Cris, he has eyes in his head like the heavens
The next morning Crisje wishes to know from her husband why he came home so early the day before.
However, Hendrik does not answer.
His thoughts dwell elsewhere.
He is worried about his Crisje.
It is taking far too long for him.
But, as long as it doesn’t bring any trouble.
Crisje tries to reassure him and to convince him that he doesn’t have to worry about it.
Nature will take care of that.
“Don’t you feel anything at all, Cris?”, he still insists.
“What are feelings, Hendrik?
I feel so much, more than I want to know.”
When Hendrik sits next to her and they are drinking their coffee, they go from feeling to feeling to unity.
Tall Hendrik laughs inside and Crisje feels that.
“Why are you laughing, Hendrik?” can be heard from the bed.
“I was just thinking, Cris.
When he comes, I want to welcome him with music.
I will play the violin.
We will sing as well.
I will warn the quartet.
Peter, Gerrit and Jan must come.”
“You’d better not make a fuss about it, Hendrik.
My God, you are different every minute.
That would be quite something ...”
I will sing for him!
And that’s all.
We will have fun.
Especially if it is a boy.”
Suddenly Hendrik asks: “How are you so sure of that, Cris, that it is a boy again?”
“That’s a woman’s matter, Hendrik.
I don’t know if other mothers also feel it, but I feel it.
Didn’t I say with Johan and Bernard that we would have boys?
But every child is different.
With Johan I couldn’t work.
I only wanted to sit and sat day and night dreaming.
What is Johan like now?
Exactly the same!
When Bernard came I had no rest any more.
That child was already wild inside me and is Bernard calm, Hendrik?
That child can’t sit still for a minute.
He needs the whole house.
But why do I know this?
I think it’s the child doing it.
The child lies under the heart, the child can think, I believe.
The child will talk to the mother now and again, I feel; of course I don’t know whether it is really the case!
“But now something different.
Will you behave differently towards Trui?
You would make me so happy then.
Will you try it?”
Tall Hendrik gives her this pleasure.
Now he suddenly starts moving, he doesn’t know yet whether he will leave or not.
This waiting makes him crazy and undecided.
Today is Saturday, just a half day, and it can happen any moment.
“What will I do, Cris?
Will I just stay at home?”
“You can go to work, Hendrik.
I don’t feel anything yet.
Mina said, maybe tomorrow.
We must wait and see whether it is the case.
It could last a week.”
“That’s all we need, Cris, then I’ll have something to say to her!”
“So, you’ll have something to say to her?
And do you think, Hendrik, that you have something to say?
This is in the hands of Our Lord and we people can leave well alone!
What you can do is to make sure that there is money in the chest.
That is everything, but it is enough.”
Tall Hendrik’s thoughts race to a thousand things at the same time.
When he had decided not to join the opera, there were immediately other plans in his head to increase his modest income.
Precisely during those days Hendrik met a man at Hent Klink who was occupied with enlarging portraits and he made Hendrik the offer of becoming a representative for him.
In five minutes the business was settled.
Crisje found that a relief, but soon noticed that her husband was out evening after evening and she had to be deprived of her lovely hours with him.
Oh well, he had already earned thirty-six guilders and that was a very welcome supplement to the household.
But inside she regretted the hours which they otherwise had together in the evening under the burning lamp.
The hours of relaxing nicely and enjoying each other’s company, which made life a heavenly paradise for her that could never be forgotten by Crisje.
Of course, she can’t complain, although she considers these evenings as a great loss in her life.
She had to give up an awful lot of her happiness and your happiness is everything in life.
But life is of course a bit easier as a result of these enlargements, but she has lost her unity, her peace and being one with the husband whom she loves with all her heart.
Perhaps unconsciously their thoughts become one again.
Is Hendrik also thinking of the portraits?
Crisje asks: “Do you have to go out this evening, Hendrik?”
“Yes, Cris, I have two orders to take care of.”
“That’s a pity, Hendrik.”
“Yes, that’s true, but I might get both of them and I can make you happy again.”
“Can’t it wait until next week, Hendrik?”
“It’s a lot to me, Cris.
Eight guilders, I have to work hard for days for that, as you well know.
And now I have earned it with an hour’s talking.
And you can put the money to good use!”
“I know, Hendrik, that’s all very well.
I understand you.
But you are never home an evening anymore.”
“And if I tell you, Cris, that I will be back immediately?”
That’s the way Tall Hendrik is.
What must happen tonight is not put off.
She will continue to think the whole day.
It is as if the child is forcing her to follow her life and the things she feels inside now and again.
There is silence within her again and it speaks to her life.
She has nice thoughts from it and she could float as a result, it is so nice.
Crisje would now be able to say how the angels fly.
She also flies now and then as a result of the feelings of the child.
It is almost unbelievable, but it is the case.
She has not experienced something like this very often in her life.
Once when she was still a child.
She can still remember it well.
Her father laughed at her and her mother also didn’t understand.
But she floated and walked through another world.
It happened by itself.
This is why each birth was also different.
Men do not understand this and you cannot make them understand.
Crisje thinks that it now has to do with Jeus.
This event is heavenly for her.
She can pray more deeply as a result, she knows for certain.
It is as if you are floating and yet you are lying here in bed and waiting.
It is also painful.
But that does not compensate for the feeling that wishes to dominate everything in her life.
She is very grateful for this.
It’s the child doing it!
If that is not the case, nature is lying.
But is that possible, Our Lord?
Is that possible, Hendrik?
I wouldn’t miss it for the world, Crisje sends upwards.
“It is so unbelievable what I now can experience.”
How different it was with the other boys.
With Johan she couldn’t hurry up.
Life forced her to sit down.
Bernard smashed everything to pieces inside and was a wild man.
Now look at Bernard.
Can nature talk to the mother?
You do not have to listen to it; it speaks differently.
It goes through your blood to your nerves, it rises up into your brain and then it happens.
You want to talk, but you can’t.
Silence is now the best thing; thinking, following the feeling.
It is silence, it becomes very silent inside you and around you.
All that is as a result of an unborn child?
Crisje does not understand this unborn child.
It is there but it isn’t there!
It lives and it doesn’t want to be born.
She is long overdue, but is it possible?
This child is close to her and, she doesn’t wish to imagine anything, but Hendrik will see it, has everything from her character.
And this is the inexplicable part and the closeness of mother and child.
You can now already tell!
If you have feeling for it, otherwise you won’t notice anything.
It is extremely difficult to interpret these thoughts.
Crisje knows that one evening she was just standing next to herself, outside her life.
She was shocked, and Tall Hendrik just laughed.
She good humorously sauntered back into her life again.
She found it an experience which you do not have every day, and for which you can thank Our Lord.
It is a blessed time, for every single day she experiences something new.
Yes, it cannot be any different; it is ‘Jeus’!
Strange, again she feels one with her child.
But what does this life want?
Is it already demanding everything from this world?
Yes, Crisje, it does, but it will also give everything of itself to the world.
This child possesses another personality.
It is different from both the others and it will soon provide the evidence.
The boys now jump out of bed.
Johan helps his little brother Bernard for what it’s worth.
A while later Trui is in the kitchen.
“Good morning, Cris, is there still nothing?”
“No, Trui, it is taking a long time for this one.
I don’t know any more.
I will just wait for Mina.”
Trui tidies up, makes fresh coffee and has forgotten Tall Hendrik.
Trui also learns, Crisje sees, and that puts her in a happy mood.
