How do you express your excitement in Swedish

Gripsholm Castle.


second chapter



All to min best, sä de young - dor slögen

se em the stick upn hump in two.






The child stood by the window and thought something like: When does this stop? Does this never stop? When does this stop?

It had both arms on the windowsill, it couldn't do that - but it was alone for a moment, for a tiny, stolen moment. The others would come soon; one felt it first in the back, which was now turned towards the door, the back tickled expectantly. When the others come, it's over. Because then comes you.

The little girl shuddered: it was like the quick, quiet movement of a dog shaking off water. What oppressed the child did not have to be thought over first: it sat in the midst of its little ailments as if on a lotus leaf, between other lotus leaves, and all the round leaves looked at it - the child in the middle. And it knew them all, its sheets of suffering.

The other children - his nickname "Das Kind" - this children's home in Sweden - dead Will, and now the curve of fear rose to the top in a simmering red: Ms. Adriani, the red-haired Ms. Adriani - and then the saddest thing: Mutti in Zurich . It was too much. The child was nine years old - it was too much for nine years. Now it was crying the bitterest crying that children can cry: that that is cried inside and that cannot be heard.

Clatter. Purr. Door flaps. Not a word: a silent crowd approached. So she was there. O Lord -

The door opened majestically, as if it had opened on its own. In the frame stood the Frau Director, the «devil's roast»: the Adriani. She got her nickname from her favorite swear word.

She wasn't very tall: a stocky, stocky person with reddish hair, gray-green eyes and almost invisible eyebrows. She spoke quickly and had a way of looking at people that was not good for anyone. . .

"What are you doing here?" The child ducked. "What are you doing here?" She went up to the little one and gave her a kind of nudge on the head - it wasn't even a slap; the blow ignored the fact that there was a head: it only had the available material. It happened to be a head. "I have . . . i . . I am . . . " - "You're a devil's roast," said Adriani. «Press around up here while gymnastics are going on downstairs! No dinner tonight. In the crowd! " The child crept among the others; they gave way to him haughtily and with polite disgust.

This was a children's colony, Läggesta, in which there were many German children and also some Swedish and Danish children. In this way, Ms. Adriani made good use of her property on Lake Mälaren. Two nieces helped her with her work: one, like an offshoot of her aunt, hated and feared like her; the other gentle but suppressed and timid; she tried to soften where she could - she rarely succeeded. When the old woman had her days, the two nieces were out of sight. She had forty children. She didn't have any children. And forty didn't have it well. The woman worried a lot about the children; but she was tough on them, she hit. Likes to hit her. . .? She liked to rule. Any child who left the colony prematurely was a traitor in their eyes; she couldn't have said what; each that was added a welcome addition to the material on which she reigned. Even if many children complained and were taken away -: she had many orphans among them, and new girls kept coming.

Command. . . It wasn't easy for her now. Because wherever the Swedes bow down, they bow politely, because that's how they want it to be. They obey only when they have seen that here and there it is necessary, useful, or honorable to obey. . . otherwise, however, someone who wants to rule in this country has little opportunity to do so. You don't understand him at all; one laughed at him and went his own way.

Ms. Adriani often changed her staff and often brought the employees with her from Germany, where she sometimes traveled. In winter she sat almost alone up here, only a few children stayed there - like little Ada, for example. Her husband . . . when Frau Adriani thought of her husband it was like chasing a fly away. This man . . . she didn't even shrug her shoulders anymore. He was sitting in his room sorting stamps. She earned the money. You. And in winter she waited for summer - because summer was her time. In the summer she could thunder and command and forbid and order through the long corridors of the country house, and everyone around her questioned each other's moods and trembled with fear, and she enjoyed that fear to the tip of her hair. Feeling alien will among you - that was how. . . that was life.

“Now everyone stays up here until the doorbell rings for dinner. Anyone who speaks is deprived of food. Sonja! Your hair bow! " A girl, bright red, tore the ribbon that had come loose from her hair and tied it again. It was so quiet - forty little girls could be heard breathing. Frau Adriani was enjoying the situation with a cold look in her gray-green eyes, then she went out. There was a double hiss behind her: those were the ones who wanted to speak very softly, and the others who were whispering with a "shh!" tried to prevent. The child stood alone. Little girls can be very cruel. Nobody else had been punished today - so the majority had tacitly decided to drop the child. The child was called "the child" because once upon Adriani's question: "What are you?" had replied: "I am a child." Nobody noticed now.

