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Chapter 9 Karl Schuwald (June 2001; Munich) Karl Schuwald is a business management student at the Friedrich Emmanuel School

of Munich University. When he first joined the school, he went by the name of Neuman, but three years ago changed it to Schuwald. His scheduled inheritance from the mastermind of Bayern's largest konzern, Hans Schuwald, has been a hot topic among the financial world of the E.U., and the media has spent much effort looking into just who he is, and whether he is a foster child or illegitimate son of Schuwald's. But ultimately, only those who are very close to him know the truth, and none of them are talking, so the real story has yet to be reported. Knowing this fact, I was very skeptical of my chances at getting an interview with Karl, so unlike what I did with Inspector Lunge, I came right out and told him that I wanted to know more about Johan. Surprisingly, his answer was "ja." He invited me to the Schuwald Estate, close in proximity to Nymphenburg Palace, in the northwest region of Munich. The ancient building, seemingly straight out of Victorian-era England, had undergone diligent maintenance, and cast off a chic, rather than elegant air. Karl Schuwald was a young man with stiffly wavy black hair, not handsome, but with an honest and intelligent face. For being the son of a fabulously wealthy man, he looked not unlike your average starving student, with a plain blue denim shirt and jeans. As we shook hands, he stared into my eyes, as if attempting to ascertain that I was as honest and upfront about my statements as he was. Unsurprisingly, his father was nowhere to be seen, and I felt a bit of disappointment, along with no small amount of relief. - Just for the record, you have met with Johan, correct? "Yes. He was a friend of mine. I trusted him like no other person. If only I could ask him... why he did

those things to me and my father." - You have been... no, still are, a much-discussed person among society. Why did you decide to accept my interview? "Most of the interview requests have been about the connection between me and my father. You are only the second or third to ask about Johan. A recent as a year ago, I would have turned you down, but now I feel that I can talk about it." - After the discovery of the Johan case, the media rushed out to cover the story and find the truth. But most people who were involved with it have not spoken. The world at large spread rumors that there must be something very big and secret behind the case. Why have you decided to speak up about it, now? "The reason they haven't said anything is because they are afraid." - Afraid? But Johan is said to be in a deep coma, still only a few steps away from death... "Yes, the fear is not of him now, but of the things we experienced in the past. Even a year ago, just thinking back on it would have paralyzed me. But after three years, I've finally been able to face it. Or perhaps I should say that I feel I MUST face it." - After-effects of your experiences, then. Well, tell me of how it was you came to know Johan. "Johan and I were hired by my father... Hans Schuwald, to read Latin aloud to him, as he could not see. I came in on Tuesdays, and Johan worked on Fridays. We both went to the same university, but he attended the law school there, and I was in the business school, so we had never met. It wasn't until a mutual friend introduced us to each other that we became acquainted." - What kind of person was he? "First of all, his reading was perfect. He was a very well-educated student. And so he was my father's favorite... He was always kind and polite to me, and he even cried when I told him my background story."

- Was it through this reading job that Herr Schuwald became taken with you, and decided to accept you as his heir? Feel free not to answer, if you'd rather not. "Ah yes, that's what the media is all excited about now. Well, the truth is... I really am Hans Georg Schuwald's biological son. My mother and father were very much in love, but she did not want to marry, and so she left. He gave me to someone he knew, and disappeared from my life. And so I spent the rest of my childhood moving from orphanage to foster parents, and back. When I got into college, news of my mother's death was in the paper. She had been murdered. After her death, I wanted to meet with my father, somehow. I had told myself that he was a terrible man who abandoned my mother to her fate, but there was a part of me that secretly hoped he would love me." - And so you introduced yourself to him. "No, I didn't have the courage. My confidence was tattered enough by my horrific reading, which threatened to get me fired nearly every week... No, it was Johan who truly united me and my father. He showed him the lucky rabbit's foot my father had once given to my mother, and which passed on to me. That was how my identity was proven." [Picture] (Two sketches of Karl) The heir of Hans Schuwald's estate, destined to lead the future European economy, Karl. His hobbies are reading, fishing and cycling. A plain, relaxed young man. - So what was Johan's goal? "My father's search for his biological son was actually widely known in Munich. Several times before, men had come to him, claiming to be his heir, and each time he hired a private detective to examine their backgrounds. This was another reason why I had trouble speaking up for my identity. When I was spending my days reading to Father and fidgeting over whether or not to tell him who I was (for whatever

