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1634: The Bavarian Crisis: Chapter Thirty Six

       Last updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 22:55 EDT




Mid-July-August, 1634
Triumphata Conscientia

Munich, Bavaria

    Duke Maximilian called his privy council and his close advisers, both civilian and military, to Landshut. He ordered the rest of the court establishment to remain in Munich, since he intended to return there shortly. Upon their arrival, he announced that young Duke Karl and his mother, die Leuchtenbergerin, had been killed during the pursuit.

    The duke did not describe the circumstances of the deaths. Enough of the troops who had accompanied him into the Upper Palatinate had seen the events, though, that rumors were flying wild.

    He formally announced that Duke Albrecht and the other two young dukes had escaped, but said no more than that. It was left to rumor, again, to circulate the information that while Duke Albrecht had achieved his goal of Bohemia, the two boys had been taken in another direction.

    The most widespread rumor was that the removal of the two young dukes was the result of a conspiracy between, ah, someone, and Duke Ernst, with the intention of handing them into the power of the Swede. There was no other explanation of the undoubted fact, to which any number of the troops who had accompanied Duke Maximilian were willing to testify, that the regent in the Upper Palatinate had men in place with the intent of preventing Bavarian pursuit.

    This being so, and since they had been taken from their father by their tutor, the Jesuit Vervaux, who had been sent to Bavaria by the duke of Lorraine . . speculation went wild. It was a conspiracy that involved the French, possibly Richelieu, but more likely Monsieur Gaston, who was married to the duke of Lorraine’s sister. The Jesuits, for unknown motives, were conspiring with the French against Bavaria.

    At least, some of the Jesuits. Father Forer made it very plain that he did not in any way endorse the action of the renegade Vervaux. He stated that he had appealed to Father General Vitelleschi to do something about it. Demand that Vervaux, wherever he was at the moment, be arrested and handed over. If not to Duke Maximilian, then at the very least to the bishop of Augsburg, or to a trustworthy emissary of the father general, or to...someone, at any rate. As soon as they definitely found out where he was. And if, he added mentally, there was anyone trustworthy left in the world.

    The formal announcement did not include any information in regard to Dona Mencia. Neither did the rumors, since none of the common soldiers had recognized her in the darkness of the night. In any case, Maximilian himself did not know that she had been the old woman drawn away from the escape party by Vervaux or even that an old woman had gone with the boys.

    Richel sat next to the duke, taking notes. Personally, he expected Dona Mencia to surface in Bohemia any day now and be returned to Austria in a flamboyant gesture of magnanimity by Wallenstein. At which time they would have evidence, when Ferdinand II received her honorably, that he had been part of a conspiracy to humiliate Duke Maximilian from the moment he agreed to the marriage project. What the Bavarians really needed to determine, now, was why the Austrians had done it.

    And do something about finding die Habsburgerin. Wherever she might be. Having her in custody would give Duke Maximilian a considerably greater amount of leverage against Austria.

    This was not included in Duke Maximilian’s statement to the privy council. Which did not mean that it failed to have a prominent place in Richel’s instructions to the duke’s intelligence staff. Along with the disappearance of the Grantville women. The question of where the English Ladies might be. Which led back, of course, to the question of the renegade Jesuit, Vervaux, who had confessed the archduchess. Even if not formally, Mary Ward’s sisters were de facto Jesuitesses. They had maintained close contacts with the collegium in Munich, which led naturally to a suspicion that more of the Jesuits there had been involved in the conspiracy that had now deprived Bavaria of its heirs.

    After the formal announcements, the duke dismissed the majority of the privy councillors, sending them back to Munich



    Father Forer was finding life very difficult. Heinrich von Knoeringen, the bishop of Augsburg and his own former penitent, the man who had once investigated the fitness of Gepeckh to become prince-bishop of Freising, formally demanded an investigation into the orthodoxy of the Munich Jesuits. Father General Vitelleschi-probably as a delaying tactic, Forer thought-had responded by requesting that Ferdinand II permit Father Lamormaini to conduct a visitation of the Munich house. The Holy Roman Emperor had the impudence to issue him the necessary passports to travel to Munich.

