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The next morning Geraert was waiting for breakfast for his brother. He had decided to speak seriously once more with Nanning, yes, he would beg him, not to dismiss his advice any longer. Once again he wanted to point out to him the last hour of Father’s death and recall his last words in his memory. Ah, how moved Nanning had promised then, that he would always listen to Geraert and follow his good advice. Unfortunately, what had changed the poor youth. How stiff and sullen he behaved in the last time with him, and how had his love turned into hatred. Because Nanning [52] hated him now, he noticed that clearly from everything he spoke and did. And yet, Geraert, he had not ceased to love him, as befits a brother. How he craved a friendly word from Nanning’s mouth, to a single expression of love.

But Nanning let himself wait. Already the normal breakfast hour had long passed, and he had not left his bedroom. Mechteld had already come up a few times to take part in breakfast, but had gone to the kitchen again and again when she saw that Nanning had not yet entered.

Thus an hour slowly passed. Were it not for the fact that Geraert was determined to speak with Nanning now, he would certainly have breakfasted alone and went to the brewery, where his presence could hardly be missed.

So nearly an hour passed, and now he could no longer stand it. He got up and went to his brother’s bedroom.

“Nanning!” He called at the door. “Are not you up yet? It’s already very late! ”

He did not hear anything. No sound penetrated him. Then he called again, but now much louder:

“Get up, Nanning! You sleep a hole in the day! “And he tapped loudly at the door.

But still no answer came.

A violent anxiety suddenly took over from him. He opened the door and entered. A single glance was enough to make him see that Nanning was not there.

“Merciful Heaven!” He exclaimed in a state of embarrassment, while a deadly pallor covered his face. And softly he mumbled: “Away! Nanning is gone! ”

The bed was untouched. It was still there in the same folds, as Mechteld had put it yesterday.

“Away! Nanning is gone! “Geraert repeated softly, while he stood motionless in the middle of the room. He saw how the drawers of Nannings cabinet had been opened and the contents of it had disappeared. Apparently he had taken everything that was his property with him, and he had left for ever!

“Poor Nan! Poor, strayed Nan! Ah, why have you come? “Geraert sighed with tears in his eyes, while he moved down on a chair and covered his face with his hands.

He sat there for a while, until finally Mechteld disturbed him. She could not understand where the brothers stayed and now tapped at the door. When she received no answer, she decided to enter. But who describes her fright when she saw Geraert sitting motionless at the table and found Nanning gone. Loudly crying, she walked up and down the room, and now it turned out that Geraert knew how much the old Nanning wife had kept. Ah, she had already carried him on the arm as a small child, pampered and caressed him, and her most beautiful songs were sung for him. And her love for him was still doubled when his mother died and she had to take care of him completely. And now he was gone! Now he had gone away, without even saying goodbye to her! Who would care for him now, and what was to become of him now! [55]

Suddenly Geraert stood up and hurriedly left the house. His decision was taken. He would go to Nanning and return home. He could not be far away, because after midnight he was still at home. He would look for him everywhere, and he did not doubt whether he would find him too! He went to the brewery and told the servant that he was traveling for a few days; he therefore fully bore him the concern for the matter. Then he hurried to the home of Frederik Geyensz. to find out if it also knew where Nanning had gone. But Frederik could not give him any further information. He knew nothing about Nanning’s departure, and was very surprised at what he heard. From there Geraert went to Jan Alertsz, the innkeeper, who was not terrified when he saw the serious ships again before him. But even this one could not say where Nanning was. He had not seen him again since midnight.

Then Geraert decided to leave the city and continue his research elsewhere. He returned home and informed Mechteld of his intention. The sad old man heard him with tears in his eyes.

“Ah yes, oh well, do that!” She exclaimed when Geraert had finished. “He will still come, my darling. How noble and good you are! ”

So Geraert left the city, where the rumor of Nannings disappearance was already circulating like a running fire. Everyone had their mouths full and the young people who had taken part in the game did not hear it without feeling a remorse and to regard it as a lesson. They now saw what the consequences were of their frivolity and what they were doing.

The Schout, too, soon came to know what had happened, and he immediately took action. The young men received a terrible reprimand from him, and the host, who had shown so little reverence for the orders of the government, received his fair sentence. He had to pay a heavy fine and was banned for good from the city, so that he would have no opportunity to bring the young men there on the bad road.

