When I was a boy of eight years old we lived in a street
with nice brownstones build in the thirties. My cousin Paul Stork lived opposite
me. He was my best friend. To underline our friendship we started a club called
“The black Hand”. We came together in a dark corner of our attic, in a hidden
small space behind the chimney. We made expeditions on garageroofs in the
neighbourhood and spied on the neigbours, my eldest brother kissing Guurtje
Averes and suspicious behaviour in general, like people switching off and on
After a certain time Jantje Averes, another boy from the
street – indeed the younger brother of Guurtje, whom switched from kissing my
eldest brother to kissing my second eldest brother – learned about ”The
Black Hand”. He picked up the strong ambition to become a member of “The Black
Hand” – I don’t know why. I was so naive that I didn’t even notice at first that
Jantje Averes wanted to become a member, but at once he was all the time with
us. We couldn’t climb on garageroofs and do our important noble work without him
keeping a close tail on us.
He was a bit shorter and a bit fatter then us, but somehow
he managed to work his way into the club. I presume that we found it so annoying
that he followed us all the time that we decided we could better incoorperate
him, so we could concentrate again fully on more important issues, like the
highly suspicious blue containers in the garage of number 15. I was a rabbit if
that wasn’t criminal contrabande.
Jantje Averes had to submit himself to a few minor tests,
like keeping his hand above a burning candle, climbing within five seconds on a
two meter high wall and jumping of a three meter high garageroof, first on
sandground and after completing that succesfully, on cobblestones. Well after
doing all that we just couldn’t, in a decent way, refuse him anymore.
After the moment Jantje Averes joint the club pretty soon
the magic was gone. He seduced us to steal crates with empty bottles from
gardens, so we could buy french fries and loads of candy at cafetaria Marcel.
Only within a few weeks “The Black Hand” vanished.
Alas, the action radius of the club was 60, perhaps 70
meters, it contained two members, cousins in first line, later three. The club
vanished because the unwritten values of the club were violated – the unwritten
values being that we were a noble institute for the good of the world. When a
club grows it might make sense to agree upon the unwritten
To capture the unwritten values of Europe is perhaps our