    Duke Maximilian, of course, had refused. One did not invite a conspirator to investigate his own fellows. Maximilian’s objections were vociferous. He appealed to the pope; then from the pope badly informed to the pope better informed.

    Forer himself desired, certainly, that the Catholic church be utterly uncompromising toward heretics. He also suspected, more strongly with every passing day, that at least some of his fellow Jesuits were somehow mixed right into the thick of the departure of the English Ladies. Duke Maximilian’s net was widening. The inquisition’s investigation of heresy associated with the house on Paradise Street spread farther ever day. Reluctantly, Forer warned his fellow-Jesuits at the Munich collegium and the Wilhelmsgymnasium. Father Drexel left Munich, taking the elderly Father Rader with him. Forer did not want to know where they were going.

    Several other Jesuits whom the inquisition might possibly consider to be tainted also left. Father Forer did not want to know that, either, but he suspected that they were going to Tirol.

    He was beginning to think, at least to suspect, that the Father General had supported Urban VIII in the appointment of the Grantville priest as cardinal-protector of the USE. If that was true, what was his own obligation of conscience? Had he sworn a vow of obedience to a heretical pope? Did he stand under the command of a heretical father general? Had he allowed the formal obligation of oaths he had taken to them to lead him from the path of strict orthodoxy? Had he, in warning the other Munich Jesuits, permitted heretics to evade correction?

    Night after night, after completing his duties to the duke and in the privy council, he went through Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Had the formal oaths taken his conscience captive? Were they leading it in chains, as if it were loot captured in a military campaign, paraded under a triumphal arch by a conquering Roman emperor? He prayed.




Amberg, Upper Palatinate

    Duke Ernst ordered that Dona Mencia be transferred out of the Jesuit collegium in the dark of night. The order was accompanied by the direst of threats about what would happen to anyone who leaked the slightest bit of information about how she came to be in Amberg at all. His most sincere hope was to have her make a public reappearance in Grantville as if miraculously translated there by divine intervention. Plus, of course, a diesel truck. Certainly without any rumors that someone, anyone, of interest to the wider political world might have been or ever be in Amberg.

    Which was why his secretary Boecler and his his publicity agent Zincgref found themselves walking along the cobblestones of Amberg at four o’clock one morning, carrying a litter with a recumbent form on it. Dressed as gravediggers; the recumbent form covered with a shroud. The truck would have attracted far too much attention if it had been brought into the town. Not to mention that it was too large to pass through any of the gates.

    By the time they reached the truck, it was starting to get light. Dona Mencia found it fascinating. She was particularly enchanted by the amenities provided in the rear portion. Of those, the “recliner” that had been firmly fastened to the floor was, by far, the finest. She had never envisioned such a thing. She stroked the leather. The teamster who had brought the truck said that the chair had been loaned, just for her, by Grantville’s mayor, to whom it belonged. She had heard of the city’s wealth; she revised her estimate of it upward.

    It even had straps that were somehow mounted beneath the floor and fastened across the chair, so that if bad roads caused the truck to ride unevenly, she would not be thrown out. If she were younger, she would have liked to look underneath to see how the device was made. At her age, however, she would simply accept that some ingenious mechanic or engineer had created it. All through her life, such men had been demonstrating new marvels.

    She had been prepared for a torturous trip across the Germanies, from the Upper Palatinate to join her brother Cardinal Bedmar in the Spanish Netherlands. Now, at least from Amberg to Grantville, she would ride more comfortably than if she were in the most luxurious bed ever made. All a gift of the king of Sweden.

    With company, although the others would not ride so easily. The remainder of the chairs placed in the “bed” of the truck were much more Spartan. There would be several of Duke Ernst’s young soldiers, going to be trained to operate the “radio” of which the regent was so proud. Herr Pilcher would also be traveling to Grantville in this truck. As soon as she was safely inside, the “recliner” screened from view, Herr Pilcher would bring the iron men with whom he had signed contracts to view the truck. Duke Ernst believed that this would impress them all with Herr Pilcher’s importance, that Grantville would send such a grand vehicle to return him home, and make them less likely to renege upon their agreements. Not to mention providing an answer to curious questions about why the truck had come to Amberg.

