Schloss Neuhaus

Schloss Neuhaus
Seat of the Margrave

Monday, 21 April 2008

Taken from Der Oldenburger Beobachter

2 February 1701

It is with sorrow that we are obliged to report that in clearing the rubble from the site of Der Wächter's Premises that a Body was Discovered. Due to the nature of the Occurrences at these Offices, and the intensity of the subsequent Conflagration, the condition of the Pitiful Remains there discovered are such to preclude Recognition of the unfortunate being.

However, given the Mysterious Disappearance of Herr Schneider, the Proprietor of Der Wächter, we can only conclude that he has meet with an Untimely End, and that these Relics are evidence of his Unhappy Demise.

Now that it is seen that this Sad Event has resulted in a Fatality, we urge the Authorities to Press their Enquiries in the most Vigorous Manner, so that it may be ascertained, beyond any doubt, whether or not Herr Schneider's demise was a Sad Accident, or the result of a More Sinister Act.

Friday, 18 April 2008

...And then there was...

[The scene, a small stone-walled room somewhere deep in the undercroft of the Schloss. Seated on two stools, their hands and ankles bound, are two shaken-looking individuals. The older of the two is running to fat, is balding and has an habitual woe-begone expression on his face, the other has the appearance of a hired thug. Standing near the door are two men in their thirties, they are physically imposing and have a military air. Also in the room are Otto Flick and Erich von Smallhausen.]

"Good evening, gentlemen, I am sorry to have brought you here so precipitously, and at such an inconvenient hours; but I too have been inconvenienced by this matter. And, gentlemen, I assure you, I detest being incovenienced."

The younger of the two men is not impressed by this address, "I don't give a pig's fart how much you have been 'inconvenienced'. Just untie my hands and I'll show you just how inconvenient you can be made."

"My dear sir, I have every intention of not only untying your hands, but of also restoring you to liberty... as soon as you have answered one or two questions."

"Go to hell!"

"This is most unwise in you, I assure you. The two gentlemen whom you might observe by the door are, I am told, experts in obtaining answers from those who have no wish to impart them."

"I still don't give a pig's fart - for you or your friends. Who the hell are you? What the hell do you think you're playing at? I, too have 'friends', and when I find out where you live, you'll never be able to sleep in peace again!"

"Who the hell am I? Dear me, how remiss of me, we have not introduced ourselves. My name is Flick, and this is my associate Herr von Smallhausen. You do not need to worry about the identity of the two large gentlemen by the door. Take comfort rather, in the reflection that they view you with no particular malice. I, on the other hand, can be very malicious."

The older of the two prisoners speaks, albeit hesitantly, for the first time, "Flick? Herr Otto Flick?... of the... of the Sekretariat?" His expression has deepened to a mixture of fright and dismay.

"Precisely so, Herr Artrecht. You see, I do know who you are. And do you see, von Smallhausen? My fame has gone before me."

"Yes, Herr Flick."

The younger prisoner interrupts,"I still don't give a rat's arse, you don't frighten me - and you'll get nothing out of me!"

"Are you absolutely sure about this, young man? I must advert to your attention that Unteroffizier... shall we say, Schmidt? Is not only very good at his job, but he also thoroughly enjoys it, don't you, er... Schmidt?"

"Jawohl! Herr Flick."

"I still don't give a stuff!"

"Are you absolutely sure about this, young man?"

"Yes, dammit!"

"Ah, a pity." Flick draws a pistol from his coat pocket, and immediately cocks it, aims at the prisoner, and pulls the trigger. The report of the shot is magnified by the size and nature of the room. The prisoner is thrown backwards off his stool, and lies kicking in a pool of blood for a few seconds.

"Schmidt?"

"Yes, Herr Flick?"

"Once we have completed our business here, get rid of that carrion, if you please."

"Jawohl, Herr Flick!"

Artrecht is staring in horror at his companion, "You... you... you shot him!" he finally manges to utter.

"Just so. He had persuaded me that he was not going to divulge any information, therefore I had no further need of him."

"Wha... what do you want from me? I'll tell you everything..."

"My dear Herr Artrecht, there is, in course, not much that you can tell me which I do not already know. I know, for example, that you are the biggest receiver of stolen goods in Schloss Neuhaus. I am also aware that you control a number of what can best be decribed as 'soiled doves', and that you run a profitable trade in bloodstock, removed from Ober Nord Westfalen and sold in Hannunter, and indeed, removed from Hannunter and sold on here, not all of the bills of sale of which ,would, I am persuaded, stand close scrutiny. Oh, yes, and there is also the matter of your cellar, which contains a great deal of remarkably fine cognac. Which is interesting, since none of the barrels in which it is contained seem to have had any excise paid upon them. This is really very naughty of you Herr Artrecht. As Head of the Sekretariat, I am, you must understand, compelled to take a very dim view of smuggling. So you see, Herr Artrecht, there is not really very much you can tell me about your multifarious, and nefarious dealings."

"But, if you don't want information... what do you want?"

"Ah, yes, I want... I want security for the state. I want a traitor hanged, drawn and quartered... I also want my bed, and you are beginning to seriously inconvenience me. So, what I want from you is a... service."

"A service?"

"Yes, quite a simple service. I want some of your friends to burgle a house on the outskirts of Reichendorf. They may keep any valuables they may chance to find, but I want all the documents that are in the house."

"If that is all you wanted Herr Flick, why the riot and abduction, why the mur... the killing?"

"Ah, I fear that this charade, was absolutely necessary in order to persuade you that not only am I quite serious in my conduct of this affair, but also that I will brook no argument, hesitation or prevarication. Is that understood?"

"Yes."

"Good. Here on the table is the name of the house I wish your associates to visit. I shall expect you to deliver a suitable package to me within, shall we say... three days?"

"No. It can't be done so quickly. I need at least a week."

