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Title: Mari, Our Little Norwegian Cousin
Author: Wade, Mary Hazelton Blanchard, 1860-1936
Language: English
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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.

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[Transcriber's Note: Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs= and italic
text is surrounded by _underscores_.]


MARI

Our Little Norwegian Cousin



THE

Little Cousin Series

(TRADE MARK)

    Each volume illustrated with six or more full-page plates in
    tint. Cloth, 12mo, with decorative cover, per volume, 60 cents


LIST OF TITLES

By Mary Hazelton Wade

(unless otherwise indicated)


    =Our Little African Cousin=
    =Our Little Alaskan Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
    =Our Little Arabian Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little Armenian Cousin=
    =Our Little Australian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
    =Our Little Brazilian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
    =Our Little Brown Cousin=
    =Our Little Canadian Cousin=
        By Elizabeth R. MacDonald
    =Our Little Chinese Cousin=
        By Isaac Taylor Headland
    =Our Little Cuban Cousin=
    =Our Little Dutch Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little Egyptian Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little English Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little Eskimo Cousin=
    =Our Little French Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little German Cousin=
    =Our Little Greek Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
    =Our Little Hawaiian Cousin=
    =Our Little Hindu Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little Hungarian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
    =Our Little Indian Cousin=
    =Our Little Irish Cousin=
    =Our Little Italian Cousin=
    =Our Little Japanese Cousin=
    =Our Little Jewish Cousin=
    =Our Little Korean Cousin=
        By H. Lee M. Pike
    =Our Little Mexican Cousin=
        By Edward C. Butler
    =Our Little Norwegian Cousin=
    =Our Little Panama Cousin=
        By H. Lee M. Pike
    =Our Little Persian Cousin=
        By E. C. Shedd
    =Our Little Philippine Cousin=
    =Our Little Porto Rican Cousin=
    =Our Little Russian Cousin=
    =Our Little Scotch Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus
    =Our Little Siamese Cousin=
    =Our Little Spanish Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
    =Our Little Swedish Cousin=
        By Claire M. Coburn
    =Our Little Swiss Cousin=
    =Our Little Turkish Cousin=

    L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
    New England Building,      Boston, Mass.

[Illustration: MARI.]



MARI Our Little Norwegian Cousin

By Mary Hazelton Wade

    _Illustrated by_
    L. J. Bridgman

[Illustration]

    Boston
    L. C. Page & Company
    _PUBLISHERS_



    _Copyright, 1903_
    By L. C. Page & Company
    (INCORPORATED)

    _All rights reserved_

    Fifth Impression, June, 1908
    Sixth Impression, March, 1910



Preface


LONG before Columbus discovered America, there were brave men in the
north of Europe who dared to sail farther out upon the unknown waters of
the Atlantic than any other people in the world. These daring seamen
were called Vikings. Their home was the peninsula of Scandinavia, now
ruled over by one king, although divided into two distinct countries,
Norway and Sweden.

It was along the shores of Norway, with rugged mountains fringing its
deep bays, that the Vikings learned command of their curious,
high-prowed ships, and overcame all fear of wind and storm. Their strong
nature shows itself to-day in the people of Norway, who patiently endure
many hardships while trying to get a living on the rough mountain-sides
or along the rocky coasts.

Many of our Norwegian cousins have come to America to make a new home
for themselves where the sun shines more warmly and the winds blow less
keenly. Their fair-haired children are growing up amongst us, showing us
the qualities their parents most admire. Be brave, be honest, be kind to
all creatures, be faithful to every little duty,--these are the lessons
they have been taught from babyhood, as well as their brothers and
sisters who have not as yet ventured far from the land they love so
well,--the land of rapid-flowing rivers, deep, dark bays, and narrow
valleys.

Come with me to-day to the home of one of these blue-eyed cousins and
join her for a while in her work and play.



Contents


    CHAPTER                  PAGE
       I. THE FARM              9
      II. VISITORS             21
     III. THE CHRISTENING      36
      IV. THE LOST PIN         46
       V. THE BIRTHDAY         59
      VI. THE WEDDING          66
     VII. LEGENDS              72
    VIII. THE LUMBER CAMP      92
     IX. THE LAPPS            101
      X. HOLIDAY FROLICS      111



List of Illustrations


                                                  PAGE
  MARI                                   _Frontispiece_
  "IT WAS A SORT OF GIG WITH VERY LONG SHAFTS"      22
  THE CHRISTENING                                   41
  CARVED HOUSES AT THELEMARKEN                      62
  SKI-LOBING                                        74
  "'IT IS ALWAYS IN THE SHAPE OF A MOUND'"         103



MARI

Our Little Norwegian Cousin



CHAPTER I.

THE FARM


"COME, Mari, my little daughter, and you shall help me make the cakes,"
called her mother.

Mari stood in the middle of the big farm-yard with a flock of hens
around her. She was scattering grain among them from a big bag on her
arm; not a sound could be heard except once in a while the scratching of
the hens' feet. They were too busy to notice each other or the big dog
that sat on the door-step.

The little girl laughed quietly as she watched them. "They are so happy;
they love this pleasant summer-time as much as I do," she said to
herself.

But the moment she heard her mother's voice, she turned quickly toward
the house without stopping a moment longer to see whether her pet hen,
Biddy Wee, or cross old Yellow Legs got the most dinner. Mari never in
her life thought of answering her parents by saying:

"Why, papa?" or "Why, mamma?" or "I'll come in a moment."

Mari lives in Norway, and Norwegian parents train their children to obey
without delay.

The little girl was only too glad to come now, however. Her mother had
promised she should learn to make flat-bread to-day. She was pleased
that she was old enough to be trusted with this important work. Why, she
could keep house alone when she had mastered this necessary art, and her
mother could leave her in charge.

Mari remembers when she was such a tiny tot that her head barely reached
above the table. Even then she loved to watch her mother as she sat at
the big moulding-board, rolling out the dough until it was nearly as
thin as paper.

This dough was made of barley-meal which was raised here at the farm. It
was rolled out into sheets almost as wide as the table itself, for each
cake must be about a half-yard across. Then came the cooking. The cake
was lifted from the board to a hot flat stone on the fireplace, where it
was quickly baked. How fast the pile grew! and how skilful mother always
was. She never seemed to burn or break a single cake.

Wherever you go in Mari's country you will find flat-bread. You can eat
quantities of it, if you like, yet somehow it will not easily check your
hunger, and it gives little strength.

"Now, dear, be careful not to get a grain of dust on the floor," said
her mother, as Mari stood at the table ready for directions.

The child looked very pretty, with her long, light hair hanging down her
back in two braids. The snowy kerchief was tied under her chin just as
it was when she came in from the farm-yard. She had no need to put on an
apron before beginning her work, for she already wore one. She was never
without it, in fact, and hardly thought herself dressed in the morning
until her apron had been fastened around her plump little waist.

Her cheeks looked rosy enough to kiss, but such a thing seldom happened,
for mothers in Norway believe that is a bad habit. They think that it
often leads to the carrying of disease from one person to another.

"Shake hands with the baby and the children," they would say, "but
please don't kiss them." They are wise in this,--don't you think so?

Before Mari had rolled out six cakes, her cheeks grew rosier yet. It was
hard work, although it had seemed easy enough when mother was doing it.

The first three cakes had to be rolled over and over again because they
would stick to the board. Then the lifting was not such a simple thing
as Mari had supposed before she came to do it herself. But she kept
trying. Her mother was very patient and encouraged her with loving
smiles and kind words. At last the little girl made a really _good_ cake
and landed it all by herself on the stone, without doubling, or even
wrinkling, it.

"Good, good," said her mother, "you will soon be a real helper, Mari.
But now you have worked long enough for the first time. I will finish
the baking while you take the baby and give him an airing."

And where was the baby, bless him? Mari knew, for she went at once to
the other side of the room where a pole was fastened into the wall. A
big basket was hanging down from the end of this pole, and in the basket
was a little blue-eyed baby, cooing softly to himself.

Mari's mother was a very busy woman. There was always something to do,
either inside the house or out-of-doors. She had very little time for
holding a baby. So when Mari and her brothers were away at school, and
mother was left alone, that dear little rosy-cheeked fellow sometimes
began to cry in a very lively manner. The cooking and the cheese-making
and the spinning must go on just the same, and time could not be spent
in holding a baby.

But he must be amused in some way. So the strong pole was fastened into
the wall, and the cradle attached to the end. Do you wonder what fun
there could be in staying up in that basket, hour after hour? The baby
enjoyed it because the pole would spring a little at every movement of
his body. As long as he kept awake, he could, and did, bob up and down.
That was amusement enough.

He was glad to see Mari now. She was a perfect little mother, and soon
had his hood and cloak fastened on. They were hardly needed, for he was
already done up in so many garments, it didn't seem possible he could be
cold, wherever he went.

The living-room, where Mari had been working, was large and high. The
beams were dark with age, but the floor was white from the many
scrubbings Mari's mother had given it.

On one side of the room was the big fireplace where all the cooking was
done. During the long winter evenings the family and servants sat in
front of the blazing logs and told stories of the famous sea-captains of
the olden times. Or perhaps they talked of the fairies and giants, in
whom Mari firmly believed. Her mother laughed at the idea of these
wonderful creatures. Yet, after all, it was not more than a hundred
years ago that they seemed real to many grown-up people.

Wonderful creatures who made themselves seen from time to time dwelt in
the mountains, the fields, and the rivers. This is what Mari's
great-grandma had believed, and was she not a sensible woman? It is no
wonder, therefore, that our little cousin loved to think that these
beings were still real. When she went to sleep at night, she often
dreamed of the gnomes who live far down in the earth, or the giants who
once dwelt among the mountains.

When she was very little she sometimes waked up from such dreams with a
shiver. "O, don't let the cruel giant get me," she would cry. Then she
would jump out of her own little cot into the big bed of her parents.
She felt quite safe as soon as her mother's loving arms held her
tightly, and she was sound asleep again in a minute.

That big bed certainly looked strong enough to be a fortress against the
giants or any other of the wonderful creatures of fairy-world. It stood
in the corner of the living-room, where Mari's mother worked all day,
and where the family ate and sat. It was so high that even grown people
did not get into it without climbing up the steps at one side. It had a
wooden top, which made it seem like a little house. It was not as long
as bedsteads in other countries. No grown person could stretch out in it
to his full length. He must bend his knees, or curl himself up in some
way, for he certainly could not push his feet through the heavy wooden
foot-board.

Mari's people, however, never thought of its being uncomfortable. All
Norwegian bedsteads are made in this way, so they became used to it as
they grew up. But sometimes English travellers had stayed at the
farmhouse all night when they had been overtaken by a storm. They would
be sure to get up in the morning complaining. They would say:

"O yes, this country of Norway is very beautiful, but why don't you have
beds long enough for people to sleep in with comfort."

The farm where Mari lives lies in a narrow valley half a mile from the
sea. The cold winter winds are kept off by the mountain which stands
behind the houses. No one but Mari's family and the servants who work on
the farm live here. Yet I spoke of houses. This is because the little
girl's home is made up of several different houses, instead of one large
farmhouse, such as one sees in America.

