A married couple of good social standing and in fairly prosperous circumstances are childless after a number of years in wedlock. To the man, it is a matter of keen disappointment; to the woman, it is an obsession and ever-present torture--until, one day in the Swiss mountains, she comes across a little child, son of a peasant woman, and the thought of adopting him dawns upon her.
t was creeping over him. Only no sentimentality. It was better to go away from there quickly, much better for her.
"We're going away to-morrow."
And as she looked at him with wide-open horror-struck eyes and pallid cheeks, the words escaped from his lips although he had not intended saying them, drawn from him by a bitterness that he could not master any longer:
And they went away.
But it seemed to the woman as though every joy had disappeared with the emerald green meadow in the Alps, in which she had painted the lovely children. There was the same old nervous twitch in her face, the corners of her mouth drooped slightly and she cried very easily. Paul Schlieben watched his wife with positive dismay. Oh dear, had it all been in vain, the giving up of his work, all this travelling about without making any plans that was so fatiguing? Had the old melancholy frame of mind taken possession of h
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