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

Chapter XX: The stage is set,   pp. 204-210


Page 205

 
                      The Stage Is Set                     205 
ware. From this it was not hard to deduce the ambitious dwelling 
the Baroness had it in mind to build. For further information, con- 
tractors were requested to inquire at "Hotel Paradise Refound."
  This public attack on Frederick and me naturally infuriated me 
at first, but afterwards I tried to treat it with the same indifference 
that Frederick did. Wittmer made it the more difficult to do this 
by informing us that we were the butt of much vituperation at 
the Baroness's camp, and that I especially was accused by her of 
much scandalous and highly vicious behavior. So far, I knew, she 
had not had much opportunity to spread such stories beyond her 
immediate and unimportant circle, but it was deeply humiliating 
and painful to me to think that acquaintances of ours might visit 
her when calling at the island, and perhaps believe the things she 
said. But there was nothing to do about it, and I could only hope 
that the good opinion of people who had found me otherwise would 
remain proof against her calumnies. 
  When we are enduring great physical suffering, depression takes. 
more powerful hold upon us than when we are well, and at that 
time I was going through acute physical torment. My teeth had 
become so bad that they now had to be drawn, not one but all of 
them, and this with primitive instruments-for Frederick had not 
brought his dental equipment-and no anesthetic whatever. Nor did 
we have a single pain-relieving drug. I shall never forget the agony 
I went through during those weeks and months. I had suffered a 
great deal of pain in my life, but nothing in comparison with this. 
It pulled me down until my resistance was utterly gone. I was too 
much of a wreck to profit by my own admonitions to myself, and 
all the weary assurances of my mind, telling me that this woman 
with her malignant attacks should be a touchstone of my power 
over myself, were like a voice heard talking words one can under- 
stand but has somehow lost the meaning of. 
  In the mental apathy and bodily torment of that period, I think 
I could have let myself be driven from the island and hardly 
known it. I felt utterly destroyed and desolate and it was only 
with the greatest effort that I was able to force myself to attend 
to the animals I was so fond of, and show them still the little 
marks of affection they were accustomed to receive from me. Dur- 


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