"I cannot say. Probably not. Shall it be done?"
"It MAY cure him, you said, and--mynheer, did you tell my boy that--perhaps--perhaps. . ." She could not finish.
"Yes, jufvrouw, I said the patient might sink under the operation, but we hope it may prove otherwise." He looked at his watch. The assistant moved impatiently toward the window. "Come, jufvrouw, time presses. Yes or no?"
Hans wound his arm about his mother. It was not his usual way. He even leaned his head against her shoulder.
"The meester awaits an answer," he whispered.
Dame Brinker had long been head of her house in every sense. Many a time she had been very stern with Hans, ruling him with a strong hand and rejoicing in her motherly discipline. NOW she felt so weak, so helpless. It was something to feel that firm embrace. There was strength even in the touch of that yellow hair.
She turned to her boy imploringly.
"Say what God tells thee, Mother," answered Hans, bowing his head.