Adventures of an Engineer

The Adventures of the Voith Engineer Karl Mustière

A Man on the Run

Voith engineer Karl "Cary" Mustière and his dachshund Bazi are known throughout Heidenheim. But in 1909 the young man follows a call abroad Voith is meant to supply turbines for Shi Long Ba hydro power station in the Yunnan Province. But on one condition: Voith has to provide an engineer to supervise the construction and the assembly. And so, Mustière travels to the foreign country and is a guest of the Vice King of the Middle Kingdom. He soon learns that the clocks tick differently here.

A Wife for "Cary"

Not only the table manners are different. A single man over 30 is regarded as immoral in China, and there is no way around it: Mustière has to get married – at least for a while. He weds a Chinese lady from a good family. An arranged marriage, but the couple does not mind. From now on, Mustière's wife lovingly looks after the Voithian and makes sure that nothing untoward happens to her "Cary."

Yet times are quite turbulent, and things become even more dramatic when the Chinese Revolution breaks out. On a draisine, the couple flees to Hanoi, at the time still part of French Indochina. When the unrest in China finally ceases, Mustière completes his mission and finalizes the construction of the power station.

Intermezzo in the Homeland

Two years later, Mustière returns to Heidenheim and his dachshund Bazi. He travels alone, his wife stays in China. The couple now go their separate ways again, they only write to each other from time to time. But the "young springer's" stay in his homeland does not last long. Less than two years after his return, he has to set out on his next journey.

A man stands in front of him, clad in rags, with a mighty beard. It is Karl "Cary" Mustière, barely recognizable, but full of life. The first thing "Cary" asks for is a cigarette.

Fleeing Across Europe

In summer 1914 Mustière once again travels abroad on behalf of Voith. This time, the engineer ends up in Libau, a Latvian port on the Baltic Sea. He is meant to carry out some land surveys for a hydro power station. Unfortunately, Mustière' activities raise the suspicion of the Russian authorities. They claim the Voithian is a spy and lock him up there and then. During his incarceration, he repairs clock, learns Russian and thinks about escaping.

And then the Russian Revolution comes to his rescue. In May 1917, Mustière manages to flee and lands initially in a camp for German refugees in Mitau, Lithuania. From there, "Cary" has to run away once more, because the camp authorities want to "de-Bolshevik" him with obscure methods. Without a penny and with the help of the Red Cross and other charitable institutions, Mustière finally gets back to Heidenheim.

At Home at Last

In the middle of May 1917 there is a knock at Max Rudert's door at 7 o'clock in the morning. Outside is a man clad in rags, sporting a mighty beard. It is Karl "Cary" Mustière, barely recognizable, but full of life. The first thing "Cary" asks for is a cigarette. Sadly, dachshund Bazi cannot join the reunion; he has passed away. The plucky engineer then carries on working for Voith until his retirement.