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A Young Girl's Diary

Part 5 out of 5

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Owing to this silly running about looking for rooms
I saw nothing of the Weiners yesterday afternoon or
this morning, and of course nothing of God Balder
either. And at dinner we can't see the Scharrers'
table because they have a table in the bay window,
for they have come here every year for the last 9 years.
I'm absolutely tired out, but there's something I
must write. This afternoon the Weiners and we went
up to Kreindl's, and Siegfried Sch. came with us, for
he knows the Weiners, who have been here every year
for the last 3 years. He talked chiefly to Dora, and
that annoyed me frightfully. So I said not a word,
but walked well behind the others. On the way home
he came up to me and said: "I say, Fraulein Grete,
are you always so reserved? Your eyes seem to contradict
the idea." I said: "It all depends on my
mood, and above all I hate forcing myself on any
one." "Could you not change places at table with
your mother?" "In the first place, she is not my
Mother, who died on April 24th, but my Aunt, and in
the second place, why do you say that to _me_, you had
better say it to my sister!" "Don't be jealous!
There's no reason for _that_. I can't help talking to
your sister when we're in company; but I can assure
you that you have no occasion whatever to be jealous."
I wish I knew how I could manage that change of
places, but I always sit next Father; anyhow I would
not do it directly; next week at soonest. Farewell,
my Hero Siegfried, sleep sweetly and dream of -- --.

August 3rd, Anneliese wrote to me: You heart of
gold, so you are able to forgive my sins of youth?
The world shines with a new light since I received
your letter." I don't know that my letter was so forgiving
as all that, for all I said was that I was very
sorry she was so lonely in Gratsch, and that we could
not alter the past, so we had better bury it. She sends
me a belated birthday greeting (last winter we told
one another when our birthdays were), and she sends
me a great pressed forget-me-not. She waited to
answer until it had been pressed. I don't know quite
what I had better do. Big Siegfried could no doubt
give me very good advice, but I can't very well tell
him the whole story, for then I should have to tell
him why we quarrelled, and that would be awful.
I had better write to Hella before I answer. I must
write to-day, for it will be quite three days before I
can get an answer, and then 1 or two days more before
Anneliese gets the letter, so that will be 5 days at
least. It is raining in torrents, so it is very dull, for
Father won't let us sit in the hall alone; I can't think
why. Generally speaking Father's awfully kind,
quite different from other fathers, but this is really
disgusting of him. I shall lie down on the sofa after
dinner and read _Immensee_, for I've not had a chance
before.

August 6th. Well, the whole tribe arrived to-day;
Marina in a dust-grey coat and skirt that fits her
abominably, and Erwin and Ferdinand; Ferdinand is
going through the artillery course in Vienna, at the
Neustadt military academy; he's the most presentable
of the lot. Uncle was in a frightful temper, growling
about the journey and about the handbaggage, I think
they must have had 8 or 10 packages, at least I had
to carry a heavy travelling rug and Dora a handbag of
which she said that it contained the accumulated rubbish
of 10 years. Aunt Alma's appearance was enough
to give one fits, a tweed dress kilted up so high that
one saw her brown stockings as she walked, and a
hat like a scarecrow's. When I think how awfully
well dressed _Mother_ always was, and how nice she
always looked; of course Mother was at least 20 years
younger than Aunt Alma, but even if Mother had lived
to be 80 she would never have looked like _that_. Thank
goodness, on the way from the station we did not meet
any one, and above all we did not meet _him_. For
once in a way they all came to dinner at our boarding
house. We had two tables put together, and I seized
the opportunity to change my place, for I offered Aunt
Alma the place next Father and seated myself beside
the lovely Marina, exactly opposite -- -- --! Anyway,
Marina looked quite nice at dinner, for her white
blouse suits her very well, and she has a lovely
complexion, so white, with just a touch of pink in the
cheeks. But that is her only beauty. The way she
does her hair is hideous, parted and brushed quite
smooth, with two pigtails. I've given them up long
ago, though everyone said they suited me very well.
But "snails" suit me a great deal better. _He_
looked across at me the whole time, and Aunt
Alma said: "Grete is blossoming out, I hope there's
not a man in the case already." "Oh no," said Father,
"country air does her such a lot of good, and when I
take the children away for a change I don't forbid
any innocent pleasures." My darling Father, I had
to keep a tight hand on myself so as not to kiss him
then and there. They were all so prim, with their eyes
glued to their plates as if they had never eaten rum
pudding before. It is true that Ferdinand winked at
Marina, but of course she noticed nothing. They soon
put away their first helps, and they all took a second,
and then they went on talking. When we went to
our rooms I knocked at Father's door and gave him
the promised kiss and said: "You really are a jewel
of a Father." "Well, will you, if you please, be a
jewel of a daughter, and keep the peace with Marina
and the others?" I said: "Oh dear, I simply can't
stand her, she's such a humbug!" "Oh well," said
Father, "it may be a pity, but you know one can't
choose one's parents and one's relations." "I would
not have chosen any different parents, for we could
not have found another Father and another Mother
like you." Then Father lifted me right up into the
air as if I had still been a little girl, saying: "You
are a little treasure," and we kissed one another
heartily. I really do like Father better than anyone
in the world; for the way I like Hella is quite different,
she is my friend, and Dora is my sister; and I
like Aunt Dora too, and Oswald _if_ I ever see him
again.

August 8th. Oh, I am so furious! To-day I got
a postcard from Hella, with nothing on it but "Follow
your own bent, with best wishes, your M." When
we write postcards we always use a cipher which no
one else can understand, so that M. means H. It's
a good thing no one can understand it. Of course I
wrote to Anneliese directly, and was most affectionate,
and I sent a postcard to Hella, in our cipher, with
nothing more than: Have done so, with best wishes,
W. Not even _your_ W. I do wonder what she will do.
Hero Siegfried was lying with us to-day in the hayfield,
and what he said was lovely. But I can't agree
that all fathers _without exception_ are tyrants. I
said: "_My_ Father isn't!" He rejoined: "Not _yet_,
but you will find out in time. However, anyone with
a character of his own won't allow himself to be
suppressed. I simply broke with my Old Man and left
home; there are other technical schools besides the
one in Brunn. And since you say not _all_ fathers; well
just look at Hulda; whenever anyone fell in love with
her the Old Man marred her chance, for no one can
stand such tutelage." "Tutelage, what do you mean,"
said I, but just at that moment everyone got up to go
away. To-morrow perhaps, poor persecuted man.

August 9th. Oh dear, it's horrible if it's all really
true what Hella writes about being infected; an erup-
tion all over the body, that is the most horrible thing
in the world. I must tear up her letter directly, and
since she could not write 8 whole pages in our cipher,
I must _absolutely destroy_ it, so that no one can get
hold of a fragment of it. Above all now that Marina
is here, for you never can tell -- -- --. But I know
what I'll do; I'll copy the letter here, even if it takes
2 or 3 days. She writes:

Darling Rita, what did you say when you got yesterday's
postcard. If you were angry, you must make it
up with me. Consort with whom you please and
write to whom you please; but all the _consequences_
be on your own head. Father always says: Beware
of red hair! And I insist that the "innocent child"
has _foxy red_ hair. But you can think what you like.

Now I've got something much more important to
tell you. But you must promise me dirst that you will
tear up my letter directly you have read it. Otherwise
please send it back to me _un_read.

