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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Is she with Deadt deadt long ago


March's dormant allegiance to his wife's wishes had been roused by his decision in favor of good social usage. "I don't think I shall take the flat," he said.

"Well, don't reject it without giving it another look, anyway. Come on!"

He helped March on with his light overcoat, and the little stir they made for their departure caught the notice of the old German; he looked up from his beer at them. March was more than ever impressed with something familiar in his face. In compensation for his prudence in regard to the Dryfooses he now indulged an impulse. He stepped across to where the old man sat, with his bald head shining like ivory under the gas-jet, and his fine patriarchal length of bearded mask taking picturesque lights and shadows, and put out his hand to him.

"Lindau! Isn't this Mr. Lindau?"

The old man lifted himself slowly to his feet with mechanical politeness, and cautiously took March's hand. "Yes, my name is Lindau," he said, slowly, while he scanned March's face. Then he broke into a long cry. "Ah-h-h-h-h, my dear poy! my gong friendt! my-my--Idt is Passil Marge, not zo? Ah, ha, ha, ha! How gladt I am to zee you! Why, I am gladt! And you rememberdt me? You remember Schiller, and Goethe, and Uhland? And Indianapolis? You still lif in Indianapolis? It sheers my hardt to zee you. But you are lidtle oldt, too? Tventy-five years makes a difference. Ah, I am gladt! Dell me, idt is Passil Marge, not zo?"

He looked anxiously into March's face, with a gentle smile of mixed hope and doubt, and March said: "As sure as it's Berthold Lindau, and I guess it's you. And you remember the old times? You were as much of a boy as I was, Lindau. Are you living in New York? Do you recollect how you tried to teach me to fence? I don't know how to this day, Lindau. How good you were, and how patient! Do you remember how we used to sit up in the little parlor back of your printing-office, and read Die Rauber and Die Theilung der Erde and Die Glocke? And Mrs. Lindau? Is she with--"

"Deadt--deadt long ago. Right after I got home from the war--tventy years ago. But tell me, you are married? Children? Yes! Goodt! And how oldt are you now?"

"It makes me seventeen to see you, Lindau, but I've got a son nearly as old."

"Ah, ha, ha! Goodt! And where do you lif?"

"Well, I'm just coming to live in New York," March said, looking over at Fulkerson, who had been watching his interview with the perfunctory smile of sympathy that people put on at the meeting of old friends. "I want to introduce you to my friend Mr. Fulkerson. He and I are going into a literary enterprise here."

"Ah! zo?" said the old man, with polite interest. He took Fulkerson's proffered hand, and they all stood talking a few moments together.

Then Fulkerson said, with another look at his watch, "Well, March, we're keeping Mr. Lindau from his dinner."

"Dinner!" cried the old man. "Idt's better than breadt and meadt to see Mr. Marge!"

"I must be going, anyway," said March. "But I must see you again soon, Lindau. Where do you live? I want a long talk."

"And I. You will find me here at dinner-time." said the old man. "It is the best place"; and March fancied him reluctant to give another address.

To cover his consciousness he answered, gayly: "Then, it's 'auf wiedersehen' with us. Well!"


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