The Street of Seven Stars (Chapter 5, page 1 of 10)

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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!"

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