About midnight, when the violins were striking up the quadrille, which the Emperor was to dance with the wife of the French Ambassador, one of the ladies of honor, Countess Szegedin, went up to the Empress, and whispered a few words to her, in a very low voice. Maria-Gloriosa grew still paler, but mastered her emotion and waited until the end of the last figure.
They had spread themselves over the whole land; from the forests of Bakony to Transylvania, from the Carpathians to the Danube, no place was free from these desperate marauders. They committed incredible deeds of boldness. On one occasion seven or eight robbers attacked a caravan of thirty waggons in the neighbourhood of Szegedin, the cavalcade being on its way to the fair in that town.
"I, who would not spare Podstadsky and Szekuly, could not spare this traitor, though he has been very dear to me indeed. He must suffer, but I shall suffer with him. Mercy is so much more natural to man than justice! Still, mercy is the prerogative of Heaven alone. I am here to be equitable to all." An hour later the third regiment left Vienna for Szegedin, their new garrison.
For a good many years, owing to the weakness of his lungs and to other illness, Eads had not only had to travel much for his health, but to take special care of himself generally; and yet, to judge from the following account, in the first person, of how he had spent the year 1880, it seems that his wondrous energy had not failed: "I inspected the River Danube about 800 miles of its course; and investigated the cause and extent of the frightful inundation at Szegedin, in Hungary, which involved an examination of 150 miles of the Theiss River.
He simply drove them out of one part of the country to carry on their devastations in another, and dreadful robberies and murders were reported from Szegedin. On several occasions the post was stopped, and the passengers were invariably killed. They even stopped the railway train one day at Péteri. Government were now obliged to take stronger measures.