Thursday, September 4, 2008


The two-hour fireworks display was concluded with a nearly ten minute barrage of girandoles accompanied by the new ouverture to Rameau's Les Surprises de l'Amour, the Prinzessin Sophie-Vittoria's favourite Gallian opera. With the fading of the last rocket, the assembled audience applauded loudly as the illuminations about the palace came up and bathed the grounds in a sharp metallic radiance.

While the supper chambers remained attended, most of the partygoers dispersed in the Gallian fashion without leave-taking in the immediate aftermath of the pyrotechnics. The closer relations, and the family of the Duke von Sachsen-Veldenz, remained of course, and congregated in the main hall bidding farewell to those awaiting their carriages. After no more than a quarter-hour, though, the major-domo approached Duke Ignaz and whispered briefly into his ear. The Duke coloured noticeably, and looked sharply at his daughter before replying curtly.

Before Sophie-Vittoria could catch her father's eye and ask what had happened she was aware of her dressing-maid, Anna, pulling insistently on her gown sleeve:

"Milady, you must come at once; your chambers--they've been ransacked!"


Bluebear Jeff said...

You mean that someone "sacked" the room and then "ran"?

-- Jeff

Capt Bill said...

Crime, crime I say, turn lose the gendarmes!