    So he would travel with her, as would two coffins. That was the other announced reason for the presence of the truck outside Amberg’s walls. After some negotiation, Herr Pilcher had arranged for the bodies of a young up-time soldier and a tinsmith who had served as his own translator to be disinterred and embalmed as expensively as if they were the bodies of fallen kings being returned to their native countries from a crusade in the Holy Land; they would be returned to Grantville for burial.

    Dona Mencia did not mind sharing the truck with them. The coffins were sealed and death was a part of life.

Banér’s Camp outside Ingolstadt, Upper Palatinate


    General Banér, his full portliness completely unabated by the effort of managing the siege of Ingolstadt, arose from his chair. Immediately following Dona Mencia’s departure, Duke Ernst and Eric Haakonsson Hand had left Amberg. Immediately as in, their horses had been saddled and waiting when the truck drove off down the Goldene Strasse toward Nürnberg.

    “What,” he asked, “in the name of every demon in the lowest depths of the inferno, is going on?”

    “Madness,” Duke Ernst answered. “Madness that we must, I think, take advantage of. If we possibly can, we should avoid extending the siege into the winter. This is the time to launch a final assault.”

    “Just how, and with what?” Banér’s frustration was plain in his voice. “I do not have any more resources this week than I did last week.”

    “The other one, General, is ‘from where?’,” Duke Ernst answered. “A siege from the north bank has not succeeded; all the boats we put on the river have not been able to prevent resupply of the garrison. Which you yourself have reported to me often enough. Mosquitoes, those little boats; skipping through the channels and around the islands in the river like flocks of gnats in a swamp.”

    “I know. You don’t need to tell me. What do you expect me to do about it?”

    “With the disappearance of the archduchess, with Duke Albrecht’s flight, with Duke Maximilian’s purge of his best advisors....” Duke Ernst paused. “I believe that we should invest Ingolstadt from the south, as well. Cross the river; cut off the supplies. Additionally...”

    “Additionally what?” Banér was abrupt.

    “The USE military administrator in Franconia, Colonel Blackwell, tells me that he is having increasing difficulty in persuading the commander of the mercenary forces that the king, um, emperor, sent to him to restrain his desire to kill people. According to Colonel Blackwell, the commander has little interest in limiting what the up-timers call collateral damage. He does not wish to worry about civilians. Rather his view of these things is ‘bomb them all to bits, kids in the town, we don’t worry about no stinkin’ kids, let God sort out the pieces.’”

    “I,” Banér responded, “can see the commander’s point of view. Especially when it is a matter of winning or not winning.”



    “Ah,” Duke Ernst said. “I thought as much. In Franconia, however, the administration seems to be of the opinion that it is not trying to win a war, but to establish a peace. So I have suggested that, since the peasant revolt seems to have dwindled to a faint shadow of what it was in the early summer, that Colonel Blackwell send the restless mercenaries to you and give them an opportunity to shoot at Bavarian soldiers, since they seem so anxious to shoot at someone.”

    “They may,” Banér reminded his superior, “be a lot less anxious to shoot at well-trained Bavarian soldiers. Those tend to be heavily armed and shoot back.”

    “You can’t have everything. You can have two regiments. If, and that is a definite condition, if you are willing to control their depredations against the civilians on this side of the river and if, that is also a definite condition, if you are willing to cross to the south bank. Colonel Blackwell tells me that they are ready to march; we can have the first regiment here in one week; the second, which has been scattered into garrisons in northern Franconia, in two.”

    “If Franconia erupts again the instant that the regiments are gone, will they call them back?”

    “It isn’t their plan. They intend, I believe, to rely as much as possible on the assistance of Margrave Christian of Bayreuth in that case.”

    “Stinking ordure of wilting violets!”

