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A Young Girl's Diary

Part 4 out of 5

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she can sit quite comfortably when she is reading.
For Father we have bought a new brief bag because
his own is so shabby that it makes us quite ashamed;
but he always says: "It will do for a good while yet."
For a long time I did not know what to get for Aunt
Dora, and at length we have decided upon a lace
fichu; for she is awfully fond of lace. I am giving
Hella a sketch book and a pencil case; she draws
beautifully and will perhaps become an artist, for Dora
I am getting a vanity bag and for Oswald a cigarette
case with a horse's head on it, for he is frightfully
taken up with racing and the turf.

December 16th. Owing to Mother's illness I've
had simply no time to write anything about the school,
although there has been a _great deal_ to write about,
for example that Prof. W. is very friendly again,
although he no longer gives us lessons, and that most
of the girls can't bear the Nutling because she makes
such favourites of the Jewish girls. It's quite true
that she does, for example Franke, who is never any
good, will probably get a Praiseworthy in Maths and
Physics; and she lets Weinberger do anything she
likes. I always get Excellent both for school work
and prep.; so it really does not matter to me, but
Berbenowitsch is frightfully put out because she is
no longer the favourite as she was with Frau Doktor
St. The other day it was quite unpleasant in the
Maths lesson. In the answer to a sum there happened
to be 1-3, and then the Nutling asked what 1-3 would
be as a decimal fraction; so we went on talking about
recurring [periodic] decimals and every time she used
the word _period_, some of the girls giggled, but luckily
some of them were Jews, and she got perfectly savage
and simply screamed at us. In Frau Doktor St's
lesson in the First, some of the girls giggled at the
same thing and she went on just as if she had not
noticed it, but afterwards she always spoke of _periodic
places_, and then one does not think of the real meaning
so much. Frau Doktor F. said she should complain
to Frau Doktor M. about our unseemly behaviour.
But really all the girls had not giggled, for ex. Hella
and I simply exchanged glances and understood one
another at once. I can't endure that idiotic giggling.

December 20th. Oswald came home to-day; he's
fine. It's quite true that he has really had a moustache
for a long time, but was not allowed to grow it at the
Gymnasium; in boarding schools the barber comes
every Saturday, and they _have_ to be shaved. He
always says that at the Gymnasium everything manly
is simply suppressed. I am so glad I am not a man
and need not go to Gymnasium. Anyhow he has a
splendid moustache now. Hella did not recognise
him at first and drew back in alarm, she only knew
him after a moment by his voice. We have reckoned
it up, and find that she has not seen him since the
Easter before last. At first he called her Fraulein,
but her mother said: Don't be silly. It did not seem
silly to me, but most polite!!!

December 23rd. Mother is so delighted that Oswald
is home again and he really is awfully nice; he is
giving her a wonderful flowers-of-iron group representing
a mountain scene with a forest, and in the foreground
some roe deer as if in a pasture.

December 25th. Only time for a few words. Mother
was very well yesterday, and it has not done her any
harm to stay up so long. I am so happy. We both
got a tie pin with a sapphire and 3 little diamonds,
they have been made out of some earrings which
Mother never wears now. But the nice thing about
it is that they are made from her earrings. The satchel
and Stifter's Tales are awfully nice and so are the
handkerchiefs with the coronet and everything else.
Hella gave me a reticule with my monogram and the
coronet as well. Oswald has given Dora and me
small paperweights and Father a big one, bronze
groups. We really need two writing tables, but there
is no room for two. So I am going to arrange the
little corner table as my writing table and have all
my things there.

December 27th. At the Bruckners yesterday it
was really awful. Hella's mother is perfectly right;
when anyone looks like _that_ she ought not to pay
visits when she knows that other people may be there.
Hella told me the day before yesterday how frightfully
noticeable it is in her cousin that she is in an i-- c--!
Her mother was very much put out on her account
and she wanted to prevent Emmy's standing up. We
were simply disgusted and horrified. But her husband
is awfully gentle with her; She is certainly not pretty
and especially the puffiness under her eyes is horrid.
They say that many women look like that when they
are pr. She was wearing a _maternity dress_, and that
gives the whole show away! Hella says that some
women look awfully pretty when they are in an
i-- c--, but that some look hideous. I do hope I
shall be one of the first kind, if I ever . . . No, it
is really horrible, even if it makes one pretty; when I
think of Frau von Baldner and what she looked like
last summer, yet Father has always said she is a
a perfect beauty. Really no one is pretty in an
i-- c--. Soon after tea Hella and I went up to
her room, and she said it had really been too much
for her and that she could not have stood it much
longer. And we went on talking about it for such a
long time, that it really made both of us nearly ill.
On Sunday Emmy and her husband are coming to
dine with the Brs., and Hella begged me to ask her to
dinner with us, or she would be quite upset. So of
course she is coming here and thank goodness that
will save her from feeling ill. And then she said that
I must not think she wanted to come to us because of
Oswald, but only for that _other_ reason. I understand
that perfectly well, and she does not need to make any
excuses to me.

29th. Hella came to dinner to-day, she was wearing
a new dress, a light strawberry colour, and it suited
her admirably. In the evening Oswald said: "two
or three years more, and Hella will look ripping."
It does annoy me so this continual _will_. Hella's
father simply said of me that I _was_ charming,, and not
that idiotic: I _was going to become_ charming. I do
hate the way people always talk out into the future.
However, Oswald paid Hella a great deal of attention.
In the afternoon, when Hella and I were talking about
him, I wanted to turn the conversation to Lajos, but
she flushed up and said he was utterly false, for since
October he had only been to see them once, on a Sunday,
just when they were going to the theatre. Of
course he says he does not care a jot about the visits
unless he can see her alone. She can't realise that
that shows the greatness of his love. I understand it
perfectly. But it is really monstrous that Jeno has
asked after me only once, quite casually. And he
really might have sent me a card at Christmas. But
that's what young men are like. The proverb really
applies to them: Out of sight out of mind.

December 30th. Frau Richter called to-day, but
only in the morning for a quarter of an hour. Not
a word was said about Viktor, though I stayed in
the drawing-room on purpose. Dora did not put in
an appearance, though I'm sure she was at home.
He is extraordinarily like his mother, he has the same
lovely straight nose, and the small mouth and well-
cut lips; but he is very tall and she is quite small
half a head shorter than Mother. We owe them a
call, but I don't much think that we shall go.

December 31st. I really have no time, since this is
New Year's Eve, but I simply _must_ write. Dora and
I went skating this morning, and we met Viktor on
the ice; he went frightfully pale, saluted, and spoke
to us; Dora wished to pass on, but he detained her
and said that she must allow him to have a talk, so
he came skating with us since she would not go to
a confectioner's with him. She was certainly quite
right not to go to a confectioner's. Of course I don't
know what they talked about, but in the afternoon
Dora cried frightfully, and Viktor never said good-bye
to me; it's impossible that he can have forgotten, so
either I must have been too far away at the time, or
else Dora did not want him to; most likely the latter.
I'm frantically sorry for him, for he is passionately
in love with her. But she won't come to her senses
until it is too late. I don't think she has said a word
to Mother either. But all the afternoon she was playing
melancholy music, and that shows how much she
had felt it.

January 2nd. Yesterday I had no time to write
because we had callers, pretty dull for the most part,
the Listes and the Trobisches; Julie Tr. is such a
stupid creature, and I don't believe she knows the
first thing about _those matters_; Annie is not quite
all there, Lotte is the only tolerable one. Still, since
we played round games for prizes, it was not as dull
as it might have been, and Fritz and Rudl are quite
nice boys. In the evening Mother was so tired out
that Father said he really must put a stop to all this
calling; I can't say I care much myself for _that_ sort
of visits, especially since Dora always will talk about
_books_. People always talk about such frightfully dull
books whenever they have nothing else to say. School
began again to-day, with a German lesson thank goodness.
Though I'm not superstitious in general, I must
say I do like a good beginning. Besides, first thing
in the morning we met two chimneysweeps, and without
our having tried to arrange it in any way they
passed us on our _left_. That ought to bring good luck.

January 5th. Most important, Hella since yesterday
evening -- -- -- --! She did not come to school
yesterday, for the day before she felt frightfully bad,
and her mother really began to think she was going
to have another attack of appendicitis. Instead of
that!!! She looks so ill and interesting, I spent the
whole afternoon and evening with her; and at first
she did not want to tell me what was the matter.
But when I said I should go away if she did not tell
me, she said: "All right, but you must not make
such idiotic faces, and above all you must not look
at me." "Very well," I said, "I won't look, but tell
me everything about it." So then she told me that she
had felt frantically bad, as if she was being cut in
two, much worse than after the appendicitis operation,
and then she had frantically high fever and shivered
at the same time, all Friday, and yesterday -- -- --
tableau!! And then her mother told her the chief
things, though she knew them already. Earlier on
Friday the doctor had said: "Don't let us be in a
hurry to think about a relapse, there may be _other!!_
causes." And then he whispered to her mother,
but Hella caught the word _enlighten_. Then she knew
directly what time of day it was. She acted the innocent
to her mother, as if she knew nothing at all, and
her mother kissed her and said, now you are not a
child any more, now you belong among the grown-ups.
How absurd, so _I_ am still a child! After all, on July
30th I shall be 14 too, and at least one month before I
shall have it too, so I shan't be a _child_ for more than
six months more. Hella and I laughed frightfully,
but she is really a little puffed up about it; she won't
admit that she is, but I noticed it quite clearly. The
only girl I know who did not put on airs when that
happened was Ada. Because of the school Hella is
awfully shy, and before her father too. But her
mother has promised her not to tell him. If only one
can trust her!!!

January 7th. Hella came to school to-day _in spite
of everything_. I kept on looking at her, and in the
interval she said: "I have told you already that you
must not stare at me in that idiotic way, and this is
the second time I've had to speak to you about it.
One must not make a joke about such things." I was
not going to stand that. One must not look at her;
very well, in the third lesson I sat turning away from
her; then suddenly she hooked one of my feet with
hers so that I nearly burst out laughing, and she said:
"Do look round, for that way is even stupider." Of
course Dunker promptly called us to order, that is, she
told Hella to go on reading, but Hella said promptly
that she felt very unwell, and that what she had said
to me was, she would have to go home at 12. All
the girls looked at one another, for they all know what
_unwell_ means, and Frau Doktor Dunker said Hella
had better leave directly, but she answered in French
--that pleases Dunker awfully--that she would
rather stay till the end of the lesson. It was simply
splendid!

