Nowadays, the intestine is mentioned more and more frequently. However, do you really understand it? The following numbers can help you deepen your understanding of the intestines.
The intestine controls more than 70% of immune cells. The intestine is the body’s largest immune organ, and as many as 70% of the body’s immune cells live in the intestine. Immune cells, immunoglobulins (antibodies that attack germs) and bacteria are distributed in the intestines, and they are responsible for fighting diseases. In addition, the intestine is also the body’s largest detoxification organ, and it is responsible for most of the body’s detoxification tasks.
The weight of microorganisms in the gut is about 1.5 kg. The intestine is the largest reservoir of bacteria in the human body. There are more than 100 trillion bacteria “settled” here. There are thousands of species, and the total number is 10 times more than the body’s own cells, weighing 1.5 kilograms. The ecology of these flora Stability is very important.
The intestine is the second brain of the human body. Neural network structures are widely distributed in the intestinal mucosa. They are important components that command intestinal movement, absorption, endocrine, and immune functions, so they are also called “intestinal brain” or “second brain”. The interaction between the brain and the intestines is very common in life. For example, many people are prone to diarrhea when stressed, and have no appetite when they are depressed; on the contrary, the signals from the intestine can also affect brain function, especially the hypothalamus, which is related to emotions. And amygdala. Studies have confirmed that the imbalance of intestinal flora is related to neurological diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and autism.
Ostried, in particular, had recently had a younger girl in her home, whom she had found in a state of exhaustion and illness and taken in, a girl whose past seemed to be covered with an opaque veil.
It was called Gretchen Müller and nobody here knew about its past. The only one who had the right to question her didn’t touch it. So the trail was denied.
Gretchen had hours when her heart was very light. Then she tended the flowers, looked after the room and kitchen like the well-bred house daughter of a thrifty bourgeois family, and then sat down on the little balcony with a handiwork to the overgrown cress and the red-flowering firebeans.
Eva von Ostried was not at home at such hours. A blanket was spread over the wing. Everything was secret and quiet!
And yet all you had to do was call a ringtone and it was different! Most of the time Gretchen Müller didn’t open the door. Eva von Ostried unlocked the door herself when she got home.
And now the doorbell rang anyway, strong and demanding. So she decided to look. Eva von Ostried had from[S. 240] spoken of an important message that might reach her.
When the door popped open the girl backed away with a scream. Her arms stretched out far. Her eyes went rigid with horror. Her tormentor, the destroyer of her young life, stood before her and entered almost silently.
“This time you didn’t make finding easy for me,” he said in a friendly, conversational tone.
“Go!” She uttered, “or -”
“You really stop, my heart. Any further word would be at least a carelessness on your part. ”
“My mistress is in the next room. She must come out immediately. ”
“Why don’t you call her by her name? Eva von Ostried sounds very nice. It is also an honor for you to have found shelter with this highly gifted future light. ”
“How do you know this too?”
“I find out everything I want to know. You should be well aware of that. Of course I also know that you are alone in the apartment at the moment. Fräulein von Ostried gives outside hours and will definitely not come back before noon. ”
“Nevertheless you will leave immediately or I’ll call the police.”
“You have good reasons not to call her, my child.”
“You bring me to the point where I no longer fear this revelation either.”
“Think about it as you like. I think you should be considerate. It is extremely pleasant that this lady has taken you in. The wages you would pay if the police had to deal with you and therefore also with them would, in my opinion, be a bad one. ”
“You are a devil!”
“I have letters from you that give me other nicknames. Of course, you weren’t called Gretchen Müller back then. ”
She raised her hand as if to press it over his reckless mouth. He dodged cleverly and hissed softly:
“And that’s why you should leave the high-ranking police out of the picture with me. In my life up to now I have not done anything that would give her reason to watch me closely. But you -”
“You made me what I have become.”
“It’s a very convenient presentation, my child. Do not forget that each person bears the consequences of his own disposition. Good! I happen to be the one who made yours break out. This is my bad luck. Because whether you also feel it as yours – ever now? Be honest. Remember how you happily followed me to talk to the hunter “at the first whistle”. ”
“You played your part too well because you were too familiar with it. How could I guess? ”
“Might be! You will not have imagined at the time that a man like me would not have kissed a girl before you. ”
“Yes, I imagined that! With God! But what do you want from me now? ”
“Not much. Make it clear to you that you are and will remain in my power! It is only wise if you do not continue to negotiate with me in that exuberant tone. ”
“There must be a purpose in it,” she whimpered, “I just can’t recognize him.”
“Assume that I really would have loved you.”
“You lie now as always,” she said.
“Then you know more than I do. Why would I have to worry about you at all after you caused me these incredible inconveniences. ”
“What are you going to do with me?”
