“Still, as far as popular opinion goes, something might be done. At any rate, I will get some of my friends here tomorrow, and introduce you to them and talk it over. But we must be careful, for Augustus has a strong party here, and, were it suspected that you are a Swedish officer, it would go very hard with you.
“Tomorrow you must fetch your servant here. I have already sent round to the inn, and you will find your valises in your room. You said you could rely thoroughly upon him?”
“Yes, he was handed over to me by Count Piper himself; and moreover, from what I have seen of him, I am myself confident that he can be trusted. He is of Swedish descent, and is, I think, a very honest fellow.”
For a fortnight, Charlie remained at Allan Ramsay’s, and then, in spite of the pressing entreaties of his host and hostess, took a lodging near them. He had, by this time, seen a good many of the leading traders of the town. The Scotch and Frenchmen had all heartily agreed with his argument, that it was for the benefit of Poland, and especially for that of Warsaw, that Augustus of Saxony should be replaced by another king, who would be acceptable to Charles of Sweden; but all were of opinion that but little could be done, by them, towards bringing about this result.
With the Jewish traders his success was less decided. They admitted that it would be a great misfortune, were Warsaw taken by the Swedes, but, as Poles, they retained their confidence in the national army, and were altogether sceptical that a few thousand Swedes could withstand the host that could be put in the field against them.
Several of them pointedly asked what interest they had in the matter, and, to some of these, Charlie was obliged to use his power of promising sums of money, in case of success.
There were one or two, however, of whom he felt doubtful. Chief among these was Ben Soloman Muller, a man of great influence in the Jewish community. This man had placed so large a value upon his services, that Charlie did not feel justified in promising him such a sum. He did not like the man’s face, and did not rely upon the promises of silence he had given, before the mission was revealed to him. It was for this reason, principally, that he determined to go into lodgings. Should he be denounced, serious trouble might fall upon Allan Ramsay, and it would at least minimize this risk, were he not living at his house when he was arrested. Ramsay himself was disposed to make light of the danger.
“I believe myself that Ben Soloman is an old rogue, but he is not a fool. He cannot help seeing that the position of the king is precarious, and, were he to cause your arrest, he might get little thanks and no profit, while he would be incurring the risk of the vengeance of Charles, should he ever become master of the town. Did he have you arrested, he himself would be forced to appear as a witness against you, and this he could hardly do without the matter becoming publicly known.