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When the morning sun rose above the horizon, Nanning had regained his composure and his approaching end no longer satisfied him with the same fear as the previous day. His face was deadly pale, but his movements were swift and resilient. Still, a shudder fell over him when he heard the bolts of the door slide and saw it open slowly.
A priest entered to prepare him for the terrible moment that awaited him.
Nanning threw himself on his knees reverently, bowing his head to the ground. The priest, a venerable old man, stared at him for a few seconds with sincere pity. Then he held his hands benevolently over his head, and spoke with a grave, but kind voice:
“Receive my blessing, my son. God may have mercy on you and forgive you for what you have committed. “
“Thanks, Father!” Nanning stammered.
“Stand up, my son,” the clergyman resumed. “Let’s settle on that couch. I have a lot to speak to you very much. ”
But Nanning did not stand up. As soon as the priest was seated, Nanning turned to him and told him his life story. That he thereby failed to be the brother of the Schout speaks of himself. But the priest was deeply moved when he learned that he was speaking with an innocent man who was sacrificing himself for an old friend in gratitude and gratitude for the benefits that he had shown him. He used all his eloquence to persuade him to tell the Schout the full truth. “That is the gratitude driven too far, my son!” He exclaimed. “That may not happen, and it is your duty to say the full truth. To die in this way is criminal! ”
“Do not say that, Father!” Exclaimed Nanning. “Let me make amends by my death, which I have committed in my life. Let me show that I am not bad and that I do not forget the benefits that have been shown to me. For me life is still poor in happiness, and death, no matter how terrible, puts an end to my suffering. Oh, it is a wonderful thought to me that my death is the salvation of my benefactor. ”
In vain the priest tried to bring him back from his plan. Nanning was determined. And it was with deep grief that the old man finally left him, promising that he would accompany him on his terrible journey to the scaffold.
Now Nanning was alone again, but only for a short time. For soon the door was opened again, and now Geraert entered. His face clearly showed that he had spent the night sleepless, and hardly he was alone with Nanning, or his eyes filled with tears. It was impossible for him to restrain himself longer, and he burst into violent sobbing. Nanning threw himself into his arms and put his head against Geraert’s chest.
“What were you here early on?” Nanning whispered to his brother, looking at him gratefully. “I am very grateful to you, Geraert. Your presence encourages me so, and makes me so unspeakably happy. ”
“If it had been possible for me, I would have come earlier, Nan,” he said, sobbing. But then he restrained himself with power and dried his tears. “Come Nan, let us sit down together; I long for that. And be convinced that we will not separate before we are forced to do so by the law. I will stay with you, Nan, and will accompany you, if you will. ”
“Oh no, Geraert, not that, I repeat. Do you want me to promise that, to please me for the last time? ”
“As you wish, Nan. Come, let us sit here, close to each other, as we used to do when we were children. ”
They both took their seats on the bench, and spent a good deal of time next to each other, without speaking a single word. Yet they were well disposed to be so close to each other, and they feel happy in the midst of their misfortune.
Occasionally they said a single word, but once upon a time Geraert asked:
“Nanning, do you love me? Really sweet? ”
“I love you unspeakably, Geraert,” Nanning answered from the bottom of his heart. “Ah, how I have rewarded all your love with unhappiness, and how much grief you must have suffered for my sake. How did I forfeit your love? ”
“No, Nanning, I have never ceased to love you. I have always waited and hoped for your return, and a thousand times I have reproached myself, that everything was my fault and that I had been too harsh. But Nan, let us not speak about the past anymore. That’s all over. ”
“Like Nanning Baerthoutsz. will soon be no more. Only a single hour separates me from eternity. Geraert, will you think of me with love? I would like it so soulfully. “
“I will do that, Nan. I would like to give my life for yours. ”
He grabbed Nannings hand and put it against his own beating heart.
Suddenly Nanning was chilling the members, for a heavy, gloomy bell-ring penetrated into his dungeon. It was the death bell that sounded already during his life. Again the specter arose before him, which had made him shudder so much the night before, and he hid his face again in his hands.
Geraert stood up. He was moved to the depths of his soul, but he controlled himself for his brother’s will.
“The moment of divorce comes, Nan,” he said softly, hugging his brother and gently drawing him to himself. At the door, people again heard loud noise. There was a knock.
