It was midnight when the group of knights left town. The hooves clattered on the pavement of streets to cross the Rhine, the former border between the civilized world of Rome and the Barbarians. They had not had time to pick up the luggage, so severe was the threat that hung over the protege of Prince Frederick of Saxony, and there was no time to lose. The group was small, only three bodyguards and Luther himself who rode the horse awkwardly, unused to riding. The poor monk tried not to delay the progress of his escort. While the fugitives roamed the countryside near the city, their rooms were searched by soldiers of Charles.