"Aye and bravely," put in Dame Brinker.
"Let me see," muttered the father, looking in a puzzled way at them all, "how long is it since the night when the waters were coming in? 'Tis the last I remember."
"We have told thee true, Raff. It was ten years last Pinxter week."
"Ten years--and I fell then, you say? Has the fever been on me ever since?"
Dame Brinker scarcely knew how to reply. Should she tell him all? Tell him that he had been an idiot, almost a lunatic? The doctor had charged her on no account to worry or excite his patient.
Hans and Gretel looked astonished.
"Like enough, Raff," she said, nodding her head and raising her eyebrows. "When a heavy man like thee falls on his head, it's hard to say what will come--but thou'rt well NOW, Raff. Thank the good Lord!"
The newly awakened man bowed his head.