The winter, which had gassed humanity up to mid-January on one rain shower after another, sometimes alternating with some wet snow, began to show itself on the sixteenth of a different side.
On the evening before, the streets were still wet and muddy with the constant rains, but at night the wind turned to the north and suddenly it began to freeze so strongly that the streets seemed to be skating rinks and the traffic caused great difficulties.
It was Saturday and therefore somewhat busier than usual, which caused even more confusion.
It was so slippery that Piet-who, moreover, had overslept that morning and was in a hurry-went two steps backwards when he made one move forward.
So he turned around and walked back home, reaching the Morgenpost offices that way.
For a few days it was extraordinary and Piet told his parents that it was so cold that the icicles hung on his fountain pen holder if he wanted to write it.
It did not take long, however, whether the large lakes outside the city opened their ice rinks, and soon the tricolor of the many wicker tents flew, where hot aniseed milk, crusts and polka chunks were sold.
Wherever there was only one occasion of public entertainment, one could find the Merry Gang.
The youngsters of the club had made “conviviality” one of their greatest virtues, and they always sought each other again.
Even when one of them had a separate party, he always invited one of the others to come with him, and so it was only natural that Piet called the following Wednesday morning Mien Kuijer.
Mien was at home and at the sound of the shrew he took the telephone off the hook.
“Hello … who is there?”
Piet immediately heard the voice that Mien was.
“Hello Mientje … Pietje Bell!”
“Is it you, Piet? What’s the matter? ”
“A lot, child. I have this afternoon off and go to the ice club. Do you feel like joining? ”
“Well, please … Dolls … Wait a minute, I’ll ask Moes.”
Piet waited a moment, but soon she came back again.
“Hello Piet … are you there?”
“All of them. What did Her Majesty say? ”
“It’s good, Piet, are you coming for me?”
“With the staff music. Can you swivel? ”
“Better than you?”
“I’ll do that with you. Well, at two o’clock then. Good morning! ”
“Day idiot, do not come too late. Otherwise, go with Harry. ”
“Did you have to have the heart … Dag worm!”
Piet was present for exactly two hours.
He had his shiny skaters on the shoulder, a cap and a white wool sports shirt were very good with short pants and sports stockings. With his healthy, by the cold, frisch-red colored face he was the type of the fierce, core-sent Dutch boy.
Mien had a white beret and a white cloak over which her chestnut brown locks tied together with a white bow tied.
“Well Piet,” said Miens mother, “that’s nice of you, to come and get Mientje.”
“Oh,” said Piet, “only you have little, and we members of the Merry Gang love sociability.”
“Maybe we’ll see the rest of the Gang at the ice club,” Mien denied.
“You have a chance. I hope so.”
“Why? Do you not have enough of my company? “She pouted.
“Oh yes, but how many souls, more joy. And then I also have a chance to ride with Marie van Zanten. It is fine. ”
“And I with Harry,” Mien teased. “He will be so delightful!”
“Well, to start with, I’ll just take you,” laughed Piet, “because we’re here to talk about our time.”
“Good morning,” Mien called, and she flew to her mother to see if she was traveling well.
“Hello children, amuse yourself. And at home at six o’clock Mien. Will you make sure, Piet? ”
“All right, ma’am. I will take them in blotting paper and do not wrinkle. Or else I put a stamp on her face and put them in a letterbox. ”
Laughing they went out, both longing for the delicious ice rinks.
Confidently Mien put her arm through Piet’s and they walked to the stop, from where they took the tram to the ice club.
The four tracks of the ice club were decorated with flags all along the length. It was cold, but still, clear weather and the merry music of the Hussars regiment resounded across the plains, where hundreds of riders already enjoyed the beautiful ice.
As befits a polite and gallant young man, Piet tied the skates for Mien.
She sat on a chair while he knelt down the skates.
“Au, not so stiff, duvel!” She cried.
“Come on, they must sit tightly, otherwise you will ride next to them.”
