Don Luis looked sharply into the faithful face, and what he found there induced him to admit that he was concealing a wound. Adrian silently beckoned to him, and led the way into his own room, where he entreated Don Luis to show him the injury. When he saw it, his by no means mobile features blanched.
He knew that Quijada had accompanied Barbara home that night. On this errand, he was sure of it, Don Luis must have received this serious wound at the same time as Wolf, or even obtained it from the young knight himself. Besides, he felt certain that the object of the Emperor’s love was connected with both disasters. Yet not a word which could have resembled a question escaped his beardless lips while he examined, sewed, and bandaged the deep sword thrust with the skill and care of a surgeon.
When he had finished his task, he thanked Don Luis for the confidence reposed in him.
Quijada pressed his hand gratefully, and begged him to do his best that no one, not even the Emperor, should learn anything about this vexatious mischance. Then, not from curiosity, for grave motives, he desired to know what relations existed between Sir Wolf Hartschwert and Barbara.
The answer was somewhat delayed, for Wolf had won the affection of the influential valet, and what Master Adrian had learned concerning the young knight’s personal affairs from himself, his own wife in Brussels, and the violinist Massi, he would have confided to no one on earth except Quijada, and perhaps not even to him had he not accompanied his inquiry with the assurance that what he intrusted to him would remain buried in his soul, and be used only for Wolf’s advantage.
This promise loosed the cautious valet’s tongue. He knew his man, and, when Don Luis also desired to learn whether the knight had already discovered that Barbara was now the Emperor’s love, he thought he could answer in the negative.
What he had heard of Wolf’s relation to Barbara was only that the two had spent their early youth in the same house, that the knight loved the singer, but that she had rejected his suit.
This avowal appeared to satisfy Quijada, and it really did calm him. He now believed that Wolf had misjudged him, and, supposing that he was coming from a meeting with the girl he loved, had drawn his sword against him. The manner in which he had attempted to rid himself of the rival seemed criminal enough, yet the nocturnal attack had scarcely concerned him personally, and he would not condemn the man who was usually so calm and sensible without having heard him.
If Wolf lived—and he desired it from his heart—this act, which he appeared to have committed in a fit of blind jealousy, should do him no injury.
With a warm clasp of the hand, which united these two men more firmly than a long period of mutual intercourse, each went his way in quiet content.
In the afternoon Master Adrian was sent out to Prebrunn to announce to Barbara a visit from the Emperor after vespers.