Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Tent life with English Gipsies in Norway
Author: Smith, Hubert
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tent life with English Gipsies in Norway" ***

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



_TENT LIFE WITH
ENGLISH GIPSIES IN NORWAY._


[Illustration: CARL XV.

KING OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN.

OBIIT 18 SEPT. 1872.]



  _TENT LIFE
  WITH
  ENGLISH GIPSIES IN NORWAY._

  BY

  HUBERT SMITH,

  MEMBER OF THE ENGLISH ALPINE CLUB; NORSKE TURIST FORENING;
  AND FELLOW OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN.

  WITH

  _FIVE FULL-PAGE ENGRAVINGS, THIRTY-ONE SMALLER ILLUSTRATIONS,
  AND MAP OF THE COUNTRY, SHOWING ROUTES_.

  HENRY S. KING & CO.,
  65, CORNHILL, & 12, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

  1873.

[_The Right of Translation is reserved by the Author._]


  In Memoriam.

  DEDICATED

  AS A SINCERE TRIBUTE

  TO

  HIS LATE MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY

  CARL XV.

  BY

  THE KIND AND SPECIAL PERMISSION OF THIS

  PRESENT MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY

  OSCAR II.

  KING OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN.



PREFACE.


We awoke one morning; our gipsies were gone; our camp was gone; no light
shining through as we lay in our tent. No freshness of the morning air;
no wafted perfume of fragrant wild flowers; no music of the waterfall in
the glen below. We were left to pursue the pathway of our journey alone.

Yet our notes _de voyage_ remained to us. Impressions caught on the
wayside of travel--written by the light of actual circumstance--we give
them to our readers. They are a true episode in a life.

  THE AUTHOR.



CONTENTS.


                                                                  PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                                     xxi


  CHAPTER I.

  Norway--Our gipsy tent--Tent fittings--Cooking apparatus--Commissariat--Gipsies’
  tent--Bagage de luxe--Weight of baggage--Transit--Donkeys--Our
  party--Esmeralda                                                   1


  CHAPTER II.

  Gipsy equipment--Norwegian gipsies--Prœsten Eilert Sundt--The
  Hull steamer--The tourist’s friend--Our gipsy song                11


  CHAPTER III.

  A friend’s misgiving--Dark forebodings--A sleepless night--The
  railway station--The Albion--A philosopher--The street boy--Distinguished
  travellers                                                        19


  CHAPTER IV.

  England’s farewell--Summer tourists--The chevalier--Seafaring--A
  gipsy reception--Change of plans--Norwegian pilot--The Birmingham
  bagman--Inducement to authorship--Strange wills--A
  sailor’s philosophy--Icelandic language--Prognostications         26


  CHAPTER V.

  A seaman’s adventures--The unfortunate tourist-An apt quotation--Freemasonry--Christiansand--Past
  recollections--The Runic
  stone--Overpayment--Two salmon fishermen--A traveller’s
  curiosity--Norwegian snakes--Scenery--We are one--Golden
  opinions                                                          36


  CHAPTER VI.

  Mariner’s life--The evasive answer--A true presentiment--The King
  of Norway and Sweden--The beautiful fjord--Gipsy music--A
  custom-house difficulty--Another Freemason--Appropriate verses
  Christiania--Horse money--17, Store Strandgade                    46


  CHAPTER VII.

  The Victoria Hotel--The Gipsies’ friend--The passe-partout-Prœsten
  Eilert Sundt--The Christiania railway--Our donkeys appreciated--Gipsy
  spirit--The “tolk”--Norwegian money--Linguistic difficulties--Gipsy
  authors--Gipsy numerals--Departure from
  Christiania                                                       54


  CHAPTER VIII.

  A Norwegian officer--Norwegian emigration--Eidsvold--The Skydskiftet--Quiet
  retreat--Happy hours--Baiersk öl--Esmeralda’s
  toilette--The transformation--Curious address--New acquaintance--Noah’s
  engagement--Noah’s conquest--An ungrateful
  visitor--A reluctant parting                                      64


  CHAPTER IX.

  Moderate bill--Provisions lost--We meet again--Gipsies in advance--Left
  alone--A welcome telegram--Norwegian bath room--Singular
  paintings--Once more farewell--The telegraph clerk--The
  Mjösen Lake--The Dronningen--Ruined cathedral--Utilitarianism--Lillehammer--Once
  more in camp                                                      75


  CHAPTER X.

  Our first camp--Camp visitors--Gipsy music-Foreign tableau--Curious
  observations--Preparations for departure--Early start--Laing’s
  suggestions--The Gudbransdalen--The Hunnefos--The
  Australian meat--Camp rules--The pair of gloves--Sudden
  Shadows--Our talisman--New friends                                89


  CHAPTER XI.

  Night alarm--The Puru Rawnee--Donkeys admired--Norwegian
  ponies--Our gipsy life--Norwegian flowers--Wild forest--The
  pipe of tobacco--Pictures of imagination--The crippled man--Camp
  near Holmen--Noah’s self-denial--Wet night--Peasant
  girls’ serenade--Zachariah’s gaiety--Lovely nature--Norwegian
  newspaper--The mystery explained--Frokost spoilt                 102


  CHAPTER XII.

  Unsuccessful fishing--A military officer--The _dernier ressort_--Our
  gipsy reception--Interrupted toilette--Fête champêtre--Dancing
  on the greensward--Tincture of cedar--The disappointment--The
  Losna Vand--The kettle prop lost--Peasant children--Interesting
  discussions--Writing under difficulties--The kindly
  heart                                                            118


  CHAPTER XIII.

  Wet travelling--Vodvang--Our Russian lamp--Swedish visitors--All
  well--Our hobbinengree--The child of nature--Guitar songs--The
  village beau--Merles gone--The musketos’ victory--More
  rain--Scotch traveller--Timber floaters--Gipsies--Enraged
  Englishman--The frightened skydskarl--Gipsies’ endurance--The
  Listari commotion--Listad scenery                                129


  CHAPTER XIV.

  A gorgio--Comfortable bondegaards--More speile--The lost key--Den
  Asen toujours--Vegetable substitute--The goodlo discussion--Wives’
  utility--Friendly peasants--Norwegian waltz--Gipsy
  chaff--The dark woman--Anxious querists--Early visitors--Timid
  woman--Gipsies appreciated--The charming post-mistress--The
  mansion near Harpe Brö                                           145


  CHAPTER XV.

  The velocipede--Roadside halt--Lovely scenery--Disappointed
  audience--The little gipsy--The lost pocket--The search--Gipsy
  lamentation--Amused peasant girls--Norwegian honesty--The
  pocket found--A noble heart--Pleasant voyageurs--Patrins--Storklevstad--Tambourine
  lost--Norwegian honesty--Eccentric
  visits--Interrogatory--The captain--The interview--The
  village magnate--Meget godt--Esmeralda in camp--The last
  visit--The moorland maiden                                       158


  CHAPTER XVI.

  Colonel Sinclair--Qvam church--Death of Sinclair--Monsieur le
  Capitaine--The Highflyer--The Hedals--Romantic legend--Antique
  mansion--The Kringelen--Kind reception--Warm welcome--The
  broken tent-pole--The reindeer hunter--The
  Rudane Fjelde--Gipsy-looking woman--More fish--Chiromancy
  Esmeralda’s fortune--The handsome captain--His sporting adventure--Esmeralda’s
  gift--Our soirée dansante--Gipsies’ glee                         174


  CHAPTER XVII.

  Gipsies’ affection--Laurgaard adieu--Beautiful gorges--Onward ever--Esmeralda’s
  Irish song--Dovre--Friendly travellers--The
  Landhandelri--The Herr Tofte--King’s visit--Our night camp--Night
  disturbance--Kindness to animals--Our beautiful
  bouquet--Snehætten Fjeld--Dombaas--Comfortable situation--Wild
  scenery--Opportune visit--Illusory hope                          190


  CHAPTER XVIII.

  The new tent pole--What is indigestion?--Peasants at camp--A new
  friend--Holaker station--Norwegian honesty--Lœsje Vand--The
  tetteramengry--An unsolved mystery--The gipsy collapse--Good
  advice--Interest in donkeys--A mountain district--No
  church bells--The boy’s questions--The Kjölen Fjeldene           202


  CHAPTER XIX.

  Esmeralda at the lake--Our cadeau--The visitors--Disappointment--An
  Adonis--The silent visit--The old mill--A Norwegian fox--The
  Puru Rawnee’s fall--The forest scene--Zachariah’s torment--Under
  discipline--Music in the forest--Distant admirers--The
  English hunter’s gift--Our gipsies fishing--The militia
  camp--Silent visitor--Ornamental fladbröd--A forest concert      213


  CHAPTER XX.

  Noah unwell--The tine--New scenes--The leper--Hasty departure--Lesjevœrks
  Vand--Well met--Agreeable wanderers--Specialty
  of travel--Delicious trout--Lake scenery--Norwegian postman--Night
  visitor--More tourists--Molmen church                            227


  CHAPTER XXI.

  The Rauma--A lofty climb--More rain--The forest walk--Tent life--Peasant
  fête--Norwegian dancing--Zachariah’s ride--The
  wood carvings--A psalmodion--Stueflaaten--The Romsdal--Magnificent
  scenery--English spoken                                          237


  CHAPTER XXII.

  The Dontind--Ormein--Mountain road--Our bivouac--Delighted
  visitor--The water elf--Excited gipsies--Tage en Stol--Norwegian
  girls--Sunday on the Rauma--Carriole travelling--Coming
  to grief--“Spille” a little--Esmeralda’s birthday--The
  Norwegian climate--The Sjiriaglns--Uncomfortable bed--The
  large ant                                                        248


  CHAPTER XXIII.

  Musical peasant--Cascades--The leaning-stone--The serious peasant--Zachariah
  ill--No ventilation--The Magician’s Peaks--The
  Mangehöe--“Ramulous”--Romantic valley--Agreeable visitors--The
  serenade--Future route--Horgheim--Rip van Winkle                 261


  CHAPTER XXIV.

  The invalid--Restive donkeys--Fiva--Aak--Veblungsnœs--The
  Norwegian farmer--The grassy knoll--A Norwegian town--The
  fjord’s shore--The Veblungsnœs’ baths--Herr Solberg--Homme
  galant--Musical conversazione--Gipsy music                       273


  CHAPTER XXV.

  Purchases--Zachariah’s trouble--Esmeralda’s photograph--The kiöd--Price
  of meat--The yachtsmen--The three peaks--The spirit-world--Frost-bites--Ultima
  Thule--Esmeralda galvanised--The
  fjord--Heen Kirke--Parelius--Eider ducks--Beautiful
  bouquets                                                         285


  CHAPTER XXVI.

  Our guide--To the mountains--Mystic light--The photographs--The
  “Claymore” yacht--Norwegian gipsies--Singular race--Occupations--Gipsy
  burials--Romantic love--Predestination--The
  bondegaard--The high demand--Esmeralda’s souvenir                297


  CHAPTER XXVII.

  Adieu, Aak--Romsdalshorn--Troldtinderne--Fladmark--Young
  Norwegian ladies--Our fair visitors--A night scene--Morning
  meal--Exhausted peasants--Esmeralda’s compliment--A gipsy
  cuisine--How gipsies sleep--Our guide arrives--The invisible
  bather--The race--The river Gröna                                307


  CHAPTER XXVIII.

  Botanising--Esmeralda lost--Found again--The Eagle--Mountain
  difficulties--Mountain bivouac--Esmeralda ill--Ole’s bed--Hotel
  bills--Rough route--Donkeys in snow--The Puru Rawnee
  down--The Ny sœter--Gipsy discussion--The Englishman’s
  house--Hospitality--Norwegian names--Fillingshö--Large lake      319


  CHAPTER XXIX.

  The peasants’ wood--Skeaker--Our fair visitor--Esmeralda’s indignation--The
  gipsy hornpipe--The fate of Ezekiel--Feeble
  advocacy--The Rankny rackly--The Otta Vand                       332


  CHAPTER XXX.

  The wasps’ nest--Lom--Kind friends--Songs of Björnsen--The
  Prœsten’s ministration--The repulsed student--Beautiful valley--The
  two artists--The Bœver Elven--Rödsheim--The ravine--The
  lost stardy--Ascent of Galdhöpiggen--The highest mountain
  in Norway--The night ascent--The dome of snow--The
  sunrise                                                          340


  CHAPTER XXXI.

  The reindeer’s fate--Desolate scene--Several ascents--The frightened
  peasants--A coat lost--Esmeralda’s views--Absent treasures--Ole
  re-engaged--A new kettle prop--The handsome artist--Comfortable
  station--Adieu, Rödsheim--Our excellent guide--Crossing
  the bridge--Zachariah’s escape                                   352


  CHAPTER XXXII.

  The Elv Sœter--A mountaineer--The Ytterdal Sœter--To make gröd--The
  gröd stick--Evening concert--A wild night--The waterfall--Mountain
  glaciers--The Lera Elv--Camp by a glacier--Nomadic
  happiness--A gipsy maëlstrom--Insect life                        363


  CHAPTER XXXIII.

  The Virgin Peak--Esmeralda in the Lera--A dripping Nereid--Heavy
  clouds--The Church Mountain--Wild reindeer--Where’s
  the tea?--Singular glacier--Valley of red sandstone--The
  Hunter’s Cave--The Utladal Stöl--The Mumpley Valley--Flödsgröd--A
  mountain stöl--A rough path--The Puru Rawnee’s
  escape--The narrow bridge                                        374


  CHAPTER XXXIV.

