Part 3 - But Fred Triddelfitz was not ready yet, for he had constituted himself commander-in-chief of the land-forces,

But Fred Triddelfitz was not ready yet, for he had constituted himself commander-in-chief of the land-forces, and wanted to arrange his army in two lines, one on each side of the road. The first of these lines was formed of the old labourers, the grooms, and the farm-lads. The other of the married women, the maidservants, and the girls who worked on the farm. After a good deal of trouble he partially succeeded in arranging the men to his mind; but it was otherwise with the women; he could not manage them at all. The married women were each armed with one of their little olive-branches, for, as they said, Josy and Harry ought to see all that was going on at such a time; but unfortunately the said olive-branches required so much dancing and talking to, to keep thena quiet, that it spoilt the look of the whole line. The maidservants refused to acknowledge Fred’s authority, and Sophia Degel even went so far as to say that he had better not attempt to order her about, for she would obey no one but Mamselle Möller. As for the light infantry of farm-girls, they were never in the same spot for two minutes at a time! There was no managing them, for they seemed to be under the impression that the enemy was in sight, and that it was their bounden duty to take some dapper young foe prisoner on the spot. Fred Triddelfitz struck the crook-stick he had intended to use as his marshal’s baton on the ground before them, and said that they were not worth all the trouble he was taking with them. He then went to Hawermann and told him: He would have nothing more to do with it, and as the bailiff did not entreat him to persevere, he asked if he might have the use of his horse to ride out, and see whether the young squire and his wife were coming. Hawermann was rather unwilling to allow him to do so, out of regard for his old horse, but Bräsig whispered: „Let him go, Charles, for our preparations will have a much more imposing effect when we get rid of the grey-hound.“
Fred rode off towards Gürlitz; but no sooner was he gone than Bräsig had a new cause of displeasure in the conduct of Strull, the schoolmaster, who now came up followed by all the youthful descendants of the Äsels and Egels who were of an age to go to school, each with his or her hymn-book open. The order which Fred had vainly endeavoured to introduce amongst

*Translator s note. The housekeeper in a large farm in N. Germany is a person of great consequence, and is always called Mamselle.

his forces was effected in a moment with the new-comers, for Master Strull was always accustomed to maintain discipline amongst his scholars. He divided his followers into two parties; one of which was formed of Äsels, for he could count on their singing properly, and the other was composed of Egels, who—as he knew by sad experience—had very peculiar ideas regarding time and tune.
„Bless me, Charles! What does this mean?“ asked Bräsig when he saw the schoolmaster arrive on the scene of action.—“Why, Bräsig, Master Strull wants to pay his respects to the squire along with the rest of us, and I don’t see any reason why the school-children shouldn’t sing what he has taught them as well as they can.“—“Much too ‘clesiastical for the lieutenant, much too ‘clesiastical! Do you happen to have a drum or a trumpet about the place?“—“No,“ laughed Hawermann, „we hav’n’t any instruments of that kind.“— „I’m very sorry to hear it,“ said Bräsig.—“But stop! Christian Däsel come and hold the flag-staff for me, will you? It’s all right, Charles,“ he added as he went away. But if Hawermann had known what he was going to do, he would have made him give up his plan. Bräsig signed to the night-watchman David Däsel to come and speak to him apart, and then asked him if he had brought his instrument with him. David thought for a moment in silence; at last he said: „Here!“ and held up the stick which he like all the other workmen had brought by Fred Triddelfitz’s orders that they might be waved in honour of the lieutenant. „You stupid old dunder-head!“ cried Bräsig impatiently, ‘‘I mean your musical-instrument.“—“Do you mean my horn? It’s at home.“—“Can you blow a tune upon it?“—Yes, David said, he could blow one,—“No man can do more than he is able!“ said Bräsig. „Now go and get your horn and come behind the cattle-shed, and let me hear what it’s like.“