1858 born the only son of Francis Joseph and the most famously beautiful woman in the world. Francis Joseph bellows out how robust his boy is and pins a colonel’s metal on his crib. He is quickly disillusioned. Rudolph is actually sickly from Sisi’s attempts to miscarry the boy while starving herself. He is also sickly because dangerous inbreeding (12 branches of the family tree instead of 16 and most of those branches were Wittelsbach.) The Habsburgs are just as dangerously inbred as the Wittelsbachs. The child’s grandparents are rumored to be all but mad. So is Uncle Ludwig of Bavaria. Madness practically gallops through the genes. People start of whisper about the Wittelsbach Bane.
Rudolph is born ten years after 1848 when revolution almost sweeps Francis Joseph off his throne and a young king becomes the most hated many in Hungary. After Rudolph’s birth Sisi’s health sustains a total physical and mental breakdown. Sisi, who is frigid, accuses Francis Joseph of infecting her yet again with a STD while raping her to force pregnancy which she finds unspeakably disgusting. While her marriage night accusation appeared to only be lice this does appear to be gonorrhea. It is not known if Sisi was infected before birthing Rudolph but blames the boy as much as the father and mother- in- law Sophie whose choice of ‘sanitation countesses’ for her son is appalling. But Francis Joseph might have also gotten the STD in Italy during one of his many disastrous campaigns. Habsburgs are not famous for war but Francis Joseph is especially bad at war. He has presided over more military defeats than almost any Habsburg in history. Habsburgs are famous for strategic marriages but his marriage to Sisi brings nothing but fragile love that dies on the wedding night and the Wittelsbach Bane.
Before Rudolph was born a famous chandelier crashed at Schonbrunn and the superstitious Sisi interprets that as a dire omen that Rudolph is curst. She certainly sees her children by Francis Joseph as symbols of rape as well as the horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. Unlike Queen Victoria, Sisi is not a born mother or passionate wife or gifted stateswoman naturally dominating the world. In fact Sisi hates being an empress and wife and mother and especially hates every part of motherhood from sex to conception to childbirth to child rearing. As with her other children, Sisi tries to miscarry Rudolph while riding insanely while starving to keep her famous 18 inch waistline. Sisi also suffers from post birth suicidal depression with other sinister complications.
Because her oldest daughter died mysteriously (and/ or recklessly because of Sisi’s willfulness and lack of parenting skills), Archduchess Sophie tries to guard the nursery like a dragon. Sophie prevents Sisi from being left alone with her children. Certain behaviors both now and in the future indicate that besides murderous depression Sisi feels an instinct to harm children (and grandchildren).
Fortunately Sisi never wants to be alone with her children other than the odd one or two hour ‘Fairy Godmother’ act when she materializes as if by magic before the adoring children who react as if her worshipful audience. Later both Gisela and Rudolph will become disillusioned with their Fairy Godmother as Sisi becomes the Beautiful Queen and then the Wicked Queen and then the Wittelsbach Witch. Sisi treats Gisela and Rudolph as if they are Solphie’s children and only her stepchildren — stepchildren she hates. Both neglected children grow up disillusioned and bitter with the lack of consistent love in their lives but do become close and affectionate parents to their own children.
1863 Rudolph and Gisela and their beloved nanny Wowo visits Venice to try to see Sisi. Rudolph only sees his ‘Fairy Godmother’ from a distance. Back home his bitter grandmother Sophie finally stops pretending Sisi loves them and bitterly exposes the truth (as she sees it ) about their distant and neglectful ‘Fairy Godmother’ Sisi. The Fairy Godmother becomes the Wittelsbach Witch.
Sophie and Sisi trade endless accusations why Sisi never loves her children from Francis Joseph as well as who is really responsible for the death of the eldest child named Sophie after Grandmother Sophie.
Sophie is finally driven into the wilderness after pressuring Francis Joseph into signing the disastrous Concordant. Thus Francis Joseph betrays first his father and then his mother and then his brother and then his kindred Leopold and then Rudolph and later betrays Franz Ferdinand along with every prime minister in his lust to keep power . But even after Sophie is vanquished Sisi never ever develops any relationship with either Gisela or Rudolph. When Rudolph almost dies of a concussion and then typhoid Sisi never bothers to come. Both children grow up emotionally closed off, suspicious, reserved, and untrusting, yet bottomless in their emotional neediness for some sense of love and safety and security denied them in their troubled childhoods.
Rudolph fails inspection before Emperor Francis Joseph. He persists in being sickly, stunted, suffering from the effects of a concussion in the form of migraines and typhoid along with other endless nursery illnesses. He has an amazing ability to howl but he is endlessly sick. Smart. Sure. But nervy and hypo sensitive. Anxiety symptoms start. Rudolph is not the robust soldier boy Francis Joseph expects as his heir. Wowo is fired.
1864 Count Gondrecourt ‘The Brutal Colonel’ ( a military nickname he is very proud of boasting about )is ordered to make a man of the sickly boy. His nursery is turned into a tiny barracks. Guns are fired over the boy as he cowers on his military cot. The little boy is marched in the predawn snow for drills by lantern. He is disciplined by a man famous for sadistically flogging everyone from drummer boys to Catholic clerics. He is raised per military regulations down to the smallest protocols and punishments. There are no books or nursery dogs or Wowo and he is not allowed to see his beloved sister Gisela. Neither parent visits. Sisi is always away. Francis Joseph only comes to inspect and then write long inspection memorandums. The memorandums are apparently highly critical.
To make a man of little Rudolph Brutal Colonel drags little Rudolph to a hunting park and abandons him to wild hogs and savage animals. He later comes back to fetch little Rudolph but is not pleased with the impact of such man making. So to made a man of little Rudolph the Brutal Colonel forces the boy to hunt as he waves guns around. No one knows the extent of the Brutal Colonel’s treatment of little Rudolph because no one bothers to monitor the situation despite guns going off in the night. Rudolph finally sustains a total physical and mental breakdown.
1865 Latour, the tutor of Gisela, protests the obvious child abuse being suffered by Rudolph. Neither Sophie or Francis Joseph bothers to investigate. But the Brutal Colonel is as infamously profane as he is infamously sadistic. His bible is a cigar box. He is also a religious hypocrite. Photos of Rudolph reflect an obviously brutalized child but no one stops the child abuse.
So Latour tries to contact Sisi. Sisi is too busy traveling. Latour is alarmed as doctors admit the boy appears on the brink of death. He again contacts Sisi and emotionally blackmails her. If her second child dies from lack of parenting skills Latour would expose her to the world. Sisi contacts Francis Joseph who contacts Sophie who fires the Brutal Colonel. Latour is hired but is also ordered to ‘flog the cowardice out of the boy’.
Bed wetting, nightmares, and childish scribbles later record Rudolph’s reactions to his upbringing. The scribbles feature much use of red crayons and furious slashes along with towering hostile authority figures towering over a tiny scribble of an overwhelmed child. Francis Joseph continues to force his son to hunt and taxidermy appears. But monthly inspections continue to fail. Long memorandums to Latour continue to be critical. The boy’s gift for languages and obvious intelligence is worthless. The boy is not a stout and ruddy soldier boy. The boy is a ‘tailor’ (coward or dishonorable cur). Latour must ‘flog the cowardice out of him’. Sisi is always away. Sophie is criticized for not manufacturing a heir worthy of Francis Joseph.
Photographs afterwards reveal an amazingly hostile look of rage that reinforces the reputation that Rudolph is a dangerous boy and then a dangerous teenager and then a dangerous man. But no one questions the why and wherefore except Latour. One symptom of Anxiety Depression is excessive distorted guilt and unworthiness. Young Rudolph is excessively upset by being forced to recite elaborate Catholic confessions for unforgiveable sins in the face of eternal damnation before begging for God’s forgiveness and the Divine Love of Jesus The Savor of Mankind. Rudolph is both defiant, obviously disbelieving despite his tender age, yet is obsessed by guilt and failure which appears to explain why his parents apparently hate him so. If his parents can’t love him or forgive him then how can he expect God or Jesus to love or forgive him? Latour tells Rudolph that he is too young to recite such Catholic dogma and of course he is really innocent of all charges. But Rudolph has absorbed the irrational guilt and unworthiness to the core of his being. He starts to say that God made him as he is and now must observe from a distance as events unfold to their logical conclusion.
Sisi expresses fear and later will not let dangerous Rudolph near her Einzige Only One Valerie the Bed Pan Miracle supposedly sired in Hungary by Andrassy (or at least manufactured by Andrassy to keep Sisi half way sane during the sale pitch of the Duel Monarchy). Sisi’s last genuine encounter with Rudolph during Christmas in 88 repeats these same accusations that Rudolph is a danger and menace to her beloved Only One who has enjoyed the sole focus of Sisi’s love and attention and admiration and luxuries and praise for her entire golden life —– all of which are consistantly denied to Rudolph and Gisela. Gisela grows up the ‘Human Afterthought’. But Rudolph is the focus for both parent’s physical and emotional abuse. All while Valerie is excessively praised and petted and adored and indulged extravagantly. Valerie can do no wrong. Rudolph can do nothing right. No one remembers Gisela at all.
This is actually a common form of child abuse. The Cinderella Fairy Tale is a classic retelling of a common style of family dis- function. A fresh telling in the papers documents the Cinderella Cow Girl. Her rich Welsh family spoiled her sisters with parties and clothes and money and praise. The one daughter was used as a drudge farm worker to toil in the barn to raise and maintain the expensive cows on which the rich family’s lifestyle was derived. The drudge was promised an inheritance if she worked non stop sans wages. But all of her days and nights are spent toiling in the barn and farm while her sisters party. Then the parents disinherited her and gave everything to the golden sisters who never toiled at all. The drudge sued. The case is ongoing.
Rudolph would have understood the drudge’s blight every well. Unlike Valarie, Rudolph is never given any estates or palaces or riches or family jewels to call his own. He lives as grace and favor (charity) at whatever Habsburg palaces which his parents might allow —- or not. There is no security or entitlement or safety against being ordered out into the cold. Then he is ordered out into the cold to distant and remote barracks in distant and remote towns far from Vienna.
There are actual references to Rudolph being asked not to come to some palace when his parents are enjoying themselves because his presence is not welcomed. This is a continuation of his childhood spent in plague- like isolation.
Occasional childhood letters by parents to Rudolph casually refer to his loneness and isolation and casually offers the remote hope of a possible hour or two at Christmas or some distant holiday when he might be allowed to see one or both parents for a week perhaps— or not. Occasionally Sisi might write a letter if only to stop Rudolph’s incessant writing of letters. But then Sisi only prattles about herself while accusing Rudolph of excessively writing when she is obviously so very busy! Much too busy to write to him! Get a life Rudy! Don’t you get it? I am just not that into you! Duh!
Rudolph writes endless letters but only Wowo and Gisela and later Latour and Wales replies regularly. Rudolph later writes endless reports and memorandums to his father who ignores them. Later Rudolph becomes an obsessive compulsive letter writer to everyone. Hundreds a week. People would be amazed to receive a hand written letter from Rudolph on his trademark generic paper carefully thanking them for this or that and remembering every sort of personal thing before thanking them profusely and signing his name so democratically.
Rudolph’s Hofburg digs feature a disjointed set of rooms in one of the inferior wings where servants run back and forth non stop down the hallway hauling royal slops. He actually lives in a garret on the roof near where royal meat hangs to age (rot ) and by royal taxidermy rooms. Fortunately Rudolph has pet ravens so it is ideal even if there is an ancient omen about the fall of the Habsburgs when ravens roost on the Hofburg. The Windsor ravens are so much more lucky! The rooms are tarnished whitewash , too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. They feature odds and ends of antiques scrounged from royal warehouses. Raddling windows. No bathrooms. Smoky fireplaces. A hip bath. Two buckets. A water pitcher and bowl. A bed chamber pot. His stipend is the smallest for any major royal in Europe. Only poor Italian royal nonentities are poorer than Rudolph. Every archduke and Hochadel aristocrat is richer than Rudolph. All while Valerie wallows in riches. But Gisela is hastily married off to a nonentity.
Rudolph as an adult is expected to work as a military officer for 10 to 13 hours a day Monday through Saturday. No other Archduke works except Leopold who is Inspector of Infantry and works for gunnery. Valerie lives like a golden princess. She enjoys a rich life. She is praised non stop. She is adored. Rudolph is criticized non stop and ridiculed while being told nonstop he is never good enough. If Rudolph and Gisela hates the Only One Valerie it is only human nature. But in fact there is no record of Rudolph ever genuinely harming Valerie or her nonentity of a fiancée before Mayerling. However Sisi is delusional that Rudolph plots Valerie harm. Sisi’s delusions rival Albrecht’s delusions about Rudolph’s later Magyar plots and conspiracies.
Today it is known that child abuse along with abandonment or living as if an orphan with both parents living plus excessively high standards along with belittling criticism causes PTSD and anxiety depression and OCD including anorexia nervosa . The three mental illnesses tend to cluster together as if a tangled knot of emotional pain. Where one appears, the rest follows. Rudolph as he grows up will display classic symptoms of all three mental illnesses.
The Einzige Only One Valerie and her excessive adoration by Sisi and uncritically bland tolerance by Francis Joseph only reinforces the ‘Cinderella’ treatment of Rudolph who is perpetually mistreated, held up to standards impossible to achieve, criticized, ridiculed, belittled, and kept isolated except for Christmas, Francis Joseph’ birthday celebrations, and the fall war games held each year in Hungary.
Letter after letter by distant parents refer to Rudolph’s loneliness and isolated upbringing and duty to live up to impossible standards while offering only tantalizing hopes of one hour or two at Christmas to see the family. Francis Joseph suggests that Rudolph should hunt to feel less lonely. The few times Francis Joseph interfaces with Rudolph it is while hunting. But the hunt is not father son bonding. Rudolph cannot speak to his father except to answer questions. Francis Joseph only questions his son about his hunting quotas expected to prove Rudolph is not a coward and about his military duties and about his failures to be worthy of being Francis Joseph’s son and heir. Hunting is a test. Naturally that usually leads to self fulfilling failure. Soon riding is added as another subject of failure. Nothing that Rudolph can do can win praise from either parent.
Latour becomes a parent substitute like Wowo. But parent substitutes when both parents are living and ignoring the child or else are criticizing the child does not provide adequate emotional love which a child needs in order to grow up normal and happy.
1864 Steyr is founded. it will become one of the largest gun manufacturers in the world. The Werndl Brothers will bring Colt and Remington style serial number manufacturing, steam power, and precision drilling to build the state of the art manufacturing facility in Industrial Bohemia. 6000 skilled workers will turn out 13,000 rifles a way with full ammo.
1866 Koniggratz. The military disaster(along with the Danish Disaster and the Franco Prussian War) make the Imperial Second Reich the most powerful nation in Europe and turns Francis Joseph into a lackey. He remains pathologically terrified of Bismarck ever after. Rudolph grows up obsessed by Koniggratz and hates Bismarck, Wily, and the Reich as the enemy of Austro Hungary.
Koniggratz is caused by Francis Joseph refusal to sell Venice which he had no hope of keeping for money. He could have used the money to modernize his antiquated army. Francis Joseph likewise refused to sell his claim to territory Bismarck used to justify waging war. He could have used that money to modernize his antiquated army. Francis Joseph also allowed the Pan Germans and Liberals to gut his army’s finances. After disastrous defeats against the French and Italians Francis Joseph and Albrecht knows they cannot win against the Imperial Second Reich. Instead of stopping a disastrous war they order General Benedek, the country’s most beloved general, to take the blame for Konnigratz.
Francis Joseph actually spends the day of the battle hunting far away on his game reserve as Vienna almost falls to the Junkers and Kaiser Wilhelm almost stables his horses in the Hofburg.
Sisi flee in hysteria to Hungary along with everyone else who can cram into the last trains out of Vienna. Rudolph would remember the hysteria of flight for the rest of his life — possibly because he naturally assumed he would be abandoned and left behind by his careless parents.
Post Koniggratz Francis Joseph is forced by Andrassy to create Austro Hungary out of the old Habsburg Empire and rule as Duel Monarch WITH Sisi. Sisi is the only way the Hungarians will endure the man they hate so much. Andrassy decides that the only person more hated than Francis Joseph is Bismarck. The Magyars collectively hold their noses as Francis Joseph is crowned.
Andrassy later teaches Rudolph how to be a great fake Hungarian. And indeed Rudolph is so popular with the Magyars he is offered a Junior Kingship after Sisi gets bored and abandons her job as Empress of Hungary. Listening to a little romantic music at night is one thing but doing a 9 to 5 job as empress is beyond Sisi’s notoriously limited attention span. Andrassy needs someone to make Francis Joseph endurable. Duel monarchy really means ‘duel’ to Andrassy.
The offer of Junior Kingship is legal and a traditional Magyar position. It would make Francis Joseph endurable. A young Shining Prince would conceal the ugly old tyrant every Hungarian hates. It would damp down fresh calls for Hungarian independence which Andrassy, a pragmatist, knows are unrealistic.
Rudolph is a young progressive modernist. His attention span is famous. He can work for ten to twelve hours a day and organize his work output to rival even Francis Joseph who tends to just shuffle papers around his desk before spending hours rewriting regulations how to clean brass buttons. Rudolph is interested in modernizing Hungary and building its industry and technology and infrastructure. He presided over the electrifying of one city and is keen to see electricity in every city in the empire. He is keen on introducing the underground tube system to every city as modern mass transit. He understands economics. He knows bankers and investors and entrepreneurs. He understands the importance of keeping Trieste so the empire does not become land locked. He can score investment credit lines from Baron Hirsch to save the floundering merchant marine and finish the vital dry docks which Francis Joseph won’t bother saving . He can work with Hirsch on the transcontinental railroad proposal which Hungary needs. His work with a Budapest world convention was fantastic despite commuting to and from Budapest and Vienna on night trains every single night for a month. Rudolph’s ten languages would help appease the alienated minorities of the Hinterlands which together from the majority —- a majority the high handed Magyars have dangerously alienated. Rudolph the Shining Prince would be ideal to lead Hungary into the Twentieth Century.
