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Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

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his crown of blue ribbon and whalebone (for he was not quite past
the tumbling age), he looked like the king of the babies.

The other children, each holding a pretty willow basket, formed a
ring at once, and moved slowly around the little fellow, lifting
their eyes, for the saint to whom they were about to address
themselves was yet in mysterious quarters.

Madame commenced playing softly upon the piano. Soon the voices
rose--gentle, youthful voices--rendered all the sweeter for their

"Welcome, friend! Saint Nicholas, welcome!
Bring no rod for us tonight!
While our voices bid thee welcome,
Every heart with joy is light!

Tell us every fault and failing,
We will bear thy keenest railing,
So we sing--so we sing--
Thou shalt tell us everything!

Welcome, friend! Saint Nicholas, welcome!
Welcome to this merry band!
Happy children greet thee, welcome!
Thou art glad'ning all the land!

Fill each empty hand and basket,
'Tis thy little ones who ask it,
So we sing--so we sing--
Thou wilt bring us everything!"

During the chorus sundry glances, half in eagerness, half in
dread, had been cast toward the polished folding doors. Now a
loud knocking was heard. The circle was broken in an instant.
Some of the little ones, with a strange mixture of fear and
delight, pressed against their mother's knee. Grandfather bent
forward with his chin resting upon his hand; Grandmother lifted
her spectacles; Mynheer van Gleck, seated by the fireplace,
slowly drew his meerschaum from his mouth while Hilda and the
other children settled themselves beside him in an expectant

The knocking was heard again.

"Come in," said madame softly.

The door slowly opened, and Saint Nicholas, in full array, stood
before them.

You could have heard a pin drop.

Soon he spoke. What a mysterious majesty in his voice! What
kindliness in his tones!

"Karel van Gleck, I am pleased to greet thee, and thy honored
vrouw Kathrine, and thy son and his good vrouw Annie!

"Children, I greet ye all! Hendrick, Hilda, Broom, Katy,
Huygens, and Lucretia! And thy cousins, Wolfert, Diedrich,
Mayken, Voost, and Katrina! Good children ye have been, in the
main, since I last accosted ye. Diedrich was rude at the Haarlem
fair last fall, but he has tried to atone for it since. Mayken
has failed of late in her lessons, and too many sweets and
trifles have gone to her lips, and too few stivers to her charity
box. Diedrich, I trust, will be a polite, manly boy for the
future, and Mayken will endeavor to shine as a student. Let her
remember, too, that economy and thrift are needed in the
foundation of a worthy and generous life. Little Katy has been
cruel to the cat more than once. Saint Nicholas can hear the cat
cry when its tail is pulled. I will forgive her if she will
remember from this hour that the smallest dumb creatures have
feelings and must not be abused."

As Katy burst into a frightened cry, the saint graciously
remained silent until she was soothed.

"Master Broom," he resumed, "I warn thee that the boys who are in
the habit of putting snuff upon the foot stove of the
schoolmistress may one day be discovered and receive a

Master Broom colored and stared in great astonishment.

"But thou art such an excellent scholar, I shall make thee no
further reproof."

"Thou, Hendrick, didst distinguish thyself in the archery match
last spring, and hit the Doel *{Bull's-eye.} though the bird was
swung before it to unsteady thine eye. I give thee credit for
excelling in manly sport and exercise, though I must not unduly
countenance thy boat racing, since it leaves thee little time for
thy proper studies.

"Lucretia and Hilda shall have a blessed sleep tonight. The
consciousness of kindness to the poor, devotion in their souls,
and cheerful, hearty obedience to household rule will render them

"With one and all I avow myself well content. Goodness,
industry, benevolence, and thrift have prevailed in your midst.
Therefore, my blessing upon you--and may the new year find all
treading the paths of obedience, wisdom, and love. Tomorrow you
shall find more substantial proofs that I have been in your
midst. Farewell!"

With these words came a great shower of sugarplums, upon a linen
sheet spread out in front of the doors. A general scramble
followed. The children fairly tumbled over each other in their
eagerness to fill their baskets. Madame cautiously held the baby
down in their midst, till the chubby little fists were filled.
Then the bravest of the youngsters sprang up and burst open the
closed doors. In vain they peered into the mysterious apartment.
Saint Nicholas was nowhere to be seen.

Soon there was a general rush to another room, where stood a
table, covered with the finest and whitest of linen damask. Each
child, in a flutter of excitement, laid a shoe upon it. The door
was then carefully locked, and its key hidden in the mother's
bedroom. Next followed goodnight kisses, a grand family
procession to the upper floor, merry farewells at bedroom doors,
and silence, at last, reigned in the Van Gleck mansion.

Early the next morning the door was solemnly unlocked and opened
in the presence of the assembled household, when lo! a sight
appeared, proving Saint Nicholas to be a saint of his word!

Every shoe was filled to overflowing, and beside each stood many
a colored pile. The table was heavy with its load of
presents--candies, toys, trinkets, books, and other articles.
Everyone had gifts, from the grandfather down to the baby.

Little Katy clapped her hands with glee and vowed inwardly that
the cat should never know another moment's grief.

Hendrick capered about the room, flourishing a superb bow and
arrows over his head. Hilda laughed with delight as she opened a
crimson box and drew forth its glittering contents. The rest
chuckled and said "Oh!" and "Ah!" over their treasures, very much
as we did here in America on last Christmas Day.

With her glittering necklace in her hands, and a pile of books in
her arms, Hilda stole towards her parents and held up her beaming
face for a kiss. There was such an earnest, tender look in her
bright eyes that her mother breathed a blessing as she leaned
over her.

"I am delighted with this book. Thank you, Father," she said,
touching the top one with her chin. "I shall read it all day

"Aye, sweetheart," said mynheer, "you cannot do better. There
is no one like Father Cats. If my daughter learns his 'Moral
Emblems' by heart, the mother and I may keep silent. The work
you have there is the Emblems--his best work. You will find it
enriched with rare engravings from Van de Venne."

Considering that the back of the book was turned away, mynheer
certainly showed a surprising familiarity with an unopened
volume, presented by Saint Nicholas. It was strange, too, that
the saint should have found certain things made by the elder
children and had actually placed them upon the table, labeled
with parents' and grandparents' names. But all were too much
absorbed in happiness to notice slight inconsistencies. Hilda
saw, on her father's face, the rapt expression he always wore
when he spoke of Jakob Cats, so he put her armful of books upon
the table and resigned herself to listen.

"Old Father Cats, my child, was a great poet, not a writer of
plays like the Englishman, Shakespeare, who lived in his time. I
have read them in the German and very good they are--very, very
good--but not like Father Cats. Cats sees no daggers in the air;
he has no white women falling in love with dusky Moors; no young
fools sighing to be a lady's glove; no crazy princes mistaking
respectable old gentlemen for rats. No, no. He writes only
sense. It is great wisdom in little bundles, a bundle for every
day of your life. You can guide a state with Cats's poems, and
you can put a little baby to sleep with his pretty songs. He was
one of the greatest men of Holland. When I take you to The
Hague, I will show you the Kloosterkerk where he lies buried.
THERE was a man for you to study, my sons! He was good through
and through. What did he say?

"O Lord, let me obtain this from Thee
To live with patience, and to die with pleasure!

*{O Heere! laat my daat van uwen hand verwerven,
Te leven met gedult, en met vermaak te sterven.}

"Did patience mean folding his hands? No, he was a lawyer,
statesman, ambassador, farmer, philosopher, historian, and poet.
He was keeper of the Great Seal of Holland! He was a--Bah! there
is too much noise here, I cannot talk." And mynheer, looking
with great astonishment into the bowl of his meerschaum, for it
had gone out, nodded to his vrouw and left the apartment in
great haste.

The fact is, his discourse had been accompanied throughout with a
subdued chorus of barking dogs, squeaking cats, and bleating
lambs, to say nothing of a noisy ivory cricket that the baby was
whirling with infinite delight. At the last, little Huygens,
taking advantage of the increasing loudness of mynheer's tones,
had ventured a blast on his new trumpet, and Wolfert had hastily
attempted an accompaniment on the drum. This had brought matters
to a crisis, and it was good for the little creatures that it
had. The saint had left no ticket for them to attend a lecture
on Jakob Cats. It was not an appointed part of the ceremonies.
Therefore when the youngsters saw that the mother looked neither
frightened nor offended, they gathered new courage. The grand
chorus rose triumphant, and frolic and joy reigned supreme.

Good Saint Nicholas! For the sake of the young Hollanders, I,
for one, am willing to acknowledge him and defend his reality
against all unbelievers.

Carl Schummel was quite busy during that day, assuring little
children, confidentially, that not Saint Nicholas but their own
fathers and mothers had produced the oracle and loaded the
tables. But WE know better than that.

And yet if this were a saint, why did he not visit the Brinker
cottage that night? Why was that one home, so dark and
sorrowful, passed by?

What the Boys Saw and Did in Amsterdam

"Are we all here?" cried Peter, in high glee, as the party
assembled upon the canal early the next morning, equipped for
their skating journey. "Let me see. As Jacob has made me
captain, I must call the roll. Carl Schummel, you here?"


"Jacob Poot!"


"Benjamin Dobbs!"


"Lambert van Mounen!"


"That's lucky! Couldn't get on without YOU, as you're the only
one who can speak English. Ludwig van Holp!"


"Voostenwalbert Schimmelpenninck!"

No answer.