He sat down on the chest. Now he was so close to her that he could have stroked her loose silver hair with his white, well-groomed hand. A ray of sun drifted down on them and got caught in it. The feverish blush of growing fear gave the thin face the deceptive glow of health.
“You still look lovely,” he whispered in her ear. “However, you have the right feeling. Yes, I have something to do with you. Just a little thing. A counter-service. ”
“I have become too weak to ruin you in the same way. That would be the only service to which you would be entitled. ”
“Stop it now. Please remember the times when you complained to me about your misery every day. Allegedly[S. 243]you suffered unbearably under the tyranny of your loved ones. Your father wanted to capitalize on you. Your virtuous brother would have loved to put you on a chain. And the sweetheart they chose for you. Be a little jolly, my child, and laugh along – wasn’t he terrible with his bird-like head and the threatening bulges under his little eyes? Well, I don’t want to paint the beautiful picture for you any more. You better do it alone in your current quiet hours. So – I have to firmly reject allegations. You didn’t make it difficult for me back then. ”
“I trusted you.”
“Have I not justified this trust? Wouldn’t you have been able to keep heaven on earth, wouldn’t you have been so insanely petty and stubborn? Didn’t I have a cozy nest ready for you? Was there anything missing in it for your convenience? ”
“At the moment that taught me that you had long since been bound in another way, I no longer accepted anything from you. At least you should confirm that to me now. ”
“When you put so much emphasis on it. Nice, my child. I hereby solemnly confirm it. But why? An artist needs a lot of money if he doesn’t have one himself. It’s always an unpleasant story with pumping. The safest and most comfortable remains a rich lot. Yes, even if he earns huge sums of money himself, as a free man he will always consume a little something beyond his budget. You do not understand that. – I wasn’t making much money back then. The councilor, on one evening[S. 244]I’ll company you after the ordered singing, got to know, paid decent. But otherwise – dear God. I just had to secure myself in this way. ”
“That you are not ashamed in front of your wife?”
“Ask her if she wasn’t very happy with me.”
“I want to kiss her hands so that she will forgive me what I stole from her ignorantly.”
“I wish you that for all I care. Let it be my worry that it will never come true for you. By the way – I finally have to answer your question: You wanted to know what I’m going to do with you? Above all else, I want to improve your situation. Stand on your own two feet. From now on you may arrange a life according to your taste. If you take reason, we will understand each other very quickly. Listen. I ask you never to mention my name to Eva von Ostried. Also, in the worst case for me, sharpened her interest in you to such an extent that she demanded complete openness from you. Because she’s terribly moral and wouldn’t keep you to herself if she knew – – In that case, tell her what you want. Just not the truth. Back then, when you played the double game, you were able to lie very nicely. So be silent
She pushed his hand away. “There is no need for such a promise! I would rather let myself be tortured to death under a hundred torments before I reveal my whole secret. ”
“Nice. Then we are mainly in agreement. Thank you, Lieselotte. ”
“Do not mention this name, not the name!”
“You are quite right. The more thorough we are, the more effective everything becomes. So, Gretchen Müller, listen to me for a few more minutes. I don’t want to apologize. I never liked that. Even if, for once, I should have had a remorse of conscience. ”
“You never knew her. You don’t like this role. ”
“Then name it differently for my sake. After all – with your sensitivity, there is a desire to do something by the way. When I first met you, I wasn’t even fully engaged. In all secrecy only. And I didn’t know for sure whether a marriage would come out of it at all. ”
“Are there really so many rich girls that you had the prospect of a second, even richer one? At least don’t lie now. You advertised me in all forms and gave me your word. Or did I just imagine all of this? Were your hot looks and homage before, your word of honor just a lie? Did you feel nothing of those passionate feelings that you have described to me so often? ”
“That’s a lot of questions at once. Your freshness had charmed me. This delightful liveliness – not only in the conception, but also and especially in the reproduction of everything I had experienced, heard and seen, was new to me. In addition, you came from a so-called good home. One more attraction. Even though you didn’t know any notes, you had the finest musical ear that I have ever encountered. My power over you has become unlimited.[S. 246] I could have turned you into a criminal if I wanted to. ”
” That did you feel?”
“From the first moment we got to know each other. You know what? We stood tightly wedged together in front of the opera house box office. I spoke to you because I liked you very much. Do you notice now how discreet I am? It was because of you that I had so firmly impressed the fairy tale of the first meeting in the house of the councilor that I failed to mention this lovely hour to you earlier. ”
“Don’t add to my shame,” she said with twitching lips.
