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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 17, 1938, Image 73

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1938-04-17/ed-1/seq-73/

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The thrilling climax of a great serial
by James Warner Bellah
aptain Dommelier turned on Massa
‘‘It is the I hrector’s order that we
n take Madame to the Frontier?”
v "'His last order,” Massarene nodded. “He
jgave it as Prince of Tashno — not as the
[Director. He lies in his hunting lodge at
■ Wancszy -as Prince of Tashno. As Prince
of Tashno -he has dissolved the Party by
[Royal Command. But it will do no good.
tNothing will now. They ran through the
^streets of Domm-Stache like stuck sheep —
jStiick sheep — the Stanislawski Brigade,” he
,said. “These mountain people never cared
[what side they fought on as long as they
, “It was the Students at Domm-Stache who
.blew the bridge —the same Students who
“started the disorder at St. Beloise. They let
jthe point go through Domm-Stache and the
t support battalion, then they blew the bridge
jand cut the column in half and they opened
fire on us from the hills and every window.
The Prince rallied two companies he and I
were with the support battalion after we con
tacted the Stanislawski Brigade —and we
fought a rear guard action up into the hills.
They got our own mountain guns into action
|against us.
'And now what will they do?They’ll march
on Domm and fight Zu Stu’s Death Guards —
and destroy each other. It is all so hopeless
I to change these mountain people. They know
only one thing, loyalty to the House of
Tashno, which the Party killed in ‘26 —
through half-truths and the madness of Prince
Henry —and a love of fighting for fighting’s
sake. It is awful to see a fine brigade die,” he
! Captain I Jommelier’s hands were trembling,
lie poured more brandy for Massarene as he
held up his glass. For a moment Massarene
came back into himself. “And now I know
only one thing. I have brought you his orders.
Take the woman to the Frontier, Dommelier,
'and see her across. I am going back to Wan
cszy to His Royal Highness. My hand is gone
-for him — clipped off with shrapnel. So
shall my heart be.
“1 have never trusted the Party. The blood
'in these mountains is too old for new ideas.
New ideas allow of ambition. Ambition is
'death. Only one thing is left to us: ‘For St.
Geneve and the Mountains!’The Hohenzol
lens turned tail, the Hapsburgs were thrown
'out, the Bourbons died on the vine of Spain;
but Tashno is in the hearts of decent people,
simple people, mountain people. ” He stood up.
Captain Dommelier stood in front of him.
“I cannot obey your order about the woman.
I too have served the House of Tashno. I was
a cadet in the Royal Military School during
the Revolution. The Prince of Tashno needs
me now.” He turned to one of his youngsters.
"Parade the escort — here — at once.” They
were in the courtyard. They filed in — ten
keen-eyed lads, tight
lipped with excitement.
Dommelier faced them.
"His Royal Highness the
Prince of Tecklenburg
Lechnenstein-Tashno lies
wounded at Wancszy. He
has been defeated in the
field. He has dissolved the
Party. Domm is taken.
Whom do you serve?”
They stared at him.
The cadet-sergeant
They tiptoed over
to the great bed
and stood looking
down at Sergei
stepped forward and clicked his heels. With a
quick whip of his hand, he tore the Party
insignia from his arm. "I serve Tashno, sir —
‘For St. Geneve and the Mountains’.” Before
his words could echo through the great hall
of Muncaszy, they had all torn off their Party
brassards and flung them to the stone flagging.
“Tashno! For St. Geneve and the Moun
"Mount the escort,” Dommelier snapped.
I^athrop looked at Josephine and stepped
down to take her arm in his strong fingers.
“This is the last chance, Josephine,” he
whispered. “Think it out, girl —and what
ever you decide, I’ll do. I can get you out. It
is only twenty kilometers through the moun
tains to the frontier — ”
She looked up at the oaken quoins of the
Great Hall — at the arms of the Sarolis over
the fireplace. "Yesterday,” she said quietly,
"I was Josephine Wayne — so long ago that
I can’t remember, for I have been in these
mountains for centuries, since then.” She
turned to him and laughed suddenly: “Lathrop
— I belong here. I shall go to Wancszy too.”
