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Full text of "Her Serene Highness; a novel"

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DAVID GRAHAM PHILLIPS 



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LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF 

CALIFORNIA 

SANTA CRUZ 



SANTA CRUZ 



Gift oi 
Lem C. Brown 



SANTA CRUZ 






HER SERENE HIGHNESS 



HER 

SERENE HIGHNESS 



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Bobcl 



by 
DAVID GRAHAM PHILLIPS 




NEW YORK AND LONDON 
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 
1902 



Copyright, 1902, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 



All rights 

Published May, 1902. 









Contents 




CHAP. PAGE 

I. THE GRAND DUKE'S SPANIARD ... i 

II. AN AMERICAN INVADES ...... 25 

III. A SKIRMISH 45 

IV. Two IN THE TREES 58 

V. A PRINCE IN A PASSION 80 

VI. HER SERENE HIGHNESS SURRENDERS 108 

VII. THE GRAND DUKE GIVES BATTLE . . 126 

VIII. THE AMERICAN is REINFORCED ... 134 

IX. THE CROWN PRINCE is DECORATED . 145 

X. THE GRAND DUKE PREPARES TO CEL 

EBRATE 159 

XL AN OVERWHELMING DEFEAT .... 171 

XII. THE SPANIARD is CAPTURED .... 193 



Her Serene Highness 



i 



The Grand Duke's Spaniard 




the top floor of Grafton's 
house, in Michigan Avenue, 
there was a room filled with 
what he called " the sins of the 
fathers " the bad pictures and statuary 
come down from two generations of more 
or less misdirected enthusiasm for art. 
In old age his father had begun this col 
lection; forty years of dogged pursuit of 
good taste taught him much. Grafton 



Her Serene Highness 

completed it as soon as he came into 
possession. 

In him a Grafton at last combined 
right instinct and right judgment. Al 
though he was not yet thirty, every pict 
ure dealer of note in America and Europe 
knew him, and he knew not only them 
but also a multitude of small dealers with 
whom he carefully kept himself un 
known. He was no mere picture buyer. 
The pretentious plutocrats of that class 
excited in him contempt and resent 
ment. How often had one of them de 
stroyed, with a coarse fling of a money 
bag, his subtle plans to capture a remark 
able old picture at a small price. For 
he was a true collector he knew pictures, 
he knew where they were to be found, 
he knew how to lie in wait patiently, how 
to search secretly. And no small part 

2 



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Vp Q~O P/ igg a of \ p a o o / Vp o o of lo n -o of 

The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

of his pride in his acquisitions came from 
what they represented as exhibits of his 
skill as a collector. 

A few months before his father died 
they were in New York and went togeth 
er to see the collection of that famous 
plutocratic wholesale picture buyer, Henry 
Acton. 

"Do you see the young Spaniard over 
there?" said the father, pointing to one 
of the best-placed pictures in the room. 

The son looked at it and was at once 
struck by the boldness, the imagination 
with which it was painted. "Acton has 
it credited to Velasquez/' he said. "It 
does look something like Velasquez, but 
it isn't, I'm certain." 

'That picture was one of my costly 
mistakes," continued the elder Graf ton. 
" I bought it as a Velasquez. I was com- 

3 



Her Serene Highness 

pletely taken in paid eleven thousand 
dollars for it in Paris about twenty-five 
years ago. But I soon found out what 
Fd done. How the critics did laugh at 
me! When the noise quieted down I 
sold it. It was shipped back to Paris 
and they palmed it off on Acton/' 

Just then Acton joined them. "We 
were talking of your Velasquez there/' 
said the elder Grafton. 

Acton grew red the mention of that 
picture always put him angrily on the 
defensive. "Yes; it is a Velasquez. 
These ignorant critics say it isn't, but I 
know a Velasquez when I see one. And 
I know Velasquez painted that face, or 
it wasn't painted. It '11 hang there as 
a Velasquez while I live, and when I die 
it '11 hang in the Metropolitan Museum 
as a Velasquez. If they try to catalogue 

4 



VD o o oj \o i_g _g \oj \ o o o o J \p goo/ V o g_o_p J Vo o D o/ V o P o.PJ 

The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

it any other way they lose my whole col 
lection/' 

While Acton was talking the younger 
Grafton was absorbed in the picture. The 
longer he looked the more he admired. 
He cared for pictures as well as for names, 
and he saw that this portrait was from 
a master-hand the unknown painter had 
expressed through the features of that 
one face the whole of the Spaniard in the 
Middle Ages. He felt it was a reflection 
upon the name of Grafton that such a 
work of genius had been cast out ob 
viously because a Grafton could appre 
ciate only names. He said nothing to 
his father, but then and there made up 
his mind that he would have that picture 
back. 

Apparently there was no hope. But 
he was not discouraged; patience and 

5 



Her Serene Highness 

tenacity were the main factors in his tem 
perament. 

While he was sick with typhoid fever at 
a New York hotel Acton got into financial 
difficulties and was forced to "realize" on 
all his personal property. His pictures 
were hurriedly sent to the auctioneer. 
Grafton, a few days past the crisis in his 
illness, heard the news at nine o'clock in 
the evening of the third and last day of 
the sale. He leaped from bed and ordered 
the nurse to help him dress. He brushed 
aside protests and pleadings and warnings. 
They went together to Mendelssohn Hall. 
Grafton made the driver gallop the horses. 
He rushed in; his Spaniard was on the 
easel. 

" How much is bid?" he called out. 

Everybody looked round, and the auc 
tioneer replied, "It's just been sold." 

6 



The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

There was a laugh, Grafton looked so 
wild and strange. Leaning on the arm of 
the nurse he went to the settlement desk. 
"To whom was that picture sold?" he said 
to the clerk. 

"On a cable from Paris, Mr. Grafton/' 
interrupted one of the members of the auc 
tion firm. 'We've had a standing order 
from Candace Brothers for five years to 
let them know if the picture came or was 
likely to come into the market. And 
they've cabled every six months to remind 
us. When Mr. Acton decided to sell, we 
sent word. They ordered us to buy, with 
fifteen thousand dollars as the limit." 

Grafton was furious; he would gladly 
have paid twenty. "And what did it go 
for?" he asked. 

"Seventeen hundred," replied the dealer. 
"Everybody was suspicious of it. We 

7 



\AAMf VWAf VAAAf 

I a D o oj 

y / 



Her Serene Highness 

would have got it for five hundred, if it 
hadn't been for an artist; he bid it up to 
his limit." 

"I must sit," said Graf ton to his nurse. 
'This is too much too much." 

He was little the worse for his impru 
dence, and was able to sail on the steamer 
that carried the picture. He beat it to 
Paris, and went at once to Candace Broth 
ers, strolling in as if he had no purpose 
beyond killing time by looking about. 
He slowly led the conversation round to a 
point where Louis Candace, to whom he 
was talking, would naturally begin to 
think of the Acton sale. 

'We're getting in several pictures from 
New York," said Candace "from the 
Acton sale." 

"I was ill while it was on," said Graf ton, 
carelessly. 'What did you take?" 

8 



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i g o p of YD o o o / VP_O_O P J VP.P G_PJ Vo o o pj yo g o o J V o p o pi 

The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

"A Rousseau, a Corot, a Wyant, and a 
Velasquez/' He hesitated before speak 
ing the last name, and looked confused as 
Grafton slightly elevated his eyebrows. 
"Of course/' he hurried on, "we strongly 
suspect the Velasquez; in fact, we know 
it's not genuine. But we're delighted to 
get it." 

"I don't understand," said Grafton. 
"I know you too well to suspect that it 
will be sold as a Velasquez." 

"But certainly not. Even if we did 
that sort of thing, we couldn't deceive any 
of your rich count^men or any of the 
English with it. The story is too well 
known. No; we bought it for His Royal 
Highness the Grand Duke of Zweiten- 
bourg. It is or he thinks it is a portrait 
of one of his Spanish ancestors. His 
agent tells me that it is the only known 

9 



Her Serene Highness 

work of a remarkable young Spaniard who 
was soon afterwards killed at the siege 
of Barcelona, early in the eighteenth cen 
tury. They are not even sure of his name. 
The Grand Duke was most anxious to get 
it. For years we have been sending him 
semiannual bulletins on Monsieur Acton's 
health and financial condition/' 

Grafton's heart sank. Here was a true 
collector a past-master of the art. "If I 
hadn't been a mere novice," thought Graf- 
ton, "I, too, would have had bulletins on 
Acton, and a standing order. As it is, my 
trouble has only begun," for, being him 
self a true collector, with all the fatalism 
of the collector's temperament, he was not 
despairing, was only the more resolute in 
face of these new difficulties. 

"His Royal Highness," continued Can- 
dace, ' wants the picture because it fills 

10 



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The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

one of the gaps in his gallery of ances 
tral portraits/' Under skilful questioning, 
Candace yielded the further information 
that the keeper of the Grand Duke's privy 
purse, Baron Zeppstein, would arrive the 
following Thursday personally to escort 
the picture to Zweitenbourg. 

It reached Paris on Tuesday, and Graf- 
ton took Jack Campbell, whom he found at 
the Ritz, round to Candace' s on Wednes 
day morning. Campbell, having been thor 
oughly coached, made offers for several 
pictures, all too low, then pretended to 
fall in love with the Spaniard. He in 
sisted that it was a Velasquez Grafton 
seemed to be disgusted with him, some 
what ashamed of him. When Candace 
told him that the picture was sold, he had 
them send a telegram to the Grand Duke 
offering eight thousand dollars for it. A 

ii 



Her Serene Highness 

curt refusal to sell at any price came a few 
hours later. 

Campbell and Grafton were there the 
next morning when Baron Zeppstein came. 
As he was voluble, and appreciative of 
the rare pleasure of an attentive listener, 
Grafton rapidly ingratiated himself, and 
soon had him flowing on the subject of 
"my royal master/' 

" His Royal Highness has two passions/' 
said the Baron, "Americans and his pict 
ures. You Americans are making aston 
ishing I may say appalling inroads in 
Germany; your ideas are getting even into 
the heads of our women, our girls. I don't 
like it; I don't like it. It's breeding a 
race of thinking women, I can't endure 
a thinking woman. You can't imagine 
what I'm suffering just now through Her 
Serene Highness; but no matter. Your 

12 



The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

terrible democratic ideas of disrespect for 
tradition, for institutions, for restraints, 
are slipping about even in the palaces of 
our kings. His Royal Highness the story 
goes that he was in love with one of your 
beautiful countrywomen and that she re 
fused to marry him; she did marry his 
brother, Duke Wolfgang morganatically, 
of course. It would be impossible for one 
of the house of Traubenheim to marry 
a commoner in the regular way. Your 
American invasion hasn't extended that 
far" 

"And the pictures?" interrupted Graf- 
ton, impatient of the digression. 

"Ah yes there His Royal Highness 
has a high enthusiasm, a noble passion. 
He is positively mad about Rembrandts. 
He has a notable collection of them, and 
is always trying to add to it." 

13 



Her Serene Highness 

Graf ton's eyes dropped; he feared that 
this simple old Zweitenbourgian might 
read his thoughts. " Rembrandts?" he 
said. 'That interests me. I have the 
same craze in a small way." And he 
drew the Baron on. He learned that a 
Rembrandt filled the Grand Duke with 
the same burning longing for possession 
with which his craze, the spurious Velas 
quez, was now filling him. He began 
to see victory. He cabled his Chicago 
agent to send him forthwith, in care of 
Candace Brothers, his two examples of 
Rembrandt's early work. When he was 
a boy, travelling about with his father, 
he had found them in an obscure shop in 
Leyden. They now interested him little 
except as reminders of an early triumph. 
But to a collector of Rembrandts they 
would be treasures. 

14 



Vp OOP/ Yg O O JD_| \R O D Oj \O O O_Qj \O O O j>/ \OODPJ 

The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

A few days after sending the cable he 
went in the morning with Mrs. Camp 
bell to Paquin's Mrs. Campbell was at 
Paris for her annual shopping. She was 
to be fitted for six dresses, ^he explained, 
and that meant an hour perhaps two 
or three hours. But Grafton was so at 
tracted by the scene that he said he would 
wait, at least until he was tired. He 
seated himself on the sofa against the 
wall, near the door. It was in line with 
the passage-way into which the fitting- 
salons open. 

The general room was crowded with 
women women in the fashions of the day 
preparing for the fashions of the morrow; 
girls the pretty, graceful, polite dress 
makers' assistants famed in Parisian song 
and story persuading, soothing, cajol 
ing, flattering. There were a few men, 

15 



Her Serene Highness 

all of them fitters except two. The ex 
ceptions were Grafton, trying to efface 
himself, and Paquin, trying to escape. 
He had come forth at the request of a 
customer important enough to be worthy 
of personal attention, but not important 
enough to be admitted to the honor of his 
private consultation - room. The women 
had seized him and, regardless of his bored 
and absent expression and speech, were 
swarming about him, impeding his retreat. 
Grafton soon forgot himself, so interested 
was he in his surroundings the clamor 
in French, German, English, American, 
Italian, Spanish; the exhibits of manners 
grand and manners sordid; the play of 
feminine emotions the passion for dress, 
the thoughtful pauses before plunging 
into tempting extravagances, the reckless 
yieldings to temptation, the woe -begone 

16 



VMMf 

Vo_O_D PJ Vfj^O O^J Vp D D OJ 

The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

putting aside of temptation; the mingling 
of women of all degrees, from royalty and 
American to actress and demi-mondaine. 
And they so far ignored the male intruder 
that they were presently tossing aside 
dresses into his lap or spreading them 
against his knees for better display. He 
retreated along the sofa before up-piling 
silks and satins and laces and linens. At 
last he had to choose between being sub 
merged and abandoning the sofa. He 
still lingered, meekly standing, his hat 
and stick buried. As he was examining 
an evening dress that pleased him mightily 
a new kind of silk in new shades, a cream 
white over which a haze of the palest blue- 
green seemed to be drifting he chanced 
to glance along the passage-way. 

One of the fitting-salons was open, and 
half in the doorway, half in the hall, stood 

17 



Her Serene Highness 

a young woman. Her waist was off ; 
her handsome shoulders and arms were 
bare, yet no more than if she had been in 
evening dress. She had fine brown hair 
with much red in it. Her features were 
strong and rather haughty, but delicate 
and pleasing. Her skin was dead-white, 
colorless even on her cheeks. She was 
frowning and biting her lip and tapping 
her foot on the floor. As he glanced she 
caught his eye. She beckoned imperiously. 

He put down the dress and went slowly 
towards her. 

"Quick/' she said, in French. "My 
patience is exhausted. I've been waiting 
half an hour and no fitter has come. Are 
you a fitter?" 

"No," he replied, also in French. "I'm 
not exactly a fitter; I'm a an American. 
But I'll get you one." 

18 



The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

" Heavens!" exclaimed the young wom 
an, in English, and she darted into her 
salon and slammed the door. 

Two attendants a man and a woman 
came at him from opposite directions. 
"But, monsieur! But, monsieur! What 
does monsieur do here? It is forbidden!" 
Their politeness was thin, indeed, over their 
alarm and indignation. 

'The lady called me," explained Graf- 
ton, calmly. " It was impossible for me to 
disobey her. She thought I was a fitter." 

As he spoke she opened her door and 
showed her head. The attendants, with 
serious faces, began to pour out apologies. 
"Pardon, Your Serene Highness! We 
hope that your " 

"It was my fault," she interrupted, in 
French, and he noted that she had a Ger 
man accent. w Her look of condescending 

19 



Her Serene Highness 

good-nature was not flattering to him. 
It said that in the mind of Her Serene 
Highness he and the two attendants 
formed a trio of inferior persons before 
whom she could conduct herself with 
almost as much freedom as before so many 
blocks of wood. 

f 'No apology is necessary/' he said, 
with abrupt courtesy. ' You wish a fitter. 
Til see that you get one at once." 

Her Serene Highness flushed and with 
drew her head. 'Take him away/' she 
called through the door, in a haughty tone, 
"and send a fitter/' 

Grafton faced the attendants. He drew 
from his pocket two ten -franc pieces and 
gave one to each. "Have the goodness 
to get mademoiselle her fitter instantly/' 
he said. 

They bowed and thanked him and he 

20 



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The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

slowly returned to his sofa. Half an 
hour and she issued from her salon in 
street costume. Close behind her came 
an old-maidish German woman. As they 
reached the door, Grafton held it open. 
Her Serene Highness drew herself up 
coldly. He bowed with politeness and 
without impertinence, and closed the door 
behind them. 

'Who was that lady?" he said to her 
fitter, hurrying past with her dresses on 
his arm. 

" Her Serene Highness the Duchess 
Erica of Zweitenbourg, monsieur. She is 
the niece of His Royal Highness the Grand 
Duke Casimir." 

Grafton met her twice the next day. 
In the morning he was at the tomb of 
Napoleon. A woman one of two walking 
together a short distance in front of him 

21 



Her Serene Highness 

dropped her handkerchief. He picked 
it up and overtook her. 

" Pardon, mademoiselle, ' ' he said. ' Your 
handkerchief/' She paused. He saw that 
it was Her Serene Highness. At the same 
time she recognized him and the smile 
she had begun died away. She took the 
handkerchief with an icy "Thanks." He 
dropped back, but their way happened to 
be his. Her companion glanced round pres 
ently ; he was near enough to hear her say, 
"The person is following Your Serene 
Highness." He came on, passed them as 
if unconscious of their existence, and they 
changed their route. 

In the afternoon he was at the Louvre. 
He saw two women coming towards him 
Her Serene Highness and her com 
panion. As they saw him they turned 
abruptly into a side corridor. He came 

22 



The Grand Duke's Spaniard 

to where they had turned; there lay a 
handkerchief. He picked it up and noted 
that it was a fine one, deeply bordered 
with real lace. In the corner, under a 
ducal crown, was the initial "E." He 
walked rapidly after the two women and, 
although they quickened their pace, he 
was soon beside them. 

