The rain ceases to fall in the early afternoon, though the weather remains gloomy for the remainder of the day; the high hills to the southwest of Dachau retain a shroud of fog into the evening, with no sign that it will lift before sunset. It is, altogether, a dreary day.
In the afternoon, a message arrives from Johann Mizer as to the location of the beer garden, and an indication that Tiberius and his friends should meet him there at six bells. It is not a great distance; Helmunt, ever eager to please, offers to send a boy with the party to show the way, if only a copper piece is given. One way or another, through the wet streets the trio find their way to the garden, which at first glance is unfortunately in the out of doors.
Stepping through an arch constructed of latticework and holly branches, the party finds a group of wet wooden tables and benches. The latticework extends over their heads, and weaved into the frame are more branches, not quite thickly grown with holly leaves—this will take a few weeks yet. In the sunshine it would be a beautiful shaded recluse.
To the group’s delight, however, it is discovered that half the beer garden is roofed, and a solid structure built on three sides. On the fourth side is a roaring fire, fully eight feet wide and four feet deep, in which burns hemlock and yew. Stepping between a few puddles still filling the hollows between the exposed benches, Tiberius, Anshelm and Delfig join the hearty throng of forty people sitting in the warm comfort provided by the fire.
Mizer is there; he happily greets each one of you; introductions are made, and Mizer pleasantly insists that he buy the first round. The day did not begin too well for him; but an arrangement has been made and a silversmith is to be ousted from his rented property a few miles out of town, so that it will be put under Mizer’s ownership.
While hearing this tale, the trio cannot help noticing that the barmaids are exceptional—all beauties, all quite young and with remarkable ashen skin and near-perfect teeth. This last, of course, would be quite rare to their experience, and Mizer will laugh when he sees his companions noticing it.
He’s quite happy to explain the happenstance. The beer garden is in part owned by an adventurous young fellow, who a few years ago took part as a mercenary in the war, in Saxony, and made his fortune in silver. This young fellow, a paladin, Eberhardt Hornung by name, has since become the darling of the town, and this beer garden a contribution to his fame. It is true, adds Mizer discreetly, that Hornung also holds a string of harlots…the “cleanest” harlots in Bavaria, since none ever suffers from any disease, not even in their mouths. But Mizer suggests not spreading around any rumors a person might be told in a beer garden.