“Farewell, forever, Nan!” Said Geraert gloomily.
“For eternity, forever!” Nan whispered. “Good, good Geraert! I thank God that I might find you back. Think of me  with love. Goodbye, Geraert! ”
“Good morning, God be with you!” Sobbed Geraert.
Then he opened the door for the executioner. But at the same time the honorable clergyman entered again, who placed himself next to Nanning, with whom the hands were now bound to their backs.
Nanning was taken away on a single sign from the Schout. The soldiers waited for him at the door. Nanning turned his head around and saw his brother for the last time. Calm it was in the middle of the dungeon. In the tin, which the brothers now exchanged, all love was locked up, which they cherished for each other.
But hardly was Geraert alone or he burst into a pitiful sob. And his heart crouched with every belltone that pierced the room, and he shuddered at the sound of the drum-roll that accompanied his brother on his dreadful journey.
Geraert knelt down and prayed to God for his brother’s arms …
So he stayed there for a long time. Constantly, the melancholy bell rang to him,  and in his mind he followed Nanning on his journey.
But suddenly he heard a loud noise and he heard the screams: “Where is the Scout? Where is the Schout? Soon, soon, or an innocent dies! ”
He jumped to his feet. A confused noise of footsteps and male voices approached the cell in which he found himself. The door was thrown open and a bailiff entered. But at the sight of the Scout, who now unexpectedly stood before him, he recoiled.
“The Schout!” He said, and hardly had he uttered these words, or an old man rushed in, and threw himself before the Schout on his knees.
“Grace, Lord, for an innocent! Oh, I pray you, save his life, soon, before it’s too late! I am the guilty, Lord, I alone! ”
“Great Heaven!” Gerbert cried out terribly dismayed, but he did not lose his mind for a moment.
“The execution is suspended!” He ordered one of his soldiers. “Make sure you do not come too late!”
And the servant left his place, to go to the marketplace, where the convict had almost arrived.
“If he does not come too late!” Geraert mumbled with folded hands. And now his gaze fell again upon the old man, who was still kneeling before him.
“Speak, old man, tell me the truth, for if you lie, you are committing a terrible crime. Then he would have to extinguish twice the same agony! And besides, he has known himself to be the culprit? ”
“He did that, to save me, Lord,” replied Hans de Vedelaar, because it was, as the reader certainly would have guessed. “He is good and generous, Lord, and has wanted to sacrifice himself for me. But that is possible, I can not allow that, Lord Schout. He is young and I am an old man. My head is already bending to the grave. I have killed the Alkmaar poorter, not he, Lord. ”
“Speak the truth, old. Who are you?”
“A singer and a vedress, Lord, otherwise not. Once, years ago, I had found him,  Lieven, my married companion and traveling companion, badly wounded in the way, deprived of all that he possessed. Then I nursed him and saved him from death. In gratitude he now takes the blame on me. Oh, he is good and generous! ”
The old man was moved. The tears were in his eyes.
“He is, if you speak truth, singer. But still, he is a player and – – ”
“Not true, Lord. He did not play; he did not do that in years. The game had become his misfortune, he told me, and that is why he did not touch dice or wine. Oh, that I can not come too late! ”
“That’s what God is giving!” Geraert stammered. He went to the window and looked outside. Ha, there he saw a dreamer of people approaching. Two soldiers were progressing rapidly, and the town hall was almost approached. Geraert rushed towards them. He did not speak a word, but kept his gaze fixed on them.
“We were just in time, Lord! If we had arrived five minutes later, the sentence would have been completed. ”
It was Geraert at those words, whether he had taken a burden of thousands of pounds from his shoulders, and with a widened heart he returned to the old man. Now there was an amazing crowd for the building. The people had accompanied the prisoner, who had escaped death so unexpectedly, on his journey, and anxiously awaited what would happen next. Word of mouth was the news that an old man had made himself known as the perpetrator, and that he had voluntarily returned to Alkmaar when he had heard that they were going to kill an innocent. But now that it was learned that the young man had wanted to sacrifice himself in gratitude for the guilty person, each looked at him with reverence and awe. Nor could the old man hate, after his voluntary return, to save his boy friend.
