Before Barbara had returned home the treasurer of the imperial and royal musicians came to his house and, in the regent’s name, handed him the gold of which Barbara had spoken for services rendered in the boy choir of her Majesty Queen Mary. He was obliged to sign the receipt in his daughter’s name, and when the portly Netherlander, who could also make himself understood in German, asked where a sup of good wine or beer could be had in Ratisbon, he was ready to act as his guide.
Thanks to his daughter’s rich gifts, he need not wield the graver any longer that day, and for the second time could grant himself a special treat.
When he returned home he learned from the one-eyed maid that Barbara had been summoned by the Queen of Hungary to sing for her.
Weary as he was, he went to rest, and soon after the young girl entered his room to bid him “good night.”
The Queen had been very gracious, and after the singing was over had inquired about hundreds of things—who had been her singing master, what her religion was, whether her mother was still living, what calling her father followed, whether he, too, had drawn the sword against the Turks, her husband’s murderers, whether she was accustomed to riding, and, lastly, whether she was obliged to endure the narrow city streets in the summer.
Barbara had then been able to answer that the Wollers sometimes invited her to their country seat at Abbach, and intentionally added that they were her nearest relatives, and owned the Ark, the large, handsome family mansion which stood exactly opposite to the Golden Cross and her Majesty’s windows. She had also often been the guest of her uncle Wolfgang Lorberer, who stood at the head of the community at Landshut.
It had gratified her to boast of these distinguished blood relations.
She had then been asked whether she could consent to leave her father for a time to go into the country with the old Marquise de Leria, whom she knew, and who was charmed with the beauty of her singing.
The leech desired to remove the invalid lady in waiting from the city air, and she had chosen Barbara for a companion.
Here the young girl hesitated, and then carelessly asked her father what he thought of the plan.
As Blomberg knew the name of Leria to be one of the most aristocratic in the empire, and many things were beckoning to him in the future in which Barbara’s presence would only have been a hindrance, he left the decision to her.
He had made the acquaintance at the Black Bear, through Pyramus Kogel, of various soldiers who had fought in the same ranks—good Catholics, eager for a fray, who were waiting here for the outbreak of the war against the Smalkalds. What delightful hours their companionship would bestow if Barbara was provided for at present, now that he himself was no longer obliged to save every shilling so carefully!
But he had also thought of something else which was far more important, for the warlike conversation had affected him as the blast of a trumpet stirs the battle charger drawing a plough.