Many European countries are currently facing a shortage of new crown vaccines, and many Europeans want to receive Russian vaccines. The Russian “Viewpoint” reported on the 10th that some European travel agencies have discovered tourism opportunities and are preparing to launch a “20-day Russian vaccine tour” plan for local people.
According to reports, in this way, Europeans can not only be vaccinated, but can also watch the mountains and waters of Russia during this period. This way of traveling is no stranger to Europeans. European countries have also launched similar medical trips, such as traveling to Croatia to see a dentist, or growing hair during a trip to Turkey. However, before organizing a “vaccine tour” in Russia, travel agencies in European countries need to obtain permission from the local government. Many Russians expressed their support and recognition for this way of traveling. They think this kind of “vaccine tour” is very beneficial to Russia, and it is more profitable than exporting Russian vaccines. If the plan is approved, it will vigorously promote the development of tourism in Russia.
Especially von Ostried ran like once as a child, when the big farm dog was hard on her heels, and despite the warming sun she was cold. At the great bridge, over which the wagons rolled with the thud of a gigantic drum, sat a beggar with a barrel organ. The tones let them listen.
An old woman stood on her way, calling out her newspapers. Mechanically she bought. Maybe a place to stay could be found quickly. Somewhere. She shook herself. A reproach rose from the depths of her soul.
“I shouldn’t have listened to this Karlsen after what he had done to me.”
Then she smiled. The joy of destroying the triumph that was surely awaited for him did her good.
Old Pauline was standing in the hallway at home, eagerly on the lookout for her.
“Where are you staying, Miss? Were you outside with our Madam President? ”The old woman had cried red eyes.
“With our Madam President? No, I wasn’t there. ”It sounded bitter.
“Come quickly. You must be half starved. ”
“I have to get used to that now, Pauline.”
“That you can play around with it. If she has given me so richly, how will she have looked after you in the first place. ”
“Do you really still believe that? I hardly earned half of what I got from her. Should actually still pay out well. ”
The faithful girl understood nothing. She only noticed that the young figure was swaying with exhaustion and led her gently into the bright little room, which looked untidy and disheveled.
“Now lie down quietly. I’ll get you a plate full of strong soup. And afterwards we talk about everything. I’ve come up with something nice. You will want to become a musician after all. Because our Madam President always said that it was going to start soon. – I could sit down on old age. But I don’t quite understand that. I’d rather move in with you, miss. This house, said the judicial officer, is being sold. As long as we can both stay in it. ”
“Not me,” said Eva with twitching lips, “I have no business here anymore.”
“You were like your own child. I don’t even know what you want. – That’s why I can’t leave you alone. You are a kind of legacy to me. I’ll clean your little apartment and cook and do everything as you have long been used to. Enough furniture – including the beautiful fine grand piano for you, I’ve already chosen. You should get it exactly as before.[S. 131]Then it is as if she were still with us. And I continue to sleep in my iron. ”
“Good Pauline – I will hardly need an apartment of my own. I will also willingly accept an iron bed in the future. ”
“I’m a simple, old person and don’t want to be pushy. But if you want to explain that to me, miss. ”
“To explain? What? Everything is fine! She is dead and I have to see how I can get a new job as quickly as possible. You mean that I suddenly got rich because of her? How do I get into it? That would be more than strange. ”
She sobbed and was convinced that she was laughing.
“Do I finally understand correctly? You would not be taken care of by our good Madam President, Miss? ”
“She wasn’t obliged to do that, Pauline. I received more from her than I ever deserved. ”
“Miss, she could not have died if you had been left unsupervised. One can talk what he wants. Say that death caught them off guard. I know it better. Something has to be found there, I say. ”
“There is nothing there, Pauline. You can rely on it. ”
“Dear good God! Are you supposed to get out of here? All naked and bare? and I and the others have so much! ”
“That’s only fair. You deserve it! – ”
“This is nonsense! We both move in together like I said before. You think I’m supposed to spend one hundred and fifty marks a month. How do I do that? I[S. 132]Just save up again and that would be pointless. Because I don’t have one in the world and it would turn into a new foundation. No, I will take care of you. And afterwards, when you have really finished learning and you feel distressed, give everything back to me. Yes? Do we want to do it that way? ”
Who was laughing mockingly? Eva von Ostried started up, startled. She had clearly heard a hoarse laugh.
