Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Character (Karakter, 1997) by Mike van Diem [1/12] Eng. Subs included

Difficulty: 0

I came to tell you

Today I have been sworn in as a lawyer.

You must be sorry, but I am sworn in...

...and this is the last time I'll come here.

Farewell for ever. You no longer exist for me.


You congratulate me?

I can't take your hand.

The hand of someone who always opposed me.

Or helped...or helped.

Or helped...or helped!


The victim congratulates you... He says "congratulations",

extends his hand... you take it and then leave.

It must have been quite a handshake!

On the way downstairs... stumbled on the stairs.

Have you seen this before?

You don't recognise it? It's a lovely knife.

But not as lovely as this...

Take it...

Go on! Take it.

You know the feeling? Do you?

Call a doctor.

Would you like something to drinkng? To eat?

For me too, please.

Mr Jacob Willem Katadreuffe...

Is that the right pronunciation? "Katadreuffe?"

You are suspected of murder or manslaughter of bailiff...

Arend Barend Dreverhaven.

That name sounds like imminent thunder.

So you visited Dreverhaven this afternoon...

...but nothing unusual happened.

What was your relationship to Mr Dreverhaven.

Mr Katadreuffe?


The name was a legend long before I heard it.

It won't be long, sir, maybe tonight...

God bless you, sir, you're a good...

Bastard! Dirty bastard!



Law without compassion...

...the curse of the poor.

I know Dreverhaven's reputation...

but what was your relationship to him?

You did business with him?

You worked for him?

He worked for you?

When did you first meet Dreverhaven?

At home...

At home he had a housekeeper.

...Jacoba, Joba for short.

She was a surly young woman, but he didn't mind.

He didn't say much either.

She worked for him for a year when one evening...

it happened only once. Nothing changed between them...

...but six weeks later she broke the silence.

I am pregnant.


I'm leaving.

The father has to support the child.

You will make him pay, won't you?


Have you written to him?


But you will write?!

No! No!

Dreverhaven is your father.

I am named after my mother.

You mean... Dreverhaven wouldn't take responsibility?


It wasn't that. After the birth we moved to the other side of town

She moved to East.

She rented a room at 142 Zeilstraat...

...for 7 guilders a week.

She keeps house for three middle-class families...

...and a doctor on East Quay.

And the child? It has a name?


Jacob Willem.

Dreverhaven's message was three words.


The proposal was accompanied by a postal order for a suitable sum

"Returned to sender"!

Dreverhaven took the money back...

...and sent it to her again a month later.

And she sent it back again...

...and the sent it again the next month.

"Returned to sender"!

The postal-order duel lasted more than a year.

Would you like to come in?

The money went back and forth 13 times... she decided to reconsider his proposal.


Your monther is a whore!

It wasn't the first time my father's "absence" was mentioned.

When I asked who or where he was she always answered:

We need nothing of him We need nothing of him.

Then she was silent, as always.

I live across the road Am I intruding?

My wife died.

Well I thought, just seeing you...

that you may want to know I'm available.

You don't have to decide at once.

I shall consider your proposal.

I thought it was a good idea to marry him.

Unfortunately we soon left the area.

Your mother's a whore.

Jacob, Jacob...

Go home!


Go away!

That same day, mother packed our cases...

...and we looked for another house.

My mother said nothing all evening...

...but I know I had hurt her...

...because I had lost control.

I decided to control myself an all times.

That is a good intention, Mr Katadreuffe.

Did you stick to it today?


That didn't help Dreverhaven.

That's what you say.

Anyway, you met Dreverhaven this afternoon.

I assume it wasn't the first time


Our move took us closer to him.

By the harbour.

Mother bought a sewing machine to earn the rent.

That house also had something that was to play a major role later.

The books were in a foreign language...

and the previous inhabitants had moved abroad, so I could keep them.

From then on it was easier to be silent with her.

I studied the wonderful pictures for days...

and the strange words were less alien than I thought.


Elephant in English.

