Peace of Harderwijk in danger (1446)

For four yearsthere was an armed conflict between the North German and DutchHanseatic cities. This conflict was mainly between Bremen, a GermanHanseatic city located in Northern Germany and the Hanseatic citiesof the Netherlands After everything that happened, these citiesdecided that they wanted to make peace. The participants of the peaceagreement stayed for months in several inns on the Bruggestraat, thatwere located in the heart of Harderwijk. By a peace document theyfinally made peace on May 8, 1446. The Peace of Harderwijk is themotif of our story, because it was something that was very importantfor the history of our Hanseatic city. The two main characters in ourbook, Jet Jansen and Kees van den Bosch, must bring this peacedocument to Harderwijk in time to ensure that this Hanseatic city isliberated from this conflict. Will they succeed?

The smell ofpotatoes spreads in the living room.

“Jet, go set thetable!” With a sigh, Jet stands up, picks up five plates andspreads them across the table. She takes the cutlery and plates andputs them onto the table, and afterwards Jet puts the mugs on thetable as well. Her two brothers, the eldest and the youngest, walkinto the kitchen followed by their father who can't take his eyes offthe newspaper. Jet has five older brothers whom she rarely sees.They’re sailors, just like her father, and it can sometimes takeweeks before they come back. She nervously looks at the clock.

“Jet, go pour somemilk. I can't do everything.” Jet suppresses a sigh and stands up.She has behaved all day and even cleaned up the entire house. As shepours the milk, her mother picks up the plates and puts a largespoonful of mashed potatoes onto them.

"Wife, is thiseverything?" Dad looks up from his plate and looks back again,knowing the food won't satisfy his hunger. "I'm going to leaveLübeck for Harderwijk tomorrow, it's going to be a long journey."

“Be thankful thatyou get something on your plate at all,” Mother responds with asigh and she sits down at the table. Jet looks at her father and thenat her mother, who both slowly raise the spoon to their mouths. Shedoes the same.

"Father, can wecome with you?" asks Jan, Jet's oldest brother. "Mybrothers will be back tomorrow, we can go on a boat with the five ofus."

“And who will takecare of your mother?” Jan has nothing to say to that. Jet takes asip of her now lukewarm milk and casts a quick glance at the clock.She takes a deep breath and looks at Mother.

“Mother, can I gowith father?” The brothers give her a strange look, and father putshis newspaper aside and mother frowns at her.

"Excuse me?"

“I have been withfather earlier, so I can help him well.”

"No way!"

"Why not? Giveme a reason."

“You have nothingto do on that boat. Do you know how far Harderwijk is? Sailing formore than a week, and the journey is also dangerous.”

“But I’ve comewith you before!” Jet repeats. "Just this time."

"No means no."Jet looks pleadingly at her father, but he shrugs.

“This is unfair.I'm not allowed to do anything at all," Jet shouts angrily.

“You should helpat home, ungrateful child. Just look at Jan, he works hard so that weget food on our plate and he doesn't complain. And don't forget yourother brothers." Jet gets up angrily.

“Finish yourplate,” says father strictly, but Jet jumps off her chair and runsup the stairs. She slams the door behind her and plops down on herbed. Angrily, she presses her face into her pillow. It's so unfair!She can't go to school, has to clean the house every day and helpmother with dinner, which was the same every day unless one of thebrothers had saved some money for them to have some fancy meal. Andthen mother expects that she wouldn’t complain. Jet lies on herback and looks at her ceiling, which she painted red. Harderwijk…She had heard about it before. She had been there once with herfather, but that was only a short one-day trip. Tomorrow the boatswould leave, her only chance to further discover the world and shejust lets that chance go?! Jet glances sideways at the cage that saton her bedside table. Her rat is sleeping peacefully. She had foundhim on the street, tamed him and now he was her pet. Mother hated it,but she hadn't been able to stop Jet.

Suddenly she sat up.That's it! Jet had come up with a great plan, a plan that would takeher to Harderwijk! And no one could stop her!

It'searly in the morning. Jet opens the window and sees a large crowd ofpeople in the distance. “What are all those people doing? Where arethey going?" Jet wonders. She walks downstairs and when she’sstanding on the stairs, she hears a conversation between her fatherand brothers.

“Grabthose boxes and barrels of salted fish and put them on the cart!”shouts her father. Jet walks downstairs and sees her father. Shewalks towards him. “What is happening here?” asks Jet. Fatherreplies: “We are going on a trip to Harderwijk.” "But why?""That's a secret…" Jet opens the door and sees boxes withgoods everywhere. She observes the cart and sees all the crates.There is a very smelly smell of fish.

