Schloss Neuhaus

Schloss Neuhaus
Seat of the Margrave

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Deep, Murky Waters

"Well, von Smallhausen, or should I say, Herr Hauptmann von Smallhausen?"

"You are pleased to mock me, Herr Flick, but I know not whether I am so very comfortable in this guise. It is all so very inconvenient to boot!"

"Inconvenient, Herr Hauptmann?"

"Indeed so, Herr Flick. Not only must I depart this very day, without being granted the opportunity to put into order my affairs, but I am totally unprepared! Not only am I not packed - I have nothing to pack - let alone that I have no military necessaries."

"But has His Highness not allowed you a considerable sum for the purchase of your necessary appurtenances?"

"Indeed, Herr Flick, he has been most generous, to the extent of gifting me a pair of horses from his own stable. But... there are other matters to which I needs must attend."

"And these would be...?"

"Firstly, Herr Flick, there is the matter of my investigations into the identity of the owner of the famous black coach: Apart from the four names which you passed to me, I have been unable to discover any further owners of similar conveyances. However, enquiries have provided the fact that Herr General Himmelstoss has loaned his wife's carriage to the English Oberstleutnant... Wetherby, I believe...?... Ja, Wetherby - Gott in Himmel! But these Englanders have such ridiculous names! I am aware that it is improbable that an officer of our allies should be involved in acts of terror, but his establishment does tally rather exactly with what we have... let me see: Ah yes, 'A large black coach, drawn by a team and with six out-riders'! There is also the fact that he speaks excellent German, albeit with an accent, as remarked by your Gasthof Inhaber at Feldhausen, who also remarked on the military aspect of some half a dozen of his guests the night the stores at that place were attacked. He also, if I might be so bold, fits the description of 'an officer', as seen at the dockside - he has the bearing."

"Yes, yes, von Smallhausen, all rather compelling, but also all circumstantial. And, I fear, all rather wrong! As you point out, it is inconceivable that an allied officer should participate in these attacks - after all, was it not this same Oberstleutnant that arranged for the delivery of the powder in the first place? No, No, von Smallhausen, I am persuaded that our attentions should rather be focussed on this Sir Frazer. As you discovered, he was an adherent of the deposed English King - who now, I remind you, resides at Versailles - true, his establishment is less than that provided by witnesses, but how often do witnesses get the facts correct? Moreover, I find it highly suspicious that his staff should be selected for their inability to not only speak German, but also not to be able to speak English! Which, when all is said and done is this Sir Frazer's own tongue! No, von Smallhausen, do not worry yourself further about events here, but rather concentrate on doing your all possible to assist His Highness in the field. Oh, and I, of course, shall expect full reports from yourself regarding events with the army."

"What manner of reports, Herr Flick? I am certain that His Highness will keep you fully informed as to the actions of the army."

"Yes, yes, of course he will! But I rely on you for the species of detail that His Highness will omit. For example, which of the high ranking officers take mistresses while on campaign. Who shows symptoms of nervousness when in the vicinity of the enemy; who is slow of thought and deed; who is... Well, you know well enough the sort of information I need, and I rely upon you to provide it."

"I see, Herr Flick. So although I am to live with these gentlemen and share their joys and woes, I am to betray their foibles to you?"

"Just so, von Smallhausen. But... do I detect a degree of reluctance upon your part?"

"I believe so, Herr Flick."

"This is nonsensical, man! I do not ask you to commit acts of the sort that you have not, on previous occasions, committed; I merely ask that you have a care for the welfare of the state and the army, and that you identify any individual or act that may imperil both or either!"

"It is true, Herr Flick, that I have, on occasion used duplicity to achieve our ends, but this is different... I am not investigating a gang of criminals, but am spying on our own officers!"

"Pah! Mere scruples, von Smallhausen! I do not really care who betrays his wife - but I do care about weaknesses that may harm His Highness, his army, and his land! In the defence of all three there are no lengths, no lengths, I say, to which I will not proceed. And, von Smallhausen, I fully expect the same dedication of those in my service!"

"But, Herr Flick, may I point out that I am now, in fact, in the direct service of His Highness?"

"A polite fiction, von Smallhausen! Your name and remuneration is yet on my rolls, and you will be good enough to comply with my wishes in this case! Wishes...? No! Commands! Is that clear?"

"Very well, Herr Flick, it shall be as you say."

"Good! Now, one more matter, before you depart: This attack on His Highness... have you made any progress?"