reasons), another young man came to him and claimed to be his true son. He was another student, named Edmund Fahren, who read to Father on Thursdays. His story was good enough that only I could have known he was false. So when I went to visit his dorm, intending to blow the cover off of his disguise... he was hanging by his neck, dead. I believe it was the day after that, that I first met Johan Liebert... It wasn't until after he led an attempt on my father's life and burned down the college library that I understood what his true intentions were. It was Johan who manipulated Edmund Fahren, to gain my father's trust. But just before he could put his true plan into motion, I appeared, the real son. So he changed his mind and decided to control ME instead, to get the power of Schuwald's empire in his own hands. This was a much better plan for him... so he killed Edmund Fahren, and came to me the very next day." - And after this, Johan was able to gain the trust of both you and Mr. Schuwald. "My father said that he was 'perfect.' He even considered naming him his heir, and teaching him all that he knew about economic leadership." - Wait just a moment. To him, and not you? "That's right. No one could compete with Johan, in anything. I fully understood and accepted the decision. My father was blind, and yet Johan achieved perfect harmony with him... At times, he received so much praise that you would wonder if he could really be of this world. If he ever intended to rule the Bayern, no, the entire German economic world, he must have nearly seen his efforts to success." - However, Johan plotted your father's assassination at the Friedrich Emmanuel Library, during the ceremony for his book collection donation... "Actually, that's not quite right. It would make sense if Johan planned to kill him and then inherit all of his

power, but in actuality, Johan stared right into my father's eyes, among the flames, and declared his involvement in the event." - So Johan must have changed his plans. "My father afterwards said that he had become bored. As the 'Vampire of Bayern' himself, he should be able to recognize it... He said that Johan was playing with our world as a child wreaks havoc on a line of ants... But that he grew tired of his little game." - To change the subject a bit, how is your father now? Before the incident he had become unusually social and visited with various figures, but now he has gone back to his reclusive ways. He is, of course, quite elderly now. Some say he could be seriously ill. "True, I was also worried for him during his recovery period. But no, Father is just fine. He doesn't meet as many people as he had previously, but I think that he's become a kinder, gentler person. Lately he likes to say that all opposing concepts, life and death, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, Heaven and Hell; all are opposed to the other in such a way that they are like twins. But I think he has chosen the side of light." - Have you ever met Dr. Tenma? "Yes, but only for a very short time. At the Dresden Station Square. I gave him a message from my father, who was on his sickbed. At the time... I did not know that he was Dr. Tenma." - What was your impression of him? "He struck me as the martyr type. So stoic as to be ascetic..." - And Mr. Schuwald's message? "I didn't understand what it meant. Cedok Bridge... Three frogs... If the monster you seek is of a pair of twins, their mother is in Prague..." - Why would your father have this sort of information about Johan? "Because it was not all a coincidence. After my mother disappeared, Father went frantic searching for her. She was actually an exile from Czechoslovakia; she'd been living here illegally. She had once told him the

features of the house her friend in Prague lived at... a place near the Cedok Bridge, with a signboard of three frogs. Apparently her friend was also being pursued by the government. Father supposed that when she left, she might have gone to visit her friend, and so he found the place in 1980. The woman who answered the door had twin children. My father and this woman spoke about their memories of Mother, and then he left. The twins just sat and listened to their conversation." - But how did he come to the conclusion that Johan was one of those twins? "Well... he learned of my mother's death in the newspaper. He hired a detective to take a look into her life after she disappeared in 1977. When she... well, retired from her work in 1992, she lived in Offenbach, Hessen. For a time, she had a flatmate. A young man, about 18 years old... Three months before she died, she sent a letter to a friend. In it were passages about me after we had separated, and her old friend that she attempted to escape Czechoslovakia with. Her friend did not make it over the border, and eventually was married and had twins. She wrote about the boy she was staying with. How he reminded her so much of her old friend." - I see. That explains a lot. And that's where things move to Prague. By the way, this job you mentioned, where you would read books to your father... what kind of books did you read? "Ah, yes... my father had a passion for Latin and Greek literature. For me, it was simply a matter of finding the Nth book from the left on the Nth shelf as he requested, and I imagine it was the same for any of the other students who did the job. But I believe that Johan was the only one whom he asked, which books do YOU read." - Now that is interesting. And did Mr. Schuwald tell you what Johan answered? "This was before we knew who Johan was, so my memory is unclear... I do remember that Father chuckled when he said it. I believe he was surprised that Johan would