Mari's father thinks that two, or perhaps three, rooms are quite enough
to build under one roof. He settled here when he was a young man. Mari's
mother came here to live when they were married. At that time there was
but one house. It contained the living-room and the storeroom. After a
while another house was built close by, for the farm hands to sleep in.
Still another little building was added after a while for the winter's
supplies, for there is no store within many miles of the farm.

Mari's mother never says, "Come, my child, run down the road and buy me
five pounds of sugar," or, "Hurry, dear, go and get two pounds of steak
for dinner." It would be useless for her to think of doing such a thing.
All the provisions the family may need must be obtained in large
quantities from the distant city, unless they are raised here on the
farm.

The storehouse was built very carefully. It was raised higher than the
other buildings so that rats and other wild creatures should have hard
work to reach the supplies. There is not a great deal on hand now, for
it is summer-time, but in the autumn the bins will be full of
vegetables, and large quantities of fish and meats will hang from the
rafters. There will be stores of butter and cheese and a large supply of
coffee, for Mari's people drink it freely.



CHAPTER II.

VISITORS


"MOTHER, mother, I hear the sound of wheels," cried the little girl, as
she came hurrying into the house, panting for breath. The baby was such
a big load it is a wonder she could hurry at all.

"Could you see what is coming?" asked her mother.

"Yes, there are two carriages, I know, for I saw a cariole, and I could
hear another gig, although it was still out of sight round the bend of
the road. They must be in a hurry, for I could hear the driver of the
cariole clucking to his horse to make him go faster."

[Illustration: "IT WAS A SORT OF GIG WITH VERY LONG SHAFTS."]

"Run right down to the rye-field, Mari, and tell your father to send
Snorri up with the horses. Leave the baby with me."

Mari hurried away, while her mother went out into the yard to greet her
visitors who had now drawn near.

The first carriage was a cariole, as Mari had said. It was a sort of gig
with very long shafts. It had a seat in front just wide enough to hold
one person, with a small place behind, where the post-boy sat. A lady
rode in this cariole and drove the sturdy little horse.

Behind her came a second carriage, which could not be very comfortable,
as there were no springs and the seat was directly over the axle. Two
people were in this, also, a gentleman and the driver.

"We are in great haste to reach the next station by afternoon," the
gentleman tried to explain to the farmer's wife. He spoke brokenly, for
he seemed to know but few Norwegian words.

"He must be an American," Mari's mother said to herself. "Those
people always seem to be in a hurry." She dropped a deep curtsy to the
lady, who seemed to be the gentleman's wife.

"Won't you come into the house while you wait for the carriage?" she
asked. The lady smiled, and followed her into the living-room.

"What a lovely big fireplace you have!" exclaimed the visitor, as she
sat down. "And what good times you probably have here in the long winter
evenings. Indeed they must seem long when the daylight only lasts two or
three hours."

Mari's mother smiled. "Yes, and the summer days seem long now that there
are only two or three hours of darkness in the whole twenty-four," she
answered. "At least, they must seem long to you who are a stranger," she
went on. She spoke in good English, of which she was very proud. She
had learned it when she was a girl in school, and was already teaching
Mari to use it.

"Is that your spinning-wheel?" asked the visitor, as she looked around
the room. "Excuse me for asking, but I do wish I could watch you
spinning. In America everything we wear is made in the mills and
factories, and a spinning-wheel is not a common sight nowadays."

"I make all the clothing for my family," answered Mari's mother. "It is
so strong it lasts nearly a lifetime. Look at my dress; I have worn it
every working-day for many years, and it is still as good as new."

"Dear me! what a smart woman you are. If you don't mind, I should like
to examine the goods. I suppose that is what people call homespun. And I
suppose the wool of which it was made came from your own sheep, did it
not?"

"Yes, indeed, and my husband raised every one of the flock himself,"
was the answer. "I will gladly spin some of the wool for you now. But
see! the carriages are waiting, and your husband looks impatient."

"Then I must not keep him waiting, for we have a long journey before us.
So good-bye. Perhaps we may stop here again on our way back from the
north. Thank you very much for your kindness."

The lady went out, and Snorri helped her into the cariole and himself
jumped up behind, and away they went. The lady's husband followed in
another carriage in the same manner they had driven into the yard. The
ones that had brought them here had gone away as soon as the travellers
stepped out. Their drivers would take them back to the station where
they belonged.

"Mother, why is our house a posting-station?" asked Mari, when the
travellers had gone. "I think it is a great bother. No matter how busy
father and the men are, they must stop their work and harness up the
horses to carry strangers along the road. They don't get money for it,
either, do they?"

"That is the way your father pays his taxes," her mother answered. "You
know what good roads we have in our country, Mari. You know, too, that
many other things are done by the government to make this country a fine
one. Of course every one must share in the cost of these things. As we
live on a farm and have horses, your father is allowed to pay his share
in work. That is, he agrees to carry the travellers who come this way to
the next station. After all, it isn't very much bother," she said,
thoughtfully. "But come, dear, set the table; it is near dinner-time,
and your father will soon be here."

The table did not stand in the middle of the room. It was in the corner
nearest the fireplace. A wide bench was built round the two sides of
the room nearest it, so that most of those who gathered around the table
could sit on these benches.

Mari's mother soon had a steaming junket ready, besides a dish of smoked
salmon, plenty of boiled potatoes, a large, dark-coloured cheese which
looked like soap, and last, but not least, a plate was piled high with
flat-bread.

"May father have the cakes I made?" asked Mari.

"Sure enough, little daughter. He will eat them with pleasure, I know."

In a few minutes the farmer and his helpers appeared. All gathered
around the table together.

"What a fine junket this is to-day," said Mari's father, as his wife
helped him to another plateful.

The junket was made of milk, barley, and potatoes, and was a dish of
which he was very fond.

"Dear me! how good the flat-bread is, too. And only to think that our
little Mari made it all herself," continued the farmer. "She will soon
be a woman at this rate."

Mari's rosy cheeks grew redder still at her father's praise.

"I shall be glad to see Gretel back again," said the little girl's
mother, after a while. "I miss her very much, though Mari is a good
little helper. But Gretel is having a good time with Henrik, I'm sure."

Gretel and Henrik had gone up on the mountain to the summer-house, where
the cows were pastured during the two warmest months of the year. Henrik
was now fourteen years old, and his father felt that he could be trusted
to care for the cows as well as he could do it himself; while Gretel
could make good cheese and butter, although she was only thirteen. This
boy and girl were now living together all alone up on the mountain-side,
but they were not the least bit lonely.

Every Saturday afternoon Henrik brought down the butter and cheese his
sister had made during the week. He had so many stories to tell of their
good times, that Mari would say:

"Oh, dear! Henrik, I wish I could go back with you."

"I wish you could, little sister, but mother must not be left alone, you
know." And Henrik would put his arms around her and kiss her lovingly.

"Where is Ole?" asked the farmer, as the family finished eating their
dinner. "He should not be late to meals and give you trouble, good
wife."

"He went up to the river on a fishing trip. I told him I should not
scold if he was late this time," said his mother. "I was glad of the
thought of having some fresh salmon."

"Very well, then. But come, my men, we must get back to the field now.
The noon hour has passed." And the farmer led the way out of the house.

But before he rose from the table little Mari said:

"Thanks for the food, dear father and mother," while she went first to
one, then the other, and gave each of them a loving kiss.

Then the workmen rose and went in turn to the farmer and his wife and
shook hands, to show they, too, were thankful.

It was very pleasant and cheerful in this farmer's house, you can
plainly see; and it was all quite natural for these simple country
people to show how kindly they felt for each other.

"There comes Ole, now," said the farmer's wife. "I can hear his call.
Run, Mari, and see if he has met with good fortune."

"O, mother, mother, see what I have here," cried Mari, a few moments
afterward. "Ole has a fine string of fish, and that will please you, I
know. But do look at this young magpie. It was snared in his trap while
he was fishing. He says I may have it for my very own. May I keep it,
please?"

"It seems as though you had enough pets now, Mari. You have your own
pony and your dog Kyle. But I hate to refuse you, my dear. Yes, you may
have it, but you and Ole must keep it out of mischief. Magpies are
sometimes very troublesome birds, for they notice shining objects and
carry them off if they get a chance."

Mari's mother now turned to the string of trout which she hastened to
put away in the storeroom. Ole had cleaned them nicely before he brought
them home. He now ate his dinner as quickly as possible, after which he
and his sister went out into the yard to make a cage for their new pet.

"In a little while he will get tame so he will follow us around," said
Ole, as he cut the wooden bars for the cage. "Then we shall need to shut
him up only when we wish."

"Isn't he a beauty," exclaimed Mari, as she stroked the magpie. "Look,
Ole, at the green and purple feathers in his wings and tail. They are
very handsome and glossy."

"Be careful, Mari, or he may bite you. That hooked bill of his is pretty
sharp, if he is a young bird. See him look at you with his bright eyes.
They say that magpies will grow fond of one in a very short time."

"Did you ever see a magpie's nest, Ole?"

"Yes, I passed one this morning as I went through the woods. It was way
back in a thick bush. I crept up and looked in. The mother bird was
away, and I saw five pretty green eggs dotted with little purple spots."

"What did you do, Ole? I hope you did not touch them."

"At first, I thought I would, Mari, because, you know, those pretty eggs
will sometime hatch out, and the five magpies will fly away to harm
smaller and more helpless birds. Besides, they go into the grain-fields
and pick the grain. Father isn't very fond of magpies, I can tell you.

"But after thinking for a moment I said to myself, 'No, mother magpie
sha'n't be made unhappy to-day by coming home to find her nest empty.'
Then I went away, and ended my morning's sport by trapping this young
fellow."

Ole kept on working while he talked. He did his work so cleverly that
one could see he was quite a carpenter. He was a tall boy for twelve
years, and looked healthy and happy.

You might possibly have laughed at his clothes, for he wore a pair of
his father's old trousers, and they were gathered in at the waist to
keep them in place. They must have been cut off at the knees so that
they should not be too long for the boy. That was the only change made.
His mother said:

"There, those trousers are too much worn for my husband to use any
longer. They will do very well for Ole as he runs about on the farm. I
will not take time to cut them any smaller. On holidays the boy shall
wear his fine clothes, of course."

It is no wonder the good woman had to be careful of her time, for she
not only spun, wove, and made their clothing, but she also spun the yarn
and knit their stockings. Ole's stockings are often patched with leather
to make them last longer. But his feet are not tender, and he does not
mind it in the least.

"What kind of a nest did the magpie have?" asked Mari, as Ole finished
the cage and they placed the bird inside.

"It was lined with wool and hair and had a sort of roof over it. The
opening was very narrow; I really don't see how the mother-bird could
get in and out."

"I suppose the roof is to protect the young birds from enemies, don't
you, Ole?"

"Yes, Mari; but come, let us go and find some worms for our bird. He
must be hungry."



CHAPTER III.

THE CHRISTENING


"O MOTHER, I have something to tell you. I have just been down to the
village, and I heard there that neighbour Hans's wife has a new baby. It
is a boy. Every one says he is a fine little fellow," said Mari, one
beautiful afternoon.

"Dear me! dear me! that is fine news, truly," said her mother. "I must
make her a dish of my best porridge and take it to her in the morning."

"Did everybody remember you when I was born, mother?"

