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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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"Are you Dr. Loewenberg?" "

I" am."

"Have a chair, Dr. Loewenberg!"

They sat down. Friedrich observed the stranger closely, and waited for him to speak. Mr. Kingscourt was a man in the fifties. His full beard was streaked with gray, his thick brown hair interlaced with silver threads that already shimmered white at the temples. He puffed slowly at a thick cigar.

"Do you smoke, Dr. Loewenberg?" "Not now, thank you."

Mr. Kingscourt carefully blew a smoke ring into the air, and watched it attentively until the cloudy strands were dissipated. Only when the last traces had vanished, he asked, without looking at his visitor, "Why are you disgusted with life?"

"I give no information on that subject," replied Friedrich quietly.

Mr. Kingscourt now looked him full in the face, and nodded approvingly as he flicked the ash from his cigar. "You're right, Devil take it! It's none of my affair. And then, if we put this deal through, you'll tell me of your own accord some time. Meanwhile, I shall tell you who I am. My real name is Koenigshoff. I am a German nobleman. I was an officer in my youth, but the coat-of-mail fitted me too snugly. I can't bear another man's will over mine, be it the best in the world. Obedience was good for a few years. But after that I had to quit. Otherwise, I'd have exploded and caused damage I went to America, called myself Kingscourt, and made a fortune in twenty years of blood-sweating work. When I had come so far, I took a wife. ..What did you say, Dr. Loewenberg?"

"Nothing, Mr. Kingscourt."

"Very well. Are you unmarried?"

"I am. But I thought, Mr. Kingscourt, that you would tell me about this experiment you want to propose to me."

"I'll come to that in a moment. If we should arrange to be together, I shall tell you in detail how I worked my way up and made my millions. For I have millions... What did you say?"

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