The Street of Seven Stars HTML version

Chapter 5
The peace of a gray Sunday morning hung like a cloud over the little Pension Schwarz. In
the kitchen the elderly maid, with a shawl over her shoulders and stiffened fingers, made
the fire, while in the dining-room the little chambermaid cut butter and divided it
sparingly among a dozen breakfast trays--on each tray two hard rolls, a butter pat, a plate,
a cup. On two trays Olga, with a glance over her shoulder, placed two butter pats. The
mistress yet slept, but in the kitchen Katrina had a keen eye for butter--and a hard heart.
Katrina came to the door.
"The hot water is ready," she announced. "And the coffee also. Hast thou been to mass?"
"That is a lie." This quite on general principle, it being one of the cook's small tyrannies
to exact religious observance from her underling, and one of Olga's Sunday morning's
indulgences to oversleep and avoid the mass. Olga took the accusation meekly and
without reply, being occupied at that moment in standing between Katrina and the extra
pats of butter.
"For the lie," said Katrina calmly, "thou shalt have no butter this morning. There, the
Herr Doktor rings for water. Get it, wicked one!"
Katrina turned slowly in the doorway.
"The new Fraulein is American?"
Katrina shrugged her shoulders.
"Then I shall put more water to heat," she said resignedly. " The Americans use much
water. God knows it cannot be healthy!"
Olga filled her pitcher from the great copper kettle and stood with it poised in her thin
young arms.
"The new Fraulein is very beautiful," she continued aloud. "Thinkest thou it is the hot
"Is an egg more beautiful for being boiled?" demanded Katrina. "Go, and be less foolish.
See, it is not the Herr Doktor who rings, but the new American."