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The Stoker

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Rating: PG-13

When the sixteen-year-old Karl Rossmann, who had been sent to America by his poor parents because a maid had seduced him and had a child of his, drove into the port of New York in the slow ship, he saw her long ago Statue of the goddess of freedom like in a suddenly stronger sunlight. Her arm with the sword loomed up like it had recently, and the open air waved around her figure.

"So high!" He said to himself and, as he didn’t even think of leaving, was gradually pushed to the railing by the ever-increasing crowd of porters that passed him.

A young man, with whom he had briefly become acquainted during the journey, said as he passed: "Yes, don't you feel like getting out yet?" and because he was a strong boy, his trunk on his armpit. But when he looked over his acquaintance, who was already waving his stick a little with the others, he was dismayed to see that he had forgotten his own umbrella down in the ship. He quickly asked the acquaintance, who did not seem very happy, to be kind enough to wait a moment by his suitcase, while still surveying the situation,to find his way back and hurried off. Downstairs, to his regret, he found a corridor that would have shortened his way very much, blocked for the first time, which was probably connected with the disembarkation of all passengers, and he had to make his way through a myriad of small rooms, over short stairs that followed each other again and again Constantly turning corridors, searching through an empty room with an abandoned desk, until he was actually completely lost, since he had only walked this route once or twice and always in larger company. In his perplexity and since he did not meet anyone and only kept hearing the scratching of the thousand human feet above him and from a distance, like a breath, noticed the last work of the machines that had already been set, he caught,