"Yes, dear, the people of the village seemed to vie with each other in
preparing a dish of flödegrod. It did taste so good! It was hard to tell
whose was the best. You must learn how to make this cream porridge now,
Mari; you are quite old enough. You will never be thought a good
housekeeper if you cannot make smooth flödegrod."

"The baby is to be christened next week. Everybody will be there, of
course, mother."

The farm was only half a mile from a little fishing village on the shore
of a deep bay. Such a long, narrow bay is called a fiord. There are many
fiords in Norway.

There were only about a dozen cottages in the village, but in their
midst was a tiny little church and a small building used as the
schoolhouse. But school was not kept there all the year round. Half of
the time the master taught in this place, and the rest of the year he
spent in another little village a few miles up the coast. Neither of
them was large enough to pay for a teacher the whole year round. The
children, however, were glad to work hard while he was among them. They
loved their teacher and their school, and they learned quickly.

Every one in the place was busy now, getting ready for the christening.
At last came the great day, as bright and sunny a one as could be
wished.

All the work on the farm was stopped and every one in the family was
dressed in his best. Mari had a fresh white linen kerchief tied under
her chin, and also a finely starched apron. Her plump little arms were
bare. Her stomacher was worked with bright beads on scarlet cloth. She
had embroidered it all herself and she could not help being proud of it.

But perhaps you do not know what a stomacher is. It is a piece of cloth
worn as an ornament on the waist and over the stomach. Mari's mother
wore one also, but hers was sparkling with silver trimmings that had
belonged to her great-grandmother.

How fine the father looked in his short coat and knee-breeches. He wore
a bright red vest, over which hung his long light beard.

But Mari's mother was the prettiest sight of all. Her muslin apron was
trimmed with three rows of lovely open-work. Her scarlet waist was
finished with bands of black velvet, with the beautiful stomacher in
front of that. She had loose white linen sleeves, and such an odd cap.
You never saw one like it, I am sure. It was made of crimped white
muslin with a wide rim over the forehead, with a narrow band beneath
that hid her hair. The corners fell down behind nearly to the waist.

Her silver ornaments must also be mentioned. They were really beautiful,
and were hundreds of years old.

[Illustration: THE CHRISTENING.]

Ole looked fine, too, in a suit much like his father's and a little
round cap, fitting tightly to his head. You would scarcely have known
the family in their holiday dress.

They stepped off gaily, and soon reached the village. They arrived at
the church just as the christening party reached it.

"Do look at the dear baby, Ole," said Mari. "Isn't he lovely?"

The nurse was carrying him. He was so swaddled in his fine clothes that
you would have almost thought he was an Indian pappoose. Only his face
could be seen. The swaddling bands were of many colours,--red, green,
and white, and there was a large white satin bow, of course. Every Norse
baby wears such a bow to its christening.

And now the flock of people followed the minister into the little
church. They passed up to the front and gathered around the altar.

"The baby behaves finely, doesn't he?" whispered Ole. "I am real proud
of him because he is to have the same name as myself. Did you hear the
minister say _Ole_, Mari?"

"Yes, but look now. The baby's father and mother and his godparents are
all going up behind the altar. What is that for?"

"They are laying presents there for the minister. Of course they want to
thank him for the christening. I declare, Mari, our baby was christened
only last year, and you have forgotten what people do at such times."

"I was so excited then, Ole, I don't believe I noticed it. But come,
everybody is going out of the church. Now we shall have the best time,
for you know we are invited to the party."

The building was soon empty, and all the people started gaily for the
home of the new baby. The minister went with them, of course. He looked
very dignified in his long black gown, with a great white ruff about his
neck. He loved his people, and took part in all their merry-makings. Ole
and Mari were very fond of him. They ran to his side as soon as they
got outdoors. Ole took one hand and Mari the other.

It was only a few steps to the little home of the fisherman. Everything
had been made ready for the company. The table was spread with the good
things that the Norse people love best.

In the centre of the table stood the old silver bowl from which every
one must drink to the health of the new baby. This bowl was the most
precious thing in the simple home. It had not been used before since the
parents of the baby came here and held their wedding-feast.

There is much eating, and frequent handshaking. It seemed as though the
company could only show how loving they felt toward one another by the
hearty shakes which they gave so often.

When every one had eaten so much that he could hold no more with
comfort, the table was quickly cleared, and a young man brought out a
fiddle from the corner of the room.

"Now for some of our Norse songs," cried one of the company.

"Good, good," cried all, and soon the room was filled with lively music.
The new baby behaved very well, and went to sleep in the midst of it.

But Mari's baby brother, who had come to the party with the rest of the
family, was having too good a time to shut his eyes for a moment. It was
not until the dancing began that his little head commenced to nod and
his eyes could keep open no longer.

The older folk and children sat against the wall and talked together
while the younger people waltzed around the room.

"Gustav, we want to see you and Frigga in the Spring Dance," said one of
the party after a while.

"O yes, Gustav, you can both do it so well," cried another. "We must
see it before we go home."

Gustav stepped out into the middle of the room and was followed by the
young girl whom he was soon to marry. Her cheeks grew rosy as every one
looked at her. She was a pretty girl, and her long, fair braids reached
way below her waist.

And now the fiddler started up again with a lively tune. Who could keep
still now? Surely Gustav could not. He took hold of one of Frigga's
hands, and away they spun around the room. But it was not a simple waltz
such as you have seen. The young girl held her other hand above her head
and showed her grace as she kept moving around Gustav; she kept perfect
time and step as she did so.

Other odd dances followed the Spring Dance. Ole's and Mari's eyes were
wide open with delight as they watched their older friends. Whenever
one of the dances came to an end, there was a general shaking of hands
in which the children joined with a right good will.

The time to go home came all too soon. But as it was near the middle of
summer, it was not dark even now at ten o'clock in the evening.

"Gud nag, gud nag," cried every one, after they had drunk again to the
health of the baby and his proud parents, and the hands of all had been
heartily shaken once more.



CHAPTER IV.

THE LOST PIN


"MARI, Ole, come here to me at once," called their mother.

It was the morning after the christening. The two children were sitting
with their pet magpie under a tree near the house.

"What can be the matter, mother speaks so quickly?" whispered Ole, as he
and his sister hurried to obey.

"Have you seen the silver brooch I wore at my throat yesterday?" said
their mother, as soon as they came into the house.

The good woman seemed nervous. Her words came quickly, which was not a
common thing, for she was a slow speaker, like other Norse people.

"Why, no, mother, of course not," said Mari. "Didn't you put it away in
the box where you always keep it?"

"Certainly, my child, but I did not lock the box as usual. I found it
open just now. Can it be possible that a thief has been here? It does
not seem probable. Besides, my other ornaments are there safe. A thief
would have taken all."

"I shouldn't wonder if I could guess who took the brooch, mother," said
Ole. "It's the magpie. You know you said magpies like all kinds of
shining objects."

"You handsome little mischief, have you done it?" said the boy, as he
looked at his pet.

The magpie had kept his seat on Ole's shoulder when the children came
into the house. He looked from him to the boy's mother with bright eyes,
as much as to say, "I could tell all about it, if I wished."

"It seems as though the bird understands what we are talking about, but
of course he doesn't. Still, I believe he has done something with your
brooch, mother," said Mari.

"It may be so, indeed, children. The box was possibly left open,
although I am generally so careful. If that is so, Ole and Mari, you
must find it. Unless you are able to do so, you cannot keep your pet any
longer."

You may be sure the children were anxious to find the brooch now. All
that day they searched in every nook and corner of the house and yard.

"You know, we let him fly around for a long time this morning," said
Ole, when night came and still the brooch could not be found. "If it was
carried up into some tree, we may never see it again."

Ole had crawled out upon the limbs of all the trees near the house, and
his legs were pretty tired.

"You can't do any more to-night, children," said the farmer, when
supper was over and the family were gathered on the porch to talk over
the trouble. "Go to bed, and do not fret. In the morning, let the magpie
out of the cage, and allow him to go where he pleases. Watch him, and
perhaps you will find he has some hiding-place where he stores his
treasures."

Those were wise words. The next morning the children did as their father
had directed, and the magpie was set free. Five minutes afterward he
flew out of the house, and away he went toward the barn.

Now it happened that a pole stretched out from under the low roof of
this building. In winter-time a bundle of grain was fastened to this
pole from time to time. It was placed there to give food to the hungry
birds that came that way. They might starve during freezing weather, if
kind people did not think of them.

A bunch of the old straw was still fastened to the pole. The magpie flew
to it, and alighted.

"The brooch may be stowed away in that straw," said Ole. "I'll get a
ladder and see, anyway."

A moment after, the boy was shouting in delight.

"I have it, I have it, Mari. How glad mother will be. O, you naughty
magpie. We will be careful that you don't get any more brooches of my
great-grandmother's."

Delighted indeed was the mother when they came in with the lost brooch.

"You may go down to the shore, and spend the afternoon," she said. "You
can have a fine time with your playmates in the village."

A half-hour later Ole and Mari were playing barefooted on the edge of
the bay, or fiord, as, you remember, Mari calls it. But there was no
beach of smooth sand here, for rocks and ledges covered the shore.
There was only one little nook where it was easy for boats to land.

The village was built at the head of this narrow bay, as it reached far
into the land. It was a long sail out to the open ocean. Mari had never
yet seen it, although she had lived so near the water all her life.

It was a wonderful sight that the children looked upon this afternoon.
Great cliffs rose high up from the water on each side of the bay. They
were so straight and tall, they seemed to join it to the sky above.

A waterfall came rushing down from the top of one of these cliffs. It
made a whirlpool in the spot where it fell into the bay. But everywhere
else the water was very quiet. It was so still, that as you looked up to
the steep mountains on each side, it would have made you almost fearful,
it seemed so lonely and apart from the rest of the world.

"I climbed way up that cliff by the waterfall last spring," Ole told his
sister, as the children sat down upon a rock to rest.

"Weren't you afraid?" she asked, as she looked at him proudly. Then she
added, quickly, "Of course you weren't. I never knew you to be afraid of
anything in your life. But why did you do it?"

"I was after down for mother's cloak. The eider-ducks build their nests
in the crannies of the rocks. I found three of them that day, I
remember. It seemed almost too bad to rob the nests, but still you know
there is nothing so soft and warm as the down. And I shall be proud when
mother has enough to line her cloak and finish it."

"Those ducks have a queer habit of plucking the softest feathers from
their own breasts to line their nests. Don't you think so, Ole?"

"Yes, birds are a great deal nicer than we are apt to think. You know
the mother-bird covers the eggs with this down before she flies away for
food. She seems to understand that they must be kept warm, and the
father-duck doesn't help her by bringing her food or taking her place
while she is away. She has all the care on her own shoulders, poor
thing.

"If her nest is robbed of the down, she will pluck more feathers from
her breast and line it again. If it happens the third time, she flies to
her mate and takes enough from him to fill their place. But after that
her patience is worn out, she goes away and seeks another place in which
she can build a new nest undisturbed."

"She certainly is a wise little creature, for she wouldn't be warm
enough if she robbed herself too much," said Mari. "Mother has been to
the city of Bergen, and she says cloaks lined with eider-down are sold
in the stores there, and that they are worth a great deal of money."

"Of course, Mari. Some men make a business of robbing the nests of
eider-ducks. It must be hard work, too. But see, there comes the
postman. Let's go to meet him."

The children looked down the bay, and what do you think they saw?