"I, meaning you, do not have a week. I will give you five days. Failure to complete this task within this time shall incur my... deepest displeasure. Do not, I beg of you, for your own sake, displease me. Now, von Smallhausen, untie our guest, and then Schmidt, you and your companion may escort Herr Artrecht back to the town and then return to your lawful occasions. Here, take this and share it with your comrades. Herr Artrecht, I shall bid you a good night, and if you will permit, say just how a great a pleasure it is doing business with you."

Thursday, 17 April 2008

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

"Come in, Fraulein Helga".

"Yes, Herr Flick?"

"I take it that you have complied with my wishes, and have made of yourself an intimate of Herr Artrecht?"

"Yes, Herr Flick, but..."

"Good. Now, you will visit zum Waldener Tor this evening, Fraulein Helga."

"Well, no, Herr Flick, I had intended..."

"This was not a suggestion, Fraulein Helga".

"No, Herr Flick. Very well, Herr Flick, I shall visit the Gasthof this evening."

"Good. Now, when you wish to be private with Herr Artrecht, where do you go?"

"To a back room on the first floor, Herr Flick."

"And where exactly is this room on the first floor?"

"You must turn right at the top of the stairs, the room is the last room on the left, Herr Flick."

"Good. You will arrange to be private with Herr Artrecht at 10 of the clock this evening. Once you have been private with him for a few minutes, you shall then scream. Is this understood?"

"Yes, Herr Flick."

"Good. It may be that you shall observe me and some friends in zum Waldener Tor this evening, some time after 9 of the clock. If this shall be so, then you shall make no move towards me or my friends, and you shall give no sign that you have recognised me. Is this understood?"

"Yes, Herr Flick."

"Good. You may leave now."

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

From the Files of Herr Otto Flick of The Sekretariat

Schloss Neuhaus

23rd January 1701

Oberst Neuman von Sander
Commanding Officer
The Garde Regiment zu Fuss

Sir,

I write this day to request some small assistance from your Regiment in a matter concerning the security of the State.

I shall be vastly obliged to your good offices if you shall provide me with the services of six good Unteroffizieren of your Regiment. They should be individuals of physical strength and imposing appearance, willing to follow unquestioningly any orders that they shall be given.

They should report themselves to me at the Schloss gatehouse at 9 of the clock tomorrow evening. They should wear rough civilian attire.

Because of the nature of this business, it is essential that they should be individuals of the greatest discretion.

Once you have read this letter, it should be destroyed.

I have the honour to remain, sir,

Your Obedient Servant

Otto Flick
Head of the Sekretariat

Taken from "Der Oldenburger Beobachter"

28th January 1701

It is with concern, if little regret, that we at the Beobachter note that a mysterious explosion and a subsequent fire at the offices of "Der Wächter" have not only destoyed the Building, but have also rendered inoperable the Printing Machinery contained therein.

No comment concerning these events has been forthcoming from the normally verbose Proprieter of Der Wächter, and indeed, we are given to understand that Members of his Staff, who have been interviewed by the Authorities are also confounded, not only by his Silence, but from their Inability to state his present Whereabouts.

These Unusual Circumstance naturally give rise to Suspicions that perhaps Herr Gustav Schneider, the said proprieter, is not entirely guiltless in the destruction of his own property, although to what end we are unable to hazard a guess.

In the course of business, Herr Schneider made it his custom to dwell on the less savoury aspects of life, and perhaps, not unnaturally, he succeeded in angering a Great Many Persons. Some of whom by virtue of their Rank or position, do not feel bound by the Constraints that affect the Honest Burghers of our Land. The Thought occurs to us, that Herr Schneider, has perhaps, succeeded in angering the Subject of one his reports beyond the Limits of Endurance, and that One of his Many Enemies may be responsible for the destruction of Der Wächter's offices.

If this, indeed, is the case, then we find ourselves in somewhat of a quandary. While we have very little sympathy with Herr Schneider's scurrilous and indeed, libellous attacks on individuals or bodies, we find the notion that a News-Sheet may be silenced by Means of Violence to be extremely Unsettling. These questions, as a matter of course, Cannot Be Answered unless and until Herr Schneider re-appears to answer them.

We trust and pray that the Distressing Occurrences at Der Wächter's Offices shall ultimately be proved to be a Sad Accident, but if it should, indeed, become apparent that some Malignant Agency has been involved, we entreat that the Authorities shall take the necessary steps to apprehend and punish the Malefactors.

The Game's Afoot

"Von Smallhausen!"

"Yes, Herr Flick?"

"Have you seen this report in Der Wächter?"

"Yes, Herr Flick."

"It seems that His Highness is most displeased at the slighting reference to Her Highness. Indeed, Her Highness has also demonstrated a convincing display of her own vexation - I had not thought she could have attained such a command of colloquialisms in her brief period of residence."

"No, Herr Flick."

"His Highness was heard to remark that he should not be sorry if some accident was to befall both the proprieter of this sorry excuse for a news-sheet and his printing machinery."

"No, Herr Flick."

"See to it von Smallhausen."

"Yes, Herr Flick."

"Oh, and von Smallhausen..."

"Yes, Herr Flick?"

"Perhaps you would be so kind as to deliver this letter to the Guards' Commanding Officer?"

"Of course, Herr Flick."

"And do not take too long over this business. I need you back here by tomorrow afternoon."

"Yes, Herr Flick."

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Lord, Have Mercy

"Good morning, Your Highness. Is Your Highness at liberty for some few moments?"

"Yes, of course, Herr Flick. Please, come and sit down, you still look as if you were better on your sick-bed."

"I believe I am not so easily pulled out of trim by a minor ailment, Your Highness. I trust Your Highness is quite recovered from your recent indisposition? Although, it is with regret, and indeed, some rather grave misgivings, that I have to inform you that I have received reports which seem to indicate that we, in Schloss Neuhaus, have, as the common saying is, got off rather lightly. Other places which suffered a similar malady, seem to have been affected to a greater degree. As I have previously intimated, this was no malady which was confined to one area, but rather a widespread outbreak, that did, indeed, approach epidemic proportions."

"How widespread, and how bad, Flick?"

