To N.N. Feb 8, 1912
“But as I will quickly tell you further that I too had an encounter with Brahms, years and years ago, in Arisee. I was then just an ordinary boy, 16 or 17 perhaps, and was visiting a cousin there who was ill, which may explain the fact that one sat sulkily in the garden all the time and reciprocally eked out the boredom until it reached around the entire day. But I, as soon as they took their eyes off me, withdrew from this pious occupation and so to one afternoon out of the village, like something had broken into the Open, the Great, the Real, presumably without a hat, or at any rate, if there was one, it played no part. The going was rather stony up the slope, but I had taken such a flying start that I was as little aware of that as nay other resistance; I dashed ahead in such elemental fashion that my effort ceased to be something personal, to express it one would have to say simply: it ran, as one says: it rains, it lightens. Both in fact were immediately impending. What convinced me of it most unexpectedly was a stout old gentleman coming comfortably down the slope,, who had apparently been figuring out for some time the mildest way of managing our collision; to avert it entirely was, given the initial speed with which I had rushed out, and in view of the slow breadth of the man facing me, physically impossible. So it came about that, growling suddenly, he warded me off; he had reason enough to curse me, and as I looked up at him thoroughly frightened, I had the impression that he was very cross. But as our glances measured each other, for a while this displeasure dissolved into a gentle buzzing that finally passed into a warning about a darkly gathered storm which he pointed out behind him: and really it was already driving threateningly from across the mountains.
Now it would be fine and proper if I had apologized and then thanked him very much for the generous solicitude expended on me despite everything,- but alas, my memory, to be quite truthful, passes on to me no such details. It is more probable that, stammering something or other confusedly, I dodged to the right and stormed on like one crazy, for only now it seemed to me boundlessly free and almost heroic to run into this upraised storm, which beside me the stones were already turning pale. -That is my story. A few days afterward they showed me the old gentleman in town, on the promenade, and told me his name: Brahms. But I don’t think he saw me (fortunately).