Part 2 - Every one at Pümpelhagen was busy weaving garlands, and setting up a triumphal arch across the avenue.

Every one at Pümpelhagen was busy weaving garlands, and setting up a triumphal arch across the avenue. Next morning Hawermann saw the last touches put to the arch, to which Mary Möller added a bunch of flowers here, and a bit of green there, as it seemed to be required, and Fred Triddelfitz fluttered about amongst the village-lads and lasses as a sort of volunteer-assistant, in all the grandeur of his green hunting-coat, white leather breeches, long boots with yellow tops, and blood-red neck-tie. While they were employed in this manner, uncle Bräsig joined them in his very best suit of clothes. He wore pale blue summer-trousers, and a brown coat which he must have bought in the year one. It was a very good fit at the back, and was so long in the tails that it nearly reached the middle of his calf, but it showed rather too great an expanse of yellow pique waistcoat in front. As the coat was the same colour as the bark of a tree, he might be likened to a tree that had been struck by lightning, and which showed a broad stripe of yellow wood in front where the bark had been torn away. He also wore a black hat about three quarters of a yard high. „Good morning, Charles. How are you getting on? Aha! I see that the erection is nearly finished. It looks very nice, Charles—but still, I think that the arch might have been a little bit higher, and you might have had a couple of towers, one on the right hand and the other on the left. I once saw that done at Giistrow in the time of old Frederic Francis, when he came back in triumph! But where’s the banner?“—“There’s none,“ said Hawermann, „we hav’n’t one.“—“Do try to remember where we can get one, Charles. You can’t possibly do without a flag of some kind. The lieutenant was in the army, and so he must have a flag flying in his honour. Möller,“ he called without turning round, „just fetch me two servant’s sheets and sew them together lengthwise; Christian Päsel, bring me a smooth straight pole, and you, Triddelfitz, get me the brush you use for marking the sacks, and a bottle of ink.“—“Bless me! Zachariah. What on earth are you going to do?“ asked Hawermann, shaking his head.—“Charles,“ said Bräsig, „it’s a great mercy that the lieutenant was in the Prussian army, for if he had been in a Mecklenburg regiment wo should never have managed to get the right colours. Now it’s quite easy to rig up a Prussian flag. Black ink and white sheets! we want nothing more.“—Hawermann at first thought of dissuading his friend from making the flag, but on second thoughts he let him go on unchecked, for, thought he, the young squire will see that he meant it kindly.
So Bräsig set to work, and painted a great „vivat!!!“ on the sheets. „Hold tight!“ he shouted to Mary Möller and Fred Triddelfitz who were helping him, „I want to get ‘Lieutenant and Mrs. Lieutenant’ properly written on the banner.“—He had decided, after much thought, on putting „Lieutenant and Mrs. Lieutenant“ after the „vivat“, instead of „A. von Rambow and F. von Satrop“ as he had at first intended, for von Rambow and von Satrop are merely the names of two noble families, and he had all his life had a great deal to do with people of that kind, while he had never yet known a lieutenant, and therefore thought the title a very distinguished one.
When the flag was finished he trotted across the court with it, and stuck it up on the highest step of the manor-house, and then hastened down stairs again to see how it looked from below. After that, he tried hanging it out at the granary-window, and again from the loft above the stable where the sheep were wintered; but none of these places met with his approval. „It won’t do at all, Charles,“ he said at last; but after a long pause he added: „I have it now!“ and pointing at the arch he continued, „That’s the very place for it.“—“Ah, but,“ said Hawermann, „don’t you see that if you put it there, it’ll hide our arch completely. The great poplar over there prevents any wind getting at your banner, and so it’s hanging to the pole like an immense icicle that hasn’t melted since last winter.“— „I’ll soon put that right, Charles,“ cried Bräsig, pulling a quantity of twine out of his pocket, and tying one bit to the upper and another bit to the lower end of his banner. „Gustavus Kegel,“ he called to the boy who fed the pigs, „are you a good climber?“—“Yes, Sir,“ answered Gustavus,—“Very well then, my dear pig’s Marcary,“ said Bräsig, laughing heartily at his own joke, and all the grooms, and farm-lads, and lasses laughed because he did, „take the ends of these strings, climb the poplar with them, and then draw tight.“—Gustavus did as he was desired, and drew the banner as tight and firm as if he had been setting a main-sail in preparation for Pümpelhagen leaving her moorings and sailing away. Bräsig meanwhile stood by the pole or mast like a captain during a sea-fight, and looked as if he were commanding the whole ship’s company: „He may come now as soon as he likes, Charles. I’m quite ready for him.“