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Title: A Danish Parsonage
Author: Vicary, John Fulford, 1832-1887
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Danish Parsonage" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



    A DANISH PARSONAGE



    BY

    AN ANGLER



    LONDON


    KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO., 1, PATERNOSTER SQUARE


    1884



(The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved.)



    CONTENTS

    CHAPTER I.

Introductory

    CHAPTER II.

The Danish Parsonage--Trout fishing on the Gudenaa

    CHAPTER III.

Rosendal

    CHAPTER IV.

The Danish Church--The clerical party in Denmark

    CHAPTER V.

Danish parishioners--The piano--English and Danish horses

    CHAPTER VI.

Pike, perch, and eel fishing--A silver wedding at a Danish
proprietor's

    CHAPTER VII.

Danish horse-breeding--A fatal accident

    CHAPTER VIII.

The superstition of the Huldr--The tradition of Gefion--Of
Churches--The legend of the sunken mansion--Of the boar Limgrim

    CHAPTER IX.

Kaempehøie or tumuli--Hidden treasure--Ghosts--Spectral
Huntsmen--Witches--Gypsies--The book of Cyprianus--Nissen--Elle folk

    CHAPTER X.

The purchase of Rosendal--Pike fishing--Karl Lindal rides the English
horse

    CHAPTER XI.

The legend of the Damhest--The Helhest--The Kirkelam--The
Gravso--Burying alive to propitiate supernatural power--Traditions of
robbers--The Basilisk--The Lindorm--Lygtemænd

    CHAPTER XII.

Horse racing in Denmark--A horse race

    CHAPTER XIII.

Trout fishing in hot weather--Danish ladies riding--A practical visit
to Rosendal

    CHAPTER XIV.

Folketro--Havmænd--Havfruer--The gnome of the elder
tree--Varulv--Marer--Strandvarsler--Kirkegrim

    CHAPTER XV.

The Pastor and his daughter--The Scotch landscape gardener--Folkeviser

    CHAPTER XVI.

Trout fishing--The legend of the Aamænd--Changelings--Wise men and
wise women--Dværge--Tyge Brahe--Herr Eske Brok--The family Rosenkrands

    CHAPTER XVII.

A drive through part of Jutland--Silkeborg--Himmelbjerg Traditions of
Holger Danske--Walling sinners up

    CHAPTER XVIII.

Horsens--Veile--Legends--The Swedes in Jutland--Hamlet--Abbot Muus--A
found treasure--The priest at Urlev--Koldinghuus

    CHAPTER XIX.

Holsted--Folke Eventyr--The story of the priest and his clerk--Of the
queen who was walled up seventeen years--Of the Trold and the
boy--Esbjerg

    CHAPTER XX.

In England--Hardy Place--Mrs. Hardy--Correspondence with Denmark

    CHAPTER XXI.

Mrs. Hardy visits Denmark--Helga Lindal--The yacht sails for
Copenhagen

    CHAPTER XXII.

Yachting from Copenhagen to Christiania--Helga Lindal's Birthday

    CHAPTER XXIII.

Christiania to Aarhus--Pastor Lindal and the yacht--John Hardy's
wedding-day is fixed--The Domkirke at Aarhus--Traditions and legends

    CHAPTER XXIV.

Pastor Lindal joins the yacht for a cruise amongst the Danish
islands--Samsø and traditions--Endelave and the giantess--Odense and
its historical traditions--Nyborg--King Christian and the monkey--The
ghost of Queen Helvig--Mærkedage--Svendborg--St. Jørgen and the
Lindorm--The murdered lady--Weather days

    CHAPTER XXV.

Vordingborg--Mariebo and traditions--Legend of Borre
Island--Phanefjord and Grønsund--Legends of Phane and Grøn--The
pilgrim stone--Drive to Møen's Klint--The Underjordiske--Margrethe
Skælvig's wedding-dress--The twenty pigs and Gamle
Erik--Præstø--Stevn's Klint--Hoierup--The termination "rup"
explained--Copenhagen to Aarhus

     CHAPTER XXVI.

Pastor Lindal's views as to his parish--His daughter's as to her
wedding-dress--The marriage--John Hardy and his wife's arrival at
Hardy Place--With the Pastor--A daughter-in-law's duty--Pastor
Lindal's strong opinions on the English church system--



    ARGUMENT

The Viking, _tenax propositi_, if he planned an expedition, carried it
out, through all obstacles, or died in the attempt.

The descendants, softened in manner and cast of thought by centuries
of time, retain the same singleness of purpose.

There is no other thought of the duty of life except to do it. If self
has to be sacrificed, it is done without reserve.

The result is that there are men and women who are the reflection of
duty, and although this occurs in all lands, yet nowhere does it exist
in greater purity than in the descendants of the Viking.



    A DANISH PARSONAGE



CHAPTER I.


    "_Piscator_. Oh, sir! doubt not but that Angling is
    an art. Is it not an art to deceive a Trout with an artificial
    fly?--a Trout that is more sharp-sighted than any Hawk you
    have named, and more watchful and timorous than your
    high-mettled Merlin is bold. And yet I doubt not to catch a
    brace or two to-morrow for a friend's breakfast."
    --_The Complete Angler._


John Hardy had lived with his mother at Hardy Place. His father had
died when he was six years of age, and there was consequently a long
minority of fifteen years. The greatest influence in John Hardy's life
was a trout stream that ran winding through an English landscape for
four miles in the Hardys' property. John Hardy fished it as a
schoolboy, and it was the greatest triumph he experienced as a lad, to
catch more trout in it with a fly than the numerous fly-fishers to
whom Mrs. Hardy's kindness gave permission. When college days came,
John Hardy, ever intent on fishing, went to Norway in the vacation
with the checkered result of getting an occasional salmon, and in the
smaller streams on the fjelds a quantity of small trout. The grand
scenery in the fjords, and the kindly nature of the people, led John
Hardy to more remote districts, where sport was better, the fare and
quarters worse, but some acquisition of Scandinavian language a
necessity.

Thus John Hardy not only gradually acquired a knowledge of many
dialects in Scandinavia, but the ability to read and understand the
simpler books in the language. He travelled and fished through Norway
and Sweden, and by degrees learnt, from the necessity of speaking it,
more and more of the Danish language, the language of Scandinavia, as
English relatively is to broad Scotch. This naturally led to his going
to Denmark, and his travelling through Jutland and the Danish islands.
In Jutland he accidentally fished in a West Jutland river, and to his
surprise found the difficult but good fishing that his heart longed
for.

John Hardy returned home, and was at Hardy Place with his mother the
whole winter, and then, as April came round with the fishing season,
John became restless, and told his mother of his Danish fishing
experiences, and left for Copenhagen. His mother said, "Write me once
a week, John, and bring me home a Scandinavian princess for your
wife." John Hardy promised to write, but said he thought Scandinavian
princesses did not rise to a fly. His mother's face grew grave, and
she said, "You should marry soon, John; you are twenty-eight, and I
want to see you married to a wife to whom you can trust Hardy Place
and the care of your mother in her old age."

"I can find no one yet, dear mother," said John Hardy. "I cannot bear
you should have any one at Hardy Place you did not only like but
love."

"Bless you, John," said his mother. "I trust in your love; and I know
some men are such gentlemen, and so was your father, and so are you,
John."

So Hardy left for Copenhagen by the English steamer from Hull to St.
Petersburg, and was landed in the pilot-boat at Elsinore, and went
thence by rail to Copenhagen. On the journey John Hardy thought that
his best course was to get lodgings with a respectable family in
Jutland near the Gudenaa, the little river that embouches in the
Randers fjord and flows through part of Jutland, and is the principal
river in it.

John Hardy had taken from his bankers introductions to persons in
Copenhagen, to whom he had communicated his wishes. The result was an
advertisement in the _Berlinske Tidende_ that an Englishman required
lodgings near the Gudenaa, with an opportunity of being taught the
Danish language. The replies were many and of a very varied character,
as might be anticipated from such an advertisement.

But John Hardy received a reply from a Danish clergyman in Jutland,
which struck his fancy beyond the rest. It was as follows:--

"In reply to the advertisement in the _Berlinske Tidende_ of
yesterday's date, I beg to offer lodgings in my house. It is a small
parsonage in Jutland, and the Gudenaa is near. There is a towing-path
on the banks, and where such exists the fishing is free, consequently
no difficulty will arise as to permission to fish. The fishing is not
particularly good, and if great anticipations exist on this score, I
must say that they will not, in my opinion, be realized. Small fish on
which the trout feed are abundant, as also the cadis worm and fly, and
the trout do not take readily an artificial bait, either fly or
minnow. I cannot, therefore, say that I think many trout can be
caught. There is also much fishing with small nets. I can, however,
teach Danish to an Englishman, although my knowledge of English is
imperfect; but on the other hand, if the advertiser will teach my two
sons, of sixteen and fourteen years of age, English, I should require
no payment from him. I am a widower, with a daughter and the two sons
already named. I can only add that he would be received kindly, and
treated as a member of my family."

The straightforwardness of this communication had its effect on John
Hardy's open character, and he replied that he would accept the
conditions stipulated, but that he could do so only on a payment of a
monthly sum, which he was advised in Copenhagen was a full
compensation, and rather more than would be expected, for the
accommodation and cost that might be incurred by the Danish Pastor.

The reply from the Jutland parsonage was: "The evident consideration
shown by your answer to my letter should be sufficient, but before you
come here will you kindly give me references in Copenhagen, or, if
that be difficult, in England, where I might make inquiry. I am the
Pastor of the parish where I reside, and it is due to my position that
I should make inquiry before I can admit any one to my house under any
circumstances. I do not wish to ask what is not right or reasonable,
but as I am situated it is a necessity, however advantageous your
coming here might be to me."

This reply impressed John Hardy more than the previous communication,
and he replied with the address of a bank in Copenhagen, with
reference to his own bankers in London, for which John Hardy had to
wait a week in Copenhagen. These replies were to the effect that John
Hardy was a gentleman of position and character in England, and that
any amount that might be incurred by him for expenses in Denmark would
at once be paid by the Danish bank.

John Hardy, it must be confessed, would rather have been fishing in
the Gudenaa than waiting for references that would show he was to be
trusted in a Danish household; but he was assured in Copenhagen that
in Jutland an introduction is not only necessary, but that it should
be supported by references, which when once done in a satisfactory
manner, then the natural kindness of the Jutland people would be open
to him. John Hardy's later experiences led him to recognize how true
the advice he received in Copenhagen was in this respect.

He left Copenhagen by the steamer for Aarhus, and went by rail to a
small station on the railway, where the Pastor met him with a
two-horse vehicle, that made the small distance of eight English miles
a journey of nearly three hours. The Pastor was a man of fifty, with a
fresh complexion and a kindly face, and asked many questions of John
Hardy's family and friends, his position in England, his age, the
income from his landed property, and his views and intentions in life.

John Hardy had, however, heard he must expect this, and answered
simply and frankly.

When at length the little Danish parsonage was reached, with its
whitewashed garden wall, with poplar trees and lilac bushes, John
Hardy felt it was a relief to escape the close cross-examination to
which he had been so long subjected, and to see the Pastor's two boys
running out with eager curiosity to inspect the Englishman, and assist
in taking his luggage to the room apportioned to him.

"We shall have dinner shortly," said the Pastor. "Helga is not here to
meet us, and that is a sign that we shall not wait long. Karl and Axel
will show you your room and bring anything you may want, and help you
to unpack your portmanteaus."

John Hardy went to his room--a room with little furniture, but adapted
as a sitting-room or bedroom. The two boys, with the desire that all
boys have to be useful to a guest, assisted in undoing his luggage,
and John Hardy was soon ready to follow them to the little dining-room
of the parsonage.

The table was laid with a little bunch of wild flowers and grasses
here and there, but with little else. The Pastor received Hardy in a
more friendly manner than he had exhibited before, and his daughter
Helga appeared from a door leading from the kitchen, and was
introduced by her father. John Hardy saw a tall woman of twenty, with
fair hair and violet eyes, and bowed. The dinner was borne in by two
women-servants, and Helga signed to John Hardy where he should sit.

There was little conversation at dinner. John Hardy, for his part, was
hungry, and also knew little Danish; but gradually, as the more
substantial dishes disappeared, conversation arose, and John Hardy
turned its direction to the fishing in the Gudenaa.

"Your frank letters to me," said Hardy, "would not lead me to expect
much; but there are trout in the Gudenaa, and it might be that a few
might be caught."

"You will not catch them with a fly, after the English fashion," said
Karl. "An Englishman that came from Randers has been here, and he
caught three only in a whole day."

"I fear Karl is right," said the Pastor. "There is such an abundance
of fish-food in the Gudenaa, that a means of catching them that leaves
no option to the fish is apparently the only successful method."

"That is the very position that interests me," replied Hardy. "The
difficulty is the only pleasure in the sport."

"They fish with the lines set at night, baited with a small fish, and
catch, not only trout, but eels," said Karl. "You might try that. But
they do not catch many."

Helga had brought her father a large porcelain pipe with a long stem,
and the Pastor was smoking slowly and vigorously. Coffee was brought
in, and Helga offered Hardy a large pipe like her father's. This he
declined.

"Do you not smoke?" said the Pastor.

"Yes," replied Hardy; "but we are not accustomed to do so in a lady's
presence in England; and what an English gentleman would do in England
he should do in Denmark."

"Good," said the Pastor, "very good. But it is our custom to smoke.
The practice is habitual with us. Helga, will you speak?"

"I should be sorry you did not smoke, Herr Hardy," said Helga. "My
father likes to have some one smoking at the same time. It will be a
comfort to him."

So John lit a cigar with some misgiving; and he sent Karl up to his
room for a courier-bag, in which he had some fishing-books with
trout-flies. Karl and Axel looked at the English trout-flies with
interest.

"Those feathered things," said Karl, "I have seen used, but they only
catch small trout, and now and then a bleak. I have seen Englishmen
use them here from Randers."

John Hardy selected three flies and put them on a casting-line, and
wound it round his hat, and he said, "Now, will you two boys go with
me to fish at six o'clock to-morrow morning?"

"Yes, that will we," said Karl. "Kirstin will call us, and will have
coffee ready an hour earlier than usual, if you wish it."

"Am I disturbing your house, Herr Pastor," said Hardy, "by suggesting
this to your boys?"

"By no means," said the Pastor. "It is now Thursday, and we shall not
expect you to begin to teach them English until Monday, and the boys
can have a free time until then. We have breakfast at ten to eleven,
and you would have time to fish a little; and Kirstin will give you
some bread and butter and coffee at six."

"There is nothing unusual in this, Herr Hardy," said Frøken Helga, in
reply to a look of surprise from Hardy. "It will put us to no
inconvenience."

"That may be," said the Pastor; "but I think you should clearly
understand that you are not likely to catch any trout."

"That," said Hardy, "we must leave to the trout to decide."



CHAPTER II.


    "_Piscator._ Good morrow, sir! What, up and dressed
    so early!
    "_Viator._ Yes, sir. I have been dressed this half hour, for I
    rested so well and have so great a mind either to take or to
    see a trout taken in your fine river that I could no longer
    lie a-bed.
    "_Piscator._ I am glad to see you so brisk this morning and so
    eager of sport, though I must tell you, this day proves so
    calm, and the sun rises so bright, as promises no great
    success to the angler; but however, we will try, and one way
    or the other, we shall sure do something."
    --_The Complete Angler._


Kirstin, the elder of Pastor Karl Lindar's women servants, was about
forty-five--a large-framed woman with a hard face. She possessed, in
common with the Jutland lower class, a shrewd sense, yet highly
suspicious, but at the bottom strong good nature. She had been with
Pastor Lindal more than twenty years, and her devotion to him and his
was complete. At all times she gave her advice, whether asked or
unasked, on every topic, and materially assisted in economizing the
pastor's narrow income. Her work was done with the exactitude of a
clock, neat and precise; and if the work in the house was by any cause
increased, she rose earlier and went to bed later, rejoicing in her
capacity for work and usefulness. The influence her steady character
had in the house was great, and on the Pastor's daughter, Frøken
Helga's leaving an educational institution at Copenhagen, Kirstin's
strict sense of duty created an impression that Frøken Helga never
lost. She awoke to the fact of what her duty was--that it was to her
father and his home. Kirstin's manner was not kindly, and she could
give sharp answers, but the woman's kindly nature often showed itself
in a strong light. Outside the Pastor's house she was respected and
liked, and always went by the name of Præsten's Kirstin.

At half-past five the morning of the day after John Hardy's arrival at
the parsonage, Kirstin knocked at the door of his room, and brought in
the accustomed coffee and its belongings.

John Hardy was dressed, as he was always an early riser, and was
attaching two large Irish lake trout flies to a stronger casting line
than he had selected the night before.

"Morn," said Kirstin. "I tell the gentleman that Karl and Axel have
had coffee. Has the gentleman anything to command?"

"Tell them I am ready to go fishing," said Hardy; "but if we catch any
trout and the trout are in the kitchen by ten o'clock, can we have
them cooked for breakfast?"

"If the gentleman's fish are there, the frying-pan is ready," replied
Kirstin; "but the Herr Pastor would not wish the gentleman to be
without a breakfast."

It was clear Kirstin doubted a trout breakfast's possibility. John
Hardy began to doubt too; but he took his fishing-rod, a light
sixteen-foot fly rod, and called the two boys, who rushed into his
room eager to a degree.

"Herr Hardy," said Axel, "they all say you will catch nothing--do you
think you will?"

The anxiety in the boy's face amused Hardy, who gave him the
fishing-bag to carry, and his brother Karl the landing-net.

John Hardy went to the bridge close to the parsonage, and looked up
the river. The country was flat, chiefly arable land, with meadows
here and there of coarse grass. The river had a peaty colour, and
resembled in its flow some portions of the Thames.

"Do you know where the deepest water is up the river, boys?" inquired
Hardy.

"Up by the tile works," said the boys both at once, "and above that it
is not deep."

Hardy walked up the towing-path, keeping his eye on the river, but not
a trout moved. He saw the abundance of bleak and smaller fish, and it
occurred to him that it was easy to account for the non-success of the
fly-fishers in the Gudenaa. The fish would not be often feeding, as
trout food existed in such quantity; and besides, to a voracious trout
a plump little fish was more acceptable than an ephemera. If there
were any fish feeding they would be in the shallows.

Hardy tried small trout flies, but without success; not a fish moved,
and the boys' faces had a disappointed look. He changed his casting
line for the one with the Irish lake trout flies, and was soon fast in
a trout. This Karl, in his excitement to get into the landing-net,
nearly lost, but Hardy let the fish have line, and then drew it again
within reach of the landing-net. This fish was full of food, and
corroborated the Pastor's statement. The trout resembles the Hampshire
trout, but the colours were more brightly painted. Hardy fished
steadily for two hours, with the result of landing eight trout
averaging a pound each, to the boys' intense delight. Kirstin and
their father had both doubted Hardy, but there were the fish and could
be cooked for breakfast. The boys never doubted Hardy after.

"Axel, little man," said John Hardy, "run to the kitchen with the
fish, and tell Kirstin that the Englishman wants to know if the
frying-pan is ready."

Axel was off like a hare.

When Karl and Hardy reached the parsonage, the Pastor was at the door.
"I see no fish," said he, "and I am glad I did not lead you to expect
any success in that direction."

"We have not been very successful," said Hardy, quietly taking down
his rod. "A knowledge of the habits of the fish in different rivers,
and a knowledge of the rivers is necessary, and this an intimate
acquaintance only gives."

"Yes, but, father," put in Kari, "Herr Hardy has caught a lot; he
would not let us keep the small ones, but kept eight of the biggest.
Axel has ran on with them. Kirstin told me the frying-pan would be
ready, but not the gentleman's fish."

When John Hardy was called to breakfast--a Danish breakfast
corresponds much to an early English lunch--he found Karl and Axel's
tongues wagging like a dog's tail at dinner-time, they were so full of
the fishing. They had caught a few roach in the river, and about once
in a moon a trout, and John Hardy's completer knowledge had impressed
them. Hardy bowed to Frøken Helga, and would have shaken hands, but
she pointed to a seat, and Hardy sat down. The Pastor said grace, and
attacked the trout with much appreciation of their merits.

"We tried to cast a line out, father, with Herr Hardy's rod," said
Axel, "but could not, the line fell all of a heap, while Herr Hardy
threw it a long way; it hovered over the water for a second, and fell
slowly on the water. The flies appeared like live insects."

"You know, father," put in Karl, "the wider shallow in the river above
the tile works? I saw a trout rise there, and pointed it out to Herr
Hardy, He watched it, and when the trout rose again he walked straight
into the river and caught it by a long cast. It was the biggest fish."

"I have undertaken to teach you two boys English," said Hardy; "and if
you will try and learn, I will teach you how to fish and give you rods
and flies as well."

"A thousand thanks, Herr Hardy," said Karl and Axel, with delight.

"You have already prepared the way for performing your part of our
contract, Herr Hardy," said the Pastor; "I can only hope I shall
execute mine so well. With the boys' hearts in the work the rest is
easy;" and Pastor Lindal regarded his manly and self-possessed guest
with interest.

John Hardy could now in the full light of a day in May consider Pastor
Lindal; his age was apparently over fifty, his features were clear cut
and handsome, his eyes blue, and his hair had been a light-brown.
There was an impression of probity about him that struck Hardy
forcibly. His manner was a trifle awkward to Hardy's notion, but it
was kindly. His daughter Helga was like her father. Her complexion was
clear and her voice musical. Her manner was, Hardy thought, not
refined. It was simple and straightforward, and to John Hardy she
appeared to want the ladylike tone of an English lady. The two boys
Karl and Axel were like English lads of the same age, frank and open,
and Hardy liked them.

The Pastor had his pipe in full glow--his daughter had filled it--and
Hardy, taught by his experience of the previous evening, lit a cigar.
The Pastor said that he had his duties to attend to, and some of his
parish children as he called them to visit, and that his daughter
Helga had also her visits to make. Hardy replied that he should write
to his mother and some business letters, and if dinner was at four, as
the Pastor had intimated, that he should like to fish in the evening,
to relieve Kirstin's doubts as to whether the frying-pan would be
wanted for breakfast on the morrow by catching some trout the night
before.

"And you will take us, Herr Hardy?" said Karl and Axel with some
anxiety.

"Come to my room at three," said Hardy; "I will begin to teach you how
to fish. I have a lighter fly rod, and we will prepare the tackle."

After dinner John Hardy and the boys went to the river. Hardy had a
sixteen-foot minnow rod, and put up a twelve-foot fly rod for the
boys, and showed them how to cast it. They took it in turns, and Karl
caught a trout. Hardy waded the shallows, fishing with a minnow, and
the trout for an hour were on the feed. The largest trout he caught
was over three pounds, and seventeen weighed nineteen pounds, by
Hardy's English spring balance.

John Hardy changed his clothes and came down to the room occupied by
Pastor Lindal and his family as a sitting-room, and found Frøken Helga
playing on an old piano to the Pastor, who was smoking in his easy
chair. She at once ceased.

"We have caught more and larger fish, Herr Pastor," said Hardy; "the
fishing in the Gudenaa is good, and any doubt as to there being trout
for breakfast, and, if you wish, dinner, to-morrow, is at an end."

"You English are a thorough people," said the Pastor; "whether it be
sport or business, science or skill, you are to the front."

"Our faith is that we owe it to our Danish ancestors," said Hardy;
"the hard tenacity of the Vikings is what we admire most in history."

"My faith is that it is the free and independent spirit of your
institutions for ages," replied the Pastor. "You now enjoy the changes
wrought by Cromwell, for which the English people then were ripe. But
do light your cigar, and hear a suggestion I have to make for
to-morrow. There is an old Danish place near here, called Rosendal.
Its special beauty is the idyllic landscape of beech trees, a lake,
and a valley where they grow such roses as will resist our Danish
climate. The house is an old house, but has been restored by
successive owners. The place is visited by people far and near. It is
thoroughly Danish, and especially Jydsk (Jutlandsk). It is only two
English miles from here, and my daughter Helga's only enthusiasm is
Rosendal. She will go with you, with Karl and Axel. Is the walk too
far?"

"No, certainly not," said Hardy; "do we go before breakfast or after?"

"Helga, order breakfast earlier," said the Pastor.

"Yes, father," said Frøken Helga; "but is it necessary for me to go to
Rosendal, the boys can show Herr Hardy the way?"

"You always like to go there and enjoy it," said her father. "You have
been in the house some days preparing to receive Herr Hardy, and the
walk will do you good. Go by all means."



CHAPTER III.


    "And I will make thee beds of roses,
    And then a thousand fragrant posies,
    A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
    Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle."
    _The Complete Angler._


John Hardy had risen early, and had time before breakfast to inspect
the surroundings of the little Danish parsonage. The house was low, of
two stories, with a large cellarage underneath, in which was stored
articles of all kinds that might be injured by the frost of winter.
The roof was brown tiles, with a high pitch, so that the snow should
slip off easily. The chief entrance was through a little shrubbery
surrounded by a white-washed wall leading up to a few steps to the
front door. The living rooms were to the left of the inner hall, and
the Pastor's study to the right, which was so arranged that access was
easy from the front door, or by passing through an inner vestibule to
the back of the house. The kitchen was to the rear of the left side,
and the outbuildings, which consisted of stables for cows, horses, and
sheep, were to the back of the main building. The Pastor had two
horses, for the farm work of his glebe, and these were used for
journeys to the railway station or elsewhere in an old four-wheel
conveyance, which could scarcely be termed a carriage or a waggon. In
fact, it answered both purposes. The rooms were warmed by iron stoves,
in the winter, the fuel used being chiefly wood and turf. The Pastor
had a sort of turbary right, which supplied him with the latter. The
shrubbery in front of the main building was planted with poplars,
lilacs, and laburnum. The grass on the lawn was coarse and rough, and
an occasional cow was tethered on it, which did not improve the
quality of the herbage.

The income from all sources of Pastor Lindal was small, according to
English views, but it was sufficient to enable him to maintain a happy
home and to do his duty to his parish with strict economy. The
difficulty was the future of his sons and daughter.

After breakfast, in which the trout caught by Hardy the previous
evening occupied a conspicuous position, the Pastor said--

"When you return I shall be interested, Herr Hardy, to hear your views
of Rosendal. The place is, as I told you, Danish; but I should like to
hear how it looks through English spectacles."

"You have told me, Herr Pastor," said Hardy, "that Frøken Helga has an
enthusiasm for Rosendal. I fear I shall be interested thereby, as she
goes with us."

Hardy looked at Frøken Helga, who looked annoyed; and he saw he had
said something which displeased her.

The way to Rosendal was over the sandy road for two English miles,
when the entrance gate was reached, leading up an avenue of lime trees
that had been pollarded. The storms would certainly have pollarded
them in a more irregular manner than the hand of man. The house was a
much larger house than Pastor Lindal's parsonage, but after the same
fashion. The entrance steps were wider, but the whole arrangement of
the mansion was after the same plan. There was the same too near
proximity of the stables and cow houses, possibly essential in cold
weather, for their being attended to. The view from the front of the
house was to a lake of about thirty acres. On each side of the lake
were very large beech trees, with juniper bushes underneath; and the
effect was, as the Pastor had said, idyllic. A narrow valley was
planted with roses, and through it a path led to the lake, hence the
name Rosendal. The beech trees were of great age, and the rising
ground on each side had protected them from the prevailing winds. The
effect on the eye, in comparison with the nakedness of the surrounding
country, was forcible, and John Hardy was impressed by the natural and
distinctive beauty of the place.

Frøken Helga had scarcely replied to his attempts at conversation on
the way to Rosendal. She had run races with her brothers and entered
into all their whims and caprices, but to John Hardy she had only
replied in monosyllables; but when she saw the effect the beauty of
the place had on Hardy, she said--

"Is it not a pretty place?"

"It has its peculiar beauty, Frøken Helga," replied Hardy.

"I would rather live here than any place I know," said Helga. "The
peace and calm of the beech woods, and the fret of the wind waves on
the shore of the lake, suggest thoughts that are unspeakable to me."

Hardy started. She had spoken in a simple manner, but he felt that she
experienced all she uttered. He now understood Pastor Lindal's words
that Rosendal was Helga's enthusiasm. Then there was an appreciation
of nature and her mysteries that Hardy had thought impossible out of
English refinement and its influence.

"Can we go through the house?" said Hardy, as if with a sudden
determination. "I wish to see it."

"The Forvalter or bailiff lives in the house, and if he is not at home
his wife is, or their servant," replied Helga.

The house had reception-rooms after the older Danish fashion, and were
such as could be made comfortable, even to an English tenant. John
Hardy asked the bailiff's wife if she could point out the boundary of
the property; and this was done from the rising ground behind the
house. A visit to the valley of roses was made, and a stroll through
the beech woods. Karl and Axel had ran to the shores of the lake, and
had hunted along its banks to find wild ducks' eggs, happily without
success.

On the way back to Pastor Lindal's parsonage, John Hardy attempted a
conversation with Frøken Helga; but it failed utterly. She talked with
her brothers and walked with them. Hardy saw he was avoided. He had
seen the same conduct in young girls in France, and attributed it to
the same reason, and said nothing more.

The Pastor, when his pipe had been, as usual, filled by Helga after
dinner, and at the first vigorous puffs, addressed Hardy.

"Let me hear about Rosendal, Herr Hardy. I can listen, but when Helga
has filled my pipe, can make any allowance then, for anybody's
prejudices, even an Englishman's."

"Rosendal is a place with an accidental, peculiar beauty," said Hardy.
"The configuration of the land is adapted to form a shelter to the
beech trees, while the little lake is just in the right place to
produce a pretty effect. The landscape is, as you say, a Jutland
landscape; the grass in the meadows is coarse, and the arable land
sandy."

"You speak like a photograph, Herr Hardy," said Pastor Lindal. "But
did you not like the house and grounds?"

"The house is Danish, of a past fashion," replied Hardy, "and there is
no difference in plan from your parsonage. The stables and outhouses
are too near the house, and so is the kitchen garden; it may be
convenient, but it is not to our English taste. The grounds are not
made the best of; but this is a subject in which the climate must be
consulted. The specimen trees we use for the purpose would, many of
them, grow dwarfed, or not at all."

"I have heard much of the English taste in this respect," said the
Pastor. "I should like to see an English residence, in contrast to our
dear Rosendal."

"That you can judge of by some photographs of Hardy Place, my
residence in England," said Hardy. "I will fetch them."

He shortly after appeared with a set of four photographs, and a strong
reading-glass.

"There," said Hardy, "is the front of Hardy Place. You will observe
the arrangement of the lawn, and you will see the fineness of the
turf, which you will see nowhere else than in England. The
conservatory is to the right of the front entrance, to be sheltered
from the east wind; the house faces south. You will see by these other
photographs different views of the house and its surroundings. The
stables and gardens, for vegetables and fruit, are at some distance;
while the home farm, equivalent to your Bondegaard, is an English mile
distant. This gives greater privacy; while at Rosendal, the stables
and house and farm are practically under one roof."

"Herr Hardy would say, father, that we Danes want the refinement of
the English," said Frøken Helga, who did not like the correct
criticism of a place she loved so well.

"When I asked you the name of the owner of Rosendal," said Hardy,
looking at her, "the answer I received from you might have led my
thoughts in that direction, Frøken Helga."

"I gave no answer!" retorted Helga.

"Just so," said Hardy, smiling.

Helga understood him.

The Pastor and his two boys had been looking at the photographs with
much interest. "It is a Slot [a palace], and there is good taste
throughout. And do you live there, Herr Hardy?"

"Yes," replied Hardy, "except when I take a foreign tour. My mother
resides there. My father died when I was young. But would not Frøken
Helga like to see the photographs?"

Helga did not look up from the knitting, which was her constant
employment every spare moment; so Hardy addressed himself to her
father, as if he had not put the question.

"Before I came here," said Hardy, "I read in the _Berlinske Tidende_
an advertisement for the sale of Rosendal, which to-day appears to be
the same place.

"Yes," said Pastor Lindal. "It is the property of a Baron Krag; he
will sell it if he can obtain about double its value. He has the
argument on his side, that it is an exceptional place, and should sell
at an exceptional price; hitherto he has not found a buyer on these
terms. The property is small in extent."

About a week after this conversation, John Hardy received the
following letter from Copenhagen:--

"I was honoured by your letter of the 10th of this month, and, in
pursuance of your wishes, called at the Bank and enquired of you, and
presented your letter, requesting them to give me information about
you. They replied that they had heard from your London bankers that
you had a considerable sum at your disposition in their hands, and
that your yearly income was considerable, and that any services I
rendered you would be promptly paid for. I accordingly send
particulars of Rosendal, which I have already procured for other
clients; and I send sketch of the estate. The price is much in excess
of its value, 300,000 kroner (18 kroner is equal to £1 sterling). The
price that has been bid is 200,000 kroner, and possibly an advance may
be obtained on that. I wish to point out to you that 200,000 kroner is
beyond the value of Rosendal in an economical sense, and the same
money in the Danish funds would yield twice the income.

"The cows, horses, and sheep, agricultural implements, all go to the
purchaser. The land is managed by a bailiff, and the sources of income
are chiefly from the sale of butter, barley, and produce. There is a
small tile works; and a certain quantity of turf can be sold yearly.
The income is therefore uncertain.

"I think it also my duty to lay clearly before you, that if you wish
to introduce any alteration in our Danish system of farming, that it
would not be successful. There would be a passive antagonism with the
people, who, if you let them be steered by a good bailiff, would give
you no trouble. In the direction of any improvement, however, new
agricultural implements from England of the simpler kind would be well
received and adopted. The Danish cattle also are suitable to the
country, and the introduction of English high class-breeds might not
answer.

"If you did not reside at Rosendal, the bailiff's accounts could be
checked either by me or any other person you thought proper, and the
place visited twice yearly, to report the condition and the state of
the property.

"I will ascertain the exact sum that will be accepted, if you desire
it; but it will take time--negotiations for large properties are often
much protracted in Denmark.

"I wait, therefore, the honour of your reply, and respectfully greet
you.

"Obediently,
"Axel Steindal,
"_Prokuratør._"



CHAPTER IV.


    "Many a one
    Owes to his country his religion,
    And in another, would as strongly grow
    Had but his mother or his nurse taught him so."
    _The Complete Angler._


The church at Vandstrup lay on rising ground from the river. It was
white-washed, covered with red tiles, and surrounded by a white-washed
wall enclosing God's acre, in which so many slept the last long sleep.
There were a few poplars planted close to the church-yard wall, and a
few weather-beaten ash trees, with a single dwarfed weeping willow
over a grave. On Sunday, John Hardy watched with interest the
church-going people collecting by the church gate. The men in dark
Wadmel jackets with bright buttons, and the women with red ribands
bound on their caps and knitted sleeves. The women left their wooden
shoes in the dry ditch by the roadside, and put on leather shoes, and
waited for the Pastor's arrival. Accuracy of time was not expected,
and only when the Pastor appeared did the men throng into the church
on one side and the women on the other. The interior of the church was
simple to a degree. John Hardy with Karl and Axel sat on the men's
side, and Frøken Helga and Kirstin on the other. The service was
similar to that of the English Protestant service, although relics of
what would be now called Romanism remained. There were candles on the
altar, and the Pastor chanted some portion of the service. John Hardy
longed for the sermon. The thorough honest feeling exhibited by the
Pastor's character in his home, with his evident refinement and
education, had excited his curiosity as to what the sermon would be.

The text of the sermon was from the fifth chapter of St. Matthew, part
of ver. 42: "Give to him that asketh thee!"

"When a man comes and asks anything of you, what should you give? The
best thing is sympathy and love; material gifts he may want, but these
kindliness will dictate, and kindliness is the real gold of life. If
no power exists to give what is necessary to assist your neighbour in
a material sense, yet to your ability give; and if you give at all,
give kindly. Those of you who want not material things, yet may want
kind sympathy when God smiteth with sorrow. Recollect, then, that that
is the time for kindliness to be proved that is golden."

This was the epitome of the sermon, and John Hardy could not hear a
sound in the church, so intently was it listened to.

"I could understand your sermon, Herr Pastor," said Hardy; "it was
preached in such simple Danish, and I liked it. But what interested me
was the earnestness with which you were listened to: every word was
heard by every one of your congregation, and I could see felt."

"It was not always so," said Pastor Lindal. "I have won the sympathy
and friendship of the children of my parish by years of work amongst
them. The character of the Jutland people is suspicious--there is a
strange mixture of shrewdness and stolidity; they are slow to
appreciate, but when once their sympathy is won, they are fast
friends. It is impossible for a sermon to have any effect without you
have won their friendship on other days than Sundays."

John Hardy said nothing, but he thought that the application was true
to other lands than Denmark, particularly England.

The Pastor had to perform another service at an Annex Kirke (a
subsidiary church), and left after a short meal to do so. Frøken Helga
went to her room, and Karl and Axel implored Hardy to go fishing; but
he refused. "It is not right to do so," he said; "we have to keep the
Sunday, and fishing is not keeping the Sunday."

"But everybody does here, and more than, other days," said Karl.

"That may be," said Hardy; "but I cannot do what I do not think is
right."

Kirstin was present and heard this conversation, and it met her
evident approval. She told the boys that the Englishman must not be
teased on a Sunday, that he might wish to read his Bible, and that he
must not be disturbed. The boys left the room in bad humour.

"Kirstin," said Hardy, "my being here will, I dare say, give you more
trouble, and I wish to recognize it. I am an Englishman accustomed to
many servants, and may be careless of what trouble I give. You must
not judge me by what is the custom in Denmark. Here is forty kroner;
will you kindly give what you think fit to others in the house, and
keep the rest yourself?"

"No," said Kirstin, "I will have no money. Herr Pastor says you will
pay for your stay here by teaching, and it rests with him; also it is
too much."

Hardy had to pocket his money again with a dissatisfied look, but
Kirstin understood him; and his face, on which nature had written
"gentleman," and which she had closely observed since Hardy's arrival,
appealed to her.

"I have seen the gentleman," said Kirstin, "look at Frøken Helga, and
I will tell the gentleman something that may serve him. Frøken Helga
can never marry. Her duty is to her father and her brothers, and she
knows and feels that."

John Hardy was not in love with Frøken Helga; but yet this simple
Jutland peasant had divined what might occur, and had forewarned him.
The explanation of Helga's conduct towards him was clear. He saw that
she daily visited the people in the parish, and told the Pastor what
was necessary to tell him, and that her usefulness in the parsonage
and in every corner of it was a want that she filled. Kirstin
understood all this, and saw that it could not be interrupted without
a breach of duty.

John Hardy went to his room, and did not come out of it until they
were all assembled that Sunday evening in the little dining-room.

The Pastor was tired, but very conversational; and when his great
porcelain pipe had been filled as usual by Helga with Kanaster, he
said, "I was struck by your evident interest in our service; but I was
pleased to hear that you refused to go fishing with Karl and Axel,
because the sabbath should be kept. Now, we have not that view,
although it is the best view; and I say frankly that if you had taken
the boys fishing, I should have not objected; but you said you felt it
was not right, and I honour the thought. There is with us in Denmark a
strong feeling against the Established Church, and a political
question arose some years ago which will well illustrate it. On the
7th of January, 1868, a bill was brought before our Lower House of
Parliament as to military service, and the question was raised whether
theological candidates should be eligible for military service. The
issue was raised in the Lower House of Representatives and fought
there. It then passed into the Higher House of Representatives, and
was fought there. The strife was long and intensely bitter, the
greater part of the population of Denmark becoming partisans for or
partisans against the clerical party. After the fight in the Higher
House, it was again referred to the Lower, and refought there, and so
again to the Higher House, with two interludes of appeals to the
country. The clerical party described the position of the clergy in a
florid style. They declaimed that poets and painters had represented
the life of a Danish priest as a beautiful idyl, each scene in
relative harmony with surrounding nature, whose heart is not touched
as wandering in the path-fields he hears the bells of the country
church ringing in the morning of the sabbath. How lovely is the little
white church, with its red roof and quaint gables, amidst its woods
and meadows! The little parsonage standing in its own garden, with a
little belt of trees close to the church, while around it flock the
little country houses, as a hen gathers her chickens. Nothing is more
exquisite than the perfect affection and peace that exists between the
country clergyman and his congregation. He is the teacher of the
young, the comforter of the old, in each house a welcome guest, and
the estimation in which his holy calling is held invests him with
respect. In spiritual need or worldly care every one of his
congregation hasten to their minister. He is the curer of souls,
adviser, father, friend. The homes of his flock are his own, and it is
his pride to confer happiness and promote contentment."

"That is a bright picture," said Hardy.

"Yes," said Pastor Lindal; "but the opposite party drew another, which
attracted many partisans. They said his reverence has a good time of
it. He has a house which is better than a Danish farmer's, and a farm
which is just as good. He has horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and poultry.
He has, moreover, tithes and dues of many kinds; and besides these, it
is necessary to stick a dollar in his fist whenever one must make use
of him. Whilst the Danish farmer has to sweat behind his plough, the
clergyman sits at his ease smoking his pipe in his study, and has
nothing more to do than to preach on a Sunday, and to hear the
children read once a week. Everything that is congenial to the taste
of the Danish farmer, the clergyman turns up his nose at. He abuses
the leaders of the people, and only reads conservative newspapers, and
on election days he votes against all his parish. The farmer maintains
and pays him, but his conviction is that he is better than any farmer.
What, therefore, can be more stiff-necked of him than to refuse to
serve his country with his own, reverend person? Off with his black
coat and clap on a red, and let the corporal teach him. He is a
learned fellow, but, doubtless, stupid at drill."

"That last," said Hardy, "is a reference to Holberg's play of 'Erasmus
Montanus.'"

"Yes," said Pastor Lindal; "and it amused the country. But they got
hold of another idea, and tore it to shreds: they said if the flock
goes to war, the shepherd should not be absent. The result, however,
was that theological candidates are liable to military service, and it
makes a difference of possibly twenty men yearly. It, however, proves
one thing, and that is, the Lower House had got hold of the clerical
gown, and were determined, with bull-dog tenacity, to rend it."

"A similar question in England," said Hardy, "would have produced the
same result."

"That I can well believe," said the Pastor; "but with you a
congregation can be sold to the highest bidder, and is. There is no
thought in England of adjusting the payment for church work to the
work done, and so long as this exists it is a dangerous feature."

"Without doubt," said Hardy.

Before going to bed, Hardy said to Frøken Helga, "Good night," as he
had done on previous nights, without more than a bow; but to his
surprise she held out her hand, and said--

"Thank you, Herr Hardy; I have rarely seen my father so interested to
talk with any one, and it is kind of you to interest him."

"It is the contrary, Frøken Helga; he interests me," said Hardy.



CHAPTER V.


    "Hunting trains up the younger nobility to the use
    of manly exercises in their riper age."
    --_The Complete Angler._


To John Hardy the days passed pleasantly at the little Danish
parsonage. He taught the boys English a short time daily, and their
bright faces and strong desire to learn made Hardy interested in their
progress. If they were inclined to be inattentive, which was rare, the
hint that he should not take them with him fishing secured earnest and
immediate attention. The Pastor saw that the boys made progress in
learning English with Hardy, and he himself taught them several hours
daily, or, if he were absent, he set them work to do, and his daughter
Helga sat in the room until the Pastor returned.

