Dr. Werner Eckerbusch
Dr. Werner Eckerbusch (VEHR-nehr EH-kehr-bewsh), the vice principal of the local school. Werner is a cheerful, intelligent, and imaginative man, well past middle age, who has been the principal and a teacher in a small village for most of his life. He has not traveled much, having left the village and surrounding area of his birth only during the years in which he was a university student. Werner has a well-developed sense of humor, a serene character, and a great love for the telling of stories and anecdotes. During the mere ten hours in which the events narrated in the novel occur, Werner, along with his colleague and friend Victor Windwebel, hikes across the mountain to visit his longtime friend Christian Winckler, pastor of the neighboring village of Gansewinckel; participates in the recovery of the purported robber and murderer Horacker; and engages in much entertaining conversation. When it is suggested by the inhabitants of Gansewinckel that the captured Horacker should be placed in detention, Werner’s oratorical skill allows him to shame the villagers into recognizing some of their own failings and letting Billa, the pastor’s wife, care for the hungry and exhausted Horacker. Werner and his wife Ida, along with Christian and Billa Winckler, are magnanimous, open-minded, and unusual. Of the four, Werner is the most playful; he does not mind being the center of attention and succeeds in dazzling everyone with his ability to spin a good tale.
Ida Eckerbusch (EE-dah), his wife. Ida appears to be her husband’s equal, if not in style, then at least in content. Much of her married life consists of good-natured verbal sparring with her husband in which, in spite of the fact that she inaccurately quotes the Latin citations she hears from him, she perseveres....
(The entire section is 792 words.)