When does this stop? thought the child. It never stops. And then the tears ran, and now it was crying because it was crying.







The trees rustled in front of our windows, and they rustled me out of a dream that when I woke up I couldn't tell what it might have been. I turned in the pillow; they were still heavy with dreams. To forget . . . Why did I wake up?

There was a knock.

"The post! Daddy, the mail! Go to the door! " The princess, who had just slept, was awake - without transition.

I walked. Between the bed and the door, I wondered how there are morning moments between man and woman, when love fell out. Very crucial moments - if they go well, then everything goes well. From the quaint "What time is it?" . .? " until the "Hua - well, there stand up!" . . . the little clock on the bedside table picks up a lot of time, the day has awakened, now the night is asleep, the subterranean hemisphere is asleep. . . at least for most women, unfortunately. . . I was at the door. A hand put letters through the slot.

The princess was half straightened in bed and tossed all the pillows with excitement. «My letters! These are my letters! You Schabülkenkopp! Give it to me! Well, there sound like gliks. . . " She got her letter. It was out of the business of her assistant, and it said there was nothing to write about. The thing with Tichauer would be fine. For the small inventory book, they could be heard from G. That reassured me immensely. What worries these people had! What worries did they have? Your own, strangely enough.

"Go fry some water!" said the princess. "You have to shave. The way you are there, you cannot kiss anyone. What kind of letter did you get? " - I grinned and kept the letter hidden behind my back. The princess quarreled bitterly with the pillows. 'Probably from some bride. . . one of those old Excellencies you love so much. Show me. Show me, I say! " I didn't show it. "I'm not showing it!" I said. “I'll read you the beginning. I swear it is as I read it - I swear it. Then you can see him. " A pillow fell out of bed, exhausted and beaten to death. - "Who is it from?" - “It's from my Aunt Emmy. We are quarreling. Now she wants something from me. That's why she writes. She writes:

My dear boy! Just before my cremation, I take up the pen. . . "

"That is not true!" cried the princess. "This is . . . give it to me! It is very great, as Bengtsson would say. Go shave and don't stop people here with your cremated aunts! "

And then we went into the countryside.

Gripsholm Castle shone up in the sky; it lay there comforting and thick and guarded itself. The lake rocked very softly and played - splash, splash - on the bank. The ship to Stockholm was already gone; one could only suspect a plume of smoke behind the trees. We went across the country.

"The woman in the castle," said the princess, "speaks a private German. She has just asked me if we would be warm enough at night - I would certainly be a frozen cake. . . " - "That's nice," I said. “With the Nordic people, you never know whether they are translating this literally from their own language or whether they are unconsciously creating something new. In Copenhagen I once knew someone who said - and she had a bass voice with anger: This Copenhagen is not a capital - this is a major hole! Did she make that up? " - "You know so many people, Daddy!" said the princess. “That must be nice. . . " - «No, I haven't known as many people as I used to for a long time. What for? " - "I want to sedge you something, min young," said the princess, who had it today with the Low German. «If you get to know someone and you don’t really know what’s going on with them, then ask: goodbye to Leev or goodbye to money? If nothing of both Deil, because lat em lopen and holl di nich bi em upp! Regardless of this, you don't have to step into this cake! " - «clap of thunder!» - "You shouldn't use a curse, Peter!" said the princess, full of anointing. «That is not appropriate. And now we want to lay a bush on the lawn! "

There we were. . .

The forest rustles. The wind pulls up through the treetops, and a very fine smell rises from the ground, a little sour and fresh, mossy, and there is some resin in it.

"What would Arnold have said now?" I asked carefully. Arnold was her first; when the princess was in a good mood, she could be reminded of it. Now she was in a good mood. "He would not have said anything," she replied. "He also had nothing to say, but I only noticed that very late." - "So not wise?" - «There's more tidiness in my wastebasket than in his head! He spoke little. At first I thought this silence was very important; he was just a meager cuddler. That exists!" Footsteps on the soft moss; a little boy stumbled along the forest path, muttering something to himself. . . when he saw us he was silent; he looked up at the trees and then began to run.

