Rider: Whenever I come through the villages surrounding Hagen, my heart sinks. So many farms have been abandoned and lie in ruins. Most people around here seem weighed down by what they have endured. This man over there for instance.
Oy! Good man, where are you headed? I think I know you, you own a piece of land and a farm not far from here towards Natrup, don’t you?
Man: Don’t remind me of that. Nothing can keep me here.
Rider: But where do you want to go?
Man: My wife’s cousin is living in Münster. Hopefully, he will let me stay for a while.
Rider: But where is your wife?
Man: (laughing bitterly) What do you think? If it’s not the Dutchmen that get you, it’s the Swedes, or the Hessians. If it’s not the imperial forces, it’s the pestilence or hunger, at last. – the High Lords drink wine in Münster – so I have heard. I want to see it with my own eyes. And my wife and kid? They died a wretched death of hunger. I want to see them - those wine drinkers!
Rider: The envoys are negotiating peace. Those, who plundered your farms served no one but the war.
Man: I have stopped differentiating a while ago. Every lord’s men maltreated us. Not a corn they left us to sow. We even bought the rye, which we had to hand off, ourselves at a high price! These days, it seems to be every soldier’s right to maltreat farmers without consequence. Not even God they fear. They smashed the church’s windows to make cannon balls out of the leading. Hah! Nowadays, a proper Christian turns his ploughshare into a sword! Another time these oh so Christian soldiers took our service book. Probably just for the fun of it and to humiliate us! Then, they took the holy implements without a sign of regret and would have done so, had the chalice been made of sheet-metal. Finally, when there was nothing else to take, they took the priest himself so that we had to pay the ransom, even though we barely had anything ourselves. But we had to. Otherwise they would have killed him… and there would have been no way for us into the kingdom of heaven. That’s what they told us.
Rider: And what do you expect from Münster now?
Man: To live, my friend! I expect to live. That is more than I could hope for if I stayed here. Not long ago, a horseman came by, asking why the mill was not turning despite the wind. If it wasn’t that sad, you would be laughing: if there is no grain to grind, there is no work to do.
Rider: God be with you on your path!
Man: You can find something better than death everywhere. But I thank you for you blessing.