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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 199 - The company enters the apparent Vienna. Folksy scene at the passport control
1. Says Robert: “Oh Lord, could you not give me a clue as to what we are going to do in this make-believe Vienna, and what we can expect to run into? Because- unprepared at your side and arriving in this city with this large crowd, I can’t imagine our reception and how to behave in order not to suffer embarrassment in your presence.”
2. Say I: “For as long as I am with you this is not your concern! Nor will the company be coming along in its entirety, but only Myself, the three apostles, yourself and Helena. The others remain here until our return.
3. But watch how Vienna is not at all empty but inhabited as on Earth, and that by those same people who have inhabited this city since the Earth year 1848, to the present year 1850, and still are doing so, either as spirits or as physical men. Let us therefore proceed, so that you shall have the sooner transited the straight and narrow little portal! There at your feet are darker overcoats – throw these over your celestial ones!”
4. Robert and Helena do as commanded, taking on an appearance of pilgrims, the three apostles doing likewise, resembling pilgrims from Jerusalem, whilst My own clothing resembles that of a plain Jew. So we commence our short journey to the proximate Vienna.
5. Arriving at the taxation and passport gate situated next to the ‘Spinner woman at the Cross’ Robert, walking at my side, asks: ‘Lord, are we the only ones that can see the several teams on guard, or are they seeing us as well? We would fare badly without passports!” Say I: “They see you indeed, but only those already in the world of spirits. But those shall alert the terrestrial ones to our presence through certain inflammatory demeanour, which shall of course result in some hustles. Let Peter step ahead – it is he who knows best how to deal with such customs officers.”
6. Peter at once steps up to the tax man, saying: “Friend, we are travellers from afar, but without passports, as in our essential kingdom there is freedom of movement for all times to come. Wherefore we cannot oblige you with travel passes but are nevertheless completely upright beings, having run up no debts anywhere nor imposed ourselves on anyone, finding easy passage everywhere. Hence we expect to encounter no difficulties here either!”
7. Says the tax-collector: “My friend, maybe hiking from China! If you have no dutiables then, as far as I’m concerned you can continue your journey. Further ahead there is another toll where the passports shall be taken and examined; are you real Chinamen?”
8. Says Peter: “Indeed, indeed! So the toll booth is up there? Much obliged for the information!” Says the taxman: “Well now, these tattered beggars rabble are going to put on airs!”
9. Says Peter: “Friend, never judge people by their coats! You can’t know who could be behind such plain coat.” Says the taxman: “Hardly ever anything but rogues and vagabonds surely, whom one grabs and despatches back to their borough! Understood, sir?”
10. “Indeed, says Peter, this type of talk is too familiar for the impoverished class to misunderstand. Your speech somewhat different with someone passing by in luxury coach with ostentatious servants. Us barefoot ones you give the animal grunt – not exactly laudable! But just let us continue now, maybe we shall find somewhat less pedantic guards at the toll ahead.” Says the taxman: “There they won’t go to too much bother with you; get yourselves going now or I’ll have you arrested!”
11. Says Robert to me: “That’s how they are, and he is one of the better ones! One could explode with rage when dealing with them! Oh people - Earth! Says Helena: “Had this fellow put us down much longer I would have told him off, for I know this one. Glad we are moving, or I would have gotten stuck into him; would have been a surprise for him!”
12. Say I: “Not too loud, My little daughter. This tax collector has long ears! He would cause you plenty of trouble if he heard you.” Says Helena: “But he is not going to be worse than Satana, is he??” Say I: “It depends! As guards, dogs are often much more vicious than their lords. The lord’s talk but the dogs bite! But we are coming to the second barrier! Peter is already talking to the police; we shall see what it comes to!”
13. Says Helena: “Well, Oh Lord, we shall be locked up if you oh Lord makes no use of your power!” Says I: “Fear not, my dear daughter! It takes only the gentlest breath from My mouth and the entire Earth with its jails is no more! Hence we fear no prison. We shall however listen to what they want of Peter.” Wherefrom? Where are the passports? Come up with them!”
14. Says Peter: “Patience – one quick question: say, can no one, not even a local, get into the city without a pass? Says the policeman: “Familiar ones yes, strangers no! If you are not this city’s residents you must have a pass, or no entry! If from this city, you need to be checked out to see of what ilk.”
15. Says Peter: “Just ask – I will tell!” Asks the sergeant: “What is his name?” Says Peter: “Simon Juda, son of Jonah, named Peter.” The Sergeant: “Sounds weird; but who is he, and what trade?” Says Peter: “Fisherman from birth, now a fisher of men – for nearly two thousand years.”
16. Says the sergeant to his deputy: “Watch this one – nut-house case! Fellow thinks he is the renowned disciple! What’s next on a watch these days?”
