"Where was I?" retorted Carl angrily. "Why, I went to give the alarm, to be sure!"
All the boys exchanged glances, but they were too happy and elated to say anything ill-natured. Carl certainly was bold enough now. He took the lead while three others aided him in turning the helpless man.
While the robber lay faceup, scowling and muttering, Ludwig took the candlestick from the girl's hand.
"I must have a good look at the beauty," he said, drawing closer, but the words were no sooner spoken than he turned pale and started so violently that he almost dropped the candle.
"The voetspoelen!" he cried! "Why, boys, it's the man who sat by the fire!"
"Of course it is," answered Peter. "We counted out money before him like simpletons. But what have we to do with voetspoelen, brother Ludwig? A month in jail is punishment enough."
The landlord's daughter had left the room. She now ran in, holding up a pair of huge wooden shoes. "See, father," she cried, "here are his great ugly boats. It's the man that we put in the next room after the young masters went to bed. Ah! It was wrong to send the poor young gentlemen up here so far out of sight and sound."
"The scoundrel!" hissed the landlord. "He has disgraced my house. I go for the police at once!"