“Yes, I will tell you of that later, uncle,” said Yolanda. “When Calli left us, Sir Max returned safely to the inn, having promised me not to leave Peronne within a month. This trouble has come from Calli and Campo-Basso.”
“But you say this young man is from Styria?” asked Castleman, anxiously.
“Yes,” replied Yolanda, drooping her head, “he is Maximilian, Count of Hapsburg.”
“Great God!” exclaimed Castleman, starting to his feet excitedly. “If I have brought these men here to be murdered, I shall die of grief; all Europe will turn upon Burgundy.”
Yolanda buried her face in Mother Kate’s breast; Castleman walked to and fro, and sympathetic Twonette wept gently. It was not in Twonette’s nature to do anything violently. Yolanda, on the contrary, was intense in all her joys and griefs.
“Did Sir Max tell you who he is?” asked Castleman, stopping in front of Yolanda.
“No,” she replied, “I will tell you some day how I guessed it. He does not know that I know, and I would not have you tell him.”
“Tell me, Yolanda,” demanded Castleman, “what has passed between you and this Sir Max?”
“Nothing, uncle, save that I know—ah, uncle, there is nothing. God pity me, there can be nothing. Whatever his great, true heart feels may be known to me as surely as if he had spoken a thousand vows, but he would not of his own accord so much as touch my hand or speak his love. He knows that one in his station may not mate with a burgher girl. He treats me as a true knight should treat a woman, and if he feels pain because of the gulf between us, he would not bring a like pain to me. He is a strong, noble man, Uncle Castleman, and we must save him.”
“If I knew where to begin, I would try at once,” said Castleman, “but I do not know, and I cannot think of—”
“I have a plan,” interrupted Yolanda, “that will set the matter going. Consult my Lord d’Hymbercourt; he is a friend of Sir Karl’s; he may help us. Tell him of the trouble at the bridge, but say that Twonette, not I, was there. If Lord d’Hymbercourt cannot help us, I’ll try another way if I die for it.”
Castleman found Hymbercourt and told him the whole story, substituting Twonette for Yolanda.
“It is the work of that accursed Basso,” said Hymbercourt, stroking his beard. “No villany is too black for him and his minions to do.”
“But what have they done?” asked Castleman. “They surely would not murder these men because of the quarrel at the bridge.”
“They would do murder for half that cause,” replied Hymbercourt. “A brave man hates an assassin, and I am always wondering why the duke, who is so bold and courageous, keeps this band of Italian cut-throats at his court.”
“What can we do to rescue our friends if they still live, or to avenge them if dead?” asked Castleman.