The Goose Girl (Chapter 7, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 7

Grumbach was very fond of music, and in America there were never any bands except at political meetings or at the head of processions; and that wasn't the sort of music he preferred. There was nothing at the Opera, so he decided to spend the earlier part of the evening in the public gardens. He was lonely; he had always been lonely. Men who carry depressing secrets generally are. He searched covertly among the many faces for one that was familiar, but he saw none; and he was at once glad, and sorry. Yes, there was one face; the rubicund countenance of the bandmaster. It was older, more wrinkled, but it was the same. How many years had the old fellow swung the baton? At least thirty years. In his boyhood days Grumbach had put that brilliant uniform side by side with the grand duke's. As it was impossible for him ever to become a duke, his ambition had been to arrive at the next greatest thing--the bandmaster. As he neared the pavilion he laughed silently and grimly. To have grown wealthy as a master plumber instead! So much for ambition!

Subsequently he found himself standing beside a young vintner and his peasant sweetheart. Their hands secretly met and locked behind their backs. Grumbach sighed. Never would he know aught of this double love. This Eden would never have any gate for him to push aside. He would always go his way alone.

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