The door of Barbara’s little bow-window room stood open. Nothing but a small oil lamp was burning there. But the articles it contained, though dainty in themselves, were standing and lying about in such confusion that it also presented an unpleasant aspect.
Yet Barbara’s beauty had shed such radiance upon this hideous environment that the scene of her industry had seemed to Wolf like an Eden.
Now he could scarcely understand this; but he found it so much the easier to comprehend that these wretched surroundings no longer suited such a pearl, and that it behooved him to procure it a worthier setting.
Still, it was by no means easy to ask the captain what he desired to know, for during the young knight’s absence a great many important things had happened which Blomberg was longing to tell.
He was in such haste to do this that he detained Wolf, who wanted to speak to old Ursel before he began to drink the wine, by the statement that she suffered from wakefulness, and he would disturb her just as she was falling asleep.
The account of the property bequeathed to the young knight was only too quickly completed, for, though the precentor’s will made his foster son the sole heir, the legacy consisted only of the house, some portable property, and scarcely more than a thousand florins.
Yet perhaps something else was coming to Wolf; early yesterday Dr. Hiltner, the syndic of the city, had asked his place of residence, and added that he had some news for him which promised good fortune.
After these communications Blomberg hoped to be able to mention the important events which had occurred in Ratisbon during his young friend’s absence; but Wolf desired with such eager curiosity to hear the syndic’s news first that it vexed the captain, and he angrily told him that he would bite off his tongue before he would even say “How are you?” to that man, and to play eavesdropper to any one was not at all in his line.
Here his companion interrupted with the query, What had caused the learned scholar, whom every one, as well as the precentor, had highly esteemed, to forfeit his friend’s good opinion?
Blomberg had waited for such a question.
He had been like a loaded culverin, and Wolf had now touched the burning match to the powder. To understand why he, Blomberg, who wished only the best fortune to every good Christian, would fain have this thorough scoundrel suffer all the torments of hell, the young knight must first learn what had happened in Ratisbon since the last Reichstag.
Until then the good city had resisted the accursed new religious doctrines which had gained a victory in Nuremberg and the other cities of the empire.