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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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This Story was transcribed & Contributed by: Laurie Broetzmann

The Hyacinth

By Lydia Brickbauer


The sun has just gone down, and a dense fog may be seen floating over Hermes Valley. In the center of this valley a beautiful castle was built by Hermes. The castle is surrounded by tall, pine trees, and the ivy climbs up the walls of the castle until it reaches the tower, and twines around it. The roses and various other flowers are in full bloom, and may be seen all around the castle. From the north side of the castle a curved pathway leads to the quiet brook, flowing along its way. The large lawn is always kept clean, and appears very smooth and velvety.

Just now Hermes is outside of the castle receiving his son Hyus, and Cynthia, who has accompanied him. After the first few words are exchanged Hyus and Cynthia go to their rooms to prepare for the ball to be held in honor of their arrival.

After Cynthia has seen all the costly furniture, the beautiful pictures adorning the walls, and several other things in her room, she begins to dress. It takes several hours for her to do so, but finally she has finished, and she looks very beautiful as she stands in front of the mirror admiring herself. Her long black hair is curled around her forehead, and her brown eyes show signs of happiness as she leaves the room to go to Hyus.

She meets him in the hall, and as they enter the ball-room all eyes are turned towards them. The people are all surprised at seeing Hyus. His skin, though naturally light, has become darker by foreign travel. His dark hair, generally worn long, is cut close to his head, and the former sad eyes look very happy. (This is, as we all know, due to the presence of Cynthia, whom he loves very much.)

After all the invited guests have arrived, the doors are closed and the dancing begins. When the doors have been closed for several minutes a small, stout figure enters the ball-room; and taking one of the first seats he begins to talk with several of the men. The people wonder who he is, and finally decide that it is some poor farmer. Hyus and Cynthia know it is Illus, a doctor, who has followed them, but do not say so.

They are very unhappy the rest of the evening and leave the ball-room before any one else. As they part in the hall Cynthia says, "I feel that through the action of this wicked man we shall lose our lives."

"Oh nonsense," he replies, "you must not think of such horrible things," and leaves her. But he does not sleep all night; he is constantly thinking of the words Cynthia has spoken.

Several weeks after the evening of this ball Hyus and Cynthia go to Arion to take up their studies for the winter.

After a month of hard study Hyus becomes very ill, and as Illus is the nearest doctor Cynthia sends for him. But Hyus does not get better and another doctor is called.

When he comes he declares it to be a very bad case because the patient has not been given the right proportion of the different medicines, and as a result they are acting as poisons.

During all this time Cynthia is not allowed to see Hyus, and as Illus is a frequent visitor, and is very kind to her, she ceases to love Hyus and longs for the visits of Illus.

But after two weeks of severe illness, Hyus is able to sit up again, and one day he asks for Cynthia. As she enters the room and sees his sad looking face, she forgets Illus, and again treats Hyus lovingly. After this interview Cynthia constantly avoids Illus, and if she happens to meet him treats him scornfully.

Several months after this Hyus and Cynthia go out walking one evening. They stop to rest on a rustic bench beneath an old oak tree. Suddenly they hear a noise in one of the bushes near by, and looking up they see Illus with a pistol in his right hand. Hyus is just going to ask him why he has come and what he wants, when a shot is heard and Hyus falls dead to the ground.

Illus then turns to Cynthia and threatens to kill her if she will not marry him. She is too terrified to speak, and not answering he kills her.

The news is soon spread and a telegram is sent to Hermes. Hermes comes as soon as possible and buries Hyus and Cynthia side by side.

The next Decoration day, Hermes comes to decorate the graves, but finds them beautifully decorated by flowers of different colors. He picks several of them, takes them to a botanist, and inquires for the name. But the botanist declares he has never seen such flowers before and can not name them.

So the matter of naming the flowers is left to Hermes, and he calls them "Hyacinths" in honor of Hyus and Cynthia. And they have been called by this name ever since.

(Note: This story was included in the booklet, The Origin of Flowers, which was written in June 1906)


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