  A difficult crossing--Again en route--Skögadal Sœter--Sœter accommodation--Splendid
  scenery--The Skögadals Elv--The mysterious
  bone--Mountain exploration--The pack horses--A
  slippery floor--Music in the Sœter--Flœskedal Stöl--The Mörk
  Fos--Magnificent fall--The cliff’s edge--The iris--All pay and
  no comfort--A reindeer shot--The deserted farm--A mountain
  shadow                                                           389


  CHAPTER XXXV.

  The Meisgrie--We cross a river--The slippery rock--An active guide--The
  carrier’s aid--The lame horse--Melkedalstinderne--The
  stony way--The Nedrevand--Ole’s night quarters--The lake by
  moonlight--Early rising--Eisbod on the Bygdin Lake--The
  poet’s house--Vinje, the poet--The poetical mortgage--Pleasant
  acquaintance--Old Norwegian poetry--The reindeer hunter--Esmeralda
  condoned                                                         404


  CHAPTER XXXVI.

  Lake Tyen--The Tourist Club châlet--Lortwick Sœter--Lake driftwood--A
  cold morning--A cheap meal--Thunder in the air--Sunshine
  again--The separation--The gallant Ole farewell--To
  Christiania--Energy always--Push on--The Bergen road--The
  violinist--One dollar more--Picturesque scene                    420


  CHAPTER XXXVII.

  Camp on Lille Mjösen--The Skjyri Fjeld--An acquaintance from
  Eisbod--Camp rules confirmed--Our gipsy Noah--English
  spoken--Singular stone--Öiloe station--Our friend from Eisbod--Artist
  souvenirs--Zachariah’s sport--Fast travelling--Harvest
  time--Secluded camp--Able pleading--The Stee Station--Obliging
  hostess--Tether rope lost--The kindly welcome--An
  Englishman’s wish--An open-air concert--Esmeralda’s
  flowers--Adieu, but remembered--A mid-day rest                   433


  CHAPTER XXXVIII.

  An English fisherman--The haunted mill--The tourist’s purchase--Noah’s
  good fortune--The Strand Fjord--A woman’s curiosity--The
  heroine of our book--A Norwegian seaman--The mistaken
  mansion--The Aurdal church--Frydenlund Station--A roadside
  halt--The appreciated gift--The severe young lady--The kind-hearted
  peasant--Krœmmermoen--Impulse and reason                         449


  CHAPTER XXXIX.

  The gipsy signal--Our Australian meat--The fair poetess--Our
  friend from Eisbod ill--The Rye’s unwell--The Lehnsmœnd of
  Bang--The ferryman and son--We cross to Beina--Tatersprog--A
  kind family--Storsveen Station--Secluded valley--A
  tourist lels us--Esmeralda’s adventure--The peasant women’s
  song--Sorum Station--Tents pitched by a lagoon--Nœs--No
  horseboat--Impromptu horseboat--How we got across--A river
  scene                                                            460


  CHAPTER XL.

  We leave the Beina--The Lille pige--Any port in a storm--The
  fairies’ visit--The Spirilen--Ytre Aadalen Val--Large bondegaard--Heen
  woodland camp--Evening visitors--The Hönefos--Intelligent
  postmaster--Norderhoug church--Halt near Vik--The
  gipsies’ political philosophy--Noah and the philanthropist
  Steens Fjord--The Krogkleven--Beautiful gorge--Camp near
  the King’s View                                                  477


  CHAPTER XLI.

  Summer waning--Norwegian scenery--Splendid views--The cross
  fire--Sorte Död--Romantic camp--Mandy’s a Rye--The tourist’s
  dog--The Hobbenengree’s surprise--The Baron at Bœrums Verk--Snake
  killed near our tent--Our last night in camp--Adieu,
  camp life                                                        490


  CHAPTER XLII.

  Christiania--Generous offer--Advice we do not take--The paper-viken
  fishermen--Christophersen’s--Norway, farewell--Donkeys’
  accommodation--Want of feeling--Our steward--The gipsies’
  friends--The Spanish courier--The literary American--The
  gipsies’ mal de mer--The donkeys in a smoke room--The lost
  necklace--England’s shore--To our readers                        500


  CHAPTER XLIII.

  Alluring promises--Compliment to Englishmen--True sketches of
  gipsy life--The gipsies’ origin--Yet a mystery--Esmeralda--Noah
  and Zachariah--Before the curtain--The end                       511


  APPENDIX   I.                                                    517
  APPENDIX  II.                                                    527
  APPENDIX III.                                                    529
  APPENDIX  IV.                                                    532
  APPENDIX   V.                                                    538



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

    ⁂ The engravings are by Edward Whymper, author of “Scrambles
    amongst the Alps,” and have been taken from sketches made by the
    author during his wanderings in Norway, or from photographs
    obtained by him specially for this work.


         PAGE

  1. His late Most Gracious Majesty Carl XV., King of Norway and
      Sweden                             (_Full page, facing Title_)

  2. Breaking up Camp; Gipsy pocket, and loaded donkey              14

  3. The gipsies’ Norwegian song--ornamental bordure         17 and 18

  4. The Chevalier                                                  28

  5. We are one                                                     44

  6. Prœsten Eilert Sundt                                           56

  7. Norwegian fence                                                78

  8. Norwegian bath-room                                            80

  9. Jeg maa gaae til bunden, I must go to the bottom               81

  10. Der gaae er dampen, There goes the steamer                    82

  11. Peasant girls’ serenade                                      112

  12. Ornamental fladbröd                                          225

  13. Primitive weighing machine                                   244

  14. Camp at Leaning Stone, Sjiriaglns                            262

  15. Troldtinderne, Magicians’ or Witches’
      Peaks                           (_Full page, facing_)        271

  16. The English gipsies’ camp at Veblungsnœs     (_Ditto_)       287

  17. Veblungsnœs and church                       (_Ditto_)       299

  18. The Romsdalshorn                             (_Ditto_)       307

  19. “Now look at these chokas!!!”                                356

  20. Gröd stick, spoon, and bowl, Leirdalen                       367

  21. Norwegian birchwood crupper                                  372

  22. Kirken (Church Mountain), from Gravdal                       377

  23. The ice cliff, Storbeatind Glacier                           381

  24. Utladal Stöl, Mumply Valley                                  385

  25. Lusehaug Bro, Utladal: restive donkeys                       390

  26. View of Melkedalstind from the Valley of Skögadal,
      Skögadals Elv                                                406

  27. Melkedals Nedre Vand, with gipsy camp on the lake shore      411

  28. Norwegian Tourist Club Châlet, Tvindehougen, Lake Tyen       421

  29. The Norwegian violin, Skogstad                               431

  30. Norwegian maiden’s belt, Öiloe                               439

  31. Esmeralda                                                    499

  32. The last camp of the English gipsies in Norway,
      Christiania Fjord                                            504

  33. Ole Halvorsen of Rödsheim, our guide                         514

  34. Last group. Farewell                                         515

  35. The author’s final Vignette                                  516



INTRODUCTION.

    “Nullus dolor est quem non longinquitas temporis minuat, ac molliat.”

             There is no grief time does not lessen and soften.


Since the succeeding pages were written, Norway and Sweden have mourned
the death of their King, Carl XV., at Malmoe, on the 18th September,
1872.

The dedication of this work is, therefore, with the kind and special
permission of his present Majesty, King Oscar II., inscribed “In
Memoriam.” Thus the work opens to the reader with a shadow of
melancholy; for, in our experience, few kings have had the love and
affection of their subjects in a greater degree.

One memorable event marked the close of his late Majesty’s reign, as if
to illumine the last sands of the hour-glass of his life--the millennial
period of the unity of Norway as one kingdom was accomplished on the
19th July, 1872.

A thousand years had elapsed since Harald Haarfager (the Fair Hair)
gained the battle of Hafsfjord, and united Norway under one crown.[1]

At Hafsfjord, by a strange coincidence, King Harald Haarfager, having
reigned, it is said, from about 861 to 931, was buried, according to the
ancient sagas, near the town of Haugesund, not far from the scene of his
memorable victory, the last of a series of conquests which gave to
Norway one king.

The battle of Hafsfjord also accomplished King Harald’s vow, and gave to
him the hand of Gyda, the handsome daughter of Eric, King of Hordaland,
who, in answer to his proposals, had said, she would never throw herself
away, even to take a king for a husband, who had only a few districts to
rule over.[2]

The obelisk of granite, erected near Haugesund, on the grave of Harald
Haarfager, to commemorate the event, is seventy feet high. Surrounding
its base, twenty-one pillars, eight feet high, are inscribed with the
names of the twenty-one petty kingdoms, into which ancient Norway was
formerly divided. Bronzed reliefs on the pedestal record that Harald
Haarfager is buried beneath, and that the monument was erected one
thousand years after he had consolidated Norway into one kingdom.

At a grand National Jubilee Festival, at Haugesund, on the 19th July,
1872, his present Majesty the King of Norway and Sweden,[3] then Prince
Oscar, with a large assemblage of the people of Norway, inaugurated the
monument.

The day was fine, and the associations of a thousand years carried the
mind back through the far distance of time to the battle of Hafsfjord,
when, to apply the words of “Sigvat the Scald,”--

    Loud was the battle-storm there,
    When the King’s banner flamed in air,
    The King beneath his banner stands,
    And the battle he commands.

His late Majesty was also a poet and an artist. Two interesting volumes
of the late King’s poems, entitled “En Samling Dikter” (a collection of
poems), and “Smärre Dikter” (short poems) are the scintillations of a
bright and imaginative mind--“Till Sverige” (To Sweden), “Borgruinen”
(the Castle Ruins), “Fjerran” (Afar), “Ensamheten” (solitude),
“Trosbekännelse” (Confession of Faith), “I drömmen” (I Dream), “Hvar bor
Friden” (Where dwelleth Peace), “Kallan” (The Fountain), “Ziguenerskan”
(The Gipsy Girl), with other poems form the Innehål, or contents of the
“Smärre Dikter.” The larger volume--“En Samling Dikter”--includes “Heidi
Gylfes Dotter” (Heidi Gylfe’s Daughter), “En Viking Gasaga” (A Viking
Saga)[4] “Hafsfrun” (The Mermaid), “Tre Natter” (Three Nights), and
several other poems.

The full-paged portrait of his late Majesty Carl XV. is an excellent
likeness. He was cast in Nature’s most perfect mould; whilst his mind
had true greatness and noble-hearted chivalry.

It is beautifully engraved by the author of “Scrambles Amongst the
Alps,” indeed, this and the engravings illustrating this work, which
have all been taken from original sketches of the author, or photographs
obtained specially for the work, are by Mr. Edward Whymper,[5] to whom
the author is much indebted for his prompt attention, when a very short
space of time could only be allowed for their completion.

An additional interest will also be felt by the reader in knowing that
the work is true, even to the names of the gipsies.

So must close our Introduction; and, as we look back to our tented
wanderings, they seem as a bright summer’s day, whose sun, setting on
the horizon of our fate, reflects itself, though with imperfect gleams,
within this book, whilst the day is gone for ever!

  THE AUTHOR.

    _7th May, 1873._



THE GIPSY GIRL.

    Passing, I saw her as she stood beside
      A lonely stream between two barren wolds;
      Her loose vest hung in rudely-gathered folds
    On her swart bosom, which in maiden pride
    Pillowed a string of pearls; among her hair
      Twined the light blue bell and the stonecrop gay;
      And not far thence the small encampment lay,
    Curling its wreathèd smoke into the air.
    She seemed a child of some sun-favoured clime;
      So still, so habited to warmth and rest;
    And in my wayward musings on past time,
      When my thought fills with treasured memories,
    That image nearest borders on the blest
      Creations of pure art that never dies.

    DEAN ALFORD.


[Illustration:

  MAP
  Showing the Route and Camping grounds
  of the
  ENGLISH GIPSIES
  through
  NORWAY.

  Henry S. King & Co, 65 Cornhill, London.]



TENT LIFE WITH ENGLISH GIPSIES IN NORWAY.



CHAPTER I.

    “The best books are records of the writer’s own experiences of
    what he himself has seen or known, or--best of all--has done.
    The writing then becomes naturally concrete, perspicuous, a
    mirror of the fact; and whether it be a book for the world and
    for ages, or for nations and generations, there is this common
    to them all, that they are genuine records of genuine things,
    and throw light on the subject.”--N. P. WILLIS.

    NORWAY--OUR GIPSY TENT--TENT FITTINGS--COOKING
    APPARATUS--COMMISSARIAT--GIPSIES’ TENT--BAGAGE DE LUXE--WEIGHT
    OF BAGGAGE--TRANSIT--DONKEYS--OUR PARTY--ESMERALDA.


The picturesque and lovely scenes of Norway offered many inducements for
our campaign. The peculiar advantages of tent life would enable us to
wander in its wildest Dals. Its beautiful fjelds, fjords, and fosses
could be seen at our ease. We might bivouac in the silent forest; we
could sleep in its lonely glens, and wander in its deepest recesses,
independent of the chance accommodation of the “gjœstgiver-gaard,” or
the more doubtful comfort of the mountain “sœter.” The result of a
former visit had not been without its practical utility, and the tent
carried the day.