"Yes, Herr Flick, a little, The householders on both sides of the street, within two hundred feet of the point of the attack have been interviewed. It appears that the majority of them seized the opportunity to enhance their income by renting out rooms with a view of the street. This has yielded a list of nearly two hundred individuals who were afforded a position from which they may have been able to hurl the device at His Highness' carriage. However, the majority of those on the list are, or seem to be, family groups, which reduces the likelihood of their involvement, particularly in the cases where children were a constituent of the party..."

"And why is that?"

"Because Herr Flick, children are remarkably observant, and are remarkably loquacious. If a member of a party that included children had been the assailant, his actions would not have gone unnoticed, and further, the news would, by now, have become common knowledge!"

"I see. Yet again, von Smallhausen, you are allowing supposition to guide you."

"No, Herr Flick, I am not. I was about to continue in the vein, that although these parties are more likely to be innocent, I have not removed them from my list, merely placed them lower in the order of probability. It is, or was, still my intention to investigate every individual on the list."

"You have this written down somewhere... this magical list?"

"I do. It is here, in this package, together with my reports of my investigations into the other matters which have engaged our interest."

"Very well; you may leave it with me. I shall follow the course of your investigations with great interest. I have on occasion, von Smallhausen, shown a degree of impatience with you, and at times, your conscience bothers me, but rest assured, Erich, that I am fully cognoscent of your talents, dedication and diligence. I am persuaded that you will carry out, to his complete satisfaction, those duties which His Highness will have you undertake during the period which you are detached from my supervision. Now, you had best be about your business... and good luck go with you... and a safe and speedy return."

"Why, thank you, Herr Flick."

Monday, 11 August 2008

Onwards and Upwards?

"Sae, ye ken Jamie, Ah'm obleeged tae head norrards, there are wan or twa folk that micht hae the idea o' gi'in' us a wee hand. It micht be that oor friends i' the north, are ameenable to causing yon Margrave a wee bit trouble. Noo then, Ah shall be usin' ma ain carriage, an' it strikes me, that while Ah am on the road, it micht be a suitable time for yer ainself to cause wan or twa surreptitious upsets, an' mark, ye're tae use the coach that yon loon Himellstoss lent tae ye - an' mak sure it is seen in the vicinity of white'er mischief ye mak!"

"Do you have any suggestions, sir?"

"Weeell, wance the army ha' travelled a wee bit, then there'll be couriers ridin 'twixt and 'tween the toon an th'army. Wad it no' cause an upset were wan or twa o' them no' to complete their journey - 'twad also be benefeecial were we tae gather some idea o' their daeins'?"

"H'mm... intercepting one or two couriers might not be sufficient to cause alarm, sir. There are always mishaps occurring to lone travellers. It could, of course, be done, but we would have to make it a fairly regular occurrence - that is if our main aim is to distract the Margrave from his present plans? But, how am I to do this, if I am to accompany the army? I can always make an excuse to ride out, but if my absences always coincide with the loss of despatches, then it will not, I fear, be very long before suspicion falls upon me."

"Aye, true, very true... Could no' yer sergeant dae the deed?"

"N..o... I fear not. He has not the guile or stealth; in short, sir, he does very well in the battalion, but he displays a distressing lack of the capacity for thought!"

"Aye... aye... mebbe ye're right. But, Jamie, we mun dae something! We cannae just give up!"

"If... if I can get a supply of toxins, something might be done in the way of rendering incapable the army headquarters?"

"Faugh, Jamie! Pisen! Na, Ah cannae abide it, and moreo'er we dinnae want tae kill the Margrave - just distract the puir loon!"

"Oh, nothing too lethal, sir, just sufficient to upset their digestions - something on the order of the rye we introduced into their flour!"

"Na, na, Jamie, that was a wee bittie o'er lethal. God kens jist how many puir souls went tae meet their makker!"

"Sir, if I may... Is not your reluctance to inflict real damage, just the slightest in contradiction to our orders? After all, sir, we are soldiers."

"Aaah, Jamie, Jamie, dae ye no' see the difference 'twixt facing a man on th' field, and slipping a vile potion intae his vittles?"

"Yes, sir, I do indeed see the difference, but as soldiers, then surely we must fight with whatever weapons we have to hand? We cannot, the two of us, face even a file of soldiers, so we must do what needs to be done, in whatever manner we may achieve."