At first it seemed as though a pine-tree standing up on the water were
sailing straight toward them. But no! one could see as it came nearer
that the tree was fastened into an odd little boat with a high curved
bow. The tree must be taking the place of a sail, for the man inside was
not rowing, yet the boat came steadily onward.

"Is it rough outside?" asked Ole, as the boat drew near.

"Yes, the wind was blowing so hard I did not dare to put up the sail.
But right in here it is quiet and calm enough to suit any one."

When the postman had carried his letters up to the office, in the
leading house in the village, he came back to the shore and sat down for
a few moments' talk with the children.

"This is a wonderful country of ours," he said, as he looked at the
shadows of the great mountains in the water. "And we who live here
belong to a noble and a mighty race. Never forget that, Mari, will you,
my child?"

"O no, Olaf, I love to think of the grand old times when the Vikings
sailed out of these bays and travelled all over the world. They were the
ones who discovered America, weren't they? Although I have heard it said
that the honour is given now to Columbus, the Italian."

"Hundreds of years before Columbus lived, Mari, our great seamen crossed
the ocean. Many of our people went with them and settled in Iceland.
But they did not forget their native land and the wonderful stories that
had been handed down for centuries from father to son.

"At last a wise man said, 'I will gather together these stories of the
Norse people. I will write them down, and our children shall have them
for ever.' In this way the 'Eddas' came to be written. They are dearer
to us now than any other books except the Bible. Is it not so,
children?"

"Yes, yes, Olaf," cried Mari and Ole together.

And Mari added, "We are so happy when father reads to us from the
'Eddas.' I hardly know what story I like best."

"I have sometimes heard strangers in the land speak about our boats,"
Olaf went on. "They call them old-fashioned and say they remind them of
the ships the Vikings sailed in a thousand years ago, they have such
high curved prows and are so broad. But what do we care if they do call
them old-fashioned? We like it, children, for the old ways were good
ways."

"I wish I had lived in the time of the Vikings," said Ole. "I should
like to have gone with them on their daring voyages. But why were they
better sailors than any other people at that time, Olaf?"

"In the first place, they were strong and brave. They loved the sea and
spent their lives upon it. They trained themselves from boyhood to bear
cold and hardships. And, besides all these things, these deep bays were
good places for sailors to learn their craft.

"But I have stayed here longer than I thought; I must go home. This was
the last village where I had to deliver letters or I could not have
stopped with you so long. I will try sailing back, but if I find the
wind still strong when I get outside the fiord, I can easily take the
sail down. Good-bye."

The postman was soon far down the bay. He passed several fishermen in
their boats just coming back from their day's catch. Ole and Mari waited
till they came in.

"What luck, what luck?" cried the children.

"I have had such a good haul," said Gustav, who was the first to touch
the shore, "that here is a fine large haddock to take home to your
mother, Ole."

"Many thanks, Gustav, my mother will be much pleased," answered the boy,
as he received the gift. Then the two children trudged homeward,
clasping hands and singing one of the songs they had learned at school.



CHAPTER V.

THE BIRTHDAY


"TEN years old, my daughter. Do you believe you have grown any taller
since last night?" said Mari's mother, when she called her that morning.

"It seems so, anyway," answered the little girl, as she watched her
mother making the birthday cake.

"Bring the citron and currants from the storeroom, Mari. I have sugar
enough, I think. This must be a beautiful cake for my daughter. The
frosting shall be thick. Here comes Ole now with the flowers."

Ole's arms were full. "Do you think I have enough to decorate your cake,
Mari?" He laughed as he spoke.

"We can't use half of them, of course. Look at the quantity of fruit
mother is using. There! see how yellow the dough looks since she put in
the saffron. Won't it be lovely when it is done?"

"Come, Ole, get to work on that tub you are making for me. And, Mari,
take your knitting and go out on the porch. I wish to be quiet while I
watch the baking of the cake. There will be fun enough for you this
afternoon."

Mari's mother had promised her a coffee party in honour of her birthday.
Soon after dinner the children began to arrive. They were dressed in
their best and looked very happy, although the white kerchiefs tied
around the rosy faces of the girls made them appear like little old
women.

There was plenty of coffee to drink, for the children of the North are
as fond of it as the older people. Then there was the magnificent
birthday cake, rich in the fruits and sugar, and trimmed with the
flowers Ole had gathered in the morning. Of course, there were piles of
flat-bread on the table, besides other things of which the children were
fond.

Many games were played outdoors in the sunshine. Mulberry-bush was the
favourite, and it was played over and over again.

"I shall never forget my tenth birthday," said Mari, that night, after
her little friends had gone home. "I have had a lovely time, mother, and
you were so good to let me have the party."

[Illustration: CARVED HOUSES AT THELEMARKEN.]

"You can repay me by being more diligent in all your work the coming
year, my child. Learn to be more careful in your knitting and spinning.
Always be ready, with a cheerful face, to help me in the churning, and I
shall think you are growing to be a noble woman."

Our little cousin certainly had many duties. Her hands were seldom idle
during the long winter afternoons and evenings, for there were
stockings to knit for Ole and herself, scarfs to crochet, wool to be
spun and woven, besides many other things which Norse girls need to
learn if they are to grow up to be good housekeepers.

And Ole had much to do, also. In summer there was plenty of work in the
garden, besides fishing and shooting the wild ducks. During the winter
time he must make many useful things at his carpenter's bench. His
father was his teacher in this kind of work. Why, he had made every
piece of furniture in the house; and although it was not beautiful, it
was well made and strong.

"I love to carve," Ole once said to his sister. "I wish it were the
fashion to decorate our buildings as the people of Thelemarken do. I
have seen pictures of their storehouses. They are just beautiful, Mari.
The men carve with their knives all sorts of figures on the outside.
The side posts of the porches are fairly covered with lovely patterns."

"The people there don't dress as we do, either," answered Mari. "Even
the farmers wear the same clothes at work as on the holidays. I should
think it would be hard to keep clean their white jackets all trimmed
with silver buttons. The women there sometimes make their aprons out of
silk handkerchiefs. And they wear their silver belts and brooches every
day. I should like to go there and see them. Just think, Ole, I've never
been away from this place in my life!"

"Never mind, little sister. You and I will travel some day and go all
over our country. We will even go to the North Cape and see the sun set
at midnight and then rise a moment afterward. We can almost do that here
on midsummer nights, but not quite. You know people from all over the
world travel to the North Cape, Mari."

"What else do they see there besides the midnight sunset and sunrise?"

"Our friend Ernst, over in the village, went there once. He belonged to
the crew of a ship that carries people there every summer. He says it is
a high mass of rocks, and it is hard to climb. When you reach the top,
you can get a good view of the Arctic Ocean, but there is nothing to see
but the dreary water; no land nor ship in sight. That is, of course, as
you look toward the north. On one side of the cape there is a small
glacier, but those can be seen in many other parts of the country. One
doesn't need to go to the North Cape to look at a glacier."

"Our teacher told me, Ole, that a long time ago this whole country was
covered with ice. Of course, there were no people then. But after a
while the land became warmer and the ice went away. Here and there, the
ice-rivers, or glaciers, were left among the mountains, and they have
stayed there ever since. I don't see why."

"Of course, it's terribly cold above us, Mari, up among the mountains.
The snow falls and changes into ice. It slides slowly down into the
valleys and begins to melt, but there is always plenty of ice above.
People like to come to our country to see the glaciers as well as the
other wonderful sights. I declare, I'm getting sleepy and I am going to
bed. Good night, little sister."



CHAPTER VI.

The Wedding


"THERE they are. They are just rounding the point," exclaimed Mari.

She was standing on the shore and looking anxiously down the bay. She
was not alone, by any means, for every one of the village was there with
her. Why were they all dressed so finely? Why were they all looking in
one direction? And why was the church door standing open? It was not
Sunday, and it was the time when every one was usually at work.

Gustav and Frigga, who lived farther up the coast, you remember, were to
be married. There was no church in Frigga's village, so the wedding
party must come here.

For what would a wedding be if it were not held in a church? Half of
the beauty would be missing.

Ah! here come the boats. The first one, of course, contains the fair
bride and her lover. They sit on a raised seat, with the bridesmaid and
best man near them.

The bride looks quite charming with the high silver crown on her fair
head. It seems as though a queen and her royal party were drawing near.
The boat is trimmed with flowers, and the rowers pull with a will.

Two other boats follow close behind, containing the dearest friends of
the bride and groom. As they draw near, the people on the shore hasten
to greet them with a rousing welcome.

And now the procession is formed and starts out toward the church. First
comes the fiddler with his violin under his arm. He is followed by a man
bearing a large silver tankard. The health of the newly married pair
will be drunk from this many times before the festival is over. Next
comes the best man, with Gustav and Frigga close behind; after whom
follow the fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers of the couple. Last,
come the other relatives and friends. All are laughing and joking, and
are bright with the pretty colours of their holiday clothes.

Now they enter the little church and pass down the aisles strewn with
juniper-tips. The air is very sweet with the odour of the freshly cut
sprigs. The minister is at the altar to meet them. He is dressed as
usual in his long black gown with the great white ruff around his neck.

But the bride! How lovely she looks as she stands with bent head, with
the silver crown resting on her fair hair. A heavy silver chain is
around her neck, and she sparkles with rings, and brooches, and other
ornaments without number. Her stomacher is covered with silver
embroidery. Her apron is of the finest muslin, and is also embroidered
beautifully.

The little church was so full that Ole and Mari were crowded near the
door with the other children. But they could see everything that was
going on.

"Isn't she beautiful?" whispered Mari, to a little girl behind her. "I
don't believe our queen in her own palace can look grander than she."

When the service was over, the wedding party left the church and turned
toward the shore. Was the good time over now, do you think? By no means,
for a whole week's merriment had only begun.

The bridal party seated themselves in the boat in which they had
arrived. The other boats were quickly filled; the fiddler began to play
a lively air; the rowers pulled with long, steady strokes, and as they
moved out over the clear, sunlit waters, one of the party began to
sing. Others joined in the song until the air seemed filled with music.

Ole and Mari stood on the shore together with the others who had not
gone with the young couple to their new home.

"Gustav has made a lovely new house for Frigga," Ole told his sister. "I
sailed over there last week with Olaf, and it was just done. The last
piece of furniture was also finished. I wish we were going there to-day;
what fun everybody will have, feasting and dancing."

"Never mind, Ole, we shall be grown up before many years. And then we
shall be invited to the wedding-parties," said Mari. "Let's go in
swimming and have some fun by ourselves this afternoon."

Several other children followed the example of Ole and Mari. Soon there
was such a splashing and diving that the echoes of the noise came
sounding back from the mountainsides. Norse children are great
swimmers. When Mari was no more than five years old she had learned to
feel as much at home in the water as the mermaids of whom her mother
told in stories. She could stay below as long as Ole; she could dive,
and tread water, and swim backwards. There was nothing to fear, for
sharks were never seen near that shore, and the water was so clear one
could see to the very bottom, no matter how deep it might be.



CHAPTER VII.

LEGENDS


"I AM afraid I shall have to go to lumbering this winter," said Mari's
father, as the family sat around the great open fireplace.

Henrik had been home from the mountain pasture for two weeks. It was
growing cold, and Jack Frost had paid several visits to the farm
already.

