Thursday, September 4, 1650, Evening
Weather: pleasant temperatures and overcast conditions, with a fresh breeze.
Despite their vigilence, the party experiences no action of any kind. In the early afternoon, the stable boy sends word through the valet that your horses have been groomed and fed. You learn that steps are being taken to clothe Andrej for the wedding, and that the Prefect has been informed that Andrej will perform the ceremony ... Andrej is to go to the prefect's church to be fitted in the morning.
Serafina sends word that she is spending the evening with friends, still making arrangements, and that as per agreement, she and Eberhardt will not see each other again until the wedding. She will be living in the heart of town with the Baroness Milliscent de Coesfeld.
Eberhardt arrives late for dinner. His face is dark with anger, and it takes some time for him to settle and stop shouting at the servants - some of which seems to be focused on wishing he could speak with Serafina just now - before he can explain what he's discovered.
First of all, while you are digesting your eaten portions from a roast haunch of mutton, he will explain that he had to give 4,000 g.p. in collection to the missing Bishop in order to obtain the Bishop's presence, the use of the church and the blessing of the Bishop on the marriage. He was going to have Andrej perform the ceremony, but he still expected the Bishop's blessing, as it would carry considerable weight. The Bishop is one of perhaps five premier catholic leaders in all of Northern Europe.
As such, Eberhardt would know why he would not now be receiving this.
To begin with, he learned that the Bishop did not leave the evening before, but in fact that he left at 3 a.m. in the morning ('the third bell') ... and that he did so in a carriage, at breakneck speed, this according to the guards at Munster's South Gate.
Investigating further, by pigeon and by a friend with means, Eberhardt has been able to confirm that no special circumstances are known which would compel the Bishop to return to his lands, which would be Arnsberg in Hochsauerland, as stated before. Yet this clearly seems to be the Bishop's intent, as he took the road to Ahlen and Hamme, and the Bishop's letter stated as much. Arnsberg, so say Eberhardt's sources, is peaceful and quiet. To leave to quell an uprising could be understood ... but to manage mere personal affairs, this is intolerable.
Eberhardt was also able to learn that the Bishop's whole demeanor the evening before leaving was quite typical, so said the servants he was able to speak with. So some news certainly came to the Bishop that caused this change.
As this is said, the entire company is present, excepting the footmen and groom looking waiting upon Serafina. There is word that the scribe will be returning within the hour. Fatima is seated upon a bench against the wall, behind Ahmet, and has refused four times to return to her room as he has ordered her. Eberhardt has said, "let the matter be," so as to continue the conversation.
"I cannot think what would have compelled the Bishop to such action."