"Reports received suggest that the outbreak was at its worst in Friederichshafen with four hundred and eighty dead, then Ludwigsstadt with three hundred and sixty three dead, Hamm vor Strom with three hundred and thirty four dead, Bergen-Lintzen with two hundred and seventy eight, and Aschenberg with one hundred and sixty seven. Other towns and villages seem to have escaped more lightly, and indeed, in some case not only to have had no fatalities, but to have escaped the malady in its entirety."

"Good God, Flick, that's an appalling tale! We must indeed have been lucky here. How many fatalities in the town and Schloss?"

"Just two in the Schloss, Your Highness, both kitchen-lads, and only eighteen in the town."

"'Only eighteen'? That is a little callous, even for you, Flick."

"Your pardon, Your Highness. I meant, for once, not to be, as you term it, callous, but rather to be thankful that the death toll was not, as we have seen it could so easily be, higher. However, may I draw Your Highness' attention back to the locations with the highest death rate?"

"Yes...?"

"Does it not seem strange to Your Highness that those towns with the greatest number of casualties should just happen to be Your Highness' garrison towns, where Your Highness' army are, or until this pestilence, were, in the process of organising themselves in order to take the field. These preparations have been badly delayed by this malady. Coincidence, Your Highness? I think not."

"By heavens, Flick! Do you suggest that this epidemic was no accident?"

"It appears to me, Your Highness, that this may, indeed be the probability. However, we needs must not forget that we have been recruiting throughout the land, and that many of our recruits are unused to living in what can only be described as close quarters. It may only have taken one recruit with an ill-conditioned stomach to have initiated the whole affair. However, Your Highness, I do begin to believe that some malignant agency has been at work here."

"Find him, Flick! If you are correct, I want him, or her, found. And when you've found him I want him dead! I want his body mouldering on a gibbet for years to come! With this truly apalling death toll if anyone is responsible, then he or she is no less than a mass-murderer. Find whoever is responsible!"

"Indeed, your Highness, I intend to thoroughly investigate and resolve this matter. I shall not rest until I ascertain whether or not this was an accident, or brought about by intent. If the latter, then you... I beg pardon,Your Highness rather shall have the perpetrator!"

"Very well, Herr Flick. Make it so!"

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Hurrah for the Jellybabies!

"Damn it, Kurt, where is Herr Flick? I sent for him hours ago!"

"I am afraid that I am in ignorance of his whereabouts, Your Highness. A message was sent to - allow me to hold that basin for Your Highness - a message was sent to his office early this morning, and again just before midday - a napkin, Your Highness? There..."

"Gods, Kurt, I feel so wretched..."

"Just so, Your Highness, but the Herr Doktor has said that this will pass in a few days, so I beg Your Highness will not... Will you excuse me, please, Your Highness? I fear that I, too, am about to be extremely unwell..."


"Madam, what do you do here?"

"Forgive the intrusion, husband, but I am feeling a little better, and thought that perhaps my company may be of some benefit to you. I see, however, that I mistake the matter, so I shall bid you a Good Day, and desire that we speak no more until you can act in, at least, a civilised manner!"

"No, don't go. My concern was for you. I seem to have taken this wretched infection to a greater degree than yourself... and I have no wish for either of you to take unnecessary risks."

"Hush, you foolish man. Do you wish the servants to know all of our dealings?"

"No, no of course not, but there is no risk, Kurt, too, is unwell and has taken his leave to attend to the... the... the effects of this malady".

"Not only your Kurt, husband. Fraulein Helga is also extremely unwell... by the way, I thought we had agreed that we should terminate her services? Also, many of the other inhabitants of the Schloss, are absent from, or only desultorily carrying out their duties. This... malady, it seems, is none too selective as to whom it strikes down - here let me assist you to the closet"

"Your Highnesses, forgive the interruption, but Herr Flick begs admittance, on matters of urgency, he claims"

"Show him in. There you are Flick, where the devil have you been hid... Gods on Olympus, man! You look like Death Himself! Here, sit down, before you fall down!"

"Your Highness is too kind, I shall, I believe, survive."

"Nonsenense, man, sit. You look worse than I feel, so if you feel as bad as you look, then you should be in bed - or in a coffin!"

"Your Highness is pleased to jest. I am relieved. It is surely a sign that the worst is over - at least for Your Highness. and may I be permitted to say that I am doubly relieved to see that Her Highness is back on her feet".

"Thank you, Flick. And now, husband, if you will excuse me, I am sure Herr Flick did not drag himself here unless matters of state necessitated his so doing".

"Flick, I swear I will have that vintner crucified. I said that wine tasted demmed peculiar."

"If your Highness will permit. Although I should, indeed, be glad to see that thieving rogue undergo some form of punishment, may I remind Your Highness that I do not partake of wines, beers or spirits, and yet I too have been stricken with this foul illness."

"H'mm, very true, Flick. so what do you think has caused this outbreak. I doubt it shall prove to be fatal, but its effects are very unpleasant."

"As to that Your Highness, I very much regret to inform you, that this is no mere outbreak, but has, rather, reached epidemic proportions. It seems that it is not only the Schloss, that is affected, but the town also - where regrettably, there have been a few deaths - mostly amongst children and the aged - and also I am afraid at the barracks of Reiterregiment Nummer 2, where I understand eight out of every ten men are afflcited. Much the same has occurred within the ranks of the Guards Regiment. I have sent couriers to ascertain the state of health of the other regiments."

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Extract from "Der Wächter"

26th January 1701

Oh, dear, it looks like we have made a mistake. Perhaps Portias's oh-so-youthful charms are enough to keep Ludwig safe indoors? At all events there is, as yet, no sign of him going out to play, although we understand his shiny new toy is shinier than beforehand.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

An Unpleasant Scandal

"Herr Flick, I regret that I have to involve you in a domestic matter, but it is a most unsavoury matter, and as during the course of my investigations, your name has arisen, I find that I have very little alternative."

"Yes, Your Highness?"