“It’s also irrelevant. Nevertheless, I want to briefly summarize the rest. Also for my sake. – Look, when I saw you again a month later at the musical councilor and whispered to you at the thought that we didn’t want to tell anyone about our sweet acquaintance, you were ready. I was immediately pleasant to your dear family. Your brother absolutely didn’t like me. Your father was a very charming gentleman. We would have got on very well had it not happened that he was your father. So he sensed the enemy in me. The fact that from then on we both met socially in the house of the old music fool made things easier, of course. Believe me, I didn’t think of causing bad luck for you. Only when you begged me for help against the terrible sack of money did you wake up I could say briefly: chivalry! It sounded great, but it wasn’t. I wanted the serious guy out[S. 247]sting. In addition, of course, to save you from a lot that gave you horror. ”
“Besides – really.”
“Yes, that’s it! Then everything turned out a little different. You did stupid things. You ran away from home headless, came to me as your only friend and so on. And back – forgive me for expressly stating this – you did not want to under any circumstances. ”
“I was thinking of speeding up our marriage. Because I thought I was your bride. Didn’t I have the right to do so? ”
“Undoubtedly in good bourgeois terms! However, the artist’s views are generally different. Tell me what should I do when you were there and told me you’d rather go to your death than go back to your dear family. ”
“Stop when you still have a spark of mercy in your soul.”
“I’ll be over in a minute. So I wasn’t brutal enough to turn you away. Well, maybe that was my wrong. I can’t find any more bad things together at the moment. ”
“That you continued to play the contemptuous comedy – never taking away from me the firm belief that I was your betrothed bride and very soon your wife, even before the law, by finally telling me about your older obligations.”
“Wouldn’t that have been more than cruel? What would you have done on it? Remember, your name wasn’t Gretchen Müller back then. You would have gone into the water or[S. 248] otherwise would have committed a violent coup with the same consequences. ”
“That would have been mercy for me.”
“I feel differently. Maybe we men at all. ”
“You have invented a thousand new excuses to prove to me that our marital union was always facing new obstacles.”
“I have just explained the reasons for you, my child.”
“Stop that. Why didn’t you at least tell the truth later? ”
“When? Any further gathering would have been destroyed. You would probably have run away later and then you were physically almost even more shaken than you are now. You had to get up again first. ”
“No, that’s not the reason. You don’t know consideration. You would have spoken out frankly if I had gradually complained to you. ”
“You also have your – decency.”
“Let her finally get to know me so that my shame doesn’t burn so hot.”
“How do you know Eva von Ostried?”
“Maybe from the public eye – maybe not. It is enough for you that I know her. ”
“You do not have the right to call her by her first name. It is too pure for you to – ”
“You are a fool! But, she really is pure. You weren’t wrong about that this time. ”
“I only have one more wish that you go.”
“The same! So you promised me that you would never tell Eva von Ostried what happened between us. I have a definite hunch, as if your apparently quite pleasant stay here would otherwise have come to an end. And then back to the cleaning department at Fretzburg and Son’s? No, you know – by the way, they wouldn’t hire you again. ”
“If you stay a minute now, I’ll call for help!”
“Who would hear you? Are you looking at the window? It is impossible. But before anyone showed up, I would certainly have disappeared. And then? You would just be mistaken for insane. In addition, I no longer plan to stay very long. There is just one little thing I want to sort out quickly. In your interest, as you will admit to me afterwards. I ask you to come to your senses now. Suppose I came in the door just now and would be grateful to you because you promised to keep your mouth shut to Eva von Ostried. You are doing badly. In this robe you give the impression of a nun who has not yet put on her hood. Otherwise you look a bit worn out – pardon this expression. Favor for favor. Take this little thing. I do not mind.”
And he pressed a little packet of bills, which had been cleverly hidden under the fine handkerchief, into her right hand.
When she heard the crackling, she turned pale as death.
He casually put on his hat and nodded to her.
“Think again about everything and be understanding, Lieselotte.”
The name brought her to her senses. Matt raised her hand with the money. He put his over it and forced her arm into his lap. Under his touch a purple glow flared over her face up to the old silver hair. Then the hand came up again.
With a force that she had not believed herself capable of, she struck the careless, handsome man’s face. The bills fluttered around him, lay on his shoulders, at his feet. Mechanically he bent down and picked them up. Next to the mirror, which had strong, shiny coat hooks on both sides on red-tinted ash, hung the forgotten riding whip of a schoolboy who had his own horse. She tore off the trembling hand of the girl. –
– – Then she was alone.
She sat back on the stool next to the chest and rubbed her hand as if she had to remove a stain of dirt. She didn’t cry. She just nodded to herself. Then she suddenly felt homesick! After her father’s narrow, dark apartment, which she had wanted to crush often enough – after the father himself – but above all after her brother.
