The little band had been hired until midnight, but then I trotted around the lake for a carton of Philip Morris, and so at three o'clock in the morning they were still at it, five hollow-cheeked expressionless men wearing threadbare business suits -piano, two violins, an accordion and a saxophone, stopping now and then to drink from the steins of beer the waitresses put on the piano for them. At first they had been uncertain as to what kind of music was wanted here, and so they had started with their regular NCO Club repertoire: "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "Don't Fence Me In," "To Each His Own" . . but then gradually suggestions from the dancers brought forth a more Continental flavor: French tangos and Edith Piaf chansons, Polish polkas, Strauss and Lanner waltzes, "Zwei Herzen im 3/4 Takt". . .

At the other end of the dark candlelit entrance hall, behind the mass of dancers, was a makeshift bar. Hans von Schaumburg and I had mounted the huge beer barrel on sawhorses. Aschauer had put on his green apron, rolled up his sleeves and hammered in the bung; all night he filled the foaming steins and sent them sliding across the table.

All of the women were dancing. Milena Hashek danced with Joseph Kaufman. The blond teacher from Copenhagen and the girls from Bologna were the belles of the ball, but there were twice as many men, so even the popeyed lady publisher from Brussels and the dumpy poetess had partners.

After an anxious glance at Paola, the prettiest of the waitresses, a Polish girl from one of the camps, went galloping off in a fast polka with the professor of comparative literature from the Sorbonne -and still the extra men were lining the walls. Everybody asked Paola to dance, but she seemed to think it would be improper.

I followed her out to the terrace where she was collecting empty beer glasses. I was glowing from the music and the beer and the feel of other girls in my arms. The little square lanterns at the edges of the terrace were lighted for the first time, and the sky was smeared with stars.

"Why won't you dance with me?" I asked as she moved about, clicking the steins together by their handles. "Why did you teach me to waltz if you won't waltz with me? There's nowhere else we can dance together."

"You seem to have plenty of girls to dance with."

"I want to dance with you, though."

"If I dance with you, I must dance with the others too."

"Well, that's all right. Come on, they're playing 'Gold and Silver'."

She looked at the dancers revolving in the candlelight, then shrugged, set the collected steins upon the iron table, wiped her hands on her apron, and walked into the Schloss.

She had taught me the waltz in her living room, before I had returned the phonograph to the Villa Redl. We had rolled up the Turkish rug and danced on the wide planks, Paola counting . "one-two-three, one-two- three, hold me tighter, now turn," while the icy rain splattered against the windowpanes and the fire died in the grate, but I had never danced with her in public. Now I turned her around the hall, trying to avoid the other couples, suddenly aware that everybody was looking at us, and that I was not a good waltzer.

"Turn me faster!" commanded Paola, as the hall and the candles and the faces whirled around us, and I wished that she would smile.

"Now the other way, or we will get dizzy To the right, step . . . To the left, step, hold me tighter, now around . . ." Only a dozen couples were dancing now, turning around each other and around the hall; the rest were packed against the walls and spilling out onto the terrace. The band swung into the crescendo of the waltz, the couples whirled faster and faster, I felt Paola's blouse becoming damp under my hand and her hair brushing my cheek and then, just as I felt I was out of control and about to crash into Aschauers beer table. the music stopped.

The room continued to turn. Polite applause. Paola expelled her breath, laughing, her face dark red and beaded with sweat.

"Oh, don't hold me any more, Graham, I'm so hot. Please get me a beer."

I watched her throat as she drank. Over the rim of the glass, her eyes moved.

"Oh, Graham, you are swaying!" She giggled suddenly, showing her prominent front teeth. "I think you are a little drunk."

"I am not drunk," I said indignantly. "I'm just a little dizzy," and suddenly the music began again, very softly, a slow lilting tune:

"Ach, why are they playing a Ländler?" demanded Paola, turning angrily toward the band. "That's just a peasant dance, nobody wants to dance that!" and then Hans von Schaumburg was beside us, very tall, wearing a white shirt and an old gray loden jacket with green facings. He made just the suggestion of a bow. "Gräfin Fyrmian, darf ich bitten?"

In the cellar kitchens the maids were still cleaning up. Voices hissed in the stairwell:

"Margot! Resi! Kommt rauf!"

"Frau Gräfin tanzt a Ländler!"

"Aber geh? Mi'm Ami?"

"Aber geh! Mi'm Preiss!"