Hardy accompanied him in his visits to his Sognebørn (literally,
parish children), and he gradually became acquainted with the Danish
farmers, and was known in the parish as Præsten's Englænder, or the
parson's Englishman. He was amused by the habits of many of the men,
in treating him as if he was a harmless idiot, to be humoured and
always answered in the affirmative. Stories were told him of how in
some parts of the river there were trout et Par Alen long (about four
feet), but to amuse the idiot for the moment.

The peculiarity of knickerbockers received much consideration, and it
was a frequent question if Hardy adopted that dress for a sickness in
his legs. Hardy's knowledge of farming and the management of cattle,
particularly horses, was an unfailing source of conversation. There
are many good horses bred in Jutland for sale in England, Germany, and
Sweden. The original breed appeared to Hardy to be either Hungarian or
Polish. These horses are well adapted for light carriage work; and
many a horse foaled on a Jutland farm has been in a London carriage,
to the considerable profit of the importer.

The evenings at the parsonage passed in conversation with the Pastor,
who held a sort of tobacco parliament. Hardy was a good listener, and
was anxious to perfect himself in the Danish language. Frøken Helga
knitted and listened. The boys learned lessons or played games. The
Pastor liked to hear his daughter sing; but it would be doing that
worthy man strong injustice to say he liked the piano, which was very
old and worse than worthless. It was to Hardy's ear torture to hear it
in contrast with Frøken Helga's clear voice. At last he could stand it
no longer, and the matter came to a crisis.

"Herr Pastor," said Hardy, "when at the exhibition of Copenhagen, of
your national industry, I was much struck by the tone of a piano by a
Copenhagen maker, and I have ordered one, and I shall be much indebted
to you if you will allow it to be sent here until I return to
England."

"There will be much extra expense attached to that plan," replied the
Pastor, "and, besides, it might get injured here."

"Those considerations I am fully prepared for," said Hardy; "but if I
may take the leaf from my mouth, as you Danes say, or speak plainly,
your piano is worn out, and is spoiling Frøken Helga's ear and taste
for music. Her voice is excellent, and rings as clearly as a silver
bell; but then the jingle of the piano is like the toothache."

"We are all accustomed to it," said the Pastor; "but I only hear
Helga's voice."

So the piano appeared, and a man to tune it, and Frøken Helga played
it. The tone was good, and the Pastor listened to the old Danish songs
he had heard so many times with delight.

One evening Helga had to make a visit to a sick woman, and the Pastor
puffed away at his teacup of a pipe, with longer puffs than usual.
Hardy saw there was something in the way, and at last it struck him
that he missed his daughter's song. He had once told Hardy that her
voice was like her mother's.

Hardy sat down to the piano, and played and sang an English ballad,
and then another. He then sang a plaintive German song, with a manly
pathos and taste, that showed the well-bred gentleman he was.

The Pastor applauded loudly, and Hardy turned round, and, lo! there
was Frøken Helga, with a look on her face that Hardy never forgot, so
intense was her surprise.

"Helga," said her father, "go and thank Herr Hardy for his singing to
me instead of you; he saw I missed you, my child, and he sang to
divert me."

"A thousand thanks!" said Helga, using a common Danish expression. "I
never heard so beautiful a song! But why did you not tell us that you
could play and sing before?"

"Because I preferred Frøken Helga's voice to that of Præsten's
Englænder," said Hardy.

Nothing would induce Frøken Helga to sing that evening; her father
almost commanded her, but she would not. At last she said, "I cannot,
father; Herr Hardy sings too well."

This speech was not forgotten for a long time, and Karl and Axel
teased their sister with perpetual questions as to whether they or she
was not doing something or other too well. If Karl caught no trout, he
explained to his sister that he was afraid of fishing too well. If
Axel had dirty hands, his explanation was that he was afraid of
washing them too well.

John Hardy had visited the Gudenaa within walking distance, or boating
distance, and he wished to make longer expeditions from the parsonage.
He inspected several of the farms near, and at last arranged with
farmer Niels Jacobsen to rent stabling for three horses. He then wrote
the following letter, addressed to a groom at Hardy Place:--

"Robert Garth,

"I want you to bring Buffalo to me in Denmark. The horse is to be
taken to Harwich, and thence on board the steamer for Esbjerg. The
steamers are fitted up with stables for horses, and there will be no
difficulty. When you come to Esbjerg, take train to Horsens, where I
will meet you. A telegram must be sent me to Vandstrup Præstegaard, to
say when you will arrive at Horsens. Bring two hunting saddles and
bridles, and some of the snaffle bits that I like.

"Show this letter to the steward, and he will let you have what money
he thinks is necessary for your journey.

"Yours truly,

"John Hardy."

In little more than a week, Buffalo and Robert Garth were in Niels
Jacobsen's stables.

Buffalo was a good English-bred horse, a good jumper, with a chest
like a wall, and hind-quarters up to weight. Niels Jacobsen and his
neighbours had collected and criticized.

"Gild bevars! sikken en Hest!" ["God preserve us, what a horse!"] said
Niels, sucking away at his pipe, with a chorus echoing the same words
from his neighbours. There was no doubt of their approval, and Buffalo
had a succession of visitors and admirers for days.

Hardy had communicated to Pastor Lindal that he intended to have one
of his horses and a groom from England, and had great difficulty in
preventing the Pastor turning out his own small stable to make room
for Buffalo; but this Hardy would not allow. Robert Garth lodged at
Jacobsen's, and Hardy, with that thoughtfulness he always had for
those about him, arranged for his man's meals and sleeping quarters as
nearly as possible to an English groom's notions.

"Well, Bob," said Hardy, "you will shake down after a bit; but what I
want you to do is, to help me to pick out a pair of light carriage
horses from here. I have seen a lot, and you will have plenty to
choose from. They will suit my mother, and I wish to take them over as
a present to her."

"I have seen some of them Danish horses," said Robert Garth, "and not
half bad horses either; but it is the infernal lingo. They keep
smoking them big wood pipes, and when they don't smoke they chews, and
then they spits."

"Where did you see any Danish horses?" asked Hardy.

"At Sir Charles'; he had a pair, hardly up to fifteen hands, but very
pretty steppers, with a thinish mane, a trifle small below the knee,"
said Garth.

"That's the very thing," said Hardy.

As soon as it was known that the priest's Englishman wanted to buy two
Jutland horses, plenty offered; and Karl and Axel were intensely
interested in the trial of the horses, which went on in a rough piece
of land close to the parsonage.

When the horses were brought up, Hardy mounted one, and Robert Garth
criticized. Hardy put the horse through its paces, and if his judgment
was not favourable, it was declined; but if doubtful. Garth rode it,
and Hardy looked on. A couple of horses were thus selected, and both
had Robert Garth's unqualified approval.

"They are both as handsome as paint, and as sound as bells," said
Garth.

"Are you a horse-dealer?" asked Pastor Lindal, of Hardy, one evening.

"No, certainly not," replied Hardy.

"You have shown every qualification for it," said the Pastor.

"Possibly," said Hardy. "I see I have done this also too well. I only
wanted the horses for my mother's carriage. She likes an open light
carriage, and it is difficult to procure really good horses in England
of a suitable size. The horses I have bought will suit her exactly, if
we have good luck with them; that is, that they turn out well, and we
have no accident with them. I shall buy a light four-wheel carriage at
Horsens, and my groom will drive them, and we shall then see if it be
necessary to discard either or both, before they are taken to
England."

"But why did you send for a horse from England?" said Pastor Lindal,
to whom a horse was a horse and a cow was a cow.

"I fear because I like a good horse," replied Hardy. "Your Jutland
horses are not adapted to the saddle, except for lady's hacks, or
light carriage work; my English horse would jump the ditches that
abound in your Danish fields, and would, for instance, jump your
garden wall."

"That I am sure no horse can," said the Pastor, decidedly.

"Does he mean, father," said Frøken Helga, "that his horse can jump
our garden wall?"

"Yes," said Hardy; "it is scarcely five feet. But will you promise,
Frøken Helga, that if my horse does jump the wall, that you will not
say that the horse does it too well? It is not me, but the horse that
jumps the wall."

Helga looked annoyed at the reference made to her saying that he sang
and played too well for any one to follow after him, but she said
nothing.

Karl and Axel had listened. They too thought it impossible; but they
believed in Hardy.

"Well, Karl," said Hardy, "don't you believe in me and the English
horse?"

"No," said Karl. "A horse cannot jump the garden wall by himself, much
more with a man on his back; no horse could do it. But I believe you
can do anything."

"Well, Herr Pastor," said Hardy, "I have no one who believes in me or
my horse. Frøken Helga regards me with suspicion; and no one in
Jutland appears to believe more than they see."

"Yes; but it is impossible," said Pastor Lindal.

The next day after breakfast, Buffalo and one of the Danish horses
were taken to the parsonage by Robert Garth. Buffalo had an English
saddle on, and looked fully recovered from his journey to Denmark, and
fit for anything. The Pastor, his daughter, and his two boys came out
to see the English horse. Frøken Helga had not seen it before, and it
struck her as being the handsomest horse she had ever seen; and she
observed the respect the English groom showed Hardy.

"What do you think of the oats, Bob?" said Hardy.

"First-rate," said Garth, touching his hat; "they have picked Buffalo
up wonderful, and he is fit to go anywhere."

Hardy mounted his horse. His mother had sent over his hunting
breeches, and when mounted, the Pastor was struck with the manly
figure of the quiet-mannered Englishman.

"The horse will not take even such a jump as your garden wall," said
Hardy, "in cold blood. I will give him a gallop down the field below,
and then bring him up and jump the wall. You will see the grand spread
of his stride as he gallops."

Hardy rode like an English country gentleman accustomed to the saddle,
and the great wide strides taken by Buffalo even the Pastor observed
with astonishment. Suddenly Hardy turned and came at the garden wall,
with Buffalo well in hand, who rose to the jump and cleared it easily,
and out through a break in the shrubbery over the wall at the other
side.

Hardy rode quietly in through the entrance gate and dismounted. It was
clear, by the demeanour of the English groom, that he saw nothing
unusual in what had passed; but it was very different with the Danish
family. The boys cheered, but Frøken Helga had disappeared.

"If you were not accustomed to do this," said the Pastor, "I should
consider it was not right to risk so good a horse and your own limbs.
A fall must be dangerous to you and your horse."

"Yes; a fall would be, and is," said Hardy. "I have broken my arm and
a collar-bone by falls when hunting."

"Now, Herr Pastor," added Hardy, "you will see the difference between
my English horse and one of the best horses we could buy here."

"He can't jump a yard, master," said Garth; "it is no use trying him."

Hardy mounted the Danish horse, and the difference was apparent in
pace and action.

"Bob," said Hardy, "they are no use for saddle horses, except for
ladies; but they will do well for what we bought them."

"Right you are, master!" said Garth, as Hardy remounted Buffalo, and
went for a ride.



CHAPTER VI.


    "Next, note that the eel seldom stirs in the day,
    but then hides himself; and therefore is usually caught by
    night, with one of those baits of which I have spoken."
    --_The Complete Angler._


The two Danish horses were driven by Garth, and, in his hands, soon
grew accustomed to harness and the light carriage John Hardy had
purchased at Horsens. Longer expeditions were made to fish the smaller
Danish streams, and, to the great gratification of Karl and Axel, to
Silkeborg. The lakes at Silkeborg, with their idyllic picturesqueness,
interested Hardy, while the pike and the perch fishing yielded good
sport. Hardy was skilful in spinning a heavy minnow deep in the water,
casting it from a boat, and thus attracting the heaviest perch. A
paternoster also in his hands caught a quantity of perch. Pike were
caught by casting a dead roach, with a rod with upright rings, and
Hardy threw his bait with a length and certainty that the Danish
fishermen were not accustomed to. The bait would fall into a little
spot of water amongst the reeds. A jerk and pull made the dead fish
appear like a wounded live one; when out would rush Herr _Esox lucius_
from his lair, and, after expostulating in the usual manner, would
come into the boat with the sullen look of
how-I-should-like-to-bite-the-calf-of-your-leg, peculiar to Herr
Esox's genus.

The Danish fishermen at Silkeborg began to entertain the notion that
John Hardy, if his stay was prolonged, would depopulate the lakes of
both pike and perch; and they hugged the idea with affection that at
least he could not catch eels, with which the lakes abound.

"Can you catch eels, Herr Hardy?" said Karl. "The fishermen say you
may be able to catch pike and perch, but you do not know how to catch
eels with a line in the lakes."

"Yes," replied Hardy, "if you and Axel will undertake to take them off
the hooks when caught; it is not an agreeable bit of work."

"Yes, that will we," said Karl and Axel at once.

They had then no idea of the difficulty of getting off the slime of an
eel from their clothes, and what very pointed personal remarks would
be made by Kirstin, when they returned to Vandstrup Præstegaard.

The preparations for catching eels with lines was of immense interest
to the boys. Hardy had several stakes made with sharpened ends. The
stakes were driven into a shallow part of the lake, and a line
attached to each, of about thirty yards' length. The line was a cotton
one, with copper wire twisted in it; and to each line, at the distance
of every six feet, was attached a strong gimp hook, baited with a dead
minnow. The lines were laid down at dusk, with a weight at the end of
about half a pound. A boat was chartered, and the lines visited at
intervals the half part of the night. By drawing the line, it was easy
to detect if an eel was on the line. The result was the constant
employment of Karl and Axel in taking eels off the lines; and the next
day their clothes were white and shiny, with slime from the eels.

"You are so good to us, Herr Hardy," said Karl, "I wish you would live
always with us."

"We do not live only to catch fish," said Hardy; "each of us has his
duty and work to do; but there is no reason why we should not enjoy
the beautiful world God has given us, when we do our duty first. My
duty I know; yours you have yet to learn."

These simple words had a strong impression on the two lads, and were
never forgotten; and when Karl and Axel returned to their father's
house, they told him what Hardy had said, and he never forgot it
either.

"I think," said the Pastor to his daughter, "that Herr Hardy is as
good as he is kind."

One little circumstance that now occurred it is necessary to mention.
Hardy had been some time at the parsonage, and he therefore offered to
pay what he had agreed to pay for his board and lodging.

The Pastor refused to accept payment, "You have come here, and whilst
here have repaid us again and again by your kind ways and manners. My
two boys have grown in a few weeks to be gentle and considerate in
their conduct. They were rough and wild before. You have taught them
English, and their progress has astonished me. I have taught them
daily, but you have succeeded in teaching more in a few weeks than I
have years. I cannot repay this. I can only say I will receive no
money of yours."

"But I am well able to pay the moderate sum you stated that was your
wish I should pay, and I will pay it with pleasure."

"That may be," said the Pastor, "but the principle is the same. I
could not honestly take anything from you."

"Then I must leave," said Hardy; "I could not remain here at your
charge. I see I put you to more expenditure than is usual with you,
and I could not continue to do so."

"You are, of course, at liberty to leave when you wish," said the
Pastor; "but if you will give way in this, I shall feel I have at
least recognized in the only way in my power what you have done for me
and mine."

There was no doubt of the sincerity of the Pastor's meaning. His open
face was as clear to read as print.

Frøken Helga was present at this interview, and Hardy looked at her in
the hope of finding in her expression as to what he should do. She was
knitting as usual. He thought there was a feeling that she wished the
matter should drop, so Hardy said--

"Well, Herr Pastor, all I can say is that the money is at your
disposition, and if you refuse to take it when I go away I shall pay
it to the Fattigkasse (poor box); and I must insist I have done
nothing more than any Englishman would do."

"Good, very good!" said the Pastor. "Let us shake hands, and there is
an end of it."

As Hardy took the Pastor's hand, he thought Frøken Helga's face bore
an expression of approval, but her retiring manner made it impossible
to discover what her thoughts really were.

A few days after, at breakfast, the Pastor said to Hardy, "There is an
invitation for you to go to Gods-eier (landowner) Jensen's. They are
going to celebrate their silver wedding. They have also invited me and
my daughter Helga. Jensen breeds horses, and his reason for asking you
is probably because he has heard of your English horse. Niels Jacobsen
has talked with him about it. He saw him at a market some days ago.
You can, of course, decline; and, at any rate, you can do as you wish.
We shall go because they are friends of ours, and it would be a want
of respect not to go on such an occasion as a silver wedding. There
will be several persons there, and there will be a dinner at about
three, and a dance after, in which the younger people will join."

"Thank you," said Hardy; "I should like to see more of Danish society,
and I should wish to go for that reason."

John Hardy did not say that he had a strong wish to see Frøken Helga
in society. He had seen her only at home, perpetually knitting and
occupied in the management of the affairs of the parsonage. He
observed, when she expressed a wish, that neither the wayward boys nor
the strong-minded Kirstin had the least thought of acting in
opposition to it, and he felt an interest in the opportunity of seeing
her in society, and observing whether there would be the same
unbending nature.

The invitation was therefore accepted.

The distance was about five English miles, and Garth drove the pair of
Danish horses in the neat livery of Hardy Place; and the Pastor and
his daughter sat together, while Hardy sat beside Garth. He did this
because he thought that Frøken Helga would rather dispense with his
society.

"They will do eight miles," said Garth, "but I do not believe they
will do more; they go what you may call pretty, but there is not much
stay in them, and if you drive them out of their pace, they are cut
down at once."

"Yes, Bob," said Hardy; "but they will suit my mother, and they are
just what she wants and would like."

"Yes," said Bob Garth, "there is that; but they starves them so much
when they are young, and that does not make sinew or bone."

Notwithstanding Garth's predictions, the Jensen's mansion was reached
in half an hour from Vandstrup Præstegaard, and Garth drove up with a
flourish that impressed Herr Jensen, who was on the door steps.

"Are these the horses the Englishman bought a few days ago, Herr
Pastor Lindal?" asked Herr Jensen.

"Yes," said Pastor Lindal. "But how are you, and how is Fru Lindal and
your family?"

"They are all right, thank you, Herr Pastor," replied Herr Jensen.
"But I never saw horses so managed! Why, they could be sold in
Hamburgh for a lot of money. They are fit for any carriage anywhere."

If Fru Jensen had not appeared on the scene, it is possible that her
husband's interest in the horses might have been prolonged
indefinitely; but she conducted Frøken Helga Lindal into the house,
introduced herself to John Hardy, and told the Pastor to tell the
English groom where to put up his horses and where to wait until he
should be required to return to Vandstrup Præstegaard.

Herr Jensen looked at the Englishman with interest, as he stood before
him in his evening dress, broad-shouldered with fine limbs, his
clothes fitting well, and looking like a wedge from his broad chest
down to his feet.

They went into an assembly-room, where many guests were gathered.
There were several landowners of the district with their families, and
John Hardy's simple manners and unmistakable stamp of gentleman made a
favourable impression. He was introduced to a Frøken Jaeger, and was
told he would have to take her in to dinner. Hardy bowed.

"How old are you?" said Frøken Jaeger.

"Twenty-eight," replied Hardy.

"What is your profession?" inquired Frøken Jaeger.

"Landowner," replied Hardy. And Hardy was subjected to a
cross-examination that elicited from him that his father was dead
years ago, that his mother lived at Hardy Place, that he was a
magistrate for the English county where he resided, and was also an
officer in the yeomanry cavalry.

"Then why do you not wear a uniform?" inquired Frøken Jaeger, with
some asperity.

"Because it is not allowed, and I do not wish it, when in a foreign
country," replied Hardy.

It is to be feared that if the cross-examination had been much longer,
that Hardy would have declined to answer any more questions, and have
exhibited some of that insularity that is so common in Englishmen; but
dinner was announced, and Hardy offered his arm, and Frøken Jaeger was
soon occupied in other and more material subjects. She was about
thirty-five, according to Hardy's judgment, and had a long sharp nose
and an equally sharp chin, tending ultimately to form what some people
ungenerously call nutcrackers; but her appetite was good, and it left
an opportunity to Hardy to observe his fellow guests.

The Pastor sat near his host, and his daughter was paired with a young
Danish landowner, who paid her great attention. Her dress was simple,
with an ornament or two inherited from her mother; but her clear
complexion, her tall figure and clean-cut features impressed Hardy.
She talked with every one with animation, and Hardy could scarcely
realize the comparison between the quiet figure steadily knitting with
ear and eye always at her father's service to the perfect Danish lady
before him.

There were several toasts proposed during the dinner. The event of the
day had to be particularly recognized, which was done with much
enthusiasm. Then followed other toasts, and Hardy's health was drunk,
to which he had to reply. He rose quickly, and said in Danish that his
knowledge of the language was yet so imperfect that he could say
little more than thanks, but that he would add that he owed a debt of
kindness to the Danes with whom he had been brought in contact, and he
thanked them and his host for their kindness and consideration to a
foreigner. Hardy read in Frøken Helga's face that what he had said was
what had her approval, and that he had said enough.

"You appear to look at Frøken Helga Lindal, Herr Hardy," said Frøken
Jaeger; "are you engaged to her?"

"No," said Hardy.

"But what do you think of her?"

"That she is an excellent daughter," replied Hardy.

"And that she would make an excellent wife?" said Frøken Jaeger.

"Possibly," said Hardy, with a determination to say nothing more.

The dinner party broke up. The elder people of the male sort adjourned
to a very strong tobacco-parliament and cards; the younger went into
the assembly-room, which was now converted into a ball-room. Frøken
Jaeger said, "Herr Hardy, I have put your name down in my list of
dances for the first dance, and you will dance with me."

Hardy went to Frøken Helga Lindal, and besought her to deliver him
from Frøken Jaeger; but she declined, and said, "You have to dance
with Frøken Jaeger; you have taken her in to dinner, and it is our
custom."

"Then," said Hardy, "let me have one dance with you, a waltz?"

Helga gave him her list, and he wrote his name down for the first
waltz possible.

"Is it your father's wish to stay here a long time, Frøken Helga?"
asked Hardy.

"No; but it depends on you," replied Helga. "He will not leave until
you wish, but I know the sooner he is home the better for him. But
Herr Jensen will want to talk to you about his horses."

"I will see him at once," said Hardy, "and tell him I will ride over
to-morrow to see his horses, and that will, I think, prevent any delay
arising from that cause."

So Hardy went into the tobacco-parliament, and arranged with Herr
Jensen to see him the following day, and the catechising Frøken Jaeger
had to wait while the dance and the waltz she loved so well had begun;
but Hardy's appearance and his good dancing allayed her rising anger.

"Do you dance much in England?" said Frøken Jaeger.

"No," said Hardy; "I do not like it."

At length the time came for his dance with Frøken Helga Lindal, and as
they stood up the personal beauty of both was remarked. Helga's
elastic movement on Hardy's arm, the ease with which she danced in
perfect time, and her bright manner had its effect on Hardy. He was
not quite sure but that he had just told Frøken Jaeger a story, in
saying that he did not like dancing.

"You dance well, Frøken Helga!" said Hardy.

"I can do nothing so well as you," replied Helga. "But my father would
wish to leave, and if you can arrange it, I shall thank you so much.
You can do what you like; we cannot."

A short time after, they were sitting behind the trotting horses, and
the Pastor thanked Hardy for his consideration. "They are kind
people," said he, "but they do not think that my duty is never to be
away from my home, so that I can be called at any moment to do what
duty may arise, and which, if I should delay or omit, would be wrong."

"It is a strict view," said Hardy, "but it is the right one. I cannot
say it is general in England."



CHAPTER VII.


    "If the prayer be good, the commoner the better.
    Prayer in the Church's words,
    As well as sense, of all prayers bears the bell."
    _The Complete Angler._


The next day after the late breakfast at the parsonage, John Hardy
rode over to the Jensen's on Buffalo, and Garth followed on one of the
Danish horses, and was received with much warmth. Herr Jensen walked
round and round Buffalo, for he loved a horse, and admired the length
of his step as Buffalo walked. He had heard the story of his jumping
the wall at Vandstrup Præstegaard, and his desire to see him perform
in that capacity was so great, that Hardy put him through a gallop and
over a few fences, and Herr Jensen approved loudly. Fru Jensen was
present and her two daughters, Mathilde and Maria Jensen.

Hardy's quiet manner when he dismounted and made his respects to the
ladies, as if he had just trotted his horse up the avenue, struck
them, and they forgave him on the spot for leaving so early the night
before. Hardy went into the old Danish Herregaard (country house), and
was received with the usual Danish hospitality. The ladies talked
incessantly of the proceedings of the night before, and Hardy had to
bear the result of Frøken Jaeger's severe cross-examination to the
fullest particular. She had told all Hardy's answers to her questions,
and they were possessed with Hardy's position in England, so far as he
had chosen to answer Frøken Jaeger, and the ladies were ready to
pursue the inquiry further; but, fortunately for Hardy, Herr Jensen
was anxious to show him his farm, and particularly his horses. Hardy
at once assented, and Herr Jensen took him to see his brood mares and
foals, with a few young horses not yet sold, which Herr Jensen was
holding for a higher price than the people he sold to at Hamburgh
would pay him. Garth accompanied them.

"I have sold horses often to England," said Jensen; "but they will pay
a price upon each particular horse. Some they will pay £40 for, some
they will pay £18 for; and when the horses arrive at Hull, they will
say there is some fault or defect in the higher paid-for horses, and
the consequence is that I prefer selling to the Germans. They pay £25
to £30 a horse, and take, perhaps, twenty or thirty yearly; and many
of the best go to England after being trained, and the rest are sold
in Germany or elsewhere; but I never hear any complaints of defects or
the like."

"That I can well understand," said Hardy. "In England, a really good
horse has no price. If he is wanted, any price will be paid; but a
horse with a fault is nowhere."

"Our horses," said Jensen, "are good horses for light weights; but in
England they are used chiefly for carriages now. I have two horses
here that would make good saddle horses, and I wish you could try
them."

The two horses Herr Jensen referred to were in a pasture, tethered to
an iron spike driven in the ground, with a rope giving them a range of
a few yards of grass.

"What do you think of these two horses, Bob?" said Hardy to Garth.

"Very good park hacks," said Garth, "and just the thing for a lady to
ride."

"My man will try one of the horses if you like," said Hardy. "He is
accustomed to horses."

Garth fetched the saddle he had rode over in, and a light snaffle
bridle, and mounted, and, after the usual difficulties that always
occur with colts, he rode the horse, sitting firm and easy in the
saddle, to Herr Jensen's great admiration.

"He is a good horse," said Garth. "But, master, ask the governor one
question, and that is how he feeds them in the winter."

"What does he say?" asked Herr Jensen.

"He asks how you feed your horses in the winter," replied Hardy.

"That is the difficulty," said Jensen. "We have little to give them in
the winter and spring, and it is hard work to keep them alive. We cut
our grass in the meadows twice yearly; the first hay is good, the
second is not so good by a long way."

"Our notion is that a horse should always be kept well," said Hardy,
"or his bone and sinew want firmness."

"There is no doubt of that," said Herr Jensen. "We understand that
very well; but yet what can we do? We breed horses to make money by
them. If we fed them as you say, we could not get the cost back."

"I have heard the same story in England," said Hardy; "a farmer has to
treat his farm as a business, and, Herr Jensen, you are quite right in
doing so."

Hardy went over Herr Jensen's farm, and his knowledge of farming in
all its branches so interested Herr Jensen, that it was late when they
returned to the Herregaard. Dinner was ready, and Hardy had to bear a
running fire of criticism from Fru Jensen and her daughters. He had
not, they said, observed the particular merits of many of the Danish
ladies who had been present at the dance of the previous evening, but
doubtless he was preoccupied.

"No," said Hardy, "I was not preoccupied. My difficulty is that I do
not know Danish well, and Herr Jensen has had the greatest difficulty
to understand me about horses; how, then, could I understand so
difficult a subject as a Danish lady?"

"Frøken Jaeger says, you said that Frøken Helga Lindal would make an
excellent wife," said Fru Jensen.

"Yes," said Hardy. "She asked me, and I said it was possible."

Hardy said this in so strong a manner that it was even apparent to
Herr Jensen that he did not wish the conversation extended, so Herr
Jensen proposed a cigar and an adjournment to his own room.

Hardy left at six o'clock, and rode to Vandstrup. On his way thither
an occurrence happened that Hardy never forgot.

Hardy, followed by Garth, had ridden on to within an English mile of
Vandstrup, when he saw a waggon overturned, and a man lying underneath
it. The horses were kicking in their harness, as they lay in the ditch
by the roadside. The waggon was the same as is usually employed by the
Danish farmer, for his farm work, and was heavy in construction. Hardy
galloped up, and found the man lying under the waggon evidently
seriously injured. He was a workman called Nils Rasmussen, and had
taken a load of turf, in company with another man with a similar load
in another waggon, to a village near Vandstrup. The turf discharged,
there was the opportunity of getting drunk; and the horses of both
waggons were driven hard down a slope in the road by their drunken
drivers, and coming in contact, Nils Rasmussen was thrown out, and the
waggon fell on him, whilst the struggling of the horses every moment
increased the serious injuries he was receiving.

Garth cut the horses free, and Nils Rasmussen was taken from under the
waggon. Several people came running up, and one of them rode Hardy's
Danish horse for the district doctor. Hardy assisted in carrying the
injured man to his home, and sent Garth to the stables on Buffalo,
with instructions to come to Rasmussen's house for orders. It was
clear the case was serious from the first Hardy undressed the man, and
found that he had more than one limb broken, while from the froth and
blood in the mouth, internal injuries were present.

When Garth returned, he was sent to the parsonage, with a request for
a pair of dry clean sheets, a bottle of cognac, and some of Hardy's
linen handkerchiefs. Garth returned in a white heat, without the
articles he was sent for. Hardy had supposed that the news of the
accident would have reached the parsonage, and after enumerating the
articles required, he added a request that they should be given to
Garth to take to Rasmussen's. Kirstin read the note, and put several
questions to Garth, which, from his ignorance of Danish, it was
impossible for him to answer; "When suddenly," said Garth, "she
appeared to get into a rage. She rushed at me, beat me about the head,
and shouted at me."

The district doctor now came in, and Hardy's attention was occupied.
He told him what he had seen of the accident, and the symptoms of
injury internally. The doctor was used to cases either more or less
grave of a similar character, and he showed much cool professional
skill. "I will remain here," e said to Hardy, "until sent for. The
case is hopeless, and all that can be done is to watch by him."

When the doctor left, Hardy decided to remain, as Nils Rasmussen's
wife and family were incapable of being of the slightest use. He sent
Garth to his lodgings, with orders to come to Rasmussen's at six the
next morning.

Meanwhile Hardy had been expected at the parsonage, and it grew later
and later.

"He is stopping with the Jensens," said the Pastor,

"No, he is not!" burst out Kirstin; "he is at Rasmussen's. He sent
that man of his here a while since for a pair of sheets and a bottle
of the best brandy to take to Rasmussen's, and you can see the writing
he sent by his servant."

The Pastor took the scrap of paper and read it aloud.

"It is that bold, bad hussey, Karen Rasmussen!" said Kirstin.

"How can you know that?" said Frøken Helga.

"Know it!" exclaimed Kirstin; "I am sure of it. No man can be so good
as the Englishman appears to be."

The Pastor and his family retired to rest with a shock of grief and
pain. "He must leave at once," thought the Pastor.

Shortly after six the next morning, Garth fetched one of Rasmussen's
neighbours, whom he sent with the following note to the pastor,
written on a similar scrap of paper as his unfortunate communication
of the previous evening, and torn from his note-book.

"Dear Herr Pastor,

"Nils Rasmussen, the workman at Jorgensens, is sinking fast. You have,
of course, heard of the accident? The district doctor at once saw the
case was beyond all hope. Will you come immediately?

"Yours faithfully,

"John Hardy."

As the Pastor left his house, he met one after another of Nils
Rasmussen's neighbours coming for him. He heard of John Hardy's
assistance and care, and that he had been the whole night acting as
nurse, as the family were incapable.

As the Pastor entered, he met Hardy.

"It is too late, Herr Pastor," said the latter; "the man is dead. But
go in and speak to the wife, and I will wait for you. Here is twenty
kroner, which you can give her; the expenses of the funeral I will
bear, and I can arrange that she shall receive ten kroner weekly,
through the post-office, until they can help themselves."

In half an hour the Pastor came out, and he said, "Hardy, I thank you
for your attention to this poor man. You have done nothing more than
what was right you should do, and what any one else should have done;
but you have done your duty with a kindliness that does you honour."

Hardy said nothing, the horror of watching a man dying in agony for a
whole night had unstrung his steady nerves. On reaching the parsonage,
he went to his room, and, wearied out, at last fell asleep.

The Pastor, after the usual morning prayers with his household, said,
"Stay, Kirstin! You have wickedly cast shame on an honest man; you
have attributed sin to another without cause. You have heard that
Rasmussen is dead, and how he died; but you do not know that the man
you foully slandered had done his utmost for his brother man. When I
came to Rasmussen's house, Herr Hardy's clothes were covered with dirt
and blood. He had tended the dying man the whole night; he had torn up
his linen shirt and under-clothing for bandages; and when I was about
to speak to the widow, he gave me money for present need, and has
ordered it so that she shall not want for the future. And yet this is
the man to whom you would impute sin and shame. Ask forgiveness of
God, and beg Herr Hardy's pardon. Go!"

The hard-natured Jutland woman was overcome. Frøken Helga's eyes
filled with tears, and she went and kissed her father.

"We were wrong to think evil of another, under any circumstances,"
said the Pastor, "or to allow suspicion of evil to grow in our minds."

Hardy was ignorant of the little episode thus acted in the Pastor's
household, and when he came down from his room some time later, he
found a breakfast waiting for him, the Pastor shook hands with him,
and asked how he was.

"I feel what I have gone through this night," replied Hardy, "but am
quite well."

"An honest answer," said the Pastor.

"But, little father," said Frøken Helga, "can you not tell Herr Hardy
that he has been kind and good?"

Praise from her father's lips for a duty well done was with Helga more
than gold or incense; and how wrong had they not all been towards
Hardy!

"Your father has already said enough," said Hardy.

"Then I will speak for myself," said Helga, "and say that I thank you
for your goodness to Rasmussen and his family;" and she took his hand
and kissed it.

Hardy saw she was governed by a momentary impulse, but it evinced a
warm sympathy for what she considered a good act, and impressed him
the more so as her manner was always towards him cold and retiring.

At this juncture Kirstin appeared in an unusual state of agitation.

"I have come," she said, "to ask Herr Hardy's pardon, for what I have
said and done."

"My servant reports to me that you beat him yesterday," said Hardy,
"and as you did not beat me I have nothing to forgive. I have told my
man, if you do so again, to lay the matter before the authorities. He
will have to come here in acting as my servant; but if you beat him
because you cannot understand him, he must be protected, the more so
as his orders are not to strike you, under any circumstances. The
matter has been brought to the Herr Pastor's knowledge, and that is
enough, and you can go out."

There was a stern dignity in John Hardy's manner, always present in a
man of his type when accustomed to obedience.

Kirstin hesitated. "You can go out, Kirstin," repeated Hardy; and she
obeyed.

Frøken Helga's implicit faith in the rigid character of Kirstin was
shaken.

Rasmussen's funeral took place shortly after, and on the Sunday the
Pastor referred to Hardy's conduct.

"It may hurt the sensibility of the Englishman who is with us, that I
should refer to him thus publicly; but it is my duty, while the
occurrence of Rasmussen's death has the force of its being recent to
point out, not that it was his simple duty to do what he did, but the
way and manner that duty was done showed a Christian charity that no
one of us could do more than imitate."

"I question whether you are right, to praise the conduct of an
individual from the pulpit, Herr Pastor," said Hardy.

"My duty," said the Pastor, gravely, "is to preach the parable of the
Good Samaritan, and the recent occurrence will interest many who would
not be interested otherwise."

"My father has done what is right," said his daughter, with warmth. "I
should have done the same."



CHAPTER VIII.


    "Oh, how happy here's our leisure!
    Oh, how innocent our pleasure!"
    _The Complete Angler._


John Hardy received a letter from his mother, dated from Hardy Place.

"My dearest John,

"Your weekly letters have become shorter, and I have read between the
lines that you are keeping back something from your mother; but this
doubt has been made a certainty from a letter of Robert Garth's to his
friends here. He writes, so I hear, that the 'governor' is sweet on a
parson's daughter in Denmark. Now, I know, dearest John, that you will
always be the true gentleman your father was; but this has distressed
me, because you say yourself nothing. Do come home to me. I miss the
sound of your footstep, the manly voice that reminds me of your
father, and, above all, your kindly manner to your mother. Write at
once, as my anxiety is more than I can bear."

There was more in the letter, breathing the same deep affectionate
solicitude a mother alone feels. John Hardy wrote at once.

"My dearest Mother,

"If I had anything to tell you, I should have told you long ago. I
have described Pastor Lindal's family to you in my letters, and, I can
only add, my respect for him grows daily. He does his duty with a
simplicity that is difficult to be understood in England, and I have
learnt to look forward to hearing his Sunday sermons, from their
freshness such as single-mindedness alone gives. I feel more the
earnestness of religion and the simplicity with which it should be
invested from the influence of his character. I know you will say that
this has nothing to do with Frøken Helga Lindal, his daughter, and you
want to hear of her. All I can say is, that her character is what
would attract you. She does her duty in the Pastor's household with
simple exactness; she assists in visiting the parish, and is of
material use to her father in this respect. She is spoken of
everywhere and by all in praise and regard, and she is like her
father--simple and true. I cannot say that I do not admire so perfect
a nature, but I do not feel now a wish to ask her to be my wife, and
if I did she would say 'no.' Her father is a widower, and his daughter
is his right hand. His two boys, who are really good lads, have to be
considered, and Frøken Helga's influence over them is complete. Her
leaving her father would leave him unassisted, and his two sons
without the influence she alone possesses. She knows and sees this,
and would sacrifice her life to her sense of duty. If she cared for
me, there would be no difference; that would be sacrificed too. I can
assure you that I shall never bring any one to Hardy Place that my
mother cannot receive as her daughter. The kind affection and care you
have always shown me is dearer to me than houses and land and wealth
or the strongest feelings of selfishness.

"I hope, dear mother, that this will set your mind at rest.

"If you wish me to come home, I will do so; but I wish to stay longer,
and when you see there is no real cause for anxiety, you may have no
objection. The days pass pleasantly here. I teach the two boys English
every day. They fish with me for trout in the river, the Gudenaa, and
we make excursions together, and occasionally we visit a Danish family
in the neighbourhood; and the genuine kindness I receive everywhere
interests me. In the evenings Pastor Lindal is conversational, and his
conversation is like his sermons, always fresh. There is no one
thought harped upon and torn to tatters. To say he is a man of
original thought would not describe him--it is individuality and
simplicity; there is nothing extraordinary or unusual, but a clearness
of colour, like a diamond, which is the more valuable when it has no
colour."

John Hardy wrote a little more on home affairs at Hardy Place, and
closed his letter.

In the evening, when the Pastor's pipe was as usual lighted by his
daughter, Hardy asked him as to the superstitions in Denmark, and if
they then were prevalent and had any force.

"They are endless," said the Pastor, "and in every conceivable
direction. There is no land so full of traditional superstition as
Jutland."

"When in Norway," said Hardy, "the superstition that struck me most
was that of the Huldr, who in different districts was differently
described. Generally the Huldr was described as a tall fair woman,
with a yellow bodice and a blue skirt, with long fair yellow hair
loose over the shoulders; but she was as hollow as a kneading trough,
and had a cow's tail. She was described as coming to the Sæter farms
on the fjelds, after they were vacated by the Norwegian farmers, with
a quantity of cattle and milking cans; and I have heard the cattle
call sang by Norwegians that they have heard the Huldr sing. I have
spoken with people who have seen the Huldr, and described her to me
with a vividness as if it were a real personage. I have heard people
say they have seen her knitting, sitting on a rock with a ball of
worsted thrown out before her, to entice mortals to take it up, when
they must follow where she would lead."

"We have not that superstition in Jutland," said the Pastor; "that is
begotten of the lonely life in the isolated farms in the fields in
Norway and their interminable woods and natural wildness of nature.
Our superstitions are, as I said, endless. They consist of historical
traditions of a supernatural character, of traditions attached to
places, as old houses, churches, also of particular men, of hidden
treasure, of robbers, and the like. Then there are the more
supernatural superstitions, as of witches, ghosts, the devil, of
Trolds, of mermen and mermaids, of Nissen, like your English pixey, of
the three-legged horse that inhabits the churchyards, the were-wolf,
the gnome that inhabits the elder tree, the nightmare, or, as we call
it, Maren. There is also the tradition of gigantic dragons or
serpents, called by us Lindorm, in which your story of St. George and
the dragon prominently figures. There are also minor superstitions of
the will-o'-the-wisp, the bird called in English the goatsucker, and
the classical Basilisk."

"But surely all those superstitions cannot exist now?" inquired Hardy.

"I do not say they do; but they are hidden to a greater extent in the
recesses of the hearts of the people than you would imagine."

"Can you relate anything of these superstitions?" said Hardy. "It
would interest me beyond everything."

"Yes," said the Pastor. "I will give you an example in any one of the
particular traditions I have mentioned, and I will begin with the
historical superstition, as I mentioned that first.

"When King Gylfe reigned in Sweden, a woman came to him, and she
enchanted him so by her singing that he gave her leave to plough so
much of his land as she could in a day with four oxen, and what she
thus ploughed should be hers. This woman was of the race of the giants
(Aseme). She took her four sons and changed them into oxen, and
attached them to the plough. She ploughed out the place she had
chosen, and thus created the island of Sjælland. She did this from the
Mælar lake in Sweden; and it is said that where there is a point of
land in Sjælland there is in the Mælar lake a bay, and vice versa, so
that both the Mælar lake and Sjælland island have one form, one is
land, the other water. This tradition is common over Denmark, and with
us has become classical. The woman's name was Gefion."

"I have seen a delineation of the tradition," said Hardy, "at one of
your Danish palaces, on a ceiling at Fredriksborg."

"Yes, it is there; but you will find it everywhere in Denmark,"
replied the Pastor. "Of traditions of churches, they are endless; but
we will take one example, possibly by no means the best. When Hadderup
church, between Viborg and Holstebro, was building, the Trolds tore
down every night what had been erected in the day. It was therefore
determined to attach two calves to a load of stones in a waggon, and
where the calves were found in the morning to build the church. This,
however, did not answer, and at last an agreement was made with the
Trolds that they should allow the church to be built, on the condition
that they should have the first bride that went to the church. This
succeeded, and the church was built. When the first bridal procession
should, however, go to the church, at a particular place a sudden mist
fell upon them, and when it cleared off the bride had disappeared."

"A very striking tradition," said Hardy. "It has a good deal of
picturesque colouring."

"Yes," said the Pastor, "and that is why I told you that particular
tradition. But of places there is a tradition of Silkeborg, with
nothing supernatural about it; but as you have been there fishing, it
may interest you to know why it has obtained that name. The story is,
that a bishop wished to build a house there, but he was uncertain
where; so he threw his silk hat into the water as he sailed on the
Gudenaa, and he determined that where his silk hat came to land, that
there would he build his house. The hat came ashore at Silkeborg. The
bishop, however, could not have sailed up the Gudenaa, and the
probability is he must have gone down the lake, as the Gudenaa runs
from the lake through Jutland to the sea at Randers."

