Certainly not Veronica, who valued work above everything, and who indeed loved it so well, that she could not imagine that any one should ever wish to escape it.
But if he were successful, both his mother and Veronica would profit by his good fortune as much as himself. Why couldn’t he go on with his own plans in his own way? Why need he ask leave of Veronica?
Before he slept, Dietrich had decided to meet Jost the next evening, and close with his offer.
When Gertrude came down stairs early in the morning, she found the breakfast ready, and Veronica dressed to go out.
“Wait just a moment,” said the mother, “Dietrich will be down directly; I hear him coming.”
“I must be off,” replied Veronica. She went towards the door, but turned before going out. Her cheeks were flaming.
“Mother,” she said, and her voice trembled, “in God’s name, forbid him to go to that dreadful place. He did not come home till one o’clock last night.” And she vanished. Gertrude gazed after her in surprise.
When Dietrich came down, he asked in his usual bright fashion, after Veronica, and when his mother with some anxiety told him what the girl had said, he made his explanation with such a frank, unembarrassed manner, that her fears were quieted; for it was plain that he had nothing upon his conscience. He said that he knew his mother would approve of his helping a friend in need, and not the less if in so doing he should also help himself. It was a scheme of this kind that he had been talking over, the night before. Jost had to work very hard to make both ends meet, and Dietrich thought that if by putting some money into his scheme, he could help his old acquaintance to more profit with less labor, and at the same time gain by it himself, his mother would be the last to blame him.
Gertrude was a soft-hearted woman. She answered her son that if there was nothing wrong about this business, it was certainly a good thing to help Jost, who had received nothing from his father, not even tools for his trade, and who had seemed to have everything against him.
“With you it was very different, my boy,” she said in conclusion. “Your father left you an excellent business, and if you continue to work as you have done, you will be very well off in a few years. How kindly the good God has dealt with us, my son! We may hope for many happy days together!”
He agreed with her cordially, but he thought it as well not to unfold his plans to her any farther. He said to himself that he was not going to do anything wrong, certainly not; but his mother’s ideas were a little old-fashioned, and she wouldn’t understand his schemes. He would surprise her with his success.
Lame Sabina gives good advice.