“Oh – Pauline, I was just joking. I am rich myself. On the day of my coming of age, my former guardian brought the maternal inheritance to the Madam President in my absence. Immediately afterwards I’ll take it to the bench. Because it’s still here in the house. ”
The old girl shook her head in disbelief.
“That is truly wrong pride, Miss. You are hurting me very much. You have nothing! You used to be able to joke about it with me. So until I have seen it with my own eyes, I won’t believe you! ”
Eva von Ostried suddenly stood in front of old Pauline. She was changed. Her face, which had just been colorless, glowed as if she had a fever. She searched frantically for her small black handbag.
“For God’s sake, where has she gone? I just had it, didn’t I? ”
“There she is, Miss. Certainly!”
The slender hands tore open the sturdy handle, felt around under the papers and brought a thick envelope to light.
“Just look – how much money.” The old girl was amazed.
“Really!” She made insecure.
“And now don’t be angry with me if I don’t like to eat, Pauline. I just have to sleep. I want to leave immediately afterwards. – My things should be picked up soon. And I have to finish packing too. “-
Then she was alone! – And the money that the old tobacco farmer had paid back shortly before the President’s departure was still in her possession. The force of the grave events that have befallen them since then erased the memory of them up to this hour. But now she wanted to ring the doorbell Weissgerber and tell him about it. –
His office was already closed. At the time, as she was told on the phone, he was on a short professional trip from which he was not expected to return until late in the evening. Now she had to put it off until the next day.
She had thought of the treasure entrusted to her with no thought in the time of the chasing excitement. The idea that he could very easily have gotten lost in the confusion subsequently filled her with icy horror. Maybe Providence intended. In any case, it had been a good thing that she could show old Pauline the money. Now she didn’t need to eat begging bread. For she had felt dully that otherwise she would have given in to the violent urge.
The feeling of weariness was gone. She looked for her belongings again. Your hands are shaking[S. 134]ten no longer. She had become very calm. Once she went to the bedside table where the freshly filled water bottle was standing. How thirsty she was and how good the cheap drink tasted.
Then she made it through. The sun threw a handful of rays through the window onto the small handbag and lifted it up as if on a golden board. Eva von Ostried nodded over as if greeting something. A lot – a lot of money! If it were theirs, all hardship would come to an end. What could it all give?
A bed she could rest in as long as she liked it. A table with a lamp on it that could light up – also towards the wing that she would get from it. The grand piano on which she could sit and achieve happiness in her life.
They shivered together. How was it possible that she gave room to this idea at all? Foreign money? Entrusted good! What was it to her? The various overly endowed foundations would like to share it. Mechanically, she continued to pile up what was hers. But where do you go with all this trinket?
Her gaze fell on the daily newspapers bought on the bridge. She immersed herself in the multitude of fine-print advertisements. Their eyes fixed on one of them and returned there:
Immediately looking for a partner educated for my daughter from the best family. Serious outlook on life, solid character and good credentials are a prerequisite. Presentation anytime. Also in the evening until 10 a.m. at Mrs. Eßling, Eisenacherstr. 10, Grunewald-Berlin.
So very close. She carefully cut out the rows with sharp scissors. As soon as she was done here, she wanted to introduce herself.
She put on the unadorned black dress in which she had mourned her father. She pulled down the valuable lace collar, a present from the President, so violently that the cobweb-thin stars tore up. She was not allowed to adorn herself for this corridor. As companion to a daughter who was certainly young, she had to be ugly, inconspicuous and insubstantial. The mirror reproduced her image in all its beauty. The fighting that had been backward tormented her again. The undeserved jealousy of their former mistresses – the envy of the servants because of their special position in the house, their own blazing anger, to endure the deep appraisal in silence and, last but not least, the fear that they would one day out of resentment, loneliness and thirst for life – would be deserved.
