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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden
(1936)

Chapter V: Hugo,   pp. 61-73


Page 61

 
Chapter V: HUGO 
ST EVERYBODY HAS HAD ONCE IN HIS LIFETIME AT LEAST 
the experience of coming through a rough place in 
the dark, looking at it the following day and won- 
dering how he ever could have made it. This was 
often my feeling, as I looked back in calmer times 
             upon me earliest clays at Friedo. And even now, with 
all the extenuation of time past and pain forgotten, it seems to me 
incredible that I actually survived the mental anguish and physical 
strain of that beginning. I think that I am not deceiving myself 
when I say that it was not the fact that the island was cut off from 
help that kept me from giving up. If I had sat down and refused 
to work, Frederick would not have let me die of starvation, that 
I knew. It would have been quite possible for me to go away with 
the next Norwegian cattle-hunters, and I had sufficient funds to 
pay my passage back to Europe, or even to stay on in South 
America, had I desired. We had brought a fair amount of money 
with us, part of which we had on the island, buried in the ground, 
and part in the safe of the German consulate at Guayaquil. Nor at 
that time, as I felt towards him then in the bitterness and disap- 
pointment of my early ignorance, was it my love for Frederick that 
kept me at his side. I have often questioned myself about this matter 
with all the honesty of which I am capable, and I can truly say 
that it was solely for the sake of my ideal purpose as I saw it that 
I remained on Floreana. I was so lonely in those days that nothing 
but a purely personal and individual reason could have held me 
there. Were I a different kind of person, pride or defiance might 
have influenced me; many a failure has been persisted in for fear 
of the peculiarly painful ridicule embodied in that ready phrase 
of family and friends, "I told you so . . ."-and very often women
especially, out of a feeling of defiance, are apt to persevere in 
relations which have become impossible. But I have never cared 
what people said or thought; in fact, I am afraid that neither ap- 
proval nor disapproval has had sufficient influence upon me in 
a general way; nor am I defiant. No-I am extremely obstinate, 
and what I undertake I put through, or perish in the attempt. I 
can make no compromises, not even to save myself, and here on 
                              61 


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