"Ah, the little rogue has been kept at home! Now, boys, it's
just eight o'clock--glorious weather, and the Y is as firm as a
rock. We'll be at Amsterdam in thirty minutes. One, two, three

True enough, in less than half an hour they had crossed a dike of
solid masonry and were in the very heart of the great metropolis
of the Netherlands--a walled city of ninety-five islands and
nearly two hundred bridges. Although Ben had been there twice
since his arrival in Holland, he saw much to excite wonder, but
his Dutch comrades, having lived nearby all their lives,
considered it the most matter-of-course place in the world.
Everything interested Ben: the tall houses with their forked
chimneys and gable ends facing the street; the merchants' ware
rooms, perched high up under the roofs of their dwellings, with
long, armlike cranes hoisting and lowering goods past the
household windows; the grand public buildings erected upon wooden
piles driven deep into the marshy ground; the narrow streets; the
canals crossing the city everywhere; the bridges; the locks; the
various costumes; and, strangest of all, shops and dwellings
crouching close to the fronts of the churches, sending their
long, disproportionate chimneys far upward along the sacred

If he looked up, he saw tall, leaning houses, seeming to pierce
the sky with their shining roofs. If he looked down, there was
the queer street, without crossing or curb--nothing to separate
the cobblestone pavement from the footpath of brick--and if he
rested his eyes halfway, he saw complicated little mirrors
(spionnen) fastened upon the outside of nearly every window, so
arranged that the inmates of the houses could observe all that
was going on in the street or inspect whoever might be knocking
at the door, without being seen themselves.

Sometimes a dogcart, heaped with wooden ware, passed him; then a
donkey bearing a pair of panniers filled with crockery or glass;
then a sled driven over the bare cobblestones (the runners kept
greased with a dripping oil rag so that it might run easily); and
then, perhaps, a showy but clumsy family carriage, drawn by the
brownest of Flanders horses, swinging the whitest of snowy tails.

The city was in full festival array. Every shop was gorgeous in
honor of Saint Nicholas. Captain Peter was forced, more than
once, to order his men away from the tempting show windows, where
everything that is, has been, or can be, thought of in the way of
toys was displayed. Holland is famous for this branch of
manufacture. Every possible thing is copied in miniature for the
benefit of the little ones; the intricate mechanical toys that a
Dutch youngster tumbles about in stolid unconcern would create a
stir in our patent office. Ben laughed outright at some of the
mimic fishing boats. They were so heavy and stumpy, so like the
queer craft that he had seen about Rotterdam. The tiny
trekschuiten, however, only a foot or two long, and fitted out,
complete, made his heart ache. He so longed to buy one at once
for his little brother in England. He had no money to spare, for
with true Dutch prudence, the party had agreed to take with them
merely the sum required for each boy's expenses and to consign
the purse to Peter for safekeeping. Consequently Master Ben
concluded to devote all his energies to sight-seeing and to think
as seldom as possible of little Robby.

He made a hasty call at the Marine school and envied the sailor
students their full-rigged brig and their sleeping berths swung
over their trunks or lockers; he peeped into the Jews' Quarter of
the city, where the rich diamond cutters and squalid
old-clothesmen dwell, and wisely resolved to keep away from it;
he also enjoyed hasty glimpses of the four principal avenues of
Amsterdam--the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht, and
Singel. These are semicircular in form, and the first three
average more than two miles in length. A canal runs through the
center of each, with a well-paved road on either side, lined with
stately buildings. Rows of naked elms, bordering the canal, cast
a network of shadows over its frozen surface, and everything was
so clean and bright that Ben told Lambert it seemed to him like
petrified neatness.

Fortunately the weather was cold enough to put a stop to the
usual street flooding and window-washing, or our young
excursionists might have been drenched more than once. Sweeping,
mopping, and scrubbing form a passion with Dutch housewives, and
to soil their spotless mansions is considered scarcely less than
a crime. Everywhere a hearty contempt is felt for those who
neglect to rub the soles of their shoes to a polish before
crossing the doorsill; and in certain places visitors are
expected to remove their heavy shoes before entering.

Sir William Temple, in his memoirs of "What Passed in Christendom
from 1672 to 1679," tells a story of a pompous magistrate going
to visit a lady of Amsterdam. A stout Holland lass opened the
door, and told him in a breath that the lady was at home and that
his shoes were not very clean. Without another word she took the
astonished man up by both arms, threw him across her back,
carried him through two rooms, set him down at the bottom of the
stairs, seized a pair of slippers that stood there, and put them
upon his feet. Then, and not until then, she spoke, telling him
that his mistress was on the floor above, and that he might go

While Ben was skating with his friends upon the crowded canals of
the city, he found it difficult to believe that the sleepy
Dutchmen he saw around him, smoking their pipes so leisurely and
looking as though their hats might be knocked off their heads
without their making any resistance, were capable of those
outbreaks that had taken place in Holland--that they were really
fellow countrymen of the brave, devoted heroes of whom he had
read in Dutch history.

As his party skimmed lightly along he told Van Mounen of a burial
riot which in 1696 had occurred in that very city, where the
women and children turned out, as well as the men, and formed
mock funeral processions through the town, to show the
burgomasters that certain new regulations, with regard to burying
the dead would not be acceded to--how at last they grew so
unmanageable and threatened so much damage to the city that the
burgomasters were glad to recall the offensive law.

"There's the corner," said Jacob, pointing to some large
buildings, where, about fifteen years ago, the great corn houses
sank down in the mud. They were strong affairs and set up on
good piles, but they had over seven million pounds of corn in
them, and that was too much."

It was a long story for Jacob to tell, and he stopped to rest.

"How do you know there were seven million pounds in them?" asked
Carl sharply. "You were in your swaddling clothes then."

"My father knows all about it" was Jacob's suggestive reply.
Rousing himself with an effort, he continued, "Ben likes
pictures. Show him some."

"All right," said the captain.

"If we had time, Benjamin," said Lambert van Mounen in English,
"I should like to take you to the City Hall, or Stadhuis. There
are building piles for you! It is built on nearly fourteen
thousand of them, driven seventy feet into the ground. But what
I wish you to see there is the big picture of Van Speyk blowing
up his ship--great picture."

"Van WHO?" asked Ben.

"Van Speyk. Don't you remember? He was in the height of an
engagement with the Belgians, and when he found that they had the
better of him and would capture his ship, he blew it up, and
himself, too, rather than yield to the enemy."

"Wasn't that Van Tromp?"

"Oh, no. Van Tromp was another brave fellow. They've a monument
to him down at Delftshaven--the place where the Pilgrims took
ship for America."

"Well, what about Van Tromp? He was a great Dutch admiral,
wasn't he?"

"Yes, he was in more than thirty sea fights. He beat the Spanish
fleet and an English one, and then fastened a broom to his
masthead to show that he had swept the English from the sea.
Takes the Dutch to beat, my boy!"

"Hold up!" cried Ben. "Broom or no broom, the English conquered
him at last. I remember all about it now. He was killed
somewhere on the Dutch coast in an engagement in which the
English fleet was victorious. Too bad," he added maliciously,
"wasn't it?"

"Ahem! Where are we?" exclaimed Lambert, changing the subject.
"Halloo! The others are way ahead of us--all but Jacob. Whew!
How fat he is! He'll break down before we're halfway."

Ben, of course, enjoyed skating beside Lambert, who, though a
staunch Hollander, had been educated near London and could speak
English as fluently as Dutch, but he was not sorry when Captain
van Holp called out, "Skates off! There's the museum!"

It was open, and there was no charge on that day for admission.
In they went, shuffling, as boys will when they have a chance,
just to hear the sound of their shoes on the polished floor.

This museum is in fact a picture gallery where some of the finest
works of the Dutch masters are to be seen, besides nearly two
hundred portfolios of rare engravings.

Ben noticed, at once, that some of the pictures were hung on
panels fastened to the wall with hinges. These could be swung
forward like a window shutter, thus enabling the subject to be
seen in the best light. The plan served them well in viewing a
small group by Gerard Douw, called the "Evening School," enabling
them to observe its exquisite finish and the wonderful way in
which the picture seemed to be lit through its own windows.
Peter pointed out the beauties of another picture by Douw, called
"The Hermit," and he also told them some interesting anecdotes of
the artist, who was born at Leyden in 1613.

"Three days painting a broom handle!" echoed Carl in
astonishment, while the captain was giving some instances of
Douw's extreme slowness of execution.

"Yes, sir, three days. And it is said that he spent five in
finishing one hand in a lady's portrait. You see how very bright
and minute everything is in this picture. His unfinished works
were kept carefully covered and his painting materials were put
away in airtight boxes as soon as he had finished using them for
the day. According to all accounts, the studio itself must have
been as close as a bandbox. The artist always entered it on
tiptoe, besides sitting still, before he commenced work, until
the slight dust caused by his entrance had settled. I have read
somewhere that his paintings are improved by being viewed through
a magnifying glass. He strained his eyes so badly with the extra
finishing, that he was forced to wear spectacles before he was
thirty. At forty he could scarcely see to paint, and he couldn't
find a pair of glasses anywhere that would help his sight. At
last, a poor old German woman asked him to try hers. They suited
him exactly, and enabled him to go on painting as well as ever."

"Humph!" exclaimed Ludwig indignantly. "That was high! What did
SHE do without them, I wonder?"

"Oh," said Peter, laughing, "likely she had another pair. At any
rate she insisted upon his taking them. He was so grateful that
he painted a picture of the spectacles for her, case and all, and
she sold it to a burgomaster for a yearly allowance that made her
comfortable for the rest of her days."

"Boys!" called Lambert in a loud whisper, "come look at this
'Bear Hunt.'"

