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´╗┐Title: Little Greta of Denmark
Author: Bailey, Bernadine
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 "Little Greta of Denmark" ***

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LITTLE GRETA OF DENMARK

[Illustration: THE LITTLE MERMAID]



     LITTLE GRETA
     OF DENMARK

     BY

     BERNADINE BAILEY

     _Illustrated with Photographs
     Taken by the Author_

     GROSSET & DUNLAP
     _Publishers_       NEW YORK
     _by arrangement with the A. Flanagan Company_



COPYRIGHT, 1939, BY A. FLANAGAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

                                                          _Skarum Molle,
                                                          Vemb, Denmark_

_Dear Mrs. Bailey:_

_Thank you very much for the privilege of reading the manuscript of
LITTLE GRETA OF DENMARK. You have given a very faithful and realistic
picture of my country._

_I am extremely happy to know that the children in America will have a
chance to learn about Denmark through such a book as yours. It will help
to unite America and Denmark in even stronger bonds of mutual
understanding and friendship._

                                             _Sincerely yours,
                                                      Laurids Villemoes_

_February 1, 1939_



CONTENTS


                                             PAGE

     Chapter I
     A Search Begins                           9

     Chapter II
     The Search Continues                     21

     Chapter III
     A Ride down the River                    34

     Chapter IV
     Excitement in the Forest                 50

     Chapter V
     The Storks                               63

     Chapter VI
     Dinner at Vosborg Castle                 74

     Chapter VII
     A Day at the Shore                       88

     Chapter VIII
     A Second Visit to Vosborg               106

     Chapter IX
     Chouse Seeks the Spotlight              118

     Chapter X
     A Day of Happy Surprises                130

     Chapter XI
     The Best Surprise of All                147

     Chapter XII
     Chouse Is Homesick                      165

     Chapter XIII
     "Goodbye"                               186

[Illustration: LITTLE GRETA OF DENMARK]



LITTLE GRETA OF DENMARK



CHAPTER I

A SEARCH BEGINS


Greta opened very sleepy eyes and stretched a long, long stretch. Every
single morning, before she got out of bed, she put her arms above her
head and stretched as far as she could reach. Greta wanted to grow tall,
and she thought that maybe if she pulled her arms 'way up and her feet
'way down, she would grow tall more quickly. Greta had been named after
the most famous queen of Denmark, and so she wanted to be tall and
graceful, just as that queen had been.

In about two minutes she jumped out of bed and started to dress. If she
dressed very fast, she would have time to run out to the barn and see
the kittens before breakfast. The kittens were only a week old, and
Greta loved them every bit as much as their own mother did. Greta lived
on a very large farm, and on the farm was a very large barn. In fact,
the barn was about three times as large as the house Greta lived in. The
barn was built of red brick and it formed three sides of a square. The
house itself made the other side of the square. It was also built of
brick, but it was painted white.

The horses were kept in one part of the barn, the cows in another part,
and the pigs in still another part. Then there was one large section
where the hay was kept. When the kittens were born, Greta made a nice
soft bed of straw for them in the farthest corner of the barn, where the
pigs and cows and horses could not possibly reach them. Every morning
she ran out to see the kittens to be sure that they were all right. She
picked up each of the four soft, furry little animals and gave it a
special hug before she went off to school. And when she came home from
school she played with the kittens until it was time for dinner.

Of course Chouse didn't like this one little bit. Chouse was the
wire-haired terrier, and he had always been Greta's special pet. In the
summer he played with her every minute of the day. But things were very
different now, since the kittens had come. Greta didn't pay much
attention to Chouse. The kittens took every minute of her time. Just the
same, Chouse was waiting for her this morning outside her bedroom door.
Breakfast would be ready in five minutes, so Greta ran quickly, with
Chouse barking at her heels. All out of breath, she reached the farthest
corner of the barn, where the kittens had their bed of straw.

Then Greta stopped very still. She rubbed her eyes. Surely this was just
a bad dream. The soft bed of straw was empty. No one would have taken
her kittens, and none of the horses or cows or pigs could reach them.
Where in the world could they be? She began to look all over that end of
the barn, poking about the straw that covered the floor. There wasn't a
sign of the soft balls of fur. Two large tears rolled down Greta's face.
Just then she heard her brother Hans calling.

"Greta, where are you? Breakfast is all ready and we are waiting for
you."

There was such a big lump in the little girl's throat that she could
hardly answer. Finally she said, "Here I am, Hans, but my kittens are
gone."

"Gone? What do you mean?" Hans had found her by now and he put his arm
around her shoulder. "Don't cry, Greta. We'll find them all right. Come
on to breakfast now."

[Illustration: GRETA'S HOME]

"I don't think I can eat anything, Hans. I wish I didn't have to go to
school today. I want to look for my kittens."

"I'll help you look for them as soon as we get home from school. Come
on, now. Mother and Father are waiting."

So Greta wiped the tears from her face and went into the house with
Hans. She sat down at the table, but the lump just wouldn't go out of
her throat, and she could hardly swallow.

"Remember, Greta, there are only two more days of school, and then you
will have all summer to play with the kittens." Hans tried his best to
cheer up his little sister. Hans was fifteen years old, so of course he
couldn't possibly be upset over a little thing like the loss of four
small kittens.

"Maybe Chouse has hidden your kittens, Greta," suggested her father.
"Day before yesterday I saw him chasing the baby pigs. I punished him
for that, but he didn't seem to learn, for yesterday he was chasing the
baby chickens and he killed two of them. Now you know we can't have that
sort of thing going on. I think we had better send Chouse away to some
other farm."

Greta could hardly believe her ears. "You don't really mean that you
would send _Chouse_ away?"

"Yes, I mean just that, Greta. We can't have a dog that is destructive.
And if he has hurt your kittens, I don't think you would want to keep
him, either."

Greta didn't say a word, but a choking feeling came into her throat.

"Finish your breakfast, Greta, or you will be late for school," reminded
her mother.

Greta went to school in the village, a mile away. When the weather was
good, she rode her bicycle. But whether she walked or rode, Chouse
always went with her to the door of the school. And he was always
waiting for her when school was out in the afternoon.

Greta didn't know her lessons very well that day. Her mind was on Chouse
and the kittens. She couldn't bear the thought of losing her playmate,
and yet, if he had hurt the kittens, maybe he ought to be sent away.
Suddenly she heard the teacher call her name.

"Greta, what was the Union of Kalmar?"

Greta's thoughts were far away from Danish history, and it was hard to
bring them back. Everyone in the room was looking at her. Slowly she
rose to her feet.

"The Union of Kalmar took place in 1397, when Norway and Sweden came
under the rule of Denmark." Gradually it was coming back to her.

"And who was the ruler of Denmark then?" asked the teacher. "You should
know that, Greta, better than anyone else in the class."

Greta's cheeks flushed a bright pink. How could she have forgotten?

"Queen Margrete brought about the Union of Kalmar," explained Greta.
"That is why she was the greatest queen Denmark has ever had." The other
children smiled when Greta said this. They all knew that her name was
really Margrete and that she had been named for this famous queen of
long ago.

[Illustration: HANS, GRETA, AND THE KITTENS]

Greta thought it was the longest day of her life, but school was finally
over. Chouse was waiting for her at the door when she came out of the
building. He was such a faithful little playmate, how could she bear to
send him away? Well, maybe she wouldn't have to.

She got on her bicycle and rode home just as fast as her legs could
pedal. Before she went into the house she looked again in the barn to
see if the kittens had, in some wonderful way, come back to their bed of
straw. But the bed was still empty.

Hans helped her search every part of the large barn--where the horses
were kept, where the cows were kept, where the pigs were kept, and where
the hay was kept. They took sticks and poked around in the hay. At last
the children decided that the kittens simply were not in the barn at
all.

"Let's go look in the chicken house, Greta," suggested Hans.

So they looked all through the chicken house just as carefully as they
had looked in the barn. But still there was no sign of the dear little
kittens.

"Oh, Hans, what am I going to do?" Greta was crying now as if her heart
would break. "Do you think that Chouse has taken them away some place?"

"No, I don't think so, Greta. But maybe one of the Nisser has carried
them off."

"Oh, Hans, why would a Nisse take my darling kittens?"

"Well, if you do something to make a Nisse angry at you, he is bound to
punish you in some way."

The Nisser are the little fairy folk, or brownies, that live in every
home in Denmark. If you are kind to them, they will do something nice
for you; but if you hurt them or make them angry, they will punish you.

When Greta went to bed that night she pulled the warm feather cover
tightly around her shoulders. She wasn't exactly afraid of the Nisser,
but she felt much better when she was all covered up. It was late in
June, but the nights were quite cool. Greta was glad that her mother had
left the feather cover on her bed. It was a large, thick cover, but it
was light and warm, for it was filled with duck feathers.

Soon Greta fell asleep, and all night long she dreamed that a little
Nisse was sitting on the foot of her bed, saying, "Greta, do you
_really_ want your kittens back again?"



CHAPTER II

THE SEARCH CONTINUES


Greta was up earlier than ever the next morning. Maybe the Nisser had
decided not to punish her after all. Maybe the mysterious little
creatures would bring her kittens back. So Greta dashed out to the barn
to look. But the bed of straw was still empty.

All day long there was sadness in her heart. The other children at
school were very gay, for this was the last day of school. There was
much singing and there were many games. There was more singing and games
and laughter than there were lessons. But Greta was not gay. She kept
thinking of her lost kittens, and every now and then there was the
awful fear that she might lose Chouse, too.

She hurried home from school even faster than the day before. Chouse had
to run, run, run to keep up with her bicycle. He barked and barked, as
if he wanted to say, "Greta, don't go so fast." But Greta kept right on
going. Nothing could stop her. She rode right up to the barn door and
ran inside. Maybe the kittens had come back. But no, the bed of straw
was empty.

Then Greta remembered that she had not looked in the garden. Maybe the
kittens were out there playing, and the Nisser hadn't taken them at all.
Joyously she ran across the courtyard, with Chouse close at her heels.
Chouse thought his little mistress was going to play with him again, as
she used to do, so he ran on ahead of her and hid under a peony bush. He
lay there without making a sound, waiting for Greta to find him. But
Greta paid no attention to the little wire-haired terrier.

[Illustration: THE ROAD TO SCHOOL]

She walked slowly up and down the garden paths, looking carefully to the
right and left. Then she began to look under the rose bushes and the
peony bushes and the big clumps of iris. After a while Chouse came out
from his hiding place and followed his young mistress all around the
garden. It was no use trying to get her to play with him.

It took a long time for Greta to search the entire garden. Every home in
Denmark has a flower garden, and this was one of the largest and
prettiest for miles around. Greta looked under every inch of the thick
hedge that surrounded the garden. She looked all through the bed of
marigolds and the bed of poppies and the bed of tulips. By this time
Chouse seemed to know that she was searching for something and he tried
to help her. He began poking into all the flower beds himself. While
they were in the midst of their search, old Peter, the gardener, came
along and stopped to watch them.

"Chouse, you naughty dog, get out of the flower beds!" Old Peter was
angry. He had worked very hard all spring to make the garden beautiful.
For many hours he had raked and hoed and watered the flower beds. And
now, in ten minutes, this naughty Chouse had undone all his work.

[Illustration: CHOUSE]

"Oh, Peter, I've lost my kittens and Chouse is helping me look for them.
Please don't scold him." If Peter complained about Chouse, then her pet
surely would be sent away, thought Greta.

"Lost your kittens, Greta? Well, now, that's too bad. Maybe I can help
you find them."

So old Peter took his hoe and he started poking among the flower beds,
too. He poked and he poked, but not a kitten did he find. Greta got down
on her hands and knees and looked and looked, but not a kitten did she
find. And Chouse poked and scratched and dug up the earth, but not a
kitten did he find. The kittens just weren't there.

Every evening, between nine and ten o'clock, the family gathered in the
living room for coffee. This was an old, old custom in Denmark, where
the people like coffee better than any other drink. Greta was usually in
bed by nine o'clock, but since there was no school the next day, her
mother let her stay up with the rest of the family. Instead of coffee,
Greta had a bowl of strawberries and cream. They were large, sweet
berries, fresh from the strawberry patch on the farm. June was the
strawberry month in Denmark. They seemed to grow everywhere, and
everyone ate them, three or four times a day.

