Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 May 2022
With a red ribbon around his neck, right about where he was no longer a terrier but not yet a pug, Salomo rode along to the station, with people staring in wonder as he went by — which put him in a happy mood. He liked red ribbons; and, besides, Gitta wanted to see him looking festive when she arrived.
At the last minute, Anneliese saw Branhardt coming to the train — even though it was at a time when normally he could hardly get free — and even though Salomo's show of emotion made it seem almost impossible to greet Gitta in human fashion.
She returned home as fashionably svelte as when she had left, but also, despite her slim, still childlike figure, in the same good health, so refreshing to Branhardt's doctorly eye. He had just time enough to wait for the baggage and pack his wife, daughter, and Salomo into a hansom cab — but at the last moment he jumped in with them.
That was ill advised, since every move took him farther away from the clinics. But then — as Anneliese often noted — something about Gitta made people careless.
And she didn't have to say anything of interest to do that. When she was three or four years old, he had listened to her just as tolerantly while she read to him, her tone serious but with the newspaper held upside-down — and later, too, when she would confide in him about truly pointless matters.
Anneliese sometimes said she had not known that dubious side of him until she bore him this daughter.
At home, up in Gitta's room, next to her parents’ bedroom, Anneliese noticed the one thing about her daughter that had changed, when she took off her hat to reveal that, yet again — as so many times before — her hair was cut differently. The girl's dark-blonde hair, nothing less than luxuriant and with a slight wave, was remarkably amenable to all experiments.
As she unpacked, Gitta chatted with her “mama” while moving about her room. Its floor was covered with dropcloths, rather unaesthetically, to protect a belatedly applied coat of varnish.