"JAN!!!!Wait, where are you going?"

"I'mgoing with your father."

"Whereare you going?"

"I'mthe eldest! Go to your room and play with your dolls!"

Jetobediently goes to her room. "No one takes me seriously. Fatherdoesn't want to tell what's happening and Jan just yells. If only Iwere taken seriously."

Veryfrustrated, Jet thinks about what she saw. In the morning the crowdof people and she also saw the cart with all the boxes and cratesinside of it, with the Holstentor symbol painted on them. Father wasalso stressed. His mood was not really fantastic. "What are theygoing to do? Where are they going?"

"COMEDOWNSTAIRS, BREAKFAST IS READY!" shouts her mother. Jet sneakstowards the stairs and smells an overpowering smell of porridge. Allthe water flows into her mouth.

“Elbert,grab those boxes and put them on the cart. The cart will take them tothe ship!" says father.

Jetis very curious, so she decides to secretly walk down the stairs. Thewhole staircase creaks.

"Jan,hurry up!"

"YES,I'M COMING!" Jan yells at his father.

Jetruns downstairs and hides in the kitchen. Carefully she looks aroundthe corner and sees that her father is sitting in the living room.She crawls towards the dining room table.

"WIFE,FROM WHO’S THAT PINK SHOE?" shouts father. Jet quickens herpace and runs up the stairs towards her room. She catches her breathand looks out the window with relief. Loads of things are happening,and she would like to experience it up close. She hears loudfootsteps on the stairs, approaching her.

"Jet,are you awake yet?" Mother yells. "Your father and brothersare leaving soon, would you like to say goodbye?" Jet hesitates.This is her only chance to come along to Harderwijk, to do somethingshe wants. Jet opens the window, and puts her arms out of the window.Eventually she grabs a branch that is attached to a large tree. Sheholds on to the window sill, while she stoops. She takes a deepbreath and jumps out of the window without hesitation, while shelands on her hands and feet. Henk is unharmed in her pocket. Shestill hears the sound of her bedroom door opening and her mothershouting her name. Jet hides behind a tree and sees out of the cornerof her eye how her brothers carry large bags onto the carriage.

“Willem,there are still five barrels in the back, would you like to bringthem here?”

“No,do it yourself!”

“It’s clear that I have to standhere by the cart and that I must put everything on it.

You only have to throw or roll themtowards here. That's not so difficult, right?"

"Okay then, just this time, lazyone!" While she listens, she tries to figure out how to get outof here. The harbour is quite far away, but father and her brotherswill see her anyway. When her brothers have finished loading, theywill leave and that is exactly what she must prevent: Them arrivingat the port before her.

"Are these the last bags?"


Jet takes a deep breath, looks aroundto make sure no one sees her, and starts to run. She runs, and runs,until the house behind her can no longer be seen, hiding behind otherhouses and shops. She quickly looks behind her. After making sure noone is chasing her, she stops briefly to catch her breath. She shouldbe quick, she doesn't have much time. Jet already sees the harbour,the sailors are loading the ships and she can indistinctly hear themcalling to each other.

A smile slowly appears on her face. Forthe first time she will go on an adventure, see the Zuiderzee andarrive in Harderwijk!

