Schloss Neuhaus

Schloss Neuhaus
Seat of the Margrave

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Pen is Not Mightier than the Sword... in this case!

"Herr Doktor, how is he?"

"It should seem, Your Highness, that the patient will, barring any poisoning of the wound, live. I am, in this case, quite hopeful, but I could wish that the Herr Hauptmann had sought earlier medical attention."

"How could he have done so, Herr Doktor? He has only just been injured!"

"Much as I hesitate to contradict Your Highness, I am quite certain that this is not the case; that wound is at least two, and quite possibly, three days old."

"What! Are you sure?"

"Your Highness, I am fully persuaded that is, indeed the case!"

"Oh... well, in that case, it should seem that I must excuse Lady Henrietta! Yes, the Herr Hauptmann did say that he had had a fall from his horse a few days ago."

"Ah, Your Highness, the injury, unless the Herr Hauptmann fell upon a metal stake, was most definitely not caused by a fall from the saddle. I would stake my reputation that what the Herr Hauptmann has, is in fact a wound caused by a sword, or a dagger."

"You are quite, quite sure, Herr Doktor?"

"Indeed I am, Your Highness. I have seen more than a few such wounds in my time as a doktor. This wound has penetrated the muscles at the front of the left shoulder, just where it joins the chest, and has penetrated to a depth of some three-quarters of a finger's length ."

"I see. Thank you, Herr Doktor. Do you forsee the need to visit the patient again?"

"Just so, Your Highness. I confess I would be much happier in myself if I can assure myself that wound remains clean. I shall call upon the Herr Hauptmann tomorrow forenoon - just to satisfy myself that all is well."

"Yes... that may be the best thing. Once again, Herr Doktor, thank you."

"A mere nothing, Your Highness. And now if you will forgive me, I have other patients awaiting."

"Yes, yes of course."
- - - - - - - - - - -

"Lady Henrietta, you will be relieved to hear that you have not murdered my Military Sekretary after all. In fact, it should seem that you are almost blameless in this matter."

"Almost, sir?"

"Yes, almost. It should seem that the wound was incurred two to three days since, so you may take heart from the fact that you did not occasion it. However..."

"Yes, Your Highness?"

"However. Had you not given way to a childish fit of temper and hurled all manner of sundry items at my head, then the Herr Hauptmann would not have needed to intervene, and it may well be that his wound would not have broken open."

"I am sorry, Your Highness."

"I am glad to hear it, my lady. Other heads of state, under similar circumstances, may well have felt that your actions were tantamount to a case of lesé majesty, if not armed assault."

"Oh, I am not sorry for hurling an ink-pot at you. I do, however, deeply regret that poor Hauptmann von Smallhausen should have come to hurt by it!"

"Ah! I thought you were being just a tad too meek!"

"How could it be otherwise, my lord? Hauptmann von Smallhausen, is erudite, intelligent, and once you pry him away from that da..., that chessboard, he is quite charming company. You, on the other hand..."

"Yes, yes, madam; pray relieve me from the necessity of hearing a rehearsal of my faults! I am probably all that you consider me to be!"

"Very well, my lord. I shall consider my peroration delivered and that you are now suitably abashed. But, pray, tell me, how is that Hauptmann von Smallhausen is come to be injured?"

"That, Lady Henrietta, is a question that remains to be answered. But answered it shall be! He told me some tale of falling from his horse; but the good Herr Doktor assures me that von Smallhausen has, in effect, received a sword or dagger wound. Rest assured, madam, that I shall have the truth of this matter!"

"I see. But may I ask Your Highness to curb any degree of impatience? I am quite unskilled in caring for a wound, but I should suppose that agitation of any sort may well bring about undesireable effects."

"Yes... you may well have the right of it."

"Good. I knew that at heart, beneath all the pomposity, that you were a sensible man. And now, if Your Highness will excuse me, I shall see if our gallant Hauptmann has need of anything."

"Pomposity?! Why, you, you... Go on! Go!"