"Aye. That's plain to see, Raff, but I've had the same feeling after a fever. You're tired now. I must get ye straight on the bed again. Where IS the child, I wonder?"
Dame Brinker opened the door, and called, "Gretel! Gretel!"
"Stand aside, vrouw," said Raff feebly as he leaned forward and endeavored to look out upon the bare landscape. "I've half a mind to stand beyond the door just once."
"Nay, nay." She laughed. "I'll tell the meester how ye tease and fidget and bother to be let out in the air; and if he says it, I'll bundle ye warm tomorrow and give ye a turn on your feet. But I'm freezing you with this door open. I declare if there isn't Gretel with her apron full, skating on the canal like wild. Why, man," she continued almost in a scream as she slammed the door, "thou'rt walking to the bed without my touching thee! Thou'lt fall!"
The dame's thee proved her mingled fear and delight, even more than the rush which she made toward her husband. Soon he was comfortably settled under the new cover, declaring, as his vrouw tucked him in snug and warm, that it was the last daylight that should see him abed.
"Aye! I can hope it myself," laughed Dame Brinker, "now you have been frisking about at that rate." As Raff closed his eyes, the dame hastened to revive her fire, or rather to dull it, for Dutch peat is like a Dutchman, slow to kindle, but very good at a blaze once started. Then, putting her neglected spinning wheel away, she drew forth her knitting from some invisible pocket and seated herself by the bedside.
"If you could remember the man's name, Raff," she began cautiously, "I might take the watch to him while you're sleeping. Gretel can't but be in soon."
Raff tried to think but in vain.