"Pardon, mademoiselle/' he began. 

Her Serene Highness flushed with an 
ger and her gray eyes blazed. "This is 
insufferable!" she exclaimed. "If you do 
not leave " 

"Your handkerchief, "he said, extending 
it, his eyes smiling but his face grave. 

She looked at it in horror. "Monsieur 
is mistaken," she said, fighting against 
embarrassment and a feeling that she 
had made herself ridiculous. 

" Mademoiselle is mistaken doubly mis- 

23 



Her Serene Highness 

taken/' he replied, tranquilly. "The hand 
kerchief bears her monogram, and " here 
he smiled satirically "if mademoiselle 
is vain enough to mistake common cour 
tesy for impudence, I am not vain enough 
to mistake accident even twice repeated 
accident for design." 

She looked at him with generous, im 
pulsive repentance and took the hand 
kerchief from his outstretched hand. "It 
is mine," she said, in English, "and I re 
gret my foolish mistake." Her tone had 
no suggestion of condescension. It was 
the tone of the universal woman in pres 
ence of the universal man. 

He bowed his appreciation without speak 
ing and went rapidly away. 

24 



n 



An American Invades 




his Rembrandts came, 
Grafton took the package to 
his hotel, opened it, assured 
himself that they were in good 
condition, sealed it, and left it with Can- 
dace Brothers. "I may telegraph you to 
forward it/' he said. But he did not tell 
them what was in it nor where he was 
going; they might betray him or fore 
stall him, and so deprive him of the pleas 
ure of a successful campaign in person 
and unaided. 

He reached the town of Zweitenbourg 
at noon on a Monday, five days after his 

25 



Her Serene Highness 

Spaniard. At half-past two he was in a 
walking suit and on his way to the Grand 
Ducal Palace, "The Castle/' to reconnoitre. 
It was July, and the air of that elevated 
valley was both warm and bracing. From 
the beautiful road hills and mountains 
could be seen on every side the frontiers 
of the Grand Duchy. 

It had once been almost a kingdom. 
It was now shrunk, through the bad politi 
cal and matrimonial management of the 
reigning house, to less than two hundred 
and fifty square miles. But the Zweiten- 
bourgians were proudly patriotic they 
disdained mere size; they were all for 
quality, not quantity. Besides, they were 
as vague in general geography as the 
average human being; they thoroughly 
knew only the internal geography of Zwei- 
tenbourg. In their text-books the Grand 

26 



An American Invades 

Duchy posed as the central state of civili 
zation. In their school histories its grand 
dukes cut a great figure. For example, 
it was their Grand Duke Godfrey who, 
slightly assisted by a Prussian general, 
Bliicher, won the battle of Waterloo. Well 
ington comes in for a mere mention, as a 
sort of "among those present" "a small 
force of English under a Lord Welling 
ton/' so runs the account, "was defeated 
in the first day's engagement and almost 
caused the rout of the Grand Duke God 
frey and his allies; but on the second day, 
after the English had been beaten, and 
when they were about to run, the Grand 
Duke and Bliicher came up with the main 
army and Napoleon was overthrown/' In 
the Zweitenbourg atlases the map of each 
country was printed on a separate plate, 
and all were apparently of about the same 

27 



Her Serene Highness 

size. And, finally, all Zweitenbourgians 
knew that their men were the bravest and 
their women the most beautiful in the world, 
and that all foreign nations were inhabit 
ed by peoples who were ignorant, foolish, 
and perfidious. 

After two miles between garden-like 
farms, Graf ton found himself at the entrance 
to what seemed a wilderness. There were 
two huge stone pillars, each capped with 
a grand -ducal crown. There were two 
great bronze gates with a large C under a 
crown in the centre of each. The gates 
were open, and between the pillars went 
the military road, clean, smooth, perfect, 
to plunge into the wilderness. Beside the 
entrance was an ivy-covered lodge, in front 
of it a soldier in the blue-and-white uni 
form of the Grand Duke's Household 
Guards. He was marching up and down, 

28 



An American Invades 

his rifle at shoulder arms. As Grafton 
advanced he halted and shifted his rifle to 
a challenge. 

"Show your passport/' he commanded, 
in a queer dialect of German. 

"I have no passport/' replied Grafton. 

The soldier looked at him stupidly. 
"But every foreigner has a passport/' he 
said. 

"I have none/' 

" Ah; very well." The soldier shrugged 
his shoulders and resumed his march. 

Grafton stood where he had halted. 
"May I go on?" he asked. 

'Yes; why not?" said the soldier. 

" But why did you ask for my passport?" 

" It's in the rules. Pass on or you may 
get into trouble. You know perfectly well 
that all are admitted to the park at this 



season. ' 



29 



Her Serene Highness 

'Then there is a closed season?" 

"I don't know/' said the soldier, crossly. 
" I never heard of one. It's in the rules to 
admit every one from April until December. 
No one comes the rest of the year. But I 
don't suppose he could be shut out if he 
did. There's no rule which says so." 

'Then why these rules?" 

The soldier gave the profoundly thought 
ful frown of those incapable of thought. 
"I don't know," he said. "Soldiers must 
have rules. Everything must be done by 
rules, so that it will be done just as it 
used to be. We've had the same rules 
oh, hundreds of years. Nothing must be 
changed. What's new is bad, what's old 
is good." 

Grafton trudged on into the wilderness. 
The road gradually swept into another 
road. He saw that it was a circle, a girdle, 

30 



An American Invades 

about a lake which was perhaps four miles 
long and two miles wide, blue as the sky 
and mirroring it to its smallest flake of 
snowy cloud. Opposite him, across the 
width of the lake, towered and spread 
The Castle, with turrets and battlements, 
a vast, irregular mantle of ivy draping 
part of its old gray front. He could see 
terraces and lawns of brilliant green, the 
gaudiness of flower-beds and flowering 
bushes, red and blue and purple and yel 
low. " Where Her Serene Highness lives/' 
he thought. 

He decided to walk as far as The Castle; 
next day he would drive and perhaps pay 
his respects to Baron Zeppstein. He was 
impressed by the loneliness of the park, 
apparently an untouched wilderness ex 
cept the road. The birds were singing. 
Now and then there would be a crash and 



Her Serene Highness 

he would see a deer making off, or a whir 
and a scurrying flapping, and he would 
get a glimpse of some wild bird in panic- 
stricken flight. As he came nearer to The 
Castle the signs of habitation were nu 
merous, but still not a human being. At 
last he was close to the walls, looking up 
at them. 

He could see nothing but the perfect 
order of the shrubbery to indicate that 
any one had been there recently. The 
huge gates solid doors rather than gates 
were closed. The sun was shining, 
the waters of the lake glistened, the foli 
age was fresh and vivid, the soft, strong 
air blew in a gentle breeze. But there 
was a profound hush, as if the grim old 
fortress-palace, and all within and around 
it, had long been locked in a magic sleep. 

A sense of uncanniness was creeping 

32 



An American Invades 

over him in spite of his incredulous Ameri 
can mind. He was startled by a trumpet 
blast which seemed to come from the depth 
of the woods to the left. Standing in the 
middle of the road, he turned. He had 
just time to jump aside. 

Out of the woods, by a cross-road he had 
not noted, swept a gorgeous cavalcade. 
As he looked he felt more strongly than 
ever like a time- wanderer who had been, 
in a twinkling, borne backward several 
centuries. First to pass him at a mad 
gallop were six soldiers on tall black charg 
ers. They and their horses were trapped 
in the blue and white of the Household 
Guards. Corselets and plumed helmets 
and chains clashed and rattled and flashed 
as they flew past. A few yards behind 
them, at the same furious pace, came a 
graceful, long-bodied carriage of strange 
3 33 



Her Serene Hi g h ness 

coloring and design, drawn by eight black 
horses with postilions. On a curious foot 
board at the back of the carriage stood two 
footmen in a mediaeval livery. They were 
hanging on by straps. Behind the car 
riage came six more black-horsed cavalry 
men of the Household Guards. 

As Grafton gaped through the dust 
in the wake of this ancient spectacle it 
halted before The Castle's gates so ab 
ruptly that every horse reared to its 
haunches. But immediately all was quiet, 
motionless. One of the cavalrymen put 
a trumpet to his lips and sent a blast echo 
ing and re-echoing like a peal of fairy 
laughter to and fro over the lake. As 
if there were enchantment in that blast, 
the great weather and battle scarred doors 
of The Castle swung noiselessly back. 
Out came eight men in mediaeval costumes, 

34 



An American Invades 

each bearing a long, slender, brazen trum 
pet. Four went to either side of the en 
trance. They put the trumpets to their 
lips and sounded a fanfare. 

Grafton's expectation was at excite 
ment pitch. What did this gorgeous re 
vival of medievalism presage? what daz 
zling apparition was about to greet his 
ravished eyes? 

Now appeared a man in mediaeval court 
costume, resplendent in velvet and lace 
and silver braid. He was walking back 
ward, bowing low at each step, his velvet, 
beplumed hat in his hand. And then 
the central figure His Royal Highness 
Casimir of Traubenheim, Grand Duke 
of Zweitenbourg, Prince of the Holy Ro 
man Empire, Margrave of Plaut, Prince 
of Wiesser, of Dinn, of Feltenheim, Count 
in Brausch and in Ranau. He was a 

35 



Vp o o q / V D ooo/ V P_P__P dV \p o p of \oj3_ o_g/ Vq o o o / \p DO o/ 

Her Serene Highness 

sallow, cross-looking little man, with thin 
shoulders, legs, and arms, and a great 
paunch of a stomach, dilated and sagged 
from overfeeding. He was dressed in a 
baggy tweed suit and a straight-brimmed 
top -hat. He seated himself in the car 
riage. 

"What an anticlimax!" thought Graf- 
ton. But there was a second and briefer 
flourish of the trumpets, and then appeared 
the Duchess Erica, in a white cloth dress 
and a big white hat and carrying a white 
parasol. Grafton felt like applauding. 
'The spectacle is looking up," he said. 
He was near enough to note that her sweet 
face was discontented, impatient, almost 
sad. She seated herself beside the Grand 
Duke. The mounted trumpeter blew, the 
cavalrymen in front wheeled and struck 
spurs into their horses, the whole proces- 

36 



An American Invades 

sion was instantly whirling away it was 
gone. Graf ton glanced at The Castle doors ; 
they were closed again and the trum 
peters and the courtier had disappeared. 
The dust settled, the magic sleep de 
scended. 

Grafton might have thought himself 
the victim of an illusion had he not seen, 
far away across the lake, a cloud of dust, 
and in front of it the gaudy cavalcade 
and the grand - ducal carriage, the shine 
of blue and silver and polished steel rush 
ing along as if fleeing from a fiend. 
And after a few minutes it came towards 
The Castle again from the other direction. 
The horses were dripping, their coats 
streaked with foam. At the entrance 
there were the same startling halt, the same 
mysterious opening of doors, the same 
stage-like assembling of trumpeters, the 

37 



Her Serene Highness 

same flourishes. The Grand Duke and 
his niece and the attendants disappeared, 
the procession fled into the woods; there 
was silence and ancient repose once more. 

Grafton set out on the return walk, 
trying to force himself to stop thinking 
of Her Serene Highness and to resume 
thinking of her uncle and his Spaniard. 
He had not gone far when a court-officer 
issued from a by-path. He paused to get 
a good look at this romantic figure, and 
presently recognized beneath the enfold- 
ings of finery his commonplace, voluble 
acquaintance of the Paris picture - shop, 
Baron Zeppstein. 

'Why, how d' ye do, Baron Zeppstein!" 
he called out. 

The Baron looked at him superciliously, 
then collapsed into cordiality. "Meester 
Grafton!" he exclaimed. "It is a pleas- 

38 



\ 0.0 .0 O/ 



POOP 



An American Invades 

ure a joyful surprise. I did not know 
you at first/' 

"Nor I you," said Grafton. "I seem to 
be the only modern thing here except the 
old gentleman who took that quiet jog 
around the lake a few minutes ago." 

"His Royal Highness/' corrected the 
Baron, pompously. "He takes a drive 
every afternoon/' 

"A good show/' said Grafton. "But 
I think I'd tire of it. I'd rather look at 
it than be in it. I should say that he 
earned his salary." 

The Baron laughed vaguely. "You 
Americans do not understand our ways," 
he said. 'You are so practical so busy. 
You have no time for tradition and beauty 
and ceremony." 

"No; we're a common lot," said Graf- 
ton. 'We'd think this sort of thing was 

39 



V(^p oof \D o p p / \ P.O D P/ Vp_P P p/ VP a oaf \o ODD/ VD n p pj 

Her Serene Highness 

a joke if it happened outside of a circus. 
But it's a very serious business, isn't it?" 
His face was grave. 

"It is; it is, indeed/' said Zeppstein, 
his shallow old face taking on a look of 
melancholy importance. "But we must 
do our public duty; we must accept the 
cares of high station. And His Royal 
Highness ah, how he suffers ! We others 
have our relaxations we get away to 
our families. But His Royal Highness 
this is his vacation. And, mein Gott, 
he yawns and curses all day long. Yes, 
it is trying to be near the great of earth, 
but not so trying as to be great/' 

"He looks ill-temper ed," said Graf ton, 
sympathetically. 

'But think what he suffers. Imagine! 
Usually he must wear a heavy, tight uni 
form and a steel helmet; he says it has 

40 



An American Invades 

given him the headache almost every day 
for twenty -seven years. But the dignity 
of the nation must be maintained." 

"Yes, indeed," said Grafton. "And 
when is the best time to see him? I'm 
going to call on him." 

Zeppstein looked at the American as if 
he thought him insane. "But, my dear 
sir," he said, deprecatingly, "you don't 
understand. You will have to wait until 
His Royal Highness's vacation is over. 
Then you must go to your minister and 
he will lay your wish before the Grand 
Chamberlain. And if possible your name 
will be placed on the list for one of the 
levees there are five each winter." 

" Oh, I don't want to see the Grand Duke 
in his official capacity; it's a little private 
matter about a picture." 

"But the Grand Duke has no other 



Vpoool Voooof \aoool \p oo a I \o go ol \o no a I \a a a a I 

Her Serene Highness 

capacity. He is head of the state; he is 
the state every hour of every day, except 
when he's abroad. Then he often gra 
ciously condescends to be a mere gentle- 



man/ 



"But I can't wait. You ought to be 
able to arrange it. You've got influence." 

"Yes." Baron Zeppstein was flattered. 
"But, unfortunately, none is permitted to 
speak to His Royal Highness unless he 
has commanded it that is, no one but 
his son, the Inheriting Grand Duke, and 
his niece, the Duchess Erica, and the Grand 
Chamberlain. And I am, just at pres 
ent, at outs with them. Her Serene High 
ness is most intractable one of the new 
school of wild young princesses who are 
cutting loose from everything in these 
degenerate days." 

"She certainly doesn't look tame." 

42 



An American Invades 

"I had the honor of escorting her to 
Paris when I went for His Royal High- 
ness's picture/' Zeppstein continued. "It 
was a painful experience. And instead of 
sustaining me, His Royal Highness but 
it was most humiliating/' 

"Excellent/' said Graf ton. "I can be 
of service to you. I own a Rembrandt 
which I wish to let the Grand Duke have 
at a bargain. I'm certain he'll be most 
anxious to get it once he hears of it. Now, 
if you should be of assistance to him in 
getting it, he would be grateful, wouldn't 
he?" 

Zeppstein became thoughtful. "Not 
grateful," he said. r 'It isn't in His Royal 
Highness to be grateful. But it might 
make him think me useful. What do you 
propose?" 

"I don't know; I can't tell yet. Keep 

43 



Her Serene Highness 

quiet until I've looked over the ground 
and made my plans/' 

"I am at your service/' said Zeppstein. 
" You would weep to hear how the Grand 
Chamberlain and his faction have hu 
miliated me. They make me the butt of 
their jokes at dinner to amuse His Royal 
Highness. They " 

'You shall be revenged/' said Graf ton, 
shaking hands with him and hurrying away. 

From the moment he recognized old 
Zeppstein until he left him he had been 
fighting to restrain himself from leading 
the talk to Erica. He now caught himself 
regretting it. He stopped short. "Ridic 
ulous!" he exclaimed. "What an idiot I 
am to let such ideas into my head. It must 
be in the air here. I'm getting as romantic 
as as as she looks." And he walked 
on, her face and her voice haunting him. 

44 




Ill 

A Skirmish 

&RAFTON learned that the next 
was one of the three weekly 
public days at the Grand 
Duke's galleries. About eleven 
the next morning he went to look at his 
Spaniard and develop his plans for its 
capture. As he neared The Castle he saw 
a gardener at work upon his knees, trim 
ming a bush of big pink and white flowers. 
' Where is the entrance to the galleries?" 
he asked, when he was within a yard of 
the gardener. 

"Sh!" whispered the gardener, looking 
nervously up at the windows. 

45 



Her Serene Highness 

"What is it?" said Graf ton, following 
his glance and seeing nothing. 

"His Royal Highness permits no noise/' 
replied the gardener in an undertone. 
"He hears every sound especially every 
little sound. Only Sunday it was that he 
sent out to have the noise stopped. And 
there was no noise that anybody could 
hear. And when the First Gentleman of 
the Bedchamber reported it to His Royal 
Highness, what do you think His Royal 
Highness said? It was marvellous!" 

"And what did he say?" inquired Graf- 
ton. 

"His Royal Highness said, 'It is the 
sound of the grass and bushes growing. 
Tear them up!' Isn't it wonderful?" 

"Wonderful!" said Grafton. "Why 
aren't they torn up?" 

" All the gentlemen of the court entreated 

46 



A Skirmish 

and at last dissuaded His Royal Highness. 
It was a terrible crisis. Some of the gen 
tlemen were weak from agitation and 
sweating. Yes, His Royal Highness is 
a true prince. Only a true prince could 
hear grass and bushes grow." 

"It's fortunate he's a prince, isn't it?" 
said Graf ton. "Now, if he were an ordi 
nary mortal they'd lock him up in a luna 
tic asylum." 

The gardener gave a frightened look at 
the windows, then almost whispered : " Yes, 
that is so. But princes are different from 
us; they're so sensitive, so high-bred. I 
often think of the things they do here, 
and I say, ' If I were to do that, they'd 
think I was light in the head/ But, of 
course, princes can't be judged like ordi 
nary people." 

"No, indeed," assented Graf ton, "that 

47 



1 ! Ill id fc.l. . d f fc . I J . .11. J fc I.I. I -| 

Her Serene Highness 

would never do. Where is the entrance to 
the galleries?" 

"Take the path to the left until you 
come to the modern wing. The entrance 
is under the balcony; you will see it." 

Grafton followed the gardener's direc 
tions and, climbing the steps, was about 
to open the door. At each side, in the 
same frame, were long, narrow glass win 
dows. At one of these peeping-windows 
he saw the Grand Duke, his mouth dis 
tended in a tremendous yawn. Grafton 
hesitated. The Grand Duke, in an old, 
black frock-suit, opened the door. 

"Good -morning/' said Grafton. "Are 
you the keeper of the galleries. These are 
the Grand Duke's galleries, are they not?" 

"Yes." The Grand Duke beamed. 
"Won't you come in?" 

"I'm an American/' continued Grafton, 

48 



A Skirmish 

"and I'm much interested in pictures. 
I particularly wished to see the Grand 
Duke's Rembrandts." 

"Ah; it will be a pleasure to show you 
through. We like Americans here." He 
spoke in excellent English. 'We once 
had an American at our little court. But 
when her husband died she fled. It was 
too dull for her. But we have to stay 
here." 

'You surprise me/' said Graf ton. "I 
had always heard that the Grand Duke 
was a most interesting, a most unusual 



man." 



Casimir shrugged his shoulders. "He 
is the most bored of all. He does nothing 
but regret his youth. He is old, worn- 
out, a poor creature no strength, no 
stomach, no nothing but memories, and 
a bad temper. And he doesn't get much 
4 49 



Her Serene Highness 

pleasure out of his temper. Of what use 
is a temper when no one dares answer 
back?" 

They had come to Grafton's Spaniard, 
indifferently hung among the fierce-look 
ing Teutonic war-lords in armor. "Evi 
dently he doesn't care especially for it," 
said Grafton to himself. Aloud he said: 
'What a collection of fighters!" 

"No wonder they fought/' replied the 
Grand Duke. 'They were so bored that 
they had to fight to save themselves from 
suicide or lunacy. Any one would make 
war in their position if he dared." 

"But it isn't allowed so much nowa 
days." 

"No; worse luck," growled the Grand 
Duke. 

"Why!" exclaimed Grafton. "There's 
the spurious Velasquez from Acton's col- 

50 



VO DO a I \a GO of \ n op ol \ p op a I \o oo o I \o on a I ^oBaoJ 

A Skirmish 

lection. Surely the Grand Duke wasn't 
caught on that." Graf ton went to the 
proper distance and angle and examined 
his beloved Spaniard with a tranquil 
face and a covetous heart. "It seems 
strange to meet an old acquaintance so 
far from home. If I hadn't been ill when 
Acton sold, I'd have bid on this. It's 
pleasing, very pleasing, though clearly 
not a Velasquez." 

'We got it because it is a portrait of 
one of our house the Duke of Hispania 
Media, who captured Barcelona early in 
the eighteenth century." 

'Was that before or after the Archduke 
Charles took it?" 

"It was the capture sometimes errone 
ously credited to the Archduke Charles. 
He was present, I believe." 

Graf ton laughed good-naturedly. "And 



Her Serene Highness 

in England I suppose they'd say Peterbor 
ough took it he was present, I believe." 

"The English are great liars/' said 
Casimir, sourly. 

'That's what every nation says about 
every other/' said Graf ton. 

The Grand Duke chuckled. "And all 
are right. Now we come to the Rem- 
brandts." 

It was a fine collection, and Grafton 
and the Grand Duke went slowly from 
picture to picture, from drawing to draw 
ing, comparing opinions, telling stories 
of experiences in collecting. When they 
reached the examples of Rembrandt's early 
work, Grafton was enthusiastic. "But/' 
said he, "it is too small; there should 
be more examples." 

"JVue/' Casimir sighed. "It is not so 
satisfactory as we wish." 

52 



A Skirmish 



"Possibly I attach more importance 
to this weak spot/' continued Graf ton, 
"than another would, because I have an 
example of his early work and so am in 
terested in it." 

"What is your example, may I ask?" 
Casimir spoke in a too casual tone. 

"A peasant woman with an astonish 
ingly handsome - ugly face; it's usually 
described as 'The Woman with the Ear 
rings/ because they are very queerly 
shaped/' 

As Grafton thus described the smaller 
and less interesting of his two early Rem- 
brandts, he watched CasirmYs face mir 
rored in the glass over a picture. He 
saw a swift glance, so piercing that 
he would not have believed those burned- 
out eyes capable of it. But when Cas 
imir spoke it was to say, carelessly, "I 

53 



Her Serene Highness 

think I've heard of it a small affair, 
isn't it?" " : 

"I couldn't get more than fifteen or 
twenty thousand marks for it, if I were 
selling it," said Graf ton. If he had not 
seen the swoop of that covetous collector 
glance he would have been discouraged 
and would have begun to talk of his lar 
ger Rembrandt. But he decided to wait. 
Perhaps the smaller Rembrandt would 
alone get him his Spaniard, and possibly 
another picture to boot. 

They went on with their examination. 
Apparently the Grafton Rembrandt had 
passed from the Grand Duke's mind. 
After three-quarters of an hour he said: 
"Now this, I think, antedates your 
'Armorer.' 

The only outward sign of confusion 
Grafton gave was to pause abruptly in 

54 



A Skirmish 

his walk. 'Your 'Armorer'!" that was 
his other and finer Rembrandt. How 
did the Grand Duke know he had it when 
he had not spoken of it? " Fool that 
I am!" he said to himself. "The Grand 
Duke knows his subject, knows where 
the Rembrandts are. Why, he now knows 
my name, I'll wager." He was much 
depressed; he felt that he would not get 
his Spaniard either easily or cheaply. 
'The only advantage I have left is that 
he doesn't know just what I want, though, 
no doubt, he has made up his mind that 
I'm not here for mere sight-seeing." 

As he was thinking he was examining 
the picture to which Casimir had called 
attention. He now said: "No, I think 
not; I'm sure my 'Woman with the Ear 
rings' antedates it." Again the glass 
covering of a picture betrayed Casimir; 

55 



Her Serene Highness 

Graf ton saw a look of relief in his face. 
"He knew he'd made a break/' thought 
Grafton, "and now he hopes I didn't no 
tice it." 

After a few minutes Graf ton said he 
must be going. CasirmYs face was as 
unreadable as his own; no one could 
have suspected from looking at either 
that both were determined to meet again. 
Grafton thanked Casimir heartily and 
turned away. 

" Do you stay long here?" asked Casimir. 

"A day or two, perhaps/' replied Graf- 
ton. "My plans are unsettled." 

' To -morrow is a closed day. But if 
you return, I shall be glad to show you 
the rest of the collection." 

Grafton knew he had scored. ' You are 
very kind/' he said. 

"It is possible that I may be able to 

56 



A Skirmish 



show you through His Royal Highness' s 
apartments. There are several remarkable 
pictures a Leonardo, a few Van Dycks, 
and some interesting moderns/' 
"That would be delightful." 
"Then it is agreed?" 
"If I can arrange it. At what hour?" 
"At ten. I shall expect you." 
"I think I can come. You are most 
courteous." 
"It is a pleasure. Until to-morrow!" 



IV 



Two in the Trees 



% 



c 



DDDD 



of The Castle, Grafton 
looked at his watch; it was 
half-past three. 'That's why 
'the servant poked his head in 
at the door so often," he thought. "We 
were at it more than three hours." He 
strode along in a jubilant frame of mind. 
He felt that the Spaniard was practically 
his; it was a question of detail. And 
Casimir was a worthy antagonist; the 
struggle would be full of interest for 
both. 

He was still a quarter of a mile from 
the park gates when he heard a scream. 

58 



Two in the Trees 

He listened; nearly half a minute of 
silence, and then a lusty-lunged feminine 
call for help. He dashed into the wil 
derness, breaking a path with difficulty 
through the heavy undergrowth. He had 
gone three or four hundred yards, guided 
by the repeated calls, when he heard in 
the same voice, in German: "Come no 
nearer until I explain/' He pressed on; 
there was a ferocious, growling grunt 
and a big wild boar, with open jaws and 
long yellow tusks, came at him. He made 
for a tree and scrambled up into its 
branches. He heard a suppressed laugh; 
his panic-stricken climb could not have 
been other than ludicrous to an on-looker; 
he glanced all round but could see no 
one through the curtain of leaves. 

"Where the devil is she?" he said, in 
English, his voice louder than he thought. 

59 



Her Serene Highness 

"Here," came the reply, also in English; 
"the third tree to your right the lowest 
limb/' ' ^ ' - 

He now saw a pair of laced boots with 
high tops and the edge of a brown cloth 
walking-skirt. 'Those feet look promis 
ing/' he thought, as he watched them 
swinging cheerfully. He crawled farther 
out on the big limb. When he paused again 
he could see her waist; a brown silk sash 
with tasselled ends was wrapped several 
times round it. He could also see one 
of her hands; she had her glove off and 
the hand was as promising as the feet. 
He crawled a little farther. Pausing again, 
he peered out; he was looking into the 
charming, amused face of Her Serene 
Highness! She recognized him instantly. 
She tried to sober her features, but the 
spectacle of this dignified young man on 

60 



y p o o D j VO.Q_O.D/ YD o DO/ \p o o o / \o o o of \o POO/ I o o o of 

Two in the Trees 

all fours craning his neck at her through 
the leaves was too much for her gravity. 
She began to laugh, and, as he instinc 
tively released one hand, took off his hat 
and bowed, she became almost hysterical. 

He swung himself round and found a 
secure sitting from which he could view 
her. She said: "I beg your pardon; 
I'm so" 

"Don't mind me/' he said, good-hu- 
moredly. "It's most becoming to you to 
laugh." 

She straightened her face and elaborate 
ly brought forw r ard a look designed to 
"put him in his place." 

'I prefer the laughter," he said. "Pos 
ing isn't a bit becoming to you not a bit. 
You seem to have the habit of drawing 
me into disagreeable situations and then 
putting on airs. Who invited me down 

61 



I i r i i i i i r i i i f i 

Her Serene Highness 

that passage-way at Paquin's? Who drop 
ped her handkerchief twice in my path 
and suspected me of flirtation? Who sum 
moned me to come and amuse her by be 
ing chased by a wild boar?" 

"But I told you to stop/' she protested, 
feebly. 

"Rather late, wasn't it? I'm not com 
plaining. It's delightful to have the 
chances fate has given me. But I strong 
ly object to your blaming me for fate's 
fault." 

'You are rude," she said, hotly. "You 
are taking an unfair advantage of my 
helpless position." 

"Pray calm yourself," he answered. 
"All I ask of you is ordinary civility or 
silence. I certainly have no desire to 
thrust myself upon you." 

Both were silent and sat watching the 

62 



Two in the Trees 

boar as it ranged frantically from one 
tree to the other, pausing at each to look 
up with an insane gleam in its wicked, 
little, blood -shot eyes. After fifteen min 
utes Grafton moved slowly back tow 
ards the fork of the tree. As he reached 
it and seemed about to descend, she said, 
in a humble tone that made him smile in 
wardly, 'Where are you going, please?" 

"I'm going to make a dash for a rifle 
I see on the ground/' he answered. 

'You mustn't you mustn't. I forbid 
it!" she exclaimed. 

"Have you any suggestion to offer 
as to how we are to escape?" 

"No," she replied, reluctantly, "except 
to call out." 

"And bring somebody else to make 
an amusing spectacle of himself if he 
doesn't happen to get killed. I can't con- 

63 



VAAAA/ 

\Q 00 OJ yo 00 Of 



Her Serene Highness 

gratulate you on your scheme." And he 
continued his descent. 

"Stop; for God's sake, stop!" she called 
out. "I am ashamed of myself. I am 
sufficiently punished." 

"My dear young lady, Tin not punish 
ing you; I'm trying to get myself, and 
incidentally you, out of this mess." 

" Please please come back where I can 
see you; I wish to say something to you." 
It was certainly Erica and not Her Serene 
Highness who was speaking now. 

He obeyed her. When he could see her 
again he said, " Well?" 

" I I want you to say that you forgive 
me," she said, earnestly. "I want to see 
that you forgive me." 

He looked at her in a friendly way. 
" I understand how it is with you. I 
don't in the least blame you. Only, 

64 



Two in the Trees 

in my country, we never permit any one 
to take that tone towards us. And now, 
please, Your Majesty of the Oak Tree, 
may I go for the rifle?" 

"May I say that you mustn't?" she 
asked, a smile in her eyes. 

"I'd like to have a reason." 

"Well, in the first place" she hesi 
tated "it isn't loaded." 

He looked at her searchingly. She 
blushed. 

" Is it your rifle?" he asked. 

"Yes; I always carry it when I walk 
in the woods; there's a chance that some 
thing disagreeable might escape from the 
forest into the park, though the fences are 
strong and high. And to-day when the 
boar came at me " she looked as though 
she felt very foolish "my foot caught 
and I dropped the rifle." 



Her Serene Highness 

"And you don't load it?" 

She looked still more confused. "No, 
I'm not so silly as that. It is loaded/' 
she said. 'You're always making me 
apologize to you." 

" Or is it that I make you feel like apolo 
gizing to yourself?" 

"Perhaps that is it," she admitted. 
"But please don't go down for the rifle." 
She looked at the boar its thin, powerful 
body, its vicious green eyes, its greedy, 
raw mouth how those tusks and those 
pointed hoofs could tear and rip and 
mangle! Then she looked at the hand 
some, calmly courageous young Ameri 
can. "Please," she begged. r 'If any 
thing should go wrong with you, think 
how it would make me suffer, for I got 
you into this danger." 

"I've a better plan," he said. "I might 

66 



Two in the Trees 

climb through on the branches until I was 
directly over the gun. Then you could 
distract the brute's attention by swinging 
your sash just over his nose. I could 
jump and grab the gun; I'd have plenty 
of time to aim and kill him." 

"That sounds very unsafe/' she ob 
jected. 

" At any rate, it will do no harm for me 
to get as near the gun as possible, " he said. 
And he began to crawl along a branch 
in the general direction of the rifle. The 
boar noted the movement and followed 
him underneath, snapping its fangs at 
him, the froth flowing from its ragged 
lips. Erica watched, her eyes wide, her 
face gray with dread. Crash! a branch 
gave way under him. He fell, and so low 
was he before he could stop himself that 
one of his feet, clad in a heavy shoe, kicked 



Her Serene Highness 

the boar in the nose. She, seeing him 
begin to fall, screamed and turned about 
to descend. 

" Stop! Stop!" he exclaimed, as he drew 
himself up into the tree. "I'm all right!" 

She clambered back just as the boar, 
dashing for her, flung itself high up the 
trunk. He looked at her, saw that her 
eyes were closed and that she was trem 
bling. "Are you going to faint?" he ex 
claimed. "Quick, unwind your sash and 
fasten yourself in the tree with it." 

"No," she said. "I sha'n't faint. Oh, 
what a weak, cowardly creature I am!" 

' You?" His look and his tone brought 
the color to her cheeks and a pleased look 
to her eyes. ' You, who were coming down 
when you thought the boar had me? You 
are the bravest girl I ever saw. You can 
be counted on." 

68 



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Two in the Trees 

He remembered the boar and again set 
out along the branches. "I'll be more 
careful/' he called, over his shoulder. 
Soon he was within six feet of the rifle 
and directly above it. 

"Now what will you do?" she said. 
"I don't see that we're any better off." 

"Patience/' he replied. He broke off a 
branch and lowered it towards the ground ; 
it reached. He slowly pushed the rifle tow 
ards the base of the tree. The boar backed 
away and eyed the moving branch sus 
piciously. Grafton had got the rifle against 
the trunk before the boar rushed. He 
flung the branch far out from the tree, 
and the boar leaped into it and trampled 
and tore it, paying no attention to the 
rifle. 

"Will you please unwind your sash," 
said Grafton, "and tease him with it? 



Her Serene Highness 

keep the end just out of reach of his nose. 
While you do that I'll jump down the other 
side of the tree and shoot him." 

She unwound the long brown sash and 
let down one of its tasselled ends. The 
boar rushed it several times, then came to 
a halt under it, prancing round and round, 
jumping into the air, frothing and snap 
ping its tusks. Grafton watched until 
he could see that it was dizzy from rage 
and rapid whirling. 

"Shout!" he called to her. "Shout at 
him and shake the scarf." 

She obeyed. He dropped to the ground, 
snatched the rifle, took quick aim, and 
fired. The boar was leaping into the air. 
When it fell, it fell to its side, dead there 
was not even a quiver. 

"Don't come till I make sure," he called, 
running towards the carcass. Down upon 

70 



Two in the Trees 

it fluttered the brown sash, and then came 
a heavier body Erica herself. 

Grafton put his arms about her and stood 
up, holding her as if she were a child. 
Her long lashes lifted and she looked into 
his eyes with a faint, apologetic smile. 
"Put me down, please/' she murmured. 

" Not just yet," he said. " Don't make an 
effort, and you'll come round more quickly." 

She closed her eyes and relaxed into his 
arms. "How strong he is!" she thought. 
" And how brave ! How glad I am to see 
him again, to find that he's just as I've 
been suspecting he'd be !" At this a little 
color came into her cheeks. 