"Aye, Ah see the force o' yer argument, Jamie, but ah cannae like it! Nae, Ah'll tell ye whit we mun dae; Ah'll tak' the road tae the Vikmark, an dae ma possible to stir up the border! Why... Ah tell ye... it'll be jist like old times at hame! In the meantime, ye mun tak' yer road wi' th' army, use yer sergeant and the ghillies to scout oot ahead an' see if they canne mak' first contact wi' oor French friends. Now, Jamie, a wee dram... God Save the King!.

"Amen to that, sir!"

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Decisions... decisions...

"Murray! Murray!"

"Sir? Sir, what are you doing here?"

"D'ye dare tae question me, Murray!?"

"Indeed, no Sir, I was taken aback by your presence. I thought that you were never to... I mean, I thought it had been decided that for the sake of confidentiality, that we should never meet in daylight, or at each other's abode?"

"Aye, in the ordinary manner o' events, ye wad be entirely correct, Murray! Howsomeever, the events o' the last twa days cannae be reasonably described as ordinary, can they? And Ah dae hope, Murray that fer ye're ain sake, that ye had naething tae dae with sic' a foolish ideas as tae throw a bomb at yon Margrave!"

"Indeed no sir! I am aware that I have made the occasional blunder, but..."

"Are ye, are ye the noo... weel, there's mebbe a wee bit hope for ye yet!"

"I hope so, sir, But no, I had nothing to do with that ludicrously bungled attack on the Margrave! I had actually feared that it was upon your instructions that the attempt was made."

"Whit the... On ma instructions! Ma instructions! Och, Murray, Ah tek back a' Ah just said! Ye're an even bigger demmed idiot than Ah had thocht!"

"That may be, Sir. But, with respect, calling me an idiot - however mistakenly - does not reveal to us just whom was behind this outrage!"

"Aye, 'wi respect' eh? Ye mean ye hae nae respect for me at a', dae ye no'?

"Well, sir..."

"Aye, laddie, aye, Ah'm nae sae auld that Ah cannae remember sayin' the same thing ma ainself!"

"Sir, let us, if we may, stop bickering! We have now two problems facing us!"

"Twa problems, ye say?"

"Yes, sir. Firstly there is the problem caused by the assassination attempt - which is likely to focus further and more pointed attention on those on whom suspicion has already fallen, to whit the person or persons driving the carriage that has been brought to the notice of the Margrave's secret police! And secondly, the army marches today. As the military attache from 'His Majesty's Government' I shall have to accompany the Margrave's military household; what happens when we reach the Low Countries and encounter the redcoats? There are bound to be officers who know the real Wetherby, there may even be some who would recognise me - and that Sir Angus, would do His Majesty's cause no good whatsoever!"

"True, aye, true, Murray. Ye had best discover some way tae disappear, 'ere that happens!"

"Let us face the facts, sir, no matter how unpalatable. Despite our efforts, we have only imposed a delay, of some weeks admittedly, on the Margrave's preparations for war. We have not prevented him from marching! In short, sir, we have failed of our purpose!"

"Aye, a dismal picture is it no'? But... whit d'ye think wad be yon Margrave's reaction, if the Vikmark was tae tek advantage of his absence, together wi' the army's? Dae ye no' think mebbe, that if there was tae be a sudden incursion of Vikmarkers intae the northern parts o' the realm, that he wad no' turn aroond and rush back hame?"

"H'mmm...He might well do so, sir, particularly if the Schloss were threatened. After all, his wife remains there, and she is, I believe in a delicate condition."

"Faugh! laddie, I wadnae mek war on wimmen!"

"Nor , sir, not willingly. But we are in desperate times, sir, and may need to to take desperate measures!"

"Aye, mayhap, mayhap. But, Ah'll tell ye whit tae dae... Firstly ye must o' course march wi' the army. In the mean time, Ah'll dae my possible tae stir up the northern marches. If, if by the time ye close the army in the Law Countries, yon Margrave is still fixed in his intentions tae join Marlborough, then ye must contrive tae get yersel' captured by our allies! That should give ye a' the excuse ye need no' to meet any o' His Britannic Majesty's 'loyal subjects'. Ah shall also, dae whit Ah can tae discover the loon ahint this bomb-throwing, and tip the wink to yon Flick! Now, laddie, we have just wan or twa mair problems this day!"

"More, sir?"

"Aye, a' this talkin' has dried ma throat considerably, and then we must contrive a way for me tae leave here wi'oot being seen by onybody!"

