The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 76

On the morrow came the constables and criers of the commune to Claes’s house to set all its plenishing in the street and proceed to the sale by law appointed. Soetkin from Katheline’s saw them bring down the brass and iron cradle which from father to son had always been in the house of Claes where the poor dead man had been born, where Ulenspiegel also had been born. Then they brought down the bed where Soetkin had conceived her son and where she had spent such good nights on her husband’s shoulder. Then came, too, the cupboard where she put away her bread, the press in which, in good times, meats were kept, pans, kettles, and cooking pots no longer shining and scoured as in the good days of happiness, but sullied with the dust of neglect. And they recalled to her the family feasts when the neighbours used to come drawn to the good savours.

Then came, too, a cask and a little cask of simpel and dobbel-cuyt, and, in a basket, flasks of wine, of which there were at least thirty; and all was set down upon the street, down to the last nail the poor widow heard them dragging noisily out of the walls.

Sitting, she looked on without uttering cry or complaint, and all heartbroken, beholding these humble riches carried off. The crier having lighted a candle, the things were sold by auction. The candle was near its end when the dean of the fishmongers had bought all for a miserable price to sell again; and he seemed to be as pleased as a weasel sucking the brain of a hen.

Ulenspiegel said in his heart: “Thou shalt not laugh long, murderer.”

The sale ended, meanwhile, and the constables who were searching everywhere did not find the carolus. The fishmonger exclaimed:

“Ye search ill: I know that Claes had seven hundred six months ago.”

Ulenspiegel said in his heart: “Thou shalt not be the heir to them, murderer.”

Suddenly Soetkin turning towards him:

“The informer!” said she, showing him the fishmonger.

“I know that,” said he.

“Would you suffer him,” said she, “to inherit from the father’s blood?”

“Rather would I endure a whole day on the torture bench,” replied Ulenspiegel.

Quoth Soetkin:

“I, too, but do not give me away for pity, whatever torment you may see me enduring.”

“Alas! you are a woman,” said Ulenspiegel.

“Poor lad,” said she, “I brought you into the world, and know how to suffer.

But you, if I saw you…” Then growing pale: “I will pray Madame the Virgin, who saw her son upon the cross.”
And she wept, caressing Ulenspiegel.

And thus was made between them a pact of hate and force.