"There is a similar tradition," said Hardy, "in Iceland. When the
Norwegian chiefs were conquered by Harold the Fair-haired, about 870,
they cast the carved oak supports of their chairs, that they were
accustomed to sit in at the head of their tables, surrounded by their
dependents, and decided that where these drove ashore, they would
found a colony; and where they did drive ashore was on the shores of
Iceland. It may possibly have influenced the tradition you relate of
Silkeborg."

"Possibly," said the Pastor; "but of traditions of places, there are
very many, and, as an example, there was in Randers province an
island, and on the island a mansion; and when the family owning it
were absent, three women-servants determined to play the priest a
trick. They dressed up a sow like a sick person in bed, and sent for
the priest to administer the sacrament to a dying person. The priest,
however, saw the wicked deception, and at once left the island in his
boat. Immediately the whole island sank as soon as he lifted his foot
from the shore of the island. But a table swam towards him, on which
was his Bible, which in his anger and haste he had forgotten to take
with him. Where the island sank can, it is said, yet be seen the three
chimneys of the mansion deep down in the water; and there are some
high trees growing up through the water, to which, when they grow high
enough, will the enemies of Denmark come and fasten their ships."

"This story is only one of a class to the same effect," continued the
Pastor. "It has many variations to a similar effect. You have heard of
Limfjord in North Jutland. It derives its name after our tradition to
the following: At the birth of Christ a Trold woman was so enraged at
the circumstance of his birth that she produced a monster at a birth,
and this monster gradually took the form of a boar; and it is related
that when the boar was in the woods, its bristles were higher than the
tops of the trees. This boar was called Limgrim, and rooted up the
land so as to create the inlet of the sea that we call Limfjord; the
name originally was Limgrimsfjord, since abbreviated to Limfjord."

"What is your view of the origin of these traditions?" asked Hardy.

"They are to me," said the Pastor, "an evidence of the continuous
change the world undergoes, has undergone, and will undergo. The older
the tradition, the more antagonistic it is to the known laws of
nature; the later the tradition, the less improbable it is. We have
seen how heathenism, with its unreasonable and wild vagaries, gave way
to the early Christian Church. Then arose the ultramontane Church,
which was succeeded by the purer light let in by Morten Luther; and
changes are taking place, and will take place; and the use of these
old traditions is to teach us that change must be. Age succeeds to
age, and generation to generation. The science of geology teaches the
same lesson. As we learn more of it, and more accurately of it, we
gradually grasp the thought that endless ages have wrought changes,
and will continue to work at the discretion of the Great Power that we
feel and know exists. We can only say that the works of the Lord are
wonderful, and trust in him."

"Have you heard of the religion of Buddha?" said Hardy. "With all our
present researches into it, we know comparatively little; but, taken
broadly, it is a doctrine of slow development. A life exists, and
gradually earthly passion ceases, and a state of perfect rest is
reached, but through an endless series of change."

"Yes," replied Pastor Lindal; "but it is a religion of the
imagination. It has a certain beauty and a poetic charm, while the
Christian religion has the reality of the principle that kindliness is
the real gold of life, which I have learnt from you."

Hardy felt that in his letters to his mother he had correctly
described Pastor Lindal.

Frøken Helga had continued knitting as usual, but that she listened to
every word her father uttered was clear to Hardy; and when he rose to
go to his room for the night, she said, "Thank you, Herr Hardy; you
have interested my father to speak in the way he only can."



CHAPTER IX.


    "But he that unto others leads the way
    In public prayer,
    Should do it so,
    As all that hear may know
    They need not fear
    To tune their hearts unto his tongue."
    _The Complete Angler._


The next day, as soon as signs of the tobacco parliament were apparent
by Frøken Helga filling and lighting her father's pipe, Karl and Axel,
who had been interested in listening to the conversation on traditions
the previous evening, besought Hardy to lead Pastor Lindal to the same
subject.

"The many ancient burial places existing all over Jutland," said
Hardy, "must have given rise to traditions of hidden treasure. Our
English word for these tumuli is barrows."

"And ours," said the Pastor, "is Kæmpehøi, or Kæmpedysse, meaning a
fighting man's burial place; the verb to fight is kæmpe, and present
Danish. It was, however, a custom to bury treasure in secluded places,
and to kill a slave at the place that his ghost might guard the
treasure. There is a tumulus or barrow between Viborg and Holstebro.
It is related that this barrow was formerly always covered with a blue
mist, and that a copper kettle full of money was buried there. One
night, however, two men dug down to the kettle, and seized it by the
handle; but immediately wonderful things happened, with a view of
preventing them from taking away the kettle and the money--first, they
saw a black dog with a red hot tongue; next, a cock drawing a load of
hay; then a carriage with four black horses. The men, however, pursued
their occupation without uttering a word. But at last came a man, lame
in one foot, halting by, and he said, 'Look, the town is on fire!' The
two men looked, and sure enough the town appeared to them to be on
fire. One of them uttered an exclamation, and the kettle and the
treasure sank in the earth far beyond their reach. There are many of
these stories, but the principle inculcated is, that when digging for
treasure it must be carried out in perfect silence. You will have
observed that a great many of the tumuli you have met with in Denmark
have been opened. This has chiefly been done by the hidden-treasure
seekers; but it has had one good result, and that is, it has enriched
the museums in Denmark, especially that of Northern Antiquities in
Copenhagen. You have probably seen the museum in Bergen, Norway. You
will have seen precisely the same type of subjects there as in
Copenhagen; and in the tumuli in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, what has
been found is, _coeteris paribus_, identical in type."

"You said just now that a slave was killed at places where treasure
was hidden," said Hardy; "is there much belief in that direction?"

"Yes; the belief in ghosts was very strong," replied the Pastor, "and
still exists. The general view was that if a man's conduct was
criminal in a high degree, that within three days after he 'walked;'
that is, his ghost appeared at the places he had been attached to when
in life, attended by more or less supernatural attributes. This, of
course, arose from our Saviour's resurrection on the third day; but as
to this, I will tell you a tradition that is an exception. There was
once a man who was exceptionally wicked and bad; he was a thief and a
robber, never went to church, and committed all manner of crimes. When
he died and was buried in the churchyard, and the people who had
attended the funeral had returned to the man's house to drink the
Gravøl--that is the beer that was specially brewed for consumption at
a funeral--lo! there was the dead and buried man sitting on the roof
of the house, glaring down on all those who ventured to look up at
him. The priest was sent for, and he exorcised the ghost, and ordered
him to remain, until the world's end, at the bottom of a moss bog, and
to keep him there had a sharp stake driven through him; but,
notwithstanding, the ghost rises at night, but as he cannot, from the
exorcising of the priest, assume human form, he flies about in the
likeness of the bird we call the night raven until cock crow."

"In English," said Hardy, "the night jar. It was the practice in
England to bury suicides with a stake driven through their bodies at
four cross-ways. It is possible that this arose from a desire to
prevent the ghost of the dead person from troubling the living, and
being at a four cross-ways, that it should not know which direction to
take."

"It may be so," said Pastor Lindal; "but in discussing these things we
are apt, as in philology, to assume our own comparisons to be correct.
We have also the traditions of spectral huntsmen, with the
accompaniment of horses and hounds with red-hot glowing tongues; and,
singularly enough, the tradition often occurs that their quarry was
the Elle-kvinder, that is women of the elves, but who are described as
of the size of ordinary women. The spectral huntsmen have often been
seen with the Elle-kvinder tied to their saddles by their hair."

"Your traditions of witches," said Hardy, "appear to be similar to
ours. You appear to have burnt and thrown them into ponds to drown
after the same cruel custom as in England."

"True," replied the Pastor, "and the description in Macbeth of witches
answers to our traditions. On St. John's night witches were supposed
to fly to Bloksberg, a mythical place in Norway, upon broomsticks and
in brewing tubs. There they met Gamle Erik, the evil one, who entered
their names in his ledger, and instructed them in witchcraft, and,
after executing the witches' dance, they returned to their respective
homes in the same fashion. This tradition is common to other
countries, but in Jutland the belief was that the favourite form a
witch adopted was that of a hare, which evaded the huntsmen, and could
not be shot except by a piece of silver, which must have been
inherited--a piece of silver purchased or given had no effect. The
witch was then found in the person of some old woman with a wound, who
was forthwith dealt with in the cruel fashion then the rule. The
gypsies, or, as they are called with us, Tâtarfolk, from their eastern
origin, drove a good business by professing to cure the effects of
witchcraft; they generally managed to cause the ill effect, however,
before they cured it. They would give a drug to a farmer's cow, and
call a few days after and offer to drive away the witch that possessed
the cow. They would take with them a black furry doll tied to a
string. A hole was dug several feet deep in the cowhouse; suddenly the
black furry thing was at the bottom of the hole, just sufficient for
some of the people to see it when it disappeared. That was the witch;
the cow was, of course, cured by an antidote."

"The gypsy is common enough in England," said Hardy; "but they do less
in telling fortunes or in thieving farmyards then formerly was their
custom. They appear to do a good business in small wares, as brushes
and mats, which they take about in vans."

"The gypsy," said the Pastor, "where superstition exists, trade upon
it, and in old times in Denmark this brought them a rich harvest. They
persuaded the farmers' wives that they must have inherited silver, or
they could do nothing against evil influences, and acquired thereby
many an old-fashioned heirloom. With us they have never pursued, as
you suggest, a steady trade."

"Have you not a tradition of a book called Cyprianus?" asked Hardy.

"The idea of the book is from the Sibyll's books of Roman history,"
replied Pastor Lindal. "The contents of Cyprianus is very differently
described. It is related of it that it is a book of prophecy of
material events, that is not in a religious sense. Also, it is
described as containing formula for raising the devil, or a number of
small devils, who immediately demand work to do, and whom it is fatal
not to keep employed. There are many stories based on this, chiefly
related of persons who accidentally find a Cyprianus and read some of
it, when the hobgoblins appear, and the difficulty of the situation
increases until some person versed in the use of the book applies the
formula that sends the hobgoblins to their proper places."

"The devil I have always heard in Norway as taking the form of a black
dog," said Hardy.

"It is the same in our traditions," said Pastor Lindal. "An
extraordinary belief was that a carriage at certain times and places
would not move, and that the horses could not draw it. The remedy then
was, for those who knew how, to take off one hind wheel of the
carriage and put it in the carriage, when the devil would have to act
as hind wheel to the end of the journey, much to his supposed
discomfort. There are many stories of this."

"Hans Christian Andersen's stories have made us acquainted with
Nissen, or the house goblin," said Hardy.

"There is little more to tell you then," said the Pastor, "except that
Nissen's description is defined by our traditions in Jutland to be a
little fellow with sharp cat-formed ears, and to have fingers only,
and no thumb. He is supposed to inhabit particular farm-houses and
their range of buildings, and, when there is a scarcity of fodder,
will steal from another farm; and if there be another Nissen there,
they will fight each for the interests of the farm he frequents. He
will play tricks on the people working at the farms, particularly so
if every Thursday night his porridge is neglected to be put in its
accustomed place, generally in the threshing barn."

"But have you no traditions of underground people?" asked Hardy.

"The stories of underground people are more abundant than any other
class of tradition," replied the Pastor. "We call them Underjordiske,
which means underground people; but by it is included Elle folk or
elves, Trolds or goblins, and Bjærg folk or hill people. Their homes
are chiefly placed by tradition in the tumuli or barrows to which we
have before referred; and at times a tumulus is seen as standing on
four pillars, while the Underjordiske dance underneath and drink ale
and mead. At times it is related that they come out of their dwellings
in the barrows with their red cows, or to air their money, or clean
their kitchen utensils. Through all these stories the manner of life
of the Underjordiske is the same as that of the Danish Bønde or
farmer. They are not, however, always supposed to live in the barrows,
as several stories exist of the Bjærg folk coming to a Bønde and
asking him to shift his stable to another place, as the dung from his
cattle falls on his (the Bjærgmand's) dining-table, and it is
disagreeable. If the Bønde obeys, he is promised prosperity, and
everything thrives on his farm. They can also, however, be revengeful,
and are dangerous generally. Their particular aversion is church
bells, and it is generally attributed to their influence that there
are so few Underjordiske seen nowadays."

"Can you relate any stories of them?" asked Hardy.

"Very many," replied the Pastor. "There are several collections of
these traditions, and although each collection is generally the same
in character, yet the details and stories themselves widely differ.
But I will tell you two of the stories. A Trold lived in a barrow
between two church towers, about a mile from each other. This Trold
had a wife, who was of Christian folk. It was necessary to get the
services of a midwife, and the Trold fetched the nearest, and gave her
for her services what appeared to be two pieces of charcoal; but the
Trold's wife told her to take them home, but warned her that as soon
as she put one foot outside she should suddenly jump aside, as the
Trold would cast a glowing hot-iron rod at her. She followed the
advice and went home, when the charcoal turned to silver money. The
two women, however, became friends, and the midwife often spun flax
for the Trold; but she was forbidden to wet her fingers with Christian
spittle, and they brought her a little crock to hold water for her to
wet her fingers in. This continued for some time, when at last the
Trold wife came to the midwife and said, 'My husband, the Trold, will
stay here no longer. He says he cannot bear the two ding-dong danging
church towers.' So they left, flying, it is said, through the air on a
long stick, with all their belongings."

"A story with some imagery," said Hardy.

"The next, however, is more so," said the Pastor. "On a St. John's
night, or, as we call it, Sankt. Hans. Nat, the Bjærg folk and Elle
folk had collected to make merry. A man came riding by from Viborg,
and he could see the assembled Underjordiske enjoying the feast. An
Ellekone, or elf wife, went round with a large silver tankard, and
offered drink to every one, and came at last to the horseman. He
pretended to drink, but threw the contents of the tankard over his
shoulder, put spurs to his horse, and galloped off. But the Ellekone
was after him, and came nearer and nearer; her breasts were so long
that they fell on her knees and impeded her. She therefore threw them,
one after the other, over her shoulders, and continued the chase with
renewed speed. Fortunately he was close to the river, and dashed
through it. The Ellekone caught the hind shoe of his horse, and tore
it off; but she could not go over the water. The tankard was said to
be the largest ever seen in Denmark."

"The story is a common one to many countries, but it scarcely exists
with so much clear and distinct imagery as in your recital, Herr
Pastor," said Hardy.

"I think now we have had enough of traditions for one evening," said
the Pastor.

"What is your opinion of the effect of these traditions on the minds
of the people generally?" asked Hardy.

"It is difficult to say," said the Pastor; "we can but guess at their
effect. As education and civilization progress, they lose their
superstitious influence and interest and amuse. There is a wild
picturesque imagery that must appeal to the most educated mind. They
afford subjects to painters; but I have never seen a picture yet based
on these traditions that grasped the graphic thought of the recital of
the tradition. In a religious sense they do no harm; they excite the
imagination of the people only to prepare their minds for the
simplicity of the Christian faith, at least they assist to do so. When
I visit my Sognebørn (literally, parish children), I tell the children
these traditions, and when they grow older they like to hear anything
I have to say; it assists me in suggesting religious thought when
their minds are ripe for it."

Frøken Helga, who had all the evening knitted and listened to her
father, dropped her knitting and went to him and caressed him. "Dear
little father," she said, "you are always good and thoughtful."

"I think so also," said Hardy.



CHAPTER X.


    "But I am the most pleased with this little house
    of anything I ever saw: it stands in a kind of peninsula too,
    with a delicate clear river about it. I dare hardly go in,
    lest I should not like it so well within as without, but by
    your leave I will try."
    --_The Complete Angler._


The next day John Hardy received a letter from Prokuratør Steindal of
Copenhagen.

"Your honoured instructions as to Rosendal I have attended to. The
price they will sell for I have approximately arrived at, but I cannot
advise you to buy. The value of Rosendal is not so great as the price
asked, and it appears to me that you should hesitate before making a
purchase that will pay you so little income. I feel it my duty to say
that whatever your instructions may be, that I cannot act on them
without a personal interview. If you wish, therefore, to pursue the
matter further, you should come to Copenhagen and discuss it with me.
I cannot advise a client to make a purchase to his prejudice; if I did
so, I should not only acquire a bad reputation, but it would not be
right for me to do so. I await, therefore, the honour of your reply."

John Hardy went to Copenhagen, and returned in a few days to Vandstrup
Præstegaard.

The next day the Pastor had received the _Jyllands Post_, the local
newspaper. When Hardy appeared at the breakfast table, he said,
"Rosendal is sold to Prokuratør Steindal of Copenhagen, and it is
extra-ordinary that I have received a letter from him to say that I
and my family have leave to visit Rosendal when we wish to do so, and
that my two sons, Karl and Axel, have leave to catch all the pike in
Rosendal lake. There is the usual notice of the sale in the _Jyllands
Post_, and from the letter from Steindal, it must be true."

"I have no doubt of its truth," said Hardy. "I would only suggest that
we at once went to fish for the pike at Rosendal lake; my servant can
bring the carriage, and I can ride my English horse, so that Frøken
Helga can enjoy another visit to Rosendal."

"But," said the Pastor, "the permission to fish does not extend to
you, Herr Hardy."

"That may be," said Hardy, "but that is no reason why my advice should
not be rendered as to how to catch the pike."

Robert Garth brought the carriage and drove, and Hardy rode his horse
Buffalo. The weather was pleasant, and the drive was enjoyable.

When they came to Rosendal, the respectful demeanour of the bailiff
towards Hardy struck the Pastor. Hardy placed his forefinger across
his lips. The bailiff told Hardy that if they wished to have lunch in
the mansion they could do so, after a walk in the beechwoods and by
the lake and rosary.

"The boys are so intent on the pike fishing," said Hardy, "that I will
go with them. We shall try and catch a pike, and send it up to the
bailiff's wife to be baked, and will then leave our lines and join
you."

"But, Herr Hardy, you have no permission to fish; it only extends to
Karl and Axel," said the Pastor, with some firmness.

"Then I think I must leave the boys to their own devices," said Hardy;
"but I fear no pike will appear for our lunch."

"It is better so than we should trespass on a stranger's kindness,"
said the Pastor.

So Hardy walked with the Pastor and his daughter through the
beechwoods and by the lake.

"I think now in the summer-time, with the beech trees in full leaf,
and the reeds by the lake, and the grass in the meadows in full
growth, that Rosendal is nearly at its best," said Frøken Helga.

"It has its beauty always," said her father. "I have seen it in
spring, and in summer, and in autumn, and in winter; it has a charm of
its own. It appeals to us with its idyllic nature."

"You are right, little father," said Helga; "it has always its
peculiar beauty. There is no place I love so much."

Hardy, who had bought Rosendal, felt as if he was deceiving the open
and kindly natures of the Pastor and his daughter, and he determined
to keep the secret no longer. He would but wait an opportunity to
clear the matter up.

When they returned to the mansion of Rosendal, Garth and the bailiff's
wife had prepared the refreshments they had taken with them. Garth
waited at table. The bailiff's wife, however, appeared disquieted, and
the Pastor asked what was the matter.

"Only that the owner of Rosendal should sit at the head of the table,
instead of between two boys," replied she.

"The owner of Rosendal!" exclaimed the Pastor.

"Yes. There he sits!" said the bailiff's wife, pointing at Hardy.

"How do you know I am the owner of Rosendal?" asked Hardy.

"Because the Prokuratør Steindal has written my man to say so," said
the bailiff's wife, "and we have expected it all along."

"If that be the case, Herr Pastor, you might have allowed me to catch
a pike for lunch," said Hardy; "for the boys did not."

"But have you bought Rosendal, Herr Hardy?" asked Frøken Helga.

"I did so when in Copenhagen," said Hardy. "Is there any reason why I
should not?"

"But why have you not said a word to us?" asked Pastor Lindal.

"Because it was so uncertain, and because I wished, as a surprise to
you, to say that any enjoyment of Rosendal stands at your disposition
and your family's," replied Hardy.

They all looked at Hardy, but there was no doubt of the sincerity of
his meaning.

"And may we come here and catch the pike?" asked Karl, with some
anxiety.

"Yes, if you can, every fin of them," replied Hardy; "and we will, if
the Pastor will now allow me, catch some this afternoon. I dare say
Rasmussen's widow would like as many as we can catch. We will set a
lot of lines and leave them, and roam about the place and visit them
later, and the chances are, if there be pike, we shall catch a few."

They wandered through the grounds and over the house and buildings
with renewed interest.

"Do you understand the management of such a property, Hardy?" inquired
Pastor Lindal, who, since the Rasmussen incident, rarely addressed him
otherwise than by his name simply.

"I understand farming and the management of landed property in
England," replied Hardy; "and it does not appear to me so very
difficult to manage so small a place as Rosendal, with common sense
and the assistance of so good a class of people as are already on the
estate. I shall not, for instance, begin to cut down the beech trees,
or drain the lake, although in an economical sense both would pay to
do. The lake could be drained to a good meadow; draining at the same
time the meadows adjoining, while the beech trees could be sold, and
the land they occupy turned into tillage. The house is a poor
residence and out of repair, so are the farm-buildings; but the place
has its peculiar charm, which I should not interrupt."

Pastor Lindal regarded the practical self-possessed Englishman with
surprise.

Hardy observed a look of displeasure in Helga's face at the thought of
so pretty a situation being turned into a practical farm, so he said--

"I have not possession yet, and shall not have until after I leave
Denmark this summer, and I could do nothing now; but my intention is
to consult a professional English landscape gardener, with the view of
increasing the attraction of Rosendal. He would do nothing that would
appear inconsistent with the natural beauty of the place."

"But he will cut it up and make all sorts of changes!" said Helga, in
a disappointed tone.

"Yes," said Hardy; "and I see you think that it would not be the same
old Rosendal to you again; but you have not seen how pretty the
surroundings of our English homes are made by these means, and the
exercise of judicious taste."

"But it would not be the same Rosendal to me," said Helga,
unconsciously uttering the very thought Hardy had read in her handsome
face.

"Possibly not," replied Hardy; "but your first exclamation would be
that you could not have believed Rosendal could have been made so
beautiful. A natural gem must be polished to exhibit its full beauty."

"That may be; but the thought of seeing Rosendal changed, Hardy, is
what strikes us," said the Pastor.

"Well, Herr Pastor, there is one thing I will do," said Hardy, "and
that is, before I do anything the plans shall be submitted to your and
Frøken Helga's judgment."

"Which, I fear, we shall not understand," said the Pastor.

"Yes, you will, because you will have the plan of the estate, as it
now exists, before you as well as the plan of the proposed
alterations; but, as far as I myself can see, no striking change would
be desirable, or would be suggested."

"But why have you bought Rosendal, Herr Hardy?" asked Helga, looking
full at him. She had all a woman's curiosity, and it was inexplicable
to her what motive Hardy could have had for his purchase.

"I will tell you when my mother comes here next year," said Hardy.

"You have bought it for a residence for your mother, then?" said
Helga, inquiringly.

"I cannot say I have," replied Hardy.

They had come to the shores of the little lake, where the two boys had
been anxiously watching the trimmers that Garth had assisted them in
setting round the reeds; but although they saw several fish were on,
Garth would not let them take the boat to the lines until his master
came. Hardy saw the situation, and said--

"Don't wait, Bob; take the lads to the lines, and let them pull them
up."

Several pike were brought ashore, but none of any size. It had been
the habit of the former owner of Rosendal to use nets, and take out
the largest fish, so as not to allow a few monsters to tyrannize over
the rest of the fish in the lake. The boys had seen similar tackle to
the English trimmers, but neither so neat nor effective.

"We do not consider this method of fishing a fair way in England,"
said Hardy; "it is adopted by poachers, to steal fish from private
ponds, and it is not popular with anglers. The approved method is to
troll for pike."

"Very interesting to the fish, if they only knew it," said the Pastor.
"I fear when on the hooks they would scarcely appreciate the
distinction. For my part, I do not like the mode of fishing you have
just practised, as a little fish is kept in misery until the pike
chops him with his teeth, or it dies on the hook."

"You are quite right to condemn it in that way," said Hardy; and,
turning to Karl and Axel, added, "You hear what your father says; so
when you wish to fish here you must troll, as you saw me do at
Silkeborg; and as only one can troll in the boat at one time, I will
give you my trolling-rod and gear, so that you can fish when you
like."

"Thank you, so much, Herr Hardy," said the boys at once. "You are
always good, and think so much about us."

"You are kind. Hardy," said the Pastor; while Frøken Helga looked as
if she did not understand Hardy.

As they walked up to the mansion from the lake, they went through the
valley of roses, which has before been described as giving the name to
Rosendal.

"What do you say, Frøken Helga, to this place?" asked Hardy. "Is there
no room for improvement here? There are a few ragged rose bushes
widely distributed, and in the whole valley of roses scarcely a dozen
roses in bloom at a time of the year when there should be abundance."

"More roses might be planted, Herr Hardy," said Helga; "but your view
would be to plant a straight row of standards, with a gravel walk down
the middle."

"You are like Kirstin, always imputing evil to me," said Hardy. "Such
a walk would destroy the natural effect of the valley, and would be a
sin to do."

Helga started. She did not know that Hardy was ignorant of Kirstin's
conduct towards him. The Pastor, with his delicate instinct, at once
saw that Hardy was ignorant of Kirstin's tale of shame, or he would
not have referred to it.

"Whatever Hardy does, Helga," said the Pastor, "will be thoughtfully
done."

"No doubt of it," said Helga; "he is a cool and calculating
Englishman." She was vexed at the illusion to Kirstin.

When they came close to the mansion, Hardy said, "Now, here the
grounds do not require alteration, provided they were always covered
with snow, which, however frequent, is not what we can fall back upon
in a summer residence, which Rosendal is. There is the straight drive
up to the door steps, a clump of bushes each side of a bit of meadow
grass, and that is all; and there is a straight view from the house to
the lake, there is no break or change, nothing catches the eye except
the tethered cows. It is like the toy houses made at Leipsic for
children to play with. Surely a change that introduces a thought of
beauty in the landscape would not be destructive to Rosendal, Frøken
Helga."

"You appear, Herr Hardy, to find fault with everything Danish," said
Helga, sharply; "our horses are inferior, our houses are, and even our
gardens are."

"But I never said you were," broke in Hardy, with a laugh.

"No; but I see you think it," retorted Helga. "You have heard me say
that I like Rosendal as it is, and you exhibit your English ideas to
show how uncivilized and wanting in taste I am."

"But are you not imputing evil," said Hardy, "like Kirstin, the
grossly suspicious?"

Helga blushed and said nothing, and Pastor Lindal determined to tell
Hardy what Kirstin had imputed to him.

As Garth brought round the horses and a man led out Buffalo, Karl was
struck with a great wish to ride the English horse. He asked Hardy
hesitatingly. Hardy told him to ask his father, who looked at Hardy.

"The horse is likely to give him a fall," he said, "and he might get
an awkward fall; but boys should learn to ride, and I have no
objections if you have not."

The Pastor assented, the stirrups were shortened, and Karl mounted.

"Don't pull at his mouth," said Hardy; "he does not like a stranger
interfering with his mouth."

"And might I jump him over a ditch on the way home?" begged Karl.

"You may; but I think you had better leave that alone," said Hardy.

Garth drove, and Hardy chatted with the Pastor, but kept his eye fixed
on Karl. Buffalo went along at a smooth trot after the carriage--so
far, so well; but when they came to the meadow running down to the
Gudenaa, Karl rode into the meadow and galloped at a water ditch in
the same manner as he had often seen Hardy do. Buffalo stretched out
and took the ditch like a bird, making a longer jump than was at all
necessary. There was a loud splash and a scream from Frøken Helga, and
Buffalo, with an empty saddle, was galloping away.

Hardy took the reins from Garth, as he said coolly, "Pick the lad out
of the ditch, and catch the horse. There is nothing to fear, Herr
Pastor."

Garth called the horse, which stopped. He then assisted Karl out of
the ditch, who was covered with peaty slime, wiped the mud from his
face and mouth, and pointed to the carriage. Garth then crossed the
ditch on a plank bridge and caught Buffalo, and rode him over the
ditch, coming to the side of the carriage. Karl looked foolish.

"There, is nothing to be ashamed of, Karl," said Hardy. "I had many a
fall before I learnt how to stick on. It is what we all have to go
through. Come up by the side of me, little man; you would make your
father and sister in a mess."

The Pastor and his daughter were, for the moment, much frightened by
the incident; but Hardy's manner of treating it as a matter of course
reassured them.

"There was no cause for alarm, Herr Pastor," said Hardy. "Karl can, if
he will, assure you that the mud at the bottom of the ditch was as
soft as eider down. Garth, ride on; I will drive up to the parsonage,
and thence to the stables."

"Thank you for a pleasant day, Hardy," said the Pastor, as he went
into his house.

"Stop, Herr Pastor! here are the pike that were caught in the lake.
Take what you like, and I will send the rest to Widow Rasmussen."

The pike cooked that day for dinner was, Hardy thought, a fish with as
strong a flavour of mud as any fish could possibly possess. The
horse-radish sauce, and the sage and bread with which it was stuffed,
availed nothing, and Hardy formed a resolution with regard to the lake
that afterwards had the result of its being stocked with trout instead
of pike.



CHAPTER XI.


    "_Piscator._--I love such mirth as does not make
    friends ashamed to look upon one another the next
    morning."--_The Complete Angler._


When the tobacco parliament began the evening after the excursion to
Rosendal, Pastor Lindal said, "I have told Herr Hardy the nature of
Kirstin's imputations against him, and what he said to-day to you,
Helga, was in ignorance of that. I am quite sure that he would never
have referred to Kirstin in the way he did had he known everything.
His only thought was that Kirstin was generally suspicious and that
was all. He had no idea that when you criticized his treatment of
Rosendal that he was comparing your conduct with what was bad."

Helga looked puzzled; but after a while she rose up from her seat, and
extended her hand to Hardy. "I hope you will forgive me, Herr Hardy,
if I have not understood you."

"Thank you," said Hardy. "I had hoped that my character was so simple
that it left nothing to the imagination or to construction. It appears
to me to be a work of time to acquire the approving confidence of any
one in Jutland."

"I begin to think you are true," said Helga. "You have said no single
word which has not been borne out; but your opinions differ from ours,
and that widely."

"There is, of course," said Hardy, "the difference of nationality, but
in the wide world what is best is best, and if anything I do or say
differs from your national feeling, yet if it be right and best it is
best."

"Good, very good," said the Pastor. "We are all in the hands of a
Higher Power, and we have to obey it. It is not for us to criticize
and doubt, but to obey."

"But it is not a question of religion," said Helga, "if we Danes
differ in opinion from the English or if our customs are different."

"Just so," said the Pastor; "but God is over all. Nation may call to
nation and generation to generation; but, as Herr Hardy suggests,
nationalities may differ, but what is best in thought and deed will
come to the front."

"But why should he despise us?" asked Helga.

"Herr Hardy despises nothing," replied her father. "He sees and
appreciates what is good in us, and sympathizes with the stability of
the Danish character, but he naturally values the broader thought in
everyday life of the English people."

"That is because he is an Englishman," retorted Helga.

"You forget, Helga, that Herr Hardy is present," said her father, "and
what you have said would pain him. If he be an Englishman he cannot
help it, and if he should be English in thought and character it is
not what you should condemn. He is only true to himself. Since he has
been with us, what has his conduct been?"

Helga knitted in silence; she felt the justice of her father's reproof
and her injustice to Hardy.

Hardy, to change the conversation, said to Karl, "Well, Karl, you have
not told us how soft you found the ditch that you went to the bottom
of."

"I do not know how I fell off," said Karl. "I was suddenly under water
in the ditch."

"You fell off as Buffalo was about to jump. He checked his stride
before he jumped, and then you tumbled off," said Hardy.

"What should I have done?" asked Karl.

"Stuck on," replied Hardy. "You have to learn the motion of the horse
when jumping, which only practise gives."

"It was like the Damhest," said the Pastor, "which is a legendary
horse that comes out of mill-dams, ponds, or lakes, at night, and
entices people to ride it, when it jumps into the water. The best
story of it is from Thisted, a little to the north-west of this. Three
tipsy Bønder (farmers) were going home, when one of them wished for a
horse, that they might ride home, when, lo! there appeared a
long-backed black horse, on whose back they all clambered, and there
appeared room for many more. As the last man got up he exclaimed--

'Herre, Jesu Kors
Aldrig saae jeg saadan Hors.'

'By the Lord Jesu's cross,
Never saw I such a horse.'

Instantly at that holy name the horse disappeared from under them, and
the three Bønder were lying on the ground. The Danish word for horse
is 'hest,' but the Jutland people use the word 'hors,' in their
dialect."

"There is a similar legend in the Shetland Islands; but, then, it is a
little horse that jumps into the sea, with the unfortunate person it
has enticed to mount it," said Hardy.

"There is also a similar legend in France," said the Pastor. "The
horse is called 'Le Lutin.' We have another legendary horse, that is
said to abide in churchyards, and has three legs. The legend has
arisen from the practice in old times of burying a living horse at the
funeral of a man of distinction. This horse's ghost is called the
'Helhest.' If any one meets it, it is a sign to him of an early death.
It is a tradition of the cathedral at Aarhus, that such a horse is
occasionally seen there. A man whose window looked out to the
cathedral exclaimed one day to a neighbour, 'What horse is that?'
There is none,' said his neighbour. 'Then it must be the Helhest,'
said the other, who shortly after died. It is said that in the
cathedral at Roeskilde, there is a narrow stone on which, in old
times, people used to spit, because a Helhest was buried there. The
word 'hel' is from 'hæl,' a heel, because the horse lacked one hoof or
heel. The legend appears to have existed in the Roman times, as they
called it Unipes, or the one-footed."

"The pronunciation of 'hel' in Danish is as if it were spelt in
English as 'hæl'" said Hardy. "I certainly never heard that legend
before."

"There are other legends of animals," said Pastor Lindal. "There is
the Kirkelam, or the church lamb. This arose from the practice, when a
church was founded, to bury under the altar a living lamb, to prevent,
it was said, the church from sinking. This lamb's ghost was called the
Kirkelam, and, if at any time a child was about to die, the church
lamb was supposed to appear at the threshold of the door. In
Carlslunde church tower there is a bas-relief of a lamb, to show that
a living lamb was buried there when the church was built. It is
related that a woman was sent for to nurse another woman who was very
ill; as she went through the churchyard, she was aware of something
like a dog or a cat rubbing itself against her clothes. She stooped
down to look at it, in the half light of the evening, when, lo! it was
the church lamb. The sick woman died at the very same instant, so runs
the legend."

"The legend of the Kirkelam," said Hardy, "is distinctive, insomuch as
it appears symbolical, and not based, as most legends are, on the
fancies and wild imaginations of the people."

"In the olden times of Christianity," said Pastor Lindal, "it was
found necessary to employ symbols, and to take measures to occupy the
attention of an ignorant people, and it is possible that thus the
practice arose to be followed by the legend."

"It was a heathen practice to bury living creatures," continued the
Pastor, "to avert the plague, when sometimes they buried children, or
for other fantastic reasons. Thus, there is the legend of the Gravso,
meaning the buried sow. The reason for its having been buried alive is
lost. The sow is supposed to appear in the streets of towns, and when
it appears is an omen of bad luck or death. Sometimes it is said that
it runs between people's legs, and takes them on its back, and leaves
them in strange places."

"You said just now that children were buried to avert or stay the
plague, when it visited Denmark," said Hardy; "does there exist any
authentic record of such, or does it rest entirely on tradition?"

"I fear we must admit it to have occurred," replied Pastor Lindal.
"The records of it are too many and consistent to doubt the truth of
the practice. There is a tradition of a place in Jutland where all the
inhabitants died of the plague, and the inhabitants of an adjoining
town averted the spread of the pestilence by buying a child of a
gypsy, and burying it alive, which tradition says had the desired
result. There is also a tradition that on the east side of a certain
church in Jutland no one is buried, because a child was buried there
to stay the plague. At another place, two children were purchased of
very poor parents, and were buried alive in a sandhill, to stay the
pestilence then raging in the district. The people gave them some
bread and butter, to induce them to go into the living grave prepared
for them; and when the first spadeful of sand was thrown into the
hole, one of the children cried out, 'Mother, they are throwing sand
on my bread and butter!' Comparing this with the treatment of witches,
or women suspected of witchcraft, at the same epoch, it is not at all
impossible that such senseless and cruel customs prevailed. The
stories of robbers that may be well attributed to the same period have
all a cruel tinge."

"Can you tell us any?" asked Hardy.

"A very great many. One story has been adopted and embellished, and
has appeared in many lands, and it is possible that you may have heard
it, so wide has the same story spread. The story is that a rich man
had an only daughter, and amongst many suitors was a young stranger of
singularly bold manners, and she accepted him with her father's full
consent. But, as it happened, she went out for a walk in a wood near,
and she came to a cave. She was astonished to find that this cave was
inhabited and divided into rooms. There were chairs and a table and
kitchen utensils in the first room, in the second room there was much
old silver plate and costly articles, but in the inner room of all
there were portions of dead bodies. She was terrified, and would have
fled from these horrors, but she heard steps at the entrance of the
cave, and the robbers entered. She hid herself under a bed, and, to
her horror, she saw the man she had promised to marry bring in a
woman, whom he brutally murdered; and as he could not get a gold ring
off that was on her finger, he chopped it off with an axe, with such
violence that it rolled underneath the bed where she was. The robber
could not find it, and gave up the search. At night, the robbers all
departed on a plundering expedition, when she hastened home. She said,
however, nothing of what had happened. The wedding-day was fixed, and
the wedding guests assembled; but when the festivities were at the
highest, she produced the finger of the dead woman, with the ring on
it! The bridegroom turned pale, and, after being put to the torture,
confessed many murders, and was, with his band, executed with the
cruelty then practised; that is, their entrails were cut out by the
executioner, the bodies severed into pieces, and hung up to rot on a
gallows."

"The whole story is a very cruel picture," said Hardy.

"So the stories of robbers all are," said the Pastor. "There is a
story of a robber called Langekniv, or 'long knife.' His practice was
to kill people by casting a heavy knife at them, with a string
attached to it, so that he could possess himself of the knife again
with celerity. He committed many murders. But one day a pedlar was
going across a lonely heath, when he saw Langekniv coming. The pedlar
fell down at first with fright, but afterwards pretended to be nearly
dead from illness; and when Langekniv came up, he said, 'Take my pack
and my money, and fetch a doctor; I am dying.' Langekniv thought that
with a man who could be so easily robbed, it was not necessary to do
more than he was asked; but as soon as he turned to go away, the
pedlar struck him with his staff a blow on the ankle, that disabled
him from running. He then ran for assistance, and Langekniv, after
making it very hot for his captors by casting his long knife, was
seized, and bound, and put in a cart, and was executed. When his
entrails was being cut out by the executioner, he was asked if it
hurt, and Langekniv replied that it was not so bad as the toothache.

"There is one robber story, however, that illustrates the
extraordinary manner in which a clue to a murder can sometimes be
acquired. A pedlar was passing in a lonely hollow of a road on a heath
in Jutland, when two robbers attacked him, and killed him under
circumstances of great cruelty. A flock of wild geese was flying over
head, and the pedlar said the birds of the air shall witness against
you of my murder. Years went by, when, one day, the people were
waiting in the churchyard for the priest to come to service. A flock
of geese was flying overhead, when a horse-dealer from Holstein, a
stranger to the place, said, 'There goes the pedlar's witnesses.'
These words excited attention. The man lost all control over himself,
and confessed the murder."

"A very extraordinary story," said Hardy, "but a very possible one.
But have you not traditions of very supernatural things, as the story
of the Kraken?"

"There is the tradition of the Basilisk, as we call it, and that of
the Lindorm. The legend of the Basilisk is, of course, of classic
origin. It is that when a cock becomes very old, it lays an egg, and
the heat of a dungheap hatches it, and a Basilisk is produced. It is
so hideous a monster, that whoever looks on it can no longer live, but
melts away. It is also said that the Basilisk inhabits wells, and that
it is dangerous to look down a well, as to encounter the gaze of a
Basilisk would be to turn the beholder to stone. There is also another
variation of the legend. The egg when laid by the cock must be hatched
by a toad; but when the Basilisk is hatched, if it be first seen by a
human being, it at once dies, but if the contrary, the beholder dies."

"There is a novel written by Sir Walter Scott," said Hardy, "under the
title of 'Count Robert of Paris' in which he describes the Varanger
guard. It is possible that as such a body of men did exist, that such
legends were brought back by them."

"It may be," said Pastor Lindal; "but in all such matters we may
dogmatize, and be very wide of the mark, although we cannot deny the
possibility."

"But what about the Lindorm?" asked Hardy.

"The Lindorm is a legendary serpent," replied the Pastor. "Your
English story of St. George and the dragon is a contest with a
Lindorm, and we have many variations of the story. The principal
incidents, however, coincide with your English story. One story of a
Lindorm is, that a girl went out to milk her master's cows, and as she
went over the fields she saw a little spotted snake. It appeared so
pretty that she took it home and kept it in a box. Every day she fed
it with milk and what else she could get that it would eat, but it
became at last so large that it could not be kept in the box any
longer. It ran after the girl wherever she went, and drank out of the
milk-pails, as she milked the cows. This the house mother (the
farmer's wife) objected to, and she said the snake should be killed to
prevent further mischief; but the snake was not killed, and further
mischief did occur. It became so big that it was not satisfied with
what was given it, but seized the cattle, one after another, and ate
them. It soon became the terror of the district. A wise woman,
however, advised that a bull calf should be reared with fresh milk and
wheat bread, to destroy the Lindorm. Meanwhile it had attained such a
size, that every day a cow had to be given it, or an old horse, to
prevent its taking the more valuable cattle. When, however, the bull
calf was three years old, it was strong enough to combat the Lindorm,
and killed it; but when the combat took place, the snake struck a
large stone with its tail, and cut thereby a furrow in it, and the
stone is shown to this day as a proof of the legend."

"A very interesting legend," said Hardy. "Are there more?"

"There is a remarkable one," replied Pastor Lindal, "as one of the
legends of the old cathedral at Aarhus. Many years ago, it was
observed that the bodies buried in the churchyard, then belonging to
the cathedral, were taken away, no one knew how. At last, it was
observed that a Lindorm had its habitation under the cathedral, and
came out every night, and devoured the corpses. As it was feared that
not only this would continue, but also that the foundations of the
cathedral might be undermined by the excavations made by the Lindorm,
it was determined to seek means to destroy it. At this time a glazier
came to Aarhus, and when he heard the danger in which the cathedral
was placed, he promised to help the town councillors to get rid of the
Lindorm. He made a box of looking-glass so large that he could himself
go into it, and to which there was only one opening, and which was not
larger than that he could use his sword with effect. He had this box
taken into the cathedral by daylight, and when midnight came he
lighted four wax candles, which he placed in the four corners of the
box. When the Lindorm came up the aisle of the cathedral and saw its
reflection in the looking-glass, it thought that it was another
Lindorm, with whom it could pair, and was so occupied in its
contemplation that the glazier had the opportunity of cutting its
throat with his sword, and it died of the wound thus given. The
poisonous nature of the blood that flowed from the Lindorm, however,
caused the glazier's death."