"Tres formidable," said the professor of comparative literature. leaning back against the whitewashed stone, his hands in his pockets. "Where did the Freiherr von Schaumburg learn to dance the Ländler?"

"Summers in the Tyrol," said Eduard Onderdonk.

"You have come to know him?"

Onderdonk nodded. "A little bit. We are trying to write a paper together, for Mr. Leffingwell."

The Frenchman shook his head. "I could not. I could not do it. To me, they smell of blood."

"This one is not so bad."

"A professional soldier? A Junker from the Mark Brandenburg?"

"They were not necessarily the worst. The military behaved much better than the people who came behind them."

The Frenchman shrugged his shoulders.

"This one is really sorry for what the Nazis did," said Onderdonk. "He lost his own family to them, but now he finds that foreigners dislike him just as much as if he had been an SS man. He does not know what he should do. He says, 'I cannot bring people back to life.' It worries him that Mr. Kaufman won't speak to him."

They watched the dancers. "Tres formidable, " said the Frenchman again. "They are a handsome couple."

"Yes, they are a handsome couple," said Onderdonk. "Don't you think so, Sergeant Anders?"

For a few minutes, some of the others tried to do it as a slow waltz, but when they saw the Ländler danced the way it should be, they stopped and fell back into a big circle. The violinists stood up so that they could see better. Paola and Schaumburg did the intricate steps as if they had been dancing together all their lives, not looking at each other, their faces closed in concentration, moving toward and away from each other, turning separately, turning together, listening to the music and listening also to their memories. A cool breeze from the lake blew across the guttering candles, flickering golden light and smoky shadows up the calcimined walls. Schaumburg tapped the beat with his foot on the flagstones and Paola revolved slowly under his arm, one hand in his, the other on her hip, her eyes almost closed, her teeth biting down on her lip, turning around and around to the right, then around and around to the left, then curtseying as he bowed, then spinning away, her apron flying, then dancing alone, her back to his back, listening to the beat of the piano and the wail of the violins and the tapping of his shoe, then turning around at the same instant he turned, stepping into his arms, waltzing exactly six turns around the hall with him, then stepping back for a final curtsey on the last note of the Ländler, as the room burst into applause.

The stars had disappeared and the sky was changing from dark to pale washed blue. A morning mist rose from the surface of the water. The Schloss stood silent and asleep. Somewhere a dog barked.

"I told you I would have to dance with others," said Paola. She was walking behind me on the narrow path. "You are being very childish, Graham. You are showing that you're still a boy, you're not a man yet."

I stopped walking and turned around. "Did I say anything?"

"Oh. Graham, please! You are not saying anything, but you know how to show me displeasure. What is the word? What is the word when a person will not talk?" She tried to take my arm but I shook her off. "Skulking. You are skulking, because I walked in the garden with Herr von Schaumburg."

"It's sulking," I said. "And I am not sulking, I'm just tired. You know what time it is?" I began to walk again.

"He only wanted to talk to me," said Paola. "He knew Rainer, he knew my husband--"

"I told you that before."

"They were in the hospital together, in Breslau. Rainer was wounded in the Caucasus, he had splinters from shrapnel in his back. Herr von Schaumburg had been burned in his tank, he must have been very badly burned, he was in that hospital for eight months."

"Doesn't seem to show," I said.

"I think it is on his body. He was very lucky with his face. The tank was hit and the fire came from below."

"Didn't seem to interfere with his dancing either. Did he learn the Ländler in the hospital?"

She sighed. "All right, Graham, we will not talk about him any more. You're right, we're both too tired."

We walked on in silence. By the time we reached the lilac bushes at the end of her lawn the birds had begun to sing. I was cold and numb. I turned around and looked up at the battlements of the Festung Hohensalzburg, which were just being touched by the rays of the rising sun.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"Oh, my dear." Paola stood beside me and took my arm again. "You know, I did not even like him."

I turned to look at her. "That's a little hard to believe. You should have seen what you looked like, dancing together."

"Oh, he danced very well. I'm sure he does everything very well. He is a Prussian officer, and his father and grandfather and everybody else, they were all Prussian officers. As a class I don't like them."

"Why not?"

"Oh, they think they are so wonderful, you know. They are harder and more intelligent and more honest and also braver."

"Than who?"

"Than everybody else. Especially Austrians. Austrians are lazy and corrupt and not efficient. Austrians are weak and charming and amusing."

"He said all that to you?"

"He did not have to say it. It is clear from his manner. He is impressed with how well we have accommodated ourselves to the Americans. We accommodate ourselves to everybody, you see. Tu, Felix Austria, Nube!"

