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he replied evasively: “I have absolutely no scrap of

source:Clear thinking network   author:internet   time:2023-12-01 04:33:21

"What thinking on, Big-eyes?" chirruped his mother, half reading his thoughts as she bustled about, preparing the dinner. "What thinking on? Why, Raff, would ye believe it, the child thought to carry half Amsterdam back on his head. Bless us! He would have bought us as much coffee as would have filled this fire pot. 'No, no, my lad,' says I. 'No time for leaks when the ship is rich laden.' And then how he stared--aye--just as he stares this minute. Hoot, lad, fly around a mite. Ye'll grow to the chimney place with your staring and wondering. Now, Raff, here's your chair at the head of the table, where it should be, for there's a man to the house now--I'd say it to the king's face. Aye, that's the way--lean on Hans. There's a strong staff for you! Growing like a weed, too, and it seems only yesterday since he was toddling. Sit by, my man, sit by."

he replied evasively: “I have absolutely no scrap of

"Can you call to mind, vrouw, "said Raff, settling himself cautiously in the big chair, "the wonderful music box that cheered your working in the big house at Heidelberg?"

he replied evasively: “I have absolutely no scrap of

"Aye, that I can," answered the dame. "Three turns of a brass key and the witchy thing would send the music fairly running up and down one's back. I remember it well. But, Raff"--growing solemn in an instant--"you would never throw our guilders away for a thing like that?"

he replied evasively: “I have absolutely no scrap of

"No, no, not I, vrouw, for the good Lord has already given me a music box without pay."

All three cast quick, frightened glances at one another and at Raff. Were his wits on the wing again?

"Aye, and a music box that fifty pouchful would not buy from me," insisted Raff. "And it's set going by the turn of a mop handle, and it slips and glides around the room, everywhere in a flash, carrying the music about till you'd swear the birds were back again."

"Holy Saint Bavon!" screeched the dame. "What's in the man?"

"Comfort and joy, vrouw, that's what's in him! Ask Gretel, ask my little music box Gretel if your man has lacked comfort and joy this day."