Just fancy. Here in B. there is a young married
woman living with her mother and her cousin, a girl
who is studying medicine; they are Poles and I have
always had an enthusiastic admiration for the Poles.
The young wife has got a divorce from her husband,
for she was _infected_ by him on the _wedding night_.
Of course you remember what being _infected_ is. But
really it is something quite different from what we
imagined. Because of _that_ she got a frightful eruption
all over her body and her face, and most likely all
her hair will fall out; is it not frightful? Her cousin,
the medical student, who is apparently very poor, is
there to _nurse_ her. Our servant Rosa told me about
it, she heard of it from the housemaid where they have
rooms. As you know, one can't talk to Lizzi about
anything of that kind, and so I did not learn any more;
but the other day, when I went to buy some picture
postcards, I met the three ladies. The young wife was
wearing a very thick veil, so that one could see nothing.
They were sitting on a bench in the garden in
front of their house, and I bowed in passing, on the
way back. They bowed, and smiled in a friendly way.
In the afternoon I had to lie down, for I was feeling
very bad because of . . . .!! Then I suddenly heard
some people talking on the veranda just outside my
window--the veranda runs all round the house. At
first I saw shadows passing, and then they sat down
outside. I recognised the soft voice of the Polish
student directly, and I heard her say to the wife of
the mayor of J.: "Yes, my unfortunate cousin's experience
has been a terrible one; that is because people
sell girls like merchandise, without asking them, and
without their having the least idea what they are in
for." I got up at once and sat down close to the
window behind the curtain so that I could hear everything.
The mayor's wife said: "Yes, it's horrible
what one has to go through when one is married.
_My_ husband is not one of that sort but -- -- -- And
then I could not understand what she went on to say
I overheard this conversation on Thursday. But
that's not all I have to tell you. Of course my first
thought was, if only I could have a talk with her;
for she spoke about _enlightenment_ and although we
are both of us already _very much enlightened_, still,
as a medical student, she must know a great deal
more than we do, so that we can learn from her. And
since she said that girls ought not to be allowed to
_run blindly into marriage_, I thought she would probably
tell me a little if I went cautiously to work.
There was a word which she and the mayor's wife used
more than once, _segsual_ and I don't know what it
means, and I'm sure you don't know either, darling
Rita. She said something about _segsual intimacies_;
of course when people talk about _intimacies_, one
knows it has a meaning, but what on earth does segsual
mean? It must mean something, since it is used with
_intimacy_. Well, let me get on. On Saturday there
was a party, and the medical student came, and I
left my Alpine Songs lying on the piano, and somebody
picked it up and turned over the pages, and the
word went round that the person to whom it belonged
must sing something. At first I did not let on, but
went out for a moment, and then came back saying:
I'm looking for my music book, I left it lying about
somewhere. There was a general shout, and everyone
said: We've agreed that the person to whom that
book belongs has got to sing. Now I knew that
Fraulein Karwinska had accompanied the singing on
such evenings before. So I said: I shall be delighted
to sing, provided Fraulein K. will accompany me,
For you gentlemen play too loud for my voice. Great
laughter, but I had got what I wanted. We were
introduced, and I thought to myself: You will soon
improve the acquaintance. On Sunday for once in a
way I got up quite early, at half past 6, for Fraulein K.
can only go out walking early in the morning since she
spends the whole day with her cousin. She sits near
the Luisenquelle, so I went there with a book, and
as soon as she came I jumped up, said good-morning,
and went on: I'm afraid I've taken possession of
_your_ bench. "Not at all," she said, "Do you study
on Sundays?" "Oh no, this is only light reading,"
I answered, and I made haste to sit on the book, for
in my hurry I had not noticed what it was. But luck
was with me. She sat down beside me and said:
"What is it you are reading that you hide so
anxiously? I suppose it's something that your mother
must not know about." "Oh no," said I, "we have
not brought any such books to the country with us."
"I take it that means that you do manage to get them
when you are in town?" "Goodness me, one must
try and learn a little about _life_; and since no one will
ever tell one anything, one looks about for oneself to
see if one can find anything in a book." "In the
encyclopedia, I suppose?" "No, that's no good, for
one can't always find the truth there." She burst out
laughing and said: "What sort of truth do you
want?" "I think you can imagine very well what sort
of things I want to know." Of course one can speak
more plainly to a medical student than one can to
other girls, and she was not in the least disgusted or
angry but said: Yes, it's the same struggle everywhere.
Then I made use of your favourite phrase
and said: "Struggle, what do you mean? What I
really want to know about is being infected." Then
she flushed up and said: "Who's been talking to you
about that? It seems to me that the whole town is
chattering about my unhappy cousin. You must see
that _I_ can't tell you that." But I answered: "If you
don't, who will? _You_ study medicine, and are seeing
and talking about such things all day." "No, no, my
dear _child_ (you can imagine how furious that made
me), you are still much too young for _that sort of
thing_." What do you think of that, we are too young
at 14 1/2, it's utterly absurd. I expect that really her
studies have not gone very far, and she would not
admit it. Anyhow, I stood up, and said: "I must
not disturb you any longer," and bowed and went
away; but I thought to myself: "A fig for her and
her _studies_; fine sort of a doctor _she_'ll make!"
"What do you think about it all? We shall still
have to trust to the encyclopedia, and after all a lot
of what we can learn there is all right, and luckily
we know most things except the word segsual. Next
winter I expect we shall find it easier than we used
to to get to the bookcase in your house. I don't bow
to the silly idiot any more.

But darling Rita, with regard to the "innocent
child," I don't want to influence you in any way, and
I shan't be angry with you for preferring an _unworthy_
person to me!!! Faithless though you are, I send
you half a million kisses, your ever faithful friend,
H. P.S. I have been 4 days writing this letter; tear
it up, _whatever_ you do!!!

Now that I have copied the letter, I really can't see
why Hella wants me to tear it up. There's nothing
so very dreadful in it. But there is one thing I shan't
be able to do for Hella, to help her in looking up
things in the encyclopedia. I think I should always
feel that Mother would suddenly come in and stand
behind us. No, I simply can't do it.

August 13th. Through that stupid copying I have
been prevented writing about _my own_ affairs, although
they are far more important. Last Wednesday the
Society for the Preservation of Natural Beauties had
arranged a great excursion to Inner-Lahn in breaks.
Dora did not want to go at first, but Father said that
if it would give _us_ pleasure, he would very much like
to go with us, and Mother would be only too delighted
to see that we were enjoying something once more.
And two days before the excursion Dora finally decided
that she would like to go; I knew why at once;
she thought that by that time all the places would
have been taken, and that we should have been told:
Very sorry, no more room. But luckily she had made
a _great_ mistake. For the secretary said: With pleasure;
how many places shall I reserve? and so we said:
7; namely, Father, Dora, and I, Aunt Alma (unfortunately),
Marina (very unfortunately), and the two
boys (no less unfortunately). "That will need an
extra conveyance," replied the secretary, and we
thought we should make a family party. But it was
not so: Next Dora sat a gentleman whom I had seen
once or twice before, and he paid her a tremendous
amount of attention. Besides that there were 2 strange
gentlemen, Frau Bang and her 2 daughters and her
son, who is not quite all there; opposite was Hero
Siegfried, a young lady who is I believe going on the
stage, the two Weiner girls and their Mother
(notwithstanding!!!), then I, and afterwards Marina,
Father, Aunt Alma, and the two boys opposite. I
don't know who made up the other break-loads. At 6
in the morning we all met outside the school, for the
schoolmaster acted as our guide. I did not know before
that he has two daughters and a son who has
matriculated this year. First of all they held a great
review, and the gentlemen fortified themselves with
a nip and so did some of the ladies; I did not, for I
hate the way in which a liqueur burns one's throat so
that every one, at any rate girls and ladies, make
such faces when they are drinking, that is why I never
drink liqueur. I did not care much about the drive
out, for it was very cold and windy, most of us had
red noses and blue lips; I kept on biting my lips to
keep them red, for one looks simply hideous when
one's lips are white or blue, I noticed that in Dora
when we were skating last winter. Father went only
on our account, and Aunt Dora stayed at home so
that Aunt Alma could go. Marina wears "snails"
now, the sight of her is enough to give one fits. Dora
gets on with her quite well, which is more than I can
say for myself. Only when we got out aid I notice
that Siegfried's sister, Fraulein Hulda, had been sitting
next the aspiring actress. She is awfully nice,
and many, many years ago she must have been very
pretty; she has such soft brown eyes, and her hair is
the same colour as her brother's; but he has glorious
blue eyes, which get quite black when he is angry,
as he was when he was talking about his father. I
should tremble before him in his wrath. He is so tall
that I only come up to his shoulder. Father calls
him the red tapeworm; but that's really not fair. He
is very broad but so thin. In Unter-Toifen we
stopped for breakfast, eating the food we had brought
with us; about half an hour; then the schoolmaster
hurried us all away, for we had quite 10 miles to
walk. The two boys made a party with other boys,
and we five girls, we 2, the 2 Weiners, and Marina,
led the way. Aunt Alma walked with a clergyman's
wife from Hildesheim, or whatever it was called, and
with the schoolmaster's wife. It was _awfully_ dull at
first, so that I began to be sorry that I had begged
Father to let us go. But after we had gone a few miles
the schoolmaster's son and three bright young fellows
came along and walked with us. Then we had such
fun that we could hardly walk for laughing, and the
elders had continually to drive us on. Marina was
quite unrestrained, I could never have believed that
she could be so jolly. One of the schoolmaster's
daughters fell down, and some one pulled her out of
the brook into which she had slid because she was
laughing so much. I really don't know what time we
got to Inner-Lahn, for we were enjoying ourselves so
much. Dinner had been ordered ready for us, and we
were all frantically hungry. We laughed without
stopping, for we had all sat down just as we had come
in, although Aunt Alma did not want us to at first.
But she was outvoted. I was _especially pleased_ to
show Hero Siegfried that I could amuse myself very
well without him, for he had frozen on to the aspiring
actress, or she had frozen on to him--I don't know
which, or at least I did not know _then!_ Since we were
sitting all mixed up everyone had to pay for himself,
and Father said next day we had spent a perfect
fortune; but that was not in the hotel, it happened
later, when we were buying mementoes. And I think
Dora gave Marina 3 crowns, so that she could buy
some things too. But Dora never lets on about anything
of that sort. I must say I like her character
better and better; in those ways she is very like Mother.
Well, our purchases were all packed into two or three
rucksacks, and were kept for a raffle in Unter-Toifen
on the way back. I must have spent at least 7 crowns,
for Father had given each of us 5 crowns before we
started, and I still had a lot of my August pocket
money left, and now I've got only 40 hellers. After
we had had dinner and bought the things we lay
about in the forest or walked about in couples. I had
curled myself up for a nap when some one came up
behind me, and when I sat up this _someone_ put his
hands over my eyes and said: "The Mountain
Spirit." And I recognised _his_ hands _instantly_, and
said: "Hero Siegfried!" Then he laughed like anything
and sat down beside me and said: "You were
enjoying yourself so much this morning that you had
not even a glance to spare for me." "Contrariwise
(I've got that from Dora), I never foist myself on
anyone, and never _hang around anyone's neck_." Then
he wanted to put his arm round my waist (and probably,
most probably, he would have kissed me), but
I sprang to my feet and called Dora or rather Thea,
for before the gentlemen we pretend that we never
call one another anything but Thea and Rita. Father
says that that is awfully silly, and no longer suitable
for Dora (but of course it was alright for me!), but
we keep to our arrangement. Then he raised my hand
to his lips and said: "Don't call!" But Dora came
up, and with her the gentleman with the pincenez,
who is a doctor of law belonging to the District Court
of Innsbruck, and Marina and one of the young men,
and I asked, "I say, when _are_ we going to have tea?"
"Just fancy, she is hungry again already," they all
said, and laughed like anything. And Dora looked
_frightfully_ happy. She was wearing an edelweiss
buttonhole which she had not been wearing before; in
the evening she told me that Dr. P. had given it her.
If possible he is even taller than Hero Siegfried, for
Dora is taller than I am and her head only comes up
to his ear. At 3 o'clock the last party came up to the
belvedere, we had got there earlier. The view was
lovely. But I must say I can enjoy a fine view much
better when I am alone, that is with Father or quite a
few persons; it is no good when there's such a crowd;
each additional person seems to take something more
away. In a lovely place and at the cemetery one must
be alone. For a beautiful view usually makes one feel
frightfully sad, and one ought not to have been laughing
so much just before, or laugh directly afterwards.
If I were alone in Inner-Lahn I'm sure I should become
melancholy, for it is so gloriously beautiful
there.