Geraert remained absent for days. No one knew where he had gone, and it was generally hoped that he would be able to find back the spoiled brother and take him home.

Finally Geraert returned, tired of the journey, and was sad and disappointed, for he came alone. He had not been able to find his brother, he had not even discovered his trail.

From that moment on, Geraert became even quieter and more serious than he had ever been. He felt deeply unhappy in the house, where he had lived with his brother for so many years, and he could no longer bear the sight of his fellow-pals. That is why he resigned as a ship and made everything he owned, in money. He also sold the house in which he lived; he gave the old, loyal Mechteld so much that she could spend her last days of life carefree, and then he left the city, where he had experienced nothing but sorrow in recent years.

He first settled in Beverwijk, but for a short time he left for Alkmaar, where he set up a new brewery. Here too he soon won all respect. It did not take long, or he was also chosen here as Ships; each praised him for his seriousness and great honesty. And when after a few years the Schout van Alkmaar died, that high dignity was dedicated to him, much to the satisfaction of Alkmaar’s courtship.

He did not hear anything from his unfortunate brother. Yet he still hoped to see him again. He had kept his share of his parents’ inheritance from his own and locked him in an iron cupboard, in which he carefully preserved it. If Nan ever came back, no medal would be missing.

Where had this brash young man remained? In a state of intense excitement, he had come home that night when his brother had overtaken him in the playhouse. He felt deeply hurt by Geraert’s behavior. Because of his appearance in the tavern as the city’s ships, he had, in his opinion, posed a ridiculous light and made fun of his friends in front of his friends. He understood very well that the rumor of the incident would soon be spread throughout the city, and then, he thought, one would point it out with his finger and call him a little child, who had to be taken home by his brother in the evening. to become. Oh, he felt a deadly hatred coming against him in his heart, and he decided not to tolerate such a tyranny any longer. No, he would leave, go into the world, and Geraert would not bother him for longer. He would never even see him again. In the haste he collected all the things of value that he could call his property, put his money in a leather belt, which he fastened around his waist, and left the house unnoticed, in which a longer stay was impossible.

He was in a state of great excitement, as the reader knows, and his head was still hot from the wine he had used, but a cold chill ran through the members as he closed the door softly behind him and he fled the house, in which he had been happy for so many years.

For a moment he was still battling, and it was as if a voice in his inner voice shouted to him: “Return, Nanning, do not take a step further on this fateful one!” He also felt a softer feeling towards his brother for a brief moment. to emerge, but also for a moment. For suddenly he thought of the mocking of him, of the mockery with which his companions had treated him-and in haste he moved away from the house that had seen him born, and in which at this moment a loving brother turned restlessly on his couch, pondering about the means he had to employ, to keep him.

He allowed himself to open the gate of the city, which as brother of Schepen Geraert Baerthoutsz was not difficult, and turned into Leiden, which he reached a few hours later. After a short rest, he continued his journey to The Hague, then moved deeper into the south. He traveled without purpose, from one place to another, without being aware of the present or worrying about the future. He knew that he had enough money to live carefree for a long time, and he now wanted to fully enjoy his freedom. He had also long wished to go on a journey and to look at the world once again, and he could now follow that wish undisturbed.

So he finally came to Ghent, which great city attracted him, so that he decided to stay there for some time. He gave himself to a Dutch merchant and moved into one of the city’s largest taverns. Here he became acquainted with a few young men, who, like himself, had surrendered to the game, and now he returned completely to his savage outbursts. Every evening the wine bottles were filled and the dice rattled across the traffic sign. And Nanning played with varying luck for a long time. What he lost one evening, he won back the next day, sometimes even more. But the more the young men played, the stronger their passion for the game became, and to that extent they increased their commitment. Finally they even played for high sums, [62] and with sparkling eyes they counted the points they made. Sometimes, when the effort was extraordinarily large, there was a breathless silence in the room and with envy the lucky winner could see the money coming to him. One night Nanning was particularly fortunate. He won over and over again, and the pile of money he had on the table with him was constantly getting bigger. On the other hand, the other players felt their scholarships become steadily lighter. But they did not give up hope, and hoped that the chances would soon come, and that they would then regain what they had lost. Each time they increased their bets, but as often they had to watch, how their money changed hands and ended up at Nanning. The wisest of those who began to understand that Nanning could not be played that evening, moved backwards and threw the dice away. Finally there was only one more left, which did not give up courage. He was the son of a widow, a straight loosely, who consumed the money of his mother and gave her much grief. He had lost a lot of money this evening, almost everything he owned. He knew that he was lost, that he and his mother had been brought to utter poverty, if happiness did not benefit him and he recovered what he had lost. Deadly pale and with the sweaty sweat on the face, he continued the game, increasing his effort. The passion sparkled from his eyes, and his nostrils trembled with tension and fear. At last he ventured his last money, and with a raw cry he saw it pass into Nannings hands.

