"I thank you, gentlemen," he said. The Herr Amtschreiber stood at the end of the row. He had forgotten to take off his overcoat and his soft hat was clutched convulsively in his right hand. The Staatszimmer was thick with a murky twilight, but through the long windows opposite he caught a glimpse of the square glittering in winter sunshine. The Grand Duke and his civilian staff moved against the light like faceless shadows. But the Herr Amtschreiber knew that they were looking at him staring at him as though he had been some strange animal. He knew that his colleagues were thinking of him with a mixture of gloating self-satisfaction and pity.
"Poor devil! Glad I'm not in his shoes." The Grand Duke, cap in hand, had reached