The Nameless Castle eBook

Mór Jókai
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 321 pages of information about The Nameless Castle.

“Katinka hugom can see the Nameless Castle from the terrace out yonder.  It is a hunting-seat that was built by a Markoczy on the shore of Lake Neusiedl, on the site of a primitive pile-dwelling.  Three years ago, a gentleman from a foreign country came to Fertoeszeg, and took such a fancy to the isolated house that he leased it from the baron, the former owner, on condition that no one but himself and servants should be permitted to enter the grounds belonging to the castle.  The question now is, will Katinka hugom consent to the conditions, or will she revoke them?”

“And if I should choose to do the latter?” inquired the baroness.

“Then your ladyship would be obliged to give a handsome bonus to the lessee.  Shall you revoke the conditions?”

“It depends entirely on the sort of person my tenant proves to be.”

“He is a very peculiar man, to say the least—­one who avoids all contact with his fellow-men.”

“What is his name?”

“I don’t think any one around here knows it.  That is why his residence has been called the Nameless Castle.”

“But how is it possible that the name of a man who has lived here three years is not known?”

“Well, that is easily explained.  He never goes anywhere, never receives visitors, and his servants never call him anything but ‘the count.’”

“Surely he receives letters by post?”

“Yes, frequently, and from all parts of the known world.  Very often he receives letters which contain money, and for which he is obliged to give a receipt; but no one has yet been able to decipher the illegible characters on the letters addressed to him, or those of his own hand.”

“I should think the authorities had a right to demand the information?”

“Which authorities?”

“Why—­’he,’ Bernat bacsi.”

“I?  Why, what business is it of mine?”

“The authorities ought to inquire who strangers are, and where they come from.  And such an authority is ’he’—­Bernat bacsi!”

“Hum; does ‘she’ take me to be a detective?”

“But you surely have a right to demand to see his passport?”

“Passport?  I would rather allow myself to be thrown from the window of the county-house than demand a passport from any one who comes to Hungary, or set my foot in the house of a gentleman without his permission!”

“Then you don’t care what people do here?”

“Why should we?  The noble does as he pleases, and the peasant as he must.”

“Suppose the man in the Nameless Castle were plotting some dreadful treason?”

“That would be the affair of the king’s attorney, not mine.  Moreover, nothing whatever can be said against the tenant of the Nameless Castle.  He is a quiet and inoffensive gentleman.”

“Is he alone?  Has he no family?”

“That the Herr Justice is better able to tell your ladyship than am I.”

“Ah!  Then, Herr Hofrichter,” inquired the lady of the manor, turning toward the justice, “what do you know about this mysterious personage?  Has he a wife?”

Project Gutenberg
The Nameless Castle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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