"That would be something for a prosecutor," I said. «In his cunning he would build up a whole fact. But this boy probably only prayed numbers and was ashamed when he saw us. . . " - "No, it was like that," said the princess. She lay on her back and told the clouds:

«A boy sall times with Kopmann gahn and Seip un Solt halen. Dor sä means in front of you: Seip un Solt. . . Seip un Solt. . . Hey, don't be near sin Feut, and so fill up the bean strand. Dunnersweer! Oil and tar! see - and bleew nu uck bi oil and tar and head oil and tar. . . Peter! Peter! How about life! Tell me quickly how it is with life! No, now don't say your naughty words again. . . I know that alone. How is it? I want to know right now! " - I drew the bitter taste from a dry branch with pine needles.

“At first I noticed,” I said, “how it is. And then I understood why it was so - and then I understood why it couldn't be otherwise. And yet I want it to be different. It's a matter of strength. When you stay true to yourself. . . "

With her deepest alt: «After the tests of loyalty that you have put with me. . . "

“Is it possible to seriously discuss something with a woman? It is not possible. And something like that now has the right to vote! "

“That's what the boss always says. What is he doing now? "

'He'll probably be bored, but very proud to be in Abbazia. Your consul general. . . "

"Daddy. . . your literary pride is not right either. You know - sometimes I think so. . . the man has become something after all. You didn't put the Consul General and the soap and the safe and all that in the cradle - and the cradle, dear Daddy. . . The man emphasizes to me far too often that he has lived in good circumstances all his life - so he has not. He probably swallowed all sorts of sour things until they let him in on the sweet. Well, now he's smacking his lips. . . What? Of course he forgot about the sour thing. Oh, they all do that. Memory - boy, memory. . . this is an old organ grinder. People have their gramophones today! If you could only find out how something like that has slowly become - someone like the boss - how it works. . . He is not married. . . and if he had a wife, she wouldn't be able to tell you either because she didn't notice anything. She would take it for granted, and none of them want to hear about the ascent because they would admit that their ancestors were still walking around without a visor. Ascent. . . They only say that when they don't want to give you a raise. " So spoke the wise Princess Lydia, and ended her speech with a splendid -

Here the princess had the hiccups.

Then she wanted to be pulled up from the floor; then she got up alone, with a nice gymnastic swing - and then we slowly crawled back through the forest. We stood our way home, we stopped at every aisle and made great speeches; everyone pretended to listen to the other, and he also listened, and everyone pretended to admire the forest, and he admired it too - but in the deepest possible reason, if we had been asked: we weren't more in the big city and not yet in Sweden. But we were together.

There was Mariefred's first house. A gramophone scratched itself. "It's here to relax, the gramophone," said the princess in awe. “Do you hear - it's still very hoarse. But the air here will do him good. " - "Are you hungry, Lydia?" - "I would like . . . Peter! Daddy! Almighty roast! What is the name of the genitive of Smörgås. . . I would like some Smörgåssens. . . oh god! » And this moved us very much until we sat at table and the princess declined all four cases of the Swedish preliminary court.

"What do we do after dinner?" - "This is a question! After dinner we go to sleep. Karlchen also always says: there is so much tiredness in the day shirts. . . one must completely undress and sleep. Then you sleep. And that's just relaxation. " - "Say . . . Is your friend Karlchen still sitting at the tax office in the Rhineland? " I said he was sitting. "And where is this man actually?" - “Dear man,” I said to the princess, “that may be a man! But you can't tell him that - otherwise peacock feathers will grow out of his ears with pride. That is a . . . Karlchen is Karlchen. " - "No explanation. This is how my consul always wags when he doesn't want to say something. For my part, I'm going to bed now, sleep. " I still heard her singing to the tune of Tararabumdiä:


There's the little horse

suddenly reversed

and has with his stert

the flies fended off -


Then the trees rushed us to sleep.







In the afternoon we stood in front of the castle - tourists came and went.

We strolled into the "inner castle garden"; there was a dainty fountain in the middle, little oriels stuck to the walls - the castle had been restored. . . a pity. But maybe otherwise the whole thing would have occurred; it was that old.

A large touring car drove up.

A younger man stepped out of it, followed by two women, one older and one younger, and then a fat man was scraped out of the back. They spoke German and stood around the car, somewhat perplexed, as if they had fallen from the moon. Then the fat man spoke hastily and loudly to the chauffeur. Fortunately, he didn't understand him.

