HELENE by VICKI BAUM "THE young girl sat in a fourthclass carriage of a local train, which was making its way with considerable speed through the night, in order to reach the main station at Frankfurt at the scheduled time. The February night seemed to consist entirely of black glass, lit occasionally by flashes from the windows of passr ing trains and then becoming opaque again, streaked with black rivulets of rain blown on small gusts of wind from the northeast. The air in this fourthclass carriage was heavy beneath the small, gloomy gasjets and the panes were fogged with the breath of sleeping humanity. The young girl, Fraulein Willfuera student of chemistry, to be exactwas not, however, asleep, but was sitting up right on the seat, with a tired and yet alert expression on her face. She had given up her corner seat to a woman who was holding a baby on her kp and was apparently expecting another child a young, wornout, working woman, who let her mouth fall open in sleep and was continually sinking forward, so that the baby was k constant danger of falling, and each time Fraulein Willfuer came to the rescue and prevented the fall. This was on her left. On her right sat an old man who smelt unpleasantly and pillowed his head on her shoulder in ordet to sleep comfortably. Opposite her was a youth dreaming some terrible dream that caused him to bare his teeth. Although none of this was particularly pleasing, and although Helene Willfuer herself had good cause, for sadness, she suddenly started to smile. Alone and awake amid these pitiful sleeping bundles of humanity, she was forced to smileat these people as well as at herself. Behind her smile there was, however, something else triumph, success, an obstacle overcome. I have done it, she thought and the rattle of the windows and the clack of the wheels over the track took up the thought aod echoed it rhythmically in her brain. As the train increased its speed on nearing its destination, the refrain was shortened, and to an everquickening accompani ment of w Done, done, done it Hdene Willfuer rose and gathered together her luggage. Lights, signals, shrieks from the engine, the mirror of the Rivet Main below, a prolonged rumble over a bridge between the first houses of a large town. Helenes neighbours wakened and exchanged a few words with one another. Did the young kdy live there ? asked the youth sitting opposite her. No, she was changing there, and going mrther, said Fraulein Willfuer. What a pity 1 He would have liked to have shown her the way, said the youth The young mother asked in a husky voice if the young Jady would hold the child for a moment."