The story begins in the early years of the sixteenth century. A monk, Martin Luther, has read the Bible and has realised that the teachings of the Roman church are much in error. Gradually his teachings percolate through the land. Count Ulrich and his son Eric are very interested, though Ulrich's wife and daughter remain under the spell of their priest, Nicholas.
looks than her countenance had worn for the last day or two.
It may as well be here mentioned that Eric discovered during his journey the precious relic, which he had declined taking, fastened into the collar of his cloak. He sighed and said to himself--
"Then, poor mother, let it be; should I take it out and should any misfortune happen to me she will say it was for want of the relic; if it remains and I receive damage I may the better prove to her the worthlessness of the thing. No wonder the sheep go astray when they have so ignorant a pastor as Father Nicholas."
Eric, on the morning of his departure from home, had a private leave-taking with his father. The Knight, though an old soldier, was a peaceably-disposed man, yet in spite of all he could do he had foes and troubles. A certain Baron Schenk, of Schweinsburg, unjustly claimed rights over a portion of the Knight's property. It was clearly impossib