After she recoveredher breath again, she tried to walk through without getting seen. Sheneeds to make sure that she isn’t seen by associates. The furthershe walks, the busier it gets. She sees the Trave, a river that flowsthrough Lübeck. Fully loaded carriages are everywhere, walkingcitizens are everywhere. After walking for a while Jet could see theboat. Her heart is racing, even Henk seems to get her enthusiasm. Shefeels that the rat is moving in her pocket, Henk is eating a bit offruit. Meanwhile Jet is thinking of a way to get to the ship. As longas she doesn’t get caught it’ll be alright. “It’s okay Henk.”Jet says softly. “Once we’re on the boat nothing can go wrong.”Jet gets Henk out of her pocket without hurting him and lets him siton her hand. Slowly but steadily he walks on her arm to her rightshoulder. Suddenly Jet is scared to death. She hears a loudbell-sound. Jet thinks it is from the boat. Is the ship goingalready? She panics; Jet isn’t on the boat yet and she has to findout how to get on it in a very short period of time. “Come on Jet,think of something!” she says to herself. But there is not onething she can think about. She sees a white canvas, but the paint isnowhere to be found. Because she was so deep in her thoughts, shedoesn’t notice that she is on the top of a hill and loses herbalance. “HELP!” Jet screams, while she accidentally fallsbecause there is nothing to hold. She closes her eyes, but Jet knowsthat it won’t help against the pain. She falls on something with aloud bang, but what she fell on doesn’t feel like the stone on theroad. Jet hears someone moaning in pain. Is it a person she fell on?!When Jet opens her eyes she sees that it is another person she fellon. It’s a boy of about her age, he has curly brown hair andbeautiful brown eyes. They made her think about her favourite knittedsweater she had gotten from her grandmother. He is also wearingbeautiful clothes, a dark blue jacket made of expensive fabrics,mostly silk. The edges of the clothes he was wearing were made offur, which made Jet think this wasn’t just a normal person, butsomeone of nobility. Jet thinks that by looking in his brown eyes shecan see the whole story of his life. The boy looks scared, scared ofeverything around him, as if shadows were following him aroundeverywhere. “I’m so, so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you,”Jet says to the still unknown boy while she’s trying to stand up.The boy lifts his head off the ground and looks at Jet with a frown.But she also sees an admiration in his eyes, which she doesn’tunderstand. Time froze. Everything around the world stood still. Jetbreaks the silence by giving the boy a helping hand. “Here, let mehelp,” she says softly. After a few seconds the shy guy grabs herhand and he gets back up on two feet. To break the awkward eyecontact Jet looks to the right. Something came to her attention;there was something laying on the ground, on the point where the boyfell! It was a brown tube, but it looks like it’s sealed. Jet wantsto walk to the thing out of pure curiosity, but she doesn’t noticeshe is still holding the handsome guy's hand and he gets carried awayto the mysterious tube. “Hey, stop it! Where are you going?” theboy asks after he almost fell down again. Without reacting Jet goeson to the mysterious object. “OUCH, STOP IT! YOU’RE HURTING ME!”the stranger screams while still being dragged over the stone path.Jet walks on, because they both are close to the mysterious tube now.Jet takes a bow to grab the thing, but then hears a thud and stops.The mystery guy tripped on a stone and fell. “Are you okay?” Jetasks. “I guess,” is the boy’s answer. Jet grabs the thing,studies it closely and tries to get the seal off with her nails. Themoment she starts trying, she hears a scream. “NO! DON’T DOTHAT!" The boy runs at her and grabs the tube out of her hands.“What’s that?” asks Jet. “Is it something so important thateven I can’t open it?” “No!” the boy tells her indigently."You can ask if you can open it at least.” “I’m sorry, uh,what’s your name?” Jet asks. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I seem tohave forgotten to introduce myself, my name is Kees and yours?”“Mine is Jet, nice to meet you.” They shake each others hands andstop the exact moment it became really uncomfortable. “You want toknow what this thing is right?” Kees asks holding the tube. “I’lltell you. First I need to know how I can get to Harderwijk.”

They walk togethertowards the boat, but avoid the busy paths in order to stand out aslittle as possible. Jet looks up and when she suddenly sees herfather and brothers, she pulls Kees into a bush. They carry new boxesand barrels to the boat that they will transport to Harderwijk. “Wehave to watch out for them,” whispers Jet. “That's my father, andthat…” She points to her brothers. “Those are my brothers. Wemust avoid them, do you understand?" Kees nods. When her fatherand brothers disappeared out of sight, Jet and Kees continued ontheir way. They run as fast as they can towards the cog. They sneakonto the boat and into the hold, where they manage to hide behindsome boxes that were stacked on top of each other. Above them theyhear the heavy footsteps of the sailors. They hold their breaths,afraid of being caught. But so far no one has come down and they arequite well hidden. The only way they could get caught is if someonewould move the boxes. But those are super heavy, so there is littlechance of that. This thought reassured Jet.

A loud noisefollows as a sign that the boat is leaving. Jet and Kees hear thesailors calling to each other, and after a while the boat starts tomove. Pressed against each other, Jet and Kees sit as still as theycan on the cold floor. Both of them are silent, afraid of beingcaught. While Kees looks absently ahead of him, Jet secretly watcheshim. What on earth would this boy, a nobleman, be doing here?

After a longsilence, Kees gives Jet a poke in the side. “Auw!” whispers Jet,rubbing her aching side. "What was that necessary for?""You wanted to know what was in the tube, didn't you?"whispers Kees back. “There is something very secret in this tube: akind of letter to make peace with Harderwijk.” Even before Jetcould ask what that was, Kees starts again “And now you probablythink: What is that? I actually have no idea either. My parents saidit was important. I think it has something to do with that warbetween German and Dutch trading cities, I thought I heard my parentstalking about it.”

