Piet sometimes liked sitting in his room and letting his thoughts go.
Very often he could, despite his innate cheerfulness-serious sitting at his desk, leave his work for a while and do nothing but dreaming, dreaming …
Or he walked out of town and then dropped into the grass on the side of the water.
Then he listened to the soft-raging reed and stared into the blue sky in which a lark rose very, very high.
In such moments of loneliness in the quiet nature, Piet could sometimes crochet and crave for freedom.
By that he meant no lazy, empty, unemployed life … far from it!
But he wanted to be independent, not to follow that same line every day from yesterday and the day before yesterday.
He wanted to see life and the world working … he could not be content with a permanent job somewhere with a fixed weekly wage and regular friends and a fixed address.
O … that fixed !!
No, he wanted to get to know people all over the world and then tell them about their lives, their actions, their thoughts …
Yes, it was all well and beautiful here … his good loving parents … his best friends … all that gay gang … his work on the newspaper … oh yes but there was such a quiet desire in him to participate in the gróóte things in life … and to travel … and to see foreign countries ….
And the members of the club now-oh, they were all best, good-natured, but oh, today, so horribly superficial and ordinary … only Jacob Mantel could talk seriously and Harry did … but most of the others were not anymore then fluttering butterflies, only to pretend and pleasantly pass the time …
Well, Pietje could take part in that … and not so much … but you could not fill your life completely, and a boy did have a purpose in life, did not he? And ideals, right?
And then Piet could dream, dream of his future life … a life full of variety ….
No calm, straight line of always the same little life things … but a rushing flood of powerful waves … a life with everything that life can give … joy and sorrow, enjoyments and hardships, laughter and tears and then … struggling to conquer !!
Then he would like to have one friend … one marrying buddy, who would experience everything with him and whom he could sympathize with … who also wanted what he wanted.
Piet was once again filled with such thoughts one evening, when he was going to bring another letter to the post.
It was pure autumn weather and it had rained for days, so the streets looked muddy.
He hurried on in the collar of his coat, shivering in the cold wind after the warmth of his room.
He hurried on in the collar of his coat, shuddering in the cold wind.
He had just put the letter in the bus and hit the way back when he felt himself tapping on the shoulder and a strange man asked him:
“Are you Mr. Bell? ”
Piet nodded and wanted to ask a few questions, when the stranger pushed a piece of paper into his hand and disappeared hastily.
At first Piet wanted to run after the man, but he had vanished from his eye so quickly that he let go of that thought and unfolded the paper:
I am in great need. Help me! Come immediately to Westdijke, Sanatorium by steam tram. Do not hurt. Flute at the back of the building. I will explain everything there. Come quickly.
Now Piet was not surprised about anything, but this seemed a bit too scratchy!
Would it be a joke?
It looked like something from a dime novel.
But … maybe even being there … no joke … no double-novel, but real seriousness …
Pietje thought for a moment … Jacob in the Sanatorium in Westdijke? Well, that was kind of an insane institution … What had Jacob done in the world?
Piet stood under the light of a street lamp with the note in his hand. The rain began to fall with renewed strength …
He held the paper with him and looked at his watch.
At eleven o’clock the last steam tram went and he could easily get it.
Then he walked past his house, where Father just closed the store.
Piet told him that it would be late, before he came back, and Father was satisfied with that, convinced that Piet had a good reason and did not go for pleasure in this weather.
In more than an hour, the steam tram brought Piet to Westdijke, a small spot on one of the South Holland islands.
Piet was the only one who got off at the open, abandoned station.
By the way, it was no more than a stop, a covered platform, illuminated by one plaintive oil lamp.
The wind was screeching through the telegraph wires … the reddish clouds were driving through the air, and the chilly rain dropped steadily …
“Brrrr …” Piet shivered, “that looks nice here too … And what a dark hole it is here … No lanterns at all!”
Well, there were lanterns along the road, but the wind had been blowing them long ago. But that did not matter, because the residents of the hamlet were all in bed and who still needed lanterns on the road?
In the meantime Piet was in the dark and did not even know which way to go to the Sanatorium.
In addition, the idea once again took hold of him, that it was perhaps only a joke … to play him a brush …
But no … that was nothing for Jacob … Flip might do something like that … Jacob not … he was not the boy at all.