“Well … wait a minute … yes, that’s okay.”
“At your service, Highness.”
That is where Flip and Marie came along.
“Bonjour loudly,” Flip called them. “Harry and Spinnetje are also scratching. So we are already six of us. ”
“Is the job good?” Piet, who released his victim and made a pair of elegant curls, asked him to try his skates.
“Extremely fine … no gully and no scratch.”
“Come with me, Mien,” Piet invited. “First a job!”
They crossed the arms and with wide, powerful strokes Piet carried her with her.
“Gut, how about you,” exclaimed Mien, “I can not do that.”
“Larie … anyone can … Put your feet out. Just like that … do you see? Quietly on … fine. ”
In this way they floated over the ice rink, checked diligently by many.
At the end of the job, Harry met them a little way.
“We will experience a funny couple,” he told them. “Eetje has appeared on the track. He has a complete sports suit, but has never driven. ”
“What … did he never ride skates?” Mien asked in amazement.
“No … this is the first time. He did not want to be inferior to the others and that is why he came. ”
“Quiet … there he comes.”
As a living advertisement for his father’s case, Eduard came to board.
His light gray sports suit closed him closely to the thin members, the cap seemed a bit too big, and he had put his hands in red-brown glacé gloves, which were all the more eye-catching because he was constantly swinging his arms around.
Smiling around his own arms and legs, he approached the others, slipping, stumbling and drawing circles in the air …
“Do not be lazy! Also on the schétsen véndég? ”
“No, not at all, we walk stilts,” said Piet.
“You’re already driving nice, Ee,” Mien said.
“Oh, I’m starting p … Mér ‘t the best … it’s the best … And at the same time Eetje slipped and smashed a star in the ice.
“Certainly,” Flip said, “it’s okay.”
“Will I drive a job with you?” Piet asked, giving the others a wink.
“Very cool, Piet, very greg.”
“Hold on then … no not like that … do you think you’re done !! Arms crossed. Well, get out of your left spot … beautiful … well your right … no, you’re crazy, not both at the same time! ”
“Ho-ho! … I am … “Eetje shivered.
“No, you’re not falling, I’ve got you stuck … do not put such a stuffy face … Come on … one-two … one-two …”
Helped by Piet, things went pretty well now, but when they were almost at the end of the track and had a brisk pace, Piet suddenly let go of Eetje and gave him another shot, making the helpless youth to the arrow came out of the arch and with wide-opened arms shot at the mass of spectators.
He was caught with a hurray and put his arms around a fat lady, looking in vain for a foothold on the smooth ice.
“Hey, do you want to let me go!” Cried the lady, who was almost strangled by Eat.
“Hey, do you want to let me go!”
All bystanders scooped it out.
“I … I can not!” Eduard gasped and kept slipping and scribbling, always hanging the lady around her neck.
But that was where the husband of the lady came to help.
“Let go!” He roared, and at the same time grabbed Eetje in the loins, lifted him up and pushed him across the ice rink with considerable speed.
Eetje continued on one skate, holding the other leg up and stretching it wide again with both arms, until he leaned back a little too far and made a second star on the ice with a clearly audible smack.
Eduard’s parts were so damaged by these athletic rhythms that he refrained from further attempts, and put his skates on the same spot. Then he joined the spectators.
De Vroolijke Bende continued to drive until the darkness started and then went home in a group.
“When is our Soirée now held?” Mien asked.
“In three weeks,” Harry said, “I rented the Theater this morning.”
“Then we can continue with our program.”
“Well, the showpiece is almost there and for the rest we have to fill in the separate numbers.”
Pietje had written a play for the winter club of the club, a farce in two companies.
During the last four weeks, the members had studied it diligently under his direction and promised to be a success.
He had put it together especially for the members of the club and wrote a suitable role for everyone.
Harry would be the landlord and Marie the housewife, Mien their great, catty daughter, Jannetje de Boog a distinguished tenant, Eetje a conceited boarder, Flip a traveler in wine and he himself an Englishman, while for Spinnetje, who had little talent, the role of maid was destined.
