On certain evenings, around dusk, Countess Berthe de La Roche can be seen prowling the ruins of the château where she died…
But who is Berthe?
A Sire de La Roche, with only an only daughter, Berthe, to inherit his powerful estate, organized a great tournament at the château. The hand of the wealthy heiress would belong to the Knight who, in a fair fight, had remained victorious over all rivals.
The first knight to appear was the Comte de Montaigu, a colossus, proud of his strength, whom no opposing lance had ever managed to unseat.
So no other champion came forward.
Yet it was to Countess Alix de Salm that the Comte de Montaigu had pledged his faith.
With the time limit almost reached, a rider entered the courtyard. What a singular adversary! He was a tiny knight, almost a child, and at the sight of this puny champion, the Comte de Montaigu was seized with a tremendous fit of laughter.
In front of the knights and ladies, the unequal battle began.
With a tremendous clang of iron, and the heavy gallop of his warhorse, the Comte de Montaigu rushed against his weak adversary, who was armed only with a light harness, and his horse was not protected by any armor. With marvellous dexterity, in one swift leap, this supple mount avoided the Count’s violent impact.
In an instant, the Count had turned and was marching again, this time more slowly and methodically, against his skilful rival. But no matter how many times he struck, it was all to no avail and he was getting terribly hot. Moderating his mount’s speed, the little knight stopped and waited with an upright, defiant stance.
Taking advantage of the moment, the Count ran up; the colossus’ sword whirled in the air and, with a flash of steel, came down with a hiss on the imprudent youth…
But the little knight was already gone, as the Count’s heavy mass, swept along by his momentum, lost its balance and fell to the ground with a clatter of broken iron. “The little knight, inserting the thin blade of the light sword under the knuckle of the helmet, cut the dreaded count’s throat in a single stroke…
A moment later, the happy father led the newlyweds up the dungeon to the bridal chamber.
Early the next morning, eager to witness and share in the young couple’s happiness, the father was waiting in the château courtyard. But the sun kept rising, and the father never saw them appear. Weary of this long, fruitless wait, he climbed the dungeon steps, ran to the door of the bridal chamber and knocked. No answer… Powerless to suppress paternal concerns, the father pushed open the door; it yielded, but the room was empty and the window open. At the bottom of the abyss, on the rock, on the edge of the Ourthe, two dots stood out: one was black, the other white.
The mysterious Chevalier was none other than the Countess Alix de Salm who, under this disguise and after making a pact with the devil, had taken revenge on the Comte de Montaigu and the beautiful Berthe de La Roche …