There’s Mina again.
Is there still nothing?
Goodness me, this is something.
I have never had this before.
You probably made an honest mistake.
Oh well, let’s have a look.”
Mina follows the symptoms.
But she does not know anything yet, she cannot change the process.
It looks like everything is okay.
The doctor is also on time.
“Good morning, everyone.
How are you, Crisje?”
“Nothing, doctor, nothing!
I feel that it won’t persevere.”
“Let’s just wait, there is nothing to be done about it.”
And gone is the gentleman.
“What kind of a man is that, Crisje”, says Mina.
“Mark my words, Cris, he will never survive here in the country.
There must be something the matter with him, but I can’t fathom it out.
I know my own folk quick enough, but I don’t know this one, I honestly admit.”
“You are right, Mina”, Crisje agrees.
“Well now and again you can do more with one word than with a thousand guilders.”
When Mina has gone and Trui is discussing various things with Crisje, there is someone else in front of Crisje demanding something from her life.
It is Mrs De Man, an unsightly little woman, who also lives next door to them.
“Good day, Crisje.”
“Good day, Mrs De Man.
How are you?”
Crisje really wishes to have nothing to do with this woman, because at home they drink like fish.
They live like swine, and every Saturday evening the red-hot stove flies through the kitchen.
They rant and rave that much.
Mrs De Man is missing an eye, which she has marked with a black patch.
The children are afraid of her.
Nobody wants to have anything to do with her.
But what do you do when she comes into your house?
Crisje always tries to get her on the right path, but she is not successful.
She sees too little of her.
Trui thinks that Mrs De Man is a shrew.
Has she by any chance come to borrow money?
She will get nothing from Crisje now.
Trui keeps an eye on things.
Hendrik said recently:
“If there is something to be drunk, I can do that myself the best.
I do not work for drunkards.
Will you think of that, Cris?”
Hendrik then heard that she had given money.
And he meant it!
She shouldn’t try to do something like that again.
How he let her have it then.
Now she will be careful.
Crisje already knows what the ‘drunkard’ has come for, but she will not get a cent!
She will no longer be deceived.
“And, how are you, Crisje?”
“What can I say, Mrs De Man.
It’s taking a long time this time.
We can’t fathom it out!”
“That’s understandable”, whines this human disaster and leers with her one eye at the tin with notes, which also contains the coins.
Crisje thinks: “Of course she is thirsty again.
She wants to have some snapps.”
The children ran out of the kitchen, so inhuman is this insignificant life for another person.
She is just like an old man, thinks Crisje.
With what kinds of thoughts does a person like that walk round all day?
What occupies such a soul?
Crisje knows that it is not anything special.
It stems from darkness and misery.
My goodness how can people live like that.
Is there nothing else in the world than longing for jenever?
Do these people not have any other thoughts?
Can they never even think of prayers to Our Lord?
Have those souls never had any respect for this good life?
Do those souls think that there is no purgatory?
Trui potters about in the kitchen and can’t be got rid of now.
Crisje already feels that she is being watched anxiously.
Trui is now on Hendrik’s side.
That’s the way Trui is, she knows what’s nearest.
And whether she is also right now?
Crisje doesn’t know.
What is that woman doing here?, thinks Trui.
She would put her out, but she has nothing to say in this matter.
However, immediately after the drunkard has gone Crisje will hear it.
Trui makes sure she stays around.
She knows her sister and knows that, as well as she does, that that woman needs money and only came for that reason.
Trui accepts her informing how Crisje is as a beggar would accept a half-cent.
The woman slurps the coffee given to her and is obviously considering how to proceed.
But Crisje doesn’t wait for this and will help her because she still hopes to be able to help this soul out of her misery.
“You certainly let rip again on Saturday, Mrs De Man.
The chairs here were shaking from it.
Why can’t you leave that drinking alone?
Start another life?
Do you want to go to hell later?
Do you want to burn for eternity?
There is such a thing as purgatory.
Don’t you know?”
The woman lets her talk away and lets the holy sermon go in one ear and out the other.
She says nothing, but is still thinking and waits for a suitable moment.
She wants to change, but what can she do with those drunkards of men.
Then she starts:
“I’m only a woman, Crisje.”
“What are you trying to tell me, Mrs De Man, that you have to drink?
Are you trying to tell me that you have to drink because those men want that?
Don’t make me laugh.
I’ll tell you something else.
You like a drink yourself!
That’s what it is!
You can’t leave the drink alone.
You want to drink!”
Crisje sees a tear falling from her remaining eye.
She sympathizes with the wreck.
“Are you trying to tell me that you’re sorry?”
Now of course pitiful complaints will follow from her clenched, boozed lips, thinks Crisje.
It is scandalous.
But the woman senses her chance and whines:
“I haven’t had anything to eat for days, Crisje.”
“That’s a good one.
Should Theet see his shop ruined because of your drinking?
Of course you don’t get any more credit.
Do you want a sandwich?”
Did you really think that this soul is hungry?
Have you fallen into the trap yet again?
What difference does a sandwich make to that woman.
Listen, there it is again.
“Can I lend a mark from you, Crisje?”
“Do you want a mark?
Do you think that we don’t have any worries?
What do you need a mark for?”
“For the rent, they’re trampling down the door.”
“Then you better make sure you don’t drink your money.”
“De Man, he keeps it for himself, Crisje.
What can I start?
What can I do?
I’m only a woman.
I do everything, but it doesn’t help.
I have already started a new life!”
Trui follows the conversation, but has to go to the shed; the pigs are screaming.
They must be fed.
Crisje thinks it worthwhile to bring her neighbour to another life.
“Do you hear that, Mrs De Man?
You could have had that as well.
Why do you not save a few cents every week, then you can buy pigs!”
“They sold the pigs to buy drink.”
“That’s all very well, but you drink just as much.”
“Can I have the mark, Crisje?
I’ll give it back as soon as I can!”
Crisje gives in.
The woman gets her sixty cents.
The money quickly disappears into her dirty pocket, because Trui is back.
She doesn’t know that she is just too late and Crisje waits with telling her that that drunkard has wormed a mark out of her again.
“Listen”, Trui bursts out, “have you nothing else to do?
Cris has to rest.”
It couldn’t be better.
Mrs De Man is leaving in a hurry.
She is in a hurry now!
“Bye, Mrs De Man, all the best.”
The woman shuffles out the door.
She can find her own way.
Out the back, through the gate and she is home.
“Did you give that woman money, Cris?”
Now Crisje has to lie and she hates doing this.
You go to purgatory for this.
Well, could she allow this woman to be put out of her house?
She has no time to think.
Trui asks again:
“You surely didn’t give that drunkard money, Cris?
That’s the worst thing you could do.”
There is no answer yet.
Crisje has a think.
“No”, comes emphatically from her lips, “I’m not as silly as that.”
But Trui knows her sister.
She notices that Crisje hesitates with her words.
“I don’t believe you, Cris.
It is scandalous.
Hendrik has to work far too hard.
And now you go and help the bad.”
Crisje, it’s getting dangerous!
Trui is taking Hendrik’s side.
Now you have to be careful or you will have a house full of arguments today.
“That’s true, Trui.
With a feeling from the bottom of her heart, and yet a guilt that she has saddled herself with a terrible sin that creeps up from deep within her, Crisje confesses to her sister: you are right, that person won’t get another cent from me.
I could be mad.
Hendrik has to work much too hard for it.