"My lady Margrafin is most displeased to hear through what can only be termed gossip, that one of her domestics, a Fraulein Helga, has not only been seen to frequent a Gasthof of the lowest sort, but is also apparently on terms of the greatest intimacy with its most disreputable owner, and he a married man."

"Ah, I begin to understand, Your Highness."

"Herr Flick, please have the goodness to allow me to finish my sentence without interruption."

"Of course, I beg your pardon, Your Highness."

"My lady Margrafin, has in principle, no objection to her staff occupying their own time in whatever manner they are inclined, but in this case, the connection between the Schloss and what can only be described as criminal elements cannot be tolerated. To this end my lady Margrafin has demanded that I dismiss from our employment the said Fraulein Helga. Being in full agreement with my lady Margrafin's decision, I summoned Fraulein Helga and informed her that her services were no longer required. 'Pon my soul , Flick! I was treated to a tragedy worthy of that English poet of the last age! A wailing and a gnashing of teeth were the least of it! Tears enough to cause another great inundation, and amid the sobs and gasps the allegation that 'twas 'all Herr Flick's fault' and that she had only done 'what Herr Flick wanted'!
Please tell me, Flick, that you are, in fact, guiltless in this matter."

"Your Highness, I deeply regret that, in truth, I cannot deny the allegations made by Fraulein Helga."

"Flick! What in the Devil's name are you playing at?"

"Alas, Your Highness, I am unable, at this precise moment in time, to explain fully either my intentions or methods. May it please Your Highness, if I say only that the matter is not unconnected with that most regrettable lapse of confidentiality, the resolving of which Your Highness was so good to entrust to my poor abilities, and further that it may yet prove to be connected to the outrage perpetrated at Feldhausen. While I fully appreciate and indeed, sympathise with Her Highness' views and opinions on this matter, it is desirable, nay essential, that Fraulein Helga continue her activities, as distasteful to her, I assure Your Highness, as it is to Your Highnesses, and indeed to my own poor self. Consequently, Your Highness, the termination of Fraulein Helga's services, at this moment, would demonstrate not only ingratitude towards one who has sacrificed her finer feelings in the service of the Realm, but would also prove highly, nay, extremely, inconvenient to myself, and would, in addition render not only the progress which the enquiries have made to date redundant, but would, in all probability confound all further expectation of reaching a satisfactory resolution in both the vexing matters which are occupying so much of Your Highness' attention."

"Ye Gods, Flick... Did you... Did you make that up on the spot, or do you really mean it?"

"I assure Your Highness, that every word I spoke has reason behind it. Fraulein Helga's activities, are, for the moment essential to the protection of the realm. However, Your Highness, should you need to explain to the lady Margrafin your decision not to dismiss Fraulein Helga, it would, perhaps, be better not to enter into too great a degree of detail concerning the rationale behind Your Highness' decision."

"Of course not... Now wait a minute Flick! Do you dare to presume that I need to explain my decisions to my own wife!?"

"Indeed, no, Your Highness, I would not dare to presume so much."

"Furthermore, Flick, I have not yet made a decision as to whether or not Fraulein Helga is to continue in our service."

"Indeed not Your Highness, yet I am persuaded that upon consideration, Your Highness will readily perceive the advantages that may accrue from Fraulein Helga's continued employment at the Schloss."

"Very well, Flick, I will reflect upon what is to be done."

"Just so, Your Highness. And now, if Your Highness will excuse me? I have other pressing matters of state which seek my attention."

"What? Oh, yes, go Flick, you are dismissed.!

An Extract from the Proceeding's of The Margraf's Military Council

Januar 24 1701

Oberst d'Alembord: Achtung! Stillegestand!

Margraf: Gutenmorgen, Herren.

Alle (steigend von ihren Sitzen): Gutenmorgen, Ihre Hoheit.

Margraf: "Herren, beten setzen, ich müssen Ihr Verzeihen meiner Langsamkeit bitten. Leider gab es eine ziemlich dringende Angelegenheit auf einer anderen Frontseite, zu der ich die nähste Aufmerksamkeit zahlen mußte. Das heißt, beherrschte Madame das Margrafin meine Anwesenheit, um zu versuchen, einen unangenehmen Skandal zu beheben, der ein ihr Personal mit einbezieht - über welches, HerrFlick, Sie und mich beraten müssen Sie, aber während des Momentes wünsche ich Sie, um die Aufzeichnung unserer letzten Verfahren zu lesen."

(hier, las Herr Otto Flick die Minuten der vorhergehenden Sitzung des Rates, die einmütig vereinbart wurden)

Margraf: Danke, Herren. Lassen Sie uns zur Frage der Versorgungsmaterial-Lastwagen achtgeben. Sie haben alle, ich werden überzeugt, fanden die notwendige Zeit, sich zu an diese Angelegenheit zu sprechen? Gut dann kam Oberst Himmelstoss, in welcher mögliche Lösung Sie haben?

Obst Himmelstoss: "Ihre Hoheit, schlage ich einen grosse Lastwagen vor, der zum Tragen des Versorgungsmaterials eines Tages Biskuites, Fleisches, Reises, Kartoffeln und Salzes für ein Bataillon fähig ist. Jedes mit drei dieser Lastwagen ausgerüstet zu werden Bataillon, damit eine mit dem Bataillon ständig sein kann, die anderen zwei Reise nach oder von den Versorgungsmaterial-Zeitschriften. Zusätzlich eine ähnliche Anzahl von den zu jedem Bataillon herausgegeben zu werden Puderkarren. Jede Karre, zum Tragen von sechs Ausgaben Musketemunition pro Mann fähig zu sein.

Margraf: "H'mm sehr gut aber welche Größe diese Träger sind, wieviele Pferde angefordert wird, um ihnen zu ermöglichen, eine Rate des Fortschritts beizubehalten conformable zu der der Armee?"