Greta said hardly a word all evening. She was afraid to ask her father
what he was going to do with Chouse. Maybe he would forget the whole
matter if nothing were said about it. And she didn't mention the
kittens, for that would bring up the subject of Chouse.

Greta's mother noticed that the little girl was unusually quiet.

"Greta, how would you like to have Anna come and visit you this summer?"
her mother asked.

"Oh, Mother, that would be wonderful." Greta's face was one big smile.
Anna was her cousin, and she lived in Copenhagen. Four years ago she
had spent the summer on the farm with Greta and Hans, and the three
children had had fun together all summer long.

[Illustration: GRETA ON HER BALCONY]

[Illustration: HANS AND CHOUSE]

"You can write her in the morning and invite her to visit you."

Greta ran across the room to her mother and gave her a big hug. "Oh,
Mother, you are _so_ sweet!"

Greta's mother smiled. She understood little girls. She knew that Greta
had been sad, and she wanted to make her happy.

"I guess Anna is quite a big girl by now, Greta. Let's see. She must be
thirteen years old."

"Do you suppose she will act like a young lady? Or will she want to play
with me?"

"Her mother says she is quite a tomboy, so I'm sure she will want to
play with you."

"Shall I ask her to bring her bicycle?" After her family and her dog and
her kittens, Greta liked her bicycle better than anything else in the
world. She knew that she wouldn't want to leave _her_ bicycle at home if
she went away for the summer. So surely Anna would like to bring hers
along.

"She doesn't need to bring her bicycle, Greta," said Hans. "She can use
mine."

"Yes, I think that will be best, Greta," said her mother.

[Illustration: EVERY HOME HAS ITS GARDEN]

"And I'll let her use my new boat, too," added the boy.

"Why, Hans, you won't let _me_ use your boat."

"But you are only ten, and Anna is thirteen," argued Hans.

"Even if I am only ten, I can paddle a boat."

"Time for bed now, Greta," reminded her mother. She didn't want the day
to end in a quarrel.

"I'll get up early, Mother, and write Anna the very first thing."

Greta kissed her mother and father good night and started to bed. Her
own little room was just across the hall from the living room. The
dining room, the living room, and three of the bedrooms were on the
second floor of the house. On the first floor there was the kitchen, the
maids' rooms, and the large office for Greta's father. Greta liked her
little room, and she especially liked the balcony that was just outside
her room. It was a small balcony looking out over the courtyard. It was
fun to play on this balcony and to pretend that she was an actress
bowing to a large crowd of people.

Just as she was ready to jump into bed, Greta heard a scratching sound
on her door. It was Chouse, who felt very much neglected because Greta
had forgotten to pat him good night. This was the first time she had
forgotten it, but Chouse hadn't forgotten. So there he was.

Greta hugged him tight. "Oh, Chouse, I _can't_ let Father send you away.
Whatever would I do without you? Even if you did hide my kittens, I
don't want to lose you. And you _will_ be a good dog, won't you?"

Chouse barked once, which meant "Yes," and Greta hugged him again, just
for luck.



CHAPTER III

A RIDE DOWN THE RIVER


Greta read her letter over carefully to see if all the words were
spelled right. This is what she had written to Anna:

     "_Dear Anna:_

     _I would like to have you come and visit me this summer. I know we
     can have lots of fun. Hans says you may use his bicycle and also
     his boat. That is a real honor, for he won't let me use his boat.
     He says I am too small._

     _I had four darling little kittens, but now they are gone and I
     can't find them anywhere. Do you suppose a Nisse took them away?_

     _Chouse, my dog, has been very naughty and Father says he may have
     to send him away. I hope he won't, because I like to play with
     Chouse._

     _Come as soon as you can. Mother and Father and Hans all send their
     love. So do I._

                                                       _Your cousin
                                                                Greta._"

She addressed the envelope, writing "Copenhagen" in very large letters.
Just as she was going out of the door, her mother called to her.

"When you are in the village, Greta, please stop at the bakery and bring
back some bread. I told Marie to bake an extra loaf today, but she
forgot it. And we have company coming tonight."

"All right, Mother. I won't forget."

As Greta rode into the village she thought of all the things that she
and Anna could do that summer. She didn't have to pay much attention to
cars coming down the gravel road, for there were many more bicycles than
automobiles. Chouse ran right along beside her bicycle, but once in a
while, when he saw a rabbit, he would suddenly dart away into the field.
In a short time he would come tearing back and soon catch up with Greta.

The fields were especially beautiful right now. The hay was yellow and
almost ready to cut. Greta could see for several miles in every
direction, for the land was flat and there were not many trees. In this
part of Denmark the trees do not grow very large because of the wind
that blows all the time, summer and winter. This wind from the North Sea
never seems to stop blowing, and it blows so hard that the trees all
lean to one side, away from the wind. There are scarcely any branches on
the side that the wind comes from.

The farmers are thankful for this wind from the sea, because it keeps
their windmills turning. And from the windmills they get electric power
to light their houses.

Greta mailed her letter and started back home. She didn't stop to visit
with any of her friends in the village, because she was eager to get
home and look for her kittens again. She hadn't given up the hope of
finding them, though she really didn't know where to look. When more
than halfway home, she suddenly remembered the loaf of bread.

"Come, Chouse. We must go back to the village." Chouse had run to the
side of the road, looking for rabbits again.

[Illustration: A BARBER'S SIGN]

From away down the road, Greta could see the sign of the bakery. Shaped
like a large pretzel, it hung 'way out in front of the store. Every
bakery had a sign like this, and many of the other shops had their own
special signs. Each barber shop had a large metal plate hanging out in
front. The plate was cut in a deep curve on one side, where it was
supposed to fit around a man's neck when he had his hair cut. Of course
barbers didn't use plates like this any more, but these signs were
still used to mark a barber shop.

[Illustration: A BAKERY SIGN]

When Greta got home, Hans was just getting ready to start out in his
new boat.

"Want to come along, Greta?"

"Sure I do. Where are you going?"

"Oh, just down the river." The little river which ran in front of the
house and wound around through the fields seemed like the nicest part of
the farm to Hans and Greta. They fished in the river in the summer and
skated on it in the winter. Hans was proud of his new boat, which was a
birthday present from his father. Although he never let Greta go out in
it alone, he often asked her to go with him.

"Wait just a minute, Hans. I must take this bread in the house and then
I'll go with you."

Chouse was already in the boat when Greta came out. The minute that Hans
started toward the boat, Chouse always jumped in ahead of him. He never
sat still in it long. He would dash back and forth from the front to
the back, and every now and then he tried to jump out, when he saw a
rabbit running across the field.

[Illustration: CHOUSE LIKED THE BOAT]

"Are you going to let me paddle, Hans?" asked Greta.

"Maybe I will, after while."

Greta had to be content with this sort of a promise. She was very happy
just to be out in this beautiful new boat. By the time they had gone
around the first bend of the river, Greta began to think of her kittens
again.

"Hans, do you think that a Nisse really did take my kittens away?"

"Well, of course, I don't _know_, Greta. But it looks like it."

"I thought you didn't believe in the Nisser, Hans."

"Why, one _has_ to believe in the Nisser. There is just no other way to
explain some of the things that happen."

"Do you remember the time my doll disappeared and I couldn't find her
for months and months?"

"Sure I do. And then all of a sudden she appeared again."

"And you know, Hans, how I had looked simply _everywhere_ for that
doll."

"Yes. And then you found her under the bed in your room. That is why I
say that you have to believe in the Nisser. There is no other way to
explain things like that."

While they were talking, Chouse had been running back and forth in the
boat. Suddenly he put his front feet up on the side and started barking.
He barked and barked and wagged his tail. He was trying so hard to tell
them something.

"I guess Chouse sees a rabbit. He wants to get out of the boat."

"Let's let him out, Hans, and see what he does."

Hans quickly turned the boat and paddled over to the shore. Chouse
jumped out before the boat had even touched the bank. In fact, he almost
fell into the river, he was in such a hurry to get out. Then he ran
across the field and was soon out of sight, swallowed up in the field of
hay.

"Hans, please let me paddle now."

"Wait until we get around the next bend in the river."

Hans's boat was still so new that he liked to paddle it himself.

"Well, all right." Greta was disappointed, but she had to be content.

Hans pushed the boat away from the shore and paddled down the middle of
the river. The river was quite straight here. Greta thought that the
next bend was very far away indeed. And it seemed that Hans was
purposely going just as slowly as he could. Oh, why did he want to tease
her this way? Greta hoped that her father would get her a boat when she
was fifteen years old. But that was a long time off--five whole years.

"I wonder where Chouse has gone, Hans."

"Oh, he's chasing rabbits all over the field."

Just then they heard Chouse bark, but it was a very faint bark, as if he
were far away. The children looked and looked, but they couldn't see
him anywhere. He barked again, and this time it sounded a little bit
louder, but he was still out of sight. As Greta and Hans went on down
the river, the barking got louder and louder.

"Oh, Hans, I see Chouse," cried Greta in great excitement.

"Where is he, Greta?"

"He's way down there in front of us, right down by the water near that
group of trees. Hurry, Hans. Let's see why he is barking."

Hans pushed the boat forward with strong, swift strokes. He knew exactly
how to handle his boat, and in no time at all they had reached the group
of trees that was growing by the edge of the water.

"Oh, Hans, the kittens! There are the kittens!" Greta stood right up in
the boat. "Hurry, Hans. One of the kittens is in the river."

"You'd better sit down, Greta, or you'll be in the river yourself."

With one strong stroke of his paddle, Hans drove the boat against the
grassy bank. Both children jumped out and ran over to Chouse and the
kittens. One kitten was lying on the grass, but it looked more like a
rat than a kitten. Its soft fur was soaking wet. Chouse was working hard
to pull the other kitten out of the river. Finally he got it up on the
bank just as Hans rushed up to help with the rescue.

"Oh, Hans, the poor little things are almost drowned." Greta picked up
the two mewing kittens and held them close to her, trying to make them
dry and warm and comfortable.

"It certainly is lucky that we came along when we did," said Hans. "Or
rather, it's lucky that Chouse was hunting rabbits along here."

[Illustration: SAFE AGAIN]

"But where are the other two kittens, Hans?"

Hans didn't answer right away. He walked along the shore for a little
distance, stopping now and then to look carefully in the water. At one
place he got down on his knees and looked. Then he walked back quickly
to Greta.

"I'm afraid we shall never find them, Greta. Come on. Let's go home so
that we can get these kittens really dry and warm. We must give them
some warm milk, for I know they are hungry."

All the way home Greta was very quiet. She took off her sweater and
wrapped it around the kittens, holding them in her lap. Suddenly she
looked up at Hans with a smile.

"Hans, this certainly proves that Chouse didn't try to do away with the
kittens, for he was the one who _rescued_ them. Surely Father won't send
him away now."

"I don't know, Greta. I saw Chouse chasing the chickens again
yesterday."

"Did Father see him?" asked Greta with a worried look.

Hans was in a teasing mood and he didn't answer Greta right away.
Finally he said, with an annoying smile on his face, "I think I'd better
not tell you, Greta."



CHAPTER IV

EXCITEMENT IN THE FOREST


"Oh, Father, I'm afraid to go any higher." Greta clung to her father's
arm in terror. This was the first time she had climbed up the lookout
tower in the forest, and even now she was only halfway up. It seemed
such a fearfully long way to the top.

"I just can't go on," the little girl pleaded.

"Why, Greta, for months you've begged to climb up here."

"But I didn't know it was so high."

"You won't be scared if you don't look down at the ground. Just hold
tightly to my hand and you will be all right. Remember, Greta, a girl
who is named after a queen must not be afraid of anything."

"All right, Father, I'll go on."

[Illustration: AT THE TOP OF THE TOWER]

In no time at all they reached the very top of the tower, which stood in
the middle of the forest.

"Why, Father, I can see all of Denmark from here."

