"Well, von Smallhausen..., Oh, I beg your pardon, Madam, I had not seen you in the shade."
"Good morning, Your Highness. I had called upon the good Hauptmann, to make my farewells, so if you shall now excuse me, I shall relieve you of my presence and remove my neck out of temptation's reach! Good Day to you Sir!"
"I do believe, Your Highness, that the lady is somewhat vexed with you."
"Yes, I had rather comprehended that myself, von Smallhausen! But, that apart, how goes it with you?"
"I have every expectation, subject to Your Highness' willingness to continue my employment, to return to my full duties within the next two days."
"That is good hearing; much as I am annoyed with your present situation, I find myself asking how would I maintain control over this army without your assistance! But, that was not my meaning; rather I was inquiring as to the state of your health."
"Oh, a slight soreness around the injury, Your Highness, but the Herr Doktor says that the flesh is gravely insulted, and that such sulkiness is both normal and to be expected."
"Very well, then I shall ask the Doktor to examine you further, just to satisfy myself that all is in order."
"Oh, there is no requirement for such an examination, Your Highness. The Herr Doktor professes himself quite satisfied with the injury, and indeed has left for my usage a salve which does much to sooth the hurt."
"Well, if you quite certain, von Smallhausen..."
"Indeed I am, Your Highness."
"Very well; then passing onto the next matter, I am still awaiting a full explanation of how it is that you are come to be hurt."
"Ah, as I have said, Your Highness, it was all hubris, and not paying attention."
"Hauptmann Erich von Smallhausen, it pains me greatly to perceive that you are a monstrously untruthful man!"
"Oh, no, Your Highness; believe me, the injury occurred, as I have said through my own false pride and carelessness!"
"Do you solemnly affirm that this is indeed the case?"
"Indeed I do, Your Highness. I occasioned my injury solely through my own stupidity."
"Very well then, von Smallhausen. I must, of course, accept your assurances upon this matter. Now, moving swiftly on; you are, I am persuaded, aware that the Lady Henrietta leaves us today? Good. However, I understand that she has been most assiduous in her care of you? Yes?... so now it should seem that we must find another to assist you in the changing of your bandages "
"Your Highness, there is no need; Indeed, I am am almost well, observe how deedily I may now move my arm... and do you see, Your Highness, not a spot of blood on the bandage!"
"Very well, then. So be it. For the nonce, however, you are to remain in your quarters. I, despite your protests, forbid you to return to duty until you are quite fit. Is that understood?"
"Of course, Your Highness! But... but who shall assist you while I remain here?"
"Leutnant von Rabensthal, while perhaps not possessing quite the same capacity as your good self, does write in a passably neat fist, and has performed some of your lesser duties quite capably. It should seem, perhaps, that when you are returned to duty, that you could do much worse than to take him under your wing."