Afterwards, Jet,who is dressed as a sailor, looks thoughtfully at the calm sea,standing on the edge of the wooden deck. "What would be in thatso-called important letter?" Jet wonders. The more often sheasks herself that question, the more violently the waves move. Thecold wind blowing on her cheeks makes her body shiver, eventuallymaking her turn to find a warm place in the cog. But out of nowhere,the dressed up Kees is standing behind her. "Why did you look soharsh?" Kees asks, raising his eyebrow. Instead of answering thequestion, Jet looks at Kees' pocket, which contains the mysteriousletter. After a few seconds, Kees notices that Jet is attentivelystudying the sealed object. He quickly grabs the letter from hispocket and puts it in the inside pocket of his velvet coat, hiding itout of sight. Jet looks suspiciously into Kees' eyes, but eventuallydecides not to question him. "The weather is getting worse andworse, could a scary sea monster have caused this?" jokes Kees.But Jet doesn't laugh about it and without looking back she walks toher backpack, where Henk the rat is hiding. She takes the innocentanimal out and puts it calmly in her hand, so that she can pet Henklovingly. Kees is only there as a decoration, secretly jealous thatJet does pay more attention to her dirty rat, instead to a person ofnobility with whom you could have a real conversation. He quicklywalks towards Jet, so that he stands behind her. With his armsfolded, he silently judges Jet, who is still petting Henk. Jetnotices that Kees is somehow jealous of her, so she looks up andstares into his eyes. Kees' cheeks immediately turn red and hequickly asks Jet the first thing that comes to mind: "Uhh it'sgoing to storm, shall we go inside?" Slowly Jet nods with a grinon her face, knowing that Kees was jealous of Henk.

Jet hears the heavysound of the raindrops, quickly tapping on the wooden deck above.Kees is holding an oil lamp, the yellow lamp burning softly. "Ididn't know the sea monsters could react so violently." jokesKees with a smile. Jet also starts to laugh again, despite the factthat she is shivering from the cold. Suddenly Kees notices that Jet'sexpression is as sad as the storm outside. He calmly approaches Jet,who looks at her obliquely without emotion. "What is thematter?" he asks her in a questioning tone. She looks up calmlywith a lump in her throat. Kees bends down and calmly takes herinnocent hand and his eyes meet hers. “It's so co-o-ld--d” Jetsays in an underlying voice. Soon Kees takes off his warm coat andputs it calmly over Jet's shoulders. A smile appears on her face,secretly her cheeks turn red with blush. "I'm going to get somefood, I'll be right back!" he says quickly to Jet. She nods.After Kees has disappeared from the door, Jet can carry out hermysterious plan. The idea that the goody-goody Kees was stupid enoughto give her his coat makes Jet grin. Secretly she thinks it's sweetthat Kees takes care of her so much, it also gives her the feelingthat she is unique and loved. As she is entranced by that contrivedthought, she quickly realises that she must continue to carry out herplan. She still remembers Kees putting the following letter in theinside pocket of his coat. She looks at the inside of his coat andthe sealed object eventually becomes visible. Jet wants to grab thething from the inside pocket, but suddenly she hears a creakingsound, which sounds like a door opening. “It took me a while, butin the end I was able to secretly grab some food! It is the firsttime that I have stolen something, I did quite well for my firsttime.” When Kees sees that Jet is holding the important letter inher right hand, he drops the food on the dirty floor in shock. "WHATARE YOU DOING WITH THAT LETTER?" he yells. Jet wants to answer,but no words come out of her mouth, as if she were underwater. "GIVEBACK THAT LETTER NOW!" shouts Kees. But Jet refuses, which makesKees even angrier. He runs to her and grabs the letter, while sheherself also holds the letter. After a fierce fight over who wouldtake possession of the sealed object, Jet falls forward. Her lipstouch exactly his. Her pupils dilate in surprise. Kees heart rategoes up, as if he got the most beautiful horse for his birthday. Fora moment Kees doubts whether he should continue kissing her, becauseit feels wrong, but the butterflies in his stomach tell himotherwise.

