The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 82

Each time he needed money to pay their share of expenses at Katheline’s Ulenspiegel went by night to lift the stone from the hole dug beside the well, and took out a carolus.

One night the three women were spinning; Ulenspiegel was carving with his knife a box that the bailiff had entrusted to him, and on which he was skilfully graving a goodly chase, with a pack of Hainaut dogs, mastiffs from Crete, the which are most savage beasts; Brabant dogs going in pairs and called ear biters, and other dogs, straight-legged, crook-legged, short-legged, and greyhounds.

Katheline being present, Nele asked Soetkin if she had hidden her treasure well. The widow answered without any misgivings that it could not be better than in the side of the well wall.

Towards the midnight, being Thursday, Soetkin was awakened by Bibulus Schnouffius, barking very sharply, but not for long. Deeming that it was some false alarm, she went to sleep again.

Friday morning, early, Soetkin and Ulenspiegel, having risen, did not see Katheline as usual in the kitchen, nor the fire lit, nor the milk boiling on the fire. They were dumbfounded and looked to see if she was not perchance in the garden. They saw her there, though it was misty rain, dishevelled, in her body linen all soaked and chilled, but not daring to enter.

Ulenspiegel, going to her, said:

“What dost thou there, half naked, when it rains?”

“Ah,” she said, “aye, aye, a great portent!”

And she showed the dog with his throat cut and lying stiff.

Ulenspiegel thought at once of the treasure; he ran to it. The hole was empty and the earth strewed far about.

Leaping on Katheline and beating her:

“Where are the carolus?” he said.

“Aye, aye, a great portent!” replied Katheline.

Nele, defending her mother, cried out:

“Mercy and pity, Ulenspiegel!”

He ceased to strike. Soetkin then showed herself and asked what was the matter.

Ulenspiegel showed her the dog killed and the hole empty. Soetkin went white and said:

“Thou dost smite me cruelly, Lord God. My poor feet!”

And she said that because of the agony she had in them and the torment borne in vain for the gold carolus. Nele, seeing Soetkin so gentle, fell in despair and wept; Katheline, waving a piece of parchment, said:

“Aye, a great portent. Last night he came, kindly and goodly. No longer was there on his face that livid glow that gave me so much affright. He spoke to me with a great tenderness. I was ravished with joy, my heart melted within me. He said to me, ‘Now I am rich, and will before long bring thee a thousand florins.’ ‘Aye,’ said I, ‘I am more glad for thy sake than for mine, Hanske, my darling.’ ‘But hast thou not here,’ he asked, ‘some other person thou lovest and whom I might make rich?’ ‘Nay,’ I replied, ‘those that be here have no need of thee.’ ‘Thou art proud,’ said he, ‘are then Soetkin and Ulenspiegel rich?’ ‘They live with no help from their neighbours,’ I replied. ‘In spite of the confiscation?’ said he. To which I answered that you had endured the torture rather than allow your money to be taken. ‘I was not without knowledge of that,’ said he. And he began, laughing quiet and low, to jeer at the bailiff and the sheriffs, for that they had not been able to make you confess. Then I laughed equally. ‘They had not been so silly,’ said he, ‘as to hide their treasure in their house.’ I laughed. ‘Nor in the cellar, here.’ ‘No, no,’ said I. ‘Nor in the garden?’ I made no reply. ‘Ah,’ said he, ‘it would be too much of an imprudence.’ ‘Not much,’ said I, ‘for neither the water nor the wall will speak.’ And he continued to laugh.

“Last night he went away sooner than usual, after giving me a powder with which, said he, I could go to the finest of sabbaths. I brought him, in my linen, to the garden gate, and I was all overcome with sleep. I went, as he had said, to the sabbath, and came back only at daybreak, when I found myself here, and saw the dog dead and the hole empty. That is a very heavy blow for me, who loved him so tenderly and gave him my soul. But you shall have all I have, and I shall work with my feet and my hands to maintain you.”
“I am the corn under the millstone: God and a robber devil strike me at the same time,” said Soetkin.

“Robber, do not say so,” rejoined Katheline; “he is a devil, a devil. And for proof, I will show you the parchment he left in the yard; there is written upon it: ‘Never forget to do my service. In thrice two weeks and five days I shall return thee the twofold of the treasure. Have no doubt, else thou shalt die.’ And he will keep his word, I am convinced and sure.”

“Poor witless one!” said Soetkin.

And that was her last word of reproach.