Third there really is a girl who
dropped the host out of her mouth. There was a
frightful row about it. She said it was not her fault
the priest's hand shook so. It's quite true, he was
very old, and that is why I'm always afraid it will
happen to me. It's much better when the priest is
young, because then that can never happen. Father
says that the girl won't be excommunicated for this,
and luckily one of her uncles is a distinguished
prelate. He is her guardian too. That will help
April 27th. To-day we got to know this girl in
the interval. She is awfully nice and she says she
really did not do it on purpose for she is frightfully
pious and perhaps she's going to be a nun. I am
pious too, we go to church nearly every Sunday, but I
would not go into a convent, not I. Dora says people
generally do that when they've been crossed in love,
because then the world seems empty and hateful.
She looked so frightfully sentimental that I said:
Seems to me you've a fancy that way yourself?
Then she said: "No, thank goodness, I've no reason
for that." Of course what she meant was that she
was not crossed in love but the other way. No doubt
the tall man in the mornings. I looked hard at
her for a long time and said: "I congratulate you on
your good fortune. But Hella and I wish he was not
bald," then she said with an astonished air: "Bald?
What are you talking about, he has the lofty brow of
27th. To-day Mademoiselle came for the first time.
I have forgotten to say that Dora has to go out every
day for two hours to sit and walk in the sunshine.
Since Mother is not very well and can't walk much,
we've engaged the Mad. Father says that when I have
time I must go too "as a precautionary measure." I
don't like the idea at all, it's much too dull; besides
I have simply no time. Mad. is coming 3 times a week,
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and on Mondays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays I have my music
lesson, so I can't go; so Finis and Jubilation! That's
what Oswald always says at the end of the year and
at the end of term. Still, she's very pretty, has fair
curly hair, huge grey eyes with black lashes and eyebrows,
but she speaks so fast that I can't understand
all she says. On the other 3 days an Englishwoman
is to come, but we have not got one yet, they are all
so expensive. It does seem funny to me to get a salary
for going out with _grown up girls_, that's only an
amusement. With regular tomboys, such as we saw
last year in Rathaus Park, it would be different. As
for the French or English conversation! If they did
not want to talk what would it matter? And besides
why should one want to talk either French or English,
it's so stupid.
April 28th. The Richters were here to-day, and
the eldest son came too, the lieutenant from Lemberg;
he is awfully handsome and made hot love to Dora;
Walter is very nice too, he is at the School of Forestry
in Modling; to-morrow the lieutenant is going to bring
Dora one of Tolstoi's books to read. Then they will
do some music together, she piano and he violin; it's
a pity I can't play as well as Dora yet. At Whitsuntide
Walter is coming too and Viktor (that means
conqueror) is on furlough for 6 months, because he's
ill, or because he is said to be ill; for one does not
look like _that_ when one is really ill.
May 4th. Lieutenant R. is always coming here, he
must be frightfully smitten with Dora. But Father
won't have it at any price. He said to Dora to-day:
You get this gay young spark out of your head; he
is no good. But at sight of a uniform there is no
holding you girls. I've no objection to you doing
music together for an hour or two; but this perpetual
running to and fro with books and notes is all humbug."
May 6th. Lieutenant R. walks with us, that is
with Dora, to school every day. He is supposed to
lie in bed late every morning, for he is really ill
but for Dora's sake he gets up frightfully early and
comes over from Heitzing and waits in ---- Street.
Of course I go on alone with Hella and we all meet
In ---- Street, so that no one shall notice anything at
May 13th. To-morrow is Mother's birthday and
Viktor (when I am talking about him to Dora I always
speak of him as V.) brought her some lovely roses
and invited us all to go there next Sunday. In the
hall he called me "the Guardian Angel of our Love."
Yes, that is what I am and always shall be; for he
really deserves it and Dora too is quite different from
what she used to be. Hella says one can see for
oneself that love ennobles; up till now she has always
thought that to be mere poetical fiction.