Her father laughed. "Not quite all of it, Greta. But you can see all of
our farm and a good many other farms, too. By the way, Greta, just how
large _is_ Denmark?"

"I thought school was over for the summer," laughed Greta. "But I'll
tell you anyway. Denmark covers exactly 16,574 square miles. Besides
that, Denmark owns Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Any more questions,
teacher?"

"Not right away. I'll try to think up a really hard one next time."

Greta's father began looking closely at the forest. He was very proud of
the rows and rows of sturdy evergreens that covered a hundred acres of
his farm. Each year a certain number of trees was cut. Some of them were
sold, and some of them were used for fuel. But always, every year, new
trees were planted to take the place of those that were cut.

Greta was gazing off into the distance, but suddenly her attention was
caught by Chouse, who was running along the road that led to the tower.
If only her father didn't see him, thought Greta. Not a word had been
said about Chouse for the last two days, and Greta hoped that the whole
matter had been forgotten.

When Chouse reached the foot of the tower he began barking loudly. He
had never climbed the tower and he wasn't as brave as Greta, for he
didn't even try. He just kept on barking and barking and barking. Greta
called to him, but he paid no attention. He merely barked more loudly
than before. Of course her father heard him.

"What's that dog up to now, Greta? I guess you'll have to go down and
see what he wants. Are you afraid to go down the tower alone?"

"No, of course I'm not afraid." Greta was glad of the chance to show
how brave she really was.

But when she got down and patted him, Chouse still kept on barking.
Something was the matter, but Greta couldn't imagine what it was. Soon
her father came down, and Greta could see that he was annoyed. Chouse
rushed up to him and barked, trying so hard to tell him something. The
dog dashed down the road a short distance and then ran back, barking
furiously all the time.

"I guess we shall have to follow, Greta."

When Chouse saw that they were following, he stopped barking and was
quite content. Once in a while he would run on ahead in a great hurry.
Then he would run back to Greta and her father and bark again.

"There must be something wrong in the forest," said Greta's father. "I
have never seen Chouse so upset."

"You were just up in the tower, Father. If there had been a fire, you
would surely have seen it."

[Illustration: SOME TREES ARE CUT EACH YEAR]

"Maybe not, because I was watching the men cutting the trees, trying to
decide how many we should cut this year. I hadn't looked over the rest
of the forest yet."

A forest fire is a dreadful thing in this part of the country, where the
wind from the North Sea blows all day long. It can blow a fire in front
of it until all the trees are gone. That is why the forests are always
watched so carefully.

Suddenly Chouse darted off the main road into a narrow path. Greta and
her father followed right at his heels, for they knew that the dog was
leading them somewhere. This was his only way of telling them something
that he thought they should know. Soon he turned off to still another
path. Never for a moment did he hesitate. Chouse knew exactly where he
was going.

When they came to the very edge of the forest, Chouse dashed around and
jumped up and down in great excitement. At last they had reached the
place to which he had been leading them. And no wonder that Chouse was
so excited, for right in front of them, just a few feet from the line of
trees, there was a fire!

"Oh, Father, will the whole forest burn down?" asked Greta, as she
watched the flames which crackled through the pile of twigs and
underbrush.

"No, Greta. Thanks to Chouse, we got here in time. But if the wind
should change suddenly, the whole forest could very easily burn down."

"How did such a fire ever get started?"

"I told old Peter to clear out some of the twigs and underbrush,"
explained her father, "but I also told him that he must never go away
when these piles were burning. He must stay with them every minute."

"I wonder where he is now?"

"I don't know. But he should be right here, watching this fire."

"If the wind did change, how would he put out the fire?"

"By throwing earth on it, Greta."

While they were talking, Chouse was standing near by, wagging his tail
and looking very proud of himself.

[Illustration: IN THE FOREST]

"Chouse, you are the best dog in the whole wide world," said the happy
little girl. "First you rescued my kittens and now you have saved the
whole forest from burning. We couldn't possibly send Chouse away. Could
we, Father?"

Her father didn't answer right away. Finally he said, "By the way,
Greta, have you named the kittens yet?"

"No, I haven't. I've been trying to think of some very special sort of
names, but I just can't think of any."

"Maybe Anna can help you find the right names," her father suggested.

"Of course she can. But I wonder when Anna is coming? I haven't heard
from her yet."

"Why don't you run home and see if you got a letter this morning? I must
stay here and watch this fire until old Peter comes."

"All right, Father."

It didn't take Greta long to get home. Even Chouse could hardly keep up
with her. She hadn't been away from her kittens for this long a time
since the day Chouse had rescued them. You would never know now that
they had been almost drowned. Their fur was just as soft and fluffy as
it had ever been.

"Oh, there you are, Greta. I've been looking everywhere for you." Her
mother greeted her at the door of the house. "Here is a letter for you
from Anna."

Greta read the letter eagerly.

     "_Dear Greta:_

     _Thank you for your nice invitation. I shall be very happy to come.
     Can you meet me at the train at Holstebro? I shall arrive next
     Monday at half past two._

                                                      _Lovingly yours,
                                                                  Anna_"

"Another letter came this morning, Greta, and I have a real surprise for
you."

[Illustration: THE LETTER FROM ANNA]

"Oh, Mother, what is it?" Greta's eyes were already dancing with
happiness.

"We are invited to Vosborg for dinner next week."

"You mean the beautiful castle up on the hill," asked Greta, "the one
that I have always wanted to visit?"

"Yes, dear, that very castle."

"But I thought that Mr. Christianson didn't live there any more?"

"He has been away for many years, but now he has come back to live in
Vosborg."

"And you mean that _I_ can go, and Hans, and Anna, too?"

"Yes, Greta."

"Oh, _Mother_!" Greta threw her arms around her mother's neck. "I must
tell Hans right away." And off she dashed, with Chouse at her heels.



CHAPTER V

THE STORKS


"Greta, I didn't know that you had storks on your farm," said Anna.

"Of course we do," said Greta. "Every farm has a nest of storks."

Hans and Greta had been showing Anna the garden and the river and all
the animals on the farm. Greta herself had almost forgotten about the
storks, because she was so used to them. And anyway, they weren't
animals you could play with, like the kittens and the dog.

"They bring us good luck," explained Hans. "Every farmer puts up an old
wheel, or something else that is round, so the storks can build their
nest on it. Sometimes he puts it on the roof of the barn and sometimes
on the house."

"Don't you have storks at home, Anna?" asked Greta.

"Goodness, no! I don't think there's a stork in all Copenhagen, except
maybe in the zoo." Anna couldn't take her eyes from the large round nest
on the roof of the barn. "Do they stay here all the year round?" she
asked.

"It's too cold for them here in the winter. When cold weather comes,
they all fly south. Father says that some of them go as far as Africa.
But early in the spring they always come back."

"Does the same family of storks come back every year?" asked Anna.

"We _think_ it's the same family," answered Greta, "but we're never
really sure, for you can't ever get very near the storks."

While the children had been talking, one of the storks was standing on
one leg on the edge of the nest.

"That's the papa stork that you see now," explained Hans. "He's away
most of the day, gathering food, but every now and then he comes back to
the nest to rest. He always stands on one leg, just like that, when he
rests."

[Illustration: THE STORKS]

"The mama stork has to stay on the nest all the time until the eggs
hatch," said Greta. "Sometimes she stands up for a little while, but she
never flies away."

"I wonder how many eggs there are." Anna was more interested in the
storks than in anything else on the farm.

"Only four this year," said Hans. "I climbed up on the roof yesterday to
find out. Some years there are five, and sometimes only three."

"My, but you _are_ brave, Hans!" Anna looked at Hans in admiration.
"That roof is terribly steep. I know _I'd_ be afraid to climb it."

"But you are only a girl, Anna," teased Hans.

"Just the same, I can climb as well as a boy. I'll show you." And before
Hans could argue, Anna ran over to the house and climbed up the tree to
Greta's balcony.

"I'll take it all back, Anna. You really _can_ climb." Hans hadn't
expected this cousin from the city to be such a tomboy. He would have to
find some other way to tease her.

"When will the baby storks hatch out, Greta?" Anna couldn't get her mind
off this fascinating subject.

"In another week or two, I expect."

"If the Nisser don't take the eggs first," said Hans.

"Oh, Hans, you don't _really_ think they would?" Greta was upset at the
very thought.

"You know how the kittens disappeared, Greta. The same thing might
happen to the baby storks." Hans told Anna about the lost kittens and
how only two of them were found. "Greta and I decided that the Nisser
took them," he finished.

"Why, Hans, how very silly!" said Anna. "Of course the Nisser wouldn't
do a thing like that. In fact, I don't believe there is such a thing as
a Nisse anyway."

Greta didn't know whether to be shocked or not. There were times when
she herself had her doubts about the Nisser, but right now she felt sure
that they were the ones who had carried off the kittens.

"The Nisser don't play pranks all the time, Anna. They do lots of nice
things for us, too. Do you see that castle on the hill over there, with
the trees all around it?"

Greta pointed to Vosborg Castle, about a mile away. "Let me tell you
what the Nisser did _there_ one winter. There was snow five feet deep
and it lasted for more than a week. No one could get outdoors at all.
The cows were in the barn, where they had plenty of food, but there were
six new calves in a shed out in the field. Everyone was afraid that they
would starve to death, but no one could get out and feed them. When the
snow finally melted and the men went out to see the calves, they found
them fat and healthy! The Nisser had taken care of them and fed them
during the snowstorm."

"So you see there really _are_ Nisser," said Hans.

Anna wasn't at all convinced, but she didn't know how to argue against
proof like this. Finally she asked, "When did this happen, Hans?"

[Illustration: ANNA IS A TOMBOY]

"Oh, a long time ago. A hundred years ago, I guess."

"Then no one can really _prove_ it," argued Anna. "It's just a story
that has been told over and over again, like a fairy tale." Anna
believed in the things she could _see_, not in the things that people
imagined they saw.

"We're going to this castle for dinner on Wednesday evening," said Hans.
"Then you can ask Mr. Christianson himself. He will certainly know
whether or not this really happened."

"We're going to a real castle for dinner?" asked Anna. "That will be
lots of fun. Do you know how many rooms there are in the castle?"

"At least fifty," answered Hans. "Greta and I have never been in
Vosborg, for Mr. Christianson has been living in England for a long
time. But now he has come back here to live."

[Illustration: ON THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER]

While they were talking about the castle, Greta's mother called to Anna.
"Wouldn't you like to write your mother, Anna, and tell her that you
arrived safely?"

"Oh, yes, Tante [Aunt] Agnes. And I'll tell her that we are going to a
real castle for dinner." Anna ran into the house in great excitement.

"Hans, I wonder why Anna doesn't believe in the Nisser," said Greta.
"_You_ believe in them, don't you?"

"Of course I do, Greta." Hans was quiet and thoughtful for a minute, and
then a merry twinkle came into his eyes. "Before Anna goes back to
Copenhagen, _she_ will believe in the Nisser, too."

"What do you mean, Hans?" Greta knew that her brother had some kind of
mischief in mind.

"I mean just that. She will believe in the Nisser just as strongly as
you and I believe in them."

"I don't see how you're going to convince her, Hans."

"_I'm_ not going to convince her, Greta. The Nisser themselves will do
that." Greta begged and begged, but Hans would not explain. "Just wait
and you'll find out, Greta." And Hans started off toward his boat,
whistling to Chouse to come along.



CHAPTER VI

DINNER AT VOSBORG CASTLE


"The carriage should be here any minute now." Greta ran to the window
again to look down the road.

"The carriage!" said Anna in surprise. "Are we going to Vosborg in a
_carriage_, Greta?"

"Yes. Mr. Christianson is sending his carriage for us. He doesn't like
automobiles, so he still keeps the old coach that has belonged to the
castle for a hundred years."

"There it is now, Greta," said Hans, who was just as eager to visit the
castle as Greta and Anna were.

