The daffodils were ringing just as they did when the Buchenhof was rebuilt

Quite the same chord! Quite the same Easter song. Only a new cantor went before the singing crowd; the other was with the quiet, large crowd, who unseen behind the spring-green lawn curtain listens for resurrection songs.

In advance of the church procession the musicians went, then the priest and his companion came and then the believers in rows of five or six people.

Such a row consisted of Heinrich and Lene Raschdorf, Mathias Berger, Liese, the Schaffer and his son Hannes.

The Buchenhof people always went for themselves. They did not mix with the others.

They used to be with the band, but not for a long time. You were insulted once.

[135]

“It’s no shame,” Mathias said when he came home with his trumpet, which usually hung on the choir next to the organ, “no pity, because the singers and musicians are the most unrepentant people in the whole church . When they make music, they just have to watch out that they don’t get out of step and can’t think of God, and when there’s a break they blow their noses out or chat with each other. Well, I say: If the Lord Jesus ever came to such a choir, he would hit some the bass violin on the ears. ”

“That’s right,” said the conductor and nothing else, but with that he had also buried his artistic position as a drummer.

The next Sunday, however, when Reichel was sitting down in the ship with Mathias in the church, he fell asleep. Mathias said on the way home that beating the drum was still the very best service for the Schaffer.

After the church celebration that Easter morning, the Buchenhof people went home together.

They were very happy because they were doing well. Heinrich was finally back from school. He had acquired the license for the one-year service, and Mathias Berger was satisfied with him. Heinrich had become a tall, somewhat pale, but handsome fellow.

“Now you can do whatever you want, Heinrich, you’ll always find a job.”

Besides, it went well. The farm was completely rebuilt, and a few favorable years, as well as hard work and undemanding[136] Those who were no longer able to increase had managed to ensure that Mathias Berger was not only able to pay the interest on time, but was constantly investing new improvements in economic operations, even if he was not yet saving any money.

But when Heinrich asked him whether he was also conscientiously taking the interest on his own capital, he was always upset and said:

“Would you like to give me wages like a foreman? Just be quiet! I’ll get to my point when things get better. We’ll settle up later. I write everything down. And do you know what I need, I’ll take it, and I’ll send my sister and Liese milk and butter, potatoes and bacon. That’s enough interest. ”

Now Mathias Berger had big plans. In a hill that belonged to the Buchenhof, he had discovered a mud warehouse. So he wanted to build a brick factory and hoped that it would generate a lot of income. You just have to start it wisely and carefully. In any case, given the brisk construction activity that is being developed in the district, the matter is quite promising. Mathias Berger wanted to use his last 7,000 marks as investment capital.

“And if the money is lost, if we go broke, if you die, what will happen to the Liese?”

Berger’s face darkened a little.

“From the Liese ?! Well But look, she has to work there – how about if I hadn’t won the money? And then there is none of going bankrupt[137] Speech. If the clutter doesn’t work, we’ll stop at the right time! ”

Heinrich thought about it.

“Yes, and I wouldn’t leave the Liese either, I would do anything for her – everything!”

Mathias Berger’s eyes shone. There was an Easter glow of its own in it. And he silently pressed Heinrich’s hand.

But he looked up the road.

There walked a slim, fine girl figure in the young morning light. She wore a light dress and a very fashionable hat.

A young fellow was walking next to her, and the idiot trudged ahead. –

“You,” said Hannes to Lene, who also went out together, “actually the weird Lotte turned out to be a very pretty girl.”

Lene didn’t answer.

“Well, I say yes, Lena, you are also very pretty, if you are not so fine and clever. And the main thing is that you are much stronger than Lotte. ”

Hannes thought that was flattery. Lena, however, snapped at him angrily that he thought it more advisable to join Heinrich, who was slowly approaching.

“So what’s going on? You quarreled again? Can’t you get along? ”

“Nah, the lene is too rough for that. She has no education! The best thing is, I don’t even talk to her anymore. ”

“What have you got together again?”

[138]

“Oh, I just said I liked Lotte and she’s probably jealous or something.”

Heinrich looked down at the path in front of him.

“You threw Lotte’s bouquet on the street back then, old friend. Do you know that she has never spoken to me since that time? ”

“Yes. But basically it’s better that way. We can’t keep friends with some weird people. – Look at a young Riedel! I globe, he wants to poussier’n. A runs to the stranger every day. Well, that would be as if the ox got married to a canary! ”

At that moment Gustav Schräger turned around and roared down the mountain path with his full lungs:

“Six threesomes and a dog!
A big … o … eater dog! ”
You could hear the young Riedelbauer laughing, while Lotte apparently sharply put the idiot to rest. Then he stayed behind her and her companion, turning around from time to time, threatening the Buchenhof people with his fist or throwing stones down the path.

“A is getting more and more stupid,” said Hannes. “But the versel of the barber can still a. It’s the only thing a knows by heart. Well, and soon his father won’t be any smarter than him. ”

“You don’t have to talk like that, Hannes.”

