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A Young Girl's Diary

Part 3 out of 5

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of me and I must see him at 1 o'clock because Dora
was ill. He must wait at the corner of ---- Street.
All through lessons I was so upset that I don't in the
least know what we did. And at 1 o'clock he was
there all right, and I told him all about it and he
was so awfully kind and he consoled me; _he_ consoled
_me_. That's quite different from the way Dora
behaved. I was so much upset that I nearly cried,
and then he drew me into a doorway and _put his arm
round me_ and with his _own_ handkerchief wiped away
my tears. I shall never tell Dora about that. Then
he asked me to be awfully kind to Dora because she
had such a _lot_ to bear. I don't really know _what_ she
has to bear, but still, for his sake, because it's really
worth doing it for that, after dinner I put a note
upon her desk, saying: V. sends oceans of love to
you and hopes you will be all right again by Monday.
At the same time his best thanks for the book. I
put the note in Heidepeter's Gabriel, which she had
lent to me to read and put it down very significantly.
When she read it she flushed up, swallowed a few
times and said: "Have you seen him? Where was
it and when?" Then I told her all about it and she
was frightfully touched and said: "You really are
a good girl, only frightfully undependable." What
do you mean, undependable? She said: Yes undependable,
for one simply must not blurt out things
in that way; never mind, I will try to forget. Have
you finished Heidepeter's Gabriel yet? "No," I said,
"I'm not going to read anyone's book with whom
I'm angry." In the end we made it up, but of course
we did not talk any more about it and I did not say
a word about that business with the handkerchief.

May 29th. On June 10th or 12th, Mother and
Dora are going to Frazensbad, because they both have
to take mud baths. Besides, Father says that a
change will give Dora new thoughts, so that she
won't go about hanging her head like a sick chicken.
To-day Dora told me something very interesting.
Unmarried men have little books and with these they
can go to visit women "of a certain kind" in Graben
and in the Karntnerstrasse. There, Dora says, they
have to pay 10 florins or 10 crowns. In Dora's class
there is a girl whose father is police surgeon, and
they have all to be examined every month to see if
they are healthy, and if not they can't visit these
"ladies," and that's why the Preusses can never keep
a servant. In my bath yesterday I noticed that I had
a certain line, so I must be fr--. But I shan't have
more than 1 or 2 children at most for the line is very
faint. When I'm studying I often think of such
things, and then I read a whole page and turn over
and have not the remotest idea what I've been reading.
It's very tiresome, for soon the other school insp.
for maths. and the other subjects is coming, and I
should not like to make a fool of myself; especially
not because perhaps the inspectors talk us over with
one another about who is clever and who stupid.

May 30th. The concert was glorious. When I
hear such grand music I always have to keep myself
well in hand for I fear I should cry. It's very stupid,
of course, but at such times I can only think of sad
things, even if it's just a small piece. Dora can play
Brahms' Hungarian Dances, too, but that never makes
me want to cry. I only get annoyed because I can't
play them myself. I could all right, but I have not
got patience to practice long enough. I never tell
anyone that I want to cry when I am listening to
music, not even Hella, though I tell her everything,
except of course about Mad. Yesterday I made a
fool of myself; at least so Dora says. I don't know
how it happened, we were talking about books at
supper, and I said: "What's the use of books, one
can't learn anything out of them; everything is quite
different from what they say in books." Then Father
got in a wax and said: "You little duffer, you can
thank your stars there are books from which you can
learn something. Anyone who can't understand a
book always says it is no good." Dora gave me a
look, but I didn't know what she meant, and I went
on: "Yes, but there's an awful lot that the encyclopedia
puts all wrong." "What have you been ferreting
in the encyclopedia for; we shall have to keep the key
of the bookcase in a safer place." Thank goodness
Dora came to my help and said: "Gretel wanted to
look up something about the age of elephants and
mammoths, but it's quite different in the encyclopedia
from what Prof. Rigl told her last year." I was
saved. Dora can act splendidly; I've noticed it before.
In the evening she rowed me, and said: "You
little goose, will you never learn caution; first that
stupidity about Viktor and to-day this new blunder!
I've helped you out of a hole once but I shan't do
it again." And then she spent all the time writing
a letter, to him of course--! Hella and I have just
been reading a lot of things in the encycl., about _Birth_
and _Pregnancy_, and I on my own about abor--; we
came across the words Embyro and Foetus, and I said
nothing at the time but tied 2 knots in my handkerchief
to remind me, and yesterday I looked them up.
Mad. need not be anxious even if she _really_ did get
like that. But every doctor knows about it and one
often dies of it. I wonder if Mad. knows anything
about it. We were talking about the _differences_ between
men and women, and it came out that when
Hella has her bath she is still washed by Anna who
has been with them for 12 years. Nothing would
induce me to allow that, I would not let anyone wash
me, except Mother; certainly not Dora, for I don't
want her to know what _I_ look like. The nurse in
the hosp. told Hella that she is developed just like
a little nymph, so lovely and symetrical. Hella says
that is nothing unusual, that every girl looks like
that, that the female body is _Nature's Work of Art_.
Of course she's read that somewhere, for it does not
really mean anything. _Nature's_ work of art; it
ought to be: a work of art made by husband and
wife!!!

May 30th. Dora and Mother are going to Franzensbad
on June 6th, directly after Whitsuntide. Dora
has got another new coat and skirt, grey with blue
stripes; yesterday our white straw hats came, it suits
me very well says Hella and everyone, with white
ribbons and wild roses. There might have been a
fearful row about what's just happened. When I
went to telephone I had my Christmas umbrella with
the rose-quartz handle and I left it in the telephone
box; the girl in the tobacco shop found it there, and
as she knows me she brought it here and gave it to
the porter who brought it upstairs. Thank goodness
it occurred to me at once to say that I went into the
tobacco shop to buy stamps and I must have left it in
the _shop_. No one noticed anything.

May 31st. They wanted me to go and stay with
Hella for the month when Mother and Dora are
away. It would be awfully nice, but I'm not going
to, for I want to stay with Father. What would he
do all alone at meal times, and whom would he have
to talk to in the evenings? Father was really quite
touched when I said this and he stroked my hair as
he can and no one else, not even Mother. So I'm
going to stay at home whatever happens. Flowers
are very cheap now, so I shall put _different_ flowers
on the table every day, I shall go to the Market every
day to buy a little posy, so that they can always be
fresh. It would be stupid for me to go to the Brs.,
why should I, Resi has been with us for such a long
time, she knows how to do everything even if Mother
is not there and everything else I can arrange. Father
won't want for anything.

June 1st. We've had such an experience to-day!
It's awful; it's quite true then that one takes off
_every stitch_ when one is madly fond of anyone. I
never really believed it, and I'm sure Dora did not,
although Mad. hinted it to her; but _it's true_. We've
seen it _with our own eyes_. I was just sitting and
reading Storm's The Rider of the Grey Horse and
Dora was arranging some writing paper to take to
Franzensbad when Resi came and said: Fraulein
Dora, please come here a moment, I want you to
look at something! From the tone of her voice I
saw there was something up so I went too. At first
Resi would not say what it was but Dora was generous
and said: "It's all right, you can say _everything_
before her." Then we went into Resi's room and
from behind the curtain peeped into the mezzanin.
A young _married couple_ live there!!! At least Resi
says people say they are _not_ really married, but simply
live together!!!! And what we saw was awful. She
was absolutely naked lying in bed without any of the
clothes on, and he was kneeling by the bedside quite
n-- too, and he kissed her all over, _everywhere!!!_
Dora said afterwards it made her feel quite sick.
And then he stood up--no, I can't write it, it's
too awful, I shall never forget it. So _that's_ the way
of it, it's simply frightful. I could never have believed
it. Dora went as white as a sheet and trembled
so that Resi was terribly frightened. I nearly cried
with horror, and yet I could not help laughing too.
I was really afraid he would stifle her because he's
so big and she's so small. And Resi says he is certainly
much too big for her, and that he nearly tears
her. I don't know why he should tear her but certainly
he might have crushed her. Dora was so
terrified she had to sit down and Resi hurried to get
her a glass of water, because she believed she was
going to faint. I had not imagined it was anything
like _that_, and Dora certainly had not either. Or she
would never have trembled so. Still I really don't
see why she should tremble like that. There is no
reason to be frightened, one simply need not marry,
and then one need never strip off every stitch, and
oh dear, poor Mademoiselle who is so small and the
lieutenant is very tall. But just think if anyone
is as fat as Herr Richter or our landlord. Of course
Herr Richter is at least 50, but last January the
landlord had another little girl, so something _must
have happened_. No, I'm sure it's best not to marry,
for _it_ is really too awful. We did not look any more
for then came the worst, suddenly Dora began to
be actually sick, so that she could hardly get back
to our room. If she had not been able to, everything
would have come out. Mother sent for the doctor
directly and he said that Dora was very much overworked;
that it was a good thing she was going away
from Vienna in a few days. No girl ought to study,
it does not pay. Then he said to me: "You don't
look up to much either. What are you so hollow-
eyed for?" "I'm so frightened about Dora," I said.
"Fiddlededee," said the doctor, "that does not give
anyone black rings round the eyes." So it must be
true that one gets to look ill when one always has
to think about _such_ things. But how can one help
it, and Hella says: It's awfully interesting to have
black rings under the eyes and men _like_ it.

We were going to make an excursion to-morrow to
Kahlenberg and Hermannskogel, but probably it
won't come off. Its 11 already and I'm fearfully
tired from writing so much; I must go to bed. I do
hope I Shall be able to sleep, but-- -- -- --

June 3rd. Father took Hella and me to Kahlenberg;
we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. After
dinner, when Father was reading the paper in the
hotel, we went to pick flowers, and I told Hella all
about what we'd seen on Friday. She was simply
speechless, all the more since she had never heard
what Mad. told us about taking off everything. She
won't marry either, for it's too disagreeable, indeed
too horrid.--The doctor said too: This perpetual
learning is poisonous for young girls _in the years of
development_. If he only knew _what_ we had seen.
Hella is frightfully annoyed that she was not there.
She can be jolly glad, I don't want to see it a second
time, and I shall never forget it all my life long;
what I saw at the front door was nothing to this.
Then Hella went on making jokes and said: "I say,
just think if it had been Viktor." "Oh, do shut up,"
I screamed, and Father thought we were quarrelling
and called out: "You two seem to be having a dispute
in the grand style." If he'd only known what
we were talking about!!! Oswald has been home
since Friday evening; he did not arrive till half past
10. But he did not come on the excursion with us
yesterday, although Father would have liked him to;
he said he would find it much too dull to spend the
day with two "flappers;" that means that we're not
grown up enough for him and is a piece of infernal
cheek especially as regards Hella. She says she will
simply ignore him in future. Since I am his sister
I can't very well do that, but I shan't fetch and carry
for him as he would like me to. He's no right to
insult even his sister.

