Heinrich “Tubby” Schaumann
Heinrich “Tubby” Schaumann (HIN-rihk SHOW-mahn), the owner of Red Bank Farm after his father-in-law’s death. As a boy, he was very overweight and a slow student, and therefore subject to ridicule. He comes to be called Tubby by the local townspeople. His dream is to live at Red Bank Farm, which he views as a kind of refuge from the cruelty of the world outside. Because he understands the feelings of an outcast, he is able to befriend young, lonely Valentina and her bitter father. Although he tries to please his parents by going away to school, Schaumann is not suited for that venture. Instead, he finds his true place and a philosophy of peaceful acceptance of his life by marrying Valentina and taking over Red Bank Farm. From this safe haven, he wants to take in the whole of human experience: His fossil hunting represents his look at history in all its depth, and his outsider position gives him a wider perspective on the community. At the end of the story, his capacity for forgiveness and humane understanding allows him to wait until after Störzer’s death to reveal that man’s identity as the true murderer of Kienbaum.
Edward, a boyhood friend of Schaumann and narrator of the story. Although he was Schaumann’s closest friend at school, he, too, was often involved in the cruel taunting that the boys aimed at...
(The entire section is 565 words.)