    “I am aware,” Duke Ernst remarked, “that you consider the margrave’s allegiance to Gustavus Adolphus to be somewhat wavering; that you find his commitment to be less than complete. Nonetheless. Do you want two more regiments and will you cross the river?”

    “Yes. And yes.”

    “Logistics, then. How many additional boats will you need?”

    Banér smiled. “I have no intention of trying to cross by boat, Your Grace. We will cross at Neuburg first. On the bridge that is there, to occupy, garrison, and fortify that city. Then, the next day, on the bridges that will be there.”

    “Bridges that will be there?”

    “The young civil engineer from Grantville, Ellis his name is, has taught mine a few tricks. We can build temporary bridges, of course. We do fairly often. But it takes time; it is something that we can’t prevent the enemy’s spies from finding out, it gives them time to prepare. This young man, with his telescope and calipers, his droplines with sinkers, his ‘soundings,’ all very tedious when he explains it, has introduced us to the concept of ‘prefab.’”

    Banér smiled. “We have three more bridges, Your Grace. On sledges, here in the camp. I am assured that once we gather enough draft animals to move them upstream, toward Neuburg, each can be constructed in a day; less if things go well, but the young engineer is quite superstitious, believing in something that he calls ‘Murphy’s Law.’ We plan to build them at intervals of two and a half miles, more or less, between Neuburg and Ingolstadt. Our forces cross them in the night; the next day, parallel to the river, from Neuburg to Ingolstadt, we throw up temporary fortifications. That will give us a “secured supply line” from Neuburg to Ingolstadt. Invest Ingolstadt from the south and east; turn around and throw up a second set of earthworks against the Bavarians. We should be nearly done by the time that Maximilian realizes that we are there; certainly done by the time he can concentrate his forces against us.”

    “‘Prefab,’ I take it,” Hand commented, “is the reason that the closer we rode to Ingolstadt, the fewer trees we saw and the more stumps. Until we came within eyesight of the city and the river bank, at which point the forests were again undisturbed?”

    “Damned right.”

    “With your permission, Your Grace,” Hand said, “I believe that I would like to remain with General Banér rather than returning to Amberg with you. I would like to see ‘prefab’ in action.”

    Duke Ernst nodded. “You are taking precautions, I hope. If we can march south on one of these, then, if things do not go well, the Bavarians can march north on them, too.”

    Banér laughed. “Not if the bridges act as the models do. Let me show you.” The room to which he led them was full of sluices and troughs through which water was flowing; sometimes slowly and lazily, bringing debris; sometimes pumped with great force. Many of them containing model bridges.

    “Test them, Your Grace. Push down. See what load they will bear.”

    Duke Ernst complied. The spindly looking bridges were astonishingly strong.

    “Now,” Banér said. “Now.”

    Moving to the bridge that Duke Ernst had just been testing, a young man with glasses reached into the trough and grasped a string; pulled it. Almost at once, the bridge became sticks, floating away down the trough, piling up against a wire barrier at the end so that they did not float away. A teen-aged boy ran to seine them out of the water.

    The young engineer smiled. “It isn’t quite that easy with a full-sized bridge, Your Grace,” he said. “But not much harder, either. I have advised the general to guard the ropes very carefully.”

    But Duke Ernst had wandered away. On a table next to the end of the trough, the teenager was rapidly putting the bridge back together. Every piece, every interlocking miniature support and plank, was numbered.




Munich, Bavaria

    The next item of business, now that Duke Maximilian was among his close advisors, was the siege of Ingolstadt. Again, the news from Ingolstadt was not good. The Swedes showed no sign of giving up. They were not making much progress, but they were not giving up.



Planegg, Bavaria

    Duke Maximilian walked through the empty rooms of the castle on the Hörwarth estate, followed by his secretary and the owner’s steward. He had felt obliged to come. He had known Dr. Johann Georg Hörwarth von Hohenberg, the father of the present Freiherr, well. Dr. Hörwarth had died several years before, in 1626. During his lifetime, he had held many offices. He had led the joint finance committee of government and Estates which brought about the abdication of Duke Wilhelm V when the state was threatened with bankruptcy in 1597; he had been at Maximilian’s side during the hard years thereafter. He had led several investigations when high officials were suspected of corruption.

