There will be one more installment of Chapter Four going up on Thursday, then it's on to Chapter 5, which is a return to one of the characters we've already met.
Before they parted for the night, Friedrich asked Jozef to call on him early the next morning. As a non-officer, Jozef could not serve as a second, but since he was a witness to the confrontation he must come and attest to the insult which made the duel necessary.
The flat was still when Jozef left his rooms the next morning. Lisette was never an early riser. The door which led to her bedroom and sitting room usually remained closed until ten or eleven o’clock in the morning, when she rang the bell for her breakfast and the morning’s letters to be brought in. Jozef’s own habits were not as late rising as his mother’s, but even so he felt tired and rumpled as he issued forth onto the street before eight o’clock, blinking in the summer morning sunlight at the crowds that seemed far too awake and busy for what seemed to him a very early hour.
Friedrich’s flat, when he arrived, was a contrast to his own: bright and bustling with activity. A soldier servant was serving out small cups of coffee. Friedrich and another officer sat together at the breakfast table, leaning over a document they were drawing up and consulting several others. The third officer stood behind, leaning against the wall. All three officers were polished and crisp in their uniforms, contrasting starkly with Jozef’s grey summer suit and straw boater. The outfit that would have looked athletic and casual at the student cafe here was weak, almost effeminate.
“So you’re the witness?” asked the officer lounging against the wall. Rittmeister Istvan Granar was an experienced duelist who frequently stood as second and advisor to officers in Friedrich’s regiment in their affairs of honor. His greying mustache and the heavy creases around his grey-blue eyes gave him a demeanor of intensity, and there was clearly no regard for this little civilian in his gaze.
Friedrich looked up from his work with the other, younger officer. “This is Jozef von Revay. He is a good friend, and he stood with me when I was insulted last night.”
Two Poem Drafts
12 hours ago