Dora has just said to me: It's horrible that one
has to endure that (you know what!!! -- -- -- --)
when one is married. Resi had told her about those
two before, and that only the Jews do it just like
_that_. She said that other people did not strip quite
naked and that perhaps it's different in some other
ways!! -- -- -- But Mad. implied that it was just
_that_ way, only she did not say anything about the
crushing; but I suppose that's because of the cruelty
of the Jews-- -- --. I'm afraid every night that
I'm going to dream about it, and Dora has dreamed
about it already. She says that whenever she closes
her eyes she sees it all as if it were actually before
her.

June 4th. We understand now _what_ Father meant
the other day when he was speaking about Dr. Diller
and his wife and said: "But they don't suit one
another at all." I thought at the time he only meant
that it looks so absurd for so tiny a woman to go
about with a big strong man. But that's only a
minor thing; the main point is something quite
different!!!! Hella and I look at all couples now
who go by arm in arm, thinking about them from
_that_ point of view, and it amuses us so much as we
are going home that we can hardly keep from laughing.
But really it's no laughing matter, especially for the
woman.

June 5th. This morning Mother took Dora with
her to pay a farewell call at the Richter's. But there
was no one at home, that is Frau R. was certainly
at home, but said she was not because they are very
much offended with Father. In the afternoon Dora
and I had a lot of things to get, and we met Viktor,
by arrangement of course. Dora cried a lot; they
went into the Minorite church while I went for a walk
in Kohlmarkt and Herrengasse. He is going to
America in the beginning of July, before Dora comes
home. He has given her some exquisite notepaper
stamped with his regimental arms, specially for her
to write to him on, and a locket with his portrait.
To-morrow she is going to send him her photo,
through me, I shall be awfully glad to take it. Dora
has been much nicer to me lately.

June 6th. Mother and Dora left early this morning.
Mother has never gone away from us before for
long at a time, so I cried a lot and so did she. Dora
cried too, but I know on whose account. Father and
I are alone now. At dinner he said to me: "My
little housewife." It was so lovely. But it's frightfully
quiet in the house, for 2 people don't talk so
much as 4. It made me feel quite uncomfortable.
To-day I talked several things over with Resi. What
I think worst of all is that one saw the whole of his
behind, it was really disgusting. Dora said the other
day she thought it was positively infamous. Resi
said they might at least have pulled down the blind
so that nobody could see in, that's what respectable
people would do. But _respectable_ people simply
would not strip, or at least they'd cover themselves
respectably with the bedclothes. Then Resi told me
some more about the bank clerk and his wife, that is
_not_-wife. She does not know if her parents know
about it, and what excuse she makes for not living
at home. She is not a Jewess, though he is a Jew.
Resi absolutely curled up with laughing because I
said: Ah, that is why he insists that they shall _both_
strip though ordinarily only the wife has to strip."
But she herself said a little while ago that only Jews
do it _that way_, and to-day she laughed as if I were
talking utter nonsense. Really she does not know
exactly herself, and she cloaks it with laughter because
she's annoyed, first because _she_ does not know, and
then also I'm sure because she really began to talk
about the matter. One thing that puzzles me is that
I never dream about _it_. I should like to know whether
perhaps Dora never really dreamed of it, though she
pretended she did. As for Hella saying she dreamed
of it the day before yesterday, I'm sure that was pure
invention, for she was not there at all. She says it's
a good thing she was not for if she had been she
would have burst out laughing. But I fancy if she'd
seen what we saw she would have found there was
nothing to laugh at.

June 7th. It's frightfully dull after dinner and
in the evening before bed time, especially because
this year, since the affair at the front door, Dora
and I have always had plenty to talk about. I miss
it. I wish Hella would come and stay with us for
the 4 weeks. But she does not want to. Father
had work to do to-day, so I'm quite alone and feel as
if I'd like to cry.

June 9th. Yesterday, when I was feeling so melancholy,
Resi came to make my bed, and we talked
about the married couple opposite, and then she told
me awful things about a young married couple where
she was once. She left because they always went
into the bath together; she says she's certain that
_something happened_ there. And then she told me
about an old gentleman who made _advances_ to her;
but of course she would not have anything to do
with him; besides he was married, and anyhow he
would never have married a servant for he was a
privy councillor. Yesterday Father said: Poor little
witch, it's very lonely for you now; but look here,
Resi is no fit company for you; when your little
tongue wants to wag, come to my room. And I was
awfully stupid, I began to cry like anything and
said. "Father, please don't be angry, I'll never think
and never talk of such things any more." Father
did not know at first what I meant, but afterwards
it must have struck him, for he was so kind and gentle,
and said: "No, no, Gretel, don't corrupt your youth
with such matters, and when there's anything that
bothers you, ask Mother, but not the servants. A girl
of good family must not be too familiar with servants.
Promise me." And then, though I'm so big he took
me on his knee like a child and petted me because I
was crying so. "It's all right, little Mouse, don't
worry, you must not get so nervous as Dora. Give
me a nice kiss, and then I'll come with you to your
room and stay with you till you go to sleep. Of
course I stayed awake on purpose as long as I could,
till a quarter to 11.

And then I dreamed that Father was lying in Dora's
bed so that when I woke up early in the morning I
really looked across to see if he had not gone to bed
there. But of course I'd only dreamed it.

June 12th. To-morrow there's a great school excursion;
I am so glad, a whole day with Frau Doktor
M. and without any lessons. We are going up Eisernes
Tor. Last year there was no outing, because the
Fourth did not want to go to the Anninger, but to
the Hochschneeberg, and the Head did not want to
go there.

June 13th. We had a lovely outing. Hella and
I spent the whole day with Frau Doktor M.; in the
afternoon Franke said: I say, why do you stick to
Frau Doktor like that? One can't get a word with
you. So then we went for a good walk through the
forest with Franke and she told us about a student
who is in the Eighth now and who is madly in love
with her. For all students are in love with her, _so
she says_. We were not much interested in that, but
then she told us that Frau Doktor M. is secretly
engaged to a professor in Leipzig or some other town
in Germany. Her cousin is Frau Doktor's dressmaker,
and she is quite certain of it. Her parents
are opposed to it because he is a _Jew_ but they are
frantically in love with one another and they intend
to marry. And then we asked Franke, since she is
a Jewess too whether it was all true what Mali, who
was here when Resi was in hospital, had told us
about the Jews. And Franke said: Oh yes, it is true
I can confirm it in every point. But it's not so bad
about the cruelty, every man is cruel, especially in
this matter." No doubt she's right, but it's horrible
to think that our lovely and refined Frau Doktor M
is going to have a cruel husband. Hella says that if
_she_ is satisfied, I don't need to get excited about it.
But perhaps she does not know that-- -- --. When
we came out of the wood the Herr Religionsprofessor
who is awfully fond of Frau Doktor M. called out:
"Frau Doktor, you have lost your two satellites!"
And everybody laughed because we'd come back.
Father came to fetch Hella and me, and since it was
nearly 11 o'clock Hella stayed the night with us. It
was awfully nice, but at the same time I was sorry
because I could not have any more talk with Father.
When we were getting up in the morning we splashed
one another and played the fool generally, so that
we were nearly late for school. The staff was still
in high spirits, including Professor Wilke, about
whom we had not bothered ourselves all day; that is
he did not come until the afternoon when he came to
meet us on our way. We believe he is in love with
Frau Doktor M. too, for he went about with her all
the time, and it was probably on her account that
he came. None of the other professors were there,
for they were all taking their classes in the different
Gymnasiums.

June 14th. I am so excited. We were going to
school to-day at 9 and suddenly we heard a tremendous
rattling with a sword; that is Hella heard it,
for she always notices that sort of thing before I do,
and she said: "Hullo, that's an o-- in a frightful
hurry, and looked round; "I say, there's Viktor behind
us" and he really was, he was saluting us and
he said: Fraulein Rita, can you give me a moment;
you'll excuse me won't you, Fraulein Hella? He
always calls me Rita, and it shows what a nice refined
kind of a man he is that he should know my friend's
name. Hella said directly: "Don't mention it, Herr
Oberleutenant, don't let me be in your way if it's
anything important," and she went over to the other
side of the street. He looked after her and said:
"What a lovely, well-mannered young lady your
friend is." Then he came back to the main point
He has already had 2 letters from Dora, but not an
answer to his letter, because she can't fetch it from
the post office, _poste restante_. Then he implored me
to enclose a letter from him in mine to Dora. But
since Mother naturally reads my letters, I told him
it was not so simple as all that; but I knew of a
splendid way out of the difficulty; I would write to
Mother and Dora _at the same time_, so that Dora
could get hold of _his letter_ while Mother was not
noticing. Viktor was awfully pleased and said:
You're a genius and a first-class little schemer, and
kissed my hand. Still, he might have left out the
"little." If one's is so _little_, one can't very well be a
schemer. From the other side of the street Hella
saw him kiss my hand. She says I did not try to draw
it away, but held it out to him like a grand lady and
even dropped it at the wrist. She says we girls of
good family do that sort of thing by instinct. It may
be so, for I certainly did not do it intentionally.
In the afternoon I wrote the two letters, just the
ordinary one to Mother and a short one to Dora
with the enclosure, and took it to the post _myself_.