And you can’t encourage drinking, can you?
What a poor soul she is.”
Trui is obviously in a milder mood, but she cannot leave without getting it off her chest as well.
“They should lock people like that up.
Those people don’t deserve to live.
Then you might as well help every rogue.
But that’s too much, that’s mocking Our Lord.”
Crisje feels the insincerity of Trui when she expresses herself in this way.
After all, she knows only too well that her sister bothers very little about Our Lord.
But what kind of trouble has she got herself into now.
‘My God’, she thinks, ‘I will have to confess an awful lot.’
Trui is busy and Crisje pretends to be sleeping because she wants to think.
She wants to have a clear conscience when Hendrik comes home.
She will confess everything to Father.
What have I done wrong now, she thinks to herself.
What should I have done or said?
She has now weighed down her conscience with two lies and all because of that ugly drunkard.
Yes, but is she so sure that the woman deceived her?
Did Mrs De Man really tell lies again?
Will they really use that mark for drink again?
She has fallen for it badly again.
No, I did do wrong, she decides at last.
I shouldn’t have given her any money.
And I’m making it worse all the time.
Now I’m starting to lie from fear that Trui will tell Tall Hendrik.
Crisje tries to consider who is worse, Trui or Mrs De Man?
Trui isn’t sincere either.
She doesn’t mean what she says.
Now she has involved Our Lord, but He has no other meaning in her life other than the fear after death.
You would like assurance with regard to the spiritual life of Trui, but this cannot be given.
Of course, Trui goes to church, prays and does her duties, but Crisje knows that.
I fell into the trap yet again, Crisje sighs.
“How can you forgive me, Lord?”
Trui thinks that Crisje is having a nice rest.
She should have eaten long ago, but Trui lets her sleep.
But Crisje hasn’t closed an eye.
Cold sweat breaks out on her; she is in such a bad state.
And soon Hendrik will be home.
He sees at once when there is something the matter with his wife.
She must have worked it out for herself before she can look Hendrik in the eye and it is best to confess everything honestly, because it is becoming unbearable.
What should she have done, and what should she not have done?
One thing is for sure, she should not have given Mrs De Man a cent and she will not do it again for the rest of her life, or she must be able to justify it.
But if Mrs De Man really did need the mark for the rent.
Could she then have given the mark?
Also wrong, thinks Crisje, because she must make sure herself that she makes ends meet.
But the men drink it; she knows that as well.
Mrs De Man therefore gets nothing; it is not her fault.
Everything is okay!
She only has to consider whether she may help these people.
And a while later, she is jubilant, she knows now for certain.
She shouldn’t have done it; she is now helping these people to be bad.
Then let them be broken, they don’t want it any other way!
Crisje is still sleeping.
Trui lets her lie; she needs rest.
Crisje is far from this world.
She lives again in this nice world in which she can think.
The things which she thinks about, come pure to her life.
It is as if someone else is thinking for her.
What she is feeling is sent to her.
But she has always been a thinker.
Her character is open to justice, open to religious feeling, open to happiness in the home and especially to making the best of it.
Do not fly too high and do not imagine anything, there is always Our Lord, who knows everything about you.
Now she has thoughts about how she should have acted.
During this rest period she has reached the realization that she has made mistakes.
Trui is playing a dangerous game, she is worse than Mrs De Man.
Yes, she is bad, she drinks, is a crone, a drunkard, she is dirty, ugly, everything that is bad.
Ugh, Trui, I wouldn’t have thought that about you.
I didn’t know you like that before.
She is now making a parade of Our Lord and is on Hendrik’s side, but what does Trui want?
Betrayal lurks in her.
You can look at Mrs De Man from inside and outside, she is naked before you.
But Trui wears a terrible mask!
When it is already dark and Trui has to light the lamp, Crisje gets back the feeling in her limbs.
She was far away from this world.
She was somewhere and nowhere, but she knows how she must think and Trui must accept it.
It is no wonder that she can’t have children.
She is playing with this holiness; she walks past Our Lord and doesn’t see Him!
Now Tall Hendrik is suddenly back in the kitchen and the whole house is filled with his personality and everything runs again, because he has authority.
The boys also know that father is not easy.
The first thing he always asks Crisje:
“Complaints about the boys?”
“Are there any complaints, Cris?”
Crisje knows that she cannot fool her Hendrik about anything.
He sees everything in one glance.
He knows that Crisje cannot lie.
“No, Hendrik", there comes this evening, "nothing to complain about the boys.”
There is something in that tone, something lives in it, which Tall Hendrik doesn’t like.
But he hesitates, Trui leaves.
When he is there, Trui is a bag of nerves.
She cannot stand it for a second in his company.
Trui is gone; she will be back tomorrow.
“Is there anything else, Cris?”
“No Trui, Hendrik will take care of me.
Thank you, everything will be fine.”
“That’s okay; if you need me?”
Trui hasn’t even gone out the door when Hendrik asks:
“Is there something, Cris?”
Crisje, who needs some time before starting the conversation with him, avoids his question and says:
“Aren’t you going to ask how Jeus is, Hendrik?”
“I saw that already, Cris.
I know that.
But was something the matter with Trui?”
“No, Hendrik, there was nothing, nothing.
Trui takes care of everything.”
“But there’s something wrong with you, Cris.
What is it, what’s the matter with you?”
Yes, now she has to speak.
But where can she start?
Hendrik is waiting; he is waiting on the edge of the bed.
He looks straight into Crisje’s eyes and when that happens, when those sparkling, jet-black eyes are directed at her, Crisje can no longer think.
Hendrik has eyes in his head like burning coals.
“What’s the matter?
What’s wrong with you?”
Now she has to come forward quickly with her small concerns, which are nevertheless formidable problems for her.
“What can I say ...” she begins.
“Well, what shall I say.
It’s me, Hendrik.”
“What is it, Cris?”
“I have done some wrong, Hendrik.
Won’t you be angry with me?”
“What is it, Cris?”
“That drunkard of a woman was here, Hendrik.”
“Did you give her money, Cris?”
Now Tall Hendrik becomes really angry.
He rages so loud that it can be heard outside.
Just for a moment, then he goes back to the bed and asks:
“Tell me then, Cris.”
“It’s like this, Hendrik.”
She now confesses honestly.
He looks at her and he knows already.
He could have kissed her left and right, but he can’t do this, otherwise Crisje would give everything away and he can’t allow this.
When Crisje asks:
“Are you angry with me, Hendrik?” Hendrik adjusts as quickly as lightening to the sensitivity of her heart.
“Listen to me, Cris.
I will say nothing more to you, it’s your own business what you have to do.
I’m telling you, you mustn’t support evil.
That is all.
But don’t try it again, Cris, or I’ll throw the money on the street.”
Hendrik cuddles his angel, kisses her firmly and that is a great relief for Crisje.
Now the priest, and then everything will be pure again.
How is it possible, how she lied and how easily the devil can get you.
It will not happen again, she promises Our Lord.
I saw it.
I saw that wretch.
I will be careful in future.
After the evening meal Tall Hendrik soon becomes bored and he suggests to Crisje that he play something for her.
“Cris, I will play the Ave Maria for you.
Do you want to hear me, Cris?”
“You know that already, Hendrik.”
“Then it will come, Cris.
If it hears me playing, it will come quicker.
It must hear our music, Cris.”
Hendrik grabs his violin from the cupboard.
The Ave Maria is laid against the coffee-pot.
