to her mistress. She confessed all the events concerning herself and the princess.
"What!" said Krimpser with the greatest surprise, "your mistress is Adelaide of Brunswick, Princess of Saxony?"
"Yes, sir. I certify that this is true."
"Take this woman to her cell," said the brigand, "and in two hours I will send for her. In the meantime, bring her mistress here immediately."
The orders were obeyed at once and in a few minutes Adelaide was brought to Krimpser.
"Milady," said the bandit, "please take a seat and listen to me attentively. The person who accompanies you has just assured me that you are the Princess of Saxony."
"I blame her indiscretion."
"And I, Madam, thank her for it. The most ferocious animal that we know spared the life, in the arenas of Rome, of the man who had helped him. I will not be more cruel than the lion and I will not send to her death the daughter of the prince who has saved my life. When I was still young I had just committed a crime in Brunswick, but your august father, in whose guards I had the honor of serving, pardoned me on the promise which I made of living a better life. I did not keep my word, as you see, but the gratitude which his goodness lighted in my heart has never died out. I am happy to have this occasion to display it. You may go free, Madam, and I hope that one day you will tell your father what happened to you; that is the only thanks I expect from you. Here are the papers and money which the person who accompanied you had on her person. My men will escort both of you to Venetian Territory. I have good reason to tell you not to take any other route. With respect to the Baron Dourlach, it is impossible for me to give him back to you. You see, I need to have him as a hostage to use as a bargaining point with the margrave."
"But, sir," said Adelaide, "it is sending him to certain death to send him back to his master."
"Don't worry about that," said the chief of the bandits, "I will answer for his life."