And never – never again the beloved art? She hadn’t wanted to think about that at all. That broke her strength. Now she was lying there again, weak and freezing and could not think anything. She felt dully that it was more than a dread of the approach to Golgotha to be an obligation. A farewell for life; the death of all wishes and joys!
This anticipated need drove a feverish greed through her blood. Just a few thousand marks. Because that small sum won would hardly suffice for the most makeshift purchases. Of course, District Councilor Wullenweber still kept a few pieces of maternal furniture[S. 136]Possessions for them. But where was the space that could contain them? Life was incredibly expensive. Again after a few steps to stop and have to go backwards. Just not that again!
The money she temporarily forgot, the existence of which no one suspected – because the President had told her more about it – would be too much to make her happy.
But a feeling of disgust with herself rose up her throat. How deep she had sunk for such thoughts to arise. She locked the bag in the desk and found another one. As she did so, she saw a piece of paper the President had pinned to one of the many birthday gifts.
“To my problem and lucky child!”
She also saw the kind, fine face clearly in front of her and heard the words with which she had illuminated and determined her future in Oeynhausen. Didn’t the promise of such a woman equal the act already performed. Hadn’t the inevitable act of donation already taken place then? – Who would the disappearance of this money affect? – It wouldn’t be robbery at all.
But what would it be? – But she received a warning inside: a ragged gypsy had once stolen the fake Sunday ring from Mamsell’s fatherly majorat from her bedroom. The servants ran after her with wagon stakes and pitchforks, because it came to light immediately, grabbed her and spat at her, because she was too bad for them to beat.
Little Eva had seen it all and also tried to stretch the nimble, red tip so as not to lag behind the adults.
That ring! Oh – that was something completely different. He had had an owner who was a poor girl and could barely afford such a thing.
But this money – –
Suddenly she was on her knees and wrung her hands. Her mind was empty. In the heart – on the neck – in the fingertips a terrible fear chased. A name rang out loudly – screamed in fear of death – across the room.
“Mother – mother – help me!”
On the quiet, sweet, shy woman’s face, which looked down from a gilded frame at the abandoned daughter, lay the shadow of the departing day and made it appear even more painful!
No lifeline held up. Nowhere was a place of refuge prepared for them.
The red towers of the Waldesruher Heimatschloss would still overlook everything else and the graves of her parents still belonged to her. A widowed cousin of the same name was now sitting on the old Majorat as the beneficiary of the inheritance and may bless the chance that the mad Ostried was denied a son. Maybe hide with him – if only for a short time? – She would find admission. In the family chronicle, the respective owner was expressly instructed to provide every needy and worthy female descendant[S. 138] a predecessor for at least six months free of charge in the castle.
But the mere thought of it tormented her!
Wasn’t she really representing the begging princess, as a drunkard had once called after her with a sneer? No other power, she said, equals that of money. Her father’s blood circled wildly through her veins at these moments, she wanted to be celebrated and pampered. It was unthinkable that she should go into hiding in order to perish in the darkness of eternal privation.
A harsh defiance came over her. She was fully aware of the power she wielded over Paul Karlsen. And yet he had gotten rich, as evidenced by every word he said.
She tore off the simple dress and found one made of soft, flowing silk. She wanted to go to him adorned like a bride and give graces like a queen.
And then she was lying face down on the bare top of the mahogany table and, in shame and distress, dug her teeth deep into the fabric of the silk ceiling.
“Never – never – I can never do that!”
But what if he wanted her to be his wife? And what else could he have meant by the secret advertising in every glance? Paul Karlsen’s wife, the artist’s comrade, the loyal comrade of someone who strives up like you?
Why did she suddenly shudder? The mother’s blood now came into its own. – Get lost without love[S. 139]buy – that was even harder than the daily routine.