He, not dreaming what was going on in 
her romantic young mind, was looking 
down at her, trying to keep a very tender 
smile out of his face she looked so like 
a sleeping, spoiled child, with her child's 



Her Serene Highness 

complexion, her short upper lip, her round, 
aggressive little chin. Her skin was so 
fine that he could see the blood pulsing 
through the delicate tracery of the veins 
in her cheek. 

"Now I'll try," she said, after a few 
seconds. He let her feet down, but still 
held her about the shoulders. He led her 
to a fallen tree, and they sat, she leaning 
against him, he holding her firmly in his 
arm. Soon she could sit alone, her elbows 
on her knees, her chin between her hands. 

' You are an American ; so you said at 
-at Paquin's?" 

'Yes; and so are you almost. You 
look and speak and act like an American 



woman. ' 



" I had an American governess. And my 
father's second wife was an American." 
'But/' he went on, "I don't feel like 

72 



Two in the Trees 

an American just now. I feel as if we 
both belonged here in this wilderness 
as if I had known you all the always 
I could remember/' 

She sat up and smiled, dreamily, sym 
pathetically, without looking at him. 'I 
was just thinking/' she said, 'I don't 
even know your name, yet I feel as if 
I knew you as well as I have ever known 
any one/' She sighed. 'I must go/' 

She caught him looking longingly at 
her, and they both blushed and were em 
barrassed. "My name is Graf ton Fred 
erick Graf ton," he said. 

"And mine is Erica." 

"Yes, I know that much Erica what?" 

"That's all, except several other Chris 
tian names." 

r 'But how are you distinguished from 
other Ericas?" 

73 



Her Serene Highness 

'Well, they might call me Erica of 
Zweitenbourg. " 

'Then your name is the same as your 
uncle's?" 

"But that isn't his name, nor mine. 
He's Grand Duke of Zweitenbourg, and 
we're of the younger line the ducal branch. 
Our family is Traubenheim. We came 
here about four hundred years ago." 

'Then your name is Erica Trau 
benheim." 

"No; Erica of Traubenheim." 

" Erica Traubenheimer?" 

"Dear me, no! That's a dreadful 



name.' 



r 'I don't understand," said Grafton. 
" It's as though I should call myself Fred 
erick of Grafton." 

'That is it; only in your country you 
write your names differently. I was talk- 

74 



Two in the Trees 

ing to the American minister about it; 
he explained that you have your noble 
families as we do, only they don't reign, 
but hold aloof from politics, except to 
accept the high appointments of state/' 

Graf ton laughed. " Did he tell you 
that?" 

"Oh! I knew at once that you were 
of a noble family." 

"A noble family of dress-fitters?" 

Erica blushed. 

"My father was a pork-packer," con 
tinued Grafton. "And his father was a 
pork -packer, and before that a farmer, 
and I had an aunt who was crazy on 
genealogy; she found out that we were 
descended from a blacksmith. And my 
mother's grandfather was a carpenter 
when he could get carpentering to do. 
We're all like that in America." 

75 



Her Serene Highness 

"It must be very very queer/' She 
seemed disappointed, depressed. 

"Every country seems queer to every 
other. This country seems queer to me. 
Do you really like it that life at The 
Castle?" 

"Why do you ask?" 

'Well, it seemed to me that if I were 
caught in such a routine having to live 
my life on a plan fixed hundreds of years 
ago never allowed to be my natural hu 
man self it seems to me I'd die of weari 
ness, unless I were imbecile or became so." 

'You wouldn't mind it if you'd been 
educated for it." She thought for a few 
minutes, then said: "Unfortunately, I 
wasn't. My father's second wife per 
suaded him to educate me in the modern 
way. That makes this life almost impos 
sible for me; it seems narrow and unreal, 



Two in the Trees 

and useless. And it's so dull, so deadly 
dull!" 

"Why don't you get out of it break 
away?" 

" A woman is helpless. Besides, I'm not 



sure " 



She rose and put on her Tyrol hat and 
wrapped her brown sash about her waist. 

"I'll walk with you as far as the road," 
he said. "I don't think I could find it 
alone." 

As they went, both silent and she con 
strained, he noted that she watched him 
curiously, as it seemed to him, critically, 
whenever she thought he was not seeing. 
They came to the cross-road and he asked, 
'When am I to see you again?" 

She flushed painfully. "I I'm afraid 
it's impossible." 

He put out his hand. She hesitated, 

77 



Her Serene Highness 

then gave him hers. "Good-bye/' she 
said. 

"No; that wasn't what I meant/' he 
explained, clasping her hand. She made 
a faint effort to draw it away, then let it 
lie in his. "Impossible, you say? Then 
you don't wish to let me see you again?" 

She hung her head. "No; not that. I 
do wish it. But it's impossible I think." 

He dropped her hand. 'Very well/' he 
said. 

They walked slowly on. She felt him 
going going out of her life. She could 
not endure it. She said: "But" she 
colored and kept her eyes down "I 
I walk here nearly every afternoon at 
three o'clock." 

"Isn't that fortunate!" he said. "So 
do I." 

Their faces showed how happy they 

78 



Two in the Trees 

were. They came out of the woods into 
the main road and lingered over the part 
ing. They parted like friends at the be 
ginning of a promising friendship a 
promising man - and - woman friendship. 
He stood looking after her, and as he 
was turning away found her handkerchief 
where she had stood. He picked it up, 
kissed it with a gentle smile of self-mock 
ery, and put it carefully in the breast 
pocket of his coat. "And I thought I 
came here for the Grand Duke's Spaniard !" 
he said. 



V 




A Prince in a Passion 

luncheon the next day the 
Grand Duke was in one of 
his tantrums. He sneered at 
Erica and the ladies of the 
court, he insulted the gentlemen-in-wait- 
ing and the heads of the royal house 
hold, he cursed the servants. As usual, 
he ate enormously ; as usual, his face grew 
redder and redder; as usual, his temper 
rose as the luncheon progressed. At first 
the others made some attempts to start 
and carry a conversation. But finding 
that to speak was to make one's self a tar 
get for sneer and jeer, all became silent. 

80 



A Prince in a Passion 

Erica endured with unprecedented meek 
ness. Her thoughts were far away, and 
she had a feeling about her immediate 
surroundings which she did not attempt 
to explain to herself a feeling that they 
were slowly fading from her real life. 

When he could eat no more, Casimir 
pushed back his chair from the table and 
lighted a cigar. 'Was ever man damned 
to such a life as this!" he snarled. "Sur 
rounded by chuckleheads and numskulls, 
we go through life cracking our jaws with 
yawning. And here you sit or stand, 
mute, smirking, and bowing us on tow- 

* 

ards insanity !" He looked savagely round. 
'Well!" he exclaimed, "has nobody any 
thing to say?" 

All except Erica were trembling. They 
were accustomed to these outbursts; they 
knew that their lives and limbs were safe. 

6 8l 



Her S e rene Highness 

But their sovereign was thundering, and 
it was their duty to fear and tremble. 
Besides, they might lose their places at 
court, might be banished from its glory, 
might be deprived of the honor and the 
happiness of receiving these humiliations 
and insults from exalted rank. 

Choking with rage, Casimir rose and 
stamped from the room. In his cabinet 
he flung himself on a sofa and cursed and 
ground his cigar between his teeth. As 
he had never in his life been curbed, and 
as there was no public opinion to control 
him, no standard of private conduct to 
constrain him, he acted precisely as he 
felt, when he was not posing before the 
people. He despised the people, of course; 
but they paid the taxes, and they paid 
because they believed him a superior being, 
a shepherd without whom they, the lowly 

82 



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A Prince in a Passion 

flock, would be in a miserable plight. He 
was most careful to keep up appearances 
before them, to do nothing that would dis 
courage their loyalty to the throne, their 
tolerance of its tax-gatherers. 

The cause of Casimir's present out 
burst was Grafton's failure to keep his 
appointment. "Has he gone away?" 
thought Casimir. "Or is he playing on 
my notorious craze for Rembrandts?" He 
sent his personal servant to the H6tel de 
T Europe privately to inquire. When he 
learned that Grafton was still there he 
began to fear that he was mistaken in 
thinking he had come to Zweitenbourg 
with a definite purpose. How to reopen 
the negotiation that was the question. 

He sent for Erica. "Read!" he said. 
' ' No ; talk ! Are you glad Aloyse is com 
ing to-night?" This with a sneer. 

83 



Her Serene Highness 

"I had forgotten it," replied Erica, 
calmly. 

"Forgotten it? Forgotten your sweet 
heart? Forgotten ! Haven't you seen this 
morning's Gazette? It's a love-match, the 
Gazette says, ' The handsome and brilliant 
heir to the throne and his beautiful cousin 
have been lovers since childhood.' Casi- 
mir laughed harshly. "Love! And you 
could forget my high-spirited, handsome, 
intellectual heir? Wonderful!" 

"I had an adventure in the park yes 
terday that I've been thinking about ever 
since/' said Erica. And she went on to 
tell the story of the boar, saying as little 
as possible of Grafton, and being careful 
to put that little prudently. 

The Grand Duke was so interested that 
he sat up, forgot his indigestion and his 
boredom and his departed youth. "And 



A Prince in a Passion 

who was this man?" he asked. "He 
must be rewarded/' 

"An American/' replied Erica. "A 
a I think he said his name was Graf 
something yes, Graf ton." She concealed 
her delight at the success of her plan. 

"Grafton!" The Grand Duke leaped to 
his feet and paced the floor excitedly. He 
rang a bell and told the servant to send 
Baron Zeppstein to him, then continued 
his impatient walk and his muttering 
until Zeppstein stood before him, bent 
double in a bow. r ' Baron/' he said, "go 
at once to the Hotel de Y Europe and pre 
sent our compliments to a Mr. Grafton 
who is there, and tell him that we have 
commanded his presence at once. We 
wish to thank him for having saved the 
life of Her Serene Highness/' 

Erica was radiant. She took her uncle's 

85 



Her Serene Highness 

shrivelled hand, courtesied, and kissed it. 
"You are so good/' she said, gratefully. 

"Good? Nonsense! He's one of those 
Americans who pay enormous prices for 
pictures and take them away from us to 
that barbarous republic and they're never 
seen by civilized eyes again. He's got 
two pictures that I want. Your advent 
ure gives me the chance to get hold of 
him." 

Erica went to the door. "Stay here, 
child," said he. "I wish to talk at some 
body. I must give the fellow something 
the Order of the Green Hawk will do." 

"But you give that to hotel - keepers 
when you stay at their hotels and to trades 
men who make you presents of goods 
you like." 

1 It's enough; he won't know the dif 
ference, and he'll be beside himself with 

86 



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A Prince in a Passion 

delight; it takes little to tickle a demo 
crat. But how shall I bring up the sub 
ject of the pictures? that's what I'm con 
sidering/' 

"I don't think it would be tactful to 
speak of them at the first meeting/' said 
Erica. ' You might invite him to dinner, 
or to luncheon to-morrow." 

"That is an idea. He's a well-appear 
ing person and interesting/' 

"Have you seen him?" Erica looked 
the amazement she felt. 

"Talked with him for three hours yes 
terday," replied her uncle. Then he 
laughed. "He'll be surprised when he 
sees that the keeper of the galleries is 
the Grand Duke. I let him think I was 
the keeper." 

Meanwhile Zeppstein had found Graf- 
ton at the Hotel de 1'Europe, dejectedly 



Her Serene Highness 

preparing to leave. When he explained 
his mission, Grafton at first flatly refused. 
"I've changed my mind/' he said. 'I 
wish to get away from here on the next 
train/' 

"But, my dear Mr. Grafton, think of 
the honor His Royal Highness proposes 
in person to thank you! And I don't 
wish to raise false hopes, but I'm con 
fident he will decorate you!" 

"I'm overwhelmed!" said Grafton. 'I 
vshould die of joy; I must not go." 

Zeppstein looked suspicious of mockery, 
then decided that he was mistaken, and 
went on with his pleadings. "His Royal 
Highness can be most gracious. He will 
not make you feel the difference in station/' 

While he talked Grafton was not lis 
tening but reflecting. On impulse he de 
cided to go. "Why not see her again?" 



A Prince in a Passion 

he thought. "I can feel no worse/' His 
mind made up, he pretended reluctantly 
to yield. " I'll waive the etiquette of the 
occasion, I think/' he said. 

"The etiquette? Pardon me; I do not 
follow you." 

"Why, the Grand Duke should have 
called first." 

" My dear Mr. Grafton " 
" Isn't he only a grand duke?" 
" But, may I ask, what are you?" 
Grafton looked cautiously about. "A 
king," he said. "But I don't want it 
known." 

Zeppstein grew nervous. 'You Amer 
icans are great jesters," he murmured. 

" And we're all kings, but we don't use 
the title; it's too common at home and too 
troublesome abroad. However, I'll overlook 
the difference in our rank. Lead on!" 

89 



Her Serene Highness 

On the way Zeppstein gave him de 
tailed instructions in how to behave him 
self. " I shall probably be permitted to con 
duct you only to the door of the cabinet/' 
he said. "You must knock quietly and 
enter at once without waiting for an an 
swer. As soon as you are inside the door, 
draw it shut behind you, but don't turn 
round in doing so. You must be facing 
His Royal Highness and making a bow, 
head on a level with the loins, until he 
speaks. You might have your right hand 
ungloved. His Royal Highness may in 



the circumstances be graciously pleased 
to give you his hand to shake. If he 
should decorate you, you must sink to 
your knees, and when he has put the dec 
oration over your bowed head you must 
kiss his hand place the back of your 
right hand under his palm and kiss re- 

90 



A Prince in a Passion 

spectfully but not lingeringly. Be sure 
your lips are dry. His Royal Highness 
has a horror of being touched by damp 
lips. Be careful what you say; it is 
wisest to answer as briefly as possible 
such questions as His Royal Highness 
may be graciously pleased to ask. And 
don't say 'you' to him, always 'Your 
Royal Highness/ 

" And when I leave do I walk, wriggle, 
or crawl?'' asked Graf ton. 

"Walk backwards," said Zeppstein. 
"Only members of the cabinet wriggle 
in and out on their knees, and they only 
when they're sworn/' 

"No; I think that's too self-respecting," 
replied Graf ton. "I think I'll crawl." 

" But, my dear Mr. Grafton, it is against 
all precedent. We haven't crawled for 
several centuries." 



Her Serene Highness 

" Til revive the fashion. This is a bump 
tious generation; it should be taught hu 
mility." 

"My dear sir, I beg that you will not 
crawl ; you would bring disgrace upon me. 
I should be suspected of having so in 
structed you." 

"To oblige you, I'll try to forego the 
pleasure of treating a sovereign as a sov 
ereign should be treated. But it will be a 
sacrifice." 

When their names were sent up, the 
command came for both together. " Now/' 
whispered Zeppstein, as they stood at the 
door of the cabinet, " don't forget my in 
structions." He knocked and got his hips 
and shoulders ready for his presence-bow. 
"You must enter first," he whispered. 

Grafton walked in. The Grand Duke 
was standing facing the door with Erica 

92 



A Prince in a Passion 

a few feet away to his left. Grafton ad 
vanced towards Erica. " His Royal High 
ness first/' whispered Zeppstein, plucking 
at his sleeve. 

Grafton went on to Erica and put out 
his hand. " How d'ye do?" he said. "I'm 
glad to see you again." But his face was 
sad and his voice lifeless. He turned to 
the Grand Duke. They shook hands, and 
the Grand Duke laughed familiarly. Bar 
on Zeppstein stood aghast. 

"Her Serene Highness has been telling 
me " began the Grand Duke. 

'Yes; Baron Zeppstein here explained 
to me/' interrupted Grafton. "But it was 
nothing; your niece was in no danger " 

Zeppstein had sidled behind him and 
now whispered, "Not 'you/ but 'Your 
Royal Highness, ' not ' your niece, ' but ' Her 
Serene Highness/ and don't interrupt!" 

93 



\o Dnci/ \o OOP/ \o o oof \p _o_g o j VP. p p p_/ YP o P P/ \ Q DO PJ 

Her Serene Highness 

'What's Zeppstein whispering?" asked 
the Grand Duke, sharply. 

" He's very kindly instructing me in eti 
quette, but " here Graf ton hesitated, with 
a twinkle in his eyes " I've been so differ 
ently bred in America that I fear I'm not 
reflecting credit upon him." 

The Grand Duke waved his hand at 
Zeppstein. 'Take yourself off/' he said. 

"I hope you won't send him away/' 
interposed Grafton. "He's to blame for 
me being here. It was his talk in Paris 
about your Rembrandts that made me 



come.' 



"I'm beginning to suspect that you 
knew me yesterday/' said Casimir. 

"I did; but I thought I'd humor your 
desire to be unknown. We could talk 
more freely." 

The Grand Duke took from the table 

94 



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\o on D / 



VMMf VMMJ 

0000 \O OO O I 



A Prince in 



Passion 



the ribbon and medal of the Order of the 
Green Hawk, and held it as if he expected 
Grafton to kneel to receive it. Grafton 
stretched out his hand for it. The Grand 
Duke smiled as he gave it to him, and 
chuckled when Grafton, saying, 'Thank 
you; it is very nice; a great honor; more 
than I deserve, I'm sure/' put it in his 
pocket. Erica turned away to the win 
dow, her shoulders shaking violently. 

After a few minutes' talk, Grafton rose 
to take his leave. Zeppstein frowned at 
him to wait until the Grand Duke rose to 
indicate that the audience was at an end. 
The Grand Duke said, "Won't you lunch 
with us very informally to-morrow, at 
two?" 

'Thank you/' replied Grafton; "but I 
have arranged to go on the night train to 
Ostend." 

95 



Her Serene Highness 

" There is a matter some pictures 
Td much like to talk with you about it." 

Grafton hesitated. His wandering 
glance noted Erica's face and its expres 
sion. 'Thank you/' he said to Casimir, 
"I can easily change my plans/' And to 
himself he said: 'Why not? I may. at 
least, get my Spaniard." 