“Do not forget the rehearsal of tomorrow night,” said Piet.
Fervently chatting about the coming soirée they cared about next to each other, until they were able to take the tram back home.
Galant brought Piet his lady back home.
“Thanks Piet,” said Mien. “Are we going again tomorrow?”
“On your cat’s eyes! What do you think I am … Millionaire? I have to work. Day shrimp! ”
When Piet came home that evening, there was a letter for him.
A letter from America! Of course Jacob!
A letter from America!
He hastily broke the cover and read:
New York, 2 January 19 ….
Riverside Drive 1490
Dear, loyal Friend!
Here is my first letter! Oh, dude, what happened a lot in time, since I left you and all the dear friends of the Merry Gang! I have experienced so much in those few months, Piet, that I could fill a book with it. How often I longed for the good time when I was in the midst of all my friends! Are you all healthy and well, and your best parents too? Every day I think of Holland and the good Dutchmen! Not that I’m sorry about my trip, far from there. Now everything is fine again, but the first time here was more than bad.
When I stepped off the boat after a stormy trip, I went with only a few hours of leave. I had been a cook’s boy, which I consider to be happy, because a servant has to justify it much harder. But because the sea life and the humble relationship were not to my liking, I decided not to return on board. I had about fifty Dutch guilders in my pocket, and when I had exchanged them for American money, I owned twenty Dollars. Now with a Dollar in America you are doing as much as with a guilder in Holland, so you understand that my resources were very limited.
So after two weeks I was as good as through my money, and all day I was wandering the city, not knowing what to start. I still had one dollar left and I am not thirsty to spend. It was so high in my throat then, I was so desperate, that I was crying on a bench in one of the city parks. Imagine, a great fellow like me, crying like a little child.-Well, Piet, and after that cry I felt relieved and my fear was gone.-What dread, did I have to eat? Now a shoe-shoe boy walked through the park and I asked him what he needed for his shoe-box with tools. “A dollar,” he says-and I paid him two guilders fifty for a dirty box with some brushes, rags, and grease. I went with it to a busy point of the city and earned one and a half dollars the first day.
Piet, and now you may believe me or not, I have never eaten as good as that evening for 50 cents in a small restaurant. I slept in a room, for which I paid two dollars a week and after a few days I made almost three dollars a day.
One afternoon, I polished the shoes of a gentleman, who, out of necessity, took the morning mail out of his pocket and started reading. Well, as long as I was here, I had not heard or read Dutch, and imagine my joy, Piet, when I read the words above a feuilleton: Sketch of P. Bell.-Suddenly I say: Are you a Dutchman, sir? -Well, and then you should have seen him.-Surely, he says, do you? And he asked me if I could do anything but brush my shoes, but then I told him my experience a bit soon and partly the reason for my departure from Holland. The name of that gentleman is Wortelman and he seemed to take a lot of interest in my history.-What is your Grandfather’s name? he asked. David Mantel, I said. David Mantel, the big sugar company from Amsterdam? But, boy, you are the grandson of my best friend.
And then, Piet, I gave the shoe polish affair as a gift to a poor person and went with Mr. Wortelman. He picked me up in his house and now I’m his secretary, you know? And I think that Oom Karel will hear more of the matter through his actions. I am as healthy as a fish and very happy. If you want to come to America, you will be warmly received by us. In my next letter I write something about New York, etc.
Well, dude, for the moment this scribble. Kind regards to your good parents. Give your dear mother an extra kiss from me and you can also do that to Marie, Mien, Jeanne and Spinnetje.
With best regards and a firm handshake,
Piet walked down with the letter, where his mother prepared dinner. He gave her the letter, gave her a sounding kiss, and said:
“What do you mean, the letter or the kiss?”
“Both, mother. Read it. ”
She put on her glasses and read with mutilating lips.