Little wavessplash against the bow of their boat as the oars glide through thewater. After a few days of sailing, they finally arrived inHarderwijk. Halfway through the journey, Jet’s father had foundJet. At first he was quite angry, but later she and Kees were allowedto help the sailors with all the work on the ship. The short fightbetween Kees and Jet turned out to be very important. Kees’ fatherhad instructed Kees to deliver the letter to Harderwijk, becausethere was an important meeting where the North-German and a number ofDutch Hanseatic cities could possibly conclude peace after afour-year battle. Kees had whispered all this to her later in hercabin. "My father, the mayor of Lübeck, orders through hisletter to stop the armed conflict. So it is very important that wedeliver his letter in time." He sounded so urgent that Jet heldher breath in excitement. Who would have thought she would ever getinvolved in something so important!? Now that they're about to setfoot ashore, she has to do everything she can to keep from rockingback and forth with excitement. The sky is clear, the air cold andbriny. It is very busy on the quay of Harderwijk, even from thisdistance she can already see the large crowd. Boats that were loadedand unloaded, colourful clothes, packages that are piled up andloaded onto carts. Her heart starts to beat faster, soon they wouldbe ashore, in Harderwijk! She stretches her neck to see as much ofthe city as possible. The look in the eyes of Kees is also longing."I can’t wait to feel solid ground under my feet again",Kees mumbles next to her. The boat fluctuates a bit, Kees clutchesthe railing convulsively. Jet rolls her eyes. There is absolutely noneed to panic, they are on the water, it was only normal. Kees hisanxious behaviour gets on her nerves. The rowing is slow, Jet tapsher foot impatiently on the bottom of the boat, she can not hold itanymore. The tension that has accumulated all day at sea… and nowit’s so slow.

“Finally off the boat!” Jetgrins, her eyes are sparkling. “I am fed up now.” “I am alsoglad I got off the boat,” says Kees. He looks very pale. “Thatfluctuation… it is not my thing.” “Wimp!” teases Jet. Keesdecides not to respond. Instead, he says, “Give the letter to me.You are bound to lose it.” Reluctantly, Jet gives the letter toKees.

Jet and Kees walk to the marketsquare. Jet hops and looks admiringly at her new surroundings. Keesis alert to possible dangers and keeps on walking, grumbling atJet’s pace. “Walk on!” "Why? We have got plenty of time!"They walk along the long quay. Kees walks anxiously in the middle ofthe jetty, to not get wet. At the end is a fairly large gate, throughwhich all travelling salesmen and merchants find their way. THeyarrived on the mainland and Kees happily exclaims "Finally justsolid ground!" "Wimp," Jet teases. "It is almostdark," says Jet’s father. "Let’s go to the cottage."

They walk towards the house.

"Can't we explore the city first?" asks Jet in hope. "No,it's almost dark. We should eat." says her father. "But wejust got there!" she protests "And now we didn't even getto see the city!"

"You can't see the city when it's dark," Jan says jokingly.They walk on, and Jet grumpily follows along. After walking for awhile, they finally arrive at the house where they would spend thenight. "Here we are!" says father happily "Our stay!" "Hehe, finally. That took way too long, my legs hurt fromwalking all those meters!" says Willem tired.

They're going to eat. Kees gets almost nothing inside. "Ew,sailors food," he says. "What do the rich people eatthen?" asks Jet with her mouth full. "Just, stew." "Well, that's what this is, isn't it?"

"Yes, but there are no spices at all," Kees responds. Jetrolls her eyes. "They also have to come all the way from Asiaby ship or caravan. It is strange that they are no spices in the foodhere."


After dinner, everyone goes to bed early. After all, it had been abusy day. As much as Jet wants to explore the city, she still had tosleep. After hours of sleep, she is finally awakened by the sound ofthe door. Still sleepy, she looks at the entrance of the cottage. She sees her brother Elbert enter. He is holding a loaf of bread."I'd better watch out if I were you, those seagulls here lovebread!"

He waves his bleeding finger. "They even attacked me, thosebastards!"

"Well, welcome to the coast."

Jet shoots up in her bed.

"What else did you get?"

"Nothing, this is breakfast." "Nooo," shecomplains, "not dry bread again. First the rancid biscuits andnow this?"

"Don't complain, girl," their father says, "be happywith what you have."

"Will there be something better to eat tonight?" Jet asks."You're the woman here, you cook!" Jan teases. "That'sat your own risk," says Jet. "I know you really hatedrunken fish. I'm starting to think that might be nice for tonight."