And the offer is not remotely treasonous. Quite the contrary. Rudolph would simply replace Sisi who has abandoned her post as joint ruler. Andrassy tells Francis Joseph. It is not a secret or coup or plot.
Rudolph declines because the 48 Hungarian Constitution is unfair to non Hungarians minorities who together form the majority of the hinterland of Austro Hungary. The Mayars are hated for their abuse of none Catholic non Mayar peoples. They are as arrogant as the Viennese Pan Germans. Both examples of high hat arrogance are dangerously unraveling the polygot nation.
Rudolph wants to create an United States of the Danube set up like America where ‘states’ of minorities can enjoy a semi limited independence and self identity counter balanced by a federal government providing over all unity. (It is a lot like Canada’s Quebec solution and the unsuccessful Scottish Devolution non solution). Andrassy cannot sell it. The 48 constitution is weak as dish water. But if evoked to create something better then Francis Joseph could simply declare the whole thing null and void and restore total dictatorship. It is a fatal defeat as the nation starts dangerously unraveling as minorities feud with minorities instead of working together to build a modern nation.
Albrecht later becomes obsessed that this Junior Kingship offer was a possible coup. As Albrecht becomes increasingly senile he fixates on Rudolph being a traitor involved in endless Magyar coups and plots and conspiracies despite all evidence to the contrary. During the crisis leading to Mayerling Albrecht again accuses Rudolph of this delusional Magyar plot. This explains why Rudolph frantically spends his last hours alive trying to salvage a German Command Language defense bill in Budapest which appears to prove some of Albrecht’s delusions. No mythic Maygar conspiracy has ever been found to be credible. They are all delusions like Joe McCarthy’s Reds Hysteria.
Disastrously, Francis Joseph agrees to divide the Imperial Army into three parts: The Austrian K & K (Kaiserlich and Koniglich), the Austrian Landwehr, and the Magyar Honved. Every Magyar ignores the need for German as the command language for the army of a nation built on 100 plus races and languages. Every German likewise ignores the need to learn any language but German. Without one shared command language the result would be military babel. Rudolph spends his last day alive struggling to salvage a Hungarian blunder to unravel the need for German as the Command Language.
Ferdinand Mannlicher graduates from Vienna Tech and goes to work for the Austrian Imperial Northern Railroad.
1867 Rudolph shoots his first stag before Francis Joseph. A ten year long marathon education is ordered featuring 13 hour days and 50 tutors. Each feuding parent wants Rudolph to learn different things. Ditto Sophie. So Rudolph must learn everything as if some little professor genius. There is no play time. There are no friends. Even dancing is a drill. War skills and more languages frost the cake of over education. Everyone expects too much from the boy. The standards are impossible. Latour is worried little Rudolph will sustain another breakdown.
1868 Valerie the Einzigne Only One is born in Hungary despite the lack of Spanish Etiquette and dubious questions about parentage a full ten years after both Francis Joseph and Sisi sustain gonorrhea infections which normally cause sterility in females and sooner or later also in males. Hence the accusation of a Bed Pan Miracle.
Amazingly, Sisi suffers no horrible pregnancy symptoms such as she suffered with Francis Joseph’s children. Her 18 inch waist is preserved perfectly. Mysteriously, she does not suckle her Only One despite always ranting and raving that she could never love Sophie or Gisela or Rudolph because she was not allowed to suckle. Actually in Rudolph’s case the refusal to allow suckling was not because of Spanish Etiquette but ‘health concerns’. A code for gonorrhea. Now when given her chance at last Sisi still hires and fires endless milk nurses and nannies. The child is dynastically unimportant but keeps Sisi sane enough to woo the Hungarians during the tricky Duel Monarchy sales pitch. Francis Joseph is still hated by all Hungarians so only Sisi is able to sell the murderous tyrant and the Duel Monarchy despite Andrassy’s silvery tongue and dashing good looks. Alas, Sisi’s famously short attention span fails as she only sees Hungary for its fairy tale romance instead of a backward state that needs endless modernizing and long hours of hard work, Sisi is no Queen Victoria. Other than trying unsuccessfully to learn Hungarian and dressing in Hungarian/Parisian extravagant ball gowns and dressing her famously long hair in Hungarian fantasy styles she does absolutely nothing constructive whatsoever.
1870 Rudolph’s first communion. Because of the Brutal Colonel (whose bible was a cigar box and definition of mass was visiting his mistress) the boy has already lost his faith. He remains a hardened agnostic for the rest of his life. Some bios about Rudolph harp on this as the shocking evidence of his damnation and deviant personality. Rudolph snarls that he would rather have his children taught by Protestants or Jews that damn ‘blackies’ ie Catholic clerics. He feuds none stop with the ‘blackies’. So the so-called suicide notes pleading for the local ‘blackie’ one village over from Mayerling or else the Pope to come and bless his corpse and Mary’s corpse are patently absurd. Beside the fact no Catholic priest would bless double suicides Rudolph was feuding with the local ‘blackie’ close to Mayerling as well as with the Pope over his Infalliblity Doctrine. Rudolph helped his father break the Concordant. The Pope is pissed off with father and son because of this. The fact remains Rudolph lived and died a harden agnostic. He would never write such a suicide note. That was why MC was shocked when Rudolph drew a cross on her brow before kissing her goodbye one last time. It was so atypical of his agnostic attitude and Darwinian scientific mindset.
Rudolph also writes his first ornithology essay on eagles. Some of Rudolph’s last trophies would be eagles. Perhaps fearing he would never have another opportunity to score such a shot he shoots all five. His eyes are failing and he is openly telling everyone he won’t live to be emperor so the next heir apparent (stressing the word ‘apparent’) will be Franz Ferdinand. So Rudolph shoots the five eagles when he has a chance despite certain protocols, failing eyes, and his membership in a bird conservation society. He is both embarrassed yet desperate about the eagles which are a sort of mysterious fixation for him. He has them mounted into two ornate taxidermy dioramas and gives one to the Vienna National Museum. He adds the other to his own natural museum ie his bedroom which by the end of his life is grotesquely cluttered with gigantic dioramas and machines and books and newspapers and dogs. This is a classic symptom of OCD.
1871 Franco Prussian war caused by lies and manufactured by Bismarck. France must pay five billion in war reparations, an unbelievable fee at the time. This combined with Danish and Austro reparations finances the Reich’s militarization and modernization. Germany becomes too big for Europe but too small for the world. Now everyone country fears the Imperial Second Reich — for very good reason.
1873 sees a world wide depression/recession that will last for a decade. But Bismarck squanders the five billion in war reparations so quickly so during the Founders Depression he must resort to deficit spending which the Reich becomes economically addicted to. The Long Depression/Recession is a global melt down. Austro Hungary is so shattered by it Johann Strauss pays waltzes for free to lift the spirits of the ruined. It is like something out of the 1930s. Francis Joseph pleads with Sisi to live within their now ‘reduced’ three million guilder income but Sisi just has to have her Greek palace and then her Corfu palace ….. etc ….etc…..etc…. Rudolph’s stipend for the year is 45,000 guilders which is the size of four professors income combined — and Rudolph must pay for his entire establishment, servants, travel expenses, military expenses, and diplomatic expenses out of it. His military wages of a recently promoted lieutenant are paltry.
1877 Mannlicher joins Steyr as their gunnery genius.
Rudolph graduates from his ten year marathon education without a nervous breakdown and is awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Stephen but is denied university which devastates him. Carl Menger offers him a slop of a trip to London to study the British Triumph. Sisi is in London. In fact mother and son take the same train to the same hotel. Sisi asks that Rudolph not be seen with her and her beloved Only One Valerie. Not on the train. Not in London. It would embarrass her with her fancy fox hunting friends and new admirer Middleton. At the one and only party Rudolph is allowed to enjoy with Sisi he cuts Middleton whom everyone says is Sisi’s lover. He makes a complete fool of himself as Valerie smirks. Sisi bans Rudolph from her sight. Despite that Wales meets the boy and they become deep friends until the end of Rudolph’s life.
Count Bombelles is assigned to make a man of the Victorian geek and nerd. Rudolph is sickly, suspiciously skinny like his starving mother Sisi, fragile, with persistent eye infections and stys and inflammation. He should have been fitted for glasses as a child but apparently the court considered that too embarrassing. So eye strain causes migraines and migraines causes eye strain. Rudolph suffers from endless eye problems. Soon he will suffer from glaucoma. Though STD can cause glaucoma his many eye problems predate 1886 so his glaucoma is just glaucoma. But his later STD aggravates the glaucoma. But ultimately glaucoma leads to blindness in the Victorian Era. Though no photo exists glaucoma and migraines both have doctors routinely issuing goggles and dark glasses for Rudolph. Today both items are so fashionable but back then they were considered nearly as dreadful as spectacles. Rudolph would spend the rest of his life hastily pulling goggles and dark glasses and thickening spectacles on and off as his fragile eyes deteriorate toward blindness. Approaching blindness is the one ironic thing Rudolph would share what Albrecht the Gravedigger of the Habsburgs.
Rudolph also catches any infection that goes around. He is always described as fragile. His resistance is fatally low. He is not a manly man ie robust and physically titanic like his father. He is the skinny geek who gets sand kicked in his face whose father despises him because he can’t go out for the football team. His concept of ‘sports’ is chess. The fact that from his early adolescence on he is also ridiculed for failing to ‘raise to the occasion’ unless drunk on champagne which he drinks like water to calm his anxiety does not help. Francis Joseph is a famous womanizer. His son’s sexual failures further undermine him in his father’s eyes.
Rudolph has asthma like his mother as well — including asthmatic panic attacks. Asthma has a proven if mysterious link to anxiety and depression. And much of the asthma features asthmatic panic attacks just like Sisi. In fact both Rudolph, Sisi, and Ludwig suffer from panic attacks from public speaking and being stared at. Sisi and Ludwig use the panic attacks to excuse running away from their responsibilities. Rudolph is determined to not surrender to the Wittelsbane Bane the way his mother and uncle have.
Rudolph shares many of the same illnesses as his mother. He is very much his mother’s son. He is also getting arthritis. He has terrible insomnia. His paralyzing migraines are probably PTSD headaches. Ditto his gastritis. Ditto his hypo vigilance, flashes of rage, irritability, fatigue, phantom pains in his bones and muscles, over active imagination from anxiety, over generation of the body’s chemicals of fight or flight, night mares and night terrors (which would include flashbacks), excessive self criticism, self harm, cutting, sexual problems, and self medicating. But he is probably getting over his bed wetting. . Mother and Son are so much alike but everyone forgives Sisi and no one forgives Rudolph. All of these classic symptoms of PTSD (from child abuse) are used to condemn Rudolph in his life time as weak, cowardly, defective, and unworthy.
Rudolph throughout his lifetime displays increasing symptoms of PTSD which is intertwined with Anxiety Depression along with probable OCD. Later these symptoms are used to accuse him of not only weakness and cowardice but morbid depression which are used to automatically declare Mayerling the byproduct of a defective coward. The symptoms are used by Stephanie and other critics of Rudolph to document Rudolph Decline & Fall with cynical and callous disregard. The symptoms today are classic PTSD and include developing sleep disorders, antsy nervy behavior (much like his mother), low energy, headaches along with migraines, stomach aches, gastrointestinal illnesses, early ulcers, muscular/bone pains (much like Sisi), nausea, often with a difficulty concentrating, sexual problems, and anorexia nervosa (much like Sisi). Both mother and son are terrified of getting fat in an era where fat is a sign of health and wealth and success.
Rudolph develops acute guilt, unworthiness, low self esteem, pessimism, low sex drive, poor sleeping, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, stupid accidents ie self harm, probably cutting. His body over generates excessive chemicals of fight or flight which is manifested as anxiety depression and hypo vigilance.
Anxiety can appear in childhood and did appear in Rudolph’s childhood pre-Brutal Colonel. Depression really kicks in during adolescence and did appear in Rudolph’s adolescence. The Wittelsbach Bane genetics feature both anxiety and depression and the inbred Habsburg genetics also feature other mental illnesses. Risk Factors all but insure that Rudolph’s childhood child abuse would become PTSD. Rudolph is now displaying classic Anxiety Depression as well as PTSD symptoms originating from child abuse.
PTSD shares all of the above symptoms and indeed Anxiety Depression are fundamental symptoms of PTSD. Even if Rudolph was not genetically predisposed to Anxiety Depression he would have manifested Anxiety Depression in PTSD. Anxiety Depression and PTSD share almost all of the same symptoms including hypo vigilance which Rudolph also suffers from, anger management difficulties, separation anxiety, irritability, excessive reaction to stress as if the body over generates chemicals to handle stress while already being stressed out, crippled social relationships, over active imagination, self harm, excessive guilt, and self medication. And both Anxiety Depression and PTSD over lap over into OCD which very often appears with Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, anorexia nervosa. Which comes first? Anxiety and then depression? Depression and then anxiety? Anxiety depression and then OCD? Or does OCD lead to Anxiety Depression? But child abuse does have a proven link to both Anxiety and Depression and PTSD and OCD. Little Rudolph probably had anxiety before the Brutal Colonel but after the Brutal Colonel he had Anxiety Depression and PTSD and OCD. (Please read Rudolph The Man And His Demons for more details).
OCD starts when terrible feelings or ideas or fears or urges or symptoms won’t go away. Like symptoms of Anxiety Depression with PTSD caused by child abuse and child neglect and stressful traumatic childhoods. To cope or function despite such a deluge of emotional and physical pain and nervosa OCD develops.
OCD leads to compulsions which are coping rituals such as cutting, hoarding or else strange examples of clutter, eating disorders as a form of control of the body even if nothing else can be controlled, chronic excessive perfectionism, impossible high standards, pressures to achieve the impossible, fear of failure, obsessive compulsive workaholic routines, obsession with details, micro managing of every tiny thing, excessive organization, hands on control, rigidity, fetishes, symmetry, cleaning rituals, and other complex control mechanisms. OCD sounds nutty and suicidal but ironically OCD is actually an amazingly desperate determination to continue to function despite overwhelming odds and overwhelming pain and overwhelming trauma.
Court doctors prescribed morphine for migraines and asthma and insomnia. Rudolph is especially upset by asthmatic panic attacks which stops him speaking before people. Sisi suffers from this exactly. She uses it to avoid her job and flee from life. But Rudolph is determined not to give in to his Wittelsbach Bane. But his asthmatic coughing sounds like TB. It is so painful and crippling. Asthmatic panic attacks are in part psychological and are as much symptoms of his Anxiety Depression and PTSD as they are physical. But more than either Sisi or Francis Joseph, Rudolph meets people and travels the country and Europe as the official face of the Hofburg. He meets more people than any other Habsburg of the Hofburg. He gives more speeches. He shakes more hands. He takes more bows. He returns more salutes. This is part of his job. He must do it —- somehow. So the increasing panic attacks are frightening because Rudolph is so determined NOT to end up like his mother Sisi. But unknown to Rudolph, his court doctors are not to be trusted.
Morphine and opium and cocaine are recklessly over prescribed by doctors and pharmacies to everyone in not only the Hofburg but the entire Victorian World. Popular child tonics even boast molasses plus opium or morphine. Laudanum is another popular elixir: opium and alcohol. Fowlers Tonic is alcohol and arsenic. Pharmacies sells pick me ups at the front counter as if a soda fountain. Coca Cola starts off as cocaine with soda water and sugar. The royal and rich and middle class might sneer the poor for shoving gin down the throats of their children and themselves but they are actually no better in their expensive drugging. Court pharmacy ledgers show that the royal family are over prescribed shocking amounts of drugs which today would be recklessly criminal.
Of course everyone smokes. Sisi and Rudolph chain smokes cigarettes. No one thinks anything about it. Ironically smoking, thought to calm nerves, actually aggravates anxiety depression .Even fatness is considered healthy. Sisi’s and Rudolph’s fear of fat is abnormal. Heavy drinking is likewise considered normal. Rudolph’s inability to drink a bottle at a time is considered a personality failure. A weakness of machismo.
The concept of ‘addiction’s was still so novel not even Freud understands it. When he admits a close doctor friend of his appears to suffer side effects from morphine (addiction ) he suggests a wonderful cure: cocaine. Freud swears by it!
So increasingly Rudolph is displaying all of the classic symptoms of PTSD and OCD along with Anxiety Depression which are leading to self medication which is leading to addiction which court doctors are recklessly aiding and abetting . The mental illnesses and their side effects of self medication and addiction tend to cluster together to form a psychological knot .
Today everyone should understand Rudolph’s blight. Rudolph is not a dropout or recreational addict or irresponsible weakling . Millions of human beings suffer exactly like Rudolph. Almost every movie star suffers exactly like Rudolph. Rudolph is not some ‘tailor’ ie coward or dishonorable cur.
He is a young man trying to function despite his grotesque inbreeding and child abuse resulting in Anxiety Depression, PTSD, OCD, self medicating, leading to addiction aided and abetted by a heavy drinking society and by irresponsible court doctors, scorned by his family, and ridiculed by society at large.
But in that era someone like Francis Joseph or Sisi would have seen Rudolph as a coward. And indeed both called Rudolph a coward as well as an embarrassment to their inflated egos. The court casually accuses Rudolph of being a worthless coward for the rest of his life because of Anxiety Depression, PTSD and OCD.
Once in London an Embassy official suggests they walk home well past midnight in Green Park after hearing about murders and muggings occurring there. Rudolph agrees. It is an obvious double dare. But he is jittery. Rudolph should have just told the jeering SOB to bugger off but Rudolph is so determined to prove he is not a coward he stupidly risks his life for a double dare. The diplomat still writes jeeringly to Taaffe who probably routs the intel on to Francis Joseph to prove how cowardly Rudolph was.
Rudolph hunts wild animals to prove to his father that he is not a coward including big and dangerous wild animals in the wilderness. Once his gun jams as a bear charges. Only the fast action of his gun man shoving his gun down the wounded bear’s throat saves Rudolph’s life. But no manner how many wild animals Rudolph hunts he can never persuade his father he is not a coward. Nor for that manner his many biographers. Who cares if he tries. Who cares why he fails . Rudolph can never live up to anyone ‘s expectations or standards —– including his own.
