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shall see how much of his inheritance will be worth a florin! And we have not been able to buy even a quart of wine with it.”
"I know!" answered he of Schalksberg.
Stupid nonsense!" said he of Zollern, and rode to his castle dissatisfied with himself and with the world.
"This is the story of the florin," concluded the compassmaker, "and it is said to be true. The landlord in Dürrwangen, which is not far from these three castles, related it to my good friend who often crossed the Suabian Alps as guide and always put up in Dürrwangen."
The guests applauded the compass-maker. "What extraordinary things one does hear in the world," exclaimed the carrier. "I am indeed heartily glad we did not waste our time playing cards; really this is much better, and I have paid such attention to this story, that I shall be able to relate it to-morrow to my comrades without missing a word."
"While you were telling your story, something occurred to me," said the student."Oh tell it, tell it!" begged the compass-maker and Felix.-" Well," replied the former, "whether it is my turn now or later makes no difference to me, for I shall be obliged to relate again all I have heard from others. What I am going to tell is said to have really occurred once upon a time."
He placed himself in a proper position, and was about to begin telling a story, when the landlady put the distaff aside and stepped towards the guests at the table. “Now, gentlemen," she said, "it is time to go to bed, the clock has struck nine, and there is another day to-morrow."
"Well, go to bed then," cried the student, "bring us another bottle of wine and we shall not keep you up any longer."—" Certainly not," she said, sulkily, "as long as there are still some guests in the tap-room, mistress and servant cannot go away. In short, gentlemen, make haste and get to your bedrooms; I am wearied, and after nine no more drink can be served in my house."
"What are you thinking about, hostess?" said the compass-maker surprised. What harm can it do you,
whether we remain sitting here after you have gone to bed? We are honest people, and shall not carry anything away, or leave your house without paying. I will not put up with such treatment."
The woman turned her eyes on him angrily; "Do you suppose I should alter the rules of my house on account of every scamp of an artisan, or every road-tramper who brings me in twelve kreutzers. I tell you now for the last time I will not tolerate this nonsense."
The compass-maker was about to say something again, when the student looked at him significantly, and winked with his eyes to the others. Well," he said, "if the hostess will not allow it, let us go to our bedrooms; but we should like to have some lights to find our way."
I cannot supply you with them," she replied, gloomily; "the others will find their way in the dark, and as for you this little candle-end here is quite enough. I have no more in the house."
The young man took the light silently and got up. The others followed him, the travelling artisans taking their bundles, in order to put them near them in the bedroom. They followed the student, who lighted them upstairs.
After they had got upstairs, the student requested them to enter his room quietly, unlocked it, and beckoned them to come in. "There is no longer any doubt now,' he said, "she will betray us; did you not notice how anxiously she endeavoured to see us off to bed, and how she deprived us of all means to remain awake together? She now probably thinks we are going to lie down, and then her task will be all the easier."
"But do you not think we might yet escape?" asked Felix. "It is easier to think of escaping in the forest than here in this room." "The windows are also barred here!" exclaimed the student, whilst trying in vain to remove one of the iron bars of the railings. "There is only one outlet, if we mean to escape, namely by the front door; but I do not think they will let us go."
"That depends upon a trial," said the carrier. "I will just try if I can get into the yard. If this is possible, I shall return for you."
The others approved of this proposal; the carrier taking
off his shoes stole on tiptoe towards the staircase; his companions listened anxiously in the room above; he had already descended half the staircase safely and unperceived, but on turning round a pillar, a terrible dog suddenly jumped up before him, put its paws upon his shoulders, and showed him right in his face two rows of long and sharp teeth. He dared neither move forwards nor backwards; for at the slightest movement the terrible dog would jump up to his throat. At the same time it began to whine and bark, and immediately the ostler and hostess appeared with lights. "Where are you going? What do you want?" exclaimed the woman.-" "I want to get something from my cart," answered the carrier, trembling all over; for when the door opened he perceived in the room several dark, suspicious-looking faces of men with guns in their hands.
