Hans had just pushed back his stool, intending to start at once for Mynheer van Holp's, and his mother had risen to put the watch away in its old hiding place, when they heard the sound of wheels upon the frozen ground.
Someone knocked at the door, opening it at the same time.
"Come in," stammered Dame Brinker, hastily trying to hide the watch in her bosom. "Oh, is it you, mynheer! Good day! The father is nearly well, as you see. It's a poor place to greet you in, mynheer, and the dinner not cleared away."
Dr. Boekman scarcely noticed the dame's apology. He was evidently in haste.
"Ahem!" he exclaimed. "Not needed here, I perceive. The patient is mending fast."
"Well he may, mynheer," cried the dame, "for only last night we found a thousand guilders that's been lost to us these ten years."
"Yes, mynheer," said Raff. "I bid the vrouw tell you, though it's to be held a secret among us, for I see you can keep your lips closed as well as any man."
The doctor scowled. He never liked personal remarks.