It was a fine painting by Paul Potter, a Dutch artist of the
seventeenth century, who produced excellent works before he was
sixteen years old. The boys admired it because the subject
pleased them. They passed carelessly by the masterpieces of
Rembrandt and Van der Helst, and went into raptures over an ugly
picture by Van der Venne, representing a sea fight between the
Dutch and English. They also stood spellbound before a painting
of two little urchins, one of whom was taking soup and the other
eating an egg. The principal merit in this work was that the
young egg-eater had kindly slobbered his face with the yolk for
their entertainment.

An excellent representation of the "Feast of Saint Nicholas" next
had the honor of attracting them.

"Look, Van Mounen," said Ben to Lambert. "Could anything be
better than this youngster's face? He looks as if he KNOWS he
deserves a whipping, but hopes Saint Nicholas may not have found
him out. That's the kind of painting I like; something that
tells a story."

"Come, boys!" cried the captain. "Ten o'clock, time we were

They hastened to the canal.

"Skates on! Are you ready? One, two--halloo! Where's Poot?"

Sure enough, where WAS Poot?

A square opening had just been cut in the ice not ten yards off.
Peter observed it and, without a word, skated rapidly toward it.

All the others followed, of course.

Peter looked in. They all looked in; then stared anxiously at
each other.

"Poot!" screamed Peter, peering into the hole again. All was
still. The black water gave no sign; it was already glazing on

Van Mounen turned mysteriously to Ben.

"My goodness! yes!" answered Ben in a great fright.

"Then, depend upon it, he's been taken with one in the museum!"

The boys caught his meaning. Every skate was off in a twinkling.
Peter had the presence of mind to scoop up a capful of water from
the hole, and off they scampered to the rescue.

Alas! They did indeed find poor Jacob in a fit, but it was a fit
of sleepiness. There he lay in a recess of the gallery, snoring
like a trooper! The chorus of laughter that followed this
discovery brought an angry official to the spot.

"What now! None of this racket! Here, you beer barrel, wake
up!" And Master Jacob received a very unceremonious shaking.

As soon as Peter saw that Jacob's condition was not serious, he
hastened to the street to empty his unfortunate cap. While he
was stuffing in his handkerchief to prevent the already frozen
crown from touching his head, the rest of the boys came down,
dragging the bewildered and indignant Jacob in their midst.

"The order to start was again given. Master Poot was wide-awake
at last. The ice was a little rough and broken just there, but
every boy was in high spirits.

"Shall we go on by the canal or the river?" asked Peter.

"Oh, the river, by all means," said Carl. "It will be such fun;
they say it is perfect skating all the way, but it's much

Jacob Poot instantly became interested.

"I vote for the canal!" he cried.

"Well, the canal it shall be," responded the captain, "if all are

"Agreed!" they echoed, in rather a disappointed tone, and Captain
Peter led the way.

"All right, come on. We can reach Haarlem in an hour!"

Big Manias and Little Oddities

While skating along at full speed, they heard the cars from
Amsterdam coming close behind them.

"Halloo!" cried Ludwig, glancing toward the rail track, "who
can't beat a locomotive? Let's give it a race!"

The whistle screamed at the very idea--so did the boys--and at it
they went.

For an instant the boys were ahead, hurrahing with all their
might--only for an instant, but even THAT was something.

This excitement over, they began to travel more leisurely and
indulge in conversation and frolic. Sometimes they stopped to
exchange a word with the guards who were stationed at certain
distances along the canal. These men, in winter, attend to
keeping the surface free from obstruction and garbage. After a
snowstorm they are expected to sweep the feathery covering away
before it hardens into a marble pretty to look at but very
unwelcome to skaters. Now and then the boys so far forgot their
dignity as to clamber among the icebound canal boats crowded
together in a widened harbor off the canal, but the watchful
guards would soon spy them out and order them down with a growl.

Nothing could be straighter than the canal upon which our party
were skating, and nothing straighter than the long rows of willow
trees that stood, bare and wispy, along the bank. On the
opposite side, lifted high above the surrounding country, lay the
carriage road on top of the great dike built to keep the Haarlem
Lake within bounds; stretching out far in the distance, until it
became lost in a point, was the glassy canal with its many
skaters, its brown-winged iceboats, its push-chairs, and its
queer little sleds, light as cork, flying over the ice by means
of iron-pronged sticks in the hands of the riders. Ben was in
ecstasy with the scene.

Ludwig van Holp had been thinking how strange it was that the
English boy should know so much of Holland. According to
Lambert's account, he knew more about it than the Dutch did.
This did not quite please our young Hollander. Suddenly he
thought of something that he believed would make the "Shon Pull"
open his eyes; he drew near Lambert with a triumphant "Tell him
about the tulips!"

Ben caught the word tulpen.

"Oh, yes!" said he eagerly, in English, "the Tulip Mania--are you
speaking of that? I have often heard it mentioned but know very
little about it. It reached its height in Amsterdam, didn't it?"

Ludwig moaned; the words were hard to understand, but there was
no mistaking the enlightened expression on Ben's face. Lambert,
happily, was quite unconscious of his young countryman's distress
as he replied, "Yes, here and in Haarlem, principally; but the
excitement ran high all over Holland, and in England too for that

"Hardly in England, *{Although the Tulip Mania did not prevail in
England as in Holland, the flower soon became an object of
speculation and brought very large prices. In 1636, tulips were
publicly sold on the Exchange of London. Even as late as 1800 a
common price was fifteen guineas for one bulb. Ben did not know
that in his own day a single tulip plant, called the "Fanny
Kemble", had been sold in London for more than seventy guineas.

Mr Mackay, in his "Memoirs of Popular Delusions," tells a funny
story of an English botanist who happened to see a tulip bulb
lying in the conservatory of a wealthy Dutchman. Ignorant if its
value, he took out his penknife and, cutting the bulb in two,
became very much interested in his investigations. Suddenly the
owner appeared and, pouncing furiously upon him, asked if he knew
what he was doing. "Peeling a most extraordinary onion," replied
the philosopher. "Hundert tousant tuyvel!" shouted the
Dutchman, "it's an Admiral Van der Eyk!" "Thank you," replied
the traveler, immediately writing the name in his notebook.
"Pray, are these very common in your country?" "Death and the
tuyvel!" screamed the Dutchman, "come before the Syndic and you
shall see!" In spite of his struggles the poor investigator,
followed by an indignant mob, was taken through the streets to a
magistrate. Soon he learned to his dismay that he had destroyed
a bulb worth 4,000 florins ($1,600). He was lodged in prison
until securities could be procured for the payment of the sum.} I
think," said Ben, "but I am not sure, as I was not there at the

"Ha! ha! that's true, unless you are over two hundred years old.
Well, I tell you, sir, there never was anything like it before
nor since. Why, persons were so crazy after tulip bulbs in those
days that they paid their weight in gold for them."

"What, the weight of a man!" cried Ben, showing such astonishment
in his eyes that Ludwig fairly capered.

"No, no, the weight of a BULB. The first tulip was sent here
from Constantinople about the year 1560. It was so much admired
that the rich people of Amsterdam sent to Turkey for more. From
that time they grew to be the rage, and it lasted for years.
Single roots brought from one to four thousand florins; and one
bulb, the Semper Augustus, brought fifty-five hundred."

"That's more than four hundred guineas of our money," interposed

"Yes, and I know I'm right, for I read it in a translation from
Beckman, only day before yesterday. Well, sir, it was great.
Everyone speculated in tulips, even bargemen and rag women and
chimney sweeps. The richest merchants were not ashamed to share
the excitement. People bought bulbs and sold them again at a
tremendous profit without ever seeing them. It grew into a kind
of gambling. Some became rich by it in a few days, and some lost
everything they had. Land, houses, cattle, and even clothing
went for tulips when people had no ready money. Ladies sold
their jewels and finery to enable them to join in the fun.
Nothing else was thought of. At last the States-General
interfered. People began to see what dunces they were making of
themselves, and down went the price of tulips. Old tulip debts
couldn't be collected. Creditors went to law, and the law turned
its back upon them; debts made in gambling were not binding, it
said. Then there was a time! Thousands of rich speculators were
reduced to beggary in an hour. As old Beckman says, 'The bubble
was burst at last.'"

"Yes, and a big bubble it was," said Ben, who had listened with
great interest. "By the way, did you know that the name tulip
came from a Turkish word, signifying turban?"

"I had forgotten that," answered Lambert, "but it's a capital
idea. Just fancy a party of Turks in full headgear squatted upon
a lawn--perfect tulip bed! Ha! ha! Capital idea!"

"There," groaned Ludwig to himself, "he's been telling Lambert
something wonderful about tulips--I knew it!"

"The fact is," continued Lambert, "you can conjure up quite a
human picture of a tulip bed in bloom, especially when it is
nodding and bobbing in the wind. Did you ever notice it?"

"Not I. It strikes me, Van Mounen, that you Hollanders are
prodigiously fond of the flower to this day."

"Certainly. You can't have a garden without them; prettiest
flower that grows, I think. My uncle has a magnificent bed of
the finest varieties at his summer house on the other side of

"I thought your uncle lived in the city?"

"So he does; but his summer house, or pavilion, is a few miles
off. He has another one built out over the river. We passed
near it when we entered the city. Everybody in Amsterdam has a
pavilion somewhere, if he can."

"Do they ever live there?" asked Ben.