Not even for the sake of art? She felt that it wanted to kill her.
What if she went to Ralf Kurtzig, the old master, before every decisive step? Perhaps he knew her of a patron who, for the joy of her talent, was generous. Or perhaps he advised her that she should rather starve and do without than give up her art. Yes – it was even certain that he gave this advice. –
She couldn’t have obeyed him. After the death of her first patron she had made a brief attempt at it. –
Old Pauline knocked softly and brought in a full tray. “Now you have to enjoy something, Miss.”
Eva von Ostried wanted to stay firm. It all belonged to the woman, who must have regretted her solemn promise at the last moment. But the feeling of hunger ached at the sight of the good things. She thought no longer.
Only when she was completely satisfied did she despise herself for it. Suddenly she was gripped by the fear that in the end she might be forced into the other too.
She stumped off the precious dress and slipped on the unadorned mourning flag. Then she slowly walked the path that led to Eisenacherstrasse.
Somewhere along the way to their left was a house overgrown with vines. The golden yellow gravel had become dull and pale because the sun was no longer shining on it. It was eight o’clock. She didn’t know the time.[S. 140]With dragging steps she passed the house in the shade. A couple of full chords struck her ear from the richness of the sound inside. She didn’t want to hear anything. A voice rose:
The winter snow has melted
Quiet and silent, fall to the grave.
She shook with a spasm. Just don’t stop. Continue. –
But she didn’t go. Leaning against the artfully hammered grille, she listened greedily.
Mr. Tristan lifted from the hot puddle
His dull head and spoke – – –
I no longer bear the shame
So only to stand with my grief …
The singing was silent. A window opened. She stood as if enchanted. A man’s steps crunched over the pale gravel.
She felt herself being taken by the hand and drawn into the house.
“I do not want! I don’t want to! ”She stammered. He laughed softly.
“She couldn’t wait,” he thought, and found her more beautiful and desirable than ever in the strict monastic robe.
– Paul Karlsen’s quick decision to take her to the music room and not, as he originally intended, to his study, turned out to be very wise. The portraits of the masters of fine art of music, those of the Wän[S. 141]Those who said hello had a calming and homely effect on Eva von Ostried’s bewilderment. Suddenly she felt her presence here not with excruciating reproach. It remained unusual. However, nothing more.
Paul Karlsen leaned down to her with chivalrous concern. “Is it too solemn for you too, Fraulein von Ostried?” She raised her eyes freely to his.
“Home air blows here, Mr. Karlsen. By the way – I wasn’t on my way to see you. ”
“Ah,” he made.
She blushed because she felt that he didn’t believe her. Should she tell him about her real plan, which his singing would only have delayed carrying out? She couldn’t bring it to her lips. For a moment they sat across from each other in silence. Then she said, looking around in sincere admiration:
“How wonderful it is for you, Mr. Karlsen! The gold vein you mentioned must really be rich. ”He nodded contentedly.
“It even flows inexhaustibly. We have a servant, a cook and several subordinate subjects in Hades in the kitchen, which of course I have not yet seen. ”
He counted it with the importance and pride of a happy boy who feels very comfortable in the new, glamorous circumstances. Eva von Ostried wasn’t curious. Nevertheless, she would have loved to know how a fellow fate, whose debts were told miraculous things in Oeynhausen, suddenly came across these fairy tale things.
He had foreseen this and had already prepared a perfectly plausible explanation from his mother-in-law when he was leaving.