Obst Himellstoss: "die Puderkarren, Ihre Hoheit, würden nur zwei Pferde jedes erfordern und sein würden Licht, dennoch genug für ihren Zweck starkes. Sie wurden selbstverständlich Ihre Hoheit, mit hölzernen Abdeckungen gepaßt zu werden, um den Eintritt des Regens zu verhindern. Die Versorgungsmaterial-Lastwagen müssen vom beträchtlich schwereren Aufbau selbstverständlich sein, angenommen, sie viel schwerere Lasten tragen sollen. Die Lastwagen selbst, Ihre Hoheit, errechne ich, um von ca. drei Tonnen im Gewicht zu sein, das mit ihrer Last, eine Mannschaft von sechs oder acht Pferden erfordern würde, sie an einem gehenden Schritt zu zeichnen."

Margraf: "ich sehe. Oberst d'Alembord, Ihre Gedanken auf der Angelegenheit, wenn Sie bitte?

Obst d'Alembord: "Allgemein gesprochen, Ihre Hoheit, muß ich mit dem Herr Oberst Himmelstoss einverstandensein. Es ist wünschenswert, daß die Anlieferung der Versorgungsmaterialien zu jedem bataillon innen geleitet wird, da konzentriert einer Weise, wie möglich ist. Dieses verringert natürlich die Zeit, die wenn es Versorgungsmaterialien auf dem bataillon verbracht wird, herausgibt. Jedoch an seine Suche nach der größten Leistungsfähigkeit, glaube ich, daß Oberst Himmelstoss, wie es war, gelegt allen seinen Eiern in einen Korb hat. Aus Gründen des Durchganges des Versorgungsmaterials und für Geschwindigkeit in der Bewegung, schlage ich vor, daß die Lastwagen von einem helleren durch sind eine Mannschaft von vier Pferden gezeichnet zu werden Aufbau - sagen Sie zwei Tonnen je -, aber die Zahl Lastwagen, mit denen jedes bataillon ausgerüstet werden soll, wird geverdoppelt. Oberst Himmelstoss' Ideen auf der Zahl und dem Aufbau Puderkarren sind genug wohl und benötigen keine weitere Änderung von mich."

Margraf: "Danke, Herr Oberst. Oberst von Bellinghausen? "

Obst von Bellinghausen: "Ihre Hoheit, habe ich nah mit dem Herr Oberst d'Alembord auf dieser Angelegenheit gearbeitet. Er spricht für beide von uns ".

Margraf: "Oberst Wessler?"

Obst Wessler: "ich werde, Ihre Hoheit, auf der Zahl Pferden betroffen, die für diese Übernahme angefordert werden. Die Armee besitzt nicht solche viele Entwurfpferde und wenn wir sie vom Landwirten oder vom Burghers beanspruchen, dann den Effekt auf Landwirtschaft und Handel ist, da drastisch, als ob wir bloß die Lastwagen an erster Stelle genommen hatten."

Margraf: "ein ausgezeichneter Punkt Oberst Wessler, und zu dem eins wir achtgeben muß unsere Aufmerksamkeit, zwecks eine Lösung zu finden. Aber für jetzt, beten Sie Umdrehung Ihre Aufmerksamkeit zurück zu der vorliegenden Angelegenheit ".

Obst Wessler: "Ihre Hoheit, Entschuldigungs mich. Was die Angelegenheit anbetrifft der Lastwagen, scheint sie, daß wir Notwendigkeiten Reichweite irgendeine Form des Kompromisses müssen. Wir haben alle uns berieten über diese Sache ausführlich; ihr erscheint, zum zwei Schulen des Gedankens zu sein. Erste dieses haben wir wenige größere Lastwagen, die zum Tragen mehr, aber zum Erfordern der größeren Mannschaften der Pferde fähig sind. Die Sekunde, daß wir mehr haben, leichtes Lastwagen, fähig nur zu den kleineren Lasten, aber zum Erfordern weniger Pferde. Ich bevorzuge die kleinere Größe, grössere Zahlwahl "

Margraf: "und warum, beten Sie?"

Obst Wessler: "Aus Gründen der Mobilität, Ihre Hoheit. Während wir, obgleich wir auf unseren Straßen stoltz, muß es zugelassen werden, gekommen worden zu einem reibenden Halt in den nachteiligen Wetterbedingungen, der weiß, welchen Zustand der Straßen, an denen wir festlegen müssen, unsere Ausrüstung ausbildet, sobald wir sind draussern unsere eigenen Ränder?"

(A die allgemeine Vereinbarung, die durch Rauschen von "bedeutet wird, hören ihn, hören ihn" und Kopfnicken der Vereinbarung.)

Margraf: "danke, Herren. Haben Sie irgendwelche von Ihnen erzielte wirklich alles in der Art eines Designs?"

Oberst Wessler: "Ihre Hoheit, ist es, wie ich gesagt habe. Obgleich wir eine Vielfältigkeit von Designs haben, fallen sie, alle in die eine oder andere Kategorie. Sie bleibt nur, damit wir eine Entscheidung treffen, hinsichtlich deren von den Wahlen wir nehmen."

Margraf: "sehr gut, hat jede Wahl seine Vorteile und Nachteile. In auch nicht Fall tut das überwiegen die andere Wahl. Lassen Sie uns eine Entscheidung treffen. Lassen Sie mich alles die sehen zugunsten größeren, schwerer aber weniger Lastwagen... Sehr gut jetzt die zugunsten kleineren aber mehr Lastwagen... So sei es dann. Wir wählen Design der Oberst d'Alembords. Jetzt hinsichtlich des Managements von diesen bildet aus. Ich wünsche jedes Regiment, um einen erfahrenen Offizier, vorzugsweise einen zu ernennen mit dem Service einiger Jahre, der zu ihm aber möglicherweise eines Alters restlich ist, in dem er nicht ziemlich erwartet werden kann, eine volle Rolle in einem Feldbataillon zu spielen. Dieser Offizier, wird Regimentslastwagen-Meister mit dem Dienstgrad des Majors ernannt. Zusätzlich zu den Regimentszügen veranlasse ich, hergestellt zu werden einem Armee-Transport Korps, durch ein Oberstleutnant befohlen zu werden. Dieses Korps wird auch mit Lastwagen des anerkannten Designs auf einer doppelten Skala ausgerüstet. Die Aufgabe von diesem Korps ist der Transport des Versorgungsmaterials von den Zeitschriften zur auffangenarmee.

