Fierce exchange of fire in Donbass region, Ukraine surges eastward

In recent days, the situation in the Donbass region of Ukraine has become tense again. Ukrainian troops continued to exchange fire with local armed groups in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, and accused each other of violating the ceasefire agreement. At the same time, Ukraine continues to send additional troops and heavy equipment to this area. The situation on the ground has aroused the concerns of Russia and the OSCE.

According to a report by the Russian “Viewpoint” on the 11th, the shelling launched by the Ukrainian army that day damaged a natural gas pipeline near Donetsk. A village suffered a power outage due to shelling by Ukrainian security forces, and thousands of residents were without electricity. On the 10th, the Uzbek army and the militia in the Lugansk region clashed fiercely in the village of Mikhailovka. The two sides used grenade launchers, mortars, anti-tank missiles, and various other light and heavy weapons in the battle. According to local media reports, one soldier died and one was seriously injured in the exchange of fire. At present, the exchange of fire is still going on, and the two sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire agreement. Online video shows that in the capital of Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region, the Ukrainian army is transporting tanks, self-propelled artillery and infantry fighting vehicles to the local railway station. Dnepropetrovsk Oblast is adjacent to Donetsk Oblast and is an important place for transportation. According to the Russian newspaper Pravda, the Uzbek army used three trains to send about 200 tanks and armored vehicles to the Donbass area.

Russian President’s Press Secretary Peskov stated on the 11th that the Kremlin received information about increased tensions on the ceasefire line in the Donbass, which may trigger new conflicts. This is a hotspot, and any provocation may cause major conflicts. Russia is concerned about this. He also denied receiving a new solution for the Donbass region.

On the 10th, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, OSCE’s rotating chairman Linde stated that the crisis in Ukraine and its surrounding areas is still the most serious challenge facing the European security order and needs to focus on the conflict in Ukraine. She is concerned about the recent tensions and ceasefire violations in the Donbass region.

According to a report by RIA Novosti on the 7th, Pocelujko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, said in an interview that Ukraine is ready to take measures to “recover” Donbass territory. “Everything is ready. We are ready to regain these territories, and we are willing to protect any activities there.”

the eleventh hour of the morning, that part of the Oeynhausen spa gardens that the guests had named “Switzerland” was almost free of wheelchairs and strollers. Most of them rested properly after the baths. But those who were not so strict about the cure wandered about as close as possible to the music. Only one of the comfortable little carts glided past the romantic gorge, almost too hastily for the wonderful peace of this solitude, which the silver-light Hambkebach blessed with freshness in decades of detailed work. It was not one of the ordinary drivers who pushed him forward. The hands appeared well-groomed and narrow. The slender figure showed a proud bearing. The slender, very white neck carried a head with strikingly beautiful features.

As the journey accelerated, the head of the gray-haired woman in the wheelchair turned to the guide.

[S. 6]

“Fraulein Eva von Ostried, the horse that your imagination has loved to ride for a long time, I don’t like,” it sounded in a fresh, joking tone. “He’s too hot. Get off immediately. ”

The young driver willingly responded to the kind rebuke: “Honored Ms. District Court President Hanna Melchers from Berlin-Grunewald, Wangenheimstrasse 10, I cannot comply with your request, because … unfortunately, he is going through with me!”

There was a slight sigh.

“Yet again? – What do you have, child? I have noticed for a few days that you have changed. There is no reason to fall in love here. The male youth can hardly be encountered in an intact condition and I know enough about your understandable joy in health .. ”

“No .. in love .. I’m not!”

“But what is it then? We have been living with each other for three years now and I am getting to know you very well. Is the old dream haunted again? ”

“Yes,” said Eva von Ostried and her lips pressed together as if she had to stifle the cry of longing, “I want to sing .. sing ..”

“As if you were denied that, Eva. In the small entertainment room of our Pension Messing there is an excellent grand piano and you can be sure of a devout and grateful audience. Even so, you made me solemn promise that I was foolish enough to give you. Why are you so afraid to hide your talent here? ”

[S. 7]

“Should I really speak to the kind-hearted, but undoubtedly a bit childish Mrs. la chaise, who has been to Brazil twelve times with her blessed Fritz and who also only accepts tobacco and at most her” best “Olga from home – or from this terrible, old baron, who keeps moving his hands as if he intends to tickle his audience so that they can laugh at his jokes, sing? – Is that what you ask of me? ”

“I would only ask for it from my biological daughter.”