When warned not to travel to the Balkans because of death threats Rudolph goes anyway. Francis Joseph is not impressed. Scotland Yard and Parisian Secret Services and Belgium Secret Services warn Vienna that credible intel says Rudolph will be assassinated. Rudolph’s grimly continues and even tells his secretary that his father is aware of the situation. But absolutely no security is ever provided by Vienna in other cities or the Balkans . And in Vienna spies only monitor but do not act as bodyguards. Rudolph grits his teeth and does his duties no matter what . Everyone still calls him a coward. After Mayerling everyone repeats the official spiel and says of course Rudolph committed suicide —- because he was a famous coward. Case proved. End of discussion.
Already teenaged Rudolph is known to be unable to ‘raise to the occasion with ‘sanitation countesses’ to the disgust of his father Francis Joseph who is famous for his womanizing. Francis Joseph is presently enjoying a pair of sisters called Vetsera. One sister drowns in the Danube. Helen Vetsera is made of harder stuff. She swears to get revenge. Mary is sired. Most believe Mary is the bastard of Francis Joseph. But Francis Joseph has so many lovers and bastards he can’t be blackmailed. So Helen Vetsera later seduces young Rudolph at the same Hungarian retreat called Godollo where Francis Joseph seduced Helen and her doomed sister.
Rudolph embarrasses both parents by proving to be a poor rider. It is probably a phobia because both parents are famous for riding. Sisi rides to fox hounds recklessly as if lusting to break her pretty neck. Rudolph stubbornly declines to hunt. He is told not to embarrass his parents by riding unless he can keep his seat. Rudolph later becomes a competent if mediocre rider but hates horses and loves machines accordingly.
Rudolph becomes as disillusioned with his parents as they are with him. Rudolph comes to assume that everyone lies and everyone abandons and no one can be trusted except Gisela, Wowo, and Latour whom Rudolph still clings to despite being ordered to stay away. ‘Separation anxieties’ are typical of Anxiety Depression. Rudolph collects up to one hundred dogs from hunting dogs to what today would be called therapy dogs. In a cut throat town like Vienna dogs are just about the only beings he can trust to love him and protect him and guard his back.
Rudolph develops a ‘closed’ personality. He blots out whole chunks of his childhood and is suspicious and wary of people , defensive, assuming attack. He never opens up or confides. he never trusts. This is typical of PTSD from childhood abuse and also Anxiety Depression and OCD. All three mental illnesses start to manifest now and also come to dominate Rudolph. OCD rituals to exert control over the demons in order to continue to function come to the forefront. They are rituals of control in the face of powerlessness. Anorexia nervosa is likewise a ritual of control in the face of powerlessness and excessive demands for impossible perfection.
Around this time Rudolph consults Dr. Benedikt of Vienna. Benedikt is an early expert in nervosa which today is psychology. There is no other information about what went on between the doctor and the patient. Rudolph later crosses paths with doctors working with Freud but never crosses paths with Freud. But Freud’s ‘talking method’ would have failed with a ‘closed personality type’ like Rudolph. But Freud is working with hypnotists such those at Paris Medical Research Schools. Some of these research hypnotists were becoming famous. These doctors use hypnosis to probe the mysteries of the human mind no less than Freud. Freud later uses hypnosis combined with psycho-therapy to deal with ‘closed mind personalities’ such as Rudolph who can not open up or talk or even claim to ‘remember’ their repressed pains and torments. Excessively defensive types like Rudolph find trust in anyone hard. They don’t let down their defenses for anyone. But hypnotism therapy is ironically very effective with such ‘closed personalities’ such as Rudolph. In fact it is remarkably effective. It is a fascinating paradox.
Vienna was fast becoming the epicenter of psychology and if Rudolph had lived he would have within ten years enjoyed a wealth of expertise in mental illness and its treatments. Howbeit not with Freud. Freud underestimated the reality of child abuse and especially sexual abuse. Rudolph’s obvious sexual phobias might have had their origins with abuse by the Brutal Colonel —- some of which might have been sexual assault as well as shooting guns around Rudolph’s face or else shoving gun barrels into Rudolph’s mouth.
1878 Rudolph and scientists voyage down the Danube to prove Darwin Theories of Evolution which the Catholic Church finds scandalous. So is Rudolph’s inclination to hunt on Sundays —- sans church. Rudolph is assigned to Prague to be kept as far away from his parents as possible. Francis Joseph does not share and neither does Sisi. Gisela is married off so an important emotional anchor is severed. Around this time he is seduced by Helena Vetsera to piss off Francis Joseph. Bombelles manufactures the myth of elaborate cigarette cases to lovers based on Spanish Etiquette and social rank. As no such case has never materialized it is obvious Bombelles manufactured the myth to ‘sex up’ the royal geek so people would take him seriously. Bombelles uses Prague like a stage to sell his Shining Prince. Rudolph actually likes Prague where he can be himself and not be ridiculed and upstaged by the Hofburg or belittled by Sisi and Francis Joseph.
1879 Rudolph tours Spain. Like his Danube trip he writes a book about it. Each book is ridiculed by his father who asks who ghosts writes them for his son. Likewise Rudolph’s flare for speaking in ten languages (living and dead) is ridiculed and his speaking ability. Sisi can’t speak in public and indeed is terrified of people staring at her. She cannot function to do her job as empress or wife or mother. Francis Joseph cannot speak five sentences together to form a speech. But neither parent can find any praise for Rudolph no matter how hard he tries.
1880 Rudolph travels to Brussels to meet the Rubber Princess. Rudolph has exhausted all other potential Catholic brides so he is stuck with Stephanie. Stephanie loathes his red hair as ugly and repulsive. But she greedily asks what sort of crown jewels she could expect to enjoy, the exact size of her blue sapphire engagement ring, the nature of her silver tissue wedding gown, who would pay for the wedding in Vienna, what digs in what palaces she could expect to enjoy. Stephanie only sees Rudolph as her ticket to the Hofburg and all of its perks and grandeur. Rudolph is a Habsburg — not a human being who wants to be loved and needed and supported in the face of continuous belittling and humiliation. Instead of being Rudolph’s ally, Stephanie plots how to grind every last drop of Habsburg riches out of him.
She is shocked to discover that Rudolph owns no palaces or estates or family jewels. His Habsburg stipend is only 45,000 guilders which is the income only four times that of a professor. His military income of a newly promoted captain is pathetic. Stephanie is horrified. Everyone from Vienna is horrified with Stephanie’s greedy crassness. She wants to be empress. Period. Rudolph is unpleasant baggage necessary to achieve her sole goal in life. To be empress. Period. Later, after Meyerling, Stephanie writes her memoirs in which she blames Rudolph for denying her the dream of her life: to be empress.
When Sisi finally is pressured to come from London and see her son’s fiancée she makes sure to wear the best dress at the train station to show up Stephanie the ‘Flemish Camel’ also known as the ‘Flemish Giraffe’. Rudolph is all but crying. It is hatred at first sight between Sisi and Stephanie. Sisi’s sole concern is how to embarrass Stephanie . Stephanie ‘s sole concern is how to show up Sisi. No one gives a damn about Rudolph.
Sisi is pressured to meet Stephanie for tea with Rudolph. Stephanie spends the whole time talking about the Wittelsbach Bane and how dreadful it must be for Sisi to know she would probably go insane. For some reason Sisi decides to take this personally and storms out. Ditto Rudolph ( after pointing out that any children Stephanie might spawn from Rudolph would be ‘insane’ too.). Rudolph cries helplessly but Sisi storms back to London and ignores her son’s blight until just before his wedding.
It never occurs to Sisi to try to save her son from an obviously disastrously wedding to a dreadful human being. Francis Joseph just wants a grandson to disinherit Rudolph much as his father was disinherited in order to crown Francis Joseph.
Rudolph and Wales arranges to communicates Rudolph’s unhappiness to his parents. They hunt and haul back endless bear rugs to prove to Francis Joseph that Rudolph is not a coward. Then Rudolph shoots a beautiful mountain cat in front of Sisi in a way that all but screams out ‘Help Me!’ to telegraph his desperate panic about the upcoming marriage. Sisi declines to take the hint despite the fact Wales is trying to warn both self absorbed parents that Rudolph is frantic about this disaster of a marriage. Sisi storms away until two days before the Wedding while plotting how to upstage Stephanie with the most spectacular gown and jewels she can stage manage.
Fortunately evidence indicates that Rudolph already knows Mizzi Caspar. MC is a lower middle class ‘sweet girl’ who lives with her mother in Vienna. They are already such an item Rudoph takes MC to meet the Rubber Princess! Shades of Charles and Carmilla meeting Diana!
A ‘Sweet Girl’ is a Viennese term for a girl of the middle or lower middle class who is a boy’s girl friend or lover or mistress or common law wife or significant other but who is not a lower class servant turned dollymop or street doxie or else elite courtesan. She is a girl friend who is also a lover. But she is more as the name implies. She is an emotionally important partner or soul mate or even common law wife. MC will be Rudolph’s significant other for the rest of their life together.
Only MC will never ever betray Rudolph. Though there is evidence Rudolph bought her flat she boasts no lavish riches off him. And MC lives in her Viennese flat with Mrs. Caspar. So when Rudolph lives with MC in her flat he also lives with Mrs. Caspar. The last night of Rudolph’s life in Vienna was spent with MC in her flat —- along with Mrs. Caspar.
1881 Rudolph takes his Palestine trip and writes a book.
Rudolph and Stephanie marries. The pasty faced and ackward Stephanie is already so tall yet flat chested she rivals Rudolph. So incredibly she orders custom French high heels so she can stand one inch taller than Rudolph at her wedding. Rudolph cries up to the moment he must marry the Rubber Princess. Sisi does not give a damn. King Leopold is as greedy as his daughter for parvenu riches he can squeeze out of the notoriously cheap Francis Joseph. Francis Joseph only worries about Spanish etiquette pomp and circumstances. So no one cares that Rudolph is crying as if about to die. Wales has to invite himself to be Rudolph’s best man. Wales is Rudolph’s only friend at his own wedding.
Rudolph and the Rubber Princess then takes a carriage ride to a fairy tale castle called Laxemburg where Habsburg weddings are consummated. Sophie arranged everything to the nano degree for Sisi and her precious sonny boy Francis Joseph. Now it was Sisi’s turn for her sunny boy and Stephanie.
The bride and groom arrives during a freezing spring night to find a damp castle, no fires, no curtains, no rugs, no sheets, no blankets, no hot water bottles, no hot water, the chamber pots and water pitchers frozen, no flowers, no food, the few servants not briefed that any marriage is happening at all. Stephanie never ever ever forgives her mother- in- law Sisi for as long as she lives.
Stephanie is such a narcissist she never bothers to ask Rudolph how he feels to be so badly treated by his own mother.
Stephanie later also complained how ackwardly Rudolph made love to her and what an unbelievably awful honeymoon she endured and how utterly disillusioned and disgusted she was by the whole experience.
Typical of her later self absorbed memoirs she never ever once says she ever loved Rudolph. Later she conspired to try to replace Sisi with ‘lonely’ Francis Joseph delusional that just because Sisi was rarely ever in Vienna that meant Stephanie could fill her tiny shoes with her own gigantic feet and take her place and become the most beautiful and beloved royal in Vienna! Nay! Europe! Nay! The World!
But Stephanie never bothers to interest herself in Rudolph’s job or friends or interests or concerns or hobbies or ambitions. She is on record nagging and criticizing and belittling Rudolph nonstop until the end of his life. Then she spent the rest of her life libeling Rudolph’s memory until the day she died.
Besides his job Rudolph has to run the household and draw up the menus and pick the wines and order the horses and beg to have hip baths ready for a quick wash between arriving home from his job and the arrival of guests. All while painstakingly explaining to Stephanie what the guests would expect to find. All while pleading to Stephanie not to put her gigantic high heel feet into her mouth. Stephanie is not on record spending her Congo Blood Money on anyone but herself. Rudolph probably did not want her Congo Blood Money which came from brutalizing Africans a la ‘Heart Of Darkness’. Stephanie was never bothered by that book which exposed the shocking horrors of the Congo.
Meanwhile Wales meets Leon Gambetta in a top secret meeting to try to secure a Entente Cordiale (with Wales representing Lord Aberdeen) to cage the Hohenzollern Eagle. Von Holstein the spy master of Bismarck and his minion Smutty Petri an ex-cleric with a penchant for manufacturing sex scandals and forgeries arranges for Gambetta and also a key Russian diplomat to meet sordid ends as ‘suicides’ caused by supposed sex scandals garnished with forged suicide notes. So much for an Entente! Germany is now too big for Europe but too small for the world.
1882 Rudolph joins an association for the preservation of birds. He does not seen the contradiction with hunting birds and mounting increasingly complex taxidermy displays in his own natural history museum ie his bedroom which is now becoming alarmingly crowded with taxidermy, bird eggs, fossils, mineral displays, birds, newspapers, over one thousand books, and dogs. This is a trademark of OCD. Fortunately Stephanie lives in suites beside his rooms so they rarely see each other. Her parvenu tastes don’t match his OCD clutter. His facial tick and other fussbudget micro managing OCD mannerisms are becoming more obvious. Stephanie’s continuous nagging and belittling reinforces the continuous nagging and belittling of Rudolph by Sisi and Francis Joseph.
Rudolph never dances at courts balls or else balls at court (two totally different things!) to not arouse scandal. But he often slumps oddly into his chair in an era of stiff posture. That is disconcerting to people. However Rudolph can vacuum the room for intel like the geek chatterbox he is.
Stephanie the graceless ‘Flemish camel’ stomps on everyone’s toes and offends absolutely everyone while preening in expensive parvenu couture and vulgar jewels while insulting the antiquated Hofburg and fuddy duddy old Vienna for not being Paris or at lest Brussels — all while whining that the Hofburg does not have one functioning bathroom .
Mysteriously Rudolph preserves one of his many dogs, a Retriever, as if unable to part with the few creatures who might possibly love him. ‘Separation anxiety’ taken to an extreme!
Stephanie continues her diaries which provide an alternative reality where she is as beautiful as Sisi, worshipped and adored by one and all, the right hand of Francis Joseph, her spectacular flaxen hair and flawless face (ignore the blotches please!) beloved of artists, her sparkling wit famous, her intelligence and grasp of German astonishing (ignore the appalling accent), her high heel feet exquisite (ignore the size and high heels) her elephantine grace unsurpassed. All while peevishly nagging obsessively and viciously on Rudolph’s many perceived failings and ugliness while ranting about Sisi’s decaying beauty and madness while boasting that soon Francis Joseph would not be able to live without her while whining how awful Prague was while bitching how spiteful Sisi was to forbid her enjoying expensive palaces and royal jewels while trying to compete with Sisi’s famous couture while whining that Rudolph ignored her for his job while describing handsome Reds (Cavalry hussars) in their skin tight breeches and bulging manhood savoring her spectacular beauty while announcing when her period was or wasn’t occurring . Apparently Rudolph use the period to scientifically calculate the maximum chance for procreation in a direct mathematical ratio for the minimum time required to copulate. For some reason it takes two years for Stephanie finally gets pregnant.
Stephanie wants to be in Vienna to give birth. Everyone in Vienna wants Stephanie to stay in Prague. Sisi refuses to allow her to come to Vienna when she is there. Rudolph who loves Prague has to negotiate a return to Vienna for Stephanie. The only good thing to happen is the glorious electric exhibit. Rudolph’s ‘ocean of light’ phase is a hit. Rudolph worked extensively on it but the entire Hofburg ignores it . Totally ignores it! AS IN TOTALLY IGNORES IT! Another back of the collective hand to Rudolph!
Stephanie finally gives birth in drafty damp old Laxemburg Castle the least liked royal digs where he has grace and favor as a charity royal.
1883 Erzsi is born. She is Rudolph’s only child. Female means she is dynastically unimportant. When no son continues to appear despite another five years Rudolph and Stephanie’s position at court becomes increasingly critical. Habsburg emperorship is not a direct father to son inheritance and Francis Joseph had made it painfully clear he dislikes both Rudolph and Stephanie.
1884 Francis Joseph again asked Supreme Commander Albrecht when the modern gunnery will be ready. But Albrecht is too busy going blind and senile while hunting down Magyar conspiracies to find time. Archduke Leopold the Inspector of Infantry takes over the job of worrying about modern gunnery. The Mauser 71-84 gun fails. The tubular magazine is first seen as a miracle during the Turkish Russian War and then seen as a pain in the arse limitation. So the search for a better repeater rifle to replace the obsolete pin rifle goes on. Rubin invents the first brilliant full metal jacket rifle bullet. Paul Vielle perfects the first nitrocellulose for to fit a brand new Rubin 8 mm full metal jacket rifle bullet. The rumors are 2000fps. But is it true?It is all very top secret and heretofore nitro has spectacularly failed. The French Lebel is a mediocre tubular repeater prototype. Mannlicher launches his first blueprints for a revolutionary repeater that will soon make history.
Rudolph already has a gun fetish no less than a bird and taxidermy fetish and is avidly following every gunnery advance with every fiber of his OCD being. Archduke Leopold is Inspector of Infantry and responsible for modern gunnery for the antiquated army. It is a job that Rudolph will inherit as both men are consumed and then destroyed by the gun crisis.
1885 Rudolph starts his ambitious 20 volume Encyclopedia of the History of the Austro Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Pictures. He treats it as if a beloved child, an appeal for the fraying people of the empire to try one last time to save the unraveling country, a desperate appeal for the disillusioned people to stop abandoning the country for America, a homage to the doomed Habsburgs, and dirge, a requiem, and a lament.
1885 Colonel Rubin and Colonel Schmidt starts to create the Swiss Repeater rifle. The Lee Metford Repeater is also a prototype. Browning is stalled no less than Mauser. The tube magazine (such as Browning and Mauser and Lebel has ) is doomed but no one can get around it except the Rubin/ Schmidt repeater and the rumored Lee Metford Repeater. Mauser is suffering through a bad patch. He has nothing to offer at all.