They bought tickets for the castle. The Fuehrer had already gone home and she was allowed to make the pilgrimage alone. "Lydia . . .", I said. We went to.

"What do you want to do?" Lydia asked, lowering her voice as she had understood me so well. "I don't know yet," I said. “I'll think of something. . . Come along." The tourists stood in the great Reichssaal, they looked up at the paneled ceiling, and one of the ladies said so loudly that it echoed: "Very nice!" - «Apparently Swedish style!» said the fat man. They mumbled. “If you still ask now whether this is all built. . . Quick! " - "Where?" - «Come to where the great fountain is. We have to do something there. . . "

You could hear them shuffling and coughing - then we were out of earshot. We went quietly and quickly.

There was a large, round room with a wooden gallery, and in the middle of the pounded floor was a circular wooden disc: the entrance to the dungeon. And there we found a ladder. Lydia helped, we set the ladder - hurray! She stood. So it couldn't be very deep. I climbed down, followed by the mocking admiring looks of the princess. "Say hi to the bats!" - «Get din Mul!» I said. I climbed - quite a bit. . . an American comedian playing the firefighter, that's what it looked like, and I didn't feel strange at all, where was this going? But nothing is too expensive for us to have fun. Darkness and dust. Just the round glow from above. . . «Please matches! Out of your pocket! " The box came down and fell on my feet. I looked and bumped my head on the ladder - then I had it. A little flame. . . So that was a big room after all, on one side of the wall rings were left in the wall; evidently they had not improved their prisoners in three stages, but in one. . . And there was also a second well hole.

"Lydia?" - "Yes?" - «Open the ladder - can you do that? I'll help you. I lift up - horupp! So . . did you?" The ladder was up. "Put them away!" I heard the princess doing the ladder. “Put the round disk back on, can you? And hide yourself. " Now it was very dark. Black.

It's strange if you're not used to something like that. The moment you are in total darkness, the darkness comes alive. No, it is expected to be animated; one fears this and longs for the invigorating. I cleared my throat softly as a sign that I was still there, but had no hostile intentions. . . I felt my way around. There was a nail on the wall that we don't want to leave. . . Hey? There they were. The voices could be clearly heard; the wooden disc was only thin.

"There's nothing here," said a voice. “Probably a well - for the siege or something. Very interesting. Well, let's go on. Here is nothing."

Something will be here soon.

"Huuuuuuu -" I did.

It was dead quiet upstairs. The dragging footsteps had ceased. "What was that?" said someone. "Did you hear that?" - "Yes, I felt the same way - probably just a sound -"

«Huuuuuuu-aa-huuuuuuu -!" I did it all over again.

"Adolf, for God's sake - maybe an animal is locked up here, a dog - come away!" - «Well, allow me, that's not possible! Is - ehö - is there someone? " - I stayed so quiet. "A deception," said a man's voice. "Come on - there was nothing," said the other of the men. And then I thought of the lions in the zoological gardens before they were fed, took a deep breath and began to roar:

«Huuuuuu-brru-aa-huuuuuuuah!" -

That was too much. "Hi!" screamed a woman upstairs, and then there was a hasty boot, one of them said quickly: "But that's it - it has to be cleared up. . . will ask below. . . Unheard of - that's it. . . " - «Get away from here! What do we have to do in all of the castles. . . " They were gone. There I stood in my darkness. Mouse quiet.

Quietly: "Lydia?" . . . Nothing. A little lime trickled down from the wall. Hm . . A sound? Everything here is made of wood and stone; that doesn't sound like that. I listened. My heart was beating a tad faster than I'd allowed him to. Nothing; One shouldn't scare people, you see, one shouldn't scare people. . . "Lydia!" Louder: «Holla! Hey Old!" Nothing.

Flickered through my brain: It has to be fun. That's all right with the guys. Stand still, or you'll get dirty. Are afraid. Do not be afraid. That's nonsense. Lydia is coming soon. If she has passed out or suddenly dies, no one knows that you are standing here. Novel, film idea. Pathé did something like that once. A meanness to put people under dark arrest. During the war I once saw someone come out who staggered when he saw the light. Then he started to cry. He hadn't waged a proper war, so they locked him up, you shouldn't do that. Let the judges try out what they are imposing. But it doesn't work because you know: it's just a rehearsal. So madness of the death penalty, the effects of which nobody knows. Now my heart went very calmly, I had to think and let my thoughts run. . . The wooden disc jerked, was pulled away. Light. Lydia. The ladder.

