After Major, now Colonel Fruhling left the General turned to the Count “Well any last thoughts?”
“No, but I’m sure we have missed something. As far as we can arrange all communications between Pommaine and the rest of the Empire will be stopped or delayed starting tomorrow, so that our allies have the maximum time to deploy.”
The Count continued “The city gates will be closed and no-one without explicit authorisation will be permitted to pass. Hussars will be patrolling the outskirts of the city and gamekeepers with hawks will be deployed to intercept any carrier pigeons. The border will be closed for a week and only accredited diplomats will be allowed across."
“What about that Alsatian courier?”
“Well as far as we can tell it was just a rather bold horse-thief. It does seem rather stupid to have left the diplomatic papers with the horse while he had breakfast. No spy could have relied on someone being that foolish, anyway they claimed the papers were not important”
”Really, it seems that they and the Prussians have had a lot to talk about”
“Yes, but remember we decided it was better to involve two powers to help us rather than just one so that they could not dominate us, but we need to watch them and play them off against each other”
“Indeed, that was the late Grand-Duke’s observation. You didn’t arrange for the papers to be stolen?"
“NO, though if I had realised it was that easy, perhaps I should have!