Just after first light the French forces under Colonel Jolais mustered and marched northwards out of Welle but reaching the cross road were directed eastwards towards Fromel. They had only been marching for a half hour when the cathedral bells began to ring. In Welle, General Bercollin sent Twyth to investigate. “I don’t care what excuse they have just prevent them from doing this again”
The bell ringers claimed it was just their regular early morning practice and were dismayed when Twyth ordered the bell ropes cut.
Over in Hexengrube the pattern of the bells was noted.
Ilse called on Friedrich“ the message from our agents in Welle is that the French are heading east. So we need to quickly double check on their activity on the hills. Can you send a small patrol to check, they just need to back track through the Hecdar gorge.” Seeing Friedrich’s puzzled face she added “It’s the route you used yesterday”
Friedrich called for Lieutenant von Pilsner “Hans, take three men and check on the activity on the Pidnem hills, in particular check if Colonel Von Barner is still occupying the same position."
Hans rode back up the gorge they had descended yesterday, but before they emerged onto the open ground at the top of the ridge he pulled up into a copse so they could observe safely. He reached into is saddlebag and drew out a telescope that had been a present from the Reich Duke Wilhelm just before he left.. In was no use, he couldn’t see any clearer using the device than with his normal eyesight.
“Can I help sir” said Render Fhartz “ I have some experience in using these things”
“Certainly you may try”
“Ah sir, there is condensation inside we just need to leave the telescope in the sun for a while for it to warm up”
“Thank you Fhartz, can you see any significant French activity?”
“No sir, just the odd French patrol. I thought they were marching this way?”
“It seems they have other plans” the lieutenant picked up the telescope “It seems the Colonel is still in position. What do you think Fhartz?”
Taking the telescope Fhartz exclaimed “Yes sir, I can still see the flag in the same position as when we left”
There will now be a pause as I'm off to Triples tomorrow and also visiting a few English Heritage sites in the area in passing. If you are at Triples then pop by and say hello. I'll be on the Lance & Longbow stand on Saturday wearing a black Deeside Defenders shirt.