At 4 o'clock, after tea, we started back, for the
schoolmaster thought the descent would not take more
than two hours and a half, but we needed more than
three. For we were all very tired, and a great many
of them had sore feet, especially Aunt Alma! We had
said before, that it would be too much for Aunt; but
she had to come with us to take care of Marina, though
Marina enjoyed herself _extremely_ with a Herr Furtner,
who is studying mining like Oswald, not in Leoben
but in Germany. One does not really find out
what a girl is like until one sees how she behaves with
a man, or what she is like when one talks to her about
_certain things_; as for the last, of course that's
impossible with Marina _since the experience_ we had. But
anyhow she is nicer than one would have thought at
first sight. It was lovely on the way home. Driving
back from Unter-Toifen we sat quite differently.

In our break, instead of the Weiners, there were
three students from Munich, they were awfully nice,
and we sang all the songs we knew; especially "Hoch
vom Dachstein, wo der Aar nur haust," and "Forelle "
and "Wo mein Schatz ist," were lovely, and the people
in two different breaks sang together. And then some
of them sang some Alpine songs and yodelled till the
hills echoed. Two or three of the men in the third
break were rather tipsy and _Hero Siegfried!!_ was one
of them. Aunt Alma had a frightful headache; it was
utterly idiotic for her to come, and we did not know
yet what was still to happen. At every house from
which a girl had come there was a serenade. And
next evening there was to be a great raffle of the
mementoes we had bought, but Father would not let us
go to that.

August 14th. It is desperately dull. I don't
know what on earth to do, so I am writing my diary.
Besides, I have not written about the row yet. The
next afternoon Aunt Alma came just as we were going
out and said to Father: Ernst, please let me have
a word with you. Now we all know Aunt Alma's _let
me have a word with you_. In plain language it
means: I'm going to make a scene. She began : Ernst,
you know I never like these big parties with a lot of
strangers, for no good can come of them. Still, I made
up my mind to go for the sake of the children, and
chiefly for the sake of _your motherless_ children. (Nobody
asked her to; and Aunt Dora had to stay at home
on her account.) Do you know what sort of people
were in our company? That impudent young student
whom Gretel is always running after (did you ever
hear anything like it! I should like to know when
I ran after him; I suppose in the wood I put _my_ arm
round _his_ waist, and I suppose that it was _I_ who began
the acquaintance on my birthday) and that girl who's
training for the stage did not come home after the
excursion till the night was half over. God knows
where they were! They were certainly no _cleaner_
when they got home. (Naturally, for where could
they have had a wash.) His father gave the young
blackguard a fine talking to, but of course the girl's
mother takes her side. It would positively kill me to
think of _my Marina doing anything of the kind_."
Father was able to get a word in at last: "But my dear
Alma, what has all this to do with my girls? As far as
I know these two people weren't in our break, isn't that
so girls?" I was glad that Father turned to _us_, and I
said: Siegfried Sch. and the girl drove in the fourth
break, I saw them getting in. And it was toute meme
chause where he drove and with whom he was driving."
(Of course that's not true, but I said it was because of
Aunt.) "Such language and such a tone to your own
Father!" Directly she said that Father was in such
a passion as I have never seen him in before. "My
dear Alma, I really must beg you not to interfere with
_my_ educational methods, any more than I ever attempt
to interfere in _your_ affairs." Father said this quite
quietly, but he was simply white with rage, and Dora
told me afterwards that I was quite white too, also
from rage of course. Aunt Alma said: "I don't want
to prophesy evil, but the future will show who is right
Goodbye." As soon as she had gone Dora and I
rushed to Father and said: "Please Father, don't be
so frightfully angry; there's no reason why you
should." And Father was awfully sweet and said:
"I know quite well that I can trust you; you are my
Berta's children." And then I simply could not contain
myself, and I said: "No, Father, I really did
flirt with Siegfried, and in the wood he put his arm
round my waist; but I did not let him kiss me, I give
you my word I did not. And if you want me to I'll
promise never to speak to him again." And then
Father said: "Really, Gretel, you have plenty of time
yet for such affairs, and even if that _red-haired rascal_
plays the gallant with you, he is only making himself
a laughingstock. And you don't want that, do you,
little witch?" Then I threw my arms round Father
and promised him _on my word of honour_ that I would
never speak to Siegfried again. For it really distresses
me very much that he should make himself ridiculous;
and that he should go out walking half the night with
that girl; such shamelessness!

We were so much upset that we did not go for a
walk, and of course did not go to the raffle. But I'm
frightfully sorry about those things I paid 7 crowns
for. I do hope he did not win any of them.

August 15th. Just a few words more. Early this
morning, as I was going to breakfast, in the corridor
I met S. (it's a good thing that is the initial both
of his name and of Strick [rascal] as Father called
him) and he said: "Good morning, Fraulein Gretchen.
Why weren't you at the raffle? Hadn't you any
share?--"Oh yes, I had bought 7 crowns worth for it,
but I had no fancy for the company I should
meet."-- -- Why, what has taken you all of a
sudden? They were the same people as at the
excursion! -- -- -- "Precisely for that reason," said I,
and passed on. I think I gave him what for, for he
simply must have understood. Father is really quite
right, and it is not at all nice to abuse one's parents
to strangers as he is always doing. I could not say a
word against my parents to anyone, although I'm
often frightfully angry with them; of course not about
Mother, for she is dead. But not even about Father;
I would rather choke down the greatest injustice. For
when we had that trouble with Aunt Alma about
Marina, I was really not in the least to blame, but he
scolded me so, even while Aunt Alma was there, so
that I can never forget it. But still, to a stranger, to
some one whom I had only just got to know, I would
never say a word against anyone in our family; though
I used to get on so badly with Dora, I never said
much against her even to Hella; at most that she was
deceitful, and that really used to be so, though she
seldom is now.

August 19th. It is so filthyly dull here; I can't bear
the word filthy, but it's the only one that's strong
enough. Oswald is coming this evening, at last.
Thank goodness. S. has made several _advances_, but
I have _ignored_ them. Let him stick to his actress who
can go out walking with him half the night. I really
_should_ like to know where they went. In the night,
I never heard of such a thing! Dora says she took a
dislike to S. from the first because he -- -- -- -- --
it's an absolute lie! -- -- -- has clammy! hands.
It's simply not true, on the contrary he has such
entrancingly cool hands, I'm sure I must know that
better than Dora. But I've known for a long time
that whenever anyone pays _me_ attention Dora is
_unsympathetic_, naturally enough. By the way, on Sunday
I got a charming letter from Anneliese. I must
answer it to-day.

August 22nd. Oswald is awfully nice. He did
not forget my birthday, but he says that at that time
he was stoney, in student's slang that means that he
hadn't any money, and then he could not find anything
suitable, but that he will repair the omission as
soon as we get back to Vienna. But I don't know
what I should like. Oswald is going to stay until
we all go back to Vienna, and we are making a few
excursions _by ourselves_. That is really the best way
after all. I am not much with the Weiners now, for
we had a little tiff on the big excursion. But Nelly
is rather taken with Oswald, so she came twice to our
table to-day, once about a book we had lent her, and
once to arrange for a walk.

August 24th. It is really absurd that one's own
brother can think such a lot of one; but if he does,
I suppose he knows. Oswald said to me to-day:
Gretl, you are so smart I could bite you. How you
are developing." I said: "I don't want anyone to
bite me, and he said: "Nor do I," but I was awfully
delighted, though he is only my brother. He can't
stand Marina, and as a man he finds Dora too stupid;
I think he's right, really. And I simply can't understand
Dr. P., that he can always find something to
talk about to Dora. He has hardly said 10 words to
me yet. Still, I don't care.

August 27th. We went up the Matscherkogel yesterday,
and we had a lovely view. The two boys
came, for they had begged their father to let them;
but of course Aunt Alma and Marina did not come.
Oswald calls Aunt Alma _Angular Pincushion_, but only
when Father isn't there, for after all she is Father's
sister. The Weiners wanted to come too, but I said
that my brother was staying only a few days more,
and that this was a farewell excursion _en famille_."
They were rather hurt, but they have made me very
angry by the way in which they will go on talking
about S. in front of me, on purpose, saying that he is
engaged or is going to be engaged to the actress girl
against his father's will. What does it matter to _me_?
They keep on exchanging glances when they say that,
especially Olga, who is really rather stupid. I am
so sad now at times that I simply can't understand
how I could have enjoyed myself so much on the big
excursion. I'm always thinking of dear Mother, and
I often wear my black frock. It suits my mood better.

August 30th. I believe the Schs. are leaving to-
morrow. At least the old gentleman said to Father
the day before yesterday: "Thank the Lord, we shall
soon be able to enjoy the comforts of home once more."
That is what Hella's grandmother used to say before
they came back from the country. And to-day I saw
two great trunks standing in the passage just outside
Herr Scharrer's room. Oswald thinks the old gentleman
charming; well, there's no accounting for tastes.
I don't believe he's ever spoken to S., though he is a
German Nationalist too, but of a different section;
Oswald belongs to the Sudmark, and S. abused that
section frightfully when I told him that Oswald belonged
to the Sudmark.