In previous travels we had used many kinds of tents, including Mr.
Whymper’s very useful Alpine Tent. For this campaign we had a new one
made, such as gipsies use. All experience inclined us to adopt this form
of tent as the most comfortable.[6] It was made by gipsies, whom we had
often befriended in our search after gipsy lore,--and who now no longer
regarded us with distrust, as belonging to the kairengroes
(house-dwellers). When it was completed, my people declared it was the
best they had ever seen. A stout back pole, with strong pliable raniers
or rods, fitted into it, and a cover made of two pairs of light gray
blankets, of strong but fine texture, sewn together, with a broad edging
of scarlet bocking, gave it an appearance which the gipsies declared to
be perfection.

The interior fittings of our tent were not neglected. One of Edgington’s
waterproofs costing twenty-five shillings, was laid on the ground as a
substratum. A handsome carpet, of strong but light material and warm
colouring, was cut to the size of the tent as usually pitched, and then
neatly bound with scarlet braid by my housekeeper, who made nearly
everything used for the expedition. When the carpet was placed on the
waterproof rug, it formed an excellent floor to the tent. Our large
railway-rug, which had been with us all round the world, was still
serviceable. An extra rug for use if necessary, and two air pillows
covered with scarlet flannel, completed the bed accommodation. A blue
partition-curtain, with broad yellow braid artistically elaborated in
zigzag pattern, to be suspended _à volonté_ from the tent raniers for
privacy and seclusion, left nothing more to be desired. We had not yet
sunk so low in effeminacy as to use beds, though there are instances of
gipsies in England who have descended to that melancholy state.

It was necessary that our _batterie de cuisine_ should be as simple as
possible. In the first place we had our kettle prop which had done duty
in camp life in the previous year. A kettle prop is a stout bar of iron
bent at one end so as to have a projecting portion for hanging the
kettle upon to boil water. The other end of the prop is sharpened so as
to make holes in the ground to fix the tent raniers or rods into. (The
three stakes joined together at the top, with a large witch’s caldron
suspended over the fire, as seen in many representations of gipsy life,
have now passed away with the gipsies’ scarlet cloaks once so
fashionable.) We had our large fish kettle for boiling anything; our tin
can for boiling and making tea for four persons; two larger tin cans for
boiling or fetching milk or water, all with lids; two large zinc bowls;
four smaller soup bowls, fitting one within the other; a round tin with
lid to hold three pounds of butter; a quart tin can with handle; two
sets of tin pannikins, four each set, fitting one within the other;[7]
eight pewter plates; seven knives and six forks; eight spoons; a tin
salt box; a tin pepper box; a sardine box opener; a frying pan, with
handle to remove; a tin box containing the exact measure of tea for four
persons. This was very useful, not only for economy, but in wet
weather,--the box, being filled in the tent, could be carried in the
hand,--in readiness for the boiling water. A Russian lamp; a small axe;
two tin boxes of wax lucifer matches, and eight small cloths for
cleaning, completed our _service de ménage_. All the articles enumerated
could be conveniently put into the fish-kettle, except the two large
cans, the two large bowls, the pewter plates, the frying-pan, and one or
two other articles. These were all placed at one end of a bag called the
kettle-bag, tied in the middle; our bags of tea and sugar, &c., for
present use, being placed at the other end, ready to be slung over the
donkey for transit.[8]

Our commissariat was selected with a care commensurate to the
requirements of the expedition and of the four hungry _voyageurs_ to be
fed.

Our provisions were procured at Hudson Brothers, Ludgate Hill, London
(with whom we had before had dealings), and were all we could desire for
quality. Our purchase included 28lbs. of Australian meat (costing 7½_d._
per lb.)--which for the first time, we ventured, with some hesitation,
to take--two hams, some bacon, a dozen boxes of sardines, 2 cheeses, a
number of jars of Liebig’s essence of meat, some tins of potted meats,
2 tins of biscuits,--some of which were college biscuits,--rice,
oat-meal, pea flour, beans, &c.; which, together with 12lbs. of tea from
Messrs. Phillips, King William Street, in small bags of 3lbs. each, were
placed in a large stout “pocket” as far as space would allow, and then
packed in a wooden case, and forwarded to the care of Messrs. Wilson &
Co., Hull, ready for the steamer. The weight of the provisions when
sent, was 150lbs. These articles, with 30lbs. of sugar in six small bags
of 5lbs. each, which we had before forwarded to Hull, completed our
stock of provisions for the expedition.

The gipsies brought their own tent rods; we found blankets for the tent
cover. The gipsies’ tent cover is formed of two blankets, fastened with
pin thorns over their tent frame of raniers or rods. They had for use
one of Edgington’s waterproofs and two double blankets.

We also took a railway rug ornamented with foxes’ heads, which we often
used with the aid of our Alpine stocks, as a balk to keep off the wind,
and to close in the space between our tents when we required more room
or shelter. We had, besides, a very large but exceedingly light
waterproof sheeting, purchased from Edmiston, made to loop over our
tents, so as to enlarge them considerably and protect us from heavy
rain. The blanket covers of our tents were not waterproof; and this
waterproof sheeting, which only weighed 4½ lbs., was invaluable. When we
were resting during the day, it effectually protected our provisions,
baggage, and ourselves from the heavy showers of rain which sometimes
occurred during our wanderings.

Our additional baggage consisted of one salmon rod, three trout rods,
four Alpine stocks, two long ropes for tethering the animals, a fishing
basket, a tin box with padlock, a musical box, a moderate allowance of
clothes, a small tin of blacking with brushes, hair brushes and combs,
soap, towels, pocket mirrors, writing-case, maps, stout straps, books
(guide books and others), fishing tackle, &c., two courier bags with
locks, and a plaid haversack, which contained a small case of
medicaments for use when we were beyond all chance of medical
advice--for, although fresh air is peculiarly health-giving, there were
times and seasons when we had to officiate as the “cushty drabengro”
(good doctor) of the party. We had also in this plaid bag a
silver-mounted glass flask of imposing appearance, which was kept filled
with Brændeviin, to be poured out into a thick-set, solid-looking
drinking glass, that had been purchased, once upon a time, at Épernay,
in France; it was fitted to stand the hard usage of this world, even to
receiving libations of brændeviin instead of champagne. The glass is
still unbroken, and ready to do duty in another campaign; and when we
look at it, our brain becomes puzzled as to the number of bold
Norwegians whose lips it has touched as they quaffed its contents to
_gamle Norge_.

The weight of baggage is given in the following divisions:--

The kettle and articles packed into it weighed 10½ lbs.; bowls and
pewter plates, packed separately, 6¾ lbs.; the frying pan, 3½ lbs.; our
boiling can for making tea for our party, four in number, 1¼ lbs.; our
large boiling can, for a larger number than four persons, weighed 1¾
lbs.; the large iron kettle-prop, 6 lbs. 6 ozs., making the total
weight of cooking apparatus and _service de ménage_, 30 lbs. 2 ozs.

The tent rods and pole weighed 14½ lbs.; the tent blanket, cover, and
partition-curtain, 17½ lbs.; large waterproof siphonia cover, 4½ lbs.;
small spade to dig trenches round tent in wet weather, 1 lb. 15 ozs.;
total weight, 38 lbs. 7 ozs.

One of Edgington’s waterproof rugs, the tent carpet, two rugs, and two
air-pillows, weighed, together, 20 lbs.

Our large tent and fittings, with cooking apparatus and _service de
ménage_, therefore weighed 88 lbs. 9 ozs.; and with books, fishing-rods,
clothes, the provisions, and other baggage, made a total of about 360
lbs. weight, which allowed 120 lbs. for each donkey to carry.

The method of transit for baggage of all kinds, that impediment to rapid
movement, required careful consideration. We had 360 lbs. weight of
baggage to carry across the sea, to take with us through the valleys of
Norway, to convey over mountains, and rugged paths, across rivers and
shaky wooden bridges. The kind of animal suited to our expedition had
also to be considered; ponies and mules had their claims. Excellent
ponies might be purchased in Norway upon our arrival, but then we had
the risk of delay. If we took mules they were oftentimes vicious and
troublesome. At last we commissioned a gipsy to purchase three strong
donkeys, to be specially selected for the purpose. It is said in one of
Dickens’s works, that no one ever saw a dead donkey or a dead
postboy--and this inspired additional hope that the animals would
survive the journey. We had no reason to regret our choice. Donkeys will
endure want of food better than even mules or horses; they are patient,
quiet, and tractable; they soon take to the camp, and seldom stray far.
The weight would be about 120 lbs. each, decreasing as they progressed
on their journey. A strong donkey has been known to carry for a short
distance, 4 cwt., but this is exceptional; 200 lbs. for a journey on
good roads they can manage without difficulty; for rough mountain roads
and paths, this load ought to be reduced to less than 100 lbs. Donkeys
were much valued in early times; and in New South Wales they were
recently more expensive than horses. Fortunately our gipsy was able to
procure them at a moderate rate; and in a short time I was the
possessor--to use gipsy language--of three “cushty merles” (good
donkeys). They were to travel with the gipsies’ camp until we were ready
to start, and so become used to camp-life. Very good ones they were:[9]

    Content with the thistle they tramped o’er the road,
    And never repined at the weight of the load.

It was necessary for the success of the expedition, that the party
should be composed of not less than four; but one who had before
accompanied our wanderings, was unable to come. Our preparations were
partly made, and his loss as a fellow _compagnon de voyage_ was
irreparable. Skilful in designing and making a tent, full of resource
in camp life, never without an expedient to overcome a difficulty, a
sketcher from nature, cheerful under all exposure, temperate in all his
pleasures, ever ready with his song and guitar; at eveningtide, by the
flickering embers of the camp fire, by the silent lake, or in the
mountain _cwm_, or lonely glen--his loss was indeed to be regretted. His
lithe figure, and luxuriant raven-black hair, shading in heavy tresses
his ample forehead, jet-black eyes, and thoughtful countenance bronzed
by exposure, strongly resembled the true gipsy type. By other gipsies
whom we had chanced to meet, he had been thought of better gipsy blood
than our own gipsy people.

Our right hand seemed gone. As we lounged into the gipsies’ camp, there
was no sun to illumine our way to the north. The party _must_ be made up
to four; but no other friend would venture on the exposure of a camp
life in a foreign country. The romantic scenery, the novelty and charm
of a nomadic life in nature’s wildest scenes, completely failed to
allure them from their comfortable homes.

So the party was to be made up to four. The Rye was not to go without a
sufficient escort to take care of him. Tall Noah would pitch the tents
and pack the animals. Esmeralda, as the forlorn hope, would do all the
cooking, and undertake the arrangements of the tent, which our friend
had beforetime done with our joint assistance. Zacharia, the
“boshomengro” (violin-player), would again obtain water, and make the
fire. They would each have one animal under their charge. With this
arrangement we were obliged to content ourselves. Esmeralda, who was
nearly sixteen years old, was tall, spare, and active, and wonderfully
strong for her age. She had dark hair, and eyes full of fathomless fire.
Zacharia had certain nervous misgivings about being chopped up by a bear
in his tent some night; tigers and lions were also inquired after; but,
all being settled, there was no flinching, and our gipsies were ready on
the day named.



CHAPTER II.

    “He is an excellent oriental scholar, and he tells me that
    amongst the gipsies are the remains of a language (peculiar to
    themselves) in which are traces of Sanscrit. Sir David Baird,
    too, was remarkably struck with the resemblance of some of the
    Sepoys to the English gipsies. They are evidently not the dregs
    of any people. The countenances of many of the females are
    beautiful, as those of the males are manly.”--_The Peacock at
    Rowsly._

    GIPSY EQUIPMENT--NORWEGIAN GIPSIES--PRESTEN EILERT SUNDT--THE
    HULL STEAMER--THE TOURIST’S FRIEND--OUR GIPSY SONG.


The gipsies’ equipment and wardrobe was not extensive; some additions
given by the Rye made them up _assez bien pour la voyage_. One or two
waistcoats, and a handkerchief or two, formed, we believe, the whole of
Noah and Zacharia’s change. But their boots! those were unexceptionable.
They must be new--they must be thick--they must be nailed--double and
treble nailed. One shoemaker failed in solidity and soundness of
substratum; but at last, to the Rye’s comfort and inexpressible relief,
a more skilled follower of St. Crispin produced some _chef d’œuvres_ of
ponderous construction, which the gipsies admitted to be masterpieces.
The man who drove the nails had well-earned his wages; the soles,
indeed, at length resembled one of those old-fashioned oak doors, that
one sometimes sees in ancient castles, or manorial residences. We duly
discharged their cost, consoling ourselves with the reflection that we
had not to walk in them through Norway. Esmeralda had one dress to
change. What it wanted in skirt, was made up by the ornamentation of
plaid braid, and silver buttons, quite in accordance with the fashion of
some Norwegian districts. She had no bandboxes, chignon-boxes,
gloveboxes, parasols, umbrellas, caps, pomades, perfumes, and a thousand
other things often required. A long Alpine cloak, and a few articles of
change, formed a very slight addition to our baggage.

There are Norwegian gipsies. Even Norway has been reached by wandering
hordes of this singular people.[10] We were desirous of comparing the
language of English gipsies with that of the Norwegian Zigeuner; we were
anxious to see some of the roving Tater-pak of this Northern land. In
our researches into the history, language, origin, and probable fate of
this wild, wandering people, who still cling with remarkable tenacity to
their ancient modes of life and language, we had met with the
interesting works of Presten Eilert Sundt--a gentleman who has given
much time and indefatigable energy to a complete investigation of the
present state of the Norwegian gipsies, and has formed a vocabulary of
the Romany language as spoken by them in Norway.