"It's open," someone called from inside, and Karl opened the door with an honest sigh of relief. "Why are you banging on the door so crazy?" Asked a huge man as soon as he looked at Karl. Through some skylight hatch a dull light, long worn out upstairs in the ship, fell into the pitiful cabin, in which a bed, a cupboard, an armchair and the man stood next to each other, as if stored. "I'm lost," said Karl, "I didn't really notice it during the voyage, but it's a terribly large ship." "Yes, you're right," said the man with some prideand never stopped fiddling with the lock on a small suitcase, which he kept closing with both hands to hear the latch snap. "But come on in!" Said the man, "you won't be standing outside!" "Am I not bothering you?" Asked Karl. "Oh, how are you going to bother you!" "Are you a German?" Karl tried to reassure himself, since he had heard a great deal about the dangers which Irishmen in particular threaten newcomers to America. "Am I, am I," said the man. Karl still hesitated. Suddenly the man grabbed the door handle and pushed Karl in with the door, which he quickly closed. "I hate it when you look in from the corridor," said the man who was working on his suitcase again, "everyone walks by and looks in, the tenth should endure that! "But the corridor is quite empty," said Karl, who was uncomfortably squeezed against the bedpost. "Yes, now," said the man. "It's about now," thought Karl, "it's hard to talk to the man." "Lie down on the bed, you'll have more space," said the man. Karl crawled in as best he could and laughed out loud at the first unsuccessful attempt to swing himself over. But no sooner was he in bed than he cried: "God's sake, I forgot my suitcase completely!" "Where is it?" What's his name? ”And he pulled out of a secret pocket his mother gave him "It's hard to talk to the man." "Lie on the bed, you have more space," said the man. Karl crawled in as best he could and laughed out loud at the first unsuccessful attempt to swing himself over. But no sooner was he in bed than he cried: "God's sake, I forgot my suitcase completely!" "Where is it?" What's his name? ”And he pulled out of a secret pocket his mother gave him "It's hard to talk to the man." "Lie on the bed, you have more space," said the man. Karl crawled in as best he could and laughed out loud at the first unsuccessful attempt to swing himself over. But no sooner was he in bed than he cried: "God's sake, I forgot my suitcase completely!" "Where is it?" What's his name? ”And he pulled out of a secret pocket his mother gave himhad laid the trip in the lining of the skirt, a business card. "Butterbaum, Franz Butterbaum." "Do you really need the suitcase?" "Of course." "Then why did you give it to a stranger?" but don't lug the suitcase with you. Then I got lost too. "" You are alone? Unaccompanied? "" Yes, alone. "" Perhaps I should stick to this man, "thought Karl," where can I find a better friend? "" And now you've lost your suitcase too. I'm not talking about the umbrella. ”And the man sat down on the armchair, as if Karl's cause had now attracted some interest in him. "But I don't think the suitcase is lost yet." "Said the man, scratching his dark, short, thick hair vigorously," on the ship, customs change with the port places. In Hamburg your butter tree might have guarded the suitcase, there is most likely no trace of either of them here. "" But I have to look up there, "said Karl, and looked around to see how he could get out. "You just stay here," said the man, and with one hand against his chest, almost rough, pushed him back into bed. "Why?" Asked Karl angrily. “Because it makes no sense,” said the man, “I'll go in a little while, then we'll go together. Either the suitcase is stolen, then there is no help, or the person Most likely there is no longer any trace of either of them. ”“ But I'll have to look up there, ”said Karl, looking around to see how he could get out. "You just stay here," said the man, and with one hand against his chest, almost rough, pushed him back into bed. "Why?" Asked Karl angrily. “Because it makes no sense,” said the man, “I'll go in a little while, then we'll go together. Either the suitcase is stolen, then there is no help, or the person Most likely there is no longer any trace of either of them. ”“ But I'll have to look up there, ”said Karl, looking around to see how he could get out. "You just stay here," said the man, and with one hand against his chest, almost rough, pushed him back into bed. "Why?" Asked Karl angrily. “Because it makes no sense,” said the man, “I'll go in a little while, then we'll go together. Either the suitcase is stolen, then there is no help, or the person "Said the man," I'll go in a little while, then we'll go together. Either the suitcase is stolen, then there is no help, or the person "Said the man," I'll go in a little while, then we'll go together. Either the suitcase is stolen, then there is no help, or the personStill guarding him, then he's a fool and should keep watching, or he's just an honest person and has left the trunk, then we'll find it all the better until the ship is completely empty. Also your umbrella. "" Do you know your way around the ship? "Asked Karl suspiciously, and it seemed to him that the otherwise convincing thought that his things would best be found on the empty ship had a hidden catch. "I'm a ship heater," said the man. "You're a ship heater!" Shouted Karl happily, as if that exceeded all expectations, and, propped up his elbow, looked at the man closer. "There was a hatch in front of the room where I slept with the Slovaks, through which one could see into the engine room." "Yes, I worked there," said the stoker. "I've always been so interested in technology," said Karl, who stayed in a certain line of thought, "and I would certainly have become an engineer later if I hadn't had to go to America." "Why did you have to go?" Said Karl, throwing the whole story away with his hand. As he did so, he smiled at the stoker, as if he were begging his indulgence for what had not been admitted. "There must have been a reason," said the stoker, and it was difficult to tell whether he was trying to demand or fend off the story of this reason. "Now I could become a stoker too," said Karl, "my parents don't care what I become." if I hadn't had to go to America. ”“ Why did you have to go? ”“ Oh what! ”said Karl, tossing the whole story away with his hand. As he did so, he smiled at the stoker, as if he were begging his indulgence for what had not been admitted. "There must have been a reason," said the stoker, and it was difficult to tell whether he was trying to demand or fend off the story of this reason. "Now I could become a stoker too," said Karl, "my parents don't care what I become." if I hadn't had to go to America. ”“ Why did you have to go? ”“ Oh what! ”said Karl, tossing the whole story away with his hand. As he did so, he smiled at the stoker, as if he were begging his indulgence for what had not been admitted. "There must have been a reason," said the stoker, and it was difficult to tell whether he was trying to demand or fend off the story of this reason. "Now I could become a stoker too," said Karl, "my parents don't care what I become." "Said the stoker, and it was difficult to tell whether he was trying to demand or fend off the story of this reason. "Now I could become a stoker too," said Karl, "my parents don't care what I become." "Said the stoker, and it was difficult to tell whether he was trying to demand or fend off the story of this reason. "Now I could become a stoker too," said Karl, "my parents don't care what I become."Free, "said the stoker, and with full awareness of this put his hands in his trouser pockets and threw his legs, which were in wrinkled, leather-like, iron-gray trousers, down on the bed in order to straighten them. Karl had to move closer to the wall. "You're leaving the ship?" "Yes, we're marching off today." Don't you like it? "" Yes, that's the circumstances, it doesn't always decide whether you like it or not. Besides, you're right, I don't like it either. You're probably not seriously thinking about becoming a stoker, but that's where it is easiest to become. So I strongly advise against it. If you wanted to study in Europe, why don't you want to study here? The American universities are incomparably better than the European ones. ”“ It is possible, ”said Karl, »But I have almost no money to study. I've read of someone who worked in a shop by day and studied at night until they became a doctor and I think mayor, but that takes a lot of perseverance, doesn't it? I'm afraid I miss it. Besides, I wasn't a particularly good student, leaving school really wasn't difficult for me. And the schools here are maybe even stricter. I hardly speak English at all. Anyway, I think we're so taken up with strangers here. "" Have you found out about that too? Well then it's good. Then you are my husband. You see, we're on a German ship, it belongs to the Hamburg-America Line, why who worked in a shop by day and studied at night until he became a doctor and I think mayor, but that takes a lot of perseverance, doesn't it? I'm afraid I miss it. Besides, I wasn't a particularly good student, leaving school really wasn't difficult for me. And the schools here are maybe even stricter. I hardly speak English at all. Anyway, I think we're so taken up with strangers here. "" Have you found out about that too? Well then it's good. Then you are my husband. You see, we're on a German ship, it belongs to the Hamburg-America Line, why who worked in a shop by day and studied at night until he became a doctor and I think mayor, but that takes a lot of perseverance, doesn't it? I'm afraid I miss it. Besides, I wasn't a particularly good student, leaving school really wasn't difficult for me. And the schools here are maybe even stricter. I hardly speak English at all. Anyway, I think we're so taken up with strangers here. "" Have you found out about that too? Well then it's good. Then you are my husband. You see, we're on a German ship, it belongs to the Hamburg-America Line, why saying goodbye to school really wasn't difficult for me. And the schools here are maybe even stricter. I hardly speak English at all. Anyway, I think we're so taken up with strangers here. "" Have you found out about that too? Well then it's good. Then you are my husband. You see, we're on a German ship, it belongs to the Hamburg-America Line, why saying goodbye to school really wasn't difficult for me. And the schools here are maybe even stricter. I hardly speak English at all. Anyway, I think we're so taken up with strangers here. "" Have you found out about that too? Well then it's good. Then you are my husband. You see, we're on a German ship, it belongs to the Hamburg-America Line, whyaren't we all Germans here? Why is the chief machinist a Romanian? His name is Schubal. You can't believe it. And this rag hound robs us Germans on a German ship. Don't you believe "- he ran out of breath, he flicked his hand -" that I complain in order to complain. I know that you have no influence and that you are a poor fellow yourself. But it's too bad! 'And he hit the table several times with his fist and never looked at her while he hit. “I've served on so many ships” - and he said twenty names in a row as if it were a word, Karl got very confused - “and I distinguished myself, received praise, was a worker to the taste of my captains, even up I was the same commercial sailor for a few years "- he rose, as if that were the high point of his life - "and here on this box, where everything is arranged according to the string, where no joke is required, here I'm no good, here I'm always in the way of Schubal, I'm a slacker, and deserve to be thrown out to become and get my reward by grace. Do you understand? Not me. ”“ You mustn't put up with that, ”said Karl excitedly. He had almost lost the feeling that he was on the unsteady bottom of a ship, on the coast of an unknown part of the world, so at home he felt here on the stoker's bed. 'Have you already been to the captain's? Have you already sought your rights from him? "" Oh, go away, you'd better go away. I want her here I am always in the way of the Schubal, I am a lazy man, deserve to be thrown out and get my reward out of grace. Do you understand? Not me. ”“ You mustn't put up with that, ”said Karl excitedly. He had almost lost the feeling that he was on the unsteady bottom of a ship, on the coast of an unknown part of the world, so at home he felt here on the stoker's bed. 'Have you already been to the captain's? Have you already sought your rights from him? "" Oh, go away, you'd better go away. I want her here I am always in the way of the Schubal, I am a lazy man, deserve to be thrown out and get my reward out of grace. Do you understand? Not me. ”“ You mustn't put up with that, ”said Karl excitedly. He had almost lost the feeling that he was on the unsteady bottom of a ship, on the coast of an unknown part of the world, so at home he felt here on the stoker's bed. 'Have you already been to the captain's? Have you already sought your rights from him? "" Oh, go away, you'd better go away. I want her was on the coast of an unknown part of the world, so at home he felt here on the stoker's bed. 'Have you already been to the captain's? Have you already sought your rights from him? "" Oh, go away, you'd better go away. I want her was on the coast of an unknown part of the world, so at home he felt here on the stoker's bed. 'Have you already been to the captain's? Have you already sought your rights from him? "" Oh, go away, you'd better go away. I want hernot have here. They don't listen to what I say and they give me advice. How am I supposed to go to the captain's! ”And tiredly the stoker sat down again and put his face in both hands.