January 12th. We went to the People's Theatre
to-day to the matinee of The Fourth Commandment.
The parting from the grandmother was lovely; almost
everyone was in tears. I managed to keep from crying
because Dora was only two places from me, and
so did Hella, probably for the same reason. Anyway
she was not paying much attention to the play for in
the main interval Lajos, who had been in the stalls,
came up and said how d'you do to Hella and her
mother. He wanted to go home with them after the
performance. Jeno has mumps, it is a horrid sort of
illness and if I had it I should never admit it. Those
illnesses in which one is swelled up are the nastiest
of all. The Sunday after next Lajos and Jeno have
been invited to the Brs. and of course they asked me
too, I am so glad.

January 18th. I have not written for a whole week,
we have such a frantic lot of work, especially in
French in which we are very backward, at least
Dunker says so!! She can't stand Madame Arnau,
that's obvious. For my part I liked Mad. Arnau a
great deal better, if only because she had no pimples.
And Prof. Jordan's History class is awfully difficult,
because he always makes one find out the causes
for oneself; one has to learn _intelligently!_, but that
is very difficult in History. No one ever gets an
Excellent from him, except Verbenowitsch sometimes,
but she learns out of a book, not our class book, but
the one on which Herr Prof. J. bases his lectures.
And because she reads it all up beforehand, naturally
she always knows all the causes of the war and the
_consequences_. Really _consequences_ means something
quite different, and so Hella and I never dare look
at one another when he is examining us and asks:
What were the consequences of this event? Of
course the Herr Prof. imagined that Franke was
laughing at _him_ when she was only laughing at
_consequences_; and it was impossible for her to explain,
especially to a gentleman!!!!

January 20th. When Dora and I were coming
home from skating to-day we met Mademoiselle, and
I said how d'you do to her at once, and I was asking
her how _she_ (much emphasised) was getting on, when
suddenly I noticed that Dora had gone on, and
Mademoiselle said: "Your sister seems in a great
hurry, I don't want to detain her." When I caught
Dora up and asked her: "Why did you run away?"
she tossed her head and said: "That sort of company
does not suit me." "What on earth do you mean,
you were so awfully fond of Mad., and besides she
is really lovely." That's true enough, she said; but
it was awfully tactless of her to tell me of all that--
you know what. Such an intimacy behind her parents'
backs _cannot possibly lead to_ happiness. Then I got
in such a fearful temper and said: "Oh do shut up.
Father and Mother did not know anything about
Viktor either, and you were happy enough then. It
is just the secrecy that makes one so happy." Then
she said very softly: "Dear Grete, you too will
change your views," and then we did not say another
word. But I was awfully angry over her meanness;
for first of all she wanted to hear the whole story,
although Mad. never offered to tell her, and now she
pretends that _she_ did not wish it. If I only knew
where to find Mad. I would warn her. Anyhow, this
day week at 7 I shall take care to be in W. Street,
and perhaps I may meet her, for she probably has
a private lesson somewhere in that neighborhood.

January 24th. Mother is very ill again to-day,
_in spite of_ the operation. I have decided that I
won't go on Sunday to the Brs. although Jeno will
be there, and that I won't wait about for Mademoiselle
on Monday. I have not told Hella anything about
this for she would probably say it was very stupid
of me, but I would rather not; not because Dora
has twice spoken to me pointedly about a _clear
conscience_, but because I don't enjoy anything when
Mother is ill.

January 26th. Mother is an angel. Yesterday she
asked Aunt Dora: "By the way, Dora, has Grete put
a fresh lace tucker in her blue frock, ready for the
Brs. to-morrow?" Then I said: "I'm not going
Mother," and Mother asked: "But why not, surely
not on my account?" Then I rushed up to her and
said: "I can't enjoy anything when you are ill."
And then Mother was so awfully sweet, and she wept
and said: "_Such moments_ make one forget all pains
and troubles. But really you _must_ go, besides I'm
a good deal better to-day, and to-morrow I shall be
quite well again." So I answered: "All right, I'll go,
but only if you are _really_ well. But you must tell
me _honestly_." But in any case I shan't go to meet
Mademoiselle on Monday.

January 28th. It was Mathematics to-day at
school, so I could not write yesterday. We had a
heavenly time on Sunday. We laughed till our sides
ached and Hella was nearly suffocated with laughing.
Lajos is enough to give one fits; it was absolutely
ripping the way he imitated the wife of Major Zoltan
in the Academy and Captain Riffl. I can hardly
write about it, for my hand shakes so with laughing
when I think of it. And then, while Hella and Lajos
were singing songs together, Jeno told me that every
student in the Neustadt has an inamorata, a _real_ one.
Mostly in Vienna, but some in Wiener Neustadt
though that is dangerous because of being caught.
All the officers know about it, but no one must be
found out. Then I told him about Oswald's affair
and he said: "Oswald was a great donkey, you'll
excuse me for saying so since he's your brother; but
really he made a fool of himself. He was only a
civilian; it's quite different in the army." Then I got
cross and said: "That's all very well, Jeno, but you
are not an officer yourself, so I don't see how you can
know anything about it." Then he said to Hella:
"I say, Ilonka, you must keep your friend in better
order, she is rather inclined to be insubordinate."
She is to make a written note of every act of
_insubordination_, and then he will administer _exemplary_
punishment. All very fine, but it will take two to that.

January 30th. I wish I knew whether Mademoiselle
really passed through W. Street again at 7 o'clock
on Monday, for she certainly said very distinctly:
"Au revoir, ma cherie!" She is so pretty and so pale;
perhaps she is really ill, and she must be awfully nervous
about -- -- -- That would be terrible. We wonder
whether she knows about certain means, but one
simply can't tell her.

February 2nd. I've had a wonderful idea and
Hella thinks it a positive inspiration. We are going
to write anonymously to Mademoiselle about those
means, and Hella will write, so that no one can recognise
my writing. We think something of that sort
must have happened to Mademoiselle, for the other
day I heard Mother say to Aunt Dora: "If we had
known that, we should never have engaged her for
the children; it will be a terrible thing for her parents."
And Aunt Dora said: "Yes, those are the sort of
people who hide their disgrace under the water." It
seems quite clear, for _disgrace_ means an _illegitimate_
child. And the worst of it is, that they know that she
has done _that_. We must help the poor thing. And
_that_ is why Dora is so indignant all of a sudden. But
how can she know? there is nothing to notice yet in
Mademoiselle; if there had been I should certainly
have seen it, for Hella often says I've a keen eye for
it. That is quite true, I was the first person to notice
it in the maid at Prof. Hofer's, when even Father had
not noticed it.

February 4th. Well, we nave written to her, at
least Hella has, saying there are _such_ means, and that
she will find all the details in the encyclopedia. We
have addressed it to F. M. and signed it "Someone
who understands you." Unfortunately we shall never
be able to find out whether she got the letter, but the
main thing is that she _should_.

February 7th. What a frightful lot of anxiety a
letter can give one! In the interval to-day the school
servant came up to me and said: Please are you
Fraulein Lainer of the Third. "There is a letter for
you." I blushed furiously, for I thought, it must
be from Mademoiselle, but my blushing made Frau
Berger think it must be from a young man: "Really
I ought to give it to the head mistress; I am not
allowed to deliver any letters to the pupils, but in
your case I will make an exception. But please remember
if it happens again I shall have to hand it
in to the office." Then I said: "Frau Berger, I am
quite certain it is not from a gentleman, but from a
young lady," and when she gave it to me I saw directly
that it really was not from a gentleman but only from
Ada! It really is too stupid of her! At the New
Year she reproached me for having broken my word,
and now she begs me to enquire at the Raimund
Theatre or at the People's Theatre whether Herr G.
is there; she says she can't live without him in St. P.
But in the holidays she told me that she was not
in love with him, that for her he was only _a means
to an end_. I'm absolutely certain she said that.
Nothing will induce me to go to enquire at a theatre
_office_, and Hella says too that to make _such_ a suggestion
is a piece of impudence. I shall just write her an
ordinary letter, telling her what a row she might have
got me into at school. I really think Ada has a bee
in her bonnet, as Father always says.

February 10th. I never heard of such a thing!
I was sent for to the office to-day because the school
servant had complained that on two occasions I had
thrown down some orange peel at the entrance. It's
quite true that I did drop one piece there yesterday,
but I pushed it out of the way with my foot into the
corner, and as for any other time I know nothing
about it. But I see which way the wind is blowing.
Frau Berger thought I would give her some money
for that letter; just fancy, how absurd, money for a
letter like that, I wouldn't give 20 kreuzer for such
a letter. But since then she's been in a frightfully
bad temper, I noticed it on Wednesday when we were
wiping our shoes at the door. What I said to the
head was: It happened only once, and I kicked the
peel into the corner where no one could tread on it,
but I certainly did not do it twice, and Bruckner can
confirm what I say." Then the head said: "Oh
well, we need not make a state affair of it, but the
next time you drop something, please pick it up."
Frau Berger is furious, and all we girls in our class
have decided that while we won't make more mess
than we need, still, we shan't be too particular. If
any one of us happens to drop a piece of paper she will
just let it lie. Such cheek, one really can't stand it!

February 12th. We got our reports to-day. I have
not got any Satisfactories, only Praiseworthy and
Excellent. Father and Mother are awfully pleased
and they have given each of us 2 crowns. Indeed
Dora has practically nothing but Excellents, only
three Praiseworthies; but she studies frantically hard,
and she is learning Latin again with Frau Doktor M.
If she is still teaching the lower classes next year,
I shall go too, for that way we shall have her for
3 hours longer each week. By the way, Franke has
actually got Praiseworthy in Maths. and Physics,
though she's hardly any good. The Nutling seems to
give extraordinarily good reports, for twice in the
Maths. schoolwork Hella has had an Unsatisfactory,
and yet now in her report she has Praiseworthy.
With Frau Doktor M. one has really to deserve one's
report, and it was just the same last year with Fr.
Dr. St. The worst of all is with Herr Prof. Jordan.
Not a single one of us has got an Excellent except
that deceitful cat Verbenowitsch. To-morrow the Brs.
are giving a great birthday party because of Hella's
14th birthday. Lajos and Jeno are coming and the
two Ehrenfelds, because Hella is very fond of them,
especially Trude, the elder, that is she is 2 days older
than Kitty, for they are _twins!!_ How awful!!!
They only came to the Lyz this year, and Hella meets
them skating every day, I don't because we have no
season tickets this year but only take day tickets when
we can go, because of Mother's illness. I am giving
Hella an electric torch with a very powerful reflector,
so that it really lights up the whole room, and an
amber necklace.