My monther's eternal silence made me think...she could not bear my company.

Only later did I realise our characters clashed.

Our contacts were awkward and...

...would always remain awkward, because we were opposites.



Come on...

Jacob! Jacob!

- There's a boy at the door. - He's looking for his father.






De Beer.




Dreverhaven, 11 South Quay.

I'm sorry, I've never seen this boy before.


We need nothing of him.


From then on I decided to leave him alone.

I can understand that. Cigarette?


How did you get on then?

You're a lawyer, you must have studied.

After school, Mother didn't let me learn a trade

There was no money. I had to take care of myself.

I had one job after another.

Van Zwavel, Huizing, Kerk...


I'm sorry. Try again next month. Off you go.

Work was usually temporary, with weeks unemployed in between.

I filled the time reading my encyclopedia.

It only went up to T, but I didn't care.

I used a dictionary to decipher it. I absorbed the knowledge pate by page.

Meanwhile we increasingly got on each others nerves.

I wanted to leave and earn my own living.

She apparently wanted exactly the same.

It's small, but dry and warm.

My son is moving to the back room.

How much?

Seven guilders, full board.

I'd rather you didn't smoke in the room.

I'm Jan Maan.

Jan Maan was a Communist. A lathe operator who moved in...

...after quarrelling with his parents about his fiancee.

Trudy...I met her in a lunchroom.

My mother said; Lunchroom? She lives off tips.

Four weeks later the engagement was off.

But Jan Maan always stayed with us.

I looked outside this morning,

summer is late this year, madam.

No sign of it yet.

It could be quite a while.

- She never speaks. - Something between you?

She thinks I should get out more.

Look for work.

Build something, climb the ladder

This society doesn't want climbers.

You're going to change that?

The Party is growing steadily.

That's because of unemployment.

Everyone will be a Communist by the end of the century.

You have time to come along with me.

Good afternoon, we came about the advert.

You have a shop for sale?

You're standing in it, Mr...?


The name's Lucas Meijer.

What will it cost, Mr Meijer?

Nine hundred.

200 for the stock and 700 for the goodwill.

I don't know

but 700 for the goodwill?

I don't think he has any customers

I can see something in it.

You see any customers?

It's early and about to rain.

And who's going to pay the money?

I want to loan.

How much?

Nine hundred.

Nine hundred.

I assume you have enough collateral.

You have collateral?

You have no collateral?!

I don't think we can do business.

I'm very sorry sir.


Good afternoon. I wondered if I could...

Yes, how much?

I borrowed 900 to take over a cigar shop.

I'm moving out.

You could say something.

Do as you please.

Do as you please! She's in for a surprise.

It's very quiet here.

It's early.

And it's about to rain, right?

You might be right.


if you need me, you can always find me.

Good luck.

Good luck and thank you.

The best of luck...

Tell mother not to worry.

I've come to see Mr Meijer, it's urgent!


Mr Lucas Meijer?

Yes, what do you want?

Bak with mother I realised I never wanted my own business.

Certainly not a cigar shop.

It was just an attempt to escaped her.

But with serious consequences.

Dear Mr Katadreuffe, you were not home...

but your bankruptcy has been requested...

bankruptcy requested by the Peoles's Credit Society.

That bank?

Your property has been inventoried today.

My books!

Please report to my office tomorrow...

with a summary of the bookkeeping bank debts and rent...

and a list of other debtors.

Yours truly, J. de Gankelarr, receiver.

Good afternoon, you have an appointment?

Yes, I came to see Dr de Gankelaar Mr Katadreuffe?

Mr Katadreuffe for Dr de Gankelaar.

Sir, come this way.

Jacob? Well?

"Come back tomorrow."

I told them all about the business the bank, everything...

I have to come back tomorrow.

They can't get money if you're broke.

They need someone and I said you had experience.

I know it isn't true, but you just have to use your head

Yes, but listen...

I have a job...

I will have a that office

What office?

That law office. I'll work there.

You asked for work there?

I'm going to ask. I'll work there

At a law office?