M. le Marquis se va-t-en Guerre

"Well, Flick, it is time."

"Indeed, Your Highness, but if I may make so bold..."

"No, Flick, you may not. I know exactly what you wish to say, and I tell you, it would be of no avail. I must, and I shall, accompany the army."

"Your Highness, I really must protest, every logical cell of my body screams that given present circumstances, exposing yourself in such a manner is most imprudent!"

"No, Flick, you really must not protest. My mind is quite made up, The army marches, and I march with it! However, as your protests are based upon considerations for my safety - or so they appear to be - then I shall, for this once, overlook your outburst. However, you are not to accompany me; I charge you with, during my absence, the resolution of these damnable events. I dislike mysteries, Flick, I dislike having infernal devices hurled at me, and I particularly dislike Her Highness being placed in any danger. I want the perpetrator, or perpetrators found and taken alive - alive, d'ye hear? - and held until my return. On their capture, there is really no requirement for them to be handled with kid gloves, but I want them fit to face me when I come home. Now, is that clearly understood?"

"Of course, Your Highness."

"Good! Now, your assistant, von Smallhausen; how effective is he?"

"Your Highness, von Smallhausen owns a quite remarkable intellect. He is perceptive, well able to extract information from documents, maps and illustrations. He may not always be as logical as I wish him, rather at times, he takes leaps of intuition, but it must be admitted that he frequently comes to the same conclusion as I would working logically. In addition he is hard working and biddable."

"H'mm, you make no mention of loyalty?"

"As to that, Your Highness, I have absolutely no doubt regarding von Smallhausen's loyalty to Your Highness, or to the State."

"Ah, good, very good. Now, how would he function as a soldier?"

"As a soldier, Your Highness!?"

"Well, let us say in a military capacity."

"He is of course, as Your Highness is aware, very short sighted. I would not care to be anywhere to his front, were he to carry a loaded firelock or pistol. But, I would not care to face him with a blade in his hand. I flatter myself that I am no mean swordsman, and I undertook von Smallhausen's tuition in the art of fence. In retrospect, that may have been an error on my part, von Smallhausen has now surpassed his tutor in this regard - although I would not have him become aware of this."

"How not, Flick?"

"I have... no, I am quite persuaded that Erich von Smallhausen does not entirely love me, Your Highness."

"Ah, Flick, Flick, pray tell me, who does?"

"As to that, Your Highness, I am quite confident of Your Highness' regard."

"Are you, by Jove? and what of Her Highness' regard - are you so certain of that?"

"If Your Highness will forgive me, I am equally persuaded that Her Highness regards me as favourably as she does a reptile found lurking under a rock!"

"Ahhh - perception indeed Flick! And does Her Highness' disdain affect your loyalty to her?"

"Not in the least, Your Highness. Your Highness may rest assured that I shall do my all possible to ensure Her Highness' safety during your absence - may it be short and have a happy outcome! In all seriousness, Your Highness, it is not necessary that Her Highness likes me - however, she must trust me!"

"Indeed, Flick, indeed. I shall endeavour to allay her mistrust before I take my leave. It may be necessary that she be informed..."

"Your Highness, unless there is absolutely no other course, I would really rather prefer that her Highness remained in ignorance of that matter."

"Indeed, Flick?"

"Exactly so, Your Highness, but I must of course leave that decision to your judgement."

"Exactly so, Flick! But returning to the matter of von Smallhausen, I have it in mind to have him accompany me. I could make good use of his intellect in the reading and examination of any documents, maps and letters that may come into my way. Would he, d'ye think, welcome a commission as... say... a Hauptmann in our army, attached to the Garde?"

"H'mmm, such an appointment would, of course, make my task a little harder, but I have a feeling that von Smallhausen has a yearning to appear in uniform... Yes, Your Highness, I am persuaded that he would accept such a commission."

"Good, pray convey my compliments to Herr von Smallhausen, and request that he attend me at his earliest convenience!"

"Of course, Your Highness."

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Extract from der Schloss-Neuhaus Allgemeine Zeitung

19 Marz 1701

Following a review by His Highness of the army at the Heeresfeld, during which the many spectators were afforded he opportunity to admire the steadiness of the troops and the celerity with which they performed their many and complex evolutions, we, at Der Schloss-Nehaus Allgemeine Zeitung, are able to report that the army marched this morning.