"What a shame it is that the crops turned out so badly," answered his
wife. "In one more week of good weather, you could have saved
everything."

"Yes, that is true, wife, but we cannot help it. We lost nearly
everything on account of the frost. If you are to live in comfort, I
must earn money now in some other way. Two of the farm-hands can go with
me to the camp in the woods, so I shall not be very lonely."

The farmer looked around the cheerful room, and sighed. Mari went to his
side, and put her arms around his neck.

"Dear father, we shall miss you so much," she said. "You will come home
at Christmas, anyway, won't you?"

"O yes, the camp is not so far away but I shall try to be back for one
night out of every two weeks. Henrik and Ole will take good care of you
girls and your mother, I know. They will be able to visit me, too. They
are both good runners on the skis (skees). Although the camp is miles
away, it will not seem much to them, eh, Ole?"

[Illustration: SKI-LOBING.]

"It will be grand sport," answered the boy, quickly. "We will run a race
to see which one of us can get there first. Of course Henrik will win.
But who cares? I don't."

The two boys had been busy all day making new skis for themselves.
Great sport the children would have all this winter sliding down the
hillsides.

Coasting on sleds! yes, there was plenty of that, too, on the snowy
slopes around Mari's home. But ski-lobing was better fun, by far. Mari
had learned to slide on skis long ago. They were made from two strips of
wood, six feet long, with pointed ends curved upward. When they were
strapped on her stout shoes the little girl could slide over the snow at
a wonderful rate, without sinking or falling.

No, there was no sport like ski-lobing. Mari had the sled Henrik made
for her two years ago, and her two brothers sometimes dragged her on it
down to the village. Sometimes all the children went coasting with their
sleds. "But it isn't as good as ski-lobing," they would always say when
they came home.

And it was no wonder; you would agree with them, if you could once see
them travel. It was almost like flying. They would stand together at
the top of a slope.

"Ready!" Henrik would cry.

Then away! they would all start downwards. It seemed but a second before
all were standing at the foot of the hill, out of breath and rosy as the
reddest winter apples.

"Now for the top," cried the leader, after a moment's rest; and up they
would go again.

It is easy to understand now why Ole and Henrik were not afraid of a
long trip on skis over the snow-covered fields and hills. They were so
skilful they would get to the camp in two hours at most.

After an afternoon's sport on the hillside, the children once more
gathered in the big living-room.

"Tell us some of the good old stories we love so much," said Mari.
"There is no one who tells them so well, dear father."

It was the last evening he would be at home. The next morning he must
start out for the cold, dreary camp in the woods. Every one was feeling
sad, but all tried to hide it and seem gay and cheerful.

"What shall it be, a fairy-story, or a tale of the gods and goddesses in
whom the Vikings believed?" he asked when the children had gathered
around him, in front of the blazing logs in the fireplace.

"First let us hear that wonderful legend of the beginning of the world,"
answered Mari. "It is told in the Eddas, you know."

"Very well, then. Shut your eyes and try to think of a time when there
was no earth, nor sun, nor stars, and the Great Father was All."

Mari opened her eyes after a moment and said, softly, "How lonely it
must have been, papa."

"A time came, however," her father went on, "when all was changed. For
out of the thoughts of the All-Father, the Land of Winter was formed in
the far north. It was wrapped in ice and cold and mist. Then, far away
to the south, arose the Land of Heat and Fire, whose flames never died
nor burned low.

"Now, between the land of darkness and cold, and the land of light and
heat, there was a great abyss, into which the icy rivers from the north
were ever flowing. Mist rose from these waters and rushed to meet the
sparks from the fires which were ever burning in the south lands. And as
they met, a wondrous giant came into life, the child of Heat and Cold."

"Who was there to care for him when he was little?" asked Mari.

"He needed no one, because he was not like ourselves, my dear; still, he
must have food. And so a wonderful cow appeared, to give him milk. As
she licked the ice from the stones, a new being gradually took shape
and arose. He was like ourselves, Mari, only larger, nobler, mightier.
He was the father of all the gods, of whom you have read so many
stories. I believe you are fondest of the god Odin, are you not, Ole?"

"Yes, father, and it is because so many brave and noble things are told
of him. But please go on with the story. You haven't yet told us how
this world was made."

"The gods made it out of the body of the giant, whom they were obliged
to kill."

"They killed him because he grew wicked and evil, didn't he, papa?"

"Yes, Mari, and that was a good reason, without doubt. The gods now used
all their thought and power in making the world beautiful. The mountains
that reach up so grandly toward the sky were their work, as well as the
beautiful valleys, the rivers winding through the green meadows, the
rushing cataracts, and the blue lakes. It is, indeed, a wonderful
earth. Round it all the gods wrapped the great oceans which send their
arms far up into our shores."

"But how were the stars made?" asked Mari.

"The gods first made the blue heaven which stretches above us, and
dwarfs were put at each corner to keep it in place. Sparks arising from
the realm of fire were caught and changed into stars, and they were set
on high to give light.

"A giantess whose name was Night had a son called Day. The gods were
kind to them and gave them beautiful chariots and swift horses with
which to ride through the heavens. Look out of the window, children, and
see how bright it is. That is because the mane of Night's horse is
shedding light upon the earth as he travels onward.

"When the sun and the moon, day and night, were established, the gods
set to work to build a home for themselves. They looked about for the
most beautiful spot, and decided upon a high plain on the summit of a
lofty mountain. The glorious city was built, and the gods settled in
their new home. It was the Golden Age of the world, for there was no
sickness, nor death, nor sorrow, nor pain.

"In the very centre of the wondrous city the gods fashioned a golden
hall for themselves, and in it there was a shining throne for each one.
They had many games and sports, in which they vied with each other in
strength and skill. They had a smithy, where they shaped iron and gold
and silver into powerful tools and weapons. It was here that the rainbow
was made, which you see at times arching over the heavens.

"But the gods were not satisfied. They looked over the earth and saw no
living creatures. They said among themselves:

"'We will make the dwarfs, who shall live in the earth and work the
mines.'

"But this was not all, for Odin, your favourite among the gods, said to
his brothers:

"'Look yonder at those two trees, the ash and the elm, standing side by
side. We will make man and woman from them. They shall people the earth
and we will care for them as our children.'

"So it came to pass that our race began to live among the hills and
valleys, and has been here ever since. But the gods have never deserted
us, but are ever ready to help and protect us. At least, all this is
what the legend teaches."

"Of course, there are no real gods, are there?" said Mari.

"The only gods are our beautiful souls, my daughter. They can never die
nor do evil, any more than these gods in whom our old Vikings really
believed. The giants are our earthly natures that are constantly trying
to make us forget our godlike souls. But we shall conquer them at last,
just as the gods always succeeded in mastering the giants, no matter how
strong or clever they were."

"Didn't it take a long time to do it, papa? The Golden Age didn't last
after quarrelling began, did it?"

"No. The gods had their troubles and sorrows as well as men. But, as I
said before, the gods always ended by being successful."

"Are you too tired to tell another story, father? This time I wish we
could hear something about the fairies. Won't you tell us about
Ashiepattle?"

Now Ashiepattle is one of the favourites of all Norse children, and many
tales are told of his wonderful deeds.

"Which story shall it be?" asked the farmer.

"The one about his eating with the troll," cried Mari and Ole, together.

Their father laughed. "You are never tired of that, although you are
almost a man, Ole. Listen, then, and you shall hear how this brave boy
ate with the giant.

"Once upon a time there was a man who had three sons. The older boys
were idle and lazy and would do no work. Their father was too old and
feeble to compel them. He had a fine wood-lot, and he wished them to go
out and cut down the trees. Then he would be able to sell lumber and pay
his bills; but for a long time the sons gave no heed to his request.

"At length, however, they began to listen and think the plan was a good
one. The oldest son shouldered his axe and started for the forest. But
he had no sooner begun his work upon a big tree, than a troll suddenly
appeared at his side.

"'That is my tree,' said the troll. 'If you cut it down, I will kill you
at once.'

"The boy was terribly frightened. And it is scarcely to be wondered at,
for the troll was an immense, fierce-looking creature. Dropping his axe,
he started for home on the run, and did not stop to look around till he
got there.

"'You coward,' cried his father when he heard his story. 'When I was a
boy no troll was ever able to scare me away from my work.'

"'I will go,' said the second son. 'I shall not be afraid, you may
believe.'

"He started out with a brave heart, and was soon at work in the forest.
But his axe had hardly struck the first tree when the troll appeared
before him.

"'Spare the tree, if you wish me to spare your life,' cried the giant.

"The boy did exactly as his brother had done before him. All his bravery
disappeared the moment he looked upon the giant. Without stopping a
moment he fled for home, and rushed into the house breathless.

"'What a foolish, cowardly fellow,' cried his father. 'You are not much
like me when I was young. No troll ever drove me away from my work.'

"'Let me try, father,' said little Ashiepattle. 'I am not afraid.'

"His two brothers looked at him in astonishment. '_You_ try, when we
have both failed! You, who never go out of the house, what an idea!' And
they laughed in scorn.

"Nevertheless, Ashiepattle went to the forest. But first, he asked his
mother for a good supply of food. She at once put on the pot and made
him a cheese, for she had nothing ready. With this in his bag, he
started out merrily and was soon at work. The axe was sent straight into
the heart of the tree, and the chips flew right and left. But just then
a deep, gruff voice was heard close by.

"'Stop at once,' cried the troll, 'or you shall die.'

"Now, do you suppose Ashiepattle followed his brothers' example, and
that he fled from the troll? He never thought of such a thing. He did
run, to be sure, but only for a short distance, to the spot where he had
left his cheese. Coming back to the place where the troll stood, he
squeezed his cheese with all his might.

"'Keep still, or I will squeeze you just as I am squeezing this cheese,'
he shouted.

"It would have made you laugh to see that little fellow talking to the
big giant in this way; but the troll was a coward, as all big blusterers
are, and somehow Ashiepattle felt it. His quick mind told him that he
was a human being, and wiser than all the trolls. What do you suppose
the troll did, children? He cried, 'Spare me!' with a voice trembling
with fear. 'If you will only spare me, I will help you cut down the
trees,' he added, in haste.

"That afternoon great work was done in the forest. Many great trees were
laid low; for the troll had wonderful strength in his big arms, and he
showed himself a fine helper.

"When night came the troll proposed that Ashiepattle should go home with
him to supper.

"'It is nearer than your house,' he said.

"So Ashiepattle went with the troll to his home in the forest.

"Before the supper could be made ready, a fire must be made in the
fireplace. The troll said he would do this if Ashiepattle would draw
some water from the well.

"When the boy looked at the iron buckets he should have to fill, he knew
that he could not even lift them; but he was too wise to say this.

"'I won't bother with those buckets,' he told the troll; 'I will bring
the well itself. Then you will be sure to have water enough.'

"'O, don't do that,' cried the troll, in fear, 'for I will have no well
left. Let me get the water, while you make the fire.'

"This suited Ashiepattle, of course, for it was exactly what he wished.
The water was brought, and a great kettleful of porridge was soon ready
to eat, so the troll and the boy sat down together at the table.

"'I can eat more than you, although you are so much larger,' said
Ashiepattle to his host.

"'Let us see you try,' said the troll, who felt sure he could beat the
boy.

