During the years 1890-1914, Europe produced only one serious opponent to the Selman-Troytt family's surging commercial development: Baron Friedrich Von Tollamachen-Tollamach, the ruthless Bavarian industrialist. Being German, his pride was exceeded only by his reputation for extreme cruelty. "I am sure that nobody can as cruel as me be", he boasted in an interview with The Times during the Leipzig Wurst Dispute, of which he was the instigator and principal beneficiary.
From his power base close to Neuschwanstein, the castellated folly of 'Mad' King Ludwig, the Baron launched more than a score of offensives against Jonah, Jonas and John, each more vicious and desperate than the last. They replied with only one.
In 1913 they exploited simmering tensions in the Balkans by encouraging Serbian nationalists to overthrow their Austro-Hungarian oppressors. "If things go according to plan," chortled Jonas, "we'll be glazing from Amiens to Sarajevo." The later assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was to plunge Europe, and then the world, into the dark abyss of war for four grueling and window-shattering years.
Even the Baron was aghast at their audacity: "I am sure that these cold Englishmen no hearts have. They give even their souls for putty, nein?"
"He was a thorn in our flesh," Josiah later remarked. "We were glad when war broke out so that we had an excuse to shoot him legitimately."Details of next stage of Selman-Troytt foreign expansion.