Friedrich was not surprised when after a week of training dispatches arrived ordering his unit to Welle to be deployed on the southern border with Pommaine. The real surprise was that he would be under the command of Colonel Von Barner. The mobilisation plans were rapidly put into operation and by the next morning the squadron was ready to march.
It seemed that most of the nobility of Sonnenbad had decided to avoid taking the waters that morning and instead turned out to give them a good send off. Various young ladies rushed forward to make last remarks to assorted volunteers. Seeing that the baggage was assembled Friedrich turned to Mariusz Kulenovich his trumpeter and ordered him to sound the advance. The squadron then progressed in good order out of Sonnenbad across the river and up the long hill leading on the beginning of the road to Welle.
Maruisz beamed, probably remembering the yesterday’s incident where a merchant Herr Gelden had demanded payment of his outstanding debts. Friedrich had been called to deal with the problem and luckily took one of the sergeants with him. The merchant poured out his complaints and the extent of the debt and insisted on immediate repayment or that Mariusz was sent to debtors’ prison. The Sergeant had coughed politely and asked “Can I explain the legal position to the gentleman sir?”
“Please go ahead Sergeant”
“Well, the Gentleman, might not be aware, but sub-section 13b of the 1757 debtors code clearly states that as an alternative the offender can opt for military service in lieu of debtors prison. The offender has to continue in service until either the debt is paid in full or death. In the case of the latter, any death moneys will be paid to the debtor, rather than the family. “Isn’t that correct, sir.”
“Well remembered Sergeant” said Friedrich making a mental note to thank the Sergeant Rhetz as soon as possible “Now Herr Gelden, as the offender in question has signed up I will ensure that he fulfils his obligations under the code. Is there anything else?”
“The merchant stood opened mouthed for a moment and then retorted “Just make sure he pays his debts” and then left.