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- A Young Girl's Diary - 4/50 -

whatever happened. He said: The pain is to bind you to me. When he says that his eyes grow dark, quite black, although his eyes are really grey and they get very large. Especially in the evening when we say goodbye, it frightens me. I'm always dreaming of him.

August 18th. Yesterday evening we had illuminations in honour of the emperor's birthday. We didn't get home until half past twelve. At first we went to a concert in the park and to the illuminations. They fired salutes from the hills and there were beacons flaring on the hill-tops; it was rather creepy although it was wonderful. My teeth chattered once or twice, I don't know whether I was afraid something would happen or why it was. Then R. came and talked such a lot. He is set on going into the army. For that he needn't learn so much, and what he's learning now is of no use to him. He says that doesn't matter, that knowledge will give him a great pull. I don't think he looks stupid, though Oswald says so to make me angry. All at once we found ourselves quite away from the others and so we sat on a bench to wait for them. Then I asked R. once more about the other societies, the ones in which they do such improper things. But he wouldn't tell me for he said he would not rob me of my innocence. I thought that very stupid, and I said that perhaps he didn't know himself and it was all put on. All that happened, he said, was that anyone who joined the society was tickled until he couldn't stand it any longer. And once one of them got St. Vitus's dance, that is frightful convulsions and they were afraid that everything would come out. And since then in their society no more tickling had been allowed. Shall I tickle you a little? I don't understand you, I said, and anyhow you daren't.

He gave a great laugh and suddenly he seized me and tickled me under the arm. It made me want to laugh frightfully, but I stifled it for there were still lots of people going by. So he gave that up and tickled my hand. I liked it at first, but then I got angry and dragged my hand away. Just then Inspee went by with two other girls and directly they had passed us we followed close behind as if we had been walking like that all the time. It saved me a wigging from Mother, for she always wants us all to keep together. As we went along R. said: Look out, Gretel, I'm going to tickle you some day until you scream.-- How absurd, I won't have it, it takes two to do that.

By the way, in the raffle I won a vase with 2 turtledoves and a bag of sweets and R. won a knife, fork and spoon. That annoyed him frightfully. Inspee won a fountain pen, just what I want, and a mirror which makes one look a perfect fright. A good job too, for she fancies herself such a lot.

August 29th. O dear, such an awful thing has happened. I have lost pages 30 to 34 from my diary. I must have left them in the garden, or else on the Louisenhohe. It's positively fiendish. If anyone was to find them. And I don't know exactly what there was on those pages. I was born to ill luck. If I hadn't promised Hella to write my diary every day I should like to give up the whole thing. Fancy if Mother were to get hold of it, or even Father. And it's raining so fearfully to-day that I can't even go into the garden and still less on the Louisenhohe above all not alone. I must have lost it the day before yesterday, for I didn't write anything yesterday or the day before. It would be dreadful if anyone were to find it. I am so much upset that I couldn't eat anything at dinner, although we had my favourite chocolate cream cake. And I'm so unhappy for Father was quite anxious and Mother too and they both asked what was the matter with me and I nearly burst out crying before everyone. We had dinner in the hotel to-day because Resi had gone away for 2 days. But I couldn't cry in the room before Father and Mother for that would have given the show away. My only hope is that no one will recognise my writing, for Hella and I use upright writing for our diary, first of all so that no one may recognise our writing and secondly because upright writing doesn't use up so much paper as ordinary writing. I do hope it will be fine to-morrow so that I can hunt in the garden very early. I have been utterly in the dumps all day so that I didn't even get cross when Inspee said: "Have you been quarrelling with your future husband?"

