“But the child,” she murmured, “it lives, and it is mine and the man’s.”
Dirk’s face hardened a little, but he only answered:
“We must bear our burdens; you have borne yours, I must bear mine,” and he seized her hands and kissed them, yes, and the hem of her garment and kissed it also.
So these two plighted their troth.
Afterwards Lysbeth heard all the story. Montalvo had been put upon his trial, and, as it chanced, things went hard with him. Among his judges one was a great Netherlander lord, who desired to uphold the rights of his countrymen; one was a high ecclesiastic, who was furious because of the fraud that had been played upon the Church, which had been trapped into celebrating a bigamous marriage; and a third was a Spanish grandee, who, as it happened, knew the family of the first wife who had been deserted.
Therefore, for the luckless Montalvo, when the case had been proved to the hilt against him by the evidence of the priest who brought the letter, of the wife’s letters, and of the truculent Black Meg, who now found an opportunity of paying back “hot water for cold,” there was little mercy. His character was bad, and it was said, moreover, that because of his cruelties and the shame she had suffered at his hands, Lysbeth van Hout had committed suicide. At least, this was certain, that she was seen running at night towards the Haarlemer Meer, and that after this, search as her friends would, nothing more could be heard of her.
So, that an example might be made, although he writhed and fenced his best, the noble captain, Count Juan de Montalvo, was sent to serve for fourteen years in the galleys as a common slave. And there, for the while, was an end of him.
There also was an end of the strange and tragic courtship of Dirk van Goorl and Lysbeth van Hout.
Six months afterwards they were married, and by Dirk’s wish took the child, who was christened Adrian, to live with them. A few months later Lysbeth entered the community of the New Religion, and less than two years after her marriage a son was born to her, the hero of this story, who was named Foy.
As it happened, she bore no other children.
BOOK THE SECOND
ADRIAN, FOY, AND MARTIN THE RED
Many years had gone by since Lysbeth found her love again upon the island in the Haarlemer Meer. The son that she bore there was now a grown man, as was her second son, Foy, and her own hair showed grey beneath the lappets of her cap.