"That is certainly a striking legend," said Hardy.

"There is also a legend of a Lindorm that encircled a church and
devoured the people as they came out, as it appeared only after their
being in it. It had its head at one entrance and its tail at the
other, and destroyed the people with both. The people then made a hole
in the church wall, through which they escaped. Another legend is that
a Lindorm bathes once a year in a lake, which after has a green film
on it. This, however, you may have observed in the lakes at Silkeborg
this summer, arising from the quantity of weed growth during the
hotter weather."

"I have observed what you mention," said Hardy, "and I should expect
it is not the first time that an ordinary natural occurrence has been
attributed to supernatural causes."

"That applies," said the Pastor, "also to what you call in England
will-o-the-wisp. We call this in Danish, Lygtemænd, or men with
lanterns. The tradition is that they are spirits of wicked people,
particularly of men who have measured land falsely, and so acquired an
advantage over their neighbours. They are supposed to desire to
mislead the traveller, and entice him into bogs and swamps. It is said
that the best means to prevent being thus deceived is to turn one's
hat, so that the back part should come to the front; care, however,
must be taken not to point at a Lygtemænd, as he is then dangerous.
Such is the tradition."

"Your legends, this evening, have been more than usually interesting,
Herr Pastor," said Hardy. "It would appear as if, with such a mass of
legendary lore, you would have men growing up and becoming authors of
the richest fancy."

"Hans Christian Andersen is an instance," said the Pastor, "so is
Ingemann, and, of late, Carl Andersen, the curator of Rosenborg
palace. There are others also. It is no doubt that the human fancy,
when led into extraordinary lines of thought, is influenced to produce
them."



CHAPTER XII.


    "Who hunts, doth oft in danger ride;
    Who hawks, lures oft both far and wide;
    Who uses games, shall often prove
    A loser; but he who falls in love
    Is fettered in fond Cupid's snare.
    My Angle breeds me no such care."
    _The Complete Angler._


An idea had occurred to Godseier Jensen which had filled the mind of
the worthy proprietor and horse breeder. He had discussed the idea
with his neighbours in all its branches, and had appealed to his
paternal Government to assist him. The idea was a horse race, after
the English model. Tentative advertisements appeared in the Danish and
Swedish papers, and the replies in the support of the idea came in
from all sides. A few Swedish noblemen owned race-horses, and they
gave in their adhesion and support. The local horse-breeders and
dealers were eager in its support, and the Government expressed their
intention of assisting, in the hope that it might encourage the
breeding of better class horses.

John Hardy was early consulted in the movement, and heard a great deal
of good advice and well-intentioned talk on the subject of horses and
horse racing in particular. A prominent feature in the idea was
naturally where the races should be held, and on this point John
Hardy, at one time, thought the whole affair would fall through.

A field was, however, found that gave a course round it of one and a
quarter English miles, the soil was light, and the field did not make
the best racing ground; but there was no better to be secured for the
purpose, and the consequence was it was determined on. A grand stand
was erected, and the course staked out, the day fixed, and the entries
for the races were anxiously waited for by Herr Jensen, who acted as
honorary secretary. They at last were able to arrange several flat
races, a hurdle race--the hurdles rather low--a trotting match, a
steeple-chase, and a consolation race. The steeple-chase course was
down a sharpish incline, with a water jump at the bottom, and some
fences specially erected, and about the middle of the course a stone
wall of loose stones. This course was well in view of the grand stand,
as well as from the middle of the flat-race course.

John Hardy was implored by proprietor Jensen to enter Buffalo for the
steeple-chase, but he declined, on the ground that he preferred to
look on, and did not like risking so favourite a horse in a
steeple-chase race. Herr Jensen was in despair; he himself and all his
friends and acquaintances felt more interest in the steeple-chase than
all the rest put together. The only entries for the race were some
horses belonging to a cavalry regiment, but of these there were only
four. The pressure that was brought to bear on Hardy was so great,
that he saw he should give serious offence if he did not let Buffalo
be entered for the steeple-chase. He, however, explained to proprietor
Jensen that his servant, Robert Garth, would ride, but that his orders
would be to ride carefully, avoid the other horses, and not press
Buffalo. Now a fresh difficulty arose. The cavalry horses were entered
by the subalterns of the regiment, who would ride the horses
themselves, and the Englishman was going to send his servant to ride
against them. There was the insular pride and bad taste of the English
exemplified, and, in the end, John Hardy had to ride his own horse,
very much against his will.

The auspicious day dawned, and crowds attended, bearing positive
testimony to the popularity of Herr Jensen's idea.

The Pastor declined to go; he said he thought it was no place for him.
"It is a day of amusement where a black coat and the notion of a
sermon appears out of place."

The Jensens insisted on taking Frøken Helga and her two brothers, who,
since they had heard that Hardy was to ride, were intensely excited.

"I have prayed that you will win, Herr Hardy," said Axel, who was
always a quiet lad in manner, and had become more so since his
acquaintance with Hardy.

"I am going to take care of my good horse, Axel," said Hardy. "I do
not intend to risk his being injured by throwing him down or letting
the other horses get too near, and, besides, I should not like to
win."

"And why not?" said Helga. "I cannot understand a man riding in a race
and not doing his best to win it."

"Your sympathies are with the cavalry officers, and I should please
you best by not winning," said Hardy.

"There is your professed superiority again," retorted Helga; "you say
you are going to let the others win, suggesting that you could win the
race if you chose to do so. I do not believe you can, and think you
are afraid to ride hard. You speak of taking care of your horse, which
means yourself."

John Hardy looked her full in the face, with a stern expression he
sometimes had. What she had said would have galled any man, and Hardy
felt it keenly.

The races began, and were well ridden, and ridden to win. There was no
betting that John Hardy heard of. He and his servant Garth were asked,
on the horses being trotted out, as to the probable winners, which
they were able to indicate from their knowledge of what is and is not
racing condition in a horse, and they were generally correct.

The trotting match was a failure; there were several entries, but only
one horse trotted both heats round the course, the others had not been
trained properly or sufficiently. The hurdle race yielded much
amusement; many horses had entered for that race, and several refused
to jump at all, and there were many falls, to the delight of the
populace, and only three horses went through the race, which was won
by a neck, the three coming well in together.

When the steeple-chase race was prepared for, Garth brought up
Buffalo, looking, as he always did, a grand horse, and amongst the
more horsey of the Danes there was much praise of him. John Hardy
mounted; he had taken off his coat, waistcoat, and braces, and Garth
had tied a blue silk handkerchief on his head. There was a quiet look
of efficiency about John Hardy that was a contrast to the heavy
mustachios cultivated by the cavalry officers and their rather weedy
steeds. There was trouble in getting a start from the restiveness of
one of the cavalry horses and the difficulty his rider experienced in
managing it, but once away they swept down the slope, Buffalo two
horse lengths behind. The water jump reached, the cavalry horses
rushed into it, and Hardy had a difficulty in steering clear of the
floundering men and horses and letting Buffalo fly the water jump. The
water jump had been specially prepared, and was very shallow, and
Danish horses appeared to have considered it was best to gallop
through it. As it was the rule of the race that the jump must be
taken, they were, by that rule, out of the race. They, however, kept
on and rode well, taking the fences and wall, with Buffalo going wide
of them in the rear. When they came to the rising ground again,
corresponding to the slope they had ridden down, the Danish horses
began to show signs of being ridden out of hand, and Buffalo passed
easily in a canter, taking his fences as quietly as if at exercise,
and came in an easy winner. The course had been about four to five
English miles, a little too long, thought Hardy, for the Danish
horses. Proprietor Jensen came forward to congratulate Hardy, and to
thank him for enabling the race to be made interesting to them all.

The prize was a silver cup, but Hardy declined to accept it, to the
astonishment of stout proprietor Jensen and his friends.

"What in the name of the devil's skin and bones does the man mean?"
said Herr Jensen, with some heat. "Why, you have won it, and rode so
well that it has been a pleasure to us all to see you."

"The race has not been a fair one," said Hardy; "my horse has been
specially trained for this sort of work, the horses I rode against
have not, I therefore wish the cup given to the second horse."

The Danish officers pressed Hardy to take the cup, but Hardy was firm.
They spoke to him in that manly way habitual with Danish gentlemen,
and Hardy liked them. They went up to Buffalo, which Robert Garth was
leading up and down to cool; and Hardy induced one of the officers to
try Buffalo at one of the small fences erected for the hurdle race;
and when he came back, the Danish cavalry officer said, "Why, you
could have ridden away from us from the first!"

"No doubt," said Hardy.

"And you did not, because you did not wish to let the race appear a
hollow one," said the officer, "and it would disappoint so many."

"I only entered my horse for the race," said Hardy, "under great
pressure, not until I saw I should give offence to Godseier Jensen and
many others who have been kind to me. They wanted to see my horse
race. I intended to have let my servant ride, but when I heard I
should have to ride against Danish gentlemen, I rode myself."

"What a charger he would make!" said one of the cavalry officers.

"He is too light in bone," said Hardy. "I am an officer in the
yeomanry cavalry of my country, and use a bigger framed horse as a
charger."

"We will take the cup because it is your wish, Herr Hardy," said the
officer, "but you must come and dine with some of us to-morrow, and
bring your horse, and let the other men of our regiment see it. We are
much obliged to you. You have taught us what we have heard of, and
that is a hunting-seat. Cavalry men cannot go well across country,
riding, as we do, with a cavalry seat. We dine at three. Ask for Baron
Jarlsberg."

Hardy accepted, and went up to the grand stand where Fru Jensen and
her daughters were and Frøken Helga Lindal. He had changed his clothes
for a black morning coat and tweed trousers. The last race was being
ran.

"Herr Jensen has sent me to see you to your carriage, Fru Jensen,"
said Hardy; "he is much occupied with his duties of honorary
secretary, and settling the usual disputes that arise."

"And was that you with a blue handkerchief round your head and nothing
on but a flannel shirt?" asked Fru Jensen.

"Yes," said Hardy; "but I had other garments on than a flannel shirt."

"Of course," said Fru Jensen, "of course; but if I were your mother, I
should be afraid of your catching cold."

"But when, Fru Jensen, we ride a race, we have to be dressed for it,
and the less clothes we have the better."

"And you have won the race, I hear," said Fru Jensen; "but I did not
know who won, and I see it is a silver cup. It will be something to
take back to England. Your father, Helga, will be glad to hear Herr
Hardy is to have a silver cup."

Helga had perception enough to see that she had wounded Hardy in the
early part of the day and that he had not forgotten it. He said
nothing to her, but gave Fru Jensen his arm, and conducted them to the
Jensen's carriage, a heavy four-wheeled conveyance, arranged to carry
eight, by seats placed one after the other in a sort of four-wheeled
dogcart with a long body.

It had been a great desire of proprietor Jensen to have a dinner of a
public character after the races, but this it was found not
practicable to carry out within anything like a reasonable hour,
according to Danish notions, and the consequence was Herr Jensen had
to content himself with asking as many of his own friends and his
friends' friends as he could to his own Herregaard. He was in the best
possible humour. The races had gone off without a hitch, and every one
had congratulated him. He had been told he had made a great hit with
his Englishman, as the officers of the Danish cavalry regiment were
delighted with him. It was, however, positively necessary that the
worthy proprietor should return home to receive his friends.

"Where is the Englishman?" he inquired, as he came to the carriage.

"Here," said Hardy. "The ladies are waiting for you, and the carriage
is ready to start."

John Hardy was going to sit by the side of one of Herr Jensen's
daughters, but he would not have it. The proprietor must talk over the
races with Hardy, and he did, so volubly that Hardy could scarcely
understand him. "I never saw anything so smart as the way you took
those fences after passing the other horses! It was grand to see your
horse going easily over about a foot above them; and the way you came
in past the judges was splendid. I must say I did not like your
refusal to take the prize; it was only a cup that cost us about £5 of
your money, but it was the prize for all that, and was well won. If it
was the smallness of its value," said the worthy proprietor, carried
away by his enthusiasm, "I would give you a dozen such. They lost the
race at once by not taking the water jump and galloping their horses
through it without jumping it. I saw you were in a difficulty, but the
way you held your horse and took the water jump was good. I did like
the way also in which you spoke to the cavalry officers and letting
one of them ride your horse over one of the hurdle jumps, and so let
him see that they had been nowhere, and that you could have beaten
them at any point of the race. After all, I think you were right to
give up the cup with such a superior horse, but very few men would
have done it, but the way you did it is what has made such a good
impression. Come and stay with me as long as you like! There is a
little river through my property with trout in it, you may catch them
all if you like."

"Thank you, Herr Jensen," said Hardy, "but I return to England
shortly. I will, however, come over, with your permission, and fish
your river, which is a little tributary to the Gudenaa, and I hear has
some good trout in it. We have not liked to ask your leave, because
you might have other friends for whom you would wish to reserve the
fishing."

"If I had," said the proprietor, "I would give it you; nothing would
give me greater pleasure than to return your kindness to me. You gave
up your own wishes about the racing only to oblige me; you did not
wish to ride or risk your horse, but you did it to oblige me."

"Thank you very much," said Hardy. "May I take Pastor Lindal's two
sons, Karl and Axel, with me to fish? They will not depopulate the
stream."

"You may take anybody," said Herr Jensen, warmly.

Frøken Helga heard this conversation, and it showed her how
differently Hardy had acted from what she had suggested to him in the
morning before the races. Herr Jensen's unqualified praise had let her
see how good Hardy had been, and how considerate for others, and she
had accused him of being a coward and only caring for himself.

When they came to proprietor Jensen's Herregaard, Hardy jumped out of
the carriage, and assisted Fru Jensen and her daughters out, but to
Frøken Helga Lindal he only extended his arm, so that she might rest
her hand on it on her descending from the carriage. She would have
spoken, but Hardy was gone.

The dinner at proprietor Jensen's was a very lively affair. Early in
the dinner he proposed the Englishman's health, and Hardy responded
briefly; and then came many other toasts, and the ultimate conclusion
was there was nothing like horse-racing, and as the evening wore on,
so did the fogginess of the subject. Hardy had sent Garth to his
stables with Buffalo after the race, and told him to fetch them at
Herr Jensen's Herregaard at an early hour with the carriage, and Hardy
drove himself, talking to Garth, who sat beside him. Karl and Axel had
preferred to stay to see the last festivities of the races and to walk
home, consequently Frøken Helga sat by herself in the carriage, and
Hardy, after seeing her safely in and well cared for, did not address
a word to her. They drove to the parsonage, and Hardy drove to the
stables with Garth, to see Buffalo after his extra work that day, and
Hardy walked back.

The Pastor was smoking his pipe, listening to the events of the day as
described by Karl and Axel. "You won your race. Hardy," said Pastor
Lindal; "and the boys say easily."

"Yes, I won the race I rode," said Hardy.

"And, father, he would not take the cup, that is the prize he won; he
said his horse was a better horse, and gave it to the man who came in
second, and a long way behind he was," said Karl.

Frøken Helga knitted, but did not look up.

"And did you not see the race, Helga?"

"Yes, father," said Helga; "and I saw Herr Hardy win it."

"But what is the matter, Helga?" asked her father, with some hardness.

"Father, I have been wrong," said Helga. "Herr Hardy said he did not
wish to risk his horse, and that he did not wish to win the race, but
that he could easily if he chose. I did not like his professing to be
so superior over us Danes, and I told him so, and that he was afraid
to ride his horse, and that he knew he would not win. I now know that
what he said was quite true, and that he has behaved well."

"You should have heard how they cheered him when he came in," said
Karl.

"I do think, Helga, if you made so insulting a speech to Herr Hardy,"
said the Pastor, with some asperity, "that it should be withdrawn. To
tell a man that he is a coward and has false pride is too galling, and
when not a single ground for it exists the more so. You might thereby
have tempted him to risk his life, to say nothing of his horse."

Helga burst into tears.

Hardy rose and held out his hand to her. "I hope," he said, "you will
think no more of this; I shall not. Your saying what you have to your
father is enough for me. I do hope you will believe me when I say that
after so frank an admission that I shall only respect the strong
national feeling that prompted you. I admit a Danish gentleman can do
all I can and possibly more."

"You are a gentleman, Hardy," said the Pastor.

Helga took Hardy's hand coldly, and left the room. She had made a
mistake and had atoned, that was all.

The next day Hardy rode Buffalo, attended by Garth on one of the
Danish horses, to the quarters of the cavalry regiment, and was
received with much kindness. A dinner had been arranged at a hotel
near, and the men and officers of the regiment regarded Buffalo with
much interest. One after the other asked leave to mount him and ride
him a short distance over a bit of grass adjoining the cavalry
barracks. Hardy let them inspect the horse to their hearts' content.
His winning the race so easily the day before had its special value.
Hardy's knowledge of cavalry accoutrements and horses was another
point of common interest. He rode several of the best horses of the
regiment, but preferred changing their heavy military bridles to his
own light snaffle, and the effect was marked, and was noted by the
cavalry officers.

At dinner, the cup of the day before was produced, and Hardy had to
drink out of it.

"It is your cup and fairly won, but we appreciate the feeling that
gives it to us," said Baron Jarlsberg, "and we shall keep it in the
regiment as a memento of an English horse beating the best horses in a
Danish cavalry regiment."

Hardy rode to the parsonage, after a very pleasant time, with many
expressions of good feeling from the Danish officers.



CHAPTER XIII.


    "These are to be angled for with a short line not
    much more than half the length of your rod, if the air be
    still, or with longer very near, or all out as long as your
    rod, if you have any wind to carry it from you."
    --_The Complete Angler._


Two days after the horse race recorded in the last chapter, John Hardy
had asked the Pastor's permission to take Karl and Axel with him to
fish Godseier Jensen's tributary to the Gudenaa. They had breakfast
early, and Hardy asked for a little lunch to take with them, to which
the Pastor willingly assented.

"Hardy," said the Pastor, "may I ask you one thing, and that is, have
you spoken to Kirstin about what I told you?"

"No," replied Hardy. "Why should I? There is nothing that is necessary
for me to say. She is your servant and not mine. If she be suspicious
naturally and accuses me of gross misconduct, it is not for me to
reprove her, although, if you believed it, I should clear myself, as I
value your good opinion. Surely that is not necessary?"

"No, by no means," said Pastor Lindal; "but I thought a reproof from
you----"

"You have given her reproof sufficient," interrupted Hardy, "and so
have I, and there is no need to repeat it. It is true, I spoke to her
without full knowledge of her conduct, but to say more is neither
necessary nor expedient."

The Pastor was surprised at the decided tone Hardy used. It had been
his intention to clear the matter up, so that nothing should rest in
Hardy's mind against Kirstin. He now understood that Hardy thought no
more of the matter than that a woman-servant in his employ had said a
foolish thing. This was a small matter, but it raised Hardy much in
the worthy Pastor's estimation.

Hardy had sent a note to proprietor Jensen, to say he was coming over
to fish on his property, and to ask leave to put his horses in his
stable. So Garth drove, and they got out of the carriage near the
stream they were to fish, and Karl and Axel were soon busy in putting
up the rods Hardy had given them. The stream ran through a flat
meadow, and here and there was covered with reeds. There was little
flow in the stream, but where it was deeper there were no reeds. The
water rush was abundant on the banks, growing along the flat banks and
out in the water. Hardy had heard there were plenty of trout there,
but it appeared difficult to catch them. The day was warm and still,
and it did not look at all propitious. Karl and Axel threw their flies
into the water for a long time with no result--not a trout moved.
Hardy did not fish, but looked on. It was clear the trout were not on
the feed, and, moreover, the sun was high and the day bright. Hardy
sat down and smoked. The two boys came back to him after their futile
attempts to fish. They saw Hardy had not wetted his line, but had
attached a dyed casting line to it, on which was a large but light
thin wired hook. He then sent the boys hunting for grasshoppers and
fernwebs, and letting out so much of the reel line as, with the
casting line, would be as long as his rod, he let the grasshopper that
he had put on the hook fall lightly on the water, and be carried down
by the sluggish stream; there was a swirl in the water, and Hardy was
fast in a big trout. The day, however, was so hot and bright that,
after catching eight trout with much difficulty and steady fishing,
Hardy decided to call at the Jensen's Herregaard, and give them the
fish he had caught, and fish in the evening, when the sun was less
powerful. The heat, as it sometimes is in Denmark, was excessive. He
had been seen coming up the avenue of lime trees, and the stout
proprietor came out to meet him, with his face full of pleasure and
kindness, for he liked John Hardy.

"Welcome, and glad to see you!" exclaimed Herr Jensen. "It is too hot
and bright for fishing, and you have been wise to come up to the
house. I thought it probable that you would not fish much, and I
remained at home in the hope you might call."

"We have caught a few trout for you," said Hardy; "but the heat in
your flat country such a day as this is more than I care to bear. Your
trout are larger on the average than in the Gudenaa, and are splendid
fish. I have fished in many lands, and never saw better. The few fish
we have caught to-day average a pound, but they are very young fish,
and I never saw fish the same age so large."

"How can you tell how old they are?" asked Herr Jensen, incredulously.

"Why, you look at a horse's mouth, don't you? and it is the same with
trout," replied Hardy; "that is, to some extent. The teeth get larger
at the base, the jaw bone thickens with age, and the snout gets
longer. I have often seen trout that have been reared from ova, and
whose age was consequently known, and have closely observed their
mouths. The fish in your stream grow fast from the great abundance of
the food that trout thrive best on."

"But come in out of the heat," said Herr Jensen, "and have a snaps or
a glass of wine. My friends who come here to fish rarely catch so many
trout in a whole day's fishing; and that when they consider the
weather favourable; but you English appear to be born with a rod and a
gun."

Karl and Axel proposed going with Robert Garth to see the proprietor's
horses and live stock, and, as they knew a little English, they got on
very well with Garth, whom they considered a paragon of a servant. His
respectful demeanour towards Hardy impressed them, and the way he did
his work about the horses was always a matter of interest.

Hardy went into the proprietor's spacious reception room, which was
well but plainly furnished, with its aspect of neatness so dear to a
Danish house mother.

Fru Jensen and her two daughters were knitting, but rose to welcome
Hardy, with the genial friendliness habitual with Danish ladies. They
insisted on his staying to dinner, but Hardy objected, as he had Karl
and Axel with him as well as his servant; but all objections were
futile, and Fru Jensen left the room, to give the necessary directions
for a very substantial dinner.

Mathilde Jensen was about two and twenty, with a fresh complexion,
blue eyes, and light hair, and a cheerful manner. "How is your
beautiful horse, Herr Hardy?" she asked.

"Quite fit to run another race," replied Hardy. "But do not you Danish
ladies ride?"

"Yes. We have each our own horse, and we often ride with father and by
ourselves short distances," said Frøken Mathilde; "but they are not
such good horses as those you have purchased in Denmark."

"They are never satisfied with their horses," said the proprietor;
"they are always wanting me to buy a horse of a different colour than
what they have got--first it's chesnut, and then dark bay."

"Would you like to ride one of my Danish horses?" said Hardy. "They
have been frequently ridden."

"No, no; don't go putting that in their heads, Herr Hardy!" protested
the proprietor. "They never had a petticoat on their backs."

"If Frøken Mathilde would lend her side saddle and an old skirt, my
man shall try both the horses, while we are here," said Hardy. "I have
no lady's saddle here, but from what I know of the horses there is no
doubt but that they will carry a lady quietly, and better backs for a
lady I have seldom seen."

Proprietor Jensen's desire to see an English groom, whom he saw
understood his business, handling his favourite animal, a horse,
overcame whatever scruples he may have had as to its leading to his
daughters riding Hardy's horses, and in a few minutes one of the
horses was mounted by Garth, with a skirt tied to his waist, and the
horse trotted and cantered up and down the avenue. The other horse was
also tried. The English groom's perfect riding was much praised by the
proprietor.

"Do let me ride, father, just once up and down," begged Frøken
Mathilde; and before her father could object, she had slipped the
skirt that Garth had just untied from his waist over her dress and
mounted, with Garth's assistance.

It was a pretty sight to see the handsome girl's enjoyment of riding
the well-trained horse, as she rode up to where her father and mother
and Hardy were standing.

"Oh, father!" she exclaimed, "you must get me a horse like this, or I
shall die, I know I shall;" and she went up and kissed her father in a
coaxing manner.

"What nonsense!" said the prudent Fru Jensen. "One horse is as good as
another for you."

"Well, well, we'll see," growled the proprietor, but pleased,
nevertheless, to see his daughter, like himself, fond of horses.

At dinner the conversation turned on Rosendal, which the Jensens had
heard Hardy had purchased.

"It is a pretty place," said the proprietor, "but the farm is not
much. But why did you buy it? It cannot be as a speculation, as the
price is excessive."

"He intends to marry Helga Lindal and live there so that she will not
be too far from her father, to whom she is so much attached," said
Mathilde Jensen, laughing. "I can explain it all for him."

"Thank you, for disposing of my affairs so nicely," said Hardy; "you
have saved me a good deal of explanation."

"Yes, but Pastor Lindal's daughter is going to marry the Kapellan
(curate) he once had, a Kapellan Holm. She refused him, but her father
wishes it, as Holm is a good man," said Fru Jensen.

"In Denmark, you must know," said the proprietor, "that it is the
custom for a Pastor's daughter always to marry the Kapellan."

Hardy understood now the secret of Frøken Helga Lindal's manner. She
was attached to this Kapellan Holm.

"But what are you going to do with Rosendal?" asked Herr Jensen. "It
is a matter of interest to us; it is not far, and we should like such
a neighbour as Herr Hardy."

"The first thing I intend to do is to improve the grounds and repair
the house, but I do not contemplate making much alteration."

"I should so like to see Rosendal!" said Mathilde Jensen; and her
younger sister, Marie Jensen, expressed the same wish.

"Why, you have seen it again and again," said their mother. "You want
Herr Hardy to take you."

"So we do, little mother," said both the girls, "and we want him to
let us ride his horses."

"Snak!" said their father. The Danish word "snak" has its peculiar
expressive force, its meaning in English being that nonsense is being
talked.

"Garth shall bring over both horses to-morrow," said Hardy, "and I
will ride over; and I dare say Herr Jensen will accompany us, and lend
my man a horse, as we should want him at Rosendal. If you assent, I
will send a message to the bailiff, as you might like a little
refreshment there."

"A most excellent plan, Herr Hardy!" exclaimed Frøken Mathilde; "but
it leaves little mother home alone, which is the only fault in it. But
you will drive, won't you, little father, and take mother and Herr
Hardy's groom?"

Of course everything was ordered as Frøken Mathilde Jensen wished. She
had made her father make many a sacrifice of his money and own wishes,
but she repaid him with her real affection for him.

As the evening drew on, Hardy and the two boys left, and tried the
proprietor's little stream with a fly. The trout rose freely, and
Hardy caught about a dozen. The fish rose best to a gray-winged sedge
fly, when thrown high over the water and falling slowly and softly
near the reeds. Karl and Axel had little success, the perfect
stillness of the water to them was a difficulty.

When they arrived at the parsonage, the Pastor was smoking in his
accustomed chair, and his daughter was singing to him. She stopped as
soon as she heard the carriage wheels. And after speaking a few words
to the Pastor, Hardy went to his room. Karl and Axel remained, and,
like other boys who go about very little, were very full of the day's
experiences. The trying the horses was described, and Frøken Mathilde
Jensen's explanation of why Hardy had bought Rosendal was given in
full, with Fru Jensen's statement as to Kapellan Holm; so that when
John Hardy came from his room, he saw that something had passed which
had disturbed both the Pastor and his daughter. He at once judged
correctly what had occurred. The boys were in the habit of saying what
was uppermost.

It was clear, then, that what Proprietor Jensen had said about Frøken
Helga was correct.

"We have caught a few trout," said Hardy, "and taken a few to the
Jensens, who were so good as to make us stay to dinner, with the kind
hospitality so conspicuous in Denmark."

"They are hospitable people," said the Pastor.

"But great gossips," added the daughter, who had scarcely noticed
Hardy since his return. She got up and left the room.

Hardy determined to risk a question. "Your daughter is, the Jensens
say, attached to a Kapellan Holm, Herr Pastor?" said he, inquiringly.

"No, decidedly not," said the Pastor. "I am sorry to say she dislikes
him; his manner is not pleasant, and she considers him addicted to
drink, of which I have never observed any sign. He is a good man, a
little boisterous in manner. He is coming here to assist me in the
winter, and will live with us. He is now in Copenhagen."

Hardy thought Helga Lindal difficult to understand. That she would
marry a man that the Pastor had described was not consistent with her
character; but, then, women do inconsistent things. Her manner to him
was not courteous--it was unfriendly; but now and then she would speak
warmly and gratefully for any kindness Hardy showed her father.

"Godseier Jensen and his family are going to Rosendal to-morrow," said
Hardy, after smoking some time in silence.

"Yes," said Karl; "the Frøken Jensens want to ride Herr Hardy's
horses."

Helga had returned, and heard what Karl said.

"Frøken Mathilde Jensen is a girl with a cheerful character, open and
honest, like the Danes naturally are," said Hardy.

"I think she is a great deal too forward!" said Helga, sharply.

Hardy looked at her; it was clear she meant what she said. To his view
there was nothing to condemn in Mathilde Jensen's conduct. She had
good animal spirits, was natural in manner, and affectionate to her
parents, who rather spoilt her.

The next day Hardy rode his English horse to the Jensens' Herregaard,
and Garth followed with both the Danish horses.

The Jensens were all on the doorsteps, as Hardy trotted up. The
proprietor received him warmly, and his family did the like. He walked
round Hardy's horse and admired him, as he had done on a previous
occasion.

"It is the breadth of his loins," he said, "that sends him over his
jumps. I never saw anything so fine as when he passed the other
horses, taking his leaps like nothing; and how he came in with a grand
stride, by the winning post!"

"As you breed horses, Herr Jensen," said Hardy, "you should import an
English mare of Buffalo's stamp; it would enormously improve your
breeding stud. A stallion would not do so well, and would be very
costly. It is a slower process, but a more certain one."

"Yes; but we Danes are poor," said the proprietor, "and I cannot
afford the purchase of such a mare."

"When I return to England, I will see what I can do for you," said
Hardy.

The side saddles were placed on Hardy's Danish horses, and they went
to Rosendal, the Frøken Jensens enjoying the ride greatly.

Fru Jensen went through the dairy and criticized, her husband did the
same with the farm buildings, and gave Hardy useful and practical
advice, which Hardy noted down and afterwards followed.

They strolled through the beech woods, and saw the valley of roses in
its ragged and neglected condition. But the good proprietor would
insist on seeing the farm, and on this also he gave Hardy many
practical hints. They returned to the mansion and had such a lunch as
Hardy had been able to arrange, which delighted Frøken Mathilde Jensen
from its incompleteness.

"The fact is, Herr Hardy," she said, "you want a wife. You have no
idea how to manage anything. We have none of us a napkin, and
everything is served abominably."

"I hope to induce my mother to come here next summer," said Hardy; but
he knew Mrs. Hardy of Hardy Place would scarcely adapt herself to the
situation Frøken Mathilde suggested.

"No doubt your mother will do everything," said Frøken Mathilde, "but
a wife is the one thing needful."

"Possibly," said Hardy. "I will consult my mother on the subject."

"I do not like, Mathilde," said Fru Jensen, "your saying such things
to Herr Hardy. It is not what I should have said when I was your age."

"That may be, little mother," replied Frøken Mathilde; "but Englishmen
are very dull, and you had none to talk to."

As they rode back to the Jensens' Herregaard, the two girls wanted to
race the horses back, to Herr Jensen's and his wife's great alarm.

Hardy told them their parents did not wish it, and that, as they did
not, he did not; and he, instead of riding with them, rode by the side
of the proprietor's carriage. And when they arrived at the Herregaard,
the girls dismounted, and Frøken Mathilde said, with much emphasis--

"Herr Hardy, we thank you for your kindness to us, but we both vote
that you are frightfully dull and a bore; but we like you very much."

The hospitable proprietor would not hear of Hardy's leaving; a glass
of schnaps was inevitable and a smoke, and Rosendal was discussed
again and again, and its advantages and defects considered from every
point of view.

At last, Hardy left, and rode to Vandstrup Præstegaard, in time for a
later dinner than usual Hardy told the Pastor of the practical advice
Proprietor Jensen had given him, and the Pastor commented on it and
approved.

Frøken Helga asked if the Fru Jensen had given him any advice.

"Yes," said Hardy, "and very good advice, about the management of the
people and dairy." But, he added, the Frøken Jensens had decidedly
advised him to marry, so as to have some one to manage these details
for him; but he had replied that he must consult his mother on such a
subject.

"And which you intend to do, Herr Hardy?" asked Helga.

"Certainly," said Hardy.



CHAPTER XIV.


    "Good God, how sweet are all things here!
    How beautiful the fields appear!
    How cleanly do we feed and lie!
    Lord, what good hours do we keep;
    How quietly we sleep!
    What peace! what unanimity!
    How different from the lewd fashion
    Is all our business, all our recreation!"
    _The Complete Angler._


Frøken Helga had filled the porcelain pipe with Kanaster one evening,
when she said to her father that he should relate to Herr Hardy what
he knew of Folketro.

"What is Folketro?" asked Hardy.

"It is the belief in supernatural subjects; for instance, the belief
in the merman is a Folketro."

"I know the beautiful old ballad that is sung in Norway of the merman
king rising from the sea in a jewelled dress, where the king's
daughter had come to fish with a line of silk. He sings to her, and,
charmed with his song, she gives him both her hands, and he draws her
under the sea."

"Yes, we all know that ballad," said the Pastor; "it is known to all
Scandinavians. We have, however, in Jutland, a tradition founded upon
it. Two poor people who lived near Aarhus had an only daughter, called
Grethe. One day she was sent to the seashore to fetch sand, when a
Havmand (merman) rose up out in the sea. His beard was greener than
the salt sea, but otherwise his form was fair, and he enticed the girl
to follow him into the sea, by the promise of as much silver as she
could wish for. She went to the bottom of the sea, and was married to
the Havmand ('Hav' is a Danish word for the sea), and had five
children. One day she sat rocking the cradle of her youngest child,
when she heard the church bells ring ashore. She had almost forgotten
what she had learnt of Christian faith, but the longing was so great
to go to church that she wept bitterly. The merman at length allowed
her to go, and she went to church. She had not been there long before
the merman came to the church and called 'Grethe! Grethe!' She heard
him call, but remained; this occurred three times, when the merman was
heard loudly lamenting, as he returned to the sea. Grethe remained
with her parents, and the merman is often heard bitterly grieving the
loss of Grethe."

"The same tradition occurs in many lands," said Hardy.

"Yes, but that is the one we have here in Jutland," replied Pastor
Lindal. "There is a story that comes from the neighbourhood of
Ringkiøbing, which may have a similarity with traditions elsewhere
also; but the Jutland story is as follows: For a long time no ship had
been wrecked on the west coast of Jutland, and consequently the
Havmand had been a long time without a victim. So he went on land and
threw a hook at the cattle on the sand hills, whither they frequently
wandered from the farms, and dragged them into the sea. Close to the
sea lived a Bonde, who had two red yearlings, which he did not wish to
lose; so he coupled them together with twigs of the mountain ash, over
which the Havmand had no power. However, he threw his hook at them,
but could not drag the yearlings down to the sea, as they were
protected by the virtue in the mountain ash. His hook stuck in its
twigs, and the yearlings came home with it, and the Bonde hung it up
in his house by the chimney. One day, when his wife was at home alone,
the Havmand came and took away the hook, and said, 'The first calves
of red cows, with a mountain ash couple, the Havmand could not drag to
the sea, and for want of my hook I have missed many a good catch.' So
the Havmand returned to the sea, and since then has never taken any
cattle from that part of the coast."

"It is very possible that the cattle were stolen by people landing
from the sea," said Hardy.

"Probably," said the Pastor. "There is another story of a Havmand's
body being washed up by the sea, close to the church, and it was
buried in the churchyard. But the sea every year washed away so much
of the sandy coast that the people were afraid the church would be
washed away; so they dug up the Havmand, and found him sitting at the
bottom of the grave, sucking one of his toes. They carried him down to
the sea, for which he thanked them, and said that now the sea should
ever cast up as much sand as it washed away, and both the church and
churchyard should never suffer from the encroachments of the sea."

"A story with more apparent improbability than usual. But the
impression appears to exist that these supernatural beings could never
really die. Is it not so?" inquired Hardy.

"It would appear so," replied the Pastor; "but in the case of Trolds
or Underjordiske, their deaths are occasionally referred to in the
traditions about them."

"But are there no legends of mermaids?" said Hardy.

"Many," replied the Pastor. "The Danish word is 'Havfru,' or
sea-woman. On the Jutland coast a mermaid or Havfru was accustomed to
drive her cattle up from the sea, so that they could graze in the
fields ashore. This the Bønder did not like. They, therefore, one
night, surrounded the cattle, and secured both them and the Havfru in
an enclosure, and refused to let them go until they had been paid for
the grass the sea cattle had consumed from their fields. As she had no
money, they demanded that she should give them the belt that she wore
round her waist, which appeared to be covered with precious stones. To
ransom herself and cattle, she at length consented, and the Bønder
received the belt; but as she went to the sea-shore she said to the
biggest bull of her herd, 'Root up,' and the bull rooted the earth up
that was over the sand in their meadows, and the consequence was the
wind blew the sand so that it buried the church. The Bønder,
therefore, had small joy of the belt, particularly when they found it
was only common rushes."

"There is a ballad," said Hardy, "that I met with in Norway of Count
Magnus and the Havfru. She promised him a sword, a horse, and a ship
of miraculous powers; but he was true to his earthly love."

"The people often sing it here," said the Pastor, "and a good ballad
it is. It is, however, well known in England. There was a common
belief that there were cattle in the sea, and it is related that a man
once saw a red cow constantly in the evening feeding on his standing
corn. He asked his neighbours' assistance, and they secured it. It had
five calves whilst in the man's possession, and each of them cow
calves; but they gave him so much trouble from their unruly nature
that he beat them frequently. One day he did so by the seaside, when a
voice from the sea called the cattle, who all rushed into the sea.

"There is a very common story of a fisherman, on the west coast of
Jutland, seeing a Havmand riding on a billow of the sea, but shivering
with the cold, as he had only one stocking on. The fisherman took off
one of his stockings and gave it to the Havmand. Some time after, he
was on the sea fishing, when the Havmand appeared, and sang--


    'Hør du Mand som Hosen gav.
    Tag dit Skib og drag til Land,
    Det dundrer under Norge.'

    'Listen, you man, who gave the stocking.
    Take your ship and make for land,
    It thunders under Norway.'


The fisherman obeyed, and a great storm ensued, and many people
perished at sea."

"It is common to observe that where the natural disposition of the
people is a kindly one, there exists in their legends instances of a
similar character, where a kindness is recollected and rewarded," said
Hardy.

"It occurs often," said Pastor Lindal, "in the legends of the
Underjordiske."

"Hans Christian Andersen has a story about the elder tree, but it is
not very clear what position the fairy of the elder tree bears in
tradition," said Hardy.

"There is supposed to exist in the elder tree a supernatural being, a
gnome or fairy, called the Hyldemøer, or fairy of the elder tree,"
replied the Pastor. "She is said to revenge all injury to the tree;
and of a man who cut an elder bush down, it is related that he died
shortly after. At dusk, the Hyldemøer peeps in through the window at
the children, when they are alone. It is also said that she sucks
their breasts at night, and that this can be only averted by the juice
of an onion."

"Is there any distinct legend of the Hyldemøer?" asked Hardy.

"Not that I know of," replied the Pastor. "There is a saying that a
child cannot sleep if its cradle is made of elder tree, but there is
no story with any incidents, that I am aware of. A cradle of elder
tree is not likely to be often made."

"The legend of the were-wolf is very general in all Europe," said
Hardy. "Does the tradition exist with you?"

"It is called the Varulv with us," replied the Pastor. "It is said to
be a man, who changes into the form of a wolf, and is known by a tuft
of hair between the shoulders. When he wishes to change himself from
the human form to a wolf, he repeats three times, 'I was, I am,' and
immediately his clothes fall off, like a snake changing its skin. It
is said that if a woman creeps under the caul of a foal, extended on
four sticks, that her children will be born without the usual pains of
childbirth, but that the boys will be Varulve, and the daughters
Marer, or mares. The superstition about the latter, I will tell you
presently. The man, however, is freed by some other person telling him
he is a Varulv. In the other traditions on the subject elsewhere, the
Varulv is supposed to attack women near their confinement; and it is
related that a man, who was a Varulv, was at work in the fields with
his wife, when suddenly a wolf appeared, and attacked her. She struck
at it with her apron, which the wolf tore to pieces. Then the man
reappeared, with a torn piece of the apron in his mouth. 'You are a
Varulv,' said the woman; and the man said, 'I was, but now you have
told me so I am free.' This is the Jutland legend of the were-wolf."

"What is that of the Marer, or mares?" asked Hardy.

"Marer is the plural of Mare," replied the Pastor. "It is a woman,
who, like the Varulv, changes to the form of a mare. It is the
nightmare, which, as we all know, is dreadful enough. A woman who is a
Mare (the final e is pronounced as a) is known by the hair growing
together on her eyebrows. It is a very old superstition. It occurs in
Snorro's 'Heimskringla,' where King Vauland complains of a Mare having
ridden him in his sleep. There are several stories based on the
superstition. A Bondekarl--that is, a farm servant--was ridden every
night by a Mare, although he had stopped up every hole to prevent her;
but at last he discovered that she came through a hole in an oak post,
which he stopped with a wooden pin, as soon as he knew she was in the
room. As the day dawned, she assumed her human form, having no power
otherwise. The man married her, and they lived together very happily.
One day, the man asked his wife if she knew how she came into the
house, and showed her the little wooden pin, which yet stood in the
oak post. His wife peeped through the hole, and as she stood and
looked, she suddenly became so small that she could go through the
hole. She disappeared and never returned. There is also a story of a
certain Queen of Denmark, who was very fond of horses, but she liked
one horse far beyond the others. The groom observed that this horse
was always tired in the morning, with the appearance of its having
been ridden all night. He at length suspected that it was ridden by a
Mare. He, therefore, one night took a bucket of water and threw it
over the horse, when, lo! the queen sat on the horse's back."

"The superstition is evidently an ancient one," said Hardy. "There is
no doubt that people had the nightmare very badly in old times, from
their habits of life and sudden and violent changes taking place in
their circumstances."

"There is a method of catching a Mare," said the Pastor; "and that is
by putting a sieve over her when she is acting a nightmare. It is said
she can then be caught, as she cannot come out until she has counted
all the holes in the sieve."

"There are difficulties enough attending that," said Hardy. "But
surely this must exhaust all the subjects you call Folketro?"

