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171 41 Maria meets a girl named Finchen at the club. She lives near Hasselholz. The two girls become friends. On Sundays, Maria, Finchen, Christina, and Josef Sistermann all go for a walk together. Maria realizes again and again that she has forgotten the sign language they used at school. Often she cannot follow what they are talking about. She has to learn again how to sign with deaf people. So, usually she walks silently beside them and is simply happy. When other people approach, Josef stops signing. He says to the girls, “Not talk when people pass by. People always stare, I don’t like.” Maria thinks Josef is ashamed. He says,“I am not deaf and dumb. I went to school for hearing children for one year. I can hear when doors go ‘bang.’ I can hear if you shout ‘Jupp.’ I can hear well. I can speak well. All people understand me.” “But you were at Deaf and Dumb Institution,” Maria says thoughtfully. But Josef retorts fiercely,“I not deaf and dumb. I hard of hearing.”Maria thinks to herself that Josef does not want to be deaf and dumb. After a month, the Sunday arrives when the Deaf and Dumb Club meets again. Maria puts on a hat, a present from one of the Rögert ladies. It is the first hat she has ever owned and she finds it pretty, with its colored feathers. Finchen comes to fetch her, and Maria is so happy that she goes down into town with a skip in her walk, hand in hand with her friend. Life is wonderful! In the little hall on Seilgraben, Josef has saved seats for her and Finchen. Josef ’s sister Luise joins them again. Her face is always so cheerful, as if she could never be angry or sad. Maria, who is wearing the same simple dress as on the Sunday a month before, notices that Luise has a new dress. Her hair is done differently, too; little curls are combed down her forehead and held back by a wide horn barrette. Luise chats vivaciously, faster than any of the others. Stories Main Pgs 1-258.indd 171 4/26/2017 12:17:41 PM 172 Maria Wallisfurth Maria drinks her lemonade, greets the newcomers who shake hands across the tables, and answers questions. Teachers arrive, the chairman signs from the platform again, and everyone claps.Anyone, who has a word to say and gets up on the platform, begins:“My dear ladies and gentlemen.” Maria likes that very much.When the speeches have finished, they all chat with one another. Maria’s eyes fall on a young man. He is sitting alone at the end of the rows of tables. His chair is placed at an angle, his legs are crossed. She has not seen him before. Perhaps he arrived late? She does not know him, she cannot remember seeing him before. Maria can’t help but stare. Why is he sitting there on his own? The young man is well dressed. There are sharp creases in his trousers. His shoes and spats are like new. A gold watch chain hangs on his waistcoat, and his collar and cuffs are very correct. Maria notices the attractive cufflinks, the pin on his fashionable tie, and the handkerchief in his breast pocket. She has never really paid attention to such things before. But the manner and appearance of the young man make such a fine impression, she cannot keep her eyes from him. He sits upright, the part in his dark hair is perfectly straight. His hands are calmly folded. His gaze, too, is calm and peaceful. His build is delicate, almost boyishly slight, the features of his youthful face soft and well defined. Maria likes the look of him very much, and suddenly she knows. It is quite simple: He is the one! She loves him at once. She taps Luise on the shoulder and directs her eyes at the young man.“Who is that? Alone, at the table?” she asks. Luise looks.“Oh! Oh!” She claps her hands.“Don’t you know? That is my oldest brother Wilhelm!” Maria looks at him. Strong feelings of tenderness and affection well up in her. So suddenly it happens! In the joy of this moment, whatever she does is all good. She stands up, and is not at all shy. She goes over to the young man, touches his shoulder, and looks into a pair...


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MARC Record
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