In vain he tried to penetrate the darkness with his eyes when he suddenly heard footsteps.
Clogs cracked the gravel and from the dark the shape of a man emerged.
He took the lantern out of the guardhouse-there was no tram left for the next morning-and went back with it.
Piet, who had not been noticed by the man, called him:
“Hello there … Good night!”
The man was so frightened by that sudden shout in the midnight hour that he thought of ghosts and put it on a barrel.
But that was not exactly Piet’s intention, and because he saw his only salvation in that man, he followed him.
But that first made the refugee run wild and Piet saw how the man ran a fairly large building within a short distance.
“Certainly a large farm,” thought Piet.
But he was wrong.
The building in question was the Sanatorium, where the alternator of the steam tram held the night porter of the establishment in the evening and played a game of cards with him.
He disguised entering the porter’s room.
“Blaarveld …” he cried, and sank, gasping for breath, on a chair … “On the track … ghosts … one followed me … true!”
“Are you sure?” Asked the doorman, who had read a lot about ghosts and was not one of the bravest.
“Decisive man … decided … Hello there … said that … and some more … Please close the door …”
The doorman was far from at ease … you were sitting here in a madman’s institution and you could expect something like that …
Both men sat trembling and silent, listening to the wind of the wind.
“I’m not … going home …” the job-keeper sighed, “I’ll keep you company.”
“Yes, that is good,” answered the doorman with a sigh of relief.
In the meantime, Piet had followed the road a little more slowly, and discovered that he had not a farm but a much larger building in front of him.
A white sign shimmered dimly at the entrance, but it was impossible to read anything in this impenetrable darkness. 
Only one window was lit, that of the porter’s room.
Piet tried to light a match, close to the plate.
But only at the sixth he read a fragment: Sana …
“Well,” thought Piet, “that is more luck than wisdom. Here is the Sanatorium! Now try to get to the back unnoticed … ”
He crept over the little bridge that led to the entrance and walked on foot, always waiting and listening, along the side of the building.
The whistling of the wind and the clattering of the rain ensured that nothing was heard of his movements.
At the back he took, so far as he could distinguish it in the night, the house once.
It had two floors … along the wall there was an iron fire ladder.
Piet whistled the signal from the club and repeated it a few times.
“Quiet … did you hear that?” The ranger asked.
“No … it’s the wind,” said the doorman, who was shaking too.
At the back Piet saw how something white was swung back and forth in front of one of the windows.
The iron fire ladder ran along that window.
Piet swiftly climbed against it, and soon saw how someone waved a towel behind the window, though he could not distinguish the person’s face.
But when the other person pressed his face against the glass, he saw it, though unclear.
It was indeed Jacob Mantel.
Speaking loud was of course impossible and would have awakened the guards.
“When I first go to him,” Piet thought, “I’ll hear more of it.”
But the great window was provided with solid locks, and although there were no bars, it was not possible to open it without a key.
Piet tried to give instructions through Jacob’s gestures, but that was not even necessary, since Jacob had long thought of the matter.
He took a blanket from his bed and pressed it against one of the large windows of the window.
Then he gestured to Piet, pushing the window.
Pietje knew such tricks from the courtroom.
He pulled off his coat, rolled it up, and slowly pressed it stronger and stronger against the glass, which it cut off with a sharp grinding.
The sound was lost in the wind.
Jacob soundlessly picked up the pieces in the blanket, while Piet pulled the other pieces out of the frames.
All that happened without speaking.
Then Piet climbed in with some effort and sat down on Jacob’s bed.
He put his finger on the mouth and listened.
But everything remained silent.
“Piet,” Jacob whispered close to his friend’s ear, “let us speak very, very softly. I have to get out of here … as soon as possible … I’ll tell you everything later … tell me everything … But I have to leave here … The worst thing is, I do not have any clothes here … they have taken me away … ”
Jacob quickly put his hand on Peter’s mouth.
Footsteps approached in the corridor.
“Quick … crawl away … the night round …”
Jacob rolled into his bed and kept sleeping, while Piet pressed hard against the wall, next to the door.
The footsteps stopped … a door was opened in the door and the electric beam of a flashlight fell on Jacob’s face.
