Page:T.M. Royal Highness.djvu/84

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Klaus Heinrich spent three of his boyhood's years in the company of boys of his own age of the Court and country nobility of the monarchy in an institution, a kind of aristocratic seminary, which von Knobelsdorff, the House Minister, had founded and set in order on his behalf in the "Pheasantry" hunting-schloss.

A Crown property for centuries past, Schloss "Pheasantry" gave its name to the first stopping-place of a State railway running north-west from the capital, and itself took it from a "tame" pheasant preserve, situated not far off among meadows and woods, which had been the hobby of a former ruler. The Schloss, a one-storied box-like country house with a shingle roof topped by lightning con ductors, stood with stables and coach-house on the skirts of extensive fir plantations. With a row of aged lime trees in front, it looked out over a broad expanse of meadow-land fringed by a distant bluish circle of woods and intersected by paths, with many a bare patch of play-ground and hurdles for obstacle riding. Opposite the corner of the Schloss was a refreshment pavilion, a beer and coffee garden planted with high trees, which a prudent man called Stavenüter had rented and which was thronged on Sundays in summer by excursionists, especially bicyclists, from the capital. The pupils of the "Pheasantry" were only allowed to visit the pavilion in charge of a tutor.