The Wolfgangsee is the most famous and most crowded of the lakes in the Salzkammergut. It is shaped like a hot dog that has been squeezed together in the middle. St. Cilgen, at the near end of the lake, is half an hour by car from Salzburg, and then it is another ten miles around the other end to St. WoUgang. (You can also take the paddle-wheel steamer from one end to the other.) The long green lake, the towering mountains and the whitewashed villages are too quaint and picturesque to be entirely real. They seem more like the setting for an operetta and indeed the inn Weisses Rössl on the waterfront at St. Wolfgang was the setting for a famous operetta of the 1920s, a fact which is memorialized three or four times a day (more often on Sundays) by the musicians on the terrace.
"Why the hell do they keep playing that song?" demanded Freddie, propping his feet up on the second bar of the railing and raising his coffee cup to his lips.
"Have you ever been in those cafes on the Piazza San Marco in Venice?" I asked him. "The bands play 'Arrivederci Roma' until you're ready to jump into the canal, and they play it because that's what the tourists want to hear."
Friday afternoon; it was crowded but not too crowded. The busloads of weekenders from Vienna and Munich had not arrived yet. We have been given a nice table for lunch. We had driven down immediately after the morning lecture. First I made Freddie follow me into the cool white chapel overlooking the lake and showed him Michael Pacher's painted carvings above the altar -the Life of Jesus and the Coronation of the Virgin. I remembered the little angel at the feet of the Virgin. He was still there. Freddie only grunted, but I had not seen those golden figures for a long time. Then we walked to the inn, where we each consumed a couple of straight schnapps, a couple of beers, a big plate of assorted sausages, and Linzer Torte. Now we were drowsing in the shade of the big umbrella that protected our table from the blazing sunshine, listening to the music, smoking Freddie's cigars and drinking coffee. A few sailboats moved in the distance.
"Tough life," said Freddie, tipping back his chair.
"Tough life," I agreed.
For a few minutes we sat there in silence, just letting it all soak in.
"How do you think it's going?" asked Freddie.
"How is what going?"
"The session. The lectures and the seminars. Are they getting anything out of it?"
"Of course they are, they're having a great time, they're getting an insight--"
"How about mine, specifically? Have you got any feedback on that?"
I turned to look at him. Fishing for compliments was so uncharacteristic that for a moment I could not think of a response.
"Oh hell, I don't know what I want you to say." Freddie put down his cup, took off his glasses, and rubbed his hand across his eyes. "I just have a funny feeling . . . You know, Bergstrasser and Lamason have written books and law review articles, they're big shots on a national scale--"
"That doesn't make them better teachers," I said.
"Who gives a damn about teaching these days? You're supposed to change the world, to rewrite the Constitution, to regulate the economy--"
"Freddie, nobody expects you to rewrite the Constitution. As far as I've heard, they're all very pleased with the seminar and with your lectures--"
Freddie's attention suddenly shifted. "Hey, is that sailboat coming in here?"
"Looks like it."
"Hey, she's waving! Who's she waving at?"
"Put on your other glasses," I said.
He did. "Hey, that's your girl, Miss Königsmark, the Swedish Finn."
"Is it really? What an extraordinary coincidence."
"Coincidence my ass," said Freddie as we both stood up and waved. "She cut the lecture this morning, didn't she? Did she bring somebody for me?"
The little sloop was running downwind directly in front of the terrace now. Astrid Königsmark was at the tiller, wearing a white bikini and sunglasses, looking under the boom to see how close she was getting. There was someone else in the boat but the sail was in the way and we could not see who it was. Then, when she was only twenty yards from our terrace, Astrid turned into the wind and began to tack slowly past us.
"Signorina Lombardi!" shouted Freddie.
Rosanna Lombardi stood up in the boat. "You want to go for a sail?" She also wore sunglasses, but no bikini. She would have been a little heavy for that. She wore shorts and a halter, and her black hair was tied back into a blue bandanna.
"Sit down, Rosanna," ordered Astrid.
"Graham, there is a sign, I cannot land here. We will meet you down there,
where they rent the boats. All right?" The wind moved them away, and Freddie
was already calling for the check.
I awoke to see the top of the mast sliding past the top of a mountain. The ribs of the sailboat pressed against my back and Astrid's bare foot rested on my shoulder.