August 31st. He has really gone to-day, that is,
the whole family has gone. They came to bid us
goodbye yesterday after supper, and they left this
morning by the 9 o'clock train to Innsbruck. And his
hands are not clammy, I paid particular attention
to the point; it is pure imagination on Dora's part.
He and Oswald greeted one another with Hail! That's
a splendid salutation, and I shall introduce it between
Hella and me.

September 2nd. The Weiners left to-day too, because
people are really beginning to stare at their
mother too much. When Olga said goodbye to me
she told me she hated having to travel with her mother
and whenever possible she would lag behind a little so
that people should not know they belonged together.

September 4th. I never heard of such a thing!!
S. has come back, alone of course. Everyone is indignant,
for he has only come back because of Fraulein
A., the actress girl. But Oswald defends him
like anything. This afternoon Frau Lunda said to
Aunt Dora: "It's simply scandalous, and his parents
certainly ought not to have allowed him to come, even
if the girl's mother does not know any better." Then
Oswald said: "Excuse me, Frau Lunda, Scharrer is
no longer a schoolboy who must cling to his mother's
apron-string; such tutelage would really be unworthy
of a full-grown German." I was so pleased that he
gave a piece of his mind to Frau L., for she is always
glaring at one and is so frantically inquisitive. And
_tutelage_ is such an impressive word, S. used it once
when he was speaking of his sister and why she had
never married. Frau L. was furious. She turned to
Aunt Dora and said: "Young men naturally take
one another's part, until they are fathers themselves
and then they hold other views."

September 8th. Thank goodness we are going
home the day after to-morrow. It really has been
rather dull here, certainly I can't join in the paean
Hella sang about the place last year; of course they
were not staying in the Edelweiss boarding house but
in the Hotel Kaiser von Oesterreich. It makes a lot
of difference _where_ one is staying. By the way, it
has just occurred to me. The young wife who had
the eruption after _infection_ can't have been divorced,
as Hella wrote me the week before last; for her husband
has been there on a visit, he is an actor at the
Theatre Royal in Munich. So it would seem that
actors really are all _infected_; and Hella always says
it is only officers! She takes rather an exaggerated
view.

September 14th. We have been back in Vienna
since the 11th, but I have been absolutely unable to
write, though there was plenty to write about. For
the first person I met when I went out on the 11th to
fetch some cocoa which Resi had forgotten, was
Lieutenant R. Viktor, _the Conqueror!!_ Of course he
recognised me immediately, and was awfully friendly,
and _walked with me a little way_. He asked casually
after Dora, but it is obvious that he is not in love
with her any more. And it was so funny that he
should not know that Dora had matriculated this
year and so would not be going to the High School
any more. I did not tell him that she intends to go
on with her studies, for it is not absolutely settled
yet.

September 16th. Hella came home yesterday; I
am so glad; I greeted her with: _Hail!_ but she said;
"don't be silly," besides, it's unsuitable for an Austrian
officer's daughter!!! Still, we won't quarrel about it
after 2 months' separation, and _Servus_ is very smart
too though not so distinguished. She told me a
tremendous lot more about that young married woman;
some of the ladies in B. said that her cousin was _in
love_ with the husband. That would be awful, for
then she would get infected too; but Hella says she
did not notice anything, though she watched very
closely during the fortnight he was there. He sang
at two of the musical evenings, but she did not see
any sign of it. Lizzi is _engaged_, but Hella could not
write anything about it, for the engagement is only
being officially announced now that they are back in
Vienna; her fiance is Baron G. He is an attache in
London, and she met him there. He is madly in love
with her. In August he was on leave, and he came to
B. to make an offer of marriage; that is why they
stayed the whole summer in B. instead of going to
Hungary. Those were the _special circumstances_,
about which Hella said she could not write to me.
I don t see why she could not have told me _that_, I
should have kept it to myself; and after all, Lizzi
is 19 1/2 now, and no one would have been surprised
that she is engaged at last. They can't have a great
betrothal party, for Baron G.'s father died in July.
Hella is very much put out. Lizzi says it does not
matter a bit.

September 18th. Lizzi's betrothal cards arrived
to-day. It must be glorious to send out betrothal
cards. Dora got quite red with annoyance, though
she said when I asked her: "Why do you flush up
so, surely there's no reason to be ashamed when anyone
is _engaged!_" "Really, why should you think I
am ashamed, I am merely _extremely surprised_." But
one does not get so red as _that_ from surprise.

September 19th. School began to-day; unfortunately,
for _she_ has gone. And what was the Third
is now the Fourth, and that is detestable, to sit in
the classroom without _her_. Luckily we have Frau
Doktor St. as class mistress, and she is to teach us
mathematics and physics once more; Frau Doktor F.,
whom we used to call Nutling and the Fifth used to
call Waterfall has gone, for she has been appointed
to the German High School in Lemberg. For the
time being we are sitting in our old place, but Hella
says we must ask Frau Doktor S. to let us have another
seat, for the memory of the three years when
we had Frau Doktor M. might make us inattentive.
That is a splendid idea. In German we have a master,
in French I am sorry to say it's still Frau Doktor
Dunker, whose complexion has not improved, and in
English the head mistress. I am very pleased with
that, for first of all I like her very much, and secondly
I shall be in her good books from the start because
Dora was her favourite. Of course I'm not learning
Latin, for it would not interest me now that Frau
Doktor M. has gone. Oh, and we have a new Religion
teacher, for Herr Professor K. has retired, since he
was 60 already.

September 21st. We have managed it. In the
long interval, Hella said to Frau Doktor St., who was
in charge. "Frau Doktor, may we venture to ask
for something?" So she said: "What, in the very
first week; well, what is it?" We said we should like
to move from the third bench towards the window,
for we found it very painful to go on sitting where
we had sat when Frau Doktor M., was there. At
first she refused, but after a while she said: I'll see
what I can do, if you are really not happy where you
are." From 11 to 12 was the mathematic lesson,
and as soon as Frau Doktor Steiner had taken her
place she said: "This arrangement of your seats was
only provisional. You had better sit more according
to height." Then she rearranged us all, and Hella
and I were moved to the 5th bench on the window
side; the two twins, the Ehrenfelds got our places; in
front of us is Lohr and a new girl called Friederike
Hammer whose father is a confectioner in Mariahilferstrasse.
We are awfully glad that we have got
away from that hateful third bench where _she_ used
so often to stand near us and lay her hand on the
desk.

September 29th. Professor Fritsch, the German
professor, came to-day for the first time. He is
always clearing his throat and he wears gold spectacles.
Hella thinks him _tolerably_ nice, but I don't. I'm
quite sure that I shall never get an Excellent in German
again. Yesterday the new Religion master came
for the first time, and I sat alone, for Hella being a
Protestant did not attend. He looks frightfully ill
and his eyes are always lowered though he has burning
black eyes. Next time I shall sit beside Hammer
which will be company for us both.

October 2nd. We had confession and communion
to-day, and since the staff will not allow us to choose
our confessors, I had to go to Professor Ruppy. I
did hate it. I whispered so low that he had to tell
me to speak louder three times over. When I began
about the sixth commandment he covered his eyes
with his hand. But thank goodness he did not ask
any questions about that. The only one of the staff
who used to allow us to choose our confessors was
Frau Doktor M. Really, she did not allow it directly
but when one ran quickly to another confessional
box, she pretended not to notice. The Herr Rel. Prof
gives frightfully long penances; all the girls who
went to him took a tremendous time to get through.
I do hope he won't be so strict over his examinations
or I shall get an Unsatisfactory; that would be awful.
October 3rd. Father was so splendid to-day!
Aunt Dora must have told him that I asked her not
long ago whether Father was likely to marry Frau
Riedl, whose husband died almost exactly the same
time as Mother, for Father is guardian to her three
children. She was here to-day with Willi, because
he has just begun going to school. Dora and I talked
it over, and she said that if Father married Frau R.,
she would leave home. In the evening when we were
at supper, I said: If only Frau v. R. was not so ugly.
Father, don't you think she's perfectly hideous?
And Father laughed so lovingly and said: You
need not be anxious, little witch, I'm not going to
inflict a stepmother on you." I was so glad, and so
was Dora and we kissed Father such a lot, and Dora
said: "I felt sure that you would never break your
oath to Mother," and she burst out crying. And
Father said: "No, girls, I did not give any promise
to your Mother, she would never have asked anything
of the kind. But with grown girls like you it would
never do to bring a stepmother into the house." And
then I told Father that Dora would have gone away
from home, and as for me, I should certainly have
been frightfully upset. For _if_ Father really wanted
_to marry_ again _I_ should have to put up with it; and
so would Dora. But Father said once more: Don't
worry, I certainly shan't marry again." And I said:
"Not even Aunt Dora?" And he said: "Oh, as
for her -- --" And then he pulled himself up and
said: "No, no, not even Aunt Dora." Dora has just
told me that I am a perfect idiot, for surely I must
know that Father is not particularly charmed by
Aunt. And then she blamed me for having told
Father that she would leave home if he were to marry
again. _I am a child_ to whom it is impossible to entrust
any secrets!! Now we have been quarrelling for at least
three quarters of an hour, so it is already half past 11.
Luckily to-morrow is a holiday, because of the
Emperor's birthday. But I am so glad to know for
certain that Father is not going to marry Frau v. R
I could never get on with a stepmother.

October 9th. It's horribly difficult in German this
year. In composition we are not allowed to make
any rough notes, we have to write it straight off and
then _hand it in_. I simply can't. Professor Fritsch
is very handsome, but the girls are terribly afraid of
him for he is so strict. His wife is in an asylum
and his children live with his mother. He has got
a divorce from his wife, and since he has the luck to
be a Protestant he can marry again if he wants to.
Hella is perfectly fascinated by him, but I'm not in
the least. For I always think of Prof. W. in the
Second, and that's enough for me. I'm not going
to fall in love with any more professors. In the Training
College, where Marina is now, in her fourth year
one of the professors last year married a former pupil.
I would not do that at any price, marry a former
professor,: who knows all one's faults. Besides, he
must be at least 12 or 20 years older than the girl;
and that's perfectly horrible, one might as well marry
one's father; he would be at least fond of her, and
she would at least know the way he likes to have
everything done; but to marry one's former professor,
what an extraordinary thing to do!