"I can't give him better advice," said Karl to himself. And he actually thought that he should have gotten his suitcase instead of giving advice here that was only thought to be stupid. When his father had given him the suitcase forever, he jokingly asked: "How long will you have it?" And now this expensive suitcase was perhaps seriously lost. The only consolation was that the father could hardly find out about his current situation, even if he were to investigate. The shipping company could only just say that he had come with them as far as New York. But Karl was sorry that he had hardly used the things in the suitcase, although he would have had to change his shirt a long time ago, for example. So he had saved in the wrong place; now, where at the beginning of his career he needed to appear in clean clothes, he would have to appear in a dirty shirt. Otherwise the loss of the suitcase would not have been so bad, because the suit he was wearing was even better than the one in the suitcase, which was actually just an emergency suit that his mother had to mend just before he left. Now he also remembered that there was still a piece of Veronese salami in the suitcase, which his mother had packed for him as an extra, but of which he was only the oneThe smallest part had been able to be eaten, since he had been completely without appetite during the voyage and the soup that was distributed on the tween deck had sufficed him in abundance. But now he would have liked to have the sausage by hand to worship the stoker. Because people like that are easily won over if you give them a little something, Karl knew that from his father, who by distributing cigars won over all the lower-level employees with whom he had business dealings. Now Karl only had his money in the way of gifts, and for the time being he didn't want to touch that, if he should have lost his suitcase. His thoughts returned to the suitcase, and now he really couldn't see why he had guarded the suitcase so carefully during the journey, that the watch had almost cost him his sleep if he had now had that same suitcase taken away so easily. He remembered the five nights during which he had constantly suspected a little Slovak, who was lying two beds to his left, that he was targeting his trunk. This Slovak had only waited for Karl, stricken with weakness, to nod off for a moment so that he could pull the suitcase with a long pole, with which he always played or practiced during the day, over to him. During the day this Slovak looked innocent enough, but scarcely had night come when he rose from his bed from time to time and looked during which he had constantly suspected a little Slovak, who was lying two beds to his left, that he was targeting his trunk. This Slovak had only waited for Karl, stricken with weakness, to nod off for a moment so that he could pull the suitcase with a long pole, with which he always played or practiced during the day, over to him. During the day this Slovak looked innocent enough, but scarcely had night come when he rose from his bed from time to time and looked during which he had constantly suspected a little Slovak, who was lying two beds to his left, that he was targeting his trunk. This Slovak had only waited for Karl, stricken with weakness, to nod off for a moment so that he could pull the suitcase with a long pole, with which he always played or practiced during the day, over to him. During the day this Slovak looked innocent enough, but scarcely had night come when he rose from his bed from time to time and looked so that he could pull the suitcase over to him with a long pole that he used to play or practice with throughout the day. During the day this Slovak looked innocent enough, but scarcely had night come when he rose from his bed from time to time and looked so that he could pull the suitcase over to him with a long pole that he used to play or practice with throughout the day. During the day this Slovak looked innocent enough, but scarcely had night come when he rose from his bed from time to time and lookedsadly over to Karl's suitcase. Karl could see this very clearly, because every now and then someone had lit a little light with the emigrant's unrest, although this was forbidden according to the ship's regulations, and tried to decipher incomprehensible brochures from the emigration agencies. If such a light was nearby, Karl could dusk a little, but if it was in the distance or was dark, then he had to keep his eyes open. That exertion had exhausted him, and now it might have been entirely in vain. This butter tree, if it should ever meet him somewhere!

At that moment, outside in the far distance, into the previous perfect calm, small, short knocks sounded, as if from children's feet, they came closer with an amplified sound and now it was a quiet march of men. Obviously, as was natural in the narrow corridor, they walked in a row; one could hear the clang of weapons. Karl, who had already been on the verge of stretching out in bed to a sleep freed from all worries about suitcases and Slovaks, startled and nudged the stoker in order to finally draw his attention, because the point of the train seemed to straighten the door to have achieved. “That's the ship's band,” said the stoker, “they played upstairs and are now going to wrap up. Now everything is ready and we can go. Come on! ”He took Karl by the hand,Bed, stuffed it into his breast pocket, grabbed his suitcase and hurriedly left the cabin with Karl.

“Now I'll go to the office and give the gentlemen my opinion. There is no longer any passenger there, you don’t have to be considerate ”. The stoker repeated this in various ways and, while walking, wanted to kick a rat crossing the path by pushing his foot sideways, but just pushed it faster into the hole it had reached in time. He was generally slow in his movements, because even if his legs were long, they were too heavy.

They came through a section of the kitchen where some girls in dirty aprons - they deliberately doused them - were cleaning dishes in large vats. The stoker called a certain line to him, put his arm around her waist and led her a bit, who was always pressing coquettishly against his arm. "There is now a payment, do you want to come with me?" He asked. "Why should I bother, bring me the money," she replied, slipped under his arm and ran away. "Where did you pick up the handsome boy?" She cried, but didn't want an answer. You could hear the laughter of all the girls who had interrupted their work.

But they went on and came to a door that had a small gable at the top, which was supported by small, gilded caryatids. That looked pretty wasteful for a ship's facility. Karl wasAs he noticed, he had never come to this area, which had probably been reserved for first and second class passengers during the voyage, while the separating doors had now been dug out before the big cleaning of the ship. They had actually met some men with brooms on their shoulders and greeting the stoker. Karl was amazed at the large operation, although he had learned little about it on his tween deck. Wires of electrical cables ran along the corridors and a small bell could be heard all the time.

The stoker knocked respectfully on the door and when someone called "in" asked Karl to enter with a wave of his hand, without fear. He went in too, but stopped at the door. In front of the three windows of the room he saw the waves of the sea and looking at their cheerful movement his heart beat as if he had not seen the sea continuously for five long days. Large ships crossed each other's paths and only gave in to the impact of the waves as much as their weight allowed. When you narrowed your eyes, these ships seemed to sway from the weight. On their masts they carried narrow, but long flags, which were tightened by the journey, but still jiggled to and fro. Gun salutes rang out probably from warships,smooth yet not level ride. The little shuttles and boats could only be seen in the distance, at least from the door, as they poured into the openings between the large ships in large numbers. But behind all this stood New York and looked at Karl with the hundred thousand windows of his skyscraper. Yes, in this room you knew where you were.

At a round table sat three gentlemen, one a ship officer in blue ship uniform, the other two, officials of the port authority, in black American uniforms. Piled up on the table were various documents, which the officer first scanned with pen in hand and then handed them to the other two, who were now reading, now excerpting, now putting in their briefcases, if not one of them. who made a little noise with his teeth almost continuously, dictating something to his colleague in a protocol.

At a desk by the window, with his back to the door, sat a smaller man who was handling large volumes that were lined up on a strong bookshelf at head height in front of him. Next to him was an open, at least at first glance empty cash register.

The second window was empty and gave the best view. In the vicinity of the third, however, two gentlemen were standing in a low voice. One of them was leaning next to the window, also wearing the ship's uniform and playing with the handle of the sword. The one he talked towas turned towards the window and here and there, with a movement, revealed part of the row of orders on the other's chest. He was in civilian clothes and had a thin bamboo stick, which, because he had both hands on his hips, stood out like a sword.

Karl didn't have much time to look at everything, because soon a servant came up to her and asked the stoker with a look as if he didn't belong here, what he wanted. The stoker answered as quietly as he was asked that he wanted to talk to the chief cashier. For his part, the servant refused this request with a wave of his hand, but nevertheless walked on tiptoe, avoiding the round table in a wide arc, to the gentleman with the folios. This gentleman - you could see it clearly - froze under the words of the servant, but at last turned to the man who wished to speak to him, and then waved at the stoker and, for the sake of security, at the servant, strictly defensively . The servant then returned to the stoker and said in a tone as if he were confiding something to him: "Get out of the room immediately!

