Lara was sitting on her son's bed while he was still asleep. She began to cry, and he opened his eyes.

"Mother," he said in a weak voice, "I'm going to die soon."

"No, no, my child," she said, "you're much too young to die."

"But, I am going to die soon. Manor was here with me again. We talked to each other," he said. "We sat on a rock, as usual, under the old beech tree, and he put his arm around my shoulders and called me 'My Boy.' He'll come again tonight to fetch me. He promised me so. I can't bear to live without him."

She leaned over him, and tears welled up in her eyes. "My poor child," she sobbed, placing her hand on his forehead. When night approached she lit a lamp and kept a vigil at his bedside. He lay there still awake, staring silently into the distance.

"Mother," he said.

"What is it, my dear son?" she asked.

"Bury me in his grave, won't you?" he requested. "And do please remove that horrible stake from his chest."

She promised him this, squeezed his hand and kissed him.

"Indeed," he said, "I can't wait until I join him in his grave."

Midnight struck. Suddenly transfigured, he raised his head slightly as if listening intensely. His eyes shining, he looked toward the window and the branches of the lilac bush.

"Look, mother, there he is."

Those were his final words. His eyes rolled back. He sank into his pillow and passed away.

And they did as he requested.

L'Aquila, July 22-30, 1884. --C[arlo] E[nrico] Ulrichs.

This version from: Ulrichs, Karl Heinrich. "Manor: Eine Novelle." Schwuchtel: Eine Zeitung der Schwulenbewegung (Queen: A Newspaper of the Gay Movement), vol. 2, no. 7 (spring 1977), p. 18. (Reprint of the version published by Wegwald in 1914.)

Illustration in chapter I from: Ulrichs, Karl Heinrich. "Manor: A Novella." Trans. M. Lombardi. The Voice (San Francisco), September 11, 1981, p. 11.

Illustration in chapter II from: Karsch-Haack, Ferdinand. "Carl Heinrich Ulrichs." Die Freundschaft (Friendship), no. 19 (1922), p. 4.


< 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 >