Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Development

‘A procession of young men came and went. When none of the younger sisters wanted anything to do with a particular suitor, they would say to the eldest, Rosa Anna, that she should have him as a matter of precedent.’
At which point, I detected an improvement in Katherl’s breathing this afternoon and decided that I should hasten the plot a little.
‘It so happened that not one of the more attractive suitors had asked the father for his daughters’ hands in marriage during their first years in Munich. With the passing of time, both the suitors and the baron’s daughters aged accordingly. A bald, not so very rich gentleman was accepted by the second youngest, Lily-. After a short while, when their arguments over looks, wealth or accomplishments had been put aside, the eldest daughter, Rosa Anna, found a widower of her own with five step-children. She was thirty-three years of age while he was almost as old as her father. It seemed unexceptional that they would marry on the condition he was not obliged to pay five thousand gulden for her hymen as is the custom.’
The very moment that I said this, Katherl’s feverish cheeks became quite pale. I picked up my bonnet and she asked me three times to repeat the exact hour I would return tomorrow. N.


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