Irresistibly, Egenolf drove it up the next day to the Hohkönigsburg, and with due caution he could venture the ride. He had the feeling that the best way to shake off his embarrassing encounter with the Gypsy from the memory of his beloved.
Leontine received him beaming with joy. “I knew you would come,” she cried, as she flew toward him as he entered the room, “my longing has drawn you like a long chain.”
“She did not have to pull hard,” he smiled, “my own longing pushed hard, and so it must have been easy for Rhenus to carry me up here; he was literally climbing, as if he were trudging along a level path. ”
“If only I knew what I could do to him, that he would bring you back from the feud, safe and sound!”
“It will be, Leontine!” Said Egenolf. “A happy idea makes me hope that nothing bad will happen to me. After all, I have a lovely guardian angel who constantly admires me with his thoughts and desires. ”
“Day and night, Egenolf!” She interrupted, embracing him intimately, as if to shield and cover his chest from the enemy’s spear and missile.
They were both alone in the room and stayed that way. Count Oswald now had neither the time nor the inclination to receive visits, least of all to those who did not count him, and Countess Margaret gave the lovers this hour of undisturbed happiness, perhaps for a long time the last to enjoy them.
Now they sat close together on a windowsill, but looked more in the eye than in the mountains and valleys and in the open country, which spread so deep down below, as if he were not threatened by gunfire and hoof-stomping.
They wanted to talk of quite different things from the feud, and soon attacked this, now that string in their conversation, but involuntarily kept coming back to talk about the events to come, calculated and weighed the forces of the enemy parties against each other, and advised them and when and in which area the first meeting would take place and in whose favor it would end. Egenolf, however, did not seem to have the slightest impression that Leontine was giving himself over to him or her father, even if it was not superfluous, but useless. He knew her courageous heart, which was not afraid of dangers, whom one had to meet with determination and bravery.
“Do you know what I want, love?” She said, her eyes sparkling. “Do a tank and ride with you. At most I can swing a light spear, and they should not catch me, for such a fast-paced racer like my Daphne does not exist here and there. With long, fluttering hair like a Valkyrie, I wanted to run away beside you and hold the shield over you in the battle, my fair-haired warrior! ”
“And lastly wear me as a fallen hero on your steed, in your arms to Valhall, to the unicorns,” he laughed, “right?”
“No no! Squeeze the Victory Wreath on the hot forehead, “she exclaimed enthusiastically. “What you call a hunch is faith and certainty: you will come again! and my pay and price shall be a hundred or a thousand like this one, “she concluded with a glowing kiss to his mouth.
The limited amount of time Eugenolf could now dissatisfy with the love of his loved one passed over with chatter and cronies only too quickly, and he had to leave, though Leontine tried to keep him with pleas and flattery. It was a long, passionate farewell she took from him, because secretly she was far more concerned about him than they wanted to remember to not hard to make his heart.
After the St. Ulrichsburg he rode back as fast as the nature of the road allowed, because he had to be aware that his busy father, who now often needed his services, was already very much missing him.
Count Maximin had, according to Egenolf’s report of the cheeky Kundiensterei, the Rathsamhausen operated in the midst of opposing positions, made sure that the allied forces were closed in the round closer to each other, so they would always be the two field captains available. –
Isinger was in his wake, unfolding an abiding bustle in mustering arms and military equipment, not just at the Hohkönigsburg, but also in the camps, where he had nothing to look for and say. He was much in the temples, soon appeared here, then suddenly there, gave small hints and pointed out useful changes and improvements in more or less modest manner. It was his cocky way of doing something important, as if he had special powers and secret assignments.
One afternoon, when he was riding to Rappoltsweiler, he found the town crowded with horses on horseback and on foot, housed in town houses, partly even in the church and the cloister. But many remained with their horses, who had not found all the stables and, tied to pegs, stood in the market or at the gates.
He asked for Hans Loder and had to search for him for quite a long time, until he found him with the lender of a Rappoltstein’s court at Thannenkirch in a lodging near the wine. The man knew Isinger and invited the Lord’s stallion to drink with him, which was something that the cup was never allowed to say twice. “I accept with pleasure and thanks,” he said, and sat clattering and rattling to the table. He was clad and looked very enterprising and belligerent, his mustache twirling boldly, looking around proudly and speaking in a loud, challenging tone.
“It looks like a camp all around here,” he began. “Everywhere you see steel and iron flashing in the sun, pulling little flags from sticks and trotting riders or keeping watch as if we were already living in the middle of a war.”
“If only it starts!” Said the self-appointed liege. “We Rappoltsteiners are anxious to get rid of the Rathsamhausen.”
“We of the Hohkönigsburg will not let us find us on a lazy horse, but smear them over our heads,” said Isinger, pushing his sword to the ground. “Look, with this long bastard, I can hack one wound and stuff it with an oak board and twenty-seven pegs.”
“Well, that’s a word that weighs ten pounds among brothers,” laughed Hans Loder. “God bless him who falls into your blacksmiths, Ottfried!”