The time is perfect and everyone is spectacularly awed when Mannlicher launches his revolutionary repeater complete with an elegantly slim and light shape, flawless receiver mechanism, elegant barrel with a special 318 custom bore, elegant wooden stock, and revolutionary enbloc packet magazine clip that loads in two seconds. The enbloc packet magazine clip holds five Rubin style full 8 mm full metal jacket bullets. Steyr plans to load the full metal jacket with the best black powder around: 1610 fps blend that almost rivals unseen and unstable nitro. The custom fast shooting straight bolt applies the exact NEEDFUL PRESSURE. The repeater will be the lightest, the slimmest, the fastest to load, and the fastest to shoot repeater in the entire world. Drum Roll Please!
Albrecht and Francis Joseph cannot make head or tails of the revolutionary gun. No cutoff? To small! What with the hole? And why can’t it shoot tons of left over old 11mm ammo? Waste not! Want not! So what if Rubin ordained 8mm to be the perfect full metal jacket! What the heck is a full metal jacket anyway? Waste not! Want not! What is 1610 fps? What is fps. (Feet Per Second). Why can’t it shoot 11mm…..
1886 Rudolph almost dies of gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is normally a life preventer and not a life destroyer. But Rudolph physically takes after his mother Sisi who also almost died when infected . His famous gaunt face photographic stare adores all books about his morbid suicidal despair. Opps! 86? Not 89!
Rudolph was already psychologically impotent before he was infected. Despite years with MC she is never pregnant. Despite rumors of 30 bastards only one known bastard is on record — a possibly Jewish Russian boy born in Chicago.
General Longstreet saves Rudolph from terrible scandal by sweeping the girl away to Chicago where she dies in childbirth. Then Longsteet buries the dead Russian girl Rudolph met in Swizerland and asked Longstreet to hide in America. Then Longstreet whisks the boy baby away forever never to be found despite searching by spies for Willy eager for a scandal which would get Rudolph executed. So that boy child, Rudolph’s only boy child, must have been Jewish. Treason against the Catholic Habsburg Dynasty. Absolute death sentence if that boy had ever been found.
Likewise the fact Stephanie and Rudolph took two years to conceive Erzsi and then nearly four years passed before he became infected with gonorrhea and therefore sterile without conceiving again. That all means that Rudolph clearly suffered from a low libido. Anxiety Depression and PTSD causes low libido. If Rudolph needed to be drunk to ‘raise to the occasion’ then that would also aggravate his low libido. His struggles with alcohol would also cause low libido. Howbeit being married to the Rubber Princess would be enough to put anyone off their feed.
Gonorrhea is manifested very quickly in men but women can be infected and appear to display no symptoms for months or even years. Rudolph and Stephanie came down at the same time. Stephanie naturally accused Rudolph but she was as sexually active as Rudolph. Likely more so. But not with Rudolph. Stephanie’s panting entries and hypo descriptions of handsome men while broadcasting of her period while raving how jealous Rudolph was about her many delusional admirers and long stays at resorts away from Rudolph who was always traveling because of his job all implies she was more sexual than Rudolph. Stephanie later entertained her bitter sister to panting details of her many lovers like Potocki and Elemer Lonyay.
Rudolph was even timid the few times he ventured into Mrs. Wolfe’s famous establishment while Willy whored. Rudolph apparently even asked for MC to be there so he would not be alone. MC was a ‘sweet girl’ but not a professional courtesan of Mrs. Wolfe’s caliber. She was Rudolph’s long time significant other and established mistress. His ‘Camilla’. His true love as he told many intimate family members.
Rudolph’s low self esteem and obvious sexual problems which he displayed from adolescence on meant he would be wary, anxious, defensive, and nervy during sex when he would be vulnerable to attack and the target for yet more scorn and ridicule.
Dr. John T Salvendy MD in his bio on Rudolph debunked the whole myth of Rudolph being a sexual stud. Psychology simply prevented it entirely. Otto’s naughty escapades got attached to Rudolph. Hollywood be damned, Rudolph simply did not have the time, libido, physical strength, or sexually ability to play Charles Boyer playing him.
So if MC was seen at Mrs. Wolfe’s famous establishment then she came with Rudolph who had to baby sit Willy when he whored. Asking your established long time girl friend to come and stay by your side as you baby sat a bragging bully says something!
And there is evidence that Willy treated Vienna as his brothel and not only expected the Hofburg to play for it —- he actually expected Rudolph to pay for it! Rudolph actually had to pick up the tab not only at Mrs. Wolfe’ establishment for Willy, he had to pick up Willy’s mess club tabs! Some bills over one quarter of his entire yearly Hofburg stipend! So either Rudolph or Stephanie could have infected each other.
Dr. Salvendy confirmed in his bio of Rudolph that Dr. Holler was right. A careful combing the court pharmacy ledgers confirms that Rudolph was only treated once for gonorrhea. Never for syphilis. Therefore medical treatment proved Rudolph only had gonorrhea. Salvendy was quite firm on this to the point of being bristly.
If a court doctor suspected syphilis and refused to treat the Crown Prince then he would have committed both medical malpractice and treason. Would Francis Joseph later reward Dr. Widerhofer’s service to his dead son by making him his own doctor if he really withheld treatment for a royal prince resulting in murder and madness and suicide?
Yes. Widerhofer was paid off to lie post death by implying Rudolph died insane by syphilis to claim that Mayerling was a Love & Death murder/suicide. Sure. But Group Captain Rudolph Taaffe told Judith Listowell that the last keeper of the infamous metal box told him explicitly that Mayerling was a military hit. Widerhofer and other court minions including von Slatin invented the Mary & Madness nonsense as a red herring.
The telegraphic memorandum to the Pope claiming murder/suicide by syphilis madness was turned down flat by the Pope. A second longer telegraphic memorandum secured permission from the Pope for Catholic burial (and to fund a nunnery at Mayerling) based on an affair of state and not an affair of the heart. Rudolph perished because he was KILLED and not because he was an insane murderer/suicide because of syphilis. Galimberti and Count Esterhazy prepared it and confirmed it.
Therefore Rudolph had gonorrhea. Do not mix up the STDs! However the result was impotence and sterility. Not madness! Gonorrhea was a minor STD which almost 30% of the army had including Francis Joseph himself. Myths to the contrary , Rudolph was clearly no womanizer and he was not dying on his feet from syphilis. Much less was he going insane from syphilis. The gaunt face on the right is 86. The mustache face on the left is Rudolph in 89.
Despite his near death Rudolph was in Berlin before the month was out. There was a diplomatic crisis. Francis Joseph tended to stay on his home turf to micro manage his encounters with his fellow royals. Rudolph did a lot of the diplomatic travels around Europe as well as all over the country as well as visits to the Balkans and the Istanbul. So sick or well Rudolph was in Berlin. Rudolph would travel continuously. But unlike Sisi’s pointless ramblings and Stephanie’s luxury stays at luxury hotels and resorts, Rudolph’s nonstop travels were because of diplomatic needs, conventions , military inspections, war games, working with Baron Hirsch and his transcontinental Railroad Orient Express Corridor which Rudolph considered crucial for the country, or to develop Trieste as the fallback port with the loss of Venice. And of course to hunt. Interestingly there is evidence that MC traveled with Rudolph just as there is evidence that Rudolph went with MC to middle class outdoor heurigen clubs .
Rudolph’s hunting was pale in comparison with his father and other archdukes and kings and Kaisers. But it was Rudolph’s only escape from the pressure of his job. And his hunting allowed him to enjoy his love of birds, plants, and nature. His training was in the natural sciences. He is known to hunt in the rough, sleeping in crude sleeping boxes and smelly hunting huts or camping out. Stalking. Foraging. Drawing . His deteriorating eyes were not that bad yet. But they would be soon. Like Sisi, Rudolph did not enjoy the Spanish Etiquette of the Hofburg. Stephanie loved the stiff formality and people groveling with Spanish Etiquette. ‘I prostate myself before Your Highness! May I haul off your royal slops?’
More fights occurred over the Mannlicher Repeater as the prototype prepared to roll of the manufacturing line as 86 moved to a close. The crisis was over the 11 mm bullet. Everyone wanted the future: 8mm. Francis Joseph and Albrecht dug in and demanded 11mm. Waste not! Want not! Penny wise and pound foolish! They were forcing Steyr and Mannlicher to engineer a revolutionary gun to shoot obsolete bullets! Leopold tried and tried. Rudolph tried and tried. Everyone tried and tried. Two old men absolutely would not be moved. Advance models rolled off the assembly line. But no one was happy. Mannlicher was furious. Rudolph was flabbergasted. Everyone knew it was a horrible blunder. Soon the 11 mm Blunder became the 11mm Debacle.
The Meille Miracle was announced. France had successfully created a genuine nitro full metal jacket bullet and shot it out of a repeater rifle! Drum Roll Please! The 11 m Blunder became the 11 mm Debacle!
Actually the Mannlicher Repeater was still the best in the world. The 1610 fps inside a 8 mm full metal jacket was still the second best ammo in the world. The Vielle Balle 8 mm full metal jacket nitro was the best but not revealed or confirmed. The French were coy. Very coy. And the revolutionary bullet was being shot out of a mediocre Lebel tubular magazine. That seriously nullified its 2000fps. The Lebel was an extraordinarily mediocre repeater rifle.
The powwow at Steyr ended up declaring the Steyr Miracle tied the Meille Miracle. Mano y mano the fastest gun and second best bullet (if 8 mm) would tie the still untested and unseen nitro if shot out of a lousy gun. So Leopold and Rudolph and Mannlicher and Steyr decided to use the Meille Miracle to bludgeon Francis Joseph and Albrecht into recanting their 11 mm Blunder. Then the 11 mm Blunder could be corrected.
Please note no one panicked about nitro. No. Cleverly the Meille Miracle was used to fix the 11 mm Blunder. That would make the 8 mm 1610 fps full metal jacket bullet the second best bullet in the world. And no one had seen a genuine Vielle nitro to even prove if it even existed. This was not panic. This was a smart reaction to rumors.
Meanwhile Bismarck’s shriek could be heard halfway around the world: ‘The inferiority of our armaments would be sufficient to encourage France Russia to fall upon us!’. Compare the panic of Bismarck with the calmness of Leopold and his successor Rudolph.
The guns already manufactured were ordered back. The factory floor retooled to rebore the guns. The receiver mechanism and clip was restored to 8 mm. The 318 rifle pattern was retested. The straight bolt was retested. The 8 mm 1610 fps full metal jacket bullet was tested. The bullet was tested in the gun. Everything was carefully and painstakingly retested. Being naturally OCD anal Rudolph probably was on the factory floor as every nano micro inch of the conversion was done. Sometimes being a fussbudget can be good even if it drove his royal kindred crazy. On the engineering floor being anal is crucial.
Then the 90,000 guns were salvaged. Then the floor was retooled to mass produce the rest of the guns ordered for the Imperial Army. It was stressful and meant cost overruns but it was precisely and well done. No ‘hiccups’ or ‘teething’ or any problems occurred whatsoever. Quality and Quantity and Integrity and Reliability stayed the trade mark of Steyr. Sure. Sure. The 86 and 87 War Games would be missed. The goal to arm and train the army was moved to the 88 War Games. The delays and cost overruns were appalling. That is why the 11 mm Blunder became the 11 mm Debacle. But Quality and Quantity and Integrity and Reliability stayed. The Imperial Army would have the best repeater and second best proven bullet. By 88 the Imperial Army would still tie the Meille Miracle.
Francis Joseph and Albrecht ordered Leopold to take the fall for the 11 mm Debacle despite the fact the order for the 11 mm came from Francis Joseph and Albrecht. Later the same two old men would order Rudolph to take the fall for the same 11 mm Debacle and more. The modus operandi for scapegoating was set.
As one Inspector of Infantry prepared to take the fall another Inspector General of Infantry was nominated: Rudolph. That probably meant Rudolph was Leopold’s choice and was on the ground during the entire gun crisis. Rudolph’s gun fetish and his OCD perchant for painstaking attention to detail, hands on management, painstaking fussbudget organization, and his scientific turn of mind meant he would be very good at this. As infantry, his job required gunnery. The infantry fetish is a gun fetish. Rudolph’s job and mind set and micro managing hands on attitude and nerd personality would put Rudolph front and center to the gun crisis. It would also lead to his death.
Meanwhile the Enfield Armory likewise stuck to their prototype and continued work. Ditto Rubin. Ditto Mauser . Ditto Browning . Only one major country panicked as the Meille Miracle was announced: The Reich. ‘The inferiority of our armaments would be sufficient to encourage France or Russia to fall up us!’
1887 Bismarck orders Spandau to cut corners and produce a repeater rifle and full metal jacket bullet and nitro no matter how. Just do it! NOW! Through the Junker Ambassador to Paris who later became the Supreme Commander of the Army Spandau arranged to contact a Judas called Schnabele. He was paid 20,000 gold reichmarks for a Lebel Rifle and samples of the Vielle Balle 8 mm full metal jacket bullets. At the same time Industrial spies pilfered the Lee 60% bolt patent, the Mauser 90% 1871/1884 bolt patent, the Rubin full metal jacket bullet patent, and of course the Mannlicher Repeater Rifle patent. Not the Steyr 1610fps full metal jacket bullet. That was an odd omission. Spandau was fixated on nitro which heretofore was notoriously unstable. Was the Vielle nitro even real? Proven? Safe? The Streyr bullet not only was proven and on the market but corrected to 8mm and boasted a solid R & D. And Streyr R & D was marching firmly toward a hybrid nitro bullet by 90 and a full nitro by 95 complete with Rubin rimless torpedo point. Why not steal everything while Spandau was at it?
But Spandau trusted the sample bullets their industrial espionage secured from Paris. They took the samples at face value. Spandau jumped right into nitro, rimless, despite have absolutely no R & D of their own. They likewise now cobbled together a Mannlicher Repeater with a Mauser 90% bolt dated 1871/1884 (pre nitro) and Lebel rifle pattern to shoot a knock off of a Vielle 8 mm Balle Rubin full metal jacket bullet. All sans any R & D. One year from stealing to testing! Who needs R & D anyway? War Games in 88 would unveil the Spandau Miracle !
Meanwhile Queen Victoria enjoyed her Jubilee in London in 1887. Everyone came. Francis Joseph begged Sisi so Sisi came and hid in her hotel room. Queen Victoria just chuckled. Despite being plain compared to the once famously beautiful Sisi, Queen Victoria was now one of the most powerful and famous rulers on the entire planet. Smart. focused. Determined. Regal. She triumphed now as the haunted and ravished Sisi cowered in her hotel room.
The dying Prince Frederick and Vicky, Victoria’s eldest daughter, came with Willy in tow. Rudolph represented the Hofburg. Willy delivered a shocking Pan German Manifest Destiny Our Place In The Sun speech where Willy boasted of not only conquering the world but carving up Austro Hungary to seize Austria, Industrial Bohemia, Austro Poland, and Galica, while tossing the dross to the dust bin of history while giving away the Hinterland to Russia to buy off Russia. Willy joked about receiving the key to the city and keeping it to rule FOR Victoria while boasting of marching into Vienna to show Francis Joseph how real Kaisers ruled. Everyone listened drop jawed!
Rudolph just wiped his thick glasses blandly and then winked at the American Ambassador who was utterly shocked while Wales’s narrow eyes further narrowed into thin slits of quiet rage. Every diplomat and ambassador and royal grimaced drop jawed while dying Frederick desperately tried to apologize for his son who obviously was going to be the next Kaiser of the Imperial Second Reich. Vicky whimpered as she writhed her hands together. Then Rudolph ironically asked for a clarification. Which moldy old empire was Willy talking about marching into? His? Or the host’s?
Later Willy would sneer ‘I but abide my time!’ as his father lay dying. Wales would punch him in his smirking face. WW1 would symbolically start at that moment.
Queen Victoria surprised everyone by bestowing the Garter on Rudolph — but not Willy. She tickles Rudolph’s bony calf and winks at the chuckling Wales. The grim Rudolph laughs. Later he enjoys a second stroll in Green Park without the contemptuous courter who so libeled him to the Hofburg.
Mary Vetsera tried to gate crash the party to no avail. No one remembers her even being in London. But Mary raves delusional that she is having a torrid affair with Rudolph after she returns to Vienna. Despite being a Second Estate Baroness not allowed inside any royal bastion from an all but bankrupt family made notorious by the ‘unbelievable’ Helen Vetsera the cast off mistress of both Francis Joseph and Rudolph (if you can call revenge seduction of adolescent Rudolph an affair ) Mary starts to wave love letters from Rudolph to her —- written in her own handwriting.
Then Mary heads off to Egypt to deflower herself with a British officer and around the same time poses for an oil au natural. She would choose to die au natural was well. This is not normal Victorian behavior when even Madame X asked Sargent to repaint that infamous portrait with her dangling shoulder strap replaced morally upright. Her childhood infatuation with her mother’s teenaged lover is becoming an obsession.
Later after the Jubilee poor Prince Frederick dies slowly and horribly within a month of his dying father in 1888. Bismarck’s choice of German doctors warred with Vicky’s British doctors to make sure Frederick’s cancer was slowly drawn out and grossly manhandled. The man Bismarck hated died very very. very, very slowly. Rudolph writes his 40th ornithological article for Alfred Brehm about birds.
As Frederick dies oh so slowly Willy storms into the small palace of his liberal and progressive Anglophile parents who were all but under house arrest. Willy tears through rooms looking for something. Papers? Evidence? What? He all but tears the place apart! Why? All while his poor father is dying! Why? He is frantic! He all but strikes his poor grieving mother who is about to be a widow. Why?
