Page images

quick succession that the curtains are hardly dropped on the first before they are drawn aside and the second tableau is presented. How they can change their costumes so quickly and arrange themselves for the next tableau is a question I have yet to solve. People have such different ideas about this “Passion Play.” Some go to see it in fear and trembling. This is the way Gusty felt, but she came away, feeling better for having seen it, as it is in no way sacrilegious, as she had feared. Others say it is given for its commercial value. True, in one sense, it is, but why? Because it has been forced on the little village by the countless numbers who flock there to see it. The village being small, as well as the houses, people have been forced to care for the visitors and obliged to charge for their trouble. They are poor working people that now have learned to make what they can by honestly caring for the visitors. Frau Lange told us they lived from hand to mouth in the winter.

It has always been my desire to see this “Passion Play," on account of its origination, also knowing that people actually live the lives of the characters in their daily life. I would never think of going to see it if it was presented on a stage in my own country.

Just as we were leaving the building in the evening a dirigible balloon (Parsifal) from Munich, circled around over the little town and then sailed off back to Munich.

Although the little village is full to overflowing, everything moves along quietly and smoothly, no grasping or trying to get patrons from each other. We had asked our driver to call for us and take us to the afternoon performance. He was so long in coming, we thought he had forgotten us, so called up another man, and just as we were about getting into his carriage, the man we had first engaged appeared. Immediately the man we had called stopped and waved the first man to come on, as he knew he had been engaged, and he made no effort to take unfair advantage.

This is a fair sample of the pleasant feeling in this little village. I would love to spend a couple of weeks in this beautiful, peaceful place when free from crowds and take some of the beautiful drives that I am sure abound here. There are two villages near each other. The upper one is Oberammergau, the lower, Unterammergau.


Friday, September 9. We left for Innsbruck, stopping at Mittenwald for luncheon, at a small hotel, and very plain. Directly after leaving this little town, we crossed the Austrian frontier, passing the customs. The scenery from here on was perfectly grand. We crossed the Schamitz Pass, climbing steadily up and down from one mountain to another. Finally, when nearly to the top, it being so very steep and our limousine heavy, we were obliged to get out to lighten the weight. Poor Gaston made frantic endeavors to move the car up, but it kept slipping back, and we put rocks under the back tire to hold it. We never made a stop of five minutes' duration anywhere, no matter how high up the mountain nor how deserted-looking a valley, a number of boys and men would flock around us, and this time was no exception. There were no houses in sight in any direction, yet five cr six men soon appeared. Finally we reached the top of Zirlberger Pass and commenced the descent to the Inn valley. This was so long and steep that Gaston was obliged to use his second brake. We came to a stand at its foot, as some wagons, autos and other vehicles were all in a line, waiting on workmen, as the road was being repaired. At this moment Gusty and I discovered smoke coming up from the floor of our car, and, looking closely, saw flames bursting through our rug. Gusty jumped up and out of the car, calling to me to follow, calling also to Gaston, telling him of the fire, but he paid no attention, as we had frequently spoken to him about seeing smoke in the car at times soon after it had been oiled, and which he had told us caused the smoke. I was so interested in gathering my boxes and bundles of treasures, post-cards, etc., that I did not heed Gusty. She was frantic, as she feared the gasoline or essence might explode. After gathering my possessions, I quietly got out. Gaston, on seeing madame was out of the car, turned and saw the fire. He was frightened, as his white face showed, but he was cool, as usual, lifting up the rug and dropping it out, stamping on it; he raised up the boards of the floor, and in a few minutes the fire was out and danger over.

An American gentleman from a car just in front of us, seeing something had happened, came up to offer assistance. We told him of our trouble. He said he had gone through a like experience that morning, and the year before his car had burned up in the Black Forest and they had not been able to save their luggage.


After our car cooled we motored on to Innsbruck, stopping where we did before, at Hotel Tyrol. The porter told Gusty he had been here ten years and had seen nine cars burn up, and any number had been on fire coming over the steep grade of the pass.

The hotel is still full of the same people who were there a week ago with their valets and maids, so Gaston told us, but being unable to make the steep grade with their cars, they had sent them home with their chauffeurs, and expected to complete the rest of their trip by rail. We rested a while, freshened up a little, then Gaston came and we went out to see Innsbruck.

We saw a Franciscan monk on the street, all in brown, with cowl thrown back. A rope was tied round his waist and he had a staff in his hand. He was a fine-looking man. We also saw men and boys in full Tyrol costume; also a few young girls that looked lovely, as the dress is very picturesque.

We drove to the Franciscan Church to see the monument of Emperor Maximilian I. This is a fine figure of the emperor, kneeling on a sarcophagus. On the sides are beautiful reliefs in marble, representing scenes from the emperor's life. Arranged around the monument are many life-sized figures in bronze of his fabled and real ancestors. Of these King Arthur of England and Theodoric, the Goth, are the most beautiful.

From here we drove through the town, passing handsome old buildings and seeing the gold balcony on the palace of Frederick the Penniless. This was a nickname given him by the people. So to prove he was not penniless, he built this palace and the gold balcony.

Saturday, September 10. We left here at 9:30 in the morning: raining as usual, and had been hard at it all

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »