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Mynheer Jacobus Huysman walked to the window and looked out at the neat red brick houses, the grass, now turning yellow, and the leaves, more brown than green. He was troubled, in truth his heart lay very heavy within him. He was thinking over the terrible news that had come so swiftly, as evil report has a way of doing. But he had cause for satisfaction, too, and recalling it, he turned to gaze once more upon the two lads who, escaping so many perils, had arrived at the shelter of his home. Robert and Tayoga were thin and worn, their clothing was soiled and torn, but youth was youth and they were forgetting dangers past in a splendid dinner that the fat Caterina was serving for them while Mynheer Jacobus, her master, stood by and saw the good deed well done. The dining room, large and furnished solidly, was wonderful in its neatness and comfort. The heavy mahogany of table, sideboard and chairs was polished and gleaming. No trace of dirt was allowed to linger anywhere. When the door to the adjoining kitchen opened, as Caterina passed through, pleasant odors floated in, inciting the two to fresh efforts at the trencher. It was all as it had been when they were young boys living there, attending the school of Alexander McLean and traveling by painful steps along the road to knowledge. In its snugness, its security and the luxury it offered it was a wonderful contrast to the dark forest, where death lurked in every bush. Robert drew a long sigh of content and poured himself another cup of coffee.

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