But lawyers work think.


- Then you... - I'm going home, to think



Your property is worth 15 guilders

That is the value of your books and that's all you have?

Fifteen guilders is not enough for a bankruptcy...

I shall advise the court to suspend your bankruptcy of lack of funds...

I assume you don't object?

You mean...?

I mean I shall ask the court to suspend your bankruptcy,



Sir, I would like to ask you something else.

What will you do? Your plans for the future?

I have been looking for work.

Work, terrible.

Office work.

Even worse. Don't do it.

I thought of an office like this.

Don't, it's so boring.

I could use an assistant, of coures...

You mean that?

It's been nice meeting you.

Don't let me keep you.

You want to know my qualifications.

Excuse me?

I don't want to sound arrogant,

but I know more than you would think.

You mean your books? Your encyclopedia?

It may be outdated and incomplete

It only goes up to T...

To "T"? That means...

that you can't "type", but can do bookkeeping and shorthand.

There are things I shall have to learn...

You are zealous, but what are your skills, Mr Katadreuffe?

Could you come down? A client of Dr Stroomkoning.

Mr F. from E.

I'm coming.

You've fascinated me,Mr Katadreuffe but you haven't convinced me.

Please excuse me.

Mr Forester, what a suprise.

What's wrong? He did'nt pick me.

He's not here.

There must be an explanation, Miss Sibculo...

Yes, Dr de Gankelaar?

Dr Stroomkoning wrongly went to the station an hour late.

We're trying to reach the station

How's it?

Sorry for interupt

The man gets wrong

He's late for one hour

We're looking for him

He's at station or home.

I see, who are you

Dr Stroomkoning called

and he's on his way!

Young man, who are you

and what on earth are you doing?


- I'm very sorry. - It's ok, but..

Who's this young man?

He applied for a job,

as my personal clerk.


He speaks good English, does'nt he?

Sir? To be honest...

I think we could use him.

That has to be now?

May I be allowed to comment?

I think he will be an asset.

Sixty guilders a month and that's all.

- Come on... - Sir? Sir...


My mother said nothing about me leaving. Nothing...

Not even "do as you please".

You will drop by, won't you?

And you know where to find me.

I decided not to worry.

I rented a room with the office caretaker.

I was free and we were free of each other at last.

Thank you.

If you need anything, just ask.

Jacob Willem,

here are two new shirts. Be careful with them. Mother.

My work was to start in 5 days.

At night I taught myself to type at the office...

and during the day I practiced shorthand in my room.

Mr Katadreuffe: Miss Sibculo,

Dr Carlion, Dr Rustenburger...

Miss Born, behind Dr Sprengers, then the Buregijks...

And of course Mr Rentenstein,

meet our new colleague.

No introduction necessary. I saw his show last week.

I hope we shall be spared more of such performances.

And invite you to consider a mutually acceptable solution.

What are you doing?

Counting the syllables per minute

It could be faster, couldn't it?

I think so, sir.

You think so...

Do you realise the consequences?

If you get faster, I must too.

I don't mean to rush you, sir.

Miss te George, just in time.

My new clerk is too fast. Please take over.

You have met?


Mr katadreuffe, miss te George

is Dr Stoomkoning's secretary.

Don't worry, she only came to tack down some French.

You don't speak French too, do you?

No...That's a relief.

I propose you find a machine downstairs...

To type this morning's dictation. Don't hurry.

What a wonderful case.

I knew I had found my destiny.

In this place...

In this office, the world opened up to me.

No one could stop me.

Mr. Katadreuffe,that was very nasty of Mr. Rentenstein earlier.

Don't take any notice.

Not even Mr. Rentenstein.

Miss Sibculo...

The man who just went to see Mr. Rentenstein?

What's he doing here?

Bailiff Dreverhaven, you don't know him?

Does he work here? No, thank goodness.

That bolldhound only comes for Rentenstein...

Or if we need a bailiff.

What did you say?

If we need a bailiff.

"Bankruptcy J.W. Katadreuffe,

books, most in bad condition.

Encyclopedia, incomplete, value 15 guilders.

He came to our house.

I'm de Gankelaar. I have come for Mr J.W. Katadreuffe.

Where is it?

I fear the People's Credit Society wants his bankruptcy.

He borrowed 900 Guilders in April 1923.

It is known that his cigar shop was not particularly successful.

Could I take a look?

It seems you've look it before.

Mr. Katadreuffe.

Mr. Katadreuffe, come with me.

Dear sir,

we inform you that the bank

has again requested bankruptcy.

Please appear in court next Wednesday.

Yours truly, Dr Schuwagt.

- You can't get money - If you're broke, but now you aren't you have an income.

They'll take your wages, unless we can make a deal with Schuwagt...

But Dreverhaven will never agree.

Why Dreverhaven?

You borrowed from him, didn't you?

Didn't you know it was his bank?

Everybody knows. It's not easy to get out of it.

Please excuse me.

It's his bank!

It's his bank! I borrowed the money from him!

He pronounced me bankrupt!


Debt is debt.

Why didn't you say he was here?

Why don't you ever say anything?

I'm going out. See you later?

I'll go with you.

Why don't you go and see him.

Go to him?

I did once. It wasn't a good idea

So you do nothing?

I do: I go bankrupt... Lose my job and get drunk.

The situation is in danger of escalating...

Do we watch helpless...

as our comrades are thrown in jail?



do we go to Ruigbroekstraat tonight?

To show the enemy we're not afraid...

Look him in the eye... And fight for our rights!

Go on!

Jacob Willem. You came to pay your debt?

Did she send you? No, she couldn't.

Why are you doing this?

To you?

Yes, to me, To her. Why?

You didn't come to do business.

No. I came to...

I came to say I'm not afraid of you.

Good, then I'll see you tomorrow in court.




I want to know why you're doing this.

Good... We'll come to terms.

I suggest payment is 36 instalments on the same conditions as the loan.

This is a once-only offer...

I didn't ask for that!

If you don't like it...

Never mind.

Take him home. He can think about my proposal.

I need nothing of you. I'd rather go bankrupt.

Bailiff Dreverhaven with an eviction order in Ruigbroekstraat.

Bailiff Dreverhaven with an eviction order in Ruigbroekstraat.

Tonight? He can't be serious.

That's suicide. Come back in a week.




Don't shoot! Don't shoot!

Don't shoot!

Dreverhaven was not in court for my bankruptcy.

His interests were represented by Dr Schuwagt.

And Dr de Wever was appointed receiver.

Plus fifteen guilders from your wages.

Are you sure you can spare it every month?

The sooner the debt is payed off.

You have no other possessions?


De Wever, may I speak to you in private?

Dr de Wever...

The books. I hope we can avoid... Them being seized.

The value is 15 guilders. What do you suggest?

The boy is in your debt.

Based on my present wages... My bankruptcy would last at least 18 months.

It was a miserable time but there was hope.

Good evening.

Good evening, miss.

You shouldn't work too hard You don't ollk too good.

It's good to study, but in moderation.

How do you know I'm studying?

We all know. You read books.

I do. But I don't have much time now.

What are you working on?

A plea, and you?

I'm translating a contract for Dr Stroomkoning.

In French.

Yes. Is your room satisfactory?

Yes. I'm satisfied with it.

May I see it?

Not now. Later, when we Finish.

It was already there.

Can you open this?

To be homest... I never tried.

Your own roof garden. Not bad.

Where do you live?

At home, with my parents. I lived in the suburbs.

I lived with my mother too.

You have other relatives?

I bear my mother's name. I'm her only child.

I mean: a friend of mine lodges there.

He's a communist. We have heated debates about it.

Who? You and him or you and your mother?

He and I. My mother never says much.

It's good if people can be quiet together.

You aren't afraid of heights?

It's getting late.

On 1 February 1924, my debt was paid.

