The usual mythical German kingdom is the stage whereon a princess and a goose girl play interchangeable parts and a king in disguise and a resourceful American consul are equal to their roles of knights errant. A harmless tale which has a touch of romantic charm.
the other does not matter. I am a mountaineer from Jugendheit."
"Jugendheit?" She paused to look at him more closely. "We are not friendly with your country."
"More's the pity. It is a grave blunder on the part of the grand duke. There is a mote in his eye."
"Wasn't it all about the grand duke's daughter?"
"Yes. But she has been found. Yet the duke is as bitter as of old. He is wrong, he was always wrong." The old man spoke with feeling. "What is this new-found princess like?"
"She is beautiful and kind."
The geese were behaving, and only occasionally was she obliged to use her stick. And as her companion asked no more questions, she devoted her attention to the flock, proud of their broad backs and full breasts.
On his part, he observed her critically, for he was more than curious now, he was interested. She was not tall, but her lithe slenderness gave her the appearance of tallness. Her hands, rough-nailed and sunburnt, were small and shapely; the bare foot in the wooden shoe
This story is simply saturated with Anthony Hope's style. I love it. A charming gentleman, a beautiful princess, old-world courtesy and manners. It didn't really strike me as being melodramatic; the plot seemed to fit the stage like a glove. I have read Voice in the Fog by the same author and I really liked both. One thing, I am getting sick of books with the ending always being the girl accepting a man's proposal. It's sappy. In this book, the ending is the girl saying, "I am happy now." and the book ends. Other than that, the romance as fine, but I just don't like endings like that.
A little melodramatic but I enjoyed the story. And I have always been a sucker for a happy ending (more or less). It tends to give you the flavor of Europe in a bygone era.