After this answer the stoker looked down at Karl as if he were his heart, to which he silently lamented his misery. Without further reflection, Karl broke loose, ran across the room, even brushing lightly against the officer's armchair, the servant ran bent over with arms ready to hold, as if he were chasing a vermin, but Karl was the first at the waiter's tablekassiers, where he held on in case the servant tried to pull him away.

Of course, the whole room immediately came to life. The ship's officer at the table had jumped up, the gentlemen from the port authorities watched calmly but attentively, the two gentlemen at the window had stepped side by side, the servant, who believed that he was no longer at his place where the gentlemen were already interested , resigned. The stoker at the door waited tense for the moment until his help was needed. The chief cashier finally made a great turn to the right in his armchair.

Karl dug his passport out of his secret pocket, which he had no hesitation in showing the eyes of these people, and instead of further introducing it, he laid it open on the table. The chief cashier seemed to consider this passport to be irrelevant, for he snapped it aside with two fingers, whereupon Karl put the passport back in his pocket, as if this formality had been dealt with to the satisfaction.

"I take the liberty of saying," he then began, "that in my opinion Herr Heizer has been wronged. It is a certain Schubal who is sitting on him. He himself has served to complete satisfaction on many ships, which he can name all of you, is hardworking, means well with his work, and it is really hard to see why he is on this ship when the service is not so is excessively heavy, as for example on commercial yachts, should correspond poorly.It can therefore only be slander that prevents him from advancing and deprives him of the recognition that he would otherwise certainly not be lacking. I have only said general information about this matter; he will bring his particular complaints to you himself. "With this speech, Karl had addressed all of the gentlemen, because in fact everyone was listening and it seemed much more likely that there would be a righteous man among everyone found that this righteous man should be the chief cashier. Out of shrewdness, Karl had also kept quiet about the fact that he had only known the stoker for such a short time. Besides, he would have spoken much better if he had not been confused by the red face of the gentleman with the bamboo stick, which he saw for the first time from his current position.

"Everything is correct word for word," said the stoker, before anyone asked him, yes, before anyone had even looked at him. This hastiness on the part of the stoker would have been a big mistake if the gentleman with the medals, who, as Karl now lit up, at least the captain, had obviously already agreed to listen to the stoker. He put out his hand and called to the stoker: "Come here!" In a voice that was firm, to hit it with a hammer. Now everything depended on the stoker's conduct, for as far as the fairness of his cause was concerned, Karl had no doubt.

Fortunately, on this occasion it turned out that the stoker had already traveled a lot in the world. With the first handle, he took a bundle of papers and a notebook out of his suitcase in exemplary calmness, went with them to the captain as if that understood itself, completely neglecting the chief cashier, and spread his evidence on the windowsill. The chief cashier had no choice but to struggle himself. “The man is a well-known troublemaker,” he said in explanation, “he's more in the cash register than in the engine room. He drove Schubal, this calm person, to despair. Listen to me! "He turned to the stoker," you are really driving your intrusiveness too far. How often have you been thrown out of the disbursement rooms as you deserve with your completely, completely and without exception unjustified claims! How many times have you come to the main cash desk from there! How often have you been told in good terms that Schubal is your immediate superior, with whom only you have to come to terms as his subordinate! And now you come here, when the captain is there, don't be ashamed of even bothering him, but don't even show yourself, as a trained section leader of your absurd accusations, to bring this little one with you, whom I see for the first time on the ship! «

Karl held back by force from leaping forward. But the captain was already there and said: “Let's hear the man. Over time, Schubal becomes much too independent for me anyway, but with which I dosaid nothing in your favor. 'The latter was meant for the stoker; it was only natural that he should not be able to stand up for him immediately, but everything seemed to be on the right track. The stoker began his explanations and overcame himself right at the beginning by titling the Schubal with "Herr". How happy Karl was at the abandoned desk of the chief cashier, where he kept pushing a letter wagon down for sheer pleasure. - Mr. Schubal is unjust! Mr. Schubal prefers foreigners! Herr Schubal expelled the stoker from the engine room and had him clean the toilets, which was certainly not the stoker's business! - At one point even the proficiency of Mr. Schubal was questioned, which should be more apparent than real. At this point Karl stared at the captain with all his might, as if he were his colleague, just so that he wouldn't let himself be influenced to the detriment of the stoker's somewhat clumsy language. At least one learned nothing of the truth from the many speeches, and even if the captain was still looking ahead, determined in his eyes to listen to the stoker to the end this time, the other gentlemen grew impatient and the stoker's voice soon reigned no longer unrestricted in the space, which some people feared. The first man in civilian clothes put his bamboo stick into action and knocked, if only softly, on the parquet. The other gentlemen looked here and there, of course, the gentlemen from the port authorities, who were evidently urgent, took hold At least one learned nothing of the truth from the many speeches, and even if the captain was still looking ahead, determined in his eyes to listen to the stoker to the end this time, the other gentlemen grew impatient and the stoker's voice soon reigned no longer unrestricted in the space, which some people feared. The first man in civilian clothes put his bamboo stick into action and knocked, if only softly, on the parquet. The other gentlemen looked here and there, of course, the gentlemen from the port authorities, who were evidently urgent, took hold At least one learned nothing of the truth from the many speeches, and even if the captain was still looking ahead, determined in his eyes to listen to the stoker to the end this time, the other gentlemen grew impatient and the stoker's voice soon reigned no longer unrestricted in the space, which some people feared. The first man in civilian clothes put his bamboo stick into action and knocked, if only softly, on the parquet. The other gentlemen looked here and there, of course, the gentlemen from the port authorities, who were evidently urgent, took hold and the stoker's voice soon no longer reigned unreservedly in the room, which led to much fear. The first man in civilian clothes put his bamboo stick into action and knocked, if only softly, on the parquet. The other gentlemen looked here and there, of course, the gentlemen from the port authorities, who were evidently urgent, took hold and the stoker's voice soon no longer reigned unreservedly in the room, which led to much fear. The first man in civilian clothes put his bamboo stick into action and knocked, if only softly, on the parquet. The other gentlemen looked here and there, of course, the gentlemen from the port authorities, who were evidently urgent, took holdwent back to the files and began to look through them, albeit a little absentmindedly, the ship's officer moved closer to his table again, and the chief cashier, who thought he had won the game, sighed deeply in irony. Only the servant seemed to be preserved from the general diversion, who sympathized with some of the sufferings of the poor man placed under the greats and nodded gravely to Karl, as if he wanted to explain something.