June 16th. I've already got so used to being alone
with Father that I take it as a matter of course. We
often drive in the Prater, or go in the evening to have
supper in one of the parks, and of course Hella comes
with us. I am frightfully excited to know what Dora
will write. I forgot to write in my diary the other
day that I asked Viktor if he was really going to
New York. He said he had no idea of doing anything
of the kind, that had only been a false alarm
on the part of the Old Man. That's what he calls
his father. I don't think it's very nice of him, a
little vulgar, and perhaps that is why Father can't
stand him. In fact Father does not like any officers
very much, except Hella's father, but then he's fairly
old already. I say, Hella mustn't read that, it would
put her in an awful wax; but her father really is at
least 4 or 5 years older than Father.

June 17th. Frau Doktor M. is ill, but we don't
know what's the matter with her. We were all
frightfuly dull at school. The head took her classes
and we were left to ourselves in the interval. I do hope
she has not got appendicitis, that would be awful.

June 18th. _She_ isn't back yet. Frau Doktor
Steiner says she has very bad tonsillitis and won't
be able to come for at least a week.

June 19th. There was a letter from Dora to-day.
I'm furious. Not a word about my sisterly affection,
but only: "Many thanks for your trouble." It's
really too bad; _he_ is quite different!! I shan't forget
this in a hurry. Hella says that she only hinted
at it like that to be on the safe side. But it's not
true, for she knows _perfectly well_ that Father never
reads our letters. She simply takes it as a matter of
course. Yesterday was the first time I stayed away
from school since I went to the High School. Early
in the morning I had such a bad sore throat and a
headache, so Father would not let me go. I got better
as the day went on, but this morning I was worse
again. Most likely I shall have to stay at home for
2 or 3 days. Father wanted to send for the doctor,
but it really was not necessary.

June 20th. When Resi was doing our room to day
she wanted to begin talking once more about _various
things_, but I said I did not particularly care to hear
about such matters, and then she implored me never
to tell Mother and Father anything about what she
had said to us about the young married couple; she
said she would lose her place and she would be awfully
sorry to do that.

June 21st. My knees are still trembling; there
might have been a frightful row; luckily Father was
out. At half past 6, when Hella and I were having a
talk, the telephone bell rang. Luckily Resi had gone
out too to fetch something so I answered the telephone,
and it was Viktor! "I must see you to-morrow
morning early or at 1 o'clock; I waited for you _in
vain_ at 1 to-day." Of course, for I was still ill, that
is still am ill. But well or ill I must go to school
to-morrow. If Father had been at home; or even
Resi, she might have noticed something. It would
have been very disagreeable if I had had to ask her
not to give me away. Hella was frightfully cheeky,
she took the receiver out of my hand and said:
"Please don't do this again, it's frightfully risky for
my friend." I was rather annoyed with her, but Hella
said he certainly deserved a lecture.

To-morrow we are going to a concert and I shall
wear my new white dress. It does look rather nice
after all for sisters to be dressed alike. I've taken
to wearing snails,"[3] Father calls them "cow-pats;"
but everyone else says it's exceedingly becoming.

[3] Flat rolls of hair-plait covering the ears.--Translators'
Note.

June 22nd. He was awfully charming when he
came up to us and said: "Can a repentant sinner
be received back into grace?" And he gave each of
us a lovely rose. Then he handed me a letter and
said: "I don't think we need make any secret before
your energetic friend." Really I did not want to
forward any more letters but I did not know how
to say so without offending him, for Dora's cheek
is not his fault, and I did not want to say anything
to-day, 1 because of the roses, and 2 because Hella
was there. There can't be more than 2 or 3 times
more, so I shan't bother. But _Dora_ doesn't deserve
it, really. Franke is a vulgar girl. She saw us together
the other day, and the next day she asked:
Where did you pick up that handsome son of Mars?
Hella retorted: "Don't use such common expressions
when you are speaking of Rita's cousin." "Oh, a
cousin, that's why he kisses her hand I suppose?"
Since then we only speak to Franke when we are
positively obliged. Not to speak to her at all would
be too dangerous, you never can tell; but if we speak
only a little, she can't take offence.

June 23rd. The school insp. came yesterday, the
old one who always comes for Maths. He is so kind
and gentle that all the girls can answer everything;
we like him better than the one who comes for
languages. Verbenowitsch was awfully puffed up
because he praised her. Good Lord, I've been praised
often enough, but that does not make _me_ conceited.
Anyhow he did not call on me yesterday because I'd
been absent 4 days. Frau Doktor M. came back
to-day. She looks awfully pale and wretched, I don't
know why; it's such a pity that she does not let us
walk home with her, except last year when there was
all that fuss about Fraulein St.'s bead bag. She bows
to us all very politely when we salute her, but she
won't walk with any of the pupils, though Verbenowitsch
is horribly pushing and is always hanging
about on the chance.

June 26th. It's really stupid how anxious I am
now at Communion lest the host should drop out of
my mouth. I was so anxious I was very nearly sick.
Hella says there must be some reason for it, but I
don't know of any, except that the accident which that
girl Lutter in the Third had made me even more
anxious that I was before. Hella says I'd better turn
Protestant, but nothing would induce me to do that;
for after Com. one feels so pure and so much better
than one was before. But I'm sorry to say it does not
last so long as it ought to.

June 27th. Mother is _really_ ill. Father told me
about it. He was awfully nice and said: If only
your Mother is spared to us. She is far from well.
Then I asked: Father, what is really wrong with
Mother? And Father said: "Well, dear, it's a hidden
trouble, which has really been going on for a long
time and has now suddenly broken out." "Will she
have to have an operation?" "We hope we shall be
able to avoid that. But it's a terrible thing that
Mother should be so ill." Father looked so miserable
when he said this that I did my best to console him
and said: But _surely_ the mud baths will make her all
right, or why should she take them?" And Father
said: "Well, darling, we'll hope for the best." We
went on talking for a long time, saying that Mother
must take all possible care of herself, and that perhaps
in the autumn Aunt Dora would come here to
keep house. I asked Father, "Is it true that you don't
like Aunt Dora?" Father said: "Not a bit of it,
what put that idea into your head?" So I said:
"But you do like Mother much better, don't you?"
Father laughed and said: "You little goose, of course
I do, or I should have married Aunt Dora and not
Mother." I should have liked awfully to ask Father
a lot more, but I did not dare. I really do miss
Dora, especially in the evenings.

July 2nd. I was in a tremendous rage at school
to-day. Professor W., the traitor, did not come
because he had confession and communion in the
Gymnasium, and the matron did not know anything
about the subject so there was no one to take his
class. Then the Herr Religionsprofessor took it, he
had come earlier than usual to write up the reports.
But since the Jewish girls were there too, of course
there was no religion lesson. But the H. Rel. Prof.
had a chat with us. He asked each of us where we
were going to spend the summer, and when I said I
was going to Rodaun, Weinberger said: I say, _only_
to Rodaun! and several of the other girls chimed in:
_Only_ to Rodaun; why that's only a drive on the steam
tram. I was frightfully annoyed, for we generally
go to Tyrol or Styria; I said so directly, and then
Franke said: Last year too, I think, you went somewhere
quite close to Vienna, where was it, Hain--,
and then she stopped and made as if she had never
heard of Hainfeld. Of course that was all put on,
but she's very angry because we won't speak to her
since that business about the _cousin!_ But now I was
to learn what true friendship is. While I was getting
still more angry, Hella said: Rita's Mother is now in
_Franzensbad, the world-famous health resort_; she is
ill, and Prof. Sch. has to go and see her at least once
a week. The Herr Rel. Prof. was awfully nice and
said: Rodaun is a lovely place. The air there is
very fine and will certainly do your Mother a lot of
good. That's the chief thing, isn't it children? I
hope that God will spare all your parents for many
years. When the Herr Rel. Prof. said that, Lampel,
whose Mother died last winter, burst out crying, and
I cried too, for I thought of my talk with Father.
Weinberger and Franke thought I was crying because
I was annoyed because we were only going to Rodaun.
In the interval Franke said: After all, there's no
harm in going to Rodaun, that's no reason for crying.
But Hella said: "Excuse me, the Lainers can go
anywhere they please, they are so well off that many
people might envy them. Besides, her Mother and her
sister are in Franzensbad now, where everything is
frightfully expensive, and in Rodaun they have rented
a house all for themselves. Rita is crying because she
is anxious about her Mother, not because of anything
you said." Of course we don't speak a word to Franke
now. Mother does not want us to anyhow, she did
not like her at all when she met her last year. Mother
has a fine instinct in such matters.

July 6th. We broke up to-day. I have nothing but
Very Goods, except of course in ---- Natural History!
That was to be expected. What -- -- (I can't bring
myself to write the name) said was perfectly right.
Nearly all the girls who were still there brought Frau
Doktor M. and Frau Doktor St. flowers as farewell
tokens. This time, Hella and I were allowed to go
with Frau Doktor M. to the metropolitan. When we
kiss her hand she always blushes, and we love doing
it. This summer holidays she is going to -- -- --
_Germany_, of course; really Hella need not have asked;
it's obvious!!!

July 8th. Mother and Dora are coming home today.
We are going to meet them at the station. By
the way, I'd quite forgotten. The other day Father
hid a new 5 crown piece in my table napkin, and
when I lifted up my table napkin it fell out, and
Father said: In part payment of your outlay on
flowers for the table. Father is such a darling, the
flowers did not cost anything like 5 crowns, 3 at most,
for though they were lovely ones, I only bought fresh
ones every other day. Now I shall be able to buy
Mother lots of roses, and I shall either take them to
the station or put them on her table. On the one
hand I'm awfully glad Mother is coming home, but
on the other hand I did like being alone with Father
for he always talked to me about everything just as
he does to Mother; that will come to an end now.

July 10th. Mother and Dora look splendid; I'm
especially glad about Mother; for one can see that
she is quite well again. If we had not taken the
house in Rodaun, we might just as well go to Tyrol,
for one can't deny it would be much nicer. Dora
looks quite a stranger. It's absurd, for one can't
alter in 1 month, still, she really looks quite different;
she does her hair differently, parted over the ears.
I have had no chance yet to say anything about the
"trouble," and she has not alluded to it. In the
autumn she will have to have a special exam. for
the Sixth because she went away a month before the
end of term. Father says that is only pro forma
and that she must not take any lesson books to the
country. Hella went away yesterday, she and her
Mother and Lizzi are going first to Gastein and then
to stay with their uncle in Hungary. Life is dull
without Hella, much worse than without Dora; without
her I was simply bored sometimes in the evening,
at bedtime. Dora gives it out that in Franzensbad
people treated her as a grown-up lady. I'm sure
that's not true for anyone can see that she's a long
way from being a grown-up lady yet.