October 15th. I'm frightfully anxious that Hella
may have a relapse; she says that nothing would
induce her to have a second operation, especially now
that -- -- --; she says she would rather die. That
would be awful! I did my best to persuade her to
tell her mother that she has such pain; but she
won't.

October 19th. In November, Hella's father will
be made a general and will be stationed in Cracow.
Thank goodness she is going to stay here with her
grandmother until she leaves the Lyz. She will only
go to Cracow at Christmas and Easter and in the
summer holidays. She is frantically delighted. The
good news has made her quite well again. Everyone
at school is very proud that there will be a general's
daughter in our class. It's true that there is a field-
marshal's daughter in the Third, but he is retired.
Father always says: Nobody makes any fuss over a
retired officer.

October 22nd. We are so much excited that we've
hardly any time to learn our lessons. At Christmas
last year some one gave Hella's mother several of
Geierstamm's novels. The other day one of them
was lying on the table, and when her mother was out
Hella had a hurried look at it and read the title _The
Power of Woman!!!_ When her mother had finished
it, she watched to see where it was put in the bookcase,
and now we are reading it. It's simply wonderful!
It keeps me awake all night; Signe whom he is so
passionately fond of and who deceives him. We
cried so much that we could not go on reading. And
Gretchen, the girl, to whom her father is everything;
I can understand so well that she is always anxious
lest her father should marry that horrid Frau Elise,
although she has a husband already. And when she
dies, oh, it's so horrible and so beautiful that we read
it over three times in succession. The other day
my eyes were quite red from crying, and Aunt said
I must be working too hard; for she thinks that Hella
and I are studying literature together. Oh dear, lessons
are an awful nuisance when one has _such_ books
to read.

October 24th. When I look at Father I always
think of the novel _The Power of Woman_; of course
leaving Signe out of account. Hella hopes she'll be
able to get hold of some other book, but it's not so
easy to do without her mother finding it out, for she
often lends books to her friends. Then there would
be an awful row. We certainly don't want to read
_The Little Brother's Book_, the title does not attract
us; but there's a novel called _The Comedy of Marriage_,
it must be splendid; we _must_ get that whatever happens.

October 26th. The Bruckners are going to keep
on their flat, and Hella's grandmother will come and
live there; only the Herr _General!!!_ is going to C.,
and of course Hella's mother too. Lizzi will stay,
for she is taking cooking lessons, since she is to be
_married_ in Mid-Lent.

October 31st. Hella's parents left to-day, she
cried frightfully, for she did so want to go with them.
Lizzi was quite unconcerned, for she is engaged already,
and the Baron, her fiance, is coming at Christmas,
either to Vienna or Cracow; he does not care
which.

November 4th. Some of the girls in our class were
furious in the German lesson to-day. One or two of
the girls did not know the proper places for commas,
and Prof. Fritsch hinted that we had learned nothing
at all in previous years. We understood perfectly
well that he was aiming at Frau Doktor M., whose
German lessons were 10 times or rather 100 times better
than Professor F.'s. And on this very matter of
punctuation Frau Doktor M. took a tremendous lot
of trouble and gave us lots of examples. Besides,
whether one has a good style or not does not depend
upon whether one puts a _comma_ in the right place.
The two Ehrenfelds, who towards the end were awfully
fond of Frau Doktor M., say that we, who were Frau
Doktor M.'s favourites, ought to write a composition
without a single comma, just to show him. That's a
splendid idea, and Hella and I will do it like a shot
if only the others can be trusted to do it too.

November 6th. This year all the classes _must_
have at least two outings every month, even in winter.
If that had been decided in the last school year, when
Frau Doktor M. was still there, I should certainly
have gone every time. But this year, when she has
left, we can't enjoy it. Frau Doktor St. is awfully
nice, but not like Frau Doktor M. Besides, we go
somewhere with Father every Sunday, Hella comes
with us, and Lizzi if she likes. As soon as the snow
comes we are going to have tobogganing parties at
Hainfeld or Lilienfeld.

December 3rd. Nearly a whole month has passed
without my writing, but I must write to-day! There's
been such a row in the German lesson!! We got
back the compositions in which Hella and I, the 2
Ehrenfelds, Brauner, Edith Bergler, and Kuhnelt,
had not put a single comma. Nothing would have
been found out had not that idiot Brauner put in
commas first and then scratched them out. We had
agreed that if the Prof. noticed anything we would
say we had meant to go through them together before
the lesson, and to decide where to put in commas,
but that we had had no time. Now the silly fool
has given away the whole show. He is going to bring
the matter before the staff meeting. But after all,
it's simply _impossible_ to give 6 girls out of 25 a bad
conduct mark.

December 4th. The head mistress came to inspect
the German lesson to-day. Afterwards she said that
she expected us to make all the knowledge which
Frau Doktor M. had instilled into us for 3 years, the
firm foundation of our further development in the
higher classes. In the English lesson she referred
to the more restricted use of punctuation marks in
English; and afterwards we 6 _sinners_ were summoned
to the office. The whole school knew about the trouble
and was astonished at our courage, especially the lower
classes; the Fifth and the Sixth were rather annoyed
that we in the Fourth had dared to do it. The head
gave us a terrible scolding, saying that it was an unexampled
piece of impudence, and that we were not doing
credit to Frau Doktor M. Then Hella said very modestly:
"Frau Direktorin, will you please allow me to
say a word in our defence?" Then she explained that
Prof. Fritsch never missed a chance of casting a slur
upon Frau Doktor M., not in plain words of course,
but so that we could not fail to understand it, and that
was why we acted as we did. The head answered we
must certainly be mistaken, that no member of the
staff could ever speak against another in such a way
we had simply misunderstood Prof Fritsch! But we
know perfectly well how often the Nutling used to
say in the Maths lesson: "Don't you know _that_?
Surely you _must_ have been taught that." The emphasis
does it!!!!! The staff meeting is to-morrow, and we
were told to do our best to make amends before the
meeting. The 2 Ehrenfelds suggested that we should
write the compositions over again, of course with all
the commas, and should place them on his desk to-
morrow morning before the German lesson; but all
the rest of us were against this, for we saw plainly
that the head had changed colour when Hella said
what she did. We shall make the corrections and
then we shall all begin new copybooks.

December 8th. It is 3 days now since the staff
meeting, but not a word has been said yet about our
affair, and in the German lesson yesterday the Prof.
gave out the subject for the third piece of home work
without saying anything in particular. I think he is
afraid to. Hella has saved us all, for everyone else
would have been afraid to say what she did, even I.
Hella said: "My dear Rita, I'm not an officer's
daughter for nothing; if _I_ have not courage, who
should have? The girls stare at us in the interval
and whenever they meet us, though in the office the
head said to us: "I do hope that this business will
not be spread all over the school." But Brauner has
a sister in the Second and Edith Bergler's sister is in
the Fifth and through them all the classes have heard
about it. I suppose nothing is going to be said to our
parents or something would have happened already.
Besides, to be on the safe side, I have already dropped
a few hints at home. And since Dora, thank goodness,
is no longer at the school, it is impossible that there
can be much fuss. It was only at first that we were
alarmed, but Hella was quite right when she said:
"I'm sure nothing will happen to us, for _we are in
the right_."

December 15th. A meeting with Viktor!!! Dora
and I had gone to do our Christmas shopping, and
we came across him just as we had turned into Tuchlauben.
Dora got fiery red, and both their _voices
trembled_. He does look fine, with his black moustache
and his flashing eyes! And the green facings on his
tunic suit him splendidly. He cleared his throat
quickly to cover his embarrassment, and walked with
us as far as the Upper Market-place; he has another
six-months furlough because of throat trouble; so
Dora can be quite easy in her mind in case she fancied
that -- -- -- -- --. When he said goodbye he
kissed our hands, _mine as well as Dora's_, and smiled
so sweetly, sadly and sweetly at the same time. Several
times I wanted to turn the conversation upon him.
But when Dora does not want a thing, you can do
what you like and she won't budge; she's as obstinate
as a mule! She's always been like that since she
was quite a little girl, when she used to say: Dor
not! That meant: Dora won't; little wretch! such a
wilful little beast!

December 17th. Yesterday we had our first tobogganing
party on the Anninger; it was glorious, we
kept on tumbling into the snow; the snow lay fairly
thick, especially up there, where hardly anyone comes.
As we were going home such a ridiculous thing happened
to Hella; she caught her foot on a snag and
tore off the whole sole of a brand new shoe. She had
to tie it on with a string, and even then she limped so
badly that every one believed she had sprained her
ankle tobogganing. Her grandmother was frightfully
angry and said: "That comes of such _unladylike_
amusements!" Aunt Dora was very much upset, for
she had been with us, but Father said: Hella's grandmother
is quite an old lady, and in her day people
had very different views in this respect. I should say
so, _in this respect_, Hella finds it out a dozen times
a day, all the things she must not say and must not
do, and all the things which are unsuitable for young
girls! Her grandmother would like to keep her under
a glass shade; but not a transparent one, for she must
not be able to see out, and _no one_ must be able to see
_in_. (The last is the main point.)