I went up. The princess laughed all over her face. «How did it all come about so suddenly? Come over here - well, go straight home! Almighty, how do you look! " I was gray with dirt, hung with cobwebs, my hands adorned with black stripes and the rest accordingly. «Wat hebben se seggt? What have you done? Son of man, now look you are stupid in the Speegel! " I preferred not to look in the mirror. «Where have you been for so long, old woman? Makes one languish down there! This is love! " - «I. . . "Said the princess, putting the mirror back in her pocket," I've been looking for a potty here, but you haven't got one. The old burgraves obviously suffered from chronic constipation! " - “Wrong,” I taught, “wrong and uneducated. For this purpose they sat down in small places, which of course also existed here, and these places went into the castle moat, but when they were besieged and the evil enemy came, then. . . " - “Now it is probably about time that we wash you. You piglet! " - And we strolled into our apartment, past the immensely astonished landlady, who certainly thought I had fallen into the brandy. Brushing, washing, fresh collar, scrutinizing glances from the princess, back three times because something was still stuck. "Who are we annoying now?" - «You guess you can come out with me. This Kierl doesn't have any stupidities inside his head. And that doesn't want to be the most serious man! " - "Do not want . . . Got to. Got to." We went outside.

There was a small pavilion further back; the car company was sitting there drinking coffee. We strolled by and talked merrily to each other. The younger man got up and came over to us. «The gentlemen are German. . .? " - "Yes," we said. - «So. . . maybe . . . if you wanted to take a seat at our table. . .? " The fat man rose. "Teichmann," he said. «Director Teichmann. My wife. My niece, Miss Pope. Mr. Klarierer. " Now I had to say something too, for this is the custom of our country. "Sengespeck," I said. "And my wife." Whereupon we sat down and the princess kicked my shins under the table. Sipping coffee. Plate rattle. Cake.

"Very nice here - you are here for a visit too?" - "Yes." - «Lovely. Very interesting." Break.

'Tell me. . . is the castle actually inhabited? " The princess kicked hard. "No," I said. "I do not think so. No. Certainly not." - «So. . . we thought . . . " - "Why do you ask?" The company exchanged meaningful glances. «We just thought. . . we had heard someone speak up there in one room - but so peculiar, more like a dog or a wild animal. . . " - “No,” I said, “for all I know: animals don't even live in the castle. Hardly at all." Break.

«In general. . . ", Said Director Teichmann and looked around," nothing is going on here! Don't you agree? " - We confirmed that there was nothing going on here. “You know,” said the director, “if you really want to have fun: there's only Berlin. Or Paris. But otherwise only Berlin. It's another breed. What?" - "Hm -" we did. "I don't think it's elegant here either!" said Frau Director Teichmann. And Miss Pope: "I imagined it to be completely different." And Mr. Klarierer: "Where are we going this evening in Stockholm?" But Frau Director Teichmann didn't want to go anywhere; she would have been so upset earlier in the castle. . . In the meantime the princess had turned off a ring for me, opened a cufflink, everything under the table and I thought it was enough. Because who knows what else they'll do. . . And we said goodbye because we had an appointment in town. "Are you going to Stockholm afterwards?" - No, we were sorry.

We were still sorry when we stood outside in the meadows and were happy: that we didn't have to go to Stockholm, that we were in Sweden, that we were on vacation. . . "What's next?" said the princess, her eyes like a lynx. A thin line of small figures moved through the meadows on a narrow path. "What's this -?"

It was getting closer.

It was children, little girls, neatly lined up like pearls on a string, always two to two. A bossy-looking person walked at their head, looked around often - no one spoke. Now they were close to us, we stepped aside and let the train pass. The guide gave us a glittering look. The children padded along. We didn't speak as they passed. At the very end a child went alone; it felt as if it was being pulled by someone, it had tearful eyes, sometimes gulped to itself as it walked, but it didn't cry. His face wasn't puffy, either, like crying children have. . . rather, it looked empty, and there was a golden sheen in its brownish hair. It looked at us, as tired and indifferent as it would have looked at a tree. In a fit of arrogance and love for children, the princess put two little bluebells that we had picked in his hand. The child winced, then looked up, his lips moving; maybe it wanted to say something, thank you. . . then the person in front turned around, the little one quickened her pace and hoped fearfully after the crowd. Dust and the sound of children's marching feet. Then it was over.

