In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

99 25 Maria walks beside the strange elderly lady up Hubertusstrasse to a square bathed in the warm October sunlight. Here stand the ruins of a tower that was built from massive, rough stone. The remains of the town wall can be seen. A wide street runs alongside the square exactly where the ditch outside the town wall used to be. The street is called Boxgraben. It comes from the Schanz, one of the highest spots in the town, where the Westgate used to stand. The square with the remnants of the tower and the chestnut trees is called Am Lavenstein. Out of the old walls that are overgrown with ivy, sprout tufts of grass, little bushes, and flowers. In the square, children are romping around, throwing chestnuts. Maria enters a tall corner house with the lady. They climb up three flights of wide wooden stairs that smell of floor polish. They stop in front of a door with a nameplate that reads Rögert. When she enters the strange living room, she is choked with homesickness. A friendly little woman comes toward her with open arms. She gestures for Maria to sit down and offers her coffee with milk and black cake, a round cake topped with a puree of dried pears and plums. Maria is not hungry, but she does not like to refuse. She looks around the large kitchen that also serves as a living room in the colder months. She reads the labels on the square stoneware pots lined up on a shelf: Flour, Salt, Sugar, Rice, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg.A strong rod is fixed from one wall to the other about a meter in front of the windows. Maria cannot imagine what it is for. There are no curtains to be seen. The older woman who brought her to the house leaves. Now, the­ other lady shows Maria where she can wash her hands and then leads her through a bedroom into a smaller one. She opens a high wardrobe door and says to Maria,“You can hang your clothes in here and put your underwear in the drawer below. That is your bed. Do you like it here?” Stories Main Pgs 1-258.indd 99 4/26/2017 12:17:38 PM 100 Maria Wallisfurth “I like it very much here,” says Maria,“everything is clean and tidy.” She opens her cardboard box and starts to stow her few belongings and her doll’s bed and little doll’s chair from Papa Bunden. “Have you done your homework already?” Maria answers yes and is glad that the little lady is so easy to ­ understand. “My name is Fine, and my sister’s name is Käthe Rögert. You can call us Miss Fine and Miss Käthe.” “Yes, I understand,” says Maria. They go back to the kitchen, and Miss Fine puts a chair near the window for Maria, puts the flowerpots to one side, and tucks up the curtains. Dusk falls bringing a slight fog. Behind the square, carts and carriages jolt past on the cobblestones. Women stand chatting in a doorway. Two old men are sitting on a bench under the chestnut trees.The smoke from their pipes curls in the twilight. Soon, they stand up and go. It has become too cool, Maria thinks to herself. The golden-red glow of the leaves has disappeared. The evening eats up the colors and gradually shrouds everything in gray. Miss Käthe returns home and lights the gas lamp. On the embers in the stove, Miss Fine puts shiny black coal sludge she has brought up from the cellar in a bucket. After the evening meal, an elderly lady comes in. Miss Fine says this woman lives above them on the fourth floor and comes to visit every evening because she lives alone. Maria shakes hands with the neighbor. She is easy to understand, too, when she says,“The Misses Rögert are good people.” “Yes,” says Maria. Maria cleans her shoes over the coal box, washes herself, and says goodnight . She wonders why Miss Käthe always looks so serious. She has not yet seen her smile. Miss Fine accompanies Maria to her room and removes the ornamental cushion from the bed. Maria puts on her long nightshirt and slips under the sheets. The bed is wide and soft. While Miss Fine tucks her in affectionately, Maria says,“Thank you. It is a fine bed. I will sleep well.” Miss Fine...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.