December 20th. To-day was the last German lesson
before Christmas, and not a word more has been
said about our affair. Hella has proved splendidly
right. Even Verbenowitsch, who curries favour with
every member of the staff, has congratulated her, and
so has Hammer, who is a newcomer and did not
know Frau Doktor M. By the way, at 1 o'clock the
other day we met Franke; she goes now to a school
of dramatic art, and says that the whole tone of the
place is utterly different, she is so glad to have done
with the High School. She had heard of the affair
with Prof. F. and she congratulated us upon our
_strength of character_, especially Hella of course. She
says that the matter is common talk in all the High
Schools of Vienna, at least she heard of it from a girl
at the High School for the Daughters of Civil Servants,
a girl whose sister is at the School of Dramatic Art.
She is very happy there, but she is annoyed that such
an institution should still be called a school; it's not
a _school_ in the least; we would be astonished to see
how free they all are. She is very pretty and has even
more figure than she used to have. She speaks very
prettily too, but rather too loudly, so that everyone
turned round to look at us. She hopes that she will
be able to invite us to see her debut in _one year!!!_
I should never be able to stand on a stage before a lot
of strangers, I know I would never be able to get a
word out.

December 21st. Hella is awfully unlucky. The
day before yesterday she got such bad influenza and
sore throat that she can't go to Cracow. She says
she is born to ill luck; this is the second Christmas
that has been spoiled, two years ago the appendicitis
operation, and now this wretched influenza. She hopes
her mother will come to Vienna, but if so her father
will be left quite alone. And how on earth shall we
get on, Christmas without Mother, the first Christmas
without Mother. I simply don't dare to think of it,
for if I did it would make me cry. Dora says too
that it can't be a proper Christmas without Mother. I
wonder what Father will say when he sees Mother's
portrait. I do hope the frame will be ready to-morrow.
Hella is especially unhappy because she is not able
to see Lajos. Besides, she is madly in love at the same
time with a lieutenant of dragoons whom we meet every
day and who is a count, and he is madly in love with
her. He knows that her father is a general, for when
her father went to kiss the Emperor's hand he took
Hella part of the way with him in the motor, and she
was introduced to the lieutenant then. So now he
salutes her when they meet. He is tremendously tall
and looks fearfully aristocratic. But what annoys
me with Hella is that she _invariably_ denies it when
she is in love with anyone. I always tell her, or if
she notices anything I don't deny it. What's the
sense of it between friends? for example, the year before
last she was certainly in love with the young
doctor in the hospital. And in September when we
came back from Theben with that magnificent lieutenant
in the flying corps, I made no secret of the
fact that I was frantically in love with him. But she
did not believe me, and said: That is not real love,
when people don't see one another for months and
flirt with others between whiles. That was aimed at
Hero Siegfried. Goodness me, at him!! it's really
too absurd.

December 22nd. I am so delighted, Frau Doktor
M., at least she is Frau Professor Theyer now, has
written to me. I had sent her Christmas good wishes,
and she sent a line to thank me, and at the same time
she wished me a happy New Year, _she took the lead
in this_; it was heavenly. I was frightfully annoyed
because Dora said that she had done it only to save
herself the trouble of writing again; I'm sure that's
not true. Dora always says things like that simply
to annoy me. But her sweet, her divine letter, I
carry it about with me wherever I go, and _her_ photograph
too. She sent Hella only a card, naturally, for
that was all Hella had sent her. I can quite well
fancy Frau Doktor M. as a stepmother, that is, not
quite well, but better than anyone else. She wrote
so sweetly about Mother, saying that of course I
should find this Christmas less happy than usual. She
is certainly right there. We can none of us feel as if
the day after to-morrow is to be Christmas Eve. The
only thing that I really enjoy thinking of is the way
Father will stare when he sees the portrait. But
really in the first years after such a loss one ought not
to keep Christmas, for on such days one feels one's
sadness more than ever.

December 23rd. I have still a frightful lot to do
for Christmas, but I must write to-day. There was a
ring at the front door this morning at about half past 11.
I thought it must be Hella come to fetch me, that she
must be all right again, so I rushed out, tore the door
open, prepared to greet Hella, and then I was simply
kerblunxed, for there was a gentleman standing who
asked most politely: Is anyone at home? I knew
him in a moment, it was that Dr. Pruckmuller from
Fieberbr. Meanwhile Dora had opened the drawing-
room door, and now came the great proof of deceitfulness:
She was _not in the least_ surprised, but said:
"Ah, Dr. Pruckmuller, I am so glad you have kept
your word." So it was plain that he had promised
her to come, and I am practically sure she knew he
was coming _to-day_, for she was wearing her best black
silk apron with the insertions, such as we only wear
when visitors are expected. What a humbug she is!
So I went into the drawing-room too. Then Aunt
Dora came in and asked him to supper this evening.
Then he went away. All the time he had not said
a word to me, it seemed as if he had not even noticed
that there was such a person as me in the world
Not until he was actually leaving did he say: "Well;
Fraulein, how are you?" "Oh well," said I, "I'm
much as anyone can expect to be so soon after Mother's
death." Dora got as red as fire, for she understood. I
shall know how to treat him _if_ he becomes my brother-
in-law. But that may be a long way off; for he
lives in Innsbruck, and Father is not likely to allow
Dora to marry away to Innsbruck. At dinner I hardly
said a word, I was so enraged at this deceitfulness.
But there is more to come. At 7, or whatever time
it was, Dr. Pruckmuller turned up. Dora appeared
in a white blouse with a black bow, and had remained
in her room till the last minute so that I might not
know what she was wearing. For I had believed she
would wear her black dress with the insertions, and so
I was wearing mine. Oh well, that did not matter.
At supper he talked all the time to Dora, so I purposely
talked to Oswald. Then he said that on March
1st he was going to be transferred to Vienna. Once
more Dora was not in the least astonished, so _she must
have known all about it!_ But now I remember quite
well that in October the postman handed me a letter
for her with the Innsbruck postmark. So she was
_corresponding with him openly the whole time_, less
than 6 months after Mother's death. It really is too
bad! But when I was chattering about the country,
she kicked me under the table as a hint not to laugh
so frightfully. And when my brother-in-law in spe,
oh how it does make me laugh, two or three years
ago, in Goisern I think it was, we used to call Dora
Inspe, because she had said of Robert Warth and
me: The bridal pair in spe! And now she is in
the same position. When he went away in the evening
I was trembling lest Father should invite him to the
Christmas tree, but thank goodness when Father
asked: "What are you doing with yourself to-morrow,"
he answered: "To-morrow I am spending the
day with my sister's family, she is married to a captain
out Wieden way." Thank goodness that came to
nothing, for we are not at all in the mood for visitors,
especially the first Christmas without Mother. And
if she knew -- -- -- I wish I knew what really happens
to the soul. Of course I gave up believing in
Heaven long ago; but the soul must go somewhere.
There are so many riddles, and they make one so
unhappy; in a newspaper feuilleton the other day
I saw the title of a chapter: _The Riddle of Love_.
But _this_ riddle does not make people sad, as one can
see by Dora. Anyhow, all girls, that is all elder sisters,
seem alike in this respect. I remember what Hella
told me about Lizzi's engagement. It is true, she
had first made his acquaintance in London, not at
home; but there was just the same deceitfulness.
What on earth does it mean? Would it not be much
more kindly and reasonable to tell your sister _everything_?
Otherwise how can anyone expect one to be
an ally. Oh well, _I_ don't care, I'm not going to let
my Christmas Eve be disturbed by a thing _like that_;
if one can call it a _Christmas Eve_ at all. On Boxing
Day, when he is to spend the evening here, I shall
tell Hella that I want to come to her and her grandmother.
After all, I am glad she has stayed in Vienna.

December 25th. Christmas Eve was _very_ melancholy.
We all three got Mother's picture, life size in
beautiful green frames, for our rooms. Dora sobbed
out loud, and so I cried too and went up to Father and
put my arms around him. His eyes were quite wet;
for he adored Mother. Only Oswald did not actually
cry, but he kept on biting his lips. I was so glad that
Dr. P. was not there, for it is horribly disagreeable to
cry before strangers. We _both_ got lovely white guipure
blouses, not lace blouses, then Aunt gave me a splendid
album for 500 postcards, and she also gave me an
anthology which I had asked for. Brahms' Hungarian
Dances, because Dora would not lend me hers last
year because she said they were too difficult for me;
as if _that_ were any business of hers; surely my music
mistress is a better judge; then some writing paper
with my monogram, a new en-tout-cas with everything
complete, and hair ribbons and other trifles. Father
was awfully delighted with Mother's portrait; of
course we had not known that he was getting us life-
size portraits of Mother, and from the last photograph
of the winter before last we had quite a small likeness
painted by Herr Milanowitz, who is a painter, and
who knew Mother very well--in colour of course.
And we got a lovely rococo frame to close up; when
it is open it looks as if Mother were looking out of
the window. That was _my_ idea, and Herr Milanowitz
thought it _most original_. Dora considered it very
awkward that he would not take any money for it, but
it made it possible for us to get a much more elegant
frame. After Christmas; for New Year, we are going
to send Herr M. some of the best cigars, bought with
_our own_ money, I wanted to send them for Christmas,
but we don't know anything about cigars, and we
did not want to tell anyone because one can never
know whether one won't be betrayed and you will be
told it is unintentional; but that is not true, for when
one betrays anything one has always secretly intended
to do so; and then one says it was a slip of the tongue;
but one really knows all the time. I can't write down
all the extra things that Dora got, only one of them:
At 7 o'clock just when Father was lighting the candles
on the tree, a commissionaire brought some lovely roses
with two sprays of mistletoe interwoven and beneath
a nosegay of violets -- -- -- of course from Dr. P.
with a card, but she would not let anyone read that.
All she said was: Dr. P. sends everyone Christmas
greetings; I believe he had really written: _Merry_
Christmas," but Dora did not dare to say _that_. Oh,
and Hella gave me a bead bag, and I gave her a
purse with the double eagle on it, for she wanted a
purse that would have a military look. I never knew
anyone with such an enthusiasm for the army as Hella;
certainly I think officers look awfully smart; but
surely it's going too far when she feels that other men
practically don't exist. The others have to learn a
lot, for example doctors, lawyers, mining engineers,
not to speak of students at the College of Agriculture,
for perhaps these last "hardly count" (that's the phrase
Hella is always using); but all of them have to learn
a great deal more than officers do; Hella never will
admit that, and always begins to talk of the officers
of the general staff; as if they _all_ belonged to the
general staff! We have often argued about it. Still,
I do hope she will get an officer for her husband, of
course one who is well enough off to marry, for otherwise
it's no go; for Father says the Bruckners have
no private means. It's true he always says that of
us too, but I don't believe it; we are not so to say rich,
but I fancy we should both of us have enough money
for an officer to be able to marry us. Anyhow, Dora
voluntarily renounces that possibility, _if_ she is really
going to marry Dr. P.