Presten Sundt’s notes will remain a valuable record of the footsteps of
this people in the world. His first work, “Beretning om Fante-eller
Landstrygerfolket i Norge,” was published at Christiania in 1852; it was
succeeded by “Anden aars Beretning om Fantefolket,” published at
Christiania in 1862. To him the Norwegian Government are indebted for
the only information which we believe has yet been given relative to the
Norwegian gipsies. The extracts from Presten Sundt’s works, expressly
made for us, will be found in the Appendix to this work.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our preparations had wonderfully progressed: besides bags of various
kinds we had three _pockets_, as the gipsies call them,--one for each
animal. The pocket is a large broad, flat sack, sewed up at both ends,
with a slit on one side, which buttons. The blankets and rugs, &c., are
folded and packed flat into it through the slit or opening. Any hard
substances are placed at each end of the pocket, so that the donkey’s
back may not be injured. The pocket is placed flat over the tent covers,
and then girthed tightly round the animal. The bags, tent-rods, and
other things are fastened by cords passing between the girth and the
pocket.

A steamer was to sail from Hull in June, and we ultimately arranged to
take a return ticket from Hull to Norway and back, ourself first-class,
and the gipsies second-class: our return tickets cost us £25, including
the carriage of three animals, either donkeys or horses, whichever we
might wish to take, going or returning. At one time we thought of going
by the special steamer to Throndhjem, intended for the convenience of
sportsmen, but as the voyage was longer, and the fare considerably
higher, we gave up the idea. Messrs. Wilson were most prompt in giving
us every information, and when we had decided to go, they secured us an
excellent berth, and received our heavy baggage when forwarded.

[Illustration: BREAKING UP CAMP: GIPSY POCKET AND LOADED DONKEY.]

We soon received a small publication, by John Bradley, entitled,
“Norway, its Fjords, Fjelds, and Fosses, and How to See Them for Fifteen
Guineas:” with a tempting view of Norwegian scenery on the cover.
Unfortunately we could not travel at so cheap a rate with our party;
but we recommend the publication to intending tourists.

We now wrote to Mr. Bennett, 17, _Store Strandgade_, Christiania, who is
a perfect oracle upon all matters pertaining to Norway, and gives ready
aid to northern tourists, and he at once sent the maps we required. We
afterwards received his newly revised Guide Book, which is indispensable
to all Norwegian travellers.

A gipsy song was composed by us for our campaign,--a sort of souvenir,
to be given here and there,--a memorial of our visit; we had it
translated into Norwegian. It was a guitar song, with an engraved
border, illustrative of gipsy life. The music was arranged by our
friend, of whose regretted absence, we have already spoken. He had taken
it from an air, which he once heard played, by an Italian boy, in the
streets of London. It had since dwelt on his memory. The following is
the music of the air, and the song follows, with a Norwegian
translation, which is said, to be exceedingly good.

[Illustration: MUSIC OF GIPSIES’ NORWEGIAN SONG.]


[Illustration: ZIGEUNERNES SANG TIL NORGE.

    Hil dig du kjœre gamle Land!
    Hvor Frihed og Munterhed boe,
    Vi Zigeunere komme til din Strand
    Forat vandre med dig i Ro.

    Vi vandre paa Mark, vi vandre i Fjord
    I det stolte gamle Norge.
    Der leve gjœve Folk i Nord,
    Thi her ere Frihedens Borge.

    I mit Telt ved din blanke Söe
    Belyst af Maanen södt jeg drömmer.
    Din Erindring hos mig vil aldrig döe
    Dine höie Granskove jeg ikke glemmer.

    Giv os Eders Velkomst til Norgesland,
    Hvor Alter saa yndigt at skue.
    I Eders Fædres Bryst for den fremmede Mand
    Opflammede Venskabets Lue.

    Den hellige Olaf velsigned dig.
    De djærve Haralders Jord,
    Om dig stedse siges sandelig:
    Som Guld kan man tage dit Ord.

    Farvel! vi Afsked maa tage,
    Og besöge hver Skov og hvert Fjeld
    Vor Velsignelse Eder altid ledsage
    Og gjentone vort sidste Farvel.]

[Illustration: THE GIPSIES’ NORWEGIAN SONG.

    Welcome, you dear old land,
    Land of the gay and free;
    We are a gipsy band,
    And wander awhile with thee.

    In fiord and fell we wander,
    Nor tire, old Norge, of thee,
    A people so brave, and no wonder--
    For they live in the land of the free.

    I dream in my tent by your Indsöe,
    When the moonlight hour is mine,
    And my heart can never forget you,
    And your beautiful forests of pine.

    Give us your welcome to Norway,
    Where all is lovely and fair;
    Your fathers of old never tardy
    Their friendship with strangers to share.

    Blessed by St. Olaf the holy,
    Land of Harold the bold,
    Of you it is ever said truly
    Your word is as good as your gold.

    And now adieu; we must leave you,
    To wander each forest and fell;
    Our blessing for ever attend you,
    And echo our parting farewell.]



CHAPTER III.

    “The woods are green, the hedges white
    With leaves, and blossoms fair;
    There’s music in the forest now,
    And I too must be there.”

    JEFFREYS.


    A FRIEND’S MISGIVING--DARK FOREBODINGS--A SLEEPLESS NIGHT--THE
    RAILWAY STATION--THE ALBION--A PHILOSOPHER--THE STREET
    BOY--DISTINGUISHED TRAVELLERS.


We had nearly completed our preparations, and were leaving town, when we
dined one evening with a friend whom we had not seen for some time. He
seemed interested in our approaching excursion, but his astonishment was
great, when our plan was divulged.

“What! going to Norway with gipsies?” said he in amazement, as he poised
in his hand, a glass of champagne. “Why I don’t believe my friend Tom
Taylor, who has taken a great interest in the gipsy language, ever went
so far as to camp with them. You’ll be robbed, and murdered--not the
slightest doubt. Travel with gipsies!” exclaimed our friend, and he
seemed to shudder at the thought

We were quite unable to say how much self-sacrifice Mr. Tom Taylor may
have made. We had read his interesting collection of Breton Ballads. He
writes well on a great variety of subjects, and is an excellent art
critic; but we could not give any opinion upon his camp experience. My
friend shook his head, “Write to me when you get there,--promise to
write me a letter,” said he earnestly. “Yes, you will be certainly
robbed, and murdered,” and he silently emptied his glass.

There was something touching in his manner, as he gulped down the
effervescent draught, with a look which showed plainly that he had no
hope for our safe return.

In the drawing-room the subject seemed one of interest. We gave our
friend a promise to write. As we left the house, his adieux were those
of separation, for the last time.

It had been a wild rainy night. What with packing, and writing letters,
we never went to bed. _Mes gens de la maison_ remained up also. After a
very early breakfast we were _en route_. As we drove up to the railway
station of a large populous town, we caught sight of our gipsies. They
were waiting for us with the three donkeys in the shelter of some open
building of the station. The gipsies looked wet, draggled, and miry, but
full of spirits. As we stepped from the carriage, a porter took charge
of our twelve packages.

We had received previously full and explicit information from the
passenger department as to the trains and expense of transit, and had
engaged a horse box to Hull. One of the officials, seemed rather
astonished, when he found three donkeys, were to be conveyed in the
horse-box, he scarcely seemed able to connect a horse-box, with the
proposed freight.

A stray policeman seemed puzzled at the retinue. The three gipsies,
saluting us with _Shawshon baugh, Sir?_ (How do you do, Sir?) marched up
and down the platform, apparently much pleased at our arrival. The
stray policeman wandered about, as if he was up, and down, and nohow, as
to what it all meant, or whether the gipsies, belonged to us, or
themselves. He was lingering near, when we produced a 10_l._ Bank of
England note at the booking-office, in payment for our tickets. A new
light then beamed on his mind, and we did not see him again. The
horse-box was paid for. The porter got labels for all our packages, and
timidly ventured to inquire the use of the tent-rods, which he had
curiously regarded for some time. We secured a second-class, and a
first-class compartment in the same carriage, all was arranged, the
signal was given, and we were off. We had only one change--at Leeds--and
no stoppage. The horse-box went right through. A pleasant _compagnon de
voyage_, accompanied us most of the journey; he had lately come from the
blue skies of Italy.

The gipsies were joined by an inquisitive fellow-traveller, in a white
hat. Some people trouble themselves about everybody else’s business but
their own. He cross-examined them, as to who we were, and where we came
from. “Gloucestershire,” said Noah--“we all came from Gloucestershire
this morning.” “You must have started very early,” said the inquisitive
traveller. “Oh, yes,” said Noah with emphasis--“very early.”

It was a damp, wet morning, as we arrived on Friday, the 17th June,
1871, at the Hull station, and found ourselves on the platform. We left
the gipsies, to look after the donkeys, which were put in some stables
at the station; and taking all our things in a cab to the _Albion_
steamer, we put them on board. Messrs. Wilson were called upon. They are
prompt men of business; to their word in all things. Ample arrangements
would be made to shelter the donkeys during the voyage, and we paid our
fare. At the station on our return we found a civil porter waiting for
us, and having paid the stout stableman 1_s._ for each donkey, the
gipsies took them on board about one or two o’clock in the day.

Much curiosity was created when the gipsies came on deck. The steward of
the vessel said, they seemed to have lately come from a warm country.

The _Albion_ steamer had small, but comfortable second-class
accommodation. No meal could be had until seven o’clock; but the second
steward managed to get the gipsies some sandwiches and ale. They had
been fed _en route_ in the morning, and were quite satisfied, with the
refreshments so provided.

During the previous wet night, they had camped some distance from the
starting point, and had ridden the donkeys through the rain to the
railway station. Noah and Zacharia had no great-coats, but Esmeralda was
dressed in her long Alpine cloak, and treble necklace of blue, and white
beads. Her straw hat was surmounted by a small plume of feathers, dyed
blue, by one of her brothers. She did not wear earrings, and had no
other ornament.

We had left the steamer to obtain some methylated spirit for our Russian
lamp, and to call at Messrs. Wilson and Co.‘s, when we remembered, that
we had forgotten our watch-keys. A watchmaker’s shop was soon found. The
watchmaker was a merry-looking man. The watch had always been provided
with one key to wind it up, and another to regulate the hands. We had
always been assured, that two different keys, were required. “Ha! ha!!
ha!!!” laughed the watchmaker, who was apparently a German, “I will give
you one key which will do the same thing--ha! ha!! ha!!!”

It was a beautifully formed key, nor had we ever met with one like it
before.

The watchmaker appeared to us as a second Jean Batiste _Schwilgué_ of
Strasbourg.[11] “Ha! ha!! ha!!!” laughed the merry little man, “all is
mystery. We eat and drink, but we comprehend nothing. Ah! we often end
in believing nothing.” We remarked that no one who contemplated with
attention the works of Nature could overlook the design of a great
Creator. The watchmaker went to an inner door. A pretty girl probably
his daughter, changed a shilling for him. “Ah!” continued he, “you see
by travel; you take in through the eyes; they are the great vehicles of
human life. I laugh at them, ha! ha!! ha!!!” and he bowed as I left the
shop.

We were now nearly ready for the voyage; as we passed from the gates of
the railway station an interesting-looking boy, pleaded hard to black
our boots. It is an honest way of making a livelihood. In this instance
we stepped aside--one boot was just finished, when he suddenly bolted.
Although he did not wait for his money, he did not forget the
paraphernalia of his business. Another boy explained, that he was not
allowed to black boots so near the station, and a policeman in the
distance had caused his hasty disappearance.

The boy again met us soon after, and completed his work; we were glad to
have the chance of paying him.

When we went on board the steamer, all was confusion. On the wharf, we
had 1_s._ wharfage, to pay for each animal. The total expenses of our
party to join the steamer amounted to 10_l._ 9_s._ 6_d._ including 6_s._
11_d._ for hay, supplied to the donkeys for the voyage.

The evening was damp and gloomy. An old weather-beaten Norwegian pilot
wandered about the deck. Men in oilskin coats, smelling strongly of tar
and tobacco-quid, hustle and bustle, against everything. Very
comfortable accommodation, had been erected specially for the animals
near the engines, in the waist of the steamer. Esmeralda was feeding
them with hay.

When the gipsies were afterwards looking over the side of the vessel,
they formed an interesting group. Then came the active steward, of the
second cabin, who promised us to take care of them. The second steward
was a small, but firmly-knit, active young fellow, who said he had been
wrecked twice, in the old coat he was then wearing, and for which,
therefore, he had a strong affection; after saying he should go next
winter to California, he left us to look after his many arrangements.

We were informed that Sir Charles Mordaunt and also Lord Muncaster,[12]
who had so narrowly escaped the Athenian brigands, had left Hull in the
special steamer for _Throndhjem_ on the previous evening.



CHAPTER IV.

    “ZARCA.                It is well.
    You shall not long count days in weariness:
    Ere the full moon has waned again to new,
    We shall reach Almeria; Berber ships
    Will take us for their freight, and we shall go
    With plenteous spoil, not stolen, bravely won
    By service done on Spaniards. Do you shrink?
    Are you aught less than a Zincala?”

    GEORGE ELIOT’S _Spanish Gipsy_.


    ENGLAND’S FAREWELL--SUMMER TOURISTS--THE CHEVALIER--SEAFARING--A
    GIPSY RECEPTION--CHANGE OF PLANS--NORWEGIAN PILOT--THE
    BIRMINGHAM BAGMAN--INDUCEMENT TO AUTHORSHIP--STRANGE WILLS--A
    SAILOR’S PHILOSOPHY--ICELANDIC LANGUAGE--PROGNOSTICATIONS.


