Vienna 1880 - 9 A Long Night

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The night at the ball was spent with drinking and dancing until the clock struck midnight. The master of ceremonies took the stage and the quadrille could begin. Everyone had a good time and did the best they could – with varying success depending on experience and how many drinks they already had. Lots of laughter was ensured.

When the quadrille was over Elisabeth and Georg got their coats and left. It was late, they were tired from dancing and they would have to work again tomorrow. The ball would go on without them for a few more hours. The street outside was empty and quiet. While they were in the beer hall snow had started to fall again, covering the street and everything else with a thin white blanket. Little cushions piled up on window sills and cornices. The air was crisp and cold and a big constrast to the smoke filled hall. They stopped for a moment, listening to the silent sound of the falling flakes.

A few coaches were already at the beer hall, waiting for people who wanted to leave early. Elisabeth and Georg took one of the coaches to get home. Elisabeth looked out of the window at the empty streets, almost falling asleep, while the coach swayed as it drove over the cobble stones.

The apartment was warm when they entered. Elisabeth warmed her hands on the tiled stove for a moment, when she noticed that Maria had fallen asleep on the sofa. She decided not to wake her but got some warm water for washing from the kitchen herself.

This was the last ball for the couple in this carneval season. Lent would start soon. Ash Wednesday would come with fish salad and all, but until then there was still time for meat and Krapfen.

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