The Secrets of the Hohenzollerns by Armgaard Karl Graves later reveals the shocking mystery of the Black Ebony Box. The Black Ebony Box contains all of the top secrets and taboos and blessings and curses of the Royal Family of the Imperial Second Reich. It must be received by the next heir in line and read fearfully and then sworn to on bent knee before God. Every sacred oath must be obeyed or else. No coronation is legal without it. The magical white stags of the Hohenollerns blesses it. And the fearsome ghost the White Lady guards it and enforces it. The White Lady keeps the keys to every room and every secret of the Hohenzollerns. To see the White Lady is to see your banshee forewarning of your death or ruination. Willy does not find the Black Ebony Box his dying father has taken.
Meanwhile, as 1888 unfolds , Willy’s father dies as Vicky wails. Willy threatens his mother to no avail. She proudly gestures to her son with contempt that his father is dead. Willy storms out. Where is the Black Ebony Box ? Who has the dying Frederick given it to? What connection does the disappearance of the sacred relic have to the shocking events which occurred in London and will play out throughout 88 to climax at Mayerling?
Has the dying man given the Black Ebony Box to a new custodian to force Willy to give up his warmongering ? To Wales who is pursuing his Entente to cage the Hohyonzollern Eagle? To Victoria ? To Rudolph?
Among other sacred protocols , the Kaiser cannot wage war without the Black Ebony Box. Willy has just proven that he is a warmonger and it is known that a war is overdue. It is striking that for now on Willy and Rudolph act like each other’s mortal enemies . Before Frederick ‘s death Vicky and Frederick are secretly writing to Rudolph. They are telling everyone that Rudolph is the son they always wanted to have . Frederick has long regretted the wars which built the Reich. Frederick now fears Bismarck’s Frankenstein Monster of the Imperial Second Reich. Did a dying and remorseful man give Rudolph the Black Ebony Box? Does Rudolph have the Black Ebony Box? And what are the conditions Bismarck and Willy must agree to before the Black Ebony Box is returned to them?
By now Bismarck, Wales, Rudolph, and Willy’s parents all know that Willy is defective. Not just his withered arm or small manhood. His soul. His brain. During birth he was oxygen deprived for between two and three minutes. Even Bismarck speaks of Willy’s ‘abnormal mental condition’.
Willy is Bipolar. Manic attacks are infinitely more dangerous than Rudolph’s Anxiety Depression which causes him to be careful and deliberate. Willy is reckless and volatile and often goes berserk. He thinks God talks directly to him. He over compensates for inner weakness and shame as well as physical flaws. He is excessively vain and narcissistic. He is a bully and sadist. His is famous for his kitsch taste, jewelry, drag- like uniforms, fashionista behavior, stag parties and orgies featuring mostly male sycophant friends, as well as his worship of hypo machismo Prussians —- who loath him. His bragging at Mrs. Wolfe is suspicious. She later spreads reports that Willy is not the man he claims to be as well as confirming he is openly boasting of carving up Austro Hungary and taking over the Hofburg from the Habsburgs . Willy assaults the Duke of Saxe Coburg Gotha so badly he must go to hospital. Such assaults are more common than they should be. Junkers whisper ‘He has always been weak…. neither his nerves or his intellect is up to the needs….’
Max Harden a Jewish Reporter is gathering up reports he later shares with Rudolph before publishing post Mayerling about Willy’s Darling Circle of the Gay Camarilla featuring Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg and Count von Moltke who are reputed to lovers ….. among others lovers …. including …..Willy.
Willy’s shocking contempt at the funeral of poor Ludwig of Bavaria is more an over reaction by a closeted sodomite to another closeted sodomite than a confident man sure of his sexuality. In comparison Rudolph was both gracious and dignified about his poor uncle.
Then there are rumors of Count Emil von Schlitz prancing about in a poodle costume with an unique rectal opening to be buggered by Dietrich von Hulsen Haeseler dressed in drag like a ballet dancer complete with a tutu and feather hat …..dying while in drag …. .while buggering…. Compared with Willy, Rudolph’s mental illnesses appear tame….
Kingship and coronations are hedged with ancient mysteries and talismans and oaths and curses. Willy does not have the Black Ebony Box. Without the sacred relic Willy has no lawful and ancient blessings or holy protectors. But Willy does have an infamous banshee ghost as his eternal palace guest. And the White Lady’s juggling keys says she knows all of the secrets of the Royal Family including Willy’s deepest and darkest secrets.
Bismarck is probably the sort to scoff at such paranormal and supernatural nonsense but Willy is more superstitious and inclined to fear. And when push comes to shove should even Bismarck risk paranormal and supernatural damnation? Is there such a thing as contagious bad luck? Or does Mr. Commanding Heights really have total control over not only his destiny and Willy’s destiny but his nation’s destiny?
Bismarck stage manages a spectacular coronation where Willy The Warmonger struts and bellows and threatens the whole of Europe. All without the blessing of the mysterious Black Ebony Box which contains the deadly secrets of the Hohenzollerns including a paranormal curse if any Hohenzollern Kaiser wages war or plots war before the age of 40. It is an odd fact that all but one Hohenzollern Kaiser waged war only after the age of 40 — except for one chap who died rather badly. Such a curious clause is the only explanation why Frederick turned down his father Wilhelm’s offer to become Kaiser in his place. Prussia was in the middle of an approaching war. Per that clause Frederick could not accept the crown and wage the war. He was not yet forty. That caused the aging Wilhelm The First to turn to Bismarck. That ultimately caused Frederick and Vicky to become defacto prisoners under house arrest later by Bismarck. That clause and Frederick’s fearful obedience led directly Bismarck becoming Mr. Commanding Heights and the creation of the Imperial Second Reich. But now that supernatural clause might trip up both Bismarck and Willy.
Europe knows that the Imperial Second Reich is manufacturing a war in 89 or 90 and Willy wants to play warlord. Willy is scarcely thirty. This proposed 89 or 90 war will now be waged without the blessing of the Black Ebony Box.
Unbeknown to Willy the Black Ebony Box’s deadly contents ritually damns Willy and arouses the paranormal wrath of the White Lady of the Hohenzollerns. The White Lady curses as well as guards. The White Lady and her magical White Stag gives good luck or bad luck. Anyone who sees the fatal ghost or incurs her wrath is damned . With dire luck. With misfortune . With defeat. With death . With damnation. Contagious damnation.
The sacred coronation is damned. Willy not only damns himself but his reign and the Imperial Second Reich. The Gun Crisis spirals into endless bad luck as everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Bismarck falls from his commanding heights . The Gay Scandal erupts. The deficit explodes into 73% of the GNP. The Reich alienates everyone including Russia. Later Willy sees the White Lady in 1914. The war is doomed before it starts . It causes the unleashing of Lenin and the fall of Imperial Russia. The Imperial Second Reich crashes. That crash spawns Hitler’s Third Reich and WW2. That births The Cold War, Communistic China, The Korean War, Viet Nam, and the present Near East wars to ISIS. Chance ? Who knows? Who knows where the curst Black Ebony Box is today?
Meanwhile Rudolph shaves off his beard for his birthday. The birthday is far more humble than his father’s birthday which has just ocurred. Only his few friends and servants come. Erzsi and Rudolph gives each person a small and inexpensive but thoughtful gift. It is a sad little celebration. Szeps writes a letter trying to pluck up Rudolph’s spirits. Rudolph admits being 30 is hard because it is hard to find anything to be proud of.
Yet his dangerous Balkans Trip was a great success and he had spent years helping Baron Hirsch finish the Transcontinental Orient Express Railroad Corridor which has just opened. And Rudolph and Hirsch are trying to underwrite crucial investments in Trieste which is now the empire’s only port. Crucial dry docks. Crucial underwriting of the beleaguered Trieste Lloyd. Crucial underwriting of the Trieste Coffee Consortium. Crucial underwriting of the Trieste Merchant Marine.
Rudolph is also about to oversee the unveiling of Austro Hungarian modern gunnery during the autumn War Games which he has worked intensely at for over a year while conducting endless inspector tours while advocating military modernization advocated by the ‘Blues’. Rudolph has even produced a modern drill manual —- presently buried on Albrecht’s desk. And Rudolph’s twenty volume Words & Pictures project is going very well.
Unfortunately Albrecht is stonewalling every single modernization proposal Rudolph and the ‘Blues’ are advocating as the Imperial K & K molders. Instead, Albrecht and his ambitious ADC Beck Rzikowksy (who wants Rudolph’s job) are undermining Rudolph at every turn while digging up fantastical Magyar plots and Freemason conspiracies and Jewish cabals and every other sort of nonsense.
Willy has announced he wants to attend the War Games to inspect his lackey ally the inferior Austrian Hungarians. The Imperial Second Reich is chained to a corpse. And right now Albrecht is making sure the War Games will be a disaster despite Inspector General of Infantry Rudolph’s modern gunnery roll out.
Why won’t Francis Joseph ask his aging, all but blind, and increasingly dangerously senile uncle to resign? Because The Gravedigger of the Habsburgs is so fearsome Francis Joseph won’t dare! And if a man point blank refuses to resign then the only way to remove an unmovable officer is by court martial…..
After the triumphant and also disastrous War Games (Please read The Gun Crisis) Rudolph celebrates the mounting of his Great Bustard by Edward Hodek. Ever the nerd Rudolph truly finds consolation for the ironical reward for unveiling the best repeater rifle and second best bullet in the world during the War Games with this sad token.
During the War Games his father has requested that Rudolph resign in disgrace and take the fall for the 11 mm Debacle. Ditto for protesting of the looting of Steyr and Mannlicher’s patents and copyrights by Spandau which Rudolph insisted occur. Ditto for opposing Willy’s ultimatums to abandon the Steyr R & D into developing a hybrid nitro bullet by 90 and full nitro bullet by 95 as well as the new & improved 95 Mannlicher Repeater. Junk the proven best in order to adopt the ‘superior’ —- yet unveiled and top secret Spandau repeater and nitro bullet? Why? Why junk the proven best already in the hand for a bird in the bush? Why junk the best achieved at some cost to adopt blindly something unseen and untested which would cost the K & K yet more monies recklessly? Ditto because of Rudolph’s support for Steyr suing Spandau unless Spandau cuts Steyr a sweetheart manufacturing deal because of course Spandau actually needed Steyr to mass produce their gunnery for them. Ditto because of Rudolph’s ‘endangering’ of the Prussian Austrian Alliance by refusing to order his ‘Blues’ to goose step before the bellowing and grossly insulting Willy. Ditto because Rudolph was alienating a crucial ally by advocating that Austro Hungary stayed neutral in the upcoming war rumored to occur in 89 or 90 which all of Europe anticipated with fear and which Willy openly bragged about in his warmongering coronation. Ditto for failing to produce a modern drill manual (presently buried on Albrecht’s desk).
By now Albrecht was also delivering ultimatums to Francis Joseph to order Rudolph to resign under disgrace while claiming that he was covering up Rudolph’s gross incompetence in failing to produce a drill manual (sitting on Albrecht’s desk) .
By now Bismarck has also delivered an ultimatum for Rudolph to resign. In fact Bismarck is mysteriously implacable against Rudolph — and growing more and more implacable by the day as rumors of ‘preproduction hiccups’ and ‘preproduction teething problems’ oozed out of Bismarck’s ‘Veil of Secrecy’ about the modern state of the art Spandau gunnery and ammo. By now Willy has also delivered endless ultimatums for Rudolph to resign under disgrace for gross incompetence. Willy’s animus against Rudolph is shocking and everyone notes it.
Count Lamsdorff reported that Willy wrote a withering letter (drafted by Bismarck) lambasting Rudolph. ‘A result of this letter was a violent scene between Francis Joseph and his son.’ Wales later also said this directly led to events at Mayerling.
Why were three powerful men suddenly vilifying Rudolph and demanding his resignation as Inspector General of Infantry despite his achievement in salvaging the 11 mm Debacle (caused by Francis Joseph and Albrecht for which poor Leopold took the blame)? Why was Willy demanding Rudolph’s resignation when the Austro Hungarian K & K was armed with the best repeater in the world as well as the second best bullet which placed the K & K in a tie in first place with the French?
And Bismarck’s ‘Veil of Secrecy’ was mysteriously concealing the supposed Spandau Miracle. Why? Why didn’t the Imperial Second Reich go mano y mano with the K & K with their own modern gunnery? Isn’t that what the War Games were for? If the Commission Rifle and Spandau nitro full metal jacket bullet were so good then why not produce them?
By now Francis Joseph has stopped REQUESTING and starting DEMANDING that Rudolph resign under disgrace. Even as Rudolph savored the glorious vision of that absurd Giant Bustard Rudolph has defied ultimatums by four powerful men to resign in disgrace. And his point blank refusal to resign despite point blank orders by Francis Joseph are amounting to insubordination. Even mutiny. Perhaps even treason.
This means that the only way to force Rudolph out of his job as Inspector General of the Infantry (and therefore Gunnery) is by court martial. Rudolph has also announced that unlike Leopold and Benedek, he won’t quit, he won’t take the fall, he won’t be a scapegoat, he won’t take the blame, and he won’t stand mute as he is convicted for sins committed by others.
All the while rumors start to circulate that guns are blowing up back at Spandau. Then more guns are rumored to blow up. Rumors whisper that 20 test guns have blown up or otherwise malfunctioned. Hands blown off. Soldiers blinded. Soldiers killed. ‘ Jews’ Musket’ it is whispered. A jinxed gun. All the while Bismarck ratchets up his attacks on Rudolph.
Besides drafting letters for Willy to attack Rudolph, Bismarck orders Berlin and Pan German Newspapers to savagely maul Rudolph. And most curiously this vendetta all started during and especially after the War Games…. as rumors whisper of guns blowing up back at Spandau.
Obviously Willy does not know about guns blowing up. Obviously Bismarck is stonewalling the disaster. Obviously by October that stonewalling is becoming a cover up as the Imperial Degree is prepared to mass produce the Frankenstein Gun and Bullet. Surely Bismarck won’t let Willy sign an imperial degree to mass produce a defective gun and ammo? Especially if a war is coming?
In late October Rudolph’s horse rears up unexpectedly and throws Rudolph far from any town with a hospital. Soldiers decide to haul the unconscious man miles to his train. After he becomes conscious there is more debate what to do. Finally Rudolph trains to the nearest town for treatment. Trains are bumpy and not ideal for transporting injured people. The symptoms are that of a concussion. Concussions are called ‘Walking Wounded’ for a reason. Concussions are serious but the only visible sign is the eyes: pupils of two different sizes. But Rudolph wears goggles and dark glasses all of the time because of his glaucoma and migraines as well as thick reading glasses. Who would know? But why keep a concussion a secret? Concussions are very serious. And if a concussion does not clear up in ten days it is by definition Post Concussion Syndrome, a very serious medical condition. Training a concussed man back might not have been such a good idea then. Another prescription for morphine appears in the court pharmacy ledger after a long pause. Rudolph tells everyone NOT TO TELL anyone and especially not to tell Francis Joseph about his serious fall as concussion symptoms appear . Why?
Because that would offer Francis Joseph a way out of the stalemate over resignation. He could force Rudolph to resign under medical necessity. There is no other reason why Rudolph would not want anyone and especially Francis Joseph to know about his concussion which it is documented he sustained. The concussion symptoms are serious enough for Stephanie and Willy to jeer about Rudolph’s brains being damaged and going mad and going into a decline and fall resulting in Mayerling.
But to treat his concussion which persists and becomes Post Concussion Syndrome, a serious medical condition, Rudolph’s doctor signs out another scrip for morphine. All so Rudolph can keep working despite a serious medical condition. Any doctor will tell you that if you sustain a concussion the last thing you should be doing is your job —-especially if that job is highly stressful. The very fact that Rudolph cannot read or write because of blurry vision and concussive headaches means he is suffering all of the serious symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome. Every symptom Stephanie sneeringly describes as Rudolph’s decline and fall is a symptom of Post Concussion Syndrome. If he has to dictate to his secretaries and have everything read to him by his ADCs (indicated by the fact his finished reports and memorandums feature his usual precise, brilliant, and hard hitting composition style despite being unable to focus his eyes to read and write for any sustained period of time ) means Rudolph is risking his health by working while ‘Walking Wounded’. Why? Especially if that means another scrip of morphine has been signed out!
Evidence in court pharmacy ledgers in 1887 indicate that Rudolph and his court doctor actually developed a systematic withdrawal from morphine which must have been very nasty indeed. Interestingly, it included a warning that Rudolph would probably then turn to alcohol when weaned off morphine —especially as alcohol was part of the weaning.
Rudolph’s letters to Stephanie in 87 admitted that his doctor prescribed morphine for his asthmatic panic attacks but he was worried about morphine’s potential for addiction and planned to wean himself off morphine after that particular trip. So unlike most Victorians, Rudolph actually understood the dangers of ‘addiction’.
In fact Rudolph is documented writing about the theory of ‘addiction’ to Weilen (for whom Rudolph was writing an academic article about Godollo during the final day of his death at Mayerling). So Rudolph was surprisingly sophisticated about the concept of addiction. Clearly his ‘addictive personality’ and his inclination to self medicate meant he was becoming aware of the dangers of addiction. That meant he also knew that his doctor Widerhofer was reckless in his prescription of morphine to Rudolph.
There is also evidence that after the weaning in 87 there was a lull until late in Oct – Early November when a new scrip was signed out. There is no reason to assume Rudolph was not struggling to stay off morphine if he was documented to be aware of the siren call of addiction which Dr. Widerhofer recklessly aided and abetted.
People post Mayerling casually said that Rudolph’s Decline & Fall was caused by morbid cowardly depression (when he suffered from PTSD-Anxiety Depression-OCD which is not exactly morbid cowardly depression) and syphilis (a lie) and drug addiction. The symptoms listed to ‘prove’ addiction are PTSD symptoms, his Post Concussion symptoms, and symptoms Rudolph suffered from for a short while in 87 when Stephanie was having a torrid affair with Count Potocki. Why is this important?
She wanted to marry Potocki the way she later wanted to marry her next lover Lonyay. After 86 Stephanie and Rudolph were sterile. Without a male princeling Stephanie’s chance to become Empress crumbled. Francis Joseph, Sisi, Valarie, every Habsburg, and the entire Hofburg loathed her. Rudolph was openly saying that Franz Ferdinand would be the heir apparent. Stephanie’s sole reason to endure a man she called ugly and repulsive and boasted of locking out of her bedroom was to be empress. Now Rudolph’s sole value ceased. Why is this important? Read the Paramatta Mystery.
