Well, my son, he you seek will be here by the next boat, or the next boat after. And if he chooses to answer to that name After all, I am not the keeper of his conscience." "Good father, one plain word, for Heaven's sake, This Gerard Eliassoen of Tergou is he alive?" "Humph! Why, certes, he that went by that name is alive." "Well, then, that is settled," said Luke drily.
"No matter. When did he go? Tell me not that he went in such a storm as this!" "Here is a coil about Gerard Eliassoen," said Martin contemptuously. Then he lighted the candle, and seating himself coolly by the fire, proceeded to whip some fine silk round his bow-string at the place where the nick of the arrow frets it. "I'll tell you," said he carelessly.
What make you so far from Tergou?" "Open, and you will know." Martin drew the bolt very slowly, and in rushed Dierich and four more. They let in their companion who was at the back door. "Now, Martin, where is Gerard Eliassoen?" "Gerard Eliassoen? Why, he was here but now!" "Was here?" Dierich's countenance fell. "And where is he now?" "They say he has gone to Italy. Why, what is to do?"
Sybrandt took it up, and examined it gravely; but eventually laid it down, with the remark, that he could not read. However, one of the company, by some immense fortuity, could read; and proud of so rare an accomplishment, took it, and read it out: "To Gerard Eliassoen, of Tergou. These by the hand of the trusty Hans Memling, with all speed."
Awake he was Clement the hermit, risen from unearthly visions of the night, as dangerous as they were sweet; asleep he was Gerard Eliassoen, the happy husband of the loveliest and best, and truest girl in Holland: all the happier that he had been for some time the sport of hideous dreams, in which he had lost her.
Luke mingled with the passengers of two boats, and could hear nothing of Gerard Eliassoen. Nor did this surprise him. He was more surprised when, at the third attempt, a black friar said to him, somewhat severely, "And what would you with him you call Gerard Eliassoen?" "Why, father, if he is alive I have got a letter for him." "Humph!" said Jerome. "I am sorry for it, However, the flesh is weak.
Did you in very sooth know one who loved this poor lass? Where?" Clement was on the point of revealing himself, but he remembered Jerome's letter, and shrank from being called by the name he had borne in the world. "I knew him in Italy," said he. "If you knew him you can tell me his name," said Jorian cautiously. "His name was Gerard Eliassoen." "Oh, but this is strange.
Brother Clement, directed by the nuns, avoided a bend in the river, and striding lustily forward, reached a station some miles nearer the coast than that where Luke lay in wait for Gerard Eliassoen. And the next morning he started early, and was in Rotterdam at noon. He made at once for the port, not to keep Jerome waiting.
The crowd was dead silent. They had only been thoughtless, and now felt the rebuke, though severe, was just. The silence enabled Gerard to treat with the porter. "I am a competitor, sir." "What is your name?" and the man eyed him suspiciously. "Gerard, the son of Elias." The janitor inspected a slip of parchment he held in his hand: "Gerard Eliassoen can enter." "With my company, these two?"
Then he suddenly burst out again, "A hundred crowns to him who shall recover them; all, mind, all that were in this box. If one be missing, I give nothing." "'Tis a bargain, master: the hundred crowns are in my pouch. See you not that where Gerard Eliassoen is, there are the pieces of sheepskin you rate so high?" "That is true; that is true, good Dierich: good faithful Dierich.