This was too much for the dame. "'Poor boy!'" she echoed, somewhat tartly. "What do you think I'm standing here for, Raff Brinker, and my spinning awaiting, if not to hear more than that?"
"I told ye all, long since," said Raff positively as he looked up in surprise.
"Indeed, and you never did!" retorted the vrouw.
"Well, if not, since it's no affair of ours, we'll say no more about it," said Raff, shaking his head sadly. "Like enough while I've been dead on the earth, all this time, the poor boy's died and been in heaven. He looked near enough to it, poor lad!"
"Raff Brinker! If you're going to treat me this way, and I nursing you and bearing with you since I was twenty-two years old, it's a shame. Aye, and a disgrace," cried the vrouw, growing quite red and scant of breath.
Raff's voice was feeble yet. "Treat you WHAT way, Meitje?"
"What way," said Dame Brinker, mimicking his voice and manner. "What way? Why, just as every woman in the world is treated after she's stood by a man through the worst, like a--"
Raff was leaning forward with outstretched arms. His eyes were full of tears.