“What do you see?” she asked, when Katharina began to smile.
“I see Ludwig and the vice-palatine; they are leaning out of the window, and smoking—”
“Smoking?” interposed Marie. “Ludwig never smokes.”
“See for yourself!”
Katharina stepped back, and Marie placed her eye to the glass. Yes; there, plainly enough, she beheld the remarkable sight: Ludwig, with evident enjoyment, drawing great clouds of smoke from a long-stemmed pipe. The two men were talking animatedly; but even while they were speaking, the pipes were not removed from their lips—Ludwig, indeed, at times vanished entirely behind the dense cloud of smoke.
“For six whole years he never once let me see him smoking a pipe!” murmured Marie to herself. “How much he enjoys it! Do you”—turning abruptly toward the baroness, who was smilingly watching her young guest—“do you object to tobacco smoke?”
She seemed relieved when the baroness assured her that tobacco smoke was not in the least objectionable.
Some time later, when reminded that it was time for little girls to be in bed, Marie protested stoutly that she was not sleepy.
“Pray, little mama,” she begged, “let us look a little longer through the telescope; it is so interesting.”
But even while she was giving voice to her petition the windows in the dining-room over at the castle became darkened. The gentlemen evidently had retired to their rooms for the night.
“Oh, ah-h,” yawned Marie, “I am sleepy, after all! Come, little mama, we will go to bed.”
Katharina herself conducted the young girl to her room. Marie exclaimed with surprise and delight when, on entering the room adjoining the baroness’s own sleeping-chamber, she beheld her own furniture—the canopy-bed, the book-shelves, toys, card-table, everything. Even Hitz, Mitz, Pani, and Miura sat in a row on the sofa, and Phryxus and Helle came waddling toward her, and sat up on their hind legs.
The things had been brought over from the castle while the baroness and Marie were in the park.
“You will feel more at home with your belongings about you,” said Katharina, as she returned the grateful girl’s good-night kiss.
THE HUNGARIAN MILITIA
When Count Vavel and the vice-palatine disappeared from the window of the dining-room, they did not retire to their pillows. They went to Ludwig’s study, where they refilled their pipes for another smoke.
“But tell me, Herr Vice-palatine,” said the count, continuing the conversation which had begun at the dining-table, “why is it that six months have been allowed to pass since the Diet passed the militia law without anything having been accomplished?”