"You will be sunburned down there," she said.
Sleepily, I stretched. By craning my head back I could look all the way up the long brown legs.
"Turn the boat so I'll be in the shadow of the sail."
"Not so easy, Captain. The wind shifts every minute on this lake, and the boat does not handle right with all the fat people in front."
I grunted comfortably and rolled over on my stomach. The warm sun on my back and the gentle clunking of the water against the outside of the hull almost put me back to sleep. Up forward Freddie and Rosanna Lombardi were talking, or rather Freddie was talking and Rosanna was saying, "Oh yes . . . Oh yes . . . Oh yes . . ." as she strummed the chords on her guitar. I was amused that Astrid had picked her for this expedition. She was a plump girl of twenty-six or twenty-eight with a completely round face and large merry black eyes. She came from Bologna but I never did find out exactly what kind of work she did there; apparently she was enrolled with the law faculty at the university, taking some endless course leading to a doctoral degree and at the same time serving as the secretary to a labor union lawyer -or maybe she was the secretary of the union; I never got it straight because Rosanna's English was somewhat less than fluent. She had been assigned to Steinberg's seminar, and Eduard Onderdonk told me that the one time the justice asked her a question, her reply lasted fifteen minutes, during which nobody, including the other Italians, understood one word. "Well, I think there's a great deal to be said for your position, Miss Lombardi," Steinberg had commented when she ran out of steam, but he didn't make the same mistake twice, and so it was impossible for anyone to find out if she was learning anything or even reading the cases. However, she had a quick happy laugh and the ability to fasten her eyes upon yours and make you feel that she not only understood but was terribly interested in every word that fell from your lips. She played the guitar and sang popular Italian songs in a loud cheerful contralto, and she had already acquired a reputation for a certain complaisance.
The girls had taken the bus down on Thursday evening, had found a room in a pension on the bluff beyond St. WoUgang, and had spent the day in their rented sailboat with a picnic lunch of ham rolls, hard-boiled eggs, and two bottles of red Tyrolean wine.
It was hot in the bottom of the boat, and I decided upon a swim. Since I had taken the precaution of wearing a bathing suit under my pants, it was just a matter of balancing the boat by moving Freddie -still talking incessantly, his shirt sleeves rolled up, a bottle of wine in one hand- abaft the centerboard. Then I went over the side. I dove very deep, watching the sunbeams cutting through the green haze, listening to the whine of a motorboat propeller somewhere, feeling the first chill from the black bottomless icy void, thinking about nothing at all, my mind drowsing, perhaps still asleep, dreamily floating onward . . . until I realized that I could not hold my breath any longer, swimming up, my lungs aching, bursting out into the blinding sunshine, the sky and the forests and the mountains, and the white sail cutting back toward me.
"You want me to pull you?" called Astrid.
I nodded, still gasping for breath. She threw over the tall end of her mainsheet. I grabbed it as it came by and wrapped it around my wrist, and then I felt the pull of the wind dragging me through the water. I rolled over on my back, letting the waves splash over my shoulders, looking up at the meadows on the Schafberg, where the boys of the old Twenty-seventh had maneuvered so long ago, playing The Russians Are Coming -well they hadn't come, had they?- and I wondered whether you could train yourself to absorb physical pleasure, to turn off your mind and allow your body to receive sensation. But what is pleasure anyway? Am I experiencing pleasure of the body or the mind right now? What ever happened to Mastrangeli? Whatever happened to Lieutenant McDermott?
"You want to have a drink?' asked Astrid, looking down, holding a bottle of wine. She leaned over the rudder as far as she could, and put the mouth of the bottle into my mouth. Dragged along in the sailboat's bubbling wake I drank the cool slightly sour red wine, which comes from a lake in the Italian Tyrol, and I looked up at the golden hair hanging into her face and her strong brown shoulders and the line across her breasts where the suntan ended, and then Freddie's face appeared above hers, shouting, "Jesus Minnie, the boys at Conyers & Dean should see this sight! Rosanna, come quick and take his picture!" and Astrid's expression suddenly changed, she pushed the tiller all the way over and jerked the bottle from my lips and angrily said, "Rosanna, sit down!" but it was too late, the wind had shifted and with majestic slowness, amid shouts and screams and the clatter of falling tackle, the boat capsized.
