The two men were Swiss Mercenaries, dressed in their colourful uniforms and carrying weapons; luckily Laszlo was able to speak with them in German and discover that they were engaged by the Venetian League in the fight against Charles VIII of France, and had been at the Battle of Fornovo the previous July which had then seen Charles head homeward, his tail between his legs, and they with fellow countrymen had been retained in Parma to train a civilian defence regiment, to protect the city if the French should ever return; that job done, they had begun their journey North, but no other travellers – not even a pair of fugitive Scotchmen, had passed them on this road that night; Peter slapped his head: "guilty of bovarism, Peter Boo The Great Detective! grrrr – what a dope to make such an assumption, based on nothing but other assumptions," and he recalled what his old Tutor had said in his first class at University: "never Assume, for it makes an Ass of U and Me!" there was no evidence to suggest they had headed south, just the assumption that being Scots they had reached Milan from the North! "we must hie back to the City and ask the Duke to send horsemen out to find which direction they took, his riders are fast and light and will be able to return to the City within a few hours and one will surely have news for us," and Laszlo agreed that sounded like 'A Plan'! even Piero seemed in better spirits, and they improved further when Laszlo made a suggestion: "let us hire these men, they are experienced in combat – unlike us – and if we need to ensnare the two Scotchmen, they will likely do so much better than you and I!" and Peter had to agree; "we made much haste but only wasted time, old friend, that is a bonzer idea! why didn't I think of it?" and Laszlo laughed: "because you, my friend, are an investigator 'after the fact' whereas I, as a Dadaist at heart, am an instigator 'before the fact' although in this particular case, the true instigators are cunning devils who have left no clues for us to follow – but Milan is the nexus, they say 'all roads lead to Rome, but all fates lead to Milan' and the horsemen of the Duke of Milan are the fastest in all Italy, so by using them to scout the roads in all directions, and with these fine colourful fellows to aid us, I have great confidence in the success of our mission," and so, with the two Swiss Mercenaries, happy to be paid for their journey homeward, the small party made it's way back to the city from whence it had come, and on the way the Swiss told tales of their experiences in the war which helped pass the time and before daylight they had reached Milan and reported to the Duke's Palace where, their request approved, soon after, six messengers, on light horses, galloped out into the countryside. each to cover twenty miles and ask whoever they met for information and thence to return with news.