University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Adler, Philip A. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XVI, Number 4 (January 1917)

Forbes, Esther
Underexposed,   pp. 113-114

Page 114

January, 1917
a lap!" One of the uniformed men laughed very
lightly, like a girl. "She can eat this potato soup,
which I, a strong man, can not. A vile soup, Miss,
do not try it. It is made of old shoes and dead Serbs.
Here, Aennchen," he poised a spoonful of it over the
cat's head. She balanced herself on his sturdy leg
and licked the spoon clean.
"A very fine cat," Rose agreed.
"Yes, perhaps she like a little of your butter. Mine
is all gone." Rose uncoiled a roll of it and fed it to
"Does she always eat with you?" she asked.
"Yes, always with me. Always with anyone that
will feed her. She would eat with the devil if he
gave her a sardine. And you-do you always eat
"Never, if I can help it. I have an aunt upstairs."
"Locked upstairs, in a trunk?"
"No, upstairs writing a book. We haven't a trunk.
It was held up at customs, because the inspector
couldn't see why we had so many camera supplies.
The silly things thought Aunt Jessica was a sp
She was so flattered."
"Aber," the man took a long pull at his be
"Warum, why the camera supplies?"
"I am taking pictures to illustrate her boo;
There was no need of saying, "also for the Russi
"So?" queried the general, "What for a book?"
"A travel book. It is called 'Dear Dalmatia,' be-
cause Dalmatia is such a dear, sleepy, little place. I
suppose that is why we Americans like it. At home
everyone is doing something, or going to do some-
"And here," he suggested, "you find everything
done and in the past."
"Yes, exactly."
"Nothing ever happens here, nothing ever will. Is
that it, Miss?"
"I don't see what could happen. I hope they will
not put me in jail. You see, I must have pictures of
Cattaro for the book. Isn't there someone who could
give me a permit? Why is it forbidden to take pic-
tures here? Austria isn't going to fight with anyone
is she?" The general's face, mobile in spite of its
heaviness, grew puzzled.
"'I only understand slow English. Not fast like,
pop, pop, ping. But pictures, surely they are forbid-
den in Cattaro." He threw back his great square
head and drained the last of his beer. His words rum-
ibled magnificently in his empty stein. "Very much for-
bidden. It is I who say it and make it so."
"Oh, are you the commander?" She had sized
him up as an old major.
"Yes, Von Stein, general, and military commander
of this district." He bowed so formally that Aenn-
chen lost her balance and fell to the floor. Von
Stein made a grab for her, and came up scarlet with ex-
ertion. He looked so haphazard and childish with
his cat and his bib, that not even his title could frighten
the girl.
"You are the very person I wanted most to see."
"That is nice, Miss. I like flattery as a cat likes
"But it is on business."
"Oh, no, no," he protested, "see me for pleasure
not for business. Er-r, I hate business."
"For both-for a permit." The general looked re-
"Ach, Gott in Himmel! now I see. I feared you
would ask me statistics for the aunt's book. Permits
are nothin' nothin'. Now what is it about?" Rose
plunged in recklessly. "I want awfully to take pic-
tures here."
"Pictures, pictures! Oh, the one-ideaed-ness of
the young. You talk like an art museum! But tell
me, why you should be permitted."
"It would spoil my aunt's book not to have any of
Cattaro. Baedeker double-stars, the bay-the Boc-
che di Cattaro." He smiled and nodded. "It is as
beautiful as the bay of Naples, but if there are no pic-
tures no one will believe just words." Rose came to
a dead stop. It was the general's turn to say some-
thing. Still he smiled, and nodded; but he refused
to take his turn.
"In most places they are not so fussy, and Cattaro
is so pretty if there Were some good pictures of it in
the book it might attract tourists and they would bring
in money, and that would, it would-" Rose came
to a dead stop. It was impossible to talk to such a
nodding mandarin. She finished rapidly. "Is it be-
cause you are afraid of me. Do I look so dangerous?"
"Dangerous," the man laughed. "Lieber Himmel !
so dangerous as him." He snapped a crumb of bread
half way across the dining-room. Rose flushed and
(Continued on page 1-03)
Wisconsin Literary Magazine
An Exchange of Ideas
Published Monthly. Yearly Subscription, One Dollar.
Entered as Second Class Matter at the Post Office at
Madison Wis.
J. J. SMERTENKO, Managing Editor
A. J. FEHRENBACH, Advertising Manager
R. D. JOHNSON, Circulation Manager
ADELE BARWIG, Associate Cir. Manager
MILDRED EVANS, Asst. Cir. Manager
EDWIN L. BERG, Accountant

Go up to Top of Page