The wheelchair suddenly stopped. Two soft, hot lips pressed onto the President’s hands.

“I am selfish and bad. I owe everything to you. What would have become of me back then if you had not chosen me, who came to your request without long-term references, over the many others who were especially recommended?

“Let’s leave these questions, my child. I think I’m a good judge of people .. ”

“And now I have had to disappoint you often enough over the years.”

“This probability was not ignored at the time either. You let me read your soul clearly. ”

“Although at first I kept silent about my struggles and disappointments?”

“The meager facts told me enough. – At the request of a childhood friend of your deceased father’s, you were transferred to others after his death[S. 8th]Hands passed over to Berlin and let him train your wonderful voice free of charge. You did not conceal from me that a year later he died in the terrible railway accident and that you, the utterly destitute, vainly begged your guardian and former neighbor for a loan to continue your studies. The other thing – the harsh disappointments you had to endure in the unfamiliar struggle for your daily bread in the various positions you assumed out of necessity – I read clearly from your narrow face and the fearful expression in your eyes. Your later confession only completed this story .. ”

“But you didn’t think I could relapse.”

“I knew it! – Longing dies hard. And you should also keep and care for your tendons. You just need to be patient. First get firmer, my child. First shed this hot vanity that feverishly calls for fame and homage. ”

The dark head bowed guiltily.

“You are inexpressibly good to me.”

“No exaggerations! A hundred times, with anger, you thought differently when I contradicted your request. I fully understand that too. ”

“If only I only knew how I could ever repay you for all of this.”

Frau Melchers smiled faintly.

“The word“ retribution ”is never free from an ugly aftertaste, Eva. They should just always be whole[S. 9]be open to me .. and continue to love me. I neither ask nor expect anything else. ”

“I believe that. It’s so easy. ”

A scrutinizing look brushed the beautiful face. The clever woman knew very well the greatest weakness of her housemate, whom she had come to love like a daughter. If the rich imagination played and the impetuous vanity gave up the critic, it could easily happen that Eva von Ostried disregarded the truthfulness demanded by the President without becoming aware of an injustice.

“And now listen carefully to me, Eva,” demanded the kind voice. “There are not very many hours that are suitable for this. You should know something that you – perhaps have already suspected. – You will soon have completed your twenty-first year. The guardian who, after the sudden death of your patron, refused his permission to resume your studies, including me, by letter, then loses his power over your actions. So in autumn you can have your own hands. But … we want to celebrate Christmas and Easter together in silence first. As trusting and completely domestic as the other years. Isn’t it true, my child? ”

“I don’t see what you mean by that. Shall I get away from you then? ”

“Yes, Eva, then I’ll lose you. You will continue to live in my home, but you will hardly find any time for myself. Because your only occupation will be to study music again. Your longing may be new[S. 10]Seek satisfaction. Your diligence must be iron. – I will grant you the necessary funds. Of course, I also ask for something in return. I must watch over you as long as I live, Eva. Do you feel how I mean that? ”

Eva von Ostried threw herself over the clever woman with outstretched arms. She couldn’t speak. Her body trembled with sobs of happiness.

But at last she gently pushed the President back.

“So and now for the theater! Because, isn’t it, that’s why we took that rapid pace? – So mignon will be given tonight? Although from this point I can’t think of it as pure enjoyment … you should have your way. Will it not be a great disappointment for you, who know every note of this opera exactly and who know how to reproduce the part of the girl from a strange place excellently? ”

The beautiful girl’s face shone again.

“How wonderful it is that you, the one who is difficult to satisfy, give me this praise. Yes … I’m really looking forward to tonight. To think that .. I could do better myself .. Isn’t that the greatest pleasure? ”

A slight shadow slipped over the fine, old face.

“We will never understand each other in that! I always feel pain when someone inadequately fulfills a task that I have taken on. – But now I have to urge you to hurry. The last note of the spa music has faded. ”

And the wheelchair slid again through the cathedral of lush, fresh greens towards the small newly built theater.