Soon they were all on their way to Vosborg. Although it stood on a hill,
you could hardly see the castle itself, because of the trees all around
it. After a short ride they reached the castle's outer wall and drove
through the wide entrance, with its high tower that formed an archway.
There was a long stretch of level ground inside the wall, before one
came to the stone bridge over the moat. The moat was a wide, deep ditch
filled with water, which ran all the way around the castle. In the olden
days it was an important protection, for enemies could not cross it and
thus could not reach the castle buildings. Inside the moat there was a
rampart, or a high ridge of earth, which was also a protection to the
castle. Then there was still another wall before one finally reached the
castle itself.

"There has been a castle on this spot for hundreds of years," Greta's
mother told the children as they rode along in the old coach. "This
building is only four hundred years old, so you see that it is rather
new! The castle that stood here before was destroyed in 1532."

[Illustration: MR. CHRISTIANSON'S COACH]

"Mother, tell Anna about the Englishman who built the tower of Vosborg
Castle," urged Hans.

"All right, Hans," said his mother. "A long, long time ago, when the
first castle was being built, the owner decided that he wanted a tower
on his castle that would be finer than that of any other castle in
Denmark. He hunted the country over, but he couldn't find anyone who
could build such a grand tower. Finally he heard of a man in England who
could do this. So he sent for this man and told him to build a tower on
Vosborg that would be the finest in the land. The Englishman solemnly
promised that he would do so.

"It took him three full years to build the tower, for he was determined
to make it the finest in all Denmark. And it was. When it was done he
went to the owner of Vosborg and asked if he were satisfied. The owner
was well pleased, and he paid the builder a large sum of money. Long
before this, however, he had decided that he would test the builder and
the honesty of his work. So after the Englishman had left the castle and
was walking down the road, a servant from Vosborg came running after
him, shouting, 'The tower is leaning.'

"This was to be the test of his work. If he turned around to look at the
tower, the owner of the castle would know that the builder was not sure
of his own work. If there were even the smallest doubt in his mind, he
would be certain to look around at once. But the English builder was
very sure that his work was well done. Not once did he look back. Not
for a minute did he pause in his journey. But as he walked on, he said
to the servant from Vosborg, 'The tower does not lean. Tell your master
that I have done my work well; he did not spend his money in vain. He
has the finest tower in all Denmark. But also tell him that one day
Vosborg will be destroyed by a man in a blue coat.'

"The servant told his master. Fear and astonishment ran through the
castle like a flame. Who was the mysterious man in the blue coat who
would one day destroy the castle? No one knew. No one could even guess.
The owner of Vosborg was well liked by all the people. Surely no one
would do him harm. The years went by and the castle remained unharmed.
Gradually everyone forgot about the prophecy of the English builder. The
man in the blue coat was no longer feared.

"Then one year there was a dreadful storm on the ocean. Never before had
the people seen such an angry sea. The waves dashed and pounded against
the shore as they had never done before. The water rose like a wall and
spread over the land for many miles. No one had ever seen a storm like
this one. The water pounded against the outer wall of Vosborg. It
crumbled and fell. Within a few hours the ocean had rushed in and
washed away the rampart around the castle. There was then just one wall
left as a protection against the angry sea. It wasn't enough. On the
second day of the storm the waves became even more fierce and violent.
Finally, that wall crumbled and the whole castle of Vosborg was knocked
down by the force of the waves.

[Illustration: THE ENTRANCE TO THE INNER COURTYARD]

"Thus the prophecy, told many years before, had at last come true. The
English builder had spoken truly. Vosborg was, as he had predicted,
destroyed by a man in a blue coat--the ocean."

"But I thought the ocean was several miles away," said Anna in surprise.

"It is now, Anna, but in those days it was very near. Every few hundred
years the shore line changes, due to the rising or falling of the land.
So Vosborg is now a mile or more from the ocean."

By this time they had reached the courtyard of the castle. The paving
stones that covered the ground had long ago been worn to a smooth,
polished roundness. On three sides of the courtyard there were low,
white buildings. One of these contained the servants' quarters and the
kitchens. Another contained the huge library of the castle. The third
was made up of the stables. On the fourth side of the courtyard stood
the imposing, four-story building that made up the main part of the
castle. In the center of the courtyard there was a lovely, round pool.

"Oh, Greta, it's beautiful," said the delighted Anna, as she looked all
around her.

Dinner was served in the Knights' Hall, a long, stately room on the
second floor. Tall candles lighted the banquet table and threw
flickering shadows in the far corners of the room and against the high
ceiling. The walls were covered with brilliant paintings of the knights
and ladies who had lived at Vosborg in olden days. Now and then, as the
candlelight caught the gleam of a bright red waistcoat or the silken
beauty of a lady's satin gown, Greta turned suddenly to look at the
portraits. Once she thought that one of the great ladies of long ago was
smiling at her. But when she looked again, the lovely face showed only
the calm, quiet beauty of a painting. Had she really smiled? Greta
could not be sure.

After dinner Mr. Christianson showed them the room that King Frederick
had used when he visited Vosborg Castle many years ago.

"This room used to be the chapel," explained Mr. Christianson, "but it
had to be changed for a very amusing reason. The owner of the castle
used to put his turkeys to roost in the chapel and even left them there
on Sunday. When the minister began to preach, all the turkeys babbled in
answer. Of course the whole church service was upset and the minister
couldn't go on. He refused to preach at Vosborg any more. When the king
heard what had happened, he said that there would be no more chapel
services at this castle. So the chapel was changed into a bedroom. Many
years later a tiny chapel was built outside the castle wall. It is a
lovely, quiet place of worship. The inside walls are lined with moss,
and the outer walls are covered with thatch. It is really a little
temple in the woods."

[Illustration: THE CHAPEL IN THE WOODS]

"Could we see it, Mr. Christianson?" asked Anna, as they were going back
to the drawing-room.

"I'm afraid it's too dark out there now. But I should be delighted to
show it to you if you care to come again, during the daytime."

"Oh, I'd love to. Thank you so--Oh, what's that noise?" Anna looked at
Greta, whose face had turned white. She, too, had heard a most unusual
sound.

"I didn't hear any noise," said Mr. Christianson.

"It sounded like heavy wooden wheels," said Greta, who looked quite
scared.

"It couldn't be that, Greta," said Hans. "No one has come into the
courtyard."

"But I heard them _inside_ the castle," insisted Greta.

"Oh, of course. I had forgotten." Then Mr. Christianson explained. "A
long time ago, when this castle was first built, the entrance to the
courtyard was in the center of this building, instead of at the side, as
it is now. In fact, this drawing-room was built where the entrance used
to be. Up to the very day of his death, the old coachman never approved
of this change. So every evening, about this time, he drives his coach
and four over the old road and through the old entrance. He has to come
right through this room and that is why you always hear him."

The two girls looked at Mr. Christianson in wonder.

"You mean his _ghost_ drives through here every evening?" asked Greta.

"Yes, Greta."

"But I didn't think there were any _real_ ghosts," said Anna.

"I don't know, my dear. No one has ever _seen_ him, but you yourself
heard the rumble of the wooden wheels of the coach just now."

"I certainly heard _something_," admitted Anna.

"What else could it be?" asked Hans, who was delighted to hear Anna
admit even this much.

On the way home from Vosborg, Anna was very quiet. Finally she just had
to ask, "Tante Agnes, do _you_ think that was the old coach that we
heard tonight?"

Her aunt smiled. "I don't know, Anna. I think you had better go to
Vosborg again in the daytime. Then you can find out for yourself whether
or not it has any ghosts."



CHAPTER VII

A DAY AT THE SHORE


"Why don't you have a windmill on your farm, Uncle Frederick?" asked
Anna. "Every one of these farms has a big windmill."

Anna and her uncle and Greta were driving through the country on their
way to the shore. Greta's father had to make a business trip to a small
town on the coast, and he was taking the girls with him. Chouse was
comfortably curled up on the back seat.

"We don't need a windmill, Anna, because we have the river."

"But how can the river take the place of a windmill?" asked Anna.

[Illustration: THE WINDMILLS PROVIDE ELECTRIC POWER]

"Greta, haven't you shown Anna the dam in the river?" asked her father.
"This dam causes the water to fall from a great height. The force of the
water, as it falls on a large machine, provides the power that is
turned into electricity. These other farms get their electric power from
the windmills. As the great arms are turned by the wind, they provide
power that is changed, by the machinery, into electricity."

Anna had lived in Copenhagen all her life, and everything about the
country was new to her. She liked to watch the men cutting the hay and
piling it up on the large wagons. On some of the farms the women were
also working in the fields. This was the busiest time of year on the
farm, and everyone had to help. Children hoed the long rows of cabbages
and potatoes and beets.

Every time they drove through a village, Greta and Anna played a game to
see who could be first to find the oldest house. Each house had a name
painted in large letters over the door or near it. This wasn't the name
of the family; it was the name of the house itself. The year when the
house was built was usually there, too. So each girl tried to be the
first one to find the oldest house. Greta usually found it before Anna,
because Anna saw so many other things that interested her.

[Illustration: MIRRORS ON THE WINDOWS]

"What are those funny little mirrors in front of the windows, Greta?"
Anna pointed to the two small projecting mirrors fastened by an iron
frame to the window of a small brick house.

"Oh, the people put those there so that they can sit beside the window
and see who is coming down the street," explained Greta. "There is one
mirror facing up the street and one facing down the street. With these
mirrors they can sit in the house and still see everything that goes
on."

"But they have so many plants and flowers in the windows that I don't
see how they can see anything outdoors."

Every home, whether in a village or on a farm, had a large flower
garden. And in every home, large or small, there were many plants in the
windows, where they could get the sunshine. All Denmark looked like a
large garden, for there were roses, poppies, peonies, iris, pansies,
or other brilliant flowers wherever one looked.

[Illustration: ALONG THE SHORE OF THE NORTH SEA]

"Look, Greta, at the two little patches of green grass in the middle of
that field of hay. Why in the world did the farmer skip those spots?"

"I'll tell you why, Anna," said her uncle. "You will notice that those
little green patches are always on small hills. They are the graves of
Vikings."

"But I thought that the Vikings lived more than a thousand years ago,"
interrupted Anna.

"Yes, they did. They were a strong, bold race who lived in what is now
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. They roamed the sea and conquered many
other lands. Some of them even went to America, long before the time of
Columbus. It is against the law for anyone to disturb a Viking grave.
You will see many of these little mounds on the farms in this part of
the country. The farmers never plant anything on these graves. They
carefully plow all around them."

"We must be quite near the ocean now, for there's a lighthouse," said
Greta. "It would be fun to climb to the top of it. May we, Father?"

"Yes, if you want to."

It didn't take Greta and Anna long to climb the narrow, winding stairs.
From the top of the lighthouse they could see for many miles over the
ocean and over the land. Heavy waves beat upon the beach, and even as
they looked, the sand hills kept shifting, for the wind from the North
Sea was very strong. Not far away was the harbor, and in its quiet
waters some of the fishermen had fastened their sailboats. Near by they
had hung up their nets to dry. Each net was carefully spread over a rope
that was fastened to stakes in the ground. Other fishing boats, with
sails full spread, were far out at sea.

[Illustration: THERE ARE MANY BOATS IN THE HARBOR]

"Anna, do you see those people way down the beach? I wonder what they
are looking for." Greta pointed to two women who were evidently
searching for something along the shore.

"I haven't any idea. Shall we go help them with their search? Look,
Greta. Your father is motioning to us to come down. I think Chouse wants
us, too."

Greta's father had to go on to the next village, but he told the girls
that they could stay here until he came back.

"Chouse will take good care of you while I'm gone," he said, "that is,
if he doesn't run off and get into some kind of mischief himself."

Greta and Anna were curious about the women they had seen down the
beach, so they decided to join them. With Chouse jumping and barking at
their heels, they ran along the water's edge. The tide was coming in,
and every now and then a large wave almost caught them. As they went
farther from the harbor, they found more and more sand dunes: gently
rolling hills with long blades of grass poking up here and there through
the sand. Along this part of the beach there were many summer cottages,
with fences around them to keep the sand from covering them completely.

[Illustration: ALMOST EVERY FARM HAS ITS WINDMILL]

"Have you lost something?" asked Anna as they came near the two women.
"We'll be glad to help you look for it."

"No, we haven't lost anything," answered one of the women. "We thought
we might find some amber along the beach."