July 11th. I can't think what's happened to Dora.
When she goes out she goes alone. She doesn't tell
me when she is going or where, and she hasn't said
a word about Viktor. But he must know that she is
back. To-morrow we are going to Rodaun, by train
of course, not by the steam tram. The day after
to-morrow, the 13th, Oswald has the viva voce exam
for his matriculation. He says that in every class
there are at least 1 or several _swotters_, like Verbenowitsch
in ours, he says they spoil the pitch for the
others, for, because of the swotters, the professors
expect so much more of the others and sit upon them.
This may be so in the Gymnasium, but certainly not
at the High School. For though Verb. is always
sucking up to the staff, they can't stand her; they
give her good reports, but none of them really like
her. Mother says the 13th is an unlucky day, and it
makes her anxious about Oswald. Because of that she
went to High Mass yesterday instead of the 9 o'clock
Mass as usual. I never thought of praying for Oswald,
and anyhow I think he'll get through all right.

July 13th. Thank goodness Oswald has wired he
is through, that is he has wired his favourite phrase:
Finis with Jubilation. At any rate that did not worry
Mother as he did over the written exam., when he
made silly jokes all the time. He won't be home
until the 17th, for the matriculation dinner is on the
15th. Father is awfully pleased too. It's lovely here;
of course we have not really got a whole house to
ourselves, as Hella pretended at school, but a flat on
the first story; in the mezzanin a young married
woman lives, that is to say a _newly married couple!!_
Whenever I hear that phrase it makes me shake
with horror and laughter combined. Resi must have
thought of it too, for she looked hard at Dora and
me when she told us. But they have a baby already,
so they are not really a newly married couple any
more. The landlord, who lives on the same floor as
us, is having a swing put up for me in the garden
for it is horrid not to have a swing in the country.

July 16th. At last Dora has said something to
me about Viktor, but she spoke very coldly; there
must be something up; she might just as well tell
me; she really ought to seeing all that I've done.
I have not seen him since that last letter of June 27th;
that time something must have hap-- no that word
means something quite different, there must be something
up, but I do wonder what. Hella is delighted
with Gastein, she writes that the only thing wanting
is _me_. I can quite understand that, for what I want
here is _her_. Before the end of term Ada wrote to
ask whether we were not coming to H. this year; she
said she had such a frightful lot to tell me, and _she
wants my advice_. I shall be very glad to advise her,
but I don't know what it is about.

July 18th. Something splendid, we are -- -- --
But no, I must write it all out in proper order. Oswald
came home yesterday, he is in great form and said
jokingly to Dora that she is so pretty he thinks he
would fall in love with her if she were not his sister.
Just before it was time to go to supper, Mother called
us in, and I was rather annoyed when I saw that it
was only a quarter to 8. Then Father came in with a paper
in his hand as he often does when he comes back from
the office, and said: "Dear Oswald and you two girls,
I wanted to give you and especially Oswald a little
treat because of the matriculation." Aha, I thought,
the great prize after all! Then Father opened the
paper and said: "You have often wondered as children
why we have no title of nobility like the other
Lainers. My grandfather dropped it, but I have got
it back again for you Oswald, and also for you two
girls. Henceforward we shall call ourselves Lanier
von Lainsheim like Aunt Anna and your uncles."
Oswald was simply speechless and I was the first to
pull myself together and give Father a great hug.
But first of all he said: "Do credit to the name."
Oswald went on clearing his throat for a frightfully
long time, and then he said: Thank you, Father, I
shall always hold the name in trust, and then they
kissed one another. We were on our best behaviour
all through the evening, although Mother had ordered
roast chicken and Father had provided a bottle of
champagne. I am frightfully happy; it's so splendid
and noble. Think of what the girls will say, and the
staff! I'm frantically delighted. To-morrow I must
write and tell Hella all about it.

July 19th. I've managed it beautifully. I did not
want to write just: We are now noble, so I put it
all in the signature, simply writing Always your loving
friend Rita Lainer von Lainsheim. I told Resi
about it first thing this morning, but Father scolded
me about that at dinner time and said it was quite
unnecessary; it seems the nobility has gone to your
head. Nothing of the sort, but it's natural that I
should be frightfully glad and Dora too has covered
a whole sheet of paper writing her new name. Father
says it does not really make us any different from
what we were before, but that is not true, for if it were
he would not have bothered to revive the title. He
says it will make it easier for Oswald to get on, but
I'm sure there's more in it than that. Resi told the
landlord about it and in the afternoon he and his
wife called to congratulate us.

July 20th. Oswald says he won't stay here, it's
much too dull, he is going for a walking tour through
the Alps, to Grossglockner, and then to the Karawanken.
He will talk of Father as the "Old Man," and
I do think it is so vulgar. Dora says it is absolutely
_flippant_.

July 24th. Hella's answer came to-day; she congratulates
me most heartily, and then goes on to write
that at first she was struck dumb and thought I'd gone
crazy or was trying to take her in. But her mother had
already heard of it from her father for it had been published
in the Official Gazette. Now we are both noble,
and that is awfully nice. For I have often been
annoyed that she was noble when I was not.

July 25th. Oswald left to-day. Father gave him
300 crowns for his walking tour, because of the matriculation.
I said: "In that case I shall matriculate
as soon as I can" and Oswald said: "For that one
wants rather more brains in one's head than you
girls have." What cheek, Frau Doktor M. passed the
Gymnasium matriculation and Frau Doktor Steiner
passed it too as an extra. Dora said quietly: Maybe
I shall show you that your sister can matriculate
too; anyhow you have always said yourself that
the chief thing you need to get through the matriculation
is cheek. Then I had a splendid idea and said:
"But we girls have not got cheek, we _study_ when we
have to pass an examination!" Mother wanted us
to make it up with him, but we would not. In the
evening Dora said to me: Oswald is frantically
arrogant, though he has had such a lot of Satisfactories
and has only just scraped through his exam. By the
way here's another sample of Oswald's stupidity;
directly after the wire: "Finis with Jubilation"
came another which ought to have arrived first, for
it had been handed in 4 hours earlier, with nothing
but the word "Through" [Durch]. Mother was frightfully
upset by it for she was afraid it really meant _failed_
[durchgefallen], and that the other telegram had been
only an idiotic joke. Dora and I would never condescend
to such horseplay. Father always says Oswald
will sow all his wild oats at the university, but he said
to-day that he was not going to the university, but
would study mining, and then perhaps law.

July 29th. It's sickeningly dull here, I simply
don't know what to do; I really can't read and swing
the whole day long, and Dora has become as dull as
she used to be; that is, even duller, for not only does
she not quarrel, but she won't talk, that is she won't
talk about _certain things_. She is perfectly crazy
about the baby of the young couple in the mezzanin;
he's 10 months old, and I can't see what she sees to
please her in such a little pig; she's always carrying
him about and yesterday he made her all wet, I
wished her joy of it. It made her pretty sick, and
I hope it will cure her infatuation.

Thank goodness to-morrow is my birthday, that
will be a bit of a change. To-morrow we are going
to the Parapluie Berg, but I hope we shan't want
our umbrellas. Father is coming back at 1 so that
we can get away at 2 or half past. Hella has sent me
to-day a lock-up box for letters, etc.!!! of course
filled with sweets and a tremendously long letter to
tell me how _she_ is getting on in Gastein. But they
are only going to stay a month because it is frantically
expensive, a roll 5 krenzer and a bottle of beer 1 crown.
And the rolls are so small that one simply has to eat 3
for breakfast and for afternoon tea. But it's awfully
smart in the hotel, several grooms; then there are
masses of Americans and English and even a consul's
family from Sydney in Australia.--I spend most of
the day playing with two dachshund puppies. They
are called Max and Moritz, though of course one of
them is a bitch. That is really a word which one
ought not to write, for it means something, at least
in its other meaning.

THIRD YEAR

AGE THIRTEEN TO FOURTEEN

THIRD YEAR

July 31st. Yesterday was my birthday, the
thirteenth. Mother gave me a clock with a luminous
dial which I wanted for my night-table. Of course
that is chiefly of use during the long winter nights;
embroidered collars; from Father, A Bad Boy's Diary,
which one of the nurses lent Hella when she was in
hospital; it's such a delightfully funny book, but
Father says it's stupid because no boy could have
written all that, a new racquet with a leather case,
an awfully fine one, a Sirk, and tennis balls from
Dora. Correspondence cards, blue-grey with silver
edge. Grandfather and Grandmother sent a basket
of cherries, red ones, and a basket of currants and
strawberries; the strawberries are only for me for my
birthday. Aunt Dora sent three neckties from Berlin
for winter blouses. In the afternoon we went to the
Par.-Berg. It would have been awfully jolly if only
Mother could have gone too or if Hella had been there.

August 1st. I got a letter from Ada to-day. She
sends me many happy returns, for she thinks it is
on the 1st of August, and then comes the chief thing.
She is frightfully unhappy. She writes that she wants
to escape from the cramping environment of her family,
she simply can't endure _the stifling atmosphere of
home_. She has been to St. P. to see the actor for
whom she has such an admiration, he heard her recite
something and said she had real dramatic talent; he
would be willing to train her for the stage, but only
with her parents' consent. But of course they will
never give it. She writes that this has made her _so
nervous_ she feels like crying or raving all day long,
in fact she can't stand so dismal a life any longer. _I_
am her last hope. She would like me to come to stay
with them, or still better if she could come and stay
with us for two or 3 weeks, then she would tell
Mother about everything, and perhaps it might be
possible to arrange for her to live with us in Vienna
for a year; in the autumn Herr G., the actor, is coming
to the Raimund Theatre and she could begin her
training there. At the end of her letter she says that
it rests with my discretion and my tact to make her
the happiest creature in the world! I don't really
know what I shall be able to do. Still, I've made a
beginning; I said I found it so frightfully dull--if
only Hella were here, or at least Ada, or even Marina.
Then Mother said: But Marina is away in the
country, in Carinthia, and it's not likely that Ada will
be able to come. Father, too, is awfully sorry that
I find it so dull, and so at supper he said: Would
you really like Ada to come here? Certainly her age
makes her a better companion for you than Dora.
You seemed to get on better together last year. And
then he said to Mother: Do you think it would
bother you, Berta, to have Ada here? and Mother
said, "Not a bit; if Gretel would like it; it's really
her turn now, Dora came with me to Franzensbad,
Oswald is having his walking tour, and only our
little pet has not had anything for herself; would
you like it Gretel?" "Oh yes, Mother, I should like
it awfully, I'll write directly; it's no fun to me to
carry about that little brat the way Dora does, and
jolly as the Bad Boy's Diary is I can't read it all
day." So I am writing to Ada directly, just as if _I_
had thought of it and wanted her to come. I shall
be so frightfully happy if it all comes off and if Ada
really becomes a great actress, like Wolter whom
Mother is always talking of, then I shall have done
something towards helping Vienna to have a great
actress and towards making Ada the happiest creature
in the world instead of the unhappiest.