At the same time she felt that this had become impossible, and of all the pain that weighed on her, this certainty seemed to her the most unbearable. She envisioned the final, future suffering with its intensified longing that brought it near to madness. And yet knew that no call would come from her lips to those who had once listened to her. She had to forever[S. 251]fall asleep without choking on that shame. Eva von Ostried, the kind, would hold her hands lovingly – probably even lay her head on the heart beating wildly in the last fight – maybe even take her in her arms. Then everything was over and done with.
If she could repay Eva von Ostried for everything, first!
A smile came to her when she felt this wish. How would that ever be possible? – –
“This afternoon we will both be celebrating a real party,” said Eva von Ostried when she, who used to be very punctual, came home much later as usual.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Gretchen Müller replied, not showing any of the stabbing pain she was struggling with. “We’ll lower the curtains and then you will sing, will you?”
“No, my dear, we won’t do that. This time it’s going out into the countryside. Yup! Just fight back, flinch, as if a flock of hungry wolves were waiting for us outside. I stay rock hard. Do you know what the doctor said when I asked him about you: “First and foremost, fresh, good air.”
“I spent a long time on the balcony today.”
“I don’t want to diminish its merits. It’s nice that we have him. It does not offer a full replacement. Incidentally, I’ve wanted to explain that to you several times. But you always found new beauties and conveniences and I was too tired after the days of burden to refute you. But today! Do you know what we’re going to do? The electric[S. 252]Lanes are overcrowded. It’s too far to hike. So we proudly take a car. ”
At no cost did she want the sensitive patient to notice that she had to be fearfully guarded from every exertion. But Gretchen Müller felt it.
This time it was not modesty that anxiously refused to cooperate, but the fear of being seen and recognized by previous acquaintances or even by their closest relatives, increased by today’s experience.
“Don’t argue that it would be a terrible waste,” began Eva von Ostried again, “for my part I really need this change just as urgently. Of course the trip will go out to the Grunewald. It must be possible to find some table by the water. We will imagine that we are sitting in our own park and have given the servants a little leave in order to be quite undisturbed. ”
“I can’t come with you,” said Gretchen Müller in a monotonous, tired voice.
Then Eva von Ostried understood that she had to appease the fear that was revealed by the twitching of her fine lips. Any word would have hurt. Each encouragement to control only provoked an increased shyness. And yet she wanted to heal. So she began to quietly hum an ancient travel song:
We walk masked through town and country
Unrecognized by friends and enemies.
Juvivallera – Juvivallera – –
“I can’t,” repeated the pale mouth.
Those were the words that Eva von Ostried had previously considered a sufficient explanation. Today she fought against it.
“I said often enough that something couldn’t be forced and then it works.”
“Because you don’t know how heavy a debt can be.”
For a moment Eva von Ostried looked hesitantly at the floor. Then she said softly and mournfully:
“Yes, I know that.”
“But you don’t know the burning shame.”
“Do you think I am so worthless, child?”
“No,” said the other, shocked, “only for not having sunk as low as I am.”
For a moment Eva von Ostried felt the need to speak to this companion in suffering. It must have been wonderful to cry with each other. Then she felt it was weakness, overcame it and said freshly and happily:
“The imposed gifts of love, with which one tortures one’s dear neighbor with the best of intentions, are the most dangerous, I believe. So I hereby solemnly bury my wish. ”
“I will bring you nothing like disappointments, Fraulein von Ostried.”
“Today was really one. But now it has been overcome. Let’s quickly talk about something else. Look, you’ve lost your handkerchief there, child. ”And she picked up the fine batiste fabric and examined it carefully. “It’s yours, doesn’t it[S. 254]should one of the student crowd have forgotten. Let me see the name. ”
Gretchen Müller made a movement as if she wanted to rush on it to snatch it from Eva von Ostried, but as if her tired feet were no longer carrying her, she sank back down on the small stool.
“” PK “is it drawn, Miss Gretchen? I know someone who could have lost it, Miss Gretchen, ”said Eva von Ostried forebodingly. “Should I give his name or – do you want to do it?”
Shame and fear shook the miserable body.
“I want to die,” pleaded the girl.
“Is it so difficult for you?” Asked Eva now. “Then I must do it. Wasn’t it, Paul Karlsen was here – with you? ”
With a cry, Gretchen Müller threw herself at her feet and clutched her knees.
“Do I have to go now?”
Thoughts fevered behind Eva’s forehead, as once –
“Who has the right to condemn? Nobody in the whole world! Not even those who think they are innocent. ”She leaned down and gently pulled the kneeling girl up to her. “You poor, poor child.”
There was no contempt in her eyes. Her face did not twist in unapproachable pride.
There was an all-understanding and forgiving love in it!
The tired, tormented girl realized that Eva von Ostried had never loved that man and yet fully understood the power he possessed!