The violin is tuned.
The first tones can already be heard; he has started.
Crisje listens, she enjoys her love.
She is delighted, she is happy.
What gifts her Hendrik has.
He can sing, he is musical, his quartet, the boys, everything is great.
It couldn’t be better.
She follows the tones and she hums along with him.
It is one and all happiness which she feels.
Crisje can almost not take it; tears of happiness are streaming down her cheeks.
But the last tones of the Ave Maria have not yet sounded when he jumps up.
“Goodness, Cris, I have to go.
I have to go out for the portraits.”
Crisje feels herself brought back to reality with a thump.
How can Hendrik frighten a person like that?
You really don’t know for a second what he is up to.
Thousands of things bombard his head at the same time.
And he has already gone, he throws her a kiss.
He will be back in ten minutes.
The door falls closed.
Crisje is alone.
She hears nothing more than a thud and creaking.
It was as if the heavens opened up.
She is shaking from it.
Jeus beats as a result, he kicks as if the child heard that, with his terrible temper, Tall Hendrik had tied the peace and happiness to a dog’s tail and chased the animal onto the street.
What a fright it was.
Crisje has time again to think.
Jeus is carrying on.
The child hasn’t got her in this way before.
She becomes queasy from it.
Jeus is pushing upwards that much.
“What is it?
Crisje asks aloud: What is it?
“Did you really hear him play?”
Crisje listens with all her attention on the child.
It is as if it is already giving her an answer to her questions.
No, that’s not it; the child also got a fright.
It is telling her that she is carrying something sensitive, which she has not known before.
This child reacts along with her to everything that she feels and hears.
When she was quiet this afternoon, Jeus didn’t move either and kept quiet.
Now that she thinks back and considers her pregnancy of all those months, she discovers that Jeus has always reacted to her thoughts and feelings and that the child has taken over all those thoughts from her.
But that is remarkable, she thinks.
It is proof for her as a mother that the life in her is also very sensitive, just like her.
The child continues to kick, it has become restless.
An hour passes.
Hendrik is not yet back.
Jeus continues to kick and doesn’t quieten down.
Does he now wish to be born?
No, that’s not it, Crisje feels nothing.
There are no symptoms which point to this.
When the clock strikes ten, Tall Hendrik is standing in the kitchen again.
“Now you will be angry, Cris, but I’m telling you, I earned eight guilders.
Isn’t that something?
And look what I have here?
When it is born, we will drink one.
Are you angry at me, Cris?”
“Why do you have to have jenever again, Hendrik?”
“Do you want to let this day pass just like that?
My third boy, and no drink?
I would never forgive myself.
But don’t you worry, everything will be fine.”
Crisje gives in.
Hendrik does his best; you may not destroy good thoughts.
When he asks her how she is, he hears about the episode.
“Well, Hendrik, I’m telling you, this child has something which Johan and Bernard haven’t got.
Heavens above, what a way it carried on.
Just before you came home it went back to sleep.
It is oversensitive, Hendrik.
And now that I think, it has always got me and always let me feel that it understood what was happening.”
“It has certainly something of me, Cris”, he assumes.
However, Crisje answers him and he knows where he stands.
A resolute reply follows:
“No, Hendrik, it has nothing from you, nothing!”
This has to be dealt with for a moment.
The certainty of Crisje throws him.
“Why does it have nothing from me, Cris, how can you know that?
You’re behaving as if you are the only one who is right.”
“That’s all very well, Hendrik, I know.”
“Can you look through your own stomach then?”
“That’s got nothing to do with looking.
This one has nothing from you, because it has everything from me.”
“God Almighty, that’s professor’s talk.”
“You can make of it what you like, you will have to admit it to me later, you will see!”
“It is the purest psychology, Cris.
But I don’t have any understanding of it.”
Crisje has to laugh about the strange word from Hendrik but she has something else.
“I don’t know what it’s called, Hendrik.
I don’t know anything about it, but listen to what I’m telling you.
This one takes after me, this one is just like me, this one has ... well, what can I say?”
Go on, Crisje.
How do you know that?”
“I don’t understand myself how I know, Hendrik, but I know.”
“But where from, Cris.
There must be grounds?”
“No, I don’t know, Hendrik, but you will see.
This is another child; this child is different from the other two.
I feel it.”
Tall Hendrik can’t make any sense of it.
But Crisje is thinking.
She has become richer and wouldn’t miss these hours for the world.
The feeling lives in her being.
It creeps through her blood, it rises to her head and it hammers under her heart.
It is light.
It is life!
It is life and love.
It is a blissful feeling, it is peace and quiet, yes, pure happiness.
The feeling can speak and it says nothing.
Men, broods Crisje, know nothing about it and they will also never learn.
It cannot be explained with words but it is still one world, one universe.
It could be Our Lord, but that is too far away and cannot be followed by people.
They immediately think of religious mania but that really isn’t it!
It speaks, feels Crisje, but it doesn’t say a word.
The lips remain sealed.
Only the heart knows the magnitude of it and you can float because of it.
You can fly into space.
You are like a bird in flight, but at the same time human, and you are young, very young.
You are wearing a nice garment, a very nice garment, nicer even than Crisje has ever worn.
What is it then?
And would Hendrik possess some of this?
No, he has nothing of it, nothing at all.
Crisje will think about this.
Hendrik is dizzy from it.
He wants to pick up the violin again, but Crisje thinks it is too late.
She doesn’t want to hear his scratching any more.
“You’re nervous in your fingers.
You shouldn’t have had a drink!”
Hendrik can say nothing to this.
Crisje is right, he has ruined the evening nicely.
But he brought money into the house and that makes up for a lot.
A moment later he puts out the petroleum lamp and stretches out beside his dear Cris.
He touches her maternal body only for a moment; then, as if Tall Hendrik wishes to say good night to ‘Jeus’, Crisje hears him snoring, he is snoring away the whole night, in order to awake in the morning, as Crisje has experienced for years, like a cheerful spring day and put the flowers in water for her.
Her Hendrik is such a good man.
It was really lovely, that soft touch; Crisje knows exactly what goes on in his head.
She knows him as herself and as the many people of Our Lord who make a mess of this sacred contact and send everything from Him to the devil.
Mankind is often guilty of his unhappiness.
If you have something and you are wrong, Crisje knows, then you must bow your human head.
Then you can carry on and start again.
Then you will receive flowers in every colour from Our Lord, put next to you just like that in a vase with warm-heartedness, understanding and acceptance of how life is now.
It is bliss.
But you have to pray for it.
Without prayer you get nothing!
How nice life is.
It is quiet in the house.
Crisje is awake; she cannot sleep.
She thinks of what she could feel and again experiences being one with her child.
Johan is dreaming.
He is talking about the snow and the stork that brings children.
Johan also has a lot from her.
Bernard is like his father.
Johan is quiet, he will have a difficult time, because he is a mother’s child and wants to cling to your skirt all day.
Bernard doesn’t need skirts anymore!
He gets his fill from the daily pleasures, of which Johan is often the victim.
And now Jeus is coming.
Listen to Johan screaming, thinks Crisje.
What a lot of things go on in that child’s head.
“Go to sleep, Johan”, Crisje calls to her eldest, and Johan, he is half-asleep and goes back to bed to rest.
Johan is soon asleep.
Another piece of Crisje’s life, which she already knows about, is that this child will have difficulties in life.
Johan is four years old, only four years.
Who grants you all this assurance, Crisje?
