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The Undying Past   By: (1857-1928)

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Transcriber's Notes:

1. Page scan source: http://www.archive.org/details/undyingpast00sudegoog

2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].

THE UNDYING PAST

By the Same Author

REGINA: OR THE SINS OF THE FATHERS

Translated by

Beatrice Marshall

Crown 8vo. Third Edition.

THE UNDYING PAST

BY HERMANN SUDERMANN

TRANSLATED BY BEATRICE MARSHALL

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY. MDCCCCVI

WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES

THE UNDYING PAST

THE UNDYING PAST

I

The mid day sun beat fiercely on the much trodden square in front of a provincial railway station. The old white mare nodded drowsily between the shafts of the yellow mailcart which rattled down from the little town to meet every train. Two or three hotel omnibuses, painted brownish grey, with mud splashed wheels, also came clattering down the dusty boulevard, at the other end of which rose two stucco towers with their vanes piercing the deep blue of the July sky.

A clanging bell had already signalled the train's departure from the neighbouring station. The station master put on his red cap, the barmaid began to wipe with a duster the glass case protecting the cheese and other viands, and a couple of postmen crunched over the gravel, wheeling trucks containing letter bags and parcels.

"Not a single soul inside again," grumbled the restaurant manager through the waiting room window, as he watched the hotel omnibus drive up. "What is the use of keeping beer cool if nobody comes to drink it?"

The barmaid nodded meditatively as she flicked the flies from a pile of stale rusks.

Then there came in sight, dashing along the boulevard, an open landau drawn by a pair of spirited bays.

The restaurant host's face brightened. "The party from Stolten Court!" exclaimed he, seizing his cap. "The young gentlemen's leave is over, then."

The carriage steered clear of waiting passengers with a sweeping curve as it bowled up to the station stairs.

One of the young cuirassier officers who occupied the back seat of the carriage pulled himself slowly erect, and, in all his fair haired splendour, climbed out, pushing aside with a brusque movement the restaurant manager, who had officiously thought it necessary to tender his services. The other youth, equally gigantic and fair haired, and perhaps a trifle more phlegmatic, followed. They threw open on either side the carriage doors, and, with an action of the arm that seemed borrowed from a Court quadrille, assisted the stupendous female form sitting on the front seat of the carriage to alight.

With swelling bosom and wide spreading hips, her fat hands imprisoned in new light kid gloves, her grey gauze veil thrown back, displaying a snub nose, the lady calmly descended, with a glance over her shoulder of somewhat sharp disapproval at the old gentleman who followed her.

"Leave me alone, boys," he snapped, when his sons would have helped him too. "Your broken down old father is still able to help himself."

He threw off his dust coat on the seat behind him, and with an elastic bound sprang down without touching the carriage steps. He stood there, a dapper figure in his short, elegantly cut coat, his little eyes twinkling with self satisfaction out of a face lined from fast living, the cheeks of which hung down on either side of an aggressively curled up grey moustache... Continue reading book >>




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