After leaving "the presence/' Grafton 
extricated himself from Zeppstein as quick 
ly as possible, which was not so quickly as 
he would have liked. He set out alone for 
the walk to town. A quarter of a mile 
along that quiet, beautiful road and he 
saw Erica coming towards him by a side- 
path. 

"I am late in my walk to-day," she 
began, with shy friendliness. 'You are 
going perhaps to-morrow? I may not 
see you." In spite of herself her voice 

96 



A Prince in a Passion 

trembled. "I wish to thank you again, 
to wish you all happiness/' 

They went down the side-path together. 
"I can think of nothing to say/' he said 
at last, in a dreary tone. "I have had 
bad news/' 

She instinctively came nearer and looked 
up at him with quick sympathy. "Is it 
a death some one you loved?" 

"Some one I loved yes/' he replied. 
"But not death worse, I think worse 
for me." 

"Forgive me; I did not mean to intrude 
to hurt you." 

"I am the one to apologize; I ought 
not to have intruded my sorrow. Let me 
speak of your happiness. I read in the 
Gazette this morning that your engage 
ment is about to be announced that you 
are marrying some one you have loved 
7 97 



Her Serene Highness 

since childhood. I wish you happiness. 
I'm glad that you are getting your heart's 
desire." 

She sighed; it sounded very like a sigh 
of relief. She seated herself on a rustic 
bench and he sat beside her. 'You don't 
understand how it is with us," she said, 
after a long pause. "I am marrying my 
cousin. It is not a love-match; we care 
nothing each for the other. That is the 
way everything is with us never for our 
selves, always for the house, for the state." 

"Trash!" he ejaculated, bitterly. "Of 
course I don't understand; there's nothing 
to understand. It's all pretence and lies, 
vain show, theatrical nonsense. We be 
long to the present, not to the childish, 
ignorant past. Now, I suppose I've of 
fended you; I regret it, but " 

"No; I'm not offended. I almost agree 



VAAAA/ \MAAf \MMf \MAV 

\ o o D of Vp_Q_Q_oJ V o o o of \g cTg_g/ VO.D n^pf 

A Prince in a Passion 

with you. Then my surroundings, my 
inheritance are too strong for me/' 

" Suppose you had only a day to live/' 
he burst out. "Suppose you knew that 
you would die at sunset to-morrow wink 
out, vanish, be gone forever, pass away 
utterly. Would you spend your one day 
of life in such fooleries as these?" 
" No, " she replied. " No, indeed ! " 
'Well; you have in reality only one 
day your little span of life in the stretch 
of eternity. You must do the best you 
can with it; you won't get another. You 
must enjoy it ; you will never have a chance 
to enjoy another. You must be happy 
and contented and useful in it; to-morrow 
you vanish. And you tell me you're go 
ing to spend it with a man you don't love, 
spend it in this cold, empty, silly life of 
kissing hands and bowing and strutting, 

99 



VMM 

nnoo 



Her Serene Highness 

of vanity and gilt. What a life what a 
miserable, degrading death-in-life!" 

'You don't understand/' she repeated, 
with a suggestion of haughtiness or at 
tempt at haughtiness. 

' Well, do you? There you sit young, 
beautiful, a woman with love and pas 
sion in her eyes, a woman to be loved, to 
be happy, and to make others happy. And 
you think yourself superior you who pro 
pose to spend your life in a way that 
Td hate to characterize it. Why did God 
give you beauty and brains and a com 
mon-sense education? Why did He bring 
you into the world a queen not a toy 
queen, not a figurehead of a ' house, ' but 
a real, royal queen queen by the true, 
divine right? In order that you should 
act like a slave? That you should be daz 
zled by spangles like a vulgar peasant 

100 



Vp no oj \o o DO/ YO o o PJ ^i o D oj YD o o oj YP_O g_Q/ \ o OOP/ 

A Prince in a Passion 

play all your life with puppets like a 
child be a puppet?" 

' Why do you say these things to me?" 
She looked at him sadly, all the haughti 
ness gone from her face and voice. 

"Because I love you; that is why. 
Because I know it is useless for you to 
deny it that you would like to love me 
if you dared." 

Her bosom rose and fell rapidly. "Is 
it true?" she said, looking at him with a 
thirsty longing in her eyes. "Do you?" 

'What does it matter?" He shrugged 
his shoulders. "I not only love you but 
I would win you, if you had " 

"Had what? Say it!" 

"Courage!" 

Both were silent a long time. He laugh 
ed bitterly, and said: "When I was a 
boy there used to be in one of our school- 

101 



Her Serene Highness 

books the story of a man who went down 
in a shipwreck because he would not give 
up the bag of gold that was strapped to 
him. There was a silly moral; I forget 
it. But how human what he did was! 
How many human beings there are who 
drown their real selves because they won't 
cut away some dead weight of false pride 
or false glory or gold or conventionality " 
He rose abruptly. "Let us go." 

" And I am dragging you down into my 
unhappiness because I won't throw away 
my dead weight/' 

' That is not for you to consider. Your 
own case is quite enough." 

" Yes ; I lack courage, or I am too foolish. " 

"I don't blame you; don't think that 
I do. You'd probably be unhappy after 
you'd given up. I've thought of that. If 
I hadn't, I'd" 

102 



A Prince in a Passion 

"What?" 

"Carry you off." 

"Why don't you?" She stood before 
him, looking eagerly up into his face. " I 
wish to have my mind made up for me." 

"Not I! You must decide for yourself." 
He stood very close to her. "But how 
I love you! Not because you are a Trau- 
benheim instead of only a Traubenheimer ; 
not for the reasons that seem to count 
most with you; but just for the sake of 
your wonderful self that has dazzled me 
into this folly of loving you, dear " 

'Yes; go on," she murmured. 

There was the clatter of many hoofs 
on the main road; they were only a few 
yards from it. A brilliant cavalcade swept 
by; a young man in a gaudy field- mar 
shal's uniform, followed by a dozen officers 
in blue and white, with glittering helmets 

103 



yo D D D/ \oo_o_oJ \o o ooj \o o o P / Vo o o o i / YD on P / \ o o o o/ 

Her Serene Highness 

and cuirasses; after them several com 
panies of the Household Guards. 

"My cousin/' she murmured. 

From the direction of The Castle came 
the booming of cannon and then the strains 
of a military band. Frederick and Erica 
stood, neither looking at the other. He 
began to walk towards the main road and 
she reluctantly followed him. 

"Good-bye/' he said, holding out his 
hand. 

"Good-bye/' she said. "That is 
until to-morrow. You will come here at 
four" 

There was the sound of a horse at a 
gallop and soon round the bend of the 
road swept the young man in the field- 
marshal's uniform. He looked a giant, 
in his tall helmet surmounted by three 
huge white plumes. He reined his horse 

104 



A Prince in a Passion 

near Grafton and Erica, and flung him 
self from the saddle. Grafton saw that 
he was not tall, but short; not broad, but 
narrow that his imposing appearance had 
been due wholly to his uniform. Also 
it was apparent that he was in a fury. 
Leaving the horse, he stalked towards them, 
his sword clanking against his spurs. 
Erica was pale and nervous. If Grafton 
had been looking at her he would have 
seen that she watched her cousin with an 
expression of aversion. 

Aloyse stepped on a loose stone and it 
slipped. His sword swung round and 
caught between his short legs. He tripped, 
toppled, plunged fonvard and, as his hel 
met flew off, his face ploughed into the 
dust. He was lying prostrate at Erica's 
feet. 

Grafton sprang to him and lifted him 

105 



Her Serene Highness 

up and set him on his legs. " I hope you're 
not hurt?" he said, with perfect self-con 
trol. 

Aloyse's hair, mustache, eyes, and 
mouth were full of dust, his uniform was 
coated with it. "Go to the devil!" he 
exclaimed, turning his back on Grafton 
and wiping his face with a handkerchief 
he drew from his sleeve. "Who is this 
person?" he demanded of Erica, in Ger 
man. "And what are you doing here? 
I saw you hiding in the woods as I came 
by." He spoke to her as if she were his 
property, and anger flamed in her cheeks 
and sparkled in her eyes. 

"Try to seem a gentleman," she whis 
pered to him, in German. Then she turned 
to Grafton. "Mr. Grafton," she said, in 
English, " my cousin, the Inheriting Grand 
Duke." \ 

106 



A Prince in a Passion 

Grafton bowed coldly. Aloyse looked 
at him insolently from head to foot. ' Take 
yourself off," he said. 

Grafton's eyes blazed. He put out his 
hand to Erica. " I shall see you at luncheon 
to-morrow." As Erica was about to shake 
hands with him, Aloyse struck his hand up. 

"None of your impertinence. Be off!" 
he said, his weak, blond face ridiculous 
with rage and dust. 

Grafton brought his hand down on 
Aloyse's shoulder and closed his fingers. 
Aloyse shivered, winced, bit his lips till 
the blood came to crush back a howl of 
pain. Grafton set him to one side and re 
leased him. Then he shook hands with 
Erica, lifted his hat, and walked away. 
Aloyse and Erica stood looking after him. 

"I hate him," thought Aloyse. 

" I love him," thought Erica. 
107 



VI 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 



yvwu 

\nnan 



'T ten the next morning there 
was excitement in the hotel 
the Inheriting Grand Duke had 
come, had sent up his card to 
the American gentleman, and the Amer 
ican gentleman, instead of descending, had 
told the servant to "show him up." The 
Inheriting Grand Duke was in top-hat and 
long coat. He was looking insignificant, 
sheepish, and surly. 

When Graf ton's sitting-room door was 
closed behind him, he bowed stiffly and said, 
" At the command of His Royal Highness, 
I have come to apologize to you." 

108 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

Graf ton waved his hand. "Say no 
more about it. I thought your father 
wouldn't approve of such a performance. 
I regret, for your sake, that you didn't 
come on your own account. Is that 
all?" 

"At the command of His Royal High 
ness I say that we shall be pleased to see 
you at luncheon." 

"Tell your father I'll be there." Graf- 
ton looked significantly at the door. 

"On my own account, I say that, after 
you have finished your affair with His 
Royal Highness, I have a matter which 
one of my officers, Prince von Moltzahn, 
will bring to your attention." 

'That sounds interesting." 

" And I may assure His Royal Highness 
that you will be at luncheon?" 

'Yes. Good-morning." 
109 



Her Serene Highness 

Aloyse bowed stiffly, and pompously left 
the room. 

When Grafton reached The Castle it was 
apparent to him that there had been a 
storm, doubtless a quarrel between the 
Grand Duke and his son. 

Luncheon was served in a huge, clam 
mily cool chamber of state. Conversation 
was all but impossible, so elaborate were 
the ceremonies of feeding the Grand Duke. 
Each dish for him was passed from servant 
to servant in ascending order, and then 
from gentleman-in-waiting to gentleman- 
in-waiting in ascending rank until at last 
it was set before His Royal Highness. 
After he had been served, the others were 
served with almost equal elaboration of 
ceremony Aloyse before Erica, and Graf- 
ton, by special courtesy, immediately after 
her, to the irritation of the ladies and gen- 

no 



VAAMf VMAAf 

\o PO a I 



poo o 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

tlemen of the court whose rank in the royal 
household gave them seats at the royal 
luncheon-table. Grafton watched the tedi 
ous ceremonies, marvelling that any one 
would tolerate them day after day and year 
after year. Erica and Aloyse sat gazing 
into their plates and did not speak. The 
Grand Duke fussed and blustered over his 
food, and ate greedily, with much smack 
ing of lips, between mouthf uls asking ques 
tions about America. 

It was half -past three when he rose 
and said to Grafton, "We will smoke in 
my apartment/' Grafton followed him 
through five or six enormous rooms, all 
gaudily decorated, all clammy cool, all 
impossible as human habitations. They 
ascended a stairway down which fifteen 
men might have marched abreast. They 
came to a mezzanine floor, and, dodging 

in 



VQ_P_D_Q/ \p o gof \O_D_O oj \p o o of \o_P_P / VD o o_oj 

Her Serene Highness 

under a low beam, went along a dark pas 
sage-way. It ended in a small, low-ceil- 
inged room plainly furnished, every article 
showing signs of long and hard usage. 
There was much dust and an odor of stuf 
fy staleness, and the heat was intense. 
"Here's where I live/' said the Grand 
Duke, dropping to a ragged old lounge 
with a sigh of pleasure and lighting a 
pipe. " I have to have some place where I 
can be comfortable." The pipe was old 
and strong, the windows were tight shut. 
"I always feel cold after eating/' said the 
Grand Duke. " You don't mind the win 
dows being closed?" 

" Not at all," said Graf ton, in an uncon 
vincing tone. It seemed to him that if 
he stayed there many minutes he would 
faint. "I suppose it is about my Rem- 
brandts that you wished to talk to 

112 



VMW 

Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

me," he began, wishing to hasten the 
end. 

'What you said about them interested 
me greatly/' replied the Grand Duke. "I 
thought possibly we might come to some 
agreement about them if " 

' Well, I was attracted by only one pict 
ure in your collection that you could part 
with the one you bought from Acton 
the spurious Velasquez. I've always 
wanted it in fact, I came here to try to 
get it. But I've almost lost interest in it." 

" It is idle to discuss that. I could not 
think of giving up the picture; it is one of 
my ancestors " 

"That is by no means certain as you 
know." 

"I so regard it," said Casimir. 

" I will exchange the ' Woman with the 
Ear-rings' for it," continued Graf ton. 
8 113 



Her Serene Highness 

"Come, now, Mr. Graf ton. Is that rea 
sonable?" 

"I can get for it double what you paid 
for the Spaniard/' 

"And I will pay you double," said Casi- 
mir. 

"Money would not tempt me. The 
Spaniard or nothing. But I'm not well 
to-day you must excuse me. I can meet 
you at the gallery to-morrow at eleven, 
or you can let me know what you will do." 

Grafton was overwhelmed by the foul 
air of the Grand Duke's " cosey corner " of 
the palace. His plea was the literal truth 
and the Grand Duke could see it in his 
face. He assented to the appointment for 
the following morning, and Grafton hur 
riedly made his escape. 

He felt that within the next few min 
utes he would be at his life-crisis. 

114 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

Another bend of the road and the park 
gates would be in view. And still no 
Erica. He was about to turn back when 
she called him from an obscure side-path. 
As his eyes met hers his heart leaped 
he knew that he had won. 

'They have been following me/' she 
said, in a low tone. " Quick; come with 
me." She darted into the wilderness, he 
close behind her. They wound in and 
out through a tangle of paths which only 
one thoroughly familiar with the park 
would have known as paths. At last 
they came to a fallen tree in a thicket so 
dense that it was barely lighted, although 
sunset was four hours away. 

'We are safe/' she said, her eyes brill 
iant. 

He caught her in his arms. "It seems 
to me that I loved you the instant I saw 



Her Serene Highness 

you. And I shall not give you up. We 
will go away to my country to our coun- 
try." 

'Yes yes/' she said. "You have 
opened a gate I've often looked at, and I 
see beyond it the paradise I've dreamed of. 
And I must follow you. I care only for 
you. I" she had a very wonderful ex 
pression in her eyes "I love you!" 

"I shall see the Grand Duke to-morrow 
morning. I shall tell him. He will " 

'You must try to understand, dear. 
He will never consent. Can't you see how 
he would look at it? And under the law 
he has absolute control of me for five years 
yet until I am twenty-five." 

" But he will release you when he knows 
that you do not love his son, that you are 
determined to marry me." 

"No; there is but one way. We must 

116 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

go across the Swiss border; there I shall 
be free." - - 

"Then the sooner the better. Let us go 
tonight." 

"Yes, to-night. What is that listen! 
No this way come!" 

"It is useless/' called a man's voice 
from the direction in which they started, 
and immediately a young officer appeared. 

"Prince von Moltzahn!" exclaimed 
Erica. She drew herself up haughtily. 
"You are insolent, sir!" 

"Your Serene Highness, I am obeying 
orders." 

"So I've caught you," came in Aloyse's 
voice behind them. He was advancing 
upon Grafton with his sword drawn. His 
eyes looked murder. 

Erica darted between them. "Aloyse! 
Would you attack an unarmed man?" 

117 



VOooo) Ipoopj 10 o oo; \poooj logo ol \a a n n / Ip o o o 

f i \ i ii r I t i \ I i i 

Her Serene Highness 

"Stand aside!" foamed Aloyse. 

She advanced upon him and caught 
his sword. "Give it to me/' she com 
manded. 

"Let go! Let go!" he said, wildly. 
r 'I wish to kill him the scum the ver 
min!" > .' .- Jv;. 

'You wish to make yourself infamous/' 
she replied, still holding the sword. 
"Prince von Moltzahn," she called over 
her shoulder, "either hand your sword 
to Mr. Grafton or help me disarm this 
fool." 

Moltzahn stood uncertainly, murmur 
ing something about "the son of my 
sovereign." 

"Release him, Erica," said Grafton. 
"He dare not attack me. He's had time 
to think." 

Erica tugged at the sword, and Aloyse 

118 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

yielded it with a great show of reluctance. 
" Now what are you going to do?" she said, 
scornfully. " Why are you here? Why are 
you al ways making yourself ridiculous?" 

"You'll see what I'll do. My father 
thought I was mistaken yesterday. He'll 
know better now. Both of you must 
come to The Castle." 

' With the greatest pleasure," said 
Grafton. 

'You go by separate ways/' continued 
Aloyse. "Erica, von Moltzahn will es 
cort you. I have a few soldiers at the 
end of this path; I've kept them out of 
sight, as we want no scandal. After you 
are on the way, we'll escort this person," 
with a contemptuous gesture towards 
Grafton. 

"No," said Erica. "We go together. 
Send your soldiers away, Aloyse." 

119 



Her Serene Highness 

The Inheriting Grand Duke distended 
his chest and began to bluster, but she 
cut him short. "Send them away or 
111 send them away myself/' 

They walked to The Castle together, 
Erica and Graf ton in apparent high spirits, 
Aloyse and Moltzahn silent and sullen. 
They appeared before the Grand Duke 
in his cabinet. 