You could be a ‘psychologist’!
Crisje hears the clock strike three and she is still awake, is still thinking and feeling.
Hendrik is sleeping and dreaming aloud.
Crisje could now repeat him word for word, he is dreaming so loud.
The children also have that from him.
Both dream aloud and they sometimes fly out of bed and want to play and do the things which gave them the most pleasure that day.
What is dreaming actually, Crisje wonders?
How strange people can behave in their sleep.
Bernard is dreaming already.
If he dreams he kicks Johan, who lies next to him, out of bed.
Crisje often thinks about dreaming.
Johan usually dreams quietly.
Bernard dreams wildly, just like his character.
Johan is different.
Bernard is like her Hendrik!
Sometimes Crisje has to waken Hendrik or she would have to move to a hospital from her bed in the middle of the night with a black eye, and broken arms and legs.
But that only happens when her Hendrik has serious things to deal with.
When he was to join the opera it was really bad.
He then jumped up in the middle of the night; stood with his long legs straight up in bed and gave an aria as the best.
People could hear him at the bottom of the Grintweg.
The whole neighbourhood knew and came to tell Crisje the following day.
Crisje heard another concert last night, didn’t she?
Crisje laughed then, but it was bad.
You could not waken Hendrik, he was so caught up in his dream and he sung so loud that the walls shook.
You had to laugh, but Crisje was anxious.
Tall Hendrik couldn’t be controlled anymore and she couldn’t do a thing with that large body.
He laughed about it himself for he knew nothing about it.
And now, thank God, he was quiet and slept like a log.
Only that snoring, that sawing noise was annoying.
But she would sleep soon as well.
Yet now, she wanted to think a bit.
Thinking is so nice.
Thinking is wonderful.
Thinking is bliss.
Crisje knows that this deep thinking started during this pregnancy.
She has never been able to think so well before.
She longs to be alone for a while.
During the day she doesn’t get the chance and soon, when she is toeing the line again, there won’t be a second to think, to feel and to follow what lives in her, because it is there that it comes from.
And nowhere else.
It lives in her and is a part of her heart.
It speaks and it says nothing!
It is just like it is not part of this world.
Thinking is so nice.
Crisje is praying!
She thanks Our Lord for the nice things of the day, the happiness which she was allowed to receive today again.
The happiness of her husband, the children and Trui, who is so good for her.
She also asks Our Lord to protect her from lies, because that won’t happen again.
Bad, it is really bad!
She then dozes off and loses her sense of feeling.
The human body has taken over her right to think and work.
The inner being sinks deeply away.
Where to ...?
What is sleeping, Crisje?
What happens when a person sleeps?
My dear Crisje, this is a great problem for the whole world.
This is just as big a mystery for the greatest scholar.
But what is it?
Jeus will explain it.
Through his thinking he will solve this great problem and pass it on to mankind, as a gift, a flower from Our Lord!
Jeus ... Jeus ... Crisje, will do that for you and mankind!
Do you feel the silence, Crisje?
This thinking comes from this life to you.
It is he.
This life is thinking!
This life is speaking to you.
Even now that your eyes are closed, even now that you are sleeping, this child is awake.
The soul, dear Crisje, never sleeps!
It cannot sleep!
It is always awake, because it is from God and God is always working, for eternity!
He is continually busy thinking for HIS life!
Isn’t that strange?
But it is the truth, Crisje.
Jeus will grant you this wisdom.
Just a while and you will have him.
You can then hold him next to your heart.
This one, ours.
This soul, which has everything of you and nothing of Hendrik?
This one, Crisje, has everything from you both!
This one must possess everything from you and Tall Hendrik.
Only now this one represents the strength, the inspiration and the great sensitivity of you.
You see, Crisje, this is how Jeus is; this is how he will be, for you and for himself and for this world, for which he came!
Jeus will teach you to think.
You will receive a wonderful life, if you wish to understand!
Sleep now, rest; Jeus will come soon.
Not a second too early or too late, because this soul gives itself the light!
Because there is someone else who enables him to do this.
Don’t you see, Crisje, that there is a light which follows this life and has awakened it?
This is how you fly!
This is how you talk and think!
This is how you go into space!
It is this light, dear Crisje, which will follow Jeus during this earthly life.
The soul is now awake; it was already awake when you felt life between the third and the fourth month.
It’s strange, isn’t it?
But necessary for Jeus!
Sleep and rest now, this light will also take care of that, and you can feel and understand it as a ‘feeling person’, and it will not become materialistic.
It is love!
A blessing, Crisje!
Mina said yesterday:
“Cris, keep yourself calm, it will come tomorrow.
On a Sunday as well.
And that’s fortunate.
You will say I was right!”
Then Mina left.
She will be right.
Today the great wonder will take place.
This evening, at seven minutes to ten, you will hear the first cries from Jeus.
They know that in space, Crisje.
People here know nothing about it.
Only Mina, she feels it, because she opens her life and soul to the powers, which the scholars do not understand anything about yet, because they do not have the sixth sense, like she does.
But she knows Crisje.
Jeus will come, at seven minutes to ten, and it will be a Sunday’s child.
A child, a life, Crisje, that will bring happiness and will have eyes like the heavens.
When morning dawns Hendrik wakes up.
“And Cris, will something happen today?” he asks his love, who has meanwhile also woken.
“I think so, Hendrik.
I believe so.”
“Then we must have patience for a while, Cris.
There is nothing else for it.
I will make coffee and then go to church.
I will sing this morning so that Father can preach as he has never preached in his life.”
After some cuddles he jumps out of bed, lights the stove, makes delicious coffee and the boys are also allowed to get up.
Johan already wants to help.
Bernard must stay away from everything, because otherwise he breaks things.
Mother first cuddles the boys and then they may sit down at the table with father.
They enjoy these delicious things completely, prepared for them by Tall Hendrik.
Johan is busy flattering his father: “Father, that is nice coffee you made.”
“Listen to that, Cris, he is flattering me already.”
Johan looks up to his father, who towers above him.
When Bernard now blames Johan that he doesn’t have to flatter, the Sunday peace is already disturbed again and the argument is in full swing.
Hendrik listens and knows as well as Crisje that Bernard is after Johan again.
The eldest has nothing more to say.
Bernard is completely the boss over him.
Hendrik cannot help adding to Crisje:
“He is just like me, Cris.
But what about the other one?
He may be like you!”
Crisje knows that her husband is right.
She therefore says nothing.
But Tall Hendrik demands an answer and asks sarcastically: “And, Cris?
Have you nothing to say?”
“What can I say to that, Hendrik.
It’s like you’re enjoying it!”
“Shall I tell you something, Cris?
Now, we have divided it honestly.
He has everything from you and he takes after me.”
They are only children!”
“You as well, Cris, me as well, we are children and if I can’t be a child any more, I will cut my throat.”
That is going too far for Crisje again.
How can Hendrik talk about such things so early in the morning?
She does not know how to reply to this.
To change the subject she therefore says:
“You should prepare yourself for church, Hendrik.”
Tall Hendrik roars with laughter.
Still laughing he lets rip:
“Are you trying to tell me how I should think?
That church takes long enough for me.
Should I also make myself holy beforehand?
No, Cris, I’m going to sing anyway.
I will sing this morning so that it can be heard in Emmerik.
I’m looking forward to it.
I will get them.
Father will enjoy it.
And honestly, Cris, it is like something will happen today.
What do you think?”