[S. 11]

“Come along too,” asked Eva before going to the cash register.

The President shook her head.

“Have you completely forgotten that the privy councilor has ordered my rebellious heart to be as gently as possible and, above all, to go to bed early? No .. that is impossible. ”

Eva von Ostried blushed. But then she found an excuse for her forgetfulness. How could a young, healthy being keep thinking about the constant need for consideration for someone who is suffering?

“You can only push me a little out of the sun beforehand,” demanded the President without sensitivity, “because you will not find your way back so quickly from the sacred spaces for you.”

Leap of thought
But this time it took too long even for the long-suffering of the President. The thin bells of the church and the salt works announced the twelfth hour. The melodic tam-tam rang out from the royal court, which called the guests together a quarter of an hour before the start of the main meal, which was set at the same time everywhere, and Eva von Ostried’s bright robe still did not show her. The woman, who was strictly used to punctuality, was about to ask a wheelchair driver who was known to her by her reputation and who was just coming along to bring her car to the pension when finally, breathless with excitement, the defaulting woman came. The President forgot the intended sharp reprimand. The sight of jun[S. 12]A beautiful creature whose expressive eyes shone with enthusiasm delighted her, as he always did. Repentant begging for forgiveness for this new little negligence would have been enough to convert their outrage into mild comprehension. – She waited for it in vain. Eva von Ostried sat in the deepest, golden land of her future dreams and complained about Mignon’s Steyrisches Lied:

A poor child came from afar
Gypsies brought it
Sadly pale … his limbs tremble …
That tore the patience of the kind.

“Hurry up, Eva,” she said sternly and briefly, “or, as weak as I feel today, contrary to the doctor’s instructions, I will get out and try to run to the table on time.” In a moment, Eva von Ostried awoke to reality. She turned pale and there was an expression of great helplessness in her eyes.

“You won’t do that to me,” she flattered. “Scold yourself well … but don’t speak to me in that unbearably cool tone, even if I deserve it. Certainly – I forgot my duty. As soon as you find out the cause, you will understand me. ”

“You can tell me later. Now .. onward, Eva. ”

Leap of thought
The spacious dining room, in which the two of them, today as the last lunchtime guests, went, was almost too busy.[S. 13]All seats, regardless of the stout, appeared equally narrow, so that the giant among those present, an old former Colonel of the Guard, waited in front of his filled plate in angry impatience for the moment when his right neighbor, meanwhile satisfied, leaned back. Eva von Ostried took a seat on his left. That softened his anger. Although he remained unmarried, he valued female beauty above all else.

When Eva did not answer his teasing questions in the same tone as she usually did, he tilted his mighty head a little to one side and looked at her with a sly, understanding blink:

“Penalty drums intus, my gracious lady?”

“Yes,” she nodded and added quietly “but deserved.”

“Flirted too well?”

“Is that even possible here?”

“Well .. allow me. If you ignore us miserable citizens, Paul Karlsen, the first lover and opera singer, is still here .. And you are one of the most eager visitors to the theater .. ”

In contrast to the other man who was only whispered, he emphasized the name of the young man who promised to become a great artist.

The sharp ear of his right neighbor, who was already lusting for the next aisle, caught him, she nodded vigorously and began, glad to have finally found something to talk about:

“Yes, this Karlsen. Do you think he should sing Wilhelm in the Mignon today too! ”

[S. 14]

A fried fish, who was here because of his extreme bleaching and the resulting nervous heart, interfered with the most dearly important:

“Unfortunately he won’t be able to sing it. The beautiful Mignon that we were looking forward to for half a month – the guest – had a bad accident an hour ago. ”

The news carried on, for almost all of them had wanted to go.

“What a shame,” the young girls wailed.

“Of course we will get the money back,” said the practical mothers happily.

“No false hopes, ladies,” mocked an old gouty, “as far as I heard barely ten minutes ago, a full replacement should already have been found.”

Lively questions assailed him from all sides.

“How do you know? That is not simply believed. ”

“The theater director personally entrusted me with it. A famous, great singer who happens to be here on the cure will step in. He acted very mysteriously and did not reveal anything else, as much as I penetrated him. ”

Frau Melchers turned quietly to Eva von Ostried.

