Part 4 - When they were alone in the meeting place appointed by Bräsig, David put the horn to his lips and blew ...

When they were alone in the meeting place appointed by Bräsig, David put the horn to his lips and blew as loud as if he wanted to announce that the cattle-shed was on fire: „The Prussians have taken Paris,“ &c., for he was very musical. ”Stop I“ cried Bräsig, „you must blow gently just now, for I want to surprise Hawermann; but when the lieutenant comes you may do it as loud as ever you like. Now, listen. When the schoolmaster has got through all his ‘clesiastical nonsense, keep your eye on me, and when you see me wave the flag-staff three times, be sure you blaze away.“ —“Very well. Sir; but we must see first of all that the old watch-dog is safely on the chain, for he and I are not quite friends just now, and if he sees me with the horn he’ll be sure to fly upon me.“—“I’ll see to that,“ said Bräsig, and then he went back with Däsel to join the others near the triumphal arch, and when he got there, he resumed his former place as supporter of the flag-staff. They Avere just in time to see Fred Triddelfitz riding up the hill as fast as the old horse could go, when he was near enough for his voice to be heard, he called out: „They’re coming, they’re coming! They’re at Gürlitz now.“
Yes, they were coming. Alick von Rambow and his fair young wife were driving slowly towards their home on that lovely summer-morning. They were in an open carriage, and Alick pointed beyond Gürlitz to the wide green meadows bathed in sunshine and to the shady woods of Pümpelhagen, and said: „Look, dearest Frida, there it is; that is our home.“—These words were few and simple, but they did as well as any others to express the pride and happiness he felt in being able to provide such a beautiful home for his young wife, and she understood his meaning perfectly, and rejoiced in feeling how much he loved her.—She was of a calm gentle nature, and might be likened to a quiet brook flowing peacefully by the hill-side and through a cool shady wood far removed from the busy high-way; but now the bright sunshine had found out its secret course, and shone down upon it, lighting up the flowers and grasses on its banks, and showing the brilliant colouring of the pebbles lying under its still waters like treasures before undreamed of. And so the little brook flowed on, making a sweeter and merrier music than before it had been wakened to new life by the magic wand of the sun.
Her appearance was much as Christian Däsel had described it, but he had not seen her cheeks flush with pleasant excitement as they were now doing, while she looked in the direction in which Alick was pointing; nor had he seen her grey eyes swimming with happy tears as she turned them on her husband.
„Ah!“ she exclaimed, slipping her hand into Alick’s. „How beautiful it is! I never saw such a rich land! Just look at those corn-fields over there!“—“Yes,“ said Alick, who was much pleased with her delight, „the soil here is a great deal richer than in your province.“ It was a pity that he did not stop there, but she had alluded to his pet hobby, farming, so he went on: „But there is much room for improvement in our farming operations; sufficient intelligence has never yet been brought to bear on the subject, and so we don’t make half as much out of the land as we might. Look there at that wheat-field on the other side of the hill! It is part of the Pümpelhagen estate, and I hope, in a couple of years’ time, to have a crop of plants of great mercantile value in that field, and then you’ll see that it will bring me in three times as much money as it does now.“—Then he launched forth on the commercial value of flax, hops, oil producing plants, carraway and anise-seed, with which, in alternate years, he, as a good farmer, would sow clover and esparcet, „to keep his cattle in good condition, and to make manure.“ After that he went on to explain what plants were used for dyes, and told his wife that red was extracted from the madder, blue from woad and yellow from Aveld, and said that he Avas certain to get a good price for crops of that kind. Just as he had reached this point and was riding his hobby much to his own satisfaction, he was startled by a horse passing the carriage at full gallop. It was Fred Triddelfitz who appeared in all the brilliance of a rainbow, and disappeared with the velocity of a falling star.

„What was that?“ cried Frida, and Alick shouted: „Heigh! Heigh!“ But Fred took no notice, for he had to bring the news to the people at the triumphal arch, and had only time as he galloped past Gürlitz manor to call out to Pomuchelskopp whom he saw standing at the gate, that they were coming, and would be at the village in five minutes.—“Come, Mally and Sally, it’s high time for you to come!“ shouted Pomuchelskopp over the garden-hedge, and Mally and Sally threw the bit of worsted work they were doing, down amongst the nettles beside the arbour, put on their Leghorn hats, and took their stand one on each side of their father. Then father Pomuchelskopp said to them; „Don ‘t look round, girls, whatever you do, for we must seem as if we had come out for no other reason than to have a walk this beautiful morning.“