"Amber?" asked Greta in surprise. "I didn't know it was found here."

"Oh, certainly. We have often found some very fine pieces of amber on
this very beach."

"Is amber a stone?" asked Greta. "Of course I know what it looks like,
but what is it made of?"

"It has taken thousands of years to form the lovely clear yellow
material that we call amber," explained the second woman. "It was once
the sticky, yellowish fluid given off by the pine trees. As time went
by, those trees were buried under the ground or under the water. The
sticky fluid gradually became hard as stone. It is those stone-like
pieces that we sometimes dig up along the beach of the North Sea."

[Illustration: CHOUSE LIKES TO PLAY]

"They are very valuable, aren't they?" asked Anna.

"Yes, some of them are. Those that are perfectly clear and have no
flaws always bring a good price."

"We'll help you look," said Greta.

The two girls began to search for the little yellow lumps that lay
hidden in the sand. At first it was fun, but after a while they got
tired. They were just about to quit, when one of the women called out
happily, "Here is a beautiful, large piece. It must weigh a pound."

The others rushed up to look at it. Amber is very light, so it took a
large piece indeed to weigh a pound. After this they began searching
with fresh interest. Suddenly Greta found what she thought was a
beautiful piece of amber. But when she showed it to the two women they
said it was much too heavy for amber.

Greta got down on her knees and began poking among the stones and
shells. Every now and then she dug into the sand and poked and looked
and dug some more. While the girls were busy in this absorbing work,
Chouse ran up and down the beach. No one paid any attention to him. Once
in a while he ran up to Greta to see if she would play with him. But she
just pushed him away. "Run away, Chouse. I'm too busy to play now."

[Illustration: FISH NETS SPREAD OUT TO DRY]

When Chouse got tired of playing by himself, he lay down on the sand
near Greta, watching her every minute. Suddenly he noticed something
wriggling along the sand not far away. He sat up and looked. Soon the
wriggling stopped. But Chouse kept on watching this strange object. Then
he got up and walked nearer to it, walking ever so quietly and
carefully. He simply _must_ see what this strange creature was. Greta
wasn't paying any attention to Chouse or to the strange object near by.
She was too busy looking for amber. Chouse stood without moving,
watching the now motionless creature.

"Oh, Greta, I think I've found a real piece of amber!" Anna ran across
the beach in great excitement. When she was ten feet from Greta she
stopped in terror. "Greta!" she screamed. "Look out! Run!"

Greta stood up and looked around, too startled to run. What had
happened? Then she saw. Not two feet away lay a green snake, coiled and
ready to strike. Greta knew at once that this was the most poisonous
snake in all Denmark. Her father had often warned her about it. But she
simply couldn't run. She was so frightened that she had lost the power
to move. Greta knew that in less than a minute the snake would strike
her. She knew that she must get away. But she couldn't.

At that very instant Chouse sprang forward. He had been watching this
crawling green creature for many minutes. Now was the time for him to
act. And he did act. He seized the snake by the neck and quickly carried
it off to a high sand dune. In less than two minutes the snake was dead.

Greta sank down on the sand and Anna rushed up to her. "Oh, Greta, are
you all right?"

"Yes, Anna, I'm all right. But I was so frightened that I couldn't
move."

Chouse came back to Greta and she took him in her lap. "After this,
Chouse, I think you will have to go with us wherever we go. I am quite
sure that Father won't send you away."



CHAPTER VIII

A SECOND VISIT TO VOSBORG


"Are you coming with us, Hans?"

"Where are you going, Greta?"

"Oh, didn't you know? Mr. Christianson has invited Anna and me to visit
Vosborg. He wants to show us the whole castle. I'm sure he would be glad
to have you come, too."

"Thank you, Greta, but I think I'll go fishing today. Old Peter says
they are biting. Come along, Chouse." Hans started toward the river.
Chouse had run ahead and was already waiting in the boat.

"Shall we go on our bicycles, Greta?" asked Anna, who never walked any
place if she could take her bicycle.

"No, let's walk. It's only a mile; besides, it's way too steep a hill
to climb on a bicycle."

The girls walked happily down the road, never once looking back. If they
had looked back, they would have seen something very strange. Hans had
started down the river, but he suddenly stopped the boat when he reached
the first bend. He paddled over near the shore and drew the boat up on
the bank. Then he cautiously hid behind a large tree trunk. The strange
thing was that he didn't take his fishing pole out of the boat. He stood
behind the tree for quite a little while, watching Greta and Anna as
they hurried along to Vosborg.

When the girls were out of sight, Hans called to the dog. "Come, Chouse.
It's time for us to go now." They got into the boat again and Hans
paddled slowly and quietly. But Greta and Anna had reached the turn in
the road, so they could not possibly see which way Hans was going.

In the field outside the castle wall, two storks were walking around on
their long, slender legs. The girls stopped to watch them.

[Illustration: MR. CHRISTIANSON]

"Oh, Greta, I wish we could get up close to them." Anna ran forward. She
thought the storks couldn't possibly see her. But when she was still
twenty feet away they lifted their large wings and rose in the air. Soon
they had gone over the tops of the trees and high into the sky. Anna
watched them until they were out of sight.

"What would you like to see first?" asked Mr. Christianson, when he
greeted his two young visitors at the door.

Both girls spoke at the same time. "The little chapel," said Anna. "The
library," said Greta.

They visited the chapel first, and then came back to the castle by way
of a lovely, shaded path which ran by the side of the moat.

"Hans Christian Andersen used to walk along here, when he visited
Vosborg," said Mr. Christianson. "He thought up many of his fairy tales
as he strolled along under these trees. In the library there is a volume
of his stories that I want to show you. Andersen gave this book to my
grandfather, and in the front he has written a little verse about
Vosborg."

"Do you suppose we might climb up in the tower?" asked Anna, after they
had gone all through the garden and had come back into the inner
courtyard. Anna was very fond of climbing.

"Of course you may." Mr. Christianson took them up narrow stairs that
kept going up and up and up. Finally they reached the top. From here
they could see the ocean in the distance.

"This is almost as high as the tower in our forest," said Greta.

"In olden times this tower was very useful," explained Mr. Christianson.
"From here one could see an enemy when he was still miles away."

"Denmark doesn't have any enemies now, does it?" asked Anna.

"No, Denmark is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. It is
almost eighty years since we have been at war with any other nation."

After a while they went down to the library. Mr. Christianson led the
girls past rows and rows of books, placed on shelves that reached from
the floor to the ceiling. When they came to the farthest corner of the
room he stopped and reached for the book of Andersen's Fairy Tales
without even looking.

"You see, I know just where it is." Then a worried look came on his
face. "Why, I can't understand this," he said. "This book was here last
night, for I showed it to some friends. And now it is gone."

"Maybe someone has borrowed it," suggested Greta.

"That is impossible, for I keep the library locked, and none of the
servants has the key."

"Maybe you put it back in the wrong place," suggested Anna.

"I'm afraid that is impossible, too. You see I keep this book in a very
special place because I prize it more than any other book that I own. I
am always careful to put it back in this same spot."

[Illustration: THE COURTYARD OF VOSBORG]

"We'll help you look for it," offered Greta. So the three began
searching one shelf of books after another.

"I suppose Hans would say that one of the Nisser had taken it," said
Anna jokingly, when they had gone about halfway through the shelves of
books.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if one _had_ taken it," answered Greta
quite seriously.

They kept on looking for almost an hour. By this time Mr. Christianson
was really worried. He finally called in all the servants and asked if
any of them had been in the library that day. None of them had. The
disappearance of the book had become a real mystery.

"I should hate to lose this book more than any other book in the
library."

"Let's look once more on the shelf where it's supposed to be," said
Anna.

Mr. Christianson laughed. "But we looked there very carefully when we
first came in."

Anna wanted to look there again, so she ran down the long room to the
special shelf.

"Here it is!" she shouted. "Right here on the shelf where it is always
kept."

The others rushed up at once. "Well, this _is_ strange," said Mr.
Christianson. "It wasn't here an hour ago, and no one has been in this
part of the room since then."

"Except maybe a Nisse," said Greta.

In the front of the book Hans Christian Andersen had written a beautiful
poem about Vosborg. It was no wonder that Mr. Christianson treasured
this book, for Andersen is the most famous writer of all Denmark.
Children all over the world love his fairy tales.

"It's getting late, Greta, and I think we should--" began Anna and then
stopped. A long, low moan cut through the stillness of the room. It
seemed to come from quite near.

"What--what was that?" asked Greta.

"Oh, I suppose that was Lady Margaret," explained Mr. Christianson.
"About a hundred years ago she was kept a prisoner in this room for many
years, and every now and then we hear her moaning."

"Did you ever see her?" asked Anna.

"Well, no, I never did. But whenever we hear that low moan from this
room we know it is Lady Margaret."

"Doesn't it frighten you?" asked Greta.

"Oh, no. We are quite used to it."

"This is really a haunted castle, isn't it?" asked Anna.

"Every castle in Denmark has at least _one_ ghost, Anna."

All the way home the girls talked about the ghost of Lady Margaret. Anna
was beginning to think that maybe there really _were_ such things as
ghosts and Nisser. When they reached the house, Hans was just getting
out of his boat.

"Did you get any fish, Hans?" called Anna.

"No luck today, Anna."

"Are you sure you were trying to catch fish?" asked Greta, in her most
teasing manner.

"What do you mean by that, Greta?"

"I thought maybe you had decided to go after books instead."

Anna looked at Hans. Could he have been playing a joke on them at
Vosborg? Was it Hans who had taken the book and then put it back? But
how could he have gotten into the library? And anyway, she and Greta had
both seen him start down the river in the opposite direction.

Just then Greta's mother called from the door. "Anna, you have a letter
from your mother."

"It's too bad you didn't take Chouse with you today, Greta," said Hans,
when Anna had gone into the house.

"Why? What happened?"

"He was naughtier than he's ever been before. He chased the young
turkeys all over the place and injured three or four of them."

"Did Father see him?"

"Yes. He came along just as Chouse caught one of the turkeys and he was
terribly angry. You know how proud Father is of those turkeys."

"Oh, Hans, what _am_ I going to do?" sobbed Greta. "We can't seem to
break Chouse of his awful habit of chasing things. And yet I can't bear
to part with him."

Just then Anna came running out of the house. "Greta, I have the
grandest news. Mother wants you to come to Copenhagen with me when I go
home."

For a moment Greta forgot her worries about Chouse. "Oh, Anna, that will
be wonderful. Let's ask Mother if I may go."



CHAPTER IX

CHOUSE SEEKS THE SPOTLIGHT


It was soon decided that Greta would go back to Copenhagen with Anna. At
dinner that evening the girls talked about nothing else, for Greta had
never been in Copenhagen before.

"While you are away, Greta, I'll look around and find a new home for
Chouse," her father announced suddenly.

At last it had come--this terrible thing that she had been dreading.

"But I thought that Chouse had been a very good dog lately." For the
moment Greta had forgotten Hans's report about the turkeys.

"I had hoped he would learn to behave better," said her father, "but
today he injured several of the young turkeys, and I just _can't_ have
it, Greta. So we must find another home for him. I know how you love
Chouse, and I hate to do this, but I don't see any other way out."

"Why can't Chouse come to Copenhagen with us?" asked Anna, hoping that
maybe this would solve the problem, at least for a while.

"Do you think your mother would want him?"

"Oh, yes, I'm sure it would be all right with Mother," said Anna. "We
don't have any chickens or turkeys, so Chouse couldn't very well get
into mischief at my house."

Greta's father hesitated a minute or two before he answered, while Greta
watched him anxiously. "All right, Anna, Chouse may go to Copenhagen
with you and Greta."

[Illustration: A TYPICAL VILLAGE SCENE]

Greta sank back in her chair with a deep sigh. By the time she came home
from Copenhagen, the whole matter would probably be forgotten. At any
rate, the evil day had been postponed.

When the day came for Greta and Anna to leave for Copenhagen, the whole
family went to the train with them.

Hans gave Chouse a goodbye pat on the head. "Take good care of my little
sister, Chouse," he said.