It is proven that Stephanie signed out the poison in Nov/Dec 88 which she told her lover would be used on January 30th or 31th during Rudolph’s cowardly ‘suicide’. (Such amazing prophecy from Stephanie the self appointed Cassandra The Prophetess of Rudolph’s doom and death! Admit it! You are awed by Stephanie’ self fulfilling prophecy aren’t you!)
The poison was one of the things later locked away in Taaffe’s notorious metal box. Besides proving Mayerling was a murderous conspiracy (unless you really believe Stephanie was a prophetess), it proves that Stephanie was a poisoner for love of Lonyay. Her careless 89 backdating of the court pharmacy ledger proves she probably signed out poison before. To poison Rudolph for love of Potocki.
The symptoms people post Mayerling also list to ‘prove’ drug abuse along with concussion symptoms and PTSD are symptoms of arsenic poisoning such as Victorian women found in Fowler’s Tonic, common green food dyes, and arsenic beauty wash which vain Victorian women used to clear blotchy skin to create alabaster complexions such as Stephanie boasted of with much vain pride. And it was truly amazing how Stephanie’s ‘blotchy’ complexion cleared so wonderfully!
Scotland’s most famous Victorian ‘Not Proved’ murder case is based on this favorite poison of the Victorian Age. Poison is a woman’s weapon . Please read Rudolph The Man And His Demons for how Stephanie attempted to poison Rudolph TWICE.
Evidence cited to ‘prove’ drug addiction are therefore questionable. Yes. Rudolph’s PTSD – Anxiety Depression – OCD would encourage self medication. Yes. Dr. Widerhofer was criminally reckless. But Rudolph’s unusual awareness about addiction would indicate that he was worried and wary. He is proven to have weaned himself. Most of the symptoms used to ‘prove ‘ addiction are other symptoms . His main accuser is a poisoner. Pre Mayerling no one said there was problem and did not understand addiction and in fact indulged as well.
Fritsche’s memoir say Rudolph was fully recovered ,healthy other than a fear of getting fat, and was focused and determined. But the new scrip of morphine would be a problem. But working through a concussion would be a bigger problem.
Rudolph’s struggles with alcohol are well documented. People recall that Rudolph was not a heavy drinker by Victorian standards but felt the effects more than most men. This is typical of his mental illnesses including child abuse. After weaning off morphine Rudolph would abuse alcohol.
And the incredible stress of defying ultimatums of four powerful men to resign in disgrace which would imperil the gunnery modernization program Rudolph and Leopold achieved despite Francis Joseph and Albrecht would be enormous.
Albrecht the Gravedigger of the Habsburgs and Bismarck who openly boasted of his amazing good luck to see every enemy of his vanish at just the right time would both be alarming enemies. Willy was a proven sadist who flogged a man into the hospital. Francis Joseph had a track record turning on everyone (including family members) in his determination to cling to power at all costs. If Rudolph is described as looking gaunt and hollow eyed he had every reason. That does not prove or disprove addiction or alcoholism but Rudolph was being hammered by powerful men with absolutely no support other than an increasingly scared Bombelles, a loyal but distant Wales whose friendship was now not helping the situation, Szeps and his kindred Clemenceau whose friendship was now not helping the situation, Gisela who was too far away, and Mizzi Caspar. His Camilla. But how much could MC do to support a man who was facing the Gravedigger who was measuring his grave as Bismarck stood behind Rudolph to push him into it?
In November of 88 three important things happen. First Willy signed an imperial degree to mass produce the Commission Repeater Rifle and Spandau full metal jacket nitro bullets despite rumors of preproduction ‘hiccups’ and ‘teething pains’ as testing continues to feature guns blowing up.
Mauser graciously declined to sue for patent infringement (probably because he knew his pilfered 90% bolt was fatally incompatible with a repeater mechanism designed to feature a straight bolt which applied exactly the needful pressure rather than the most pressure which his 90% bolt created). Loewe and Steyr politely asked for advantageous manufacturing deals to mass produce the gun despite increasingly serious reservations about rumors of guns blowing up. Translation: sweetheart deals for copyright infringement of pilfered Mauser and Mannlicher patents. Mannlicher threatened to sue for patent infringement of his beautiful slim gun barrel and exquisite repeater mechanism designed to feature a straight bolt to apply exactly the needful pressure rather than the most pressure and also his enbloc packet clip magazine. Rumors flew to Rubin and Vielle that their patents were ripped off too. They declined to sue as rumors flew that the Spandau full metal jacket nitro bullet based on their patents was also defective.
The next important thing that happens is Bismarck suddenly appearing unannounced in the dead of night in Rudolph’s freezing parlor of Laxemburg Castle where Rudolph has grace and favor digs. Middle of the night. Top secret train and everything. Bismarck’s spies even telling Bismarck when Rudolph would be there. Mr. Commanding Heights before which all of Europe cowers ambushing Rudolph in his own parlor in the dead of night.
It is not known what passed between them. But considering both men’s volcanic tempers it could not have been nice. Bismarck storms out without getting what he came for.
And oh yes! The third event! Larisch also takes advantage of Rudolph staying overnight at his Hofburg garret office when some of his 10,20,30,40 meetings a day run overtime because of continuing symptoms of his Post Concussion Syndrome which leaves Rudolph really in the mood for romance when Larisch uses her Hofburg connections to ambush Rudolph unannounced during a concussion headache after a long day’s work with piles of military dossiers still to do and top secret files about guns blowing up back at Spandau and the day’s Berlin and Pan German newspapers piled up accusing Rudolph of treason to the Imperial Second and the entire German race as well as conspiracies with Jews, Freemasons, English, French, and Magyars like Andrassy which he can’t read without concussive headaches because his eyes still can’t focus and intense smells like women’s perfumes make him nauseous and too much light feels like nails impaling his weakening eyes.
Larisch is hardly sympathetic to Rudolph’s painful concussion symptoms and backlog of work or this week’s ultimatums from Albrecht, Bismarck, Willy, and Francis Joseph or Rudolph’s stressful job! She has much more important priorities!
.Larisch gushes that Rudolph just has to meet a dear friend of hers! Since Rudolph has dropped Wimpffen and her dear friend is Second Estate and not eligible to attend court events this is the only way her dear friend can meet him! And anyway! Rudolph hurt her dear friend’s feelings by cutting her at the race track when Rudolph attended Wales in his box and wasn’t it cruel of Rudolph and Wales to deliberately walk straight past her dear friend as if cutting her! And after ignoring her dear friend at the opera after ignoring her dear friend in London too! Why! It was as if Rudolph was deliberately ignoring her dear friend! Rudolph should be ashamed of himself! Then Rudolph smiles his most charming smile before dragging Larisch into another room to bellow at her as she demands 10,000 which is one quarter of Rudolph’s yearly Habsburg stipend as he tries not to vomit from concussive nausea because of her too strong perfume.
For some reason Romance’s most momentous meeting since Anthony and Cleopatra ends in only ten minutes with eight of those legendary minutes spent in another room shouting at Larisch. Which uninvited surprise guest do you really think was November’s most important event?
December of 88 was bittersweet. Rudolph continued to ignore Mary Vetsera despite her waving torrid love letters she claimed was written to her by Rudolph —- in Mary’s own handwriting — along with love tokens that look like trash taken out of his trash can in his Hofburg garret by servants for Larisch along with commercial photographs and magazines which Mary thinks boast mysterious love messages to her from Rudolph along a cheap bangle and cheaper iron ring.
The few genuine telegrams from Rudolph’s office offers only frosty Spanish Etiquette of strained and frigid politeness in the face of Mary’s delusions. When Mary gets Larisch (for money of course) to pass Rudolph a cigarette case engraved by Mary Rudolph is incredulous. He waves the offensive object before Coburg and other friends while protesting how ‘unbelievable’ Mary was and how acutely embarrassing Mary’s attentions were becoming. He jokes that despite his tight finances he is willing to sponsor the Vetsera clan to a trip to Monte Carlo ONE WAY.
Then Rudolph either threw away the love token or else returned it because no gift from Mary was ever proven to be used by Rudolph or kept by Rudolph or found after his death among Rudolph’s possessions. Nothing. NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER.
Per Spanish Etiquette Rudolph is officially suppose to give his lovers (if he can afford it which he never could ) complex gold and silver cigarettes depending on their ranking in the First Estate Hochadel allowed to attend court, or else their ranking as Habsburgs, or else their ranking as elite members of ancient nobility not deemed quite elite enough to quality for court per technical protocols. The bottom of the totem pole per Spanish Etiquette would be persons of the second rate Second Estate aristocracy excluded from all court events and also important commoners including important servants such as valets like Loschek or cabbies extraordinaire like Bratfisch or eligible friends like Baron Hirsch or Szeps or Clemenceau or else game keepers like for instance Weiner back at Mayerling. They could receive a silver cigarette case with Rudolph’s archducal coat of arms.
In fact no such cigarette case in any way, shape, or form as ever appeared in any bio or google search or history book so in fact unlike most Habsburgs, Rudolph simply could not afford to give away such extravagant gifts.
Rudolph bought MC some five pieces of middle class jewelry on payments and sometime before Mayerling desperately shoved money into an envelope hidden in his desk for his executor to give to MC along with a letter Francis Joseph ordered confiscated. Some of this desperate money to MC appears to be a charity loan from Hirsch to save MC from ruination. Rudolph paid for their flat , furnishings, and few humble pieces of jewelry on payments and had no insurance to save MC from ruin.
Nevertheless, per strict Spanish Etiquette Rudolph should have given Mary this bottom tier token of love because Mary was an inferior Second Estate baroness of a dubious family not allowed in court further tainted by rumors of bankruptcy and Helen Vetsera’s ‘notorious’ and ‘unbelievable’ sexual liaisons with absolutely everyone including Father & Son Habsburgs Francis Joseph and Rudolph. Anything else would have been a violation of strict social conventions.
So Mary claiming a cheap bangle and a cheaper iron ring was an imperial token of love from Rudolph is insane. If Rudolph could only afford to give the woman he told everyone he loved a few middle class jewels on payments and humble tokens to his friends and staff like Loschek or Bratfisch or close friends like Wales or Szeps or Clemenceau why would he violate Spanish Etiquette by giving a girl he has officially only meet ‘privately’ exactly ONCE a cheap bangle or cheaper iron ring such as no gentleman would give a slop maid? Not even a street dollymop or doxie would accept such a thing. No ‘sweet girl’. Certainly not a courtesan employed by Mrs. Wolfe. Absolutely not aSecond Estate baroness no matter how second rate which Mary was.
The gesture of giving a cheap bangle and cheaper iron ring would have been beyond the pale of offence in the Fin De Siecle. It would have been construed as a gross insult. And Rudolph was an obsessive compulsive letter. Mary’s so-called letters from Rudolph displayed neither his style of composition or handwriting style. People who saw them said Mary obviously wrote them herself.
Clearly Mary was mentally unstable, a nymphomaniac suffering from erotic mania and also a delusional stalker. Evidence exists that Mary slept with Hoyos and Bombelles and others of Rudolph’s circle who initially found her uneducated fashionista fast- crowd behavior and socially grandstanding prima donna behavior amusingly piquant. But soon the jaded playboys realized Mary was dangerous. Respectable mothers dragged their daughters across the street from the increasingly notorious ‘Little Devil’ in her too tight gowns with their too low décolleté. The ‘Turf Angel’ exhibiting herself too risque on the race track was too dangerous for even playboys.
Much less someone like Rudolph who had a fragile ego , fragile health, known sexual hang-ups, psychological impotence, physical impotence, PTSD, Anxiety Depression, probable OCD, the personality of an overeducated geek, a deep fear of ridicule, deeper insecurity, and an intense need to be protected and mothered to feel safe. Mary was a lot of things. ‘Motherly ‘ was not one of them.
Dangerously, Helen was using her mentally unstable daughter to blackmail Rudolph in order to blackmail Francis Joseph after a rich widower backed out of a contract to marry the pretty but not lovely and obviously mentally unstable girl. Only blackmail could save the ruined Vetsera family.
Likewise, Larisch pressured Mary to beg, borrow, or steal money to co-sign off on her gambling debts. At one point Mary even managed to violate social protocols to confront Rudolph to demand 10,000 because she signed off on Larisch’s gambling debts. Rudolph foolishly paid Mary some money. But when Larisch applied the screws to Mary to dun Rudolph again he turned to Bombelles and probably his notorious kindred Otto to confront the scheming blackmailers. Rudolph was way out of his league. Worse! He was not even the real target!
Rudolph was the poorest royal in Europe. Clearly Helen Vetsera and Larisch were scheming to threaten Rudolph to tap deeper pockets: Francis Joseph. Unfortunately Francis Joseph was a thick skin miser who utterly refused to be blackmailed. Both women used Mary to dun Francis Joseph to no avail before probably turning to agents of von Holstein the Spy Master of Berlin who was offering money for a sex scandal he was manufacturing. Rudolph told people that Larisch ‘works for my misfortune’.
PS: Helen Vetsera’s blackmail was probably claiming that Mary was Francis Joseph’s biological child so that any rumors of a liaison between Rudolph and Mary would be Bryonic incest. Blackmail does not have to be true to work. Alias, Francis Joseph was a thick skin miser with secret police at his disposal. Both blackmailers were clearly financially desperate to even think of daring to blackmail or extort monies from Francis Joseph. But desperate females who were spurn at different times by the Habsburgs of the Hofburg would lust for revenge as well as money. Rudolph was just a means to an end: to hurt Francis Joseph.
As Rudolph’s concussion symptoms slowly resided he was able to take Wales on one last hunting trip in the wilds of the Austro Hungarian Hinterland. Both men knew what was about to go down as Albrecht calendared a top secret paralegal star chamber court martial such as symbolically hung Andrassy. Albrecht could not trick Rudolph into replaying a mute Benedek at a public kangaroo court martial. But the military mind, even if it was going senile, was compelled to follow the Red Book of Regulations — especially as Francis Joseph would be the top of the chain of command as the death warrant worked its way to the top. Francis Joseph’s own Red Book of Regulations would require him to sign off on the death warrant of his own son.
But the Gravedigger of the Habsburgs was relentless. So was Bismarck who was pressing von Holstein to arrange for another of Bismarck’s enemies to vanish at just the right time courtesy of a patented sex scandal / ‘suicide’ frosted by forged suicide notes such as dispatched so many other enemies of Bismarck.
The tragedy was Francis Joseph was pathologically afraid of both the Gravedigger and Bismarck. If Francis Joseph was already cowering under ultimatums to order his son to resign in disgrace despite delivering a technological triumph in modern gunnery as well as a modern drill manual (presently buried on Albrecht’s desk) as well a host of other modernization reforms while traveling endlessly all over the empire then Francis Joseph was proven to be willing to sacrifice Rudolph’s honor and reputation. Sacrificing Rudolph’s life was just another small step at this point.
Memoirs of inhabitants of the Hofburg record the frigid and loveless environment. Even The Einzige Only One Valerie admitted Christmas at the Hofburg was cold, loveless, stiff, formal, unhappy, and depressing. And she was spoiled! Two hours. A dinner built around cheap potatoes and cheaper beer. Sisi and Rudolph moving their unappetizing food around their plates because of their fear of fat. A gathering of lonely royal inhabitants in the cold million guilder suite of Sisi which was the only time Rudolph was allowed in. Ida Ferenczy hovering like an unwanted black shadow in the back room spying as the forlorn inhabitants pretended to be ‘happy’ as the required two hour Merry Christmas dragged painfully to a close. Designer Christmas trees set on tables for gifts. Each table for a particular person or persons. Sisi’ display of all of Francis Joseph’s gifts to her over the years forming a towering homage to a withered marriage that existed in name only.
Valerie was relentlessly pushing her marriage forward despite everything Sisi did to derail it. So she forced her terrified fiancée to come. Sisi glared daggers at him while struggling not to strangle him for daring to steal away her Einzige Only One. Valerie’s table was heaped by a tonnage gifts of course.
Stephanie’s sour- as- a- lemon face betrayed her greed as she surveyed their table heaped with damn little compared to the precious Valerie! But she still gave the people she hated designer gifts such as they did not want in order to show off her parvenu bad taste. Congo blood can buy a lot. But not good taste or love.
Francis Joseph tried to give Sisi another unwanted priceless blue velvet jewel case boasting some fabulous babble. Sisi only turned away. So he placed it on the pyramid of unwanted gifts he gave her over the years before slapping the greedy fingers of Stephanie who hovered covetous before the priceless babble. Stephanie was obsessed by jewels as hard as her diamond hard heart. Then Francis Joseph smoked a cheap cigar as Rudolph unwrapped his meager gift probably which was bought by an impersonal ADC in Francis Joseph’s employ. Rudolph tried to give Francis Joseph another unwanted volume of his Words & Pictures which quickly got tossed. Sisi did not give him anything of course.
Everyone was amazed when Erzsi shrieked with feral delight when a small child’s garden furniture set of wild willow was unveiled. Incredulously she jumped into a willow rocker gleefully as she made strange sounds. She was a strange child who grew up into a defiant but amazingly rebellious royal Socialist who even survived extermination by Adolf Hitler.
Then Rudolph tried to shove some priceless Heine letters he could barely afford to buy into the hands of Sisi while trying to kiss her. She batted him away with claws as her frozen face hissed and snarled at him. A disembodied voice coming out of an all but closed mouth concealing bad teeth hissed out a stream of curses. Everyone cringed as Sisi then accused Rudolph yet again of launching a fiendish conspiracy to spitefully destroy the fabulous (non)career of Valerie’s chocolate soldier and also yet again of viciously trying to harm her Einzige Only One Valerie. Sisi cursed Rudolph as she evoked the dire spirits. Everyone cringed as irrational curses laced with obscenities spewed out . Even Valerie cringed. Her fiancée especially cringed. He had never seen the ghastly madness of Sisi before.
