21. A Blow-up. A Damn Good Start On A Breakdown.
And, Quite Possibly, A Breakthrough.
It was a mistake to suspend the daily lessons. The girl has run wild.
Dru’s slipped her leash the last couple days. No one’s kept tabs on her but for Addie, with the bed checks. The first night, the old lush had been fooled by pillows heaped under a throw. The girl truant a second night, Addie’s brought it to Heinz-Helmut’s attention.
It’s Heinzie’s job to deal with any difficulty pertaining to his pupil. Dru’s past the stage of needing a nanny. Addie is kept on as an act of charity, nothing expected of her but for the pro-forma bed checks. After all, a young man is not to enter a young lady’s boudoir at any time, much less she in her nightclothes.
Mag’s reported in also. Dru slept last night in the yard. She and a filthy hound ruined a treasured coverlet. (Dag has spilled the beans.)
Heinzie is summoned to the kitchen. Magda is doubly furious. “Someone, she screams at him, and we know who it is, don’t we? has ransacked my pantry. Jams are gone. Honey. A rasher of bacon. A beefsteak. Cakes are cut into. Chocolate! The chocolate purchased for the Friefrau’s dinner party is disappeared.
Heinzie’s in hot water with his employer already. His appeal, both personally and professionally, is at a low point. His value lies in his ability to temper the daughter’s worst behavior. She’s not gotten her medication for weeks. This is the result. He will be held accountable if she’s not reined in.
He knocks on her bedroom door, Addie in tow as a chaperone.
What? yells the child. Who is it? Come in, you fool, if you absolutely must.
He opens the door. She’s back to him, busy with her doll house. Three small chairs are arranged on the table, seating three dolls dressed in frilly frou-frou. He steps closer. Wait one God-damn minute! Those aren’t dolls. They’re rats!
What the Holy Grail is going on here? He’s shrieking also. Those frogs aren’t enough for you? You take up rats now? How long has this been going on?
My room, says Dru. I do what I want here.
You do what you want everywhere, by the sound of it.
Mag’s been telling tales, I guess.
Magda’s not going to keep it under her hat, like I do. I’ve covered for you, you know I have. You shape up, or I’ll be fired, you’ll have that on your conscience. Me, good as I’ve been to you.
Let’s see, do I care? Let me ponder that a sec.
Throw those things off the balcony. Now!
Sly jumps onto the table. The rats are getting used to him, but they’re still startled; they’ve run for it in their makeshift gowns. He hisses into her ear. Yes you care. Tell him you care. You tell him you care right now.
I don’t care.
No I don’t.
You do, damn it. Maahes needs you to care. He just told me.
Why do I care?
Sweetheart! Questioning Maahes, it’s not done. Oh, Crap! He looks to the ceiling, as if addressing an above entity. Maahes, Your Honor, why does she care? He pauses, raises an eyebrow.1 Yes, certainly. Ya, I hear you, loud and clear. He turns back to Dru. I’ll explain when we’re alone. Tell Heinzie you’re sorry, it was a joke. Or else.
Or else what?
That’s the thing with Maahes. You never know. Do as he says.
I’m sorry! she yells, not looking at Heinz, looking at the cat. You are good to me. I’ll be better. But I’m not throwing my rats off the balcony.
The rats, luckily, are in hiding. But, maybe not hid so very well.
I see one! Addie backs toward the door, keeping her yes on a shift-wearing vermin.
Watch where you step, advises Dru. She’s in a wicked mood. Mind you don’t injure my snake.
Addie’s out the door.
You little creep! If I had another post lined up, I’d be gone tomorrow. I’ve had it with the lot of you. I’ll start looking first thing in the morning. This very afternoon I treated your disgusting hound as lovingly as I would the handsomest hound of Lady Whosis-Whatsis. I should have left him to scratch himself to death.
He’s my friend! This cat is my friend! These rats are my friends! The only friends I have.
Whose fault is that? You’re the brat of brats.
Don’t shop for another position. We need you here.
Who’s we? You and your mama?
Me and Maahes.
Maahes again? Dee’s still feeding you his crap? I suppose your loon of a mother approves it. This place is a raving madhouse!
