Dietrich has built a fine large work-room; and there he sits and works, industrious and happy, or he goes about his outside affairs in a steady business-like manner. Often he has to go to Fohrensee and even farther; for his trade is prosperous beyond competition and his work is recognized far and wide as of unrivalled excellence.
On Veronica’s face lies such a sunshine of constant happiness as is good to look upon. She has given up her position in the school at Fohrensee; her place is with her husband and children; but she does not for all that sit with her hands in her lap; her orderly well-kept house, and her blooming well-behaved children bear witness to her faultless management as well as to her care and industry, and at the great annual Fair in the city, if any one inquires about some wonderfully fine and beautiful embroidery on exhibition, the answer invariably is, “that is the work of Veronica of Tannenegg.”
Blasi is Dietrich’s permanent assistant. He is constantly about the house, and is known in the family as Uncle Blasi. As soon as the day’s work is over, and the evening sets in, his first question is, “Where are our children?” He never speaks of them in any other way; they are his, his joy and pride. He has also a special claim upon them, for he and Cousin Judith are the god-father and god-mother of both.
Blasi’s favorite time is Sunday, when Dietrich goes to walk with his wife, and gives over the house and the children to him. Then he sets upon one knee the chubby little Dieterli and on the other the black eyed Veronica, and they ride there as long as they please, no matter how high the horse has to curvet and prance. And whatever else they want him to do for them, he is ready to do, whatever it may be.
There is only one Sunday pleasure that outweighs the knee-riding with Uncle Blasi, and that is when Veronica takes her little girl in her lap and lets Dieterli press close to her side, as he does only when he is very much excited. Then the mother takes a little picture in her hand, the picture of a red rose. Suddenly the flower opens, and a little verse in golden letters appears. Every time this opens, it elicits a cry of joy from the children, and they are never tired of seeing the wonder repeated. And Veronica is never tired of repeating it; for the rose and the verse are so interwoven with her life that they recall many memories of joy and sorrow; and she often says to the children, “Some time when you are old enough, I will explain this golden motto to you, and you shall learn it by heart.”
When Blasi and Judith are alone together, he likes to talk over old times, and he often reminds her that he had fully made up his mind to marry Veronica himself; and he always winds up with,
“I want you to understand that I would never have given her up to any one else; but an old friend like Dietrich, you know;—of course it’s a very different thing with Dietrich.”