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The Dead Lake and Other Tales   By: (1830-1914)

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COLLECTION

OF

GERMAN AUTHORS.

VOL. 15.

THE DEAD LAKE & OTHER TALES BY P. HEISE.

IN ONE VOLUME.

THE DEAD LAKE

AND

OTHER TALES

BY

PAUL HEYSE

FROM THE GERMAN BY BY MARY WILSON.

Authorized Edition .

LEIPZIG 1870 BERNHARD TAUCHNITZ. LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE & RIVINGTON. CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET. PARIS: C. REINWALD & Cie, 15, RUE DES SAINTS PÈRES.

CONTENTS.

A FORTNIGHT AT THE DEAD LAKE DOOMED

BEATRICE

BEGINNING, AND END

A FORTNIGHT

AT

THE DEAD LAKE.

THE DEAD LAKE.

Summer was at its heighth, yet in one corner of the Alps an icy cold wind revolted against its dominion, and threatened to change the pouring rain into snow flakes. The air was so gloomy that even a house which stood about a hundred paces from the shore of the lake, could not be distinguished, although it was white washed and twilight had hardly set in.

A fire had been lighted in the kitchen. The landlady was standing by it frying a dish of fish, while with one foot she rocked a cradle which stood beside the hearth. In the tap room, the landlord was lying on a bench by the stove, cursing the flies which would not let him sleep. A barefooted maid of all work sat spinning in a corner, and now and then glanced with a sigh, through the dingy panes at the wild storm which was raging without. A tall strong fellow, the farm servant of the inn, came grumbling into the room: he shook the rain drops from his clothes, like a dog coming out of the water, and threw a heap of wet fishing nets into a corner. It seemed as if the cloud of discontent and ill humour which hung over the house, was only kept by this moody silence from bursting into a storm of discord and quarreling.

Suddenly the outer door opened, and a stranger's step was heard groping through the dark passage; the landlord did not move, only the maid rose, and opened the door of the room.

A man in a travelling suit stood at the entrance, and asked if this was the inn of the dead lake. As the girl answered shortly in the affirmative, he walked in, threw his dripping plaid and travelling pouch on the table, and sat down on the bench apparently exhausted; but he neither removed his hat heavy with rain nor laid down his walking stick, as if intending to start again after a short rest.

The maid still stood before him, waiting for his orders, but he seemed to have forgotten the presence of any one in the room but himself, leant his head against the wall, and closed his eyes; so deep silence once more reigned in the hot dark room, only interrupted by the buzzing of the flies, and the listless sighs of the maid.

At last the landlady brought in the supper; a little lad who stared at the stranger carried the candle before her. The landlord rose lazily from his bench, yawned and approached the table leaving to his wife the charge of inviting the stranger to partake of their meal. The traveller refused with a silent shake of the head, and the landlady apologized for the meagreness of their fare. Meat, they had none, except a few live ducks and chickens... Continue reading book >>




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