“It was an uncle of Thule,” he hummed Desdemona’s trembling song from the king. “And that old gentleman with iron and fire snaps on the weighty money cat had a nephew. A non-use, of course, that would definitely go to the dogs. This rascal believed that he had a voice that was different from Thule’s uncle. Cheek, isn’t it? – He also believed that the stupid would spend their money in the foreseeable future to be able to hear them. Remember – the uncle from Thule had never gone to an opera in his life. And said nephew could have found a wonderful place in his tobacco and coffee export business. – In Hamburg. He even offered it to him in writing. The kid didn’t answer at all, even though a postage stamp was enclosed. But neither did he pump him. Dear complete strangers, who are really surprisingly easy to find. – And Thule’s uncle came – not to die, but to Oeynhausen, because he had always been a little gourmet and now his heart was in fat. And he didn’t give his honored lover the well-known golden cup, but a nephew to his useless nephew that he would like to go to his hotel. That he had heard it a few times before, out of criminal boredom, seduced by a suffering business friend who happened to be highly musical, in all the operas given at the time, just incidentally. Anyone wanting a dull bathing trip because he had always been a little gourmet and now his heart was in fat. And he didn’t give his honored lover the well-known golden cup, but a nephew to his useless nephew that he would like to go to his hotel. That he had heard it a few times before, out of criminal boredom, seduced by a suffering business friend who happened to be highly musical, in all the operas given at the time, just incidentally. Anyone wanting a dull bathing trip because he had always been a little gourmet and now his heart was in fat. And he didn’t give his honored lover the well-known golden cup, but a nephew to his useless nephew that he would like to go to his hotel. That he had heard it a few times before, out of criminal boredom, seduced by a suffering business friend who happened to be highly musical, in all the operas given at the time, just incidentally. Anyone wanting a dull bathing trip had heard in all the operas given at the time, just incidentally. Anyone wanting a dull bathing trip had heard in all the operas given at the time, just incidentally. Anyone wanting a dull bathing trip[S. 143]of several weeks, he will be forgiven for this derailment. – Well – the kid appeared and now the rest of it made itself. – We moved to Berlin, because the export history in Hamburg had thrown off enough for us and – well – here we are. ”
She never doubted the correctness of his story for a moment.
“How nice it is that your talent can develop fully,” she said, fighting against all envy.
“It would have done it without the uncle. How can you make that dependent on a – now we confidently call it coincidence! Of course, it would have been more difficult and the ascent might have taken longer. I would have come to the top. ”
“That is virility.” It sounded like a complaint.
“No, that is the healthy knowledge of one’s own ability,” he contradicted, “everyone should have it who does not just imagine their talent. So you too, Miss von Ostried. ”
“I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go any further. ”
“What do you not want, please? – Don’t sing anymore? Just swing away? You go! Now we have finally come to our real topic. – After you have looked around and heard my story, you will also believe that I am no longer short of funds. ”
“What’s that to do with me?” She asked brusquely and made to stand up. “I want to go now. Your uncle will no longer be without you. ”
“My uncle is with his whist brothers,” he laughed softly. “He’s sure not to get rid of them until midnight. Because – we no longer have a wife. She’s been dead for a long, long time. Only old Franz is careful now so that I don’t do anything stupid. Because Thule’s uncle prefers to do it himself. So in a few hours or so afterwards, don’t be surprised if it suddenly stands stiffly – stupidly somewhere. Otherwise I really did excel in every respect. I can do whatever I want, so to speak. The money trolley is at my disposal, unlocked. In addition, my fixed month change is brilliant. ”
“Why is he telling me all this?” Thought Eva von Ostried and her heartbeat threatened to stop in a suffocating fear. “He doesn’t want to – himself?” The feeling of repugnance, stronger even than that of indignation and anger at the unheard of boldness with which he had insulted her at the time, stirred again.
She no longer understood that she could follow him here without a will after this experience. Her face had turned very pale. Her eyes wandered around with a flickering look as she rose now.
“How happy I am for you! Let it be good for you, Mr. Karlsen. ”She had to fight for every word. “And quick, safe ascent.” It sounded flat. He had also got up and looked down at her – still long after she had finished speaking. That made her feel more insecure. Should she shake hands with him now or – flee without greeting.
