The Rose of Shiraz (cont’d)

The Rose of Shiraz (cont’d)

Old Shatterhand introduces himself. The Two Snuffles do not recognize him in his settler’s garb (the plain farmer’s outfit, which he obtained from the German immigrants of Helldorf whom he and Winnetou saved at Hancock Mountain, where the Apache was killed, and which, if read in connection to Winnetou’s death, reminds one of a mourner’s habit). Karl May repeatedly used the motif of being ‘unrecognized’ within his novels.

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Excerpt from: Savage To Saint: The Karl May Story, Lulu.com

They steered their animals next to me. I looked at them with my eyes wide open, whereby they had to see that I wasn’t asleep. That’s why the one with the scar said, “Good day, mister! Aren’t you the careless one! Makes a trail recognizable three miles away and then at the end of it lays calmly down in the grass, making it child’s play for the redskins to find and extinguish him. You don’t seem to be a frontiersman, in any case!”

Because of his peculiarly giant olfactory organ, his voice possessed a certain sound that was the origin for the name Snuffle. He scrutinized me with a searching but not at all malevolent gaze, which I quietly endured, and then he continued.

“Well, don’t you have an answer for me?”

“Oh, yes, but I didn’t want to contradict you,” I replied.

“Contradict me? I want to know where you would pull a contradiction from!”

“From your words, sir.”

“Ah! Truly? Why?”

“You called me careless without having the slightest reason to do so. If someone deserves to be reproached for it, then it would be you.”

“Us? Blimey! I really want to know how you’re going to substantiate that!”

“Very simple. Do you really think that a redskin who followed my tracks could extinguish me that easily?”

“Of course!”

“Ah, yeah! I would see him coming and he’d get a bullet before he knew where I was.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Indeed. You were only at a few paces distance when you finally saw me. I could have blown you away ten times over, just like you believed that I could have been blown away.”

He looked at his brother with some astonishment and said, “This man isn’t wrong, don’t you reckon, old Tim? He talks a lot, although he doesn’t look that smart. He could have wiped us out if there were any animosity between him and us and,” he added with emphasis, “if he were a prairie man.”

“Yes. But he isn’t one,” Tim replied in a very adamant tone of voice, while he eyed me off with a benevolently compassionate gaze. “He must be some kind of settler who lost his way.”

“Indeed, that’s obvious at first glance. Let’s take him under our wings and get him back on track. Getting lost here in the Wild West and falling into the hands of the Comanche isn’t exactly the thrill of thrills. In the meantime, we can have a bit of a rest as well; the spot isn’t bad at all for that.”

He dismounted, sat down next to me, his brother did likewise, and then he asked me in a patronizing but well-meant manner, “You won’t mind if we keep you company, eh?”

“The prairie is open for everyone, sir.”

“Oh! That sounds just like you couldn’t care less whether or not we wish to give you advice and help.”

“Very kind of you but I require neither advice nor help.”

“No?” he asked and looked at me with raised eyebrows. “You’re not lost then?”

“No.”

“You know this area then?”

“Yes.”

“Hm! Strange! I’d bet my mule against a goat that you’re no frontiersman. Where are you from then?”

“From Germany.”

“German? Hm, I can believe that; it is also very probable. Your face, your suit, yes, yes, it’s all very German. May we ask what you’re doing here and what your name is?”

“Why not? But I was here first and therefore have the right to ask you first.”

“Blimey, this man has attitude! Well, because we did arrive later, we will be polite and tell you that we are men of the West—genuine, true men of the West and not carrion hunters like those who swarm about the prairie by the hundreds nowadays. And our names? You won’t care about our real name, because the whole world calls us The Two Snuffles, on account of our noses, you must know. It is a little vexing, but we’re so used to it by now that we don’t mind any longer. Well, then, now you know what we are and who we are, and I think that you’ll answer my question now.”

“With pleasure,” I replied, using almost his exact same words. “I will also be polite and tell you that I am a frontiersman—a genuine, real frontiersman and not a carrion hunter like those who swarm about the prairie by the hundreds nowadays. And my name? You won’t care about my real name, because the whole world calls me Old Shatterhand.”

Cont’d.

More: Savage To Saint: The Karl May Story, Lulu.com

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