At the review, His Highness was accompanied by Her Highness, the Margrafin and senior officers of his army. Subsequent to inspecting the troops on parade, His Highness assented to the request of Generalmajor von Willich, that the assembled regiments be permitted to pass in review. The precision and accuracy with which the soldiers of His Highness completed these manoeuvres was such as to draw may audible expressions of satisfaction and admiration, not only from the general assembly of the public, but also from His Highness' party.

On quitting the field, each regiment returned to its temporary cantonments, from whence, gathering their baggage, they re-assembled, and with fife and drum sounding martial airs commenced on their route.

Our prayers for their safe return will surely be answered by the Good God.

It is understood that His Highness will join his army on campaign.

God Save the Margraf!

Extracts from Orders for the Army Nr 14

Postings and Appointments

Oberstleutnant Schwartzstokke, of the Grossherzogturm von Stollen, is appointed in that rank to the vacancy of Regimensoberstleutnant of Dragonerregiment Nr 1, the appointment to take effect from 17 Marz 1701.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The best laid plans of mice and men...

"Herr Flick."

"Fraulein Helga? What are you doing here? You are supposed to be enticing that Englander!"

"It is no use, Herr Flick, I cannot do it."

"What do you mean, you cannot do it? I warn you, madam, I have had enough of these pseudo-maidenly airs. It is quite simple; overcome these useless scruples that you pretend to have, insinuate your way into this Sir Fraser's household and do as you are told!"

"Herr Flick, you misunderstand me. It is not that I will not do it - although these stratagems are utterly repugnant to me - it is that I cannot do it!"

"And why, pray, madam, should that be?"

"Because, Mein Herr, I cannot communicate with the man!"

"How so?"

"Because he does not speak German! His shopping is done by means of a list that someone writes for him; he shows the list to the stall-holder, who fills it for him."

"That should be no objection, I am persuaded that you can at least bid him a good morning in Englisch, it is one of the few phrases that are similar in both tongues."

"I can, indeed, do so, and I have done so. But it appears that the man can speak neither German nor Englisch!"

"What? What nonsense is this!? Of course he must speak Englisch! He is an Englander!"

"No, Mein Herr, he is not! He, and as far as I can ascertain, and his companions speak a language called... Garlic...? No, no... Gaelic... yes, Gaelic. Which, Mein Herr, is spoken only in the most remote northern parts of Britannia. In short, Herr Otto Flick, he is not an Englander, but a Schottlander - who speaks no Englisch!"


Extract from The Schloss-Neuhaus Allgemeine Zeitung

A Divine Service has been ordained in order to acknowledge and Give Thanks for the protection afforded to our Sovereign Lord, His Highness Margraf Albrecht von Schwerin, by Almighty God on the occasion when the hand of a madman directed an Infernal Device at His Highness' Carriage. The Service is to take place at the Kirche von Sankt Marthinus at Eleven of the Clock ante meridian on the 17th day of this month of Marz in this Year of Grace One Thousand Seven Hundred and One.

The Service will be conducted by the Reverend Elder Domini Paulus Zimmerman and will include prayers in Memoriam in respect of those Gallant Heroes of His Highness' Army who lost their lives in the defence of his person on that tragic occasion, and for the swift recovery of those injured in that most heinous attack.

The Margraf will attend this Service in Person. He is to be accompanied by Her Highness, The Margrafin Katerina and his household. Other prominent personalities expected to be in attendance include the Generals of His Highness' Army and the ambassadors of Tradgardland, Hannunter and Saxe-Beerstein, together with the military attache of His Britannic Majesty.

God Save the Margraf!

The Honey Trap II

"Good afternoon, Fraulein Helga."

"Good afternoon, Herr Flick."

"Firstly, I must apologise for not being in my study yesterday, particularly so when I had requested your presence. It must have appeared shockingly ill-mannered of me, and I detest ill-manners - in myself perhaps more than in others - but I can only plead the excuse of urgent affairs of state. By the by, how does the Margrafin today?"

"She is shaken, Herr Flick, but the Herr Doktor says she has taken no physical harm, both she and her... oh!"

"Do not worry, Fraulein Helga, you betray no secrets. I have been for some time aware of Her Highness' delicate condition. Which leads me to the reason I wished to speak to you: As you are aware, there have been a number of... ah... incidents, shall we say, that have had the effect of delaying the army's preparations for war. Yesterday's outrage was, I fear, yet a further occurrence calculated to impose yet more delay - had the assassin succeeded, I dread to think what condition the country would have been in today. Now, my investigations - in which Fraulein Helga, you have played no small part..."

