“What?” said Karl. “You are a salesman all day and you study all night?”
“Yes,” said the student, “there’s nothing else to be done…”
“But when do you sleep?” asked Karl, looking at the student in wonder.
“Oh, sleep!” said the student. “I’ll get some sleep when I’m finished with my studies. I keep myself going on black coffee.” And he turned around, drew a big bottle from under the table, poured black coffee from it into a little cup and tossed it down his throat as if it were medicine which he wanted to get quickly over to avoid the taste.
“A fine thing, black coffee,” said the student. “It’s a pity you’re too far away for me to reach you some.”
“I don’t like black coffee,” said Karl.
“I don’t either,” said the student, laughing. “But what could I do without it? If it weren’t for black coffee Montly wouldn’t keep me for a minute…I simply don’t know how I would get on in the shop if I didn’t have a big bottle like this under the counter, for I’ve never dared to risk stopping the coffee-drinking; but you can believe me that if I did I would roll down behind the counter in a dead sleep.”