May 15th. Father said: I don't care much about
these visits to the Richters as long as that _young
jackanapes_ is still there, but Mother can't very well
refuse. We shall wear our green coats and skirts
with the white blouses with the little green silk leaves
for Dora does not like to wear all white except in
summer. And because the leaves on the blouses are
_clover leaves_, that is because of their meaning. We
are looking forward to it tremendously. I do hope
Mother will be all right, for she is in bed to-day. It's
horrid being ill anyhow, but when being ill interferes
with other people's pleasure it's simply frightful.
May 16th. The day before yesterday was Mother's
birthday; but it was not so jolly as usual because
Mother is so often ill; for a birthday present I
painted her a box with a spray of clematis, which
looks awfully chic. Dora gave her a book cover
embroidered with a spray of Japanese cherries, I
don't know what Father gave her, money I think,
because on her birthday and name day he always
hands her an envelope. But since Mother is not well
we were not very cheerful, and when we drank her
health at dinner she wiped her eyes when she thought
we were not looking. Still, it's not so dangerous as
all that; she is able to go out and doesn't look bad.
I think Mother's awfully smart, she looks just as well
in her dressing gown as when she's dressed up to
go out. Dora says that if she had been made ill by
her husband she would hate him and would never
let her daughters marry. That's all very well, but
one ought to be quite _sure_ that _that_ is why one has
become ill. They say that is why Aunt Dora doesn't
like Father. Certainly Father is not so nice to her
as to other relations or to the ladies who some to see
Mother. But after all, Aunt Dora has no right to
make _scenes_ about it to Father, as Dora says she does.
Mother's the only person with any right to do that.
Dora says she is afraid that it will come to Mother's
having to have an operation. Nothing would ever
induce me to undergo an operation, it must be horrible,
I know because of Hella and the appendicitis. But
Dora says: "Anyone who's had five children must be
used to that sort of thing." I shall pray every night
that Mother may get well without an operation. I
expect we shan't all go away together at Whitsuntide
this year, for Mother and Dora are to go to a health
resort, most likely to Franzensbad.
May 18th. It was lovely at the Richters; Walter
was there from Modling, he was awfully nice, and
said I was so like my sister that it was difficult to tell
us apart. That's a frightful cram, but I know what
he really meant. He plays the flute splendidly, and
the three played a trio, so that I was frightfully annoyed
with myself for not having worked harder at my
music. From to-morrow on I shall practice 2 hours
every day, if I can possibly find time. Next winter
Viktor is going to found a private dramatic club, so
he must be going to stay more than six months in
Vienna. Walter thinks Dora awfully charming, and
when I said: "The great pity is that she's got such
frightful anemia," he said: In a man's eyes that is
no drawback whatever, as you can see in my brother.
Moreover, that illness is not a real illness, but often
makes a girl more charming than ever, as you can
see in your sister.
Day before yesterday Miss Maggie Lundy came for
the first time; anybody can have her for me. She
wears false hair, flaxen. She says she is engaged, but
Dora says, has been. I simply don't believe it. V.
says Mad. is awfully pretty. When I asked Dora
if she was not jealous, she said she didn't care, she
was quite sure of his love. He means to leave the
army and go into the civil service, and then he will
be able to marry. But Dora said, there's plenty of
time for that, a secret engagement is much nicer.
Then she noticed she'd given herself away, and she
blushed like anything and said: You naturally must
be engaged before you are married, mustn't you?--
of course she _is_ secretly engaged, but she won't tell
me about it. What's the good of my being the
"Guardian Angel of their Love?" If he only knew.
May 19th. I really ought to practice to-day, but I
simply have no time, first of all I had my lesson
anyhow, and secondly something awful happened to
Dora. She left her diary lying about in the school;
and because we have our religion lesson in the Fifth
I saw a green bound book lying under the third bench.
Great Scott, I thought, that looks like Dora's diary.
I went up as quickly as I could and put my satchel
over it. Later in the lesson I picked it up. When
I got home at 1 o'clock I did not say anything at
first. After dinner she began rummaging all over the
place, but without saying anything to me, and then
I said quite quietly: "Do you hap--pen to be look--
ing for your di--ar--y? Here it is; you--left--it
third--bench." (I kept her on tenter hooks that way.)
She got as white as a sheet and said: You _are_ an
angel. If any one else had found it, I should have
been expelled and Mad. would have had to drown
herself. Oh, it can't be as bad as all that," I said,
for what she said about Mad. was frightfully exciting.