Meanwhile the harbor life went on outside the windows; a flat barge with a mountain of barrels, which had to be wonderfully stowed away so that they would not roll, passed by and made the room almost dark; small motorboats, which Karl could have looked at closely now, if he had had time, rushed along dead straight after the twitching of the hands of a man standing upright at the wheel; peculiar floating bodies dived here and there independently out of the restless water, were immediately flooded again and sank before the astonished gaze; Boats of the ocean liner were being rowed forward by hard-working sailors and were full of passengers who, as they had been forced into it, sat quietly and expectantly, even if some could not fail to do so. to turn heads according to the changing scenery. A movement without end, a restlessness, transferred from the restless element to the helpless people and their works!

But everything urged haste, clarity, too muchmore accurate representation, but what did the stoker do! He was talking himself in sweat, however, he could no longer hold the papers on the window with his trembling hands, complaints about Schubal streamed to him from all directions, each of which in his opinion would have been enough to completely bury this Schubal, but what he could show the captain was just a sad muddle of everything. The gentleman with the bamboo stick had long been whistling weakly up to the ceiling, the gentlemen from the port authorities were already holding the officer at their table and making no expression to ever let go of him again, the chief cashier was visibly only held back by the calm of the captain before the journey,

Karl could no longer remain inactive. So he walked slowly towards the group and just as he walked he thought all the more quickly how he could tackle the matter as skilfully as possible. It was really high time, just a little more, and they could both be thrown out of the office pretty well. The captain might be a good man and, moreover, right now, it seemed to Karl, he had some special reason to show himself to be a just superior, but after all he was not an instrument that could be played to the ground - and just like that the stoker treated him, albeit from within his boundless indignation.

So Karl said to the stoker: “You have to make it easier tell, more clearly, the captain cannot appreciate the way you tell him. Does he know all the machinists and errand boys by name or even by their baptismal name, that if you just pronounce such a name, he can immediately know who it is? Put your complaints in order, say the most important ones first and then the others in descending order, maybe then it will no longer be necessary to even mention most of them. You always made it so clear to me! ”If you can steal suitcases in America, you can lie here and there, he thought as an excuse.

But if only it had helped! Wasn't it already too late? The stoker interrupted himself immediately when he heard the familiar voice, but with his eyes, which were completely covered by tears of the offended man's honor, the terrible memories, the extreme present need, he could no longer even recognize Karl very well. How could he now - Karl saw this in silence in front of the now silent man - how could he suddenly change his way of speaking when it seemed to him that he had already said everything that had to be said without the slightest recognition and as if, on the other hand, he hadn't said anything and yet couldn't expect the gentlemen to listen to everything. And at such a point in time, Karl, his only follower, comes along, wants to give him good lessons,

“If I had come earlier instead of out of the window Karl said to himself, bowing his face in front of the stoker and clapping his hands to the seams of his trousers, as a token of the end of all hope.

But the stoker misunderstood that, probably smelled some secret reproaches against himself in Karl, and with the good intention of dissuading him, he now began to argue with Karl to top off his deeds. Now, when the gentlemen at the round table had long been outraged by the useless noise that disrupted their important work, when the chief cashier gradually found the captain's patience incomprehensible and tended to break out immediately, when the servant, completely back in the sphere of his masters , measured the stoker with a wild look, and where at last the gentleman with the bamboo stick, to which even the captain looked amicably every now and then, already completely numb to the stoker, even disgusted by him, pulled out a little notebook and, evidently with quite a few others Busy affairs,

"I know, I know," said Karl, who had trouble fending off the torrent of the stoker that was now turning against him, but despite the fact that he still had a friend's smile for him across all the quarrel, "you are right, right, I have." Never doubted it. ”He would have liked to hold his spinning hands for fear of blows, but he would have preferred to push him into a corner to whisper a few calming words to him that no one else should have heard. But the stoker was mad.Karl was already beginning to draw a kind of consolation from the thought that in an emergency the stoker could use the strength of his desperation to defeat all seven men present. However, as a glance there showed, there was an attachment on the desk with far too many electric wires and a hand, simply pressed down on it, could make the whole ship, with all its corridors filled with hostile people, rebellious.

Then the so uninterested gentleman came up to Karl with the bamboo stick and asked, not overly loud, but clearly above all the stoker's shouting: "What's your name?" waited, there was a knock. The servant looked over at the captain, who nodded. So the servant went to the door and opened it. Outside, in an old imperial coat, stood a man of medium proportions, whose appearance was not really suitable for working on the machines, and yet he was - Schubal. If Karl hadn't recognized it in everyone's eyes, which expressed a certain satisfaction from which not even the captain was free, he should have seen it, to his horror, in the stoker, who clenched his fists on his taut arms as if the clenching was there the most important thing about him, to whom he is ready to sacrifice everything that he has in life. All his strength was there now, including the one that kept him going.

And so there was the enemy, free and fresh in the festivalsuit, an account book under his arm, probably the stoker's payrolls and work cards, and looked one after the other with the unabashed admission that he wanted to ascertain the mood of each individual above all else. The seven were all his friends by now, because even if the captain had previously had certain objections to him, or perhaps even just pretended, after the suffering the stoker had done him, he probably didn't seem to complain in the slightest about Schubal. You couldn't be tough enough against a man like the stoker, and if Schubal was to be blamed for something, it was the fact that in the course of time he hadn't been able to break the stoker's stubbornness to the point where he was today dared to appear before the captain.

Now one could perhaps still assume that the juxtaposition of the stoker and Schubal would not fail to have the effect it deserved in front of a higher forum, even in front of the people, because if Schubal was also able to pretend, he didn’t have to be able to endure it to the end . A brief flash of his wickedness should be enough to make them visible to the gentlemen, Karl wanted to see to that. He was already familiar with the sagacity, weaknesses, and moods of the individual gentlemen, and from this point of view the time spent here so far was not lost. If only the stoker had been better in the place, but it seemed fullconstantly incapacitated. If the Schubal had been held out to him, he could have knocked open the hated skull with his fists. But he was hardly able to walk the few steps towards him. Why, then, had Karl not foreseen what was so easy to foresee, that Schubal would finally have to come, if not on his own initiative, so called by the captain. Why hadn't he discussed an exact war plan with the stoker on the way here instead of, as they had in reality, just stepped hopelessly unprepared into where a door was? Could the stoker still talk at all, say yes and no, as would be necessary during the cross-examination, which, however, was only about to take place in the best case? He stood with his legs apart, his knees bent a little

Karl, however, felt so strong and sensible that he might never have been at home. If only his parents could see him advocating the good in a foreign country, in front of respected personalities, and even if he had not yet brought it to victory, he was completely ready for the final conquest! Would you change your mind about him? Sit him down between you and praise it? To look him once, once into the eyes so devoted to them? Unsure questions and the most inopportune moment to ask them!

