"Prut," said the Baron, "methought the abbot would have had enough of the blood of old days in his veins to have taught thee what is fitting for a knight to know; art not afeared?" "Nay," said Otto, with a smile, "I am not afeared." "There at least thou showest thyself a Vuelph," said the grim Baron.

"I will tell thee," said he, at last; "I swore an oath that the red cock should crow on Drachenhausen, and I have given it to the dames. I swore an oath that no Vuelph that ever left my hands should be able to strike such a blow as thy father gave to Baron Frederick, and now I will fulfil that too. Catch the boy, Casper, and hold him."

Keep thy tongue busy with the old woman's tales that he loves to hear thee tell, and leave it with me to teach him what becometh a true knight and a Vuelph." That night the father and son sat together beside the roaring fire in the great ball. "Tell me, Otto," said the Baron, "dost thou hate me for having done what Ursela told thee today that I did?"

"Sire," said Abbot Otto, "we have humbly besought you by petition, in the name of your late vassal, Baron Conrad of Vuelph of Drachenhausen, for justice to this his son, the Baron Otto, whom, sire, as you may see, hath been cruelly mutilated at the hands of Baron Henry of Roderburg of Trutz-Drachen. He hath moreover been despoiled of his lands, his castle burnt, and his household made prisoner."