February 14th. It's a good thing that we have
the half-term holiday to-day and to-morrow for that
gives me time to write all about yesterday. It was
simply phenomenal! I went to wish Hella many
happy returns quite early, and I stayed to dinner
and Lajos and Jeno had been invited to dinner too
in the afternoon the 2 Ehrenfelds came and brought
a box of sweets, and 3 of Hella's girl cousins and two
boys, one of whom is frightfully stupid and never
speaks a word, and several aunts and other ladies,
for the grown-ups had their friends too. But we did
not bother about them, for the dining-room, Lizzi's
room, and Hella's room had been arranged for us.
Hella had been sent such a lot of flowers that
they nearly gave us a headache. At dinner Lajos
proposed a toast to Hella and another at tea. Hella
was splendid, and in the evening she said to me: "At
14 one really does become a different being." For
in proposing his toast Lajos had said that every 7
years a human being is completely changed, and Hella
thinks that is perfectly true. Thank goodness, _in 6 1/2
months I shall change my whole being too_. There
really did seem to be something different about her,
and when we all had to blow to extinguish the candles
on her birthday cake, all except the life-light in the
middle, as a sign that the other years have passed,
she really got quite pale, for she was afraid that in
joke or through awkwardness some one would blow
out her life-light. Thank goodness it was all right.
I don't much care for such things myself, for I'm
always afraid that something might happen. Of
course I know that it's only a superstition, but it
would have been horribly unpleasant if anyone had
blown out the life-light. _Openly!!_ Lajos gave Hella
an enormous _square_ box of sweets, and _secretly!!_ a
silver ring with a heart pendant. He wanted her
to wear this until it is replaced by a _gold_ one--the
_wedding_ ring. But she can't because of her parents,
so she begged me to allow her to say that I had given
it her, but that would not do either because of Father
and Mother. _These_ things are such a nuisance, and
that is why no young man will ever go on living at
home where one is continually being questioned about
everything one has, and does, and wears. After tea
we sang: "Had I but stayed on my lonely Hearth"
and other sad songs, because they are the prettiest,
and in the evening we danced while Hella's Father
played for us; and then Elwira, the tall cousin,
danced the czardas with Lajos, it was wonderful.
I've never known such a birthday party as yesterday's.
It's only possible in winter; you can never have anything
like it on my birthday, July 30th, for the people
one is fondest of are never all together at that time.
Really no one ought to have a birthday in the holiday
months, but always sometime between the end of Sep-
tember and June. I do wish I were 14, I simply
can't wait. Hella's mother said to Hella, You are
not a child any longer, but a grown-up; I do wish
I were too!!!

February 16th. We have a new schoolfellow. All
the girls and all the staff are delighted with her. She
is so small she might be only 10, but awfully pretty.
She has brown curls (Hella says foxy red, but I don't
agree) hanging down to her shoulders, large brown
eyes, a lovely mouth, and a complexion like milk and
roses. She is the daughter of a bank manager in
Hamburg; he shot himself, I don't know why. Of
course she is in mourning and it suits her wonderfully.
She has a strong North German accent. Frau Doktor
Fuchs is simply infatuated with her and the head is
awfully fond of her too.

February 19th. Hella and I walked home to-day
with Anneliese. She is called Anneliese von Zerkwitz.
Her mother has been so frightfully upset by her
father's death that she'll probably have to be sent to a
sanatorium; that is why Anneliese has come to Vienna
to stay with her uncle. He is a professor and they
live in Wiedner Hauptstrasse. Dora thinks her
charming too, the whole school is in love with her,
she is going to gym. with us; I am so glad. Of
course she won't stand near Hella and me because
she's so small; but we can always keep an eye on her,
show her everything, and help her with the apparatus.
Hella is a trifle jealous and says: "It seems to me
that Anneliese has quite taken my place in your
affections." I said that was not a bit true, but did she
not think Anneliese awfully loveable? "Yes," said
Hella, "but one must not neglect old friends on that
account." "I certainly shan't do anything of the
kind; but Anneliese really needs some one who will
show her everything and explain everything." Besides,
the head mistress and Frau Doktor M. placed
her in front of me and said to us: "Give her a
helping hand."

February 20th. It's such a pity that I can't ask
Anneliese here, for Mother has been in bed for the
last week. But she is going to Hella's on Sunday,
and since I am going too of course I am frightfully
glad. Naturally I would much rather have her here;
but unfortunately it's impossible because of Mother.
Dora thinks that Mother will have to have another
operation, but I don't believe it, for _such_ an operation
can only be done _once_. What I can't understand
is why there should be anything wrong with Mother
if the operation was successful. Dora is afraid that
Mother has cancer, that would be horrible; but I
don't believe she has, because if one has cancer one
can't recover.

February 23rd. It was heavenly at the Bruckners!
Anneliese did not come until 4, for they don't have
dinner until 3. She wore a white embroidered frock
with black silk ribbons. Hella's mother kissed her
with tears in her eyes. For her mother really is in
a sanatorium because is suffering from _nervous_
disease. Anneliese is living with her uncle and aunt.
But she often cries because of her father and mother.
Still, she enjoyed herself immensely in the round
games, winning all the best prizes, a pocket comb
and mirror, a box of sweets, a toy elephant, a negro
with a vase, and other things as well. I won a pen-
wiper, a double vase, a pencil holder, a lot of sweets,
and a note book, Hella won a lot of things too, and so
did her two cousins and Jenny.

Then we had some music and Anneliese sang the
Wacht am Rhein and a lot of folk songs; her voice is
as sweet as herself. She was fetched at 7, I stayed till 8.

March 1st. To-morrow Hella and I have been in
vised to Anneliese's. I am so awfully glad. I shall
ask Mother to let me wear my new theatre blouse
and the green spring coat and skirt. The temperature
went up to 54 degrees to-day.

March 3rd. Yesterday we went to Anneliese's.
She shares a room with her cousin; she is only 11
and goes to the middle school, but she is a nice girl
I expected to find everything frightfully smart at
Professor Arndt's, but it was not so at all. They
have only 3 rooms not particularly well furnished.
He has retired on a pension, Emmy is their granddaughter,
she lives with them because her father is
in Galicia, a captain or major I think. It was not
so amusing as at Hella's. We played games without
prizes, and that is dull; it is not that one plays for
the sake of the prizes, but what's the use of playing
if one does not win anything? Then they read aloud
to us out of a story book. But what Hella and I
found exasperating was that Anneliese's uncle said
"Du" to us both. For Hella is 14, and I shall be
14 in a few months. But Hella was quite right; in
conversation she said: "At the High School only
the mistresses say Du to us, the professors _have_ to
say Sie." Unfortunately he went away soon after,
so we don't know whether he took the hint. Hella
says too that it was not particularly entertaining.

March 9th. Oh dear, Mother really has got cancer;
of course Father has not told us so, but she has to
have another operation. Dora has cried her eyes out
and my knees are trembling. She's going to hospital
on Friday. Aunt Dora is coming back on Thursday
and will stay here till Mother is well again. I do
so dread the operation, and still more Mother's going
away. It's horrible, but still lots of people have
cancer and don't die of it.

March 22nd. Mother is coming home again tomorrow.
Oh I am so glad! Everything is so quiet
in the hospital and one hardly dares speak in the
passages. Mother said: "I don't want to stay here
any longer, let me go back to my children." We
went to see Mother in hospital every day and took
her violets and other flowers, for she was not allowed
to eat anything during the first few days after the
operation. But it's quite different now that she's
home again. I should have liked to stay away from
school to-day, but Mother said: "No, children, go
to school, do it to please me." So of course we went,
but I simply could not attend to my lessons.

March 24th. Mother is asleep now. She looks
frightfully ill and still has a lot of pain. I'm sure the
doctors can't really understand her case; for if they
had operated properly she would not still have pain
after the _second_ operation. I should like to know
_what_ Mother has been talking to Dora about, for they
both cried. Although Dora and I are on good terms
now, she would not tell me, but said she had promised
Mother not to speak about it. I can't believe that
Mother has told Dora a _secret_, but perhaps it was
something about marrying. For Dora only said:
"Besides, Mother did not need to say that to me,
for my mind was quite made up in any case." I do
hate such hints, it's better to say nothing at all. As
soon as Mother can get up she is going to Abbazia
for a change, and most likely Dora will go with her.

March 26th. Mother and Dora are going to Abbazzia
next week. Dora thinks I envy her the journey,
and she said: "I would _willingly_ renounce the jour-
ney and the seaside if only Mother would get well
And this year when I have to matriculate, I certainly
should not go for pleasure." I'm so awfully miserable
that I simply can't wear a red ribbon in my hair,
though red suits me best. I generally wear a black
one now, but since yesterday a brown one, for Mother
said: "Oh, Gretel, do give up that black ribbon;
it looks so gloomy and does not suit you at all. Of
course I could not tell Mother _how_ I was feeling, so
I took the brown one and said the red ribbon was
quite worn out.

April 12th. I never get my diary written. It's so
gloomy at home for Mother is very bad. Oswald is
coming home to-morrow for the Easter holidays and
Mother is looking forward so to seeing him. I was
to have gone with Hella and her father to Maria-Zell,
for this year they are probably going to take a house
for the summer in Mitterbach or Mitterberg near
Maria-Zell. But I am not going after all, for I don't
feel inclined, and I think Mother is better pleased
that I should not; for she said: "So I shall have all
my three darlings together here at Easter." When
she said that I wanted to cry, and I ran quickly out
of the room so that she might not see me. But she
must have seen, for after dinner she said: "Gretel,
if you really _want_ to go with the Bruckners, I should
like you to; I should be so glad for you to have a little
pleasure, you have not had much enjoyment all the
winter." And then I could not stop myself, and I
burst out crying and said: "No, Mother, I won't go
on any account. All I want is that you should get
quite well again." And then Mother cried too and
said: Darling, I'm afraid I shall never be quite well
again, but I should like to stay until you are all grown
up; after that you won't need me so much." Then
Dora came in and when she saw that Mother was
crying she said that Father had sent for me. He
hadn't really but in the evening she told me that
Mother's illness was hopeless, but that I must not do
anything to upset her or let her see what I was feeling.
And then we both cried a lot and promised
one another that we would always stay with Father.