“Very probably, Hendrik, I also felt that something will happen.
But you can never tell!”
Tall Hendrik is ready.
Trui has been to early mass and now comes in.
Cris has been taken care of and the boys are playing.
A few moments later Mina is in the kitchen.
“Good morning, Hendrik.”
“Good day, Mina.”
“It doesn’t happen every day that I get to see you, does it?”
“It’s the same for me, Mina.
What’s the situation, aren’t you having any more of your own?”
Hendrik and Mina are well matched.
They like each other.
Both like a joke and are of one colour and one thought.
Mina also likes to joke.
She knows Hendrik and adores him.
Crisje often hears from her literally:
“Him, Crisje, if I could have had him, my God, Cris, what kind of man do you have?
Look at the one I’ve got.
My God, I’m only human myself.”
Crisje knows that and Tall Hendrik also knows that.
She should have had a strong man.
Mina is worth her weight in gold.
However, she has a husband who follows her about and needs a nappy.
He still needs a skirt and Mina thinks that it is terrible.
Oh well, he is a good person, a decent one, who never commits a sin, never gets angry and will never look to see if there is more in the world than himself.
But Hendrik can’t help teasing Mina about him:
“How’s your one getting on, Mina, are his canaries still singing?
You should send him to the village fair with the flea circus, then they can bite him and you will hear something for a change.”
Mina laughs but doesn’t put up with it.
If Tall Hendrik thinks that he can get away with pulling her leg, he has completely missed the boat.
“You ...”, Mina begins, “you always make a fuss about fleas and lice, you will have enough of them yourself.”
“You got me, Mina, thank you very much.
You really got me.”
What a shame that Hendrik has to go.
He is already late.
Mina helps Cris.
Trui tidies up and watches the boys.
“That Hendrik”, says Mina.
“I like him!
You can have fun with him, Crisje!”
“That’s true, Mina, you can have fun with him.
But now and again he is too much for me.
But I wouldn’t miss him for the world.”
“That’s a bit much, Crisje.
That’s a bit much, where would we find a man like Tall Hendrik?
Nowhere, he is unique.
He has the whole world in his head and you will never go hungry with him!
Never, ever, Crisje.”
“That is true, Mina.
Sometimes I am afraid for all that happiness in my life.
Now and again it goes for my throat, really, and then I am afraid.
It can sometimes be too much.”
Crisje is already crying.
Mina sees that and says: “Do you have to cry about that?
You are the luckiest person in the world.
Believe me, there are many unhappy people and yet there are those who know much happiness.
Will you stop that, Crisje?
Otherwise you will get me started.”
She looks for a long time and thoughtfully.
Then she asks Crisje:
“Did that person from the town come yesterday, Crisje?”
“Yes, Mina, but that man is no good to you.
He should have been a schoolmaster or he should have asked Our Lord for more feeling, he is worth nothing now.”
“That’s true, Crisje.
That man is no good to you.
But we don’t need him either.
Let’s have a look.
I will be back this afternoon.
And then I will leave again.
But I will be back again.
Maybe I will go away for a while, or I will stay here and talk to Hendrik.
But I don’t know.
“Today therefore, Mina?”
As true as my name is Mina!”
Trui makes a delicious soup for Crisje; life is great again.
Tall Hendrik is home, but his impatience has got him again.
He reaches for his violin, later puts it back on the cupboard, flies out the door and makes his way to Hent Klink’s for bitters and a game of billiards, an opportunity that has been few and far between.
Hendrik is out of sorts; he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
This is a day never to be forgotten!
When Crisje watches him and sees him running in and out, Tall Hendrik hears:
“What a buffoon you are.
You’re not able to sit still today, are you?”
“What are you saying to me, Cris?
I’m a buffoon?
Be careful, otherwise I’ll have something else to tell you.”
“You’re a big twit, you might as well know”, Crisje adds and that sounds to Hendrik from her mouth as music to his ears.
Crisje is playful, she feels good, because a wonderful feeling has inspired her conscious thinking and feeling.
She believes for certain that something will happen today.
It is so unnatural inside, so sublime, and so fine; it is as if a beautiful flower opens.
She hears music, she is floating as well, she can pray and say thanks; it is wonderful what she has in her just now and was allowed to carry all that time.
Hendrik loves hearing Crisje say ‘Big twit’.
But nobody else should try it.
One of the village boys found that out during a game of billiards, who warned Hendrik that it was his turn with a:
“Now you, Tall Hendrik!”
He looked at him and asked:
“Who’s turn is it?
“I thought so too!”
That young man had been put under the billiard table once before.
Crisje was witness to that drama.
That day and that evening there was no end to the misery.
Crisje doesn’t like arguments.
And what does Hendrik want anyway.
But is a big body something to be ashamed of?
However, Hendrik often finds it an affliction, he looks above everything around and often curses his long stilts.
Crisje made him understand that he had to accept his tall figure.
When they came home Tall Hendrik received the warning:
“Try that again, Hendrik, knocking somebody off the chair just like that.
Isn’t it scandalous?
Did you think I wanted to get a name here?
Did you think I wanted to marry a troublemaker?
That is once, but never again.
I will not move from this house.
Will you watch it, Hendrik?”
And now Tall Hendrik is so sensible.
He does not go into such talk.
He knows, Crisje will keep her word!
She would leave him alone.
This fine character is immediately closed to hardness and childish pranks.
A supernatural harmony for everything lives in Crisje.
She is a lady, a ‘Queen’ of unprecedented beauty, even if she wears clogs!
The beautiful peace which she emanates, surrounds everything which Our Lord has created.
If she ever goes out with her Hendrik, which happens very seldom, she is given the best seat.
The company considers it an honour to have her among them.
They like Crisje that much.
She was able to control Hendrik as a result of her great love.
And anyone who knows this has sacred respect for the soul which always gives to each person, according to Crisje’s belief, which is the most beautiful, because you can make Our Lord happy with this!
When it becomes too improbable for Tall Hendrik, he gets to hear wisely from Crisje:
“That’s in your own hands, Hendrik.”
“What own hands, Cris?”
“That’s a good one; but you can make yourself liked among people?”
Hendrik has become more sensible.
But he is strong, the boys know that as well.
Crisje doesn’t know how he will handle the boys later.
As a result of her great love she gets everything done from him and so life is a blessing.
Hendrik can bow his head and that is a gift for soul and spirit.
Oh, she knows very well, the heavens open for all Divine life if the human personality joins in the great order of things, because there is then a question of unity!
Many women would wish to possess her Hendrik, but he belongs to her and no other!
And Crisje is everything to him, the heavenly paradise, such as Our Lord wanted it and for which He created His people!
And now a nice cross and Crisje will have everything she desires.
Why does Hendrik not buy her such a cross?
But that will come as well; she can wait.
He forgets these things, his mind isn’t on it.
But it is a blessing to be able to wear such a thing from your own husband.
Crisje would be very happy with it, but what if it isn’t possible?
What if there is no money to buy such holy things?
She finds a cross like that on her chest as a blessing for life.
It gives you the feeling, that you are always one with Our Lord!
But even if such a thing costs ten cents, it can’t be missed today.
She needs every cent.
Crisje calculates and compares, she is never unprepared for life.
She shies away from credit.
Theet, the grocer, always says: “Crisje, if you need something, you know.”
But then worries will follow you and disturb your daily rest.
They create trouble and misery and you feel that people are looking at you.