August 2nd. In my letter I did not say anything
to Ada about our having been ennobled, or as Dora
says _re-ennobled_, since the family has been noble for
generations; she will find out about it soon enough
when she comes here. Mother keeps on saying:
Don't put on such airs, especially about a thing which
we have not done anything particular to deserve.
But that's not quite fair, for unless Father had done
such splendid service in connection with the laws or
the constitution or something two years ago, sometimes
sitting up writing all night, perhaps he would
never have been re-ennobled. Besides, I really can't
see why Father and Mother should have made such a
secret about it last winter. They might just as well
have let us know. But I suppose Father wanted to
give us a real surprise. And he did too; Dora's face
and the way Oswald cleared his throat!! As far as I
can make out no one seems to have noticed what sort
of a face I was making.

August 3rd. I've found out now why Dora is so
different, that is why she is again just as she was
some time ago, before last winter. During the 4
weeks in Fr. she has _found a real friend in Mother!_
To-day I turned the conversation to Viktor, and all
she said at first was: Oh, I don't correspond with
him any more. And when I asked: "Have you had
a quarrel, and whose fault was it?" she said: "Oh,
no, I just _bade him farewell_." "What do you mean,
bade him farewell; but he's not really going to Amer-
ica, is he?" And then she said: "My dear _Rita_,
we had better clear this matter up; I parted from him
upon the well-justified wish of our _dear Mother_."
I must say that though I'm _awfully, awfully_ fond of
Mother, I really can't imagine having her as a _friend_.
How can one have a true friendship with one's own
mother? Dora really can't have the least idea _what_ a
_true friendship_ means. There are some things it's
impossible for a girl to speak about to her mother,
I could not possibly ask her: Do you know what,
_something has happened_, really means? Besides, I'm
not quite sure if she does know, for when she was 13
or 15 or 16, people may have used quite different
expressions, and the modern phrases very likely did not
then mean what they mean now. And what sort of a
friendship is it when Mother says to Dora: You
must not go out now, the storm may break at any
moment, and just the other evening: Dora you _must_
take your shawl with you. Friendship between
mother and daughter is just as impossible as friendship
between father and son. For between friends
there can be no orders and forbiddings, and what's
even more important is that one really can't talk about
all the things that one would like to talk of. All I
said last night was: "Of course Mother has forbidden
you to talk to me about _certain things_; do you call
that a friendship? Then she said very gently: "No,
Rita, Mother has not forbidden me, but I recognise
now that it was thoughtless of me to talk to you about
those things; one learns the seriousness of life quite
soon enough." I burst out laughing and said: "Is
_that_ what you call the seriousness of life? Have you
really forgotten how screamingly funny we found it
all? It seemed to me that your memory has been
affected by the mud baths." She did not answer that.
I do hope Ada will come. For _I_ need _her_ now just
as much as _she_ needs _me_.

August 4th. Glory be to God, Ada's coming, but
not directly because they begin their family washing
on the 5th and no one can be spared to come over
with her till the 8th. I am so glad, the only thing
I'm sorry about is that _she_ will sleep in the dressing-
room and not Dora. But Mother says that Dora and
I must stay together and that Ada can leave the door
into the dining-room open so that she won't feel lonely.

August 7th. The days are so frightfully long.
Dora is as mild and gentle as a nun, but she talks
to me just as little as a nun, and she's eternally with
Mother. The two dachshunds have been sold to some
one in Neulengbach and so it is so horribly dull.
Thank goodness Ada is coming to-morrow. Father
and I are going to meet her at the station at 6.

August 8th. Only time for a word or two. Ada
is more than a head taller than I am; Father said:
Hullo you longshanks, how you have shot up. I
suppose I must treat you as a grown-up young lady
now? And Ada said: Please, Herr Oberlandesgerichtsrat;
please treat me just as you used to; I
am so happy to have come to stay with you." And
her mother said: Yes, unfortunately she is happy
anywhere but at home; "_that is the way with young
people to-day_." Father helped Ada out and said:
Frau Haslinger, the sap of life was rising in us once,
but it's so long ago that we have forgotten." And
then Frau Dr. H. heaved a tremendous sigh as if
she were suffocating, and Ada took me by the arm
and said under her breath: Can you imagine what
my life is like _now_? Her mother is staying the night
here, and she spent the whole evening lamenting about
everything under the sun (that's what Ada told me
just before we went to bed); but I did not pay much
attention to what Frau H. was doing, for I'm positively
burning with curiosity as to what Ada is going to
talk to me about. To-morrow morning, directly after
breakfast!

August 12th. For 3 days I've had no time to
write, Ada and I have had such a lot to say to one
another. She _can't_ and _won't_ live any longer without
art, she would _rather die than give up her plans_. She
still has to spend a year at a continuation school
and must then either take the French course for the
state examination or else the needlecraft course.
But she wants to do all this in Vienna, so that in
her spare time she can study for the stage under Herr
G. She says she is not in love with him any longer,
that he is only a _means to an end_. She would sacrifice
_anything_ to reach her goal. At first I did not understand
what she meant by anything, but she explained
to me. She has read Bartsch's novel Elisabeth Kott,
the book Mother has too, and a lot of other novels
about artistic life, and they all say the same thing,
that _a woman cannot become a true artist until she
has experienced a great love_. There may be something
in it. For certainly a _great love_ does make one
_different_; I saw that clearly in Dora; when she was
madly in love with Viktor, and the way she's relapsed
now!! She is learning Latin again, to make up for
lost time! Ada does not speak to her about her plans
because Dora _lacks true insight!_ Only to-day she
mentioned before Dora that whatever happened she
wanted to come to Vienna in the autumn so that
she could often go to the theatre. And Dora said:
You are making a mistake, even people who live in
Vienna don't go to the theatre often; for first of all
one has very little time to spare, and secondly one
often can't get a seat; people who live in the country
often fancy that everything is much nicer in Vienna
than it really is.

August 14th. Just a word, quickly. To-day when
Ada was having a bath Mother said to _us two_: "Girls,
I've something to tell you; I don't want you to get
a fright in the night. Ada's mother told me that
Ada is very nervous, and often walks in her sleep."
"I say," said I, "that's frightfully interesting, she
must be _moonstruck_; I suppose it always happens
when the moon is full." Then Mother said: "Tell
me, Gretel, how do you know about all these things?
Has Ada talked to you about them?" "No," said I,
"but the Frankes had a maid who walked in her sleep
and Berta Franke told Hella and me about it." It
has just struck me that Mother said: how do you
know about all _these_ things? So it must have something
to do with _that_. I wonder whether I dare ask
Ada, or whether she would be offended. I'm frightfully
curious to see whether she will walk in her sleep
while she is staying here.

August 15th. Hella's answer came to-day to what
I had written her about the _friendship_ between
Mother and Dora. Of course she does not believe
either that _that_ is why Dora _bade farewell_ to Viktor,
for it is no reason at all. Lizzi has never had any
particular friendship with her mother, and Hella
could never dream of anything of the sort; she thinks
I'm perfectly right, one may be _awfully_ fond of one's
parents, but there simply can't be any question of
a friendship. She would not stand it if I were so
changeable in my friendships. She thinks Dora can
never have had a true friendship, and that is why
she has taken up with Mother now. The Bruckners
are coming back on the 19th because everything is so
frightfully expensive in Gastein. After that most
likely they will go to stay with their uncle in Hungary,
or else to Fieberbrunn in Tyrol. For Hella's name
day I have sent her A Bad Boy's Diary because she
wanted to read it again. Now we have both got it,
and can write to one another which are the best bits
so that we can read them at the same time.

August 20th. _Last night Ada really did walk in
her sleep_, probably we should never have noticed it,
but she began to recite Joan of Arc's speech from
The Maid of Orleans, and Dora recognised it at once
and said: "I say, _Rita_, Ada really is walking in her
sleep." We did not stir, and she went into the dining-
room, but the dining-room door was locked and the
key taken away, for it opens directly into the passage,
and then she knocked up against Mother's sofa and
that woke her up. It was horrible. And then she
lost her way and came into our room instead of going
into her own; but she was already awake and begged
our pardon and said she'd been looking for the W.
Then she went back to her own room. Dora said we
had better pretend that we had not noticed it, for
otherwise we should upset Ada. Not a bit of it, after
breakfast she said: "I suppose I gave you an awful
fright last night; don't be vexed with me, I often
get up and walk about at night, I simply can't stay
in bed. Mother says I always recite when I am
walking like that; do I? Did I say anything?"
"Yes," I said, "you recited Joan of Arc's speech."
"Did I really," said she, "that is because they won't
let me go on the stage; I'm certain I shall go off my
head; if I do, you will know the real reason at any
rate." This sleep-walking is certainly very interesting,
but it makes me feel a little creepy towards Ada,
and it's perfectly true what Dora has always said:
One never knows what Ada is really looking at. It
would be awful if she were really to go off her head.
I've just remembered that her mother was once in an
asylum. I do hope she won't go mad while she is
staying here.

