About midnight Mrs. Maxa still went to and fro in a bedroom on the top floor, which was entirely isolated. When everything necessary had been made ready, she tried to place various embellishments in the little chamber. Finally she placed in the middle of the table a round bowl, which was to be filled to-morrow with the most beautiful roses from her garden. Mrs. Maxa wanted the child of her adored Leonore to receive a pleasant impression from her room in the strange new house. When the morning sun would shine in through the open windows and the green slope of the castle would send its greeting to her, she did not want little Leonore to feel dissatisfied with her new quarters. With this thought Mrs. Maxa happily closed the door of the room behind her and sought out her own chamber.
Early next morning brother and sister started towards the valley. Before going Mrs. Maxa had given her orders and had arranged for Maezli to spend the day with Apollonie, in order to prevent her from getting into mischief. As it was a sunshiny morning and the paths were dry, walking was delightful. The distance they had to traverse occupied about two hours, but it did not seem long. As soon as brother and sister arrived in Sils, they went to see the two Misses Remke. Both ladies were kneeling before a large trunk, surrounded by heaps of clothes, shoes, books and boxes, and a hundred trifles besides. When the visitors arrived, they immediately stood before the open door of the room used for packing.
Mrs. Maxa’s first impulse was to withdraw with an excuse, but the ladies had jumped up already and most cordially greeted their kind friend, Mr Falcon, whom they called their helper and saviour in all difficulties. They received his sister joyfully, too, for they had been most eager to know her. Both ladies regretted that their meeting had to take place in a moment when their house appeared in its most unfavorable light. Mrs. Maxa assured them, however, that she understood the preparations for their impending trip and said that she would not disturb them longer than was necessary. She intended, therefore, to voice her request immediately. Mr. Falcon, steering straight for some chairs he had discovered, brought them for the ladies despite all the assorted objects on the floor. Mrs. Maxa spoke of her intention of taking the child to her house and her sincere hope that there would be no objection and the ladies could feel their visitor’s great eagerness manifested in her words. They on their part did not hide the great relief which this prospect gave them and were extremely glad to leave their young charge in such good hands.
“It has been very hard for us to decide to leave Leonore behind,” one of them said. “Unfortunately we must go, and she is not able to travel. But as long as our plans seem to coincide so well, I shall ask you if it would be inconvenient to you if we put off the date of our return a week longer. You must realize that we are taking the journey for the sake of our sick mother, and that everything is uncertain in such a case. One can never tell what change may come, and we might wish to stay a little longer.”