Tekla. A Romance of Love and War - Robert Barr - ebook
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Written in 1893, „Tekla. A Romance of Love and War” is a novel by Robert Barr. Great fun if you like a bit of chivalry and men in tights. Strongly recommended this book for every teenager who wants to discover the exciting world of reading medieval stories and for their parents! Robert Barr (1849-1912) was a British-Canadian short story writer and novelist, who published the first Holmes parody, „The Adventures of Sherlaw Kombs” in 1892. He relocated to London in 1881 where he founded the magazine The Idler in 1892 in collaboration with Jerome K Jerome. In 1895 he retired from its co-editorship and became a prolific novelist. Some of his works include: „In the Midst of Alarms”, a story of the attempted Fenian invasion of Canada in 1866; „A Woman Intervenes”, a story of love, finance, and American journalism and others.

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Contents

CHAPTER I. THE EMPEROR ENTERS TREVES

CHAPTER II. THE ARCHER INTRODUCES HIMSELF

CHAPTER III. LISTENERS HEAR LITTLE GOOD OF THEMSELVES

CHAPTER IV. THE EMPEROR DISAPPEARS

CHAPTER V. LOVE LEADS THE WAY

CHAPTER VI. AN UNWISHED-FOR MARRIAGE DAY

CHAPTER VII. THE FLIGHT OF THE COUNTESS

CHAPTER VIII. THE RAPIER AND THE BROADSWORD

CHAPTER IX. A PALATIAL PRISON

CHAPTER X. THE INTERCEPTED FUGITIVES

CHAPTER XI. IN QUEST OF A WIFE WITH A TROOP OF HORSE

CHAPTER XII. CUPID’S BOW GIVES PLACE TO THE ARCHER’S

CHAPTER XIII. THE BLACK COUNT IS PERSUADED NOT TO HANG HIS EMPEROR

CHAPTER XIV. A RELUCTANT WELCOME

CHAPTER XV. CASTLE THURON MAKES A FULL MEAL

CHAPTER XVI. THE COUNTESS TRIES TO TAME THE BEAR

CHAPTER XVII. THE ENVOY’S DISASTROUS RETURN

CHAPTER XVIII. A TWO-HANDED SWORD TEACHES DEPORTMENT

CHAPTER XIX. A MAN AND A WOMAN MEET BY TORCHLIGHT

CHAPTER XX. A BREAKFAST ON THE TOP OF THE SOUTH TOWER

CHAPTER XXI. AN EXPERIMENT IN DIPLOMACY

CHAPTER XXII. THE FIRST ATTACK ON CASTLE THURON

CHAPTER XXIII. THE TWO ARCHBISHOPS FALL OUT

CHAPTER XXIV. COUNT BERTRICH EXPLAINS HIS FAILURE

CHAPTER XXV. THE SECOND ASSAULT ON THE CASTLE

CHAPTER XXVI. AN ILLUMINATED NIGHT ATTACK ON THURON

CHAPTER XXVII. THE TWO YEARS’ SIEGE BEGINS

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE SECOND ARCHER ANNOUNCES HIMSELF

CHAPTER XXIX. CONRAD VENTURES HIS LIFE FOR HIS LOVE

CHAPTER XXX. THE STRUGGLE IN THE DARK

CHAPTER XXXI. BRAVE NEWS OF THE EMPEROR

CHAPTER XXXII. “FOR YOUR LOVE I WOULD DEFY FATE.”

CHAPTER XXXIII. A GRIM INTERRUPTION TO A LOVER’S MEETING

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE BLACK COUNT’S DEFIANCE

CHAPTER XXXV. THE NIGHT ESCAPE OF THE EMPEROR

CHAPTER XXXVI. THE FIVE BILLETLESS ARROWS

CHAPTER XXXVII. THE TRAITOR AND HIS PRICE

CHAPTER XXXVIII. THE INCOGNITO FALLS

CHAPTER XXXIX. THE EMPEROR AT THE HEAD OF HIS ARMY

CHAPTER XL. THE ARCHBISHOPS ENVIRONED WITH A RING OF IRON

CHAPTER XLI. “WHY HAVE YOU DARED TO LEVY WAR?”