Zunächst Herren, habe ich etwas gute Nachrichten. Dank die guten arbeiten von Oberstleutnant Wetherby, seine Majestät von England ist damit einverstanden geswesen, uns mit einem Versorgungsmaterial Puder zu versehen. Ein Behälter, der ca. zweihundert Tonnen Puder trägt, wird in naher Zukunft erwartet, die Vagaries des Winds und des Wetters schreitet und wird erwartet, in unserem Tor von Friederichshafen anzukommen. Wenn dieses Sie shal geschieht, seien erklärt Sie und wird erwartet werden, ArbeitsParteien zu liefern, um das Schiff zu leeren und seiner Ladung zu einem Ort oder zu den Orten der Sicherheit zu übermitteln.


Ich habe auch etwas schlechte Nachrichten. Vor wie etwas von Ihnen gehört haben können, einigen Tagen wurde unser Versorgungsmaterial-Depot bei Feldhausen in Angriff genommen und zu Boden gebrannt. Während dieses Angriffs verlor das Intendent des Versorgungsmaterials und seiner Trennung alle ihre Leben. Anfragen sind hinsichtlich der Identität der Täter dieses Verbrechens fortwährend. Ich ermögliche niemand, niemand, um sich Taten des Mordes und der Brandstiftung innerhalb unserer Ränder hinzugeben. Zu diesem Zweck ist Herr Flick bevollmächtigte Berechtigung bewilligt worden; Sie werden alle, ich werden überzeugt, geben ihm Ihre volle Mitarbeit, wenn dieses angefordert wird. Alles das ist. Herr Flick, begleiten mich bitte zu meiner Bibliothek."



24 January 1701

Oberst d'Alembord: Achtung! Stillegestand!

Margraf: Good morning, Gentlemen.

All (Rising from their seats): Good Morning, Your Highness.

Margraf: "Gentlemen, pray be seated, I must beg your forgiveness of my tardiness. Unfortunately, there was a rather urgent matter on another front, to which I had to pay the closest attention. In other words, Madame the Margrafin commanded my presence to attempt to resolve a unpleasant scandal involving one her staff - about which, Herr Flick, you and I need to consult, but for the moment I wish you to read the record of our last proceedings."

(Here, Herr Otto Flick read the minutes of the previous meeting of the council, which were unanimously agreed)

Margraf: Thank you, gentlemen. Let us advert to the question of supply wagons. You have all, I am persuaded, found the necessary time to address yourselves to that matter? Good, then, Oberst Himmelstoss, at what possible solution have you arrived?"

Obst Himmelstoss: "Your Highness, I suggest a four-wheeled wagon capable of carrying a day's supply of biscuit, meat, rice, potatoes and salt for a battalion. Each battalion to be equipped with three of these wagons, so that one may be with the battalion at all times, the other two en-route to or from the supply magazines. In addition, a similar number of powder carts to be issued to each battalion. Each cart to be capable of carrying six issues of musket ammunition per man."

Margraf: "H'mm, very well, but what size are these vehicles, how many horses will be required to enable them to maintain a rate of progress conformable to that of the army?"

Obst Himellstoss: "The powder carts, Your Highness, would require only two horses each, being light, yet sturdy enough for their purpose. They would, of course, Your Highness, be fitted with wooden covers to prevent the ingress of rain. The supply wagons must of course be of considerably heavier construction, given that they are to carry much heavier loads. The wagons themselves, Your Highness, I calculate to be of some three tons in weight, which with their load, would require a team of six or eight horses to draw them at a walking pace."

Margraf: "I see. Oberst d'Alembord, your thoughts on the matter if you please?"

Obst d'Alembord: "In general terms, Your Highness, I must agree with the Herr Oberst Himmelstoss. It is desirable that the delivery of supplies to each bataillon be conducted in as concentrated a manner as is possible. This will, naturally, reduce the time spent in issuing supplies to the bataillon. However, in his quest for the greatest efficiency, I believe Oberst Himmelstoss has, as it were, placed all his eggs in one basket. For reasons of continuity of supply, and for celerity in movement, I suggest that the wagons be of a lighter construction - say two tons each - to be drawn by a team of four horses, but the number of wagons with which each bataillon is to be equipped be doubled. Oberst Himmelstoss' ideas on the number and construction of powder carts are well enough, and need no further amendment from myself.

Margraf: Thank you, Herr Oberst. Oberst von Bellinghausen?

Obst von Bellinghausen: "Your Highness, I have worked closely with the Herr Oberst d'Alembord on this matter. He speaks for both of us".

Margraf: "Oberst Wessler?"

Obst Wessler: "I am concerned, Your Highness, on the number of horses that will be required for this undertaking. The army does not possess such large numbers of draft horses, and if we requisition them from the Landwirten or Burghers, then the effect on agriculture and trade will be as drastic as if we had merely taken the wagons in the first place".

Margraf: "An excellent point Oberst Wessler, and one to which we must advert our attention in order to find a solution. But for the nonce, pray turn your attention back to the matter in hand".

Obst Wessler: "Your Highness, I crave pardon. As for the matter of wagons, it seems we must needs reach some form of compromise. We have all of us discussed this matter at length; there appears to be two schools of thought. The first that we have fewer larger wagons, capable of carrying more, but requiring larger teams of horses. The second that we have more, lighter wagons, capable of only smaller loads, but requiring fewer horses. I favour the smaller size, greater number option".

Margraf: "And why, pray?"

Obst Wessler: "For reasons of mobility, Your Highness. While we, although we pride ourselves on our roads, do, it must be admitted, come to a grinding halt in adverse weather conditions, who knows what condition of roads to which we must commit our equipment trains, once we are outwith our own borders?"

