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Chapter V

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2022

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Summary

Balduin soon found himself on his way down to see Branhardt, who apparently had gone straight to the clinic after his consulting trip and would not come home until evening.

After the conversation with his mother that morning, he felt doubly driven to see his father — who thought so much more soberly than she did — who did not expect that every one of his son's high hopes would be realized but would stand by him until his confidence was justified by the young man's actions. Balduin saw both parents as the embodiment of all he so urgently wished to be! Who else on earth could make that possible for him? After all, their life was in his blood — that was the firm, fixed bedrock of his life, though all else might make him confused and unsure. That calming certainty filled his heart as he walked along.

His good mood diminished as he approached the clinic area. He had always been exceptionally sensitive to certain impressions, and his father's quarters did nothing to help, not only by their close proximity to the clinics themselves, but because they deliberately lacked anything that could have imparted a comforting touch of the personal — intended, perhaps, to express his father's principle that comfort was to await him at home, with his family —?

While Balduin was waiting, they were starting to serve breakfast. Branhardt had indeed gone from the railway station to the clinic, where he was still busy. If only he’d come —!

A son's love, when it involves such need, such dependency, loses all the poetry of free feelings, Balduin thought. How much better it was for Gitta, in the natural simplicity of her child's love.

Already his sense of himself was losing its poetry, like an unwatered flower left too long in the sun. With each passing minute, his mood wilted away, his original impatience now strangely pierced by a stinging fear.

The awareness he had impressed upon himself so forcefully on the way to town — that he depended on his father — suddenly entangled him in the misconception that he was a confined, imprisoned person who clearly would rather be free but was now fidgeting about like a fly caught in the finest of cobwebs.

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Anneliese's House , pp. 35 - 44
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2021

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