The Black Tulip HTML version
10. The Jailer's Daughter
On the same evening Gryphus, as he brought the prisoner his mess, slipped on the
damp flags whilst opening the door of the cell, and fell, in the attempt to steady himself,
on his hand; but as it was turned the wrong way, he broke his arm just above the wrist.
Cornelius rushed forward towards the jailer, but Gryphus, who was not yet aware of the
serious nature of his injury, called out to him, --
"It is nothing: don't you stir."
He then tried to support himself on his arm, but the bone gave way; then only he felt the
pain, and uttered a cry.
When he became aware that his arm was broken, this man, so harsh to others, fell
swooning on the threshold, where he remained motionless and cold, as if dead.
During all this time the door of the cell stood open and Cornelius found himself almost
free. But the thought never entered his mind of profiting by this accident; he had seen
from the manner in which the arm was bent, and from the noise it made in bending, that
the bone was fractured, and that the patient must be in great pain; and now he thought
of nothing else but of administering relief to the sufferer, however little benevolent the
man had shown himself during their short interview.
At the noise of Gryphus's fall, and at the cry which escaped him, a hasty step was heard
on the staircase, and immediately after a lovely apparition presented itself to the eyes of
It was the beautiful young Frisian, who, seeing her father stretched on the ground, and
the prisoner bending over him, uttered a faint cry, as in the first fright she thought
Gryphus, whose brutality she well knew, had fallen in consequence of a struggle
between him and the prisoner.
Cornelius understood what was passing in the mind of the girl, at the very moment
when the suspicion arose in her heart.
But one moment told her the true state of the case and, ashamed of her first thoughts,
she cast her beautiful eyes, wet with tears, on the young man, and said to him, --
"I beg your pardon, and thank you, sir; the first for what I have thought, and the second
for what you are doing."