In the end, the only casualties were Rosanna's guitar, my shoes, and one pair of Freddie's glasses. Our wallets and passports a been locked into the car, and the girls had left their things in their room. We tried to right the boat ourselves, Freddie sputtering like a walrus, treading water and bellowing instructions ("Anders! The car keys! Have you secured the car keys?") but it was no good. The sail was too heavy and we could not unfasten it. After ten or fifteen minutes in the cold water, we gratefully accepted a tow from one of the circling motorboats and soon we were passing in front of the white church steeple and the piers and terraces of St. Wolfgang, all crowded with people earnestly photographing our ignominious return.
In the shallow water at the boatyard a couple of sunburned muscular boys took charge of the sloop and we clambered up the ladder to the dock, forming little puddles on the creosoted planks. Freddie, still wearing his sopping slacks and sport jacket, emptied a gallon of water from the guitar and assured Rosanna that we would get her another one.
The wind was blowing harder now, and the red afternoon sun was dipping toward the mountains. My clothes lay in a soggy heap, and the girls were both shivering.
"You will never dry your things out here," said Astrid, trying to warm herself by rubbing her shoulders. "Why don't you bring us up to the house. Perhaps the lady there can help us."
Sticky and wet, we squeezed into the Volkswagen and drove slowly through the crowded streets. We stopped once, to buy me a pair of sandals. Freddie ambled across the street and returned with a bottle of slivovitz. We passed it around the car, and by the time we arrived at the Pension Traube, Rosanna was laughing again.
The cheerful fat lady who met us in the hall did not seem shocked by our appearance. Yes, she thought she could dry our clothes in her oven. Freddie began to peel off his jacket.
"Wollen die Herren auch ein Zimmer haben?"
Astrid, already halfway up the stairs, turned around. "Do you have to go back to Salzburg tonight?"
"Let's have a look at the room," said Freddie.
The room was in the attic, recently remodeled to increase the capacity of the house. No bath, two beds, a crucifix, a window with a nice view across the lake. The lady waited on the stairs.
"Well. what the hell," said Freddie, stripping off his trousers. "We've got to stay someplace while our clothes get dried."
I passed the soggy bundle around the door and told the lady we would take the room.
Freddie was naked, pink and fat, his face and neck burned red by the sun, the rest of his body pink and fat, but not a bad body for a man of his age, powerful arms and shoulders, a torso like the Laocoon in the Vatican Museum, but under it the great round belly, hanging down. He scratched the rusty mat of hair on his chest and poured some slivovitz into the two glasses on the bedside table.
"Cheers," he said.
"Cheers, old boy."
The slivovitz felt very good.
"Is anything going to come of this?" asked Freddie, peering down into his glass. He suddenly looked sad.
He turned sideways and glanced at his reflection in the mirror. "Shit. just look at me." But then he grinned and took another drink. "Maybe I'll wind up with the landlady."
He climbed into bed, covered himself with the comforter and folded his hands behind his head. "You know, there was an old Peter Arno cartoon, long before your time, of course. These two guys are in a pup tent, you see, and they're sticking their heads out, and over here is another pup tent, and these two girls are sticking their heads out of this other pup tent, you see, and one of the guys says--"
There was a knock on the door. "We have brought you our bathrobes," Astrid called.
"Bring a couple of glasses too," shouted Freddie, as I climbed into my bed.
It was, at first, a nice and strangely innocent party. The girls had taken a hot shower, combed out their wet hair and put on skirts and sweaters. They fetched two more glasses while we put on their bathrobes and then we sat around our room, smoking cigarettes and finishing the bottle of slivovitz. Astrid told us about her life in Finland, her job as a caseworker for the juvenile court, her grandfather's place on the Gulf of Bothnia, her sailboat. I watched, wondering again why a girl like this wasn't married. The talk turned to the Academy. I told them about Peter Devereaux and his dream, and how it had all been that summer long ago, and how pleased Peter would have been to see how the whole thing had mushroomed, how the Academy now operated a different session every month, how hundreds of people over the years had lived in the Schloss and gone back home with new ideas about the United States ... and suddenly I realized that they were all looking at me; I was making a speech.
