Monday, October 25, 2010

He's Over The Border And Away...

It had taken three weeks for the Markgraaf to put the Freicorps into something resembling fighting trim. Replacing the unfit, re-equipping, resupplying, and repairing, had seemed to take forever, but to rush off without taking care of these, would have doomed the expedition before it started, but now the long awaited day had arrived, and the Markgraaf was eager to be off. The enforced delay had generated other benefits as well. His first instinct had been to march up the road with his entire army to Frankfort-Am-Main, confront the Grand Duke, with a drawn sword at his throat, and the growled greeting, "Hello Stanken. Where's my wife?", but such fantasies had cooled with the passage of time. As his father, John Henry, had said, "You catch more flies with honey, than you can with vinegar."

So the Markgraaf had decided on a two pronged approach. The diplomatic effort, spearheaded by Chancellor Weisenheimer, would continue to apply what pressure they could on the Frankfurter government, while Schreiber's Freicorps would go fishing in the murky waters and see what would rise to the bait.

The troop of Pilfering Frei-Hussars that had served with Von Mack during the "Affair Of The Runaway Duchess" were summoned. They would scout the countryside ahead of the Freicorps, discreetly seeking news of the missing Raubenstadt nobles and their escort. It was determined that to mislead any unfriendly observers, that it would be best to take an indirect approach. The Freicorps would cross the Rhine to the East, go North for a couple of days, recross the the Rhine, and enter Frankfurt from the North.

Long days in the saddle, plain camp food, and saber drills had started to melt away the years of easy living in the Palace from the Markgraaf. "The Old Man" might not be as quick with sword as some, but he had deep reserves of determination. He would let his opponent exhaust himself against his defense, then dispatch him with a workman like thrust.

The Markgraaf of Raubenstadt was on the march.