"And you take good care of the kittens, Hans," warned Greta.

Soon all the goodbyes were said and the two girls were on the train.

"I wish we could get seats by the window," said Greta. They walked up
and down the aisle, which was on one side of the train, but there wasn't
a single empty seat beside a window. Each car was divided into a dozen
sections, like little rooms, with two long seats facing each other.
There was space for four people on each seat, or eight people in each
section. The girls sat down in a section where there were only three
people. At the very next station, two of them got off, and then there
was a vacant seat beside the window. Greta and Anna decided to take
turns at sitting there.

"What time will it be when we reach Copenhagen, Anna?"

"After seven o'clock. You see we have to cross the peninsula of Jutland
and then the island of Zealand before we come to Copenhagen."

"I have never seen a really large city before, Anna."

"You will love Copenhagen, Greta. It has such beautiful parks and shops
and castles and, oh, _everything_!"

"Oh, look, Anna, here we are at Lemvig already. Do you know the story
about Lemvig?"

"No; what is it?"

"A long, long time ago, when Denmark was at war with Sweden, the Swedish
soldiers had been ordered to march upon Lemvig and take the town. You
can see that almost the whole town is down in the valley; there are just
a few houses on the hills. The soldiers couldn't see the town at all,
so they asked a farmer where it was. He pointed to the houses on the
hill on the other side of the valley. Then the Swedish soldiers rode
very fast, keeping their eyes on these houses on the distant hill. They
didn't see the valley at all and they rode so fast that they all fell
down the hill and into the river. So Lemvig wasn't captured after all."

As the train started again and left Lemvig, Anna leaned out the window.
"Oh, it's too late now," she said sadly.

"Too late for what?" asked Greta.

"I wanted to get an ice-cream bar, but the train started just as the boy
with the ice-cream bars came up to our window."

"We'll surely get one at the next town, Anna."

As soon as the train stopped again, Anna let down the window and they
each bought an ice-cream bar and also one for Chouse. He had been
standing on Greta's lap, with his front feet on the window sill,
watching with great interest as they passed fields of yellow hay,
forests of evergreens, pastures with large herds of cows, and great
fields of cabbage and beets.

When they had finally ridden clear across Jutland, which forms the main
part of Denmark, and then across the island of Funen, which is connected
with the mainland by a large bridge, they came to a wide stretch of
water called the Great Belt.

"Get your suitcase, Anna," said Greta. "We will have to get off the
train and take a boat here."

Anna laughed, but she didn't make a move to get her suitcase down from
the rack overhead.

"The whole train takes the boat, Greta. We don't have to get off at
all."

"The whole train? But how can it?"

[Illustration: FARM HOUSES IN THE VALLEY]

"Just look out the window and you'll see for yourself."

The railroad tracks ran to the very edge of the water, where a large
ferry boat was waiting for the train. It had tracks on it, too, and the
train ran right on to the boat. Greta could hardly believe her eyes. To
think that one could ride on a train and a boat at the same time! It
took about two hours to cross the water, and then they were on the
island of Zealand. The boat went right up to the railroad tracks and the
train was soon on land again and speeding on its way.

"Everything here looks so different," remarked Greta, as she looked out
the window. "There are so many more trees, and it isn't so flat as it is
at home."

Before long they reached the large railroad station in Copenhagen, where
Anna's mother was waiting for them.

"Your father will be here very soon, Anna, and then we are all going to
Tivoli for dinner."

"Is Tivoli a restaurant?" asked Greta.

"No, Tivoli is one of the most famous parks in all the world," explained
Anna. "It's right in the center of Copenhagen. In fact, it's right next
to this station. Oh, I wish Father would hurry."

When Greta first saw Tivoli she thought she was in fairyland. Surely it
couldn't be real. The gay beds of flowers and the tinkling fountains and
the colored lights among the trees all seemed to be part of a magic
world. Besides all this beauty, Tivoli had many restaurants and theatres
and places for concerts and games and other amusements.

They had dinner in one of the outdoor restaurants, and Greta was so
interested in watching the people as they passed by that she could
hardly eat. After dinner they started to walk through the park and let
Greta decide for herself what she would most enjoy. When they had gone
only a little way they came to a large open stage, where a play was
being given. They all stopped to watch it for a few minutes, and Greta
wouldn't leave the spot. To her it was the most fascinating thing in
Tivoli.

Suddenly she noticed that something had gone wrong on the stage. The
actors seemed confused and they hesitated over their lines. What could
be the matter? Then, to her horror, she saw Chouse run across the stage
and jump up on one of the actors. He was a young lad who looked
something like Hans. Chouse soon saw his mistake and began wandering
around the large stage as if he were lost. The audience laughed. They
knew that this wasn't part of the play, and it seemed very funny to
them.

The minute that Greta saw Chouse she started toward the stage. Going
around to the back, where the audience could not see her, she whistled
and called to her dog. Chouse was glad to hear his name. Happily he ran
off the stage at once and the play went on.

"I think we had better go home now," said Anna's father, when Greta came
back with the dog, "before Chouse gets into any more mischief."

Greta's heart sank. They had barely gotten into Copenhagen--in fact,
they hadn't even reached Anna's home yet--and Chouse had already gotten
into mischief. What in the world was she going to do with him?



CHAPTER X

A DAY OF HAPPY SURPRISES


"Anna, please don't walk so fast," begged Greta. The two girls were
walking down Langelinie, the beautiful parkway along the ocean. Greta
was much shorter than Anna and she could not walk nearly so fast. Then,
too, she liked to stop and watch the boats coming into the harbor. The
name Copenhagen means "merchants' harbor," and this city has one of the
finest harbors in Europe. All kinds of ships, from tiny sailboats to
large ocean liners, come here from all parts of the world.

When they had gone a little farther, Greta wanted to sit down and rest.

"Can't you walk just a tiny bit more, Greta? On the other side of this
little bay there is someone I want you to meet."

"Who, Anna?"

"She is called 'Den Lille Havfrue,'" said Anna.

"'Den Lille Havfrue,'" repeated Greta. "'The Little Ocean Lady.' I still
don't understand, Anna. Who can this be?"

"Just keep on walking, and I'll show you," answered Anna in her most
mysterious manner.

In a few minutes the girls had gone around the bay.

"Oh, Anna, how beautiful she is!" said the delighted Greta. Sitting on a
rock at the edge of the water was the statue of a lovely mermaid--"the
little ocean lady."

"She looks like a real live person," went on Greta, "except for her
fish's tail instead of feet. Is there really such a person as a mermaid,
Anna?"

[Illustration: A SIDE VIEW OF THE GEFION FOUNTAIN]

"I'm not sure, Greta, whether there is or not. But if there really is a
Nisse, then maybe there are mermaids, too. This Little Mermaid is the
most beautiful statue in Copenhagen. Some people think it is the
loveliest one in all Europe."

"How large is Copenhagen, Anna?"

[Illustration: THE GEFION FOUNTAIN]

"It has about a million people. That's a third of the whole population
of Denmark."

After a short walk the girls came to a large fountain, the largest that
Greta had ever seen. At the top of the fountain there was a statue of
four oxen, hitched to a plow and driven by a woman.

"This is called the Gefion Fountain, and it shows how the island of
Zealand was made," explained Anna. "There is an old, old story that says
that Denmark was given permission to take as much of Sweden as one could
plow around in a day. So the ruler of Denmark changed her four sons into
oxen and with them she plowed out the island on which Copenhagen stands.
This statue shows how she had to whip them and urge them on in order to
plow out this large island before night came."

"Oh, I wish we had brought Chouse along," said Greta. "He would love to
play in this fountain."

"Chouse likes to play in lots of places where he shouldn't. I think it's
a good thing that we left him home. He was very naughty at Tivoli the
other night."

"He didn't mean to be naughty, Anna. Don't you think we can take him
with us sometime?"

"Maybe; sometime," said Anna.

As the girls walked along they stopped now and then to look in the shop
windows. Whenever Greta saw a window full of beautiful silverware or
china she wanted to stop and buy a gift for her mother. This china,
decorated with figures in a soft blue color, was called Royal Copenhagen
Porcelain, and it was famous all over the world. The silverware was
designed by a Danish artist named Georg Jensen, and it was also very
famous.

"You will have lots of time to buy a gift for your mother, Greta. Don't
stop now. I hope you aren't tired, for we have a hard climb ahead of
us."

"A climb? Why, there isn't a hill in all Copenhagen."

"Do you see that church with the dome-shaped roof that's all green and
shiny? Well, that's what we are going to climb."

"Oh, Anna, how can we? Why, it's taller than any of the other buildings
in Copenhagen." Greta looked around her at the four- and five-story
buildings. The shiny green dome of the church rose far above them.

"It is usually called the Marble Church," explained Anna, "because it is
built of marble. Its real name is Frederick's Church, because it was
built by King Frederick the Fifth."

"That shiny green dome isn't made of marble, is it?" asked Greta.

"Oh, no," laughed Anna. "The church cost a great deal to build, and when
they had gotten as far as the dome, there was no money left. So all the
housewives in Copenhagen gave their copper kettles to be melted up and
used to make the dome of the church."

Inside the church it was cool and quiet. The girls started up the stairs
and climbed for quite a while without saying a word. Greta began to
think that they would never reach the top.

[Illustration: A COUNTRY SCENE]

"Is it much farther, Anna?"

"This is the easy part of the climb, Greta. Don't give up yet."

They kept on climbing. The stairs wound round and round, and as the
girls went higher and higher the stairs became more and more narrow.
Finally they came to the place where the stairs were so narrow and so
steep that a rope had been hung from the top to help those who climbed.
It was like climbing the side of a mountain.

"Now we've come to the hard part," said Anna. "Take hold of this rope
and don't let go."

"Anna, do you think we ought to go any higher?" Greta was frightened but
she didn't want to admit it.

"Why, of course. There is no point in climbing this far and then
stopping. You aren't afraid, are you, Greta?"

"I guess not."

"Don't look down at all, and then you'll be all right," advised Anna.

All of a sudden Greta remembered what her father had told her when she
was climbing the tower in the forest. "A girl who is named after a queen
must not be afraid of anything." After all, what was there to be afraid
of? The stairs were narrow and steep, but she would hold tightly to the
rope and she would be quite safe.

When Greta was about ten steps from the top, she did glance down and saw
a handkerchief lying on the step below her. Very carefully she backed
down one step, holding to the rope with her left hand and clutching her
purse with her right. As she took her left hand off the rope to pick up
the handkerchief, she started to lose her balance. In terror she grabbed
at the rope. She didn't fall, but the handkerchief fell six or seven
steps below her.

Anna had reached the top and called down to Greta. "What's the matter,
Greta? You mustn't stop now, when you are almost at the top."

"Did you drop your handkerchief, Anna? There is one here on the
stairs."

Anna felt in all her pockets. "No, I didn't drop mine, Greta."

Greta backed down the steps slowly and carefully. This time she would
not let go of the rope at all. She laid her purse on the step above
while she picked up the tiny handkerchief and put it in her pocket. In a
short time she had reached the top of the stairs, where Anna was waiting
for her. Greta showed her the dainty little handkerchief, with its wide
border of lace.

"Look, Greta. It has an 'I' embroidered in one corner."

"I wonder whose it is, Anna."

As the girls walked out on the platform on top of the dome, they almost
ran into two beautifully dressed ladies. Greta made her prettiest
curtsy.

"Perhaps this handkerchief is yours," she said, holding it out to them.

"Why, yes, it is," said the taller of the two ladies. "Thank you very
much, my dear." She and her companion then started down the narrow
stairway.

"I'm sure I have seen that lady before, but I can't remember where,"
said Anna, when they had gone. "Come over here, Greta. I want to show
you the King's palace."

Just a block away from the Marble Church was Amalienborg, the palace of
the King. The palace consisted of four beautiful buildings, built around
a large open square. Day and night, a tall guard in uniform marched
slowly back and forth in front of the palace. King Christian is probably
the best loved king in all Europe, and no one would ever want to harm
him. Nevertheless, the guard is always there.