The steamer’s saloon was elegantly fitted up. Bouquets of flowers shed
their fragrance on each table; books, pens, and ink had been supplied
for the use of the voyagers. One passenger soon entered, carrying a long
sword; another--a French gentleman--followed, and expressed a wish to be
in the same cabin with his wife. We have pleasure in saying that we
found the captain very agreeable, and courteous.

The _Albion_ steamer left the Hull docks at eight o’clock the same
evening, being towed out by a steam-tug. The under-steward, went to meet
some passengers, whose arrival was expected by a late train, but
returned without having found them. The gipsies and ourself, as we stood
looking over the bulwarks of the steamer, took our last view of the
fading shore, and the steamer was soon fairly on her voyage. Our
gipsies were almost famished; but we managed to get them some tea, at
nine o’clock, and they went off to bed.

Our cabin was one of the best in the steamer. We awoke as daylight
dawned through the open bull’s-eye window of our upper berth. Not
feeling decidedly well, or ill, we got up, to see how we were; then we
had some conversation, with our fellow-passenger in the berth below. (We
were the only two occupants of the cabin.) This traveller, who was
invisible behind the curtain of his berth, informed us that he was going
on business to Gottenberg; while we told him, that we were going to make
a tour, in the wilds of Norway.

When we sought our gipsies, we found that they were not up. In company
with several of our fellow-passengers, we afterwards sat down to a
capital breakfast provided for us in the saloon. The steamer had its
usual complement of travellers to Norway in summer--some for fishing,
some for health, and some for business.

One pale, gentlemanly passenger, whose acquaintance we made, had met
with an accident to his leg. Another agreeable tourist, whom we will
call Mr. C., was accompanied by his wife--a tall young lady, with a
Tyrolese hat and feather. A young invalid officer, just returned from
Italy, had had the Roman fever, and was given up; he had, however,
recovered sufficiently to travel, and intended going to Lyngdal to join
some friends. There were also two or three Norwegian gentlemen (one of
them, a Chevalier de l’Ordre de Wasa), a Scotch traveller with a large
sandy beard, and a tall, portly gentleman, going to visit some friends
near Christiania.

Finding we had three donkeys on board, the Chevalier and another
passenger accompanied us to see them. The first-named gentleman, was
especially interested in our proposed excursion. How shall we describe
him?

[Illustration]

He was rather under middle height, thick-set, and strongly built; and
occasionally his countenance expressed, much animation, and
good-humoured energy. The information he possessed was extensive; he
spoke English perfectly; had travelled much, and knew Scandinavia, and
its people well.

The donkeys were declared very fine ones, especially the large
light-coloured animal, with a dark cross on its shoulders, long,
finely-formed legs, and beautiful head. This donkey was about six years
old, and we called it the Puru Rawnee.[13]

The next donkey, was a dark animal, five years old, strong, but not so
finely formed; although not so spirited, it endured all the fatigue of
long travel, even better than its two companions; we called it the Puro
Rye.[14]

The third was about four years old, with a beautiful head, very lively,
and was called the Tarno Rye.[15] They seemed to relish the hay, and
made themselves quite at home.

The donkeys became objects of _special_ interest, and the Puru Rawnee
was _much_ admired. Most of the passengers had something to recount as
to their impressions. A Norwegian gentleman said that they had no
donkeys in Norway, which we afterwards found to be quite correct.
Another good-humouredly said, that sixpence each ought to be charged,
and the entrance closed. Many were the suggestions, and speculations,
concerning them by the passengers, as they quietly puffed their cigars.
The gentleman of the Roman fever, who seemed to be improving each hour,
said in a significant manner, during a pause in the conversation,
“You’ll write a book; your experience will be interesting--you ought to
write a book.”

We now went to find our gipsies, or what was left of them. Esmeralda was
lying on the deck, with her head on a closed hatchway. She raised her
head in a most doleful manner, and said, “Very bad, sir.” Noah was lying
next his sister, and sat up for a moment looking very wild. Zacharia was
extended full length, perfectly speechless. Evidently, they wished
themselves on shore again.

Great curiosity was excited among the passengers to see the gipsies. We
explained, that they were in a very prostrate condition--in fact, quite
unable to hold much intercourse, with the outer world; but at length we
yielded, and introduced a party to them. The interview was short, and as
our gipsies were still lying on the deck, and quite unable to do the
honours of the reception, we soon left them in peace. The passengers
were apparently much pleased with the introduction.

They were real gipsies--gipsies who had all their life roamed England
with their tents--none of your half-and-half caravan people--an
effeminate race, who sleep in closed boxes, gaudily painted outside,
with a stove, and a large fire within. Ours were nomads, who slept on
the ground, and wandered with their tents, during every season of the
year.

The steward took care we did not starve. Our dinner was quite a success.
The table groaned beneath the weight of soup, salmon, roast beef, veal,
ducks and green peas, young potatoes, puddings, Stilton and Cheshire
cheese, &c., with excellent claret from a Norwegian house at
Christiania.

The gipsies did not give much sign of revival. During the afternoon, we
visited them now, and then, consoled them, and gave the steward orders,
to let them have whatever they wanted.

We had a long conversation, with the Chevalier, as to our route, through
Norway. It had been our intention to make Christiansand our
starting-point, go through the wilds of the Thelemarken, and visit again
the Gousta Mountain, and the Rjukan Fos. The Chevalier suggested
Christiania, as the best starting-point, taking railway to Eidsvold,
where, he said, Presten Eilert Sundt resided. He then said, we could
travel by road, or steamer, to Lillehammer, and from thence through the
Gudbrandsdalen. He afterwards sketched out a very long and interesting
route, having its termination at Christiansand, and we determined to
follow as far as possible his suggestions.

There were many inquiries by the passengers as to how the gipsies fared,
and we went to see them again just before tea-time. Zacharia was in bed,
and asleep; Noah was just getting into bed; and Esmeralda was in the
second-class women’s cabin, with some tea, and bread-and-butter before
her, looking exceedingly poorly. The close proximity to a stout woman
who was dreadfully sea-sick, was not enlivening.

The Norwegian pilot, who was a good-tempered old man, had been much
interested with the nails in the gipsies’ boots; when they were lying on
the deck, he would sometimes stoop down to make a close inspection, as
if he were counting them. He said nothing, but probably thought more.

The occupant of our cabin, when we saw him, was a young man with an eye
to business; in fact, some of the passengers averred afterwards, that he
could calculate in a few moments, the exact amount, the steamer cost, to
a fourpenny nail. He seemed, however, to be very well intentioned, in
his inquisitive analysis of everybody, and everything. He was said by
some one to be a Birmingham bagman, whilst others said he was a
wandering Jew; but whether Jew or Gentile, he took a decided interest in
the gipsies, and the donkeys, for which we suppose there was some
excuse. He had dark hair, eyebrows, and beard, pale complexion, and
generally walked with his hands in his pockets, and his shoulders
screwed up to the back of his neck. His head, was inclined downwards,
whilst he looked at you, with large rolling eyes, from under his bushy
eyebrows, with a quick upward glance of inquiry. Now and then, he would
walk off to see the donkeys, and report on his return, to the other
passengers, his views as to their state of comfort, and happiness.

Somehow his opinion, did not appear to have much weight with the other
passengers--whether it was from want of intelligence on their part, or
obscurity of perception, we could not say. At tea-time he sat opposite
to us; he dashed wildly into salad, and then said in a loud voice across
the table, “I have seen your donkeys; I should like to go with you.”
“You seem to like them,” we replied. “No!” exclaimed he, very wildly;
“it is your gipsies’ dark eyes.”

“He is insane,” said the Chevalier, in an under tone, to which we
readily assented. The bagman certainly did look wild; and it immediately
occurred to us that he slept under our berth, in the same cabin--not a
lively contemplation, but we were determined, not to meet trouble
halfway.

We had entered up some of our notes, and had strolled on deck to enjoy
the freshness of the sea-breeze, when we found ourselves one of a small
party of passengers, whiling away the time, in pleasant conversation, in
which our captain joined.

“You must write a book,” said the officer who had had the Roman fever.

“And dedicate it to you?” we rejoined.

“I will take one copy,” said one passenger.

“I will take three copies,” said our captain.

“Ah!” said another, “it should be on the saloon table.”

“And then,” said another, “it will be interesting to know the fate of
the three donkeys.”

We admitted that, after so much encouragement, we must write a book, and
dedicate it to the officer, who had had the Roman fever.

Several anecdotes were related. One passenger said, “There was a house
near Hyde Park, which formerly belonged to an old gentleman, who left
his property to trustees on certain trusts, provided they buried him on
the top of his house.”[16] Several instances were told of persons
desiring in their wills to be buried in their garden; and one or two
cases were mentioned where the wish had been disregarded.

The weather became rainy, and our _compagnons de voyage_, sought shelter
elsewhere. We, however, still clung to the fresh sea-air, and as we
paced the deck near the wheel, we could not help observing the silent
seaman, gazing intently in solemn earnestness, on his compass, as if,
like Dr. Dee, he noted many things, within a magic crystal. He was a
good-looking, though weather-beaten man, with a dark moustache.

In answer to an observation we made, as to the weather, he said, “Well,
sir, I never felt it so cold as it was last Sunday--not even in the
Baltic last winter, when I had ice, an inch thick on my back. Why, I had
three coats on last Sunday!”

We then remarked, that there were few accidents on the line of steamers.

“Accidents you think seldom occur on this line? Well, I don’t know.
There was the _Echo_ last winter; not a soul saved! I’ve slipped four in
my time, as have soon after gone down.”

“You’ve been lucky,” said we.

“Lucky? Well--if there is such a thing as luck; but I think Providence
ordains all things; I believe all things are ordained for us.” Many
sailors we have met, have been men of deep religious feeling; below a
rough surface, we have often found much true piety.

The Chevalier still remained on deck, and we had a long conversation
about Iceland. The Icelandic language is the same as the old Norwegian
language; but he told us that it is difficult for one who speaks only
_modern_ Norwegian, to learn Icelandic. In Iceland, he said, they were
great snuff-takers; it was calculated that each person took 2lbs. of
snuff per head each year. Like the Scotch, they had their mulls or
snuff-horns.

At twelve o’clock on this day, the thermometer stood at 62.° The ladies
had scarcely appeared; they generally suffer more than gentlemen.

It was nearly twelve at night when we entered our cabin to go to bed.
The occupant of the second berth was invisible, but not asleep; and he
asked whether we objected to have the cabin-door open. We were only too
glad to oblige him, and with the bull’s-eye window open also, we had an
agreeable atmosphere.

His mind was apparently still dwelling upon the gipsies. An
interrogating voice issued from the lower berth, as we were preparing to
go to bed.

“I suppose you have been writing your diary?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I suppose you will write a book? I will take two copies. Have you
a bed or a mattrass in your tent?”

“No!”

“That would not do for me. I should have an air bed to keep you off the
ground. You will probably stay a day or two at Christiania? I suppose
the gipsy girl will cook for you? She will suffer, and be ill, won’t
she? You will have much trouble with her.”

We informed him she had more spirit, and was quite as strong as her
brothers.

Our fellow-passenger again continued, “Where did you engage them?”

We answered, we had known them some time, and they were attached to us;
and then, wishing him good-night, we left him to pursue his dreams of
the gipsies’ dark eyes, which had evidently made an impression upon him.

Our shrewd calculator was evidently under the gipsies’ spell.



CHAPTER V.

    “Que veut dire ce mot la, Esmeralda?”
    “Je ne sais pas,” dit-elle.
    “A quelle langue appartient-il?”
    “C’est de l’Égyptien, je crois.”

    _Notre Dame de Paris_, par VICTOR HUGO.

“What is the meaning of the name Esmeralda?” “I don’t know,” said she.
“To what language does it belong?” “It is Egyptian, I believe.” P/

    A SEAMAN’S ADVENTURES--THE UNFORTUNATE TOURIST--AN APT
    QUOTATION--FREEMASONRY--CHRISTIANSAND--PAST RECOLLECTIONS--THE
    RUNIC STONE--OVERPAYMENT--TWO SALMON FISHERMEN--A TRAVELLER’S
    CURIOSITY--NORWEGIAN SNAKES--SCENERY--WE ARE ONE--GOLDEN
    OPINIONS.


On Sunday morning, the 19th of June, we rose at four o’clock, and went
on deck. The morning was cloudy; not a passenger to be seen. The seaman
at the helm received our salutation. This one did not possess a
moustache, but he had his say, and said it. He philosophised thus. His
wages were not 4_l._ a month. “4_l._,” said he, “I ought to have; but if
I did not take less, they would ship men at 3_l._ who would. There were
300 men in the Custom House at Hull who never did more than two hours’
work a day. They had not got it for them to do. He had been to
California, and had, by gold digging, accumulated in a few months
350_l._--was stuck-up coming down the country--lost all--shipped to
Valparaiso, got about 80_l._, and set up in business. The Spaniards and
the Chilians had a row, and he walked off and lost everything. Had not
done much--did not know where a man could go to make money--England was
overcrowded. They were emigrating now from Norway, to the United States
and Canada. Had tried Australia, but did nothing there. Had seen men in
Sydney who were walking about, and could not get more than two hours’
work. Thought it best to stick to England, though he could not get
higher wages; but, somehow,” said he (finishing up) as he gave the wheel
a pull, “we seem to be all going along together; I suppose we shall come
out at some gate, or other. It beats me, but I suppose it will be all
right at last.”