I took mother and Jan Maan out to celebrate.

I was free of Dreverhaven... But did not feel at all satisfied

The whole sum. In cluding interest, paid punctually in twelve instalments.


I'll drink to that.

To you, Jacob Willem.

Because you are "exceptional".

Tomorrow morning... At 8 a.m.

you will be evicted...

In the name of the law.

You don't have the right!

You don't have the right!

Filthy bastard!

I want another loan from you.

I need money.

How much?

Two thousand guilders.

Tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the bank.

You wanted another loan?

You were free of him at last.

You didn't need to see him again.

But you went back and started again?

I wanted to challenge him. To beat him.

There's a lawyer for you, and the coroner wants to talk to you.

Mr Katadreuffe,

your militancy comes from your mother.

Your birth was a fight too.

I remember, she suffered strange contractions.

As if she didn't want you bom.

You approached Dreverhaven because you wanted to defeat him.

I can understand that, but why...

Did Dreverhaven accept?

Dreverhaven didn't need to. He had already won...

Several times.

What did Dreverhaven want?

At first I thought it was business.

Next morning he lent me the whole sum.

The interest was only 8 percent.

But there was one explicit clause

You realise Mr Dreverhaven can reclaim his loan at any moment?

- You mean that... - That at any moment, we can reclaim the money,

whether it suits you or not.


Are you sure?


Is the contract.

The signature?

Despite Dreverhaven's condition,

I felt sure of myself.

I used his money to dedicate myself to private lessons for two years.

It is not truth that counts...

Truth doesn't count in law...

but proof.

But that which can be proven...


You'll soon pass your exams, young man...

The sooner better, madame.

The sooner The better.



Miss te George...


Miss te George...

I see you are leavintg, but wondered...

If you could show me

Dr Srtoomkoning's library.

Go on in.

It's lovely.

That's where you work?

You can go in.

I'm on holiday from tomorrow...

Until the end of July.

You'll like that.

I'm not so sure.

The prospect of staying at home...

I like working here. I like being here.

So do I.

You know... I want to tell you something.

I'm not so sure I should.

You may think I'm silly.

But when I first came here...

And saw the office from the outside...

The sun shimmered... And I saw...

I saw my own name on the front.

Between Messrs Carlion and Rustenburger.

That's strange, isn't it.

Miss te George...still at work?

Mr Katadreuffe wanted to see the library.

That's very good,

but I want to lock up.

Don't let us stop you, we've finished.

Good evening, Mr. Katadreuffe,

Mr. Rentenstein...

Mr. Rentenstein...

Mr. Katadreuffe...

Mr. Katadreuffe!

You've worked here for some time.

I see you are still just as ambitious.

I even hear from Dr de Gankelaar

That your study is progressing very well.

Dr de Gankelaar overestimates me.

I don't think you can be overestimated.

But I should warn you that this office offers opportunities. For people of your class...

But they are not unlimited. Understand?

I understand.

I'm grateful for your reminder, Mr Rentenstein.

That's all right.

I assume you speak from experience

The encounter with Miss te george

Her reaction to my vision...

Kept me awake for several nights.

She was still on my mind...

When Jan Maan introduced his new fiancee three weeks later.

That's not true!

You'd forget to feed him. She forgets everything.

Listen to him! Scoundrel!

What a temperament.


I met Coby in a store.

My parents don't approve.

"All sorts pass by there.

That's no good," said mother.

Coby ran off three weeks later "With another".

Mr Katadreuffe!

Mr Katadreuffe!

I know what you think.That meeting here is an incredible coincidence,

but there's no such thing...

Who says there's no such thing?

I do. But I'm sure there are theories. I'm over there.

Have you been swimming?

I only just arrived, And you?

This morning, briefly.

But if you go,

I'd love to come too.

Unless you object.

Not at all,it's just...

You can swim?

I don't have a costume... Just books.

- You came here to... - Just to study, yes.

I should have known.

How about a stroll?

A stroll... You have time?

Of course.


- Hello. - Changed already?