"By no means," said the Pastor. "We have a very dangerous coast on the
west of Jutland, and I have heard sailors say of our sandy coast that
they prefer rocks to sands to be wrecked on. There has consequently
arisen a superstition as to omens, and these are called Strandvarsler,
or omens from the sea-shore or strand. Varsel is an omen, Varsler is
the plural of the word. In old times it was said to be dangerous to go
on the roads or paths near the coast, as the Strandvarsler were often
met. They were ghosts of people who had been drowned and still lay
unburied in the sea. It is related that one evening a Strandvarsel
jumped on a Bonders back and shouted, 'Carry me to church!' The Bonde
had to obey, and went the nearest way to the church. When he came
close to the churchyard wall, the Strandvarsel jumped over it; but the
Kirkegrim, of whom I will speak directly, seized the Strandvarsel, and
immediately a combat took place between them. When they had fought a
while, they both rested to take breath. The Strandvarsel asked the
Bonde, 'Did I hit him?' 'No,' said the Bonde. So they fought again,
and again they rested, and the Strandvarsel put the same question.
'No,' said the Bonde. They fought again, and they rested, and the same
question was put by the Strandvarsel. 'Yes,' said the Bonde. 'It was
lucky for you that you said "Yes,"' said the Strandvarsel, 'or I would
have broken your neck.' The legend goes no farther. There is, however,
another story, but of the same character in its bearing. A
Bondekone--that is, a farmer's wife--went out to milk her cows. She
saw that a corpse had been washed up by the sea, and there was a purse
of money on its waist. As there was no one near, she took the money,
which she thought she could have as much need of as any one else. But
the next night the Strandvarsel came and made so much noise outside
her window that she came out, and he said she must help him. There was
nothing to do but to obey, she thought; so she said farewell to her
children, as she expected death, and went out to the Strandvarsel.
When she came out, he told her to take him by his leg and drag him to
the nearest churchyard, which was three English miles distant. When
they came to the churchyard, the Strandvarsel said, 'Let me go, or the
Kirkegrim will seize you.' This she did; but as soon as the
Strandvarsel was in the churchyard, the Kirkegrim rushed at the
Bondekone, and seized her by her skirt; as this was old, it gave way,
and she escaped. But she had a good time of it after, with the money
she had taken from the corpse by the sea-shore."

"These legends are fresh and interesting," said Hardy; "thank you very
much. But is there no story where an omen had effect?"

"There are several," replied the Pastor, "and the people on the west
coast have the reputation of having what is called a clear sight of
the future in this respect. There was a man who stated that a ship
would be wrecked at Torsminde, which would be laden with such heavy
timber that it would take four men to carry each of the pieces of
timber. He said he had the warning from a Strandvarsel. A year passed,
when a ship was wrecked, with such heavy railway iron that it took
four men to carry each rail. It was certainly a mistake for the omen
to say it would be timber when it was iron; but as it was correct
about four men having to carry each piece of railway iron, and the
ship did wreck at Torsminde, it was considered a true warning or
omen."

"But that brings the superstition down to quite recent time," said
Hardy.

"I have already told you that these superstitions yet live in the
hearts of the people; they do not confess them openly, but they do
exist here and there."

"What is the superstition about the Kirkegrim?" asked Hardy.

"The Kirkegrim," replied the Pastor, "is a spirit or gnome that
inhabits the church, and revenges any injury to it or the churchyard.
That is all; there are no stories about it, beyond what I have
related, that I know of."

"It is, in fact, a spiritual churchwarden," said Hardy, "after our
English notions. It is to be regretted we have not them in England."

"I think, little father, you have talked a long time, and you are
tired," said Frøken Helga.

"You are right, Frøken," said Hardy. "Thank you, Herr Pastor, for a
series of interesting legends. I can only say how sorry I am that I
must go to England shortly. My mother wishes to have me at home, as
she is lonely without me, and I cannot bear she should be so any
longer."

"And when, Herr Hardy, do you propose to leave?" inquired Helga.

"In about a week, Frøken," replied Hardy, to whom he thought it
appeared a matter of indifference whether he went or stayed.

"My father will miss you much, and so shall we all," said Helga. "You
have been good and kind, and there has nothing happened about you that
we have not liked."

Hardy looked at her. It was clear that, as usual, she said nothing but
what she meant.

"If you come here again, you will go to Rosendal?" said the Pastor.

"Yes," replied Hardy. "My intention is to go to Rosendal in May, next
year, and I hope to bring my mother with me; but, meanwhile, I have
told the bailiff that the place is at your disposition, and Karl and
Axel can catch all the fish in the lake they can; and as it is my
intention to clear the lake of pike and put in trout instead, I hope
they will use their best endeavours. My rods and tackle I will leave
to assist them."

"You are so good to us, Herr Hardy!" said Karl.

"Yes; but I am afraid I have a proposition to make with regard to you,
Karl, which may interrupt the fishing."

"And what is that?" asked the Pastor.

"Your present view with regard to Karl is that he should go to
Copenhagen and be a legal student. Now, my proposition is that he
returns with me to England, that he resides at Hardy Place and learns
English, during the winter. I will get a tutor in the English curate
with the English rector of my parish. I will, meanwhile, inquire if I
can find him a place in an English house of business in London, and,
if I can, it will be a better future for him than that of a legal
student in Copenhagen. At any rate, the experiment can be tried; and
there is another reason--it will cost you, Herr Pastor, nothing."

"It is kind," said the Pastor. "I will think of it, and I thank you,
Hardy."

"I have much to thank you for, Herr Pastor. I have learnt much here,"
said Hardy, "and as you will take nothing from me for the cost I have
put you to during my stay here, it will give me the opportunity of
repaying in part my debts to you."

The Pastor rose up and extended his hand to Hardy, and said, "I cannot
say how much I thank you. I accept it, Hardy."

His daughter had knitted as usual, but her head was bent over her
work.

"Helga," said the Pastor, "why do you not speak?"

"Because, father," said Helga, "Herr Hardy is so good I do not know
what to say. He is better than other men."

When Hardy said "Good night" to her, before he went to his room, she
said, "Good night, sir!" in English, but would not take the hand Hardy
held out to her.



CHAPTER XV.


    "_Piscator._--But come, sir, I see you have dined,
    and therefore, if you please, we will walk down again to the
    little house, and I will read you a lecture on angling."
    --_The Complete Angler._


Frøken Helga and Kirstin the next day were much occupied in preparing
Karl's outfit; old stockings had to have new feet, cloth had to be
bought and the tailor sent for, as well as a Syjomfru, or seamstress,
to assist about his shirts. An inquiry, however, directed to Hardy on
the subject, put a stop to all the bustle.

"How many stockings of a thick kind had Karl better take?" asked
Helga. "We are preparing his outfit, and there is but a short time to
get his clothes and shirts made."

'"The less he takes the better," replied Hardy. "It is better he
should get his clothes in England. He will then appear like lads of
the same age do in England in dress. It is very galling to a lad not
to be dressed as other boys. English boys are apt to tease on the
subject of anything foreign in dress and manner. I know it is not good
conduct to do so, but it is done. If, therefore, you will let me order
his things in England, it will be best, and save you much trouble
now."

"But my father would find it difficult to pay for the expensive
English things," retorted Helga.

"No, he will not; that I will care for," said Hardy, using a familiar
Danish phrase.

"Then I must mention it to my father," said Helga.

"Certainly," said Hardy; "but tell him that as I have undertaken to
make an effort on Karl's behalf to assist him to an independent
position, it will be less difficult for me to do so if he is well
dressed."

"You despise everything Danish, Herr Hardy, even a boy's clothes,"
said Helga, as she was leaving the room.

"Stop," said Hardy; "I want to ask you one question. Do you not
yourself think, Frøken Helga, that what I propose is best for Karl?"

"Yes," said Helga, almost involuntarily.

"Then why should you suggest to me that I despise everything Danish?"
asked Hardy. "No country has interested me more."

Helga looked at him, as if begging him to say no more, and went to her
father's study. She told him what Hardy had said. "I think it is so
noble of him, little father, to be so considerate; he seems to think
beforehand of everything."

"Yes," said Pastor Lindal, "I have learnt to know that if he does
anything, he is sure to find out the kindest way to do it. I will go
at once and thank him."

"And I told him, little father, that he despised everything Danish,
even to a boy's clothes," said Helga, between whom and her father
existed a perfect trust in one another; "and he looked hurt, and I
feel so sorry, little father."

"You treat him as if you disliked him, Helga, but if you do he has
certainly given no cause, and he is entitled to common civility. I
think what you told me you said to him at the horse-race was
irritating and wrong."

"I feel it was, little father, but I do my utmost to try not to like
him or any one. Kirstin has told him that my duty is to you and Karl
and Axel, and that I could never marry. I know it is my duty to live
for you, little father, and that you could not get on without me."

"You have a duty to yourself, Helga," said her father, gravely, as he
saw that his daughter liked Hardy, and that her conduct towards him
had only been an effort to do what she thought her duty in life. He
saw also that in a short time Hardy would see it too. "There is no man
I like so much," added he; "but I do not wish to lead you to like any
one, yet there is no good in struggling against what is natural and
necessary. Now, Helga, answer me this--has he said anything to you?"

"No, no; not a word!" replied Helga, quickly.

"I was sure of it," said her father, "and he will not; he is under my
roof, and he will say nothing to me or you--he has too much delicacy
of feeling to do so."

"But, little father, he looks on me as an inferior," said Helga. "He
is so superior in everything, that I feel as if he said, 'You are a
simple country girl.'"

"Well," said her father, "what are you else? But I am sure he never
said or, by his manner, led you to infer that he thought you his
inferior."

"It is not that," said Helga. "If he but opens the door and enters a
room or leaves it, he does so in a manner I cannot describe. He is not
like other men. He does everything well and knows everything well. He
makes me feel I am so small."

"When he is with me," said the Pastor, "he makes me feel the better
Christian and more kindly towards every one. When he first came he
taught me one sentence I shall never forget, 'that kindliness is the
real gold of life.'"

"But you said that on the first Sunday he was here, little father, in
your sermon," interrupted Helga.

"But I learnt it from him," said the Pastor. "But there is something I
think I had better tell you, as there should be perfect confidence,
even in thought, between us, my child. When Karl came from the
Jensens' the other day, he repeated what Mathilde Jensen said about
Hardy buying Rosendal. I think myself it is probable--mind, I only say
probable. I see he observes everything you do, and that your unfair
speeches hurt him. He asked me if you were, as Fru Jensen said,
attached to Kapellan Holm, and his manner for the moment changed. He
is going to bring his mother over to Denmark, and, judging from his
character of simple kindly consideration for every one, it is clear he
wishes his mother to see you before he speaks."

"Oh, little father, it cannot be true," said Helga; "it cannot be
true!"

"No, it is not true; but it is, as I said, probable," replied her
father. "But there is one thing I should like to tell him myself, if
you dislike what I have said, and that is, if he should entertain
anything of the sort, that you have no wish in that direction. I do
not think it right to let him nurse the probability in his mind that
you might listen to him when he comes with his mother next year, when
it would be painful to her to see her only son get a Kurv" (literally,
a basket; the meaning is a rejection). "I think we should save them
this, as it would be a heavy blow to both son and mother."

"But Kirstin has told him I cannot marry, little father," said Helga,
"and he believes it."

"Herr Hardy will not care what an old woman says," replied her father;
"but there is no need to say anything whatever, and nothing must be
said unless you feel you could never listen to him."

"I do not know what to say, little father," said Helga, with a bright
gleam of coming happiness in her eyes.

"Then we will say nothing, and let things take their course," said
Pastor Lindal. "It is best so. You do not know your own mind yet, and
it is possible it is the same with Hardy; only do not build too much
on this, Helga. And now kiss your little father, and I will go and
thank Hardy for his goodness about Karl."

John Hardy was writing a letter to his mother.

"We shall be home in ten days from the date of this letter, dearest
mother, and this letter will be three days reaching you. The route we
shall take is by the cattle steamer from Esbjerg to Harwich, from
which latter place I will telegraph. I shall bring the two Danish
horses I have bought for your own use, and as Garth has had them in
training some time they will be ready for you to use at once.

"I shall bring a son of Pastor Lindal's with me; his age is, as I have
told you in a former letter, about sixteen. His father has been good
to me, and would receive no payment for my stay with him; but I have
left the money to be distributed in his parish as he should direct. My
view is to let Karl Lindal stay at Hardy Place this autumn and winter,
but in the spring to get him a situation with a foreign broker in
London. His knowledge of English is only from what I have taught him,
and it is necessary that he should learn more to fit him for an office
in England. He is also a raw country lad, and a stay at Hardy Place
will work a change, and prepare him for a wider sphere than a retired
Danish parsonage.

"I am expecting the gardener you have sent over to survey Rosendal and
plan some improvement in the grounds. He has been two days at
Rosendal, and, I fear, has had the usual difficulty of language.
Garth, however, has been with him, to assist his measuring. Pastor
Lindal and his daughter are in a state of alarm at what I am going to
do there. They fear I shall destroy the natural beauty of the place. I
shall soon be home now, and am longing to see your dear kind face
again."

The tobacco parliament, as Hardy always called it, had scarcely began,
when Kirstin announced that there was an Englishman at the door.

"It is the Scotchman, Macdonald, the gardener, my mother has sent over
to see Rosendal," said Hardy. "May he come in and show you his plans?"

"We should like to see them beyond everything," said Frøken Helga,
eagerly.

"The difficulty about the place is that the farmyard is at the house,"
said Macdonald. Hardy interpreted.

"We cannot interfere with that now, Macdonald. We must make the best
of it as it is," said Hardy.

"Just what I expected," said Macdonald, unfolding his plans. "There is
the plan of Rosendal as it now is--that is, the house, woods, lake,
and gardens; you must look it all over first, and see if you know the
place, and then you'll be prepared for the next plan. You see,
Mr. Hardy, there is practically little room for alteration. The little
low whitewashed wall round the house can come down, the kitchen garden
made into a shrubbery with walks; the turf is so coarse that you
cannot make anything of it. The kitchen garden can be placed at the
back. The valley of roses can be made into a pretty place, and I
should advise the _Pinus Montana_ being planted, to contrast with its
dark green the roses when in bloom; it will shelter them also. The
little wall being down, the ground can be sloped and planted, as shown
in plan. For the valley of roses I have prepared a large plan."

Hardy interrupted, but seeing the Pastor about to speak, said--

"No, Herr Pastor; we must have Frøken Helga's opinion first. She it is
that has so blamed the obstinacy of my conduct in thinking that
Rosendal can be improved. Let her speak; but, first, Macdonald has
more to say."

Macdonald suggested several other changes, which, although small in
themselves, yet in the aggregate made considerable alteration.

"Well, Frøken Helga?" said Hardy, after she had seen the plans.

"I think it will make Rosendal perfectly lovely," said Helga, warmly.
"I should not have thought it possible so few simple changes could
effect so much."

"The cost," said the Pastor, "cannot be much either. I heartily
approve of the plans."

"We will come over and see you at Rosendal to-morrow, Macdonald, and
go through the plans on the spot," said Hardy. And after Macdonald had
experienced the hospitality of the Pastor, he left.

"He is a clever man," said the Pastor, referring to Macdonald.

"He is a good man," said Hardy; "but he has been educated to such
work, and consequently he sees things that did not even strike the
quick intelligence of Frøken Helga Lindal."

"I have been very foolish and----" said Helga, but stopped and
blushed.

"Not at all," said Hardy. "You had liked Rosendal as it is. It was
very natural that you should have thought any change would be for the
worse."

"Thank you, Herr Hardy," said Helga; but her voice had a softer tone.
"I wish," she added, after a pause, "you would sing to us the German
song you sang once to my father."

Hardy rose at once and did so. He looked round to ask if he should
sing another song, when he saw Helga looking at him as a woman
sometimes looks at the man to whom she has given her heart. Her back
was turned to her father and brothers. Hardy sang the popular
"Folkevise," beginning--


    "Det var en Lørdag aften
    Jeg sad og vented dig
    Du loved mig at komme vist
    Men kom dog ej til mig."


This song of the people possesses a rare plaintiveness, and describes
how a peasant girl had expected her lover, but he came not, and her
grief at seeing him with a rival. The ballad is touching to a degree,
and the verse--


    "Hvor kan man plukker Roser
    Hvor ingen Roser groer?
    Hvor kan man finde Kjærlighed
    Hvor Kjærlighed ej boer?"

    "Where can one pluck roses
    Where no roses grow?
    Where can one find affection
    Where no affection lives?"


is exquisitely tender. Helga had heard the song often, and sang it
herself, but it had never seemed to possess such a depth of feeling.

Hardy got up from the piano, and saw that Helga's eyes were tearful.

"I thank you, Hardy," said the Pastor. "No man can sing like that
unless his heart is true."

"I am sure of it, father," said Helga. "I never heard anything so
beautiful in my life!"

"But, Hardy, you are going away; and how will you take the piano?"
asked Pastor Lindal.

"If you would allow it to remain with you, Herr Pastor, during the
autumn and winter, I should be much indebted to you," said Hardy. "But
if Frøken Helga would accept it as a recollection of a cool and
calculating Englishman, I will give it her with pleasure."

Before the Pastor could reply, his daughter had.

"I will accept it gratefully;" and she rose up and, after the Danish
manner, gave her hand to Hardy, and said, using a Danish expression,
"a thousand thanks."

"Thank you, Hardy, very much," said the Pastor. "You have done us many
kindnesses; but after visiting the poor and the sick in my parish, the
knowledge that I shall hear my daughter's voice, that is so like my
wife's, singing in the winter evenings, will be a comfort to me."

The next day they went to Rosendal, and met Macdonald with his plans.
The being on the spot and understanding what was proposed to be done
was a different thing to seeing the plans at the parsonage. The
reality struck Helga. She was much interested, and Hardy saw that she
understood and entered into everything. There was nothing to suggest
or to alter in Macdonald's plans, and Hardy at once arranged for their
execution. The Danish bailiff was at first obstructive, but Hardy's
quiet, decisive manner changed the position, and gradually it dawned
upon him that the place would be greatly improved, and that the
residence of an English family for part of the year at Rosendal would
not prejudice him.

Karl and Axel had been on the lake trolling, but they had caught
nothing, and came back disappointed to the mansion, and begged Hardy
to fish, if but to catch one pike.

Hardy said he could not leave the Pastor and his daughter while he
went fishing with them.

"We must have a pike for dinner," said the Pastor, "and as the boys
cannot catch one, you must, Hardy."

"May I go in the boat?" asked Helga. "I have never seen Herr Hardy
fish."

"Oh, pike-fishing is nothing," said Karl "It is trout-fishing with a
fly that Herr Hardy does so well."

Hardy got into the boat, and put his gear in order, which had been
disarranged by the boys' efforts to fish. A man accustomed to the lake
rowed it, and Helga stepped into it. She remarked it was wet and
dirty.

"That is the boys' doing," said Hardy, as he pulled off his coat for
her to sit on.

They rowed on the lake, and Hardy cast his trolling-bait with the long
accurate cast habitual to him, and caught four pike, and then directed
the boat to be rowed ashore.

As Frøken Helga stepped ashore, where her father and brothers were
waiting for her, she said, "I can understand the boys' enthusiasm for
Herr Hardy; when Lars (the boatman) pointed out a place where a pike
might be, although yards away, the bait was dropped in it and the pike
caught. I wish Herr Hardy would let me see him catch fish on the
Gudenaa with flies."

"We can do that to-morrow evening," said Hardy, "as you cannot get up
at three in the morning, as we are accustomed to do."

"I cannot let little father miss his evening talk with you, Herr
Hardy, and to get up at three in the morning these summer days is no
hardship to me. May I go to-morrow?" asked Helga.

"Certainly, if you wish it," said Hardy.

As they returned home, Karl expressed no wish to ride Buffalo, and
Garth rode it, and Hardy drove his Danish horses.

"I should like to see how you drive; may I come up and sit beside
you?" said Helga.

After they had gone a little way, Hardy said to her, "Take the reins
and drive. I have bought these horses for my mother, and she will
drive them herself, and you can drive them. Draw the reins gently to
the horses' mouths and let them go as you wish them. To slacken speed,
draw the reins firmly but gently, and they will obey."

Helga drove the carriage to the parsonage.

"Little father," said Helga, "I have driven you all the way from the
entrance gate at Rosendal."

"I am glad," said the Pastor, "you did not tell me that before, as I
should have been in great anxiety."

"But Herr Hardy was sitting by me, little father," said Helga, "and
there was no danger when he is near."



CHAPTER XVI.


    "The trout and salmon being in season have, at their
    first taking out of the water, their bodies adorned with
    such red spots, and the other with such black spots, as give
    them such an addition of natural beauty as I think was never
    given to any woman by artificial paint or patches."
    --_The Complete Angler._


John Hardy had tied a couple of casting lines with the flies he
usually fished with on the Gudenaa, and came down a little before
three the next day.

Karl and Axel yet slept, but their sister called them, and after the
accustomed cup of coffee and rusks they went out to fish on the
Gudenaa. Of late Hardy had hired a flat-bottomed boat, and a man
called Nils Nilsen rowed or punted it with a pole, as on the Thames,
or he went ashore on the towing-path and pulled it up the river with a
towing rope, while a minnow was cast from the boat.

Hardy had taken a travelling rug for Helga to sit on, and Nils Nilsen
towed the boat up the river, while Hardy fished with a minnow and
caught a few trout. When they reached the shallows, which Hardy
usually fished with a fly, he sent the boys on land to cast from the
bank, and Nils Nilsen took the pole to punt the boat slowly down the
stream. The trout rose freely for about an hour, and Helga had charge
of the landing-net, and lost for Hardy several good fish, to Nils
Nilsen's great disgust. She saw the long casts Hardy made, the light
fall of the fly on the water, while a slight motion of the line threw
the flies repeatedly on the surface of the river like real flies, and
as soon as a trout rose the line was tightened with a sudden motion,
and the trout drawn gradually to within reach of the landing-net.

"May I try, Herr Hardy, to throw the line for the Fish?" asked Helga.

"Certainly," replied Hardy, and he shortened the line to allow her to
do so.

Her first attempt was to hook Hardy's cap; her next was to hook Nils
Nilsen by the ear.

"It seems so easy to do," said Helga, as she handed Hardy the rod, who
showed her how to cast the line as well as he was able.

"You will fish better from the bank, where it is not necessary to cast
such a long line," said Hardy. "We will try a little lower down."

Helga followed his instructions, and at length hooked a trout, which
Hardy picked out with the landing-net.

"I do so like this sort of fishing," said Helga; "it is the way a lady
should fish, if she fished at all."

"Many English ladies are good fly fishers," said Hardy; "and I have
seen them catch salmon in Norway. I will, with pleasure, leave my rods
and tackle here, if you would like to fish with Axel; he can show you
how to attach the flies to the line, and anything else necessary."

"Thank you so much!" replied Helga; and as she raised her eyes to his,
with her handsome face lit up by exercise, Hardy saw how beautiful she
was. Her manner towards him had changed. She talked freely to him now,
and without reserve.

"We will put a mark on the trout you have caught," said Hardy, "that
we may know it again after it has been in the frying-pan. The Herr
Pastor does not often eat fish of his daughter's catching. It weighs
just half an English pound."

"How can you tell?" asked Helga.

"I guess it to be so; but we will soon see," replied Hardy, as he took
a little spring balance out of his pocket, and held it up to her with
the trout on it. "That little line is the half-pound, and the fish
pulls the spring to that line."

"What a pretty thing to weigh with! Is it silver?" asked Helga.

"Yes, it is silver," replied Hardy. "I will leave it with you, with
the rest of the fishing gear, on the condition that the first time you
catch a trout weighing one pound you write and tell me all about it."

"Yes, that I will!" said Helga. "I write my father's letters, and
shall have to write to you for him about Rosendal."

At breakfast, Helga described to her father all the little incidents
of the morning, and her bright fresh look testified to the benefit of
early morning exercise.

"I think, Helga," said the Pastor, "that when Karl is gone, you had
better go fishing in the morning with Axel; you look the better for
it."

When the tobacco parliament was opened that evening, and the Pastor
had finished puffing like a small steam launch to get his porcelain
pipe well lit. Hardy asked him if there was anything in the
superstitions of Jutland, corresponding to those of the sea, about the
rivers.

"Yes," replied the Pastor. "Our Danish word for river is 'Aa'
(pronounced like a broad _o_). Thus, the Gudenaa is the Guden river.
The tradition is that each river has its Aamand or river man, who
every year craves a life; if a year passes without a victim, he can be
heard at night saying, 'The time and hour are come, but the victim is
not yet come.' Sometimes the Aamand is called Nøkken."

"That is the Norsk name," said Hardy. "In Scotland they have a
superstition as to changelings; that is, a human child is stolen and a
child of the Trolds substituted. This is referred to by Sir Walter
Scott in one of his poems. Does anything of the sort exist in your
Jutland traditions?"

"There are several varied stories," replied Pastor Lindal. "One is of
a couple who had a very pretty child; they lived near a wood called
Rold Wood. The Trolds came one night and stole the child, leaving one
of their own in its place. The man and his wife did not at first
notice any change, but the wife gradually became suspicious, and she
asked the advice of a wise woman, who told her to brew in a nutshell,
with an eggshell as beer barrel, in the changeling's presence, who
exclaimed that it had lived so many years as to have seen Rold Wood
hewn down and grow up three times, but had never seen any one brew in
a nutshell before. 'If you are as old as that,' said the wife, 'you
can go elsewhere;' and she took the broom-stick and beat the
changeling until it ran away, and as it ran he caught his feet in his
hands and rolled away over hill and dale so long as they could see it.
This story has a variation that they made a sausage with the skin,
bones, and bristles of a pig, and gave the changeling, who made the
same exclamation, with the result as I have before related. There is
also another variation, where the changeling is got rid of by heating
the oven red hot and putting it into the oven, when the Trold mother
appears and snatches it out, and disappears with her child."

"The superstition would appear to have arisen from children being
affected with diseases which were not understood," said Hardy.

"We can only speculate," said the Pastor, "in these subjects; the
origin is lost in the mists of time. There is one story of a
changeling that has some graphic incidents. When a child is born, a
light is always kept burning in the mother's room until the child is
baptized, as the Trolds may come and steal it. This was not done at a
place in North Jutland, because the mother could not sleep with the
light burning. The father therefore determined to hold the child in
his arms, so long as it was dark in the room, but he fell asleep;
shortly after he was aroused, and he saw a tall woman standing by the
bed, and found that he had two children in his arms. The woman
vanished, but the children remained, and he did not know which was his
own. He consulted a wise woman, who advised him to get an unbroken
horse colt, who would indicate the changeling. Both children were
placed on the ground, and the colt smelt at them; one he licked, but
the other he kicked at. It was therefore plain which was the
changeling. The Trold mother came running up, snatched the child away,
and disappeared."

"The advice of the wise woman was clever. It is, as you say, a graphic
story," said Hardy. "But who were the wise women?"

"There were both men and women. They were called Kloge Mænd and Kloge
Koner, or wise men and wise wives. They pretended to heal diseases, to
find things lost or stolen, and the like. They were often called white
witches, as in England. There was a man called Kristen, who pretended
to have wonderful powers. A certain Bonde did not believe in him, and
one day told him that he had a sow possessed with a devil. The sow was
simply vicious. Kristen at once offered to drive the devil out of the
sow. He instructed the Bonde and his men not to open the door of the
stable in which the pig was, even if they saw him (Kristen) come and
knock and shout, as the devil would take upon him his appearance, to
enable him to escape better. Kristen went into the stable and began to
exorcise. The sow, however, rushed at him and chased him round the
stable, and every time Kristen passed the door, he shouted to the
Bonde and his men to open it, but they, pretending to follow his
instructions, would not. At last, when Kristen was nearly dead with
fatigue, they opened the door. Of course, Kristen never heard the last
of that sow."

"That is not a bad story," said Hardy.

"You have read Holberg's comedies?" said the Pastor. "In one of them
you will recollect a thief is discovered from amongst the other
domestics of the house, by their being ranged behind the man who had
been asked to discover the thief, and who tells them all to hold their
hands up. He asks if they are all holding their hands up, as his back
is towards them. They all reply, 'Yes;' and the man then asks if the
person who has stolen the silver cup is holding up his hand. The thief
replied 'Yes,' thus discovering himself. There is a story of a watch
being stolen in a large household in Jutland. The white witch was sent
for, and he discovered the thief by ranging the domestics round a
table and making each domestic put a finger on the table, over which
he held a sharp axe. He asked each if they had stolen the watch, as
the axe would fall and cut off the finger of the one who had. He
detected the thief by his at once removing his finger."

"Verily a wise man," said Hardy. "In Norway I used to meet with the
word 'Dværg,' as applied to supernatural beings.

"Dværg is dwarf in Danish," replied the Pastor; "but there are many
stories of them, and in a superstitious sense. Dværg are analogous to
Underjordiske, or underground people. The tradition of their origin
is, that Eve was one day washing her children at a spring, when God
suddenly called her, at which she was frightened, and hid two of the
children that were yet unwashed, as she did not wish Him to see them
when dirty. God said, 'Are all your children here?' and she replied,
'Yes.' God said, 'What is hidden from Me shall be hidden from men;'
and from these two children are descended the Dværg and Underjordiske.
The most striking story of a Dværg is that in the Danish family Bille,
who have a Dværg in their coat of arms. There was, many hundred years
ago, such a dry time in the land that all the water-mills could not
work, and the people could not get their corn ground. A member of the
family of Bille was in his Herregaard, and was much troubled on this
account. A little Dværg came to him, who was covered with hair, and
had a tree in his hand plucked up by the roots. 'What is the matter?'
said the Dværg. 'It is no use my telling you' said Bille; 'you cannot
help me.' The Dværg replied, 'You cannot get your corn ground, and you
have many children and people that want bread; but I will show you a
place on your own land where you can build seven corn-mills, and they
shall never want water.' So Herr Bille built the seven mills, and they
have never wanted water, winter or summer. The Dværg gave him also a
little white horn, and told Herr Bille that as long as it was kept in
the family, prosperity would attend it. This legend belongs to
Sjælland."

"I suppose there are many traditions in families in Denmark?" said
Hardy.

"Very many," replied the Pastor. "There is a story of Tyge Brahe, or,
as you call him in England, Tycho. He was at a wedding, and got into a
quarrel with a Herr Manderup Parsberg, and it went so far that they
fought a duel. Tyge Brahe lost his nose. But he had a nose made of
gold and silver, so artistically correct that no one could see that it
was any other than his own nose, and of flesh and blood; but to be
sure that it should not be lost, he always carried some glue in his
pocket."

"I never heard that story of the great astronomer," said Hardy.

"There is a story also of a Herr Eske Brok, who lived in Sjælland. He
was one day walking with a servant, and was swinging about his
walking-stick, when suddenly a hat fell at his feet. He picked it up
and put it on, when he heard an exclamation from his servant Then said
Brok, 'You try the hat;' and they found that whoever had the hat on
was invisible to the other. After a while, a bareheaded boy came to
Brok's house and inquired for his hat, and offered a hundred ducats
for it, and afterwards more. At last, the boy promised that if he gave
him the hat none of his descendants should ever want. Brok gave the
hat to the boy; but as he went away he said, 'But you shall never have
sons, only daughters.' So Eske Brok was the last of his name."

"That boy must have been a Dværg," said Hardy.

"Quite as probable as the story," said the Pastor. "There is, however,
another impossible story of a Herr Manderup Holck of Jutland. He was
taken prisoner by the Turks, and his wife contrived his escape by
sending him a dress of feathers, so that he could fly out of his
Turkish prison and home to Jutland. She, with very great prudence,
collected all the bed-clothes in the parish, that he should fall soft
when he alighted in Jutland."

"The story is so improbable that it must be very old indeed," said
Hardy.

"I think the tradition about the Rosenkrands' arms is older," said
Pastor Lindal. "The date attached to it is given as A.D. 663. The son
of the then King of Denmark went to England to help an English king,
whose name is given as Ekuin, in his wars. He secretly married the
daughter of the crown prince, and by her had a son. She placed the
child in a box of gold, and placed a consecrated candle and salt in
the box, because the child was not baptized. One day, her father,
Prince Reduval, rode by and saw the child, and as it was in a gold box
he concluded that it came from a noble source. He brought it up under
the name of Karl. King Ekuin died, and Prince Reduval succeeded, and
he was the first Christian king in England. He desired to marry Karl
to his daughter, who was his own mother; but when the marriage should
take place, she confessed that the bridegroom was her own son. The
king therefore wanted to burn her at the stake, but Karl arranged
matters so that his father should be married to his mother, who for
nineteen years had been separated from her. Karl had painted on his
arms a white cross, to show he was a Christian, then white and blue,
to show he was both an English and a Danish prince. In one quartering
he had a lion painted white with a crown, to signify Denmark, and in
another quartering a lion, to signify England, and then a design like
a chessboard, to betoken the long separation of his father and
mother."

"I think the story rather clashes with history," said Hardy; "but
Rosenkrands means a wreath of roses."

"Yes, it does," said the Pastor. "One of them went to Rome, and the
pope gave him a wreath of roses; hence the name."

"You will miss Herr Hardy, little father," said Helga. "In two days he
leaves us. Cannot he stay longer?"

"No, I cannot," said Hardy. "My mother wishes me to return. She is
anxious to see me, and I am anxious to tell her my experiences in
Denmark; but whatever my own wishes are, I must obey hers."

"What sort of person is your mother?" asked Helga.

"The best and kindest," replied Hardy, as he took a photograph out of
his pocket-book and handed her, which Helga looked at with evident
interest.

"I feel what you say of her is true," said Helga. "Little father, it
is a noble face."

"It is like you, Hardy," said the Pastor. "She must have been
handsome."

"Yes, but she is," said Hardy. "Here is a photograph of her picture at
twenty-two;" and he handed the Pastor another photograph.

Helga looked over her father's shoulder. "It is lovely!" she said,
with warmth. "It is more like you, Herr Hardy, than the other."

"As you like the photographs, Frøken," said Hardy, "keep them; it is
seldom a compliment is so well uttered."



CHAPTER XVII.


    "_Viator._--That will not be above a day longer; but
    if I live till May come twelvemonth, you are sure of me again,
    either with my Master Walton or without him."
    --_The Complete Angler._


The next morning, John Hardy was up early, studying the excellent map
of Jutland by Oberst Mansa. It gives the roads and by-ways with much
care and correctness. The idea had occurred to him to drive the
hundred and odd English miles from the parsonage to Esbjerg. The
horses must be sent there to meet the steamer; the weather was
settled, and as it was early in August, the early mornings and
evenings were pleasant He accordingly sketched out the route, with the
distances from one little Jutland town to another, and it was clear a
good deal could be seen and the drive would be enjoyable.

Hardy came down to the little reception-room, where breakfast was
usually served, and opened out Mansa's map on the table. Frøken Helga
was there, and her two brothers, Karl and Axel.

"I want to speak to your sister, boys," said Hardy; "you will hear all
about it by-and-by, if you will go out for a while."

The boys left. Helga looked a little startled. Hardy said, "I have an
extraordinary proposition to make; but you must not look so
frightened." Helga had turned pale, her knitting dropped. "I only want
your attention to this map of Jutland," added Hardy. He saw her face
was now full of colour; but what about the map of Jutland? Hardy, an
inconsistent man for the moment, was thinking of who else in the world
but Kapellan Holm, and his being at Vandstrup Præstegaard all the
winter, and that was not the map of Jutland. Suddenly it flashed
across his mind that Pastor Lindal had told him about Kapellan Holm,
and that Karl had repeated what Mathilde Jensen had said about his
buying Rosandal. As he sat thinking, he looked all the time at Helga.
At length he said, "I am going home to my mother, Frøken, but I hope
to be here in May; earlier I cannot come, because it would be cold for
my mother to travel."

"We shall be glad to see you, Herr Hardy; and I long to see your
mother," said Helga.

Then Hardy knew that Kapellan Holm was nowhere, and his face grew
bright, and he was ready for the map of Jutland.

Hardy explained his idea of driving to Esbjerg, and the extraordinary
proposition was that he proposed to take not only Karl, but Helga
Lindal herself and Axel.

"I should so like it," said Helga, "but----"

"I know," said Hardy, "that there are likely to be several 'buts.' The
serious one is that the Pastor would not like to leave his parish for
five days. Can this be arranged? Can he get any one to come here?"

"He will write the Provost" (the dean), replied Helga. "But he has
already arranged to go to Esbjerg to see Karl off to England, and as
we thought you might go to England earlier, a Hjælpe-præst is ready to
come here at any time; a day more or less will make no difference."

"The next 'but' is, whether the Herr Pastor would like it," said
Hardy.

"That I am sure he will; but he must consider the expense," replied
Helga, "and there would be the extra railway expense of my returning
here."

"Then we leave at midday for Silkeborg," said Hardy. "Will you,
Frøken, tell your father about it? he is in his study; and now we can
tell the boys;" and he called them, sent Axel for Garth, and told Karl
to be ready at midday.

The Pastor immediately bustled in. "What a scheme you have hatched!"
he said.

"Yes; but you cannot have had time to have heard it," said Hardy,
"much more to condemn it."

"Helga came into my study and said, 'Little father, Herr Hardy wants
to drive us all by stages to see Karl off; can we go?' Now, is that
the scheme?"

"Certainly," replied Hardy. "We want you to send our heavy luggage to
the station for Esbjerg, and a telegram to Silkeborg to order dinner
at five and beds, and leave here at midday. The next day we can get to
Horsens, and then to Veile, or farther. I have taken out the different
places and distances by Mansa's map, which you can check. Here is also
the English guide-book for Jutland. We can have a row on the lake at
Silkeborg this evening, and as I have been your guest so long, I
invite you to be mine to Esbjerg. I must leave now, or we should miss
the steamer."

Hardy's quiet self-possession overcame the scruples the Pastor was
about to make. He had been bound to his parish for years, and not even
his youngest son would enjoy the drive to Esbjerg more.

"Honestly said," the Pastor spoke, addressing Hardy, and using a
familiar Danish phrase, "I should enjoy it more than I can say."

Helga liked Hardy's way of treating the money difficulty. It was done
with such tact that it seemed as if Hardy was receiving a favour.

Axel came in with Robert Garth.

"Bob," said Hardy, in English, "we shall drive to Esbjerg by stages;
clear everything, and get ready to start at twelve."

"Thank you, sir," said Garth, and was gone.

"What did you say." said Helga, whose knowledge of English was slight.
Hardy explained.

The man's ready obedience struck her, and lingered in her mind long
after. She was not accustomed to the prompt execution of such an order
by a servant, and attributed it to Hardy's personal character and
influence.

After breakfast, during which much conversation arose on the proposed
drive, Hardy came down with his fly-rods, books, and reels, and the
precious little spring balance.

"There," he said, "Frøken Helga, is all the fly-fishing gear; the
flies in the small book are best for the Gudenaa. I hope you will
break all the rods and smash all the tackle, to give me the pleasure
of bringing you fresh ones from England."

She thanked him in the Danish manner that Hardy liked so much in her.

At twelve they left for Silkeborg. Hardy drove, and Garth rode
Buffalo. The Pastor sat by Hardy's side, and told many an interesting
anecdote of the places they passed. The circumstances of the Danish
families, the tradition of a Kæmpehøi or tumulus, and the social
condition of the people were all known to him. Hardy drove slowly, as
the day was warm, and he wished to spare his horses, and it was not
until a little after five that they reached the hotel at Silkeborg.
Hardy had been there before, with Karl and Axel, and they knew him,
and obeyed his telegram to the letter.

"I have a proposition to make," said Hardy, "but I will leave it to my
guests to do as they please, I propose we have a row on the lake this
evening, but not for long; but to-morrow that we rise at six and
charter one of the wheel boats, that is the paddle-wheel boats that
are worked by hand, and visit Himmelbjerg, and have breakfast there,
and the carriage can meet us at the foot of the hill, at a point to
the south of it, and we can drive on to Horsens."

"Excellent!" said Helga, using a Danish expression. "But it will be a
long day for my father."

"We should get to Horsens at six, and we can telegraph to the hotel to
be ready to receive us at that time," said Hardy. "But the next day is
only nineteen English miles to Veile, and would be less fatiguing."

"I like to be tired, Hardy, by outdoor exercise," said Pastor Lindal.
"Your plan is excellent, and is just what I should not only like, but
enjoy."

The row on the lake was very pleasant. The Pastor told the story of
Bishop Peter applying to the pope to decree a separation of all the
married priests from their wives, and how the three sisters of the
priest there drew lots who should go to Rome to get a dispensation for
their brother to keep his wife. The lot fell on the youngest, and she
went to Rome and got the pope's permission; but on the condition that
she should have cast three bells, which she shipped at Lubeck, one
bell was lost in the sea, and the two others were placed in two
churches near Aarhus.

The view from Himmelbjerg has the strong charm of great variety. The
lakes are spread out below, amongst woods, heaths, meadows, and
cultivated land. The early morning gives the view at its best. There
are views and views, but the variety of prospect from Himmelbjerg
impresses. Juul Sø, the lake at the foot of the Himmelbjerg, is at
times lovely.

Axel was, however, very hungry. The view might be good, but a growing
boy's appetite is good also. He asked his father if he might go to the
restaurant in Himmelbjerg and get a bit of Smør-brød (bread and
butter). Karl said he wanted to go, too. There had been the long row
up the lakes, the walks about Himmelbjerg, and even Frøken Helga
looked hungry. As soon as they came to the restaurant, the waiter told
them that breakfast was waiting for them.

"Waiting for us!" said the Pastor; "it is more likely we shall have to
wait for our breakfast."

"I thought that you might prefer that the breakfast should be ready,
and I ordered it yesterday. I sent a note up last night," said Hardy.

The breakfast was the more enjoyed from Hardy's thoughtfulness, so
much so that when the inevitable porcelain pipe was filled, it was a
difficulty to get the Pastor down the Himmelbjerg. When they at last
reached the carriage, which a man from the hotel at Silkeborg had
driven, as Garth had charge of Buffalo, the Pastor decided to go in
the carriage, and not by Hardy's side. Helga, after seeing her father
comfortable, got up by Hardy, and talked to him unreservedly.

The bright ripple of Helga's talk was pleasant to hear in its clear
transparency. She told Hardy of her father so long as she could
recollect, and the great sorrow that fell upon him when her mother
died, and how difficult it was to keep him from the bitter memory of
his loss; that she was with him at every spare moment, and how at
times it was beyond her power to cheer him; but that since Hardy had
been with them, her father had scarcely shown a sign of the sorrow
they knew was always at his heart.

"It is the way you listen," said Helga, "that my father likes. You
cannot, he says, speak Danish as well as we Danes, but your manner of
listening is perfect, and that there is a respectful attention
impossible to describe."

"I can describe it," said Hardy, laughing. "The fact is, I know Danish
not very perfectly, and my whole attention is necessary to grasp what
is said."

"I told him so," said Helga; "but he said there is more than that--it
was true politeness."

"Well," said Hardy, "you have now explained that you have not so good
an opinion of me as your father."

"No," said Helga; "that's not my meaning. I only related what passed,
and I am not able to judge any one like my father."

"I have heard, however, that you have differed from your father in
judging a particular person," said Hardy, "and a man whom your father
speaks well of."

"That is Kapellan Holm," said Helga, quickly, "My father has told you
about him?"

"Yes," replied Hardy; "but I do not wish you to tell me any more about
him, and to prevent your thoughts being occupied by the Kapellan,
would you like to drive a few miles?"