(A general agreement signified by murmers of "Hear him, hear him" and nods of agreement.)

Margraf: "Thank you, gentlemen. Have any of you actually achieved anything in the style of a design?"

Oberst Wessler: "Your Highness, it is as I have said. Although we have a multiplicity of designs, they fall, all of them into one or the other category. It remains only for us to make a decision as to which of the options we take."

Margraf: "Very well, each option has its advantages and disadvantages. In neither case does the one outweigh the other option. Let us take a decision. Let me see all those in favour of larger, heavier but fewer wagons... Very well, now those in favour of smaller but more wagons... So be it then. We choose Oberst d'Alembord's design. Now, as to the management of these trains. I wish each Regiment to nominate an experienced officer, preferably one with some years' service remaining to him. but perhaps of an age where he cannot fairly be expected to play a full role in a Field Bataillon. This officer, will be appointed Regimental Wagon Master with the rank of Major. In addition to the Regimental trains, I will cause to be established an Army Transport Korps, to be commanded by an Oberstleutnant. This Korps will also be equipped with wagons of the approved design on a double scale. The task of this Korps will be the transportation of supply from Magazines to the field army.

Next, Gentlemen, I have some good news. Thanks to the good Offices of Oberstleutnant Wetherby, his Majesty of England has agreed to provide us with a supply of powder. A vessel carrying some two hundred tons of powder is expected in the near future, pace the vagaries of wind and weather, and is expected to arrive at our port of Friederichshafen. When this shall happen you shal be told, and shall be expected to supply working parties to unload the ship and convey its cargo to a place, or places of safety.

I also, have some bad news. As some of you may have heard, some days ago our supply depot at Feldhausen was attacked and razed to the ground. During this attack, the Intendent of Supply and his detachment all lost their lives. Enquiries are ongoing as to the identity of the perpetrators of this outrage. I will permit no-one, no-one, to indulge in acts of murder and arson within our borders. To this end, Herr Flick has been granted plenipotentiary powers; you will all, I am persuaded, give him your full co-operation if this should be required. That is all. Herr Flick, please accompany me to my library."

Friday, 4 April 2008

A Ripening Pair

"Von Smallhausen! Von Smallhausen! Herr Erich von Smallhausen!"

"Yes, Herr Flick?"

"You may have noticed, von Smallhausen, that I have been conspicuous by my absence these past few days?"

Yes, Herr Flick."

"I trust, for your sake, that you have not take advantage of my absence to lessen the diligence of your labours."

"No, Herr Flick."

"So, von Smallhausen, if you have diligently carried out the enquiries with which you were tasked, why have I been put to the inconvenience of screaming for you until I am threatened with a putrid sore throat?"

"I... I... I am sorry, Herr Flick, I did not mean to inconvenience you, it is only that I have been pursuing my enquiries, and I hope that these enquiries have borne fruit... and I am sorry, Herr Flick."

"Indeed, you are sorry, von Smallhausen, a sorry figure, a very sorry figure indeed. I really do not know what persuades me to keep you in employment. Perhaps, when you have for a moment ceased babbling, you may be able to inform me as to why I do so?"

"That I do not know, Herr Flick."

"Is there anything that you do, in fact, know, von Smallhausen?"

"Yes, Herr Flick."

"And...?"

"I am sorry, Herr Flick, I did not realise that you were waiting."

"Do not further try my patience, von Smallhausen."

"No, Herr Flick. I have discovered an Oberleutnant of Infanterieregiment Nummer 1 who on the day of the Margaf's meeting was sent by his regimental commander, Oberst Himmelstoss, with a letter to the Oberst's wife. I do not know what was in this letter, but it is the only evidence I have found ofAny Body at Schloss Neuhaus, communicating with Any Body else. My enquiries at the various stables have produced no names that could have hired a horse for a space of time sufficient to ride to Oldenburg and back. and that is my report, Herr Flick."

"And why, von Smallhausen, do you not know what the Oberst's letter contained?"

"It was a letter from the Oberst to his wife, Herr Flick!"

"Is there a point to that particularly inane remark, von Smallhausen?"

"Well.. .I mean..., Herr Flick, it is a private letter."

"That does not matter von Smallhausen, when the security of the state is in question. Does the lady retain the letter, von Smallhausen?"

"This I do not know, Herr Flick."

"Then find out, von Smallhausen."

"Yes, Herr Flick."

"Well, for what are you waiting? Get out!"

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Herr Flick's Conclusions

"Your Highness, I have concluded my observations at Feldhausen. One or two matters that may be of some interest have come to light."

"And these are...?"

"An examination of the corpses, 'though horrible as it was, and indeed difficult, due to the extent of... shall we say, carbonisation, revealed that at least two of these unfortunates had had their throats incised with a very sharp object; unfortunately the condition of the other relics made ascertaining whether they had also shared this miserable fate impossible."

"So, Herr Flick, murder and arson?"

"Indeed, Your Highness, but if Your Highness will allow me to continue?"

"Of course."

"My course of enquiries led me, in due time, to one of the poorer Gasthofen in the town, where, from evidence obtained from the Inhaber, the night prior to the incident, he was host to a party of six 'foreigners', who spoke with southern accents. He divulged that according to their conversation, which he, not eavesdropping, I am given to understand, but rather just by chance overheard, they were recently discharged soldiers who had been in the service of the Elector of Hannunter. It appears that their sojourn in the Gasthof extended until late in the evening, although they eventually departed, stating that they must return to their own lodgings, 'ere their landlady locked them out for the night. Further investigations, amongst those who hire out lodgings, proved unavailing. It seems that no party of six southerners, indeed no party of any, whether foreign or indigenous, had bespoken lodgings for that night."

"Herr Flick, can you be very sure that you questioned all those who might have accommodated this party?"