27th. Well, I went to Hella's yesterday and stayed
till 9, and on Christmas Day she was here. I see that
I wrote above that the Bs. were not well off; it seems
to me to be very much the reverse. We always get a
great many things and very nice ones at Christmas and
on our birthdays and name days (of course Protestants
don't have these last), but we don't give one another
such splendid things as the Bs. do. Hella had been
given a piece of rose-coloured silk for a dress to wear
at the dancing class which must have cost at least 50
crowns, and a lace collar and cuffs, which we had
seen at the shop, and it had cost 24 crowns, then she
had a gold ring with an emerald, and a number of
smaller things which she never even looked at. And to
see all the things her sister got, things for her _trousseau!_
And the Bs. Christmas tree cost 12 crowns whilst ours
cost only 7, though ours was just as good. So I
think that the Bs. really have plenty of money, and
I said to Hella: "You must be enormously rich."
And she said: "Oh well, not so rich as all that; I
must not expect to marry an officer on the general
staff. Lizzi has done very well for herself for Paul
is a baron and is very well off. He is frantically in
love with her; queer taste, isn't it?" I quite agree,
for Lizzi has not much to boast of in the way of looks,
beautiful fair hair, but she is so awfully thin, not a
trace of b -- --, Hella has much more figure. And
if one hasn't any by the time one is 20 one is not
likely to get one.

Something awfully funny happened to-day. Hella
asked me: "I say, what's the Christian name of that
Dr. who is dangling after your sister?" Then it struck
me for the first time that on his visiting card he only
has Dr. jur. A. Pruckmuller, and then I remembered
that last summer, when we first made his acquaintance,
Dora said, It's a pity he's called August, the name
does not suit him at all. Well, we laughed till we felt
quite ill, for of course Hella began to sing: "O du
lieber Augustin," and then I thought of Der dumme
August [clown's nickname in circus] and we wondered
what Dora would call him. Gusti or Gustel, or Augi,
my darling Augi, my beloved Gusterl, oh dear, we were
in fits of laughter. Then we discussed what names
we should like to have for our husbands, and I said:
Ewald or Leo, and Hella said: Wouldn't you like
Siegfried? But I put my hand on her mouth and said:
"Shut up, or you will make me really angry, _that_ is
and must remain forgotten." She said what she would
like best would be to have a husband called Peter or
Thamian or Chrysostomus; then for a pet name she
would use Dami or Sosti; and then she said quite
seriously that she would only marry a man called
Egon, or Alexander, or at least Georg. Just at that
moment her mother came in to call us to tea, and she
said: "What's an that about Alexander and Georg?
You are such dreadful girls. If you are alone together
for a couple of minutes (I had come at half past 2
and the Brs. have tea at 4, and that's what Hella's
mother calls 2 minutes), you begin to talk of unsuitable
things." Hella was afraid her mother would
think God knows what, so she said: "Oh no, Mother,
we were only discussing what names we should like
our fiances to have." You ought to have seen how
her mother went on. "That's just it, that when you
are barely 15 (I'm not 15 yet) you should have nothing
but _such_ things in your heads!" _Such_ things,
how absurd. At tea it was almost as dull as it was
the other evening at home; for the Herr Baron was
there, that is, they all say Du to one another now, for
the wedding is to be in February, as soon as it is settled
whether the Baron is to stay in London or to be
transferred to Berlin. It must be funny to say "Du"
to a strange man. Hella says she soon got used to it,
and that she likes Paul well enough. When he brings
Lizzi sweets, when he is taking her to the theatre, he
always gives Hella a box for herself. _Other_ people
would certainly not do that, and I know _other_ people
who wouldn't accept it. When I got home, Father
said: Well, another time I think you'd better stay
and sleep at the Brs., and I said: I did not want to
be a killjoy here. And Oswald said: "What you need
is a box on the ear," Father was luckily out of the
room already and so I said: "_Your_ children, if you
ever have any, can be kept in order by boxing their
ears till they are green and blue, but you have no
rights over your sisters, Father told you so in
Fieberbrunn." "Oh, I know Father always backs you two
up, he has done so from the first." "Please don't
draw me into your quarrels," said Dora, as if she had
been something quite different from me. And then
Aunt Dora said: "I do wish you would not keep on
quarreling." "_I_ didn't begin it," said I, and went
away without saying goodnight; that is I went to
Father's room to say goodnight to him and I saw Aunt
Dora in the hall, but I _didn't_ say goodnight to Oswald
and Dora, for I'm not going to put up with _everything_.
And now it's half past 11 already, for I have been writing
such a long time, and have cried such a lot, for I'm
_very_ unhappy. Even Hella doesn't know how unhappy
I am. I must go to bed now; whether I shall
sleep or not is another question. If I can possibly
manage it, I shall go alone to the cemetery to-morrow.

31st. Hella and I went to the cemetery to-day.
Her father and mother returned to Cracow yesterday
evening, and she told her grandmother she was going
to spend the morning with me, and I said I was going
to the Brs., so we went alone to Potzleinsdorf. Hella
went for a walk round the cemetery while I went to
darling Mother's grave. I am so unhappy; Hella consoles
me as much as she can, but even she can't understand.

January 1, 19--! Of course we did not keep New
Year's Eve yesterday, but were quite alone and it
was very melancholy. This morning Dr. P. brought
Dora and Aunt Dora some roses and he gave me some
lovely violets as a New Year's greeting. He is leaving
on the 4th, so he is coming here on the evening of
the 3rd. I can't say I look forward to it. To-morrow
school begins thank goodness. I met a dust cart, that
means good luck; Father says it is a scandal the way
the dirt carts go on all through the day in Vienna,
and that one should see one even on New Year's day
at 2 in the afternoon. But still, if it means _good luck!_

January 2nd. The dust cart did bring good luck.
We had a real piece of _luck_ to-day! In the big interval
I noticed a little knot of girls in the hall, and suddenly
I felt as if my heart would stop beating. Frau
Doktor M., I should say Frau Professor Theyer, was
standing among them, she saw us directly and held out
her hand to us so we kissed it. She has come to visit
her parents and _her husband_ is with her; since she
did not know for certain whether she would be able
to come to the school she had not written either to
me or to Hella about it. She is so lovely and so
entrancingly loveable. When the bell rang for class and
Frau Doktor Dunker came in I saw that _she_ was still
standing outside. So I put my handkerchief up to my
face as if my nose were bleeding, and rushed out to
her. And because I slipped and nearly fell, she held
out her arms to me. Hardly had I reached her, when
Hella came out and said: "Of course I understood
directly; I said you were awfully bad, so I must go
and look after you." Then the Frau Professor laughed
like anything and said: "You are such wicked little
actresses; I must send you back immediately." But
of course she did not but was frightfully sweet. Then
we begged her to let us stay with her, but she said:
"No, no, I've been your teacher here, and I must not
encourage you in mischief. But here is a better idea.
Would you like to come and see me to-morrow?"
"Rather," we both exclaimed. She said she was staying
in a hotel, but we must not come alone to a hotel,
so she would see us at her parents, in Schwindgasse,
and we were to come there at 4 or half past. Then we
kissed both her hands and were so happy! To-morrow
at 4! Oh dear, a whole night more and nearly a whole
day to wait. "If your parents allow you," she said;
as if Father or even Hella's grandmother would not
allow _that!_ All Father said was: "All right Gretel,
but don't go quite off your head first or you won't be
able to find your way to Schwindgasse. Is Hella as
crazy as you are?" Of course, how can one be otherwise?

January 3rd. Still 2 hours, it's awful, Hella is coming
to fetch me at half past 3. In school to-day we kept
on looking at one another, and all the other girls
thought it must be something to do with a man. Goodness,
what do we care about a man now! We had a
splendid idea, that we had just time to make a memento
for _her_, since she does not leave until the evening
of the 5th. I am having traced on a piece of yellow
silk for a book marker an edelweiss and her monogram
E. T., the new one of course. Hella is painting a
paperknife in imitation of tarsia mosaic. I would
rather have done something of that sort too, but I have
no patience for such work, so I often spoil it before
I've finished. But one can't very well spoil a piece of
embroidery. But I shan't get the tracing on the silk
back from the shop until half past 3, so I shall have to
work all night and the whole day to-morrow.