“I'm coming because I think the stoker is accusing me of some dishonesty. A girl in the kitchen told me she saw him on the way here. Captain and all of you gentlemen, I am ready to refute any accusation on the basis of my writings, if necessary with the testimony of impartial and uninfluenced witnesses standing in front of the door. "That was how Schubal spoke. It was certainly a man's clear speech and after the change in the audience's expressions one could have believed that it was the first time in a long time that they were hearing human sounds again. They did not, of course, notice that even this beautiful speech had holes in it. Why was the first factual word that occurred to him "dishonesty"? Perhaps should have started the accusation here instead of his national biases? A girl from the kitchen had seen the stoker on the way to the office and Schubal had got it right away? Wasn't it guilt that sharpened his mind? And had he brought witnesses with him and also called them impartial and uninfluenced? Trickery, nothing but trickery! And the gentlemen tolerated this and still recognized it as correct behavior? Why had he undoubtedly allowed a great deal of time to elapse between the kitchen maid's report and his arrival here, but for no other purpose than to tire the gentlemen so much that they gradually lost their clear judgment, which Schubal in particular did that sharpened his mind? And had he brought witnesses with him and also called them impartial and uninfluenced? Trickery, nothing but trickery! And the gentlemen tolerated this and still recognized it as correct behavior? Why had he undoubtedly allowed a great deal of time to elapse between the kitchen maid's report and his arrival here, but for no other purpose than to tire the gentlemen so much that they gradually lost their clear judgment, which Schubal in particular did that sharpened his mind? And had he brought witnesses with him and also called them impartial and uninfluenced? Trickery, nothing but trickery! And the gentlemen tolerated this and still recognized it as correct behavior? Why had he undoubtedly allowed a great deal of time to elapse between the kitchen maid's report and his arrival here, but for no other purpose than to tire the gentlemen so much that they gradually lost their clear judgment, which Schubal in particular did And the gentlemen tolerated this and still recognized it as correct behavior? Why had he undoubtedly allowed a great deal of time to elapse between the kitchen maid's report and his arrival here, but for no other purpose than to tire the gentlemen so much that they gradually lost their clear judgment, which Schubal in particular did And the gentlemen tolerated this and still recognized it as correct behavior? Why had he undoubtedly allowed a great deal of time to elapse between the kitchen maid's report and his arrival here, but for no other purpose than to tire the gentlemen so much that they gradually lost their clear judgment, which Schubal in particular didhad to fear? Hadn't he, who must have been standing behind the door for a long time, knocked at the moment when, as a result of the irrelevant question from that gentleman, he was allowed to hope that the stoker was finished?

Everything was clear and was actually presented that way by Schubal against his will, but the gentlemen had to be shown differently, more tangibly. They needed to be shaken up. Well, Karl, quick, at least make use of the time before the witnesses appear and flood everything!

But the captain just waved to Schubal, who thereupon immediately - because his affair seemed to have been postponed for a while - stepped aside and began a quiet conversation with the servant, who had immediately joined him, during which there were glances at the Heizer and Karl as well as the most confident hand movements were not lacking. Schubal seemed to be practicing his next big speech.

"Didn't you want to ask the young people something, Herr Jakob?" Said the captain in general silence to the gentleman with the bamboo stick.

"Indeed," said the latter, thanking him with a slight inclination for the attention. And then asked Karl again: "What's your name anyway?"

Karl, who believed that it was in the best interest of the matter if this incident of the obstinate questioner was settled soon, replied briefly, without, as was his custom, presenting himself by showing the passport which he should first have looked for: " Karl Rossmann «.

"But," said the man whom Jakob had spoken to, and at first stepped back with a smile, almost in disbelief. The captain, the chief cashier, the ship's officer, and even the servant clearly showed excessive astonishment at Karl's name. Only the gentlemen from the port authorities and Schubal were indifferent.

"But," repeated Herr Jakob and stepped up to Karl with somewhat stiff steps, "then I am your uncle Jakob and you are my dear nephew. He said to the captain, before he hugged and kissed Karl, who let everything happen in silence.

"What's your name?" Asked Karl, after he felt let go, very politely but completely unmoved, and tried to foresee the consequences this new event might have for the stoker. At the moment there was nothing to suggest that Schubal could benefit from this matter.

"You understand, young man, how lucky you are," said the captain, who believed that Karl's question had injured the dignity of Herr Jakob, who had stood by the window, evidently around his excited face, which he also covered with a handkerchief dabbed not having to show the others. “It is Senator Edward Jakob who has identified himself to you as your uncle. You can now look forward to a brilliant career, probably contrary to your previous expectations. Try to see this as best you can at first, and contain yourself! "

"I do have an Uncle Jakob in America," said Karl, turning to the captain, "but if I understand correctly, Jakob is just the Senator's surname."

"So it is," said the captain, expectantly.

"Well, my uncle Jakob, who is my mother's brother, is called Jakob by his baptismal name, while his surname would of course have to be the same as that of my mother, who was born Bendelmayer."

"Gentlemen!" Exclaimed the senator, who returned cheerfully from his resting place by the window, referring to Karl's explanation. Everyone, with the exception of the port officials, burst out laughing, some as if touched, some impenetrable.

"What I said was by no means so ridiculous," thought Karl.

"Gentlemen," repeated the Senator, "you are taking part in a little family scene against my will and against your will, and I therefore cannot avoid giving you an explanation, since I believe only the Captain" - this mention resulted in a mutual bow - "is fully informed."

"Now I really have to pay attention to every word," said Karl to himself, and was pleased when, looking sideways, he noticed that life was beginning to return to the figure of the stoker.

“I've lived all of the long years of my stay in America - the word stay fits Here, however, bad for the American citizen, who I am with all my soul - so for all these long years I have been living completely separated from my European relatives, for reasons which firstly do not belong here and, secondly, to tell, really care too much for me would. I am even afraid of the moment when I may be forced to tell my dear nephew about it, although unfortunately speaking frankly about his parents and their followers cannot be avoided. "

"It's my uncle, no doubt about it," said Karl to himself, and listened, "he probably had his name changed."

“My dear nephew has now been put aside by his parents - let's just say the word that really describes the matter - the way you throw a cat outside the door when it annoys. I by no means want to gloss over what my nephew did to get him punished, but his fault is such that simply naming him contains enough excuse. "

“You can hear that,” thought Karl, “but I don't want him to tell everyone. Besides, he can't know either. Where from? "

"For he became," continued his uncle, leaning with slight inclinations on the little bamboo stick pricked in front of him, whereby he actually succeeded in taking away the unnecessary solemnity which it would otherwise have had, "for he was made by someone Maid, Johanna Brummer, a 35 year old, seduced. I do not want to offend my nephew with the word "seduced", but it is difficult to find another, equally suitable word. "

Karl, who had come quite close to his uncle, turned around to read the impression of the story on the faces of those present. Nobody laughed, everyone listened patiently and seriously. After all, you don't laugh at a senator's nephew at the first opportunity. It would have been easier to say that the stoker smiled at Karl, even if only a little, which, however, was first of all gratifying as a new sign of life and secondly excusable, since Karl in the cabin was a special one from this matter that has now become so public Wanted to make a secret.