“Was that what you wanted to tell me, Eva?”

The long, dark eyelashes were almost on the rosy, soft skin of the cheeks.

“Yes,” she said, “that and … something else. The excitement over the sudden mishap was so great – that … I[S. 15] upstairs … not .. could leave earlier .. “Mrs. Melchers nodded friendly.

“It’s okay, Eva. – Now of course you’re looking forward to tonight twice, aren’t you? ”

“I’m .. afraid .. but also ..”

“So has the little devil of envy freed himself from his chain again?”

“Not yet…”

“I will hear more from you. – later. – I have to rest first. I don’t know, there is a strange languor in my limbs. It almost hurts. I prefer to sleep through the whole second half of the day .. ”

“Should I call the privy councilor later,” asked Eva fearfully.

“What should he do with me, child? – I tried it out on my own. When the heart is bouncing dull and still restless, I need a lot of rest. Nobody should speak. It is also best to avoid any noise. – You can therefore have a completely free afternoon today. Enjoy it to your heart’s content. – Should I ask the young girls at the table whether a trip together to the Porta might be possible. At the beginning of the theater, you can still be back on time. ”

Eva von Ostried’s hands pleaded with the President.

There was fearful defense in her voice.

“Please, please don’t do this. I would much rather be alone. These young girls remain strange and incomprehensible to me in all their speeches and feelings. And finally I would only be the tolerated one among them. ”

[S. 16]

“Because you … serve me, Eva?”

“Not .. because I serve you .. What could be nicer for an orphan. Only those spoiled by happiness do not understand that I have to do it at all. That creates a partition between them and me. – Really..”

“You are a big kid ..”

“I wish it were me! As a child I could never fall asleep when something mysterious weighed on me. ”

“Does that mean that it has changed?”

“Sometimes I don’t understand myself anymore. – What seems to me to be an incomprehensible happiness for one moment already scares me the next .. ”

“Eva, child, that’s nerves! Yes, that’s how you register. ”

“No – no, it’s something else ..”

“Then it could just be a bad conscience. And I’ll keep you free from that. ”

The dark head drooped low. Eva von Ostried was ignored the answer – the conversation was even more general and lively, so that a dialogue that would go further unnoticed was out of the question. – –

“So what are you going to fill this sunny afternoon with, Eva,” asked the President as, carefully bedded down, stretched out in the cool room with a sigh of comfort.

“If you really don’t need me, I’ll lie down in a lonely, dark corner and dream ..”

[S. 17]

“And come to me for a moment in front of the theater so that I can see you in your new, white dress, will you? – I’ll have dinner in my room today, please tell me. And tomorrow I’ll be fresh again. ”

Did she feel the young being’s hesitation? Eva von Ostried remained standing next to her bed for a few minutes, as if something heavy weighed on her soul. Did she read the secret in her speaking eyes, which first wanted to reveal itself and now suddenly felt this plan to be so monstrous that it was not dared to carry it out?

She interpreted the apparent uncertainty differently.

“Don’t look so repentant any longer, Evalein. I’ve long since forgotten that you made me wait unduly long. Besides, child, don’t you, you know that I love you with the feeling of a mother? ”

Eva von Ostried sobbed against the breast of the kind.

“Yes .. I know that and that’s why ..” Ms. Melchers interrupted her quickly.

“So now out into the sun. Gild and warm up what wants to appear dark and mysterious. Go, Eva, I am very tired .. ”

Leap of thought
Eva von Ostried’s pulses knocked in feverish excitement when, at the hour of the general lunch break, she took the path to the Kurtheater. Their rushing forward felt like a constant struggle. After a few paces she stopped, looked back, hesitated as if she were calling[S. 18]a warning voice to turn back and then chased on as if it had to make up for the lost time at all costs. Once she spoke very loudly to herself because her trembling soul could no longer bear the dull silence.

“And .. I’ll tell her! She’s so good .. ”A moment later a frightened glow crossed her face. – “But what if she doesn’t allow me? Oh, it can also remain hard and firm if it does not approve of something. ”

The midday sun poured a large golden drop on each leaf. Countless cups, filled to the brim, floated on every branch. One of them poured its precious content over Eva von Ostried’s slim, beautiful figure and sparkled over her with lavish gleams. Her eyes were blinded. She collided roughly with the hurried man who ran towards her.

