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Main Page From Hell to Heaven RBLUM-72 Chapter

From Hell to Heaven

Chapter 72 - The wife Emma’s claims. The General as marriage counsellor. Marriage feud.

1. The general spoke to Emma: ‘My dear Mrs. Daughter-in-law! If this is how things are, then our case takes on a different aspect. Wherefore I am forced to beg your forgiveness and afterwards haul my lord son over the coals!’ – Says Emma: ‘Your Highness, I seek nothing more than our first love! If that is there, then I want to forgive him everything and make every amends to his heart!’ – So the general turned to me, saying: ‘Well now, my son, listen, if it turns our that your wife gave you regrettable trouble only under duress, then you must above all make amends for your fault! Emma lays claim to your first love, hence do not withhold it from her!’

2. To which I said: ‘My beloved father! My love towards Emma has not diminished since our first encounter. It is truly not my fault if my most beloved Emma saw skeletons in the closet when there were none. It is only due to my sensitivity that I caused no jealous tantrums. – That deep down I was bitter, I alone can tell. Concerning her vast wealth however, I must confess that it never impressed me. I must indeed be frank – Emma’s great fortune gave me a feeling of unease. Because the larger the means available to a house, the greater the opportunities for all kinds of sinful dissipations! (turning to Emma) Behold, had you directed the thousands your parties cost you to the poor, then how happy I and they would have been! But you wanted to censure me therewith, and that was not commendable! For it would be hard to find a more forbearing husband than I always was!’

3. To this Emma was short for a response, appearing to be impatiently waiting for her valet. At last the latter came towards her with a heavy packet, and Emma at once barked at him to drop it on the table. Then she gave me a sneering look, saying: ‘I have to make good the offence I gave, before you can become convivial again.’ To which I said: ‘Dear, most worthy Emma! I love you too much to bear you even the least grudge! Nor was it I but my beloved father who from excusable surge made such demand on you. Hence take charge of your papers again and become again the Emma who followed me to England a few years ago, and for whom I wagered my life through a thousand dangers!’

4. Here Emma was taken aback, saying after a while with stoical indifference: ‘Since you love me, do me the favour of taking these documents into your care, as you know that a woman does not know how to handle money!’ – I said: ‘That is different! I shall most joyfully oblige! But you will now have to give me your hand as token of being friends with me again, and not begrudge me a long-sought for kiss! Come, Emmie, make me happy again!’ - Says she: ‘There is time enough for that, my lord spouse! A woman must not be too liberal with the best if she wants to uphold the course of love! And I must also impress this upon you: I have told you several times already that I am not to be called Emma, but by my first Christian name of Kunigunde! Why do you always call me Emma and not Kunigunde, a truly noble name of antiquity with which my mother and grandmother were already christened? If you truly love me then call me by my worthy and right name in future!’

5. This clause to love-conditions naturally brought laughter to me and also the general, hence I said to Emma: ‘But, my dear wife, this I did purely out of respect for you! You surely are aware of a certain song about Edward and Kunigunde, sung in a comic way for an audience’s derision? Whenever I called you, that foolish song always came into my mind. The name Emma sounds more aesthetic than Kunigunde. If however you insist on being called Kunigunde from now on, then in God’s name I am happy to call you so.’ – Says she viciously: ‘Sure, sure, whatever is not liked is made derisive!’ – Say I: ‘What are you saying?! I surely have no intention to deride you, as you are so endlessly beloved and dear to me. I hope that you regard this now as finalised, giving me your hand for a complete reconciliation! Or are you perhaps still holding back something?’

6. Says she: ‘Oh, plenty!’ – Say I: ‘What things are they, if I may ask, my most beloved Em … nearly said it –, beg to be excused thousandfold! – I intended to say Kunigunde! Just come out with it, Kundie, - with what ever burdens you!’

7. At this, my gently laconic question, she angrily lifted and stamped her foot, making the glassed in my cabinet rattle, followed by a cutting ‘no’ and some tears. This ominous ‘no’ was followed by a quiet, angry pause, followed by my being called a legion of names that would have brought no shame to the crudest pub-counter, barking at the finish: ‘We are quits – I don’t want to hear or see you again! You have been paid and we are quits forever! I need to be teased, and that by a lout probably cast off by some peasant cow! You may have been elevated to earl by the emperor a thousand times, but to me – a baroness of the old guard, you are nothing – understand? Compared to me you are nothing! See that you get out of my sight at once!’

8. ‘With this one we accomplish nothing’, says the general, ‘for this one is a complete fool! Let her go, my son, and trouble yourself no more about her! Perhaps time rather than we shall reform her. But take the papers with you, because a time might come when they might serve her well, when only too soon she will have squandered her fortunes!’

9. At that moment my valet also enters, telling me he has located a beautiful vacant residence. – ‘Good,’ says the General – ‘lets get up and packing!’ – Says the valet: ‘Lord, all is done except for this room! The carriers are on their way in!’

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