PEARL

MICHAEL KOHLHAAS Part Six

Meanwhile, Nagelschmidt in the forests of the Ore Mountains was so pressed from all sides by the police and troopers in pursuit that, utterly lacking in resources to carry out the kind of role he had taken on, he hit on an idea of actually drawing Kohlhaas into his exploit. Having been fairly well informed by a passing traveller about the turn of events with regard to his lawsuit in Dresden, he believed that, in spite of the open hostility existing between them, he could induce the horse dealer to form a new pact with him. Accordingly, he sent off one of his men to him with a message, written in barely legible language, to the effect that if he was willing to come to the Altenburg area and again take charge of the band of men who had reassembled there, made up of remnants of the disbanded force, he, Nagelschmidt, was prepared to provide horses, men and money for his escape from his captivity in Dresden. He added a promise to be more obedient in the future and altogether more orderly and better behaved than before, and as proof of his loyalty and devotion, he pledged to come in person to the vicinity of Dresden to bring about his liberation from his incarceration.

The fellow entrusted with delivering this note had the misfortune to be seized with violent convulsions, an affliction he suffered from youth, in a village close to Dresden; at which point the letter which he carried in a leather pouch hung round his neck was found by the people who came to his

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