"Haha," says Jan sarcastically. "A drunken fish?"asks Kees confused. "No, that's a dry wine dish, the fish isn'tdrunk!" says Jets father with a laugh. "Oh… I didn't knowthat," says Kees, blushing. "What are we going to dotoday?" asks Keith. "Bring that letter, of course!"exclaims Jet enthusiastically. "And I want to see the city."

"I go to the cog to do things," says father. "Jan andWillem are coming with me. Elbert, are you watching Jet and Kees?" "Why can Willem come along?" Albert asks. "He'smuch younger!" Willem stuck out his tongue, but father lookedat him rebukingly. "That's right, but he can't look after Jetand Kees, so he has to go to the cog." "I don't need ababysitter!" Jet said offended. Not everyone agreed. Herfather, brothers and Kees looked at her with aIf-anyone-gets-into-trouble-it's-you look. "What now!" exclaimed Jet, "this is super unfair!"

Father andWillem are gone and Kees, Jet and Elbert, who has also been informedof the important letter, rush off.

"On to thetown hall!" says Jet with her eternal enthusiasm. Kees andElbert seem especially relieved that the adventure is almost over. She thinks about how happy all the important people would be if theybrought the letter. She hops in front, and turns right. "Wehave to go left," says Elbert. "See you need a babysitter."

"Pff." responds Jet. "I only turned right to see if you knew theway." "Yeah," mutters Kees. "Sure."

Ten minuteslater they arrive at the market square. Jet looks around her inamazement "Wow! What a beautiful place this is" sheexclaims. Kees also has to agree that it is an impressive place. Elbert laughs at their reactions. He had seen Harderwijk before, butsecretly he still thinks it's beautiful. "Guys, I'm going tobuy something soon. Stay close to me and don't get lost." Elbert walks to one of the stalls. Kees wants to follow him, but Jetdoesn't feel like it, "let's look around ourselves", shesays. We have to stay with Elbert!" Kees protests. But themoment Kees looks at the stall where Elbert was standing, he suddenlydisappeared. So he agrees with Jet's plan: "Let's go to the bookstall. I'm sure that's fun!". "No!" exclaims Jet,"that's awful, I'd rather go to the fish stall to try an eel." to spend." "As if you are short of something," saysJet irritated. "You have enough money! Buy a book on that whenyou get home. This money is for food, period." Kees realizeshe's not going to win this discussion, so he agreed. "Okay",he sighs, "We're going to eat eel" and he makes a gaggingsound to exaggerate. They walk to the fish stall, where Jet boughttwo herrings. Kees sniffed it carefully but immediately retchedagain. "You shouldn't exaggerate so much" Jet said and shetook a big bite. Kees still looked dirty. "You just have to tryposer, it's delicious!" Kees tried a small bite, very carefully.He chewed the fish a bit and hesitantly said: "It's... It'sactually quite tasty." "Told you so!" cried Jet andshe took another bite.

Suddenly Keesfeels something on his chest, but before he realises what washappening, someone in a black hood runs into the crowd. "JET,JET THE LETTER!!" Jet sees what is happening and in a reflexshe grabs Kees by the sleeve and runs after the man. The two herringsfall to the ground, half eaten. In their haste, they fail to noticethat an old woman is about to slip and shouts angrily after them. "Something about the youth of today!"

Jet runs veryfast, but there are all kinds of people in the way. Soon they can nolonger see the man. "Where is he?" gasps Kees.

"I don'tknow! We really need to find him!" replies Jet. "Where isElbert anyway?" "Yes, where would he hang out?" saysElbert sarcastically "look behind you, dumbass." Jetturned around and saw Elbert standing "Someone stole theletter!" Jet exclaims. "That is not good." herbrother responds. Is she hearing something strange in his voice? Itsas if he doesn't care. She looks at him, but he doesn't look away. "Go after him!" he says, in a normal voice. That's whatJet and Kees did. There was only one small problem. Where had the mangone?

"Which wayare we going?" Jet asked. "Left or right?" "Idon’t know the direction." Kees asked. "Elbert, did yousee something?" Elbert shrugged. "I didn’t see anything.Try right." Jet and Kees ran to the right. Elbert walked to theleft. His sister looked around. "Elbert? Where are you going?""Oh, I’m going to warn father." "Isn’t the cogthere?" Jet pointed towards the port. "That’s true. I’mnot familiar here. I’ll go towards the port, you have to search forthat man!” Elbert walked into the direction Jet indicated anddisappeared into the crowd.