The light disappeared again … the hatch closed shut … the footsteps went further away.
Piet and Jacob waited a little longer, until the sound of the footsteps had died.
“Listen,” Piet said softly, when Jacob had come out of bed again. “Pull on my overcoat for so long, I’ll wrap a sheet around you every leg, by way of shoe, do you understand?”
Jacob rolled into his bed and kept sleeping, while Piet pressed hard against the wall.
Jacob allowed himself to be clothed by Piet, and he then put on his own overcoat.
They crawled silently through the opening of the window and the fire ladder went down.
For more than ten minutes they walked silently along the tram tracks, when they came to another stop, where there was a guard’s house.
Both were very cold and were drenched.
Piet noticed with great joy that the door of the house was not even closed.
They entered carefully.
The ranger, of course, had been in bed for a long time and had charged his stove with coal to keep the heat in the guardhouse.
Piet burned the fire a little, which started to purr, and with that heat they dried their soaked clothes.
“And here is a job worker’s suit hanging on the wall,” Piet said. “Put it on, Jacob, I will put some money here for the owner, although the whole bunch is not worth two quarters.”
“It is worth a hundred guilders to me,” Jacob sighed. “Would you take me to your house, Piet?”
“Of course,” said Piet, “but first tell me how you got caught up in this madman! When I got your note, I first thought that it looked a lot like a dime novel, and then again, that it was a joke of yours, but now I start thinking about the dime novel again. ”
“Well, it looks a bit like that,” said Jacob. “It would not be imagined that such things could happen in our country in this civilized world, but I will prove to you that it is still possible.”
“Best, but dress first in this work suit, then we can talk underway.”
Outside the wind was blowing, but the rain gradually diminished.
Jacob had rolled up the sheets under his arm and without further loss of time the young men left the guardhouse.
“You must know then,” began Jacob, as they followed the tram tracks, “that I have a Grandfather, who has been so happy in the trade in Java sugar, that he has accumulated treasures on treasure and will be a millionaire. Now I have the misfortune to be his heir and his namesake, so when Grandfather dies, I inherit most of his property. ”
Another son of Grandfather, my father’s brother, used to be guilty of deception and was disinherited.
That is my Uncle Karel.
That Uncle Charles later reconciled himself with Grandfather in so far that, if I am not in a position to accept the inheritance, it will pass to Uncle Charles’s children.
Well, Grandfather has become seriously ill and probably will die, and Uncle Karel called the family council and declared me mentally ill. I think he promised considerable sums of money to all aunts, nephews, and nephews, because suddenly all of them declared me insensible, and they sent me to the Sanatorium the day before yesterday, without even consulting one doctor. I think that it was in Uncle Karel’s plan to take me quietly from here to a remote place abroad, only to take possession of that legacy. The man who gave you the note was a fired patient, who was sorry for me and would give you the piece of paper, without anyone noticing it.
And now you know how I came into that establishment.
“But I’m sure,” said Piet, “that no one can be admitted to such an institution without a doctor’s statement.”
“Well, someone like my uncle Karel is not back for nothing.
“He had prepared the statement himself under the name of a certain doctor, Moolerheide, who naturally does not exist at all.” 
“That will be a big lawsuit,” Piet said. “If you want, your uncle goes with the family behind the bars!”
“None of that,” said Jacob. “I’ll tell you later what my other plans are.”
After walking for more than three hours, they had reached the city again and soon after that they arrived at Piet’s house.
Piet’s parents were not surprised at all when their son brought a fellow mate to the breakfast table the next morning.
But Jacob stated in a few general and meaningless words that he had had “unpleasantness” with his family and had called in Piets hospitality.
Of course Jacob did trust Piet’s parents, but for the time being he did not want to talk about the matter at all; that would always be an option later on. From modesty Father and Mother Bell therefore did not insist on further interpretation of the case.
They fully trusted Piet and later he would explain everything.
So it was agreed that Jacob would be their guest for a few days.
“Say, Piet,” Jacob asked him, “do not you know in a convenient way to get some clothes and underwear from me?”
“Where is that?”