Rudolph burst into tears as Francis Joseph just smoked his cheap cigar scornful as the son he despised wept like a girl. Yet again Rudolph protested that he was not plotting any fiendish plot to harm anyone! Erzsi probably did something feral at this point and the ghastly Christmas Farce came to a dreadful end. Everyone scattered as far away from each other as humanly possible. Rudolph probably held Erzsi for a long time as the only person in the entire Hofburg who loved him.
Later Ida Ferenczy crept out and snatched the priceless Heine Letters. All the while she fed Sisi’s paranoia that Rudolph was conspiring against her like the dangerous man he was. Oblivious and self absorbed, Sisi failed yet again to register Rudolph’s cry for help. She missed her last chance. She would never be alone with her unloved son again. Rudolph would die with her curses echoing in his brain.
Valerie later wrote that whenever Rudolph entered the room the temperature dropped to icy as everyone physically recoiled from him. The body language toward him was always freezing. Then spitefully she added that the icy reception Rudolph endured every single time he entered the Hofburg was because he was overeducated and overly defensive, clutching pathetically at a tattered self of self importance he did not warrant.
December grinded to a ghastly close. The last important thing that occurred was (NOT MARY) but rather a letter Rudolph wrote. The 12/27/88 letter he wrote said ‘There’s curious news from Berlin. The most important circles here fear that the colossal military preparations France is making and admit that they are not prepared, especially with rifles. There must be peace for another year at lest….’
What is terribly interesting is that Willy had just signed an imperial degree in November with much fanfare to mass produce the Spandau Miracle: the Commission Repeater Rifle and fabulous Spandau full metal jacket nitro bullet. Willy was still bellowing that both were brilliant! Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Loewe and Steyr both got their sweetheart contracts to mass produce it pronto so the first guns and ammo could be shoved as quickly as possible into the eagar hands of German soldiers on the disputed border with France. Bismarck was still telling everyone the Imperial Second Reich had the best gun and ammo in the world. The approaching war would be another Junker triumph.
Yet by 1891 the rabid Pan German anti-Semite Hermann Ahlwardt would say that ‘….International Jewry has neglected nothing that can contribute to a German defeat in next war, and has made an unspeakable attempt to put a rifle in the hands of German soldiers that must be almost less dangerous to the enemy than to the user….’ The gun and ammo that was almost more dangerous to the German soldiers than to the French enemy: the Commission Repeater Rifle and Spandau full metal jacket nitro bullet….
January’s first military staff meeting saw amazement from every officer as Rudolph pushed his way into the room unwanted and unanticipated and uninvited and unexpected. He defiantly sat down despite the fact that as Inspector General of Infantry he should have been both wanted, anticipated, invited, and expected. The reason for the odd reaction? Obviously Albrecht held his paralegal star chamber court martial in absentia over new years and condemned Rudolph to death for treason. Obviously Rudolph was just as stubbornly defying Albrecht. Ditto Bismarck. Rudolph had just calendared a meeting in Berlin!
The Gravedigger was not amused. He calendared the date of Rudolph’s execution: January 30th at 6:30 AM unless Rudolph did the right thing and shot himself first. But the Gravedigger told the ten Roll Commandos picked to shoot Rudolph that he did not anticipated Rudolph going quietly. He would have to be shot.
Then the Gravedigger studied the options. Rudolph’s military offices? Too many secretaries and ADCs! His Hofburg garret office or rooms? That would imply an insider hit and be embarrassing to the inhabitants of the Hofburg. The flat Rudolph shared with MC and Mrs. Caspar? Too potentially risky. Laxemburg Castle? That would likewise imply an insider hit. Then the Gravedigger circled a spot on the map. Mayerling.
Rudolph had just bought Mayerling in 87 when he was promoted to Inspector General of Infantry. The pay raise to 800 guilders a month allowed Rudolph to buy real estate for the first time in his life. Mayerling was fast becoming a suburb community, semi rural, but linked by one half hour commuter trains to Vienna. The train stop for Mayerling was Baden. Mayerling was a converted farm estate, shabby, white washed, cold, featuring few creature comforts, and dangerously lacking in security. The bedroom of Rudolph was on the ground floor and featured oversized ground level windows with shutters hung OUTSIDE so assassination would be very easy. Rudolph only took his daughter there along with Bratfisch and of course Loschek. Or else Rudolph invited between two and five chaps. Mayerling was notorious for being —– informal, a guys hunting sort of thing, casual, with Rudolph helping Bratfisch cook. Occasionally a hired cook came but that was rare. A suffer of anorexia nervosa only worries about what his guests eat.The fruits of the hunt would be venison or bird or fish. Therefore the universal forte of males all over the world: barbeque! Mayerling was therefore ideal! Semi rural! Isolated! No security! Perfect! (Please read Taaffe’s Metal Box). Then the Gravedigger picked his Hofburg overseer of the hit.
Meanwhile, von Holstein’s minions were also asking about Mayerling. Asking the same questions while picking five Prussian soldiers who operated out of the ‘Nest of Viper’s ie the bankrupt townhouse of Wimpffen.
Count Fritsche, a gentleman spy working for Rudolph to liaison with a sleazy double agent called Koinoff inside the ‘Nest of Vipers’, Wimpffen’s townhouse, told Rudolph that Koinoff told him that von Holstein was investigating Mayerling. In fact von Hostein even knew that Rudolph recently hung a portrait of Ludwig as a double dare to von Holstein. ‘Come and get me!’ Fritsche also showed Rudolph samples of forgeries of Rudolph’s older style of handwriting pre concussion done by von Holstein’s minion Smutty Petri an ex Catholic cleric with a penchant for smut and snuff to garnish Berlin hits of enemies of Bismarck.
On January 13th Mary tries to give Rudolph another cigarette case engraved ‘…..a kind fate’ or else ‘lucky chance’ or else ‘we lost our heads’. Rudolph quickly got rid of the token and it was never found on him or used by him or left behind in his digs. He tossed it away like all of the other love tokens Mary tried to give to Rudolph. If it had a significance to Mary it clearly had absolutely no significance to Rudolph whatsoever.
Fritsche would later write that Rudolph never ever talked about sexual affairs or liked people who talked about sexual affairs. Either Rudolph was a prude or else sex made him anxious for some reason he could not explain. But Fritsche also wrote that by January Rudolph was finally getting over his concussion symptoms. He was back fencing in his mess club. He looked better. He was more able to read and write for longer periods without concussive headaches. He was showing almost no concussion symptoms which Stephanie described with malicious glee to document Rudolph’s decline and fall even as she sent Lonyay off for an all expenses paid vacation to Egypt until after January 31th. Unfortunately that left Stephanie bitchy.
January was carnival but because Francis Joseph’s all- but- mad- and- locked- away father was recently died the Hofburg was in semi-mourning. Rudolph was expected to pick up the slack and attend the limited calendar of events Francis Joseph could not attend because of Spanish Etiquette. Translation: no fun! Yet Stephanie still decided to stay in Vienna for some reason. So did Sisi to everyone’s surprise. Valerie was stubbornly preparing her marriage so Sisi was stuck in a city she hated. But of course she ignored Rudolph as usual while protesting that mourning for her never seen father -in-law ought to prevent or at least delay the wedding from happening. Who else could die so Sisi could delay that wedding? And she looked so beautifully emaciated in black!
Helen Vetsera was busy with her extortion as all hope faded for a rich playboy widower with gonorrhea to marry sterile Mary. But she was worried enough about Mary’s ravings and increasingly unstable public misbehavior and grandstanding boasts about rendezvouses in public places or deserted parks to make passionate love to Rudolph dressed only in furs and her birthday suit to confront Mary.
Mary admitted that Larisch was her source for all things Rudolph: cheap bangles, cheaper iron rings, stuff that could have come from a royal trash can or else smoke shop selling magazines while she waved love letters in Mary’s own handwriting at her while probably boasting Rudolph loved her more than he ever loved Mommy. Mary also admitted she has paid Larisch money and signed off on Larisch’s gambling debts. A bankrupt adventuress turned extortionist and blackmailer realized she had just been had by another adventuress turned extortionist and blackmailer: Larisch.
January ‘s carnival assumed sinister tones as Taaffe’s spies and Berlin’s spies followed Rudolph while threatening MC. Double agent Florian Meissner was all but breathing down MC’s neck. Rudolph felt he is being followed continuously. The ultimatums continued.
But there was more and more news of guns blowing up back at Spandau. By now every gunnery expert knew that the Spandau Miracle was really the Spandau Mirage. Spandau’s glorious Commission Rifle and nitro full metal jacket bullet were just the byproducts of ripped off patents and copyrights of everyone else cobbled together like Frankenstein. A Frankenstein gun shooting a Frankenstein bullet. Both defective. All defective apart. All defective when put together. It was a disaster that could only get worse. Not better.
Rudolph, Mannlicher, and Steyr pour over the blueprints and manufacturing specs Spandau finally handed out for Steyr to mass produce 300,000 guns pronto. Rudolph probably also contacted Loewe. As a Jew lover Rudolph was on first name terms with every successful or famous Jew. Loewe confirmed the bad news. Everyone agreed that the Commission Rifle and bullet were twin disasters spawn from a ‘fatal gift’ .
The ‘fatal gift’ in question being of course possible reverse espionage from Paris without love. Mannlicher might be able to fix the gun in some two years or so — after finishing his 95 new -and -improved masterpiece of a repeater. But that would be well after the 89-90 war which everyone in Europe knew Bismarck was manufacturing. But the full metal jacket nitro bullet was such a mess it could not be salvaged. Realistically Spandau needed to simply junk both ‘fatal gifts’ or else be haunted by such ‘fatal gifts’ for years. The badness of ‘fatal gift’ engineering errors can sabotage R & D unless ruthlessly unless ripped out like weeds. But Spandau still refused to see that their industrial espionage not only resulted in fatally incompatible patents being cobbled together but also left them wide open to reverse industrial espionage: a ‘fatal gift’ of a fatally rotten bullet sample that was in all probability bogus and fatally flawed but cunningly crafted and cleverly disguised to poison their R & D and set back their weaponry modernization program in order to derail that projected war in 89 or 90..
That ‘fatal gift’ from Paris without love would keep giving for over a decade. It contaminated and blighted Spandau’s R & D until 1900 until Spandau basically went back to the drawing board and simply invented their own genuine nitro full metal jacket bullet. Meanwhile Spandau grovelingly begged Mauser to buy his 95 masterpiece for mass production in 96. But by then the projected war everyone anticipated occurring in 89 or else 90 was stalled and then delayed and then further delayed.
Meanwhile, Mannlicher would produce his masterpiece in 95 and Steyr would produce their hybrid nitro full metal jacket bullet in 90 and full nitro in 92, both well ahead of Spandau. And the Mannlicher 95 would still load and shoot faster than the Mauser 96 which was unveiled a year later. Steyr did later salvage the Commission Rifle for sales overseas and for sale to the Ottoman Empire but it remained a frustratingly flawed and barely salvageable gun no one wanted and finally loathed.
Rudolph made sure the leaks finally pierced the senile brain of Albrecht and his stupid minion Beck Rzikowsky so Francis Joseph would finally understood that junking the best Repeater Rifle and all but the best bullet for defective Spandau Products would even trump his 11 mm Debacle. Francis Joseph finally found the spine to turn down Willy’s bullying’s bluster to embrace Spandau. [Though in WW 1 Willy would pull the same stunt again.]
Alas, this did not help Rudolph as January crept toward the date of his execution. Albrecht The Gravedigger remained determined. He kept Rudolph’s modern drill manual buried on his desk (it would not be revealed until post Mayerling) while The Gravedigger dug out moldy old Magyar conspiracies to buttress his bogus court martial of Rudolph. Rudolph’s death warrant moved up the chain of command. Then Taaffe set it on the desk of Francis Joseph to sign. (Please read The Secret of Taaffe’s Metal Box.)
Francis Joseph was still cornered. Bismarck and Willy were still pressing him to terminate Rudolph. As far as Berlin was concerned a theoretical enemy of the Imperial Second Reich knew their Achilles Heel: their Krupp Heavy Artillery Piece had just failed and their Commission Repeater Rifle and full metal jacket nitro bullet were failing. The Imperial Second Reich was all but defenseless . Wales was yet again trying to sell the Entente to cage the Hohenzollern Eagle. And the fact that Rudolph’s best friend was Wales and he had recently secretly met Szeps and his in-law Clemenceau in his Hofburg garret office all but screamed that he was giving the enemies of the Reich deadly gunnery secrets to destroy them. Rudolph was probably simply turning down a desperate French offer to assassinate Francis Joseph to make Rudolph emperor to sign the Entente. But the top secret meetings simply further implicated him in the senile brains of Albrecht and Taaffe probably made sure Francis Joseph saw the secret meetings in the worst possible light because Taaffe also wanted Rudolph dead. Make that four powerful people pressuring Francis Joseph: Albrecht and his ADC Beck Rzikowsky, Prime Minister Taaffe, Bismarck, and Willy.
Francis Joseph was cornered. He was too terrified of Albrecht and Bismarck and too bullied by Willy to defy them and he was too isolated and manipulated by Taaffe. Rudolph had to be terminated. And termination now meant one thing only: Rudolph’s life.
What is remarkable is how little emotional or physical interchange there is between father and son at this point. Francis Joseph believes every accusation against his son and does not bother to discuss the accusations with Rudolph or even allow a fair forum for Rudolph to defend himself. But throughout their troubled life together Francis Joseph and Rudolph never ever had so much as one father and son chat. It was all directional: top down ‘I command to be obeyed!’. Rudolph was never allowed to simply talk to his father and his father never compromised Spanish Etiquette or imperial power enough to talk with his son. The tragic last act of a troubled father and son is about to commence and it would climax at Mayerling.
On January 25 Mary sent Rudolph a hysterical and raving note warning of doom from a fortune teller. Koinoff fled to Liverpool to take a ship to America. He posts a letter to Fritsche that arrives too late warning him that he must ‘Keep your closest attention on the Archduke’s lower household. Any harm that comes to His Highness will be the work of persons near to him who are in closer collusion with Berlin’ Koinoff had previously warned Fritsche that von Holstein’s plot to take down Rudolph also featured a FEMALE. Fatally, this letter is misrouted and only arrives to Fritsche’s town house AFTER MAYERLING.
On January 26 Francis Joseph and Rudolph have another terrible confrontation in the royal inner sanctum. Rumors fly that Francis Joseph bellowed ‘You are not worthy of being my son!’ before Rudolph marched out stiffly.
Myth of Mayerling Romantics gush this is all about Mary but Rudolph is not even documented to have seen Mary even semi-privately since the ten minute November Ambush meeting in his Hofburg garret office. Since then Mary as dunned Rudolph for 10,000 for Larisch as Helen Vetsera has tried to ply her extortion/blackmail. Why would Rudolph play with fire and frolic with a nymphomaniac connected to extortion and blackmail while claiming she is his half sister while telling absolutely everyone she is planning to commit spectacular suicide for love of Rudolph —- with Rudolph cast in a support role? No one can confirm Mary’s delusional claims except Mary.
In fact Rudolph tells close family friends that he only loves MC and does not want anyone else. This appears to be to damp down rumors that Rudolph ever sampled Mary’s dubious charms. In the last weeks of Rudolph’s life he will tell several close family members that he only loved MC while asking people to do something about Mary’s increasingly embarrassing behavior directed toward him. Fritsche has documented that Rudolph normally did not like to talk about affairs or sex or love so this is odd. It is atypical. It is as if Rudolph is unusually and atypically clarifying the romantic situation. MC is his love. No one else is his love. Hint: don’t believe anything that Mary Vetsera or anyone else says now or later.
So the likelihood that Rudolph even once had sex with Mary is highly dubious. Gonorrhea causes impotence. Rudolph’s calendars and movements also make it all but impossible. Rudolph and MC have been together for at least nine years if not more. It would have been colossal folly. And Rudolph’s psychology and impotence would make it physically impossible. Therefore there never was even one sexual encounter between Rudolph and Mary. Erotic mania and stalking can conjure up erotic fantasy in the mentally ill but historians and lovers of historical fact rather than historical Harlequin Romance needs to be able to tell the difference between fact and fantasy.
And Mary is now raving to one and all that she plans to die spectacularly just like her dead aunt in the Danube or else by gun or poison or some other spectacular suicide—- and that it will be a double suicide with Rudolph as her co-star. So everyone will know her name. Translation: assassination for love by a dangerously unstable erotic maniacal stalker. Yet Taaffe’s secret police do nothing. Why? You really need to ask yourself why in a genteel police state Taaffe’s secret police are not only NOT PROTECTING RUDOLPH ABROAD BUT ALSO NOT PROTECTING RUDOLPH AT HOME FROM A MAD STALKER OPENLY TALKING ABOUT KILLING RUDOLPH FOR LOVE AND DEATH.
Nor does Helen Vetsera do something. She is still trying to either extort money from Francis Joseph. Otherwise the only other payola is the offer of dangerous men: agents of von Holstein working out of the ‘Nest of Vipers’ : the Wimpffen’s townhouse to use Mary to garnish a sex scandal von Holstein is manufacturing. Helen is desperate for money. If Francis Joseph won’t pay up then she will have to get the money by even more dangerous means. The fact Larisch continues to take Mary to Wimpffen’s Nest Of Vipers even after Rudolph and Bombelles drop Wimpffen is not a good sign.
Helen Vetsera decides to take up the invitation Larisch (?) offers. Tickets to the sudden German Embassy Birthday Party Ball. Willy has suddenly announced that he is spending his birthday in the city he despises: Vienna. The Embassy Ball is the last chance Helen Vetsera has to ambush Francis Joseph outside of the bastion of the Hofburg. She announces she will take Mary. It shows how recklessly desperate Helen is for money to do this.
Likewise Francis Joseph orders Rudolph to attend the ball in the hateful uniform of the Army of the Imperial Second Reich. It is a dreadful affront to Rudolph who loathes the uniform and all it symbolizes. This order occurs all but after their terrible quarrel in the inner sanctum.