'What's all this?'' he demanded, glow 
ering. 

"I'm sure I don't know," said Erica, 
gayly. "Mr. Graf ton and I were talking 
in the park, and Aloyse and the Prince 
suddenly appeared; I think Aloyse had 
some soldiers hidden somewhere. And 
they insisted on taking Mr. Grafton and 
me prisoners and bringing us here." 

'You jackass!" shouted the Grand Duke 
at the Inheriting Grand Duke. 

120 



VAAW \AMty 

yo ODD/ \ r] g PPJ Wj p"o p/ V o g op/ Vp^p o of 

Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

"Now wait till you hear me, father/' 
whined the Inheriting Grand Duke. 
"There's something up between Erica 
and this fellow; I know it. He calls her 
Erica, and they were hidden in a thicket, 
and I saw him kiss her." 

"You're stark mad/' said the Grand 
Duke, looking at him disgustedly. ' What 
is the matter, Mr. Graf ton?" 

"The Duchess Erica has explained all 
that either of us knows/' replied Graf ton, 
discreetly. 

Aloyse appealed to Moltzahn. "Am 
I not right? Didn't he call her Erica 
and kiss her? Weren't they hid in a 
thicket?" 

Moltzahn bowed. 'Your Royal High 
ness has given the facts as I can testify." 

Grafton, watching the Grand Duke's 
face closely, saw a change in it which was 

121 



Her Serene Highness 

instantly corrected. 'The old fox/' he 
thought. "He suspects. What will he 
do?" 

Casimir looked at Moltzahn black as a 
thunder-cloud. "Liar!" he roared. "How 
dare you utter such a scandal of Her Serene 
Highness?" Then he turned to Graf ton. 
"A thousand pardons, Mr. Graf ton. We 
trust you will forget this folly. We owe 
you an apology. We feel profoundly hu 
miliated." 

"Pray think no more about it," said 
Grafton. 

'You will pardon us for the brevity 
of our apologies to-day, we beg. Baron 
Zeppstein will escort you to your hotel. 
And we look forward to the pleasure of 
seeing you at the galleries at eleven to 



morrow. ' 



At eleven," said Grafton, bowing to 
122 



\o D DO/ Vo a o g/ Vo o ao I 

Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

Erica as the Grand Duke, taking his arm, 
escorted him to the anteroom. They 
shook hands, the Grand Duke placing 
his left hand cordially, even affectionate 
ly, on Graf ton's shoulder. 

Zeppstein had an abstracted companion 
on the drive, and when Grafton was alone 
he flung himself on the divan in his sitting- 
room and abandoned himself to thoughts 
that gave his face an expression of deep 
discouragement. 

When the Grand Duke returned to his 
cabinet, he withered Moltzahn with a 
furious look. " What!" he snarled. " Still 
here? Be off! You are a loathsome creat 
ure. Don't show yourself at court for 
three months. And if we ever hear that a 
word of this has passed your lips, well strip 
your epaulettes from you before the entire 
army and banish you. Out of our sight!" 

123 



Her Serene Highness 

Moltzahn backed from the room, bowing 
and cringing. When he was gone the 
Grand Duke turned on his son. "And 
now for you, sir ! Apologize to Her Serene 
Highness! Say after me put your heels 
together and bend now say : ' Your Serene 
Highness, I humbly ask pardon for my in 
famous conduct, for my lies, for my in 
sults/" 

The Inheriting Grand Duke repeated 
the words in a choked voice. 

"And," continued the Grand Duke, "if 
you should meet Mr. Grafton again, we 
command you to speak to him as one gen 
tleman to another with whom he is on 
friendly terms. Do you hear?" 

'Yes, Your Royal Highness/' mur 
mured his heir. 

'You will withdraw." 

Erica and the Grand Duke were now 

124 



Her Serene Highness Surrenders 

alone. " I'm sorry, indeed, my dear child, 
that this has happened." He took her 
hand affectionately. 

'You have done all that I expected 
more." Erica was blushing and looked 
extremely guilty. She felt that Aloyse 
and Moltzahn had outrageously insulted 
her, but she did not like this reparation on 
false pretences. "I have much to say to 

you-" 

" Not to - day not to - day, " interrupted 
the Grand Duke. "I am exhausted, my 
dear. Go to your apartments and com 
pose yourself." 



VII 



The Grand Duke Gives Battle 



went to her wing of The 
Castle and sat by a window, 
trying to plan the next move. 
But her brain was so hot and 
her thoughts so rambling that she could 
devise nothing. She rang for her maid. 
An old woman appeared. "I rang for 
Ernestine/' said Erica. 

' Yes, Your Serene Highness. Ernestine 
has been taken suddenly ill and sent me 
in her place. I'm Greta." 

Something in the old woman's face and 
manner roused an uneasiness in her. She 
went to the outer door of her apartment. 

126 



The Grand Duke Gives Battle 

A stupid-looking soldier was on guard 
there, marching stiffly to and fro. 

"What are you doing here?" she de 
manded. 

" I'm on guard/' he answered, in a moun 
tain dialect of German which she could 
hardl} 7 understand. 

She started down the corridor. 

"Come now, lady, don't make trouble. 
I can't let you pass." He put his hand 
on her arm. 

"Don't touch me!" She looked at him 
haughtily. "I am the Duchess Erica." 

1 Yes ; I know you think so, lady ; that's 
your trouble. Now go back quietly do!" 

She returned to her apartment. " Leave 
me," she said to the old woman. 

Greta retired to the anteroom. "Out 
of the apartment!" exclaimed Erica. "I 
do not wish you about." 

127 



VMAA/ 

\p no n / 



Her Serene Highness 

"Pardon, Your Serene Highness, but 
His Royal Highness has commanded me 
not to leave/' 

Erica closed the door of her boudoir. 
She paced the floor. "How helpless I 
am!" she thought. "I cannot move in 
any direction!" 

Early the next morning Grafton went 
to a lawyer Fogel, who is conspicuous 
in the Zweitenbourg Reichstag as a fierce 
anti-monarchist. Grafton professed a stu 
dent's interest in the laws affecting the 
royal prerogative. Fogel was most courte 
ous and obliging. He explained in detail, 
and, when he had ended, Grafton saw that 
legally his affair was hopeless. The Grand 
Duke was absolute over the members of 
his own family and court, except that he 
could not inflict the death penalty, nor 

128 



\AAAAf 

The Grand Duke Gives Battle 

could he detain any one in prison for a 
longer period than six months without 
showing cause before the supreme tribunal 
on application of a relative of the de 
tained person. 

Grafton thanked Fogel and went mourn 
fully back to his hotel. He was expecting 
every moment a message from the Grand 
Duke postponing or breaking his engage 
ment, but at half-past ten no message had 
come. He drove out to The Castle. As he 
passed the northwest wing he looked up; 
there stood Erica. He saw her make a 
gesture as if she were flinging something. 
It struck the road just ahead of his carriage. 
He told the driver to stop, descended, picked 
up a little silver box and with it several 
small stones. He sent the stones sailing 
one at a time out over the lake. He put 
the box in his pocket. 

9 129 



Her Serene Highness 

With the carriage following him, he 
walked round The Castle to the galleries 
and entered. No one was there ; he opened 
the box, drew out a small paper: "I am 
a prisoner; my uncle knows. My maid, 
Ernestine Wundsch, lives in Emperor Fer 
dinand Second Street, No. 643 over the 
bake-shop. I love you; be careful for my 
sake. When I escape I shall go to Schaff- 
hausen." 

He thrust the note into his pocket and 
came out of the alcove into which he had 
withdrawn to make sur^ of not being spied 
upon. Ten minutes passed before the 
Grand Duke came in. " Pardon my tardi 
ness/' he said, politely. Graf ton noted a 
malicious twinkle in his eyes. "I was 
arranging the marriage of my son and my 
niece. The days of romance are not dead. 
After their little misunderstanding yester- 

130 



The Grand Duke Gives Battle 

day, they made it up and how hot young 
blood is ! they were all for marrying at 
once. I hadn't the heart to refuse them. 
But to our little affair/' 

11 I've decided not to part with my Rem- 
brandts," said Graf ton. His head was in 
a whirl. Beneath a fairly composed ex 
terior mad impulses to strangle, to kill, 
to fight his way to her and bear her off 
were raging. 

" Ah ! I regret it. And when do you 
leave us? That devil, von Moltzahn, is a 
dangerous fellow. I'm having my police 
guard you. No; don't thank me. It's 
no trouble, I assure you. You had a 
pleasant little talk on law with Fogel this 
morning; he was most enthusiastic over 
your eagerness to learn; he was talking 
with one of my secret police about it. I'm 
sorry you have decided to leave us so soon 



Her Serene Highness 

tonight, I think you were saying yes 
terday ? And if you change your mind 
about the Rembrandts, you know I'm al 
ways willing to listen to any reasonable 
terms/' 

The Grand Duke bowed him out, but did 
not offer to shake hands. Grafton entered 
his carriage and was driven rapidly away, 
an officer in a plain uniform following 
him. As soon as Grafton saw it, he drew 
the silver box from his pocket, took out 
the note, read it until he had it by heart, 
then put it in his mouth and swallowed 
it. He waited until the road wound close 
to the edge of the lake. He looked back ; 
the officer could not see him. He tossed 
the little box into the lake. 

At the park gates the carriage was 
halted. The officer came up, several others 
appeared from the lodge, including one 

132 



The Grand Duke Gives Battle 

who seemed to be of high rank. They 
were most polite, most apologetic, but they 
took him into the lodge and searched him 
thoroughly. And when he went on to 
town it was in another carriage. 

The proprietor was waiting for him. 
"I regret exceedingly, sir/' he said, in a 
frightened, deprecating voice, r 'but your 
rooms are taken from ten o'clock to-mor 



row/ 



"That will be satisfactory to me/' re 
plied Graf ton. " I shall leave to-night or 
early in the morning." 

"Thank you, Highness." The proprie 
tor bowed low and beamed gratitude and 
relief. 



VIII 




The American is Reinforced 



'RAFTON went into the pub 



lic square, opposite the hotel, 
and walked up and down un- 



>der the trees. Schemes plau 



sible and schemes fantastical crowded his 
brain; the wildest was as practicable as 
the most sensible. He cursed his lack of 
ingenuity. He felt that the intensity of 
his love for Erica was paralyzing thought. 
"In matters about which I care nothing/' 
he said to himself, "I can always think 
of something to do." And now he could 
think of no plan which he did not almost 
instantly dismiss. He could not even 

134 



The American is Reinforced 

devise a scheme for seeing Ernestine. To 
go to her would be fatal, as the secret police 
would go with him, were no doubt watch 
ing her. 

He seated himself on a bench at the 
other end of which was an American tour 
ist. There was a certain sense of com 
panionship, of strength, in the nearness of 
a man from " home " at such a time. He 
noted that his fellow-countryman was a 
youth of the unmistakable American type 
tall, thin, with a narrow, shrewd, frank 
face. The longer he looked at him the 
better he liked him. After perhaps twenty 
minutes the young American rose to go. 

" Please sit again without looking at me 
or seeming to notice me/' said Graf ton, 
not moving his lips. 

The young American involuntarily 
glanced at him, but looked away instant^. 

135 



Her Serene Highness 

He seated himself, yawned, took out his 
cigarette-case, lighted a cigarette, and be 
gan smoking languidly. A newsboy pass 
ed; Graf ton stopped him and bought a 
paper. He rested his elbows on his knees, 
and so held the paper that his face could 
not be seen, yet was apparently not de 
signedly hid. 

"My name is Frederick Graf ton, and 
I'm from Chicago/' he said. "I've fallen 
in love with a girl here, and well, there's 
the devil to pay. I'm being watched; 
her family's got a lot of influence. It is 
vital that I see her maid. She lives at 
No. 643 Emperor Ferdinand Second Street, 
over the bake-shop. Her name is Ernes 
tine Wundsch. Describe me to her and 
tell her to come and sit on the end of this 
bench, or, better, send some one she can 
trust absolutely. Probably she's watched, 

136 



Vg ooo/ \g ojc^g/ Vg J Yp o o q7 yo n p g / \g g o o/ \ o P q_gj 

The American is Reinforced 

so be careful not to go directly there from 
here. Will you help me? On my honor 
there is nothing in this affair which, if 
you knew it, would make you hesitate/' 

Grafton straightened up and could see 
from the corner of his eye that his coun 
tryman was studying his face. "Til risk 
it," said the youth, rising and lounging 
away. 

Soon Grafton began to watch the faces 
of passing women. After nearly an hour 
a working-man came and sat on the other 
end of the bench. Grafton scowled at 
him, but he sat placidly smoking his pipe. 
At last he said: "Ernestine, my sister, 
did not dare come. She sent me by 
the back way. She says nothing can 
be done. I waited to be sure it was you." 

At this moment Grafton saw Moltzahn 
coming towards him. 'Wait," he said to 

137 



Her Serene Highness 

Ernestine's brother. "Don't move until 
Fve spoken to you again/' 

Moltzahn advanced towards him and 
bowed politely, much to Grafton's surprise. 
"I know that you are watched/' he said 
to Graf ton. "As I have something to 
communicate to you, we must seem to meet 
as friendly acquaintances and to be talk 
ing on indifferent subjects. Will you walk 
with me a few minutes, please?" 

There was a thinly veiled contempt 
in Moltzahn's tone which made Grafton 
feel like kicking him. But in the cir 
cumstances he would have been civil to 
Aloyse himself in the hope of laying hold 
of something that would bring him nearer 
Erica. He rose, and they began a slow 
promenade. 

"His Royal Highness, the Inheriting 
Grand Duke, has made me the reluctant 

138 



Vp oo of \ o o D al \p o o g I \ o P a o/ 

The American is Reinforced 

bearer of a challenge to you. I have tried 
to dissuade him, but he is determined to 
punish you for your insults. He waives the 
difference in rank, the fact that he has no 
right to send a challenge to such as you." 

" It will be a great pleasure/' said Graf- 
ton, with grim joy. " I, too, will waive the 
difference of rank the fact that he is 
not a gentleman." 

"It is impossible for me to answer you 
as you deserve " 

"You couldn't say anything that would 
disturb the friendly feeling I have for 
you/' said Graf ton. "You don't know 
how grateful I am to you for bringing 
me this this opportunity. I could al 
most yes, I think I could shake hands 
with you." 

" What weapons?" said Moltzahn. " But 
have you a second?" 

139 



Her Serene Highness 

" I shall have one and I choose pistols/' 

"I suggest that the meeting be at a 
little town on the Swiss border Zoltenau. 
Do you know it?" 

"Yes; I shall be there." 

'The circumstances make it impossible 
to follow the formalities and arrange 
through your second. When can you 
be there?" 

"Whenever you say." 

"Then at three to-morrow morning. 
We shall be on the main road about a 
hundred yards from the last house the 
inn at the eastern end of the village. 
But will you be able to evade the police?" 

"Easily; I shall be there." 

They bowed, Moltzahn went his way, 
Grafton returned to the bench. With his 
face concealed, he said to the working- 
man: "In case I should wish to send 

140 



The American is Reinforced 

a message to Ernestine for her mistress, 
is there an address that would be safe?" 

"Johann Windmuller, 41 Duke Al- 
brecht Street/' he answered. 

"Very well. And if there should be 
any news for me, send a letter or telegram 
to Victor Brandt, care the American Consul, 
Schaffhausen. Can you remember that?" 

"Yes," said the man, and he repeated 
it twice. 

Graf ton sent him away; he felt that 
the police could not have suspected. He 
went to the hotel and in the smoking- 
room, near the entrance, found the Amer 
ican youth. Grafton dropped into a seat 
beside him. "Thank you," he said. 
"May I ask who has done me this great 
service?" 

"My name is Burroughs; I come from 
San Francisco." 

141 



>MW ww 

Vo n DO/ \o p onj \pn n oj Vn n o of 

' * i I i i }. { t" f 



Her Serene Highness 

They discovered that they had many 
acquaintances and a few friends in com 
mon, and both belonged to the same club 
in New York. Burroughs, who was seven 
or eight years younger than Grafton, and 
just out of college, had often heard of him. 

"Is there anything else I can do for 
you?" he asked. 

"Yes," replied Graf ton. "Since I saw 
you I've engaged to fight a duel at three 
to-morrow morning, and I need a second/' 

' ' I'd be pleased if you'd accept me, though 
I've had no experience/' 

" But I warn you that it may be an ugly 
business before it's ended, though I think 
I can arrange to get you out of it. I mean 
to kill my man and his death '11 make a 
row in this part of the world." 

"I'll see you through," said Burroughs. 

Grafton took him to his rooms, and, hav- 

142 



The American is Reinforced 

ing tested him thoroughly, gave him his 
entire confidence. When he had finished 
the story, Burroughs said: "I feel that 
you're going to win out" His eyes were 
sparkling with excitement. "But don't 
kill him; remember, he's her cousin. She 
might balk at marrying you if you'd killed 
her cousin." 

Grafton thought for a few minutes. 
"That gives me an idea that remark of 
yours. We'll talk it over to-night." 

As Zoltenau was about midway between 
the town of Zweitenbourg and Bale a 
score of miles from each they decided to 
evade the Grand Duke's spies by going to 
Bale. Burroughs went on the seven-o'clock 
train to arrange for a doctor and a car 
riage. Grafton, leaving on the nine-o'clock 
express, bought places in the bed-car for 
Venice. At Bale he dropped from the 

143 



Her Serene Highness 

car as the train was passing out at the end 
of the station. His servant went on with 
the baggage, to return by a roundabout 
route to Schaffhausen and there await the 
arrival of Victor Brandt. 