August 30th. It's not in the garden. I begged Mother to let us go to Louisenhutte this afternoon. Mother was awfully nice and asked what I was so worried about, and whether anything had happened. Then I couldn't keep it in any longer and burst out crying. Mother said I must have lost something, and this gave me an awful fright. Mother thought it was Hella's letter, the one which came on Tuesday, so I said: No, much worse than that, my diary. Mother said: Oh well, that's not such a terrible loss, and will be of no interest to anyone. Oh yes, I said, for there are all sorts of things written in it about R. and his society. Look here, Gretel, said Mother, I don't like this way you talk about R.; I really don't like you to spend all your time with the Warths; they're really not our sort and R. is not a fit companion for you; now that you are going to the high school you are not a little girl any longer. Promise me that you'll not be eternally with the Warths.--All right, Mother, I will break it off gradually so that nobody will notice. She burst out laughing and kissed me on both cheeks and promised me to say nothing to Inspee about the diary for she needn't know everything. Mother is such a dear. Still 3 hours and perhaps the pages are still there.

Evening. Thank goodness! In front of the shelter I found 2 pages all pulped by the rain and the writing all run and one page was in the footpath quite torn. Someone must have trodden on it with the heel of his boot and 2 pages had been rolled into a spill and partly burned. So no one had read anything. I am so happy. And at supper Father said: I say, why are your eyes shining with delight? Have you won the big prize in the lottery? and I pressed Mother's foot with mine to remind her not to give me away and Father laughed like anything and said: Seems to me there's a conspiracy against me in my own house. And I said in a great hurry: Luckily we're not in our own house but in a hotel, and everyone laughed and now thank goodness it's all over. Live and learn. I won't let that happen again.

August 31st. Really I'm not so much with the W's and with R. I think he's offended. This afternoon, when I went there to tea, he seized me by the wrist and said: Your father is right, you're a witch. "You need a castigation." How rude of him. Besides, I didn't know what castigation meant. I asked Father and he told me and asked where I had picked up the word. I said I had passed 2 gentlemen and had heard one of them use it. What I really thought was that castigation meant tickling. But it is really horrid to have no one to talk to. Most of the people have gone already and we have only a week longer. About that castigation business. I don't like fibbing to Father, but I really had to. I couldn't say that R. wanted to give me a castigation when I didn't know what it meant. Dora tells a lot more lies than I do and I always love catching her in a lie for her lies are so obvious. I'm never caught. It only happened once when Frau Oberst von Stary was there. Father noticed that time, for he said: You little rogue, you tarradiddler!

September 3rd. Such a horrid thing has happened. I shall never speak to R. again. Oswald is quite right in calling him a cad. If I had really fallen out of the swing I might have broken my leg 4 days before we have to start from home. I can't make out how it all happened. It was frightful cheek of him to tickle me as he did, and I gave him such a kick. I think it was on his nose or his mouth. Then he actually dared to say: After all I'm well paid out, for what can one expect when one keeps company with such young monkeys, with such babies. Fine talk from him when he's not 14 himself yet. It was all humbug about his being 15 and he seems to be one of the idlest boys in the school, never anything but Satisfactory in his reports, and he's not in the fifth yet, but only in the fourth. Anyhow, we've settled our accounts. Cheeky devil. I shall never tell anyone about it, it will be my first and I hope my last secret from Hella.

September 6th. We are going home to-morrow. The last few days have been awfully dull. I saw R. once or twice but I always looked the other way. Father asked what was wrong between me and the Warths and R., so that our great friendship had been broken off. Of course I had to fib, for it was absolutely _impossible_ to tell the truth. I said that R. found fault with everything I did, my writing, my reading aloud. (That's quite true, he did that once) and Father said: Well, well, you'll make it up when you say goodbye to-morrow. Father makes a great mistake. I'll never speak a word to him again.

For her birthday, although it's not come yet, Dora is to have a navy blue silk dustcloak. I don't think the colour suits her, and anyhow she's much too thin to wear a dustcloak.

September 14th. Hella came back the day before yesterday. She looks splendid and she says I do too. I'm so glad that she's back. After all I told her about R. She was very angry and said I ought to have given him 2 more; one for the tickling and

A Young Girl's Diary - 4/50

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