Somewhere a fork clinked steadily against a glass. The din of conversation eased off. Pitchers of coffee had circulated at each table, people were moving their chairs and lighting cigarettes. Dinner was over, and this was the usual time for announcements.

At the other end of the hall, by the windows over the lake, Eduard Onderdonk was on his feet.

"Mrs. Rasmussen, Mr. Rasmussen, other ladies and gentlemen:
"I believe that I am, technically, the only alumnus present here this evening, the only student here -although I must say after many years- who has come back for a second session. For this reason I have the advantage, to be able to see into the future, and to know that next week, at the end of next week, at the end of the session, we will have in this room a banquet -with candle lights and wine and perhaps some music and dancing, and above all with a great many speeches, which will be very good speeches, very sentimental speeches" -a few people laughed automatically- "yes, and toasts proposed, the representatives of each seminar will toast their professors, one representative from each country will speak for his countrymen, perhaps the professors will say a few words too, and they will tell how much we learned, how much we liked it here, and we will promise to meet again -although very few of us will ever keep that promise, be able to keep that promise." The dining hall was silent.

"I rise tonight, my colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, to make a speech -no, not a speech- to say a few words, because one member of our group will not be with us next week, will not be at the banquet, and that is the other 'returner' -can you say that in English? The other one who returned, not only from long ago, but also from far away, our American colleague, Mr. Graham Anders."

Every eye in the room turned.

"Mr. Anders must go back to America tomorrow. He must go back to his firm. We all know how busy a lawyer he is because he is telephoned nearly every day--" A roar of laughter cut off the sentence.

"Well, in America they understand the telephone better than we dol But in all seriousness, Graham, I wish to say, and I have been asked to say on behalf of the European students here, that we are sorry that you are called home before the end, we have enjoyed your company, and we most particularly enjoyed the jury trial which you and Professor Minto -where is Professor Minto? He is not here? We most particularly enjoyed the jury trial, Commonwealth against Lombardi, the Case of the Missing Guardi--" He paused. The room was silent. "And I wish to say, not only to you, Graham, but to the other Americans here, that while I do not believe that your trial will cause any of us to go home and urge our countrymen to adopt the adversary system and the trial by jury" -some reflex giggles, instantly suppressed- "all the same, your particular trial demonstrated to us some things about the United States of America that are perhaps more important, and to us more impressive, than the details of court procedure." They all began to applaud.

"Just a minute, just one minute please, ladies and gentlemen. I am almost finished. And, Graham, to demonstrate this feeling we have, Miss Rosanna Lombardi and Miss Astrid Königsmark have prepared for you a souvenir of Salzburg" -Rosanna was on her feet carrying something across the room toward me-  "which Miss Lombardi will now present to you, from all of us."

Chair legs squeaked as people moved or stood up to watch her progress across the room. She was carrying a small picture in a gold frame. I saw the chequered harlequin . . . the Guardi? I stood up, she handed me the picture, turned, and fled back to her place. Inside the frame was a cartoon, exquisitely drawn with ink or watercolor, a cartoon of another commedia picture in the Venetian Room, this one with three figures: Il Dottore, the lawyer, is reaching out to remove the harlequin's domino mask, while Il Capitano, the soldier with bristling mustachios, tries to protect the harlequin with his sword. II Dottore is wearing a mask too; it is the face of Graham Anders, a photograph, apparently clipped from the name chart that stood in the front of the hall. Above the figures a marble arch, rococo filigrees, and an elaborate inscription:


The sides of the arch were filled with signatures.

They were all applauding now. "Speech, Anders! Make a speech!"

I got a few words out, but it wasn't. easy.

previous chapter, next chapter



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