May 16th. Mother died on April 24th, the Sunday
after Easter. We are all so awfully unhappy. Hardly
anyone says a word at mealtimes, only Father speaks
to us so lovingly. Most likely Aunt Dora will stay
here for good. It's not three weeks yet since Mother
was buried, but in one way we feel as if she had already
been dead three years, and in another way one
is always suddenly wanting to go into her room, to
ask her something or tell her something. And when
we go to bed we talk about her for such a long time,
and then I dream about her all night. Why should
people die? Or at least only quite old people, who
no longer have anyone to care about it. But a mother
and a father ought never to die. The night after
Mother died Hella wanted me to come and stay with
them, but I preferred to stay at home; but late in
the evening I did not dare to go into the hall alone,
so Dora went with me. Father had locked the door
into the drawing-room, where Mother was laid out,
but all the same it was awfully creepy. They did
not call me on the 24th until after Mother was dead;
I should have so liked to see her once more. Good
God, why should one die? If only I had been called
Berta after her; but she did not wish that either of
us should be called after her, nor did Father wish
it in Oswald's case.

May 19th. When Mother was buried, one thing
made me frightfully angry with Dora, at least not
really angry but hurt, that _she_ should have gone into
church and come out of church with Father. For _I_
have always gone with Father and Dora has always
gone with Mother. And while poor Mother was in
hospital, Dora went with Aunt. But at the funeral
Father went with her, and I had to go with Aunt
Dora. A few days later I spoke to her about it, and
she said it was quite natural because she is the elder.
She said that Oswald ought to have gone with me,
that that would have been the proper thing. But he
went alone. Another thing that annoys me is this;
when Aunt Dora came here in the autumn, Dora and
I sat on the same side of the table at dinner and
supper, and Aunt sat opposite Mother, and when
Mother took to her bed her place was left vacant.
After she died Oswald sat on the fourth side, and
now for about a week Dora has been sitting in
Mother's place. I can't understand how Father can
allow it!

May 19th. At dinner to-day no one could eat anything.
For we had breast of veal, and we had had
the same thing on the day of poor Mother's funeral,
and when the joint was brought in I happened to
look at Dora and saw that she was quite red and was
sobbing frightfully. Then I could not contain myself
any more and said: "I can't eat any breast of veal,
for on Mother's burial day -- -- --," then I could
not say any more, and Father stood up and came
round to me, and Dora and Aunt Dora burst out
crying too. And after dinner Aunt promised us that
we should never have breast of veal again. For tea,
Aunt Dora ordered an Ulm cake because we had eaten
hardly anything at dinner.

May 26th. To-day is the first day of Dora's written
matriculation. Father wanted her to withdraw
because she looks so ill, but she would not for she
said it would be a distraction for her and that she
would like to finish with the High School. Next
year she is to go to a preparatory school for the Gymnasium.
She ought really to go to a dancing class,
for she is nearly 17, but since she is in mourning it is
quite impossible and of course she does not want to
go anyhow. The head thought too that Dora would
withdraw from the examination because she is so
overwrought, but she did not want to withdraw. The
staff were so awfully sweet to us after Mother's death,
at least the women teachers were. The professors
don't bother themselves about our private concerns,
for they only see us for 1 or 2 hours a week. Frau
Doktor Steiner, from whom we don't have any lessons
this year, was awfully sympathetic; I saw plainly
that she had tears in her eyes, and Frau Doktor M.
was an angel as she always is! We did not go to the
spring festival on May 20th, though Father said we
could go if we liked. Hella and Anneliese were
awfully anxious that I should go; but I would not,
and indeed I shall never go to any more amusements.
No doubt the others enjoyed themselves immensely,
but for Dora and me it would have been horrible.
In the evenings I often fancy to myself that it is not
really true, that Mother has simply gone to Franzensbad
and will be back soon. And then I cry until my
head aches or until Dora says: "Oh Gretel, I do wish
you'd stop, it's awful." She often cries herself, I
can hear her quite well, but _I_ never say anything.

June 4th. So Dora looks upon Mother's death
as _a sign of God's displeasure against Father!_ But
what could _we_ have done to prevent it? She said,
Oh, yes, we did a lot of things we ought not to have
done, and above all we had secrets from Mother.
That is why God has punished us. It's horrible, and
now that she is always speaking of the eye of God
and the finger of God it makes me so terribly afraid
to go into a dark room, because I always feel there is
some one there who is eying me and wants to seize
me.

June 8th. Father is in a frightful rage with Dora;
yesterday evening, when I opened the drawing-room
door and there was Father coming out, quite unintentionally
I gave a yell, and when Father asked
what was the matter I told him about God's displeasure;
only I did not tell him it was against him, but
only against Dora and me. And then Father was
frightfully angry for the first time since Mother's
death, and he told Dora she was not to upset me with
her ill-conditioned fancies, and Dora nearly had an
attack of palpitation so that the doctor had to be sent
for. Aunt came to sleep in our room and we both
had to take bromide. To-day Father was awfully
kind to us and said: "Girls, you've no reason to reproach
yourselves, you have always been good children,
and I hope you always will be good." Yes, I
will be, for Mother's eye watches over us. Hella
thinks I look very poorly, and she asked me to-day
whether perhaps . . . . ?? But I told her that I
would not talk about such things any more, that it
would be an offence to my Mother's memory. She
wanted to say something more, but I said: "No,
Hella, I simply won't talk about _that_ any more. You
can't understand, because your mother is still alive."

June 12th. It is awful; just when I did not want
to think any more about _such_ things, there comes an
affair of that very sort! I'm in a frightful mess
through no fault of my own. Just after 9 to-day a
girl from the Second came in to our Mathematic les-
son and said: "The head mistress wishes to see
Lainer, Bruckner, and Franke in the office directly.
All the girls looked at us, but we did not know why.
When we came into the office, the door of the head's
room was shut and Fraulein N. told us to wait. Then
the head came out and called me in. Inside a lady
was sitting, and she looked at me through a lorgnon.
"Do you spend much time with Zerkwitz?" asked the
head. Yes, said I, and I had a foreboding. "This
lady is Zerkwitz's mother, she complains that you
talk about very improper things with her daughter;
is it so?" "Hella and I never wanted to tell her
anything; but she begged us to again and again, and
besides we thought she really knew it anyhow and
only pretended she didn't." "_What_ did you think
she knew, and what did you talk to her about?" broke
in Anneliese's mother. "Excuse me," said the head,
"I will examine the girls; so Bruckner was concerned
in the matter too?" "Very seldom," said I; "Yes, the
chief offender is Lainer, _the girl whose mother died
recently_." Then I choked down my tears, and said:
"We should never have said a word about these matters
unless Anneliese had kept on at us." After that
I would not answer any more questions. Then Hella
was called in. She told me afterwards that she knew
what was up directly she saw my face. "What have
you been talking about to Zerkwitz?" Hella would
not say at first, but then she said in as few words as
possible: "About getting babies, and about being
married!" "Gracious goodness, such little brats, and
to talk about _such_ things," said Anneliese's mother.
"Such corrupt minds." "We did not believe that
Anneliese did not _really_ know, or we should never
have told her anything," said Hella just as I had;
she was simply splendid. "As regards Alfred, we
have nothing to do with that, and we have often advised
her not to allow him to meet her coming home
from school; but she would not listen to us." "I am
talking about your conversations with which you have
corrupted the poor innocent child," said Frau von
Zerkwitz. "She certainly must have known something
about it before, or she would not have gone
with Alfred or wanted to talk about it with us," said
Hella. "Heavenly Father, that is worse still; such
corruptness of mind!" Then we were sent out of
the room. Outside, Hella cried frightfully, and so
did I, for we were afraid there would be a row at
home. We could not go back into the Mathematic
lesson because we had been crying such a lot. In the
interval Hella walked past Anneliese and said out
loud: "Traitress!!" and spat at her. For that she
was ordered out of the ranks. I stepped out of the
ranks too, and when Frau Professor Kreindl said:
"Not you, Lainer, you go on," I said: "Excuse me,
I spat at her _too_," and went and stood beside Hella.
All the girls looked at us. It was plain that Frau
Prof. Kreindl knew all about it already for she did
not say any more. In the German lesson from 11
to 12 Frau Doktor M. said: "Girls, why can't you
keep the peace together? This continual misconduct
is really too bad, and serves only to make trouble
for you and for your parents and for us." Just
before 12 Hella and I were summoned to the head's
room again. "Girls," she said, "it's a horrible
business this. Even if your own imaginations have been
prematurely poisoned, why should you try to corrupt
others? As for you, Lainer, you ought to be especially
ashamed of yourself that such complaints
should be made of you when your mother has been
buried only a few weeks." "Excuse me," said Hella,
"all this happened in the spring, and even earlier,
in the winter, for we were still skating at the time.
Rita's mother was pretty well then. Besides, Zerkwitz
was continually pestering us to tell her. I often
warned Rita, and said: "Don't trust her," but she
was quite infatuated with Zerkwitz. Please, Frau
Direktorin, don't say anything about it to Rita's
father, for he would be frightfully upset."

Hella was simply splendid, I shall never forget.
She does not want me to write that; we are writing
together. Hella thinks we must write it all down
word for word, for one never can tell what use it
may be. No one ever had a friend like Hella, and she
is so brave and clever. "You are just as clever,"
she says, "but you get so easily overawed, and besides
you are still quite nervous because of your mother's
death. I only hope your father won't hear anything
about it." That stupid idiot dug up the old story
about the two students on the ice, a thing that was
over and done with ages ago. "You should never
trust anyone," says Hella, and she's perfectly right.
I never could have believed Anneliese would be such
a sneak. We don't know yet what was up with
Franke. As she came in she put her finger to her
lips, meaning of course "Betray nothing!"