"Bless you, no! They are small affairs, suitable only to spend a
few hours in on summer afternoons. There are some beautiful ones
on the southern end of the Haarlem Lake--now that they've
commenced to drain it into polders, it will spoil THAT fun. By
the way, we've passed some red-roofed ones since we left home.
You noticed them, I suppose, with their little bridges and ponds
and gardens, and their mottoes over the doorway."

Ben nodded.

"They make but little show, now," continued Lambert, "but in warm
weather they are delightful. After the willows sprout, uncle
goes to his summer house every afternoon. He dozes and smokes;
aunt knits, with her feet perched upon a foot stove, never mind
how hot the day; my cousin Rika and the other girls fish in the
lake from the windows or chat with their friends rowing by; and
the youngsters tumble about or hang upon the little bridges over
the ditch. Then they have coffee and cakes, beside a great bunch
of water lilies on the table. It's very fine, I can tell you;
only (between ourselves), though I was born here, I shall never
fancy the odor of stagnant water that hangs about most of the
summer houses. Nearly every one you see is built over a ditch.
Probably I feel it more, from having lived so long in England."

"Perhaps I shall notice it too," said Ben, "if a thaw comes. The
early winter has covered up the fragrant waters for my
benefit--much obliged to it. Holland without this glorious
skating wouldn't be the same thing at all."

"How very different you are from the Poots!" exclaimed Lambert,
who had been listening in a sort of brown study. "And yet you
are cousins--I cannot understand it."

"We ARE cousins, or rather we have always considered ourselves
such, but the relationship is not very close. Our grandmothers
were half-sisters. MY side of the family is entirely English,
while he is entirely Dutch. Old Great-grandfather Poot married
twice, you see, and I am a descendant of his English wife. I
like Jacob, though, better than half of my English cousins put
together. He is the truest-hearted, best-natured boy I ever
knew. Strange as you may think it, my father became accidentally
acquainted with Jacob's father while on a business visit to
Rotterdam. They soon talked over their relationship--in French,
by the way--and they have corresponded in the language ever
since. Queer things come about in this world. My sister Jenny
would open her eyes at some of Aunt Poot's ways. Aunt is a
thorough lady, but so different from mother--and the house, too,
and furniture, and way of living, everything is different."

"Of course," assented Lambert, complacently, as if to say You
could scarcely expect such general perfection anywhere else than
in Holland. "But you will have all the more to tell Jenny when
you go back."

"Yes, indeed. I can say one thing--if cleanliness is, as they
claim, next to godliness, Broek is safe. It is the cleanest
place I ever saw in my life. Why, my Aunt Poot, rich as she is,
scrubs half the time, and her house looks as if it were varnished
all over. I wrote to mother yesterday that I could see my double
always with me, feet to feet, in the polished floor of the dining

"Your DOUBLE! That word puzzles me; what do you mean?"

"Oh, my reflection, my apparition. Ben Dobbs number two."

"Ah, I see," exclaimed Van Mounen. "Have you ever been in your
Aunt Poot's grand parlor?"

Ben laughed. "Only once, and that was on the day of my arrival.
Jacob says I shall have no chance of entering it again until the
time of his sister Kanau's wedding, the week after Christmas.
Father has consented that I shall remain to witness the great
event. Every Saturday Aunt Poot and her fat Kate go into that
parlor and sweep and polish and scrub; then it is darkened and
closed until Saturday comes again; not a soul enters it in the
meantime; but the schoonmaken, as she calls it, must be done
just the same."

"That is nothing. Every parlor in Broek meets with the same
treatment," said Lambert. "What do you think of those moving
figures in her neighbor's garden?"

"Oh, they're well enough; the swans must seem really alive
gliding about the pond in summer; but that nodding mandarin in
the corner, under the chestnut trees, is ridiculous, only fit for
children to laugh at. And then the stiff garden patches, and the
trees all trimmed and painted. Excuse me, Van Mounen, but I
shall never learn to admire Dutch taste."

"It will take time," answered Lambert condescendingly, "but you
are sure to agree with it at last. I saw much to admire in
England, and I hope I shall be sent back with you to study at
Oxford, but, take everything together, I like Holland best."

"Of course you do," said Ben in a tone of hearty approval. "You
wouldn't be a good Hollander if you didn't. Nothing like loving
one's country. It is strange, though, to have such a warm
feeling for such a cold place. If we were not exercising all the
time, we should freeze outright."

Lambert laughed.

"That's your English blood, Benjamin. I'M not cold. And look at
the skaters here on the canal--they're red as roses and happy as
lords. Halloo, good Captain van Holp," called out Lambert in
Dutch, "what say you to stopping at yonder farmhouse and warming
our toes?"

"Who is cold?" asked Peter, turning around.

"Benjamin Dobbs."

"Benjamin Dobbs shall be warmed," and the party was brought to a

On the Way to Haarlem

On approaching the door of the farmhouse the boys suddenly found
themselves in the midst of a lively domestic scene. A burly
Dutchman came rushing out, closely followed by his dear vrouw,
and she was beating him smartly with her long-handled warming
pan. The expression on her face gave our boys so little promise
of a kind reception that they prudently resolved to carry their
toes elsewhere to be warmed.

The next cottage proved to be more inviting. Its low roof of
bright red tiles extended over the cow stable that, clean as
could be, nestled close to the main building. A neat,
peaceful-looking old woman sat at one window, knitting. At the
other could be discerned part of the profile of a fat figure
that, pipe in mouth, sat behind the shining little panes and
snowy curtain. In answer to Peter's subdued knock, a
fair-haired, rosy-cheeked lass in holiday attire opened the upper
half of the green door (which was divided across the middle) and
inquired their errand.

"May we enter and warm ourselves, jufvrouw?" asked the captain

"Yes, and welcome" was the reply as the lower half of the door
swung softly toward its mate. Every boy, before entering, rubbed
long and faithfully upon the rough mat, and each made his best
bow to the old lady and gentleman at the window. Ben was half
inclined to think that these personages were automata like the
moving figures in the garden at Broek; for they both nodded their
heads slowly, in precisely the same way, and both went on with
their employment as steadily and stiffly as though they worked by
machinery. The old man puffed, puffed, and his vrouw clicked
her knitting needles, as if regulated by internal cog wheels.
Even the real smoke issuing from the motionless pipe gave no
convincing proof that they were human.

But the rosy-cheeked maiden. Ah, how she bustled about. How she
gave the boys polished high-backed chairs to sit upon, how she
made the fire blaze as if it were inspired, how she made Jacob
Poot almost weep for joy by bringing forth a great square of
gingerbread and a stone jug of sour wine! How she laughed and
nodded as the boys ate like wild animals on good behavior, and
how blank she looked when Ben politely but firmly refused to take
any black bread and sauerkraut! How she pulled off Jacob's
mitten, which was torn at the thumb, and mended it before his
eyes, biting off the thread with her whit teeth, and saying "Now
it will be warmer" as she bit; and finally, how she shook hands
with every boy in turn and, throwing a deprecating glance at the
female automaton, insisted upon filling their pockets with

All this time the knitting needles clicked on, and the pipe never
missed a puff.

When the boys were fairly on their way again, they came in sight
of the Zwanenburg Castle with its massive stone front, and its
gateway towers, each surmounted with a sculptured swan.

"Halfweg, *{Halfway.} boys," said Peter, "off with your skates."

"You see," explained Lambert to his companions, "the Y and the
Haarlem Lake meeting here make it rather troublesome. The river
is five feet higher than the land, so we must have everything
strong in the way of dikes and sluice gates, or there would be
wet work at once. The sluice arrangements are supposed to be
something extra. We will walk over them and you shall see enough
to make you open your eyes. The spring water of the lake, they
say, has the most wonderful bleaching powers of any in the world;
all the great Haarlem bleacheries use it. I can't say much upon
that subject, but I can tell you ONE thing from personal

"What is that?"

"Why, the lake is full of the biggest eels you ever saw. I've
caught them here, often--perfectly prodigious! I tell you
they're sometimes a match for a fellow; they'd almost wriggle
your arm from the socket if you were not on your guard. But
you're not interested in eels, I perceive. The castle's a big
affair, isn't it?"

"Yes. What do those swans mean? Anything?" asked Ben, looking
up at the stone gate towers.

"The swan is held almost in reverence by us Hollanders. These
give the building its name--Zwanenburg, swan castle. That is all
I know. This is a very important spot; for it is here that the
wise ones hold council with regard to dike matters. The castle
was once the residence of the celebrated Christian Brunings."

"What about HIM?" asked Ben.

"Peter could answer you better than I," said Lambert, "if you
could only understand each other, or were not such cowards about
leaving your mother tongues. But I have often heard my
grandfather speak of Brunings. He is never tired of telling us
of the great engineer--how good he was and how learned and how,
when he died, the whole country seemed to mourn as for a friend.
He belonged to a great many learned societies and was at the head
of the State Department intrusted with the care of the dikes and
other defences against the sea. There's no counting the
improvements he made in dikes and sluices and water mills and all
that kind of thing. We Hollanders, you know, consider our great
engineers as the highest of public benefactors. Brunings died
years ago; they've a monument to his memory in the cathedral of
Haarlem. I have seen his portrait, and I tell you, Ben, he was
right noble-looking. No wonder the castle looks so stiff and
proud. It is something to have given shelter to such a man!"

"Yes, indeed," said Ben. "I wonder, Van Mounen, whether you or I
will ever give any old building a right to feel so proud.
Heigh-ho! There's a great deal to be done yet in this world and
some of us, who are boys now, will have to do it. Look to your
shoe latchet, Van. It's unfastened.

