The hunting party went ahead as planned. It took more than imminent war to stop Count Olaf from a good shoot. The English rifle proving well worth the money. He had heard there were such guns with two barrels but Bojollay maintained that the balance would be compromised.
Lunch was taken late but was worth the wait and the ladies joined them to make a delightful little party in a sunlit dell. Conversation naturally gravitated aound the Fromagere army on the border.
"Apparently Mother, it's a guard of honour," said Olaf. "To escort you to your wedding."
"What is that old fox up to?" wondered Wilhelmina. "He can't be serious about marriage."
"You're still a very beautiful woman, mama."
"How sweet, but also the wrong side of forty and twice as old as his mistresses."
"No doubt he has plans for me after the marriage," suggested Olaf. "That would give him effective control over Weinpfalz."
"Over my dead body!"
"Possibly the plan too."
"An interesting plan," mused Wilhelmina. "I presume the 'guard of honour' becomes the vanguard when we send the refusal to his proposal.".
"So what to do?"
"Quite simple," said the Count with a grim smile. "Bojallay!" he called. "We ride."