Van Danewald’s coach bowled into Bruckewasser in fine time; “at last” he thought “I’ll be out of this accursed state”
The coach rolled through the streets and up to the bridge over the river Farret.
“Halt, who goes there!” challenged the sentry
“The Glowstein ambassador” replied the coachman.
“Stop right there” shouted the sentry aiming his musket at the driver. An officer and an infantry squad emerged from the guardhouse by the bridge, followed by a customs officer.
The ambassador looked out the window “What seems to be the problem”
The custom’s officer responded “It appears that contraband may be concealed on your coach”
“Indeed so sir, however I have my orders. Now if you would alight with your portable personal belongings, which will not be searched in accordance with imperial protocols. We will proceed as quickly as possible”
“Yes, sir, I have arranged for you to take refreshments in the guard house while the search is conducted”
Grumbling the ambassador aligned from the coach with his diplomatic bags and was escorted to the guard house, where a charming lady prepared some fresh tea for him.
The officer entered and apologised. “It appears that criminals are trying to escape from the Duchy and we have to take all measures possible to catch them or prevent them contacting their paymasters”
“Sir, sir!” came a shout from outside.
“Excuse me, ambassador” The officer bowed and exited.
The coachman’s assistant was pressed up against the wall, while a soldier holding him waved a letter.
“Now what is this?” asked the officer.
“Just a letter I was asked to deliver in Welle, sir, they gave me a twenty groschen to deliver it to the landlord at the Rode Leuwe in Welle and said he would give me a drink on receipt”
“and who gave you the letter?”
“Just an old gentleman who said he needed it delivered quickly to Welle and I knew we would be going that way”
“Hmm, the contents make no sense, must be some sort of code”
Entering the guardhouse the officer turned to Von Danewald “My apologies sir, as we have discovered a secret message being carried by your coachman we will have to delay your onward journey until tomorrow in case your arrival without it may indicate something to our enemies. I will make suitable arrangement for your accommodation”
“Oh and would you like to join the officers of the garrison for dinner and a few games of cards?”
“Thank you that is a most generous offer” Van Danewald contemplated making some easy money in compensation for the inconvenience.