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- A Young Girl's Diary - 30/50 -


speak any more of that matter; I have buried the affair for ever." And when I said: "Buried, what do you mean? A true love can't simply be _buried_ like that," she said: "It was not a true love, and that's all there is to say about it."

October 16th. I had a frantically anxious time in the arithmetic lesson to-day. All of a sudden Hella flushed dark red and I thought to myself: Aha, that's it! And I wrote to her on my black-line paper: Has it begun??? for we had agreed that she would tell me directly, she will be 14 in February and _it_ will certainly begin soon. Frau Doktor F. said: Lainer, what was that you pushed over to Br.? and she came up to the desk and took the black-line paper. "What does that mean: Has it begun???" Perhaps she really did not know what I meant, but several of the girls who knew about it too laughed, and I was in a terrible fright. But Hella was simply splendid. "Excuse me, Frau Doktor, Rita asked whether the frost had begun yet." "And that's the way you spend your time in the mathematics lesson?" But thank goodness that made things all right. Only in the interval Hella said that really I am inconceivably stupid sometimes. What on earth did I want to write a thing like that for? _When_ it begins, _of course_ she will let me know directly. As a matter of fact it has _not_ begun yet. We have agreed now that it will be better to say "Endt," a sort of portmanteau word of _developed_ [entwickelt] and _at last_ [endlich] . That will really be splendid and Hella says that I happened upon it in a lucid interval. It's really rather cheeky of her, but after all one can forgive anything to one's friend. She absolutely insists that I must never again put her in such a fix in class. Of course it happened because I am always thinking: Now then, this is the day.

November 8th. On Father's and Dora's birthday Mother was so ill that we did not keep it at all. I was in a terrible fright that Mother was seriously ill, or even that -- -- -- -- -- No, I won't even think it; one simply must not write it down even if one is not superstitious. Aunt Dora came last week to keep house for Mother. We are not going skating, for we are always afraid that Mother might get worse just when we are away. As soon as she is able to get up for long enough Father is going to take her to see a specialist in the _diseases of women_; so it must be true that Mother's illness comes from _that_.

November 16th. Oh it's horrible, Mother has to have an operation; I'm so miserable that I can't write.

November 19th. Mother is so good and dear; she wants us to go skating to take our thoughts off the operation. But Dora says too that it would be brutal to go skating when Mother is going to have an operation in a few days. Father said to us yesterday evening: "Pull yourselves together children, set your teeth and don't make things harder for your poor Mother." But I can't help it, I cry whenever I look at Mother.

November 23rd. It is so dismal at home since Mother went away; we had to go to school and we believed she would not leave until the afternoon, but the carriage came in the morning. Dora says that Father had arranged all that because I could not control myself. Well, who could? Dora cries all day; and at school I cried a lot and so did Hella.

November 28th. Thank goodness, it's all safely over, Mother will be home again in a fortnight. I'm so happy and only now can I realise how _horribly_ anxious I have been. We go every day to see Mother at the hospital; I wish I could go alone, but we always go all together, that is either with Father or with Aunt Dora. But I suspect that Dora does go to see Mother quite alone, she gave herself away to-day about the flowers, she behaves as if Mother were only _her_ mother. On Thursday, the first time we saw Mother, we all whispered, and Mother cried, although the operation had made her quite well again. Unfortunately yesterday, Aunt Alma was there when we were, and Father said that seeing so many people at once was too exciting for Mother, and we must go away. Of course he really meant that Aunt Alma and Marina had better go away, but Aunt did not understand or would not. Why on earth did Aunt come? We hardly ever meet since the trouble about Marina and that jackanapes Erwin; only when there is a family party; Oswald says it's not a family gathering but a family dispersal because nearly always some one takes offence.