IX 




The Crown Prince is Decorated 

gjffS the road from Zweitenbourg 
to Zoltenau is almost level, 
except the last four miles, 
Aloyse, Moltzahn, and Dr. 
Kirschner did not set out until nearly one 
o'clock. Aloyse and Moltzahn had de 
ceived the doctor; he thought he was 
going to a friend of theirs who had been 
desperately wounded in a duel. Aloyse 
was thus unable to boast of what he was 
about to do to the "American pig-dog." 
As he could think of nothing else, the drive 
passed in silence, broken only by feeble 
attempts on the part of the doctor to im- 

145 



Her Serene Highness 

prove his good fortune of being in such 
distinguished company. They reached the 
inn at a quarter before the hour. As they 
walked up the road the doctor was unde 
ceived by Moltzahn. 

He stopped and fell to weeping and 
wringing his hands with fright. "A duel 
my Crown Prince a principal my God, 
Highness, I shall be ruined ! I refuse to 
go." 

Moltzahn caught him by the arm. " Come 
on, imbecile!" he said, roughly. 'There 
is no turning back now. You will be pro 
tected. But if anything should happen, 
think of my fate." 

Aloyse was a few yards in advance. 
He was strutting along with his chest 
out. He was confident that the "Ameri 
can upstart " would give him little trouble. 
"A physical bully," he said to himself. 

146 



The Crown Prince is Decorated 

" Only a gentleman can be brave in a duel/' 
He turned. "How does the doctor take 
it?" he asked. 

"My Crown Prince I" exclaimed the doc 
tor. "I beg you I implore you " He 
fell on his knees before Aloyse. 

"Get up! Get up!" Aloyse spoke in 
a kindly, condescending tone. It alwa} 7 s 
delighted him to receive ocular proof of 
his superiority; some of his father's re 
marks were most disquieting. "No harm 
shall come to you, my good man." 

The doctor, still weeping and in such 
mental turmoil that he forgot to dust the 
knees of his trousers and the tails of his 
long, black coat, kept pace with Moltzahn. 
Aloyse was whistling and brandishing 
a small cane. His round face, empty of 
all save appetites, was gay it became a 
prince thus to go to the duel. And, in 

147 



Her Serene Highness 

fact, he was not a coward, except before 
his father; and he longed to punish the 
low creature who had dared to lift his eyes 
to a princess of the house of Traubenheim, 
had dared to lay hands in anger upon a 
royal person. 

"I can hardly wait to get at the dog, 
Moltzahn," he said. " I'm afraid he won't 



come/ 



Moltzahn replied, "Yes, Your Royal 
Highness/' absently. The nearer he got 
to the field the gloomier he became. He 
had taken many risks, had done many 
degrading things in furthering the ambi 
tion of his life, to be the man next the 
throne in Zweitenbourg. But this risk 
was a senseless fly straight into the face 
of fate. 

It was almost broad day when Grafton, 
Burroughs, and a doctor from Bale arrived. 

148 



The Crown Prince is Decorated 

They lifted their hats to the first-comers. 
Dr. Kirschner lifted his hat in return ; Molt- 
zahn gave a slight salute to Burroughs. 
Aloyse stared insolently at Grafton and 
made no salutation whatever. 

Grafton turned to Burroughs. "You 
see, Burroughs, what kind of cattle they 
are. I apologize again for bringing you." 

Burroughs was white and nervous. 
" Which one do I deal with?" he asked, in 
an undertone. 

Grafton pointed at Moltzahn. "And 
keep your eyes on him. He's a black 
guard through and through, capable of 
anything." 

Aloyse continued to stare at Grafton, a 
cruel smile on his lips, and the vindictive 
hate of the brainless in his eyes. Grafton 
did not like that smile. "I am taking 
long chances," he muttered, " but I must!" 

149 



UAAAf 

.0000 



Her Serene Highness 

He turned his face towards the north, 
towards Zweitenbourg, and forgot Aloyse. 

Moltzahn and Burroughs found a level 
well back from the road and private. To 
this the party went. The snow on the 
peaks was rosy red, and the birds were 
awakening to full song, and from the 
earth rose the fresh, living gladness of wel 
come to the new day. The lot decided that 
Aloyse should face the south and Grafton 
the north " a good omen/' thought Graf- 
ton, and the look in his face showed how 
far murder was from his heart. 

As they were about to take their places 
he said to Aloyse, "I wish a few words 
with you in private/' 

"Absurd impossible!" interrupted Molt 
zahn. "Such conduct is intolerable!" 

Grafton looked at Aloyse as if Moltzahn 
had not spoken. 

150 



The Crown Prince is Decorated 



Aloyse hesitated. "Don't!" pleaded 
Moltzahn, in a whisper. "He may say 
something that will unsettle your nerves/' 

Aloyse drew himself up haughtily. 
"Stand aside/' he ordered, "all of you. 
The fellow may wish to apologize. If 
so, I may let him off with a sound caning." 

Graf ton went close to him. "It may 
be/' he said, in an even voice, "that you 
will kill me, so I take the precaution of 
speaking beforehand. I could easily kill 
you, because I happen to be a dead shot 
with the pistol. But I shall spare your 
life. I shall only shatter your right hand. 
I do it that you may wear, as long as 
your body holds together, the badge of my 
mercy to you for her sake." 

"How dare you speak of her!" fumed 
Aloyse. "Yes; I shall kill you for your 
insolence to our house." 



Her Serene Highness 

"It amuses me to see you rage/' said 
Graf ton. "It makes me realize what I 
rescued her from/' 

Aloyse was in a paroxysm of anger. 
"My cousin and I will marry the day 
after to-morrow. It is all arranged " 

"All except her consent/' answered 
Graf ton, with a mocking smile. "I love 
her. I know her. I trust her. However 
this may fall out, she will never marry 

you." 

He returned to his place. " I think I've 
put a shake into his hand/' he said to 
Burroughs, in an undertone. "I don't 
mind admitting I tried to, as this is a farce 
so far as I am concerned. I'm not anxious 
to die if I can help it." 

Moltzahn, holding the pistols, was stand 
ing midway between Aloyse and Grafton, 
and a little to one side. He looked from 

152 



The Crown Prince is Decorated 

Graf ton to Aloyse. " Walk towards me," 
he said, "and when you are face to face 
turn your backs each to the other. I 
will hand each of you a pistol. Walk 
towards your places again, and when you 
reach them stand without turning until 
Mr. Burroughs begins to count. At three 
turn and fire at your convenience. Are 
you ready, gentlemen?" 

Aloyse and Grafton bowed. 

"Advance!" 

They walked slowly and steadily, each 
towards the other. Grafton seemed dreamy 
and abstracted, Aloyse's little brown eyes 
were angry and his brows were drawn in 
an exaggerated frown. When they were 
about two feet apart, Moltzahn, standing 
as near to one as to the other, said: 
"Turn!" 

They wheeled, and he handed each a 

153 



Her Serene Highness 

cocked pistol. 'To your places, gentle 
men/' he said. They began the slow re 
turn. Burroughs, his hands trembling, was 
trying to moisten his lips for the giving 
of the signal. The two doctors, all in 
black and with long brown beards, stood 
apart, the Swiss doctor interested but 
calm, the Zweitenbourgian with his knees 
knocking together and his hands sliding 
nervously one over the other. The sun, 
clearing the crest of a ridge, sent an enor 
mous billow of light to burst through the 
mists and flood the dense, dew - showered 
foliage of the western front of the valley. 

"Now, Mr. Burroughs/' said Moltzahn, 
in a low tone. 

"One!" said Burroughs, and his voice 
was thin and shrill; the sound of it made 
him shiver. "Oh, God!" he thought, "I 
may be giving the signal for a murder/' 

154 



The Crown Prince is Decorated 

'Two!" His voice was hoarse. 

"Three!" wrenched itself from his tight 
ening throat in a gasp. He hid his face 
in his arms. ' What have I done? What 
have I done?" he groaned. It seemed an 
eternity; why did they not shoot and 
have it over with? He dropped his arm 
and looked; they had had barely time 
to come round face to face. 

Aloyse fired first by an instant; then 
Grafton. Graf ton stood motionless. Aloyse 
gave an exclamation of pain; his pistol 
dropped to the ground and the blood spurt 
ed over his shattered hand until it was red 
and raining red from every finger. 

Grafton, his feet together, began slowly 
to fall forward, his eyes closing. Bur 
roughs cried out and rushed to him and 
caught him. 

' Where is it?" he whispered. 
155 



Her Serene Highness 

"A mere trifle a scratch on. the arm/' 
whispered Graf ton. "Sh! Be careful!" 
And he closed his eyes and lay motion 
less. 

"Quick, Dr. Berners!" exclaimed Bur 
roughs, starting up wildly from beside his 
friend. "I think he's been killed." 

Berners was already there, was tearing 
open Graf ton's coat, waistcoat, shirt, and 
undershirt. Dr. Kirschner, his face beam 
ing and his hands rubbing, bustled up. 
"His Royal Highness has been gracious 
ly pleased to send me to render what aid 
I can. His Royal Highness's own wound 
is slight " 

"Back to your master!" exclaimed Bur 
roughs, apparently beside himself with rage 
and grief, and standing between Kirschner 
and Graf ton. "My friend is dead shot 
down by that assassin!" 

156 



The Crown Prince is Decorated 

Dr. Kirschner put on the death -bed 
look. " Let us hope not so bad as 
that." : 

"Yes dead/' said Berners, looking 
round at his colleague and shielding Graf- 
ton so that Kirschner could not see his 
chest. "He is shot through the heart." 

Kirschner rushed to Aloyse and Molt- 
zahn. Aloyse was ruefully regarding the 
bandage Kirschner had hastily wrapped 
round his hand before going on Aloyse' s 
magnanimous mission. "I regret to in 
form Your Royal Highness that Mr. Graf- 
ton's wound is most serious." 

" Is that all?" Aloyse scowled. " I aimed 
for his heart." 

Dr. Kirschner lowered his eyes; even 
his humble soul revolted. "Your Royal 
Highness," he said, in a low voice, "Mr. 
Graf ton is dead." 

157 



Her Serene Highness 

"Dead!" Aloyse's lips shrivelled and 
he staggered slightly. 

' Your Royal Highness shot him through 
the heart/' said Moltzahn, in a congratu 
latory tone. 

"Dead!" Aloyse's voice was hoarse. 
"Let us go/' he said. 

"But I must dress Your Royal High- 
ness's wound/' urged Kirschner. 

"In the carriage/' Aloyse answered, 
impatiently. He cast a hasty glance tow 
ards the group on the grass the prostrate 
man, the two kneeling beside him. "Let 
us go/' he said, and led the way. 



X 




The Grand Duke Prepares to 
Celebrate 

N the drive back to Zweiten- 
bourg Aloyse's spirits gradu 
ally rose. He ceased to see 
that group with such pain 
ful distinctness; Moltzahn and presently 
Dr. Kirschner flattered him on his marks 
manship. Pshaw ! it had been a mere coin 
cidence that Grafton had shot him precisely 
as he said he would. He forced himself to 
remember more and more vividly Grafton's 
impudence and impudence to a Trauben- 
heim! And impudence to a Traubenheim 
in an affair of the heart! and that affair 

159 



Her Serene Highness 

one in which the lady was also a Trauben- 
heim. He had but meted out just punish 
ment for an assault upon his own honor, 
the honor of his wife-to-be, the honor of his 
house. 

In the last two or three miles he was 
hilarious, boasting boisterously he had 
had something to drink and nothing to 
eat of his prowess and of how all Trau- 
benheims always thus served the impu 
dent enemies of their house. And Molt- 
zahn, concealing his contempt and disgust, 
and Dr. Kirschner, full of the loyalty of a 
devoted subject, urged him on. He set the 
doctor down at his house and Moltzahn at 
his club Moltzahn did not dare show him 
self at The Castle. Then he drove on with 
a growing appetite. He reached The Cas 
tle at seven o'clock, just in time for his 
regular beakfast with his father. 

1 60 



Grand Duke Prepares to Celebrate 

The Grand Duke was invariably in a 
vile humor in the morning ; he ate so much 
and exercised so little that he slept badly. 
He insisted on his son always breakfasting 
alone with him, and, under the pretence of 
training him for the throne, wreaked his 
ill -humor upon him. Aloyse hurriedly 
changed from the plain clothes in which 
he had fought to an undress uniform, and 
flew to the breakfast - room. He was in 
high spirits; at last he had done some 
thing which his father would applaud. As 
he entered, Casimir looked at him sourly. 
He brought his heels together and saluted. 
Then he advanced, as usual, bent his 
knee, but put his left hand, instead of his 
right, under his father's right hand ex 
tended for him to kiss. 

'What is the matter with your right 
hand?" screamed the Grand Duke. 
161 



Her Serene Highness 

Aloyse jumped and shivered like a guilty 
child and his wits scattered. He held out 
his right hand in its sling, stupidly staring 
at it. 

"Speak and no lies!" 

"In a duel," he stammered. 

The Grand Duke pushed back his chair 
from the table. His look was so frightful 
that terror gave speed to Aloyse's tongue. 
"I challenged the American, father and 
killed him," he said, the last phrase ex 
plosively. "I shot him through the 
heart." 

Casimir brought his chair close to the 
table again, lifted his cup of coffee, and 
drew in several draughts, each with a 
loud, sucking sound. "Eat your break 
fast!" he said, in a sharp but not unkindly 
tone. "You must be hungry; have one 
of my peaches." 

162 



VOD oo; VQ o n aj \gn p oj 

t 1 I" 3 I 1 



WMf 

1 O O 



Grand Duke Prepares to Celebrate 

Casimir's peaches were his especial dish. 
They were grown at great expense under 
his own eye, and no one else was permitted 
to have them. In all his life Aloyse could 
remember only one occasion on which his 
father had offered to share his peaches; 
it was twenty years before, when Aloyse, 
seated in a high-chair at that table, had 
seen the Prime Minister take one at Casi 
mir's request ; the reason, as Aloyse learned 
long afterwards, was that the Prime Minis 
ter had saved the Traubenheims their title 
of " Royal Highness/' which was gravely 
threatened. Though he detested peaches, 
Aloyse ate the peach greedily, swelling 
with pride and importance. 

Prudence bade him say no more of his 
achievement ; but vanity and a loose tongue 
impelled him to seek further flatteries from 
his father. He looked at the old man's sar- 

163 



Her Serene Highness 

donic, yellow face several times before he 
ventured to speak. 

"I ask to be permitted to tell Erica 
myself/' he said. 

His father stopped eating and raised 
his head from his plate. He seemed to 
have concentrated all the acidity of his 
nature in his face. The color rose in 
Aloyse's cheeks and mounted his brow 
until his features were all ablaze and a 
sweat was standing on his forehead. 

'You propose to tell the woman you 
wish to marry, and whose consent you 
must get you propose to tell her that you 
have murdered her lover/' Casimir said 
the words slowly, without accent, quietly. 
Then he put his face down until it was 
again hovering within a few inches of his 
plate. 

There was a long pause, and Casimir 

164 



Grand Duke Prepares to Celebrate 

spoke again. "Every day you remind 
me more and more of your grand-uncle/' 
Aloyse remembered his grand-uncle the 
Grand Duke Wilhelm, a jibbering idiot, 
who sat all day on the floor in a corner 
gnawing his nails and his great whiskers. 

Another long pause, and Casimir spoke 
again. " Go to your apartments, and don't 
leave them until I summon you. And 
never permit a syllable about your duel 
to escape your lips. Deny it ; if necessary, 
swear you know nothing about it. If 
possible, she must never know how he 
died or that he's dead. Be off!" 

Later in the morning Casimir read the 
report of the chief of his secret police on 
Grafton's last hours in Zweitenbourg. 
His secret agents said that Grafton had 
communicated with no one except an 
American tourist an obviously casual 

165 



Her Serene Highness 

acquaintance and talk; that Ernestine 
had not moved from her home over the 
bake-shop in Emperor Ferdinand Second 
Street. And when the chief came to him 
and in great confusion confessed that 
his men had lost Grafton between Zweiten- 
bourg and Venice, the Grand Duke was 
sarcastic but not angry. "Drop the mat 
ter/' he said. 

He sent Baron Zeppstein to inquire how 
Her Serene Highness did, and whether 
she would permit His Royal Highness to 
do himself the honor of waiting upon her, 
As the answer was favorable, Casimir put 
on his most paternal face and went to 
Erica's apartments. She was all fire and 
indignation. 

"First," she said, "I demand that Your 
Royal Highness send away that woman 
and that soldier/' 

166 



\o_o_o_oj Vo o D o J Vp p ojjj U?_P_P_Q/ VP D n oj Vo_P_P_oj Vo a ool 

Grand Duke Prepares to Celebrate 

"Certainly, my child/' And he went to 
the door and himself ordered them away. 
As the woman was leaving he called her 
back. He returned to Erica. "Shall I 
send for your own maid?" he said. ' This 
woman can fetch her. Yes?" And he 
told the woman to bring Ernestine forth 
with. 

f The peril is past/' he said, standing 
beside Erica and laying his hand on her 
shoulder. 'I know what youth and hot 
blood are ; I, too, have dreamed of happiness. 
But our rank means duty ; to you it means 
Aloyse and the future of our ancient house. 
You think I'm harsh, child, but it is the 
kindness of experience." 

Erica looked scorn at him. ' The grand- 
ducal house of Traubenheim/' she said, 
"has the throne. The ducal house has 
the private wealth. Yes, my dear uncle, 

167 



VO_G D of \o p'o p / \ p_o o P / \p o o D/ \jg OOP/ \o OOP/ YD o o_nj 

Her Serene Highness 

you are, indeed, kind to yourself and 
Aloyse. You know none better that 
your son is an ignorant, brutish fool. 
You know that this life here is dull and 
repellent a hell on earth, a mockery of a 
life, a torture-pen of yawning and mean 
ingless routine. Don't flatter my intelli 
gence, my dear uncle, by talking of your 
kindness and my duty/' She started up. 
" And sooner or later I shall go where love 
and life call me/' she exclaimed, passion 
ately. 