In class I had looked chiefly at what she had
written about V. But I could not read it there,
because it was written very small and close together
and was several pages, but I had not looked much at
what she had written about Mad. "Did you read it?"
No, only where it happened to come open because
there's a page torn out. About V. or about Mad?
"A little about Mad; but tell me all about it; I shan't
tell anyone. For if I'd wanted to betray you, you
know quite well. . . ." And then she told me all
about Mad. But first I had to promise that I would
not even tell Hella. Mad. is secretly engaged to a
man to whom she has given "the utmost gifts of love,"
that is to say she has . . . . She is madly in love
with him, and they would marry directly but he is
a lieutenant too, and they have not enough money
for the security. She says that when one really loves
a man one can bear everything for his sake. She has
often been to his rooms, but she has to be frightfully
careful for her father would kill her if he found out.
Dora has seen the lieutenant and says he is very
handsome, but that V. is much handsomer. Mad.
says that you can't trust men as a rule, but that her
lover is quite different, that he is true as steel. I am
sure V. is too.
May 21st. When Mad. came to-day I simply could
not look at her while Mother was there and Dora
says I made an awful fool of myself. For I went
out walking with them to-day, and when we met a
smart-looking officer I hemmed and looked at Dora.
But she didn't know why. Mad. is the daughter of a
high official in the French military service and she
only took her teacher's degree in order to get free from
her Mother's "_tyranny_;" she nagged at her frightfully
and until she began to give lessons she was never
allowed to go out alone. Dora says she is very refined in
her speech, especially when she is talking about
_these_ things. Of course about _them_ she always speaks
German, for it's much more difficult to say it in
French, and probably Dora would not understand
it and then Mad. would only have to translate it.
She is called Sylvia and he calls her Sylvette. Mad.
says that if one is madly in love with a man one does
whatever he asks. But I don't see that one need do
that, for he might ask the most idiotic things; he
might ask you to get the moon out of the skies, or to
pull out a tooth for his sake. Dora says she can
understand it quite well; that I still lack _the true
inwardness of thought and feeling_. It looks like utter
nonsense. But since it sounds fine I've written it
down, and perhaps I shall find a use for it some day
when I'm talking to Walter. Mad. is always frightfully
anxious lest she should get a baby. If she did
she's sure her father would kill her. The lieutenant
is in the flying corps. He hopes he's going to invent
a new aeroplane, and that he will make a lot of money
out of it. Then he will be able to marry Mad. But
it would be awful if _something happened_ and she got
a baby already.
May 22nd. Dora asked me to-day how it was I
knew all about these things, whether Hella had told
me. I did not want to give Hella away, so I said
quite casually: "Oh, one can read all about that in
the encyclopedia." But Dora laughed and said:
"You are quite on the wrong scent; you can't find a
tenth of all those things in the encyclopedia, and what
you do find is no good. In _these_ matters it is _absolutely
no good_ depending on books." First of all she
would not tell me any more, but after a time she told
me a good deal, especially the names of certain parts,
and about _fertilisation_, and about the microscopic
baby which really comes from the husband, and not
as Hella and I had thought, from the wife. And how
one knows whether a woman is _fruitful_. That is
really an awful word. In fact almost every word
has a second meaning of _that_ sort, and what Dora
says is quite true, one must be fearfully careful when
one is talking. Dora thinks it would be best to make
a list of all such words, but there are such a frightful
lot of them that one never could. The only thing
one can do is to be awfully careful; but one soon gets
used to it. Still it happened to Dora the other day
that she said to V.: I don't want any _intercourse_.
And that really means "the utmost gifts of love," so
Mad. told her. But V. was so well-mannered that
he did not show that he noticed anything; and it
did not occur to Dora until afterwards what she had
said. It's really awfully stupid that every ordinary
word should have such a meaning. I shall be so
frightfully careful what I say now, so that I shan't
use any word with two meanings. Mad. says it's just
the same in French. We don't know whether it is the
same in English and we could never dream of asking
that awful fright, Miss Lundy. Very likely she does
not know the first thing about it anyhow. I know a
great deal more than Hella now, but I can't tell her
because of betraying Dora and Mad. Perhaps I can
give her a hint to be more careful in what she says,
so as not to use any word with two meanings. That
is really my duty as a friend.