"Strange little girl," said the princess. «What kind of children are they? We want to ask afterwards. . . Peter, my son, are there actually northern lights here? I would really like to see the northern lights! "

"No," I said. "But yes. But everything you want to see, my daughter, always takes place in the month when you are not there. . . That's the way it is in life. But you won't get that until the next grade. Northern lights - yes. . . "

«I think it's wonderful. As a child I once saw one in the conversation lexicon - that was a world of its own, the lexicon, with the little leaves of tissue paper. . . And there they were shown, the northern lights, very colorful and large, they are supposed to go across half the sky. I think I would be terrified if I ever saw that. Think big, colorful lights in the sky! If that comes down now! And falls on your head! But I would like to see it sometime. . . "

The sky arched pale blue over us; At one point on the horizon it turned into a deep dark blue, and where the sun had set earlier it glowed pinkish-yellow, it only shimmered and blinked a little. "Lydia," I said, "do we want to make ourselves a northern lights?" - "N / A . . . " - "Look," I said, pointing my finger upwards, "you see, do you see - there - there it is -!"

We both looked up steadily - we held hands, pulse rate and blood flow went from one to the other. At that moment I loved her more than ever.

And that's when we saw our northern lights.

"Yes -" said the princess, in a low voice so that she would not chase it away. "That's wonderful. All light green - and there - pink! And ball stripes - and that there, very pointy high. . . Look, look! " Now she dared to speak louder, because now the northern lights shone like real. "It looks like a little sun," I said. “And there, like curdled milk, and there, white cirrus clouds. . . blue. . . very light blue! " - “Look, and on the horizon there will certainly be more - everything is very silver-gray. Daddy, that's nice! "

We stood still and looked up. A car rattled past and startled us. The farmer, who was sitting on the box and giving a friendly greeting, now looked up to see what was going on there. We looked first at him, then at the meadows, which were a little cold and gray. We smiled, how embarrassed. Then we looked up at the sky again. There was nothing there. It was smooth, blue and half-light. There was nothing there.

«Peter. . . "Said the princess. «Peter. . . "







"Please tell me, Mrs. Andersson," I said to the lady of the castle, who offered us a nice good evening, and I pronounced her name "Anderschon" correctly, "what kind of children we met earlier? There . . . back there . . . in the meadows? " - «Yes, there are a lot of children. This is probably farm boy, they play a lot of courses. . . " - "No no. They were little girls, they went in order, like an institute, a school, something like that. . . " - "A school?" Mrs. Andersson thought about it. “Ah - that would have been Frau Adriani's. From Läggesta. " And she pointed across the lake, where one could see, far, far in a clearing, a large building lying quite indistinctly. “This is a boarding school, this is a children's colony. Yes." In addition, she made a face like I had never seen her before. I got curious. You should never ask anyone what you want to know, that is an old saying. Then he doesn't say it. “There are sure to be a lot of children. . . how?" - "Yes, an intact mass," said Mrs. Andersson; one often had to guess what she meant, because she probably translated everything literally from Swedish. “There are a lot of children in this boarding school, but not many Swedish children. It is happening, thank God! " - "Thank God, Ms. Andersson?" - "Yeah," she said, hooking her soul like a hunted hare, "there aren't many Swedish children, no-do!" - "It's a shame," I said, feeling very diplomatic. "It must be pretty there. . . " Mrs. Andersson was silent for a moment. Then she bravely took a little start. She lowered her voice.

