ithin two days there came another communication from Wedel asking me to be at Mecklenburg-Schwerein on a certain immediate day. Taking leave of my friends, and thanking them for their hospitality, I left for Schwerein. Upon my arrival at the seat of the dukedom I was met by a quiet landau of the Grand Ducal stables. Two flunkies in the Grand Duke's livery took my luggage, escorted me to the carriage and I was driven up to the old castle. The landau took me to a side entrance and I was promptly shown into an austere and unpretentious chamber. Scarcely had I entered when a quiet, elderly, benevolent-looking gentleman dressed in a shooting jacket appeared in another doorway, evidently much perturbed. I at once recognized him as the old Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerein. He appraised me for fully a minute;:

"You're only a boy, but I suppose they know," shaking his great gray head. "Strange times. Strange times." Then suddenly realizing his inhospitality, he urged me to be seated. "Take a seat, take a seat."

Unlike the gentlemen of the Wilhelmstrasse, he did not plunge immediately into the subject at hand. He began a chat with me about purely personal affairs. Finally the conversation drifting around to the cause of my visit, he said:

"Can you fulfill this mission?"

I told him I could not say until I had learned what it was. I requested that he give me the privilege of refusal should I find myself unable to negotiate it successfully. He agreed that it was fair and when he looked at me again he seemed to suggest that he did not believe me so young after all.

"There's rather an unhappy and most inconvenient entanglement in my household," he began. "My nephew, the young Grand Duke, is tangled up and ensnarled with a certain lady in England whom he wishes to marry. It is unfortunate that she is of too high a social status to be entirely ignored