HOME
BACKGROUND
AUTHOR
CONTACT

Characters in Depth:
Helmuth

First Trilogy
All Manor of Yarns

For US orders, click HERE.

For Canadian orders...
Hardcover
Paperback

  I. Prussian Yarns

 II. A Stitch in Time

III. Tinctures & Tantrums

Second Trilogy
The Snow Queen and
The Caterpillar

IV.There is a Season
V. Viennese Yarns
VI. Orchids

Third Trilogy
Taffeta Tales

VII. British Yarns
VIII. Polish Yarns
IX. Threads of Strife

Favourites Writers
Be aware the below links will take you to websites separate from this one.
To return here, click the back button on your browser.

Lorraine Stanton
Vicki Wootton
Shalanna Collins
 

Helmuth Schmidt is the Schönwald stableman, and was already the stableman when Otto arrived at Schönwald.  Helmuth was used to the old-fashioned Junker way of doing things, so he was uneasy at first with Otto’s easy going ways.  Over time, however, Helmuth came to take pride in the trust Otto put in him, and to appreciate being out of the oppressive serf-liege relationship of working for the von Puttkamers, though he never showed any appreciation of anything.

Descended from blacksmiths who had been in the area since the dawn of time, Helmuth was born in the Schönwald stables to the Schönwald stableman and the daughter of a stableman from a nearby estate.  The line of Schmidts that showed more affinity for the horses they shod than for the iron they shod the horses with, moved from the smithy to the stables.  They were closely connected to the smiths in the neighbouring estates and villages.

When Helmuth was a young man he was quite the womanizer, causing his fair share of scandals in Schönwald village and all the villages, towns and estates within a day’s ride.  However, once an angry father caught up with him and caused a shot-gun wedding, Helmuth took his duties as husband and father seriously.  He worked hard, and took good care of his wife and son.  Unfortunately a very hard birth rendered the baby mentally slow, and Helmuth’s bride was never strong and hale again.  Despite the fact that as long as he was young enough to outrun everyone he wasn’t above having a fling with any lady married or not who was willing to have him, Helmuth took the damage to his son, Markus, to be punishment from God for his sins.

The epidemic of 1846 carried off Helmuth’s wife and his daughters, leaving him with three sons, Markus who never advanced to more than the mental level of a toddler, no matter how big he got, Kurt, who was 5 years old, and the baby, Wolfgang.  This was the point at which Helmuth decided it was time to mend his ways and sin no more, because he took his losses to also be punishment from God and was afraid if he sinned again God would take his sons as well.  That God had taken his useful daughters and left Markus proved to Helmuth that God was punishing him.  From that time on Helmuth was relentlessly pessimistic about everything.

The epidemic of 1846 also carried off the Schönwald cook, so Otto, in desperation, asked his sister Adelheid to lend him her cook, temporarily.  When Emma arrived from Vienna she was scorned and bullied by the household staff of  Schönwald.  Finding her weeping in the Gutshof one day, Helmuth comforted her, and one thing led to another.  Despite his intentions to sin no more, he took Emma’s virginity, though she was his last conquest.  He married her, which meant she could not return to her mistress in Vienna, and their daughter was born seven months later.

Emma named her daughter Cosima, after Saint Cosmos, because she had arrived in Prussia on Saint Cosmos’s feast day.  Two years later a second daughter was born on Saint Ursula’s feast day and named Ursula.  Although Helmuth was now a faithful husband for the first time in his life, his new daughters were not the comfort of his life the way his first daughters had been.  These two were huge, ungainly creatures who were, Helmuth was sure, punishment from God for his sins.  Emma was a good step-mother to Helmuth’s sons, but she could do nothing to cure Markus.  Under her care Kurt grew strong and tall, hardworking and honourable, though Wolfgang proved to be always self-pitying, lazy and sulky.  Helmuth considered Wolfgang to be a punishment from God.  

Helmuth had never paid much attention to his first wife’s well being, taking it for granted that if she were fed and housed she would be happy and well.  The experience of losing her, however, meant he lived in fear of losing Emma.  Helmuth was constantly afraid that something would happen to Emma, and often fussed at Otto about not working her too hard.  He never showed his affection for Emma directly to her, but she understood him and took his fussing in stride.

Helmuth groused about everything, worried about everything, and fumed at his children.  Only to the horses was he gentle and kind.  To the horses he gave first rate care.  He ran the stables so well that Otto would have put up with a lot more than sourness from Helmuth.  Helmuth, however, never did realise his own value, or see where he was well off.  He didn’t recognise his daughter Cosima’s integrity, ambition, and good work ethic.  He did recognise those same qualities in his son, Kurt, but when he saw them they make him uneasy.  Even in the positive, Helmuth saw a negative.

HOME BACKGROUND AUTHOR CONTACT

[Previous Bio: Otto]

 [Next Bio: Ernst]

Another fine ShadowCat's ToyBox Prodution