By Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, Diana Pyke
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Additional info for Confessions of the Old Wizard
The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Canal was therefore not far behind... Of course we spent the whole week wandering about the harbor, admiring the strange sailors from other countries, endeavoring to identify the various naval ensigns and studying with the greatest interest the extraordinary signals transmitted by the visitors, in daytime with semaphore flags, at night in Morse with flashlamps. These -56were the happy years of peace. No one thought of war. We stumbled over iron rivets on deck and listened to the explanations of our guides (whom I suspect of stuffing us with all sorts of yarns while keeping perfectly straight faces); we gazed in astonishment at the muzzles of the heavycaliber guns projecting from the clumsy-looking turrets of the new dreadnoughts.
I remained behind in Wedel, near Hamburg. Every morning I went into Hamburg by steam train - an hour and a quarter's journey - and returned in the evening. From the windows of my compartment I could see the magnificent villas in Blankensee belonging to various shipowners, and the white sails of the yachts cruising on the lower Elbe. In spite of the view, however, I was not really happy because of the mistress of the house my parents had chosen for me. She was a miserly woman, stepmother to the two daughters of a somewhat corpulent doctor, a friend of my father's student days whose first wife had died many years previously.
This became apparent when our old Headmaster, Hoche, was succeeded by a new man who was to have the effect of a fresh breeze on the somewhat leisurely ways of the school. The new Head, Schultes, was a first-rate man, only a bit too keen. The upper forms, which had grown large under Hoche's rule, were thoroughly riled by his keenness and determined to get their own back. There was to be a binge for the 1893 top-formers who had passed their final examination. At this party a Bierzeitung - a humorous gazette specially got up for the occasion - was read out.