“Where do you live, Schonholz?” asked Joplin.
“What kind of a place is it—baths?”
“What are they good for?” continued Joplin in a subdued tone.
“Noddings, but blenty peoples go.”
“I can tell you, Joppy,” said Pudfut gravely, with a wink at Malone. “There are two spas, both highly celebrated. Lord Ellenboro spent a month there and came back looking like another man. One is for the liver and the other for something or other, I can’t recollect what.”
“Heart?” asked Joplin.
“I don’t know.”
He didn’t,—had never heard the place mentioned until Schonholz had called its name a moment before.
Joplin played with his knife and made an attempt to nibble a slice of Tine’s toast, but he made no reply. All the fight of every kind seemed to have been knocked out of him.
“Better take Fizzenbad in, Joppy,” remarked Pudfut in an undertone. “May do you a lot of good.”
“How far is it, Schonholz?” asked Joplin, ignoring the Englishman’s suggestion.
“Oh, you leafe in de morgen and you come by Fizzenbad in a day more as do one you go oud mid.”
“No—can’t afford it.”
Here Joplin pushed back his chair, and with the remark that he thought he would go downtown for some colors, left the room.
“It’s working like a dose of salts,” cried Pudfut when the Bostonian was out of hearing. “Hasn’t said ‘epigastric nerve,’ ‘gram’ or ‘proteids’ once. Got real human in an hour. Stebbins, you’re a wonder.”
The next morning everybody was up bright and early to see Schonholz off. One of Fop Smit’s packets was to leave for Rotterdam at seven and Schonholz was a passenger. He could go by rail, but the boat was cheaper. No deceptions had been practised and no illusions indulged in as to the cause of his departure. He had had his supplies cut off, was flat broke and as helpless as a plant without water. They had all, at one time or another, passed through a similar crisis and knew exactly what it meant. A purse, of course, could have been made up—Marny even insisted on sharing his last hundred francs with him— and Mynheer would have allowed the board-bill to run on indefinitely with or without an addition to his collection, but the lad was not built along those lines.
“No—I go home and help mine fader once a leetle, den maybe I come back, don’t it?” was the way he put it.
The next morning, when the procession formed to escort him through the Old Gate, every man answered to his name except Joplin—he had either overslept himself or was taking an extra soak in his portable tub.
“Run, Tine, and call Mr. Joplin,” cried Marny— “we’ll go ahead. Tell him to come to the dock.”