“Just a moment more,” he demanded, his brows knitting together. “I really don’t know what I could have done to arouse your dissatisfaction this time – but somehow I must have offended me. Because I also have a musical sensitivity for such effects. Surely I’ve talked too much around the focus. Forgive me. – When I spoke to you about the well-known patron who would help you on my word – my plan was already clear. And he stayed that way. – Excuse me for a moment. I’m just getting an important little thing next door from my study. ”
Before she could find a reply, he was gone. She could see the room through the pulled back curtains. Her eyes broke away from his hands, which were hastily rummaging around in the open drawers of the desk and wandering – thoughtlessly – around. It drove her to flee and yet she stayed. She didn’t take in any of the things she stared at. The images blurred into colorless masses. The massive vases on high plinths, which would certainly cost a small fortune, grew like stones that were aimed at their hearts in invisible fists. With almost superhuman violence, she forced herself to think – see – feel.
There was a large green stain with glowing drops of blood just above his head. –
No, it was a picture; When she looked more closely, forcing herself to do so, she recognized the slender figure of a woman[S. 146]Essence in it, which stood under red poppies on a green meadow. The full glow of a bright red painted sun lay on the face and made it stand out sharply. In its touching modesty, it almost seemed lovely with this glow that seemed to radiate from within. Although the nose and mouth were way too big in it. She memorized it so as not to have to think that with every minute of her prolonged stay she was wasting her girl pride.
Finally he came back. – Crimson! Angry!
“I can never find what I’m looking for. That is horrible! Now it has finally succeeded. See, please! Well – what is that? ”
“A check book,” she said flatly, “but I don’t understand.”
“Exactly. So you have a lot more business acumen than I did – about six months ago. So I don’t need to give you any more detailed instructions. – You accept this and simply fill in the story every month with a certain amount that you can determine as you wish. The rest of the way is done by the bank! ”She stretched out both hands as if warding off a terrible temptation.
“For God’s sake, just not that!”
“Do you hate me that much, Eva? What you would have accepted without hesitation from the old bloodsucker who wanted to turn you into a board diva, without these conditions, you will not allow me to do that? ”
“I don’t know if I can ever repay you.”
“Don’t worry about that. Interest, however – I charge. ”
The fact that he began to speak objectively made her calmer.
“What should I pay them for.” He looked at her steadily.
“About what? Don’t you feel that, Eva? ”
Her hands drooped faintly. He looked at her for a long time. But he didn’t take it in his. Don’t rush anything. Slowly he began to paint her a living picture in words.
“You move into a small, fine apartment, preferably in my area. Just no cellar hole or attic. This depresses the ability from the outset. Public opinion too. Then create someone who will keep the small things of everyday life away from you and who is discreet at the same time. Only then do you look around for suitable teachers. Of course, they have to be top notch. The fees shouldn’t matter. And then – the most beautiful thing just happens by itself. The learning. The deepening. The bliss that it will definitely be made. The anticipation of all the burning envy of the lovable colleagues – but also of the power that grows daily and, just like mine, will tear down for devotion – the crowd may or may not be willing. ”
With her head stretched out, she had listened to him. That was a sound from that world in which alone she thought she would be happy. A real sound. She felt that. At that moment she felt no aversion to Paul Karlsen either. To reject his kindness struck her as unnatural. Yes – impossible the longer she thought about his proposal.
“The interest – how much?” Was all she asked.
There he lay at her feet and forced her into a deep, low armchair.
“Your love and nothing else! Do you still not feel how I long for you? Can’t you see that I want to put everything at your feet and only ask that you let me adore and love you? ”
She didn’t push him back, even though she shivered under his touch. Only one thought pounded on her forehead:
“Am I his bride now? – And must I now also become his wife? ”
A finger tapped softly on the tall door. Paul Karlsen started and sat across from her.
“Did Herr Karlsen call?” The old servant stuck his motionless face modestly into the room.
– The magic of this moment was irretrievably lost. Overcome your misery for a while.
She was about to leave and he did not hold her back.
“I’ll give you a message. Maybe tomorrow, ”she whispered, thinking that she could sell herself to him out of love for art.