"This is . . . that is not a dear woman who is there. But I don't want to say anything bad. . . you understand. It's a German lady. But she is not a good lady. The people of Germany are such homely people - aren't they. . . If you were so good, don't hold it against me! " - "You mean the head of the boarding school?" - "Yes," said Mrs. Andersson. «The Understanding. Understanding, that's a bad person. This is . . . everyone feels it here. We don't like her. She is not good against the children. " - "So," I said, looking at the trees, which trembled softly with their leaves, as if they were shivering, "so - not a good lady? N / A . . . what is she doing? Does she scream with them? " - "I want to tell you something," said Mrs. Andersson, and now she turned to the princess as if this matter could only be dealt with among women; “She's tough on the kids. The Understander. . . she slaps the children. " The princess gave a jolt. "Doesn't anyone say anything?" - «Yeah. . . ”Said Ms. Andersson. “She doesn't hit them like that. The police can't talk about it. She doesn't beat them to get too sick like that. But she is wrong, the children are very afraid for her. " She pointed to a castle-like building on a hill behind Mariefred. "I'd rather be there than with the nanny." - "What's that over there?" I asked. "This is a lunatic asylum," said Ms. Andersson. "So - and the madmen are better off than these children?" - "Yes," said Mrs. Andersson. “But then I want to see whether the Lord's Supper is ready. . . a moment!" And she left in a hurry, as if she had said too much.

We looked at each other. "Funny how?" - "Yes . . . there is, ”I said.“Probably some kind of deubber from woman who rules there with the rod. . . " - "Peter - play a little more piano until dinner is ready!"

And we went into the castle woman's music room, she had allowed us, and I sat down at the little piano and let pious chants sound out. I mainly played the black keys; it's easier to hold on to. I played:


Sometimes i think of you

but that doesn't get me. . .

because the next day I'm so tired -


When the hedgehog in the evening hour

go quietly after their mice,

I also hung on your mouth -


and then we sang old folk songs and then American songs, and then we sang an equestrian song that we had composed ourselves and that was utterly stupid, from the first line to the last, and then dinner was ready.

We found a bottle of whiskey. That hadn't been easy, because we didn't have a “Motbok”, not this little book that entitles Swedes to buy schnapps. But we had the bottle. And it wasn't that expensive either. Brown and blonde - black and white. . . you should live. . .!

We sat at a wooden table in front of the house and looked over at the castle. Every now and then we took a sip.

Ten o'clock struck the old church tower - ten o'clock. The air stood still; the trees did not touch a leaf - everything rested. Bright nights. It was a rigid calm, as if something was jammed and nature held its breath. Bright? It wasn't light. It just wasn't dark. The branches threatened so blackishly, they waited. As if one had torn the skin off of everything: shamelessly, without darkness, it stood around, deprived of blackness. One would have liked to conjure up the black dress of the night and cover everything so that nothing would be visible. The lock had lost its fiery red and looked pale brown, then somber. The sky was gray. It was night without being night.

"As quiet as it is now, it should be everywhere and always, Lydia - why is it so loud in human life?" - “My dear jungle, you won't find that anymore today - I already know what you mean. No, I want to be extinguished once and for all. . . " - "Why doesn't it exist," I insisted. «There is always something. They always knock or they make music, a dog is always barking, someone walks around on your head above your apartment, folds windows, rings a telephone - God give us ear lids. We are set up inappropriately. " - "Don't talk," said the princess. "Better listen to the silence!"

It was so quiet that you could hear the carbon dioxide singing in the glasses. They stood there brownish, the alcohol quietly settling into the blood. Whiskey makes you worry-free. I can already imagine that someone will ruin himself with it.

Far in the distance a bell rang as if startled from sleep, then everything was quiet again. Our house was white-gray; all the lights were out there. The silence arched over us like an infinite sphere.

At that moment everyone was all alone, she was sitting on her women's star, and I was sitting on a men's planet. Not hostile. . . but far, far apart.

Three or four red thoughts rose through my blood from the brown whiskey. . . indecent, raw, mean. It came, scurried by, then it was gone again. With my mind I traced what the feeling had pre-painted. You old pig, I said to myself. There you have this wonderful woman. . . you are an old pig. No house without a cellar, said the pig. Don't fool yourself! You shouldn't do that, I said to the pig. You have given me so much sorrow and misery, so many bad hours. . . Not to mention the fear that I would have got something. Stop these underground adventures! It's not that beautiful - you're just imagining it! Hey, grunted the pig, so that's not nice. Just imagine. . . Quiet! I said, quietly! I do not want. Oui, oui, said the pig, rummaging gleefully; imagine if you had now . . I beat it to death. For this time I beat it to death - let's say: I locked the cubicle. I heard it rumble angrily. . . then the glasses sang again, very, very softly, as if a mosquito were buzzing. "Daddy," said the princess, "can you actually wear the blue suit here that I brought with me?"