June 15th. The school inspector came to-day. I
was at the blackboard in the Maths lesson, when there
was a knock at the door and the head came in with
the Herr Insp. For a moment I thought he had come
about _that matter_, and I went as white as a sheet (at
least the girls say I did; Hella says I looked like
Niobe mourning for her children). Thank goodness,
the sum was an easy one, and besides I can always do
sums; in Maths and French I am the best in the class.
But the Herr Insp. saw that I had tears in my eyes
and said something to the head; then the head said:
"She has recently lost her mother." Then the Herr
Insp. praised me, and like a stupid idiot I must needs
begin to howl. The head said: "It's all right L., sit
down," and stroked my hair. She is so awfully
sweet, and I do hope that she and Frau Doktor M.
will say a word for me at the Staff Meeting. And
I do hope that Father won't hear anything of it, for
of course he would reproach me dreadfully because
it all comes so soon after Mother's death. But really
it all happened long before that. The way it all
happened was that Hella's mother went away to see
Emmy, her married niece, who was _having her first
baby_. And then it was that we told the "innocent
child" (that's what we call the deceitful cat) everything.
Hella still thinks that the "innocent child"
was a humbug. That is quite likely, for after all
she is nearly fourteen; and at 14 one must _surely_
know a great deal already; it's impossible that at that
age a girl can continue to believe in the stork story,
as Anneliese is said!!! to have done. Hella thinks
that I shall soon be "developed" too, because I always
have such black rings under my eyes. I overheard
Frau von Zerkwitz say, "Little brats;" but Hella
says that the head _hemmed loudly to drown it_. Afterwards
Hella was in fits of laughter over the expression
"little brats" for her mother always says
about _such_ things; _Little brats_ like you have no concern
with such matters. Good Lord, when is one to
learn all about it if one does not know when one is
nearly 14! As a matter of fact both Hella and I
learned these things _very early_, and it has not done
us any harm. Hella's mother always says that if one
learns such things too early one gets to look old; but
of course that's nonsense. But why do mothers not
want us to know? I suppose they're just ashamed.

June 16th. Yesterday evening after we had gone
to bed, Dora said: "What were you really talking
about to Z., or whatever her name is? The head
called me into the office to-day and told me that you
had been talking of improper matters. She said I
must watch over you in _Mother's place!_" Well that
would be a fine thing! Besides, it all happened when
Mother was still alive. A mother never knows what
children are talking of together. Dora thinks that I
shall have a written Reprimand from the Staff Meeting.
I should hate that because of Father; that would
mean another fearful row; although Father is really
awfully sweet now; I have not had a single rowing
since Mother first got ill. It's quite true that death
makes people gentle, but why? Really one would
have thought people would get disagreeable, because
they've been so much distressed. Last week the
tombstone was put up and we all went to see it. I
should like to go alone to the cemetery once at least,
for one does not like to weep before the others.

June 18th. The "innocent child" does not come to
gym. any longer, at least she has not been since _that
affair_. We think she's afraid, although we should
not say anything to her. We punish her with _silent
contempt_, she'll _feel_ that _more than anything_. And
thank goodness she does not come to play tennis.
I do hate people who are _deceitful_, for one never
knows where to have them. When a girl tells an outright
cram, then I can at least say to her: Oh, clear
out, don't tell such a frightful whacker; I was not
born yesterday. But one has no safeguard against
_deceitfulness_. That's why I don't like cats. We have
another name for the "innocent child," we call her
the "red cat." I think she knows. Day after tomorrow
is the school outing to Carnuntum. I am so
excited. We have to be at the quay at half past 7.

June 21st. The outing was lovely. Hella was
to come and fetch me. But she overslept herself,
so her mother took a taxi; and luckily I had waited
for her. I should like to be always driving in a taxi.
Dora would not wait, and went away at a quarter to 7 by
electric car. At a quarter to 8 Hella came in the taxi, and
just before the ship weighed anchor (I believe one
ought only to say that of a sailing ship at sea, but
it does not matter, I'm not Marina who knows _everything_
about the navy), that is just at the right moment,
we arrived. They all stared at us when we
came rushing up in the taxi. I tumbled down as I
got out of the car, it was stupid; but I don't think
they all noticed it. Aunt Dora said that for this one
day we had better put off our mourning, and Father
said so too, so we wore our white embroidered frocks
and Aunt Dora was awfully good and had made us
black sashes; it looked frightfully smart, and they
say that people wear mourning like that in America.
I do love America, the land of liberty. Boys (that
is young students) and girls go to school _together_
there!! -- -- -- But about the outing. In the boat
we sat next Frau Doktor M., she was awfully nice;
Hella was on the right and I was on the left, and we
sat so close that she said: "Girls, you're squashing
me, or at least you're crushing my dress!" She was
wearing a white frock and had a coral necklace which
suited her simply splendidly. When we were near
Hainburg Hella's hat fell into the Danube, and all
the girls screamed because they thought a child had
fallen overboard. But thank goodness it was only
the hat. We went up the Schlossberg and had a
lovely view, that is, _I_ did not look at anything except
Frau Doktor M. because she was so lovely; Professor
Wilke was with us, and he went about with her all
the time. The girls say he will probably marry her,
perhaps in the holidays. Oh dear, _that_ would be
horrid. Hella thinks that is quite out of the question
because of the German professor; at any rate it would
be better for her to marry Professor W. than the
other, because he is said to be a Jew. "Still, with
regard to all the things that hang upon marriage, it's
the same with every man," said I. "That's just the
chief point, you little goose," said Hella. And Frau
Doktor M. said: "Do you allow your chum to talk
to you like that? What is the chief point?" I was
just going to say: "We _can't_ tell you _that_," when
Hella interrupted me and said: "Just because I'm
her chum I can talk to her like that; she would not
let anyone else do it." Then we went to dinner.
Unfortunately we did not sit next "_her_." We had veal
cutlets and four pieces of chocolate cake, and as the
Herr Religionsprof. went by he said: "How many
weeks have you been fasting?" Before dinner we
went to the museum to see the things they had dug
up in the Roman camp. The head mistress and
Fraulein V. explained everything. It was most
instructive. In the afternoon we went to Deutsch-
Altenburg. It was great fun at tea. Then we had
games and all the staff joined in, the Fifth had got
up a comedy by one of the girls. We were all in fits
of laughter. Then suddenly there came along a
whole troop of officers of the flying corps, frightfully
smart, and one of them sat down at the piano and
began to play dance music. Another came up to the
head and begged her to allow the "young ladies" to
dance. The head did not want to at first, but all the
girls of the Fifth and Sixth begged her to, and the
Herr Rel. Prof. said: "Oh, Frau Direktorin, let
them have the innocent pleasure," and so they really
were allowed to dance. The rest of us either danced
with one another or looked on. And then, when Hella
and I were standing right in front, up came a splendid
lieutenant and said: "May I venture to separate the
two friends for a little dance?" "If you please,"
said I, and sailed off with him. To dance with a
lieutenant is glorious. Then the same lieutenant
danced with Hella and in the evening on the way
home she said that the lieutenant had really wanted
to dance with her first, but I had been so prompt with
my "If you please" and had placed my hand on his
shoulder. Of course that's not true, but it is not a
thing one would quarrel about with one's best friend,
and anyhow he danced with both of us. Unfortunately
we were not able to dance very long because
we got so hot. Oh, and I had almost forgotten, a
captain with a black moustache saluted Frau Doktor
M., for they know one another. She blushed furiously;
so he is probably the man she will marry, and
not Herr Prof. Wilke and not the Jewish professor.
He would please me a great deal better. They were
all so awfully smart! Before we left a lieutenant
brought in a huge bunch of roses, and the officers
gave a rose to each member of the staff, the ladies I
mean. Then something awfully funny happened.
There is a girl in the Sixth who looks quite old, as if
she might be 24, and "our" lieutenant offered her a rose
too. And then she said: "No thank you, I am not
one of the staff, I'm in the Sixth." Everyone burst
out laughing, and she was quite abashed because the
lieutenant had taken her for one of the staff. And
the Herr Rel. Prof. said to her: "Tschapperl, you
might just as well have taken it." But really she
was quite right to refuse. I think there must have
been 20 officers at least. Of course Hella told the
lieutenant that she was a colonel's daughter. I wonder
if we shall ever see him again.

I am writing this four days after the outing. Dora
told me yesterday that when I was dancing with the
lieutenant the Herr Rel. Prof. said to the Frau Direktorin:
"Do just look at that young Lainer; little
rogue, see what eyes she's making." Making eyes,
forsooth! I did not make eyes, besides, what does
it mean anyhow to make eyes!! Of course I did
not shut my eyes; if I had I should probably have
fallen down, and then everyone would have laughed.
And I don't like being laughed at. I hardly saw
Dora all through the outing, and she did not dance.
She said very cuttingly: "Of course not, for after all
we _are_ in mourning, even if we did wear white dresses;
you are only a child, for whom that sort of thing
does not matter." _That sort of thing_, as if I had done
something dreadful! I don't love Mother any the
less, and I don't forget her. Father was quite different;
the day before yesterday evening he said: "So
my little witch has made a conquest; you're beginning
early. But it's no good taking up with an officer,
little witch, they're too expensive." But I would like
to have the lieutenant, I would go up with him in
an aeroplane, up, up, till we both got quite giddy.
In the religion lesson yesterday, when the Herr Prof.
came in he laughed like anything and said: "Hullo,
Lainer, is the world still spinning round you? The
Herr Leutnant has not been able to sleep since."
So I suppose he knows him. Still, I'm quite sure
that he has not lost his sleep on my account, though
very likely he said so. If I only knew what his name
is, perhaps Leo or Romeo; yes, Romeo, that would
suit him admirably!

June 26th. When I was writing hard yesterday
Aunt Alma came with Marina and that jackanapes
Erwin who was really responsible for all the row that
time. Since Mother died we have been meeting again.
I don't think Mother liked Aunt Alma much, nor she
her. Just as Father and Aunt Dora are not particularly
fond of one another. It is so in most families,
the father does not care much for the mother's brothers
and sisters and vice versa. I wonder why? I wonder
whether _He_ has a fiancee, probably he has, and what
she looks like. I wish I knew whether He likes brown
hair or fair hair or black hair best. But about the
visit! Of course Marina and I were _very_ standoffish.
She is so frightfully conceited because she goes to the
Training College. As if that were something magnificent!
The High School is much more important,
for from the High School one goes on to the university,
but not from the Training College; and they don't
learn English, nor French properly, for it is only
optional. Aunt Alma knows that it annoys Father
when anyone says we don't look well, so she said:
"Why, Dora looks quite overworked; thank goodness
it's nearly over, and she won't get much out of it after
all, it's really better for a girl to become a teacher."
Erwin lounged in his chair and said to me: "Do you
dare me to spit on the carpet?" "You are ill-bred
enough to do it; I can't think why Marina, the future
schoolmistress, does not give you a good smacking,"
said I. Then Aunt Alma chimed in: "What's the
matter children? What game are you playing?" "It's
not a game at all; Erwin wants to spit on the carpet
and he seems to think that would be all right." Then
Aunt said something to him in Italian, and he pulled
a long nose at me behind Father's back, but I simply
ignored it; little pig, and yet he's my cousin! Kamillo
is supposed to have been just as impudent as Bub. But
we have never seen him, for he has been in Japan as
an ensign for the last two years. Mourning does not
suit Marina at all; there's a provincial look about her
and she can't shake it off. Her clothes are too long
and she has not got a trace of b--, although she was
17 last September; she is disgustingly thin.