“Yes, some will have to pay nature’s debt on the highway and bite the grass,” the liege said.
“We are enough for us with all our attachments,” said Isinger. “In Schlettstadt the Fleckenstein people lie with great power and in Bergheim the Andlau people, Kageneck and Hattstadt come from their castles Ortenberg and Bernstein, and here in Rappoltsweiler there is barely enough room for a horse to turn on it can. ”
“The weather is good for hitting,” interjected Loder. “You will not suffocate with heat in your harnesses, this morning it had ripened in the meadows.”
“It is no pleasure to lie in the open air now, when you have to share the pebble bed with your horse under the blue sky. That night was almost as cold as in winter, when the beggars dance the Lord’s Prayer in the toes with frostbite, “said the landlord. “Yes, am I not right?” He said as the other two of them laughed, to the comrades at the next tables, who also laughingly agreed.
So they talked at the trunk, and Isinger did not stop bragging about his fighting spirit. However, he had already winked at Hans Loder a couple of times and knocked him under the table with his knee until the old man finally noticed it.
“I see, you want something from me, Ottfried,” he smiled.
“Yes, I have a secret message for you; come with me! “said Isinger.
They both rose, thanked the generous Thannenkircher for the bill and left the inn. Outside, Isinger said, “Let’s go to Strengbachthal, because you have to go up to Ulrichsburg.”
»Ulrichsburg? what am I supposed to do now? ”
“Will you know soon, Hans?”
When they were out of the city through the butcher’s tower and no one could hear anything of their conversation, Isinger said patronizingly: “I helped you to smuggle the wolf-skin of Count Egenolf into the bedchamber of our young countess. Today I demand of you a counter service. ”
“Push it!” Said Loder.
Isinger now introduced his request and began: “Countess Leontine is not without some worry that something might happen to her dearest heart in the battle. He will be stuck in a good iron skin, which does not let a sword stroke pass so easily, but for its greater security she wants him a protection, a ta-lis-man, yes, that’s what she called it – I’ve got the sacker’s word three times from her audition – one Give talisman. It’s one of the gloves she wore on the day she met Count Egenolf for the first time in his life. This glove should have the power to beat the count, she says. I do not know if she had a secret spell with her, but I was prudently and without her knowledge a little help, I was with the glove in Sanct Pilt and talked to a devout monk about it and a lot of holy water blessing have them sprinkled. ”
“Hm!” Said Loder, “and you shall shake the glove, or shall I hand it to Count Egenolf.”
“No, not one-handed, that the young countess herself could have done. He must always carry him with him during the whole feud, without him knowing it, otherwise the talisman will not work, “returned Isinger. “Countess Leontine says that you have free access to the Ulrichsburg at any time, and therefore asks you to arrange for the glove to be concealed in Count Egenolf’s harness or helmet or saddle. Do you understand?”
“Yes, but in his helmet or armor he would be aware of the thing when he braces himself. It’ll be the best, I’ll have the glove stitched inside the lining of his saddle, he can not remember that. But I can not handle that without the saddle master. ”
“Oh, he knows, if only the Count himself does not know it.”
“No no! the saddle master is holding tight; give me the glove, I’ll take it on me. ”
“I have him in my jerkin; buckle the harness on my side and I can get it out. ”
Loder did that, and Isinger handed him the glove. It was the one from the right hand and fine, soft reed. While Loder was busy re-strapping Isinger’s harness, they saw a minstrel walking rather than walking. When he recognized the Whistler King, he waved him with both arms, as if he had a big news to report, and now he really got going.
“What’s the matter, Rodewig?” Asked Loder. “You’re out of breath.”
“They’re coming, they’re coming, they’re on their way!” Gasped the minstrel.
“Who? the Rathsamhausen? ”
“Yes, the Rathsamhausen and the Müllenheim, the Dürkheim’s and I do not know who else. At noon today they have left Ottrott and Oberehnheim and where they had gathered and lain. But they can move slowly only because they have heavy armor with them, Tarras rifles and throwing tools that can not drive fast, and infantry are also involved, “Rodewig reported.
“How do you know all this?” Isinger asked.
“Third-party, from Piper brothers, but from safe people. One has done it to the other with the greatest rapidity, and I will take the sacrament for it to be true, “replied the spy.
“Then make sure that you come up to our count with your message,” said Loder. “I follow you on my foot; it’s up here on the right. ”
“I know, I know,” replied Rodewig, hurrying himself into the forest.
“You must hurry, Hans, that the glove is still in the saddle,” said Isinger. “I’m trotting back to the Hohkönigsburg, and in Rappoltsweiler and through the Eisenreiter on the way, I’ll continue the message as quickly as possible. My bill may make it morning or morning tomorrow. ”
“The bill will be correct,” Loder nodded. “Farewell, Ottfried, and God keep you!”
“I’ll stand my husband in battle, Hans!” Exclaimed Isinger, banging his fist on the armored hero’s breast.
They parted, and everyone went swiftly on his way.