And who's this?

He's from the office.

Van Rijn's the name.


Right you are. Cigarette?

No thank you.

How about you, Lorna.

No thanks.

Lovely here, isn't it?


It was the first time I heard her first name.

This man called her Lorna.

Jacob, Jacob!

Friends of yours?

We're back, yoohoo.

Cheerful types.

I'd better go and see.

Nice to meet you

Mr...Van Rijn. And you.

Strange fellow...

Who are they? From the office?

I'm going home.

We just got here.

Sorry,I have a terrible headache.


Van Rijn.


Van Rijn. She never mentioned him before.

Never! She was never brought or fetched by a Mr van Rijn.

Mr. Katadreuffe?

Mr. Katadreuffe.

Mr. Katadreuffe?

I'm sorry to interrupt... But Dr. Stroomkoning wants to see you urgently.

He expects you in half an hour.

That's a joke.

You haven't seen the last of me.

Mr. Katadreuffe, maybe you've heard...

That there have been cash deficits recently.

As a result I have just dismissed Mr. Rentenstein.

I assume you are not sorry. Nor me.

Would you like to eat?

No thank you.

Then I'll come to the point and make a proposal.

I was appointed office manager...

But we'd not seen the last of Rentenstein.

Mr. Katadreuffe...Congratulations on your well-earned promotion.


Dreverhaven wants his money back at once.

The whole sum within three days.

Now?! Just before my exams!

He's already applied for your bankruptcy.

But that's impossible.

Last time I was in debt to the bank and the landlord.

Now I only have one creditor so I can't go bankrupt.

That's right, but Dreverhaven knows that too.

He's bluffing.

I'm not in debt to anyone else.

If you go bankrupt, Stroomkoning can't keep you. You'll lose everything.

Dreverhaven doesn't have a chance

I'll represent you.

Thank you, but no.

The PCS bank versys J.W.Katadreuffe.

I see Dr de Gankelaar represents you?

Yes, your honour.

Very good.

This concerns a debt to...

This concerns a debt to...

The people's Credit Society.

Is this debt recognised?

Yes indeed, your honour.

Does the petitioned havae any other debts?

No, your honour,

just one.

Sorry, your honour.

My client has no other debts.

Is that correct, Dr Schuwagt?

That is incorrect.

You are misinformed, sir.

Dr de Gankelaar!

Your honour, let me state that the petitioned has been bankrupt.

That did end with repayment but... The petitioned has since incurred other debts.

That is not true, your honour.

Dr de Gankelaar, I am warning your client.

Not necessary, your honour.

I have my information form the best source, Mr Katadreuffe.

The list of your previous bankruptcy includes an entry under assets...

"Private sale of books, fifteen guilders."

Dr de Gankelaar paid the fifteen guilders... To prevent seizure of the books.

Your honour...

But the petitioned still has the books, so that means...

Your honour...

Dr de gankelaar is a creditor for the sum of fifteen guilders.

I would like a brief adjournment, your honour.

May I?

I'm sorry. He's right.

I bought your books to prevent seizure.

I don't want that! I'll give you the fifteen guilders.

You don't understand. I give it to you and the case is closed.

I can't possibly accept it.

Excuse me?

Dreverhaven has won, I should never have taken him on.

Are you crazy? I give you the money and it's all over.

That's very nice, but I can't accept.


A debt is a debt.

Who taught you that?

Who taught you that senseless self-chastisement?

I give you the money and you take it!

People who can't accept a gift, can't give either,

Jacob Willem!

And you have so much to give, boy!

I won't let them take it away from you.

De Gankelaar decided the case in our favour.

The second debt is irrelevant and the bankruptcy is rejected.

The loser could take two more steps.

He can force stroomkoning to deduct from your salary or appeal.

But Dreverhaven didn't do anything.

He didn't really want me bankrupt either.

He just wanted to show who was in charge...


Three months later I took my exams.

When I came home,there was no one to congratulate me.

On the way home I thought of visiting the enemy.