November 30th. To-day I managed to be _alone_ with Mother. At school I said I had an awfully bad headache and asked if I might go home before the French lesson; I really had. What I told Mother was that Frau Doktor Dunker was ill, so we had no lesson. Really one ought not to tell lies to an invalid, but this was a _pious fraud_ as Hella's mother always calls anything of the sort, and no one will find out, because Frau Doktor Dunker has nothing to do with the Fourth, so Dora won't hear anything about it. Mother said she was _awfully pleased_ to be able to see _me_ alone for once. That absolutely proves that Dora does go alone. Mother was so sweet, and Sister Klara said she was a perfect angel in goodness and patience. Then I burst out crying and Mother had to soothe me. At first, after I got home, I did not want to say anything about it, but when we were putting on our things after dinner to go and see Mother I said en passant as it were: "This is the second time I shall be seeing Mother to-day." And when Dora said: What do you mean? I said quite curtly: "One of our lessons did not come off, and so I took the chance _too_ of being able to see Mother _alone_." Then she said: Did the porter let you in without any trouble? It surprises me very much that such _very_ young girls, who are almost children still, are allowed to go in alone. Luckily Aunt came in at that moment and said: "Oh well, nobody thinks Gretl quite a child now, and _both of you_ can go alone to the hospital all right." On the way we did not speak to one another.

December 5th. For St. Nicholas day we took Mother a big flower pot, and tied to the stick was a label on which Father had written; "Being ill is punishable as an unpermissible offence in the sense of Section 7 the Mothers' and Housewives' Act." Mother was frightfully amused. The doctor says she is going on nicely, and that she will be able to come home in a few days.

December 6th. It was awful to-day. In the evening when we were leaving the dining-room Father said: "Gretl you have forgotten something. And when I came back he took me by the hand and said: "Why didn't you tell me that you want so much to see Mother _alone_? You need not make such a secret of it." And then I burst out crying and said: "Yes, I need not keep it secret from you, but I don't like Dora to know all about it. Did she tell you what happened the other day?" But Father does not know anything about my pretended headache, but only that I wanted so much to see Mother alone. He was awfully kind and kissed and petted me, saying: "You are a dear little thing, little witch, I hope you always will be." But I got away as quick as I could, for I felt so ashamed because of my fibbing. If it were not for Dora I'm sure I should never tell any lies.

December 6th. Father is an angel. He and I went to see Mother in the morning, and Aunt and Dora went in the afternoon. And since Father had to go into the Cafe where he had an appointment with a friend, I went on alone to see Mother and he came in afterwards. Mother asked me about my Christmas wishes; but I told her I had only one wish, that she should get well and live for ever. I was awfully glad that Dora was not there, for I could never have got that out before her. Still, she made me tell her my wishes after all, so I said I wanted handerkerchiefs with "monogram and coronet," visiting cards with _von_, a satchel like that which most of the girls in the _higher_ classes have, and the novel Elizabeth Kott. But I am not to have the novel, for Mother was horrified and said: My darling child, that's not the sort of book for you; who on earth put that into your head; Ada, I suppose? From what I know of your tastes, it really would not suit you at all. So I had to give that up, but I'm certain I should not find the book stupid.

December 11th. Mother came home again to-day; we did not know what time she was coming, but only that it was to be to-day. And because I was so glad that Mother is quite well again, I sang two or three songs, and Mother said: That is a good omen when one is greeted with a song. Then Dora was annoyed because _she_ had not thought of singing. We had decorated the whole house with flowers.

December 15th. I am embroidering a cushion for Mother and Dora is making her a footstool so that she can sit quite comfortably when she is reading. For Father we have bought a new brief bag because his own is so shabby that it makes us quite ashamed; but he always says: "It will do for a good while yet." For a long time I did not know what to get for Aunt Dora, and at length we have decided upon a lace fichu; for she is awfully fond of lace. I am giving Hella a sketch book and a pencil case; she draws beautifully and will perhaps become an artist, for Dora I am getting a vanity bag and for Oswald a cigarette case with a horse's head on it, for he is frightfully taken up with racing and the turf.


A Young Girl's Diary - 30/50

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