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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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Then on to the Rhodensteiner, who wanted to "pi-a-iairschen" on Rhine wine. But ever more wistfully the lord of Rhodenstein rode to the Stag at Heidelberg. The two men in the salon listened with inheld breath lest the song give out for good and all.

A pause. Silence. Kingscourt appeared in the doorway with his finger on his lips. His eyes were bloodshot. "Hush! He's asleep....Not a sound in the whole house! I'll knock down anyone who makes a noise in the corridor! I'm going to sit out there. ...When Fritzchen wakes, call me!"

The old man seated himself in the corridor before the child's door, and kept guard. He frightened away guests and servants with his fierce glances, growling that there was a patient here, let them go elsewhere!

An hour passed, two hours. Friedrich came out to Kingscourt. The old man jumped up. "Has he called me?"

"No," whispered Friedrich. "He's still asleep." The next instant Kingscourt seized his friend's head between his hands, and whispered in his ear. "Fritze, if that worm recovers, I'll stay here forever. That's a solemn promise. I offer this sacrifice for his recovery, as truly as my name is Adalbert von Koenigshoff...."

Hour after hour passed. Fritzchen slept on until he had slept himself into health. Night gave way to morning. With the sunrise, hope awakened. When Kingscourt was called to the nursery, Fritzchen's eyes were bright again as he cried, "Ottoh! Ottoh!"

"What a rascal!" growled Kingscourt, trying to look cross. He was ashamed of his weakness before Friedrich.

"Now, Kingscourt, go to sleep!" commanded Friedrich. "You need rest. As for what you said in the corridor last night, I heard nothing."

"No, my dear fellow," retorted Kingscourt proudly. "You still know me only by halves. I have sworn an oath, and it stands. ...But I must sleep around the clock. After that we'll see about having ourselves admitted to the New Society. That we shall."

Friedrich still did not know whether the old man was in earnest. To remain was his own most ardent wish. To become a member of the New Society, to participate in its high enterprises, to join hands with its valiant men. There was something else, besides, but he dared not admit it to himself.

Kingscourt, however, kept his word. The very next day, Fritzchen being well and cheerful again, and Sarah recovered from the fright that had been all her illness, Kingscourt himself referred to his plan. Did he guess how much joy he was giving to his comrade of twenty years? It may be assumed that he did,-he, the alleged misanthrope, who had succumbed so wholly to a child's fascinations. When his love for Fritzchen could no longer be denied, he tried to rationalize it. He admitted that he could stand the little boy well enough, just as one is fond of any innocent creature. Fritzchen was not yet a man, and a hater of mankind sacrificed nothing of his principles when he took a fancy to such a little fellow.

"I make you a present of your motivation, Kingscourt," laughed Friedrich. "The fact suffices me. When shall we apply for admission to the New Society?"

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