"What do you think Ashiepattle did? When the troll was not looking, he
seized the bag in which he had kept the cheese, and, fastening it in
front of him, he slipped most of the porridge he received into that,
instead of his mouth. At last it was quite full. Ashiepattle then took
his knife and cut a hole in it, while the troll watched him in wonder.
After awhile the giant exclaimed:

"'I really can't eat any more. I shall have to admit you have beaten
me.'

"'Didn't you see what I did?' cried his visitor. 'If you cut a hole in
your stomach as you saw me do, you can eat as long as you wish.'

"'But didn't it hurt terribly?' asked the troll.

"'No, indeed. Try it and see for yourself,' replied Ashiepattle,
laughing inside all the while.

"The troll did as he was told, and you may guess what happened. He fell
on the floor in agony and died in a few moments.

"And what did our brave little Ashiepattle do? He searched for the
stores of gold and silver belonging to the troll, and soon succeeded in
finding them. He started for home in great glee, for now he could pay
his father's debt and free the old man from trouble."

"Listen," cried Henrik, as his father finished the story. "There is a
noise outside as though something were the matter. Do you suppose foxes
have dared to come near and are disturbing the hens?"

"We will soon find out," cried the farmer, jumping to his feet. "Hand me
my gun from the wall, good wife, and Henrik, take yours and follow me."

They crept out of the house with as little noise as possible, while Ole
and Mari flattened their noses against the window-panes. But it was
pitch-dark outside, and they could see nothing.

Bang, bang! went a gun.

"They found him, they found him," shouted Ole, jumping up and down. "I
do hope he was hit."

A few minutes after, steps were heard coming back to the house. Ole
rushed to the door and opened it. There stood his father holding a large
red fox by the nape of the neck. The eyes of the animal were glassy, for
he was quite dead.

"He was creeping away over the snow when we saw him," said the farmer,
"and he had one of my finest hens in his mouth. I don't believe this was
his first visit, either, for you know, wife, we have lost several fowls
lately. Henrik, you and Ole may skin this sly fellow and make a mat for
your mother. But it is getting late, and I must start early in the
morning, so to bed, one and all."



CHAPTER VIII.

THE LUMBER CAMP


THE whole family were awake bright and early the next morning. Mari and
Greta helped their mother in packing the birch-bark knapsack with the
provisions their father needed to carry with him to the forest. There
must be a good supply of dried meat and fish, sugar, butter, and flour.
Last, but not least, the coffee was packed safely inside. What would the
good man and his helpers do without this refreshing drink? When they
returned to the hut after a day's chilling work, a bowl of hot coffee
would fill them with new life.

"Ole and I will come next week and bring you fresh supplies," said
Henrik, as his father bade them good-bye and the three men started out
on their snow-shoes over the crisp snow.

They were soon out of sight and the rest of the family returned to their
work. But little Mari, who loved her father very tenderly, kept thinking
of the hard, cold work before him. What kind of a home would he find
when he got into the forest? There would be no shelter of any kind.

He and his men must go to work at once and saw some logs, with which
they would build a rough hut. They would stuff the chinks with moss to
keep out the great cold, or else they would freeze to death.

What furniture would they have? A large, flat stone would serve as a
fireplace, while the bed would be made of poles placed side by side and
covered with moss. That was all. They must sleep as close to the fire as
possible, and even then they would suffer greatly during the long,
freezing nights.

"I am so sorry the crops failed," said Mari to her mother when she had
thought of all these things. "I almost wish father had gone to work
fishing this winter. I don't believe that would have been as hard work."

"The sea has its own dangers, my daughter," answered her mother. "Think
of the fearful storms that rage along our coast and the sad deaths that
have come to some of our friends. No, Mari, lumbering is hard work, but
it is safer, I think, than fishing in the winter season."

Ole had come into the room while they were talking.

"It's cold and uncomfortable for father this winter, I know," he said,
"but the greatest danger is in the spring-time, when he has to float the
logs down the narrow streams to the sawmills."

"Why is that so dangerous?" asked Mari.

"Because his work isn't over when he has once launched the logs into
the water. He must watch them in their course and see that they get to
their journey's end. Suppose one log gets across the stream and blocks
the way? Then father must wade out into the water and pull that log
aside with his boat-hook. He has to spend a good deal of his time in the
water, and is likely to freeze his feet, or get a terrible cold, at any
rate. Perhaps he has to jump on the logs as he pulls them apart. Suppose
he slips and, falling through, is jammed to death between the logs!

"There, there, Mari, dear, don't cry. I shouldn't have said all this.
Father will probably get along all right and come home safe in the
spring."

Henrik put his strong arms around his little sister, and she had soon
forgotten her fears and was laughing heartily over the fairy-story he
was telling her.

The next week after their father left home, Henrik and Ole started out
on a visit to the camp, carrying with them a stock of provisions large
enough to supply the men for several days longer.

"Take your gun, Henrik," said his mother, "for you can't tell what wild
creatures you may meet on the way. It would be a fine surprise for your
father if you should present him with a hare or a deer. Some fresh meat
would make a rare treat for the men."

The boys skimmed over mile after mile of snowy ground, and nothing
unusual happened. No houses were in sight all this time, and there were
no tracks of living creatures. It was lonely, and dreary, and quiet.

They were nearing their journey's end, and were climbing the side of a
hill, when Henrik suddenly stopped.

"See, Ole," he whispered, "there are the tracks of some four-footed
beast ahead of us. They are too heavy and big for hares'. It may be we
are near some bear's den. Look out, for you know the old ones are
sometimes very fierce. Let us follow the tracks for a while and see what
we come to, anyway."

"Shouldn't we be proud if we could find him and kill him?" answered Ole.
"Roasted bear's meat makes a pretty good dinner."

The boys travelled very carefully now, for they had come into the thick
woods. The tracks suddenly came to an end at a pile of logs lying at one
side.

"Perhaps the bear has a snug home under those logs," said Henrik, in a
low tone, as he seized his gun.

At that very moment the boys heard a sound, and at once a huge brown
bear appeared. He moved sleepily, as though he had just been wakened,
but as soon as he got sight of the boys he roused, and his face became
fierce.

No time was to be lost, but Henrik was as cool as any old hunter. His
hand did not tremble as he took careful aim. Whizz! flew the bullet
just as the bear prepared to come at them. It would have gone straight
into his heart if he had not suddenly raised his paw, but it entered
that instead.

"Run for your life, Ole," shouted his brother, as the huge and angry
brute dashed toward them.

Even as he spoke, the bear knocked Ole down, and would have made short
work of him if it had not been for Henrik's coolness. A second shot from
his gun broke the animal's neck. He rose on his hind legs, and plunged
blindly forward only to fall dead at Henrik's feet.

"It's a good thing we are trained to be soldiers at school," the brave
boy said afterward, when he told the story to his father. "I really
believe I should have lost my head, if it hadn't been for that training.
But I said to myself: 'You never fail at home in hitting the mark, why
should you now?' It gave me courage, father."

His father smiled and answered, "You have done well, Henrik. I am proud
of you."

This was said as the boys sat around the fire in the log hut that night.
As soon as they were sure the bear was really dead, they had hurried on
to the camp, which was only a short distance away. Then, as soon as they
had told of their luck, the men went back with them to skin the bear and
cut up and bring in the meat. They brought it to the camp on a rough
sledge.

"He is a beauty," exclaimed one of the men, as he looked at the bear.

"And as big a one as I ever set eyes on," said the other. "I don't see
how you ever dared to tackle him, Henrik. I should have hesitated for a
moment, myself."

It was so late in the day when they all got back to the camp that father
said:

"Boys, you had better stay all night, unless you think your mother will
worry about you."

"We told her we might not come home to-day," said Ole. "It is such a
long tramp, she said we had better not try, for we would get too tired.
So it is all right."

How good the bear steak looked when it was set on the rough
supper-table. It was smoked a good deal,--that was certain; but no one
spoke or even thought of that. And the table was not elegant, for there
was no cloth to cover the rough pine boards. But the fresh cheese, the
kind mother had sent, the hard brown bread baked by the men, with plenty
of bear steak and a bowl of steaming coffee, made a supper "fit for a
king," as the boys declared when they could eat no more.



CHAPTER IX.

THE LAPPS


"PERHAPS this seems a cold place to you, when you think of the warm
farmhouse you left yesterday," said one of the workmen to Henrik. "You
ought to go to the far north, and visit the Lapps. Ah! you will find
plenty of cold weather there. But those queer people don't seem to
notice it very much. I suppose that is because they have got used to it,
since they never lived anywhere else."

"Do tell us about them," begged Ole. "I didn't know you had ever been to
Lapland, Adolf."

[Illustration: "'IT IS ALWAYS IN THE SHAPE OF A MOUND.'"]

"Yes, when I was a young man I was a great hunter, Ole. I have travelled
all over this country and have seen many strange sights."

"I should like to be a hunter, too," said Henrik. "It must be great
sport getting the wild reindeer. But go on, Adolf, and tell us about the
homes of the Lapps, and their herds of tame reindeer, as well as the
queer ways of the people."

"They are a strange people, that is a fact," said Adolf. "They are
queer-looking and queer in their ways. They are very small, few of them
over five feet tall, and they are quite stout. Their skin is of a dark
yellow; the hair is jet-black, coarse and straight; their cheek-bones,
high; and their eyes are blue and small. Their little noses turn up in a
comical way, and their mouths are often open as though they were
surprised at something."

"I suppose they dress in fur, don't they?" asked Ole.

"O yes, from head to foot. But they get all they need from the skins of
their reindeer. They wear high boots bound tightly around their legs
in winter-time, so they are able to keep dry, even if they are out in
the worst snow-storm."

"What are their houses made of?" asked Henrik. "I suppose lumber is
scarce where they live."

"Sometimes the people make a frame-work of timber and cover it first
with skins and then with turf. Sometimes the hut is built of stones,
over which the turf is thickly laid. But it is always in the shape of a
mound."

"Are there any windows in the hut?"

"No, Ole, and so, of course, the air inside is very close and
unpleasant. There isn't even a chimney. A hole is left in the roof large
enough to let out the smoke; that is all. When the short summer comes
round, the Lapps prefer to live in deer-skin tents, and I can't say I
blame them."

"Did you ever visit them in their homes, Adolf?" asked Henrik.

"Yes, I stayed with a family of them over night. They seemed very
friendly and tried to make my visit pleasant, but I didn't enjoy it very
much, it was such a dirty, smoky place.

"In the middle of the room was a stone fireplace, over which hung the
kettle when our supper was cooked. They all squatted on deer-skins
around the fire. When I had been there a few minutes, I heard a noise
overhead. I looked up and saw a dear little blue-eyed baby, swinging in
a hammock and cooing to me. I reached up and took it down, and it
snuggled in my arms as though it knew I was a friend."

"What did you have for supper?" asked the farmer.

"Everything came from the reindeer, of course. There was plenty of rich
milk, besides a good-sized cheese and a meat stew. I have eaten worse
meals since, many times."

"But how did you sleep?"

"The beds were easily made by stretching deer-skins on the floor. We
covered ourselves with more skins, and lay snug and warm till morning."

"Did you sleep more warmly than we do here?" The farmer laughed as he
said it.

"I must say I did," replied Adolf, with an answering laugh.