[Illustration: AMALIENBORG PALACE]

"That is the famous Round Tower over there," explained Anna. "Some day
we will climb up in it. The building with all the dragons on the roof is
the Stock Exchange." Anna went on to point out other interesting
buildings. Greta was most interested in the harbor and the hundreds of
boats, which seemed to be everywhere in the city. Little arms of the sea
come right into the heart of Copenhagen, so there really are boats and
bridges wherever one looks.

[Illustration: THE KING'S GUARD]

Finally the girls started home. After a long bus ride, they walked the
few remaining blocks to Anna's home.

"Anna, why does that building have so many little porches? Do they all
belong to one house?" Greta pointed to a long brick building that had
fully a hundred porches.

[Illustration: "BIRD CAGE" PORCHES]

"That's a new apartment building, Greta. More than a hundred families
live there, and each family has its own little sun porch. Notice how
each porch is built up solid on one side, but the other side and the top
are open. In that way, every porch gets lots of sunshine, but the
neighbors can't possibly see in it."

"They look more like bird cages than porches," said Greta.

"Oh, Greta," exclaimed Anna suddenly. "I believe that was the Princess."

"Who, Anna?"

"Why, the lady whose handkerchief you found. Let's hurry home and ask
Mother. I'm sure she will know."

Greta told Anna's mother about the finding of the handkerchief, and Anna
described the two ladies.

"Do you suppose it could have been Princess Ingrid, Mother?"

"I think it must have been, Anna. And the other lady was her sister
Louise. You know that Princess Ingrid, the wife of our Crown Prince, is
a Swedish princess by birth. Today's newspaper says that Princess Louise
has come from Sweden to visit her sister Ingrid. Here is their picture.
Does it look like the two whom you saw?"

Both girls looked at the paper eagerly. "Yes, it _was_ Princess Ingrid
and Princess Louise," said Greta. "Oh, I must write Hans about this. He
has never even _seen_ a Princess. And now I have seen two of them and
even talked to one."



CHAPTER XI

THE BEST SURPRISE OF ALL


"Now it's our turn to show _you_ some castles, Greta," said Anna, as she
and her mother and Greta got in the car. Anna's mother had promised to
take the girls on an all-day trip to northern Zealand. This part of
Denmark is as full of castles as a plum-cake is full of plums.

After driving about twenty-five miles along the shore, they came to
Kronborg Castle, in the town of Elsinore.

"This is the most famous castle in Denmark," said Anna's mother.

"Why?" asked Greta.

"Haven't you ever read 'Hamlet,' Greta?" asked Anna in surprise.
"Kronborg Castle is where Hamlet lived. Only Shakespeare called it
Elsinore, which is the name of the town instead of the castle."

[Illustration: KRONBORG CASTLE]

As she walked across the old drawbridge and entered the outer yard of
the castle, Greta thought that Kronborg was the loveliest castle she had
ever seen. It was much larger and much more wonderful than Vosborg. When
they came to the drawbridge across the second moat, Anna pointed out the
high battlement where the ghost of the murdered king once walked.

"Does he still walk there, Anna?" asked Greta.

"Maybe he does, Greta. All we really know about him is what Shakespeare
tells us in his play."

When they crossed the last bridge and passed through the last gateway
into the inner courtyard of Kronborg, Greta stopped in surprise. "Oh,
Anna, it's so large and so beautiful." Then, just to show that she
wasn't really afraid of climbing, she asked, "Tante Elsie, do you
suppose we could climb to the top of one of the towers?"

"Yes, I think so."

From the little balcony on the tower they looked out over the ocean.

"Is that an island across the water?" asked Greta.

"Oh, no, Greta. That is Sweden, only three miles away. In the olden
days, Kronborg was a fortress that guarded the entrance to the Baltic
Sea. All the ships that came from the North Sea into the Kattegat and
then into the Baltic had to pass this point of land, and every ship that
went by here had to pay money to Denmark. Up here in this very tower
there were guards who watched all the ships to see that every one
stopped and paid for the privilege of going past this point. In those
days, Kronborg was the most important castle in Denmark."

[Illustration: THE MOAT AROUND KRONBORG]

"Don't they have to pay this money now?"

"No. About a hundred years ago Denmark stopped asking for this payment.
Ships that are going to the Baltic Sea can now go through the Kiel Canal
in Germany, instead of going all the way around Denmark," explained
Anna's mother.

As they walked down the narrow, winding stairs, Anna suddenly exclaimed,
"Oh, Mother, we forgot to tell Greta why Kronborg is still an important
castle."

"Maybe she already knows."

"No, I don't. Please tell me, Anna."

"According to an old, old story, Holger the Dane sleeps in the dungeon
that is deep below this tower. If Denmark is ever in trouble of any
kind, he will awake and come to her rescue."

"I've heard of Holger the Dane, of course," said Greta, "but I thought
he was just an imaginary person."

"He's no more imaginary than a Nisse," said Anna, with a twinkle in her
eye.

Greta hated to leave Kronborg, but when Anna told her that they were
going to see even finer castles than this one, she was willing to go.
After driving about fifteen miles, they turned off the main road and
drove down a long avenue of beech trees. At the end of this avenue
there was a large white building, with a four-cornered tower rising from
the center.

"This is Fredensborg Palace, where the King and Queen live in the
autumn," said Anna. "The King comes here for the hunting season."

"Can we go inside this palace?" asked Greta. "I would love to see the
Queen's own room."

"Of course you would, little Margrete," said Tante Elsie. "We will ask
the guide to show us the Queen's apartments."

It seemed to Greta that the guide took them through miles and miles of
rooms. Even then, he showed them only a part of the two hundred and
seventy rooms. The palace was much larger than it looked from the front,
for it was very long.

"Surely this isn't the _Queen's_ room," said Greta, as she stood in the
doorway of the large, sunny bedroom.

"Why not, Greta?" asked Anna in surprise.

"Why, I thought it would be a very grand room, with furniture of gold."

Tante Elsie laughed. "Oh, Greta, you forget that the King and Queen of
Denmark are people of simple tastes. This is a beautiful room, and it
shows that the Queen likes lovely things. But it also shows that she
does not spend money just to make a grand display."

"Perhaps the young lady would like to see the ballroom," said the guide.
"I think she will find that it is all that she imagined and really fit
for a queen."

[Illustration: FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE]

He led them through several drawing-rooms and then into the ballroom. It
was a large, square room, with windows clear up to the ceiling. The
walls and ceiling were light blue, so that it seemed as if the room
were open to the sky.

"This is what I always thought a royal palace would be like," said Greta
in deep contentment.

"The ceiling of this room is eighty-one feet high," explained the guide.
"It forms the tower in the middle of the palace."

Greta didn't want to leave this lovely room. She was fascinated by the
pictures painted on the walls, the gorgeous hangings at the windows, and
the large groups of glass candlesticks that hung from the ceiling and
sparkled like icicles as the sun shone on them.

"Do you want to see the Queen's crown?" asked Anna, as they reluctantly
left the beautiful ballroom.

"The Queen's crown?" said Greta. "The Queen is in Copenhagen now; surely
her crown wouldn't be here at Fredensborg."

"She has a crown here, too. It is really lovelier than the one she wears
at court," said Anna.

When they came to the garden behind the palace, Greta saw what Anna
meant. In the middle of the sloping green lawn there was a huge bed of
pansies, arranged in the shape of a crown. In the lower part of the
crown the pansies were all purple, and in the upper part they were all
gold.

"You are right, Anna. This is prettier than any crown of real gold."

"Come, girls. We must be on our way now," said Anna's mother. "We have a
long ride ahead of us."

"Are we going to see _another_ castle?" asked Greta.

"Yes, the finest one of all."

[Illustration: THE COURTYARD OF FREDERIKSBORG]

After a short drive through a large forest of beech trees, they came to
Frederiksborg Castle. It was built on three small islands in the center
of a lake. The castle itself was so large that it covered the islands
completely and seemed to rise up out of the water itself. When King
Frederick built the first castle here, nearly four hundred years ago, he
purposely chose these islands in the center of a lake because they were
the safest place for a castle. Enemies could not easily reach it here.
When this old, old castle was destroyed by fire, a much finer one was
built on the islands.

[Illustration: FREDENSBORG PALACE]

As they crossed the bridge to the main part of the castle, Greta saw two
women entering the main doorway.

"Look, Anna," she said in great excitement. "Isn't that Princess Ingrid
and Princess Louise going into the castle right this minute?"

When Anna looked, the women had disappeared. Greta was now more eager
than ever to visit the castle. Maybe she would see her beloved Princess
Ingrid again. Would the Princess remember the little girl who had found
her handkerchief on the stairs of the Marble Church? Greta wondered. She
was anxious to go inside, but Anna stopped in the courtyard to listen to
the chimes on the castle tower. Every hour of the day the ringing chimes
played a different tune.

"Let's see the Knights' Hall first," suggested Anna, when they went
inside.

Greta wanted to say, "Let's follow Princess Ingrid," but she didn't know
which way the Princess had gone. So she followed Anna without a word.
The Knights' Hall was the largest room Greta had ever seen. The walls
were covered with hangings whose colored threads were woven in such a
way as to show scenes from Danish history. Greta thought she would like
to study history if she could learn it from pictures like these instead
of from textbooks. While she was looking at one of the hangings in a far
corner of the room, Anna grabbed her arm.

"There they go, Greta. Don't you want to follow them?"

Then Greta remembered that Princess Ingrid was here in the castle. How
could she have forgotten? She and Anna and Tante Elsie left the Knights'
Hall and entered the long series of drawing-rooms that filled one wing
of Frederiksborg. Greta scarcely looked at the paintings that hung on
every wall. She wanted to see a real live princess, not a painted lady
in a golden frame. They walked slowly through room after room, but not a
glimpse of the Princess did they get.

"I guess Princess Ingrid and her sister have left the castle," said
Greta, in an unhappy tone. She was ready now to leave it herself, for it
held no further interest for her.

"Now for the most wonderful room of all," said Anna, after they had gone
through all the drawing-rooms. She almost had to drag Greta to the
chapel, which formed an important part of the castle itself. When the
royal family lived at Frederiksborg, services were held here every
Sunday. This chapel was really as large as a church. As they came in,
the organist was playing softly, and Greta sat down to listen to the
music, while Anna and her mother went to look at the paintings which
were on exhibition in the balcony of the chapel.

Afterwards, Greta never remembered exactly how it happened. She must
have closed her eyes for a minute in order to enjoy the music
completely. The first thing she remembered was a soft voice saying, "Are
you all alone here, my dear?"

When Greta had opened her eyes and recognized the speaker she jumped to
her feet. "Why, it's the little girl who found my handkerchief the other
day. How very nice to see you again. When we saw you here asleep, we
thought you had gotten lost in this great castle."

Greta explained that her aunt and her cousin were up in the balcony.
Then her eyes shone like stars and her heart almost skipped a beat as
the lovely Princess Ingrid took a rosebud from the bouquet which she
carried and held it out to Greta. "Perhaps you would like to wear this
little flower," she said in her gentle way. Then, with another smile,
she and the Princess Louise went out of the chapel.

Greta stood like one in a dream. Now she knew how the knights of olden
times felt when they had been honored by the King. She, little Margrete,
had a flower from the hands of the Crown Princess of Denmark. All her
life long she would remember this moment.



CHAPTER XII

CHOUSE IS HOMESICK


"Chouse, will you promise to be a _really_ good dog if we take you with
us?"

Chouse answered Greta by barking three times, which meant, "Yes, I
will."

Chouse had not been allowed to go with the girls since the evening at
Tivoli. Greta didn't want to send home any _more_ bad reports about him.
Even now, she was almost afraid to open her father's letters, for each
day she expected him to write that he had found a new home for Chouse.
Sometimes Greta wished that her visit in Copenhagen could go on forever.
Then she would never have to part with her pet.

"We'll climb up in the Round Tower first of all," said Anna, as she and
Greta and Chouse started off gaily for a day's wandering. "Then you can
look over the city and decide what you want to see next."

As they walked through the winding streets of the business district of
Copenhagen, Anna told Greta the story of the famous Round Tower.