A Catastrophe

It was nearly one o'clock when Captain van Holp and his command
entered the grand old city of Haarlem. They had skated nearly
seventeen miles since morning and were still as fresh as young
eagles. From the youngest (Ludwig van Holp, who was just
fourteen) to the eldest, no less a personage than the captain
himself, a veteran of seventeen, there was but one opinion--that
this was the greatest frolic of their lives. To be sure, Jacob
Poot had become rather short of breath during the last mile of
two, and perhaps he felt ready for another nap, but there was
enough jollity in him yet for a dozen. Even Carl Schummel, who
had become very intimate with Ludwig during the excursion, forgot
to be ill-natured. As for Peter, he was the happiest of the
happy and had sung and whistled so joyously while skating that
the staidest passersby had smiled as they listened.

"Come, boys! It's nearly tiffin hour," he said as they neared a
coffeehouse on the main street. "We must have something more
solid than the pretty maiden's gingerbread"--and the captain
plunged his hands into his pockets as if to say, "There's money
enough here to feed an army!"

"Halloo!" cried Lambert. "What ails the man?"

Peter, pale and staring, was clapping his hands upon his breast
and sides. He looked like one suddenly becoming deranged.

"He's sick!" cried Ben.

"No, he's lost something," said Carl.

Peter could only gasp, "The pocketbook with all our money in
it--it's gone!"

For an instant all were too much startled to speak.

Carl at last came out with a gruff, "No sense in letting one
fellow have all the money. I said so from the first. Look in
your other pocket."

"I did. It isn't there."

"Open your underjacket."

Peter obeyed mechanically. He even took off his hat and looked
into it, then thrust his hand desperately into every pocket.

"It's gone, boys," he said at last in a hopeless tone. "No
tiffin for us, nor dinner, either. What is to be done? We
can't get on without money. If we were in Amsterdam, I could get
as much as we want, but there is not a man in Haarlem from whom I
can borrow a stiver. Doesn't one of you know anyone here who
would lend us a few guilders?"

Each boy looked into five blank faces. Then something like a
smile passed around the circle, but it got sadly knotted up when
it reached Carl.

"That wouldn't do," he said crossly. "I know some people here,
rich ones, too, but father would flog me soundly if I borrowed a
cent from anyone. He has 'An honest man need not borrow' written
over the gateway of his summer house."

"Humph!" responded Peter, not particularly admiring the sentiment
just at that moment.

The boys grew desperately hungry at once.

"It wash my fault," said Jacob, in a penitent tone, to Ben. "I
say first, petter all de boys put zair pursh into Van Holp's

"Nonsense, Jacob. You did it all for the best."

Ben said this in such a sprightly tone that the two Van Holps and
Carl felt sure that he had proposed a plan that would relieve the
party at once.

"What? what? Tell us, Van Mounen," they cried.

"He says it is not Jacob's fault that the money is lost--that he
did it for the best when he proposed that Van Holp should put all
of our money into his purse."

"Is that all?" said Ludwig dismally. "He need not have made such
a fuss in just saying THAT. How much money have we lost?"

"Don't you remember?" said Peter. "We each put in exactly ten
guilders. The purse had sixty guilders in it. I am the
stupidest fellow in the world; little Schimmelpenninck would have
made you a better captain. I could pommel myself for bringing
such a disappointment upon you."

"Do it, then," growled Carl. "Pooh," he added, "we all know that
it was an accident, but that doesn't help matters. We must have
money, Van Holp--even if you have to sell your wonderful watch."

"Sell my mother's birthday present! Never! I will sell my coat,
my hat, anything but my watch."

"Come, come," said Jacob pleasantly, "we are making too much of
this affair. We can go home and start again in a day or two."

"YOU may be able to get another ten-guilder piece," said Carl,
"but the rest of us will not find it so easy. If we go home, we
stay home, you may depend."

Our captain, whose good nature had not yet forsaken him for a
moment, grew indignant.

"Do you think that I will let you suffer for my carelessness?" he
exclaimed. "I have three times sixty guilders in my strong box
at home!"

"Oh, I beg your pardon," said Carl hastily, adding in a surlier
tone, "Well, I see no better way than to go back hungry."

"I see a better plan than that," said the captain.

"What is it?" cried all the boys.

"Why, to make the best of a bad business and go back pleasantly
and like men," said Peter, looking so gallant and handsome as he
turned his frank face and clear blue eyes upon them that they
caught his spirit.

"Ho for the captain!" they shouted.

"Now, boys, we may as well make up our minds, there's no place
like Broek, after all--and that we mean to be there in two hours.
Is that agreed to?"

"Agreed!" cried all as they ran to the canal.

"On with your skates! Are you ready? Here, Jacob, let me help

"Now. One, two, three, start!"

And the boyish faces that left Haarlem at that signal were nearly
as bright as those that had entered it with Captain Peter half an
hour before.


"Donder and Blixin!" cried Carl angrily, before the party had
skated twenty yards from the city gates, "if here isn't that
wooden-skate ragamuffin in the patched leather breeches. That
fellow is everywhere, confound him! We'll be lucky," he added,
in as sneering a tone as he dared to assume, "if our captain
doesn't order us to halt and shake hands with him."

"Your captain is a terrible fellow," said Peter pleasantly, "but
this is a false alarm, Carl. I cannot spy your bugbear anywhere
among the skaters. Ah, there he is! Why, what is the matter
with the lad?"

Poor Hans! His face was pale, his lips compressed. He skated
like one under the effects of a fearful dream. Just as he was
passing, Peter hailed him:

"Good day, Hans Brinker!"

Hans's countenance brightened at once. "Ah, mynheer, is that
you? It is well we meet!"

"Just like his impertinence," hissed Carl Schummel, darting
scornfully past his companions, who seemed inclined to linger
with their captain.

"I am glad to see you, Hans," responded Peter cheerfully, "but
you look troubled. Can I serve you?"

"I have a trouble, mynheer," answered Hans, casting down his
eyes. Then, lifting them again with almost a happy expression,
he added, "But it is Hans who can help Mynheer van Holp THIS

"How?" asked Peter, making, in his blunt Dutch way, no attempt to
conceal his surprise.

"By giving you THIS, mynheer." And Hans held forth the missing

"Hurrah!" shouted the boys, taking their cold hands from their
pockets to wave them joyfully in the air. But Peter said "Thank
you, Hans Brinker" in a tone that made Hans feel as if the king
had knelt to him.

The shout of the delighted boys had reached the muffled ears of
the fine young gentleman who, under a full pressure of pent-up
wrath, was skating toward Amsterdam. A Yankee boy would have
wheeled about at once and hastened to satisfy his curiosity. But
Carl only halted, and, with his back toward his party, wondered
what on earth had happened. There he stood, immovable, until,
feeling sure that nothing but the prospect of something to eat
could have made them hurrah so heartily, he turned and skated
slowly toward his excited comrades.

In the meantime Peter had drawn Hans aside from the rest.

"How did you know it was my purse?" he asked.

"You paid me three guilders yesterday, mynheer, for making the
whitewood chain, telling me that I must buy skates."

"Yes, I remember."

"I saw your purse then. It was of yellow leather."

"And where did you find it today?"

"I left my home this morning, mynheer, in great trouble, and as
I skated, I took no heed until I stumbled against some lumber,
and while I was rubbing my knee I saw your purse nearly hidden
under a log."

"That place! Ah, I remember now. Just as we were passing it I
pulled my tippet from my pocket and probably flipped out the
purse at the same time. It would have been gone but for you,
Hans. Here"--pouring out the contents--"you must give us the
pleasure of dividing the money with you."

"No, mynheer," answered Hans. He spoke quietly, without
pretence or any grace of manner, but Peter, somehow, felt
rebuked, and put the silver back without a word.

I like that boy, rich or poor, he thought to himself, then added
aloud, "May I ask about this trouble of yours, Hans?"

"Ah, mynheer, it is a sad case, but I have waited here too long.
I am going to Leyden to see the great Dr. Boekman."

"Dr. Boekman!" exclaimed Peter in astonishment.

"Yes, mynheer, and I have not a moment to lose. Good day!"

"Stay, I am going that way. Come, my lads! Shall we return to

"Yes," cried the boys, eagerly--and off they started.

"Now," said Peter, drawing near Hans, both skimming the ice so
easily and lightly as they skated on together that they seemed
scarcely conscious of moving. "We are going to stop at Leyden,
and if you are going there only with a message to Dr. Boekman,
cannot I do the errand for you? The boys may be too tired to
skate so far today, but I will promise to see him early tomorrow
if he is to be found in the city."

"Ah, mynheer, that would be serving me indeed; it is not the
distance I dread but leaving my mother so long."

"Is she ill?"

"No, mynheer. It is the father. You may have heard it, how he
has been without wit for many a year--ever since the great
Schlossen Mill was built; but his body has been well and strong.
Last night the mother knelt upon the hearth to blow the peat (it
is his only delight to sit and watch the live embers, and she
will blow them into a blaze every hour of the day to please him).
Before she could stir, he sprang upon her like a giant and held
her close to the fire, all the time laughing and shaking his
head. I was on the canal, but I heard the mother scream and ran
to her. The father had never loosened his hold, and her gown was
smoking. I tried to deaden the fire, but with one hand he pushed
me off. There was no water in the cottage or I could have done
better, and all that time he laughed--such a terrible laugh,
mynheer, hardly a sound, but all in his face. I tried to pull
her away, but that only made it worse. Then--it was dreadful,
but could I see the mother burn? I beat him--beat him with a
stool. He tossed me away. The gown was on fire.! I WOULD put
it out. I can't remember well after that. I found myself upon
the floor, and the mother was praying. It seemed to me that she
was in a blaze, and all the while I could hear that laugh.
Gretel flew to the closet and filled a porringer with the food he
liked and put it upon the floor. Then, mynheer, he left the
mother and crawled to it like a little child. She was not
burned, only a part of her clothing. Ah, how kind she was to him
all night, watching and tending him. He slept in a high fever,
with his hands pressed to his head. The mother says he has done
that so much of late, as though he felt pain there. Ah,
mynheer, I did not mean to tell you. If the father was himself,
he would not harm even a kitten."

