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

Chapter XXI: Hit and miss,   pp. 211-227


Page 211

 
Chapter XXI: HIT AND MISS 
  T        HE GENERAL INVITATION TO THE "HACIENDA PARADISE," 
           posted on the barrel at the bay, brought numerous vis- 
           itors to the place. They would call at Friedo afterwards 
           and tell us many a curious story of what they had ex- 
           perienced there. Thus we learned that Lorenz was no 
           longer cavalier-in-waiting; he had evidently been de- 
graded in rank, for he was now addressing the Baroness by her 
title, no longer as "darling," as when they had come to Friedo
on 
that first day. This form of address was exacted of him only while 
visitors were present. Philippson was still given out as the husband, 
and Arends was the hired man. 
  Callers at the "Hacienda Paradise" did not find the Baroness
in 
the garden to receive them. Her men performed this office, took 
the names and went indoors to ask whether Madame would care 
to see the strangers. If she was so disposed, the visitors were then 
admitted to her presence. It was a kind of royal audience. 
  The Baroness received reclining on a divan in riding dress-shirt, 
breeches, and high boots, and the riding-whip that never left her 
hand. The excessive condescension of her manner would have fitted 
the Empress of the World, not merely of the Galapagos; but for 
all this, most of the visitors came away charmed with her culti- 
vated manner and worldly graces, and looked upon her as an ec- 
centric denizen of the grand monde. As I have said, the Baroness 
was a truly superb actress. 
  It happened now and then that she was caught by strangers in 
a less favorite r6le than that of the Circe of the islands. Once a 
party surprised her in the midst of a strenuous washing day. It was 
unusual for her to do any manner of work, but the inexperienced 
and clumsy hands of men are somewhat hard on fragile clothes 
and such, therefore it did happen from time to time that she did 
a little laundry. On this occasion, the visitors found a very dif- 
ferent Baroness, hot and disheveled, and, at least for a moment, 
furious at having been taken unawares. She may have retreated in 
scattered order, but when she emerged again she was splendidly 
mistress of the situation and herself. She could afford to treat the 
accident with humor, for a greater transformation between the 
                              211 


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