She, too, had pleasant tidings. The father was still improving. He had been sitting up nearly all day and was now sleeping as Dame Brinker declared, "Just as quiet as a lamb."
"It is my turn now, Hans," said Annie, drawing him aside after he had told his mother the good word from Mynheer van Holp. "Your skates are sold, and here's the money."
"Seven guilders!" cried Hans, counting the pieces in astonishment. "Why, that is three times as much as I paid for them."
"I cannot help that," said Annie. "If the buyer knew no better, that is not our fault."
"Oh, Hans!" she mimicked, pursing her lips, and trying to look desperately wicked and unprincipled.
"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.