Oxygen and Aromasia
by Claës Lundin
translated by Bertil Falk
Table of Contents
Part 1 and Part 3
appear in this issue.
Chapter 17: In Copenhagen
Part 2 of 3: Doubts and Differing Plans
“To Stockholm!” Aromasia exclaimed and offered Oxygen her hand in farewell.
“Horrible accident in Gothenburg!” a paperboy screamed. “A concert hall burned down! The great artist Scentman-Ozodes sadly killed. Fifty people burned to death!”
“Horrible fire in Gothenburg!” another news-seller screamed. “Greater part of the city burnt down. Thousands of people killed.”
“Scent-concerts are over forever!” it was heard form a third one.
“We knew that many hours ago,” remarked one of the guests of the hotel “Denmark’s Savage.” It was one who was enjoying the extensive view from the garden of the big tower.
“Already last night!” someone added.
“Even last evening!” said a third person.
“Even before the accident happened,” proposed a fourth.
“It’s awful how out of date the news of the morning papers is.”
“It has been like that for several hundred years. In northern Scandinavia news is more and more often announced before it happens. Why should we in southern Scandinavia be so far behind? Even so, we have news sellers who are independent of the newspapers, and we ought to be able to keep up with the times.”
“That woman Scantman-Ozodes was a great artist. One has to regret her sad end. I very well remember her ododion performances here in Copenhagen and in Köge. She was then still a child, but she was superior to all the other scent artists even then.”
“I’ve also known about these performances.”
All those present knew about them and regretted that Scentman-Ozodes not had performed in southern Scandinavia in the last few years. Everyone would have loved to scent her pleasant scent chords once more.
Aromasia heard all these flattering exclamations and wishes. Her face, which had been that sad this day, brightened up. She beckoned one of the news sellers to come up to her, talked a few moments to him, took out some securities and put them in his hand, whereupon the seller turned to his colleagues and delivered a short message.
“Great scent performance!” the first news seller suddenly exclaimed and the cry was repeated at several spots in the garden.
The guests listened to the cry and surprised they looked at each other.
“Great scent performance!” it once more resounded.
“Miss Scentman-Ozodes will perform tomorrow night!” the screamers added.
“What’s this? A joke in bad taste?” the guests asked.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s no joke,” Oxygen declared as he stepped forward. He informed them that Miss Scentman-Ozodes had not been killed, for he had had the honor of saving her the previous night.
To begin with, people did not believe the news. They had received the most authoritative information about the accident in Gothenburg and about the artist’s pitiable death.
“Who is that gentleman?” they asked and looked mistrustfully at Oxygen.
One of the other people, a well-known person, informed than the gentleman was Warm-Blasius, the weather manufacturer noted all over Scandinavia, who even had provided Zealand with many refreshing showers of rain. They completely trusted the man’s word, for he was a man worthy of respect
A buzz of pleased surprise was heard at the roof of “Denmark’s Savage.” All were delighted to hear about the fortunate occurrence. All wanted to show joyful sympathy. All wanted to be present at her performance. Not a single one feared to expose herself or himself to an accident.
And from the roof, the joyous surprise spread down to all the floors of the hotel. And from the house down to the square Blegedamstorv and all the way to Roskilde and to the headquarters at Hilleröd and all the other fringes and into the smallest alleys and the lowest ten-storey houses. Everyone wanted to experience the delightful scent chords of the greatest artist in Scandinavia.
Everyone wanted to see her, for she had been saved from certain death in such a wonderful way and had immediately rushed to southern Scandinavia to show her marked attention to its art-loving public. It was the old, everlasting aesthetical sense of Copenhagen manifesting itself. The whole city began to move.
But then, where was the great artist? Had she disappeared again? Was it really true that she had appeared in Copenhagen and put up at “Denmark’s Savage?”
Yes, it was really true, trustworthy people explained. They had, if not seen her, at least heard other trustworthy people assuring them that she had appeared in the flesh in the garden on the roof of the hotel. And even more certain and more convincing were the securities she had distributed and which had immediately been honored.
Then nobody dared doubt any more. Everyone was delighted in the glad certainty that they would be able to enjoy a great artistic experience. To be sure, many scent artists had performed in Copenhagen lately, but none of them had been such a big name as Aromasia Scentman-Ozodes.
Who could be happier than the artist herself? Well, possibly Oxygen, who rejoiced at Aromasia’s sudden decision to perform in Copenhagen, through which he, without her suspecting anything, could find an opportunity to test his great scientific discovery. He did not believe in her art any more. Since the brain organ had shown its extraordinary capacity, her art was already beaten in human development, or so Oxygen thought.
But even so, Aromasia could now help him achieve his purpose with the Will-Subduer. That Aromasia once more had disappeared did not disturb him. He was sure she was somewhere in the vicinity, occupied with preparations for tomorrow’s big ododion performance.