"And now, sir, go. My maid is a salaried spy, and a longer interview would make you suspected. You would be watched, and all discovered. Go! If I believed in the power of prayer, I would lie upon my knees night and day, and pray for God's blessing upon your effort. As it is, I can only follow you with my thoughts and hopes. Farewell!"
"Your royal highness sends no reply to these lines, written with Trenck's heart's blood?"
Amelia took the pen and wrote a few hasty lines upon the paper, which she handed Ranuzi. The words were: "Ovunque tu sei vicina ti sono."
"Give him that," said she; "it is not written with my heart's blood, but my heart bleeds for him--bleeds ever inwardly. And now resume your role of soothsayer--I must call my ladies."
The afternoon of this day Ranuzi wrote to his friend, Captain Kimsky, prisoner of war at Magdeburg: "The train is laid, and will succeed. The fortress will soon be in our hands. A romantic, sentimental woman's heart is a good thing, easily moved to intrigues. Magdeburg will be ours! Prepare everything--be ill, and call for me; I shall get a passport. I have a powerful protectress, and with such, you know, a man mar attain all the desires of his heart!"
It was the birthday of Prince Henry, and was to be celebrated with great pomp at the court. The king had himself written explicitly on this subject to the master of ceremonies, Baron Pollnitz. Pollnitz was, therefore, actively occupied in the early morning, and no general ever made his preparations for a battle with more earnestness and importance than the good baron gave his orders for the splendid fete which was to be given in the royal apartments that night.
And this was indeed a great opportunity. The people of Berlin were to enjoy a ball and a concert, at which all the Italian singers were to be present; and then a rare and costly supper, to which not only the court, but all the officers who were prisoners of war were to be invited.
This supper was to Pollnitz the great circumstance, the middle point of the fete. Such an entertainment was now rare at the court of Berlin, and many months might pass away ere the queen would think of giving another supper. Pollnitz knew that when he thirsted now for a luxurious meal he must enjoy it at his own cost, and this thought made him shudder. The worthy baron was at the same time a spendthrift and a miser.