Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Prisoner of Zenda -Chapters 16-20

Chapter 16 – Murder in the Moat
Rassendyll spread the news that he was seriously ill so that Black Michael would think that he could not act against him. But when Princess Flavia heard this news, she went to Tarlenheim at once. She was happy to see that Rassendyll was alive and well.
Johann brought sad news about the King. He was ill and growing worst every day. The Marshall too was urging to have the wedding at an early date. The King must be free before that.
Rassendyll continued with his plan. With Fritz, Sapt and 6 horsemen, they set out for Zenda Castle. The 6 horsemen hid themselves at the edge of the forest. Sapt, Fritz and Rassendyll walked to the moat. Rassendyll went into the moat and swam by the wall of the old caslte in the direction of the pipe.  He saw someone was on guard in a boat. The man was asleep. He was max Holf. Rassendyll took his knife and killed the man. He was ashamed of this. It was the most shameful deed.
He swam to the pipe but was disappointed when he found that the pipe had no opening. He then heard the King’s voice talking to Detchard.
He then climbed out of the moat. Three of the Six were leaving the castle. They attacked them and managed to kill 2 of them; Lauengram and Kaufstein. However, Rupert escaped.

 Chapter 17 – Rupert of Hentzau and Madame de Mauban
Black Michael and Rassendyll were deadly enemies but in public they pretended to be friends. That morning, Rassendyll and the princess went for a ride through the street of Zenda. They met the chief of Police. The told Rassendyll that a young Englishman was missing. The family and friends thought that he was in Zenda. Rassendyll then asked the chief of police to leave Zenda because his presence might ruin his plan to save the king. He told the man he would handle the matter.
Rupert met Rassendyll and asked him to join his plan to attack the castle and kill Black Michael so that he could have the power to rule Ruritania and Rassendyll could marry the princess. But Rassendyll turned down his offer.
Rassendyll received a letter from Antoinette de Mauban, asking him to meet her at the House of Death, the Old Castle of Zenda.

Chapter 18 – Rassendyll Makes A Plan

 The Marshall asked Rassendyll to set the wedding date and he fix a date a fortnight ahead. So the King had to be saved before the wedding.
Johann came with the news that the King was very ill, thin and could hardly move. He also told Rassendyll that the wedding date made Black Michael angry. Rassendyll was glad as this could help his plan to save the king.
Detchard and Bersonnin were guarding the king that night. Rupert and De Gautet were on duty during the day. The guards on duty kept the key of the drawbridge. Rassendyll told Johann to open the front door at 2 o’clock the next morning and before he left, Rassendyll gave him a note for Antoinette de Mauban.

Chapter 19 – Rupert of Hentzau Also Makes a Plan
Rassendyll rode ahead to Zenda Castle. He planned to swim to the drawbridge. He waited for the rest to come at the appointed time. A window opened and he saw Antoinette and Rupert arguing. Rupert told her that after he killed Rassendyll, Black Michael would give her to him. He also said that Black Michael was false, faithless and a coward. When Black Michael saw Rupert in Antoinette’s room, he was angry. They argued. Rassendyll wanted to kill Rupert but he had to wait for Johann to open the castle door.

Chapter 20 – Rassendyll Fights Bravely to Save the King
Antoinette screamed when Rupert entered her room. The Duke came to her rescue and they fought. Rupert stabbed the Duke and then escaped through the window. Rassendyll killed De Gautet as he came running out of the castle. Rassendyll found the key and entered the door leading to the King’s room. Rassendyll killed Bersonin.  Detchard wanted to kill the King but the doctor defended him. Detchard managed to wound Rassendyll.

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