Dismissing the ferry-barge with stern injunctions to be in waiting from noon to noon, the three leapt on their fresh nags.
‘Stop at the first village,’ said Guy; ’we must lay in provision. As Master Groschen says, “Nothing’s to be done, Turpin, without provender."’
‘Goshawk!’ cried Farina; ’you have time; tell me how this business was done.’
The only reply was a soft but decided snore, that spoke, like a voluptuous trumpet, of dreamland and its visions.
At Sinzig, the Thier laid his hand on Guy’s bridle, with the words, ’Feed here,’ a brief, but effective, form of signal, which aroused the Goshawk completely. The sign of the Trauben received them. Here, wurst reeking with garlic, eggs, black bread, and sour wine, was all they could procure. Farina refused to eat, and maintained his resolution, in spite of Guy’s sarcastic chiding.
‘Rub down the beasts, then, and water them,’ said the latter. ’Made a vow, I suppose,’ muttered Guy.
’That’s the way of those fellows. No upright manly take-the-thing-as-it-comes; but fly-sky-high whenever there’s a dash on their heaven. What has his belly done to offend him? It will be crying out just when we want all quiet. I wouldn’t pay Werner such a compliment as go without a breakfast for him. Not I! Would you, Schwartz Thier?’
‘Henker! not I!’ growled the Thier. ‘He’ll lose one sooner.’
’First snatch his prey, or he’ll be making, God save us! a meal for a Kaiser, the brute.’
Guy called in the landlady, clapped down the score, and abused the wine.
‘Sir,’ said the landlady, ‘ours is but a poor inn, and we do our best.’
‘So you do,’ replied the Goshawk, softened; ’and I say that a civil tongue and rosy smiles sweeten even sour wine.’
The landlady, a summer widow, blushed, and as he was stepping from the room, called him aside.
‘I thought you were one of that dreadful Werner’s band, and I hate him.’
Guy undeceived her.
‘He took my sister,’ she went on, ’and his cruelty killed her. He persecuted me even in the lifetime of my good man. Last night he came here in the middle of the storm with a young creature bright as an angel, and sorrowful—’
‘He’s gone, you’re sure?’ broke in Guy.
’Gone! Oh, yes! Soon as the storm abated he dragged her on. Oh! the way that young thing looked at me, and I able to do nothing for her.’
‘Now, the Lord bless you for a rosy Christian!’ cried Guy, and, in his admiration, he flung his arm round her and sealed a ringing kiss on each cheek.
’No good man defrauded by that! and let me see the fellow that thinks evil of it. If I ever told a woman a secret, I ’d tell you one now, trust me. But I never do, so farewell! Not another?’
Hasty times keep the feelings in a ferment, and the landlady was extremely angry with Guy and heartily forgave him, all within a minute.