“Lost!” He murmured. “I have to finish; I do not have anything anymore!”

And with a petrified glance he stared at the dice that had thrown him into the accident.

The young men stood up, one after the other, and left the tavern. They were impressed by what happened, for they all understood that Gerrit Leendertsz, so called the unfortunate, had lost all his fortune.

Gerrit also got up. With staggering steps he went to the place where his hood was lying. He set it up, and said to the host with a loud voice that he was not able to pay his charge, because he had nothing more, and left the room.

Suddenly Nanning also stood up and followed him in haste. He felt sorry for the unhappy and wanted to help him. When he came out he did not see him anymore, because it was very dark, but he still heard his steps in the distance. He therefore hastened his step and soon overtook him.

“Let me accompany you for a while, Gerrit,” he said. “It’s nice and cool outside and we can have a little refresher.”

He did not receive an answer. Speechlessly the unfortunate man ran alongside him, but undoubtedly a bad thought had to play his head, for his eyes were aimed at Nanning with a frightful expression. They had now arrived in a quiet part of the city. Nanning stopped here and put his hand on his shoulder.

“Listen, Gerrit,” he said. “You have been very unhappy tonight, and have lost everything you have. I’m sorry about that, and that’s why I followed you. Let me give you back a portion of the lost. Who knows, how it brings you happiness tomorrow night. ”

At those words he loosened his belt to take the money out. If, however, he had seen the look with which Gerrit, in turn, stared at him and the belt, he would certainly have thought twice, for greed and all that was bad was to be read in it. On one occasion Nanning felt a terrible blow on his head, and then another; everything turned him in front of his eyes and he almost could not stand. A strange suping came into his ears, the belt slipped his hands and he fell to the ground with a blow. He had lost his consciousness ….

It was only days after that he opened his eyes again, and awoke in the head with a severe pain. With a dull glance he stared ahead, without realizing, except that he felt very ill. But gradually his memory came back and he began to get some suspicion of what had happened [66]. With the effort of all his weak powers he focused somewhat and looked around to see where he was. He noticed at once that he was in a place where he had never been, and that his condition might be called far from rosy. The room in which he had been given housing was low and looked extremely shabby. A small window, almost all of which were cracked or cluttered with rags, gave the bright exterior light so little passage that the few pieces of furniture in the low, stuffy room were only sparingly lit. Besides, they could not bear much light, for they already gave a powerful testimony of the poverty of the inhabitants in the semi-darkness. An old wooden table, which had been pushed just before the bedstead, upon which it had been laid, and two chairs on wobbly legs, made almost all the furniture. And the bedding that covered him was very little like that which had served him so far. Only a few old rags and a piece of coarse tarpaulin was all that served him [67]. A sense of disgust and aversion took hold of him when he had seen his surroundings in sight, and his first move was an attempt to leave the bed, for he did not want to stay here longer than was necessary. His clothes were at some distance on one of the chairs.