"I don't know what that means."

"An old Latin saying: 'Others fight wars. You, fortunate Austria, let Venus increase your domains'."

"Well, he seemed to enjoy dancing with you."

"Oh certainly, we are very nice to dance with, to have fun with. We are just not to be taken very seriously. The important decisions of the world will be made by the real leaders, by German officers and bureaucrats and professors. And what a wonderful job they did!"

"Well, they tried to kill Hitler," I said. "Peter told me that Schaumburg's father--"

"Yes, they tried to kill Hitler. Ten years too late, they tried. When they saw that they would lose the war. And what a dreadful mess they made of their Komplott, these very efficient officers." She turned and walked across the dew-soaked lawn toward the house. I fell into step. "What did you talk about anyway?" I asked.

"Oh, he told me what he remembered about Rainer, how he photographed the other officers so that they could send pictures horne, how he played the piano in the casino . . ." She had her hand on the door, but she did not open it. "And he talked about politics. About Germany. He fears that the Allies will keep Germany divided, a Russian Germany and a Western Germany, or try to break it up into little countries, as it was before 1870. He worries that the Germans don't care any more about these things, they are politically betäubt, how do you say that? Numb. They don't care. And he is not sure the Americans care enough either. He is afraid the Americans will not be tough enough with the Russians, and the Russians have these Communists in France and Italy, very many Communists, and in the end the Americans will get disgusted and go home and leave the Russians in control of Germany."

"Well," I said, "it sounds like you had quite a serious discussion. Can we go to bed now? I'm pooped."

She looked at me. Her hand was still on the doorknob. "Graham, I think you better go back to the Villa Redl now. You want to sleep and I don't. I'm going to go to the early Mass. Go home and sleep and then come back in the afternoon. Is that all right?"

I turned around and looked across the lake. The empty windows of the Schloss seemed to be staring at us.

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1961 - A Point of View
[1] The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Boatwright Corporation
[2] What are you going to do about Boatwright and what are you going to do about yourself?
[3] Have we learned anything this evening, Doctor?
[4] Producing results?
[5] Alexander's Feast
[6] How'd you like to go over to Salzburg for a month with me?

1947 - An Island
[7] You're not going to Berlin. You're staying here.
[8] All right, we're the Military Government.
[9] The Americans are teaching us to be democratic instead of fascistic.
[10] Well, this is Fasching.
[11] Letters after Ash Wednesday
[12] Say Boris is at Schloss Fyrmian.
[13] THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN EUROPE - Prospectus for the First Session
[14] Learn to think of people as individuals.
[15] Parlez-moi d'amour, redites-moi des choses tendres.
[16] Not one thing left to show that you've ever been on earth? - "Sources of Soviet Conduct"
>[17] A Countess, a Prussian Officer and a Ländler
[18] Now this part of your life is over and I'm sending you home.
[19] A father who's too busy to watch his son die. - The Spring of 1961
[20] I cannot sell Schloss Fyrmian to the Academy.

1961 - A Change of Air
[21] The first thing I saw was the Festung Hohensalzburg far in the distance, silhouetted against the shadowy curtain of the high mountains.
[22] Next day at the Academy we got to work - Graham, you know what Fleischer did?
[23] Im weißen Rößl am Wolfgangsee
[24] Brockaw writing a thesis on Austrian baroque architecture? - Boatwright Corporation and Boris Fleischer, plaintiffs
[25] You know there a Mr. Devereaux? Mr. Armistead Devereaux?
[26] I think always of Peter Devereaux.
[27] It sounds like an act of desperation, and it won't hold up in court.
[28] In those Oklahoma Hills WHERE AH WAS BOW-AHHHN!
[29] ... that we should meet again like this . . . I think perhaps there is a reason.
[30] "Is there here an American by name of Brockaw?"
[31] This is Boris Fleischer!
[32] "Does Hans work for Gehlen?" Paola shook her head. "More the other way around."
[33] Won't you please come home? Everybody needs you, I most of all.
[34] With this Waffenstillstand you have time now.
[35] You're going to regret this for the rest of your life!
[36] We Europeans would not do it. None of us. - People think you need medical attention.
[37] Will they trust you?
[38] Some things about the U.S.A. are perhaps rather important, and to us impressive.
[39] You're going to need a good lawyer.

version: March 2, 2004
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Arthur R.G. Solmssen, Joachim Gruber