“Well, well, that’s fine, Piet. But you can not leave us yet. ”
“Oh no, we are not yet that far. Maybe later …”
“I must not think, Piet, that you will leave us again.”
“What is that? Piet leaving us? “Sounded Father’s voice.
Bell had come in and had just received Mothers last words.
“No matter,” laughed Piet. “We were talking about Jacob Mantel. Here is a letter from him from New York “.
“Well, it came to land well. The poor boy deserves it twice. But what are you going to do now, Piet? Did you also want to go shoe-shine? ”
“That will not be necessary,” said Piet.
Mother’s tears were in her eyes.
“What, mother?” Asked father, patting her back. “What are you going to do?”
“Piet must not leave …” she sobbed.
“Well, there’s no hair on my head that remembers,” said Piet. “For the time being I have the best time.”
“Oh,” said Father, quietly stopping his pipe, “I do not know yet what I would do if I were in Piet’s place. He is at the moment still a bit young and inexperienced for such a great undertaking, and he still has us to take care of him. ”
“When I was as old as he was, I already missed both my parents and I was almost alone.
“I had an older sister, Cato, who taught me at a shoemaker. I have been making shoes all my life since then and have been beaten through with a cheerful song. But if I were allowed to do it again … well … I think … that I would go see the world once and if Piet would like it later on, then I’ll be the last person to stop him. We are starting to grow older, Mother, and so far our lives have been nothing more than working. And that’s why I thought about doing the business and renting a nice house in Bussum or Hilversum. Piet could then come to us on Sundays. ”
Mother had a desire to live outside, but she would have to give up her boy … no … she did not have to think about that.
Three weeks later, the doors of the Tivoli Theater were opened for the Soirée van de Vroolijke Bende.
Pietje had repeatedly drawn attention to the fact by a message in the newspaper and since in the last few months there were more than once funny stories about that lusty club in the Morgenpost, the audience had become curious and would like to get to know the Merry Gang .
No wonder then that two days before the execution all cards had been issued and in the evening at the cassa the sign: UITVERKOCHT graced.
Early on the members were present in the changing rooms behind the stage.
Piet, who as a writer of the stage also served as a director, was busy.
He walked across the stage with all the gravity of a trained show master.
“Is it here?” He exclaimed. “Oh are you there … is everything present? The table lamp, the clock, the vase with flowers? And the bookshelf? ”
“Piet,” a voice called from one of the changing rooms, “here is the hairdresser.”
Tooneelnecht placed the scenes.
“The piano here,” pointed out to Piet. “The play is only before the break, first we have music and talks.”
“Piet, whether you’re in the room.”
“What is it?”
“D’r is a lady with two daughters who accidentally brought three paper notes instead of their entry tickets …”
“Then they can see the show behind the slanted door …. call Harry but … I’m too busy. ”
“Piet … the hairdresserrrrr !!!”
“Yes, I’m coming … Hey, put a few small carpets here on this rug. There are so many holes in it that a colander test would get jealous of it. Put that canapé in that corner, nice. ”
Piet hurried to the dressing room, where the barber unpacked his ingredients.
“Good evening, Mr. Smalt. Here is the list of your types. Have you been able to find suitable wigs? ”
“All right, Mr. Bell. Who first? ”
“The piano here,” pointed out to Piet.
“I first!” Exclaimed Mien Kuijer.
She sat down in the chair, and the hairdresser began to polish her face with make-up, red, and powder, she made her auburn hair, so that she soon looked like the most charming daughter of the house.
The others looked with interest at the hairdresser’s movements and waited for their turn.
“Piet, there are the soloists for tonight!”
Two young ladies in white evening toilets, covered by sky-blue capes and heavy furs, appeared in the corridor, followed by a gentleman in tuxedo.
Hands were given, it was suggested and Piet brought the musical trio to their designated changing rooms.
“Piet, the bandmaster of the orchestra wants to talk to you.”
“Allright … an instant.”
So it was Piet and Piet after!
