Peeperkorn has organized an excursion to the Fluela Valley waterfall. The occasions for such activities become less and less for the man is very ill and has to stay more and longer in his bed.
The group consists of 7 people: Peeperkorn, La Clawdia, Hans, the brainy duo Settembrini and Naphta and Ferge and wretched Wehsal.
The excursion is physically demanding for Peeperkorn… the departure is postponed several times…
Creepy Wehsal is sick of love and his comments on his lust for Clawdia are scary. Strange that Hans accepts this kind of obnoxious ramblings and masochistic fantasies. Hans in fact acts very mature and adult.
Pieter Peeperkorn leads his procession towards the waterfall.
“The woods were not like others…”. We are entering a fantastic realm…
Words like exotic, eerie, bizarre, disfigured, sickly are used to describe nature around them.
There is a feeling of ghosts here, mourners maybe, subjects who are “draped”, “wrapped” and “webbed”. The sound of the waterfall is overwhelming. It is the “pandemonium of hell”
They thought they could hear menacing, threatening trumpet calls and brutal male voices.
Where are we?
Speaking to each other is not possible. However Peeperkorn decides to picknick right there where the noise is too much. They pick-nick in silence like deaf-mutes in a howling storm.
Peeperkorn gives a long soundless speech. He challenges nature, tries to dominate the waterfall with his presence and his voice, but his voice is drown out by the thunder of the water. The whole scene underscores his impotence.
The old King, the fallen God looks now more like the Man of sorrows.
After his inaudible speech, Peeperkorn decides to go back to the Berghof. They return in silence. That same night Hans is woken and asked to come to the room of Peeperkorn. The old man is dead. He has committed suicide. Poisoned himself, using a snake – like device.
The brilliant scene of Hans kissing Clawdia on the brow over the dead body, while the Malayan servant’s eyes turn white conclude this chapter and the story of Pieter Peeperkorn.