"It was built more than three hundred years ago by King Christian the
Fourth," she explained. "He wanted to do something that would make the
people remember him always, so he built this high tower as an
observatory, where scientists could study the stars."

The Round Tower stood in the very heart of the city. At the time it was
built it was the tallest building in Copenhagen, but now the Marble
Church rose high above it.

[Illustration: THE ROUND TOWER]

Just before they reached the tower, Anna surprised Greta by saying,
"This Tower is over a hundred feet high, but you won't have to climb a
single step to reach the top."

"But how do we get to the top?"

"You'll see in just a minute, Greta."

"Come, Chouse," called Greta, as the girls reached the door of the Round
Tower. The dog had started down the street ahead of them. He seemed to
be looking for something, but he ran back quickly when his little
mistress called.

Once inside the tower, the children started up a sloping walk that went
up and up and up. At the same time it went round and round and round,
like a corkscrew. Every little while Chouse dashed on ahead and then
came running back, barking joyously.

"This is the funniest tower I have ever seen," said Greta. "Does this
walk go to the very top?"

"Yes," answered Anna. "They say that a long time ago, when Peter the
Great, the Czar of Russia, visited Denmark he rode up here on
horseback, and at another time the Empress Catherine drove her coach and
four up to the very top of the Round Tower."

[Illustration: THE MARBLE CHURCH, AS SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE ROUND
TOWER]

Greta stopped a moment to look at the winding, sloping walk. "I guess
one really _could_ drive a coach up here. It seems to be wide enough."

From the platform on the top of the tower, the girls could look out over
the city and the harbor. Wherever they looked, they saw towers and
spires--on the Parliament Building, on the Stock Exchange, on the
castles, on the churches. Some of them were gilded and they gleamed
brightly in the sunshine. Some of them were shiny green, like the dome
of the Marble Church.

"What is that building whose tower has a crown at the top?" asked Greta.

"That is Christiansborg Castle, where the Parliament meets," explained
Anna. "Would you like to visit it?"

"Yes. Let's go there next, if it isn't too far away," said Greta.

As they walked to Christiansborg, Anna told Greta a funny story about
the Round Tower.

"Once upon a time a Norwegian was visiting Copenhagen. The people he
visited were eager to show him all the wonderful and beautiful things in
the city. The Norwegians are very proud of their own country, you know,
and they like to boast about it. When they came to the Round Tower, the
Danish people said, 'I'm sure you haven't anything like the Round Tower
in Norway.' The Norwegian looked at it a minute and then answered, 'No,
but if we had, it would be bigger and rounder.'"

Greta laughed. "But it _couldn't_ be rounder, could it, Anna?"

"No, of course not. If a thing is round, it's round; you can't make it
more or less round."

When they came to the entrance of Christiansborg, the guard told them
that dogs were not allowed inside the castle.

"What will we do with him, Greta?" asked Anna.

"He will have to wait here at the door for us," said Greta. Turning to
the dog she spoke to him very sternly, "Chouse, you must be a good dog
and stay right here until Anna and I come out."

Chouse barked twice, as if to say, "All right," and then he lay down on
the floor beside the guard.

"There has been a castle on this spot for eight hundred years," said
Anna, as they walked through the long hall.

"But this castle looks quite new."

"Oh, there have been three or four castles here. When one burned down,
they built another one. This one is about forty years old. It was really
built as a home for the King, but he has never lived here. He likes
Amalienborg better."

"I think I would, too," said Greta. "These rooms are so large and the
ceilings are so high that it wouldn't seem like a home at all."

[Illustration: CHRISTIANSBORG CASTLE]

In one part of the castle there were two large halls, where the
Parliament meets. One hall was for the House of Commons and the other
was for the Upper House. Parliament did not meet during the summer, so
Greta and Anna were allowed to visit both these stately halls. Greta
thought they had seen everything in Christiansborg, when Anna suddenly
announced, "We're going downstairs now, Greta. The most interesting
part of Christiansborg is under the ground."

They went down a narrow stairway and carefully made their way through a
dark, underground passage. Soon they came to a scattered heap of stones
that marked the outlines of an old, old castle.

"This is the very first castle that was built here," explained Anna. "It
was built by Bishop Absalon in 1167, when Copenhagen was just a little
fishing village. Here is the old well that has been used for hundreds of
years," she said as they walked on farther, "and here is a part of the
Blue Tower where Princess Leonora Christina was kept a prisoner for many
years."

"Oh, how could they keep anyone in such a terrible dungeon?" asked
Greta, who shivered at the thought of spending even an hour in this
gloomy place. "Let's go upstairs, Anna."

"All right," agreed Anna. "I wonder how Chouse and the guard have been
getting along."

[Illustration: THE MARKET PLACE IN COPENHAGEN]

The guard looked extremely worried when the girls appeared. Chouse was
nowhere in sight.

"I turned my back for just a minute," he said, "but when I turned around
again your little dog was gone. He must have run outside, for you can
see that he isn't here in the entrance hall."

Greta was so upset that she couldn't say a word.

"Come on, Greta. We shall have to go and hunt for him," said the
practical Anna. "You go in one direction and I'll go in the other, and
we'll meet here at Christiansborg in one hour."

There wasn't anything for Greta to do but to start looking. There was no
use in telling Anna that she didn't know one street from another. There
was no use in saying that she didn't have the faintest idea of where to
look. Anna had already started in the other direction and Greta heard
her calling, every now and then, "Here, Chouse. Come, Chouse."

So Greta started off bravely by herself. Christiansborg was built on a
small island, so she crossed the Marble Bridge to the mainland and began
walking slowly along the street by the side of the water. The shore was
lined with fishing boats and on the sidewalk there were hundreds of
little stands where the women were selling fresh fish which they took
right out of the boats. Now and then Greta stopped to ask one of them
if she had seen a little black and white dog. Not a one of them had seen
him.

[Illustration: FRESH FISH FOR SALE]

[Illustration: WEIGHING A LOAD OF FISH]

Greta decided that Chouse had not come along this street, so she walked
back to the bridge and started down another street. Soon she came into a
large open square filled with fruit and vegetable stands. The housewives
of Copenhagen came here every morning during the summer to get the
finest of fresh foods. Greta went from one stand to another, asking if
they had seen her dog. Surely _someone_ had seen him. Finally she came
to the very last stand, where a pretty girl was selling flowers. By this
time tears had filled Greta's eyes and there was such a lump in her
throat that she could hardly speak.

"Why, yes," said the pretty girl. "I did see a little black and white
dog not very long ago, but I don't know which way he went from here."

Greta smiled happily at this news. At last she was on the right trail.
She left the market and took one of the narrow, winding streets that led
through the main business district. Every little while she called,
"Here, Chouse. Come, Chouse." But no little dog came in answer to her
call. Maybe she had taken the wrong street after all.

Half blinded with tears she started across one of the large open
squares. When part way across she saw Chouse trotting down the street
ahead of her. Greta started to run and almost bumped into a bicycle. She
was not used to city streets, crowded with bicycles and automobiles. By
the time she had crossed the square, Chouse had disappeared.

[Illustration: FISHING BOATS CROWD THE CANALS]

Greta was tired and hungry, but she didn't stop to think about that. She
was very much afraid that she couldn't find her way back to
Christiansborg, but she didn't dare to think about that. Chouse was
somewhere on the street in front of her, and she must find him. So the
little girl kept on walking. The street had many curves, like all the
older streets in Copenhagen. In some places the sidewalk was so narrow
that Greta had to step out in the street to pass the people who stood
looking in the shop windows.

Suddenly a terrible fear came over Greta. What if she _never_ found
Chouse? But she simply _must_ find him--and keep him. She knew now just
how dear he was to her. As she walked along, the tears which filled her
eyes spilled over on her cheeks. She had never been in this part of the
city before, and now she was lost just as completely as Chouse was. Oh,
if only she could find him, nothing else would matter. In some way she
would get back to Christiansborg and Anna. In some way she would
persuade her father not to send Chouse away. She looked at her watch.
Goodness, she had already been walking an hour and a half! Anna would be
worried about her. But Greta felt that she must keep on looking for
her dog. She knew now that she was on the right street, at least.

[Illustration: SAILBOATS IN THE HEART OF COPENHAGEN]

Suddenly Greta came into a large open square that seemed familiar. She
stopped a minute to look around. Maybe she wasn't really lost, after
all. What was that large building over to the left? Then the tears
stopped and her face broke into a happy smile. Why, it was the railroad
station, where she had first come into Copenhagen. She lost all her
fears about being lost, but a great wave of homesickness came over the
little girl. Without quite knowing why, she crossed the busy square and
went into the station.

She would sit down in the station and rest a little bit before going on
with her search. Just as she found a seat on one of the long benches a
familiar little black and white figure caught her eye. Tired as she was,
Greta ran down the long station. Everyone turned to watch the excited
little girl who was running so desperately. At last she reached him, and
it really was her beloved Chouse.

[Illustration: A BUSY SQUARE IN COPENHAGEN]

He jumped up at her and barked joyously. "Oh, Chouse, _why_ did you run
away?" Greta took him in her arms and hugged him close. Then all of a
sudden she understood why he had gone away. Right in front of her was
the gate to the very train that she would take back home. Chouse was
homesick, too. That was why he had come straight to the railroad
station.

"Everything is all right, Chouse. We will be going home soon," said
Greta, as a single happy tear fell on his black and white fur.



CHAPTER XIII

"GOODBYE"


That evening at dinner the two girls told all about their adventures.

"How did you finally get back to Christiansborg, Greta?" asked her aunt.

"I asked a policeman to show me the way, and he was kind enough to go
all the way back there with me. I don't think I could ever have found it
by myself."

"Oh, Greta, I almost forgot," said her aunt. "Here is a letter that came
for you today."

It was a letter from Hans, and Greta opened it eagerly.

     _"Dear Greta:_

     _I have some very good news for you. Father has decided that you
     may keep Chouse after all. He found that it was the rabbits, and
     not Chouse, who had been killing the chickens. Every time we saw
     Chouse running after chickens he was really trying to get the
     rabbits._

     _We all miss you, Greta, and I think the kittens miss you as much
     as we do. They are getting so fat that you won't know them unless
     you come home pretty soon. Give Chouse three pats for me._

                                             _Your loving brother,
                                                               Hans."_

Greta showed the letter to Anna, saying, "I think it's time for me to go
home, Anna. The kittens need me, and you can see that Chouse is very
homesick."

"I'm afraid that Chouse isn't the only one who is homesick," teased
Tante Elsie. "But we do understand, Greta. We want you to stay as long
as you can, but if you should be at home with your pets, then you do
what you think is best."

[Illustration: GRETA AND ANNA]

"Thank you, Tante Elsie. You have all been so wonderful to me and you
have given me such a very good time. I shall never forget it."

Greta decided that she would go home the next day, so her uncle sent a
telegram to her father. Anna helped her to pack, while Chouse stood by
and watched.

"Of course it is really Chouse who is homesick, Anna," insisted Greta.
"I could stay away all summer."

"Certainly you could," agreed Anna. "But I expect the kittens really do
need you to look after them."

When Anna and Tante Elsie put Greta on the train the next day she was
very brave. She had never before been on the train by herself, but she
was not going to let anyone know that she was just a wee bit frightened.
After all, Chouse was with her, and this time he would not get away from
her. He seemed just as happy as she was to be going back home.

Greta kissed Anna and Tante Elsie goodbye. "This has been such a lovely
summer," she said. "I hope Anna can come to visit me again next
summer."

"And we want you to come back to Copenhagen next year," said Anna.

Greta waved to them until she could no longer see their handkerchiefs
waving to her in answer. Then she leaned back in her seat, with Chouse
on her lap.

"Chouse, this _has_ been the grandest summer we have ever had," said
Greta, giving her pet a loving hug. Then she took a withered rosebud
from her purse and looked at it dreamily. "And I know that I am the
happiest girl in all Denmark."



Transcriber's Note


Punctuation and formatting markup have been normalized.

"_" surrounding text represents italics.

Apparent printer's errors have been retained, unless stated below.

Page 136, "It's" changed to "Its". (Its real name is Frederick's Church,
because it was built by King Frederick the Fifth.)





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