As her eyes ran over those six words, she blushed.
“Hermann,” she said, “you have betrayed me.”
“And when will Your Highness order me out to be shot?” asked he, smiling.
“At sunrise; but I shall blindfold the soldiers and take the charges from their guns. I forgive you.”
“Now, Hermann,” said I, “fill me up a stein.” I held it high above my head. “A health! Long live the King! Long live Her Serene Highness the Princess—”
“Elizabeth,” said Gretchen, gently. “I fear she has lost something which is never to be found again.”
I drained the stein, and as I set it down I thought: Phyllis is so far away and Gretchen is so near!
“Let us go into the garden,” said I.
For a long time we wandered here and there, saying nothing. I was thinking that I had found a castle at last which neither tides nor winds nor sudden awakenings could tumble down.
“Gretchen, you must never take up the sword again.”
“Only in my lord’s defence.” From the movement of her arm, which clung to mine, I knew that she was laughing.
The moon had risen, the round and mellow moon of summer. The silver mists of night wavered and sailed through the aisles of the forests, and from the river came the cool fresh perfume of the river rush.
“And so you really love me?” I asked.
“Why do you love me?”
“Because,” said Gretchen.
***End of the project gutenberg EBOOK arms and the woman***
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