Saturday, December 2, 2017

POB #5: Idilia Dubb


God in heaven, what has happened! Do I dream, or is it reality? In the flight, I have
ascended the swaying stairs of an old castle ruin, and just as I have reached the plateau of them, a
terrible crash comes upon my ear, which makes me sink down into the depths of my soul. With a
bated breath and covered eyes, I listened for a moment, then
turning and looking, what I had to see! - the stairs had collapsed behind me! For a time I stood
as if frozen, without reflection, without thoughts-almost without feeling. I felt as though I was no longer living. Oh, it would be so
been! Only too soon did I return to myself and to my existence, which is without a doubt a horrible, lost one.
I can not find any way to get down there. The walls are high, with only a few projections, very distant from
each other. No pole, no rope, no help far and wide.

O father! O mother! O George and dear Marie! How will you look for me, cry and moan! And I
am here on this lonely, abandoned, desolate tower, and have no means of giving you a sign of my life

I've called all day, but no one has heard me. My voice, I believe, is not enough. At
the edge of the hole into which the staircase is cast down, I do not dare me, lest I go down
would fall. In the first moment of terror, I hurried to him, but the dizzying depth and
darkness of the darkness gave me so much relief that I half-faintly staggered. All the
sheets of my sketchbook I have copied and thrown down one by one. Some I saw over the trees,
others flying into the water. Oh, I could have done it! But I close the high wall of the parapet.
In vain I tried to swing myself up to the edge; My powers were not enough. As long as I
could move the arms, I blown with the handkerchief. Nothing helped. And yet I know, father,
mother, George, Marie, you are looking for me with heart, and let me seek. Will no one come to this tower

O my God! I cried all day. Now comes the night. It's getting cold and chilly. I hear the trees
rustling under me in the evening wind; Over me the night birds are rising with heavy swinging wings.

God in heaven, have mercy on me! -

Huddled in a corner, bitterly crying and sobbing, I finally fell asleep. I am
freezing, hungry; The tongue sticks to my palate. Father of all creatures, will not you send me salvation? Should
I be lost forever? Parents, siblings, do not you know? If any of you were here, I
would find him! My heart would lead me, my poor heart, who will be afraid, pain, hunger, and thirst, and
suffocate my own tears. Again I have called, blown, made all sorts of exertions. My
hands, my knees, my whole body are sore. My eyes, my lips burn. In my ears I have
Terrible whirring. O, my God, O my God, shall there be no help to me? One hundred times it was as if
I heard human voices; Clearly I meant to hear the mother calling me. Oh mother, your poor
child, your Idilia! Do not you urge a dark train of your soul here! Marie, George! You must hear me! Hear!
Hear! Your sister, your poor, desperate sister!

Free! All in vain! In Death, I began to loosen loose stones with the nails from the mortar,
and to impregnate them into steps. My fingers bled terribly, and when I once went in pain to the mouth
and felt the warm fluid, I could have ripped myself to drink my blood. My
blood was so good to me! Oh God! It had been my only food for 48 hours. Already I have
chewed on the straw of my hat. But as terrible as I am for food, the horror of my situation makes me forget the
needs. The whole day I piled up the loose stones. Finally, towards sunset
Their height seemed to me considerable enough to reach the edge to which some board steps have led,
but which are now rotten and shattered. I climbed them. The land lay far ahead of me. How quiet, how
happy all! I saw in the surrounding villages smoke the chimneys and
ride a steamboat on the Rheine . Violently I blew with the cloth and thought to notice that I was blown again! The lucky ones
down there thought it was a greeting of joy. Ah, they did not know how much the sign of distress and
despair was! The band's music sounded on the back deck, the bank, the hotel, their arms
The loves! What waves me? Death from all corners of this gruesome ruin. And what kind of death? Father,
mother, George, Marie, would you let me die so terribly, so terribly?

Am I still alive? - It seems to me that I've been up here for an eternity. The tongue sticks to my mouth, I
can not call. My clothes are hanging in shreds; My hair is disheveled; I think I am deaf;
I hear nothing more, the world is as extinct. Yesterday, two burrows
flew up , and sat down on the edge, weary with the flight. It was the last happiness that was my part, a greeting
from the world, from life. When they flew away, I watched them for a long time, I thought they had to fly straight
to mine and bring them news of my misery.

This is, I believe, the fourth day! Day? The Fourth Amendment to Hell! Yesterday I felt as if I was listening.
Everything was terribly dead and still; I was as in the grave, without feeling, without thought or sense. Suddenly I heard
my name as if from afar, as we call from our house in Edinburgh. I pulled myself up and
climbed up again the piled stones; Already I could not see any more! It lay like a veil
before my eyes. In the sway, the underlay dissolved, and I fell with the stones to the ground.

How long I lay, stunned by the trap, I do not know. All I know is, my death is certain. Once
more I will pray for the salvation of my soul, for you, father, mother, George and Marie. Then I will see whether I
still have strength to drag myself to the dark hope of the tower and to fall down. Oh, why did not I do it
right away.

Father in heaven, be merciful to my soul.



Idilia Dubb and her family were originally from Scotland. In the late spring of 1851, The Dubbs, Idilia, her mother and father and brother and sister took a trip to Germany. On their trip, they visited Lehneck Castle in the city of Lahnstein along the Rhine River. Idilia, wanting to record a view of the river, climbed the dilapidated stairs in the abandoned castle to the top of the pentagonal tower. With her sketchbook in hand, she was to start drawing the magnificent view from the castle but the wooden stairs collapsed trapping her in the tower.

No one knew that she had went up there and all expected her for dinner that evening. When Idilia didn't show up, the police were notified and a search went out. Everywhere and everything was searched. The only place that wasn't was Lahneck Castle. Fearing the worst, Idilia's family hesitantly and despondently, returned to Scotland. Idilia screamed and waved at whoever she could from the tower but no one heard, no one saw, no one cared, no one came.

In 1860, Lahneck Castle was finally going to undergo repairs. Workers climbed to the top of the tower and found a skeleton in tattered clothes, some pages of a sketchbook nearby. Words scrawled on the pages told the story of the final days of Idilia Dubb. Her parents were brought in from Scotland, her remains identified and taken home.

Most people agree that Idilia Dubb did not really exist, that her diary is a fraud, and that her tale of tragedy is just that: a made-up story. Researchers have been unable to find evidence of the Dubb family anywhere in Scotland and that her diary is in such good condition despite being exposed to the elements for nine years.

Is the story of Idilia Dubb a complete fabrication? Is it a mix of truth and fiction? We will likely never know.

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