But I would have nothing to say to him.

Just as I realised that...

He was standing in front of me.

Jacob willem...

What do you want?

What do you want?

I came to say you didn't defeat me in court.

And that you'd better leave me alone.

Or else?

Do something to me.

Do something to me!

Do something to me!


MR Katadreuffe.

Could you come in.

Miss George?

Miss George?


What? You didn't fail?


This is the latest edition.

And complete, all 24 parts.

"Knowledge" up to "Z".

Most is from Dr Stroomkoning...

But everyoune contributed. It's from all of us.


Thank you.

I fear I startled you.

You looked very shocked.

It's a strange evening.

I had my doubts.

You mean...

About tonight.

Whether I should do it.

I really appreciate it.

That afternoon, by the sea...

I think I owe you an explanation I think you should know...

you don't need to.

I'm the one who should explain.

I don't know what was wrong with me.

But this evening I know.

Mr. Katadreuffe, if I may...


I'm very happy

Thank you for the wonderful evening.

But I have something else to say.

Some may already have suspected, but...

In september I start law school.



Everyone has certain gifts.

Each has to discover them.

Then he has to develop them... So he can make propress.

I'm sure

each of us can make progress...

However low he starts.

Anyone with one goal who fights...

And is willing to sacrifice everything...

Shall overcome all resistance

and setbacks.

As long as just one goal remains...

And he is not distracted..

And puts everything else aside.

Of that I am convinced.

I just wanted to say...

That I hope we all work together in harmony.

I fear it was more of a sermon.

Thank you.

Nicely spoken, sir.

Are you tipsy?

Mr. Katadreuffe?

And so to bed...

I couldn't see it. I didn't understand the signals.

I was so full of myself... of my future...

Miss te George?


I have to show you out.

Come back in, the party's not over yet.

Miss te George did not come to the office any more.

Next day she wrote to Stroomkoning offering her resignation...

Without stating a reason

and she was never heard of again.

Mr. Katadreuffe, you are not well

You are very nervous and physically exhausted.

You have no resistance.

But do you think I...

I don't think you can work.

You are burnt out and a mental wreck.

Is that all?

No,one other thing.

Your mother is not well.

You know she has weak lungs.

It got worse recently.

There is no immediate cause for concern.

Her illness is slow and she could remain stable for years.

I wanted you to know.

She never mentions it.


One day I might have to leave her

But I shall never marry.

I'm not the marrying type and nor are you, Jacob.

A quiet period ensued, the still before the storm.

I was still in debt...

But for two years I heard nothing from Dreverhaven.

I heard his business was ailing

and about alcohol abuse and fights...

When is the wedding, Joba?

When will we marry, joba?

Why not leave our boy in peace?

That boy...

I'll strangle him for nine tenths and the last tenth will make him strong.

I shall never marry you.

But I assure you, there has never been another.

Maybe I'll strangle him for the last tenth too.

I'm giving notice.

You have three days to get out.

I'm giving notice. You have three days.

You have three days before I evict you.

The eviction tomorrow... I'll call the police.

Tomorrow at 8 a.m...

You'll be evicted...

In the name of the law.

Come on. Let's go home.

Yes, be sensible...

And head for home.

Be sensible.

Go home.

Dreverhaven had the floors removed...

For a lift he would never install.

He's angry at them.

But the longer he left me alone...

The more he haunted my thoughts.

But that first boarding was quite something.

The ship had to be chained up that afternoon.

We went looking for a bailiff.

When we found Dreverhaven, the ship had sailed.

We chased it in a boat.

Then we saw the ship heading down the river.

It had not picked up speed...

So Dreverhaven ordered the boat to the bow.

Guess what he did? He jumped...

He jumped in the water.

How did you know?

I must have told the story a hundred times.

Indeed, he jumped in the water

and everyone shouted: "man overboard!"

Our boat was on the other side of the bow...


So they had to hoist Dreverhavaen aboard.

When he showed his bailiff s badge to the captain...


It was all over.