Evening. Thank goodness and confound it, whichever
way you like to take it, the idiot at the shop had
forgotten about the bookmarker and I shan't get it
until to-morrow morning early. So I'm able to write
now: It was heavenly! We had to walk up and down
in front of her house for at least half an hour, until
at last it was 5 minutes past 4. She was so sweet
to us! She wanted to say Sie to us, but we _simply
would not have it_, and so she said Du as she used to.
We talked of all sorts of things, I don't know what,
only that I suddenly burst out crying, and then she
drew me to her b -- --, no, I can't write that about her;
she drew me to herself and than I felt _her heart beating!_
and went almost crazy. Hella says that I
put both my arms round her neck, but I'm sure that's
all imagination, for I should never have dared. She
has such fascinating hands, and the _wedding ring_
glistens so on her divine ring finger. Of course we
talked about the school, and then she suddenly said:
Tell me what really happened about those compositions,
when half the class deliberately refrained from
putting any punctuation marks. "Oh," we said, "that
is a frightful cram, it wasn't _half_ the class, but only 6
of us who have a special veneration for you." Then
we told her how it all came about. She laughed a
little, and said: "Well, girls, you did not do me
any particular _service_. It really was a great piece of
impertinence." But I said: "Prof. Fritsch's remarks
were 10 times more impertinent, for they related to
another member of the staff, and what was worse to
you." Then she said: "My darling girls, that often
happens in life, that the absent are given a bad reputa-
tion, whether justly or unjustly; one is liable to that
in every profession." Hella said that the head mistress
was not like that or there would have been a frightful
row, since the matter had become known in all the
High Schools of Vienna. Then Frau Doktor M. said:
"Yes, the Frau Direktorin is really a splendid woman."
Then there came something glorious, or really 2 glorious
things: 1). She gave us some magnificent sweets,
better than I have ever eaten before. Hella agrees, and
we are really connoisseurs in the matter of sweets.
The second thing, even more glorious, was this: after
we had been there some time, there was a knock at
the door and in came _her_ husband, the Herr Prof.,
and said: "How are you my treasure?" and to us:
"Goodday, young _ladies_." Then she introduced us,
saying: "Two of my best-loved pupils and my most
faithful adherents." Then the Herr Prof. laughed a
great deal and said: "That can't be said of all
pupils." So I said quickly: "Oh yes, it can be said
of Frau Doktor, the whole class would go through
fire for her." Then he went away, and she said:
"Excuse me for a moment," and we could hear quite
plainly that _he kissed her_ in the next room, and then
she said as she came in again: "Oh well, be off with
you, Karl, goodbye." It's a pity his name is Karl,
it's so prosaic, and he calls her Lise, and I expect
when they are alone he calls her Lieschen, since he
is a North German. I must go to bed, it's half past 11
already. To be continued to-morrow. Sleep well,
my sweet glorious ecstatic golden and only treasure!
God, I am so happy.

January 6th. Thank goodness to-day is a holiday,
and we can't go tobogganing because Dora has a
_chill!!!_ I got the bookmarker on the 4th, worked at
it all day and up till midnight, and yesterday I got up
at half past 5, went on working the whole morning, and
at 2 o'clock we took our mementoes to the house.
Though we should have liked to give them to her
ourselves, we didn't, but only gave them to the maid.
She said: Shall I show you in? but Hella said:
"No, thank you, we don't want to disturb Frau Theyer,
and when I reproached her for this she said: Oh no,
it was better not; you are quite upset anyhow, you
know what _she_ said: But my dear child, you will make
yourself ill; you must not do that on _my_ account!"
Oh dear, I'm crying so that I can hardly write,
but I _must_ write, for there is still so much that's glorious
to put down, things that I must never, never forget,
even if it should take me a week to write. The great
thing is that I shall simply live upon this memory,
and the only thing I want in life is that I may see
_her_ once more. Of course we took her some flowers on
Friday, I lilies of the valley with violets and tuberoses,
and Hella Christmas roses. She was delighted, and
went directly to fetch 2 vases which her mother brought
in. She is as small as Frau Richter, and her hair
is grey, she is charming; but she is not in the least
like Frau Doktor M. When we said goodbye she
offered us still more sweets, but since we were both
nearly crying already we did not want to take any
more, but she wrapped them nearly all up for us, saying:
"To console you in your sorrow." From anyone
else it might have sounded ironical, but from her it
was simply lovely. There were 17 large sweets, and
Hella gave me 9 of them and took only 8 for herself.
I shall eat only one every day, so that they will last
me 9 days. _Joy and sorrow combined!!_ Hella is not
so frightfully in love as I am, and yesterday she said,
in joke of course: "It seems to me that your whole
world is foundered; I must pull you out, or you'll be
drowned." And then she asked me how I could have
been so stupid as to use the word _honeymoon_ to _her_,
although she hemmed to warn me. She said it really
was utterly idiotic of me, and that the Frau Prof.
blushed. I did not notice it myself, but when her
_husband_ came in, she certainly did flush up like anything.
Hella and I talked of quite a lot of _other things
of that sort_. I should so much have liked to ask her
whether she has given up going to church, for I think
the Herr Prof. really is a Jew, though he does not _look_
like one. For lots of other men wear black beards.
But I did not venture to ask, and Hella thinks it is
a very good thing I did not, for one _does not talk about
such things_. I wonder _whether she will have a baby_?
Oh, it would be horrible. Of course she may have
entered into a _marriage_ contract, that would have been
the best way. However, Hella thinks that the professor
would not have agreed to anything of the kind.
But surely if he was frantically in love with her . . .

January 1 5th. The girls in our class are frantically
jealous. We did not say in so many words that we,
alone among them all, had been invited to see her,
but Hella had brought one of the sweets she had given
us and in the interval she said: This must be eaten
reverently, and she cut it in two to give me half. The
Ehrenfelds thought it must have been given by some
acquaintance made at the skating rink, and Trude
said: "Doubly sweetened, by chocolate and love."
"Yes," said I, "but not in the sense you imagine."
And since she said: "Oh, of course, I know all about
that, but I don't want to be indiscreet," Hella said:
"I may as well tell you that Frau Doktor M., or I
should say the _married_ Frau Prof. Theyer, gave us
this sweet and a great many more on the day she had
invited us to go and see her." Then they were all
utterly kerblunxed and said: "Great Scott, what
luck, but you always were Frau Doktor M.'s favourites,
especially Lainer. But Lainer always courted Frau
Doktor M."

January 17th. The whole school knows about our
being invited to see her, the glorious one! I've just
been reading it over, and I see that I have left a frightful
lot out, especially about her father. When we were
leaving, just outside the house door we burst out crying
because as I opened the door I had said, For the
last time! Just then an old gentleman came up and
was about to go in, and when he saw that we were
crying, though we were standing quite in the shadow,
he came up to us and asked what was the matter.
Then Hella said: "We have lost out best friend."
Then the old gentleman looked at us for a tremendously
long time and said: "I say, do you happen to
be the two ardent admirers of Frau Doktor Mallburg?
She is my daughter, you know. And then he said:
But you really can't go through the streets bathed in
tears like that. Come upstairs again with me and
my daughter will console you." So we really did go
upstairs again, and she was perfectly unique. Her
father opened the door and called out: Lieserl, your
admirers simply can't part from you, and I found
them being washed out to sea in a river of tears. Then
she came out wearing a _rose-coloured dressing-
gown!!!_ exquisite. And she led us into the room and
said: "Girls, you must not look at me in this old rag,
which is only fit to throw away." I should have liked
to say: "Give it to _me_ then." But of course I could
not. And when we made our final goodbye, perhaps
_for ever_, she kissed each of us _twice over_ and said:
Girls, I wish you all the happiness in the world!

January 18th. Hella invited me there to-day, to
meet Lajos and Jeno. But I'm not going, for Jeno
does not interest me in the very least. That was not
a _real_ love. I don't care for anyone in the whole world
except her, my one and only! Even Hella can't understand
that, in fact she thinks it _dotty_. Father wanted
me to go to Hella's _to change the current of my
thoughts_. Of course I hardly say a word about _her_
to anyone, for no one understands me. But I never
could have believed that Father would be just like
anyone else. It's quite true that I'm getting thin.
I'm so glad that we are not going tobogganing to-day
because Dora has a chill, a _real_ chill this time. So
I am going to the church in Schwindgasse and shall
walk up and down in front of _her_ house; perhaps I
shall meet her father or her mother. I wrote to her
the day before yesterday.

January 24th. I am so happy. She wrote to me
_by return!_ This is the second letter I have had from
her! At dinner to-day Father said: "Hullo, Gretel,
why are you looking so happy to-day? I have not seen
you with such a sunny face for a long time." So I
answered in as few words as possible: "After dinner
I will tell _you_ why." For the others need not know
anything about it. And when I told Father vaguely
that Frau Prof. Th. had written to me, Father said:
"Oh, is _that_ what has pleased you so much. But I
have something up my sleeve which will also please
you. February 1st and 2nd are Sunday and Monday,
you have 2 days free, and if you and Hella can get
a day off from school on Saturday we might make an
excursion to Mariazell. How does that strike you?"
It would be glorious, if only Hella is allowed to come,
for her grandmother imagines that the sore throat she
had before Christmas was due to the tobogganing on
the Anninger, where the sole was torn off her shoe!
As if _we_ could help that. Still, by good luck she may
have forgotten it; she is 63 already, and one forgets
a lot when one is that age.

Evening. Hella may come; it will be splendid!
Perhaps we shall try a little skiing. But really Hella
is a horrid pig; she said: "All right, I'll come, if
you'll promise not to be continually talking about Frau
Professor Th. I'm very fond of her too, but you
are simply crazy about her." It's really too bad, and
I shall never mention _her_ name to the others any more.
I am looking forward so to the tobogganing at Mariazell.
We've never made any such excursion in winter
before. Hurrah, it will be glorious! Oh I do wish the
31st of January were here; I'm frantically excited.

EDITOR'S NOTE

Rita's joyful expectations of tobogganing among glistening
snow-clad hills, remained unfulfilled. The rude hand of fate
was thrust into the lives of the two sisters. On January 29th
their father, suddenly struck down with paralysis, was brought
home in an ambulance, and died in a few hours without recovering
consciousness.

Torn from the sheltering and affectionate atmosphere of home,
separated from her most intimate friend, the young orphan had
to struggle for peace of soul in the isolation of a provincial
town -- -- --

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