But at last it hit eight o’clock and a merry marsch sounded.
The theater was packed.
Of course all parents and family members of the club members were present and also Father and Mother Bell, who had closed the case for that evening, took a place of honor, Piet had taken care of that.
The screen rose after the welcome march.
The first number of the program was:
OPENING AND WELCOME WORD by Mr. P. BELL.
Through a portière in the background Piet appeared on the stage and stepped forward.
A warm applause greeted him, the people struck each other and gave a wink, as if they wanted to say: Now you will hear something!
Piet laughed a few bows to the left and to the right … but the clapping lasted for a while, when he looked around the room with a few eyes, who said, “Am I talking to you or you?
But when it became quiet, he began to prepare his opening speech, which he had forgotten.
“Very suspicious – I want to say very honored attendees – it is a great distinction for the korfball club De Vroolijke Bende to see such a large crowd of friends and interested people here and it is with a beating eye and a tear in the heart, that I give you a Happy New Year on behalf of my henchmen  … a hearty welcome, I want to say … revival.
“As you see on the program (and here Piet first started to poke fun at the different songs) we assured ourselves the cooperation of the ladies De Bruijn, soprano and alto of the Royal Court Opera in Northern Siberia and the twin screwdriver. conservatory in Delfzijl. Mr. Kramp will accompany the beautiful songs of the ladies on the piano and has acquired a world-famous skill in this.
“Mr. Kramp has acted for the principal crowned and uncrowned heads of Europe … the Duke of Luxembourg, Middelburg, Limburg, Uilenburg and Flea burg. He is clothed with the order of the White Elephant, Den Zwarten Taurus, Roode Hert and Cypersche Kat. When Mr. Kramp bears all his orders of knights, he has a whole zoo hanging on his chest. ”
The hall shook with laughter, but Pietje continued with a nice face, occasionally joined together:
“Furthermore, the undersigned will annoy you a few times with his feeble lectures, during which you can just as well go out of the hall and drink a cup of coffee, and also on our program a showpiece in two companies, in which the members of the Vroolijke Bende evidence of their insanity in the Tooneel game.
“And with this short, serious word, which I hope you will carry with you for something this evening at the house, I declare this evening open.”
A cheerful, long-lasting hand clapping thanked Piet for his beautiful words.
Beside Piet’s father happened to be the father of Jannetje de Boog, who had left his farm for that evening to attend the Soirée of his daughter.
The man was so good-natured that at every move from Piet he gave his father a punch.
Father Bell laughed at first, but when the stumps were getting louder and harder, he took measures and under a roaring “Ha-ha-ha” he gave the neighbor such a violent poke in the ribs that he was surprised with his laughter and removed from further stumps.
The ladies de Bruijn and Mr. Kramp were well known in the city, than that Piet’s joking could do them any damage.
foods to increase platelets
Moreover, Piet was known too well and his innocent irony was recorded as a joke by the audience themselves with a big laugh. Everyone knew that the Vroolijke Bende always paid tribute to its name and did not like formality or dry, stiff speeches.
People came here for pleasure and, well … they had it!
This did not detract from the fact that the songs of the singers were heard with silent admiration and all received a grateful applause.
But when it was the turn of the scene, the laughter muscles came back into action.
Mientje Kuijer conquered all hearts by her sweet appearance, her melodious voice and her charming game.
Alida Specht was a real Spider and had a lot of smiles, while the others played their roles perfectly.
And Piet, who represented an Englishman, with his broken Dutch shook so many times in the hall of laughter that he had to wait a while until the smell was quiet before he could continue.
After the sagging of the screen there was a persistent cry for the writer of the piece and the hall reverberated with the shout:
“Pietje Bell !! … Pietje Bell !!! … ”
And again the screen rose and the hero of the evening came forward … laughing and bowing … and the applause echoed from the crowded theater.
Father and Mother Bell radiated with pride and pleasure, because, that is not their son, he was Piet!