CHAPTER XLII. TEKLA REPLENISHES HER WARDROBE

CHAPTER XLIII. THE COUNTESS AND THE EMPEROR

CHAPTER I. THE EMPEROR ENTERS TREVES

The Romans had long since departed, but their handiwork remained–a thin line laid like a whiplash across the broad country–a road. It extended north-westward from Frankfort and passed, as straight as might be, through the almost trackless forest that lay to the south of Moselle; for the great highway-builders had little patience with time-consuming curves; thus the road ranged over hill and down dale without shirking whatever came before it. Nearing the western terminus, it passed along high lands, through a level unbroken forest. A wayfarer, after travelling many monotonous leagues, came suddenly to an opening in the timber, and found himself on the brow of a hill, confronted with a scene amazing in extent, well calculated to arrest his progress and cause him to regard with admiration, the wide spread landscape beneath and beyond. The scene was the more startling that it burst unexpectedly on the view, after miles of trees that seemed innumerable, hemming in, with their unvarying cloak of green, the outlook of the traveller.

At the brow of the hill there had paused two men, excellently mounted, who now, with slackened rein, allowed their evidently exhausted horses to stand, while they gazed upon this prospect. The younger man was slightly in advance of his comrade, and sat easily on his horse, with hand on hip; while the other, an arm extended, was pointing to the city lying far below. The age of the former might have been anything between twenty-five and thirty-five: he was, in truth, twenty-eight years old at the time he first came within sight of this western city. He wore the dress of a young gallant of that period, with a light rapier by his side, but was otherwise unarmed. His costume indicated no special distinction, and would not have prepared a listener for the manner in which his fellow-traveller addressed him.

“That, your Majesty,” he said, “is the ancient town of Treves.”

The young Emperor turned his eyes from the city to his companion.

“It may be well to remember, Siegfried,” he said, speaking slowly, “that his Majesty is now far from here on his way to the Holy Land, and that he who has, for the first time, looked upon Treves, is plain Rodolph the traveller, abroad to see something of the land the Emperor is supposed to rule, and which his loyal subjects, the Archbishops of Treves and Cologne, intend to rule for him.”

Siegfried bowed low and said, “I will remember,” checking himself barely in time from repeating again the title of his listener.

“A trifle less deference, I beg of you, Siegfried. An erect head and a tongue not too civil may make my way easier in the fair city of Treves. Where flows the Moselle?”

“Between that cliff and the city. You may see it yonder to the right, below the town, and again along the plain in the distance above it.”

“Is that the Archbishop’s palace in the wall?”

“No, it is the Black Gate of the Romans. The palace of the Archbishop lies to the south by the Roman Basilica yonder. The cathedral whose spire you see, stands midway between the Porta Nigra and the palace.”

“Think you we may be questioned narrowly when we enter?”

“Oh, no. Many come because of the Archbishop’s Court, which is said to outshine the Emperor’s at Frankfort.”

“Ah, that is better, Siegfried. Now is the Emperor indeed well on his way to meet the infidel Saracen when we talk freely of him in his absence. Shall we then pass unchallenged through the gate?”

“Without doubt. There is also much traffic of trade between Frankfort and Treves, and interchange of visitors.”

“We met but few on the road, Siegfried.”

“True. The traffic is mainly by the river. Merchants frequent the boats going down, but many traverse the road from Frankfort. Had we been journeying eastward we should have met more travellers.”

“That sounds like a riddle, Siegfried. There must be a glut of Frankfort horses in Treves, if all their riders return by boat.”

“The horses go by boat as well to Coblentz, then are ridden along the Rhine to Frankfort.”

“Ah, that is the solution, is it? Well, let us get on to Treves, and try our fortune at cozening the guards if we are questioned.”

Downward rode the two, toward the ancient city, the horses refreshed by the halt at the top of the hill. The great cliff by the side of the unseen Moselle seemed to rise higher and higher into the sky as they descended, until it stood like a huge rampart over the walled town. Reaching level ground again, the riders took a westerly direction, bending their course so that they might enter the city by the northern gate. As they approached, it became evident that a throng was gathered on each side of the port, the way in the centre being kept clear by mounted soldiery.

“You are versed in the manners of Treves,” said the Emperor, “knowing all of note within its walls–what think you then is going forward at the gate? Is it well for us to attempt entrance now, or are we more likely to pass unnoticed in the press?”

“It is probable that the Archbishop and his train are about to pass outward to his villa or water palace, as some call it. He travels in state, and there are always many onlookers.”

“Where is his water palace?”

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