Barbara was familiar with this flourishing place, above which proudly towered the Trausnitzburg, for here lived her uncle Wolfgang Lorberer, who had married her mother’s sister, and was a member of the city Council. Two years before she had spent a whole month as a guest in his wealthy household, and she intended now to seek shelter there again. Fran Martha had invited her more than once to come soon, and meanwhile her two young cousins had grown up.
Two arms of the Isar lay before her, and between them the island of Zweibrucken.
Before the coach rolled across the first, Barbara gathered her luggage together and told the postboy where he was to drive. He knew the handsome Lorberer house, and touched his cap when he heard its owner’s name. Barbara was glad to be brought to her relatives by the famous musician; she did not wish to appear as though she had dropped from the clouds in the house of the aunt who was the opposite of her dead mother, a somewhat narrow-minded, prudish woman, of whom she secretly stood in awe.
Progress was very slow, for many peasants and hogs were coming toward them from the Schweinemarkt at their right.
The gate was on the second bridge, and here the carriage was compelled to stop on account of paying the toll. But it could not have advanced in any case; a considerable number of vehicles and human beings choked the space before and beyond the gate. Horsemen of all sorts, wagons of regiments marching in and out, freight vans and country carts, soldiers, male and female citizens, peasants and peasant women, monks, travelling journeymen, and vagrants impeded their progress, and it required a long time ere the travelling carriage could finally pass the gate and reach the end of the bridge.
There the crowd between it, the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, and the church belonging to it seemed absolutely impenetrable. The vehicle was forced to stop, and Gombert stood up and overlooked the motley throng surrounding it.
Barbara had also risen from her seat, pointed out to her companion one noteworthy object after another, and finally a handsome sedan chair which rested on the ground beside the hospital.
“His Majesty’s property,” she said eagerly; “I know it well.”
Here she hesitated and turned pale, for she had just noticed what Gombert now called to her attention.
Don Luis Quijada, with the haughty precision of the Castilian grandee, was passing through the humble folk around him and advancing directly toward her.
All who separated him from the carriage submissively made way for the commander of the Lombard regiment; but Barbara looked toward the right and the left, and longed to spring from the vehicle and hide herself amid the throng.
But it was too late for that.
She could do nothing except wait to learn what he desired, and yet she knew perfectly well that Don Luis was not coming to the musician, but to her, and that he was bringing some startling, nay, probably some terrible news.