Nanning was led into the cell, not a little curious, what might have happened. But his eyes were barely on old Hans, his good companion and the savior of his life, or he let out a cry of grief.
“O Hans, why did you do that?” He exclaimed.
“Because I had to, Lieven. My conscience forced me to it. Should I let an innocent die? ”
“Poor, old friend, what awful fate awaits you!” Nanning cried out in distress.
But now he felt two arms around his neck.
“Nanning, my brother!” He heard soft exclamations.
It was Geraert, who could no longer control his emotion and embraced him, in front of the eyes of all who stood around it.
“Geraert!” Was everything that Nanning said.
It is understandable how astonished the bystanders were, and with which a deep sense of reverence and admiration they looked up to the Scout, who had even referred his own brother to death when he deemed that his duty.
“Your brother?” Asked Hans, with a tingling of happiness in his eye. “Oh, Lieven, that makes me happy! Now you will be happy again. What a clean life is still ahead of you! ”
“And for you, my faithful Hans?” Nanning asked sadly.
The Schout now beckoned to a few soldiers, who placed themselves next to Hans.
“I must take you prisoner, old man. That is my duty. Take him to the courtroom, and tell the townman to summon the aldermen. You do not need to captivate the prisoner; that is unnecessary here! ”
“I will follow you, Hans, and testify before you!” Nanning called to him.
Hans was then led away.
As soon as he appeared outside the door, there was a murmur of approval among the people.
“That’s a good guy!” Cried one. “He had to be released.”
“He had to!” He thought a second.
“The other is the brother of the Shout!” Sounded it again from the mouth of another, and all followed the old man on his way to the town hall.
At this moment, Hans also received the prediction from the gipsy. And softly he muttered:
“I see nothing but gloomy black.
Fear is accompanied by smart.
The head bends under pressure,
Only the graveyard gives happiness. ”
“She has guessed it, at least as far as I am concerned. Because with Lieven she did it wrong, “he thought. “Death awaits me, and nothing is able to save me.”
Slowly the journey continued. The two soldiers were walking beside him, without actually paying much attention to him. They were talking about what had happened together.
Suddenly there was a peculiar flicker in the eyes of the old man. He mumbled softly:
“Ha, let me try it. Who knows, if I can not make the prophecy of that heathen true, even if it is in a different way than it meant. Yonder I see a graveyard, and a graveyard is a sanctuary. Be careful, Hans, it will be a race for your life! ”
Now he had approached a small cross street that led to the cemetery. The gate was open. With more speed than anyone of the old man could have expected, he jumped forward and walked in the direction of the only place that could save him.
Before the soldiers properly understood his intention, he was already well ahead of them.
“Seize him! Seize him! The graveyard! “They shouted, while they hurriedly set him up. “The graveyard! The sanctuary! ”
“The graveyard! The cemetery! “The crowd shouted. “He escaped! He is fleeing to the sanctuary! ”
It was packed in the narrow street. The swifts soon overtook the soldiers and ran into them. Just a short moment, and Hans rushed into the saving gate. There he was in safety. No one but the prior of the monastery, to which it belonged, had the right to remove it from there.
A large part of the people cheered when he arrived there. And Geraert and Nanning also rejoiced greatly when they arrived there a moment later, and saw what had happened.
“Guard him there, men!” The Schout ordered.
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And now he went with Nanning to the courtroom, where the Schepenen had already arrived.
The verdict pronounced on Nanning was now destroyed, and no attempt was made to persuade the prior to deliver the refugee.
Only the old singer was banned from the city for good, that was his verdict. And that verdict was welcome to him. Nanning and Geraert led him outside the gate, and the latter made sure that he did not leave with empty hands. He gave him so much that he could live without worry.
“Goodbye, Lieven! I return to my homeland, and will never forget you. Live happily! ”
“God be with you, Hans,” said Nanning sadly. The Schout also shook hands with him, and both of them stared at him until he had vanished.
With intense joy, Geraert carried his recovered brother to his home.
For a long time he had intended to withdraw from business, and henceforth live alone in order to defend the interests of the city as Schout. Now he had a good opportunity for that. He transferred his brewery to Nanning, and contented himself only with his office.
They have spent their further lives in the city of Alkmaar, where Nanning soon became one of the most famous poorters. Until their death the two brothers loved each other and never was there any more separation.