What would ye? Wherefore do ye stop my path? FRIESSHARDT. You've broke the mandate, and must go with us. LEUTHOLD. You have not done obeisance to the cap. TELL. Friend, let me go. FRIESSHARDT. Away, away to prison! WALTER. Father to prison! This way, you men! Good people, help! They're dragging him to prison! SACRISTAN. What's here amiss? ROSSELMANN. Why do you seize this man?
The ladder left by Jacob Leuthold when last here with Hugi in 1832, nine years before, and upon which he depended, had been taken away by a peasant of Viesch. Two messengers were sent in the course of the night to the village to demand its restoration.
The two head guides alone, Leuthold and Wahren, remained detached, clearing the snow in front of them, cutting steps in the ice, and giving warning, by cry and gesture, of any hidden danger in the path. At nine o'clock, after an hour's climbing, they stepped upon the small plateau, evenly covered with unbroken snow, formed by the summit of the Strahleck. The day had proved magnificent.
"Now then, now then, now then!" he said, in his quick, abrupt way. "What's this? what's this? what's this?" Friesshardt and Leuthold got up, saluted, and limped slowly towards him. They halted beside his horse, and stood to attention. The tears trickled down their cheeks. "Come, come, come!" said Gessler; "tell me all about it." And he patted Friesshardt on the head. Friesshardt bellowed.
Arnold of Sewa crept stealthily behind him, and was just about to bring his cudgel down on his head, when Leuthold, catching sight of him, saved his comrade by driving his pike with all his force into Arnold's side. Arnold said afterwards that it completely took his breath away.
It is a burning shame, a trooper should Stand sentinel before an empty cap, And every honest fellow must despise us, To do obeisance to a cap, too! Faith, I never heard an order so absurd! FRIESSHARDT. Why not, an't please thee, to an empty cap. Thou'st ducked, I'm sure, to many an empty sconce. LEUTHOLD. And thou art an officious sneaking knave, That's fond of bringing honest folks to trouble.
Friesshardt and Leuthold lay on the ground beside the pole, feeling very sore and bruised, and thought that perhaps, on the whole, they had better stay there. There was no knowing what the crowd might do after this, if they began to fight again. So they lay on the ground and made no attempt to interfere with the popular rejoicings.
STAUFFACHER. Has Tell done this? MELCHTHAL. Villain, thou knowest 'tis false! LEUTHOLD. He has not made obeisance to the cap. FURST. And shall for this to prison? Come, my friend, Take my security, and let him go. FRIESSHARDT. Keep your security for yourself you'll need it. We only do our duty. Hence with him. This is too bad shall we stand by, and see them. Drag him away before our very eyes?
FRIESSHARDT. He is an enemy of the king a traitor! A traitor, I! ROSSELMANN. Friend, thou art wrong. 'Tis Tell, An honest man, and worthy citizen. Grandfather, help! they want to seize my father! FRIESSHARDT. Away to prison! Stay! I offer bail. For God's sake, Tell, what is the matter here? LEUTHOLD. He has contemned the viceroy's sovereign power, Refusing flatly to acknowledge it.
For all answer, Jacob Leuthold, their intrepid guide, flinging down everything which could embarrass his movements, stretched his alpenstock over the ridge as a grappling pole, and, trampling the snow as he went, so as to flatten his giddy path for those who were to follow, was in a moment on the top.