The Black Tulip HTML version
4. The Murderers
The young man with his hat slouched over his eyes, still leaning on the arm of the
officer, and still wiping from time to time his brow with his handkerchief, was watching in
a corner of the Buytenhof, in the shade of the overhanging weather-board of a closed
shop, the doings of the infuriated mob, a spectacle which seemed to draw near its
"Indeed," said he to the officer, "indeed, I think you were right, Van Deken; the order
which the deputies have signed is truly the death-warrant of Master Cornelius. Do you
hear these people? They certainly bear a sad grudge to the two De Witts."
"In truth," replied the officer, "I never heard such shouts."
"They seem to have found out the cell of the man. Look, look! is not that the window of
the cell where Cornelius was locked up?"
A man had seized with both hands and was shaking the iron bars of the window in the
room which Cornelius had left only ten minutes before.
"Halloa, halloa!" the man called out, "he is gone."
"How is that? gone?" asked those of the mob who had not been able to get into the
prison, crowded as it was with the mass of intruders.
"Gone, gone," repeated the man in a rage, "the bird has flown."
"What does this man say?" asked his Highness, growing quite pale.
"Oh, Monseigneur, he says a thing which would be very fortunate if it should turn out
"Certainly it would be fortunate if it were true," said the young man; "unfortunately it
cannot be true."
"However, look!" said the officer.
And indeed, some more faces, furious and contorted with rage, showed themselves at
the windows, crying, --
"Escaped, gone, they have helped them off!"
And the people in the street repeated, with fearful imprecations, --