"Bravo, bravo[" cried Freddie, clapping
his hands. He was sitting up in his bed, clad in Rosanna's flowered kimono.
"You have just heard this evening's commercial, delivered with his customary
flair and vigor by none other than Graham Anders, Esquire, pillar of the
Philadelphia Bar. . ." but Astrid was not laughing.
At nine o'clock we were down along the lake again, eating dinner in one of the dark noisy inside rooms of the Weisses Rössl. By this time we all had a slight edge on, that pleasant feeling when you know you are a little drunk and happy about it. The people at the Pension Traube had dried and pressed our clothes so well that we looked no more disheveled than the other tourists. Freddie had ordered the dinner, of course: Bouillon mit Ei, Backhändl, fried potatoes, two pitchers of Kremser (why two?) and now he sat at the head of our table, talking, drinking the wine, eating, talking with his mouth full, his face turning deep, almost Burgundy red. Behind us the band played "Tirol Tirol, Du bist mein Heimatland," and I thought: This isn't Tyrol, why are they playing that? while watching Freddie deliberately making himself drunk. One part of my machinery was talking to the girls, laughing and eating and drinking and thinking how wonderful everything was, while another part was asking why Freddie was making himself drunk when it was so important that he shouldn't be.
Again, the old balloon floating along
the ceiling, among the band music and the cigarette smoke and the smell
of food and beer and wine and the breeze from the lake, watching all this:
the two lawyers on a lark, the two girls laughing and looking at each other,
the crowds, the waitresses, the blaring band music, outside the lake and
the mountains, the falling darkness.... But why should he try to make himself
"So just as we got the third tank to the other side, the Nazis fired off a flare, a magnesium flare that lighted up the whole damn valley, and then they started to clobber the pontoon bridge with this eighty-eight I mentioned before, the one inside the railroad tunnel."
Freddie was crossing the river Roer, in February 1945.
"A sticky wicket, as the Limeys say. No use calling for air support at night, because even if they found us by the flares, they wouldn't be able to get a bomb or even a rocket into the mouth of that tunnel. . ."
We were glassy-eyed, watching Freddie talk and talk. I had become accustomed to these monologues, but I was embarrassed for him now. The band was playing a foxtrot. "Rosanna, would you like to dance?"
"Wait a minute, wait a minute, let me just finish telling them this story," exclaimed Freddie indignantly, but Astrid was already standing up. "You tell me about it while we dance," she said, putting her hand on his shoulder, and then we were in the middle of the crowd, moving to the music, Rosanna pressing tightly against me. "Is nice here," she shouted up toward my ear. The music was very loud.
"Yes, it is," I agreed.
"Professor Minto, he is your friend?"
"Oh yes, an old friend. But he asked you to call him Freddie."
"No, no." She smiled and shook her head. "In Europe, we not call professor Freddie!" The idea made her giggle. I could feel her giggle against my chest. But then she asked, "Why does he drink so much, Gray-ham?"
"Well, he's just having a good time."
"Oh yes, but I am afraid. . . he will soon be drunk."
He already was. I could see that
Astrid was having some trouble with him, that he was bumping into other
couples more than necessary and his face was scarlet now, beaded with sweat,
contorted into a scowl that promised remarks about Nazis or Krauts and
the possibility of trouble. . . . I pulled Rosanna back to the table. paid
our bill, and signaled Astrid that we were all leaving.
"You should not have let him take the car," said Astrid.
"He's all right now," I said. "The minute he came out into the fresh air he sobered up, and they can't get into trouble on that little dirt road up there. What I wonder is what happens when they get there?"
She turned around and looked at me, her arms folded. "Oh, you wonder about that, do you?"
I could hardly see her face in the darkness. We had walked up the street to the whitewashed village church because I wanted to show her the Pacher altarpiece, but of course the door was locked at this hour, so we stood on the empty terrace, looking across the water through one of the arches in the ivy-covered wall. There were a few lights on the opposite shore, but the mountains were dark, blacker shadows against the ink-blue sky. We could still hear faint music from the dance band.
I moved closer and put my hands on her upper arms.
"Don't you wonder what's going to happen up there?"
"Because I already know what's going to happen."
I moved my head and kissed her under the ear. She put her arms around my neck.
"What's going to happen?" I mumbled, my lips against her throat. She smelled of soap and sunshine.