"Gladly," replied Helga, using the pretty Danish phrase that so well
expressed her meaning.

She insisted on taking off her gloves to drive, and said she could not
feel the reins so well, and disliked wearing gloves in hot weather.

Hardy showed her how to hold the reins so as to feel the horses' mouth
slightly. She appeared to like to hear the quick sound of the horses
trotting.

"How easily they go! There is no difficulty in slackening or
quickening their speed, and they obey the least touch on the rein,"
said Helga.

"We have been training them for my mother to drive, and Garth drives
well," said Hardy.

"I should so like to learn to ride!" said Helga, carried away by her
admiration of the horses.

"That is what I once offered to teach you," said Hardy, "and you
replied in the negative so decidedly that I did not like to refer to
the subject afterwards."

"Yes; Kirstin said it was not womanly to ride, and that I was not a
Bondetøs" (a peasant girl), replied Helga. "But I do not see that it
is different in that respect to driving a horse in a carriage, and if
horses are kept, I think that it is useful to be able to ride them.
There was also another reason why I did not wish you to teach me to
ride, that I cannot tell you."

"Then do not tell me," said Hardy. "But supposing I am at Rosendal, in
May, next year, will there be any objection then, if your father has
none?"

"No," said Helga, involuntarily.

"Then I will recollect to bring over an English lady's saddle," said
Hardy.

The Pastor, overcome with his walk, his breakfast, and the warmth of
the day, had fallen asleep, and woke up to the situation that his
daughter was driving the carriage.

"Stop!" he cried; "you will upset the carriage, Helga. You must not
drive; you will throw down the horses."

"She has driven for the last ten miles, Herr Pastor," said Hardy.

The worthy Pastor, however, was so decided, that Hardy had to take the
reins and drive into Horsens. He had telegraphed and ordered dinner at
six, and drove into the hotel yard, but was scarcely prepared to find
so many people collected there. They had simply come to see Buffalo,
whose reputation had risen after the horse-race. They smoked, spat,
criticized, and praised. "Sikken en Hest."

As they came in, Hardy gave a very necessary order to his servant,
Robert Garth, namely, to get the horses' feet well washed, as the
roads are so sandy.

The dinner was well served, and much praised by Pastor Lindal, who of
course had a legend to relate, of Holger Danske, whose sword was
buried with him near Horsens. The sword was so heavy that, when it was
taken from the Kæmpehøi, or tumulus, twelve horses could not draw it.
The walls of the house in which it was placed shook, and so much
unhappiness occurred that the sword was restored to its resting place
in the tumulus, and on its return journey two horses could draw it
easily. Holger Danske was so big a man, that when he had a suit of
clothes made, the tailors were obliged to use ladders to take his
measure; but one day an unfortunate tailor tickled him in the ear with
his scissors, and Holger Danske thought it was a flea, and squeezed
him to death between his fingers."

"There were giants in those days," said Hardy.

"There is in the Kloster (cloister) Church at Horsens a hole in the
wall, across which is an iron cross. Behind this a nun was walled up
alive. She had, it was said, been confined of a dog. There is a stone
in which a dog is figured, to preserve the recollection of so very
extraordinary a circumstance, and a place is shown where her fingers
marked the stone of the wall in her last agony."

"The practice of walling people up," said Hardy, "was very general in
Denmark, was it not?"

"Yes, if tradition be true," said the Pastor, "which, as you know, we
must receive _cum grano salis_. There is a story of a man walling up
his woman-servant, because she cooked a cat for his dinner. He had
caught a hare, but a dog had stolen it, so she cooked a cat instead.
This enraged her master, and he walled her up alive."

"Thank you, Herr Pastor, for your legends," said Hardy; "but I should
like to walk through the little town, and I dare say Karl and Axel
would too, if we may leave you and Frøken Helga."

"By all means," said the Pastor, "and Helga will go too."

"No, little father, I will stay with you," said Helga. "You will have
no one to fill your pipe, and will feel lonely."

As John Hardy went out, he gave Karl and Axel some money. The boys
asked what it was for.

"To buy anything you like, as far it will go," said Hardy.

The boys, however, would not take it; they were sure their father
would not wish it, after the expense Hardy had already been put to on
their account.

"Your father would be quite right," said Hardy; but he recollected it,
and this small circumstance, told him that Karl could be trusted, and
assisted him more to get Karl a situation of trust than Hardy's
influence and that of his friends.



CHAPTER XVIII.


    "_Viator._--Methinks the way is mended since I had
    the good fortune to fall into your good company."
    --_The Complete Angler._


Horsens was explored the next day, but Hardy had a purpose in view. He
knew his mother would like to see photographs of his Danish friends.
The chief reason for a walk the night before was to ascertain the
photographer's shop. This he discovered, and proposed that they should
all be separately photographed.

"You want to show your mother our photographs," said Helga.

"I do," said Hardy. "You have all been so kind to me that it would
interest her."

"I should like to see the photographs before they are sent you," said
Helga.

"That you can," said Hardy. "They shall be sent you, and if you do not
like them, do not send them to me."

"Nonsense," said the Pastor; "they shall of course be sent you. I can
understand that if you have a photograph it will describe more than
any description, and we will send them, or rather the photographer
shall; it is not that we should wish to appear other than as we really
are. If the photographs are not what is called successful, you can
explain that, if you like, but I, for my part, would rather not be
favoured by any artificial process."

"You are right, little father," said Helga; and they were all
photographed separately, except Hardy and Karl, as the Pastor objected
to the latter. "They will see Karl himself, and there is no need of
the expense," he said; "and Hardy we shall not forget."

They left Horsens a little after midday for Veile, a distance, as
before stated, of about nineteen English miles. Pastor Lindal sat by
Hardy as he drove, and as they passed by Engom, he told the story of
how Øve Lunge had sold himself to the evil one, "Øve Lunge made a
bargain with the owners of the land near to acquire as much land as he
could ride a foal just born round, whilst the priest was preaching a
sermon in the pulpit at Engom Church. They assented readily; but the
foal ridden by Herr Øve Lunge went like a bird, and two black boars
followed, rooting up the line the foal took, so as to enclose the
land. On his way, Herr Øve Lunge met a Bonde with an axe, and he was
obliged to turn aside, as the evil one has no power against an edge of
steel. Therefore there were many irregularities in the foal's course.
The Bonde who had thus sought to interrupt Herr Øve Lunge, rushed to
the church at Engom, and besought the priest to vacate the pulpit, who
did so, and thus saved much land passing into Herr Øve Lunge's
possession. As Herr Øve Lunge had sold himself to the evil one, he can
of course find no rest, and his ghost is seen, followed by his hounds,
as he hunts at night over the property thus acquired."

"Are their many legends relating to Veile?" asked Hardy.

"A few," replied the Pastor, "and some historical, Gorm den Gamle,
that is Gorm the old and his Queen Thyra, are buried in two tumuli, or
Kæmpehøi, at Jellinge, near Veile. At Queen Thyra's tumulus there was
once a spring of water which sprung up, it is related as evidence of
her purity. One day, however, a Bonde washed a horse that had the
glanders at the spring, when it at once dried up.

"At the same place, Jellinge (the final e is pronounced like a), in
the year 1628, a priest called Søren Stefensen was suspected by the
Swedes of being in correspondence with the Danes, when the Swedes were
invading Jutland, and had occupied Jellinge, The messenger who went
with his letters was taken, and a letter was found in a stick he
carried. The Swedes hung him up to his own church door by his beard to
a great hook, and he is said to have hung there a long time; but at
last they took him down, and hung him on a gallows. He was priest at
Veile, and the governor of the Latin school there, from 1614 to 1619."

"In Shakespeare's play of 'Hamlet'" said Hardy, "it is described of
Hamlet's father that he smote the sledded Polaks on the ice."

"Our story of Amlet, not Hamlet, is as follows," said the Pastor. "At
Mors, a place in Jutland, there was a king called Fegge. He had a
tower at a place which is now called Fegge Klit ('klit' is a
sand-hill), and from thence he sent his ships to sea, in the Western
sea, that is your North sea. He and his brother Hvorvendil took turns
to rule at land or at sea, so that one should be at sea three years,
and the other on land three years. Fegge, however, became jealous of
Hvorvendil's power and good luck, and killed him and married his wife,
which murder was avenged by Amlet, her son, who slew Fegge, whose
grave is yet shown at Fegge Klit. The word 'sledded,' is bad Danish
for driving in a sledge. Polak is a Pole, and near Veile they
committed great atrocities. They killed women and children, and stole
the Bønder's cattle; and a man had often to buy his own bullock, and
the price went down to such a degree that the price at last reached
about 2d, (English) for a cow. They were hired by the Swedes to
plunder Denmark. They came to a Præstegaard, near Veile, and stole and
plundered; but a man in the priest's service, called Hans Nielsen,
told the priest's wife to give them all the drink she could. They all
got drunk. Hans Nielsen took away their arms. He then bound them one
by one, and made one of them shoot all the rest, one after the other.
This man confessed he was a Dane, but had joined the Swedes. So Hans
Nielsen killed him with a sword, for being a traitor. The Poles were
all buried in a hole, which is now called Polakhullet, or the Pole's
hole. They committed such devastation in the very district we are now
passing, that a man from Thy met a woman from Skaane, in Sweden, and
she at once offered to marry him in the dialect of the time.


    "'Aa vil du være min Mand?
    Saa vil a være din Kone;
    Du er fød i Thyeland,
    Og a er fød i Skaane.'

    "'Oh, will you be my man?
    So will I be your wife;
    You are born in Thyeland,
    And I am born in Skaane.'


This is a nursery rhyme to this day. There is also a weed called
Charlock in England, the seed of this was brought by them with the
fodder they had with them, and it is now all over Denmark."

"What you have told me about Shakespeare's play would, I fear, excite
some controversy amongst persons who make Shakespeare their study in
England," said Hardy.

"I can only say," rejoined the Pastor, "that the tradition is as
related by me."

"We shall soon be at Veile," said Hardy, turning round to Frøken Helga
Lindal. She had heard that her father talked incessantly to Hardy, so
was satisfied that all went well.

"I wish it was double the distance away," she said; "I enjoy
travelling like this so much!"

Veile is a pretty little Jutland town, and as they drove up to the
hotel Hardy had selected and telegraphed to, they determined to have a
walk in the neighbourhood at once, and postpone dinner a little later.

"There was a fire once in Veile, in the year 1739," said the Pastor.
"A woman who was thought out of her mind, at Easter visited a
neighbour, who showed her the clothes she had made to wear at Easter;
but the woman said, 'What will this avail, when the whole street will
be burned in eight days; but although I shall perish in the flames,
yet my body will be laid out in the town hall before I am buried?' The
next Sunday, a boy in firing off some powder he had put in a door key,
set fire to a house. The mad woman, as she was called, had forgotten
some things in the house, and went in for them; but her clothes caught
on fire, and she died from the burns she received. She was taken to
the town hall as the nearest place, and the street she indicated was
burnt.

"There is another story of an old monastery near Veile. The name of
the abbot was Muus (mouse). He was so hostile to the king that it was
determined to suppress the monastery. The force commissioned to
execute the king's order sent word to the abbot that he could leave
the monastery, if not, they should be obliged, in execution of their
orders, to arrest him. This message was given the abbot when he was at
dinner, and he replied that the mouse must have time to eat his dinner
in peace. The commander of the force replied not longer than the cat
will permit, and took the place by force. It is said this happened in
the thirteenth century."

"The place appears to bristle with legends," said Hardy. "Are there
more?"

"Many more; but I will not tell you any more until after dinner."

"That is right, little father," said his daughter, who always feared
that he might get too tired before he retired to rest.

The dinner at Veile was excellent. The host had asked Hardy what they
would like, and Hardy had replied that he would leave it to him to get
as good a dinner as he could. The consequence was that the host did
his best. The Pastor was greatly pleased at Hardy's simple manner of
ordering a dinner, but that it should be successful was a greater
success still.

The tobacco-parliament continued to be held, although for the time at
Veile. The journey had a good effect on Pastor Lindal, whose
temperament was naturally cheerful. He talked on subjects that Hardy
had no idea he had any knowledge of in natural science. He had studied
Darwin, and had even read a book of Sir John Lubbock's. At last Hardy
interrupted.

"There are no more legends or traditions of Veile, are there?" he
said.

"As I have said before, there are many," was the reply, "and here is
one. Once there were two brothers living near Fredericia, one was
rich, the other was poor. The place they lived at wanted a church. The
rich brother would contribute nothing, and his brother said that if he
were so rich he would build the church himself. The next night he
dreamt that on a bridge at Veile, called the southern bridge, he would
hear of something to his advantage. He went to Veile, and walked up
and down it all day. At last an officer passed and repassed him, and
asked him what he wanted. He told him he had dreamt he would find a
treasure on Veile bridge. The officer replied, 'I dreamt that I should
find a treasure in a barn near Fredericia,' belonging to a Bonde he
named. It was the man's own name. He found the treasure. One day he
was out looking round for a place to build the church on when he met
his brother, who did not know what had happened. He said, 'I am going
to build the church, and I am looking round to find the best site.'
'Indeed,' said the rich brother; 'if you build the church, I will give
the bells.' But when he saw the church would be built, it vexed the
avaricious man so much to have to give the bells, that he went and
hung himself.

"There is an authenticated story of a priest, as we are generally
called," continued the Pastor, "at the time of the plague, in 1654. It
was brought by a ship to Copenhagen, and spread rapidly. The priest at
Urlev Præstegaard had some clothes sent him belonging to his
relatives, who had died of the plague at Copenhagen. His name was
Søren Pedersen Prip. As soon as he saw the plague had occurred in his
household, his only thought was how to prevent its spreading in his
parish. He forbade all intercourse; and as his servants, wife, and
children died one after the other, he hoisted a flag, as a signal when
he wanted a coffin, which, as he had no one to send to fetch it, he
managed to convey on a wheelbarrow, and he himself buried all his
household. But that the people should not be without hearing God's
word, he preached to them from a stone in the churchyard, which is yet
shown. There is said to be also a carved wooden basrelief of him in
the church."

"He might have said, 'Exegi monumentum ære perennius'" said Hardy.
"Such a man exhibits one side of your national character that the
world has honoured and will honour. You say the stone can be pointed
out. It is a matter of surprise to me that the stones used in many
places in your old walls about churchyards and old buildings are so
varied in character: there are, for instance, red and grey granite,
syenite, the older sandstones, but all of the older geological
formations. The side, for instance, of Viborg Cathedral is like a
piece of old-fashioned patchwork from this cause, and has not a good
effect."

"In the glacial period these stones were brought down by the ice and
stranded on Jutland," said the Pastor; "they are scattered over the
whole country more or less. There is a legend of a giant who lived at
Veile, who threw these stones at Graverslund Church; but he was a bad
shot, and this accounts for the stones being found everywhere. His
name was Gavl; but it was the ice of the glacial period that was the
giant."

"It will not be possible to visit Kolding," said Hardy, "because it
would make us too late for the steamer. We shall have a longer run
than usual to-morrow, and reach Esbjerg midday the day after, and the
steamer leaves at night. Are there any traditions of Kolding, Herr
Pastor?"

"A number, and, of course, attached to Koldinghuus, which was erected
in the thirteenth century," said the Pastor. "The oldest story is that
of the bloodstains in Koldinghuus. It is said that a king lived there,
who had an only daughter. For some reason he determined to kill her,
and decided that as she was fond of dancing she should be danced to
death. He therefore, amongst his officers, sought out the toughest for
the work; but his daughter danced with nine of them without signs of
giving way. The king was enraged. He danced with her himself, and then
cut with his dagger the belt she wore, which had sustained her, so
says the legend. Her mouth filled with blood, and she died in her
father's arms. Nothing could wash the stain of her blood out of the
floor.

"As to Kolding itself, there are several stories," continued the
Pastor. "There is more than one about the church clock, which never
keeps time, the reason is that the men in an adjoining town, not far
from Kolding, had in a time of scarcity borrowed seed from the men
from Kolding, and had pledged a neighbouring meadow, which should
belong to the men of Kolding if the value of the seed was not paid on
a certain day and at a certain hour. When the time came, the men of
Kolding induced the clock-keeper to alter the clock; and when the
borrowers came to repay the loan, it was too late, and the meadow was
adjudged to belong to the men of Kolding. There is a variation of this
story, that the widow of Henning Limbek borrowed the money and pledged
the meadow with the same result. She was on the bridge and heard the
clock strike twelve and she at once returned home and surrendered the
meadow to the men of Kolding. There is another story of a rich man who
lived near Kolding, and they offered him a large sum for the meadow,
and the terms were settled at a feast. The rich man, however, had a
horse, and he affirmed that the horse would gallop from his house to
Kolding by a certain time. This the men of Kolding denied as possible.
He then offered to wager the meadow against a considerable sum that
the horse would. The horse performed the journey within the time
stated, but the clock had been altered. Ever since, the church clock
has never been correct."

"Not very correct of the men of Kolding," said Hardy, "and, I fear,
not a good side of the Danish character."

"I cannot deny that such principles occur with us," said Pastor
Lindal; "possibly we have learnt it from the English."

"We shall have to start at six to-morrow, Herr Pastor, to reach
Hoisted," said Hardy. "The hotel there is moderate, and we can only
expect what we can obtain. We shall have to break our longest journey
where we can, to give the horses a little rest."

"Therefore, we should go to bed early," said the Pastor.

"But I cannot go to bed without thanking you, Herr Hardy, for your
goodness to my father," said Frøken Helga. "I have never seen him so
bright, and I thank you." She thanked him in her Danish manner by
shaking hands.

"There is little need to thank me," said Hardy. "I have learnt much
from your father, and am thankful for it; but I hope with time to win
the same kindly trust from him as you already possess, and I think
deservedly."

Helga never forgot these words. They echoed in her recollection
through the winter months, and Kapellan Holm was nowhere.



CHAPTER XIX.


    "_Piscator._--Come, sir, let us be going; for the
    sun grows low, and I would have you look about you as you
    ride, for you will see an odd country, and sights that will
    seem strange to you."
    --_The Complete Angler._


John Hardy, before he retired to rest, had arranged with the hotel
manager at Veile to telegraph to Bække, where he designed to have a
late breakfast, or rather lunch, and to a little inn, a few English
miles further on, where they could pass the night. Thus the horses
could rest at Bække, and then go further to a station that would leave
them but a little distance to reach Esbjerg.

It was eleven before they reached Bække, travelling over not the best
of roads, and when they got there Hardy's forethought in telegraphing
was apparent. The Pastor was tired, but as conversational as ever.
Karl and Axel were obviously hungry, and as there was nothing to be
had but fried eggs, and the usual indigestible _et ceteras_, Hardy was
anxious to get on to their destination for the night. The Pastor went
into the carriage, and Helga got up by Hardy's side, but her father
had specially stipulated that she was not to drive the horses. This,
of course, had to be obeyed, as the Pastor's wish once expressed was
enough for Helga. The direction was over by-roads, and it was perhaps
best the Pastor had been so decisive.

Helga talked as before, unreservedly, and the ring of her clear voice,
with its transparent truth, was a pleasure to hear.

"Travelling like this is such a pleasure," she said; "the sound of the
step of the horses even has its effect, as we feel they go easily to
themselves. There is the succession of change of place and scene,
fresh green meadows after dry and dusty roads, and, after a dull bit,
there comes a pretty prospect of a country house, with its woods and
lake. The coming also to a fresh place every night has its interest. I
cannot think of a more pleasant way of travelling. Do you, Herr
Hardy?"

"Yes," said Hardy. "I like a fresh breeze blowing in the wished-for
direction, and an English sailing yacht, as a means of travelling. You
do not go so fast as you appear to sail, but it is pleasant to see the
bright wave flashing by, and to feel the yacht rushing through the
sea."

"But, then, there is not the varied change of scene as in travelling
as we now do, Herr Hardy," said Helga.

"There is nothing like yachting for variety, if there be favourable
winds, but on that it is dependent," said Hardy. "For instance, the
Mediterranean can be explored in a winter, and places in Spain and
Portugal visited on the way to Gibraltar, and then Italy and the
Ionian Islands and Greece."

"It must be a great drawback to be so dependent on the wind," said
Helga.

"Yes; and particularly so in yachting on the coast of Norway, amongst
the Danish islands, or up the Baltic," said Hardy; "but this
difficulty is got over by the use of steam, and steam yachts are
becoming the rule."

"Have you a yacht, Herr Hardy?" asked Helga.

"I am having one built," replied Hardy. "My mother likes the sea, and
I am having one built so that she may be as comfortable as possible.
It is a steam yacht, and we shall be at sea in a fortnight, and I
shall take Karl, if he wishes."

"He likes the sea, and when we go to Copenhagen from Aarhus in the
steamer, we enjoy the journey," said Helga.

"There is one small matter which has struck me with regard to Karl,"
said Hardy, "and that is, you Scandinavians are liable to what you
call Hjemve (home sickness). I wish you would ask your father to say
to him that he goes to England to try to get on in life, and that it
is childish to be afraid of meeting strange people, but to look to the
future and not be occupied with the present."

"Thank you very much, Herr Hardy; you are very thoughtful. Karl has
been very quiet the last two days, and you have anticipated what I had
thought," said Helga.

They had arrived at Hoisted, where they had to pass the night. The
modest little inn did its best for them, and the Pastor was glad to
rest; but after dinner his enjoyment of his pipe was great. It is not
understood in England that such is good or necessary. _Tot homines
quot sententiæ_. The question is in England, Is it wrong for a parson
to enjoy his pipe? The answer is, "No," with some people, "Yes," with
others; but the question whether it is good for him is very generally
answered in the negative.

"You have but few stories of the people, or, as you call them,
Eventyr?" asked Hardy.

"There are very many," replied the Pastor. "But in Norway you will
have found an even richer store. The grandness of nature there has
influenced the imaginations of the people. Their legends, traditions,
and stories are more romantic and weird. Their traditions of the Huldr
are exquisitely fantastic and picturesque to a degree. Their
Folke-Eventyr is rich in colour. There is a depth of thought and of
the knowledge of human nature as it is that fills the mind with
astonishment. There is in them all a sense of justice, a feeling of
appreciation of what is good and true, as if the thought had been
inspired. Nationally, the Norwegians are honest, and their
Folke-Eventyr has contributed to form the character of the people. It
has engendered a respect for what is good and true. There is also an
idea of rough justice and humour; and I will tell you a story which
will illustrate this. There was once a priest who was very
overbearing. When he drove in the roads, he shouted to the people he
met, 'Out of the way, I am coming; out of the way!' He did this so
often that the king determined to check his pride, and drove to the
priest's. As he was coming, he met the priest, who shouted as usual.
The king drove as he should do, as king, and the priest had to give
way. When the king was at the side of the priest's carriage, he said,
'Come to me at the palace to-morrow, and if you cannot answer three
questions I put to you, I will punish you for your pride's sake.' This
was treatment the priest was not accustomed to. He could bully the
Bønder, but answering questions did not suit him. So he went to his
clerk and told him that one fool can ask more questions than ten wise
men could answer, and that he must go up to the palace to the king and
reply to his questions. So the clerk went in the priest's gown. The
king was in the balcony with his crown and sceptre, and was dressed in
such a costume that he looked a king."

"'So you have come,' said the king.

"'Yes,' said the clerk. It was quite certain that he was there.

"'Tell me' said the king, 'how far the east is from the west?'

"'A day's journey,' answered the clerk.

"'How can that be?' said the king.

"'The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and generally does
it in a day,' answered the clerk.

"'Good,' said the king. 'But tell me now how much money I am worth?'

"'Well,' replied the clerk, 'Christ was sold for thirty pieces of
silver, and I should put you at twenty-nine.'

"'A good answer,' said the king. 'But tell me now what I am at this
moment thinking about?'

"'That's easy to answer,' replied the clerk. 'The fact is, you think I
am the priest, but I am only the clerk.'

"'Then go you home and be priest, and, let the priest be clerk,'
commanded the king."

"A very excellent story," said Hardy, "and, as you say, shows a strong
sense of rough justice and humour."

"There is a child's story," said the Pastor, "with its humour; but it
is very simple, as all stories of the people should be. A boy found a
pretty box in a wood, but he could not open it, for it was locked. A
little further he found a key. The question was whether the key would
fit the box. He blew into the key and put the key into the lock, when
lo! it fitted, and the box opened. But can you guess what was in the
box? No, of course not. There was a calf's tail in the box, but if the
calf's tail had been longer, so would this story be."

"But that is a Norwegian story," said Hardy. "Are there none
essentially Danish?"

"They are related to some extent in H. C. Andersen's stories, and they
have been translated into English. There is a story, however, that may
not have been translated. A king and queen had no children; but a
beggar came to her and said, 'You can have a son, if you will let me
be his godfather when he is christened.' The queen assented. The queen
had a son, but the king had to go to war to quell a rebellion. The
king made her promise that she would nurse the child herself, and not
trust to nurses and other people. The queen did so, and the beggar
stood godfather. The beggar bent down over the child, and said that
everything it wished for it should have. This the king's attendant
heard. He was accustomed to attend the king when hunting, and he
thought that such a child was worth possessing. The queen, however,
watched the child night and day. One day she was in a summer-house and
had fallen asleep, with the child in her lap; when she woke the child
was gone. When the king returned, he had a tower built in a wood, and
he walled the queen up in it, as a punishment for losing the child.
The attendant brought the child up as his own, and there was no
suspicion. He took the child, when grown up, out hunting when the king
went, and taught him to wish for such and such a head of game, and if
he shot an arrow at it, he always hit. The king could not understand
how so young a hunter could always be so successful, but the attendant
assured him that it was only a sure hand and eye. The attendant had
meanwhile become very rich, by getting the king's son to wish him to
be so. The attendant had taken a girl into his service, who grew up to
be very beautiful. She had suspicions that all was not right, and
asked the attendant; but he would not tell her. At last the attendant
told her the boy must be killed, and she must do it, and cut out his
tongue, to show him that she had murdered him. She, however, killed a
hind, and cut out its tongue, and showed the attendant the tongue. The
attendant thought she had done as she was told, and told her the
story, which the king's son heard from a place where she had hid him.
The king's son immediately wished the attendant should be a
three-legged dog, that must always follow him. He wished the girl to
be a rose and put her in his button-hole. The king's son then attended
the court, as the king wished to go hunting. 'Where is the attendant?'
asked the king. 'He is here close by,' said the king's son. The king
was satisfied with the answer, and went out hunting. The king's son
led the hunt to the tower where the queen was walled in, and wished
that the tower might fall down and the queen be found in it yet
living. This happened, although she had been there seventeen years.
The prince then took the rose out of his button-hole, and married the
girl who had so well served him."

"A graphic story," said Hardy, "and has the same tendency that you
attributed to the Norwegian stories of the people, or Folke-Eventyr."

"There is a story more peculiarly belonging to Jutland," said Pastor
Lindal, "and that is of a Trold who lived in a wood in a large
Kæmpehøi, or tumulus. He was an old grey-bearded Trold, and the people
in the district were afraid of him. There was an old woman who lived
near with her son. They had a cow, and it was difficult to get grass
for it, particularly in the winter. The boy took the cow and grazed it
on the Trold's Kæmpehøi. The Trold came out and objected, and
threatened, and drove the boy and the cow away. The boy, however, got
a piece of soft cheese from his mother, and stole a bird sitting on
its eggs in a nest, these he put in his pocket; so the next day he
took the cow to the same place, and the Trold came out and threatened.
The Trold took up a stone and pressed it in his hand, so that water
came from it, to show how he could crush him. The boy said that is
nothing, and took the cheese from his pocket and pressed it, so that
it appeared as if he was squeezing more out of a stone than the Trold
could. So the Trold said, 'I will throw a stone up, and you can count
until it comes down. The boy did so, and counted up to one hundred and
thirty-one. 'That is good!' said the boy. 'But now count for the stone
I cast;' and the Trold counted, but the boy threw the bird up in the
air, and of course it flew away. The Trold was astonished, and asked
the boy if he would come into his service. The first thing was to
fetch water, as the Trold wanted to brew. The Trold had a large bucket
to fetch water, which the boy could not even lift; so he said, 'This
will not do at all; we had best fetch in the river.' But this the
Trold could not do. The boy behaved in the same way with fetching turf
and fuel; and when the Trold went out to pick nuts, he picked up
stones and gave the Trold to crack. This gave him the toothache, but
the boy advised him to fill his mouth full of water and sit on the
fire until it boiled. This did not succeed, and so the boy continued
to tease the Trold until he compassed his destruction, and taking all
the Trold's gold and silver, he went home, and had enough to live on
all his days, with his mother."

"I have heard a parallel story from many lands," said Hardy.

"That is true enough; it is a story very widespread, with different
incidents and features," said the Pastor.

The next day they drove into Esbjerg, and Garth and Hardy put the
horses on board the steamer for England. It would leave in the
evening, when the tide would allow it to get out of dock.

The Pastor had arranged to stay the night at Esbjerg, to see the very
last of his son Karl on his leaving for England.

As they left, Hardy said, "I shall be at Rosendal in May, and I hope
my mother will be with me; but you will hear from me many times before
then, and I dare say Karl will write you more frequently than I do."

Helga said simply, "I thank you, Herr Hardy, for your kindness to us."

The steamer left that night, and the next day Pastor Lindal went to
the railway station at Esbjerg to take three tickets to the station
nearest his parsonage. Three tickets were handed to him, and the
Pastor expostulated.

"They are first-class tickets, and----"

"Yes," said the station clerk; "but they are already taken and paid
for."



CHAPTER XX.


    "_Piscator,_--But, look you, sir, now you are at the
    brink of the hill, how do you like my river, the vale it winds
    through like a snake, and the situation of my little
    fishing-house?"--_The Complete Angler._


As John Hardy drove up to the front of Hardy Place, the young Danish
lad was struck with the beauty of the lawns and shrubberies.

"This is by far prettier than Rosendal, Herr Hardy," he said.

Mrs. Hardy had evidently been waiting some time for the sound of
wheels on the carriage drive, and as her son alighted, she received
him with warm natural affection.

"John, my own boy, I am so glad to see you again," she said; "you have
been too long away from your mother."

"You will have me all to yourself until next May, mother, and then you
will have me with you at Rosendal," said her son. "But here is Karl
Lindal, son of Pastor Lindal, of Vandstrup Præstegaard, Denmark."

The tall, fair-haired lad, with his honest blue eyes, favourably
impressed Mrs. Hardy, who could see beyond outward appearance and
awkwardness of manner.

"Welcome to Hardy Place, Mr. Karl Lindal," she said, taking the lad's
hand kindly. "You can have no better introduction here than as my own
boy's friend."

Karl bowed. He saw a tall elderly lady, dressed in good taste and
perfect neatness, strikingly like her son. They entered the inner
hall, where Mrs. Hardy had been sitting, and tea was served, and she
and her son talked to each other with that kindly confidence not so
frequent nowadays. Karl looked at the old portraits on the wall, and
observed the quiet taste of the decorations and furniture, with its
appearance of comfort, so conspicuous in an English home.

Mother and son had much to say to each other; but at length John Hardy
observed a tired look on the young Dane's face, and he took him up to
the bedroom Mrs. Hardy had directed to be prepared for him, near her
son's rooms.

"Karl," he said, "here is your room, and everything you are likely to
want ready. If you want anything, press that nob, which rings a bell,
and a man-servant will answer it; but as he may not understand you,
come for a moment into my dressing-room, and I will show you where my
things are, and if you want anything, take it."

There was a strong contrast between Hardy's rooms in his own home and
the single little room he had occupied in Denmark, and Karl said so.

"Yes," said Hardy; "you will find a good deal of difference between
England and Denmark, but you will find me the same John Hardy."

"I have not dressed, mother," said Hardy, as he came down just before
the gong was struck for dinner; "my young Danish friend is not
supplied with evening dress, and I thought he might feel a trifle less
strange, where everything must strike with the force of novelty a lad
of seventeen, if I appeared as he has usually seen me."

"You are the same thoughtful, considerate old John," said his mother,
proud of her son's kind heart; "but I do think, John, you look better
than when you left."

"I am better," said John. "The fare at the little Danish parsonage was
simple and good. At first I missed a few things that I was accustomed
to here, but the excellence of the quality of everything at the
Pastor's soon made me forget them. I think, too, my mother, I have
learnt much. The simplicity with which the Danish Pastor did his work
with exact conscientiousness interested me. There was never a thought
of postponing a duty under any circumstances. There was never a
thought that a duty done was a sacrifice of self, but his duty was
done with a serious singleness of purpose and thorough trust in God,
that had a strong influence on his parishioners. They saw he was
sincere and true."

"You are drawing a good picture of the Pastor, John," said his mother;
"but," she added in a whisper, as John took her into dinner, "what
about the Scandinavian princess?"

"I will tell you all about her after you have seen her photograph,"
said John. "I will give it you when you go into the library after
dinner. I will give Karl Lindal some English to read, as he must lose
no time in acquiring the language."

Karl Lindal felt awkward and uneasy at dinner. The novelty of
everything so occupied him that he was the more gauche in manner. This
Mrs. Hardy observed, and said little to him. It was best the lad
should be left to get over the change that had impressed him.

When John Hardy joined his mother in the library, he found her with a
large reading-glass, looking at Helga Lindal's photograph. "It is a
good face, John, like her brother somewhat, and fine features," said
his mother. "Is she tall?"

"About five feet eight, mother," replied John. "She is like her father
in character--simple and true, and with common sense."

"But you wrote me, John, that if you did propose to her that she would
not accept you, on account of her father wanting her assistance and
relying so much on her," said Mrs. Hardy.

"I did, mother; but her father wished her to become engaged to a
curate of his called Holm," said John. "She refused Holm, as she did
not like him, and I think her father would wish her to marry any one
she did like. His view appears to be that she owes a duty to herself,
and he would think it his duty to prevent her sacrificing all her
young life even to him."

"Why, the man is right, John, and his photograph says as much!" said
Mrs. Hardy. "But, John, answer me plainly--have you said anything to
her?"

"No," replied Hardy. "I do not feel certain of myself without you,
mother. I want you to see her."

"Have you led her to expect that you might speak to her John?" asked
his mother.

"When I went there first, she behaved towards me as if she disliked
me," replied John; "but her manner changed. I had offered to teach her
to ride: she declined in a very decided way; but in driving to
Esbjerg, she said she should like to learn, and that her objection,
whatever it was, did not exist longer. I said I would teach her when I
came again to Denmark. One evening, I sang the German song you have
heard me sing so often, and I turned round suddenly and saw her face;
she looked at me as if she loved me with all her heart, but possibly
so simple a nature as hers was carried away by the song's influence. I
turned away my face, that it might reflect nothing to her."

"Did anything else occur, John?" asked his mother.

"Yes," replied John. "A few evenings before I left, I showed her
father and herself your photographs; she exhibited a warm interest in
them, particularly that one of the picture. I gave her the
photographs, and she thanked me as if I had given her something she
had a great wish for."

"It is a long way for an old woman, John," said Mrs. Hardy; "but I
would go to the end of the earth to see you happily married. I like
her face," added she, looking at Helga Lindal's photograph; "it is
good and firm of purpose for so young a woman. Is she ladylike, John?"

"Her manner is simple and sincere," he replied; "and I never saw
anything that you, mother, would not approve of; but, living as she
does, and has, she has not seen much society, or acquired any
artificial manner. Her management of her father's house is practical,
and the obedience to her wishes and orders as complete as they ever
are in Denmark. Their servants are not as ours are."

"Why you do like her, John," said his mother.

"I do, but I do not feel certain of myself," said John. "The time I
have known her is short, and it may be only a passing fancy; and what
I want, mother, is your help in knowing my own mind, but, above all,
hers. You will understand her instantly."

"But why did you buy Rosendal, John?" asked his mother; "in all your
letters you never gave a reason."

"I bought it on an impulse," replied John, "but I did think I might
want it at the time. It is a place you can live in, mother, until you
are tired of it, but from which you can help me."

"I do not think you need fear, John, her being carried off by any
one," said Mrs. Hardy, to whom the idea of any woman not being in love
with her son was impossible.

"I must risk it," said John, "but I could not do other than I have
done. If I had spoken a word to her when a guest in her father's
house, it would have been wrong. But I wanted to talk with you, my
mother. I have no secrets from you; and John kissed her, and wished
her 'Good night.'"

A few weeks at Hardy Place made a great change in Karl Lindal. He
talked English better, and his manners were not so boyish. He felt
also the influence of the good people about him, and had lost his
home-sickness.

The experimental trip in the new steam yacht that Hardy had had built
(and which he had christened the _Rosendal_) was a great delight to
the young Dane, who was naturally fond of the sea. The yacht made a
few short trips in the English Channel, and was then laid up for the
winter. Karl made himself useful on board the yacht, and his greatest
pleasure was to do anything for John Hardy or his mother. The lad's
thankfulness for the kindness he received was thorough, and Mrs. Hardy
liked the lad.

"Is your sister Helga like you, Mr. Karl Lindal?" asked Mrs. Hardy,
one day, when her son was not present.

"She is more clever in everything than I am," replied Karl, "and she
is so good to me and Axel, and gives up everything for us. She is four
years older."

At last a letter came to John Hardy, from Vandstrup Præstegaard.

"Herr Hardy,

"My father desires me to say that they are proceeding with the work at
Rosendal, and that there is nothing specially to report at present, as
there is nothing being done contrary to your wishes, and there is no
room for complaint on what is being done.

"My father also desires me to express his thanks for your kindness
about the tickets from Esbjerg. It was a matter that surprised us all,
except me, and it was my fault in saying that my coming back from
Esbjerg would be an additional cost to him; I understood the
completeness of your kindness at once. I felt you would not let it be
a burden to my father on my account and Axel, and that when you were
taking the tickets that you might as well include my father's also;
but to take first-class tickets was not necessary, and what we did not
wish.

"I promised to write if I caught a trout that weighed one pound,
English, by your measure. I have fished many times, and caught one by
the bend in the river just below the tile works. Axel got it into the
landing-net, and my father has seen it weighed, and it is just a
little heavier than the line that marks the one pound English. I thank
you also for your consideration in this. My father is pleased to see
me looking fresh and well after going out fishing, and he says no fish
are so good as those Helga catches. I thank you, Herr Hardy, for your
thinking that this would also please my father.

"We all send you friendly greeting from here, and our best affection
to Karl.

"Helga Lindal."

John Hardy translated the letter for his mother, and gave it to her
with the original.

"Her handwriting is ladylike, John," said his mother, "there is no
doubt of that; and she writes such a beautiful, simple letter! I like
her, John! If you love her, do not lose her for the world."

John Hardy was touched.

"Bless you, my mother," he said; "your heart is as mine; you love
again with your son's love. But I know it is best to wait until May,
when we can go there."

Karl Lindal wrote to his father in Denmark.

"My all-dearest Father,

"The kindness I receive from Herr Hardy and his mother is great. They
are most kind. I feel it not possible to express my thanks; but I am
always trying to be useful, to show how thankful I am. They are so
different from Danish people. I cannot say how beautiful Herr Hardy's
house is. It is far prettier than Rosendal. I learn English every day
with an English Kapellan; he is very kind, and he teaches me the
English games of cricket and lawn tennis. Mrs. Hardy, that is Herr
Hardy's mother, is beautiful. She touches my cheek with her hand, and
she asks if Helga is like me. I answer that Helga is better, and she
seems to be pleased to hear me say so. Herr Hardy has taken me out in
his yacht, that is a pleasure vessel with steam power; he has called
it the _Rosendal_.

"I have been out with Herr Hardy shooting partridges. He has had many
gentlemen down to shoot, but they none of them shoot so well as Herr
Hardy. A flock of the birds get up, and Herr Hardy, who shoots with a
double-barrelled gun, always gets two. His gamekeeper, or Jaeger, told
me that they always could depend on the governor, as they call Herr
Hardy.

"Herr Hardy took me to London, and I went to the Zoological Gardens,
where there were a great many rare animals, and to the Haymarket
Theatre, which is like the Royal Theatre at Copenhagen. I was measured
for clothes by a tailor in London, and Herr Hardy has given me many
more things than necessary; but he is so kind I do not know what to
say or do. I send my best love to you and Helga and Axel.

"Your son,

"Karl Lindal."

Another letter came from Vandstrup Præstegaard.

"Herr Hardy,

"My father desires me to say that the work at Rosendal is nearly
finished, and that the land where the trees are to be planted is
prepared for them. There is nothing that he sees neglected, or that he
should bring to your notice.

"We have received many letters from Karl, and we are interested in
them. He writes and describes your house, and repeats again and again
your goodness to him. He describes your mother as very kind. We have
no doubt but this is you. My father says if you do anything, you do it
always in the kindest way. I do not doubt but that this is so, and we
all thank you gratefully, and greet you kindly.

"Helga Lindal."

John Hardy translated this letter for his mother. She read it, and
said--

"John, the letter is a letter to keep for all time! I feel so proud of
you, my own boy, that such a letter should be addressed to you. I
never read so beautiful a letter; so short, and yet so exquisite in
its simplicity! You can trust your future to her, John."

"Thank you, my mother," replied her son. "I know I can trust her, if
she will trust me."

"Why, John, you can offer her wealth, position, and influence," said
Mrs. Hardy.

"All which would be nothing with her," said John "She would be as
content to marry me on a bare subsistence as if I had a larger income
than we have. Position is nothing to her, because she scarcely
understands it; and as for influence, she has more influence for good
in her father's parish than any person in it."

"A faint heart, John," suggested his mother.

"Yes, I know that; but my heart is not faint," said John. "I only wait
to be sure of it, and your approval, mother."

Karl Lindal made progress in learning English and Hardy made inquiries
for a berth for him with a foreign broker. In reply to the question as
to Karl's character, Hardy told the story of the young Dane's refusing
taking any money from Hardy in their driving tour to Esbjerg. This
slight matter made a favourable impression, and the young Dane entered
on his duties. Hardy procured lodgings for him in London, with a young
medical man who had recently married, and had began to keep house, and
whose relatives resided near Hardy Place.



CHAPTER XXI.


    "Only a sweet and virtuous soul
    Like seasoned timber, never gives
    But when the whole world turns to coal,
    Then chiefly lives."
    _The Complete Angler._


The interior of Rosendal had been painted, and sketch plans of the
different floors and rooms had been submitted to Mrs. Hardy.
Lithographed drawings of Danish furniture had been procured in
Copenhagen, so that she could select what furniture she thought
necessary for their stay at Rosendal during the summer, and this was
purchased for John Hardy by Prokuratør Steindal, and sent to Rosendal.

The planting and improvements in the grounds had been carried out.

Robert Garth and a manservant were sent with the horses, a carriage,
and the heavy impedimenta to Esbjerg by steamer, late in April, to
prepare for the occupation of the mansion at Rosendal.

Then came a letter from Vandstrup Præstegaard.

"Herr Hardy,

"We have heard that your servants are preparing Rosendal for your
mother's residence there. It has occurred to my father that everything
may not be at first ready for her, and he has directed me to write and
say that if she will come here on her arriving in Jutland, that we
will do our best to make her stay a pleasant one. We are all so
grateful for your goodness to Karl, that it would gladden us to do
anything for your mother.