It is still deeply engrained in her memory when Hendrik bought that beautiful, black shawl on the door to be paid in instalments.
This was a misery which affected her happiness at home and soiled her sacred thinking and feeling.
People liked her shawl but she found the thought that she was showing off an unpaid adoration a scandal for her life.
And when the women in the village asked her where she had bought that nice wrap, she blushed from shame and desperation.
It broke her soul life to pieces completely.
She paid it off as quickly as she could, because she was capable of throwing that nice shawl in the stove.
She would not have been able to bear the disharmony in her thinking and feeling for long.
She knows that many people buy on credit and consider it very ordinary.
But her soul is disturbed and burdened by it.
In addition, the convenience of getting things just like that takes you so lightly to the abyss of life above your means.
Buying on credit grabs her throat with anxiety and it makes her heart ‘thump’.
It disturbs her in prayer and she cannot experience a pure confession.
Crisje would not be able to go to communion if the credit accompanied her to the Divine altar.
Our Lord would say:
“You have come to confess and take of My flesh and blood, but when are you yourself pure?
When will you stop with your credit?
When will you make sure that you do not live above your means?”
Isn’t it the case?
It would be a torture for her.
And Hendrik should thank his lucky stars that Crisje isn’t like that, because it takes you to the abyss, from which there is no escape!
Crisje has often told Theet that when his book is full and people do not pay:
“You are spoiling the people yourself, Theet.
You are really making people bad yourself.”
Oh, you should hear her talk.
Where she gets all that wisdom from, Hendrik doesn’t know.
Every word is natural and considered.
Crisje never drivels!
She has received this inborn psychology from Our Lord for her life, just like Tall Hendrik received his beautiful voice.
They are gifts from God, which grant you colour, which allow you to live, if you know how to deal with them!
And Crisje knows.
She makes sure that she goes down on her knees purely and in honesty when Father serves her with ‘Divine Life’!
And Father knows this only too well.
This is why Crisje is a blessed person!
She thinks and she feels!
She is in harmony with everything and consciously makes a paradise of life.
But who can do this?
She and her Hendrik float high above the brutality of this human society.
They know how to take care.
The one guilder thirty rent, which they have to pay will give them possession of their own house in forty year’s time.
You have to calculate day and night and meanwhile improve your life, so that you can stand on your own piece of ground one day and then ‘kiss’ yourself and your life!
Try a kiss like that some time!
If you go on credit they will not taste nice anymore!
Here the sun shines every second, even if it is raining cats and dogs.
Winter or summer, there is always sunshine in the house and in these hearts of good will.
This is their place for which they dance and have their fun.
They are the pearls of their lives and their ‘orchids’, of which Our Lord receives the most beautiful.
It is bending and exploring, accepting and loving, being open to everything and bowing your head if the other person is right!
Hendrik kisses these faithful working hands full of delight; he knows.
It is worth more than a thousand houses and own stuff, from which you can’t sleep, because they send a bailiff after you!
Then no cross, no land, no own garden, none of that.
But only some rabbits and something in the stable.
That is everything, but it means happiness!
And Hendrik has taken care of that.
There was something in the stable, it grunted nicely, and soon it gave nice fat bacon for the boys.
Lovely sausage as well, for which Crisje knows the secret recipe.
She possesses an instinctive feeling for preparing tasty sausage.
She didn’t learn it; it is something instinctive.
They would slaughter every year, for the children and themselves, because that saved a fortune.
Now and again Crisje earned a nice sum of money on top.
She worked for farmer Hosman and made sausage for other people.
In this way they will survive and be able to pay everyone.
Mina has been here again.
She left and will return later.
Crisje knows that today the wonder will happen.
Now it is serious.
Hendrik won’t leave her side for a second.
“Here, Cris, drink this, it can help, that’s for nerves!”
He is now watching out with all of his long body for his happiness and life space.
He is sitting there and like it had to do with ‘death’, so serious is Hendrik.
Even if they are not thinking about unpleasant things, you just never know.
It is still always something you dread because it will cry or be silent.
These accidents happen all the time; enough people are affected by it.
Now you must think and forget yourself!
You have life in your hands, or you just miss!
You are faced with it and it flies back where it came from and however much you talk, it does not help you.
You must bow your head for it and say yes and amen.
There is only one person who has something to say!
That is Our Lord, Tall Hendrik, and it is also He who will grant you this happiness again.
When Tall Hendrik once wanted to know from Crisje what all she could bear, he asked:
“You can do much, Cris, I know that.
But what would you have done if Bernard had now taken to his heels and he had gone to heaven?”
What was Hendrik saying?
Crisje did not understand him properly.
She had to think about it.
Then her answer came:
“I would say, Hendrik: Our Lord, Thy will be done!
And you know that I am attached to my children, but we must surrender such things, Hendrik.”
He said: “I will take my hat off to this, Cris!”
And then Crisje got ten of them ...
Hendrik almost ate her up and almost flattened her, so that Crisje screamed:
“You big idiot that you are, do you have to crush me to death?”
How merry that sounded and great from her lips.
Crisje usually lets him hear with every word the royal ‘Hendrik’.
Now that ‘big idiot’ sounded as if it came from heaven.
Hendrik was so in his element with it that he bit Crisje’s lips, but she thought that was too much of a good thing.
“That’s too much, Hendrik, that’s going too far, isn’t it, you will have to be careful, we aren’t small children anymore?”Crisje said, pushing him away from her with a reprimand.
Hendrik feels this restraint; the restraining power of her harmonic personality lies on everything.
“Cris, Cris, what kind of a woman are you anyway!”
Now Tall Hendrik is standing by her life and watches.
In a way he takes the pains away, he pierces the life with his strong gaze; he carries her to the wonderful hour of a birth!
“Keep well, Cris!” hears the mother of Johan, Bernard and next Jeus!
“I’m here with you, Cris!”
A hand from Crisje slides out from under the blankets and searches for Hendrik’s hand.
This pressure grants her a universal power.
Hendrik feels that warm life of Crisje and kisses it!
It is as if Mary, Joseph and Our Lord are also there!
God is good!
God is always there!
Anyone, who loves him, He will bless, and He has blessed her and him.
There is now not a grain of fickleness in the long body of Hendrik.
The beautiful and powerful event elevates him to sensible, respectful humiliation.
He lives in the heart of Crisje and fills it with bliss; his strong will embraces her joyfully.
It cannot be any different, the new life will feel this and understand and therefore soon let the first cry be heard.
Hendrik has taken off his blue smock; he is dressed in his best clothes.
If he knew what the universe knows he would bend down and thank God for this, which received a body due to him and Crisje!
Tall Hendrik bends over backwards, he is as fast and slippery as an eel, but Crisje follows him.
The light of Crisje’s faith lightens his human darkness, in which, like she can, he will soon be able to behold the light of Our Lord.
Crisje is sweating blood so to speak, it is that bad, but she doesn’t give way to a tear.
But there is still a scream, which even gives her a fright, because she feels that the children are in the house.
And she can’t have that, it won’t happen.
The boys must never hear it again!
When Mina comes in any more help from Hendrik is unnecessary.
But before Mina is there, Crisje presses her Hendrik’s hand so firmly that the imprints of her nails remain in his flesh.
A kiss from Crisje for everything he has given her.
They have had hours of happiness, hours of unprecedented bliss; this event is wonderful, if you can think and feel and the human heart is open to the colourful flowers of Our Lord.
“Good day, Mina.”