That man was brave.

Dreverhaven? Brave or tired of life?

Yes, you could say tired of life.

He was afraid of nothing.

Someone like that may know no fear, but isn't brave.

He's indifferent and that makes him dangerous.

Dangerous? Come, come...

If dreverhaven hadn't stopped that ship, we wouldn't be here.


I'm leaving the office. I have applied for a position abroad.


In four weeks time.

I'm about to graduate.

You'll be all right.

I wish I could come too.

No, you still have some unfinished business.

Will you take care?

A month later, De Gankelaar left for New Guinea.

He had been my mentor and I was his protege.

I would miss him.


Now he had left the office...

I decided to celebrate my graduation With mother and Jan Maan.

You should thank God for giving you such a good brain.


Since when is God mentioned here?

To the next round.

Jacob? I'd like to go outside.

A lot's changed here. These trees...weren't here.

Planted after the war.

Mother? When he first asked you

Why didn't you marry him?

You could see East Quay from here.

It was ugly, this is much better.

Mr. Katadreuffe!

Mrs ten Have.

But Miss te George to you.

Do you still live where you...?

No, but not far from here.

I persuaded my husband to move here.

He's a bookkeeper.

How are you?

Fine. I start my doctoral studies tomorrow.

Of course you'll pass You always succeed.

Then you'll be a lawyer.

To begin with, yes...

Being a lawyer is only the start.

Then I have to specialise...

Then things really start.

And then I'm still not there, because if I asid that...

You haven't changed.

I shall never marry anyone else.

I never forgot you.

You see that woman? That's my mother.

She's special.

She must be... If she's your mother.

Will I see you again?

By chance...

I will wait for that chance.

An old acquaintance.

She was Stroomkoning's secretary.

Was she spoken for?


Really, you were an ass, Jacob Willem.

My mother died in her sleep 18 months later.

I hadn't seen Dreverhaven for six years.

He had left me alone.

I wondered if this was the momnet he'd been waiting for.

Now she was not between us,

he could strike at any moment.

But Dreverhaven did nothing.

When I was sworn in four months later...

I started to realise why he had done nothing.

You sit over there, Mr. Katadreuffe.

If you'd excuse me a moment...

As you wish.

Come on, sit down...

I had achieved all I wanted...


at the same time nothing.

Dreverhaven knew that.

He had known all along.

Dreverhaven knew I would come to see him today.

Mr. Katadreuffe, may I congratulate...

I came to tell you: Today I have been sworn in as lawyer.

You must be sorry, but I am sworn in...

And this is the last time I'll come here.

Farewell for ever. You no longer exist for me.


You congratulate me?

I can't take your hand.

The hand of someone who always opposed me.

Or helped...

Or helped!

Help, help... Jacob. Help me.


Dreverhaven begged you to stab him but you didn't

you walked outside.

You left Dreverhaven alive.



It's the truth.

Come with me.

Dreverhaven was found by his lawyer yesterday just before midnight.

Not in the attic, but on the ground floor...

With a knife in his belly and a broken neck from the fall.

Witnesses saw Katadreuffe leave at five p.m.

This shows that the fatal wounds were not inflicted before 11 p.m.

I think the man is telling the truth.

Mr. Katadreuffe?

What do you think happened in the meantime?

You think an "accident"?


Christ, you look awful.

I've been sitting here all night.

I thought you'd done something stupid.


I have something for you.

Brought personally by Dreverhaven's lawyer.

Dear Jacob Willem...

Of his houses, the bank... his property.

That's all.

That's all!

- You're becoming a Capitalist! - You expected more?

- Not from him. - I wish you all the best.

I say...

"Estimated total value: 320,000 guilders...

"Please contact my lawyer soonest..."

"Signed A.B. Dreverhaven, bailiff."

That's not what it says.

"Please contact my deputy, Mr Schuwagt,

yours truly...


You have been watching "Character"

The Description of Character (Karakter, 1997) by Mike van Diem [1/12] Eng. Subs included