Sly waits by the door. Heinz-Helmut! he coos as the man charges his way. Welcome to the funhouse! Heinz stops dead in his tracks. The cat arches an eyebrow, accompanying it with his most horrifying chuckle to seal the deal. Heinz, white-faced, stumbles past. Had he heard aright? Surely not. He’d better lay off the black tea that he’s resorted to often lately, to relieve his stress.
The first ship known to have brought tea to Europe was possibly Dutch, and arrived circa 1610 from Macao (Toussaint 597). The first Englishman to write about tea was R. L. Wickham of the East India Company in 1615, in a letter from Japan (Britannica 738).
Reintroduction to Western medicine
Manuscripts of Pseudo-Apuleius‘s 5th-century work from the 10th and 11th centuries refer to the use of wild poppy Papaver agreste or Papaver rhoeas (identified as P. silvaticum) instead of P. somniferum for inducing sleep and relieving pain.
The use of Paracelsus‘ laudanum was introduced to Western medicine in 1527, when Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better known by the name Paracelsus, returned from his wanderings in Arabia with a famous sword, within the pommel of which he kept “Stones of Immortality” compounded from opium thebaicum, citrus juice, and “quintessence of gold”.The name “Paracelsus” was a pseudonym signifying him the equal or better of Aulus Cornelius Celsus, whose text, which described the use of opium or a similar preparation, had recently been translated and reintroduced to medieval Europe. The Canon of Medicine, the standard medical textbook Paracelsus burned in a public bonfire three weeks after being appointed professor at the University of Basel, also described the use of opium, though many Latin translations were of poor quality.Laudanum (“worthy of praise”) was originally the 16th-century term for a medicine associated with a particular physician that was widely well-regarded, but became standardized as “tincture of opium”, a solution of opium in ethanol, which Paracelsus has been credited with developing. During his lifetime, Paracelsus was viewed as an adventurer who challenged the theories and mercenary motives of contemporary medicine with dangerous chemical therapies, but his therapies marked a turning point in Western medicine. In the 1660s, laudanum was recommended for pain, sleeplessness, and diarrhea by Thomas Sydenham, the renowned “father of English medicine” or “English Hippocrates”, to whom is attributed the quote, “Among the remedies which it has pleased Almighty God to give to man to relieve his sufferings, none is so universal and so efficacious as opium.” Use of opium as a cure-all was reflected in the formulation of mithridatium described in the 1728 Chambers Cyclopedia, which included true opium in the mixture. Subsequently, laudanum became the basis of many popular patent medicines of the 19th century.
Compared to other chemicals available to 18th century regular physicians, opium was a benign alternative to the arsenics, mercuries, or emetics, and it was remarkably successful in alleviating a wide range of ailments. Due to the constipation often produced by the consumption of opium, it was one of the most effective treatments for cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea. As a cough suppressant, opium was used to treat bronchitis, tuberculosis, and other respiratory illnesses. Opium was additionally prescribed for rheumatism and insomnia. Medical textbooks even recommended its use by people in good health, to “optimize the internal equilibrium of the human body”.
During the 18th century, opium was found to be a good remedy for nervous disorders. Due to its sedative and tranquilizing properties, it was used to quiet the minds of those with psychosis, help with people who were considered insane, and also to help treat patients with insomnia. However, despite its medicinal values in these cases, it was noted that in cases of psychosis, it could cause anger or depression, and due to the drug’s euphoric effects, it could cause depressed patients to become more depressed after the effects wore off because they would get used to being high.
The standard medical use of opium persisted well into the 19th century. US president William Henry Harrison was treated with opium in 1841, and in the American Civil War, the Union Army used 79,000 kilograms (2.8×106 oz) of opium tincture and powder and about 500,000 opium pills. During this time of popularity, users called opium “God’s Own Medicine”.
One reason for the increase in opiate consumption in the United States during the 19th century was the prescribing and dispensing of legal opiates by physicians and pharmacists to women with “female complaints” (mostly to relieve menstrual pain and hysteria). Because opiates were viewed as more humane than punishment or restraint, they were often used to treat the mentally ill. Between 150,000 and 200,000 opiate addicts lived in the United States in the late 19th century and between two-thirds and three-quarters of these addicts were women.