“Good day, Crisje.
Do you see now that I am right again?
Just a while and we will be able to say ‘Thank You’, because He doesn’t want more than gratitude from us!”
Hendrik leaves the room.
Mina says: “Go and get the learned one, Hendrik.”
Mina sees what is going to happen.
It is half past nine; the minutes creep past; a quarter to ten, then the first symptoms appear and a short while later Mina is holding ‘Jeus’ in her hands.
Seven minutes to ten, Crisje, it is written in the stars, this child will have to be born and this has nothing to do with astrology!
But we will talk about this later.
Jeus will tell you that later!
Mina looks at the boy.
Tall Hendrik comes back and she holds the child up to his face.
He only looks for a short time.
Then Mina’s admiration is heard.
“Cris, my God, this one has eyes in his head like the heavens!”
When the doctor comes the child is already lying clean and well in the orange box, the cradle, which Hendrik made for Jeus.
The learned man is now different than usual.
He also looks at the boy and congratulates Crisje and her husband.
The man is now very talkative, and talks about life, even has a drink with them and tells how difficult life is.
They begin to understand that his life also does not only consist of bringing children into the world.
The mighty life sometimes creates worries and troubles, which they have no idea of here in the country.
And they also cannot believe it!
In humiliation and full of politeness Tall Hendrik and Mina stand in front of the doctor and show him out.
“How wrong you can be about people, Hendrik”, Mina observes.
“Who would have thought that now!”
Crisje says: “I thought so, Mina, he has worries!
He can hardly bear it.
I didn’t think of that before!”
Tall Hendrik races out the door.
He cannot stand it at home any more, he must tell of his happiness and that can only be done at Hent Klink.
Mina shakes her head.
Crisje, trying to make things better, explains: “Just let him get it out of his system, Mina, otherwise things might get broken in the house and we will be worse off than ever.”
“That’s sensible, Crisje, you are a sensible one.”
Mina can appreciate such things.
She realizes that happiness lives here.
She also now sees how these people protect their happiness, but she also knows that everyone must pay for it, if his life wishes to have those wings, and that it can only get a spatial wing-beat by trial and error.
But Hendrik doesn’t stay away for long.
He is soon back in the kitchen.
The village now knows that happiness reigns at Grintweg 318.
Hendrik Rulof has had a son again!
Jeus ... this child is called!
“What a nice boy he is”, ... says Mina to Hendrik.
“It is a strange one.
We will drink to this!”
Mina and Hendrik toast each other.
Crisje nods and indicates that she is taking part in her thoughts.
When Mina has gone, Tall Hendrik is beside Crisje and feels like a child and does not know what to say, but Crisje meets him halfway:
“Thanks, Hendrik, thanks!”
What has not yet happened happens now.
Tall Hendrik is crying.
He can no longer keep in his tears.
Inside something snaps and breaks him in half.
He is not able to hold his own against such goodness.
Crisje’s goodness is inexhaustible.
Her thoughts and feelings cannot be fathomed.
This life is so deep, so immense, as a result of faith, religion, charity, understanding, trust and respect for mankind, so full of authority for all life, that Hendrik could even build a university from it.
Tall Hendrik is crying.
He feels like a child, he, the big, robust and otherwise so independent Tall Hendrik, he doesn’t understand it himself, but still, he is crying.
That Cris, she thanks you for everything.
Because Hendrik thought of her and did not forget her through his happiness, he received thanks, which went straight to his heart and turned everything upside down.
A thing like this overcomes you and grabs you by the heart.
It is their great happiness, which this whole world can look at.
And such happiness cannot be bought, ask Our Lord!
Tall Hendrik can’t get over his happiness.
He looks at Jeus now and again.
Crisje is right again.
Crisje has felt it properly again, that feeling of Crisje is something special.
They have a boy again and what a boy.
When Gerrit Noesthede, one of his best friends, the bass singer of the quartet, breezes in, there is immediately fun and mischief in the kitchen.
Gerrit looks at Jeus and Crisje is congratulated.
Gerrit looks for a long time and thoughtfully, too long and too thoughtfully, Tall Hendrik thinks.
“What do you see in Jeus, Gerrit?”
“That’s a mystery, Hendrik.
He has something which I don’t have and which you know nothing about.”
Crisje is enjoying herself.
Gerrit can often talk nonsense but at the bottom of his heart he is a sensible and sensitive person.
In addition, he is a skilled sculptor.
Gerrit transforms wood into beautiful statues, figures of women and religious images.
Gerrit is a confirmed bachelor; Gerrit wants nothing to do with women.
Gerrit has the craziest stories about his sister, Hanneke, who looks after him and which he therefore passes off as his wife.
However, Hanneke is just like Gerrit.
She doesn’t want a man and you would say that Hanneke and Gerrit are becoming bit by bit too old for that.
But they are just as old as Tall Hendrik and Crisje!
But their blood hasn’t boiled yet.
“Well”, Gerrit says to Crisje ... “I only said this week to my one; children, I would love to have children.
But she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.
And now I have difficulty keeping my body and soul together.”
Gerrit sometimes talks so that you would swear that you had a big woman chaser in front of you, but the good man nevertheless lives a pious life.
He has his drink, earns good money and makes the most of it, but without a wife.
Hendrik says of Gerrit that he has too much nonsense in his head and cannot think of serious things.
If you discuss serious things with Gerrit, a joke rolls from his tongue now and again and only Gerrit is capable of this.
No one else can do this.
That is Gerrit Noesthede, a great friend for everyone who comes into contact with him.
Rubbing his forehead, Gerrit goes back to Jeus again.
Then he says: “I believe that I was born too late or I have sand in my eyes.
What does he have anyway, Hendrik?”
He can’t give an answer to this.
He keeps himself occupied with pouring a drink.
Crisje’s attention is with those two there in the kitchen.
She is now having a good rest, but she doesn’t want to miss any of the carry-on of that pair.
On Sunday the whole group will meet again, and then it will be a bundle of laughs.
They don’t need a carnival for that.
Only Peter Smadel has a somewhat serious nature.
He has a beautiful baritone and Crisje is convinced that Peter and Hendrik could have earned a tidy sum of money on the stage.
Then there is also Jan Maandag as well, but he doesn’t really belong.
According to Gerrit, his singing does about as much good as wallpaper edging.
But goodness me, if the edging is gone, the whole wallpaper is down the drain.
Then there are also a pair who complement the quartet.
They are the first voices, which Tall Hendrik conducts.
However, these man you never see here, they are only there when they are studying and that they do not here.
Gerrit continues to drink.
Each drink slides down with a strange proverb and a word of appreciation.
The likeable fatso swallows and talks, sits gossiping and coming away with such nonsense that tears of pleasure are rolling down Tall Hendrik’s cheeks and make the evening into a real celebration.
But finally it comes to an end when Crisje, despite her good intentions still dozed off, wakes with a fright and asks:
“What time is it, Hendrik?”
Gerrit takes off.
He will tell Hanneke everything.
Hendrik lies down beside Crisje.
It is night.
Crisje and Tall Hendrik now rest after the eventful day.
Crisje and her Hendrik, both of them with their blessedness, which they can almost not grasp, and with what is now lying there sleeping peacefully in the orange box.
He has something, the secret of which only Our Lord knows.
But that will be revealed, Crisje, you don’t have to do anything for it.
“Nothing, it will happen on its own!”
“Good night, Crisje!
I’ll go now, Jeus has arrived!”