Minister Gerissenheit followed the Herzog from the courtyard to the ground floor room used for Ministerial meetings. As he entered the room he noticed 3 seated men, the Herzogs secretary standing by his writing desk, and a dozen Lieb Grenadiers at attention. Upon noticing the Herzog's entrance, the men stood and bowed to their heads. You may all be seated," said Fredrick William III to the assembled men. "Sergent send for an orderly to bring coffee and cups as this will be a long meeting." "Yes your highness, as you order," replied the Sergeant as he set about caring out his orders.
Once the the coffee was delivered and each of the seated men served, the Herzog began to speak. "Let there be no doubt about what I expect from my Ministers. You can never hide the truth from me!" said the Herzog as he slammed his fist onto the table. "You will never lie to my face just to cover your own inefficiency or incompetence!" he shouted, as he slammed his fist onto the table. "If needs be, I will postpone all operations and use up all my powder, ball, and rope keeping the executioners busy for a fortnight. I will cleanse my realm of all who would aid those people and lie to me!"
The Ministers could clearly see the handwriting on the wall and each promised to take the mornings lesson to heart. Minister Gerissenheit cleared his throat and asked, "Have you decided the others fate or may I humbly make a suggestion?"
"What devious trouble have you in mind?" asked the Herzog. "The prisoners lied in correspondence to my secretary, but the Ministers each stated that they operated under their orders. They should have known that correspondence to Fritz is the same as correspondence to me."
"If I may, I wish to question them to see if they could be used for information gathering," said the Minister. "Our contacts across the border need couriers and I need 1 or 2 for other duties."
The Herzog thought for a moment as he drank his cup of coffee. "Another cup steward," he said as he placed the empty cup to the side. "Fritz!" The Herzogs secretary seated at his writing desk behind the Herzog replied,"Yes, Your Highness." "I want undated death sentences for each of the 5 remaining prisoners. I will sign them when they are finished. Minister Gerissenheit, you will take the documents and the prisoners. Do with them what you want. The date of their execution is entirely up to you. Let them know that if they do not prove to be of any use, they will be hanged! I do not wish to be bothered by them any more."
"As you command, Your Highness. You will never hear of them again."
Minister Gerissenheit sat back and awaited the documents and wondered what else the Herzog had planned for today.