"Now, Annie, I know you would never mean that! You must return some of this money."
"But I'll not do any such thing," insisted Annie. "They're sold, and that's an end of it." Then, seeing that he looked really pained, she added in a lower tone, "Will you believe me, Hans, when I say that there has been no mistake, that the person who bought your skates INSISTED upon paying seven guilders for them?"
"I will," he answered, and the light from his clear blue eyes seemed to settle and sparkle under Annie's lashes.
Dame Brinker was delighted at the sight of so much silver, but when she learned that Hans had parted with his treasures to obtain it, she sighed and then exclaimed, "Bless thee, child! That will be a sore loss for thee!"
"Here, Mother," said the boy, plunging his hands far into his pocket, "here is more--we shall be rich if we keep on!"
"Aye, indeed," she answered, eagerly reaching forth her hand. Then, lowering her voice, added, "We SHOULD be rich but for that Jan Kamphuisen. He was at the willow tree years ago, Hans. Depend upon it!"
"Indeed, it seems likely," sighed Hans. "Well, Mother, we must give up the money bravely. It is certainly gone. The father has told us all he knows. Let us think no more about it."
"That's easy saying, Hans. I shall try, but it's hard and my poor man wanting so many comforts. Bless me! How girls fly about! They were here but this instant. Where did they run to?"