17. The sergeant turns to Paul: “Who are you and what name?!” Says Paul: “I am a carpet-weaver and an apostle to the heathens; my first name was Saul but later re-named Paul.” Says the sergeant to the second officer: “Watch him too, another one ripe for the nut-house!” Turning to John, he asks this apostle: “Who are you – another of Christ’s disciples!” Says John: “I am the Gospeller John and also the Lord Jesus’ disciple!” Says the sergeant to a third officer: “Another nut-house case. Guard them well! There are three more over there – bound to be of like ilk.”
18. Here Helena steps up to the sergeant furiously, saying in typical heavy Lerchenfelder (suburb of Vienna) dialect: “Chief dumb skull of a Bohemian sergeant major – watch the three don’t get away!” Says the sergeant with spidery venom at such address: “What did she say? Wait, we will rub off your roughage!” Here Helena bounds over, saying: “Well well you old brimstone liver-pot from hell’s apothecary, watch your bohemian dandy don’t suffer harm! Look at the ambition with the bargain! Let his lordship drop his wrath or I’ll tell him what won’t go down well.”
19. Says the sergeant: “What’s your country of origin, unplaned wood?” Says Helena: “Just think profoundly; remember the guest house from which you were bounced three times for sexual offences and trouble making? See, that’s my country of origin!” Says the Sergeant: “What do you drivel? No Lerchenfelder fruity you?” Says Helena: “Indeed, name of Schwarzenmaxl-Lenerl! Don’t you remember me?”
20. Says the sergeant: “Indeed, but how did you get mixed up with this mob?! Would you believe it the Schwarzenmaxl-Lenerl! Say, where have you been since the revolution? You have not been heard of or seen!” Says Helena: “Well, I died! And now I am here alive again, visiting my home-land with my best friends – if you don’t mind! But I vouch for these beings being no nuts.” Says the Sergeant somewhat more gently: “Ah, my most beloved, these three are total fools and must go the psycho house! But it shall soon transpire when I presently sound out the remaining two!”
21. Here Robert himself steps up, saying: “Friend, so you intend to examine the sanity of me and my great holy friend! Blind henchman, this you should have done with yourself long since and realized that you have not been physically alive in the actual Vienna for a long time, but only upon the make-believe spiritual Earth! Do you suppose yourself to be the actual border guard? In your imagination, for sure. Do you think to have some right or authority to examine us? I say unto you it is the right of a lunatic, who is blind and deaf into the bargain!
22. You died of cholera long since, and that in the year 1849 terrestrially, to be exact! Messengers from the heavens have already told you that you have died physically, but you derided them, saying: Brain-damaged fells, can’t you see what sprightly, high-ranking police Sergeant I am? I’ll chuck you in the slammer if you don’t believe me; that will show you whether I died or am alive!” With that response the Messengers from the heavens made off, leaving you to your insanity, which you have been maintaining now for over one Earth year, declaring every spirit trying to help you as insane. Do you in all actuality imagine yourself to be a physical police sergeant of the city of Vienna? Look at that barrier; don’t you see it vexing transparent and increasingly substantially?”
23. Says the sergeant: “This kind of vain talk an official is not going to hear while on orders! What is his name? Has he a pass or some other identity?” “No”–thunders Robert into his ear, the sergeant quite dizzy and yell for help. Robert responds with more thunder: “What shall I do for you? Do you intend to live or die everlastingly? Here there is no further temporal death; whoever dies over here does so forever!”
24. The sergeant emits a dreadful shriek for help, causing three lower servants from the guard-house to come and arrest Robert; but the latter thunders ‘halt’, making them collapse as if struck by lightning. As they appear to be on the ground Robert says: “Lord, if it is Your will then we could be back on our way without further trouble. We can clear our departure by blowing away the three guarding Peter, Paul and John.
25. Say I: “This would be alright except that the sergeant still has to examine Me! After that we shall be on our way without being obstructed by them.” Says Robert: “Be it so, oh Lord; Your will, alone is holy!”
26. Here the sergeant gets on his feet, fuming: “Who is Lord here, with a holy will? Here only the emperor reigns, anything under that or over is ash! Watch it team: arrest this rabble, hauling them before the court, reporting how this socialist rabble carried on! But their bellower is to be first rewarded in the guard-house with twenty-five strokes, for his bawling! Drag him into the guardhouse!”
27. Three surround Robert intending to bind him, but Helena bounds over, yelling: “Whoever lays hands on Robert is dead!” When one still grabs Robert by the scruff of the neck, Helena lands a punch that sinks him like dead. Trying to grab Helena, the other two also are served up equally and they turn on their heels. The three guarding the apostles do likewise, ignoring the sergeant’s hollering, sensing something supernatural about us.
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