When she withdrew her eye from the glass, her face betrayed the new emotion which had taken possession of her. The lengthened features, the half-opened lips, the contracted brows, the half-closed eyes, all these betrayed—Ludwig was perfectly familiar with the expression—jealousy.
Marie had discovered that there was an enchantingly beautiful woman upon whose phenomenal charms her Ludwig came up here to feast his eyes. The faithless one!
Ludwig was going to speak, but Marie laid her hand against his lips, and turned again to the telescope. The “green-eyed monster” wanted to see some more!
Suddenly her face brightened; a joyful smile wreathed her lips. She seized Ludwig’s hand, and exclaimed, in a voice that sounded like a sigh of relief:
“What you told me was true, after all! You did not want to deceive me.”
“What do you see?” asked Ludwig.
“I see the water-monster that frightened me. I believed that you invented a fable and had it printed in that book in order to deceive me. And now I see the creature over yonder with the beautiful lady. She called to him, and he came walking on his hands and feet. Now he is standing upright. How ridiculous the poor thing looks in his red clothes! He does n’t want to keep on his hat, and persists in wanting to walk on all fours like a poodle. Dear heaven! what a kind lady she must be to have so much patience with him!”
Then she rose suddenly from the telescope, flung her arms around Ludwig’s neck, and began to sob. Her warm tears moistened the young man’s face; but they were not tears of grief.
Very soon she ceased sobbing, and smiled through her tears.
“I am so thankful I came up here! You will let me come again, won’t you, Ludwig? I will come only when you ask me. And to-morrow we will resume our swimming excursions. You will come with me in the canoe, won’t you?”
Ludwig assented, and the child skipped, humming cheerily, down the tower stairs; and the whole day long the old castle echoed with her merry singing.
And why should not Baroness Landsknechtsschild take observations with a telescope, as well as her neighbor at the Nameless Castle?
She could very easily do so unnoticed. From the outside of a house, when it is light, one cannot see what is going on in a dark room.
This question Count Vavel was given an opportunity to decide.
The astronomical calendar had announced a total eclipse of the moon on a certain night in July. The moon would enter the shadow at ten o’clock, and reach full obscuration toward midnight.
Ludwig had persuaded Marie to observe the phenomenon with him; and the young girl was astonished beyond measure when she beheld for the first time the full moon through the telescope.