All the time Schmale kept reaching out through the open window to a cherry tree from which he picked and persistently ate the fruit, ejecting the stones with a disagreeable noise. Now it was this last circumstance in particular which decided me; for, strange to say, I have an innate aversion from fruit.
With the latter, who was just engaged in a consultation about the repertory with the theatre attendant, a toothless old skeleton, he left me to settle the necessary arrangements. As soon as Bethmann had gone, Schmale, the stage manager, shrugged his shoulders and smiled, assuring me that that was just the way of the director, to put everything on his back and trouble himself about nothing.
Under these circumstances, Schmale, the stage manager, who has been my good friend ever since, proposed a special gala performance for New Year's Day, which he felt sure would be a triumph. I was to compose the necessary music.