Opium addiction in the later 19th century received a hereditary definition. Dr. George Beard in 1869 proposed his theory of neurasthenia, a hereditary nervous system deficiency that could predispose an individual to addiction. Neurasthenia was increasingly tied in medical rhetoric to the “nervous exhaustion” suffered by many a white-collar worker in the increasingly hectic and industrialized U.S. life—the most likely potential clients of physicians.
Recreational use in Europe, the Middle East and the US (11th to 19th centuries)
Soldiers returning home from the Crusades in the eleventh century brought opium with them. Opium is said to have been used for recreational purposes from the 14th century onwards in Muslim societies. Ottoman and European testimonies confirm that from the 16th to the 19th centuries Anatolian opium was eaten in Constantinople as much as it was exported to Europe. In 1573, for instance, a Venetian visitor to the Ottoman Empire observed many of the Turkish natives of Constantinople regularly drank a “certain black water made with opium” that makes them feel good, but to which they become so addicted, if they try to go without, they will “quickly die”. From drinking it, dervishes claimed the drugs bestowed them with visionary glimpses of future happiness. Indeed, Turkey supplied the West with opium long before China and India.
Thomas de Quincey‘s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822), one of the first and most famous literary accounts of opium addiction written from the point of view of an addict, details the pleasures and dangers of the drug. In the book, it is not Ottoman, nor Chinese, addicts about whom he writes, but English opium users: “I question whether any Turk, of all that ever entered the paradise of opium-eaters, can have had half the pleasure I had.” De Quincey writes about the great English Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), whose “Kubla Khan” is also widely considered to be a poem of the opium experience. Coleridge began using opium in 1791 after developing jaundice and rheumatic fever, and became a full addict after a severe attack of the disease in 1801, requiring 80–100 drops of laudanum daily.
Reunited families are chattering, and nibbling on a buffet of apple, pear, three kinds of cheese, and sweet biscuits. The mamas have little appetite; they pick, to be polite. Merrily is attacking the platter. It’s not grain! Who knows how long the good times will last?
Willow is nursing her babes, they are sucking energetically. Everyone is relieved to see it.1
Another worry off my mind, says Sly.
Do you have so many? asks Dru. You sound like you have the weight of the world on your back.
This thing is far more daunting than I had imagined it would be. Everything I touch gets away me.
DAY 1 – Chapter 12 – The Ratville Ramble – not in bed
DAY 2 – 15, 16: Afternoon upstairs/dinner with Dru/Dru sleeps in the garden again.
DAY 3 – The party/Dru in her bed.
DAY 4 – Chapter 1
DAY 5 – Chapter 1
I’ve been watching him. He is one good-looking ______. He will make goo0goo eyes at the pretty girls, have us a fan club right there.
Blow his plan up, convince him this is his only chance.
good talker, flute, athletic
from the horse’s mouth
I have a cousin, it will drive Mama crazy
he shows some organizing skill, makes some bucks, these men are business-minded here, many a Papa will rethink his suitability as a son-in-law
we need a public face – an adult in charge – can’t be you, can’t be me
Dee’s giving me grief
haves, have-nots, going to bed hungry, you promise me right now that Reis will never go hungry again. I may not be here forever – or you’ll answer to Maahes, git it?
how come I don’t hear from him anymore? You got me! He trusts me o handle it here.
watch out, you never know what he’ll do. that’s the thing with M, you never kknow. You don’t want to displease him, I promise you.
HH will convince Dee. We only have to convince HH.
Here’s the beauty part: I’ll feed him what to say. How? We gotta make him think he’s really talking to Uriel. I can feed him stuff that only Uriel would know.
Dee’s got to lend his name to it.
Another reason it’s got to be HH. The relationship to Dee.
AA bunch of reasons it’s got to be HH and no one else.
The man makes bad decision after bad decision. At some point you gotta wash your hands of the mess.
You don’t understand. I’ll never be able to go home again.
Deal: I go to Krakow after all
Mamas. Do you kike sending your youngsters out to play, not knowing if you’ll ever see them again?
What if I could offer you a fulfilling career?