“Oops .. Miss von Ostried .. where on the way? You don’t want to mess with my craft. ”

It was the secret medical councilor Schwemann who dealt with the president.

“No, I only dare to do that in extreme need … for example, if the President doesn’t want to know anything about you or your kind, Privy Councilor,” she said freshly.

“It would have been better if she had contacted one of our guild earlier,” he muttered in a low voice.

“Is it bad with her, Mr. Privy Councilor?”

“Is that what I said? – I can’t think of anything. By the way, is there anything closely related? ”

[S. 19]

“She is very lonely in the world.”

“Well then, listen for a moment. I like it less and less. Is physically far too much down for this serious heart condition. And do not take it easy, which of course makes the story worse. ”

“Oh God, what should I do. Will you tell me everything, Privy Councilor? ”

“They? – There is not much that can be done about it. You can only keep her away from any excitement and feed her properly. – So … it’s not that easy, my love. It may very well happen that one day, apparently without any new cause, something human will occur. – I wanted to tell you that in private before you leave. The journey should go home in two days. ”

Eva von Ostried’s lips trembled.

“I have no one more than her,” she complained, shaken.

“Because I thought something similar, I am mainly telling you that too. But now no premature bitter expression. That would sadden her most of all. – Of course, it can last for a long time. As I said … even the healthiest can experience quick disasters. Look at the singer. Just fall on the level floor a few hours ago and break a leg. But not smooth and decent. It’s going to be a boring story. I’m just coming from her. Well … better to lie on your ear after eating, by the way. The sun stings tremendously …. “-

[S. 20]

Opposite the side gate of the theater, through which the actors slipped more or less punctually, stood a boldly curved bench. Then they rested after the rehearsals and amused themselves by mocking the spa guests who passed by, unless they were among the ardent admirers of their art. Because they knew almost every single one of their faithful congregation, which changed their appearance at most once every month. At the moment this bank was empty. Eva von Ostried took a seat on it. There was an expression of deep sorrow on her face. The conversation with the privy councilor had temporarily stifled his own interests. Bitter self-reproach came upon them.

While her benefactress, after the previous signs of great languor, was surely tormented again by one of those bravely endured seizures, she was about to betray her.

She was touched again by the motherly kindness and indulgence of the president, who, when she came to her house broken and weary, gave her the strength to enjoy life again.

Was she allowed to take this step, knowing full well that the President would disapprove of it, if not strictly forbid it?

An uphill struggle twitched on her face. Vanity and gratitude wrestled with one another. The intoxicating anticipation of unreserved admiration measured itself with the overwhelming joy that in the foreseeable future she should again devote herself fully to her beloved studies and bring them to an end without pressing worries. In[S. 21]At that moment a barefoot boy ran past the bench. She felt his appearance as an affirmation of good intentions and motioned him to stop.

“I want to write a note quickly,” she said gently, “and you carry it in for me, will you?” He nodded willingly and sat down next to her. A sheet of paper torn out of the paperback covered itself with their fine, clear characters.

“My promise was hasty,” she wrote, “unfortunately I cannot keep it. Please let us know, Mr. Director. ”

She had already folded it up and instructed the waiting person to hand it over to Mr. Paul Karlsen when an extensive, if somewhat sharp voice inside brought Philine’s half mocking, half pitying song to the ear:

Hollah, my dear sir
Don’t you want to tell us first
Who is that poor kid
The face seems to lament.
As if by magic, the expression in Eva von Ostried’s features changed. All soft, childlike gratitude disappeared from it. Her lips parted as if thirstily soaking up every single note. Her eyes flared. Mechanically she tore up what had been written and handed the astonished and curious looking boy a coin.

“I’ll go myself. It is good!”

And yet she felt dull and heavy that the step she was about to take should be avoided. But it was too late for any consideration. From the[S. 22] At that moment, a slender man stepped through the small side door and ran towards her in joyous excitement.

