892 THE GOLDEN TREASURE
the papers about his violin-playing. And he sends her money too, and that's very useful to her since she has been a widow.'
* He plays before emperors and kings/ said the town musician. ' I never had that fortune ; but he's my pupil, and he does not forget his old master/
And his mother said,
' His father dreamt that Peter came home from the war with a silver cross. He did not gain one in the war ; but it is still more difficult to gain one in this way. Now he has the cross of honour. If his father had only lived to see it!'
' He's grown famous !' said the Fire-drum; and all his native town said the same thing, for the drummer's son, Peter with the red hairóPeter whom they had known as a little boy, running about in wooden shoes, and then as a drummer, playing for the dancersówas become famous !
' He played at our house before he played in the presence of kings/ said the burgomaster's wife. * At that time he was quite smitten with Charlotte. He was always of an aspiring turn. At that time he was saucy and an enthusiast. My husband laughed when he heard of the foolish affair, and now our Charlotte's a state councillor's wife.'
A golden treasure had been hidden in the heart and soul of the poor child, who had beaten the roll as a drummeró a roll of victory for those who had been ready to retreat. There was a golden treasure in his bosom, the power of sound : it burst forth on his violin as if the instrument had been a complete organ, and as if all the elves of a mid≠summer night were dancing across the strings. In its sounds were heard the piping of the thrush and the full clear note of the human voice ; therefore the sound brought rapture to every heart, and carried his name triumphant through the land. That was a great firebrandóthe fire≠brand of inspiration.
' And then he looks so splendid ! ' said the young ladies and the old ladies too ; and the oldest of all procured an album for famous locks of hair, wholly and solely that she might beg a lock of his rich splendid hair, that treasure, that golden treasure.
And the son came into the poor room of the drummer, elegant as a prince, happier than a king. His eyes were as