"We send respectful greetings to her and to yourself.

"Helga Lindal."

John translated the letter to his mother.

"Accept it, John," she said. "My maid can be driven over by Robert
Garth, the two miles you say that Rosendal is situated from the
parsonage, if she would be in the way there."

"No, my mother," said Hardy; "you do not know the language. I will go
to Rosendal, and you can certainly take your maid with you. Pastor
Lindal knows a little English, and so does his daughter. It will be a
good sign if she has been learning it in the winter; I left my
Danish-English books there, but I suggested nothing to her in this
direction."

"How simply to the point her letter is, John!" exclaimed Mrs. Hardy.
"There are no phrases about their accommodation not being so good, or
that their means are narrow; she simply says they will do their best,
and that they would be glad to do it. It is not possible to doubt
her."

"It is like her manner," said John. "I can fancy I hear the words she
writes."

Towards the middle of May, Mrs. Hardy, her son, and two women-servants
travelled overland to Jutland, from Flushing.

Robert Garth met them at the railway station, and drove them to the
parsonage.

Parson Lindal was at the door, and welcomed Mrs. Hardy with much
old-fashioned politeness. "Welcome, and glad to see you," he said in
English to her, while he warmly greeted Hardy in Danish.

Helga was standing by her father, regarding their visitor with great
interest; she had shaken hands with John Hardy, and welcomed him back
to Jutland. The Pastor introduced his daughter to Mrs. Hardy, who held
out her hand to Helga, and drew her closer and kissed her, as if she
had been her daughter.

"You are a beautiful edition of your brother Karl, Miss Lindal," she
said. "He has become a great favourite of mine, and you will be glad
to hear he is well spoken of in London."

Robert Garth drove one of the servants to Rosendal, and had orders to
fetch John Hardy in the evening, at the parsonage.

The Pastor had time for a word with Hardy, as his mother went to
change her travelling dress.

"I am glad to see you, Hardy; but what a trick you played us about the
tickets from Esbjerg! I did not like it at first, but when I thought
of your friendly intentions, I forgave you; but I cannot thank you
enough for your goodness to Karl, and your wisely placing him in
lodgings with the chance of good influence. That is good of you,
indeed."

"Where is Axel?" asked Hardy.

"He is at Copenhagen, at a school for a time," replied the Pastor. "He
will be home in the summer for a holiday."

"What about Rosendal?" asked Hardy.

"It is much improved; in a month or six weeks it will be lovely,"
answered the Pastor. "The plan was excellent that you adopted, and, as
you have been written, it has been executed well."

When Mrs. Hardy appeared, perfectly well dressed, as she always was,
John could see that the Pastor observed her well-bred manner. "Your
parsonage, Herr Pastor," she said, "has a look of calm contentment and
quiet that strikes me in coming from busy England."

"That is near the reality, Mrs. Hardy," replied he; "but it is not the
fact with all our Danish parsonages, men vary here as they do
elsewhere."

"That may be; but you have the greater opportunity for attaining the
actuality of what is simple and true," said Mrs. Hardy.

"Possibly we have," replied Pastor Lindal; "but I fear we are all
liable to neglect opportunities which suggest only."

John Hardy had been obliged to assist at this conversation as
interpreter, when Kirstin announced dinner was served. Hardy rose and
shook hands with Kirstin.

"It is an old servant, mother," said Hardy; and Mrs. Hardy rose and
shook hands with Kirstin, and then the Pastor took Mrs. Hardy in to
dinner.

Mrs. Hardy's ladylike tact soon enabled her to get on with the
Pastor--she used the simplest English words, and Hardy was able to
talk to Helga.

"I have brought the side saddle," he said.

"I have seen it at Rosendal; and your man Garth has been exercising
the horses with a skirt daily, to make them more accustomed to a lady
riding them," said Helga.

"Well?" said Hardy, inquiringly.

"I shall be glad to learn to ride, Herr Hardy, if you will kindly
teach me," said Helga. "Your man has told us that the horses and
carriage were at our disposal until your mother came. We have not
often used them, as my father said that if I wished to learn to ride,
I had better wait until you came, as you understood horses, and that
he was afraid some accident might occur."

John Hardy had apprised Mrs. Hardy of the inevitable porcelain pipe,
which, as she did not like tobacco smoking, her son asked the Pastor
to hold his tobacco-parliament in his own study, where he went to keep
him company.

Thus Mrs. Hardy was alone with Helga for some time. She found that
Helga could speak a little English, and Mrs. Hardy led her to speak of
the management of the little household at the parsonage, and then of
her father, which with Helga was an inexhaustible theme. She told
Mrs. Hardy of John's gift of the piano, which she said she had
accepted because her father liked to hear her sing.

"I feel it was wrong to have accepted it," she said, "but I did so on
the impulse of the moment; my father had been listening to my singing,
and it seemed to draw his mind away from his great sorrow, and I
thought any feeling of my own should be sacrificed to that."

"Why, what a dear child you are!" said Mrs. Hardy, led away by Helga's
earnest blue eyes, and she kissed her affectionately. "You talk a good
deal better English than I expected," she added.

"Perhaps so," replied Helga. "Mr. Hardy left his books here for Axel,
and I have been learning all the winter, in the hope of being of use
to you; I knew you would want some one to speak English, as your son
might not always be at hand. Karl has written with such gratitude of
you, that it is the only way that occurred to me that I might really
be useful to you."

"You are a dear, sensible girl, Miss Lindal," said Mrs. Hardy,
caressing her; "and so it will be. And will you come and stay with me
as long as your father can spare you, at Rosendal, and help me to get
the house in order?"

"I will do anything for you, Mrs. Hardy," replied Helga, earnestly.

John Hardy came in to wish them "Good night," before he left for
Rosendal.

"I shall drive over in the morning to see if you wish to go to
Rosendal, mother," he said.

"Certainly I do, John," replied his mother, "But I have a message for
you;" and she whispered, "I like her already, John; she is perfectly
good and true."

John Hardy was right when he said that his mother's influence on his
own thoughts would crystallize them.

The next few days were occupied in settling down at Rosendal.
Mrs. Hardy was charmed with the place. Its natural beauty was what
such a mind as hers could recognize, and she praised Rosendal to
Helga, to the latter's great satisfaction.

Helga was assiduous in learning English, and daily became more useful
to Mrs. Hardy, The Pastor often came to dinner, and the days passed
pleasantly.

"John," said Mrs. Hardy, one day, when she was alone with her son,
"you have asked me to ascertain what Helga Lindal's feelings are to
you, if I possibly could. I cannot. All I can say is, marry her, and
you will never regret it. Ask her. She is the best and truest woman I
ever met."

"Very good, mother," replied John. "I will."

That day Pastor Lindal came to dinner, and his daughter was to return
with him in the evening, to remain at home.

John Hardy asked Helga to walk through the grounds, while her father
was conversing with Mrs. Hardy, They went to a particular place that
John recollected, and he said--

"Frøken, do you remember your asking me at this spot why I bought
Rosendal?"

"Yes, perfectly," said Helga, frankly; "and you said you would tell me
when your mother came."

"My reason is, and was, because you said there was no place you should
like to live at so much as Rosendal."

"Do you mean you will give it to us?" asked Helga.

"My meaning is that I will give it to you, Helga. I want you to be my
wife."

"I will, if you will wait. Hardy; my father cannot live without me
now."

"Wait!" cried Hardy; and he looked into her blue eyes. "Why, you have
loved me a long time, and never told me so! I have been in doubt and
fear."

"You never need doubt it more. Hardy," said she, saying "du" to him
for the first time. "When you came here first, I tried not to like
you; then I tried to disgust you with me, and you were so good and
manly that I loved you with all my heart. I thought," she added, "you
would have spoken to me when you proposed the driving tour to Esbjerg,
and I was so frightened."

"Yes," said Hardy, "it was in my mind, but I was a guest in your
father's house, and I had to ask my mother's blessing and support. But
tell me one thing, what was the reason that you would not tell me
about your refusing to learn to ride?"

"My reason was that I did try not to like you, and then I refused."

"I see," said Hardy, kissing what he thought the most beautiful mouth
in the world.

When they returned to the house, Mrs. Hardy saw her son's bright face,
and knew he had been accepted.

"Dear mother," said John, caressing her, "she's won."

Mrs. Hardy embraced Helga warmly, and the Pastor saw how the matter
stood, and held out his hand.

"I have understood you all along, Hardy, and you are a noble fellow.
You have my consent, willingly."

Helga was preparing to return with her father, but Mrs. Hardy
interposed.

"You can have John, Herr Pastor," she said; "but I must have my
daughter here, that I may get to know more of her. John shall go with
you, but I must have her for to-night."

The Pastor had to give way, and John Hardy went with him, and they
held a tobacco-parliament, and John slept in his old room at the
parsonage.

Mrs. Hardy, when they were gone, said, "Tell me all about John, my
darling, all you know;" and Helga told her.

"He is like his father," said Mrs. Hardy; "he was so true and good a
gentleman, that I feel the same interest as if it were my own marriage
over again, and my son has been my all for years. He has told me so
much about you, that before I came it was the holding up the mirror to
memory; all what he said, and had dwelt in my mind, came back."

Helga told her that she could not marry until her father was too old
to attend to his duty; that he could not, and would not, give his duty
up until pronounced unfit.

"I will arrange all that," said Mrs. Hardy, "You shall be married to
John this summer, and you must say no more; you must leave that to me.
Your father's greatest happiness will be to see you happily married,
and he has told me so."

A few days after, John Hardy and his mother and Helga Lindal called at
the Jensens'. John frankly told them the story of his engagement, and,
as he was going to be married in Denmark, asked the two Frøken Jensens
if they would be bridesmaids. Helga wished it.

Mathilde Jensen reminded Hardy that she had said he bought Rosendal
because he wanted to marry Helga Lindal.

"Yes," said John; "I thanked you for so disposing of me."

The worthy proprietor was delighted that John Hardy would be his
neighbour for some time of the year, and thanked him for the mare
Hardy had sent over from England to improve his breeding stock. John
Hardy had made him a present of it.

"She is," said the proprietor, "as handsome as can be; but she has a
temper."

"She is Irish," said Hardy. "But you will find the horse foals easy to
manage; the mares may give a little trouble, but they will go like
birds."

The Jensens pressed them to stay to an early dinner, and Mrs. Hardy
thought they had best do so. The well-bred English lady made a strong
impression on the Jensen ladies, and the genuine Danish hospitality
appealed to Mrs. Hardy.

The result of this visit was a return visit to Rosendal. The exact
service and the excellent arrangements of everything had its effect on
the Jensens, and the consequence was that numerous calls were made at
Rosendal.

Helga had returned to the parsonage, when John Hardy one day came to
his mother with a telegram. The steam yacht Rosendal was at Aarhus.

"Let us go to Copenhagen, John," said Mrs. Hardy, "and take Helga with
us. She is fond of the sea, and I enjoy her society. It is the perfect
truth that is in everything about her that I love."

"She will not go if I ask her, mother," said John; "but if you do she
may."

"Telegraph to them to have steam up, John," said his mother, "and I
will drive to the parsonage."

His mother left, and, to John's astonishment, Helga returned with her,
ready to go anywhere.

"The Pastor insisted on her going," said Mrs. Hardy, "and I promised
to bring back his youngest son, who is at school at Copenhagen. The
Pastor is a sensible man. He said to his daughter, 'Why should you not
enjoy the kindness your future husband can show you?' and there was an
end to her objections."

They hurried to the station, and got on board the Rosendal after a
short railway journey.

"You had better go below and get your dress changed, Helga; my mother
will show you where your berth is. What you want is a warm woollen
dress that a little sea water will not hurt. There are several
belonging to my mother on board."

When Helga came up, they were at sea. The pilot was steering.
Mrs. Hardy was sitting on a wicker chair on deck. Some one in a
sailor's dress placed a chair for her.

"When you are tired of sitting here," said Hardy, for he it was, "you
can go into the deck-house and lie down. We shall have dinner at six.
There is Samsø, and before you rise to-morrow we shall be at
Copenhagen, I shall have to be up all night."

The yacht delighted Helga. The dinner was served so well that it
surprised her; and when they came on deck, it was a pleasure to see
the distant lights in the fine summer's night, and to feel the yacht
rushing through the smooth sea.

"I do like this. Hardy," she said. "Must I go to my berth? I would
rather be on deck and hear your voice now and then."

"No," said Hardy; "because you must not draw off my attention. We have
to look after the pilot, and I am the only man on board that knows
Danish;" and Helga went at once.

Mrs. Hardy, who had heard what had passed, was pleased to see her
rapid compliance with what was necessary.

When Helga came on deck the next day, they were at anchor near the
Custom House at Copenhagen. Mrs. Hardy was already up, and they had
breakfast.

Hardy gave some necessary orders as to coaling, and they went ashore
and saw the Museum of Northern Antiquities, Thorwaldsen's Museum, and
much else, and lunched at the Hotel d'Angleterre in the King's New
Market, or Kongens Nytorv.

"Now, Helga, what is there more to see?" asked Hardy.

"There is the picture gallery in Christiansborg Slot, but there are so
many steps up to it that it will fatigue Mrs. Hardy; but, if we might,
I should like to call and see Axel, and arrange about his coming back
with us," said Helga. "To-morrow you could see Rosenborg, which is
certain to interest you; we have to give notice to-day to the
curator."

"I shall be henpecked, mother," said Hardy. "She orders everything
already."

"No, you will not," said Helga, who understood him, although he had
spoken in English. "I shall give my life to you, and my will too."
There was no mistaking the look in those blue eyes. "You might be
interested," she added, "in going to the Royal Theatre. The play
to-night is one of Holberg's comedies, 'Den pantsatte Bondedreng,'
that is, 'The Farmer's Boy left in Pledge.' It is a good play and
popular. I can tell the story of the play to Mrs. Hardy before she
goes, as you. Hardy, already know it."

"I give myself entirely in your hands, Helga. You shall be obeyed
before marriage, and obey me after," said Hardy, laughing.

"It is not a question of obedience," replied Helga. "I am yours
altogether when I am your wife."

As she had said this in Danish, Hardy explained to his mother.

Mrs. Hardy said, "She is a jewel, John, and without price;" and rose
from her seat and kissed her on the parting of her hair.

"Don't do that, mother," said John; "you make me wish to kiss her head
off."



CHAPTER XXII.


    "Oh, ye valleys! oh, ye mountains!
    Oh, ye groves, and crystal fountains!
    How I love, as liberty,
    By turns to come and visit ye!"
    _The Complete Angler._


Axel's joy at the unexpected pleasure of seeing his sister and Hardy
was unbounded, but when he heard he was going on board the yacht for a
cruise, and then to return home, he was wild with delight.

They went to the theatre that evening, and to Rosenborg the next day,
and the yacht left in the afternoon for Elsinore, and anchored for the
night.

Mrs. Hardy preferred being at sea to staying longer at Copenhagen. The
theatre with its excellent acting interested her, but the knowledge of
the language was wanting, and detracted from her enjoyment of
Holberg's dramatic genius, which for so many years has interested the
Danish public. Rosenborg, with its rich and varied treasures for four
hundred years, was a greater enjoyment to her, and is alone worth a
visit to Copenhagen.

"We have supplies and coal on board, mother," said Hardy, "and we can
run up the Swedish coast to Gothenborg and see the falls at
Trollhättan, by starting early, and can then cruise down the Danish
coast."

"I think, John," said Mrs. Hardy, "I would rather go up to
Christiania; we can write Pastor Lindal from Elsinore that we shall do
so. We can lay to during the darker hours at many places, or, as we
take a pilot from here to Christiania, can run on. The weather is
calm."

Helga had heard what Mrs. Hardy had said, and, as Hardy looked at her,
she said, "Where your mother pleases."

The next day, at breakfast time after English fashion, the yacht was
fifty miles from Elsinore, and sea life began. The decks were clean
and everything in order. The fore-staysail was set, as well as the
fore and main sails, to catch the wind from the westward, and the
yacht ran steadily, to the comfort of all on board.

Hardy had every arrangement made for his mother's comfort, her chair
and wraps and footstool were all placed on deck, as he knew she liked,
and Helga watched him doing this with pleasure.

"I think, Helga," he said, "it may interest you to inspect the yacht.
Axel has been everywhere except up the masts." And Hardy showed her
the engines, the many contrivances for economizing space, the compact
little cooking-galley, and the berths for his own use and friends, as
well as the little library they had on board, the stores and pantry.
"And now," he said, "as the sea air will make you hungry, and you are
not accustomed to an English breakfast, what would you like for lunch?
There is a list of soups, also preserved meats, and a lot of things
sent from Hardy Place."

"I will have anything that has come from Hardy Place," said Helga; and
Hardy gave directions accordingly, to her subsequent approval.

They walked up and down the deck, and Hardy pointed out the different
places on the coast on the chart, stopping at times to speak to
Mrs. Hardy.

"I think this is the most delightful way of travelling. Hardy," said
Helga, "and I recollect that you said so when you drove us to Esbjerg.
There is more living interest at sea; the changes and contrasts are
greater, that is, in natural features."

"You are right, Helga, except that you call me Hardy. Now, my name is
John, positively John."

"I cannot pronounce it as you do," said Helga, "and I am afraid you
will laugh at me. The name with us is spelt 'Jon,' pronounced 'Yon.'
We have also 'Johan,' pronounced 'Yohan.'"

"I am aware of the learning you exhibit, Helga; but, notwithstanding,
my name is John, and if you do not call me so, I shall be obliged to
kiss you until you do, and my mother will say I shall be quite
justified in taking that course."

Helga went and sat down by Mrs. Hardy.

"He is teasing me," she said, as she laid her head on Mrs. Hardy's
lap.

"John," said Mrs. Hardy, as she touched Helga's cheek, "you do not
take care of your Scandinavian princess; her skin is so thin and
clear, that this little cheek is at fever heat with the action of the
sun and wind. Tell my maid to bring the lotion I use, and a sponge."

"Thank you, Mrs. Hardy," said Helga, "but I do not mind the sun
burning me; it makes my face a little warm, that is all."

"She does not know how handsome she is, John," said Mrs. Hardy, in
French; "but her beauty lies in this, that there is nothing so
beautiful as what is true."

After lunch, John Hardy told one of his men to fetch some rope quoits,
to amuse Axel, and cleared part of the deck for the purpose. Helga,
however, joined in the game with the zest of a child; her clear voice
and laughter and natural grace made conquests of the yacht sailors.

"Uncommon neat about the spars!" exclaimed an old salt; "a smart craft
when she's got all her sails bent, I'll be bound."

"Well, pilot," said Hardy, "where can you put us in for shelter for
the night? We want to go up the Christiania Fjord by daylight, and
when the ladies will be on deck. It has, besides, been a long run for
the engineers."

"We shall have Frederikstad abeam at ten tonight, if she goes as she's
going, and we can lay off there until the morning," replied the pilot.
"There is no anger in the weather, and it will be a fine night. In
fact, there will be no night; we are close on St. Hans' night, the
longest day."

"We will keep the fires banked, anyway," said Hardy, "and set a
watch.''

"Yes, better weigh," said the pilot. "The chances are the custom-house
officers will board, and you had best keep your burgee and ensign
flying, as then they may not trouble you."

At six the wind fell, and the sails were taken in, and the sea was
soon without a ripple. Mrs. Hardy and Helga sat on deck after dinner,
enjoying the changing beauty of the shore and the soft tints that rest
on the northern lands at close of day. Hardy had wraps brought up from
below, to keep the dew off his mother and the Scandinavian princess,
and chatted with them.

When they determined to go below, Helga, in her Danish manner, shook
hands with Hardy, and said, "Tak for i dag" (thank you for to-day). "I
have never enjoyed life so much."

"Mother," said John, when Helga had gone, "you surprised me when you
said you would rather go up to Christiania; you did so that I might
see my princess for a few days when her mind is animated by what is
strikingly novel to her, so that the bright transparency of her
character should be more apparent. Thank you, my mother!"

"We have one heart, John," replied his mother.

John Hardy went on deck, anything but disposed to sleep. "Pass the
word to get up for drift-lines and two men to go in a boat fishing."

The night, or rather the softer daylight, was favourable for catching,
Pollock and one man rowing. John Hardy worked two lines and the other
man two. They pulled in round the islands and soon caught many fish,
which made a welcome addition to the breakfast-table the next day.

At eight they were under weigh, steaming up the grander scenery of the
Christiania Fjord. Helga had come on deck, and Hardy saw she was
interested in the scenery they were passing.

"We are in the Christiania Fjord," he said.

"How lovely and lake-like!" said Helga, when the breakfast-bell rang.
"Must we go below, John?"

"There is no need whatever, now that you have called me, John;" and he
directed her breakfast and his own to be brought on deck, and that his
mother should be informed they were having breakfast on deck, which
brought Mrs. Hardy up with them.

"We are making progress, mother," said Hardy, "and, for the first
time, I have been called John; but only under desperate threats."

"You will not let him tease me, Mrs. Hardy?" said Helga, with an
appealing look and earnest tone.

"Do you wish me to punish him?" said Mrs. Hardy, smiling. "Shall I
have him thrown overboard, or put in irons?"

"No, no!" cried Helga, who was doubtful how far the maternal authority
might extend amongst the English.

"Then we will both of us forgive him this time?" said Mrs. Hardy.

"Yes, I will, Mrs. Hardy," said Helga, with an earnestness that left
no doubt.

"Now then," said John, "as I have been condemned and pardoned, let us
have breakfast. I was afraid to go to sleep last night, so went
fishing, to catch some fish for breakfast, and here they are."

"Why, John, were you afraid to go to sleep?" asked Helga, anxiously.

"Because I knew I should dream of you, Helga," replied Hardy, "and
have not been in bed all night because of that, and because I went
fishing. Moreover, I suspect you of being a 'Mare,' your eyebrows grow
together, and I dread the nightmare."

"My eyebrows do not grow together," replied Helga, firmly.

"Let me see," said John; and he took her face between his hands, and
added, "I am not certain, I must look closer;" and kissed her between
the eyes.

"It is time for me to interfere," said John's mother; and she rang a
small handbell in the deckhouse.

"Oh, don't, mother!" said John, with a piteous look.

"Oh, Mrs. Hardy! what are you going to do with Him?" asked Helga, with
concern.

"First, he shall have no more breakfast, because he has finished,"
said Mrs. Hardy; "and then I will condemn him to----"

"No, no!" said Helga, beseechingly.

"I must," said Mrs. Hardy.

The great black-bearded steward came in to take away the breakfast
things.

"Do go away; you are not wanted!" said Helga; and she pushed him out,
and shut the door of the deck-house.

Mrs. Hardy got up and embraced her affectionately.

"Why," said she, "I was only going to condemn him to love you always,
all his life, and with all his heart. You must not mind if he teases a
little, all men do; but he is as good as gold, and as true as
yourself."

"Now, Helga," said John, "let the steward clear away, and have a walk
on deck. I will not tease you any more until next time. But where is
that boy Axel?"

Axel had become a favourite with the men, for English sailors like a
quick lad. He had an undying interest in knots and the contrivances on
board the yacht, and the men liked the little Dane, as they called
him. John Hardy sent a man to find him.

"He is down in the fok'sle, sir, learning knots off the men," said the
man, touching his cap.

"Axel is trying to learn our English way of tieing knots, Helga," said
Hardy, "and my men have taken him in charge. They will be kind to him,
and would teach a lad no harm."

"When you were with us last year, you were so thoughtful of every one,
and you were so kind; but when you tease me, I think you love me
less," said Helga, slowly; "and I see you are thoughtful still. But
why do you tease me?"

"Because I love you so; I do not know how to behave wisely," replied
John. "You called me a cool and calculating Englishman; but if you
knew how it hurt me when you said so, you would not have said what you
did."

Mrs. Hardy had come on deck, and Helga went to her. Mrs. Hardy saw she
was agitated, and was alarmed, but waited for Helga to speak.

"I know now he loved me from the first time we went to Rosendal," said
Helga, "and I have been so bad to him. What I have said and did was
hard."

"He understands it all, Helga, and there is no need for grief when you
are so happy in the certainty of John's truth," said Mrs. Hardy.

"Thank you; thank you!" said Helga. "I feel so weak against his
strength."

"Go and tell him so," said Mrs. Hardy, "if you feel so, and enjoy the
beautiful scenes he is taking you through."

"There is not the weirdness in the scenery here, Helga, as further
north, on the west coast of Norway. The hills here are rounder in
form, as if by the action of ice ages ago," said Hardy. "Your father
has often explained to you the action of glaciers, and how the large
stones or boulders found in Jutland were conveyed by the ice and left
where the ice grounded."

"It is lovely to pass a fresh prospect every minute," said Helga, "and
to sail so easily through the still waters. The sun is hotter here
than I think with us; it scalds more."

"Pass the word to get the awning up," said Hardy to one of his men;
and presently half a dozen willing hands had done it.

"How pleasant!" said Helga. "The draught of air under the awning makes
it feel so delightfully fresh. The colour of the foliage, the grass,
the rocks, and sea appear distinct in effect of colour, John; how is
that?"

"It is one of the many phases of nature," replied John. "The air is
very clear here, and it may be that the summer being so short, nature
paints in fresher colours."

"When shall we reach Christiania?" asked Helga.

"About three, as the yacht is going; the order I have given is, to run
forty revolutions, that is a little more than half speed," replied
Hardy. "If you wish to reach Christiania earlier, I will give the
order for full speed."

"You must do what your mother wishes, John," said Helga.

"I am," replied John; "her wishes are that I should consult yours.
Now, for instance, we shall get to Christiania at three; what would
you like to see this afternoon?"

"Oscarshall," said Helga, "and Tidemand's pictures is what I long to
see; but we had best go there to-morrow. We can take a walk this
afternoon."

"And come back to dinner and go to the theatre?" added John.

The New Palace came in view about two, and then Akershuus Castle, and
the yacht was put in her berth by the pilot.

Mrs. Hardy declined to go ashore, as she said she should be too
fatigued to go to the theatre, and John had a walk with his princess.
He tried to inveigle her into saying that she wanted something, that
he might get it for her; but his sly ways were detected.

At the theatre a French Vaudeville was acted, which John thought his
mother was greatly tired of and would have left, but Helga's interest
at being in a foreign theatre, and seeing so many strange faces, was
so apparent that Mrs. Hardy would not leave. The night when they came
out of the theatre was beautiful, and John, at his mother's wish,
steered the yacht's gig a little out of the harbour before they joined
the yacht.

The next day was Helga's birthday, her twenty-first, and at eight
o'clock, Norsk time, the yacht was dressed with bunting.

Before Helga had finished dressing, Mrs. Hardy's maid came into her
state-room, with a small packet, containing a handsome turquoise ring
from Mrs. Hardy, and a leather case from John Hardy, with the initials
"H. H." There was a slight blush on her cheek as she remarked this.
Her name was to be Helga Hardy.

"Mr. Hardy has directed me to show you the contents of the
dressing-case, as you may not understand how to open the secret
drawer," said Mrs. Hardy's maid. "This is a little gold key, and opens
the dressing-case; there is scent, tooth-powder, and soap, and the
whole is ready for use. And this is the way the jewel drawer opens;
you press this knob, and it flies open, and is filled with the
jewellery Mr. Hardy thought you might like. When you wish to shut the
drawer, you push it so, and it closes with a spring."

Mrs. Hardy's maid opened the jewel drawer again, and left it for Helga
to examine its contents. The initials were engraved as a monogram on
different articles, even the ivory brushes had them. Mrs. Hardy had
told her that light blue suited her, and there was a turquoise
bracelet in good taste, and several rings, some of which did not fit
her, as John Hardy when he bought her betrothal ring in Copenhagen had
not been able to get them altered, as his stay in Copenhagen was
short. Her first impulse was to decline such a costly present, next
she thought, "He cannot have told his mother." The breakfast bell
rang, and she went into the saloon where breakfast was served, and
kissed Mrs. Hardy, whose present she wore and thanked her warmly. John
Hardy wished her many happy returns of the day in a kindly Danish
phrase.

"But how do you like John's present, my child?" said Mrs. Hardy.

Helga looked at John. She saw at once that his mother not only knew
all about it, but had probably suggested it. "I thought it too costly
to accept," said Helga.

John put his hands on her two shoulders and shook her gently. "You
must not," he said in Danish, "be stiff-necked on your birthday. My
mother bought what I have given you in London, and the jewellery was
sent to Copenhagen for us to select from. It is all my mother's
choice."

"In the winter?" said Helga.

"Yes, my child, in the winter. I understood John, although he had so
many doubts and fears. He told me so much about you that I ordered the
dressing-case, which John has paid for," said Mrs. Hardy, "and if I
were you I would thank him."

She thanked him in the pretty Danish manner that so well became her,
and said, "Thank you, Mr. Hardy; you are so good to me."

If the black-bearded steward had not come in at this moment, it is to
be feared that John would have run the risk of being summarily
adjudicated upon as before described.

"Where is Axel?" asked John.

"He is out fishing, sir; been out since six o'clock, with one of the
men forard," replied the steward. This was explained to Helga, and
breakfast proceeded.

"I think," said Mrs. Hardy, "that Helga should write her father, and
say that we have arrived here and shall leave to-morrow evening; and,
John, you could ask him to meet us at Aarhus when we arrived. I fear
the worthy Pastor may think you have carried off his daughter, John."

"The very course I intend to take, mother, and in which you have aided
and abetted, and I bless and thank you for it," said John.



CHAPTER XXIII.


    "Come, live with me and be my love.
    And we will all the pleasures prove,
    That valleys, groves, or hills, or field,
    Or woods and sleepy mountains yield."
    _The Complete Angler._


Helga wrote her father as follows:--

"My All-dearest Father,

"You were written to that we were going to Christiania from Elsinore.
I did not know that it was so far, but the steamship Herr Hardy has
sails as fast as the steamer from Aarhus to Copenhagen, and everything
is so clean and nice, and seeing fresh places, has been a great
pleasure. Mrs. Hardy has been, as Karl said, as kind as any one could
be, and I cannot say how grateful I am to her. We are to go to
Oscarshall to-day and many other places in Christiania; and Mr. Hardy
has asked me to write and say that we shall leave here to-morrow, and
shall call at Fredrikshavn and telegraph to you from there the time we
may expect to be at Aarhus, and they think you might like to come and
see the steamer, and stay the night on board, and return home the next
day with us. Herr Hardy has written a letter, which I enclose, as he
said you might wish to hear from him to say how glad his mother would
be to see you on English ground, as an English ship is as English
land. If you can come, dear little father, I should be so glad! I hope
Kirstin has managed everything for you in my absence. She said I was
wrong to go away from you, and perhaps I am, and it is a sad thought
to me; but it is not for long, and if I have been led away to do what
is not fitting, you will tell me, and I will do what you say. Axel is
very happy on board. Herr Hardy is very good to him, and his men are
so friendly and teach him how to tie knots and go fishing with him,
that he is very happy all day long.

"Mrs. Hardy greets you kindly, and Herr Hardy says I must say that he
thanks you for teaching him to love what is good and true. Live well,
little father.

"Your daughter,

"Helga Lindal."

John Hardy gave directions that the yacht should fill up with coal and
supplies; and in the two days they were at Christiania, a good deal
was seen. There is much to see, and much of natural beauty in
Christiania, and Helga was interested. When they got under way and
steamed down the Christiania Fjord and saw the effect of the sun
setting, which then had its special beauty, Helga thought she had
never seen anything so lovely.

"No! not even Rosendal?" asked John.

"Rosendal has its own charm," replied Helga; "there can be other
places that have their singular beauty."

"I am so glad that you say that," said Hardy. "You may even come to
think that the place where my fathers have lived in England has its
charm;" and he held her face in his hands, and looked into her eyes.

"I have promised to marry you, John," said Helga, "and it is not
whether your house is beautiful or not; wherever you live I will give
my life to you."

"Bless you, dearest," said John, "I will never forget what you say;"
and he never did.

When the yacht had cleared the Christiania Fjord, the night was fine
and clear, but a breeze sprang up from the westward, and grew fresher
towards morning. This had the effect of sending the yacht along under
sail and steam, and at eight o'clock the next day the pilot was sent
ashore at Frederikshavn with a telegram for Pastor Lindal, that they
hoped to arrive at Aarhus at six in the evening.

"When are you going to marry your Scandinavian princess, John?" asked
Mrs. Hardy, when she was settled in her usual place on deck.

"I am afraid to say anything, mother, to Helga," replied her son. "I
see there does exist a doubt in her mind as to whether she is not
doing what is wrong in leaving her father for this cruise, much more a
cruise for life. I fear to approach the subject with her, as it may
lead to her entertaining a fixed determination not to marry until her
father's death."

"There is no selfishness about Pastor Lindal," said Mrs. Hardy, "and,
moreover, he is a sensible man. He is certain to desire that his
daughter should be well and happily provided for; besides, he has seen
enough of you, John, to value you, and I see he likes you. I think you
are right not to speak to Helga on the subject; leave it to me and
Pastor Lindal."

"Thank you, mother, a thousand times," said John. "I understand you
perfectly well, and I will do anything you think best or shall
arrange."

"What I have thought of, John, is this," said his mother: "you can be
married, say, the first of August, and remain at Rosendal for your
honeymoon, and then come home to Hardy Place."

"And what will you do, mother?" asked John.

"I see you do not want your own mother in the way during the
honeymoon," said Mrs. Hardy, smiling. "You can send the yacht round to
Esbjerg, and I will meet it by rail as soon as you are married, and
return home in the yacht to Harwich."

"What! go home alone, mother?" said John. "I cannot let you do that!"

"Well, you can see me safely off at Esbjerg, John," said Mrs. Hardy,
"But this is the way that will please me best, and I wish to give you
a welcome home with your wife, and I long to see her at the head of
the table at Hardy Place."

"You are the same good mother, ever;" and John took his mother's hand
and kissed it.

As soon as the entrance of the outer harbour at Aarhus could be made
out, John Hardy went on the bridge with his binocular, and
distinguished Pastor Lindal's head appearing over the parapet wall at
the pierhead.

"Your father is on the pier, Helga, and you can see him with this
glass," said Hardy, handing her his binocular. This she found
difficult to do, as there were so many other heads appearing; but all
doubt was at an end as the yacht glided past the pierhead of the outer
harbour, for there was the worthy Pastor himself.

The yacht was soon brought to, and Pastor Lindal stepped on deck, to
be met with much affection from his daughter and Axel. It was clear to
Mrs. Hardy that Helga's attachment to her father was one of simple
trust in each other, the same as existed between herself and her own
boy John.

The Pastor was ceremoniously polite to Mrs. Hardy, but he greeted John
Hardy with much warmth and thanks. He was pleased with the yacht and
its many clever contrivances for saving space and arriving at comfort,
and at dinner was, for him, merry. He was delighted to see his
daughter with such a fresh and healthy look, after the cruise to
Christiania. Axel, usually a quiet and retiring lad, talked
incessantly; he had so much to relate of all that passed since leaving
Copenhagen, that at length the Pastor stopped him; but Hardy
intervened, "Let him run on, Herr Pastor; he is describing very well.
He will come to an end with what he has to say, shortly."

The Pastor had thus, from Axel's point of view, the whole history of
the cruise from beginning to end.

"And what do you say, Helga?" asked the Pastor.

"I never thought that life could be made so pleasant and so happy,
little father," replied Helga. "Mrs. Hardy is kinder than I can say."

"And Hardy was not?" said the Pastor, smiling.

"He is like his mother, little father; their natures are the same,"
replied Helga. "But he is a man, and men are never so good as women."

John Hardy laughed, and, as the conversation was in Danish, told his
mother what Helga had said.

"It is her simple naturalness that makes her say that, John," said
Mrs. Hardy. "She sees in me what she thinks a perfect woman, although
I am an ordinary Englishwoman; while she does not understand the
rougher nature men possess. Her thorough truth in thought and feeling
is her greatest charm."

Axel, however, put his oar in. "Why, father how can Helga say Herr
Hardy is not as good as Fru Hardy? He gave her a toilet box with
costly things in it."

"Yes, little father, it is true," said Helga; "but it was too costly a
present, and I did not like to accept it."

When dinner was over, Mrs. Hardy told her son to go on deck, and take
Axel with him. She then asked Helga to show her father the
dressing-case John Hardy had given her. The Pastor started when he
read the initials, "H. H." His quick apprehension realized the
position.

"Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy, "our children leave us as we grow
older; and is there any better wish for them than that they should
have a happy future?"

Mrs. Hardy held out her hand, and Pastor Lindal grasped it. He
understood her, and, with the ceremonious politeness habitual to him,
raised her hand to his lips.

"I think," said Mrs. Hardy, "they can be married on the first of
August. There is no reason to delay the happiness of their young life.
They can remain near you at Rosendal for a month, and come to England
for the winter, and return to you in May."

Helga was present, and heard all Mrs. Hardy had said. She put one hand
on her father's shoulder.

"Father," she said in Danish, "I will wait your wish and time."

"Mrs. Hardy is right, Helga," said her father, "I shall miss you, but
it will be a joy to me to lose you to Hardy. He is the one man I like,
and I hope he is the one man you love."

"I can never forget how we wronged him, when Rasmussen was injured and
died, and how noble he has always been!" said his daughter. "I have
been unkind and bad to him, and I now know pained him with what I
said. Little father, what you say I should do that will I do."

"Mrs. Hardy," said the Pastor, "my daughter assents to what you
propose, and I assent. You can order the matter as you will."

"I will promise you. Pastor Lindal," said Mrs. Hardy, "that all the
time she can she shall be in Denmark, and that I will be to her as her
own mother." Mrs. Hardy held out her hand to the Pastor, and the
compact then made ever after was adhered to.

Mrs. Hardy rose, and kissed Helga on her flaxen hair. "Will you tell
John, or I?" she asked.

"I cannot," replied Helga, earnestly.

"Then, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy, "we will go on deck, and I
should like a walk about Aarhus, if you will take me, and John can
take his wife that is to be."

When Mrs. Hardy came on deck, she said to her son, "The first of
August, John; it is so settled."

John Hardy lifted his mother from the deck, and positively kissed her
in the sight of his own men and a numerous crowd of curious Danes, who
had collected to see the yacht, and f Helga had not jumped ashore, it
was not at all improbable but that she might have shared the same
fate.

The trust and confidence the mother and son had in each other was a
comfort to the Pastor. It was the best guarantee for Helga's future.

"It is late," said the Pastor; "but I know the clerk at the Domkirke
(cathedral), and you can possibly see it."

The advantage of seeing the Domkirke with the Pastor was obvious to
Mrs. Hardy, and they were much interested in the details he gave of
the old vestments preserved in the Domkirke and the ancient folding
pictures at the altar, the date of which is 1479, but the pictures are
Italian and older.

"The old church tradition," said the Pastor, "is that the patron
saint, St. Clement, after suffering martyrdom, came ashore after
floating about the sea for eleven hundred years, bound to a ship's
anchor, which circumstance is delineated in more than one place in the
Domkirke. One of the stories of the Domkirke is recorded on a stone,"
continued the Pastor. "It is the figure of a woman with a hole in her
left breast. She was shot by a rejected lover, as she went to the
Domkirke to attend the church service of the times. The stone must
have been once in an horizontal position, as it is worn as if it had
been placed at the entrance of the Domkirke, as is believed to be the
case, and much trodden on."

"Are there more stories connected with the Domkirke?" asked
Mrs. Hardy.

"Yes, many," replied the Pastor. "There is the story of the monks
being killed by bricks falling on them from the arched roof, when
playing cards behind the altar. There is also the story of a large
hunting horn, which is said to be now preserved in one of our museums,
which horn was used at the evening service before Good Friday, in
catholic times. It was blown through a hole in the roof of the
Domkirke, and the words shouted as loud as possible, 'Evig forbandet
være, Judas' (For ever may Judas be accursed). There is also the
monument of Laurids Ebbesen who had been unfaithful to the king, who,
when he visited the Domkirke, cut the nose off the monumental figure
with his sword. The ship which is hung up in the Domkirke, is a model
which Peter the Great of Russia had made in France, and it was sent by
a French vessel from Toulon, which was wrecked at the Scaw, or, as we
call it, Skagen. The cargo of the ship was sold by auction. A seaman
of Aarhus bought the model, which is that of a ship of war with
seventy-four cannon, and gave it to the Domkirke, at Whitsuntide,
1720."

"Thank you very much, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy.

It must, however, be recorded that notwithstanding the interest John
Hardy had in such lore as the Pastor possessed in such rich abundance,
he was very much interested in another direction. At length, after
much absorbing contemplation, he said, "I never saw such blue as there
is in your eyes, Helga!"

The next day they returned to Rosendal, and Pastor Lindal to his
parsonage with Helga. He had been pleased with his berth on board the
yacht, and the comfortable opportunity the deck-house afforded for
holding a tobacco-parliament, which Mrs. Hardy bore with much
patience.

As the yacht was at Aarhus, Mrs. Hardy wished to make a tour amongst
the Danish islands before sending it to Esbjerg.

"I think, John," she said, "that to-morrow we will invite Pastor
Lindal and Helga to dinner, and we will talk over the arrangements for
your wedding. I should not offer to give her a wedding outfit, as I
think she would not like it. I should give her a good watch and chain,
as a wedding present, and lockets to the two Miss Jensens. It is clear
that the quieter the wedding is the more likely to meet the Pastor's
wishes and his daughter's."

"I think," said John, "that you are right, but I should wish to let
Helga know that I would bear any expense they wished. I should be so
glad if you would say so to her, mother. When we were at Christiania,
I wanted her to let me get her gloves or anything else she might wish
for, and she said 'You need not try to buy my goodwill, John; you
possess it' but she used a Danish word which 'goodwill' does not
translate."

"I had better ascertain their wishes, John," said his mother, "and say
we only wish to further them; and this once settled, you must come
with me on board the yacht, so that your mother may have her own boy
with her for a while. It will be better for you, as here you would be
restless; and as to your plans for teaching Helga to ride, you can do
so after you are married and are staying here."

John caressed his mother and assented.

Helga had filled the porcelain pipe after dinner, and Mrs. Hardy and
Pastor Lindal sat in a garden seat in the grounds at Rosendal, the day
following the decision of Mrs. Hardy's views for her son's wedding.

"We should wish to obey any wishes you may have, Herr Pastor, as to
the wedding," said Mrs. Hardy, after a general conversation with him.

"John will remain at Rosendal for a month, and then go to England for
the winter, and come to you again in May."

The Pastor took several long pulls at his pipe and created a cloud of
smoke. At last he said--

"I have not thought of it, Mrs. Hardy." And it was plain he had not.

"I will, then, say what I think," said she. "The wedding should be at
your church; and will you marry them?"

"Certainly; it is my intention," he replied.

"The wedding to be as quiet as possible," continued Mrs. Hardy, "and
proprietor Jensen's daughters to be bridesmaids; and John has an old
college friend who will come here to be his best man, and will return
with me to England in the yacht, from Esbjerg."

Mrs. Hardy's practical common sense impressed the Pastor; he assented
sadly.

"There is nothing to mourn over or regret, Herr Pastor, and you will
feel the constant joy of knowing that she is happy with the man of her
choice, and that as long as I live I will watch over her as my own;
also the pleasure of looking forward to her stay in Denmark every
summer will occupy and interest you."