For a moment the two boys moved on in silence.

"It is terrible," said Peter at last. "How is he today?"

"Very sick, mynheer."

"Why go for Dr. Boekman, Hans? There are others in Amsterdam who
could help him, perhaps. Boekman is a famous man, sought only by
the wealthiest, and they often wait upon him in vain."

"He PROMISED, mynheer, he promised me yesterday to come to the
father in a week. But now that the change has come, we cannot
wait. We think the poor father is dying. Oh, mynheer, you can
plead with him to come quick. He will not wait a whole week and
our father dying, the good meester is so kind."

"SO KIND!" echoed Peter in astonishment. "Why, he is known as
the crossest man in Holland!"

"He looks so because he has no fat and his head is busy, but his
heart is kind, I know. Tell the meester what I have told you,
mynheer, and he will come."

"I hope so, Hans, with all my heart. You are in haste to turn
homeward, I see. Promise me that should you need a friend, you
will go to my mother in Broek. Tell her I bade you see her.
And, Hans Brinker, not as a reward, but as a gift, take a few of
these guilders."

Hans shook his head resolutely.

"No, no, mynheer. I cannot take it. If I could find work in
Broek or at the South Mill, I would be glad, but it is the same
story everywhere--'Wait until spring'".

"It is well you speak of it," said Peter eagerly, "for my father
needs help at once. Your pretty chain pleased him much. He
said, 'That boy has a clean cut; he would be good at carving.'
There is to be a carved portal to our new summer house, and
father will pay well for the job."

"God is good!" cried Hans in sudden delight. "Oh, mynheer, that
would be too much joy. I have never tried big work, but I can do
it. I know I can."

"Well, tell my father you are the Hans Brinker of whom I spoke.
He will be glad to serve you."

Hans stared in honest surprise.

"Thank you, mynheer."

"Now, captain," shouted Carl, anxious to appear as good humored
as possible, by way of atonement, "here we are in the midst of
Haarlem, and no word from you yet. We await your orders, and
we're as hungry as wolves."

Peter made a cheerful answer, and turned hurriedly to Hans.

"Come, get something to eat, and I will detain you no longer.'

What a quick, wistful look Hans threw upon him! Peter wondered
that he had not noticed before that the poor boy was hungry.

"Ah, mynheer, even now the mother may need me, the father may be
worse--I must not wait. May God care for you." And, nodding
hastily, Hans turned his face homeward and was gone.

"Come, boys," sighed Peter, "now for our tiffin!"


It must not be supposed that our young Dutchmen had already
forgotten the great skating race which was to take place on the
twentieth. On the contrary, they had thought and spoken of it
very often during the day. Even Ben, though he had felt more
like a traveler than the rest, had never once, through all the
sight-seeing, lost a certain vision of silver skates which, for a
week past, had haunted him night and day.

Like a true "John Bull," as Jacob had called him, he never
doubted that his English fleetness, English strength, English
everything, could at any time enable him, on the ice, to put all
Holland to shame, and the rest of the world too, for that matter.
Ben certainly was a superb skater. He had enjoyed not half the
opportunities for practicing that had fallen to his new comrades
but he had improved his share to the utmost and was, besides, so
strong of frame, so supple of limb, in short, such a tight, trim,
quick, graceful fellow in every way that he had taken to skating
as naturally as a chamois to leaping or an eagle to soaring.

Only to the heavy heart of poor Hans had the vision of the silver
skates failed to appear during that starry winter night and the
brighter sunlit day.

Even Gretel had seen them flitting before her as she sat beside
her mother through those hours of weary watching--not as prizes
to be won, but as treasures passing hopelessly beyond her reach.

Rychie, Hilda, and Katrinka--why, they had scarcely known any
other thought than "The race, the race. It will come off on the

These three girls were friends. Though of nearly the same age,
talent, and station, they were as different as girls could be.

Hilda van Gleck, as you already know, was a warm-hearted, noble
girl of fourteen. Rychie Korbes was beautiful to look upon, far
more sparkling and pretty than Hilda but not half so bright and
sunny within. Clouds of pride, of discontent, and envy had
already gathered in her heart and were growing bigger and darker
every day. Of course, these often relieved themselves very much
after the manner of other clouds. But who saw the storms and the
weeping? Only her maid or her father, mother, and little
brother--those who loved her better than all. Like other clouds,
too, hers often took queer shapes, and what was really but mist
and vapory fancy assumed the appearance of monster wrongs and
mountains of difficulty. To her mind, the poor peasant girl
Gretel was not a human being, a God-created creature like
herself--she was only something that meant poverty, rags, and
dirt. Such as Gretel had no right to feel, to hope; above all,
they should never cross the paths of their betters--that is, not
in a disagreeable way. They could toil and labor for them at a
respectful distance, even admire them, if they would do it
humbly, but nothing more. If they rebel, put them down; if they
suffer, "Don't trouble me about it" was Rychie's secret motto.
And yet how witty she was, how tastefully she dressed, how
charmingly she sang; how much feeling she displayed (for pet
kittens and rabbits), and how completely she could bewitch
sensible, honest-minded lads like Lambert van Mounen and Ludwig
van Holp!

Carl was too much like her, within, to be an earnest admirer, and
perhaps he suspected the clouds. He, being deep and surly and
always uncomfortably in earnest, of course preferred the lively
Katrinka, whose nature was made of a hundred tinkling bells. She
was a coquette in her infancy, a coquette in her childhood, and
now a coquette in her school days. Without a thought of harm she
coquetted with her studies, her duties, even her little troubles.
She coquetted with her mother, her pet lamb, her baby brother,
even with her own golden curls--tossing them back as if she
despised them. Everyone liked her, but who could love her? She
was never in earnest. A pleasant face, a pleasant heart, a
pleasant manner--these satisfy for an hour. Poor happy Katrinka!
She tinkled, tinkled so merrily through their early days, but
life is so apt to coquette with them in turn, to put all their
sweet bells out of tune or to silence them one by one!

How different were the homes of these three girls from the
tumbling old cottage where Gretel dwelt. Rychie lived in a
beautiful house near Amsterdam, where the carved sideboards were
laden with services of silver and gold and where silken
tapestries hung in folds from ceiling to floor.

Hilda's father owned the largest mansion in Broek. Its
glittering roof of polished tiles and its boarded front, painted
in half a dozen various colors, were the admiration of the

Katrinka's home, not a mile distant, was the finest of Dutch
country seats. The garden was so stiffly laid out in little
paths and patches that the birds might have mistaken it for a
great Chinese puzzle with all the pieces spread out ready for
use. But in summer it was beautiful; the flowers made the best
of their stiff quarters, and, when the gardener was not watching,
glowed and bent about each other in the prettiest way imaginable.
Such a tulip bed! Why, the queen of the fairies would never care
for a grander city in which to hold her court! But Katrinka
preferred the bed of pink and white hyacinths. She loved their
freshness and fragrance and the lighthearted way in which their
bell-shaped blossoms swung in the breeze.

Carl was both right and wrong when he said that Katrinka and
Rychie were furious at the very idea of the peasant Gretel
joining in the race. He had heard Rychie declare that it was
"Disgraceful, shameful, too bad!" which in Dutch, as in English,
is generally the strongest expression an indignant girl can use;
and he had seen Katrinka nod her pretty head and heard her
sweetly echo, "Shameful, too bad!" as nearly like Rychie as
tinkling bells can be like the voice of real anger. This had
satisfied him. He never suspected that had Hilda, not Rychie,
first talked with Katrinka upon the subject, the bells would have
jingled as willing an echo. She would have said, "Certainly, let
her join us," and would have skipped off thinking no more about
it. But now Katrinka with sweet emphasis pronounced it a shame
that a goose-girl, a forlorn little creature like Gretel, should
be allowed to spoil the race.

Rychie Korbes, being rich and powerful (in a schoolgirl way), had
other followers besides Katrinka who were induced to share her
opinions because they were either too careless or too cowardly to
think for themselves.

Poor little Gretel! Her home was sad and dark enough now. Raff
Brinker lay moaning upon his rough bed, and his vrouw,
forgetting and forgiving everything, bathed his forehead, his
lips, weeping and praying that he might not die. Hans, as we
know, had started in desperation for Leyden to search for Dr.
Boekman and induce him, if possible, to come to their father at
once. Gretel, filled with a strange dread, had done the work as
well as she could, wiped the rough brick floor, brought peat to
build up the slow fire, and melted ice for her mother's use.
This accomplished, she seated herself upon a low stool near the
bed and begged her mother to try to sleep awhile.

"You are so tired," she whispered. "Not once have you closed
your eyes since that dreadful hour last night. See, I have
straightened the willow bed in the corner, and spread everything
soft upon it I could find, so that the mother might lie in
comfort. Here is your jacket. Take off that pretty dress. I'll
fold it away very carefully and put it in the big chest before
you go to sleep."

Dame Brinker shook her head without turning her eyes from her
husband's face.

