Sunday, January 20, 2008

Unexpected Tidings

Landgraf Bogey frowned and looked up as a disturbance in the reception chamber to his office intruded on his thoughts. The noise of voices rose to a crescendo, followed by thumps and bumps, and then the door to his office burst open. A large overcoated man, hat pulled down low over his face and carrying a large package lurched into the room. Servants and officers attempted to hold the man back, but he shrugged them off and stumbled toward the Landgraf.

“You’re…eeka…” the man mumbled, dropping the bundle onto the desk with a thud and collapsing into a nearby chair. Bogey was on his feet, moving to the man and gesturing to the crowd at the entrance.

“Shut that door!” he commanded.

Fräulein Effi, one of the ladies of the court, quickly pushed the door closed, but with herself still in the Landgraf’s office. She placed her back against the door and turned to Bogey, who was peeling open the wet coat of the stranger.

As she realized that the wetness was the man’s own blood, Effi sharply breathed in, making an “Ohh!” sound that she tried to stifle with her hand.

Bogey, shot Effi a stern glance, and turned back to the man. Or rather, he turned back to the body. Reaching inside the inner coat, covered in blood and worse, the Landgraf plucked out a folio of soaked papers, then turned to the frightened young woman.

“He could not have come far with all those holes in him,” Bogey stated matter of factly, gently peeling the red-stained papers apart before tossing them in the fireplace. “Why could he not live long enough to tell us something?”

Bogey strode to the desk and tore open the cover to the bundle. Effi, despite herself, could not resist crossing the room to her Landgraf’s side to look at the contents: toy soldiers, dozens of them, painted in white with various trims. Some kind of bill of lading lay beneath, but she could only see a few letters that read, "..eka Miniatures, Victoria..."

“Do you know who he is, Your Excellency?” Effi asked in a hushed whisper.

“Ja. He was Herr Jakoby, master of the ship Der Vogel.” Bogey lifted one of the soldiers and then glanced at the lists beneath. More to himself than to Effi, the Landgraf muttered, “So, Saxe-Jungbach is contracting with Herr Robson to raise an army, eh?”

Bogey rolled the bundle together and thrust it under his arm. He grabbed Effi by the arm, causing her to wince. “Forget all about the bundle. You got that? You can tell anyone about what happened here, but don’t mention the bundle!”

Effi twisted painfully, “You’re hurting me,” she cried.

Bogey released her arm. “You’re an angel, Fräulein. Now get me General Norris.”

2 comments:

Der Alte Fritz said...

So what DID arrive from Eureka?

Ed Youngstrom said...

So far, only an email from Nic allowing me to purchase the Saxon infantry. I wasn't aware of the 100 club until after the "bidding" closed on the infantry. When Nic posted on TMP the other day that he was willing to sell to those with orders on the other 100 Club offerings, I fired off an email immediately.

Then I went on a business trip to snowy Ohio and had email trouble. I'm not sure that Nic got the order, but wrote the story up in high hopes.

I ordered 2 battalions with grenadiers, a pair of guns, and some mounted officers. And a whole bunch of the cavalry, too.

Ed v. H-F