So far as Marie’s safety from robbers was concerned, Count Vavel might now rest content. Satan Laczi’s advice had been obeyed to the letter. But how about Baroness Landsknechtsschild? Danger still threatened her.
Count Vavel was seriously concerned about his fair neighbor, and wondered how he might communicate his extraordinary discovery to her. What could he do to warn her of the danger which still threatened her? Should he call in person at the manor, and tell her of his interview with Satan Laczi?
A propitious chance came to Count Vavel’s aid in his perplexity.
One afternoon the sound of a trumpet drew him to his window. On looking out, he beheld a division of cavalry riding along the highway toward the village. They were dragoons, as their glistening helmets indicated.
When the troop drew near to the village, the band struck up a lively mazurka, and to this spirited march the soldiers made their entry into Fertoeszeg. Ludwig could see through his telescope how the men were quartered in the houses in the village; and in the evening, after the retreat had been sounded, he also saw that the windows of the hitherto unused wing of the manor were brilliantly illuminated. Evidently the officers in command of the troop had taken up their quarters there, which was proper. The armed guard on duty at the manor gates verified this supposition.
Count Vavel might now feel perfectly sure that no robbers would attempt to break into the manor; they were too cunning to come prowling about a place where cavalry officers were quartered.
And with the arrival of the troop another danger had been averted. Now Baroness Katharina would not break into the Nameless Castle and despoil Count Vavel of something which Satan Laczi could not, with all his cunning, have restored to him—his heart!
Count Ludwig did not trouble himself further about the manor. He was convinced that enough gallant cavalrymen were over yonder to entertain the fair mistress, so that she would no longer wait for any more tiresome philosophizing from him.
Every evening he could hear the band playing on the veranda of the manor, and very often, too, the merry dance-music, which floated from the open windows until a late hour of the night. They were enjoying themselves over yonder, and they were right in so doing.
How did all this concern him?
In one respect, however, the soldiers taking up their quarters in Fertoeszeg concerned him: they exercised daily on the same road over which it was his custom to take his daily drive with Marie. In order to avoid meeting them, he was obliged to change the hour to noon, when the soldiers would be at dinner.
Several days after the arrival of the troop at Fertoeszeg, the officer in command paid a visit at the Nameless Castle—a courtesy required from one who was familiar with the usages of good society. At the door, however, he was told by the groom that Count Vavel was not at home. He left his card, which Henry at once delivered to his master, who was in his study.