"The question is EVERYTHING to us, mynheer," said Hans with tearful dignity.
Dr. Boekman looked at him in sudden dismay.
"Ah! Exactly so. You are right, boy, I am a fool. Good boy. One does not wish one's father killed--of course I am a fool."
"Will he die, mynheer, if this sickness goes on?"
"Humph! This is no new illness. The same thing growing worse ever instant--pressure on the brain--will take him off soon like THAT," said the doctor, snapping his fingers.
"And the operation MAY save him," pursued Hans. "How soon, mynheer, can we know?"
"In a day, perhaps, an hour. Talk with your mother, boy, and let her decide. My time is short."
Hans approached his mother; at first, when she looked up at him, he could not utter a syllable; then, turning his eyes away, he said in a firm voice, "I must speak with the mother alone."