Wancszy lies on a shoulder of the Paage
horn thirty miles from Muncaszy. Prince
Oscar’s father built it in 1790 for his hunting.
He hunted until his ninetieth year and died
at Wancszy. It is walled round with battle
mented granite and built strongly against the
northern winds of winter. There is a tiny
hamlet below the walls, the Village of Wan
cszy, of eighteen souls, a priest and the heredi
tary Sept of Royal Huntsmen.
Pas Menteen saw them bringing Prince
Sergei up the mountain road to Wancszy. He
had eyes that saw by night. Lieutenant Wort
of the Stanislawski Brigade walked ahead,
with his pistol drawn, after they left the staff
car when the road became too narrow. Cap
tain Dracu, who was not wounded, carried
the head of Sergei’s stretcher, and First Class
Sergeant of Machine Guns Borcos the foot.
Colonel Massarene, supported by the chauf
feur of the car, brought up the rear, and Pas
Menteen saw them all a half kilometer away,
through the darkness. He called his father,
Enzo Menteen, the Royal Huntsman. His
father called the Roone, the Saard, the Geve
and the Waane Huntsmen.
“There has been a battle,” he said simply.
The women were sent into the Lodge of
Wancszy to make the fires, to open the rooms,
to heat water, to prepare a meal. The Good
Father Darselis came. The entrance gates
were flung wide and pine torches placed in the
brackets. The young men went down to help
with the litter. The Prince Sergei arrived at
Wancszy and the old Royal St. Geneve Stand
ard went up into the darkness of the staff head
to fly night and day while he remained.
He was conscious when he arrived, but his
mind was not a steady machine. They carried
him to the Royal Chamber and brought him
brandy and for a moment his mind came back.
He lay on the great bed of his fathers’, his
head turned sideways, staring at the fire.
Massarene sat at the foot, watching him with
tears of fatigue and of pain and of heartbreak
just behind his eyes.
“Massarene,” Sergei said, “go to Mun
caszy Schloss and have Captain Dommelier
escort Miss Wayne across the Frontier. She
must get free.”
“It is done — ”
“You may say ‘Sire,’ Massarene. My coun
try is through with my services as Director.
I revert to private life. I shall die as the
Prince Sergei of 'Pashno — as I was bom.
Go at once. It is my last order.”
To Menteen the Huntsman, who stood
waiting by the fireside, Sergei smiled. “Enzo
Menteen you grow old — and I die. But it is
pleasant to be here with your oldness, before
I die. I know what you want; you want the
women to see me — ”
“Sire — if it please you. There is no wound
in youth that the women cannot heal. Only
old men die of wounds. The women of Wan
cszy know more of wounds than the men who
are called doctors. It is their heredity — from
the hunting. How they know, no one knows.
But the women know.”
“Enzo Menteen — have in the women.”
The women came and the women stripped
him to his wounds. It is said in Vienna that
those women knew the need of cleanliness
before Pasteur taught it. Herr Stahlheim
mentions the Wancszy hunting women in his
They washed him. They examined him.
They worked over him with a grave efficiency,
for Geta Roone, who was the oldest and the
wisest of them, looked at his eyes and said,
“He will die before the sun touches the pine
tops in the Valley of the Paagehorn — but if
he lives until it touches them, he will live.”
Sergei heard that, but he spoke not, until
they had finished and had sent Heda Saard
out to watch for the sun that was hours away
behind the world.
Then he said, “Geta Roone, if I die I die
in my fathers’ bed, in the livery of my fathers’,
and I will have the Good Father to pray in
the old ways of prayer.”
They draped the great, high bed with the
Royal St. Geneve Standard and laid him upon
it. From the closets they brought him the
gold-striped patrol trousers of the regiment
he had been trained in, the Royal Preobregan
Regiment. They were old and the gold was
tarnished with hanging there
many years but they dusted
them and put them on him,
for it is believed in the Moun
tains that to lie in sickness
in one’s clothing as if one
would arise at any minute, is
in itself a resistance to death.
They put patent leather
half-Wellingtons on his feet.
They brought him his buff
Preobregan tunic with his
(’Continued on page 10)
Illustrated by
C. C. Beall

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