"I, Herr Flick?"

"Yes, Fraulein Helga, you. Your assistance in the enmeshing of Herr Artrecht was invaluable... well, almost, but certainly very valuable indeed. It is thanks to the leverage which I obtained over that rascally innkeeper, that I have discovered a possible suspect - oh not of individual acts of sabotage, but perhaps the identity of the directing mind behind all our troubles. However, I am handicapped by my inability to take any action against this individual without further proof than that which I have already garnered. It is at this point that my thoughts turned towards you, and the success which you had already provided. I fear that I must, once again, command your assistance."

"Herr Flick! No!"

"No? No? To me?! Fraulein Helga, you forget yourself!"

"Indeed, Herr Flick, I do not! May I remind you that I am not your servant; I am in service to Her Highness - a service which I might also remind you, came close to being terminated on the last occasion you embroiled me in your dirty little affairs!"

"Yes... this is true. But may I also remind you that it was my personal intervention that ensured your service was not, in fact, terminated. This situation, Fraulein Helga, could be, again with my personal intervention, quite easily be reversed!"

"You threaten me, Herr Flick!"

"Indeed I do! But come, we are old friends - and more - are we not? Let us not talk of threats and punishment. Fraulein Helga, I am positive that you hold Her Highness in more than ordinary regard, and that you would be bereft if aught should harm her. Remember how ill we all were after eating the spoiled flour? What if harm had occurred to the Margrafin, or her child? How would you have felt in such a case? And yesterday, although Her Highness was probably not the intended target, she was in the carriage and could quite easily have shared the fate of those soldiers who took the full brunt of the explosion. Such a desperate act indicates that our enemy will now stop at nothing to succeed in his aims, and may well make another attempt on His Highness' life. Should that happen while The Margrafin accompanies him, who shall foretell what the outcome might be? Fraulein Helga, I appeal to you, not only as a loyal citizen of our Homeland, but also as one who is devoted to Her Highness, assist me in this matter! I promise you that I do not intend that you take any action which might bring opprobrium to you."

"What do you want me to do, Herr Flick?"

"There, that is more reasonable, is it not?"

"That depends on what you ask of me."

"It is really quite simple, Fraulein Helga. Circumstances have brought to my attention one Sir Angus Fraser, an Englander of advanced years who resides on Knechtestrasse. His presence here, for various reasons, arouses my suspicions. He is, or rather was, an officer of high rank in the service of the deposed King of Britannia, but seems to have fallen upon hard times. He maintains a small establishment, staffed for the most part by four of his own countrymen. These latter individuals, it appears do not speak good, honest, German, but rather gabble away in their own mongrel tongue. This latter circumstance gives me cause to think that these underlings must be deprived of the charming company of the nobler gender. I wish you to make the acquaintance of one of these underlings, and once you have gained the entree into this residence, then I will tell you for what it is that I search. Please note, Fraulein Helga, that all I ask of you is to become friends with this Englisch gentleman's servants."

"But, Herr Flick - if they do not speak German, and I certainly do not speak English, how am I to communicate with them?"

"That consideration, Fraulein Helga, is just one of the causes that turned my mind towards you! How better to gain an acquaintanceship than to ask one of these servants to be your language teacher? Oh, fear not, I will provide you with sufficient funds to make any offer you might tender to be as irresistible as your own charms."

"Herr Flick!"

"Yes, just so. Now, there is not a minute to lose. We know that one of this officer's retainers is habituated to purchase bread and perishables from the Ox Market each morning. So tomorrow, at seven of the clock, you will accompany me to the Ox Market, in order that I might identify this man for you. You are to wear clothing suitable for... for... a not too wealthy burgess. Is that all understood?"

"Yes, Herr Flick. But, Herr Flick, I do not wish - both for the sake of her condition and for my own future - to cause Her Highness any further disquiet, or give her reason to once more demand my dismissal from her service."

"Be at ease, Fraulein Helga. I am quite capable, you know, of not repeating any miscalculations I might have, in the past, made. On this occasion, I shall speak to His Highness this evening and make a full disclosure to him of your planned activities, so that he might put Her Highness' mind at rest. Now, that business is concluded, might I prevail upon you to join me for a private supper this evening?"

"On this occasion, Herr Flick, I think not."