I can at least borrow money on it, in Amsterdam! he thought, turning around. That will be no disgrace. I can find work at once and get it back again. Nay, perhaps I can even SPEAK TO THE FATHER ABOUT IT!
This last thought made the lad dance for joy. Why not, indeed, speak to the father? He was a rational being now. He may wake, thought Hans, quite bright and rested--may tell us the watch is of no consequence, to sell it of course! And Hans almost flew over the ice.
A few moments more and the skates were again swinging from his arm. He was running toward the cottage.
His mother met him at the door.
"Oh, Hans!" she cried, her face radiant with joy, "the young lady has been here with her maid. She brought everything--meat, jelly, wine, and bread--a whole basketful! Then the meester sent a man from town with more wine and a fine bed and blankets for the father. Oh! he will get well now. God bless them!"
"God bless them!" echoed Hans, and for the first time that day his eyes filled with tears.
That evening Raff Brinker felt so much better that he insisted upon sitting up for a while on the rough high-backed chair by the fire. For a few moments there was quite a commotion in the little cottage. Hans was all-important on the occasion, for his father was a heavy man and needed something firm to lean upon. The dame, though none of your fragile ladies, was in such a state of alarm and excitement at the bold step they were taking in lifting him without the meester's orders that she came near pulling her husband over, even while she believed herself to be his main prop and support.
"Steady, vrouw, steady," panted Raff. "Have I grown old and feeble, or is it the fever makes me thus helpless?"