We took advantage of early hours--our diary progressed. Leave nothing to
memory, but that page of perception, which gilds the past, with a
thousand golden spangles. The tints of remembrance, give more genial
hue. As a record of truth, the facts must be rigidly noted; they must
have instant impress, if they are to be of value.

One by one, passengers appear in the saloon from their cabins. The
Scotch tourist with a large sandy beard enters. He was one in search of
health, and had by accident fallen thirty-seven feet, which nearly
killed him. Could not speak Norwegian--had been very sea-sick--was going
through Norway--thought the fall had injured his head--felt very unwell,
and looked it.

We get a cup of tea at 7·30. At eight o’clock, stewards make their
appearance, and bustle about. The morning began to clear; passengers
assemble at breakfast in larger numbers and in better spirits. A fine
day is expected.

Many inquiries are made after our gipsies and donkeys. The gipsies were
still unwell. Esmeralda managed some beefsteak and tea as she lay on
deck. The gipsies had our best encouragement.

The barrister and the officer recovered from the Roman fever (a member
of the Naval and Military Club) were both charmed with our gipsies’
names.

The officer especially so, and gave occasionally, the following
recitation:--

    “Upon a time it came to pass
       That these two brothers die did;
     They laid Tobias on his back,
       And Ezekiel by his side did.”

This quotation from a popular song, was considered a very apt
illustration, of the probable fate, of our two gipsies, Noah and
Zacharia, before the expedition was ended.

The Birmingham bagman, was soon seen hovering on the narrow bridge,
leading to the forecastle above the waist of the steamer. At times, he
leaned upon the handrail, and would look down upon the deck below, where
our gipsies reclined. Sometimes after gazing at them, he made some
observation to Esmeralda. Occasionally he came to us, and was
exceedingly anxious about the donkeys.

So frequently did he come, and so many were his suggestions, that at
last we began to fear, we should be in the same melancholy position, as
Sinbad the Sailor, with the Old Man of the Sea.

The passengers seemed most pleased with the name of Esmeralda. The
portly English gentleman said it was a gipsy queen’s name. The barrister
often hummed an air from a favourite opera called “Esmeralda,” which
had been brought out in London that very season.

The Chevalier was in excellent spirits at dinner. He had been engaged
upon a diplomatic mission to England. We discovered ourselves as
Freemasons, which led to our taking champagne together at dinner.

A young Norwegian, who spoke English exceedingly well, and his English
wife, sat near us.

The day had gradually become bright and lovely. The steamer approached
Christiansand. In the afternoon, we sighted its forts. The town looked
smiling, as if to welcome us from the ocean. Several passengers were
going on shore: the portly gentleman, the officer who had had the Roman
fever, the Chevalier, and ourselves and gipsies descended into a boat.
The fare when we landed was 16 skillings. The officer was going to some
place near Lyngdal. We left him at the Custom House, passing his
baggage. As he wished ourselves, and gipsies good-bye, his last words
were, “Remember, I must have a copy of your book.” We hope before this,
he has recovered, and is able to read these pages.

The houses of Christiansand are of wood; the streets are broad, the
pavement, when not Macadamized, often rough and uneven. The town had
wonderfully improved since our last visit.

Christiansand recalled to mind the time, when a friend and ourself, once
landed there from England. We had sailed in a small fishing-smack,
commanded by Captain Dixon. It was our first visit to Norway. We stayed
at the Scandinavian Hotel, kept by Madame Lemcou. The hotel was very
like a private house. No one spoke English. Well, we remember our
difficulties, and the kind old inhabitant, who called upon us. He had
no doubt come to place his knowledge of the country at our service. His
stock of English consisted of “your most humble obedient servant,” which
he often repeated. Our knowledge of Norwegian, at that time was in
comparison, scarcely more extensive, so that our interview, ended much
as it began.

We rambled with our gipsies through the town. It was a sunny evening.
The inhabitants were also enjoying their evening promenade. Although
warm, and pleasant, scarcely any of the windows of the houses, were
opened for ventilation. The sides of the wooden houses were often
covered with weather-boards, and painted. Esmeralda, with her dark raven
hair, and eyes; Noah, with his tall figure; Zacharia decorated with a
flaming yellow “dicklo” (gipsy handkerchief) flaunting round his neck in
gipsy fashion, were severally scanned by curious observers as we passed.
Noah heard one person say in English, “How healthy-looking they are!” We
could not help being amused, at the puzzled expression of some, not
excepting several young soldiers we met.

We walked round the cathedral, which was not improved by whitewash, and
possessed no chef d’œuvre of sculptured ornament, to make us linger in
our contemplation.

The old Runic stone in the churchyard of Oddernœs Church, we had before
visited. Noah--whose ideas no doubt connected most views with sites for
a camp--pointed out one highly suitable on the bank of the Torrisdals
Elv. Time wore away, and we at length made our way quickly down to the
boats, waiting at the rough wooden piers of the harbour.

We had a boat to ourselves. Esmeralda sat with us at the stern--her two
brothers sat on the seat opposite. As the boatman rowed us from the
shore, we thought how strangely, we wander through the world, as we
follow the high road of life. When we reached the _Albion_ steamer, many
passengers were looking over the side of the vessel. We had no small
change, when we went on shore, but the portly gentleman kindly lent us
the necessary amount. On our return it was necessary to pay the boatman.
We gave him the smallest change we had, which was a quarter of a dollar,
and then ascended the gangway with our gipsies.

The Birmingham bagman had been watching us. “Ah!” said he, coming up, as
we stepped on deck, “why you gave the man too much. I saw you give a
large piece of silver to him. He pulled off his hat to you. You spoil
them.” We explained that we had no change. “But,” said he, in a state of
excitement, “you spoil them.” We trusted it would do the boatman good,
and left him, to communicate his ideas of pecuniary compensation, to
some one else.

This he appears to have done; for very shortly after the Chevalier
coming on board, grossly infringed, the bagman’s scale of payment, and
he came in for another storm of indignant remonstrance.

Monsieur le Chevalier, whose quiet humour nothing could disturb, asked
the excited bagman, why he did not give the boatman the English
half-crown he wanted to get rid of? “Can you give me any discount?”
shouted the bagman, infuriated. The Chevalier calmly answered, “Your
appearance shows me, that you can give me nothing to discount upon.” The
bagman rushed off, and we found him some short time after, when we went
into our cabin, lying in his berth.

“I have had a row with that Dutchman,” said he, beginning to unfold his
melancholy history, when we advised him to mind his own affairs, and
went on deck.

Two gentlemen came on board at Christiansand, whom we at once noted as
salmon fishermen. Both were handsome, though slightly past the meridian
of life. One was taller than his companion, with a complexion, darkly
bronzed in the summer’s sun, and by exposure to the fresh air. He had
been on board a very few minutes, when we entered into conversation. His
companion, and himself, had been at Mandal, salmon-fishing, but the
weather was hot, and the water low, and clear. The largest salmon they
had taken was 18lbs. My expedition incidentally became partly known in
conversation. He seemed much interested. We showed him our donkeys, and
he seemed to think our expedition a heavy cost. Very shortly after, when
we had parted, our gipsies came on the after-deck, and said a gentleman
in a velvet jacket had sent for them. We told them to return, and soon
after saw Mr. T. interrogating Noah on the fore-deck. We were rather
annoyed at the time, that any one should send for our people and
question them as to who their master was, and his name. When we saw Noah
afterwards, he said, “I told him nothing, sir. He asked your name, and I
told him ‘Harper.’” Afterwards Mr. T. again joined us on deck, with the
portly gentleman and the barrister in search of health. Mr. T. was
afraid of sleeping on the ground, and having rheumatism. He mentioned an
American method--a kind of frame which kept you completely off the
ground, and folded into a small compass. We described our tent, and
many questions were asked about our method of camping, which we
explained. Most seemed very anxious to know, how we became acquainted
with our gipsies. But we merely said that our interest in the
tent-dwelling races, had thrown us in contact with them. The portly
gentleman informed us that a species of viper existed in Norway, but the
snakes were not numerous. He said he was once in the Thelemarken[17]
district, and having put up the horses in a shed, he lay down on the
turf. Some time afterwards when he got up, a small viper, was found
clinging to his coat, which, falling off, the peasants cut it into
pieces and burnt each piece separately, since they have an idea that if
the pieces get together, the viper can piece itself again. When he
afterwards got into his carriole to continue his journey, he felt a
shivering sensation between his shoulders most of the day. Mr. T. asked
a variety of questions, about our commissariat, and what we were taking,
and seemed much interested in the expedition. We gave him the best
information we could. He was one of the best types of an Englishman we
met with in Norway.

The passengers began to recover. The steamer had been nearly two days at
sea. The evening was beautiful. We had been charmed with the rocks
tinged with reddish hue, rising in picturesque outline, from the Topdals
Fjord. The fringed pine woods of the shore, were mirrored upon the
almost motionless water, of the Norwegian frith.

The passengers were now more numerous at tea. Some ladies joined us. All
were looking forward to their arrival the next morning at Christiania.

It was delicious as we strolled on deck. What a pleasant freedom there
is upon the sea, away from the hum, and noise, of the great human
struggle, of many minds, in populous cities! What bitterness and strife,
misery and evil, we had left far behind us!

As we paced the deck in the delightful contemplation, of a summer’s eve
at sea, we could not help noticing, Mr. C. and his wife, with the
Tyrolese hat and feather. They were seated side by side on the deck,
with their backs towards us. In silence, they appeared lost in happy
contemplation. The surrounding light of circumstances seemed to say, “We
are one!” How pleasurable should be the feelings of two hearts firmly
united, holding, as it were, silent communion with each other. By a few
touches of the pencil, in our small note-book, we caught their outline.
We felt we were in the hallowed precincts of true love, and retired to
another part of the vessel, lest we should disturb their happy dream.

[Illustration]

We again lounged near the man at the helm. There stood the sailor, with
his compass before him, as the vessel glided onwards from England’s
shore. This seaman was not one of our former friends, but he was a
rough, honest-looking, thick-set, hardy fellow; one of those men, who
carry honesty written in their countenance. “Well, sir, I hope you will
have a pleasant time of it,” said he. We thanked him for his good
wishes, “That young lady,” continued he, alluding to Esmeralda “has had
more than one talking to her. There’s that one, sir,” said he, looking
towards the Birmingham bagman, who was walking about in the distance,
with his hands thrust deep in his trousers’ pockets as usual; “and
there’s another that is just gone. But she is not one of that sort; she
let them go so far, and then she stopped them short. She’s a very good
young girl. They have had a good education;” and he gave his wheel
another tug, as if to clinch the observation.



CHAPTER VI.

    “Free as the winds that through the forest rush--
    Wild as the flowers that by the way-side blush.
    Children of nature wandering to and fro,
    Man knows not whence ye come, nor where ye go.
    Like foreign weeds cast up on western strands,
    Which stormy waves have borne from unknown lands;
    Like murmuring shells to fancy’s ear that tell
    The mystic secrets of their ocean cell.”

    _The Gipsies._ DEAN STANLEY’S _Prize Poem_.


    MARINER’S LIFE--THE EVASIVE ANSWER--A TRUE PRESENTIMENT--THE
    KING OF SWEDEN AND NORWAY--THE BEAUTIFUL FJORD--GIPSY MUSIC--A
    CUSTOM-HOUSE DIFFICULTY--ANOTHER FREEMASON--APPROPRIATE
    VERSES--CHRISTIANIA--HORSE MONEY--17, STORE STRANDGADE.


The stewards were excellent. One had been shipwrecked several times.
“Rough work in winter, sir. Most on the line get lost. At Hull most of
the young men who go to sea are drowned.” Not very encouraging
information, thought we, but such are the chances of a seaman’s life.
Having sent our gipsies to bed, we retired ourselves. About twelve
o’clock our first doze was disturbed by a noise in our cabin. Looking
round, we saw the bagman with a bottle in his hand. He was taking
Lamplough’s pyretic saline, which he strongly recommended for headache,
or to set you right after drinking. After taking his draught, he
disappeared into his berth. Our thermometer was 66°, with both
port-holes open.

We were recommended to look out for beautiful scenery, at about seven
o’clock the next morning. When we went on deck, at an early hour, the
weather was damp and cloudy.

Some time afterwards we had a chat on deck, with our fellow-passenger
the barrister. He was going to Christiania, and from thence by the coast
steamer to the North Cape. The coast excursion is a very pleasing one.
Our fellow-passenger was full of anecdotes and information. Mr. T.,
after examining our gipsy, Noah, had said to the barrister, “I find that
the gentleman’s name is Harper.” “You are quite in error, I can assure
you,” said the barrister, “the gipsies have only been cramming you.” Mr.
T. appeared much astonished, and we said it was only what he could
expect; and, although not done intentionally, it was not exactly the
right way to acquire information; and any one doing so would not get
much for their trouble. We had risen at four o’clock. Our portly
fellow-passenger, was also up soon after, and wishing us good-bye,
descended with his portmanteau into a boat, and left the steamer. This
he did to save time, not wishing to go to Christiania. We found
afterwards that a young Norwegian in the second cabin, would have gladly
availed himself of the same boat. He had been absent eight years from
his home, and friends, and was anxious to see them as soon as possible.

When he afterwards arrived at Christiania, he said, “I have a dread,
that I shall hear some bad news.” After a short absence from the
steamer, he again returned. His worst fears were but too true, and he
sat down, and cried very much. Such are the melancholy scenes of life,
meeting us at every turn, and sadly remind us, of the short existence of
all things in this world.

