Johanna Schopenhauer is reading the palm of a woman from the petty bourgeoisie of Weimar.
-You don’t have to worry about your husband, Ingrid. He will be fine. As long as you stop supplying small doses of cyanide with his meals.
– He likes very spicy foods.
-The cyanide is not any spice, Ingrid. It’s a powerful poison.
-Don’t tell me! I thought it was like ginger or nutmeg!
Then Mrs. Tieck bursts into the room; she is very nervous. The petty bourgeoisie says goodbye to Johanna, who focuses her attention on Mrs. Tieck.
-Mrs. Tieck! What happens? You look so nervous…
-There’s not a moment to lose, Johanna. Tieck and Wieland are going to fight duel this evening!
– What makes you think that?
-He asked me to heat water!
– And that makes you suspect?
-It’s just that every time he is going to duel, he asks me the same thing.
Johanna gets up quickly.
-Then, we’d better hurry up. Where will the duel take place?
-I don’t know. I was confident that you could find out by reading the palm.
-But I would need to read your husband’s palm.
-Why don’t you try with mine?
-Well, at least I could try to find out if there really is cause for concern? Bring me your hand.
Mrs. Tieck reaches out her palm, and Johanna examines it intently.
-The reading is very clear. You will not be widowed soon. In fact, you are going to make a pleasure trip together with your husband very soon.
-Ah, next week is our wedding anniversary! Then, he has remembered it! And where does he plan to travel? London? Prague?
Johanna gets closer and closer to the palm.
– Jena?! It’s just a few miles up! And how are we going to travel to Jena? In what kind of carriage?
-On foot, with a bundle on your back.
-Twelve miles on foot?! Has he gone crazy?! And that’s what he calls a pleasure trip?!
-Well, you know how the Romantics are. They like to enjoy nature, outdoor life …
– What the hell are we going to do in Jena?! We’ve already been there fifty times!
Johanna brings the face still closer to the palm.
– The pleasure lies in the trip. You will go on foot to Jena and, upon arrival, you will turn around.
– Another twelve miles on foot?! That man has gone crazy! And where are we going to sleep on the road?
The chiromancer sticks his nose to the palm.
-I see a church in ruins … A gloomy place plenty of bats. It’s very romantic… You both will sleep outside, under the starry vault…
-Guess who will see stars when he returns from the duel!
Mrs. Tieck stands up suddenly, unintentionally striking Johanna’s face with her palm.
-Oh, excuse me.
-It’s nothing, I’m used to it.
Mrs. Tieck, in a fury, sets out for the exit accompanied by Johanna.
-And as for the duel, rest assured.
But Mrs. Tieck does not listen to her. She is talking alone:
-A pleasure trip… Two days walking … Sleeping in some damn ruin…