"L.J.B.!" cried Dr. Boekman, springing toward her.
Why attempt to describe the scene that followed? I need only say that the lad's message was delivered to his father at last, delivered while the great surgeon was sobbing like a little child.
"Laurens! My Laurens!" he cried, gazing with yearning eyes at the watch as he held it tenderly in his palm. "Ah, if I had but known sooner! Laurens a homeless wanderer--great heaven! He may be suffering, dying at this moment! Think, man, where is he? Where did my boy say that the letter must be sent?"
"Think!" implored the doctor. Surely the memory so lately awakened through his aid could not refuse to serve him in a moment like this.
"It is all gone, mynheer," sighed Raff.
Hans, forgetting distinctions of rank and station, forgetting everything but that his good friend was in trouble, threw his arms around the doctor's neck.
"I can find your son, mynheer. If alive, he is SOMEWHERE. The earth is not so very large. I will devote every day of my life to the search. Mother can spare me now. You are rich, mynheer. Send me where you will."
Gretel began to cry. It was right for Hans to go, but how could they ever live without him?"