Vienna 1880 - 4 Apprentices

2 Conversations

Meanwhile Xaver Travnitschek had come running up to the front door of the café. He slowed down as he entered the vestibule – he had already gotten into trouble once for almost smashing the glass door and knocking over the hatstand at the door. In addition he was carrying a stack of newspapers which he didn't want to drop – again, he would get into trouble.

'Guten Morgen!'

Xaver put the newspapers on a table, took off his coat and put it away and checked wether his suit looked acceptably tidy. Then he proceeded to exchange all the out of date newspapers in the newspaper-holders for new ones. He had also managed to get hold of a few more foreign newspapers today – although he knew more famous cafés had a much better collection of course.

Xaver was the café's Piccolo, the waiter's apprentice. He wasn't allowed to serve coffee yet but was tasked with all kinds of other work. He was 15 years old, rather thin and had yet to grow into his long arms and legs. He had hard to tame black hair and did not have any luck with growing a beard so far.

Only a few minutes later Anton Zimmernann arrived, he was the baker's apprentice and tasked with daily deliveries of fresh bread rolls and other bakery goods. There was still flour on his apron and what seemed to be a piece of dried dough stuck in one of his eyebrows. The two boys exchanged a few jokes util Anton was payed and shooed out of the door to return to his master.

Meanwhile there was light outside, the sun had come up somewhere. Probably behind a house. There were plenty of houses here. Some of them were old, only one or two storeys high, like the café. But there were also the new ones, with their posh facades and many floors, housing who knows how many people. Those who could afford it lived on the lower floors at the front of the house, the others had to make do with the rear buildings across the courtyards, stacked like sardines in a tin. There was lots of money to be made for those who owned a house like that.

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