The early morning was rather damp and wet. The passengers were up in
good time. Our gipsies we found as gay and sprightly, as they had been
before ill, and prostrate. Mr. T. still seemed delighted with our
expedition, and visited from time to time our gipsies, with his friend,
whom we took for his brother. We mustered well at breakfast, under the
presidency, of our polite captain. When we had finished, and returned on
deck, our title to be recognised as an accepted mason, after a very
rigid and searching ordeal, was at length acknowledged, by Monsieur le
Chevalier, who was exceedingly particular.

From various circumstances, we had not been lately to our lodge in
London. We still retained pleasant reminiscences of former visits, and
especially of our reception, at those Lodges we once visited in Paris,
with our old friend the Chevalier M.[18] His Majesty the King of Sweden
and Norway is now one of the most distinguished masons in Europe. May he
long hold the proud position, of being a monarch, whose power rests upon
the affections, of a free, and noble-hearted people.[19]

The conversation at breakfast, was lively and animated. Most of the
passengers were in good spirits, and seemed delighted with the bright
anticipations, of their approaching wanderings, over fjeld and fjord.
Even the Birmingham bagman was better, and we noticed him, at some
distance from us, feeding his beard, in a most reckless manner with egg.

What a delightful scene presented itself after breakfast! From the
steamer’s deck, we gazed on the beautiful fjord, calm and glistening in
the sun. The cloudy morning was now changed--all was lovely, and filled
the heart with a dreamy sensation of pleasure. Rocky shores, wooded
islands, secluded maisonettes, and dark pine woods, extended as far as
the eye could reach, into the boundless distance of endless
woodland--one eternity of nature, which reminded us of the stanza:--

    “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
       There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
     There is society where none intrudes
       By the deep sea, and music in its roar.”

Soon after breakfast Mr. T. came to us, and said, “I have asked your
young man to play his violin, and he very properly says he cannot do so,
without your permission.” Mr. T. was anxious to hear them play; we
therefore at once gave our consent. Noah came for one of the Regent
Street tambourines, then in our cabin, and in a very short time the gay
sounds of violin and tambourine, were heard in the Christiania Fjord.
Our gipsies were grouped below the fore-deck, the sun was shining. The
travellers and sailors seemed much amused. “Why you are travelling with
your band!” said some of the passengers. Nor shall we forget the tall
form of our gipsy, Noah, with his hat placed jauntily on one side his
head, as he rattled the tambourine, with a verve, and feeling which
only one, of wild, strong passions can do. Mr. T. came up. “I like your
idea very much,” said he; “and I suppose that young gipsy girl, will
cook for you. I admire her boots; they are something like boots. What a
difference,” whispered he, as a genteel, ladylike passenger, passed
near, whose small, thin, elaborately-worked, fashionable boots, with
high heels, and small rosettes, just above the toes, certainly did not
appear, fitted to promote, the elasticity of the footstep, or comfort of
the wearer, among the Norwegian fjelds and fjords.

Then we had much speculation as to the astonishment of the Norwegian
people, when they saw our donkeys. We were informed that the Chevalier’s
father, had once possessed the only donkey in Norway. This animal had
long since been dead, and Norway had been left without a single donkey
in all the land. Some said we ought to make a charge for exhibiting them
to the peasantry, and an animated discussion took place, as to the
amount of duty to be paid, before they could be landed. One said it
would be the same as upon horses; another said that the duty could not
be the same as upon horses, and they would have nothing to pay. Some
passengers expressed an opinion, that they would have to pass a law in
the Storthing, to assess the amount of duty, before we could possibly
land them, and it might cost us 20_l._ to get them through.

As we approached Christiania, and our voyage was nearly over, we had our
account to discharge with the stewards. Our gipsies cost quite a
fortune. If they had been ill at first, their appetites must have been
ravenous, towards the close of the voyage. The steward had been told, to
let them have everything they wanted to eat, and to drink; we could
not, therefore, say much, so settled the bill. Both stewards, hoped we
should come back in the same vessel, and took some trouble to give us
the dates of sailing, from Christiansand. It was then our intention to
take the steamer from Christiansand, at the end of the summer.

We met with another freemason on the morning we landed at Christiania,
whom we believe was chief engineer--a very stout-built man, with a kind,
amiable disposition, whose every word rang, of open-heartedness, and
benevolence. He had a jolly, merry wife, and a French poodle dog, which,
of course, begged, and was as intelligent, as those animals usually are.
We became very good friends. Before we landed he gave us a newspaper,
containing some verses, which, if we remember right, were written by
some man going to be hung. Unfortunately, we have mislaid the gift. Our
friend said the verses had struck his wife, and himself, as being most
appropriate to the wanderings of ourself, and the young people. They
wished us all success, which we sincerely reciprocated.

In the second cabin there was also a sea captain, and his wife, from
Australia--very kind people to our gipsies; in fact, we could not help
feeling, some tinge of regret, that we were so soon to leave. Yet we
were on the threshold of camp life. We were about to continue our former
wanderings. The thread broken elsewhere, was to be resumed in Norway. We
must admit, that the allurements of fresh scenes of nomadic life,
softened our separation, and gave us new hopes for the approaching
campaign.

Our baggage was mounted on deck, as we approached Christiania. Very
soon we had the city of Christiania in full view, with the King’s
palace, and castle of Agershuus.[20] We could scarcely account for the
feeling, but Christiania seemed to wear a pleasant, homelike aspect,
which we liked. It was probably eleven o’clock when the steamer arrived.
A number of the inhabitants had arrived on the pier. Mr. Bennett was
there. Time had favoured him, for he looked stronger, and we might say
younger, than when we were last at Christiania. One of the first
incidents before landing was a solicitation for horse-money. It seems to
be a kind of payment customary for the benefit of the sailors; and it
was hoped that the donkeys, although not horses, would still entitle the
sailors to its payment. We had enjoyed such a pleasant voyage, and were
in such good temper, with all on board, that we did not raise any
objection to the remuneration.

What a quaint, foreign-looking court-yard you enter as you seek Mr.
Bennett. Numbers of carrioles are crowded together at the end of the
court, ready for distant journeys. Then you ascend some steps, to a
wooden balcony, and enter his suite of rooms. One large room is
completely full of Norwegian silver relics--tankards, belts of a past
age, carvings, paintings, engravings, photographs of Norwegian scenery,
maps, books, and all sorts of articles, illustrative of the manners, and
customs of the Norwegians, of ancient and modern time. We seem to have
wandered into a dream-land of ancient sagas, and ten to one you meet
other spirits who are doing the same.

Mr. Bennett, the presiding genius of the place, had probably ceased to
be astonished at any mode of travelling an Englishman might adopt.
Williams had landed with his knapsack, which resulted in an interesting
work, having the additional value, of giving a correct entry, of the
expenses of his expedition. MacGregor came _en route_ to Sweden, with
his canoe, and wrote another interesting work. Now an Englishman comes
with gipsies and donkeys! What next?[21] The worthy English consul, and
_chargé-d’affaires_, who so well represents our country, was absent from
Christiania, but we were introduced to his son. When he heard of our
retinue, grave doubts as to our safety, apparently crossed his mind. He
seemed to think it improbable, we should return to our friends. It could
scarcely be expected, that Mr. Bennett could advise us, upon the best
camping grounds, but we must ever feel grateful remembrance to him, for
the trouble he took, to pass our things through the Custom-house, and
forward those left behind to Eidsvold.

The cicerone provided for us by the Chevalier, dined with us at the
Victoria Hotel, Raadhuusgaden. The day was lovely. We found some of our
fellow-passengers, already seated at the _table d’hôte_.



CHAPTER VII.

    “Gipsies, although long forgotten, and despised, have claims
    which we must not resist. Their eternal destinies, their
    residence in our own land, point us to a line of conduct we
    ought to pursue. They show that God expects us, to be interested
    for them, and to impart to them, the crumbs which fall from our
    table.”

    “_The Gipsies._” By a Clergyman of the Church of England.


    THE VICTORIA HOTEL--THE GIPSIES’ FRIEND--THE
    PASSE-PARTOUT--PRESTEN EILERT SUNDT--THE CHRISTIANIA
    RAILWAY--OUR DONKEYS APPRECIATED--GIPSY SPIRIT--THE
    “TOLK”--NORWEGIAN MONEY--LINGUISTIC DIFFICULTIES--GIPSY
    AUTHORS--GIPSY NUMERALS--DEPARTURE FROM CHRISTIANIA.


There is often a pleasant sociability at a _table d’hôte_. Mr. T. was
there, the invalid barrister, the tall Scotchman, and other travellers.
Nor was the Birmingham bagman absent, as the background to throw out the
lively tints of life’s experience. Mr. T. and the barrister sat near us.
Mr. T. was delighted with our plan of seeing Norway, saying it was just
what he should like. Time passed quickly. We hastily terminated our
dinner, with some excellent Château-de-la-Rose claret, and then bade our
fellow-travellers farewell. As we left the table, we saw the Birmingham
bagman mournfully contemplating his fork. Whether he was going to use it
as a toothpick, or whether he was calculating its cost, or whether he
was hesitating, as to the possibility of sleeping in a tent without a
bed, we know not. Whatever his thoughts may have been, we could have no
unfriendly feeling at parting, especially after his extreme anxiety for
the comfort of our donkeys, his admiration of Esmeralda’s dark eyes, and
his liberal offer, to take two copies of our book. Be this as it may, we
trust by some mysterious method of calculation, he will make a handsome
profit to himself.

We found that Presten Eilert Sundt had not yet removed to Eidsvold. The
Chevalier kindly gave us a letter of introduction to him, and we drove
at once to his residence in the suburbs of Christiania, which we reached
at about four o’clock. Ascending a large staircase, in a few minutes we
were shown into Presten Sundt’s sitting-room. The “gipsies’ friend” was
seated at his writing-table, with his books, papers, and various
accessories, indicating active, and literary tastes. We met as two
spirits, who, though taking far separate paths in life, had the same
results in view--the same end to accomplish. Nor could we help being
impressed with the energy written so strongly on his countenance. His
forehead surmounted by thick, bristly hair, gave additional
determination, to an expressive look, tempered by gleams of strong
feeling. Then we discovered the combination of great energy, with a deep
interest in the welfare of his fellow-men. When Presten Sundt had read
the Chevalier’s letter, we at once explained that our time was limited,
and we should shortly take the train from Christiania to Eidsvold. Many
were his inquiries about the English gipsies. The Norwegian gipsies, he
said, were difficult to meet with. Presten Sundt, said a traveller had
called upon him last year when he was from home; Mrs. Sundt received the
visitor, who said he was much interested in gipsies, and before he left
gave the name of Viscount Monroe. Presten Sundt showed us the works he
had written, and their practical value cannot be too highly estimated.
Foreseeing the many difficulties, our small gipsy party might encounter,
in a strange country, Presten Sundt wrote out, signed and sealed a
document which he delivered to us. It was a kind of _passe-partout_,
requesting his countrymen at all times to give us aid and assistance,
and a kindly reception was ensured. The name of Presten Eilert Sundt,
was so well known, in the length, and breadth, of Norway’s land, that a
few words were the “open sesame” of our excursion, and possessed a
talismanic value, we must always appreciate. Presten Eilert Sundt
introduced us to Mrs. Sundt and his son. Coffee was brought in, but,
alas! our time had expired. Preston Sundt regretted our hasty departure,
and suddenly decided to accompany us to the station and bring his son.
We all stepped into the carriage, still in waiting, and drove towards
the station. _En route_ our conversation was continued upon the subject
of gipsies. We suggested, that in order to utilise the energy, and
ability of the gipsy race, those paths in life, should be selected, in
harmony with their previous habits. The descendants of generations of
tent-dwellers, could not be turned into _kairengroes_, or
house-dwellers, by a wave of the hand. Their employment must be
consistent with their inborn, and inherent attachment, to the pure air
of heaven. The rain poured down in torrents, as we drove up to the
station, and entered the _salle d’attente_. At first we could not see
anything of our people, though the hour of departure was near at hand.
As we waited in the _salle d’attente_, Presten Sundt pointed to a map of
Norway, hanging on the wall. It was the “Reisekart over Norges,” in two
sheets. Presten Sundt recommended the map, as being coloured to indicate
the cultivated, and inclosed portions of the country, so that we could
distinguish with tolerable accuracy, the wild and open districts, likely
to form our most convenient camping-grounds. Whilst there was yet time,
Presten Sundt’s son kindly purchased one for us.

[Illustration]

At length we found our cicerone in the left-luggage office. He had acted
the part of pilot, to enable the gipsies and donkeys to reach the
station. The donkeys had been the centre of considerable interest to the
inhabitants of Christiania that day. Multitudes thronged on board the
_Albion_ steamer. The deck was trodden and tramped by an animated
people, anxious to inspect the new arrivals. The gipsies must have felt
some slight degree of envy upon the occasion. This curiosity of the
inhabitants was only natural, when we consider that they had never seen
any donkeys before, and they were quite as likely to excite special
interest, as the hippopotamus we well remember in the Zoological
Gardens, Regent’s Park. Can we forget the intensity of the moment, when
it rose to the surface of its tank, and its nose, was distinguished for
a few moments above water? Can we forget the satisfaction of impatient
crowds of visitors, when such an event occurred? If we could know the
discussions respecting our donkeys, they would doubtless be most
instructive--a tome of literature, added to the natural history of the
animal kingdom. The animals were pulled about from nose to tail. Their
ears were pulled--a particular part of the back, was pressed with the
thumb, to gauge their strength; their mouths opened, their teeth
examined, their fore-legs smoothed down with many hands. One of the
sailors being asked what he called them, answered, “Rabbits,” and
pointing to the “Puru Rawnee,” informed them that she was the mother of
all rabbits. No rest had the animals, and sorely puzzled they must have
been, to make out what it was all about. The sailors could with
difficulty manage to wash the decks. At length, one, either by accident,
or intention, gave the crowd a sudden shower-bath with the ship’s hose,
bringing forth ejaculations, which my gipsies did not understand.
Multitudes of pocket-handkerchiefs, removed the moist results, as our
friends precipitately left the vessel.