August 21st. Mother heard it too the night before
last. She is so glad that she had warned us, and
Dora says that if she had not known it beforehand
she would probably have had an attack of palpitation.
Father said: "Ada is thoroughly histerical, she has
inherited it from her mother." In the autumn Lizzi
is going to England to finish her education and will
stay there a whole year. Fond as I am of Ada and
sorry as I am for her, she makes me feel uneasy now,
and I'm really glad that she's going home again on
Tuesday. She told me something terrible to-day:
Alexander, he is the actor, has _venereal disease_, because
he was once an officer in the army; she says
that all officers have venereal disease, as a matter of
course. At first I did not want to show that I did not
understand exactly what she meant, but then I asked
her and Ada told me that what was really amiss was
that _that_ part of the body either gets continually
smaller and smaller and is quite eaten away, or else
gets continually larger because it is so frightfully
swollen; the last kind is much better than the other,
for then an operation can help; a retired colonel who
lives in H. was operated upon in Vienna for _this_; but
it did not cure him. There is only one real cure for
a man with a venereal disease, that a young girl should
_give herself_ to a man suffering from it! (Mad. often
said that too), then she gets the disease and he is
cured. That made Ada understand that she did not
really love A., but only wanted him to train her; for
she could never have done that for him, and she did
not know how she could propose _that_ to him even _if_
she had been willing to. Besides, it is generally the
man concerned who asks it of the girl. And when I
said: "But just imagine, what would you do if you
got a baby that way," and she said: "That does not
come into the question, for when a man has venereal
disease it is _impossible_ to have a child by him. But
after all, only a woman who has had a baby can become
a true artist." Franke, who has a cousin on
the stage said something of the same sort to Hella
and me; but we thought, Franke's cousin is only in
the Wiener Theatre, and that might be true there; but
it may be quite different in the Burg Theatre and in
the Opera and even in the People's Theatre. I told
Ada about this, and she said: Oh, well, I'm only a
girl from the provinces, but I have known for ages
that _every_ actress has a child.

23rd. Ada really is a born artist, to-day she read
us a passage from a splendid novel, but oh, how wonderfully,
even Dora said: "Ada, you are really phenominal!"
Then she flung the book away and wept
and sobbed frightfully and said: "My parents are
sinning against their own flesh and blood; but they
will rue it. Do you remember what the old gypsy
woman foretold of me last year: "A _great_ but _short_
career after many difficult struggles; and my line of
life is broken!" That will all happen as predicted,
and my mother can recite that lovely poem of Freiligrath's
or Anastasius Grun's, or whosever it is "Love
as long as thou canst, love as long as thou mayst.
The hour draws on, the hour draws on, when thou
shalt stand beside the grave and make thy moan."
Then Ada recited the whole poem, and when I went to
bed I kept on thinking of it and could not go to sleep.

August 24th. To-day I ventured to ask Ada about
the sleep-walking, and she said that it was really so,
when she walked in her sleep it was always at _that
time_ and when the moon is full. The first time, it was
last year, she did it on purpose in order to frighten
her mother, when her mother had first told her she
would not be allowed to go on the stage. It does not
seem to me a very clever idea, or that she is likely to
gain anything by it. The day after to-morrow someone
is coming to fetch her home, and for that reason
she was crying all the morning.

August 25th. Hella was here to-day with her
mother and Lizzi. Hella had a splendid time in
Gastein. She wanted to have a private talk with
me, to tell me something important. That made it
rather inconvenient that Ada was still there. Hella
never gets on with Ada, and she says too that one
never really knows what she is looking at, she always
looks right through one. We could not get a
_single minute_ alone together for a talk. I do hope
Hella will be able to come over once more before she
goes to Hungary. Last week they went to Fieberbrunn
in Tyrol because an old friend of her mother's from
Berlin is staying there.

August 26th. Ada went home to-day, her father
came to fetch her. He says she has a screw loose,
because she wants to go on the stage.

August 28th. Hella came over to-day; she was
alone and I met her at the steam tram. At first she
did not want to tell me what the important thing was
because it was _not flattering_ to me, but at last she
got it out. The Warths were in Gastein, and since
Hella knows Lisel because they used to go to gym.
together, they had a talk, and that cheeky Robert said:
Is your friend still such a baby as she was that time
in er . . . er . . ., and then he pretended he could
not remember where it was; and he spoke of _that time_
as if it had been 10 years ago. But the most impudent
thing of all was this; he said that I had not
wanted to call him Bob, because that always made me
think of a certain part of the body; I never said anything
of the kind, but only that I thought Bob silly
and vulgar, and then he said (it was before we got
intimate): "Indeed, Fraulein Grete, I really prefer
that you should use my full name." I remember it as
well as if it had happened this morning, and I know
exactly where he said it, on the way to the Red Cross.
Hella took him up sharply: That may be all quite
true, we have never discussed such trifles, and, at that
time we were "all, _every one of us_, still nothing but
children." Of course she meant to include ----. I
won't even write his name. Another thing that made
me frightfully angry is that he said: I dare say your
friend is more like you now, but at that time she was
still quite undeveloped. Hella answered him curtly:
"That's not the sort of phrase that it's seemly to use
to a young lady," and she would not speak to him any
more. I never heard of such a thing, what business is
it of his whether I am _developed_ or not! Hella thinks
that I was not quite particular enough in my choice
of companions. She says that Bob is still nothing but
a Bub [young cub]. That suits him perfectly, Bob--
Bub; now we shall never call him anything but Bub;
that is if we ever speak of him at all. When we don't
like some one we shall call him simply Bob, or better
still B., for we really find it disagreeable to say Bob.

August 31st. The holidays are so dull this year,
Hella has gone to Hungary, and I hardly ever talk
to Dora, at least about anything _interesting_. Ada's
letters are full of nothing but my promises about
Vienna. It's really too absurd, I never promised any-
thing, I merely said I would speak to Mother about
it when I had a chance. I have done so already, but
Mother said: There can be no question of anything
of the kind.

September 1st. Hullo, Hurrah! To-morrow Hella's
father is going to take me to K-- M--in Hungary
to stay with Hella. I am so awfully delighted. Hella
is an angel. When she was ill last Christmas her
father said: She can ask for anything she likes.
But she did not think of anything in particular, and
had her Christmas wishes anyhow, so she saved up
this wish. And after she had been here she wrote to
her father in Cracow, where he is at manoeuvres,
saying that if he would like to grant her her chief
wish, then, when he came back to Vienna, he was to
take me with him to K-- M--; this was really the
_greatest wish_ she had ever had in her life! So Colonel
Bruckner called at Father's office to-day and showed
him Hella's letter. To-morrow at 3 I must be at the
State Railway terminus. Unfortunately that's a horrid
railway. The Western Railway is much nicer, and
I like the Southern Railway better still.

September 2nd. I am awfully excited; I'm going
to Vienna alone and I have to change at Liesing, I
do hope I shall get into the right train. I got a letter
from Hella first thing this morning, in which she
wrote: "Perhaps we shall be together again in a few
days." That's all she said about that; I suppose she
did not know yet whether I was really coming. Mother
will have to send my white blouses after me, because
all but one are dirty. I'm going to wear my coat
and skirt and the pink blouse. I'm going to take
twenty pages for my diary, that will be enough; for
I'm going to write whatever happens, in the mornings
I expect, because in the holidays I'm sure Hella
will never get up before 9; on Sundays in Vienna she
would always like to lie in bed late, but her father
won't let her.

But whatever happens I won't learn to ride, for it
must be awful to tumble off before a strange man.
It was different for Hella, for Jeno, Lajos, and
Erno are her cousins, and one of them always rode
close beside her with his arm round her waist: but
that would not quite do in my case.

September 6th. Oh it is so glorious here. I like
Jeno best, he goes about with me everywhere and
shows me everything; Hella is fondest of Lajos and
of Erno next. But Erno has still a great deal to learn,
for he was nearly flunked in his exam. Next year
Lajos will be a lieutenant, and this autumn Jeno is
going to the military academy, Erno has a slight limp,
nothing bad, but he can't go into the army; he is
going to be a civil engineer, not here, he is to go to
America some day.

I have time to write to-day, for all 4 of them have
gone to S. on their cycles and I have never learned.

It was lovely on the journey! It's so splendid to
travel with an officer, and still more when he is a
colonel. All the stationmasters saluted him and the
guards could not do enough to show their respect.
Of course everyone thought I was his daughter, for
he has always said "Du" to me since I was quite
a little girl. But to Ada Father always says "Sie."
We left the train at Forgacs or Farkas, or whatever
it is called, and Hella's father hired a carriage and
it took us 2 hours to drive to K-- M--. He was
awfully jolly. We had our supper in F., though it
was only half past 6. It was a joke to see all the waiters
tumbling over each other to serve him. It s just
the same with Father, except that the stationmasters
don't all salute. Father looks frightfully distinguished
too, but he is not in uniform.

Here is something awfully interesting: Herr von
Kraics came yesterday from Radufalva, his best friend
left him the Radufalva estate out of gratitude, because
8 years ago he gave up his fiancee with whom the
friend was in love. It's true, Colonel Bruckner says
that K. is a wretched milksop; but I don't think so
at all; he has such fiery eyes, and looks a real Hungarian
nobleman. Hella says that he used to run
himself frantically into debt, because every six months
he had an _intimacy_ with some new woman; and all
the presents he gave _reduced him almost to beggary_.
Still, it's difficult to believe that, for however fond a
woman may be of flowers and sweets, one does not
quite see why that should reduce anyone to beggary.
Before we went to sleep last night Hella told me that
Lajos had already been "infected" more or less; she
says there is not an officer who has not got venereal
disease and that is really what makes them so frightfully
interesting. Then I told her what Ada had told
me about the actor in St. P. But Hella said: I doubt
if that's all true; of course it is more likely since he
was an actor, and especially since he was in the army
at one time, but generally speaking civilians are
_wonderfully_ healthy!!! And she could not stand that in
her husband. Every officer has _lived_ frantically;
that's a polite phrase for having had venereal disease,
and she would never marry a man who had not _lived_.
Most girls, especially when they get a little older;
want the very opposite! and then it suddenly occurred
to me that _that_ was probably the _real_ reason why
Dora _bade farewell_ to _Lieutenant R_., and not the
_friendship with Mother_; it is really awfully funny,
and no one would have thought it of her. Hella's
father thinks me _charming_; he is really awfully nice.
Hella's uncle hardly ever says anything, and when he
does speak he is difficult to understand; Hella's father
says that his sister-in-law wears the breeches. That
would never do for me; the man must be the _master_.
"But not too much so" says Hella. She always gets
cross when her father says that about wearing breeches.
I got an awful start yesterday; we went out on the
veranda because we heard the boys talking, and found
Hella's great uncle lying there on an invalid couch.
She told me about him once, that he's quite off his
head, not really paralysed but only pretends to be.
Hella is terribly afraid of him, because long ago, when
she was only 9 or 10 years old, he wanted to give her
a thrashing. But her uncle came in, and then he let
her go. She says he was only humbugging, but she is
awfully afraid of him all the same. He keeps his
room, and he has a male attendant, because no nurse
can manage him. He ought really to be in an asylum
but there is no high class asylum in Hungary.

