When there was a silence, Raimar’s mother turned back to the mirror again. Raimar went to his bedroom with Philip. The atmosphere had grown tense. Raimar’s mother had been speaking for about an hour. In fact it was more like wailing. Now and then Raimar had mumbled something against her arguments. All the time during her discourse she had been at work on her toilet, complaining how terribly dry her hair was. She had combed it asunder, together, and asunder again, and then tried anew to bring it into shape, the only result being she burst into tears. She had overturned a rather large flask of perfume so that the room began to fill with the sweet, heavy odor of a florist's shop.

She had looked fixedly at Philip, too, obviously hoping he would support her opinion, but he did not say a word. You won’t catch me as stupid as that, he thought. I certainly won’t tire myself getting involved in it.

Raimar’s father was sitting by the radio and smoking a small cigar. He did not say anything. The radio was playing harpsichord music. Philip had the impression that he did not dare to put on another station although he hated the music. Perhaps he did not dare to do anything but sit still and wait. The two of them passed him gingerly.