“Well, you have no idea, Heinrich, how the weird drinker drinks. Every day is a drunk, sometimes already[139] early in the morning. And you know that is funny: a has been drinking since the day your mother died. ”

“How so?”

“In the past, the Schräger rarely sipped amal, and on the day your mother died early in the morning, a was already so drunk at noon and was so noisy in the Kretscham that we could hear it. Do you know what Mathias is saying? That’s the guilty conscience! That wants to baptize to death! ”

“Nobody can say that.”

“Mathias won’t say it any more, he got ten days for that. Remember, it’s been three years now. That was a bad Easter. Mathias can forget everything, but that a had to sit down, it eats at m. That is why it is no longer good to just be with a people in the village. They’ll go to the weird, and I can’t stand the weird. ”

“It’s actually bad that we don’t get along with people, but I hope it will get better!”

“You can hope for a long time! If we are only now brick factory owners, people will eat themselves up with envy. Because basically they just hold it against us that we didn’t go broke back then. If your father had been locked up and the inn had a weirdo and you were a servant, you would have loved the people. But not like that! ”

Heinrich sighed. Hannes continued to talk.

“And what did they say: Your father lit the fire or you! Yes, yes, just look! They always say that[140] still. Not loud, because that’s ten days, but they say it. You or your father, or both! And then that a shot himself. And from your mother and from Mathias – ”

“Stop it, Hannes, stop it! I don’t want to hear about it anymore! «- – – –

A little further up the path Lotte Schräger said to young Riedel: “It is wrong of the villagers that they are so nasty to the Raschdorfs.”

“Wrong, huh! To such fire makers and suicides ?! ”

“Who can prove that? No human!”

“To prove! Huh Of course not the court. But we all know. And the Berger. Where did a get the money? 40,000 marks a rag! What?”

“I do not know that.”

“Nah, that doesn’t know anyone, it just knows itself. The court must take care of it; but no devil cares. Too close that a got something on his mouth back then, like a ‘s wanted to blame your father, a man who never got out of the room at all. They are fine people, aren’t they? ”

Lotte was silent.

“Well, and then – a kissed Raschdorfen. The glass saw it. And that while the yard is burning at night. Fine people! ”

“Riedel, please, not – not something like that -”

“And why is a so interested in Heinrich? Why does a take neither wages nor interest? ”

[141]

“I can’t say that.”

“Well, and old Raschdorf never kept friends with anyone, and they now seem to be waiting for them to come to the whole village asking for forgiveness. The devil bring the snooty gang! ”

“Riedel, I’m not sorry for such phrases.”

“Don’t you feel sorry for her? Well, there – I can go there, the Schräger-Lotte can hold it up with a Buchenhof people. But Heinrich studied, Lotte might like him, she’d rather hold it against a father – ”

“Riedel, I’m not sorry! Such talk is out of place, especially on the way to church! Better go! ”

The boy scowled at the floor. He walked twenty paces, then turned into a field. Lotte let him go and walked on seriously. But the idiot crept after young Riedel.

“You,” he said treacherously, “we’ll throw them!”

Riedel didn’t answer him, but he stopped. In the meantime Heinrich and Hannes came closer, a little behind Mathias and Lene. The young Riedel looked challengingly at Heinrich. Then he laughed rawly and called out loud:

“Schräger Lotte would rather go with a Buchenhof people!”

“Weird Lotte sends her regards to Herr Raschdorf, and she would like to be his love!”

Heinrich stopped, frightened, and turned fiery red.

“Yes,” began the young Riedel again, “and she doesn’t resent anything at all, not a fire and absolutely nothing!”

[142]

“Riedel! I – I – ‘Heinrich took a few steps towards the rough fellow and then stopped. He was ashamed to be violent. Riedel thought that was cowardice.

“Oho, just come here, just start; You’re just right for me! ”

Then came the conductor. He walked up to Riedel in silence. He stood still, embarrassed, because he feared the Schaffer.

“I got nothing with you,” he said, half defiant and half uneasy. There was no answer to that.

The Schaffer took him by both shoulders and ordered: “Turn back!” With that he turned the young man with a violent jerk, gave him a friendly push in the back and said: “March!”

The strong young farmer was seething with rage. But it was of no use; He was nowhere near a match for this giant, and so he had to march one step ahead of him down the mountain if he did not want to face the worst.

Whenever he tried to resist or stop, the conductor offered him a huge beating in a good-natured tone.

And so he had to go and could only complain, because if he had been beaten it would have been too great a shame.

When they had gone a long way, Reichel said:

“It’s holy day today! You shouldn’t yell, scold, and even bother! ”With this admonition, the brave Christian left the angry young Riedel and went back in silence.

[143]

In the meantime Hannes had thrown himself on the meadow out of sheer pleasure over his father’s bravura piece and drummed the earth with his feet. This demonstration of applause earned him an ugly stain on his new summer suit and also the oppressive awareness that he must not take sides on behalf of his people without being harmed. And there was nothing left for him but to hope for the gasoline and for the future for the time being.

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