Fois-Gras looked at the messenger with the kind of concerned, yet disdainful look that only an aristocrat brought up on the finest truffles could give.
‘Merde!’ he cursed in a foppish, yet decisive way. The message itself, hurriedly scribbled on the back of what looked like a musical score-sheet, bore bad news. Reinforcements from the King of Bavaria had arrived only a day ago, but now a force of Imperial troops had appeared at Grenzschafen. Fois-Gras’ plan to move over to the offensive against Pritzwalk and his forces had been completely foiled.
Looking at the map rolled out on the camp table in front of him, held down by two half empty and two fully empty glasses of brandy, a deep thought creased his forehead. If he could establish a line between the Klein-Rhein and the Khutzewald that could be defended lightly, he would force march his best troops east and deal with the Imperials in a surprise attack. Should the maritime powers be bold enough to attack, a second line was to be constructed by the peasants of Frankenberg outside Dolfstein. The holding force would retire upon these lines.
Taking another gulp of Brandy, and patting his faithful dog, Malodorant, Fois-Gras signalled to his aides-de-camp.
‘Get ze Garde, ze Gendarmerie, ze La Marck Regiment and ze Villequier regiment readee. We marsh in sree ow-ers.’ Oh, and ze Bavieres aussi. Tout de suite!’ (translation for those ungentlemanly enough amongst you to be ignorant of the universal tongue of Europe: ‘Hurry it up, we’re going in three hours.’)
Monsieur le Marquis de Fois-Gras outside Dolfstein, with his dog Malodorant and assorted aides-de-camp.