The Black Tulip
21. The Second Bulb
The night was a happy one, and the whole of the next day happier still.
During the last few days, the prison had been heavy, dark, and lowering, as it were, with
all its weight on the unfortunate captive. Its walls were black, its air chilling, the iron bars
seemed to exclude every ray of light.
But when Cornelius awoke next morning, a beam of the morning sun was playing about
those iron bars; pigeons were hovering about with outspread wings, whilst others were
lovingly cooing on the roof or near the still closed window.
Cornelius ran to that window and opened it; it seemed to him as if new life, and joy, and
liberty itself were entering with this sunbeam into his cell, which, so dreary of late, was
now cheered and irradiated by the light of love.
When Gryphus, therefore, came to see his prisoner in the morning, he no longer found
him morose and lying in bed, but standing at the window, and singing a little ditty.
"Halloa!" exclaimed the jailer.
"How are you this morning?" asked Cornelius.
Gryphus looked at him with a scowl.
"And how is the dog, and Master Jacob, and our pretty Rosa?"
Gryphus ground his teeth, saying. --
"Here is your breakfast."
"Thank you, friend Cerberus," said the prisoner; "you are just in time; I am very hungry."
"Oh! you are hungry, are you?" said Gryphus.
"And why not?" asked Van Baerle.
"The conspiracy seems to thrive," remarked Gryphus.
"Very well, I know what I know, Master Scholar; just be quiet, we shall be on our guard."
"Be on your guard, friend Gryphus; be on your guard as long as you please; my
conspiracy, as well as my person, is entirely at your service."