Jet and Keesstopped in a narrow alley. Kees leans forward, hand on his knees. "Ithink we lost him," he says, panting. " I think so too,"Jet replies. She isn’t as breathless as him. "You are reallyout of shape, aren’t you? Don’t you ever exercise?" "Ireally do sport. I ride horses." says Kees "And you alsohave your own horse, rich man’s son?" says Jet with disgust."A pony to be exact. His name is Rodrigo." shouts Keesindignantly. "What a boring name." "Hey" shoutsKees offended. "Let’s go find that man instead of having thisconversation." "Good idea. Which way are we going?""Let’s go to the right." Jet starts running fast. Keesfollows her, but much slower.

Right, straightahead, left. Jet and Kees cross the whole city. Finally they stop.Kees walks up to an old man and asks: "Sir? Can I ask yousomething? Have you seen a man with a black hood pass by?""Well, four," the man replies. "One went left, twowent right and one went straight up that street." He points to awide street. "Thank you," said Kees. He walks off, alongwith Jet, who said in a sarcastic tone, "Well, that was veryhelpful." "We’re going straight ahead," Keesdecided. The two run as fast as they can down the street in front ofthem. ‘How long have we been looking?" Jet asked. She looksup, hoping to see a church bell. She doesn't see it. "Abouttwenty minutes," Kees guessed. "And that means we only haveforty minutes to find the person who has the letter and deliver it ontime." "I'm sure we can." That's Jet, always positive.


Defeated, Keesstands against a wall. He feels really bad, he feels like he ruinedeverything. That letter has been stolen, and they have no idea whereto look for it. Jet has no idea what to do anymore… And starts tosob softly. "Ahhh Jet", says Kees, "you really don'thave to cry, I'll take the blame and then you won't have anyproblems". Jet doesn't quite agree and says: "but Kees, wedid it together so it's not fair if you get all the blame"."Blame for which case?" a friendly passerby asks. "It'sa bit of a complicated story." "You don't have to explain,I just wanted to know if I can help with anything". "Wellthere is something you can help with, have you seen someone with ablack hood. That's my uh-" Jet tries to think of something butthe man already replies. “He went in the direction of the townhall." "Oh thank you! You don't know how much you helpedus" Jet exclaimed. And immediately Jet and Kees started runningtowards the town hall. "Wow, maybe we can still deliver theletter on time!" Kees gasped as he ran.

After a few minutes they come near thetown hall. "What's all that screaming?" asks Kees. "Noidea, it comes from the town hall." shouts Jet. Together theyquickly run to the market square where the town hall is located."LOOK LOOK KEES THAT'S THE PERSON WHO STOLE OUR LETTER",Jet yells! Kees also sees him standing on the roof of the town hall!He has the important letter in his left hand and a flaming torch inhis right. "HEY" yells the man, who still has the black cappulled over his face. "Listen everyone, this letter that I havehere in my hand is very important. It is necessary to conclude thepeace of Harderwijk!" "YES FINALLY" people shout fromall sides! "Shhh" says the mysterious man, " I'm nothere to deliver this letter… I'm here to finish what this idioticcountry has started… The armed conflict will continue as long asI'm…" "HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW?" astranger calls to the man. "Well, what I was actually saying isI'm going to burn this letter right here and now, PEACE WILL NOTEXIST!"

All the people start whispering andstumbling. "That can’t happen," says Kees softly to Jet,his eyes fixed on the unknown man. "No," Jet whispers backsoftly. She can't think of anything better either. "What shouldwe do now?" "I don’t know." In shock, the twochildren are looking at the town hall. Jet is taken out of her trancewhen she feels something in her pocket. It’s Henk, who climbs outof her pocket, goes out onto the street and runs away. "Henk!"shouts Jet in shock. "Henk, come back!" She wants to runafter her beloved animal, but Kees stops her. "Henk is not ourmain concern now. We have to stop that man first, then we look forHenk, okay?" Henk had been Jet's pet for two years, her bestbuddy. She wants to go after him, not after that stupid man! But Jetalso knows that wasn't the best thing to do. After all, peace is moreimportant than a rat. She saw the last bit of his tail disappearingamong the crowd.

While they are in complete panic, Jetand Kees try to come up with a plan, but they can’t come up withanything. Nothing at all. Occasionally one of the two starts asentence, but doesn't finish it. The man on the roof keeps yelling,but they barely notice what he's shouting. A woman from Harderwijkstarts screaming, which brings Jet and Kees back to their senses. Jetstarts running towards the building, without any plan. Kees runsafter her, not knowing what else to do. In their haste they push somepeople aside. A toddler falls and begins to cry. His father shoutssomething at them. They don't hear it, just keep running. Finally,they are out of breath and at the entrance of the town hall.

