A Certain Hesitancy (Three for Leiter)

Blue. © Chris Bronsk 2015.

Orange. © Chris Bronsk 2015.Red. © Chris Bronsk 2015.“The yellowish smoke that rose from the glowing coals and never entirely dispersed up the chimney mingled with the smell of carbolic pervading the whole house. I stood for hours at the window, studying the wonderful formation of icy mountain ranges two or three inches high formed above the crossbars by water running down the panes. Now and then solitary figures emerged from the snowy landscape outside. Wrapped in dark scarves and shawls, umbrellas open to keep off the flurry of snowflakes, they stumbled up the hill. I heard them knocking the snow off their boots down in the porch before they slowly climbed the stairs, escorted by the neighbor’s daughter who was now keeping house for the minister. With a certain hesitancy, and as if they had to bend underneath something, they stepped over the threshold and put whatever they had brought—a jar of pickled red cabbage, a can of corned beef, a bottle of rhubarb wine—down on the chest of drawers. Gwendolyn took no notice of these visitors, and the visitors themselves dared not look at her.” —W.G. SebaldAusterlitz

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