"I can watch, mother," urged Gretel, "and I'll wake you every
time the father stirs. You are so pale, and your eyes are so
red! Oh, mother, DO!"

The child pleaded in vain. Dame Brinker would not leave her

Gretel looked at her in troubled silence, wondering whether it
were very wicked to care more for one parent than for the other,
and sure--yes, quite sure--that she dreaded her father while she
clung to her mother with a love that was almost idolatry.

Hans loves the father so well, she thought, why cannot I? Yet I
could not help crying when I saw his hand bleed that day, last
month, when he snatched the knife--and now, when he moans, how I
ache, ache all over. Perhaps I love him, after all, and God will
see that I am not such a bad, wicked girl as I thought. Yes, I
love the poor father--almost as Hans does--not quite, for Hans is
stronger and does not fear him. Oh, will that moaning go on
forever and ever! Poor mother, how patient she is; SHE never
pouts, as I do, about the money that went away so strangely. If
he only could, for one instant, open his eyes and look at us, as
Hans does, and tell us where mother's guilders went, I would not
care for the rest. Yes, I would care; I don't want the poor
father to die, to be all blue and cold like Annie Bouman's little
sister. I KNOW I don't. Dear God, I don't want Father to die.

Her thoughts merged into a prayer. When it ended the poor child
scarcely knew. Soon she found herself watching a little pulse of
light at the side of the fire, beating faintly but steadily,
showing that somewhere in the dark pile there was warmth and
light that would overspread it at last. A large earthen cup
filled with burning peat stood near the bedside; Gretel had
placed it there to "stop the father's shivering," she said. She
watched it as it sent a glow around the mother's form, tipping
her faded skirt with light and shedding a sort of newness over
the threadbare bodice. It was a relief to Gretel to see the
lines in that weary face soften as the firelight flickered gently
across it.

Next she counted the windowpanes, broken and patched as they
were, and finally, after tracing every crack and seam in the
walls, fixed her gaze upon a carved shelf made by Hans. The
shelf hung as high as Gretel could reach. It held a large
leather-covered Bible with brass clasps, a wedding present to
Dame Brinker from the family at Heidelberg.

Ah, how handy Hans is! If he were here, he could turn the father
some way so the moans would stop. Dear, dear! If this sickness
lasts, we shall never skate anymore. I must send my new skates
back to the beautiful lady. Hans and I will not see the race.
And Gretel's eyes, that had been dry before, grew full of tears.

"Never cry, child," said her mother soothingly. "This sickness
may not be as bad as we think. The father has lain this way

Gretel sobbed now.

"Oh, mother, it is not that alone--you do not know all. I am
very, very bad and wicked!"

"YOU, Gretel! you so patient and good!" and a bright, puzzled
look beamed for an instant upon the child. "Hush, lovey, you'll
wake him."

Gretel hid her face in her mother's lap and tried not to cry.

Her little hand, so thin and brown, lay in the coarse palm of her
mother's, creased with many a hard day's work. Rychie would have
shuddered to touch either, yet they pressed warmly upon each
other. Soon Gretel looked up with that dull, homely look which,
they say, poor children in shanties are apt to have, and said in
a trembling voice, "The father tried to burn you--he did--I saw
him, and he was LAUGHING!"

"Hush, child!"

The mother's words came so suddenly and sharply that Raff
Brinker, dead as he was to all that was passing around him,
twitched slightly upon the bed.

Gretel said no more but plucked drearily at the jagged edge of a
hole in her mother's holiday gown. It had been burned there.
Well for Dame Brinker that the gown was woolen.

Haarlem--The Boys Hear Voices

Refreshed and rested, our boys came forth from the coffeehouse
just as the big clock in the square, after the manner of certain
Holland timekeepers, was striking two with its half-hour bell for
half-past two.

The captain was absorbed in thought, at first, for Hans Brinker's
sad story still echoed in his ears. Not until Ludwig rebuked him
with a laughing "Wake up, grandfather!" did he reassume his
position as gallant boy-leader of his band.

"Ahem! this way, young gentlemen!"

They were walking through the city, not on a curbed sidewalk, for
such a thing is rarely to be found in Holland, but on the brick
pavement that lay on the borders of the cobblestone carriage-way
without breaking its level expanse.

Haarlem, like Amsterdam, was gayer than usual, in honor of Saint

A strange figure was approaching them. It was a small man
dressed in black, with a short cloak. He wore a wig and a cocked
hat from which a long crepe streamer was flying.

"Who comes here?" cried Ben. "What a queer-looking object."

"That's the aanspreeker," said Lambert. "Someone is dead."

"Is that the way men dress in mourning in this country?"

"Oh, no! The aanspreeker attends funerals, and it is his
business, when anyone dies, to notify all the friends and

"What a strange custom."

"Well," said Lambert, "we needn't feel very badly about this
particular death, for I see another man has lately been born to
the world to fill up the vacant place."

Ben stared. "How do you know that?"

"Don't you see that pretty red pincushion hanging on yonder
door?" asked Lambert in return.


"Well, that's a boy."

"A boy! What do you mean?"

"I mean that here in Haarlem, whenever a boy is born, the parents
have a red pincushion put out at the door. If our young friend
had been a girl instead of a boy, the cushion would have been
white. In some places they have much more fanciful affairs, all
trimmed with lace, and even among the very poorest houses you
will see a bit of ribbon or even a string tied on the door

"Look!" screamed Ben. "There IS a white cushion at the door of
that double-joined house with the funny roof."

"I don't see any house with a funny roof."

"Oh, of course not," said Ben. "I forgot you're a native, but
all the roofs are queer to me, for that matter. I mean the house
next to that green building."

"True enough, there's a girl! I tell you what, captain," called
out Lambert, slipping easily into Dutch, "we must get out of this
street as soon as possible. It's full of babies! They'll set up
a squall in a moment."

The captain laughed. "I shall take you to hear better music than
that," he said. "We are just in time to hear the organ of Saint
Bavon. The church is open today."

"What, the great Haarlem organ?" asked Ben. "That will be a
treat indeed. I have often read of it, with its tremendous
pipes, and its vox humana *{An organ stop which produces an
effect resembling the human voice.} that sounds like a giant

"The same," answered Lambert van Mounen.

Peter was right. The church was open, though not for religious
services. Someone was playing upon the organ. As the boys
entered, a swell of sound rushed forth to meet them. It seemed
to bear them, one by one, into the shadows of the building.

Louder and louder it grew until it became like the din and roar
of some mighty tempest, or like the ocean surging upon the shore.
In the midst of the tumult a tinkling bell was heard; another
answered, then another, and the storm paused as if to listen.
The bells grew bolder; they rang out loud and clear. Other
deep-toned bells joined in; they were tolling in solemn
concert--ding, dong! ding, dong! The storm broke forth with
redoubled fury, gathering its distant thunder. The boys looked
at each other but did not speak. It was growing serious. What
was that? WHO screamed? WHAT screamed--that terrible, musical
scream? Was it man or demon? Or was it some monster shut up
behind that carved brass frame, behind those great silver
columns--some despairing monster begging, screaming for freedom!
it was the vox humana!

At last an answer came--soft, tender, loving, like a mother's
song. The storm grew silent; hidden birds sprang forth filling
the air with glad, ecstatic music, rising higher and higher until
the last faint note was lost in the distance.

The vox humana was stilled, but in the glorious hymn of
thanksgiving that now arose, one could almost hear the throbbing
of a human heart. What did it mean? That man's imploring cry
should in time be met with a deep content? That gratitude would
give us freedom? To Peter and Ben it seemed that the angels were
singing. Their eyes grew dim, and their souls dizzy with a
strange joy. At last, as if borne upward by invisible hands,
they were floating away on the music, all fatigue forgotten, and
with no wish but to hear forever those beautiful sounds, when
suddenly Van Holp's sleeve was pulled impatiently and a gruff
voice beside him asked, "How long are you going to stay here,
captain, blinking at the ceiling like a sick rabbit? It's high
time we started."

"Hush!" whispered Peter, only half aroused.

"Come, man! Let's go," said Carl, giving the sleeve a second

Peter turned reluctantly. He would not detain the boys against
their will. All but Ben were casting rather reproachful glances
upon him.

"Well, boys," he whispered, "we will go. Softly now."

"That's the greatest thing I've seen or heard since I've bee in
Holland!" cried Ben enthusiastically, as soon as they reached the
open air. "It's glorious!"

Ludwig and Carl laughed slyly at the English boy's wartaal, or
gibberish. Jacob yawned, and Peter gave Ben a look that made him
instantly feel that he and Peter were not so very different after
all, though one hailed from Holland and the other from England.
And Lambert, the interpreter, responded with a brisk "You may
well say so. I believe there are one or two organs nowadays that
are said to be as fine; but for years and years this organ of
Saint Bavon was the grandest in the world."

"Do you know how large it is?" asked Ben. "I noticed that the
church itself was prodigiously high and that the organ filled the
end of the great aisle almost from floor to roof."

"That's true," said Lambert, "and how superb the pipes
looked--just like grand columns of silver. They're only for
show, you know. The REAL pipes are behind them, some big enough
for a man to crawl through, and some smaller than a baby's
whistle. Well, sir, for size, the church is higher than
Westminster Abbey, to begin with, and, as you say, the organ
makes a tremendous show even then. Father told me last night
that it is one hundred and eight feet high, fifty feet wide, and
has over five thousand pipes. It has sixty-four stops--if you
know what they are, I don't--and three keyboards."

"Good for you!" said Ben. "You have a fine memory. MY head is a
perfect colander for figures. They slip through as fast as
they're poured in. But other facts and historical events stay
behind--that's some consolation."