Rudolph is as cornered as Francis Joseph. He calmly tells Fritsche that he is aware of rumors of Scotland Yard, Belgium Secret Service, and Paris Secret Service warning of his assassination and likewise rumors of a von Holstein/Smutty Petri hit being manufactured. Fritsche also tells Rudolph that Koinoff has appeared to have fled. The rat as abandoned the sinking ship called ‘Rudolph’.
Rudolph acts bland. He brushes off fears of Fritsche but then bizarrely asks Fritsche to deliver research books on Godollo to Mayerling where Rudolph announces he might go after the Embassy Ball in order to write. Rudolph apologizes for the inconvenience but tells Fritsche he will make it up to him. He asks Fritsche to attend a midnight symposium he is hosting in his Hofburg garret office after the dreadful German Embassy ball. This symposium will feature most of Rudolph’s academic friends. It is one of several ‘spontaneous’ meetings Rudolph is ‘casually’ arranging within an oddly small window of time. Szeps and Clemenceau are also being squeezed in during this sudden quiet flurry of secret meetings among Rudolph’s closest friends. He also sees Prince Alexander Battenberg who is another close friend. He invites Battenberg to Mayerling but then Battenberg is warned to decline the invitation. Ditto Braganza and Johann Salvator. In the end only one genuine friend of Rudolph agrees to go to Mayerling: Hoyos a charming but timid man. Fortunately Bratfisch does agree to come. Bratfisch is street tough.
Fritsche is surprised but delighted. It is odd for Rudolph to be so abnormally calm right after yet another dreadful run in with his father. Why is an academic article so important? Fritsche should have been asking himself why Rudolph is ‘casually’ trying to see as many close friends as possible in 48 hours. That should be a siren going off. But his memoirs prove that Rudolph never confided in him that he faced death on January 30th. Rudolph kept that close to his vest from almost all his friends.
January is ticking down to its final days. Roll Commandos are encircling Mayerling. An oily double agent working for both Berlin and Taaffe, Florian Meissner, threatens MC. Rudolph calculates the reality even as he buys an engagement gift for Valerie. And engagement party is calendared for the Hofburg on the 29th. One of those famously early dinners. Coburg is coming. Coburg, Rudolph’s unpleasant brother -in-law, is a pal of Willy but lately he appears chummy with Albrecht. Rudolph calculates the pros and cons and makes a decision. Coburg is inviting himself to Mayerling despite the fact they are not friends. Just in-laws — who don’t especially like each other. Rudolph calculates the pros and cons.
Then Rudolph says he might a few days off after the German Embassy Ball despite a full calendar, that ‘happy’ engagement dinner, and an upcoming military staff meeting. To Mayerling. Why?
Rudolph never missed staff meetings if only to piss off Albrecht. And why miss the engagement dinner after buying a gift? And training back and forth would be a bother. Why bother? Why not just stay in town until the 30th and then go to Mayering? What Rudolph is proposing is simply not logical or convenient or consistent with his normal fussbudget micro managing behavior —- unless Rudolph knows about January 30th at 6:30 AM.
On January 27 Rudolph confronts Larisch and threatens her with some sort of pantomime to discredit her with her handlers: agents of Taaffe and von Holstein. Then as the air turned freezing Rudolph dressed in that hateful uniform and escorted the bitchy Stephanie to the German Embassy where Willy is strutting and gloating as if a man rejoicing some wonderful birthday gift he is about to receive.
Helen Vetsera with Mary in tow shocks everyone by trying to ambush Francis Joseph with Sisi on the other side of the ball room. Helen’s final desperate shakedown! But one withering look of Francis Joseph causes Helen to turn away and retreat. But then Helen sees Rudolph entering the ballroom with Stephanie! Helen, with Mary in tow, ambushes Rudolph and Stephanie! Mary grandstands offensively in a bad taste fashiontista dress and tacky moon crest pin stuck in her hair to unlawfully mimic a tiara which only the elite are allowed to wear. Helen purrs something. Stephanie and Rudolph freeze stiff as ice sculptures. The temperature drops. Mary refuses to bow. Rudolph’s brown eyes with their specks of gold and green suddenly flash feral. When Rudolph’s eyes flash they go greenish and very, very, very feral. People have time and again described the terrifying ability of those eyes to scare people when Rudolph is icily enraged. Rudolph’s eyes are flashing feral now! Helen suddenly realizes she has crossed the line. She desperately yanks the defiant Mary down into a bow and then stammers out something before dragging Mary away.
The ambush lasts only five minutes. Most of the ballroom does not even note it. But Rudolph is furious despite all of his stiff Spanish Etiquette. As Stephanie dances and flirts with handsome ‘Reds’ in their skin tight cavalry uniforms Rudolph circulates the room where he meets Lady Paget the wife of the British Ambassador. He furiously tells her he wishes someone would do something about Mary’s unwanted attentions as well as complaining about the hateful uniform he is forced to wear.
The more important moment comes later when Francis Joseph appears to cut Rudolph when he tries to approach his father. Rudolph walks away stiff and pale. Francis Joseph then atypically walks after his son to the surprise of everyone as Willy gloats. Then the father and son whisper something . Then Rudolph picks up the gloved hand of Francis Joseph and kisses it.
The last sight of Rudolph which most of the elite see before Rudolph’s death is this: the ball is ending. Everyone is waiting for the cloak room to fetch the rich furs and capes. Stephanie and Rudolph stand together stiff. Stephanie then speaks loudly as she complains where her expensive ermine cloak is. Then she shouts at Rudolph as if a lackey to go fetch her ermine fur. Rudolph replies ‘Please speak a little more softly. She shouts at him as if a fishmonger’s wife. Then Rudolph replies ‘If you had your way you would have Spindler or Bombelles shot for any silly little mistake made by one of the lackeys. Leave me alone about your silly cloak.’ The ermine finally is produced and then the husband and wife stiffly mount their carriage and ride away stiff as ice into the cold night. Later post Mayerling everyone remembered Stephanie’s crass, nagging, petty, and vindictive behavior. Post Mayerling everyone including Erzsi would blame Stephanie for all but driving Rudolph into an early grave.
Fritsche would record the symposium as utterly charming by comparison. He would later say that everyone who attended it refused to believe that Rudolph was suicidal. Likewise Fritsche insisted he never saw Rudolph as suicidal despite the fact Taaffe claimed one of the endless dossiers he claimed to possess to ‘prove’ Rudolph’s suicidal behavior which he did absolutely nothing whatsoever to prevent featured a report by Fritsche.
No wonder the so-called evidence has magically vanished forever from state files never to be seen while all of the so-called suicide notes have been locked away and only ‘quotes’ taken out of context from the unseen notes and letters are available for historians. The hard evidence ‘proving’ suicide (except for the undated Stephanie letter written almost two years previously prior to the dangerous Balkans Trip) have all been either locked away in Taaffe’s infamous metal box, been magically lost, or else is declared verbotem from public access. In sort: history has been deliberately censored. Why?
After the symposium Rudolph held his last sentimental meeting with MC at their flat. Atypically he drew the sign of the cross on her forehead before leaving her forever. Then Rudolph went to his Hofburg rooms and dressed. He wound his watch thoughtfully as he whispered ‘It must be so’ but then briskly did two hours of work at his garret office on mostly military matters with his ADCs as Loschek prepared some over night cases. Rudolph ran through calendars and either continued meetings or else calendared fresh meetings. He noted the upcoming military staff meeting with care. He noted the engagement dinner scheduled famously early (so Francis Joseph could go to bed early as he preferred). Rudolph all but admitted it seemed absurd to go to Mayerling and then train back again the very next day. Why leave on the 28th? Stay for the engagement dinner on the 29th and train to Mayerling on the 30th. The logic was obvious. So why did Rudolph go to Mayerling? The illogic is all the more illogical because Rudolph was expecting telegrams from Budapest. A very important defense bill was being debated over the use of German as the Command Language. Rudolph even waited for the telegrams. Obviously something was going wrong at Budapest. The military bill was serious. If Magyars sabotaged it then that would top the general staff meeting about to be held. So logic indicated that Rudolph should stay in Vienna and deal with any possible fallout of a botched up military defense bill so that he would not be accused by Albrecht at the staff meeting. But Rudolph still decided to leave for Mayerling anyway. Why?
He gave his ADCs their assignments and then visited Erzsi and kissed her goodbye. Then he descended the winding hallways and stairs as Loschek and one of his aged servants carried many briefcases to the waiting carriage. The aged servant looked upset. Rudolph paused the carriage and asked ‘Is there something I can do for you?’ before vanishing from the Hofburg forever.
When Rudolph reaches Mayerling Bratfisch’s carriage transporting him skids into an icy ditch. Rudolph gets out to help Bratfisch get the carriage back onto the icy road. Bratfisch fighting the horses. Rudolph fighting the rear wheels. It is a mess and leaves Rudolph’s heavy fur overcoat ruined. Worse. Rudolph sweated badly. So by the time they reach a key village the sweat has refrozen to Rudolph’s body and is triggering hypothermia. So Bratfisch, Loschek, and Rudolph go into the hotel and bar of Wirt to drink by the fire. But they see five sinister Prussian ‘hunters’ in phony hunting togs’. Rudolph recognizes them the Nest of Vipers as Prussian military spies. Rudolph leaves hastily and finally they reach Mayerling. By then Rudolph is sick. Bratfisch later recalls that he had to help Rudolph carry in the many briefcases while Loschek apparently carried in the over night cases. Despite a laborious bath (heated by boiling water in a hip bath by a fire place fire) Rudolph comes down with a bad cold, streaming runny nose, headache, and other miserable symptoms which aggravates his asthma. His heavy smoking does not help. It also does not help that Rudolph is rapidly bombarding the telegraph office one village over for news from Budapest. The news is not good. Rudolph fights a terrible cold and mild hypothermia while shooting off telegrams and struggling with that academic article he promised Weilen. Hoyos arrived. Then Coburg. The only staff are locals: Max and Otto and of course the gentlemen’s valets (who are never interviewed after Mayerling’s violent events except for Loschek). For some reason a part time cook has arrived. A female known for her greed. Normally Rudolph helps Bratfisch prepare the fruits of the hunt. Why is the part time cook here?
Things get sketchy on the 29th. Rumors of Roll Commandos spook the locals. The locals also gossip about the five fake Junker hunters who are not hunters and are only interested in Mayerling’s location. They later arrive at the village closest to Mayerling sans reservation and are forced to camp out in the main room and sleep on chairs with extreme discomfort. Bratfisch Junior, the Man Friday to Fritsche, has arrived and he decides to trail the sinister men. So he camps out while conspiring to pick a pocket (?) of one of the sinister men proving a Spandau Connection. Only Corburg ‘hunts’ as he intercepts other ‘hunter’s like Roll Commandos and fake Junker hunters. The ‘hunt’ delays Coburg by some two hours. Hoyos does not hunt.
Rudolph insanely bombards the local telegraphic office to torment Count Karolyi in Budapest over the blotch up of the military defense bill. Finally a furious Rudolph orders the poor Magyar to train to Vienna. Rudolph sets up an appointment in Vienna to bellow at the poor chap for blundering the military defense bill concerning the use of German as the command language of the military. Rudolph appears to be totally overreacting. TOTALLY OVERREACTING. The blunder appears to prove Albrecht’s senile and paranoid ravings about Rudolph’s involvement in sinister Hungarian conspiracies originating in that long ago offer to become Junior King of Hungary. Coburg leaves for Vienna in the afternoon to attend the famously early sentimental engagement dinner. Rudolph tells him to apologize for Rudolph’s lack of presence despite the fact he bought an engagement gift which is sitting in his garret office. He explains his non attendance as no one desiring his head cold to ruin the occasion. But why come to Mayerling and then commute back for that party? Why didn’t Rudolph simply stay in Vienna for that party and the general staff meeting and then train to Mayerling on the 30th or else 31th? The illogic remains with or without the head cold.
Fritsche also arrives on the 29. He is also in effect following someone. At the Vienna Train Station he watched Mary Vetsera descend from the carriage of Wimpffen along with secret service spies who watched Larisch pick up Mary and transverse the town while advertising ‘SCANDAL’ before handing Mary over to Wimpffen. Then everyone watches a flushed, excited Mary buy a ticket on the train to Mayerling sans luggage or lady’s maid in a skin tight fashionista dress and tacky feather boa while clutching a muff suspiciously (muffs often used like purses because female gowns rarely had pockets).
Fritsche likewise watched Mary debark and hire a hack to ride off toward (?) Mayerling. Fritsche walked to the Wirt hotel and bar to meet his Man Friday Bratfisch Junior (who was still following the fake Junkers) with Godollo research books in hand. Fritsche then spend the rest of the day and evening gossiping with the locals about the sinister Prussians because Bratfisch and therefore his luggage was elsewhere.
Bratfisch will later tell Fritsche that he did not bring Mary to Mayerling. Mary invited herself sans luggage or lady’s maid. Bratfisch also told Fritsche he had to help Rudolph carry many briefcases into his office because he intended to work on the Godollo article until the Budapest botch up occurred.
Then Rudolph ended up giving up on the academic article. He wrote a letter to Weilen pleading for more time to finish the academic article and placed it in the Out Box. Bratfisch later said that was the ONLY LETTER HE SAW UNTIL COBURG ARRIVED ON TEH 30TH AROUND 7:30 AM. Bratfisch also told Fritsche that Mary arrived by rental hack waving a forged invitation among other things. That was obvious hint for Fritsche to draw the obvious conclusion.
Things get really sketchy as 29 ticks down toward evening. Rudolph finally gave up tormenting the poor Magyar in Budapest and dined with Hoyos from 7:00 PM to around 9:00 PM or so while continuing to complain all but nonstop about the botch up of the military defense bill as if that was something really, really, really bad. Why was Rudolph so over reacting? It appeared to confirm Albrecht’s paranoia. It would become the top topic of the upcoming military staff meeting. Rudolph would be accused by Albrecht. Rudolph should realistically train back to Vienna pronto and meet Karolyi to head off another Albrecht attack at that staff meeting. Rudolph appears to be planning to leave Mayerling tomorrow. The 30th. Hoyos is vague what happens next.
Apparently per Hoyos later incoherent ravings says Mary threatened suicide or threatened poison or threatened herself or Rudolph or something or other and ended up (locked?) in the Stephanie Suite. If so the only female at the hunting lodge who would be attending her because she arrived sans luggage or lady’s maid would be the greedy cook. At some point Mary would also become stark naked and at some point she would also manage to escape the Stephanie Suite down the back stair case which was assumed to be locked. How?
Obviously the greedy cook who as staff had below stairs keys who should have been guarding and sedating a hysterical suicidal girl who at some point also discharged all six chambers of her civilian hand gun at the object of her obsession instead undressed Mary and uncaged her.
Hoyos said Rudolph acted as if Mary did not exist. At some point someone who brought a civilian handgun discharged all six chambers before the empty gun was tossed with disgust on a side table in Rudolph’s bedroom.The only person to bring a civilian hand gun would be Mary. Rudolph is fatally trusting a greedy cook to sedate Mary upstairs because it is now too late to get rid of Mary before January 30th at 6:30 AM. Obviously the greedy cook is the person below stairs which the double agent Koinoff warned about in his last fatally delayed letter to Fritsche. Obviously Rudolph is over reacting to this Budapest blunder because he is also worried that Mary’s uninvited presence at Mayerling says a von Holstein/Smutty Petri hit is unfolding despite his father’s promise of a quid pro quo.
Gentlemen hunters bring hunting rifles and not hand guns to blast away at their hosts. Rudolph always had hand guns. Military. Under pillows. In the pockets of great coats. In shoulder holsters. But as a host he would leave his military guns in his bedroom. And only Coburg is recorded to have hunted that day so Rudolph’s hunting guns would be probably stored. Therefore who brought the civilian hand gun and then discharged all six chambers? Obviously Mary at the object of her obsession! Rudolph! As she had been telling absolutely everyone she would do for a month! Assassination for love! Just as obviously Rudolph ducked! So just as obviously Rudolph not only did not invite Mary to Mayerling he did not want to join Mary in Love and Death! In fact he would have been frantic that Mary means a von Holstein/Smutty Petri hit is unfolding!
Hoyos and Bratfisch get over more sketchy as the 29th runs into midnight. The stableboys later say something suddenly happened at midnight. A quiet Mayerling suddenly erupted into lights and shouts and popping sounds. A dog wails. A mystery party? No carriages in the stable. No food brought. No extra locals hired as servants. Only Max and Otto. The valets. The cook. Bratfisch. Rudolph. Hoyos. Rumors of someone locked upstairs. But then suddenly Weiner the chief hunter keeper and stable keeper and grounds keeper was shot in the courtyard. Max later was found dead. Otto suddenly went missing. Rudolph’s dog was also found dead. Whatever is happening is no party!
Mysteriously, despite plans for a predawn hunt which required early rising, Mayerling stayed curiously silent as midnight passes toward predawn. The Wolfe Brothers were turned away. Five Prussians dressed in fake hunting togs but no dogs hovered around the front gates from around 6:30 AM toward 7:00 AM when Bratfisch Junior trailed them there and tried to get in. He was told which direction the next village was and was encouraged to bugger off. Meanwhile Wodiczka somehow got in and then bellowed at an ashen Bratfisch sitting mysteriously on his prepared carriage as about to rush someone to the train station despite the fact this was suppose to be just another normal hunting day on January 30th. So the grumpy hunter who got up early for a predawn hunt only to arrive to find nothing prepared and everyone missing shouted ‘#$%@&!’ to which an ashen Bratfisch replied dazed that Rudolph was already dead. Then Bratfisch just continues to sit ashen.
Meanwhile as Bratfisch Junior leaves reluctantly he hears two gun shots in the general direction of Mayerling —-outside— closer to the five sinister Prussians loitering suspiciously as if waiting for someone. Around 7:30 AM Coburg will materialized in hunting/and/or/travel clothes despite never returning home after that famous early sentimental dinner at the Hofburg to unveil the corpses.