‘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.
‘No more,’ said she, laughing: ‘but wait; I have something for you.’
The Goshawk lingered on a fretting heel. She was quickly under his elbow again with two flasks leaning from her bosom to her arms.
’There! I seldom meet a man like you; and, when I do, I like to be remembered. This is a true good wine, real Liebfrauenmilch, which I only give to choice customers.’
‘Welcome it is!’ sang Guy to her arch looks; ‘but I must pay for it.’
‘Not a pfennig!’ said the landlady.
‘Not one!’ she repeated, with a stamp of the foot.
‘In other coin, then,’ quoth Guy; and folding her waist, which did not this time back away, the favoured Goshawk registered rosy payment on a very fresh red mouth, receiving in return such lively discount, that he felt himself bound in conscience to make up the full sum a second time.
‘What a man!’ sighed the landlady, as she watched the Goshawk lead off along the banks; ’courtly as a knight, open as a squire, and gentle as a page!’
A league behind Andernach, and more in the wintry circle of the sun than Laach, its convenient monastic neighbour, stood the castle of Werner, the Robber Baron. Far into the South, hazy with afternoon light, a yellow succession of sandhills stretched away, spouting fire against the blue sky of an elder world, but now dead and barren of herbage. Around is a dusty plain, where the green blades of spring no sooner peep than they become grimed with sand and take an aged look, in accordance with the ungenerous harvests they promise. The aridity of the prospect is relieved on one side by the lofty woods of Laach, through which the sun setting burns golden-red, and on the other by the silver sparkle of a narrow winding stream, bordered with poplars, and seen but a glistening mile of its length by all the thirsty hills. The Eck, or Corner, itself, is thick-set with wood, but of a stunted growth, and lying like a dark patch on the landscape. It served, however, entirely to conceal the castle, and mask every movement of the wary and terrible master. A trained eye advancing on the copse would hardly mark the glimmer of the turrets