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- A Young Girl's Diary - 6/50 -


and without meaning it I was so late I did not dare to go. And Hella said I had better stay with her that we would say that our sum was so difficult that we had not got it finished in time. Luckily we really had a sum to do. But I said nothing about it at home, for to-morrow Oswald is going to G. to Herr S's. I thought that I knew all about it but only now has Hella really told me everything. It's a horrible business this . . . I really can't write it. She says that of course Inspee has it already, had it when I wrote that Inspee wouldn't bathe, did not want to bathe; really she had it. Whatever happens one must always be anxious about it. _Streams of blood_ says Hella. But then everything gets all bl . . . That's why in the country Inspee always switched off the light before she was quite undressed, so that I couldn't see. Ugh! Catch me looking! It begins at 14 and goes on for 20 years or more. Hella says that Berta Franke in our class knows all about it. In the arithmetic lesson she wrote a note: Do you know what being un . . . is? Hella wrote back, of course I've known it for a long time. Berta waited for her after class when the Catholics were having their religion lesson and they went home together. I remember quite well that I was very angry, for they're not chums. On Tuesday Berta came with us, for Hella had sent her a note in class saying that I knew _everything_ and she needn't bother about me. Inspee suspects something, she's always spying about and sneering, perhaps she thinks that she's the only person who ought to know anything.

October 16th. To-morrow is Father's and Dora's birthday. Every year it annoys me that Dora should have her birthday on the same day as Father; What annoys me most of all is that she is so cocky about it, for, as Father always says, it's a mere chance. Besides, I don't think he really likes it. Everyone wants to have their own birthday on their own day, not to share it with someone else. And it's always nasty to be stuck up about a thing like that. Besides, it's not going to be a real birthday because of the row about Oswald. Father is still furious and had to stay away from the office for 2 days because he had to go to G. to see about Oswald going there.

October 17th. It was much jollier to-day than I had expected. All the Bruckners came, so of course there was not much said about Oswald only that he has sprained his ankle, (I know quite well now that that's not true) and that he is probably going to G. Colonel B. said: The best thing for a boy is to send him to a military academy, that keeps him in order. In the evening Oswald said: That was awful rot what Hella's father said, for you can be expelled from a military academy just as easily as from the Gymnasium. That's what happened to Edgar Groller. Oswald gave himself away and Dora promptly said: Ah, so you have been expelled, and we believed you had sprained your ankle. Then he got in an awful wax and said: O you wretched flappers, I've gone and blabbed it all now, and he went away slamming the door, for Mother wasn't there

October 19th. If we could only find out what Oswald really did. It must have been something with a girl. But we can't think what Father meant about a married woman. Perhaps a married woman complained of him to the head master or to the school committee and that's how it all came out. I feel awfully sorry for him, for I think how I should have felt myself if everything had come out about Robert and me. Of course I don't care now. But in the summer it would have been awful. Oswald hardly says a word, except that he has talks with Mother sometimes. He always pretends that he wants to read, but it's absurd, for with such a love trouble one can't really read. I have not told Berta Franke all about it, but only that my brother has had an unhappy love affair and that is why he is back in Vienna. Then she told us that this summer a cousin of hers shot himself because of her. They said in the newspapers that it was because of an actress, but really it was because of her. She is 14 already.

October 20th. We spend most of our time now with Berta Franke. She says she has had a tremendous lot of experience, but she can't tell us yet because we are not intimate enough. By and by she says. Perhaps she is afraid we shall give her away. She wants to marry when she is 16 at latest. That's in 2 years. Of course she won't have finished school by then, but she will have left the third class. She has three admirers, but she has not yet made up her mind which to choose. Hella says I mustn't believe all this, that the story about the three admirers at once is certainly a cram.

October 21st. Berta Franke says that when one is dark under the eyes one has it and that when one gets a baby then one doesn't have it any more until one gets another. She told us too how one gets it, but I didn't really believe what she said, for I thought she did not know herself exactly. Then she got very cross and said: "All right, I won't tell you any more. If I don't know myself." But I can't believe what she said about husband and wife. She said it must happen every night, for if not they don't have a baby; if they miss a single night they don't have a baby. That's why they have their beds so close together. People call them _marriage beds!!!_ And it hurts so frightfully that one can hardly bear it. But one has to for a husband can make his wife do it. I should like to know how he can make her. But I didn't dare to ask for I was afraid she would think I was making fun of her. Men have it too, but very seldom. We see a lot of Berta Franke now, she is an awfully nice girl, perhaps Mother will let me invite her here next Sunday.

October 23rd. Father took Oswald away to-day. Mother cried such a lot. When Oswald was leaving I whispered to him: I know what's the matter with you. But he did not understand me for he said: Silly duffer. Perhaps he only said that because of Father who was looking on with a fearful scowl.

October 27th. Everything seems to have gone wrong. Yesterday I got unsatisfactory in history, and in arithmetic to-day I couldn't get a single sum right. I'm frightfully worried about missing that gymnastic lesson. It will be all right if Mother gives me the money to-morrow, for if she goes herself she will certainly find out about it.

October 28th. To-day the head mistress was present at our French lesson and said awfully nice things about me. She said I was good enough in French to be in the Third and then she asked me whether I was as good in the other subjects. I didn't want to say either Yes or No, and all the other girls said Yes, she's good at everything. The head patted me on the shoulder and said: I'm glad to hear that. When she had gone I cried like anything and Madame Arnau asked: Why, what's the matter? and the other girls said: In arithmetic she had Unsatisfactory but she can really do her sums awfully well. Then Madame said: "You'll soon wipe off that Unsatisfactory."

October 30th. To-day I had a frightful bother with Fraulein Vischer in the history lesson. Yesterday when I got into the tram with Mother there was Fraulein V. I looked the other way so that Mother shouldn't see her and so that she should not tell Mother about me. When she came in to-day she said: Lainer, do you know the rules? I knew directly what she meant and said "I did bow to you in the tram but you didn't see me." "That's a fine thing to do, first you do wrong and then try to excuse yourself by telling a lie. Sit down!" I felt awful for all the girls looked at me. In the 11 interval Berta Franke said to me: Don't worry, she's got her knife into you and will always find something to complain of. She must have spoken to Frau Doktor M., for in the German lesson the subject for viva voce composition was Good Manners. And all the girls looked at me again. She didn't say anything more. She's a perfect angel, my darling E. M., her name is Elisabeth; but she does not keep her name-day because she's a Protestant; that's an awful shame because November 19th is coming soon.

October 31st. I've been so lucky. Nothing's come out about the gymnastic lesson though Mother was there herself. And in mental arithmetic to-day I got a One. Fraulein Steiner is awfully nice too and she said: Why, L. what was the matter with you in your sums the other day, for you're so good at arithmetic? I didn't know what to do so I said: Oh I had such a headache the other day. Then Berta Franke nearly burst out laughing, it was horrid of her; I don't think she's quite to be trusted; I think she's rather a sneak. When the lesson was over she said she had laughed because "headache" means something quite different.

November 1st. To-day we began to work at the tablecloth for Father's Christmas present. Of course Inspee bagged the right side because that's easier to work at and I had to take the left side and then one has the whole caboodle on one's hand. For Mother I'm making an embroidered leather book cover, embroidered with silk and with a painted design; I can do the painting part at school in Fraulein H.'s lesson, she's awfully nice too. But I like Frau Doktor M. best of all. I'm _not_ going to invite Berta Franke because of the way she laughed yesterday, and besides Mother doesn't like having strange girls to the house. November 2nd. I don't know all about things yet. Hella knows a lot more. We said we were going


A Young Girl's Diary - 6/50

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