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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 240 - More anecdotes. And testing of the officer’s patience
1. A third woman comes up to the officer, saying: “Mr. Officer?! ’ Says the officer: “What else is there in God’s name?”
2. Says the old woman: “Behold, in the world I died in my twenty-seventh life year and that during child birth. I was not married and was only a cook and housemaid with an old widower, having to play the wife to him by night. But I also had another young lover and did for him what he would have, whereupon I became pregnant, putting the blame on the old man. The old dodger actually believed it before the dear Lord knocked things on the head. I died in childbirth and the old man is sure to have found himself someone else.
3. But when I came into this world, another woman told me: “Take hold of yourself – having died in the world, where you loved quite wickedly until now. Get it straight – you are now a poor soul for all eternity, full of sins big and small! What are you going to do?” This question caused me to faint, but I regained my consciousness after a while. The person giving me such news disappeared, and I found myself back on Earth, and that in Vienna, like now. Only one thing was funny: that I had been able to find neither my residence nor my employer. I was neither here nor there until then. I know that I am in the spirit world, and yet am not sure, because something always alienated me, while other things are normal. But now. My best officer comes the real thing!”
4. Says the officer: “What? Not finished yet? Well. . . go on!” Says she: “Behold, I became a great sinner and earned hell, forfeiting heaven! Because I became secretly promiscuous already in my thirteenth year-with a soldier of the artillery. But my dying proceeded so rapidly that they soldier of the artillery. But my dying proceeded so rapidly that they could not even give me the last rites. I have been running around to all the churches in this world for confession and communion, but no cleric was ever to be found. And so I am still full of sin and don’t dare to go to our dear Lord God. I have indeed often been most repentant and sorrowful, but of what use if one is not confessed and received communion, nor received last rites? Oh my God, what shall become of me?”
5. What weighs me down most is that I had to let my good lover treacherously for the sake of the old dodger! See, Mr. Officer, a poor girl is a stupid ass right up to the end! Who is going to help me poor soul now? If only our dear Lord God sent such old unscrupulous bastards punishment while still on Earth, for they don’t hesitate to make a poor little girl sick with their money.
6. Could this old pig. . . . not have married me without first committing a mortal sin as a pre-condition? After I was pregnant he said no more about marrying, and when I reminded him, he always found excuses – the world, his position, his relatives, and a court case he first has to win. But I died before that verdict.
7. Mr. Officer, I tell you that what killed me more was my grief, rather than my confinement; and do you think he showed any sympathy for me? He was only too glad to get rid of me in such an inauspicious way! – I am still that furious with the bastard that I could tear him to pieces if I caught him: hell would not bother me if I could travel there with him!”
8. Says the officer, stiff with impatience, and also angry about the old fellow who misused this girl; “For God the Lord’s sake, let that be now; it is clear that you were treated unjustly; yet you are not completely blameless either. For your own portion you were already punished by God’s permission, whilst the Lord shall not be indebted to the old fellow by even one hair either. Hence forgive him wholeheartedly and come over to God the Lord with me now; He shall make all things straight! But you must not rage in your heart, but only love even your greatest enemies! Then you shall also find the fullness of love in God.”
9. Says the old girl: “Sure, sure, officer, you are a good and clever mister! But it does me good to get this off my chest – a load off my heart, and I no longer feel anger at the old fool; our Lord God shall know what to do with him. My sincere thanks for the good counsel”! Says the officer: “Quite, quite but now let’s get to the Lord! All ready? Let’s go, for my patience is running thin.
10. But a fourth old woman comes to the officer, saying: “Monsieur, je vousprie!” Says the officer: “German only, and not another French word! We are in Vienna and not Paris!”
11. Says the old one: “Yes, officer, it’s only my habit! I don’t know any other French word anyway. See, Mr. Officer, when I was in the world I had a little doggie that I loved so much that I let it sleep with me in had in winter; it never occurred to me that this could be a sin. But one day a Pater came and saw the doggie in the bed; no, that was the end. I had to get rid of the doggie, confess, take communion and pay ten High Masses. I complied and repented my sin, but sometimes feel sorry for the doggie, but feel this sympathy to also be a sin; tell me how to quieten my conscience!”
12. Here the officer leaps with impatience, saying: “Oh Lord, you sure have strange boarders! No, this is too much all at once for an ordinary man! Doggerel comedy, and await cat concert! I’m going and you old hags can do as you will! Oh for the witchery! Now she feels guilty about her doggie, notwithstanding her concession, communication and probably rattling off half a million rosaries(to the woman) Get lost with your doggie conscience and be sensible, for you nauseate me. We are moving, lest the story really turns feline, for I see another hag looking at me. Whoever will, follow me now – not another second!”
13. Just as the officer moves, a fifth old women steps in his path, begging him to hear her, as she has something important to confide.
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