“Thank you, sir. At what time shall I come this evening?”
“At eight o’clock. By that time, I may have thought out farther details for your guidance.”
Chapter 9: In Warsaw.
Upon leaving the quarters of Count Piper, Charlie returned to the camp, and, after discussing the matter with Major Jervoise, proceeded with him to the colonel’s hut.
“Well, you look brighter this morning, Carstairs. Are you better pleased, now you have thought the matter over?”
“Yes, sir. What you said last night has been quite confirmed by Count Piper, and the matter does not really seem so difficult. I am merely, as a foreigner in the employment of the King of Sweden, to talk with foreigners in Warsaw, to assure them that the king is sincere in his desire to avoid war with Poland, and will gladly make a lasting peace between the two countries, to urge upon them to show themselves favourable to his project for securing such a peace, by forcing Augustus to resign the crown, and to use what influence they can in that direction, both upon their fellow traders and upon the Poles.”
“There is nothing very difficult about that,” Colonel Jamieson said cheerfully, “as it happens to be quite true; and there can be no real question as to the true interest of Poland, and especially of the trading classes in the great towns, from whom heavy contributions towards the expenses of war are always exacted by their own rulers, and who have to pay a ruinous ransom in case of their city being captured by the enemy. The traders of Warsaw will need no reminder of such well-known facts, and will be only too glad to be assured that, unless as a last resource, our king has no intention of making war upon Poland, and they will certainly be inclined to bestir themselves to avert such a possibility. You have, I suppose, a list of names of the people with whom you had best put yourself into communication?”
“Yes, sir. Here is a list. There are, I see, ten Scotchmen, fifteen Frenchmen, and about as many Jews.”
“I know nothing of the Frenchmen, and less of the Jews,” the colonel said, taking the list; “but I ought to know some of the Scotchmen. They will hail from Dundee and Glasgow, and, it may be, Dumfries.”
He ran his eye down the list.
“Aha! Here is one, and we need go no further. Allan Ramsay; we were lads together at the High School of Glasgow, and were classmates at the College. His father was a member of the city council, and was one of the leading traders in the city. Allan was a wild lad, as I was myself, and many a scrape did we get into together, and had many a skirmish with the watch. Allan had two or three half brothers, men from ten to twenty years older than himself, and, a year or two after I came out to Sweden and entered the army as an ensign, who should I meet in the streets of Gottenburg, but Allan Ramsay.