bride for a varnished clock shield by Heinrich Rudolf
Once upon a
time, at the final end of a Black Forest valley, near the water
shed of Rhine and Danube, were two houses. One of them being a
big and proud farm house and the other a rather modest cottage
in which a clock frame maker lived and worked. Theresa, the farmer’s
daughter and Laurenz, the son of the frame worker were inseparable
ever since they were children. In the beginning the farmer family
was in favor of this, since this way the little unruly Theresa
was cared for.
coming of age and they were still sticking together, the farmer’s
authority could not longer be avoided. "You will never marry
this starving wretch” were his words and that was it. But
Theresa declined every suitor asking for her hand. This was in
full agreement with the farmer, because he thought he would not
have to hire an extra maid if his daughter would remain unmarried.
farmer could be impressed by only two things, either a lot of
money or an innovation of significance. He surprised everyone
on the farm about his exceptional courtesy towards Padre Thaddäus
from the Saint Peter monastery, which was not only due to the
fact that the Padre was a man of the church, but the Padre had
also brought him a little brass pipe which was to assist the drainage
of swamp meadows.
Time and again
Laurenz thought about his desperate situation, but a way out was
not in sight. Although the clock trade could - with luck and fortune
- bring a lot of money within a period of ten years, he did not
even have the introductory price which clock traders demanded
from a new helper. and something new? What could one think of
in a back valley!
morning in autumn, Laurenz brought his carrier full of finished
wood frames to the nearby market. After church services he entered,
as he did once a month, the "Adler” restaurant to have
a glass of wine. At the neighboring table a loud dispute was going
on between two clock traders. One of them being from England and the other from France were complaining about the severe competition and how strenuous life was in foreign parts. "The English
sell their own clocks now with white painted tin shields and even
colored flowers in the corners, and most farmers and burgher like
that” shouted one of them.