"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."
"Not he, Mother," laughed Gretel. "He's been MY music box, too. We sang together half the time you were gone."
"Aye, so," said the dame, greatly relieved. "Now, Hans, you'll never get through with a piece like that, but never mind, chick, thou'st had a long fasting. Here, Gretel, take another slice of the sausage. It'll put blood in your cheeks."
"Oh! Oh, Mother," laughed Gretel, eagerly holding forth her platter. "Blood doesn't grow in girls' cheeks--you mean roses. Isn't it roses, Hans?"
While Hans was hastily swallowing a mammoth mouthful in order to give a suitable reply to this poetic appeal, Dame Brinker settled the matter with a quick, "Well, roses or blood, it's all one to me, so the red finds its way on your sunny face. It's enough for mother to get pale and weary-looking without--"
"Hoot, vrouw," spoke up Raff hastily, "thou'rt fresher and rosier this minute than both our chicks put together."