    Now, however, Maximilian was beginning to wonder if, all those years, he had been misled. The warning signs had been there. Hörwarth had not only been a bureaucrat, but also a scholar, with wide-ranging interests. History and classical philology. Those were usually safe enough. Also, though, astronomy and mathematics. His Tabulae Arithmeticae were, Maximilian understood, high valued by the kind of people who valued such esoterica. Additionally, although Maximilian had chosen to ignore it at the time, Hörwarth had, for years, carried on an extensive correspondence with Johannes Kepler. He had encouraged the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf to employ the man, had recommended his promotion. Had, although Hörwarth was Catholic and Kepler was Lutheran, in spite of the difference in faith, served as godfather to one of Kepler’s daughters.

    Duke Maximilian was afraid that he had been too trusting. Hörwarth’s son had provided hospitality for Landgrave Wilhelm Georg of Leuchtenberg. Albrecht and Mechthilde had been here just before they fled.

    He wandered into the magnificent library and thought wistfully of the wonderful Heidelberg library that Tilly had captured in 1622. More than eight thousand volumes belonging to the counts Palatine; it would have been a wonderful addition to the seventeen thousand or so books that the dukes of Bavaria had already collected. Briefly, in 1623, it had passed through Munich; he would have loved to keep it, part of the Wittelsbach heritage, just as the Palatinate’s electoral vote was part of the Wittelsbach heritage. He had even ordered bookplates printed, enough for each of the books. His heart had been heavy when the papal nuncio had insisted that he send those magnificent manuscripts and printed books on to Rome.

    He looked around Hörwarth’s library again. The man who collected it had, possibly, been sympathetic to heresy; his son, Freiherr Johann Franz von Hörwarth, who now owned it, could be reasonably suspected of treason.

    “Pack it up,” he ordered the steward. “Send it to Munich, to the ducal library.”



Munich, Bavaria

    The news was waiting when he returned to Munich. The Swedes had crossed the Danube at Ingolstadt. In force.

    Even though Duke Maximilian consistently dismissed most of the privy councillors from the meetings before he proceeded to a consideration of the situation at Ingolstadt, this did not keep them, and the lesser members of the official staff of the Bavarian government, from thinking about it.

    If nothing else, the intensified assault there provided them with something to think about other than the fact that Duke Albrecht was in Bohemia and any one of them who had ever supported Duke Albrecht in any privy council discussion was now, very likely, in a precarious political position.

    Something to think about other than where Duke Albrecht’s sons, the heirs to Bavaria, might be. If in the hands of the Swede, as suspected, and if he chose to have them reared as Protestants... Oh, dear. Duke Maximilian could not live forever.

    Other than where die Habsburgerin might be and why she had failed to go through with the wedding-how many of them had been seen talking to her politely at the various festivities that took place while the wedding procession had been en route and after its arrival in the city? Would this be interpreted by the duke as opening the possibility that they had been part of a conspiracy leading to her escape?

    Other than the fact that several of them had daughters who had attended the English Ladies school, so it was to presumed that the inquisitors simply had not yet gotten around to interviewing them yet. But that an inquisitorial interview lay somewhere in the near future.

    Better to think about Ingolstadt. Every available soldier in Bavaria who could be pulled from other duty was now criss-crossing the duchy on his way to Ingolstadt. The duke’s commanders were recruiting again, but at present the duchy was so hemmed in that recruitment, at least of veterans, was hard. Which meant that, the heretics might succeed in taking the fortress in spite of their best efforts. What would the Swede do then? Ingolstadt was, at least, fifty miles from Munich.

    Better to focus one’s mind on facilitating the movement of troops, providing them with fodder and horses, allotting forage districts to the various regiments, dealing with bitter complaints from the residents of the forage districts, than to think of the multiple, multiple reasons why a man might be losing his own head. Not to mention, his regular job.

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