The Departure Abroad

Of all preparations for the voyage, the majority had been concluded; he finally managed to pay the rent, too, with the help of his two ducks who did not let him appeal to the compassion of his neighbours. The only thing they asked in exchange was that he should allow them to enter his study, at least one hour a day, a room that exhaled such a sweet, dizzying smell of lintels. He got on board of the ship. Nevertheless, the powerful and unconquerable paternal feeling dragged him back onto the shore, where, with an absent-minded and nervous movement, amidst his beloved people, he sewed two blotters to the musty lining of his tuxedo, and immediately after that, without wasting his time, unnoticed by anyone, he sneaked furtively to the low room at the back of the yard where he was converted to the Jewish religion. He couldn't afford to waste any moment. He had entered the seventeenth year of his existence, leaving behind a glorious past, and his days were numbered now. The only wish he had was to celebrate his silver wedding. To this purpose he summoned all his servants, and, after first inviting them to feed on some hemp seeds, threw them into a baptismal font full of quicklime. Then followed two third class ordinary railway traffic controllers and a bishop! In order to appease the crowd, that had started to protest, he himself cut off three of his left hand fingers and then mounted a chair, wherefrom, to everybody's satisfaction, his silky goatee could finally hang, floating freely and undisturbed by anyone on the crystal-like cold water of the stream. Then he got on board of the ship again. But his old wife refused to follow him, for she was tormented by the green-eyed monster of jealousy, as she suspected him to have had some romantic involvement with a seal. Conscious, however, of her uxorial duties and in order not to prove herself an ill-bred person, she offered him on departure two flat loaves of bread, a Borgovanu drawing pad and a square-framed kite, that he indignantly refused, shaking some hazelnuts in a bag. Ambitious as any woman and incapable of putting up with the terrible offense of such a refusal, his good for nothing wife tied him with a rope round the cheekbones and, after having savagely dragged him to the end of the ship, she took him and laid him on shore without any further formality. Disgusted with life and burdened with glory and old age, he took off his fur hat and took the last orders, that were also his last will. He gave up all his titles and his entire fortune, stripped himself to the bum, keeping just a linden bast girdle around his waist and, having once again, in this condition, cast a glance at the boundless sea, he got into the first spring cart he met on his way and, reaching at full gallop the largest neighbouring town, he was called to the Bar… CONCLUSION AND MORAL If you, good folks, want during night, a pleasurable sleep enjoy,Do not exchange any postcards, with our mayor's naughty boy. English version by Dan MATEESCU 

by Urmuz (Dem. Dumitrescu-Buzău) (1883-1923)