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Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Novel, Part 50 Candid Perception

Frau Drescher is like a bull in a china shop.  I plan to do more with this in the future, but for right now, I can use her and the tour to show you the dormitory too.  That's the point of such a scene.  I could simply describe the dormitory to you, but instead, I show it to you as Aksinya and Natalya see it.  Notice that Aksinya protects Frau Drescher--she interprets for her.

Frau Drescher’s lips formed a fine line that then fell into a frown again, “What you say is very true, Freifrau Bockmann. I was simply answering the Countess’ question.”

Aksinya tilted her head, “So she was Aunt Brunhilda. Please Frau Drescher. Lead on and show us our room.”

“Our room?”

“My roommate shall be the Lady Natalya. She is much more than my lady-in-waiting. She shall attend with me.”

Frau Drescher made a face with an expression that was completely indecipherable, “The Lady Natalya?”

Aksinya grasped Natalya’s sleeve and pulled her up beside them, “This is my lady-in-waiting, the Lady Natalya Alexandrovna Obolenska. She is untitled, but a lady of the court. She shall be my roommate and attend here with me. She does not speak nor understand German yet.”

“You will explain all the rules to her. I don’t wish there to be problems.”

“She is my responsibility, and I am certain your rules are the same in French as they are in German. I shall explain them to her and be responsible to you for her as necessary.”

Frau Drescher let out a tiny laugh, “You surprise me, countess. I have never met a titled girl or woman who would take on such a responsibility. Perhaps we will get along much better than I imagined.”

The Reverend Mother stepped forward, “Really, Frau Drescher, you are much too candid.”

Aksinya touched the Reverend Mother’s hand, “Please, she is not too candid. I do realize her worries. She thinks I shall cause her and her charges many problems. She is concerned that I am a privileged and spoiled girl who will excite controversy and rebellion. When she knows me better, she will see I am no better nor no worse than anyone else she is responsible for here.”

Frau Drescher’s lips made a flip-flop but never became a smile, “Yes, you are very perceptive, Countess. I am very concerned about having a woman of your quality and standing in my dormitory. Your own appraisal does make me feel much more comfortable…”

We get a wonderful introduction of Natalya to Frau Drescher.  Aksinya makes her point by physically moving Natalya.  Her introduction is personal and specific.  It tells the Frau that Natalya is a lady of the court and put her on a par with Aksinya.  Frau Drescher is unhappy that Natalya might break her rules because she doesn't understand German.  Then, we get a double triple from Aksinya.  First, Aksinya states she will be responsible for Natalya.  Second, we get the joke at Frau Drescher's expense--Natalya is not deficient, she understands French, but not German--yet.  Frau Drescher only knows German--that's the point Aksinya didn't miss.
Aksinya both read Frau Drescher correctly and touched the lady exactly in the right place.  Frau Drescher's concern is that someone take responsibility for Natalya and that Aksinya will be responsible for herself.  Frau Drescher is obviously too used to young women and girls who are not responsible.  That is the reason for her personality and actions.  Aksinya pronounces this very thing to Frau Drescher and that is exactly what the Frau wants to hear.  We will find that Aksinya is a problem for Frau Drescher in the future.  She will be a problem for everyone.  But that goes with the territory of the tiny tragedy that is Aksinya. 

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