“Where in the world are you staying? Quick in. Nobody in town suspects that you want to be the divine substitute who has fallen from heaven. It will be sublime. ”

And she followed the advancing Karlsen, of whom the public asserted that he promised to become a great artist, with willless languor.

Leap of thought
The thin voices of the bells had already announced the fourth hour of the morning when Eva von Ostried could finally fall asleep. Her room was next to the President’s. After returning home around eleven o’clock, she had wanted to slip through the connecting door to confess faithfully everything that had happened to her. But her keen ear first listened to the deep, regular breaths that betrayed a peaceful slumber. She knew exactly how valuable this was to the President. So she postponed everything until the next morning.

It drew up bright and beautiful, like those of the last few weeks. Eva von Ostried was not awakened to her duties as usual by the first ray of great light. The tremendous excitement of the previous day had cast a leaden tiredness on her. Now she is sleeping, who usually brought the President’s first breakfast to bed at seven o’clock sharp, with the unconscious comfort of healthy, vigorous youth.[S. 23]Miss Messing, the owner of the pension, was happy about it. The big news made her doubly restless and busy. That is why she personally carried the board with the first meal of the day to the President. With an understanding smile, she pointed to the tightly closed connecting door.

“We want to give her a long sleep today for once, don’t we, Madam President?”

Out of consideration for yesterday’s visit to the theater, Ms. Melchers had not yet lifted the bell. Even so, she did not approve of this failure at all. With a slightly furrowed brow, she replied:

“You don’t mean to say that staying up until the tenth or eleventh hour of the evening is an effort for a young, strong girl?”

Miss Messing rocked her head back and forth and smiled as if to say “Don’t think I am completely clueless” … Because the loud utterance would not have seemed too respectful to her, she softened it and said triumphantly:

“Of course we now all know and we congratulate you with great joy.”

For the time being, Frau Melchers understood nothing except that something must have happened last evening which was a secret to her and which nevertheless remained intimately connected with her companion.

“You speak in riddles for me, Miss Messing. May I ask for a clearer version of your well-intentioned wishes? ”

[S. 24]

Had Miss Messing been less impressed by the surprising event, she would have noticed the look of great alarm on the old lady’s face. As it was, she only noticed that there was a secret here and was happy to be the first to reveal it to the unsuspecting. She clapped her hands together in genuine amazement.

“So Madam President are really clueless? No, something like that! I would like to report on that. – When we wanted to enjoy Mignon yesterday evening, we were very surprised to see Fraulein von Ostried as such. Madam, it was just heavenly. I have never heard such a voice before. The audience was racing with enthusiasm. And our entire pension has in a hurry – the “how” has remained hidden from me until now – donated a wonderful structure made of lots of red roses, which Colonel himself presented on behalf of everyone. ”

The President had straightened up and was struggling to catch her breath. For a long time she was unable to reply. Finally she uttered:

“Please go .. and send .. to me immediately .. Miss von Ostried.”

What she just heard was a hard blow to her. Admittedly she had known that Eva could be ambitious and vain at the same time – had also repeatedly taken action against her attacks of strong selfishness … but felt that she could ever be able to venture the first step into public behind her back they, especially after the assurances made today,[S. 25] not just as ingratitude, but as an insincerity that tormented her painfully.

Certainly – she did not hide the fact that Eva von Ostried’s repeated weariness had made her questioning and confession difficult. At least – if she had really wanted to, she would have found the opportunity to do so. But she did not look for them because she knew in advance that under no circumstances would she have been given permission to appear prematurely. For the president was one of those who take the practice of art far too seriously and sacredly to allow it to be abused for desecration through feverish vanity. Even if Eva von Ostried’s voice sounded so beautiful to all these ears, she still needed an infinite amount to be heard in public. In order to make her mature inwardly beforehand, she had previously enforced the restriction on music studies. What she allowed her was just a weekly one-off lesson by one of the first voice trainers. As long as Eva remained open to her influence, she had the justified hope of strengthening her for all the dangers which, for the sake of beauty, would threaten her much more than her later comrades. As soon as she fully integrated herself into that circle of those who think differently, her educational influence diminished, only to cease unquestionably very soon.

The fact that Eva had shown herself weak at the first temptation filled her with a dull fear of the future. Because she loved the young creature!