September 9th. There was a frightful rumpus
this morning; the great uncle, the people here call
him "kutya mog" or however they spell it, and it
means _mad dog_, well, the great uncle _spied in on us_.
He can walk with a stick, our room is on the ground
floor, and he came and planted himself in front of
the window when Hella was washing and I was just
getting out of bed. Then Hella's father came and
made a tremendous row and the uncle swore horribly
in Hungarian. Before dinner we overheard Hella's
father say to Aunt Olga: "They would be dainty
morsels for that old swine, those innocent children."
We did laugh so, _we_ and _innocent children!!!_
What our fathers really think of us; we innocent!!!
At dinner we did not dare look at one another or
we should have exploded. Afterwards Hella said to
me: I say, do you know that we have the same name
day?" And when I said: "What do you mean, it
seems to me you must have gone dotty this morning,"
she laughed like anything and said: "Don't you see,
December 27th, Holy Innocents' Day!" Oh it did
tickle me. She knew that date although she's a
Protestant because December 27th is Marina's birthday,
and in our letters we used to speak of that deceitful
cat as "The Innocent."

The three boys and I have begun to use "Du" to
one another, at supper yesterday Hella's father said
to Erno: "You seem frightfully ceremonious still,
can't you make up your minds to drop the "Sie?"
So we clinked glasses, and afterwards when Jeno and
I were standing at the window admiring the moon,
he said: You Margot, that was not a real pledge of
good-fellowship, we must kiss one another for that;
hurry up, before anyone comes, and before I could
say No he had given me a kiss. After all it was all
right as it was Jeno, but it would not have done with
Lajos, for it would have been horrid because of Hella,
or Ilonka as they call her here.

Hella has just told me that they saw us kissing
one another, and Lajos said: "Look Ilonka, they
are setting us a good example." We are so awfully
happy here. It's such a pity that on the 16th Jeno and
Lajos have got to leave for the Academy, where
Jeno is to enter and Lajos is in his third year: Erno,
the least interesting of the three, is staying till October.
But that is always the way of life, beautiful
things pass and the dull ones remain. We go out
boating every day, yesterday and to-day by moonlight.
The boys make the boat rock so frightfully that we
are always terrified that it will upset. And then they
say: "You have your fate in your own hands; buy
your freedom and you will be as safe as in Abraham's
bosom."

September 12th. The great uncle _hates us_ since
what happened the other day; whenever he sees us
he threatens us with his stick, and though we are
not really afraid, because he can't do anything to us,
still it's rather creepy. One thinks of all sorts of
things, stories and sagas one has read. That is the
only thing I don't quite like here. But we are leaving
on the 18th. Of course Lajos and Jeno will often
come to see the Bruckners; I'm awfully glad. I
don't know why, I always fancied that they could
only speak Magyar; but that is not so at all, though
they always speak it at home when they are alone.
Hella told me to-day for the first time that all the
flowers on the table by her bed one Sunday in hospital
had been sent by Lajos; and she did not wish to tell
me at that time because he wished her to keep it a
secret. This has made me rather angry, for I see
that I have been much franker with her than she has
been with me.

September 16th. The boys left to-day, and we
stayed up till midnight last night. We had been to
N-- K--, I don't know how to spell these Hungarian
names, and we did not get back till half past 11. It
was lovely. But it seems all the sadder to-day, especially
as it is raining as well. It's the first time it's
rained since I came. Partings are horrid, especially
for the ones left behind; the others are going to new
scenes anyhow. But for the people left behind everything
is hatefully dull and quiet. In the afternoon
Hella and I went into Jeno's and Lajos' room, it had
not been tidied up yet and was in a frightful mess.
Then Hella suddenly began sobbing violently, and
she flung herself on Lajos' bed and kissed the pillow.
_That_ is how she loves him! I'm sure _that_ is the way
Mad. loves the lieutenant, but Dora is simply incapable
of _such_ love, and then she can talk of her _true and
intimate friendship with Mother_. Hella says she has
always been in love with Lajos, but that _her eyes were
first opened_ when she saw Jeno and me going about
together and talking to one another. Now she will
love Lajos for evermore. Next year they will probably
get engaged, she can't be engaged till she is 14 for her
parents would not allow it. It is for her sake that
he is going into the Hussars because she likes the Hussars
best. They all _live frightfully hard_, and are
tremendously smart.

September 21st. Since Saturday we have been back
In Vienna, and Father, Mother, and Dora came back
from Rodaun on Thursday. Dora really is too funny;
since Ada stayed with us and walked in her sleep
Dora is afraid she has been _infected_. She does not
seem to know what the word really means! And while
I was away she slept with Mother, and Father slept
in our room, because she was afraid to sleep alone.
Of course no one takes to walking in their sleep simply
from sleeping alone, but that was only a pretext; Dora
has never been very courageous, in fact she is rather a
coward, and she was simply afraid to sleep alone. If
Father had been afraid too, I suppose I should have
had to come back post-haste, and if I had been afraid
to travel alone, and there had been no one to come with
me, that would have been a pretty state of affairs. I
told them so. Father laughed like anything at my
"_combinations_," and Dora got in a frightful wax.
She is just as stupid and conceited as she was _before_
she fell in love. So Hella is right when she says: Love
enobles [veredelt]. Erno made a rotten joke about
that when he heard Hella say it once. He said:
You've made a slip of the tongue, you meant to say:
Love makes fools of people [vereseltl. Of course
that's because he's not in love with anyone.

September 22nd. School began again to-day. Frau
Doktor M. is perfectly fascinating, she looks splendid
and she said the same to both of us. Thank goodness
she's the head of our class again. In French we have
a new mistress Frau Doktor Dunker, she is perfectly
hideous, covered with pimples, a thing I simply can't
stand in any one; Hella says we must be careful never
to let her handle our books; if she does we might catch
them. In Maths and Physics we have another new
mistress, she is a Doktor too, and she speaks so fast
that none of us can understand her; but she looks
frightfully clever, although she is very small. We
call her "_Nutling_" because she has such a tiny little
head and such lovely light-brown eyes. Otherwise the
staff is the same as last year, and there are a few new
girls and some have left, but only ones we did not
know intimately. This is Franke's last year at the
Lyz., she will be 16 in April and has a splendid figure.
Her worst enemy must admit that. Dora is having
English lessons from the matron, and she is _awfully
pleased_ about it, for she is one of her favourites and
it will help her too in her matriculation.

September 25th. Yesterday and the day before
Mother was so ill that the doctor had to be sent for
at half past 10 at night. Thank goodness she is better
now. But on such days I simply can't write a word
in my diary; I feel as if I oughtn't to. And the days
seem everlasting, for nobody talks much, and it's awful
at mealtimes. Mother was up again to-day, lying on
the sofa.

September 29th. I've had such an awful toothache
since the day before yesterday. Dora says it's only
an ache for a gold filling like Frau Doktor M.'s. Of
course that's absurd; for first of all, surely I ought
to know whether my own tooth hurts or not, and
secondly the dentist says that the tooth really is decayed.
I have to go every other day and I can't say
I enjoy it. At the same time, this year we have such
a frightful lot to learn at school. The Nutling is
really very nice, if one could only understand better
what she says, but she talks at such a rate that in the
Fifth, where she teaches too, they call her Waterfall.
Nobody has ever given Frau Doktor M. a nickname,
not even an endearing one. The only one that could
possibly be given to her is Angel, and that could not
be a real name, it's quite unmeaning. In the drawing
class we are going to draw from still life, and, best
of all, animal studies too, I am so delighted.

October 4th. Goodness, to-day when we were
coming home from the Imperial Festival, we met
Viktor in M. Street, but unfortunately he did not see
us. He was in full-dress uniform and was walking
with 3 other officers whom neither I nor Hella know.
We were frightfully angry because he did not recognise
us; Hella thinks it can only be because we were
both wearing our big new autumn hats, which shade
our faces very much.

October 11th. There was a frightful row in the
drawing lesson to-day. Borovsky had written a note
to one of her friends: The little Jewess, F. (that
means the Nutling) is newly imported from Scandalavia
with her horsehair pate with or without inhabitants."
Something of that sort was what she had
written and as she was throwing it across to Fellner,
Fraulein Scholl turned round at that very moment
and seized the note. "Who is F.?", she asked, but
no one answered. That made her furious and she put
the note in her pocket. At 1 o'clock, when the lesson
was over, Borovsky went up to her and asked her for
the note. Then she asked once more: "Who is F.?"
And Fellner, thinking I suppose that she would help
Borovsky out, said: "She forgot to write Frau Doktor
Fuchs." Then the row began. I can't write it all
down, it would take too long; of course Borovsky will
be expelled. She cried like anything and begged and
prayed, and said she did not mean it, but Fraulein
Scholl says she is going to give the letter to the head.

October 12th. Continuation; the head is laid up
with a chill, so Frl. Scholl gave the note to Frau
Doktor M.; that was both good and bad. Good because
Borovsky will perhaps be able to stay after all,
and bad because Frau Doktor M. was frightfully
angry. She gave us a fine lecture about True Good
Manners, simply splendid. I was so glad that I was
not mixed up in the business, for she did give Borovsky
and Fellner a rating. It's probably true, then,
that her own fiance is a Jew. Its horrible that _she_
above all should be going to have a cruel husband;
at least if all that Resi told us is true; and I expect
there is some truth in it. We are frightfully curious
to know whether the Nutling has heard anything
about it and if so what she will do.