"You might have done all that before," said the hostess, morosely. Come here, Fassan! lock the yard-door, Jacob, and light the man to his cart." The dog withdrew his fierce nose and paws from the carrier's shoulders, and stretched himself again right across the staircase. The ostler, having locked the yard-door, lighted the carrier. Escape was out of the question. On thinking, however, what he might really fetch from his cart, he thought of a pound of wax candles, which he had to carry into the next town; "the little piece of candle upstairs cannot last for more than a quarter of an hour," he said to himself, "and in any case light we must have!" He therefore took two wax candles from his cart, hid them in his sleeves, and then pretended to fetch his cloak from his cart, with which, as he told the ostler, he was going to cover himself during the night.
He safely reached the room again, telling them about the big dog who was lying near the staircase as a guard, about the men whom he had casually seen, about all preparations which had been made to capture them, and concluded by saying sobbingly, "We shall not survive this night."
"That I do not believe," replied the student; "I do not consider these people so foolish as that they should kill four human beings for the sake of so little gain. We
must not, however, defend ourselves. I for my part shall probably lose most; my horse is already in their hands, I paid for it fifty ducats only a month ago; my purse, my clothes, I give up willingly, for after all I value my life more than all this."
"It is all very well for you to talk," replied the carrier, "such property as you may lose can be easily replaced; but as for me I am a carrier from Aschaffenburg, and have all sorts of goods on my cart, and two beautiful horses in the stable, my only wealth."
"I cannot possibly believe that they will do you any harm," remarked the goldsmith; "to rob a carrier would create a considerable amount of stir and alarm in the
country. I quite agree with what that gentleman there says; I would rather give up at once all Ï have, and take an oath not to say anything or even complain, than to defend myself against people armed with rifles and pistols for the sake of my little property."
The carrier had taken out his wax candles in the course of these observations. He stuck them on the table, and lighted them. "Let us wait, for goodness sake, what will befall us," he said; "let us sit together again and ward off sleep by talking."
"and as it was
“So we will," answered the student; my turn before, I will relate you something."
THE COLD HEART.
WHOEVER travels through Suabia should never forget also to peep a little into the Black Forest, not for the sake of the trees, although one does not find such a great number of splendidly shot-up pines everywhere, but rather for the sake of the people, who form a marked contrast to other people in the neighbourhood. They are taller than ordinary men, broad-shouldered, of mighty limbs, and it appears as if the strengthening fragrance which wafts through the pines in the morning, had given them from
youth up a freer breathing, a clearer eye, and a firmer if a somewhat ruder courage than the inhabitants of the river valleys and plains. They do differ greatly, not merely by their bearing and stature from those people living outside the forest, but also by their manners and attire. The inhabitants of the Black Forest near Baden dress in the prettiest manner; the men allow the beard to grow, just as nature has placed it around their chins; their black jackets, their tremendous closely pleated trousers, their red stockings, and their peaked hats with their broad brims, give them a strange but serious and dignified air. The people in these parts generally occupy themselves with making glass; they also make clocks, which they carry about for sale through half the world.
On the other side of the forest live some of the same race, but their occupations have given them different customs and habits from those of the glass-makers. They trade with their forest; they fell and hew their pines, float them on the Nagold into the Neckar, and from the Upper Neckar down the Rhine ever so far into Holland; and the long rafts of the Black Foresters are well known on the sea shore. They stop at every town, situated on the river, proudly awaiting whether people will buy their beams and boards. Their strongest and longest beams, however, they dispose of at a heavy sum to the Dutch, who build ships of them. These men are accustomed to a rough and wandering life. Their pleasure is in floating down the streams upon their rafts, sorrowfully to ascend again along the banks. It is thus that their gala-dress is so different from that of the glass-blowers in the other part of the Black Forest. They wear jackets of dark linen cloth, green braces of the width of a hand over the wide chest, breeches of black leather, from a pocket of which peeps out a foot rule, made of brass, like a token of dignity; their pride and delight however are their boots, the largest undoubtedly worn in any part of the world; for they can be drawn up fully two spans above the knee, and the raftsmen can walk about in them through water three feet deep without getting their feet wet.
A short time ago the inhabitants of this forest believed