"I am persuaded that this is, indeed, the case Your Highness. The Burgermeister, although presenting the semblance of a fat fool, is, nonetheless, remarkably acute. He has sound knowledge of his Burghers, and has proved to be of the greatest assistance during my enquiries. I believe his talents should be rewarded and indeed... er, cultivated... yes, cultivated is the precise word. Given that this party of strangers were in the town for the majority of the evening, yet took no lodgings, it seemed logical to me that they must have spent the night either travelling, or abiding elsewhere. Questioning of the town watch revealed that a party of six, cloaked and well mounted, had indeed left the town the night prior to the conflagration, by means of the Oldenburger Porte. I confess that my suspicions were aroused on several grounds. Primus, it seems illogical that a party of newly discharged soldiers should travel north from Hannunter, spend one evening within our borders then return to Hannunter. If they were at liberty to travel, a progression northwards would have been more reasonable. Secundus, is it likely that the Elector of Hannunter would , on the eve of War, permit the discharge of even six of his soldiers? Tertius, from the evidence of the Inhaber of the Gasthof, this party of six, although they spoke of military service, did not have the appearance and bearing of soldiers. Finally, does it seem reasonable that the Elector, on the eve of the said war, would hinder the preparations of one, whom despite some degree of friction, is about to become allied with him for the duration of the said war? I think not."

"So, Herr Flick, you believe this outrage to be a somewhat inept plot to further estrange ourself and the Elector?"

"Just so, Your Highness".

"Your grounds for so considering, are shall we say, just a little nebulous. You seem to rely, rather heavily, on the evidence and opinion of this, so far anonymous, Inhaber "

"Indeed Your Highness. but if Your Highness will allow? The Inhaber has owned his Gasthof for more than twenty years and has some experience in judging his patrons, and the Inhaber himself has served in Your Highness' army, during the reign of Your Highness' uncle. Further, I did not, of course, rest my enquiries at this point. If I have taken a liberty, I crave Your Highness' pardon, but I took advantage of my position as Your Highness' Head of the Secretariat, and requested the assistance of the Burgermeister in providing me with a small party of men with whom I could better investigate the surrounding area. These further investigations led me to an area of woodland, no more than three-quarters of a league from the military storehouse, where it seems a small group of men had spent some time. It was possible to ascertain that this group numbered between six and ten individuals, who were in possession of horses. From the amount and the age of the horse droppings, I am assured by those that have knowledge of such matters, that the place was occupied for at least twenty four and no more than forty eight hours. The location was such that the military storehouse was easily observed. Further examination of the area revealed some scraps of food, hastily buried and wrapped in a sheet of newsprint from the Oldenburger Beobachter while a more exhaustive search produced a scrap of scarlet woollen cloth, to which was attached a military button, bearing the running horse of Hannunter. I need hardly remind Your Highness that the greater part of the Elector's Army are attired in red?"

"H'mm... fairly conclusive evidence of Hannunter's involvement, Herr Flick."

"Just so, Highness, but perhaps too conclusive. The attack on the storehouse was carried out in a clandestine, but thoroughly efficient manner. There were no survivors of the attack, therefore no body able to identify the attackers. Despite being situated less than half a league from the manned town gates, there was no alarm raised until the fire had taken an unbreakable hold, arguing that the attack was carried out in silence. Both these circumstances indicate an efficiency that accords ill with the carelessness with which the bivouac area was vacated. If burying food scraps, why take the trouble to wrap them in paper, let alone paper that would reveal the identity of the malefactors. The Inhaber made no mention of military uniform being worn by his visitors, so why and how would a military button become detached from a coat that was not being worn? No, Your Highness, I am far from convinced that the perpetrators of this outrage, as Your Highness has so aptly described it, originated from, or were in the service of Hannunter".

"I see..., Herr Flick, you are to be congratulated on what you have so far discovered, yet I would rather you had uncovered evidence that indicated who these brigands were, rather than whom they were not".

"Your Highness is too kind, and yet all too correct. I have not yet discovered who was responsible for this outrage, but I shall, Your Highness, I shall".

"Very well, then, Herr Flick. Make it so".

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Fancy Meeting You There

"Fraulein Helga, guten morgen."

"Guten morgen, Herr von Smallhausen."

"I am so glad I encountered you this morning, Fraulein Helga. I just had to put my mind at rest, for I am persuaded that I saw you last evening in Zum Waldener Tor, and I could not relax until you had assured me that this was, in fact, not the case."

"Oh! Her von Smallhausen, I... it..., well you see..."

"Ah.. it was indeed you, Fraulein?"

"Yes, it was I."

"You surprise me greatly, Fraulein Helga. I had not thought to see a member of the fairer sex of the household in such a disreputable place."

"Well, I was there on business, but what were you doing in 'such a disreputable place', Herr von Smallhausen?"

"That, fraulein, is not your concern, suffice it to say that I, also, was on business."

"But you are Herr Flick's assistant, what business could you have there... unless it was for Herr Flick?"

"Now, why should you say such a thing, Fraulein Helga? Unless, of course, you were also conducting business for Herr Flick?"

"But why has Herr Flick taken such a sudden and deep interest in Zum Waldener Tor?"

"That, Fraulein Helga, is something into which I have no desire to probe, and if you are wise, you also will refrain from pressing too many questions."

"But, is it not possible, Herr von Smallhausen, that if we were to share our discoveries, we might be of mutual benefit."

"H'mm... this is a good thought. I confess, that just for once, I would prefer not to be kept in total darkness regarding Herr Flick's plans."

"Very well then, Herr von Smallhausen: Herr Flick has requested that I gain Herr Artrecht's confidence and discover as much as may be about Zum Waldener Tor."

"For my part, Herr Flick has required that I make the acquaintance of the many young officers who congregate at Zum Waldener Tor. So, it seems that Herr Flick desires to discover all that can be discovered about the Gasthof from both sides of the curtain."

"But, Herr von Smallhausen, it is small, dark, smelly little Gasthof, what interest would a gentleman such as Herr Flick have in such a place?"

"That, Fraulein Helga, is something that we shall have to discover for ourselves... Without asking Herr Flick. Such questions could be extremely dangerous."

"Indeed, Herr von Smallhausen."