A ghost of a sardonic smile flitted over 
the yellow old face at this reference to 
Graf ton. Then he said, sternly, but with 
out harshness: 'We shall send the her 
alds into the town this afternoon to pro 
claim the marriage for Monday. We shall 
announce in the Gazette that the Inherit 
ing Grand Duke is ill, and that, because 

168 



Grand Duke Prepares to Celebrate 

of your great love for him and his for you, 
the marriage has been hastened. And on 
Monday you will be married/' 

The old man spoke with much dignit}^ 
the dignity of one all his life accustomed 
to being implicitly obeyed, of one descended 
from a long line of arbitrary rulers. And 
although Erica denounced and denied his 
command with all the strength of her 
soul, his words sounded to her like clods 
upon a coffin. 

"As I said/' he went on, in a gentler 
voice, " the peril is past. That young ad 
venturer, that young picture dealer from 
across the water" he laughed "his im 
pudence was refreshing! I admire au 
dacity; he almost deserved to win; I'm 
not surprised that you were almost swept 
off your feet. But he will not annoy you 
further. He's gone, my child; he took 

169 



Her Serene Highness 

himself away last night. So, feeling that 
you were no longer in danger of being 
annoyed and humiliated by his imperti 
nences, I have removed the guards/' 

"Then I am free?" 

"It would be well/' said Casimir, with 
faint emphasis, "for you to keep within 
The Castle for the present; of course, you 
must have your walks under proper pro 
tection. " 

He extended his hand for her to kiss 
it. For the first time in her life the act 
seemed not a ceremony but a degrada 
tion. "I begin anew here," she said to 
herself. She pretended not to see his 
hand. He slipped away with his soft, 
sliding shuffle. When he walked in that 
fashion those who knew him feared him. 



XI 




An Overwhelming Defeat 

gftHERE was no time to be lost, 
as it was now noon, Saturday, 
and the wedding was to be on 
Monday. As soon as Ernes 
tine came Erica began to act. 

"You must go back home at once," 
she said to her. 'You have forgotten 
your clothes; that will do as a pretext. 
Send your brother to Schaffhausen on 
the first train. He must see Mr. Brandt 
and tell him to meet me to-night at the 
first cross - road beyond the park gates. 
I shall try to be there at one. If I can 
come at all, it will not be later than three. 

171 



Her Serene Highness 

If he cannot come, he will find me at the 
Hotel Rhein to-morrow, or next day, under 
the name of Madam von Briesen." 

As Ernestine left The Castle a soldier 
joined her, saying: "My orders are to go 
with you and let no one speak to you 
except in my presence." 

Ernestine took this news with a seeming 
of great cheerfulness, and jested with her 
guard all the way to town. Her family 
lived in three rooms, and with a little 
diplomacy she easily delivered her mes 
sage to her brother in the rear room while 
the soldier sat in the front room drinking 
beer with her youngest sister. But she 
did not venture to call at Windmuller's, in 
Duke Albrecht Street. 

When she returned to The Castle the 
preparations for the wedding were going 
forward apace. The central part, where 

172 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

were the principal rooms of state, was open 
at every window and door; tradespeople 
were coming and going; there were sounds 
of hammering, clouds of dust from the 
windows, a press of wagons about the 
doors. The Grand Duke had decided to 
make the wedding a big, public affair, so 
that Erica would feel that it was impossi 
ble to retreat. And he had left it open 
whether the ceremony itself was to be pub 
lic or private. 

At eleven that night Ernestine crept 
softly down the corridor and reconnoitred 
both stairways leading from the apart 
ments of Her Serene Highness to the lower 
floors. At the foot of each was a soldier 
with a huge white rosette on his left arm, 
in honor of the coming gayeties. Erica 
had expected this; she simply wished to 
discover where the enemy lay. She dressed 

173 



Her Serene Highness 

in the uniform of a lieutenant of the House 
hold Guards. When she and Ernestine 
had made it, two years before, she had been 
full of the idea of funning away for several 
days to "see the world" from a man's 
point of view. But her audacity failed 
her that is, she permitted the obstacles to 
seem insurmountable, and she never got 
beyond parading her rooms in it, with 
Ernestine as a critic of her counterfeit of 
a man's figure and walk. The feat she 
now proposed would have been extremely 
difficult, if not impossible, in woman's 
dress. 

She was putting the finishing touches 
to her masculine toilet when Ernestine 
hurried into her dressing-room in a panic. 
Baron Zeppstein was waiting to see her. 
Erica drew off her top - boots and thrust 
her feet into a pair of slippers; she drew 

174 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

on a loose wrapper, tied a white shawl 
about her shoulders, and, letting down her 
hair, appeared before the Baron. 

Zeppstein's old head was almost knock 
ing his swollen knee-joints. "By His 
Royal Highnesses command, Your Serene 
Highness/' he said, humbly, "I come to 
inquire of you in person whether you are 
entirely comfortable. ' ' 

Erica was gracious, bade him sit, asked 
about the preparations for the wedding in 
detail, made several adroit remarks which 
seemed to indicate that she was secretly 
preparing to yield but did not wish to 
gratify the Grand Duke and humiliate 
herself by relieving his suspense. Zepp- 
stein went away convinced, and was able 
to make a convincing report which stood 
the test of Casimir's exhaustive and search 
ing cross-examination. 

175 



Her Serene Highness 

It was now midnight and Ernestine put 
out all lights. She was to go to bed, 
and if any one came and insisted upon 
seeing her mistress, she was to detain him 
as long as possible, and profess ignorance 
and alarm should the flight be discovered. 

Erica advanced down the lofty stone 
passage-way. It was an alternation of 
bands of darkness and bands of moonlight. 
She took the second corridor to the left 
and stole along it until, in the darkness, 
her foot touched the first step of the ascend 
ing stairway. She went up, opened the 
door at the top, and entered. When she 
had bolted this door she breathed more 
freely. 

She went up a second and narrower 
flight of stairs and slipped through a win 
dow to a small balcony. It was in the 
full moonlight, but it looked only upon 

176 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

the roofs and the deserted battlements of 
The Castle. Holding to the ridge of stone 
above her head she stepped to the next 
balcony. From this she was able to go 
out upon the ledge extending along the 
huge tower fifteen or twenty feet above 
the battlements. The ledge was narrow 
and there was no hold for her hands. She 
clung to the wall and sidled slowly along, 
feeling her way with her feet and her body. 
She did not dare open her eyes except 
when she paused. 

At last she came to the place where the 
ledge passed immediately above and very 
close to the pointed roof of the throne-room. 
She stepped down softly and cautiously; 
the roof was steep, and, should she slip, she 
would slide to the edge, where, if she did 
not fall to the battlements, she would cling 

until rescued and returned to captivity. 
12 177 



Her Serene Highness 

She worked herself along the ridge of the 
roof to the great circular skylight which 
divided it into two parts. She glanced 
down through one of the open sections. 
Scores of people were at work decorating 
the throne-room for the wedding. 

"If I fail," she thought, "I shall be 
forced there, perhaps, and it is set for 
to-morrow!" 

The last qualm of nervousness left her. 
She walked the ledge round the skylight 
and crawled out upon the pointed roof 
beyond. She drew herself along it until 
she was above one of the windows pro 
jecting from the slope of the roof. She 
let herself down; she touched the cap of 
the window; she slid slowly along the 
outer edge of its frame until she was able 
to reach round into it. 

It was fastened. Clinging to roof and 

178 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

window - frame she unbuckled her sword, 
and with it broke a pane of glass. She 
listened; not a sound after the echo of 
the crash had died away. Then she 
became conscious that some one else was 
on that roof. 

With heart beating wildly and body 
trembling she peered round the window- 
frame. Far away along the ridge of the 
roof she saw a shape which was unmis 
takably a man's. And as she watched, 
it moved; it was some one coming from 
the eastern end towards her. Had he seen 
her, or had he come after she had slid be 
hind the window - frame? She feared he 
was on his way to intercept her, but she 
did not lose heart. 

She reached through the broken pane 
and unfastened the window and opened 
it. Then, with as little noise and as little 

179 



Her Serene Highness 

exposure of herself as the profound quiet 
and the brightness of the moon permitted, 
she crawled round the projecting frame 
and into the window. She ventured to 
glance out and upward again ; the man 
was creeping along the ridge; he had 
passed the point where he would have 
begun to descend towards her if he had 
seen or heard her; he was moving in the 
direction from which she had come. With 
a long sigh she closed the window. " Two 
minutes later/' she said to herself, "and 
I should have been taken. " 

She was in an empty room, in the attic 
of the extreme eastern end of the central 
part of The Castle. She brushed her uni 
form, straightened her belt and sword, 
set her helmet well forward on her head, 
and sallied forth. She went down the 
stairway, cobwebs clinging to her face 

180 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

and sounds of the movements of disturbed 
creatures bats or birds coming to her 
through the darkness. At the foot of a 
second and long flight of stairs she found 
herself on the landing from which two 
great corridors branched the one to the 
right leading to liberty, the one to the left 
leading to her cousin Aloyse's apart 
ments. 

Some one was coming towards her in 
the corridor to the right; she was com 
pelled to take Aloyse's corridor. The foot 
steps they were cautious footsteps fol 
lowed her. She shrank into a niche and 
stood like a statue. As the man passed 
a window the moonlight revealed him to 
her Prince von Moltzahn. He was disre 
garding her uncle's prohibition and was 
coming to see Aloyse. He opened a door 
so nearly opposite where she stood that she 

181 



Her Serene Highness 

could see into the room could see Aloyse, 
in a dressing-gown, seated at a table on 
which was a tray containing bottles of 
whiskey and soda. 

"Ah! von Moltzahn; you were never 
so welcome. No; leave the door open. 
It's frightful in here. I can't breathe. 
Help yourself to the whiskey." 

"I expected to find you ill/' said Molt 
zahn. "His Royal Highness has given 
out that you have a fever." 

'Yes; and he's shut me up here until 
the wedding. He treats me like a dog. 
But wait until I'm married and get hold 
of some cash. He won't be able to keep 
his feet on my neck then." 

" But why has he shut you in?" 

" I wanted to tell Her Serene Highness 
that I'd killed that American pig." 

Erica heard; but not until the words 

182 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

had repeated themselves again and again 
in her brain did she understand them. 
Her cousin went on: "He was pleased 
when I told him; he gave me one of his 
peaches. But he doesn't want her to 
know about it. He doesn't understand 
women's " 

'W T hat was that?" exclaimed Moltzahn, 
and both leaped to their feet. Aloyse 
rushed to the doorway. 

Erica had sunk straight down to the 
floor, and, as her collapsed body fell over, 
her sword and helmet clashed against 
the stone. Aloyse, looking into the dim 
ness, could see the form of a soldier sug 
gestions of the uniform of the Household 
Guards. He muttered a curse. 

"What is it?" called Moltzahn. 

'The old brute has put a guard over 
me," said Aloyse, turning back, "and 

183 



Her Serene Highness 

the fellow's in a drunken sleep. You'd 
better go." 

Moltzahh fled, with only a glance at 
Erica, and Aloyse closed his door and 
went sullenly to bed. Gradually the cool 
ness of the stone revived her. She sat 
up and remembered. She could not im 
agine, did not try to imagine, how long 
she had lain there or why she had not 
been discovered. A wave of desolation 
swept over her. She had thought she 
loved this man who had come into her 
life so suddenly, who had taken her heart 
by storm, who had opened for her a way 
of escape from a wearisome life which 
marriage to her cousin would have made 
hideous, unendurable. But she did not 
until now realize how much she loved him 
not as her liberator but as her lover. 
"No; he is not dead!" her heart protest- 

184 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

ed. " Aloyse is a liar, a braggart. There 
is some mistake/' 

She dragged herself to her feet. " I will 
go back/' she moaned. "Dead my love 
is dead!" She knew that it was the 
truth; she felt that it was a lie. "But I 
shall go back " 

To what? To be the wife of the man 
she had heard boasting of his murder. 
She became suddenly strong. "Never! 
Never!" And aching with grief, yet hoping 
beside the corpse of hope, she rushed on 
until she was almost in the arms of a 
sentinel. She turned back and dropped 
upon a bench round a corner a few feet 
from him. The big bell of the chapel 
boomed half-past one. She rose and went 
a few steps in the direction of Aloyse's 
room. Hate, a passion for vengeance, 
was bounding through her veins; she 

185 



Her Serene Highness 

would wrench the truth from him, then 
kill him. 

But now there came the sound of sever 
al shots and confused shouts. The sen 
tinel ran, and she turned and followed 
him across one of the huge entrance halls 
out into the open; the cool air from the 
mountains poured upon her, and her heart 
began to revive. She saw a man dart 
from the shadow of The Castle's walls 
to the west, strike down a soldier who 
barred his path, and run zig-zag towards 
the forest. All were rushing in that direc 
tion, and she ran also, but as quickly as 
she could plunged into the deep shadows. 
She made a detour and took a course 
parallel to the road that led to the park 
gates, two miles and a half away. She 
must get to the cross-roads where Ernes 
tine's brother would be waiting to tell 

186 



VAMA/ VAAMf WMf VAAMf VW$f 

m n n p / \p n D n ' \ c o n of Von n r? I i o o o PI 

An Overwhelming Defeat 

her that her lover was dead! But instead 
of enfeebling her the thought carried only 
enough conviction of its truth to inflame 
her desire to get away to fly where she 
would never again see the wretch who had 
desolated her. 

There was some one in the shadow ahead ; 
it must be the escaping robber. But how 
would he how would she pass the senti 
nel at the park gates? The alarm must 
have been signalled from The Castle. She 
was almost exhausted. She could see 
the robber he was between her and the 
one dim gate - lamp over the small side 
gate. He heard her coming and whirled 
about. 

"Come on!" she panted, hoarsely; were 
they not companions in flight? "I'll get 
you through!" 

He followed her as she ran straight for 

187 



Her Serene Highness 

the sentry, who was standing with his gun 
at a challenge. 

"Halt!" said the sentry, loudly. 

"Quick! Quick! Open!" she panted. 
The robber, who had been standing aloof, 
suspicious of her now that he saw her 
uniform, came forward. The sentry also 
noted the uniform and saluted. 'There's 
been a robbery or something at The Cas 
tle " he began. 

"Yes yes," she gasped. "That's it- 
open don't delay us!" 

The sentry stupidly stood aside, and she 
and the robber dashed through the side 
gate and down the dark road abreast. 

"Hi! Come back!" yelled the sentry, 
his slow wits at last collecting in a doubt. 
He sent a shot after them. 

But they ran the faster, getting into 
the deepest shadow. At the second bend 

1 88 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

from the gates she stopped and sank into 
the grass. The robber stopped also. 

"Go on/' she gasped, in a whisper; her 
voice was all but gone. " Don't mind me/' 

"That wouldn't be fair/' he said. At 
the sound of his voice she rose up, flung 
her arms about his neck, and fainted. 

" Well !" ejaculated the man. " What '11 
I do with him?" He held her in his arms, 
looking helplessly about. He tried to lift 
her to his shoulders, but he was too ex 
hausted to bear the additional weight. He 
laid her in the grass and ran on down the 
road. 

She came to in the dampness and cold 
of the long grass. As she sat up a troop 
of cavalry rushed by on its way to the 
town. She began to remember; she had 
got the robber through the gates, and 
then delirium had seized her and she had 



Her Serene Highness 

fancied he was Grafton no, it was not 
delirium; he was Grafton! She under 
stood now; her message had not reached 
him, but he had come on his own plan; it 
was he who passed her on the roof of the 
throne-room; it was he who, seeking her, 
had been discovered, and, making a dash 
for liberty, had given her the chance 
to escape no, it was not delirium. But 
where was he now? She could hear only 
the murmur of the woods. Why had he 
left her after she had flung her arms about 
his neck? 

From far down the road in the direction 
of the town came a rush and roar as of a 
locomotive. She rose to her knees, to her 
feet. It was a racing-automobile. As it 
drew near its pace slackened and its noise 
grew louder. It came to a stop a few feet 
from her and stood shaking and panting. 

190 



An Overwhelming Defeat 

"Somewhere along here/' she heard, 
in Grafton's voice, and he leaped from the 
seat and came into the shadow. "Oh, 
there you are! Why didn't you call out? 
Come, get in here!" And he caught her 
by the arm. " Don't you hear the cavalry 
coming back?" He half lifted, half flung 
her into the seat and leaped in himself. 
'Turn about, Burroughs, and go straight 
for 'em!" 

She tried to speak, but she was dumb, 
limp. The automobile sprang forward and 
was soon going at a tremendous pace; it 
would have been impossible for a voice 
to be heard. She looked ahead; the wind 
was shrieking in her ears; the cavalry 
men had halted in a moonlit stretch of 
the road. 

She could see their pistols lifting. ' They 
are about to fire!" she thought. 

191 



Her Serene Highness 

She flung off her helmet, released her 
hair, and stood up. The moon was shin 
ing full upon her face and upon her long 
hair streaming and gleaming behind her. 
She saw the pistols instantly fall before 
the apparition of "Her Serene Highness/' 
and the horses reined back upon their 
haunches. The automobile rushed past 
them at the speed of an express train and 
fled, unpursued and unpursuable, along 
the military road towards the Swiss border. 

She felt somebody's arms close about 
her and then somebody's kisses on her 
face. 



XII 




The Spaniard is Captured 

T dinner at the Hotel Krone, 
Schaffhausen, that same even 
ing, Grafton told his wife and 
Burroughs the story of the 
Spaniard how it had led him to her. 
She secretly resolved that the Spaniard 
must and should be theirs. In the morn 
ing she wrote her uncle an offer to give 
up -the part of her estates that lay 
in the Grand Duchy in exchange for the 
picture. The acceptance came, prompt 
and polite; Casimir is not the man to 
bite his nails and chatter his teeth at fate. 
And so there was a surprise for Grafton 
when they went to Paris. 

'3 193 



Her Serene Highness 

And this is the true story of how it 
happens that the spurious Velasquez again 
hangs in the Grafton house in Michigan 
Avenue. But it is not in its old place in 
the galleries. It is on the wall beyond the 
foot of Mrs. Graf ton's bed. 



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