"What now?" Kees asks Jet. “Ihave no clue” she replies, a little panicked. Then suddenly shefalls silent and grabs Kees’s arm. "What?" asks Kees. Jetpoints to the gutter of the town hall. Kees looks up and followsJet's finger. At first he sees nothing strange, but after a fewseconds he sees something small moving in the direction of themysterious man. "That's Henk!" says Kees, after recognizingthe shape. Breathless, Jet looks at the scene that takes place aboveher head. Henk runs as fast as he can, left, right, straight aheadand left again. After searching and running for a while, he finallyreaches the man’s feet. He sniffs the legs for a moment. Thestranger doesn't notice anything, but Jet and Kees do. The rat bitesthe man's ankle. He screams and grabs his ankle with his hands. Hewobbles and loses his balance. He stumbles and stumbles, but he can'tkeep his balance and slowly slides off the roof.

The man is lying on the floor. Thedocument of the Peace of Harderwijk is somewhere next to him, it fellout of his hand during the fall. All people shrink back. Except forJet and Kees, they quickly walk to the letter and pick it up from thefloor. At the same time, a few men run out of the town hall. Jetrecognizes her father, the rest of the people she has never seenbefore. “Father, father, I'm so sorry, I didn't know Kees had todeliver that letter. Then that man came and he took the letter and…and… and” “Calm down Jet, it's alright” says Jet's father.“Look, you have the letter in your hands, the man is on the floorand you are both okay.” “Oh yes, the letter!” Jet exclaims andshe quickly walks to the man who looks the most noble "Sir fromHarderwijk," she says formally. "I hereby give you thisdocument of the Peace of Harderwijk." The man laughs a littleand says: "Thank you young lady, with this you will free a lotof people from misery." He raises his hand and speaks to thestill shocked people with the following words: "Dear people ofHarderwijk, this letter is of vital importance to many. Thanks to thebrave act of these two children, Peace has finally been brought toHarderwijk. I will go inside now, to place my signature on thedocument with these council members. This makes it official. Athunderous applause for these brave children!" After thesewords, everyone starts clapping and cheering. Jet and Kees smile atthe crowd. Jet full of enthusiasm, Kees uncomfortable. The mayor andthe other men walk back into the town hall. Only Jet's father remainsbehind.

“But dad, that man is still on thefloor,” says Jet to her father. "I don't think he's aliveafter that fall, but I don't dare look, will you please look?"Her father nods and walks over to the man. He slowly removes the hoodfrom the man's face. The moment he sees who the stranger is, hegasps. “No…” Jet and Kees hear him say. “No… No… saysfather in disbelief " "Father? Is everything alright? Whatis the matter?" Jet asks worriedly. However, her father doesn'tanswer, Jet walks over to him. “Why are you so shocked-” Shefalls silent in the middle of her sentence. She sees who the man is.An empty, stuffy feeling fills her heart and her eyes fill withtears. “But… But… that's…” she stammers. “That's…”“That's Elbert…” says Kees softly, after which he falls silent.The three of them stare at the body…

A few dayslater, Jet and Kees are carrying the stuff from their cabin back tothe boat. While they are busy, Kees thinks about the past few days.Four days ago, after they found out that Elbert was the mysteriousman, they had also received good news. The letter of the Peace ofHarderwijk was signed and stamped! The conflict was now officiallysettled and Kees had received a copy the next day to give to hisfather. Yet since Elbert's death, a kind of tension had lingeredbetween Jet and Kees. As if… as if a kind of wall had been builtaround Jet that Kees cannot get through. “J-Jet” he beginssoftly. Jet responds with a “mhm” so Kees doesn't know how torespond. Carefully he continues: “um… well I wanted to say” ButKees is unable to start a conversation. He thinks of a topic,something she likes “a…a…” But he can't think of anything.Suddenly he knows exactly what to say and says from the bottom of hisheart: “Jet, I love you, I love you with all my heart. I don't knowwhy, but from the moment I saw you walking I just knew. I don't careif you love me too. I just want you to know that I really love you.”Jet is startled from her thoughts and looks at Kees. "Do youmean what you just said?" she asked, surprised. “YES” Keesalmost shouts. “I really mean it and.. and…" but before hecan finish his sentence Jet looks terribly deep into his beautifuldark brown eyes and says: “I love you too, Kees”... And beforeKees is even given the opportunity to answer her, he feels her lipsagainst his…