"She's going to bed with him."
"How do you know?"
"I just know. Women can tell these things."
"Does she like him?"
"Oh, I think she finds him interesting, and perhaps she would like to try a professor." I could feel her laugh. I kissed her on the mouth, pressing her body back against the wall. When we stopped she held on to me, her mouth against my ear. "And another reason."
"She knows I want to sleep with you tonight."
We walked up the hill. She held my
arm. The steep road, really more of a graveled lane between the hedges,
was dark and empty. We could not hear the music any more. Our Volkswagen
and a few other cars were parked in front of the Pension Traube. The front
hall was lighted, but nobody seemed to be around. I followed Astrid up
the stairs. Somewhere a radio was playing. The door to the girls' room
was shut. Astrid put her ear against it, looked at me with large serious
eyes, and opened the door. We didn't turn on the light. The room was empty.
Later I asked, "Did you plan all this?"
"Oh no." Her hands were in my hair. The moon had come up. We could not see it, but there was a rectangle of watery light on the floor beneath the window.
"You brought Rosanna for Freddie."
"Because you told me that he would be with you. I thought we might have dinner together, but I did not make the boat turn over. So stupid! That has never happened to me."
"Well, it was a happy accident."
I propped myself on my elbow and looked at her. There was just enough light to see her hair spread out across the pillow, her body dark against the white sheets, almost like a photo negative.
"Are you sorry?"
She shook her head and reached up to pull me down again. "You know when I decided to go to bed with you?"
"When you sat up there on your bed, in my bathrobe, and you told us about the Schloss, how it was after the war, and your friend who died. That was when I thought you are a different person."
"Not so . . . I cannot say it, you seem so . . . not cold exactly, I don't find you cold at all, but without strong feeling, without . . . you know the French word degage? You will not give anything of yourself, I think, but when I heard you speak about that summer in the Schloss, I felt that perhaps I was wrong, perhaps you could give, if you cared enough. . . ." She stopped and turned away from me, so that only the mass of hair was in my face.
"But now you don't feel that way any more?"
No answer. I slid my arms around her and pressed myself against her back. "I'm not very good at philosophy," I said.
"No. But you are good at pleasure, at making pleasure for yourself."
"And not for you?"
She sighed and turned again, wrapping
her legs around me. "Yes, that is the trouble, for me too, Graham. No,
not yet, let's sleep now. Can we sleep like this?"
Movement. Tensing. A sticky unclasping. I could feel her moving, getting out of bed, but I could not wake up. I was deep underwater, deep underwater, but feeling myself breathing, also listening to one of the golden angels in Michael Pacher's altarpiece, one of the angels holding the robe of the Virgin, he was singing "Qui tollis, qui tollis, peccata mundi in a high clear voice, and I said, You're supposed to be a Renaissance angel, you can't sing Haydn!" and I heard her bare feet padding across the floor, heard the door latch - she leaving? Whispers, silence, more whispers, I was trying to find the angel to ask him something, suddenly a giggle. then the door locked with a firm revolving click, bare feet again, the mattress sagging, lips at my ear,"Graham are you awake?" a new smell, perfume and cigarettes, I touched silk over smooth skin. "Hey?"
"Rosanna wants to join us." They whispered again in the darkness. Astrid climbed over me. "No, come in this bed. Lie on that side, there is plenty of room," and then I felt the mattress sag again as Rosanna slid down beside me, the silk kimono bunching under her arms. The bed creaked under our weight.
"Freddie asleep, makes so loud noises." She imitated Freddie's whistling snores, and both of them giggled.
"We fell asleep too soon," murmured Astrid into my car.
"Such terrible noises," said Rosanna. "Not possible to sleep."
"I'd better get in the other bed," I said. Astrid put her arm over me. "It's all right, it's nice this way. We go back to sleep now."
But of course we didn't
Somewhere behind the mountains the sun was rising; the sky and the lake began to emerge, pearl-gray, from the darkness. I stood by the window, buttoning my shirt wondering why my life was turning into a disgusting farce, a scene from a stag movie. Ellsworth Boyle must be right; there was something the matter with me. Normal people don't do things like this.
In the shadows behind me the bedsprings creaked. Footsteps. Then Astrid was standing beside me. "Aren't you going to stay with us?"