"Although the Lapps' huts are far from beautiful, they are made so that
wind and snow cannot blow in, at any rate." Adolf pointed to a ridge of
snow that had sifted in through the wall, although they had stuffed the
cracks as well as they could with dried moss.

"But, dear me! the Lapps wouldn't mind it very much if it did," he went
on. "The men will lie down to sleep in an open field on rocks or snow,
if they are not near their home. They are not afraid of the cold, and it
seldom seems to hurt them, either.

"As I lay on the floor of the hut that night, I could see rows of smoked
meat and fish hanging against the sides of the walls. They have neither
storehouses nor closets, so they are obliged to keep their provisions in
the huts.

"The next morning I went out among the reindeer with the chief of the
settlement. I believe there were more than a thousand reindeer in sight.
It was milking-day and the men were having a lively time of it. They had
to catch each animal and hold it still with a lasso while the milking
was done."

"Why did you speak of milking-day, Adolf? Don't the Lapps milk the
reindeer as often as we do our cows?"

"No, indeed. It is done only once a week, because the creatures are so
wild. They are not gentle and tame, as you have probably supposed. They
can be managed very well in driving, however. It is great sport to ride
behind a team of reindeer, for one flies over the snow like the wind.
Their masters sometimes drive them a hundred miles in a day."

"That is good, for I have heard that the Lapps don't stay in one place
all their lives. They are a wandering people, aren't they?"

"Yes, Ole, but one reason for that is the need of finding good
feeding-grounds for their deer. When one place becomes bare, they must
seek another. Then, again, in the summer-time they like to go to the
rivers and camp beside them for the sake of the salmon fishing. They are
as fond as we of a good dish of salmon for dinner."

"What do the reindeer feed on?" asked Henrik.

"In winter they paw away the snow and find the lichen, which is a little
gray plant very much like the moss you see growing on the mountainside
about here. In summer they eat the young and tender shoots on the bushes
and low trees. They are very hardy creatures and among the most useful."

"Just think!" cried Ole. "The reindeer furnish the Lapps with everything
they need,--their clothing, food, and shelter; and, as if that were not
enough, they make good beasts of burden, and carry their masters
wherever they wish to go."

"I shall tell Mari all about them when I get home," Ole went on. "I know
one question my busy little sister will ask at once. She will say, 'What
do the women and children do with themselves all the time?' How shall I
answer that question, Adolf?"

"You may tell Mari there is plenty of work for them. They dress the
reindeer skins, and make lovely rugs and warm slippers turned up at the
toes and bound with red."

"Why, yes, Ole, your mother has a pair of slippers made by the Lapp
women," interrupted his father. "I bought them for her at Bergen, and
she wears them on cold winter mornings."

"That is so, I remember them; but I never thought about the Lapps when I
looked at them," answered Ole. "Is there anything else the women of
Lapland make, Adolf?"

"Many things. They showed me knives and spoons they had shaped out of
the horns of the reindeer. They were very pretty, and a great deal of
time must have been spent on the carving. The men and boys do most of
this last work. I really think the most wonderful thing I saw was the
thread the women make of the reindeer sinews. It is fine and even, yet
very strong. I wish I could have seen them making it."

Adolf yawned. "I am so sleepy I think it must be bedtime. There's a
hard day's work before us to-morrow."

After fresh wood had been laid on the fire, the party quickly settled
themselves for the night's rest.



CHAPTER X.

HOLIDAY FROLICS


"FATHER'S coming, father's coming!" cried Mari as she stood looking down
the snow-covered valley.

She rushed into the house and put on her skis, then skimmed across the
fields with long strides.

"Everything is ready," she told her father as soon as she reached him.
"And now we shall have a lovely Christmas because you have come."

Yes, everything was ready for the greatest day of the year. Even the
birds were not forgotten, for a fresh sheaf of wheat had been fastened
on the pole where the magpie had hidden the silver brooch. Ole had made
a new collar for the dog, Kyle; Henrik had shot enough wild game for
the Christmas dinner; Mari and Greta had helped their mother in making
some wonderful cakes.

There was nothing for the tired father to do except to sit in the
chimney-corner and frolic with his children. It was a jolly time, for no
one was expected to be quiet now, and all were allowed to do as they
pleased.

Christmas comes but once a year, and the children realized it fully.

They played games and told stories; they danced and sang to the music of
Henrik's violin. There was no spinning, or even crocheting, for the
girls, while the boys did only what farm work was needed to keep the
horses and cattle comfortable.

On Christmas Day a party of the villagers came to the farm to share in
the games and feasting. Even the magpie, mischievous little fellow,
seemed to enjoy the fun. He flew from one to the others of the party
and, lighting on the shoulders of the young girls suddenly, would
startle them and make every one else laugh.

The baby, bless his heart, had the best time of all. He was not left to
hang in his cradle for a single moment. Everybody wished to hold him,
and he was passed from one to another of the company, where he enjoyed
himself fingering the shining silver ornaments of his friends.

He had his new toys to amuse him, also, for Henrik and Ole had carved
him a doll and a queer-looking horse out of wood.

Everybody was jolly and happy, and there was much drinking of coffee and
shaking of hands. It was eleven o'clock when the tired but happy
children climbed the steps of their beds to dream of the good time just
over.

After this, it did not seem a very long time to Fastilevn, which is the
next best holiday to Christmas. At least, that is what Mari thought,
and if you lived with her you would surely think so too.

Fastilevn comes in the early spring, on the first Monday of Lent, and on
that day the Norse children are allowed to do exactly as they wish.
Their parents may be strict and stern all the rest of the year, but at
Fastilevn all rules are laid aside and the little ones may run wild if
they like.

Cakes and buns! If you could see Mari, Greta, and their brothers eat
sweet things on this day, you would wonder where they could possibly
find room in their stomachs to stow them all away.

The feasting was not the best part of the fun, however. You would never
guess what strange thing the children were allowed to do on that day.
They might whip their mother! Of course, it was all in sport. The boys
took long birch twigs and fastened many tissue-papers and coloured
ribbons and tinsel upon them. The night before the great day, these
twigs were set up in a corner of the living-room, all ready for the next
day's fun.

With the first light of morning those gay switches began to be plied,
while the children followed their mother about, laughing gaily all the
while.

How long did the fun last, do you suppose? Until the last shred of paper
was gone from each switch.

And how do you suppose there ever came to be such an odd custom? The
Norse parents believe firmly in the old maxim, "Spare the rod and spoil
the child." Their children are likely to be often whipped for
wrong-doing; Fastilevn is supposed to make up for twelve months of
whippings, whether they were deserved or not.

Mari has seldom needed punishment, for she is a good, helpful little
girl; but she enjoys Fastilevn very much, nevertheless.

The holiday came to an end, as all days must, whether they are good or
bad. In the evening, when the bare switches had been thrown away, Mari
went to her mother and put her arms around her neck, whispering:

"Mamma, I wouldn't really hurt you for the world, even if you had to
give me a thousand whippings. And I am going to try harder than ever to
be your little helper."

The good woman's eyes filled with tears. "God bless you, little
daughter," she said, as she bent down and kissed her.


THE END.



BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE


THE LITTLE COLONEL BOOKS

(Trade Mark)

_By ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON_

    _Each 1 vol., large 12mo, cloth, illustrated, per vol._    $1.50


    =THE LITTLE COLONEL STORIES=
            (Trade Mark)

Being three "Little Colonel" stories in the Cosy Corner Series, "The
Little Colonel," "Two Little Knights of Kentucky," and "The Giant
Scissors," put into a single volume.

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL'S HOUSE PARTY=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL'S HOLIDAYS=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL'S HERO=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL AT BOARDING SCHOOL=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL IN ARIZONA=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL'S CHRISTMAS VACATION=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL, MAID OF HONOUR=
          (Trade Mark)

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL'S KNIGHT COMES RIDING=
          (Trade Mark)

    MARY WARE: THE LITTLE COLONEL'S CHUM
          (Trade Mark)

    _These ten volumes, boxed as a ten-volume set._   $15.00

    =THE LITTLE COLONEL=
          (Trade Mark)

    =TWO LITTLE KNIGHTS OF KENTUCKY=

    =THE GIANT SCISSORS=

    =BIG BROTHER=


Special Holiday Editions

    Each one volume, cloth decorative, small quarto, $1.25


New plates, handsomely illustrated with eight full-page drawings in
color, and many marginal sketches.


=IN THE DESERT OF WAITING=: THE LEGEND OF CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN.

=THE THREE WEAVERS=: A FAIRY TALE FOR FATHERS AND MOTHERS AS WELL AS FOR
THEIR DAUGHTERS.

=KEEPING TRYST=

=THE LEGEND OF THE BLEEDING HEART=

=THE RESCUE OF PRINCESS WINSOME=: A FAIRY PLAY FOR OLD AND YOUNG.

=THE JESTER'S SWORD=

    Each one volume, tall 16mo, cloth decorative   $0.50
    Paper boards                                     .35

There has been a constant demand for publication in separate form of
these six stories, which were originally included in six of the "Little
Colonel" books.

=JOEL: A BOY OF GALILEE=: BY ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON. Illustrated by L.
J. Bridgman.

  New illustrated edition, uniform with the Little Colonel
    Books, 1 vol., large 12mo, cloth decorative              $1.50

A story of the time of Christ, which is one of the author's best-known
books.


=THE LITTLE COLONEL GOOD TIMES BOOK=

    Uniform in size with the Little Colonel Series      $1.50
    Bound in white kid (morocco) and gold                3.00

Cover design and decorations by Amy Carol Rand.

The publishers have had many inquiries from readers of the Little
Colonel books as to where they could obtain, a "Good Times Book" such as
Betty kept. Mrs. Johnston, who has for years kept such a book herself,
has gone enthusiastically into the matter of the material and format for
a similar book for her young readers. Every girl will want to possess a
"Good Times Book."


=ASA HOLMES:= OR, AT THE CROSS-ROADS. A sketch of Country Life and
Country Humor. By ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON.

With a frontispiece by Ernest Fosbery.

    Large 16mo, cloth, gilt top      $1.00

"'Asa Holmes: Or, At the Cross-Roads' is the most delightful, most
sympathetic and wholesome book that has been published in a long
while."--_Boston Times._


=THE RIVAL CAMPERS:= OR, THE ADVENTURES OF HENRY BURNS. By RUEL PERLEY
SMITH.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

A story of a party of typical American lads, courageous, alert, and
athletic, who spend a summer camping on an island off the Maine coast.


=THE RIVAL CAMPERS AFLOAT:= OR, THE PRIZE YACHT VIKING. By RUEL PERLEY
SMITH.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

This book is a continuation of the adventures of "The Rival Campers" on
their prize yacht _Viking_.


=THE RIVAL CAMPERS ASHORE=

By RUEL PERLEY SMITH.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"As interesting ashore as when afloat."--_The Interior._


=JACK HARVEY'S ADVENTURES:= OR, THE RIVAL CAMPERS AMONG THE OYSTER
PIRATES. By RUEL PERLEY SMITH.

    Illustrated      $1.50

"Just the type of book which is most popular with lads who are in their
early teens."--_The Philadelphia Item._


=PRISONERS OF FORTUNE:= A Tale of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By RUEL
PERLEY SMITH.