But he made a vain effort, for his powers did not allow him to get up and dress himself. All his limbs hurt him, and as soon as he made a little effort, he felt as if he would lose his consciousness again. However great his reluctance might be, he was obliged to make a virtue of necessity and to remain where he was. With a sigh of pain but still more of disappointment and aversion, he fell back on his bed of rags, and curiously he wondered where he could find himself and who the inhabitants of this hovel were, because that he could not disown himself. Except there was no one in the room. Still, a caring hand seemed to watch over him, for on the table in front of his bed he discovered a jug of water and a cut of coarse bread, which undoubtedly had been laid there to refresh him, if he woke up. was allowed during their absence. That jug of water was the only thing that was welcome to him in this room. He had scarcely discovered her, or eagerly he reached for it and, with great devotion, he learned to quench his thirst. That seemed to give him new strength and made his thinking clearer. Gradually he began to remember better what had happened to him and his condition became clearer to him. And the more he thought, the more frightened it was to him. For after all, helpless he lay there, unable to move and unable to provide for his livelihood in any way. And he was poor, very poor, he did not need to doubt that. The cowardly murderer, who had accidentally attacked him, and had tried to kill him, would certainly have mastered the costly belt, for whose property the crime had occurred. No penny, therefore, had surpassed him [69] with everything he had possessed. Arm and destitute, sick to body and soul, he lay there, abandoned by everyone, in a dusty hovel on a bed of old rags. Ah, how far had it come to him, how deep he had sunk. And suddenly the terrible thought came to him: “All that is your own fault, Nanning! Had listened to the good advice of your brother, and you were still the happy youth of old days. And now, in which a lake of misery you have thrown yourself and what a shame has brought your recklessness and impulse over your head. “And it seemed to him that suddenly the figure of Geraert rose before him, with his serious but friendly face, and beckoned him to come to him. He now felt how hard and unfair he had judged him and how much grief he had caused him. With aversion he remembered the time that lay behind him, the time he had spent at the game table and at the wine-cup, and he hid his face in the hands of shame. He felt deep remorse about his behavior and accepted himself, his life better. No drop of wine would come over his lips, no more dice he would take.

At first he also felt the melting of the icecream, which had surrounded his heart, and he saw clearly and clearly how good and noble his brother had always been and how he had always meant good things to him. And how badly he, Nanning, had rewarded all that love. He had answered the most tender concerns with unease; yes, he had not saved him even the most grievous grief. Oh, he could not forgive himself for being so bad.

Full of repentance he secretly hid his face in the pillow, which served his painful head to rest.

But gradually his intense grief subsided, and he began to think about what he now had to do. And in the first place the desire arose in him to return to his brother and beg him forgiveness for all the grief he had caused him. Now that he had taken the firm decision to improve his life, now that he saw all the detestable of his behavior, and remembered that time with deep shame, he now even longed to return to Geraert and to make him forget the grief that has passed through double proofs of his brotherly love. But no, -no! That was allowed, he could not do that! What a shame he would bring over the head of his worthy brother, the all-esteemed and honored ships! How would anybody point to him and say: “Nanning, the younger, whose guardian and protector he was, as a player fled the city, spent his money abroad, and returned like a beggar!” No, that sorrow wanted he does not touch Geraert! He had already done enough suffering to him. His decision was certain: he never returned to Haarlem. He would spare his father city and his brother the shame of reunion!

But what then? Staying here was impossible! Once again he looked around the room, and let his eyes wander over the rags that covered him, and again that feeling of disgust that had overpowered him when he woke up from his despair. Once again he exerted all his strength to set himself up and leave the bedstead, but it was impossible for him. He would have to stay where he was.

Who could it be who had taken care of him? Who had carried him here? Who would have put that water and bread for him? Why did no one come to see him?

With all these questions he tore his arm, tired head, without being able to answer any of them. Finally he shook all those thoughts away from him. Time would give him more light and give him the solution to all those riddles. He knew this one: As soon as he had regained his powers, he would leave this stuffy, shabby room and enter the world. What he would do there, he did not yet know, but rather he wandered along the streets like a beggar, than staying here longer than was necessary. And besides, if nobody wanted to hire him, he could always become a warrior. As such, it would not be difficult for him to provide for his living.

It now began to become darker in the room. Certainly the sun had set and it was night. And yet no one came to break the silence, which was beginning to become a little anxious even now. A terrible feeling of total desolation crept over him; sometimes he thought that everything was just a stuffy dream that tormented him and that he would soon wake up. But no, that was not so. He knew that he was awake. Oh, that somebody was coming now, to speak to him a word of consolation! It became the longer, the darker, at last he could see nothing more, than some indefinite capricious forms. He kept his eyes fixed on the low, dilapidated door, hoping that someone would finally appear.

But hour after hour passed, and no one came.

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Nanning finally fell into a light, nervous slumber. Narrow dreams drowned him, and he constantly mumbled the name of his brother Geraert.

He woke up once. There he heard rustling at the door. Now he would finally be released from the uncertainty.

The sound came further. Slowly the door turned on her sagging handles and soft, almost inaudible someone entered the room. He closed the door behind him and walked straight to a small cupboard in the corner of the room. There he pulled out a light and lit it up. Then he turned and came to the bed where Nanning lay.