"Now this grumpy girl," continued the uncle, "had a child from my nephew, a healthy boy who was given the name Jakob when he was baptized, no doubt in thoughts of yours truly, which, even in what were certainly only minor mentions of my nephew, on whom the girl must have made a great impression. Fortunately, I say. Because since the parents want to avoid the alimony payment or other scandals reaching up to themselves - I know, as I must emphasize, neither the laws there nor the other circumstances of the parents - since they mean their son, in order to avoid the alimony payment and the scandalDear nephews, have had them transported to America with irresponsibly inadequate equipment, as you can see, without the signs and wonders still alive in America, the boy would have to rely on himself, probably already in a little alley in the port of New York degenerate if that maid hadn't told me in a letter addressed to me, which came into my possession the day before yesterday after long wanderings, the whole story including the personal description of my nephew and, sensibly, the naming of the ship. If I had intended to entertain you, gentlemen, I could probably read a few passages of that letter "- he pulled two huge, closely-written sheets of paper out of his pocket and waved them -" here. It would certainly have an effect, as it would be with a somewhat simple, even if it is always written with well-intentioned cunning and with a lot of love for the child's father. But I do not want to entertain you any more than is necessary for clarification, or perhaps even for reception, or possibly hurt existing feelings of my nephew, who can read the letter, if he likes, in the quiet of his room waiting for him for instruction. "

But Karl had no feelings for that girl. In the hustle and bustle of an increasingly receding past, she sat in her kitchen next to the cupboard, on the top of which she rested her elbow. She looked at him every now and then when he came into the kitchen to make a glass of water for his father to drinkor to do an assignment from his mother. Sometimes she would write a letter in the tricky position to the side of the kitchen cupboard and take inspiration from Karl's face. Sometimes she covered her eyes with her hand, then no salutation got through to her. Sometimes she knelt in her cramped room next to the kitchen and prayed to a wooden cross; Karl then watched them shyly as they passed through the crack in the slightly opened door. Sometimes she would chase around the kitchen and pull back laughing like a witch when Karl got in her way. Sometimes she closed the kitchen door when Karl entered and kept the handle in her hand until he asked to leave. Sometimes she would get things he didn't want and put them in his hands in silence. But once she said "Karl" and led him, who was still amazed at the unexpected address, sighing while grimacing into her little room, which she locked. Chokingly she hugged his neck and while she asked him to undress her, she actually undressed him and laid him in her bed, as if she didn't want to let anyone from now on and caress and care for him until the end of the world. "Karl, oh my Karl!" She cried, as if she saw him and confirmed his possession, while he saw nothing at all and felt uncomfortable in all the warm bedding that she seemed to have piled up especially for him. Then she lay down with him and wanted to find out some secrets from him, Chokingly she hugged his neck and while she asked him to undress her, she actually undressed him and laid him in her bed, as if she didn't want to let anyone from now on and caress and care for him until the end of the world. "Karl, oh my Karl!" She cried, as if she saw him and confirmed his possession, while he saw nothing at all and felt uncomfortable in all the warm bedding that she seemed to have piled up especially for him. Then she lay down with him and wanted to find out some secrets from him, Chokingly she hugged his neck and while she asked him to undress her, she actually undressed him and laid him in her bed, as if she didn't want to let anyone from now on and caress and care for him until the end of the world. "Karl, oh my Karl!" She cried, as if she saw him and confirmed his possession, while he saw nothing at all and felt uncomfortable in all the warm bedding that she seemed to have piled up especially for him. Then she lay down with him and wanted to find out some secrets from him, as if she saw him and confirmed his possession, while he saw nothing at all and felt uncomfortable in the many warm bedding that she seemed to have piled up especially for him. Then she lay down with him and wanted to find out some secrets from him, as if she saw him and confirmed his possession, while he saw nothing at all and felt uncomfortable in the many warm bedding that she seemed to have piled up especially for him. Then she lay down with him and wanted to find out some secrets from him,but he couldn't tell her any, and she was annoyed in jest or in earnest, shook him, listened to his heart, offered her chest to the same listening, which she couldn't get Karl to do, pressed her bare belly to his body, searched with the Hand so disgusting that Karl shook his head and neck out of the pillow, between his legs, then bumped his stomach against him a few times, it seemed to him as if it were part of himself and perhaps for this reason a terrible need for help had seized him . After many wishes to see you again, he finally came to his bed crying. That was all and yet the uncle knew how to make a great story out of it. And so the cook had thought of him too and informed his uncle of his arrival.

"And now," cried the Senator, "I want to hear from you openly whether I am your uncle or not."

"You are my uncle," said Karl, and kissed his hand and was kissed on the forehead for it. “I'm very glad I met you, but you're wrong if you think my parents only say bad things about you. But apart from that, there were a few mistakes in your speech, that is, I mean, not everything actually happened that way. But you really can't judge things so well from here, and I also believe that it won't do any particular harm ifthe gentlemen have been informed a little inaccurately in the details of a matter which they really cannot care for very much. "

"Well spoken," said the Senator, leading Karl in front of the captain, who was obviously taking part, and asked: "Don't I have a splendid nephew?"

"I am happy," said the captain, with a bow that only men with military training can manage, "to have met your nephew, Mr. Senator. It is a special honor for my ship to be able to provide the place for such a meeting. But the voyage in between deck was probably very bad, yes, who can know who is being carried there. Well, we do everything possible to make the journey as easy as possible for the people in between decks, much more than the American lines, for example, but we have still not succeeded in making such a journey a pleasure. "

"It didn't do me any harm," said Karl.

"It didn't do him any harm!" Repeated the senator, laughing loudly.

"I'm only afraid my suitcase will be lost -" and with that he remembered everything that had happened and what remained to be done, looked around and saw everyone present in their former seats, silent with respect and amazement, eyes fixed on him . Only the port officials could be seen, insofar as their stern, self-satisfied faces allowed a glimpse, the regret that they had come at such an inopportune timeand the pocket watch that they now had in front of them was probably more important to them than anything that was going on in the room and that might still happen.

Strangely enough, the first to express his condolences after the captain was the stoker. "I congratulate you warmly," he said, and shook hands with Karl, which he meant to express something like appreciation. When he wanted to address the senator with the same speech, the latter stepped back as if the stoker were violating his rights; the stoker immediately stopped too.

But the rest now saw what had to be done, and immediately formed a muddle around Karl and the senator. It so happened that Karl even received a congratulation from Schubal, accepted it and thanked him for it. The harbor officials came in last in the calm that had re-established and said two words in English, which made a ridiculous impression.

The Senator was in the mood to fully savor the pleasure of remembering more trivial moments for himself and the others, which of course was not only tolerated by everyone, but accepted with interest. So he pointed out that he had written Karl's most prominent identifying marks, mentioned in the cook's letter, in his notebook for any immediate use that might be necessary. Now, during the stoker's unbearable chatter, he had the note for no other use than to distract himselfI pulled out the book and tried to connect the cook's observations, which of course were not exactly detective, with Karl’s appearance of the game. "And this is how you find your nephew!" He concluded, as if he wanted to be congratulated again.