"There we differ," returned Van Mounen. "I'm great on names and
figures, but history, take it altogether, seems to me to be the
most hopeless kind of jumble."

Meantime Carl and Ludwig were having a discussion concerning some
square wooden monuments they had observed in the interior of the
church. Ludwig declared that each bore the name of the person
buried beneath, and Carl insisted that they had no names but only
the heraldic arms of the deceased painted on a black ground, with
the date of the death in gilt letters.

"I ought to know," said Carl, "for I walked across to the east
side, to look for the cannonball Mother told me was embedded
there. It was fired into the church, in the year fifteen hundred
and something, by those rascally Spaniards, while the services
were going on. There it was in the wall, sure enough, and while
I was walking back, I noticed the monuments. I tell you, they
haven't the sign of a name on them."

"Ask Peter," said Ludwig, only half convinced.

"Carl is right," replied Peter, who, though conversing with
Jacob, had overheard their dispute. "Well, Jacob, as I was
saying, Handel, the great composer, chanced to visit Haarlem and,
of course, he at once hunted up this famous organ. He gained
admittance and was playing upon it with all his might when the
regular organist chanced to enter the building. The man stood
awestruck. He was a good player himself, but he had never heard
such music before. 'Who is there?' he cried. 'If it is not an
angel or the devil, it must be Handel!' When he discovered that
it WAS the great musician, he was still more mystified! 'But
how is this?' he said. 'You have done impossible things--no ten
fingers on earth can play the passages you have given. Human
fingers couldn't control all the keys and stops!' 'I know it,'
said Handel coolly, 'and for that reason, I was forced to strike
some notes with the end of my nose.' Donder! just think how the
old organist must have stared!"

"Hey! What?" exclaimed Jacob, startled when Peter's animated
voice suddenly became silent.

"Haven't you heard me, you rascal?" was the indignant rejoinder.

"Oh, yes--no. The fact is, I heard you at first. I'm awake now,
but I do believe I've been walking beside you half asleep,"
stammered Jacob, with such a doleful, bewildered look on his face
that Peter could not help laughing.

The Man With Four Heads

After leaving the church, the boys stopped nearby in the open
marketplace, to look at the bronze statue of Laurens Janszoon
Coster, who is believed by the Dutch to have been the inventor of
printing. This is disputed by those who award the same honor to
Johannes Gutenberg of Mayence; while many maintain that Faustus,
a servant of Coster, stole his master's wooden types on a
Christmas eve, when the latter was at church, and fled with his
booty and his secret, to Mayence. Coster was a native of
Haarlem, and the Hollanders are naturally anxious to secure the
credit of the invention for their illustrious townsman. Certain
it is that the first book he printed is kept by the city in a
silver case wrapped in silk and is shown with great caution as a
precious relic. It is said that he first conceived the idea of
printing from cutting his name upon the bark of a tree and
afterward pressing a piece of paper upon the characters.

Of course, Lambert and his English friend fully discussed this
subject. They also had a rather warm argument concerning another
invention. Lambert declared that the honor of giving both the
telescope and the microscope to the world lay between Metius and
Jansen, both Hollanders, while Ben as stoutly insisted that Roger
Bacon, an English monk of the thirteenth century, "wrote out the
whole thing, sir, perfect descriptions of microscopes and
telescopes, too, long before either of those other fellows was

On one subject, however, they both agreed: that the art of
curing and pickling herrings was discovered by William Beukles of
Holland, and that the country did perfectly right in honoring him
as a national benefactor, for its wealth and importance had been
in a great measure due to its herring trade.

"It is astonishing," said Ben, "in what prodigious quantities
those fish are found. I don't know how it is here, but on the
coast of England, off Yarmouth, the herring shoals have been
known to be six and seven feet deep with fish."

"That is prodigious, indeed," said Lambert, "but you know your
herring is derived from the German heer, an army, on account of a
way the fish have of coming in large numbers.'

Soon afterward, while passing a cobbler's shop, Ben exclaimed,
"Halloo! Lambert, here is the name of one of your greatest men
over a cobbler's stall! Boerhaave. If it were only Herman
Boerhaave instead of Hendrick, it would be complete."

Lambert knit his brows reflectively, as he replied, "Boerhaave,
Boerhaave! The name is perfectly familiar; I remember, too, that
he was born in 1668, but the rest is all gone, as usual. There
have been so many famous Hollanders, you see, that it is
impossible for a fellow to know them all. What was he? Did he
have two heads? Or was he one of your great, natural swimmers
like Marco Polo?"

"He had FOUR heads," answered Ben, laughing, "for he was a great
physician, naturalist, botanist, and chemist. I am full of him
just now, for I read his life a few weeks ago."

"Pour out a little, then," said Lambert, "only walk faster or we
shall lose sight of the other boys."

"Well," resumed Ben, quickening his pace and looking with great
interest at everything going on in the crowded street, "this Dr.
Boerhaave was a great anspewker."

"A great WHAT?" roared Lambert.

"Oh, I beg pardon. I was thinking of that man over there with
the cocked hat. He's an anspewker, isn't he?"

"Yes. He's an aanspreeker, if that is what you mean to say.
But what about your friend with the four heads?"

"Well, as I was going to say, the doctor was left a penniless
orphan at sixteen without education or friends--"

"Jolly beginning!" interposed Lambert.

"Now, don't interrupt. He was a poor friendless orphan at
sixteen, but he was so persevering and industrious, so determined
to gain knowledge, that he made his way, and in time became one
of the most learned men of Europe. All the--what is that?"

"Where? What do you mean?"

"Why, that paper on the door opposite. Don't you see? Two or
three persons are reading it. I have noticed several of these
papers since I've been here."

"Oh, that's only a health bulletin. Somebody in the house is
ill, and to prevent a steady knocking at the door, the family
write an account of the patient's condition on a placard and hang
it outside the door, for the benefit of inquiring friends--a very
sensible custom, I'm sure. Nothing strange about it that I can
see. Go on, please. You said, 'All the'--and there you left me

"I was going to say," resumed Ben, "that all the--all the--how
comically persons do dress here, to be sure! Just look at those
men and women with their sugarloaf hats. And see this woman
ahead of us with a straw bonnet like a scoop shovel tapering to a
point in the back. Did ever you see anything so funny? And
those tremendous wooden shoes, too--I declare, she's a beauty?"

"Oh, they are only back-country folk," said Lambert, rather
impatiently. "You might as well let old Boerhaave drop or else
shut your eyes."

"Ha! ha! Well, I was GOING to say, all the big men of his day
sought out this great professor. Even Peter the Great, when he
came over to Holland from Russia to learn shipbuilding, attended
his lectures regularly. By that time Boerhaave was professor of
medicine and chemistry and botany in the University at Leyden.
He had grown to be very wealthy as a practicing physician, but he
used to say that the poor were his best patients because God
would be their paymaster. All Europe learned to love and honor
him. In short, he became so famous that a certain mandarin of
China addressed a letter to 'the illustrious Boerhaave, physician
in Europe,' and the letter found its way to him without any

"My goodness! That is what I call being a public character. The
boys have stopped. How now, Captain van Holp, where next?"

"We propose to move on," said Van Holp. "There is nothing to see
at this season in the Bosch. The Bosch is a noble wood,
Benjamin, a grand park where they have most magnificent trees,
protected by law. Do you understand?"

"Ya!" nodded Ben as the captain proceeded.

"Unless you all desire to visit the Museum of Natural History, we
may go on the grand canal again. If we had more time it would be
pleasant to take Benjamin up the Blue Stairs."

"What are the Blue Stairs, Lambert?" asked Ben.

"They are the highest point of the Dunes. You have a grand view
of the ocean from there, besides a fine chance to see how
wonderful these dunes are. One can hardly believe that the wind
could ever heap up sand in so remarkable a way. But we have to
go through Bloemendal to get there, not a very pretty village,
and some distance from here. What do you say?"

"Oh, I am ready for anything. For my part, I would rather steer
direct for Leyden, but we'll do as the captain says--hey, Jacob?"

"Ya, dat ish goot," said Jacob, who felt decidedly more like
taking a nap than ascending the Blue Stairs.

The captain was in favor of going to Leyden.

"It's four long miles from here. Full sixteen of your English
miles, Benjamin. We have no time to lose if you wish to reach
there before midnight. Decide quickly, boys--Blue Stairs or

"Leyden," they answered, and were out of Haarlem in a twinkling,
admiring the lofty, towerlike windmills and pretty country seats
as they left the city behind them.

"If you really wish to see Haarlem," said Lambert to Ben, after
they had skated awhile in silence, "you should visit it in
summer. It is the greatest place in the world for beautiful
flowers. The walks around the city are superb; and the 'wood'
with its miles of noble elms, all in full feather, is something
to remember. You need not smile, old fellow, at my saying 'full
feather.' I was thinking of waving plumes and got my words mixed
up a little. But a Dutch elm beats everything; it is the noblest
tree on earth, Ben--if you except the English oak."

"Aye," said Ben solemnly, "IF you except the English oak." And
for some moments he could scarcely see the canal because Robby
and Jenny kept bobbing in the air before his eyes.

Friends in Need

In the meantime, the other boys were listening to Peter's account
of an incident which had occurred long ago *{Sir Thomas Carr's
tour through Holland.} in a part of the city where stood an
ancient castle, whose lord had tyrannized over the burghers of
the town to such an extent that they surrounded his castle and
laid siege to it. Just at the last extremity, when the haughty

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