read such a 'common' book, but he did read it, and I've forgotten the title, but he said that it was a good book." - Do you suppose you could ask your father what the title was? Between all the storybooks and reading seminars involved in the Johan case, it could be important. Is it possible that this book could have been a picture storybook? "As far as I can recall, it was not." - It is said that part of the reason Johan chose not to appear on the "scene" as it were, was a chance look at a storybook called "The Nameless Monster." Were you present at the time that this happened? "No, I wasn't. Well, actually I WAS there, but I was not at his side when he fainted. One of the school librarians was present, and she witnessed his reaction. My friend Lotte Frank could tell you more about it than I can." In the summer of 1997, as Schuwald's acting secretary, Johan visited Munich University's Friedrich Emmanuel Library. There were several meetings scheduled to plan out the ceremony for the grand book donation. While walking through a restricted section for students only, Johan happened across a storybook that had fallen off its shelf. Upon opening the book, he suddenly began wailing, and fainted. The book was called "The Nameless Monster." A Czech storybook by Emil Scherbe, published by Moravia of Prague. It is from this point that his plan changed drastically. - Lastly, I have a question about the fire in the library. You were supposed to attend the ceremony alongside your father, but shortly before the event, you returned home. Did something happen? "Father asked me to go back and get some papers for him. I thought it was a strange request, but I obeyed. It was only afterward that I learned that he had already understood, already knew that Johan would make an attempt on his life. And that he did this to save me."

- And yet he decided to face his own death? "Yes. The evening before the ceremony, a psychiatrist named Dr. Reichwein visited us. He told us of his suspicions regarding Johan, and talked about the deaths of former drivers, maids and birdwatching friends my father had been fond of, and how their deaths came at Johan's hand. My father believed him. He had felt misgivings about Johan's utter perfection for some time. And yet he still wanted to go forward with the ceremony... which led me to believe that he felt he had to test his fate. My father could feel his age seeping in. He had just found his son, found happiness, his business was booming, and he felt it was right that he could step down at any time. That's why he did not want to run from a monster such as Johan. He wanted to put his fate on the line and risk it all. If he survived, he could always do something else. That's what sort of man he is..." [Picture] (two photos of crowds walking through a square) Munich, near the university, where Johan's plans took a sudden shift. Could he have gazed upon these same sights...? - Surely you must despise Johan for all of this, now. "To be honest... now, I don't like to say this because it makes me sound like a fool, but I don't think I still have a good grasp on exactly what happened. From time to time, I find myself curled up in bed, shivering in fear. But I don't know if I can say that I hate him... It was on the roof of the school that I first opened my heart to Johan... At sunset. For some reason, I found myself telling him about some of my fonder yearnings. I spent much of my life hopping from one orphanage to another, so the concept of the early evening, when the lights come on and families gather at home with the smells of dinner mingling in the air... it was a special image that I kept very close to my heart. As I

spoke, he walked, balancing along the wall at the edge of the roof. When he turned towards me... he was crying. I still don't believe those tears were false. They were utterly true and heartfelt. I suppose that experience has prevented me from ever truly hating him." I knew some of the gossip that had gone around about Karl's mother. But I had decided that if he did not bring her up, I wouldn't bother to ask. So long as he respected his father and loved his mother, the data would be pointless. I asked him if he felt pressure at inheriting the Schuwald empire. His answer was surprisingly indifferent. "I did before, but not at all, now. If I was not capable of it, my father would not entrust it to me, and I am not so foolish as to desire inheriting some that I could not handle." I gave him my thanks, and decided to retire for the day. As he showed me to the door, he said, "I will ask Father about the title of the book Johan liked. But it will have to be when he is in a good mood." I thanked him for his trouble, and left the Schuwald estate.