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Englische Literatur
Der Mensch braucht Bewegung und Abenteuer im Kopf !

Market Day in Reysting

by Gerhard Oberressl


Eventually I had found myself a parking space on the Windhook Promenade. When I put the car park ticket onto the dashboard, I thought 'What a beautifully warm afternoon this is, given the time of the year.' For it was the last day of January. Presently I was strolling down past the conservatoire. After a mere two or three minutes walk I reached the market stalls of the Indian traders. After crossing the side walk over to Cathedral Park I found myself a bench in the sun.


At the stall nearest to me two boys were having a quarrel about who first had discovered the army shirt and who was therefore entitled to buy it.


"Don't you have another one in your car?" one of the boys asked the hawker.


"No, not this pattern ... unfortunately this is the last one I have," the tradesman said. "But these here are the new ones! Surely they look all more or less similar and they will suit you both very well. Are you friends or brothers?"


"Brothers!" said the boys simultaneously.


"Look here," if you buy two, I'll give you the second for half the price. You may then share the profit you make."


The boys seemed to consider this.


"Here you are!" said a resolute woman, blond, slim and wearing very high heels, who had come round the stall. She adjusted the shirt collar of one of the boys. "Had we not agreed to meet at the City Point?" While approaching she must have had registered already, what the brothers business was. "And did we not agree that army shirts are out of the question?"


"But ..."


"No, also not for the childrens carnival procession!" she parried as if she knew the unspoken objection. "Quick now, aunt is waiting." "I'm sorry!" she said in the direction of the street trader, and off they went.


I smiled. Then yawned. The sun made me sleepy.


From were I sat I had a view at the spot where Upper Lane and Parish Lane both lead into Bruckner Square, thereby making a sharp angle. At this vertex the two lanes have the same altitude. But whereas Upper Lane, from that point on, winds it's way smoothly but level all the way back to Malberg Castle, Parish Lane leads steeply down along a straight line on to the medieval Town Square of Reysting.


End House, the building which belongs to both lanes, does not peter out to a sharp edge till the said vertex of course. It is rather "cut off", so that there is still room for three or four windows per storey which give on to Bruckner Square. Along this wall is a staircase, since the difference in altitude of the two lanes at this wall is already remarkable. The triangular piece of land between this stair and the vertex was made level with


Upper Lane by means of supporting walls along Parish Lane and the other side of the stair.


I was quite perplexed. The triangle was now occupied by a triangular house which rested on three pillars as tall as a man, one on the acute tip of the triangle, the other two next to the stair.


I found myself now walking down Parish Lane. Having reached Town Square I went directly over to the other side where the market took place. I liked sauntering along while having a look at the stalls of butchers, bakers, grocers and farmers. Those were the traditional stalls.


One of them was really only a small table. It was run by a tradeswoman whom I knew since my childhood. Twenty years ago she seemed already very old to me. She has always worn the same red hat. In winter she puts it on top of a scarf that she is in the habit of wearing so as to protect her ears. In a way she looked extremely young today. She seemed to be flirting with a middle-aged little man whom I had never seen before. He had a friendly, round face with almond eyes. His ears were pointed and while speaking, he waggled them ever so slightly.


Having come to the other end of Town Square I did not turn back but continued through Narrow Lane, and went up the stairs to Malberg Castle. From there I chose the gravel path trough Windhuk Park at the far end of which my car was waiting. When I was about to unlock it, I remembered the triangular house. Since it was only a two or three minutes walk, I decided to have another look at it.


When it came into view I noticed the almond-eyed man standing amidst the three pillars. It was only then that I noticed that there was no entrance to the house. The man seemed to sense that I watched him and commenced wagging his ears alternately, and all of a sudden turned and looked me full in the eye. Embarrassed I looked away. When after a moment I looked again, the man had disappeared.


I stepped behind a tree and watched for a while. What I had expected happened. In one of the windows in the new house a light went on. Can he possibly have entered the tiny moment when I had looked away? And how?


There was a ladder lying against the wall of the End House. I simply could not resist the temptation to borrow it. I grabbed it and put it up under the illuminated window and cautiously stepped up. Slowly I rose my head over the windowsill looking with one eye only. Indeed, there he was! Fortunately he was looking the other way. But again he seemd to sense my watching him, because at once he turned his head with a jerk. I was so startled by this that I missed a rung, lost my balance and fell. I think I gave a cry. There was a loud clatter. I woke up. The Indian tradesmen were disassembling their stalls. My bench was no longer smiled upon by the sun.


This day I had missed most of the market.

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