June 27th. The Herr Insp. came to our class to-
day, in French this time. Frau Doktor Dunker is
always frightfully excited by his visits, and at the
beginning of the lesson she said: "Girls, the Inspector
is coming to-day; pull yourselves together; please
don't leave me in the lurch." So it must be true
what Oswald always says that the inspectors come
to inspect the teachers and not the pupils. "At the
inspection," Oswald often says, "every pupil has the
professor in his hands." Being first, of course I was
called upon, and I simply could not think what
"trotteur" meant. I would not say "Trottel" [idiot],
and so I said nothing at all. Then Anneliese turned
round and whispered it to me, but of course I was
not going to say it after her, but remained speechless
as an owl. At length the Herr Inspektor said: "Translate
the sentence right to the end, and then you'll
grasp its meaning." But I can't see the sense of that;
for if I don't know one of the words the sentence has
no meaning, or at least not the meaning it ought to
have. If Hella had not been absent to-day because
of -- --, she might have been able to whisper it to
me. Afterwards Frau Doktor Dunker reproached me,
saying that no one could ever trust anyone, and that
I really did not deserve a One. "And the stupidest
thing of all was that you laughed when you
did not know a simple word like that." Of course I
could not tell her that my first thought had been to
translate it "Trottel." Unseen translation is really
too difficult for us.

June 28th. The Staff Meeting is to-day. I'm on
tenter hooks to know whether I shall have a Reprimand,
or a bad conduct mark in my report. That
would be awful. It does not matter so much to Hella,
for her father has just gone away to manoeuvres in
Hungary or in Bosnia, and by the time he is back
the holidays will have begun and no one will be
bothering about reports any more. So I shall know
to-morrow. Oh bother, to-morrow is a holiday and
next day is Sunday. So for another 2 1/2 days I shall
have "to linger in suspense," but a different sort of
suspense from what Goethe wrote about.

June 30th. We were at home yesterday and this
afternoon because of Dora's matriculation. The
Bruckners went to Breitenstein to visit an aunt, who
is in a convalescent home, and so I could not go
with them. In the evening we went to Turkenschanz
Park to supper, but there was nothing on. By the
way, I have not written anything yet about the
"innocent child" at the outing. On the boat she began
fussing round Hella and me and wanted to push
into the conversation, indirectly of course! But she
did not succeed; Hella is extraordinarily clever in
such matters; she simply seemed to look through her
Really I'm a little sorry for her, for she hasn't
any close friends beyond ourselves; but Hella said:
"Haven't you had enough of it yet? Do you want to
be cooked once more with the same sauce?" And
when Hella's hat fell into the water and we were still
looking after it in fits of laughter, all of a sudden we
found Anneliese standing behind us offering Hella a
fine lace shawl which she had brought with her for
the evening because she so readily gets earache.
"Wouldn't you like to use this shawl, so that you won't
have to go back to Vienna without a hat?" "Please
don't trouble yourself, I'm quite used to going about
bare-headed." But the _way_ she said it, like a queen!
I _must_ learn it from her. She is really shorter than I
am, but at such moments she looks just like a grown-
up lady. I told her as much, and she rejoined:
"Darling Rita, you can't _learn_ a thing like that; it's
_inborn_." She rather annoyed me, for she always
seems to think that an officer's daughter is a thing
apart.

July 1st. Thank goodness, everything has passed
off without a public scandal. Frau Doktor M. spoke
to me in the corridor, saying: "Lainer, you've had
a narrow escape. If certain voices had not been
raised on your behalf, I really don't know -- -- --."
Then I said: "I'm quite certain, Frau Doktor, that
you alone have saved me from a Bad Conduct Mark."
And I kissed her hand. "Get along, you little baggage,
for the one part simply a child, and for the other
with your head full of thoughts which grown-ups
would do well to dispense with."

After all, one can't help one's _thoughts_, and we shall
be more careful in future as to the persons to whom
we talk about _that sort of thing_. Here's another thing
I forgot to mention about the outing: When we got
back into Vienna by rail, most of the parents came
to meet us at the station; Father was there too, and
so was the "innocent child's" mother. Thank goodness
Father did not know her. When we got out of
the train there was a great scrimmage, because we
were all trying to sort ourselves to our parents, and
suddenly I heard Hella's voice: "No, Madam, your
child is not in our bad company." I turned round
sharply, and there was Hella standing in front of
Frau von Zerkwitz who had just asked her: "Hullo,
_you_, what has become of my little Anneliese?" The
answer was splendid; I should never have been able
to hit upon it; I always think of good repartees after
the event. It was just the same that time when the
old gentleman in the theatre asked Hella if she was
alone there, and she snapped at him. He said:
Impudent as a Jewess, or an impudent Jewess! It
was too absurd, for first of all it's not impudent to
make a clever repartee, and secondly it does not follow
because one can do it that one is a Jewess. So Hella
finished up by saying to him: "No, you've made a
mistake, you are not speaking to one of your own
sort."

We break up on the 6th; but because of Dora's
matriculation we are staying here until the 11th.
Then we are going to Fieberbrunn in Tyrol, and this
year we shall stay in a hotel, so I am awfully pleased.
Hella had a splendid time there last year

July 2nd. My goodness, to-day I have . . . .,
no, I can't write it plain out. In the middle of the
Physics lesson, during revision, when I was not thinking
of anything in particular, Fraulein N. came in
with a paper to be signed. As we all stood up I thought
to myself: Hullo, what's that? And then it suddenly
occurred to me: Aha!! In the interval Hella asked
me why I had got so fiery red in the Physics lesson,
if I'd had some sweets with me. I did not want to
tell her the real reason directly, and so I said: "Oh
no, I had nearly fallen asleep from boredom, and
when Fraulein N. came in it gave me a start." On
the way home I was very silent, and I walked so
slowly (for of course one must not walk fast
_when_ . . . ) that Hella said: "Look here, what's
up to-day, that you are so frightfully solemn? Have
you fallen in love without my knowing it, or is it
_at long last_ . . . .?" Then I said "_Or is it at long
last!_" And she said: "Ah, then now we're equals
once more," and there in the middle of the street she
gave me a kiss. Just at that moment two students
went by and one of them said: "Give me one too."
And Hella said: "Yes, I'll give you one on the cheek
which will burn." So they hurried away. We really
had no use for them: to-day!! Hella wanted me to
tell her _everything about it_; but really I hadn't anything
to tell, and yet she believed that I _wouldn't_ tell.
It is really very unpleasant, and this evening I shall
have to take frightful care because of Dora. But I
must tell Aunt because I want a San-- T--. It will
be frightfully awkward. It was different in Hella's
case, first of all because she had such frightful cramps
before it began so that her mother knew all about it
without being told, and secondly because it was her
_mother_. I certainly shan't tell Dora whatever happens,
for that would make me feel still more ashamed.
As for a San-- T--, I shall never be able to buy one
for myself even if I live to be 80. And it would be
awful for Father to know about it. I wonder whether
men really do know; I suppose they must know about
their wives, but at any rate they can't know anything
about their daughters.

July 3rd. Dora does know after all. For I
switched off the light _before_ I undressed, and then
Dora snapped at me: "What on earth are you up to,
switch it on again directly." "No I won't." Then
she came over and wanted to switch it on herself; "Oh
do please wait until I've got into bed." "O-o-h, is
that it," said Dora, "why didn't you say so before?
I've always hidden my things from you, and you
haven't got any yet." And then we talked for quite
a long time, and she told me that Mother had commissioned
her to tell me everything _when_ -- -- -- Mother
had told her all about it, but she said it was better
for one girl to tell it to another, because that was
least awkward. Mother knew too that in January
Hella had . . . But how? I never let on! It
was midnight before we switched off the light.

July 6th. Oh, I am so unhappy, when we went
to get our reports to-day and said good-bye to Frau
Doktor M., she was awfully sweet, and at the end
she said: "I hope that you won't give too much
trouble to my successor." At first we did not understand,
for we thought she only meant that it is always
uncertain whether the same member of the staff will
keep the same class from year to year, but then she
said: "I am leaving the school because I am going
to be married." It gave me such a pang, and I said:
"Oh, is it true?" "Yes, Lainer, it's quite true." And
all the girls thronged round her and wanted to kiss
her hand. No one spoke for a moment, and then
Hella said: "Frau Doktor, may I ask you something?
But you mustn't be angry!" "All right, ask away!"
"Is it the captain we met in Carnuntum?" She was
quite puzzled for a minute, and then she laughed like
anything and said, "No, Bruckner, it is not he, for
he has a wife already." And Gilly, who is not so
frightfully fond of her as Hella and I are, said: "Frau
Doktor, please tell us whom you are going to marry."
"There's no secret about it, I am going to marry a
professor in Heidelberg." That is why she has to
leave the High School. It's simply ruined my holidays.
Hella has such lovely ideas. The girls would
not leave Frau Doktor alone, and they all wanted to
walk home with her. Then she said: "My darling
girls, that's impossible, for I am going to Purkersdorf
to see my parents. And then Hella had her splendid
idea. The others said: "Please may we come with
you as far as the metropolitan?" and at length she
said they might. But Hella said, "Come along," and
we hurried off to the metropolitan before them and
took tickets to Hutteldorf so that we should be able
to get back in plenty of time, and there we were waiting
on the platform when she came and when all the
girls came with her as far as the entrance. Then
we rushed up to her and got into the train which came
in at that moment. Of course we had second class
tickets, for Hella, being an officer's daughter, mayn't
travel third, and Frau Doktor M. always travels second
too. And we all three sat together on a seat for
two, though it was frightfully hot. She was so nice
to us; I begged her to give us her photograph and she
promised to send us one. Then, alas, we got to
Hutteldorf. "Now, girls, you must get out." Then
we both burst out crying, and she _kissed us!_ Never
shall I forget that blessed moment and that heavenly
ride! As long as the train was still in sight we both
waved our handkerchiefs to her and she _waved back!_
When we wanted to give up our tickets Hella looked
everywhere for her purse and could not find it; she
must have left it in the ticket office. Luckily I still
had all my July pocket money and so I was able to
pay the excess fare, and then for once in a way _I_ was
the sharp-witted one; I said we had travelled third and
had only passed out through the second, so we had not
to pay so much; and no one knew anything about it,
there's no harm in that sort of cheating. Of course
we really did go back third, although Hella said it
would spoil the memory for her. That sort of thing
does not matter to me. We did not get home until
a quarter past 1, and Aunt Dora gave me a tremendous
scolding. I said I had been arranging books in the
library for Frau Doktor, but Dora had enquired at the
High School at 12, and there had been no one there.
We had already gone away then, I said, and had gone
part of the way with Frau Doktor M., for she was
leaving because of her marriage. Then Dora was
quite astonished and said: "Ah, now I understand."
The other day when she had to go into the room while
the staff meeting was on, the staff was talking about
an engagement, and Fraulein Thim was saying: "Not
everyone has the luck to get a university professor."
That must have been about _her_. Certainly Thim
won't get one, not even a school porter. To-day, (I've
been writing this up for two days), I had such a
delightful surprise; _she_ sent me her photo, simply
heavenly!! Father says the portrait is better looking
than the reality. Nothing of the sort, she is perfectly
beautiful, with her lovely eyes and her spiritual
expression! Of course she has sent Hella a photo too.
We are going to have pocket leather cases made for
the photographs, so that we can take them with us
wherever we go. But we shall have to wait until after
the holidays because Hella has lost her money, and
nearly all mine was used up in paying the excess fares.
And such a leather case will cost 3 crowns. Father
has some untearable transparent envelopes, and I shall
ask him for two of them. They will do as a makeshift.

