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The Magic Lantern


In their rambles through the Netherlands, somewhere in the Province of Drenthe, the two rascals Robert and Bertrand are witness to a brutal robbery. A coach is raided by a threesome of scoundrels. They rescue the two occupants, a nice young man called Hans and his future bride Lene. Lene's father, the farmer Barends, is dead set against their marriage because of Hans' 'inferior' job, being 'only' an itinerant lanternist. Lena however is very proud of her Hans and loves him very much. Hans tells enthusiastically about the history of the magic lantern and then shows a beautiful series of lantern slides about the legend of the two giants Ellert and Brammert, who once lived in this part of the country. While the two friends continue their travels, farmer Barends succeeds in abducting his daughter from the arms of Hans, who is beaten insensible by his servants and is admitted to hospital. The two rascals ask for accommodation at the farm in exchange for keeping it a secret from the police.
During a magic lantern show the vagabonds search for the kidnapped daughter and hand her a letter from Hans. Lena seizes the opportunity to escape from the house and shortly thereafter a mysterious woman sets the farm on fire. Barends suspects one of his tenants of this deed, for a short time ago he chased the man and his family away from his yard because the poor man was not able to pay his debts, and now he sends his servants to his miserable turf hut to punish him. Fortunately Robert en Bertrand come to the rescue. When they look at the lantern slides meticulously afterwards, they discover the identity of the mysterious woman. Soon thereafter they also solve the secret that farmer Barends and his wife Wubbechien had born for so many years. At the end of the story Barends feels sorry and gives his daughter permission to marry her fiancé. The happy couple move in at the farm and Robert and Bertrand say goodbye, setting off for new adventures.
ROBERT EN BERTRAND De Toverlantaarn (the magic lantern) is a story by Willy Vandersteen.
Published by Standaard Uitgeverij, Antwerpen-Amsterdam.


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