    Cloth decorative, with a colored frontispiece      $1.50

"There is an atmosphere of old New England in the book, the humor of the
born raconteur about the hero, who tells his story with the gravity of a
preacher, but with a solemn humor that is irresistible."--_Courier-Journal._


=FAMOUS CAVALRY LEADERS.= By CHARLES H. L. JOHNSTON.

    Large 12mo. With 24 illustrations      $1.50

Biographical sketches, with interesting anecdotes and reminiscences of
the heroes of history who were leaders of cavalry.

"More of such books should be written, books that acquaint young readers
with historical personages in a pleasant informal way."--_N. Y. Sun._


=FAMOUS INDIAN CHIEFS.= By CHARLES H. L. JOHNSTON.

    Large 12mo, illustrated      $1.50

In this book Mr. Johnston gives interesting sketches of the Indian
braves who have figured with prominence in the history of our own land,
including Powhatan, the Indian Cæsar; Massasoit, the friend of the
Puritans; Pontiac, the red Napoleon; Tecumseh, the famous war chief of
the Shawnees; Sitting Bull, the famous war chief of the Sioux; Geronimo,
the renowned Apache Chief, etc., etc.


=BILLY'S PRINCESS.= By HELEN EGGLESTON HASKELL.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated by Helen McCormick Kennedy      $1.25

Billy Lewis was a small boy of energy and ambition, so when he was left
alone and unprotected, he simply started out to take care of himself.


=TENANTS OF THE TREES.= By CLARENCE HAWKES.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated in colors      $1.50

"A book which will appeal to all who care for the hearty, healthy,
outdoor life of the country. The illustrations are particularly
attractive."--_Boston Herald._


=BEAUTIFUL JOE'S PARADISE:= OR, THE ISLAND OF BROTHERLY LOVE. A sequel
to "Beautiful Joe."

By MARSHALL SAUNDERS, author of "Beautiful Joe."

    One vol., library 12mo, cloth, illustrated      $1.50

"This book revives the spirit of 'Beautiful Joe' capitally. It is fairly
riotous with fun, and is about as unusual as anything in the animal book
line that has seen the light."--_Philadelphia Item._


='TILDA JANE.= By MARSHALL SAUNDERS.

    One vol., 12mo, fully illustrated, cloth decorative,      $1.50

"I cannot think of any better book for children than this. I commend it
unreservedly."--_Cyrus Townsend Brady._


='TILDA JANE'S ORPHANS.= A sequel to 'Tilda Jane. By MARSHALL SAUNDERS.

    One vol., 12mo, fully illustrated, cloth decorative,      $1.50

'Tilda Jane is the same original, delightful girl, and as fond of her
animal pets as ever.


=THE STORY OF THE GRAVELEYS.= By MARSHALL SAUNDERS, author of "Beautiful
Joe's Paradise," "'Tilda Jane," etc.

    Library 12mo, cloth decorative. Illustrated by E. B. Barry    $1.50

Here we have the haps and mishaps, the trials and triumphs, of a
delightful New England family, of whose devotion and sturdiness it will
do the reader good to hear.


=BORN TO THE BLUE.= By FLORENCE KIMBALL RUSSEL.

    12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.25

The atmosphere of army life on the plains breathes on every page of this
delightful tale. The boy is the son of a captain of U. S. cavalry
stationed at a frontier post in the days when our regulars earned the
gratitude of a nation.


=IN WEST POINT GRAY=

By FLORENCE KIMBALL RUSSEL.

    12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"Singularly enough one of the best books of the year for boys is written
by a woman and deals with life at West Point. The presentment of life in
the famous military academy whence so many heroes have graduated is
realistic and enjoyable."--_New York Sun._


=FROM CHEVRONS TO SHOULDER STRAPS=

By FLORENCE KIMBALL RUSSEL.

    12mo, cloth, illustrated, decorative      $1.50

West Point again forms the background of a new volume in this popular
series, and relates the experience of Jack Stirling during his junior
and senior years.


=THE SANDMAN: HIS FARM STORIES=

By WILLIAM J. HOPKINS. With fifty illustrations by Ada Clendenin
Williamson.

    Large 12mo, decorative cover      $1.50

"An amusing, original book, written for the benefit of very small
children. It should be one of the most popular of the year's books for
reading to small children."--_Buffalo Express._


=THE SANDMAN: MORE FARM STORIES=

By WILLIAM J. HOPKINS.

    Large 12mo, decorative cover, fully illustrated      $1.50

Mr. Hopkins's first essay at bedtime stories met with such approval that
this second book of "Sandman" tales was issued for scores of eager
children. Life on the farm, and out-of-doors, is portrayed in his
inimitable manner.


=THE SANDMAN: HIS SHIP STORIES=

By WILLIAM J. HOPKINS, author of "The Sandman: His Farm Stories," etc.

    Large 12mo, decorative cover, fully illustrated      $1.50

"Children call for these stories over and over again."--_Chicago Evening
Post._


=THE SANDMAN, HIS SEA STORIES=

By WILLIAM J. HOPKINS.

    Large 12mo, decorative cover, fully illustrated      $1.50

Each year adds to the popularity of this unique series of stories to be
read to the little ones at bed time and at other times.


=THE DOCTOR'S LITTLE GIRL=

By MARION AMES TAGGART, author of "Pussy-Cat Town," etc.

    One vol., library 12mo, illustrated      $1.50

A thoroughly enjoyable tale of a little girl and her comrade father,
written in a delightful vein of sympathetic comprehension of the child's
point of view.


=SWEET NANCY=

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OP THE DOCTOR'S LITTLE GIRL. By MARION AMES
TAGGART.

    One vol., library, 12mo, illustrated      $1.50

In the new book, the author tells how Nancy becomes in fact "the
doctor's assistant," and continues to shed happiness around her.


=THE CHRISTMAS-MAKERS' CLUB=

By EDITH A. SAWYER.

    12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

A delightful story for girls, full of the real spirit of Christmas. It
abounds in merrymaking and the right kind of fun.


=CARLOTA=

A STORY OF THE SAN GABRIEL MISSION. By FRANCES MARGARET FOX.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated and decorated
       in colors by Ethelind Ridgway                           $1.00

"It is a pleasure to recommend this little story as an entertaining
contribution to juvenile literature."--_The New York Sun._


=THE SEVEN CHRISTMAS CANDLES=

By FRANCES MARGARET FOX.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated and decorated
         in colors by Ethelind Ridgway                        $1.00

Miss Fox's new book deals with the fortunes of the delightful Mulvaney
children.


=PUSSY-CAT TOWN=

By MARION AMES TAGGART.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and
         decorated in colors                           $1.00

"Anything more interesting than the doings of the cats in this story,
their humor, their wisdom, their patriotism, would be hard to
imagine."--_Chicago Post._


=THE ROSES OF SAINT ELIZABETH=

By JANE SCOTT WOODRUFF.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and
         decorated in colors by Adelaide Everhart      $1.00

This is a charming little story of a child whose father was caretaker of
the great castle of the Wartburg, where Saint Elizabeth once had her
home.


=GABRIEL AND THE HOUR BOOK=

By EVALEEN STEIN.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and
         decorated in colors by Adelaide Everhart      $1.00

Gabriel was a loving, patient, little French lad, who assisted the monks
in the long ago days, when all the books were written and illuminated by
hand, in the monasteries.


=THE ENCHANTED AUTOMOBILE=

Translated from the French by MART J. SAFFORD

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and
          decorated in colors by Edna M. Sawyer        $1.00

"An up-to-date French fairy-tale which fairly radiates the spirit of the
hour,--unceasing diligence."--_Chicago Record-Herald._


=O-HEART-SAN=

THE STORY OF A JAPANESE GIRL. By HELEN EGGLESTON HASKELL.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and
         decorated in colors by Frank P. Fairbanks      $1.00

"The story comes straight from the heart of Japan. The shadow of
Fujiyama lies across it and from every page breathes the fragrance of
tea leaves, cherry blossoms and chrysanthemums."--_The Chicago
Inter-Ocean._


=THE YOUNG SECTION-HAND:= OR, THE ADVENTURES OF ALLAN WEST. By BURTON E.
STEVENSON.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

Mr. Stevenson's hero is a manly lad of sixteen, who is given a chance as
a section-hand on a big Western railroad, and whose experiences are as
real as they are thrilling.


=THE YOUNG TRAIN DISPATCHER.= By BURTON E. STEVENSON.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"A better book for boys has never left an American press."--_Springfield
Union._


=THE YOUNG TRAIN MASTER.= By BURTON E. STEVENSON.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"Nothing better in the way of a book of adventure for boys in which the
actualities of life are set forth in a practical way could be devised or
written."--_Boston Herald._


=CAPTAIN JACK LORIMER.= By _Winn Standish_.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

Jack is a fine example of the all-around American high-school boy.


=JACK LORIMER'S CHAMPIONS:= OR, SPORTS ON LAND AND LAKE. By WINN
STANDISH.

    Square 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"It is exactly the sort of book to give a boy interested in athletics,
for it shows him what it means to always 'play fair.'"--_Chicago
Tribune._


=JACK LORIMER'S HOLIDAYS:= OR, MILLVALE HIGH IN CAMP. By WINN STANDISH.

    Illustrated      $1.50

Full of just the kind of fun, sports and adventure to excite the healthy
minded youngster to emulation.


=JACK LORIMER'S SUBSTITUTE:= OR, THE ACTING CAPTAIN OF THE TEAM. By WINN
STANDISH.

    Illustrated      $1.50

On the sporting side, this book takes up football, wrestling,
tobogganing, but it is more of a _school_ story perhaps than any of its
predecessors.


=CAPTAIN JINKS:= THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A SHETLAND PONY. By FRANCES HODGES
WHITE.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

The story of Captain Jinks and his faithful dog friend Billy, their
quaint conversations and their exciting adventures, will be eagerly read
by thousands of boys and girls. The story is beautifully written and
will take its place alongside of "Black Beauty" and "Beautiful Joe."


=THE RED FEATHERS.= By THEODORE ROBERTS.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"The Red Feathers" tells of the remarkable adventures of an Indian boy
who lived in the Stone Age, many years ago, when the world was young.


=FLYING PLOVER.= By THEODORE ROBERTS.

    Cloth decorative. Illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull   $1.00

Squat-By-The-Fire is a very old and wise Indian who lives alone with her
grandson, "Flying Plover," to whom she tells the stories each evening.


=THE WRECK OF THE OCEAN QUEEN.= By JAMES OTIS, author of "Larry Hudson's
Ambition," etc.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

"A stirring story of wreck and mutiny, which boys will find especially
absorbing. The many young admirers of James Otis will not let this book
escape them, for it fully equals its many predecessors in excitement and
sustained interest."--_Chicago Evening Post._


=LITTLE WHITE INDIANS.= By FANNIE E. OSTRANDER.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.25

"A bright, interesting story which will appeal strongly to the
'make-believe' instinct in children, and will give them a healthy,
active interest in 'the simple life.'"


=MARCHING WITH MORGAN.= HOW DONALD LOVELL BECAME A SOLDIER OF THE
REVOLUTION.

By JOHN L. VEASY.

    Cloth decorative, illustrated      $1.50

This is a splendid boy's story of the expedition of Montgomery and
Arnold against Quebec.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes: Obvious punctuation punctuation errors repaired.





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