“Well, in my room at Uncle Karel’s house. After all, have you been there recently? ”
“Oh sure, then I know all about it. What time does your Uncle usually come home to? ”
“Six o’clock in the evening. But my nephew and niece, Gerrit and Lucie, are usually inside at five o’clock. ”
“Best … I will invent a way. Do you still have that same maid who looks out seven sides at once? “
“Bertha … yes, there is still.”
“Good, tonight you have your clothes.”
That afternoon Pietje called at Jacobs former home.
The maid, who looked “seven sides at once”, opened the door.
“Goodbye Bertha,” Piet said happily.
“Dear Mr. Bell,” said Bertha with a sizzling tongue, “Mr. Jacob is out of town.”
“I know that,” Piet said quickly, “and he sends me here to get some clothes and underwear, because he does not have enough of that. Jacob has asked me to pack and pack it for him. ”
“Oh, that is very good,” said Bertha, who apparently knew nothing about the whole thing and was really under the delusion that Jacob was “out of the city.”
Piet went upstairs, packed his suitcase in ten minutes and was soon gone.
But that same evening Pietje was visited by Jacobs Uncle.
He was very well dressed and asked Father Bell if Jacob was there.
Father said that he was going to see, but of course he warned the young. Piet came down with Father and did very friendly.
“You are Jacobs friend?” The visitor asked sharply.
“That’s me,” Piet said sincerely.
“And you took his suitcase with clothes away this afternoon?”
“I have,” Piet said with a slight bow.
“Who gave you the right?”
“The right? I do not know. I did it on Jacobs request. “-” On Jacobs request? Is he here? ”
Piet shook his head, seemed pleased, the scheming uncle to lead the garden.
“Been here,” he said. “An hour ago left for Amsterdam.”
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“What time did he come here this morning?”
“About ten o’clock … and he had a police inspector with him.”
Uncle Karel became white.
“What … what did Jacob tell you?” He asked.
“Very little,” said Piet. “Only I thought I heard him say that he was going to put a villain behind bars …”
The visitor felt uncomfortable for a long time and thought for a moment.
So the boy had gone to Amsterdam … decided to visit the family there, but they were also in the game. So they would hold on to Jacob, and that is why it would be best for himself to go there before, to bring back the troublesome youth. But if Jacob had taken the police in, the case was ugly.
Without saying a word, Uncle Karel turned and left the store.
Piet went back upstairs, where his friend waited for him in anxious tension.
“Well, what did he say?”
“Ha-ha-ha,” laughed Piet. “It has lost track for the time being. I told him that you came here this morning with a police inspector and then he became as white as a polar bear … and I also said that you had gone to Amsterdam … ”
“You have helped me so wonderfully in this matter, Piet, that I will be grateful to you for my entire life.”
Jacobs’ lips trembled and his mouth corners twitched nervously.
“That miserable … cursed money …” he continued in a trembling voice … “What do I care about … why do not they leave me alone? … let them keep their money … I’m happy with my books … with my work … ”
Here Jacob first burst out straight into sobs; he had lived through the last few days so much horrible without expressing a complaint or letting a tear … but now it came loose … the pent-up, the restrained grief of the great injustice done to him …
Piet fully understood Jacob’s feelings and made him silent.
He put his hand on Jacob’s shoulder.
He put his hand on Jacob’s shoulder and said:
“Come, old boy, do you let Uncle Karel and his whole clique walk to the moon. If I were you, I never looked at them again and searched my own way. You have your clothes and you have and cut into your suitcase … the world is open to you … the only thing you have to do is work … ”
Jacob smiled again.
“Piet, what would you do … I mean … where? … ”
“O lala … China … Japan … Lutjebroek … America … does not matter. Bread is baked everywhere. But you have to get out of here … as soon as possible. The old people and I will help you. ”
“Dear chap, how can I ever thank you?”
“By always sending me a letter or a card.”
“Is that all?”
“By always wanting to be my friend.”
“Gladly, Piet, please.”
“Excellent, agreed … And now please do not take unnecessary care or fear in your head, while I’m gone – because I have to go to my editorial office again – and you’ll have fun with my books, d ‘ There are enough. ”
A week later Jacob, the heir of a million, was accepted as a servant on an American boat.
The farewell between him and Piet was warm.
Jacob promised to keep Piet up to date.
“Because,” Piet had said, “while you are safe, Jacob, Father and I will keep an eye on you, you understand me, do not you?”