Kohlhaas, made foolhardy by this victory, turned back to attack the Governor before the latter could learn of it, fell upon him at midday in the open country near the village of Damerow, and fought him until nightfall, with murderous losses, to be sure, but with corresponding success.
Hereupon the boy would stop no longer in the tree, however much I exhorted him thereto, but cried out to us as he came down that a great troop of soldiers was marching out of the forest by Damerow, and that likely enough the king was among them.
Hereupon he, with his hunters and a few men whom he had picked out of the crowd, were to ride on and spread the nets behind Damerow, seeing that the island is wondrous narrow there, and the wolf dreads the water. When he saw my daughter he turned his horse round, chucked her under the chin, and graciously asked her who she was, and whence she came?
Soon after the two Lepels of Gnitze came from the Damerow; and the noblemen saluted one other on the green sward close beside us, but without looking on us. And I heard the Lepels say that nought could yet be seen of his Majesty, but that the coastguard fleet around Ruden was in motion, and that several hundred ships were sailing this way.
I therefore sent old Paasch up to the top of the hill, that he might look around and see how matters stood, but told him to take good care that they did not see him from the village, seeing that the twilight had but just begun. This he promised, and soon returned with the news that about twenty horsemen had galloped out of the village towards the Damerow, but that half the village was in flames.
That night I could not sleep for joy, but went quite early in the morning to Damerow, where something had befallen Vithe his boy. I supposed that he, too, was bewitched; but this time it was not witchcraft, seeing that the boy had eaten something unwholesome in the forest. He could not tell what kind of berries they were; but the malum, which turned all his skin bright scarlet, soon passed over.
Indeed, the next morning he would certainly with the remnant of his band have renewed the attack on the Governor, who had thrown himself into the churchyard at Damerow, if the latter had not received through spies the news of the defeat of the Prince at Mühlberg and therefore deemed it wiser to return to Wittenberg to await a more propitious moment.