Dora's matriculation is to-morrow, she's quite
nervous about it although she is very well up in all the
subjects. But she says it's so easy to make mistakes.
But Father is quite unconcerned, though last year he
was very much bothered about Oswald, and poor dear
Mother was frightfully anxious: "Pooh," said Oswald,
"I shall soon show them that there's no need
to bother; all one wants at the metric is _cheek_, that's
the whole secret!" And then all he telegraphed was
"durch" [through] and poor Mother was still very
anxious, and thought that it might mean _durchgefallen_
[failed]. But of course it really meant _durchgekommen_
[passed], for meanwhile the second telegram had
come. And father had brought two bottles of champagne
to Rodaun, ready to celebrate Oswald's return.
There won't be anything of the sort after Dora's
matriculation because Mother is not with us any more;
oh it does make me so miserable when I think that
2 <1/2 months ago she was still alive, and now -- -- --.

July 9th. This morning, while Dora was having
her exam (she passed with Distinction), I went to
the cemetery quite alone. I told Aunt Dora I was
going shopping with Hella and her mother, and I
told Hella I was going with Aunt, and so I took the
tram to Potzleinsdorf and then walked to the cemetery.
People always ought to go to the cemetery alone.
There was no one in the place but me. I did not
dare to stay long, for I was afraid I should be home
late. It's a frightfully long way to Potzleinsdorf, and
it always seems so much further when one is alone.
And when I came away from the cemetery I took a
wrong turning and found myself in a quite deserted
street near the Turkenschanze. That sort of thing is
very awkward, and for a long time there was simply no
one of whom I could ask the way. Then by good luck
an old lady came along, and she told me I had only
to take the next turning to get back to the tram line.
And just as I did get there a Potzleinsdorf car came
along, so I got in and reached home long before
Dora. But in the afternoon Hella nearly gave me
away, quite unintentionally. But since they were all
talking about the matriculation I was able to smooth
it over. Now that Dora has finished her matriculation
she will have to tell me a great deal more about _certain
things_; she promised she would. Before the matriculation
she was always so tired because of the frightful
grind, but that is over now, and I never do any work
in the holidays. What are holidays for? Frau Doktor
Dunker has really given me only a Satisfactory,
it's awfully mean of her; and I shall have to learn
from _her_ for three years more! Nothing will induce
me to bother myself about French now, for she has
a down on me, and when one's teacher has a down
on one, one can work as hard as one likes and it's
no good. It was so different with Frau Doktor M.!!
I have just been looking at her photo so long that my
eyes are positively burning; but I had to write up
about to-day: even when one had been stupid once
or twice, she never cast it up against one, never, never,
never -- -- the sweet angel!

July 10th. We are going to F. to-morrow; I am
so glad. It is frightfully dull to-day, for Hella went
away yesterday to Berchtesgaden where she is to
stay for 6 weeks, and on the way back she is going
to Salzburg and perhaps Aunt Dora will take me to
Salzburg for 2 days so that we can see one another
again before Hella goes to Hungary. She is lucky! I
can't go to K-- M-- this year, for we are going to stay
in F. till the middle of September. I got my name day
presents to-day because they are things for the journey:
a black travelling satchel with a black leather belt,
and half a dozen mourning handkerchiefs with a narrow
black border, and an outfit for pokerwork, and a huge
bag of sweets for the journey from Hella. The world
is a wretched place without Hella. I do hope we shall
marry on the same day, for Mother always used to say:
"The most ardent _girl_ friendships are always broken
up when one of the two marries." I suppose because
the other one is annoyed because she has not married.
I wonder what it will be like at Frau Doktor M.'s
wedding! and I wonder whether she knows about
_everything_; very likely not, but if not I suppose her
mother will tell her all about it before she is married.
Dora told me yesterday that Mother had once said
to her: "A girl always gets all sorts of false ideas
into her head; the reality is quite different." But
that is not so in our case, for we really know everything
quite precisely, even to the fact that you have
to take off every stitch; oh dear, I shall never forget
it!--Oswald is coming to F. on the 20th, for first
he is going to Munich for a few days.

July 12th. It's lovely here; mountains and mountains
all round, and we're going to climb them all;
oh, how I am enjoying myself! I simply can't keep
a diary; it will have to be a weekary. For I must
write to Hella at least every other day. We are staying
in the Edelweiss boarding house; there are about
40 visitors, at least that's what we counted at dinner.
There is a visitors' list hanging up in the hall, and
I must study it thoroughly. The journey was rather
dull, for Dora had a frightful headache so we could
not talk all through the night. I stood in the corridor
half the night. At one place in Salzburg there was
a frightful fire; no one was putting it out, so I suppose
no one knew anything about it. The boarding
house is beautifully furnished, carpets everywhere;
there are several groups of statuary in the hall. We
are awfully pleased with everything. There are 4
courses at dinner and two at supper. Flowers on
every table. Father says we must wait and see
whether they change them often enough. Father has
a new tweed suit which becomes him splendidly for
he is so tall and aristocratic looking. We have coats
and skirts made of thin black cotton material and
black lace blouses, and we also have white coats and
skirts and white blouses, and light grey tweed dresses
as well. For Father is really quite right: "Mourning
is in your _heart_, not in your _dress_." Still, for the
present, we shall wear black, but we have the white
things in case it gets frightfully hot. To-day, on a
cliff quite near the house, we picked a great nosegay
of Alpine roses. Dora has brought Mother's photo
with her and has put the flowers in front of it; unluckily
I forgot to bring mine. I should like to go
to the top of the Wildeck or one of the other
mountains. It would be lovely to pick Edelweiss
for oneself. But Father says that mountaineering is
not suited to our ages. The baths here always seem
very cold, only about 54 or 60 degrees at most. Dr. Klein
said we should only bathe when the water is quite
warm. But apparently that won't be often. We have
not made any acquaintances yet, but I like the look
of the two girls wearing Bosnian blouses at the second
table from ours. Perhaps we shall get to know them.
One plan ,has come to nothing. I wanted to talk to
Dora in the evenings about all sorts of _important_
things, but it is impossible because Aunt Dora shares
our room. Here's another tiresome thing; Father's
room has a lovely veranda looking on to the promenade,
while our room only looks into the garden. Of
course the view is lovely, but I should have liked
Father's room much better, only it is a great deal too
small for three persons; there is only one bed and
its furniture is of a very ancient order. I do hate that
sort of furniture; the lady who keeps the boarding
house calls it _Empire!!_ I don't suppose she can ever
have seen a room furnished in real Empire style.

July 15th. When Dora and I were out for a walk
yesterday she told me a great deal about Aunt Dora.
I never really knew before whether Uncle Richard was
employed in the asylum or whether he was a patient
there; but he is a patient. He has spinal disease and
is quite off his head and often has attacks of raving
madness. Once before he was sent to the asylum he
tried to throttle Aunt Dora, and _in another respect_
he did her a _frightful lot of harm!!!_ I don't quite
understand how, for Aunt Dora has never had any
children. And why on earth do they make such a
secret about Uncle Richard? But when I come to
think of it, no one ever wanted to talk about Mother's
illness. There's no sense in this secrecy, for in the
first place that always makes one think about things,
and secondly one always finds out in the long run.
At last Aunt Dora was so terribly afraid of Uncle
that she always kept the door of her bedroom locked.
It must be awful to have a husband who is a raging
maniac. Father once said to Dora: your Aunt Dora
is enough to drive one mad with her whims and
fancies. Of course he didn't mean that literally, but
I must watch carefully to find out what Aunt really
does to annoy anyone so much. Most likely it is
something connected with _this matter_. To my mind
Aunt Alma has many more whims and fancies, and
yet Uncle Franz has never gone raving mad. Dora
says that Uncle Richard may go on living for another
20 years, and that she is frightfully sorry for Aunt
Dora because she is tied to such a monster. Why
tied? After all, he is in an asylum and can't do her
any harm. Dora didn't know about all this before,
Aunt only told her after Mother's death. Dora thinks
it is better not to marry at all, unless one is _madly in
love_ with a man. And then only by a _marriage contract!!_
In that case _that_ would be excluded. But I
always imagined a marriage contract was made because
of a dowry and money affairs generally; and
never thought of its having _such_ a purpose. Frau
Mayer, whom we met in the summer holidays two
years ago, had married under such conditions. But it
puzzles me, for if _that_ is what men chiefly want when
they marry, I don't see how any man can be satisfied
with a marriage contract. There must be a mistake
somewhere. Perhaps it is different among the Jews,
for the Mayers were Jews.