"No, it's almost morning. I'd better be there when Freddie wakes up."
"Oh, Graham, it will be unpleasant for you?"
"Well, he might not remember much, but I think I'll get him up and take him back to Salzburg. You go to sleep now, I'll see you on Sunday."
She nodded, hesitated, gave me a quick soft kiss and climbed into bed beside Rosanna. By the time I had collected the rest of my clothes and put them on, both girls were sound asleep. Rosanna was snoring.
Freddie had nothing to say as we drove out of the village. He slumped in the seat beside me with his eyes closed, nursing a monumental hangover. I told him that it would embarrass the girls if we were still around when the Pension woke up and he didn't argue about it. He didn't ask when Rosanna had left our room, but I suspect that if he thought everything had gone well there would have been no way to get him out of bed before noon.
The air was cool and fresh and the road was empty. The sun was up now, shining into our faces until we rounded the end of the lake. We stopped for breakfast at St. Gilgen: fresh rolls and butter, coffee, a shot of Cognac. We sat at an iron table underneath a chestnut tree. I felt better immediately, and began to wish that Freddie would make some comment about what had happened, some rueful crack to indicate that you win a few and lose a few, but he just sat there morosely chewing his roll, and suddenly he asked, "Has anybody talked to you about the moot court?"
"No. What moot court?"
"They want us to stage an American trial, to show them how it works. Make up a case, some simple case, pick twelve of the Europeans for a jury, Steinberg sits as judge, counsel on each side question the witnesses and make their addresses, then the jury decides the case just the way they would in a real trial. They do one of those at every law session, apparently. Somebody's got to work up some kind of a script, and the thought was that you might be able to do it."
"Well, sure," I said. "It's about time they gave me something to do. So far I've just been asked to organize an amateur night for next weekend, but this sounds more interesting."
"Okay then, it's your pigeon." Freddie stood up. "Let's head for the Schloss. I've got to organize my lectures for next week."
He ambled toward the car, picking
his teeth with a match.
1961 - A Point of View
 The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Boatwright Corporation
 What are you going to do about Boatwright and what are you going to do about yourself?
 Have we learned anything this evening, Doctor?
 Producing results?
 Alexander's Feast
 How'd you like to go over to Salzburg for a month with me?
1947 - An Island
 You're not going to Berlin. You're staying here.
 All right, we're the Military Government.
 The Americans are teaching us to be democratic instead of fascistic.
 Well, this is Fasching.
 Letters after Ash Wednesday
 Say Boris is at Schloss Fyrmian.
 THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN EUROPE - Prospectus for the First Session
 Learn to think of people as individuals.
 Parlez-moi d'amour, redites-moi des choses tendres.
 Not one thing left to show that you've ever been on earth? - "Sources of Soviet Conduct"
 A Countess, a Prussian Officer and a Ländler
 Now this part of your life is over and I'm sending you home.
 A father who's too busy to watch his son die. - The Spring of 1961
 I cannot sell Schloss Fyrmian to the Academy.
1961 - A Change of Air
 The first thing I saw was the Festung Hohensalzburg far in the distance, silhouetted against the shadowy curtain of the high mountains.
 Next day at the Academy we got to work - Graham, you know what Fleischer did?
> Im weißen Rößl am Wolfgangsee
 Brockaw writing a thesis on Austrian baroque architecture? - Boatwright Corporation and Boris Fleischer, plaintiffs
 You know there a Mr. Devereaux? Mr. Armistead Devereaux?
 I think always of Peter Devereaux.
 It sounds like an act of desperation, and it won't hold up in court.
 In those Oklahoma Hills WHERE AH WAS BOW-AHHHN!
 ... that we should meet again like this . . . I think perhaps there is a reason.
 "Is there here an American by name of Brockaw?"
 This is Boris Fleischer!
 "Does Hans work for Gehlen?" Paola shook her head. "More the other way around."
 Won't you please come home? Everybody needs you, I most of all.
 With this Waffenstillstand you have time now.
 You're going to regret this for the rest of your life!
 We Europeans would not do it. None of us. - People think you need medical attention.
 Will they trust you?
 Some things about the U.S.A. are perhaps rather important, and to us impressive.
 You're going to need a good lawyer.