In which there is a great deal of correspondence, and the widow is called up very early in the morning.
We must now return to Mynheer Krause, who, after he had delivered over his gold, locked up his counting-house and went up to the saloon, determining to meet his fate with all the dignity of a Roman senator. He sent for his daughter, who sent word back that she was packing up her wardrobe, and this answer appeared but reasonable to the syndic, who, therefore, continued in his chair, reflecting upon his approaching incarceration, conning speeches, and anticipating a glorious acquittal, until the bell of the cathedral chimed the half-hour after ten. He then sent another message to his daughter, and the reply was that she was not in the room, upon which he despatched old Koop to Ramsay, requesting his attendance. The reply to this second message was a letter presented to the syndic, who broke the seal and read as follows:
“MY DEAR AND HONOURED SIR,
“I have sought a proper asylum for your daughter during the impending troubles, and could not find one which pleased, and in consequence I have taken the bold step, aware that I might not have received your sanction if applied for, of taking her on board the cutter with me; she will there be safe, and as her character might be, to a certain degree, impeached by being in company with a man of my age, I intend, as soon as we arrive in port, to unite myself to her, for which act, I trust, you will grant me your pardon. As for yourself, be under no apprehension, I have saved you. Treat the accusation with scorn, and if you are admitted into the presence of his Majesty, accuse him of the ingratitude which he has been guilty of; I trust that we shall soon meet again, that I may return to you the securities and specie of which I have charge, as well as your daughter, who is anxious once more to receive your blessing.
“Yours ever, till death,
Mynheer Krause read this letter over and over again, it was very mystifying. Much depends in this world upon the humour people are in at the time; Mynheer Krause was, at that time, full of Cato-like devotion and Roman virtue, and he took the contents of the letter in true Catonic style.
“Excellent young man—to preserve my honour he has taken her away with him! and, to preserve her reputation he intends to marry her! Now, I can go to prison without a sigh. He tells me that he has saved me—saved me!—why, he has saved everything; me, my daughter, and my property! Well, they shall see how I behave! They shall witness the calmness of a stoic; I shall express no emotion or surprise at the arrest, as they will naturally expect, because I know it is to take place—no fear—no agitation when in prison, because I know that I am to be saved. I shall desire them to bear in mind that I am the syndic of this town, and must receive that respect which is due to my exalted situation,” and Mynheer Van Krause lifted his pipe and ordered Koop to bring him a stone jug of beer, and thus doubly-armed like Cato, he awaited the arrival of the officer with all the stoicism of beer and tobacco.