Only ten years old when his father took him to Prussia,
Jean-Philippe felt out of his depth. He was used to the downtown
life in their Paris apartment so vast open fields of Schönwald
were dismaying to him. He was not impressed by Otto’s kindness
when they arrived, and he did not recognise his humour. He was
at first, annoyed to be sent from the room while the
negotiations went on but he soon began to explore the estate,
and to relax out of his father’s reach.
Jean soon felt nervous, so he sent Jean-Émile out to find
Jean-Philippe and make him behave.
Jean-Émile at first took his task seriously, but quickly fell in
with Jean-Philippe and Luise’s games and fun. The two boys
played in a way they never had before. They discovered a friend
in each other, which stayed with Jean-Philippe for the rest of
The boys started to do what Luise wanted, which was against
their upbringing. Somehow it seemed easier to go along with her
than it was to cross her. Besides, she had ideas they would
never have thought of.
The wild, free time they had, making the bridge, catching the
bat, and running with the horse, dog, and falcon were a treasure
to Jean-Philippe. It was a memory that sustained him.