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The Son of His Mother
written by "Raahauge, H."
... Oh, how difficult it was to tell lies. In what a position Wolfgang placed her. When Schlieben had driven to town and the cook was busy in the kitchen and Friedrich in the garden, Kte kept an eye on the housemaid. What a long time she was in the bedroom to-day. "You must finish the rooms upstairs more quickly, you are excessively slow," she said in a sharp voice. The maid looked at her mistress, quite astonished at the unusual way in which she spoke to her, and said later on to the cook downstairs: "Ugh, what a bad temper the mistress is in to-day. She has been after me." Kte had stood beside the girl until the bedroom was finished, she had positively rushed her. Now she was [Pg 242] alone, quite alone with him up there, now she could see what was the matter with him. Would he still be drunk? As she stood outside his door she held her breath; putting her ear to the door she listened. There was nothing to be heard inside, not even his breathing. After casting a glance around her she opened the door like a thief, crept inside and locked it again behind her. She approached the bed cautiously and softly; but she started back so hastily that the high-backed chair she knocked against fell over with a loud noise. What was that--there? What was it? A disgusting smell, which filled the closed room, made her feel sick. Staggering to the window she tore it open, thrust back the shutters--then she saw. There he lay like an animal--he, who had always been accustomed to so much attention, he who as a child had stretched out his little hands if only a crumb had stuck to them: "Make them clean!" and had cried. There he lay now as if he did not feel anything, as if he did not care anything whatever about what was going on around him, as if the bed on which he lay were fresh and clean; his eyes, with their jet-black lashes that fell like shadows on his pale cheeks, were firmly closed, and he slept the heavy sleep...

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