October 13th. I don't think the Nutling can have
heard anything for she seemed just as usual; but
Hella thinks and so do I that she would not show
anything even if Frl. Scholl had told her; anyhow
it was horridly vulgar; one is not likely to pass it
on to the person concerned. Why we think she does
not know anything is that neither Borovsky nor Fellner
were called up.

October 14th. To-day the needlewoman brought
Dora's handkerchiefs with her monogram and the
coronet, lovely; I want some like them for Christmas.
And for Mother she has embroidered six pillow-cases,
these have a coronet too; by degrees we shall have the
coronet upon everything. By the way, here is something
I'd forgotten to write: In one of the first days
of term Father gave each of us one of his new visiting
cards with the new title, I was to give mine to Frau
Doktor M. and Dora hers to Frau Prof. Kreidl, to
have the names properly entered in the class lists.
Frau Prof. Kreidl did not say anything, but Frau
Doktor M. was awfully sweet. She said: "Well,
Lainer, I suppose you are greatly pleased at this rise
in rank?" And I said: "Oh yes, I'm awfully delighted,
but only inside," then she said: That's right;
"Religion, name, and money do not make the man."
Was not that charming! I write the v before my name
awfully small; but anyone who knows can see it.
What a shame that she is not noble! _She_ would be
worthy of it!!

October 15th. Oswald has gone to Leoben to-day,
he is to study mining, but _against_ Father's will. But
Father says that no one must be forced into a profession,
for if he is he will always say throughout life
that he only became this or that on compulsion. The
other evening Dora said that Oswald had only chosen
mining in order to get away from home; if he were to
study law or agricultural chemistry he could not get
away from Vienna, and that is the chief thing to him.
Besides, he is a bit of a humbug; for when he came
home from Graz after matriculation he said in so many
words: "How delightful to have one's legs under one's
own table again and to breathe the _family atmosphere_."
Dora promptly said to him: "Hm, you don't seem
to care so very much about home, for always when
you come home for the holidays the first thing you
do is to make plans for getting away." For she is
annoyed too that Oswald can travel about wherever
he likes. And yet he goes on talking about being
"_subjected to intolerable supervision"!!_ What about
us? He can stay out until 10 at night and _never_
comes to afternoon tea, and in fact does just what he
likes. If I go to supper with Hella and am just ever
so little late, there's a fine row. As for the lectures
poor Dora had to endure when Viktor was waiting for
her, I shall never forget them. Of course she denies
it all now, but I was present at some of them so I
know; otherwise he would not have called me "the
Guardian Angel." She behaves now as if she had
forgotten all about that, so I often remind her of it
on purpose when we are alone together. The other
day she said: "I do beg you, Grete (not Rita), don't
speak any more of that matter; I have buried the
affair for ever." And when I said: "Buried, what
do you mean? A true love can't simply be _buried_
like that," she said: "It was not a true love, and that's
all there is to say about it."

October 16th. I had a frantically anxious time in
the arithmetic lesson to-day. All of a sudden Hella
flushed dark red and I thought to myself: Aha, that's
it! And I wrote to her on my black-line paper: Has
it begun??? for we had agreed that she would tell me
directly, she will be 14 in February and _it_ will
certainly begin soon. Frau Doktor F. said: Lainer,
what was that you pushed over to Br.? and she came
up to the desk and took the black-line paper. "What
does that mean: Has it begun???" Perhaps she
really did not know what I meant, but several of the
girls who knew about it too laughed, and I was in
a terrible fright. But Hella was simply splendid.
"Excuse me, Frau Doktor, Rita asked whether the
frost had begun yet." "And that's the way you spend
your time in the mathematics lesson?" But thank
goodness that made things all right. Only in the
interval Hella said that really I am inconceivably
stupid sometimes. What on earth did I want to write
a thing like that for? _When_ it begins, _of course_
she will let me know directly. As a matter of fact it
has _not_ begun yet. We have agreed now that it will
be better to say "Endt," a sort of portmanteau word
of _developed_ [entwickelt] and _at last_ [endlich] . That
will really be splendid and Hella says that I happened
upon it in a lucid interval. It's really rather cheeky
of her, but after all one can forgive anything to one's
friend. She absolutely insists that I must never again
put her in such a fix in class. Of course it happened
because I am always thinking: Now then, this is the
day.

November 8th. On Father's and Dora's birthday
Mother was so ill that we did not keep it at all. I
was in a terrible fright that Mother was seriously
ill, or even that -- -- -- -- -- No, I won't even
think it; one simply must not write it down even
if one is not superstitious. Aunt Dora came last week
to keep house for Mother. We are not going skating,
for we are always afraid that Mother might get worse
just when we are away. As soon as she is able to
get up for long enough Father is going to take her to
see a specialist in the _diseases of women_; so it must
be true that Mother's illness comes from _that_.

November 16th. Oh it's horrible, Mother has to
have an operation; I'm so miserable that I can't
write.

November 19th. Mother is so good and dear; she
wants us to go skating to take our thoughts off the
operation. But Dora says too that it would be brutal
to go skating when Mother is going to have an operation
in a few days. Father said to us yesterday
evening: "Pull yourselves together children, set your
teeth and don't make things harder for your poor
Mother." But I can't help it, I cry whenever I look
at Mother.

November 23rd. It is so dismal at home since
Mother went away; we had to go to school and we
believed she would not leave until the afternoon, but
the carriage came in the morning. Dora says that
Father had arranged all that because I could not control
myself. Well, who could? Dora cries all day;
and at school I cried a lot and so did Hella.

November 28th. Thank goodness, it's all safely
over, Mother will be home again in a fortnight. I'm
so happy and only now can I realise how _horribly_
anxious I have been. We go every day to see Mother
at the hospital; I wish I could go alone, but we always
go all together, that is either with Father or with
Aunt Dora. But I suspect that Dora does go to see
Mother quite alone, she gave herself away to-day
about the flowers, she behaves as if Mother were only
_her_ mother. On Thursday, the first time we saw
Mother, we all whispered, and Mother cried, although
the operation had made her quite well again. Unfortunately
yesterday, Aunt Alma was there when we
were, and Father said that seeing so many people
at once was too exciting for Mother, and we must
go away. Of course he really meant that Aunt Alma
and Marina had better go away, but Aunt did not
understand or would not. Why on earth did Aunt
come? We hardly ever meet since the trouble about
Marina and that jackanapes Erwin; only when there
is a family party; Oswald says it's not a family
gathering but a family dispersal because nearly always
some one takes offence.

November 30th. To-day I managed to be _alone_
with Mother. At school I said I had an awfully bad
headache and asked if I might go home before the
French lesson; I really had. What I told Mother
was that Frau Doktor Dunker was ill, so we had no
lesson. Really one ought not to tell lies to an invalid,
but this was a _pious fraud_ as Hella's mother always
calls anything of the sort, and no one will find out,
because Frau Doktor Dunker has nothing to do with
the Fourth, so Dora won't hear anything about it.
Mother said she was _awfully pleased_ to be able to see
_me_ alone for once. That absolutely proves that Dora
does go alone. Mother was so sweet, and Sister Klara
said she was a perfect angel in goodness and patience.
Then I burst out crying and Mother had to soothe me.
At first, after I got home, I did not want to say anything
about it, but when we were putting on our things
after dinner to go and see Mother I said en passant
as it were: "This is the second time I shall be seeing
Mother to-day." And when Dora said: What do
you mean? I said quite curtly: "One of our lessons
did not come off, and so I took the chance _too_ of being
able to see Mother _alone_." Then she said: Did the
porter let you in without any trouble? It surprises
me very much that such _very_ young girls, who are
almost children still, are allowed to go in alone.
Luckily Aunt came in at that moment and said: "Oh
well, nobody thinks Gretl quite a child now, and _both
of you_ can go alone to the hospital all right." On the
way we did not speak to one another.

December 5th. For St. Nicholas day we took
Mother a big flower pot, and tied to the stick was a
label on which Father had written; "Being ill is
punishable as an unpermissible offence in the sense
of Section 7 the Mothers' and Housewives' Act." Mother
was frightfully amused. The doctor says she is going
on nicely, and that she will be able to come home in
a few days.

December 6th. It was awful to-day. In the
evening when we were leaving the dining-room Father
said: "Gretl you have forgotten something. And
when I came back he took me by the hand and said:
"Why didn't you tell me that you want so much to
see Mother _alone_? You need not make such a secret
of it." And then I burst out crying and said: "Yes,
I need not keep it secret from you, but I don't like
Dora to know all about it. Did she tell you what
happened the other day?" But Father does not know
anything about my pretended headache, but only that
I wanted so much to see Mother alone. He was
awfully kind and kissed and petted me, saying:
"You are a dear little thing, little witch, I hope you
always will be." But I got away as quick as I could,
for I felt so ashamed because of my fibbing. If it
were not for Dora I'm sure I should never tell any
lies.

December 6th. Father is an angel. He and I went
to see Mother in the morning, and Aunt and Dora
went in the afternoon. And since Father had to go
into the Cafe where he had an appointment with a
friend, I went on alone to see Mother and he came in
afterwards. Mother asked me about my Christmas
wishes; but I told her I had only one wish, that she
should get well and live for ever. I was awfully glad
that Dora was not there, for I could never have got
that out before her. Still, she made me tell her my
wishes after all, so I said I wanted handerkerchiefs
with "monogram and coronet," visiting cards with _von_,
a satchel like that which most of the girls in the _higher_
classes have, and the novel Elizabeth Kott. But I am
not to have the novel, for Mother was horrified and
said: My darling child, that's not the sort of book for
you; who on earth put that into your head; Ada, I
suppose? From what I know of your tastes, it really
would not suit you at all. So I had to give that up,
but I'm certain I should not find the book stupid.

December 11th. Mother came home again to-day;
we did not know what time she was coming, but only
that it was to be to-day. And because I was so glad
that Mother is quite well again, I sang two or three
songs, and Mother said: That is a good omen when
one is greeted with a song. Then Dora was annoyed
because _she_ had not thought of singing. We had
decorated the whole house with flowers.

December 15th. I am embroidering a cushion for
Mother and Dora is making her a footstool so that

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