The Black Tulip HTML version
9. The Family Cell
It was about midnight when poor Van Baerle was locked up in the prison of the
What Rosa foresaw had come to pass. On finding the cell of Cornelius de Witt empty,
the wrath of the people ran very high, and had Gryphus fallen into the hands of those
madmen he would certainly have had to pay with his life for the prisoner.
But this fury had vented itself most fully on the two brothers when they were overtaken
by the murderers, thanks to the precaution which William -- the man of precautions --
had taken in having the gates of the city closed.
A momentary lull had therefore set in whilst the prison was empty, and Rosa availed
herself of this favourable moment to come forth from her hiding place, which she also
induced her father to leave.
The prison was therefore completely deserted. Why should people remain in the jail
whilst murder was going on at the Tol-Hek?
Gryphus came forth trembling behind the courageous Rosa. They went to close the
great gate, at least as well as it would close, considering that it was half demolished. It
was easy to see that a hurricane of mighty fury had vented itself upon it.
About four o'clock a return of the noise was heard, but of no threatening character to
Gryphus and his daughter. The people were only dragging in the two corpses, which
they came back to gibbet at the usual place of execution.
Rosa hid herself this time also, but only that she might not see the ghastly spectacle.
At midnight, people again knocked at the gate of the jail, or rather at the barricade which
served in its stead: it was Cornelius van Baerle whom they were bringing.
When the jailer received this new inmate, and saw from the warrant the name and
station of his prisoner, he muttered with his turnkey smile, --
"Godson of Cornelius de Witt! Well, young man, we have the family cell here, and we
will give it to you."
And quite enchanted with his joke, the ferocious Orangeman took his cresset and his
keys to conduct Cornelius to the cell, which on that very morning Cornelius de Witt had
left to go into exile, or what in revolutionary times is meant instead by those sublime