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19.03.2017

Go West! (Part 3)



Huber & Gutknecht were kindly old gentlemen. 

"Mister Wenger emigrated to the United States five years ago," they explained. "He owns a farm in California and wishes to share it with a wife. He found that, to use his words, 'The local women are superficial, and rotten workers'. Well… be that as it may, he wants a Swiss wife."
 
"I see." 

"You will understand that we have to ask you a few questions. We take it you've never been married? You're in good health? There's no special reason for you to leave the country? You've never been in conflict with… um… the law?"

"For heaven's sake, no!"

"Very well. If you accept, you'll receive the tickets to get to San Francisco, where your future husband will meet you, and some money to sustain you on your journey. Do you speak English?"

"No, I don't."

"It might be helpful to take lessons. But you look like an intelligent woman. You'll manage it. Oh, and here is a picture of Mister Wenger. We don't want to push you but we'll need your definite answer within a week."

I took a long look at my husband to be.

12.03.2017

Go West! (Teil 3)

Huber&Gutknecht waren nette, alte Herren.

"Herr Lüscher wanderte vor fünf Jahren in die Vereinigten Staaten aus", erklärte mir Herr Gutknecht. "Er besitzt eine Farm in Kalifornien und möchte sie mit einer Ehefrau teilen. Er denkt, dass, um seine Worte zu gebrauchen, 'die ansässigen Frauen faule Püppchen' sind. Wie dem auch sei, er bevorzugt eine Schweizerin."

"Ich verstehe."

"Solche Geschäfte sind delikat. Sie werden uns die folgenden Fragen nachsehen. Sie waren noch nie verheiratet? Sind gesund? Es gibt keinen bestimmten Grund, warum Sie das Land verlassen wollen? Sie sind nie ... ähm ... mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten?"

"Um Gottes Willen, nein!"

"Sehr gut. Sollten Sie zusagen, erhalten Sie alle nötigen Papiere, um nach San Francisco zu gelangen, wo Ihr zukünftiger Gatte Sie abholen wird. Für Ihren Unterhalt während der Reise ist gesorgt."

"Sprechen Sie Englisch?", fragte Herr Huber.

Ich schüttelte den Kopf.

"Natürlich nicht. Vielleicht wären Stunden angebracht?" Er reichte mir eine Karte. "Dieser Herr wird Ihnen weiterhelfen. Ein Studienkollege von mir. Lebte einige Jahre in England."

Ich erschrak. "Aber ich kann mir das nicht ..."

Herr Gutknecht hob die Hand. "Es ist alles arrangiert. Oh, und hier ist ein Bild von Herrn Lüscher. Wir wollen Sie nicht drängen, aber wir bräuchten Ihr Einverständnis bis nächsten Freitag. Die Vorbereitungen ... Sie verstehen."

Ich betrachtete meinen Verlobten lange.

04.03.2017

Go West! (Part 2)

I shrugged. What did she know, married and pregnant with her first child and yet four years younger than me?  

I am the second of ten brothers and sisters. Traditionally, my parents' farm will go to the eldest brother. We others have to make our living elsewhere. Work is hard to find. The factories are sometimes looking for people but those are badly paid fourteen-hour jobs that will make you cough your soul out because of the soot and fibre in the air. 

Nevertheless, some families have no choice but to send their children to the factories. It's their job to creep under the looms and mend the broken strings; an important if dangerous task that can't be accomplished by grownups.

My parents, too, were unable to keep all of us at home. There were too many mouths to feed, so they gave my sister and one brother into care. Josy stays with her godfather and Walter with a schoolmate of Father's. Such children are called 'service children' because they are employees rather than family members, and it can be a hard lot. To outsiders this common custom must seem cruel. It's true that

26.02.2017

What else has happened...



Thursday 16 February was intensive, invigorating and simply swell. 

At the book launch of "Mord "Mord in Switzerland Band 2" (Murder in Switzerland Volume 2), I'd met AlessioRicciuti. (You've got to read his story "Die kalte Scheune" (The Cold Barn)!) We follow each other on Twitter. Alessio proposed a meeting should I ever be in Zurich. 

As I had two meetings scheduled on 16.02., we grabbed the opportunity and made an appointment for lunch. We talked about current projects, our weaknesses when writing and traded information. 



Invigorated in more than one respect, he then returned to his desk, and I left for my meeting with the executive editor of SJW Publishing. I've been able to realise nine stories with them so far. The last going back a few years, though. We had an extremely constructive talk with the result that I'll be writing