“Where is this man?”
“His boat lies in Flushing harbour.”
“And how did Brandelaar get possession of it?”
“I did not get it from Brandelaar himself, but from a lady, an Englishwoman, who crossed with him from Dover. My honour imposes silence upon me. I must not mention this lady’s name, but I am firmly convinced and believe that I can guarantee that the document in Admiral Hollway’s office has been copied word for word.”
“We can soon find means of convincing ourselves whether the British fleet is preparing to carry out these orders. Then at last the time for energetic action would have arrived. His Majesty has foreseen some such advance on the part of the British fleet, and we have now to carry out the plan of the supreme commander. I thank you, Herr major!”
Heideck bowed and turned to go. He felt that he could endure it no longer, and it was only with an effort that he maintained his erect, military bearing.
When he reached the threshold, the Prince turned to him again, and said, “I think I shall be doing you an honour, Herr major, if I give you the opportunity of witnessing, by my side, the events of that great and glorious day in the life of our youthful fleet. Report yourself to me on the morning of the 15th of July on board my flagship. I will see that your present post is provided for.”
“Your Royal Highness is very gracious.”
“You have a claim on my thanks. Au revoir, then, Herr major.”
The Prince immediately summoned the adjutant on duty, and ordered him to have several copies of the English naval plan of attack prepared at once.
One of these was intended for the admiral in command of the French fleet at Cherbourg. The Prince gave the imperial messenger, who was to convey the document to him, an autograph letter in which he urged upon the admiral to do his utmost to reach Flushing on the morning of the 15th with as strong a fighting fleet as possible, so as to assist the German fleet in its engagement with the numerically superior fleet of the English.
NEWS OF AN OLD FRIEND
“Dear Friend and Comrade,—Although it is still painful for me to write, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of being the first to congratulate you on receiving the Order of St. Vladimir. A friend in the War Office has just informed me that the announcement has appeared in the Gazette. I hope that this decoration, which you so fully earned by your services at the occupation of Simla, will cause you some satisfaction. You are aware that the Vladimir can only be bestowed on Russians or foreigners in the service of Russia, and thus you will be one of the few German officers whose breast is adorned with this mark of distinction so highly prized in this country.