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Main Page From Hell to Heaven RBLUM-73 Chapter

From Hell to Heaven

Chapter 73 - Continuing the marriage story. Emma’s nervous crisis and conversion.

1. The dramatist: ‘Good! You have done well!’ – Says the valet: ‘Your Excellency shall be well-pleased with the residence, although it is not in the city but a suburb. But a dwelling of true splendour, furnished with all imaginable comforts, and costing a mere trifle!’

2. Says the general: ‘In which suburb is it, and on what floor?’ – Says the valet: ‘For well-considered reasons (pointing to my wife) I shall not mention the suburb. It is the second floor however! – For when retreating from the enemy, one does not let on where to!’ – Says the general: ‘You too must have seen service against the enemy, since you know this so well? – Says the valet: ‘In two ways, Your Highness! Once as a sergeant against the real enemy, where it rained bombs, grenades and case-shot. And the notional enemy – namely my wife! There it certainly rained no bombs, grenades or shrapnel but instead entire swarms of locusts full of curses! For five years I bore up to it in all patience and gentleness. But there was no further way of getting along with her at any price. Hence I retreated before this my second enemy, looking for and soon finding service – here! If perhaps Your Grace’s madam spouse should desire to receive thorough instruction in these fundamentals from my kind wife, then I could recommend no more suitable individual!’

3. My Emma, standing wrathfully at some distant window, rushes viciously towards my valet, freeing her tender hand from the glove for slapping. But the valet parries it, saying: ‘Hmm, could go and get myself one of those from a hooker down there! My face is not sufficiently noble to have itself soaped for shaving by a highly noble hand! Three steps from my honest sergeant-major body, or I might think of a strange dance with Madam Baroness – understood?!’ – Emma nearly burst with rage, shouting: ‘Out of my sight, canary-brood! Out of my sight, beast! The despicable scoundrel! How can you have the audacity to say such to myyy-- face, a baroness of the oldest peerage! Get himself instantly out of my sight, or I’ll have the police on him!’

4. Says the valet: ‘Not necessary, your grace, Madam Baroness. In half an hour we shall be out of the reach of your eyes, praise God. Don’t be rancorous, as it would adversely affect your tender nerves!’ – Yells the baroness: ‘Let him be silent, impertinent churl, or he shall see presently what it means to insult a baroness! I am capable of throwing in his abominable ape-face whatever I can get my hands on!’ – Says another servant to the valet: ‘Now it will be time to shut up, or we shall shortly experience a little prelude to Judgement Day! Let’s get away!’ Say I: ‘Indeed, get a move on. I myself would rather fly than walk!’

5. I had hardly spoken when Emma jumps over to me, yelling: ‘No, no! Did I now really deserve to be left by you, and on top of that to be abandoned to the derision of your impertinent domestics? Behold, I got into a bad mood only God knows why. In short, I was taken ill again, and in my suffering have indeed treated you harshly. But now the scales seem to have fallen off my eyes. I vaguely perceive having deeply offended you and the Lord General! And you did not realise that this was only done by your poor, ill Emma who was not in control of her right senses! Oh my dear husband! Do anything to me, punish me if I deserve it, but just don’t leave me!’

6. With these words she falls sobbing upon my chest, grasping me convulsively. The domestics are wide-eyed, asking me what to do – whether to keep moving or to return? Says Emma: ‘Return at once, and the rent is to be paid from my account for six months!’

7. Says the general: ‘Well, if things are so, then I sympathise with you and your wife, who earnestly seems ill to me. Naturally you cannot as a gentleman, as a human and a husband leave your Emma under those circumstances. But I shall now go upon an urgent errand and will come back to you in two hours. Prepare a room for me, as I’m staying with you for a few days.’ – The general takes his leave, as the servants prepare for a return, the thing seeming a little ominous to them. And my Emma is as if transformed, barely able to recall what had taken place between us! I was secretly intrigued. Emma – only a short time ago a devil – now an angel!”

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