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54

ROYAL HIGHNESS

promenade, with Baroness von Schulenburg-Tressen in attendance. Klaus Heinrich was a little excited and feverish before these drives, to which unfortunately no enjoyment, but on the contrary a great deal of trouble and effort attached. For, directly the open carriage came out through the Lions Gate on to the Albrechtsplatz, past the grenadiers at the "present," there were a lot of people collected, waiting for it—men, women, and children, who shouted and stared full of curiosity; and that meant pulling oneself together, sitting up erect, smiling, hiding the left hand, and saluting in such a way as to make the people happy. And so it went on right through the city and the fields. Other vehicles were obliged to keep away from ours; the police looked to that. But the foot-passengers stood on the kerb, the women curtseyed, the men took off their hats and looked with eyes full of devotion and importunate curiosity,—and this was the impression Klaus Heinrich got: that they all were there just to be there and to stare, while he was there to show himself and to be stared at; and his was far the harder part. He kept his left hand in his coat-pocket and smiled as mamma wished him to, while he felt that his cheeks were aglow. But the Courier reported that the rosy redness of our little duke's cheeks showed what a healthy boy he was.

Klaus Heinrich was thirteen years old when he stood at the solitary mother-of-pearl table in the middle of the cold silver hall, and tried to probe the reality of things around him. And as he scrutinized the various phenomena: the empty, torn pride of the room, aimless and uncomfortable, the symmetry of the white candles, which seemed to express awe and tension and discreet self-obliteration, the passing shadow on his father's face when anybody ad dressed him unasked, the cool and calculated beauty of his mother, whose one object was admiration, the devoted and importunately curious gaze of the people outside—