The Pastor smoked in silence, but his heart was sad.

It was fortunate that John and Helga appeared, the latter laden with
blooms gleaned in the valley of roses. Her face was bright with
happiness.

"Mrs. Hardy," she said, "John has persisted in picking rose after
rose, holding them up to my cheek and telling me that I am the fairest
rose, and that I am going to be the rose of Rosendal, and has teased
me dreadfully."

"I think John is right to say so, and to say so to you," said
Mrs. Hardy, smiling kindly at her.

The Pastor felt what Mrs. Hardy had once said, that we should love
with our children's love, and the sadness left his face. He began to
share his daughter's love for Hardy.

Mrs. Hardy rose from her seat, and drew Helga away, and John had to be
content to follow her with his eyes only.

"Your father, Helga, last year, went for a tour with John; can he do
the same now? On Monday, I am going with John in the yacht for a
cruise amongst the Danish islands," said Mrs. Hardy, "do you think he
would like to go with us? It would allow of his being better
acquainted with us, and would distract his thoughts from dwelling on
your leaving him."

"Nothing could be better or kinder, Mrs. Hardy," replied Helga. "I
will write for the priest who generally does my father's duty in his
absence, at once."

"Stay," said Mrs. Hardy, "if your father leaves with us, it will
enable you to get ready for your wedding in his absence; it will be
better so. And here is a little packet. It will meet any expense; it
is not from John, it is from me;" and Mrs. Hardy kissed her
affectionately and was gone.



CHAPTER XXIV.


    "_Piscator._--But, my worthy friend, I would rather
    prove myself a gentleman by being learned and humble, valiant
    and inoffensive, virtuous and communicable, than by any fond
    ostentation of riches."
    --_The Complete Angler._


Pastor Lindal accepted the invitation to join the yacht. He was
anxious to know more of Mrs. Hardy, in whose hands he felt so much of
his daughter's future lay.

Mrs. Hardy had, as she had done before every Sunday, attended the
parish church, and Helga thanked her for the contents of the packet of
Danish bank notes. It was more in amount, she said, than she wanted,
and would return Mrs. Hardy three-fourths of it.

"It is very kind," said Helga; "but I can only accept what is
positively necessary, and I accept that because it would relieve my
father from an expense that he cannot well bear, and because John
might wish to see me well dressed when I am married to him."

"Would you not like to make Kirstin and your father's other servants a
present when you are married?" said Mrs. Hardy.

"Yes, I shall; but I cannot use your money to do that, Mrs. Hardy. I
shall give them what I have of my own, and what they know I have
valued; it is not much, but they would like it best."

This conversation had ended when they reached the parsonage, where
Robert Garth was waiting with the carriage to drive Mrs. Hardy and her
son to Rosendal.

"John," said Mrs. Hardy, as they drove away, "she is worthy of your
best affection. There is not a day passes but that something arises
which makes me love her more and more." Mrs. Hardy loved again with
her son's love.

"Mother," said John, "she is so dear to me; there is nothing that is
not truth with her."

"You are right, John," said his mother. "Give her all your heart, and
she will give you hers."

"I know it, mother," said John.

Pastor Lindal accompanied them to Aarhus, and when they came on board
the yacht, John Hardy spread out the chart of the Danish islands
before him.

"We can reach Nyborg to-night, Herr Pastor," said he, "and call and
stop at Svendborg, and run round Møen's Klint to Copenhagen, and
passing Elsinore to Aarhus again, stopping at any place on the way."

"But the time?" asked the Pastor.

"A week," replied John; "or you can land at any place, and return by
rail in a few hours."

"No, Herr Pastor," interposed Mrs. Hardy, "you must not bind us to
time. We shall see if the cruise is a benefit to you, and if so, you
must prolong it."

The Pastor always surrendered when challenged by Mrs. Hardy.

Whilst they were at lunch, the _Rosendal_ steam yacht was passing
Samsø.

"This island," said John Hardy, "appears from the chart to be a sand
bank washed up by the sea."

"So is all Denmark," said Pastor Lindal. "The legends and traditions
belonging to Samsø, however, are not as old as those of Jutland, and
it would therefore appear not to have been inhabited at so early a
period. There is an historical tradition that in 1576 a mermaid
appeared to a man of Samsø, and directed him to go to Kallundborg,
where King Frederick II. was then staying with his court, and tell him
that his queen would have a son, which would become a mighty ruler.
The king questioned the man, who stated that the mermaid's name was
Isbrand, and that she lived in the sea, not far from land, with her
mother and grandmother, and that it was the latter that had foretold
the birth of Queen Margrethe, who united the three Scandinavian
kingdoms under one crown. King Frederick sent the man home, and
commanded him not to come to the court again.

The king's son was Christian IV., under whose rule Denmark attained
its zenith of power. Once, when Christian IV. was driven ashore by a
storm on Samsø, he saw the priest's man ploughing. The king took the
plough and ploughed a furrow, and told the man to tell his master that
the king had ploughed for him."

"A good way to acquire popularity in those times," remarked
Mrs. Hardy. "But are there any more stories of the kind?"

"There is the story of the Church of the Holy Cross. There is a tablet
said to be yet in the church, on which there is an inscription,"
replied the Pastor. "This states that a gilt cross in the church was
washed ashore bound to a corpse, but that when they would take the
corpse to a particular churchyard, that four horses could not move the
waggon in which it was placed. They then tried to draw the waggon to
another churchyard, with the same result; but at last they directed
the horses to the church at Onsberg, and then two horses could easily
draw it; so the corpse was buried in the eastern end of the church,
and the church afterwards called the Church of the Holy Cross. The
date is given as 1596. There is also a story of the Swedish war of
1658, when a party of Swedish cavalry took a tailor prisoner, and set
him at work on a table in a farm-house, while they fired at a mark on
the door, the balls passing close to his head. It is said the door yet
exists, with the bullet marks in it."

"We have an island in sight, on the starboard bow, called Endelave;
are there any traditions existing there?" asked Hardy.

"There is only the story of a giant who threw a stone from thence to
Jutland, which was so large that two girls saved themselves from a
bull by climbing to the top of it. There is, however, the variation
that it was thrown by a giantess from Fyen (Funen) with her garter. I
know of no special legend from Endelave."

"There is a town marked Kjerteminde on the chart; is that in
recollection of anything specially historical, as would appear from
the name?" asked Hardy.

"When Odin built the town called Odense," replied the Pastor, "the
other towns were envious of its better appearance and condition, and
particularly the town now called Kjerteminde, and complaint was made
to Odin, who was angry, and replied, 'Vær du mindre' (literally, 'be
you less'); this was that they should continue to be smaller towns
than Odense. In time the name from Vær du mindre became altered to its
present name of Kjerteminde. There is also the variation that the name
is from St Gertrude's minde (memory) contracted to Kjerteminde. She
was the sailors' patron saint."

"There is more to be said of Odense, as it was founded by Odin," said
Mrs. Hardy.

"What I can tell you of Odense," said the Pastor, "is history,
chiefly. There is the story that a rich man called Ubbe gave his
property to St. Knud's (Canute) Church under singular circumstances.
His relatives wanted him to leave his property to them, and they
placed a woman in his household, if possible, to influence him in
their favour, and she did not. Ubbe had become blind. He directed some
tripe to be cooked, possibly because his teeth were gone. The woman,
however, having no tripe, cut up an old felt hat and gave him. This he
chewed and chewed, when a little child told him what it was. He was
angry at the deceit, and gave his property to the Church; and the name
of a portion of his lands was changed from Ubberud to Kallun (tripe).
Odense is the birth-place of Hans Christian Andersen, whose stories
have been translated into English," continued Pastor Lindal; "but,
like other translations, they lose immeasurably by translation."

"What is the chief historical interest connected with Odense?" asked
Mrs. Hardy.

"The death of St. Knud," replied the Pastor. "He was the grand-nephew
of Canute the Great. He was killed in the church of St Albanus, in
1086, by his rebellious subjects. He wanted to make war on England, as
he claimed the English throne, and they resisted; so far it is
history. The story is that he was pursued, and fled to the church, and
prayed for his enemies. He saw a Jutland man looking at him through a
window of the church, and the king asked for water. The man ran to a
stream and fetched water in a cup; but as he reached it to the king,
another man struck the cup with his spear, and the water was spilt,
and the king was killed by a stone thrown at him. The man who had
prevented the king getting the cup of water went out of his mind, and
had always a burning thirst, and on going to a well to drink fell
down, and stuck in it over the water, which he could not reach, and so
perished. The king was canonized, but is said to occasionally visit
the church, where he was buried, from his place amongst the angels.
This church he had just commenced to build. There is a story that when
the tower was building, an apprentice told his master he was as good a
builder. The master-builder went out of the tower on the scaffolding
and stuck an axe into it, and told the apprentice to go and fetch it,
if he could. The apprentice went, but called out that an adjoining
village was approaching the town of Odense. 'Then God have mercy on
your soul' said the master-builder. The apprentice fell to the ground
and was killed. There is, however, a variation of this story, which
localizes it in Copenhagen at Our Lady's Church there, and that the
apprentice cried out that he saw two axes. The result was the same."

"Thank you very much, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy. "You must try and
keep up the practice of speaking English." The Pastor was in the habit
of falling back on his own language when he had a difficulty, for John
Hardy to interpret.

"I think we should have but one language all over the world," said the
Pastor, "and that language should be English."

"There is not much to see at Nyborg, mother," said John, "and the
pilot says if we leave early to-morrow that we had best anchor outside
the harbour, clear of the course of the steamers from Korsør. We shall
have the anchor down at six, and we can go ashore and have dinner a
little before eight, and then the Pastor can hold his second
tobacco-parliament before we turn in. We shall also have to engage
another pilot, as it is difficult navigation to Svendborg; and if we
start at six, we shall be there at eight to-morrow, which will enable
us to see Svendborg and its pretty neighbourhood, and in the evening
can anchor under shelter of Væirø, an island, so as to reach
Vordingborg early to-morrow."

Mrs. Hardy followed her son's explanation on the chart. He was himself
the registered owner of his yacht, and acted as his own skipper when
on board; and as his men had been with him in other yachts, of which
he had been the owner, they had confidence in him, as they had seen
his courage and seamanship again and again put to the proof.

"You are always self-reliant, John," said his mother.

"Yes; but Pastor Lindal has taught me on whom reliance should be
placed," said John. "The simple trust he has and the simple faith of
which he is convinced are in his life and practice. No sermon can have
such influence as to be with him one day in his parish when he visits
those he sees it necessary to visit. It is the simplicity of perfect
truth about him that has made his daughter a pearl without price."

"I believe every word of what you say, John," said his mother. "She
has now my heart as completely as she has yours."

There is not so much to see in Nyborg. The walk in the wood is pretty
with its thoroughly Danish prospect, and there is little else to
interest. Pastor Lindal was tired when they reached the yacht, but
revived with the tonic effect of a good dinner. They adjourned to the
deck-house, and Hardy essayed to fill the porcelain pipe with
Kanaster, but failed. The pipe was too hard pressed with tobacco and
would not draw, and it was not John Hardy only who missed Helga.

"Is there anything to relate about Nyborg, Herr Pastor?" asked Hardy.

"There is not much specially," replied the Pastor. "There is the story
of the monkey taking Christian II. out of his cradle when there was a
royal residence at Nyborg, and jumping out of the window with him, and
taking him upon the roof, so that it was with difficulty that they got
him down again. There is also the story of the ghost of Queen Helvig,
who was married to Valdemar Atterdag. She is said to have appeared for
years to the sentry on the ramparts, and to have always left a dollar
under a stone, which he collected; but one day, he was sick, and told
a comrade to fetch the dollar, but no dollars were placed under the
stone after. Queen Helvig was imprisoned there for a long time, under
a charge frequently preferred in those days."

"Had you not particular days called Mærkedage, to which particular
importance was attached?" asked Hardy.

"They were principally the greater festivals of the Church, or on New
Year's Day," replied the Pastor. "Thus, for instance, if the sun shone
out so long on New Year's Day that a horse could be saddled, it was a
sign of a fruitful year; also, if a girl or a young man wished to know
whom she or he would marry, they write the names of suspected persons
on different pieces of paper, and put them under their pillows on New
Year's Eve, and the one thus dreamt of is the one selected; also, if a
turf is cut from the churchyard New Year's Eve, the person who puts it
on his or her head can see who will die in the year, as their ghosts
will appear in the churchyard. There is also another means to the same
end, and that is when people sit at a table New Year's Eve; those that
will die in the year cast a shadow, but without a head. Tyge Brahe has
particularized many days in the year as being unlucky, on which to
attend to any business or to do anything important, but they are so
numerous that they are not regarded."

"Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy, "you are tired with your walk about
Nyborg, and your speaking so much in English; I wish to suggest a
subject that will give you something to think of."

"What may that be?" asked the Pastor.

"I have thought," said Mrs. Hardy, "that you might like to see us at
home in England before the winter. John will leave at the end of
August, and you might go with him. What I feel is, that I should like
during the winter you should feel that your daughter is well cared
for."

"I will go," said the Pastor; and he held out his hand to Mrs. Hardy
in his Danish manner, and the matter was at an end. Mrs. Hardy's
kindly tact always overcame him.

The visit to Svendborg entailed so much to see and explore, that it
was not until late in the evening that the yacht was reached. The
Pastor was, however, fresher than the evening before, possibly because
they had not walked so much, but had driven.

"What we have seen at Svendborg, Herr Pastor, is very pretty," said
Mrs. Hardy, "but it differs from an English landscape; and it is only
by seeing both that you can realize the contrast."

"That is very possible," replied Pastor Lindal. "The same landscape
painted by different artists would make each their impression; how
much more, then, would nature, with influences we cannot understand,
produce different effects?"

Mrs. Hardy looked as if a fresh field of thought was opened to her,
and her son observed his mother's look of surprise.

"I have been often astonished," he said, "to hear from Pastor Lindal
and Helga a similar cast of thought that has given me something to
think of for long after. I think it is the outcome of a natural
singleness of thought we do not often meet."

"I believe you are right, John," said his mother. "But possibly Herr
Pastor can tell us a tradition of Svendborg;" and she raised her voice
and addressed him.

"There is the tradition of St. Jørgen," he said, "or, as you call it
in English, St. George and the dragon. The features of the story, of
course, are the same; with us the tradition runs as follows:--There
was a temple inhabited by a dragon, who issued from it and laid waste
the country. Each day the monster craved a human life, until at last
lots were drawn as to who should be the victim, and from this neither
the king nor his family were exempt, and the lot fell on his only
daughter. The king offered half his kingdom to any one who should
destroy the dragon. A knight called Jørgen attempted to do so, by
putting poisoned cakes in the dragon's way; but that availed nothing.
He then attacked it, and the monster retreated to Svendborg; but it
again came forth, and a combat between the knight and the dragon
ensued. The dragon was slain, and where its poisonous blood poured out
no grass will grow. The combat is said to be delineated on the church
bells. It is very probably only an echo of the Greek story of Perseus
and Andromeda. You will observe the dragon in our tradition is said to
have issued from a temple. We had no temples, the Greeks had.

"There are not many special traditions connected with Svendborg. There
is the story of a noble lady who was murdered at Svendborg, but the
murderers were men of rank, and the whole town agreed to pay
blood-money, and some farms were apportioned to the murdered woman's
relatives and a wooden cross set up over her grave; and it was agreed
that when the wooden cross fell into decay, whoever first repaired it
should possess the farm so apportioned. The consequence was that a
wooden cross was always kept ready to repair the original cross. This
story has many variations and is differently localized."

"Are there not many proverbs with regard to the weather, or the like,
in Denmark?" asked Hardy.

"There are, but they are identical with the English," replied the
Pastor. "There are some that may be new; for instance, we say that
there is always some sun on a Saturday, that the poor may dry the
clothes they wash. The farmers also say that if the priest takes his
text from St. Luke in preaching his Sunday's sermon, it is sure to
rain. Also, that a southerly wind is like a woman's anger, it always
ends in weeping. Of days in the week we say, that if it rains on a
Sunday and a Monday it will rain the whole week. Again, we say--


    'Søndags Veir til Middag
    Er Ugens Veir til Fredag.'

    'Sunday's weather to midday
    Is the week's weather to Friday.


There is another of the same character:


    'Tirsdag giver Veir til Torsdag,
    Fredags Veir giver Søndags Veir,
    Lørdag har sit eget Veir,
    Mandag enten værre eller bedre.'

    'Tuesday's weather is Thursday's weather,
    Friday's weather is Sunday's weather,
    Saturday has its own weather,
    Monday is either worse or better.


The same, I believe, exists in England," continued the Pastor, "or at
least very nearly allied to it."

"It is so," said Hardy.



CHAPTER XXV.


    "Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
    The bridal of the earth and sky."
    _The Complete Angler._


The yacht had anchored for the night to the east of Væirø, an island
and lighthouse. The pilot and steward had gone ashore to purchase
fresh milk. The morning was without a breath of wind, and the yacht
was motionless.

"What a sense of calm and peace!" said Mrs. Hardy, as she came on
deck. "There is not a fish coming to the surface of the still water,
or a bird in the air, or a boat visible. It is almost desolation."

"We are out of the track of vessels," said Pastor Lindal, "and there
are few fish just here, consequently no sea-birds in pursuit of them."

"You will soon see more life, mother," said Hardy, "From our position
we are seventeen knots to Vordingborg, which we shall reach shortly
after breakfast. We shall have to take another pilot there, for the
difficult channel by Grønsund out to the Baltic, as our present pilot
is not allowed to go beyond Vordingborg."

"Your pilots, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy, "appointed by your
Government, appear men well selected for their duty. They are all
experienced men and well-conducted. We have been yachting on many
shores, but the pilots we have taken in Denmark have been all men that
have given me a feeling of confidence."

"There is much employment for pilots on some parts of our coast," said
the Pastor, "and the men soon acquire experience."

When they came on deck after breakfast, the yacht was half-way to
Vordingborg.

"What is the land on the starboard bow?" asked Mrs. Hardy.

"Falster," replied the Pastor, "and to the south is Laaland. One of
the chief towns is Mariebo; it is so called from the special wish of
the Virgin, as evidenced by a shining light having been seen there
every night. Queen Margrethe bought the site for a church, from the
owner, Jens Grim, and the place was called Mariebo. The termination
'bo' is present Danish for an abode or dwelling, as it was supposed
the Virgin had been there. 'By' is present Danish for a town. In the
church there is the figure of a monk on one of the pillars pointing at
another pillar, where it is said a treasure is buried. A Danish
antiquary is said to have found in the Vatican a paper stating that
when the monks were driven out of Mariebo, they had hid their
documents in a pillar of the church. It is not known to me whether any
search has been made. The owner of the site, Jens Grim, was attacked
by people from Lubeck; they besieged his two fastnesses. They
succeeded in taking one of them by a very simple stratagem. Jens Grim
had lost his knife, which the Lubeckers found, and took it to the
fastness, where they knew he was not, and said they had come to take
possession by Jens Grimes order, and produced the knife. They were
admitted and took the place."

"What do you propose to do at Vordingborg, John?" asked Mrs. Hardy.

"We are close to it, mother," replied John. "It is likely to be a
similar place to Svendborg."

"There is not much to see at Vordingborg. There are the ruins of King
Valdemar's castle; the portion most prominent is called the Goose
Tower, because the figure of a goose was used as a weathercock," said
the Pastor. "If I might suggest, a drive in a carriage in the
neighbourhood would, I think, interest you. The scenery is the same
type as at Svendborg."

The Pastor's suggestion was followed, and he poured forth much
historical learning connected with Vordingborg.

"Is there no legend?" asked Hardy.

"Yes," replied the Pastor; "but it is one common to a great many
places. It is this. A giantess wished to remove a tumulus or Kæmpehøi
from Vordingborg to Møen. She put it in her apron; but there was a
hole in it, and the Kæmpehøi fell into the sea near the coast, and
formed what is called Borreø, or Borre Island. That is the only legend
I know, or can recollect at present, particularly attached to
Vordingborg. But do you not propose an excursion to Møen's Klint?"

"That we do, as it is different from any other place in Denmark," said
Hardy. "The difficulty is, if it should come on to blow hard in the
eastern sea, as you call the Baltic, the yacht would have to run back
to Grønsund, or go to Copenhagen."

"Then," said the Pastor, "why not leave the yacht at Grønsund? You can
get a carriage and a pair of horses to drive through the whole of
Møen, about sixteen English miles, and return the same evening to the
yacht."

John Hardy laid Mansa's map and the chart before his mother, who
assented.

"Where can we get horses?" he asked.

"At Phanefjord, I expect," replied the Pastor. "They could be ordered
to be ready at the ferry at six in the morning, and in three hours we
could reach Liselumd, from whence Møen's Klint can be explored on
foot."

"Is it too much for you, mother?" said Hardy. "It will be a long day;
but the next day, weather permitting, we should be under weigh for
Copenhagen, and you would have rest."

"It will be a long day, John," replied his mother, "but not too long.
I like Pastor Lindal's plan."

"What is the meaning of the name Phanefjord?" asked Hardy. "Is it
derived from the Greek?"

"There was a giant called Grønjette, or the Green Giant; he gave his
name to the fjord, which is called Grønsund. He was married to a
giantess called Phane; hence Phanefjord. They are said to be buried at
Harbolle, and their graves are one hundred yards (English) long. He
was accustomed to ride through the woods with his head under his left
arm, with a spear, and surrounded by hounds. The Bønder always left a
sheaf of oats for his horse, so that he should not ride over their
freshly sown fields, when the Jette or giant went on his hunting
excursions. There is even an epitaph on Grøn and Phane:--


    'Nu hviler Grøn med Phane sin;
    Som trættede rasken Hjort og Hind.
    Tak, Bonde, god! den dyre Gud,
    Nu gaar du tryg af Sundet ud.'


Literally--


    'Now rests Grøn and his Phane;
    They followed the quick buck and hind.
    Thank, peasant, the good God,
    That now you can safely go through the fjord.'


There is a story of Grøn. He halted one night and knocked at a Bonde's
door, and told him to hold his hounds by a leash. Grøn rode away, and
was absent two hours. At length he returned, but across his horse was
a mermaid, which he had shot. This was before the time of powder. Grøn
said to the Bonde, 'I have hunted that mermaid for seven years, and
now I have got her.' He then asked for something to drink, and when he
was served with it he gave the Bonde some gold money; but it was so
hot it burnt through his hand, and the money sunk in the earth. Grøn
laughed, and said, 'As you have drank with me, you shall have
something, so take the leash you have held my hounds with.' Grøn rode
away, and the Bonde kept the leash, and as long as he did so all
things prospered; but at last he thought it was of little value, and
threw it away. He then gradually grew poorer and poorer, and died in
great poverty."

"A very good legend, and thank you, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy.

"There is an old ballad," continued the Pastor, "called 'The Pilgrim
Stone,' which opens with a mother calling her three daughters to go to
the early Catholic church service of the times, and then the water was
so shallow between Møen and Falster that they could jump over it. The
three daughters were attacked by three robbers and killed by them.
They put their bodies in sacks; but they were seized by the father and
his men, and then it appeared that the three robbers were brothers to
the murdered girls, having been stolen, when they were very young, on
their way to school. The two eldest were hung, and the youngest made a
pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and when he returned he lived a few years
at Phanefjord, and was buried where the pilgrim stone marks the place.
The ballad is of the simplest character and incomplete; but such is
the story. Under different conditions it is recited in other places in
Denmark; but it is dramatic in all cases."

"It is indeed dramatic," said Mrs. Hardy. "The stories of giants
appear to have had their origin from natural forces, as ice, or the
heat of summer, but have been blended with human attributes."

The drive to Møen's Klint from Grønsund was full of interest from
Pastor Lindal's knowledge of the past history of so many places.

"There are not so many traditions in the low part of Møen as in Høie
Møen; that is where the cliffs are," said the Pastor. "The cliffs are
chalk, with layers of flint, and were supposed to be peopled with
Underjordiske or underground people, the chief of whom was called the
Klinte Konge, or cliff king. Klint is the Danish word for cliff. His
queen is described as being very beautiful, and she resided at the
place called Dronningstol, or the queen's throne or chair, and near it
was her sceptre, in old times called Dronningspir, but now called
Sommerspir. The Klinte Konge was supposed to reside at Kongsberg. He
was always at war with another Klinte Konge, at Rygen, and there is an
old ballad on the subject. It is said that when Denmark is in danger,
the Klinte Konge and his army can be seen ready to resist the invader.
There are very many variations of this superstitious story, more or
less picturesque."

"Are there any stories of communications between the Underjordiske and
mortals?" asked Mr. Hardy.

"There is such a story. A woman called Margrethe Skælvigs was going to
Emelund to borrow a dress of Peer Munk's wife, to be married in, when
an old woman met her, and asked where she was going. Margrethe told
her. 'When you pass here on Saturday, I will lend you a bridal dress;'
and she gave Margrethe a dress of cloth of gold, and told her to
return it in eight days; but that if Margrethe saw no one when she
brought it back, she might keep the dress. No one appeared, and
Margrethe kept the dress."

"The conjecture might be that the dress was given her by her intended
husband," said Hardy, "who adopted this method of giving her a dress.
I should like to impose on Helga in the same way."

"Don't talk nonsense, John," said Mrs. Hardy, who feared that it might
not be agreeable to Pastor Lindal; and, to turn his thoughts in
another direction, asked him if there were not other legends of a
different type.

"Yes; there is one very commonly repeated," he replied. "A Bonde had
twenty pigs ranging through the wood by Møen's Klint. He lost them,
and after searching for a whole year, he met Gamle Erik (the devil;
literally, Old Erik) riding on a pig and driving nineteen before him,
and making a great noise by beating on an old copper kettle. The pigs
were all in good case, except the one Gamle Erik rode, which bore
traces of bad treatment. The Bonde shouted and called, and Gamle Erik
was frightened, and dropped the copper kettle, and let the pigs be
pigs. So the Bonde had not only his pigs, but a copper kettle to
recollect Gamle Erik by."

Mrs. Hardy was much pleased with the scenery about the cliffs, and the
contrast of the dark blue sea against the white chalk, and the varied
prospects in the woods.

The drive had been full of interest, and Mrs. Hardy thanked Pastor
Lindal for his suggesting it, and the pleasure of hearing his
narrations on the very places with which they were connected, and
added--

"I shall come again another year, Herr Pastor, on purpose to enjoy
your society, if you will act as guide."

"God willing, it will be a pleasure to me," said he; "but these few
days have had their effect on me. I appear to see things with a
clearer view, that at home have been difficult to me. Travelling
develops the mind, and gives it a broader cast of thought. You, who
have travelled so much, Mrs. Hardy, appear to have been influenced by
the process."

"Thank you for your compliment, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy. "It is
well put."

At eight the following day, the yacht was passing Møen's Klint, at
sea, bound for Copenhagen. There was a stiff breeze from the westward,
and in passing Præstø Bay the yacht was in a short rough beam sea,
that made things very lively to all on board, except possibly the
Pastor, as his ears gradually assumed a greenish tint.

John Hardy consulted the pilot, and the yacht was brought up and
anchored under Stevn's Klint, in shelter, much to Pastor Lindal's
comfort, who appeared at lunch fully recovered from his sea-sickness.

"Præstø," said he, "is so called after a priest called Anders; he was
a monk at the time of the Reformation, but adopted the reformed
religion. He had only a small copper coin, which always returned to
him when he spent it, and received no other payment for his services.
In the arms of the town of Præstø is a man in a priest's dress,
supposed to be in his memory."

"Were there any Underjordiske in the cliff at the yacht's bow?" asked
Hardy.

"There was fabled to be an Elle Konge," replied Pastor Lindal, "or
king of the elves, and he occupied not only Stevn's Klint, but also an
adjoining church, where a place in the wall is shown as his residence,
and is called Elle Kongen's Kammer, or the king of the elves' chamber.
In the neighbourhood of this church are the remains of an oak wood.
The trees therein are said to have been trees by day, but the soldiers
of the elf king by night. The church referred to is Storehedinge, and
was built by a monk against the wishes of the great man of the
locality, who, when the church was built, cut off the monk's head. The
figure of a monk's head is on a stone in the wall by the altar.

"The church a little to the south of the lighthouse is called Høierup,
and was built in fulfilment of the vow of a seaman when in danger. As
the cliff crumbles away, the church is said to go a cock's footstep
back on the mainland every Christmas night."

"What is the meaning of 'rup' as a termination to so many Danish
places?" asked Hardy.

"It is your English 'thorp,' or Swedish 'torp,' or German 'dorf,' a
village," replied the Pastor. "Vandstrup, for instance, is 'the
village by the water,' as the Danish word for water is Vand. It is, as
you know, close to the river."

The pilot had predicted that the wind would lessen at four o'clock in
the afternoon, and the yacht got under weigh, and, carrying plenty of
sail and full steam, made a rapid passage across Kiøge Bay, so
disturbing sometimes to the breakfast of the Kiøbenhavner, who trusts
himself to a pleasure excursion on its waters.

Off Dragør, the jack was again hoisted for the Copenhagen pilot, and
the Rosendal steam yacht was at anchor off the Custom House at
Copenhagen, before a late dinner, that evening.

"We must fill up with coal and water, mother, and it had better be
done here," said Hardy; "it would give us time for an excursion to
Roeskilde to see the Domkirke, or elsewhere."

"No, John," said Mrs. Hardy. "I want to purchase many articles that
you will want at Rosendal after you are married, that you would never
think of; and I must leave something for the Pastor to tell me next
summer."

"But what shall I do with Pastor Lindal tomorrow?" asked John Hardy.

"He will like to be left to himself, to go where he wishes," replied
his mother; and she was right. As the yacht left Copenhagen a day or
so after, Mrs. Hardy refused to visit the beautiful vicinity of
Copenhagen. "No, John; and no, Herr Pastor," she said. "I must keep
something to see for other years, and something to look forward to and
wish to see. I even decline to hear the story of the soldier who shot
from Kronborg Castle a cow with a cannon in Sweden, and that although
he did not hurt the milkmaid. The Herr Pastor must keep something to
tell me another season."

"But, mother, we can anchor at Elsinore, and you could see Kronborg
Castle," urged her son.

"So I will another year, John," she replied. "Get your mud-hook up, as
you call it, and let me have my way. I hope not only to visit more of
Denmark, but also of Sweden and Norway, and hope not only the Herr
Pastor will be with us, but his daughter."

"Thank you kindly," said the Pastor, shaking hands with her in the
manner frequent in Denmark.



CHAPTER XXVI.


    "Come, live with me and be my love,
    And we will some new pleasures prove.
    Of golden sands and crystal brooks.
    With silken lines and silver hooks."
    _The Complete Angler._


When Pastor Lindal arrived at his parsonage, he was received by his
daughter with much affection. She saw he was benefited by the cruise
in the yacht, and was in good spirits.

"Little father," she said, "you look so well. Thank you, Mrs. Hardy,
for taking him with you; it will give my father so much to talk of, in
the winter, to Axel; and thank you, John, too."

"I am glad there is a word for me," said Hardy, using, as he often did
with her, a Danish phrase. "I was beginning to think I was not to be
spoken to at all."

"I think," said Mrs. Hardy, "that the Pastor and Helga might come to
us to-morrow, John, and that, as you are so impatient for a
tête-à-tête interview with Helga, you can have a ramble in your woods
at Rosendal, while I discuss the matters that have to be arranged with
the Pastor."

John thought this a very excellent arrangement; but Pastor Lindal
declined. He had much to see to in his parish, and he could not, he
said, after the absence of a week, return to his parish and not visit
it. He explained that he felt it to be his duty to feel the pulse of
his parish, to see what changes of thought occurred and what
circumstances had arisen that might influence his Sognebørn (children
of his parish). This, he said, guided him in what he preached.

"I agree with every word you say, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy.
"There can be no better view of what your duty is. The shepherd should
always watch;" and, as she read disappointment in her son's face, she
added, "You can, however, spare us Helga to lunch with us at Rosendal;
John can drive over for her, and she shall return early."

Pastor Lindal assented, and John Hardy drove over as early as he
thought advisable, and in returning to Rosendal insisted on Helga's
driving and telling him everything that had occurred in his absence at
sea.

It was a pleasure to Mrs. Hardy to see their happy faces as they drove
up at Rosendal.

"Bless you, dear mother!" said John. "It has been so sweet to hear the
thankfulness with which she speaks of every little attention we showed
her father when at sea. It was your considerate goodness that
suggested it all."

"You must let me have your princess, John, for a few minutes," said
his mother. "You have to consider her, and that there are subjects
that we can discuss better without you."

"I agree to five minutes, and no longer," said John, with some warmth.
"For goodness' sake, mother, do not be unreasonable, and keep her an
unconscionable time."

"There is no doubt of his affection for you, Helga," said Mrs. Hardy,
"and it is a joy to me to see it; but come into my sitting-room, and
tell me what you have done about your wedding-dress."

"Here is the money you kindly gave me," replied Helga. "I have thought
it over, and I think that John would rather marry me just as I am than
that I should appear any different; and my father, I feel, would wish
it so." Mrs. Hardy recollected the cloud on the Pastor's open face
when her son had referred to giving Helga a wedding-dress. "I have,
therefore, not used any of the money, Mrs. Hardy," added Helga; "but I
am very grateful for your considering me as if I were your daughter."

"I will always act a mother's part to you, Helga," said Mrs. Hardy;
"your freedom from selfishness, as well as honesty of feeling, make me
love and respect you. It is not money, or money's worth, that is
everything. I have always taught my son that kindliness is the real
gold of life."

"When John came here first," said Helga, "he said that, and my father
has liked him from that moment."

"But you did not, Helga?" said Mrs. Hardy, as if asking the question,
and smiling.

"I did, really," replied Helga; "but I thought it was wrong to think
of him, and I treated him in a manner of which I am ashamed. I would
give anything to recall what I said to him."

John Hardy came bustling in. "Mother!" he exclaimed, "I really cannot
let you take up all Helga's time with discussions."

"What we have discussed, John, is yourself," said his mother, "and I
can wish for nothing better for you than Helga's golden truth and
love. You can take her for a walk in the woods until lunch, but mind,
John, to be back punctually at one."

"Why, that is only an hour, mother," protested John, who was becoming
quite unreasonable and impatient.

"And twelve times as long as you would let your mother speak to her
daughter that is to be," said Mrs. Hardy.

"Now, Helga," said John, "I recollect you called me a cool and
calculating Englishman. I shall take you down to the lake, where it
will be cool, and there I shall find a Smørblomst, or a buttercup, and
by placing it to your chin, I shall be able to calculate the
transparency of your complexion from the reflection of colour."

"Don't tease me, John, about what I said to you last year," said
Helga, imploringly. "If I said anything that pained you, I am sorry
for it; but do not always keep it alive against me."

"There is the rose of Rosendal, mother, and the jewel of Hardy Place,"
said Hardy to his mother, on his unpunctual return to lunch. "She is
so good and single-minded that it is impossible to invent ways of
teasing her."

"Then I should not try, John," said his mother.

A few days before John's marriage, his friend and neighbour, Sir
Charles Lynton, arrived at Rosendal.

"It is a lovely place, John," said his friend; "but, I suppose,
nothing to be compared with the loveliness of your Scandinavian
princess?"

"Don't quiz," said Hardy; "but come out and try a cast for an hour or
so for the Danish trout. We can also visit a landowner near, who
breeds good Jutland horses, and I know that is in your line."

"By all means," said his friend.

The stout proprietor, Jensen, was pleased with their visit, and the
opportunity of hearing another Englishman's opinion as to his stock of
horses.

"They want bone," said Sir Charles, "and to be kept better through the
winter."

"Then it would not pay to breed horses," said the proprietor. "A
big-boned horse would be more expensive to keep up, and would not
stand the cold and wet of our climate. We have no market for very
high-class horses; that is, we might sell one now and then, but not
many."

A short tobacco-parliament on horses was inevitable, and hints were
exchanged and thoughts expressed very valuable in their way, but not
necessary to be recorded here.

The wedding took place in the little Danish church at Vandstrup, and
was witnessed by a large number of Hardy's Danish acquaintances and
the Pastor's friends. The Pastor made a long discourse, for his heart
was full.

Mrs. Hardy would not hear of her son's accompanying her to Esbjerg.
She left with Sir Charles Lynton, for Horsens, to continue the journey
the next day to Esbjerg, where the yacht had been sent to meet them.

It was not until the middle of September that John Hardy and his wife,
with Pastor Lindal, left Denmark by the overland route for Hardy
Place. The time of their arrival at the station for Hardy Place was
therefore known some time before, and confirmed by a telegram from
Hardy on their reaching England.

Mrs. Hardy was on the platform, with a tall young man Pastor Lindal
did not know.

"It is your son Karl, Herr Pastor," said Mrs. Hardy.

A year's residence in England had made a great change in the Danish
lad, and he appeared so English that the Pastor hesitated before he
spoke to him in Danish. Karl's reply assured him that if he was
changed outwardly, there was no change that he could regret.

Mrs. Hardy welcomed the Pastor and her son's wife warmly. Two
carriages had been prepared, and John Hardy and his wife went in the
first, and Mrs. Hardy, the Pastor, and Karl in the second. When they
reached the entrance to Hardy Place, there was a considerable crowd of
well-wishers, who cheered lustily. There was an arch with the words--

    "Saxon and Dane are we,
    But all of us Danes
    in our welcome of thee."

"It is kindly meant," said the Pastor, to Mrs. Hardy; "and I like the
full ring of the English cheer."

At the door at Hardy Place there was another crowd, and amid more
English cheers the fair Dane John Hardy had brought home as his wife
alighted at Hardy Place.

Mrs. Hardy took possession of Helga, and left her son to speak to his
friends and thank them for their reception, and entertain them.

"I have only asked Sir Charles Lynton to dinner, John," said
Mrs. Hardy. "I was afraid Helga might not be at her ease with a party
of perfect strangers the very first day she is here."

The Pastor was delighted with Hardy Place. "I see now," he said, "how
you knew how to deal with Rosendal. Your English landscape gardening
is good. I never saw so beautiful a place! The impression on me is
that of neatness and taste."

"Sir Charles Lynton comes to dinner, Herr Pastor," said Hardy; "and
you shall go and see his place to-morrow--it is only eight English
miles from here--and then you must tell me what you would like to see
or do during your very short stay in England. I dare say Karl can
suggest something. He must go to his work in London to-morrow."

Mrs. Hardy brought Helga down to the drawing-room before dinner,
dressed in her neat Danish dress, and a flower in her hair. She shook
hands with Sir Charles Lynton, and thanked him for his coming to her
wedding in Denmark.

"Now," said Mrs. Hardy, "I shall take her in to dinner and place her
at the head of your table, John, as the new mistress of Hardy Place,
and a better there cannot be."

Helga did not clearly understand, and John explained in Danish. "My
mother," he said, "wishes to instal you in the position she has
herself so long occupied as mistress here."

"No," said Helga, decidedly. "I am her daughter, and will serve her
gladly. You surely would not wish me to usurp your mother's place,
John, and that to-day?" She had said this in Danish, and she added in
English, "No, Mrs. Hardy; you are housemother here, and I am your
daughter and owe you a daughter's duty."

It had been Mrs. Hardy's dream that when her son brought his wife
home, the latter should occupy her seat, and rule as Mrs. Hardy of
Hardy Place. As Helga put it, she had got a daughter, and that was
all. Helga took Mrs. Hardy's hand and kissed it.

"What a trump she is, John!" exclaimed Sir Charles Lynton. "She will
be the greatest joy and comfort to your mother all her life. I shall
advertise in the Danish papers for a wife."

"Let Helga sit at your side, mother," said John, "and the Pastor at
your right."

The Pastor did not appear to think what had passed was unusual in his
daughter's conduct, but this little episode prepared the way for young
Mrs. Hardy of Hardy Place acquiring many friends.

During Pastor Lindal's short stay in England, John Hardy did his best
to interest him in English life and manners. The Pastor's wish was to
visit an English country church, and to see the whole working of an
English parish. His disapproval of the gift, or, worse still, the
sale, of a cure of souls was utter and complete.

"Your system of selling or giving livings is bad," he said. "No actual
sympathy can arise between the clergyman and his parishioners unless
they are interested in his selection."

When he had attended the parish church on the Sunday, Hardy questioned
him.

"The perfect neatness and order in the church," said the Danish
Pastor, "leave nothing to be desired; what is wanting is the warmth of
human sympathy and life. The service is cold and lifeless, the sermon
like dead leaves. The congregation hear, but they do not listen. There
is a want of harmony created by your system; it produces a barrier
between your clergyman and his flock; it prevents their working well
together, as a rule. In a few cases you will have exceptional men that
will get over any difficulty, and will do their duty well if you bind
them with chains; but it is not in that direction you should look, but
to a Christian bond of sympathy and common interest, as a rule."

"You are a keen observer, Herr Pastor. It is so," said Hardy.

"It is not necessary to be a keen observer to see it," replied Pastor
Lindal. "It lies so near the surface that it is not seen, when deeper
causes are looked for and ascribed as producing results they are far
from effecting."

"Your criticism is hard on the English country parishes," said Hardy;
"if you were here longer, you might alter the decisive character of
your opinion."

"It is possible, but the contrast strikes me," said Pastor Lindal. "I
speak as I see."

"That I do not doubt," said Hardy; "and I think the impression of
contrast between your own parish and that of mine is wide."

"There is but one principle, and that is that 'charity suffereth long,
and is kind,'" said the Pastor; "and when you came to Denmark and said
that kindliness is the real gold of life, there was nothing struck me
so much. It was my very thought in a phrase. I cannot therefore
understand why it should not be a more active principle in your
churches."

"It is in the hearts of a great many English people," said Hardy.

"It may be," said Pastor Lindal, "but it is not apparent to a stranger
in your parish church. But there is another matter cognate to us if
not to you, and that is the relief of the poor. Your system is costly,
but it creates the evil. You assist the poor to be paupers; we assist
the poor not to be so, and it costs us less. You train up children in
your work-houses to look to the poor rate or poor box, as we call it,
in after life as something to fall back on, in case of need, or
without need. The system is bad, as it creates more claimants on your
poor rate. This we prevent by teaching the children to earn a living.
The interest your clergy have in this is indirect, and it appears to
me they have little power to be of use, if they had the wish to be so,
which with many men must be a strong wish."

"It is so;" said Hardy, "and it does not appear to me so extraordinary
that you should observe it, as the contrast between what exists with
you and in England is so marked."

The Pastor left for Harwich to meet the Danish steamer, and John Hardy
and Helga accompanied him. Helga was cheerful until her father had
left, but for a long time wore a sad expression on her face. John
Hardy and his mother did their best to comfort and allay, but without
success. At last came a letter from her father, and her sadness
vanished. The good man wrote of Hardy and Mrs. Hardy, and how worthy
they were of her affection, and it was her duty now to give them her
gratitude and love; and she became bright at once. John Hardy's
friends called, and Helga mixed in English society and gradually
became accustomed to her new home, and no one was so popular as young
Mrs. Hardy of Hardy Place.


FINIS.



PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES





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