"What will happen to the stoker now?" Asked Karl, past the uncle's last story. In his new position he believed he could say everything he thought.

What he deserves will be done to the stoker, "said the senator," and what the captain deems to be good. I think we've had enough and more than enough of the stoker, which each of the gentlemen present will surely agree to. "

"That doesn't matter in a matter of justice," said Karl. He stood between the uncle and the captain, and believed, perhaps influenced by this position, that the decision was in his hands.

And yet the stoker seemed to have no more hope for himself. He held his hands halfway in the belt of his pants, which his excited movements had revealed with the strip of a patterned shirt. He didn't care in the least, he had complained about his suffering, now you should also see the few rags that he had on your body, and then you should carry him away. He thought that the servant and Schubal, the two lowest ranked here, should show him this last goodness. Schubal would thenHave peace and quiet and no longer despair, as the chief cashier had put it. The captain would be able to employ a lot of Romanians, Romanian would be spoken everywhere, and maybe things would really go better then. No stoker would gossip in the main cash desk anymore, only his last chatter would be kept in rather friendly memory, since, as the Senator had expressly stated, it had been the indirect cause of the recognition of the nephew. Incidentally, this nephew had often tried to be of use to him beforehand and had therefore long ago given more than sufficient thanks for his service in recognition; it never occurred to the stoker to ask anything of him now. Besides, even if he was the senator's nephew, he was by no means a captain, but the bad word would finally fall from the mouth of the captain. - As it was his opinion, the stoker tried not to look at Karl either, but unfortunately there was no other resting place for his eyes in this room of the enemy.

“Don't misunderstand the situation,” said the Senator to Karl, “it is perhaps a matter of justice, but at the same time a matter of discipline. Both, and especially the latter, are subject to the captain's judgment here. "

"So it is," murmured the stoker. Anyone who noticed and understood it smiled strangely.

“But we also have the captain in His official business, which is sure to pile up incredibly on arrival in New York, is so hindered that it is high time for us to leave the ship, so as not to excessively cause this minor bickering between two machinists through some extremely unnecessary interference to make it an event. I understand the way you acted, dear nephew, by the way perfectly, but that is precisely what gives me the right to hurry away from here. "

"I'll have a boat floated for you at once," said the captain, without, to Karl's astonishment, raising the slightest objection to the uncle's words, which could undoubtedly be regarded as a self-humiliation of the uncle. The chief cashier rushed to the desk and telephoned the captain's order to the boat master.

“Time is of the essence,” said Karl to himself, “but I can't do anything without offending everyone. I can't leave my uncle now, after he has hardly found me again. The captain is polite, but that's all. His politeness ends with discipline, and his uncle must have spoken from his heart. I don't want to talk to Schubal, I'm even sorry that I held out my hand to him. And all the other people here are chaff. "

And in such thoughts he went slowly to the stoker, drew his right hand from his belt and held it playfully in his. "Why don't you say anything?" He asked. "Why do you put up with everything?"

The stoker just furrowed his forehead, as if trying to find the expression for what he had to say. Otherwise he looked down at Karl and his hand.

"You have done an injustice more than anyone else on the ship, I know that very well." And Karl drew his fingers back and forth between the fingers of the stoker, who looked around with shining eyes as if he were experiencing a delight, but which was happening to him no one should blame.

“But you have to defend yourself, say yes and no, otherwise people will have no idea of ​​the truth. You must promise me that you will follow me, because I myself, I fear that with good reason, will no longer be able to help you. "And now Karl wept while he kissed the stoker's hand and took the cracked, almost lifeless one Hand and pressed it to his cheeks like a treasure to be given up. But then Uncle Senator was already at his side and pulled him away, if only with the slightest compulsion.

"The stoker seems to have charmed you," he said, and looked over Karl's head at the captain, understandingly. “You felt abandoned, you found the stoker and are now grateful to him, that's very commendable. But, for the sake of me, don't go too far and learn to understand your position. "

There was a noise in front of the door, you could hear shouts and it was even as if someone was being brutally pushed against the door. A sailor came in, a little overgrown,and had put on a girl's apron. "There are people outside," he shouted, knocking his elbow around once as if he were still in a crowd. At last he found his senses and was about to salute the captain, when he noticed the girl's apron, tore it off, threw it on the floor and called out: "That's disgusting, you put a girl's apron on me." Then he clicked his heels together and saluted. Someone tried to laugh, but the captain said sternly, “That's what I call a good mood. Who is out there? "

“They are my witnesses,” said Schubal, stepping forward, “I sincerely apologize for your improper behavior. When people are out of the sea they are sometimes great. "

"Call her in at once!" Ordered the captain, and turning immediately to the senator he said obligingly, but quickly: "Now, dear Senator, you have the pleasure of following this sailor with your nephew, who is going to bring you into the boat . I don't think I have to say first what pleasure and what honor it gave me to meet you personally, Mr. Senator. I only wish to soon have the opportunity to resume our interrupted conversation with you, Mr. Senator, about the American naval situation, and then perhaps to be interrupted recently in as pleasant a manner as today. "

"For the time being this one nephew is enough for me," said the uncle, laughing. “Now take my bestThanks for your kindness and goodbye. Incidentally, it would not be so impossible that we "- he gave Karl a warm hug -" could perhaps meet you for a long time on our next trip to Europe. "

"I should be delighted," said the captain. The two gentlemen shook hands, Karl could only offer his hand to the captain in silence and fleetingly, because the captain was already occupied by the fifteen or so people who, under Schubal's leadership, moved in a little, but moved in very loudly. The sailor asked the senator to go ahead and then divided the crowd for him and Karl, who could easily get through between the bowing people. It seemed that these otherwise good-natured people took Schubal's argument with the stoker as a joke, the ridiculousness of which would not even stop before the captain. Karl noticed the kitchen maid, Line, among them, who, winking merrily at him, tied the apron thrown down by the sailor, because it was hers.

Following the sailor further, they left the office and turned into a small corridor which, after a few steps, brought them to a door from which a short flight of stairs led down into the boat which had been prepared for them. The sailors in the boat, into which their guide jumped down with a single leap, rose and saluted. The Senator was just giving Karl a warning to go down carefully,when Karl broke out crying violently on the top step. The Senator put his right hand under Karl's chin, held him tightly and stroked him with his left hand. So they slowly went down step by step and stepped tightly into the boat, where the Senator was choosing a good place for Karl across from him. At a signal from the senator, the sailors pushed off the ship and were immediately at full work. As soon as they were a few yards from the ship, Karl made the unexpected discovery that they were on the side of the ship where the main window opened. All three windows were occupied by Schubal's witnesses, who greeted and waved in the most amicable manner, even his uncle thanked him, and a sailor did the trick without actually interrupting the regular rowing, to send up a kiss. It really was as if there were no more stokers. Karl took a closer look at his uncle, with whose knees his knees were almost touching, and he began to doubt whether this man would ever be able to replace the stoker for him. The uncle also avoided his gaze and looked at the waves that were swaying their boat.