…Ada, as she had rightly reckoned, had indeed met Lica Troubadour. All she had to do was to get out of the car and mingle, at certain hours, in the life of the street. It was nearly impossible to stroll for a few days in a row on the famous Victoriei Avenue without meeting whoever you fancied or not. Bucharest settles the matter of being a big and a small town at the same time, province and capital. Two-folded attributes, blending in Machievellically-dozed proportions that make up its distinctive character. The very progress of the city observes this law, going on any distance and in any direction without losing the movement around the nucleus. The threads, no matter how long, unravel around the same living core, which as a matter of fact is not moved by any change. All that is new gets interspersed in the empty spaces or works as a substitute without breaking the special rhythm of the city, and people, similar for all their changes, come from all over down to the very narrow heart of the city as of their life were a constant recreation. AmzeiChurch seemed to be celebrating. People had started to arrive as early as 3, and at 4 – the hour of the ceremonial – the street was teeming with coaches and automobiles. An archmandrite was to say mass. As she remembered the customs for girls at Tecuci, Lina had hired the military fanfare and the band had arrived in time, resting now behind the church. After consulting with Elena and Nory, the two of them having declared in favor of a service accompanied by choir, she had arranged things with "The Song Group", that had joined the permanent choir of the church. Neighbors filled the green yard. As the deceased was not from the neighborhood nobody knew exactly who it was. Some said that an Opera actress had died, others opined it was an MP. There was also the insistent rumor that it was a maiden brought from the hospital, a piece of information circulated by those who on the eve had attended the emplacement of the catafalque. Some said the disease had been contagious. The coffin was covered. All the chandeliers had been lit and flowers came galore brought by elegant women in back dresses. There were also many men in correct mourning attire. It was a wonderful April day, warm, and gilded. Many had remained on the stairs or in the pulpit and, bearing in mind the nature of the place, were talking among themselves discreetly. Because of the beautiful day the whispered voices were merry and all the faces bright. In fact, it was an indifferent ceremony. Nearly everyone had been brought by indirect considerations. There were the close friends of the Drăgăneşti and the entire Bach concert players out of an exaggerated attention for Elena, made easier by the nice weather. It was a day on which you wanted to take a stroll, be it to a funeral. In rainy weather things might have been different. Many customers of Lina's had also come, informed recently that she had lost a close relative, then there were also the colleagues from Filantropia, overzealous students or just the curious ones of Rim's, and other relations of either of the persons in the "title roles". Mosica Mari had taken a seat under the balcony of the choir where there were also the former colleagues of Sia's from the nurse school who had learnt about the event and had decided not to miss it although the unexpected parade seemed now to intimidate them. They wore lively colored hats, some with red flowers, so they tried to hide behind a thick row of black clothes.
by Hortensia Papadat-Bengescu (1876-1955)