The Nameless Castle eBook

Mór Jókai
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 252 pages of information about The Nameless Castle.

And as for hunting?  He could spend whole days on the mountains, clambering after the fleet-footed chamois, following the larger game through morass and forest.  He had grown up amid exhilarating sports such as these.

And the dance-music!  How alluring were the strains! and how often through the day he found himself humming the melodies which had floated to him from the open windows of the manor!  Once he, too, had taken pleasure in jesting with fair women until their white shoulders would shake with merry laughter.  And all this he must look upon and hear at a distance, since he had made himself his own jailer!

* * * * *

During these weeks Marie was very restless.  The sound of the trumpets startled her; the unusual noises terrified her.  She whose nightly slumbers had been guarded from the barking of dogs and the crowing of fowls now was obliged to listen half the night to clarionet, horn, and piccolo, and to wonder what these people could be doing that they kept their music going until such late hours.

One circumstance, however, reconciled Marie to the excitement of these days:  Ludwig spent more time with her; and though his face was as stern as ever, she could not detect in it the melancholy which cannot be concealed from the eyes of the woman who can look into the depths, of the soul.

CHAPTER II

At last, one day late in the autumn, Count Vavel received from his correspondent, Herr Mercatoris, the information that the dragoon regiment was going to change its quarters, and that the departure from Fertoeszeg would be celebrated by various amusements, among them a regatta with colored lanterns on the lake and magnificent fireworks on the shore.

“We shall manage somehow to live through it,” was the count’s mental comment on the news.  He knew Marie’s horror of fire—­how she suffered with terror when she saw a conflagration, no matter how distant.  She was even afraid of the rockets and paper dragons which were used at the celebration at the conclusion of the grape harvest every year.  On the evening of the merrymaking Marie was afraid to go to bed.  She begged Ludwig to close the blinds and to read to her in a loud voice, so that she might not see the light of the fireworks or hear the tumult on the lake shore.  That which amused the revellers at the manor was a terror for this timid child.

And that they were amusing themselves over at the manor was beyond a doubt.  The program for the evening’s entertainment was a varied one.  Colonel Barthelmy was in the gayest of humors.  The surprise of the evening was to conclude the entertainment, and was called on the program “The Militiaman.”  Every one in the audience expected that Colonel Barthelmy, who had arranged this part of the entertainment, would produce something extremely amusing.  The reality surpassed all expectations.

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The Nameless Castle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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