Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"Ah, yes, you... But I! After one glance at the exchange rates, I can sum up the whole European situation...But after that I turn at once to the advertisements. You've no idea of the things one finds there. Heaps of things and people are for sale. That is to say, everything in the world can be bought for a price, but one cannot always pay the price. From the advertising columns I if always find out what opportunities there are. I say: Know everything, need nothing! ...I have noticed a remarkable advertisement for the last few days, but I do not understand it."
"Is it in a foreign language?"
"Well, just look at this." Schiffmann handed the paper to Friedrich, and pointed to a small notice. It read: "Wanted, an educated, desperate young man willing to make a last experiment with his life. Apply N. O. Body, this office."
"You are right," said Friedrich. "That is a remarkable advertisement. 'An educated, desperate young man.' Such a man might be found, of course, but the condition imposed is a very difficult one. A man must be desperate indeed to throwaway his life on a last experiment."
"Well, Mr. Body seems not to have found him. He has been advertising for some time. But I should like to know who this Mr. Body is with his queer tastes."
"It is no one."
"N. O. Body-Nobody. Means no one in English." "Ah, yes. I had not thought of English. Know everything, need nothing. ...But it's time to go if we're not to be late at the Loefflers'. We must be punctual this evening."
"Why this evening particularly?"
"Sorry, but I can't tell! Discretion is a point of honor with me.. ..But be prepared for a surprise...Waiter! Check!"
A surprise? Of a sudden Friedrich felt a vague anxiety.
As he left the cafe with Schiffmann, he noticed a ten year-old boy standing in the outer doorway. The child's shoulders were hunched up in a thin little coat. He held his arms tightly across his body, and stamped on the drifted snow in a sheltered nook. The hopping seemed almost like a pose, but Friedrich realized that with those tom shoes the child must be freezing bitterly. He picked three copper coins out of his pocket by the light of the street lamp. The boy thanked him shiveringly, and ran off.
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