Eva von Ostried came in pale and crying. It showed nothing of the brilliance of an overwhelming joy.[S. 26]Miss Messing’s hasty communication, from which she had to deduce that Frau Melchers knew everything, had deeply humiliated her. In addition, the other experience, of which apart from her – thank God – only the other had known anything so far, remained on her with cruel severity. She threw herself on her knees in front of the bed and sobbed her head in the pillows. The President’s voice sounded unusually hard in her ear:

“Stand up! Just no theater now! ”

Those words hurt more, like a blow. She winced and stammered something.

“It has become difficult enough for me – but I couldn’t …” it should read.

“Why not? What was holding you back from following the voice of your conscience. Because I hope it rained. ”

“Yes – it did. I had already made up my mind to reject it in writing. Then I heard the Philine singing. That tempted me to prove their shortcomings to those who were wrongly imagined about their ability. – In the morning she treated me like a child who should not be taken seriously. ”

The president forced herself to calm down.

“It remains inexplicable to me how they even found out about your talent there, or should you have long since cultivated intimate friendship with the various people on the occasion of your frequent visits to the theater, about which I was of course also not allowed to know?”

Eva von Ostried straightened up. From the open look the President noticed that this assumption was wrong.

[S. 27]

“Until yesterday I only knew Mr Karlsen personally, who always handed me the ticket for the performances.”

“Then tell us how you could be found to replace the actual Mignon.”

“Mr Karlsen informed me of the guest’s accident in the greatest excitement this afternoon when I wanted to get the ticket for the evening performance. At the same time he described the big loss for the actors because the prices paid had to be reimbursed. Experience has shown that little is earned from one of the old and oldest comedies, but only from a well-practiced opera. But the director must now also pay the demanding Philine the agreed gaming fee. This sad event in turn destroys everyone’s silent hope of a finite improvement in their circumstances. ”

“Now your pity was awakened and you offered yourself.”

“No, I really didn’t. – I only said that if I make serious efforts I do believe in a good replacement for the Mignon. ”

“Did you, of course, stimulate Karen’s contradiction?”

“He quickly managed to convince me of the inaccuracy by claiming that the small representative offices of neighboring cities that could be reached would not be able to take over the game at all without repeated rehearsals.”

“Your vanity could no longer remain silent?”

“Was I vain? I just felt a peculiar wonderful comfort that I could refute it, turned myself[S. 28] just went there and sang the few stanzas from the first act to him. ”

“And then he was immediately rigid with admiration!”

“I dont know! – Suddenly they all surrounded me. The director – old Jarne – the envious Philine … My contradiction faded away .. They simply forced me to make a firm promise. ”

“Did you at least know what you were doing to me, Eva, by betraying me?”

“I felt it hard. The whole proud joy of my first success made it bitter for me .. ”

“They exaggerate. With the best will in the world, I cannot believe in it. ”

“And still, that’s the way it is. With each evocation, repentance weighed on me. I had to think of some kind of punishment. ”

“Which I would impose on you?”

“No – to another. And she came. I would really like to talk to you about it. ”

“To reconcile me, Eva?”

“To relieve me. My heart is very heavy. ”

Then the feeling of motherhood in this strange child welled up again warmly in the President. Her hand fell on the sloping part of the head.

“You don’t see happy, of course. So what happened? ”

Eva von Ostried clapped both hands over her glowing face because she was ashamed of the clear, deep gaze.

“Karlsen kissed me after the performance,” she stammered.

The president was frightened.

[S. 29]

“And you love him?” Eva shook her head.

“So far I have been indifferent to him. Ever since he dared to do it, I despise him. That he was allowed to do it – completely erased my feeling of happiness after yesterday evening. Tell me that something like this will never – never be possible again. – I can’t take it a second time. ”

“With that I would say something that I don’t believe in myself for a moment.”

“So you are convinced that art, even if it is felt and practiced as something pure and sublime, does not protect against such attacks?”

“I would have thought you were more mature, Eva! – These are a child’s questions. ”

“Do you know how I felt that terrible kiss? That I would be able to sacrifice my beloved art – if the same thing happened to me later. ”

And shuddering like a scared child, she laid her hot face in the President’s soft hands.