July 21st. No, I never should have thought that
Hella would prove to have been right in that matter.
I got a letter 8 pages long from Anneliese to-day.
That time when Hella had to stay at home for five
days she believed that Anneliese would make fresh
advances. But obviously she was afraid. So now she
has written to me: My own dear Rita! You are the
only friend of my life; wherever I go, all the girls and
everybody likes me, and only you have turned away
from me in anger. What harm did I do you -- -- --?
After all, she did do me some harm; for there might
have been a fine row if it had not been for Frau
Doktor M., that angel in human form! She writes she
is so lonely and so unhappy; she is with her mother
at the Gratsch Hydropathic near Meran or Bozen, I
forget which, I must look it up _if_ I answer her. For
I gave my word of honour to Hella that I would never
forgive the "innocent child." But after all, to write
an answer is mere ordinary politeness, and is far from
meaning a reconciliation, and still less a friendship.
She says that there are absolutely no girls in Gratsch,
only grown-up ladies and old gentlemen, the youngest
is 32! brr, I know I should find it deplorably dull
myself. So I really will write to her, but I shall be
exceedingly reserved. She finishes up with: Listen
to the prayer of an unhappy girl and do not harden
your heart against one who has always loved you
truly. That is really very fine, and Anneliese always
wrote the best compositions; Frau Doktor M. used
often to praise them and to speak of her excellent
style, but later she really did not like her at all. She
often told her she ought not to be so affected, or she
would lose the power of expression from sheer affectation.
I shall not write to her immediately, but only
after a few days, and, as I said, with _great_ reserve.

July 23rd. I got to know the two girls to-day, their
names are Olga and Nelly, one is 15 and the other 13;
I don't know their surname yet, but only that they
have a leather goods business in Mariahilferstr. Their
mother's hair is quite grey already, their father is not
coming until August 8th. We have arranged to go
for a walk at 4 o'clock this afternoon, to Brennfelden.

July 26th. I have made up my mind to write every
day before dinner, for after dinner we all go with our
hammocks into the wood. After all I wrote to Anneliese
three days ago, without waiting, so as not to
keep her on tenterhooks. I have not written anything
to Hella about it because I don't know how Anneliese
will answer. Hella says she is having a royal time
in Innichen; but the tiresome thing does not say just
what she means by royal; she wrote only a bare 3
sides including the signature so of course I did not
write to her as much as usual.

July 27th. Dora is not very much taken with the
Weiners; she thinks they are frightfully stuck up.
She says it's not the proper thing to wear gold bracelets
and chains in the country, above all with peasant
costume. Of course she is right, but still I like the
two girls very much, and especially Olga, the younger
one; Nelly puts on such airs; they go to a high school
too, the Hietzinger High School; but Olga has only
just got into the Second while Nelly is in the Fifth.
Dora says they will never set the Danube on fire. No
matter, leave it to others to do that. We enjoyed
ourselves immensely on our walk. I'm going to spend
the whole day with them to-day. Father says:
"Don't see too much of them; you'll only get tired
of them too soon." I don't believe that will happen
with the Weiners.

July 29th. It's my birthday to-morrow. I wonder
what my presents will be. I've already had one of
them before we left Vienna, 3 pairs of openwork
stockings, Aunt Dora gave them to me, exquisitely
fine, and my feet look so elegant in them. But I must
take frightful care of them and not wear them too
often. Aunt says: "Perhaps now you will learn to
give up pulling at your stockings when you are doing
your lessons." As if I would do any lessons in the
holidays.

LAST HALF-YEAR

AGE FOURTEEN AND A HALF

LAST HALF-YEAR

July 30th. Thank goodness this is my 14th!!!
birthday; Olga thought that I was 16 or at least 15;
but I said: No thank you; to _look_ like 16 is _quite_
agreeable to me, but I should not like to _be_ 16, for
after all how long is one young, only 2 or 3 years at
most. But as to feeling different, as Hella said she
did, I really can't notice anything of the kind; I am
merely delighted that no one, not even Dora, can now
call me a _child_. I do detest the word "child," except
when Mother used to say: "My darling child," but
then it meant something quite different. I like
Mother's ring best of all my birthday presents; I shall
wear it for always and always. When I was going
to cry, Father said so sweetly: "Don't cry, Gretel,
you must not cry on your 14th!! birthday, that would
be a fine beginning of _grown-upness!_ Besides the
ring, Father gave me a lovely black pearl necklace
which suits me perfectly, and is at the same time so
cool; then Theodor Storm's _Immensee_, from Aunt
Dora the black openwork stockings and long black
silk gloves, and from Dora a dark grey leather wristband
for my watch. But I shan't wear that until we
are back in Vienna and I am going to school again.
Grandfather and Grandmother sent fruit as usual, but
nothing has come from Oswald. He can't possibly
have forgotten. I suppose his present will come later.
Father also gave me a box of delicious sweets. At
dinner Aunt Dora had ordered my favourite chocolate
cream cake, and every one said: Hullo, why have we
got a Sunday dish on a weekday? And then it came
out that it was my birthday, and the Weiner girls,
who knew it already, told most of the other guests
and nearly everyone came to wish me many happy
returns. Olga and Nelly had done so in the morning,
and had given me a huge nosegay of wild flowers and
another of cut flowers. This afternoon we are all
going to Flagg; it is lovely there.

Evening: I must write some more. We could not
have the expedition, because there was a frightful
thunderstorm from 2 to 4 o'clock. But we enjoyed
ourselves immensely. And I had another adventure:
As I was leaving the dining-room in order to go to
the . . . ., I heard a voice say: May I wish you a
happy birthday, Fraulein? I turned round, and there
behind me stood the enormously tall fair-haired student,
whom I have been noticing for the last three
days. "Thank you very much, it's awfully kind of
you," said I, and wanted to pass on, for I really had
to go. But he began speaking again, and said: "I
suppose that's only a joke about your being 14. Surely
you are 16 to-day?" "I am both glad and sorry to
say that I am not, said I, but after all everyone is as
old as he seems. Please excuse me, I really must go
to my room," said I hurriedly, and bolted, for
otherwise -- -- -- --!! I hope he did not suspect the
truth. I must write about it to Hella, it will make her
laugh. She sent me a lovely little jewel box with a
view of Berchtesgaden packed with my favourite
sweets, filled with brandy. In her letter she complains
of the "shortness of my last letter." I must write her
a long letter to-morrow. At supper I noticed for the
first time where "Balder" sits; that's what I call him
because of his lovely golden hair, and because I don't
know his real name. He is with an old gentleman and
an old lady and a younger lady whose hair is like
his, but she can't possibly be his sister for she is
much too old.

July 31st. The family is called Scharrer von Arneck,
and the father is a retired member of the Board
of Mines. The young lady is really his sister, and she
is a teacher at the middle school in Brunn. I found
all this out from the housemaid. But I went about it
in a very cunning way, I did not want to ask straight
out, and so I said: Can you tell me who that white-
haired old gentleman is, he is so awfully like my
Grandfather. (I have never see my Grandfather, for
Father's Father has been dead 12 or 15 years, and
Mother's Father does not live in Vienna but in Berlin.)
Then Luise answered: "Ah, Fraulein, I expect
you mean Herr Oberbergrat Sch., von Sch. But I
expect Fraulein's Grandfather is not quite so grumpy."
I said: "Is he so frightfully grumpy then?" And
she answered: "I should think so; we must all jump
at the word go or it's all up with us!" And then one
word led to another, and she told me all she knew;
the daughter is 32 already, her name is Hulda and her
father won't let her marry, and the _young gentleman_
has left home because his father pestered him so. He
is a student in Prague, and only comes home for the
holidays. It all sounds very melancholy, and yet they
look perfectly happy except the daughter. By the
way, it's horrid for the Weiners; Olga is 13 and Nelly
actually 15, and their mother is once more -- -- -- --
I mean their mother is in an i-- c--. They are both
in a frightful rage, and Nelly said to me to-day: "It's
a perfect scandal;" they find it so awkward going
about with their mother. I can't say I'd noticed anything
myself; but they say it has really been obvious
for a long time; "_the happy event!!_ will take place in
October," said Olga. It really must be very disagreeable,
and I took a dislike to Frau W. from the first.
I simply can't understand how such a thing can happen
when people are so old. I'm awfully sorry for the
two Weiner girls. Something of the same sort must
have happened in the case of the Schs., for Luise has
told me that the young gentleman is 21 and his sister
not 32 but 35, she had made a mistake; so she is 14
years older, appalling. I'm awfully sorry for her because
her father won't let her marry, or rather would
not let her marry. I'm sure Father would never refuse
if either of us wanted to marry. I have written all
this to Hella; I miss her dreadfully, for after all the
Weiner girls are only strangers, and I could _never_ tell
my secrets to Dora, though we are quite on good terms
now. Oswald is coming to-morrow.

August 1st. A young man has a fine time of it.
He comes and goes when he likes and where he likes.
A telegram arrived from Oswald to-day, saying he was
not coming till the middle of August: Konigsee,
Watzmann, glorious tramp. Letter follows. Father
did not say much, but I fancy he's very much annoyed.
Especially just now, after poor Mother's death, Oswald
might just as well come home. Last year he was
so long away after matriculation, quite alone, and
now it's the same this year. One pleasure after another
like that is really not the thing when one's Mother
has been dead only three months. The day after we
came here and before we had got to know anyone,
I went out quite early, at half past 8, and went alone
to the cemetery. It is on the slope of the mountain
and some of the tombstones are frightfully old, in
many cases one can't decipher the inscriptions; there
was one of 1798 in Roman figures. I sat on a little
bank thinking about poor Mother and all the unhappi-
ness, and I cried so terribly that I had to bathe my
eyes lest anyone should notice it. I was horribly annoyed
to-day. A letter came from Aunt Alma, she
wants to come here, we are to look for rooms for her,
to see if we can find anything suitable, Aunt Alma
always means by that very cheap, but above all it
must be in a private house; of course, for a boarding
house would be far too dear for them. I do hope we
shan't find _anything_ suitable, we really did not find
anything to-day, for a storm was threatening and we
did not go far. I do so hope we shall have no better
success to-morrow; for I really could not stand having
Marina here, she is such a spy. Thank goodness Aunt
Dora and Dora are both very much against their
coming. But Father said: That won't do girls, she's
your aunt, and you must look for rooms for her. All
right, we can _look for them_; but seeking and finding
are two very different things.

August 2nd. This morning we went out early to look
for the rooms, and since Dora always makes a point
of finding what's wanted, she managed to hunt up 2
rooms and a kitchen, though they are only in a farm.
The summer visitors who were staying there had to
go back suddenly to Vienna because their grandmother
died, and so the rooms are to let very cheap. Dora
wrote to Aunt directly, and she said that we shall all
be delighted to see them, which is a downright lie.
However, I wrote a P.S. in which I sent love to them
all, and said that the journey was scandalously
expensive; perhaps that may choke them off a bit.

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