I was with her again; we sat on the same satellite again and rolled through space together. "Yes . . .", I said. "You can do it." - "Does it fit?" - "Naturally. It's discreet and quiet in color, it fits nicely. " - "You shouldn't smoke so much," said her deep voice; “Then you will feel sick again, and who will have it afterwards? I. Put the pipe away. " I, son, put the pipe away because my mother wanted it that way. I quietly placed my hand on hers.







Bricklayers had built the big house in Läggesta - who else? Craftsmen; quiet, thoughtful men who looked around three times before making a move, that is the case all over the world. When everything was finished, they had pelted the walls with lime, some rooms they had painted, many wallpapered, very different and everything according to specifications. Then they left indifferently, the house was ready, now whatever could happen in it. It was no longer their business, they were just craftsmen. The courtroom in which one is tortured was, when it was born, a brick-walled square, smooth and whitewashed; at the top the painter had stood whistling happily on his ladder and had painted the gray stripes ordered on the walls all around; it was a handicraft he was doing. . . and now it was suddenly a courtroom. So indifferently people build the setting for future scenes; they set up the scenery and the scaffolding, they set up the whole theater, and then others come and play their sad comedies there.

The child lay in bed and thought.

Think . . . Long ago, when it still had a father, it had always played "thinking" with him. And the father had laughed so much, he could laugh so wonderfully. . . "What you are doing?" the child had asked. "I think so," said the father. "I want to think too." - "Well . . . I think too!" And he had paced up and down the room seriously, the child always following, it imitated the father's posture exactly, dignified it held its hands on its back, frowned like him. . . "What do you think?" the father asked. "I think: Leo -" replied the child. And the father had laughed. . .

Next door Inga panted and tossed back and forth. The child was suddenly back where it really was: in Sweden. In Läggesta. Mom was in Switzerland, so far away. . . the child felt it rise hot in itself. It had written so many pleading letters, three, actually only three - then the devil found out that one of the maids had secretly carried the letters to the post office. The girl was released, the child's hair pulled, and the letters that were now being sent to Switzerland were exemplary. Yes, maybe it all had to be like that. Perhaps the mother had no money to keep the child with her, and it was cheaper up here. That was how his mother had explained it to him.

It was so alone here. It was all alone among the thirty-nine little girls - and it was scared. His life was really just a matter of fear. Fear of the devil's roast and fear of the older girls who blackened it wherever they could, fear of the next day and fear of the day before, what of that might come to light again, fear of everything, of everything. The child did not sleep - it bored holes in the darkness with its eyes.

That mother had given it here! They had been here once, years ago, three or four years ago - and then Brother Will had died. He was buried there in the churchyard in Mariefred, and the child was sometimes allowed to visit the grave if the devil's roast allowed or ordered it. Usually he ordered it. Then it was at the little children's grave, on the right, the fourteenth row, the one with the gray stone on which the letters shimmered so newly. But it never cried there. At home she only cried sometimes for Will - for fat little Will, who was younger than the child, younger, better at play and a good boy. He was slapped here and there, but his mother didn't hurt him, and he laughed through his child's tears, and then he was a good little play boy again. Like wool. And then he got sick. Flu, said the people, and after four days he was dead. The child could still smell the doctor's smell, it hadn't been here, it was in Taxinge-Näsby, it would never forget the name. The sour doctor odor, the "Psst!" - everything went quietly, on tiptoe, and then he died. The child had forgotten how it was. Will wasn't there anymore.

The brother doesn't. Not mom. Father went where. . . Nobody was there. The child was alone. It didn't think the word - much worse: it felt the loneliness that only children can feel.

The little girls rustled the pillows. One whispered in his sleep. It was now the second summer up here. It would never be any different. Never. Mummy should come, thought the child. But she would have to take it away from here, because Mutti couldn't stand up against Frau Adriani either. Nobody came up against them. Steps? What if she came now? Gertie had been sick once; Frau Adriani had come up five times during the night - she had checked the sick child five times, she had struggled with the illness almost jealously. And in the end she had overcome the fever. What if she came now? Nothing - one of the eight beds had creaked. That was Lisa Wedigen, she always slept so restlessly. If only one - if only one - if only one. . . Tomorrow was swimming in the lake. The girls always splash you with water. If one -

The child's hands carefully felt under the pillow, searched the sheets, shifted everything. Gone No. They were still there.

Under the pillow, withered and crushed, lay two small bluebells.