May 23rd. I quite forgot. Last week Oswald had
his written matriculation exam, he wrote a postcard
every day and Mother was frightfully annoyed because
he made such silly jokes all the time that we could
not really tell how he got on. Dora and I are awfully
excited because next Monday we are going to the
aerodome with Frau Richter and her niece who is
at the conservatoire. Lieutenant Streinz is going to
fly too. Of course we'll motor out because the railway
is not convenient. Of course Viktor will be there,
but he is motoring over with some other officers. It's
a great pity, for it would have been lovely if he'd
been in our car. By the way, I saved the class to-day,
the school inspector has been this week and examined
our class first in History and then in German, and
I was the only one who knew all that Frau Doktor
M. had told us about the Origin of Fable. The insp.
was very complimentary and afterwards Frau Doktor
M. said: its quite true one can always depend upon
Lainer; she's got a trustworthy memory. When we
were walking home she was awfully nice: "Do you
know, Lainer, I feel that I really must ask your
pardon." I was quite puzzled and Hella asked: But
why? She said: "It seemed to me this year that you
were not taking quite so much interest in your German
lessons as you did last year; but now you've
_reinstated_ yourself in my good opinion." Afterwards
Hella said: I say you know, Frau Doktor M. is not
so far wrong when I think of all that we used to
read last year so that we might know everything when
the lesson came, and when I think of what we do
this year!!! You know very well-- -- -- --.
Hella is quite right, but still one can learn in spite
of _those things_, one can't be _always_ talking about
them. And then it's quite easy to learn for such an
angel as Frau Doktor M. Hella says that I got as
red as a turkey cock from pride because I could say
it all in the very words of Frau Doktor M., but it
was not so, for first of all I was not a bit puffed up
about it, and secondly I really don't know myself how
I managed to say it all. I only felt that Frau Doktor
M. is so annoyed when no one offers to answer a question,
and so I took it on.
May 25th. Confound it, I could slap myself a
hundred times. How could I be so stupid! Now
we're not allowed to go to the aerodome. Father only
let us go because Viktor is in Linz and Father believed
he was going to stay there another fortnight.
And at dinner to-day I made a slip and said: "It is
a pity there's no room for five in our car. If Fraulein
Else were not coming Lieutenant Richter could come
with us." Dora kicked me under the table and I
tried to brazen it out, but Father was so angry and
said. "Hullo, is the flying man coming? No, no,
children, nothing doing. I shall make your excuses
to Frau Richter directly. I'm not having any, did
not I tell you you weren't to see the fellow any more?"
Of course this last was to Dora. Dora did not say
anything but she did not eat any pudding or fruit,
and as soon as we were back in our room she gave
it me hot, saying: You did that on purpose, you
little beast, but really you are only a child whom I
never ought to have trusted, and so on. It's really
too bad to say I did it _on purpose_, as if I envied her.
Besides it's bad for me as well as for her, for I like
him very much too, for he makes no difference between
us and treats me exactly like Dora. Of course
we are not on speaking terms now, and what infuriated
me more than anything was that she said she
grudged every word she had said to me in _this_ connection:
"Pearls before Swine." What a rude thing to
say. So I am an S. But I should like to know who
told most. I forsooth? Anyhow I'm quite sure that
I shall never talk to her again about _anything of that
sort_. Thank goodness I have a friend in Hella.
She would never say or think anything of the kind
May 26th. Neither of us could sleep a wink all
night; Dora cried frightfully, I heard her though she
tried to stifle it, and I cried too, for I was thinking
all the time what I could do to prevent Viktor from
thinking unkindly of me. That would be awful. Then
I thought of something, and chance or I ought to say
luck helped me. Viktor does not walk to school with
us any longer, because the girls of the Fifth have
seen us several times, but he comes to meet Dora
when she comes away at 1 o'clock. So quite early
I telephoned to him at a public telephone call office,
for I did not dare to do it at home. Dora was so
bad that she could not go to school so I was going
alone with Hella. I telephoned saying a friend was
ringing him up, that was when the maid answered
the telephone, and then she called him. I told him:
that whatever happened he was not to think unkindly