Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Paul Leppin's The Road to Darkness - Daniel Jesus

In her sudden dread, she gave a long, high-pitched scream that made everyone look up. The room fell so quiet one could hear the tinkling of the glass crystals in the metal chandeliers on the ceiling. She cast one last desperate, tremulous look of love at her mother's staring eyes, then screamed once more and fled like a madwoman from the room, past the women's naked breasts, past Margaret's massive body, beside which the black crown was like a viper wound painfully round Daniel's head.

She ran. She ran down the steps into the garden, naked and with the black mask over her eyes. She kept on running, running away in horror. On the lawn below the windows the gypsy girl was lying like a doll, a smile on her face, her eyes blank with madness, looking up at the big acacia which thrust a thick, blossoming branch into the window by which she had been kneeling an hour ago, whispering to the cobbler.

Anton? The cobbler? Where could he be? The gypsy girl smiled, her lips hot and strangely twisted. Brightly coloured, long-forgotten dreams floated past her soul, like goldfish by the bulbous glass of their bowl, their fins glittering in the water and jingling with a prink … prink … prink.

The gypsy girl smiled. An astonished smile, guileless as a child’s. She was happy because she could not remember anything any longer. The reason she was smiling was because Anton, the cobbler, who had hung himself with her belt up in the acacia tree, had goggle eyes and a wide-open mouth like the golden fishes in their bowl … prink … prink … you look as white as a dead man, Anton, and I love you. –