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HINNERKE THE SHOEMAKER

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I am, have I?—Hinnerke!" he said, "Master-cobbler Hinnerke, Royal warrant-holder, pensioner and medallist." And he pointed with the index-finger of his great, rough, yellow-spotted hand to the medal on his breast. "The fact is, that his Royal Highness, your father, has been graciously pleased to order a pair of boots from me, top-boots, riding-boots, with spurs, and made of the best quality patent-leather. They're my speciality, and I made them myself and took a lot of trouble about them, and they were ready to-day and ever so smart. 'You must go yourself,' says I to myself.… I have a boy who delivers, but I says to myself: 'You must go yourself, they are for the Grand Duke.' So I rig myself out and take my boots and go to the Schloss. 'All right,' say the lackeys down below, and want to take them from me. 'No!' say I, for I don't trust them. It's my reputation gets me my orders and my warrant, let me tell your Highnesses, not because I tip the lackeys. But the fellows are spoilt by tips from the warrant-holders, and want to get something out of me for their trouble. 'No,' say I, for I'm not a one for bribing and underhand dealings, 'I'll deliver them myself, and if I can't give them to the Grand Duke himself, I'll give them to Valet Prahl.' They looked daggers, but they say: 'Then you must go up there!' And I go up there. There are some more of them up there, and they say 'All right!' and want to take charge of the boots, but I ask for Prahl and stick to it. They say: 'He's having his tea,' but I'm determined and say, 'Then I'll wait till he's finished.' And just as I say it, who comes by in his buckled shoes but Valet Prahl. And he sees me, and I give him the boots with a few modest words, and he says 'All right!' and actually adds: 'They're fine!' and nods and takes them off. Now I'm satisfied, for Prahl, he's safe, so off I go. 'Hi!' cries somebody. 'Mr. Hinnerke! You're going wrong!' 'Damn!' says I, and right about, and go off