Our time had been so occupied, that we could not return to the steamer
before the evening train. The gipsies had remained on board during the
day in charge of the donkeys. They expected us from hour to hour.
Esmeralda informed us afterwards, that they had almost given us up, we
were so long. Before they left for the railway-station, Mr. T. and the
invalid barrister had been to the steamer to inquire after their master,
and joked them about our absence. “What shall you do, now your master is
gone away?” Upon which Esmeralda answered, “My word, I shall let him
know what it is staying in this way; I shall speak my mind.” “You must
keep your master under,” said Mr. T. “Yes, I will,” said Esmeralda, with
assumed indignation, which caused much laughter. Yet, with all her wild
spirit, we had no cause to complain of want of obedience in Esmeralda.
Many long, long miles, we afterwards walked together, and we must always
remember her willing attention, in our hours of camp life. When our
gipsies saw us at the station, their eyes lighted up with a thousand
smiles.

On board the _Albion_, a young man offered his services as an
interpreter, or “Tolk,” as they are designated in Norway. We were
afterwards accosted in the street, by a smart-looking fellow, much more
fit for a butler, than a campaigner, who also wished to accompany us. We
declined their aid, preferring for the present to trust to our own
resources, rather than make any addition to our party.

Our donkeys, notwithstanding the various opinions expressed, were
allowed to land without any duty being charged. Mr. Bennett kindly
arranged for the railway tickets, and procured for us the amount of
small money we required. Every traveller is obliged to take a good
supply of small coin. It is not very easy to get change out of large
towns in Norway. Mr. Bennett’s Guide Book gives complete information as
to the various small coins in circulation, and their actual value. Some
are depreciated, to less than the amount marked upon them. Thus:
eight-skilling pieces, with the crown and ‘F.R.VI.’ on the reverse, are
now only worth six skillings; and four-skilling pieces, with the same
reverse are only worth three skillings. This is often perplexing at the
commencement of a Norwegian tour.


NORWEGIAN MONEY.

   1 skilling      equals nearly a halfpenny.
  24 skillings     equal a mark or ort, or 10¾_d._
   5 marks or orts equal a specie dollar or 4_s._ 5¼_d._

There are dollar notes. One (een), variegated coloured paper; five
(fem), blue; ten (ti), yellow; fifty (femti), green; one hundred dollars
(hundrede dollars), pink.

       *       *       *       *       *

Immediately Presten Sundt caught sight of our gipsies at the station, he
commenced speaking in the Romany language. He tried their knowledge of
Romany numerals. Noah, we believed, failed at five or six. Their
reckoning powers are not of high order, especially as they are unable to
read and write.

Baudrimont, in his work containing a vocabulary of the gipsy language,
spoken by gipsies wandering in the French territory of the Basque
Provinces, says, the gipsy women he questioned say “jec” for one, “doui”
for two, and they did not know any higher numeral, using beyond two,
“b8ter” (bouter) signifying “much.”[22]

It is curious to notice, even in one word, the different methods of
spelling, adopted by each author. The Romanes, not being a written
language, and the opportunities of obtaining it from these wanderers
over the world, being few, each author has struggled into print, with a
vocabulary formed on some phonetic system of his own. Again, what a
different sound, may be given to a word, by some slight modification of
accent, depending upon the education, and temperament, of the individual
speaking. For instance, if a stranger, unacquainted with English, but
taking an interest in the language, came to England, for the first time,
and wrote down in his note-book, English words spoken by the less
educated natives, of Hampshire, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire,
Gloucestershire, Derbyshire, or Dorsetshire, what a variation he would
find, in the spelling, and pronunciation, of many words, so collected.
It is not, therefore, singular that gipsy philologists, should differ in
their spelling. It is only extraordinary, that the accuracy of sound,
distinguishing each word, has been so well conveyed. For example, take
the word “much.” Baudrimont gives b8ter (bouter); Bryant’s collection,
published 1785, gives “bootsee;” Borrow gives Spanish gipsy “buter” and
“butre,” signifying “more.” Most of the other philologists give “but.”
Presten Eilert Sundt gives “but” in his extensive vocabulary of the
Norwegian Romany. One author (Dr. Bath C. Smart) gives “booty” and
“boot,” and also “kissy.” Our own gipsies give “koosee” as the Romany
for “much.”

At page 25 of his work,[23] M. Baudrimont says: “The gipsies have
without doubt forgotten the numerals, for the women I questioned, only
knew two.” Mr. F. Michel gives five;[24] Mr. Balby gives ten. Baudrimont
has collected 245 Romany words, which, with those taken from the
vocabulary of Mr. F. Michel, increase the number to 352. We notice some
repetition of words in his vocabulary, which reduces the actual
number.[25]

Our gipsies seemed to interest Presten Sundt. Noah and Zacharia were not
so dark, as he expected to see them; Esmeralda seemed quite equal to the
standard of gipsy type. Their ages, and a variety of questions, were
asked in a very short time. Presten Sundt is a man of much energy, and
rapidity of manner, and he was conversant with the English language.

We were sorry Presten Sundt had not an opportunity of seeing our tents;
they were the same kind as those used by the gipsies who travel England.
Esmeralda and Zacharia took their places in the second-class
compartment, of the same carriage in which we travelled. Noah went in
the same van with the donkeys.

Presten Sundt and his son, Mr. Bennett, Mr. T., the invalid barrister,
and our active cicerone sent by the Chevalier, were assembled on the
platform, and wished us _bon voyage_, as the train moved out of the
station. Was not one wanting? He may have missed his road. He was not
there--the Birmingham bagman had been left behind.



CHAPTER VIII.

    “The moss your couch, the oak your canopy;
     The sun awakes you as with trumpet call;
     Lightly ye spring from slumber’s gentle thrall;
     Eve draws her curtain o’er the burning west,
     Like forest birds ye sink at once to rest.”

    THE GIPSIES:--_Dean Stanley’s Prize Poem_.


    A NORWEGIAN OFFICER--NORWEGIAN EMIGRATION--EIDSVOLD--THE
    SKYDSKIFTET--QUIET RETREAT--HAPPY HOURS--BAIERSK ÖL--ESMERALDA’S
    TOILETTE--THE TRANSFORMATION--CURIOUS ADDRESS--NEW
    ACQUAINTANCE--NOAH’S ENGAGEMENT--NOAH’S CONQUEST--AN UNGRATEFUL
    VISITOR--A RELUCTANT PARTING.


Two or three other passengers were seated in our first-class
compartment. The accommodation was very comfortable. In the carriage,
above our seat, there was a small tap, and drinking-glass, for the
supply of deliciously clear, pure iced water, for the convenience of the
thirsty passenger.

It was after five o’clock when we left Christiania. We had about
fifty-two miles to travel that evening. Our attention was divided,
between conversation, with one of our fellow-passengers--a military
Norwegian officer--the contemplation of the country through which we
passed, and the thoughts of what sort of place, we should have to camp
in that night. The Norwegian officer was an interesting companion, the
_paysage_, we passed through, was picturesque, but the idea of our
future camp, occupied most of our thoughts. We must say, they were very
misty and uncertain. Our fellow-traveller continued with us longer than
any of the other passengers. He had been in England some time, and was,
we believe, an inspector of the Artillery, possessing a perfect
knowledge of the English language. He told us that the trees in the
forests were often cut down to such an extent, as to be very detrimental
to the climate and shelter required in a cold country.

Great numbers of the inhabitants were now emigrating to America. Many
sold their farms very cheap, in order to leave the country. The train
stopped once for refreshment, at a large wooden station, and we had an
opportunity of seeing our gipsies. We passed through the largest plain
in Norway. When we had nearly arrived at Eidsvold, our fellow-traveller
left to visit the artillery practice-ground. We were then left to muse
over our coming adventures. The train stopped at last on the side of a
large platform.

We were now close to the Mjösen Lake, and had reached the terminus of
the Christiania and Eidsvold railway. Descending to the platform, we
found that not a person spoke a word of English. With some little
difficulty we got our luggage out, and the donkeys also, to the
astonishment of a small group of people, including an old man in a white
hat. Showers of rain had prevailed during the route, and we could not
see any convenient camping-ground near the station.

We walked up the platform, and down the platform, followed by our
retinue of three gipsies. The old man in the white hat continued to
watch over us: he followed us, hovered round us. We tried to converse,
but made nothing of it; we were unable to understand what he wanted. At
length, seeing a telegraph-office, we sent a telegram to Mr. Bennett,
relative to a coat, and books, we had left on board the _Albion_. Most
of the small group of people departed after they had gazed a short time
at the gipsies and donkeys. We could not see any outlet to our
difficulty, or where we were to go for the night; our provisions were
left behind, even if we could find a convenient camping-ground. At last
the old man took a decided course, and, summoning courage, led off one
of the donkeys, and the other two followed. With our usual reliance upon
results, we let him have his own way, determined to follow whither he
would. Some men, when they saw us moving off, fastened our baggage on a
small rough hand-cart. In a few minutes, we were toiling up a steep,
winding road, and lost sight of the railway-station. Then we shortly
after arrived at a large, sloping, open space, shut in by trees and
comfortable wooden buildings, which gave it an air of charming
seclusion. The place was apparently a “skydskift,” and here seemed to be
our destination. The old man went direct across the open space, in front
of the wooden house, to what appeared a stable, and then halted. The
donkeys were minutely inspected by the people. They brought some hay and
water for our animals, who, placed in the stable, must have been
astonished at their sudden transition, through such various scenes. We
were then conducted through what appeared to be the doorway of the
“Guest Huus,” into a passage, up some stairs, into another passage, and
through an open doorway into a very comfortable room. This was a
sitting-room, and also a bed-room, on the first floor. There were two
windows in it, which we put open; a mirror between them, which our
gipsies looked into, as the shades of night were fast coming upon us.
The furniture consisted of a sofa, and table, some chairs, a bed, and
washing-stand. Up some more stairs, we had another narrow, but
comfortable inner room, with two more beds.

Saying something about “speise,” coffee and eggs and most excellent
bread and butter were set before us. Our baggage was deposited in the
passage. The gipsies, Noah and Zacharia, at our request, commenced
playing the violin and tambourine, whilst the evening meal was being
placed on the table. The old man, who came up with the luggage, still
lingered to hear the music. We seated him on a chair near the door, for
we began to look upon him as our guardian angel. The comely-looking
“pige,” or girl-in-waiting, at length seated us at table, as we set our
musical-box to play. They had probably never heard one. There was a
charming stillness about the place, broken by those liquid modulations
of harmony, which seemed to create a thousand impressions, and agreeable
sensations. Then we found ourselves taking our quiet evening meal with
our three gipsies, who, to do them justice, passed muster wonderfully
well. Esmeralda had the small sofa. After all the hurry, worry, and
bustle of the day, as we sipped our coffee, we could not help feeling
thankfulness to the Giver of all things, peace with all men, and content
with the world. Our repast ended, the musical box ceased to play, the
old man, bowing, retired. The kind-hearted looking girls prepared the
beds. Esmeralda had the best bed, in the sitting-room; Zacharia, one
made up for the night on the sofa; Noah and myself, the two beds in the
narrow inner room. The beds were a serious business to Noah and
Zacharia. Noah could not find his road into bed. At length, with our
guidance, he was initiated into the mysteries; the result was almost
immediate sleep. With the windows all open, and not a sound to disturb
the stillness of night, we were not long, before we became unconscious
of all toil and trouble.

Never shall we forget Zacharia in his bed, as we looked into the
sitting-room the next morning. High above the sofa, one naked foot
protruded, somewhere trailing near the floor we noticed some straggling
locks of black hair, belonging to a head, whilst all the bed-clothes
were tied, twisted, tumbled, and rolled into every conceivable shape.

We had an early “frokost” (breakfast)--excellent coffee, eggs, bread,
and butter, People are moving early in Norway. It was a fine, beautiful
morning: gipsies must be employed, and the violin and tambourine were
again in requisition, whilst we sat on the sofa, at our small table,
writing up our diary. The servants came up occasionally, and listened to
the music, as they stood at the open doorway of our room. So the morning
passed in delightful rest and tranquillity. Who could be otherwise than
happy, with such _honnêtes gens_? Everything was so clean and tidy. Our
“middags mad” (dinner, or midday meal) was served, at our request, at
one o’clock. It is astonishing how a small stock of words, will enable
you to supply your wants, in a foreign land. Yet we did not look upon
Norway as foreign to us; all was so homely, that we felt at home with
everything, and everybody. Possibly some of our very remote ancestors
may have been Norwegians. We were soon quietly seated at our “middags
mad” with our gipsies. A dish of mutton côtelettes, with bacon, very
good potatoes, and two small glasses of “baiersk öl”[26] (bottled ale),
completed our fare. The ale is peculiar in taste, but sparkling and
clear; like some of the Australian colonial ale, it is not to be taken
in any quantity with impunity.

After our dinner, Esmeralda decided to put on her new dress. She had one
faded, worn frock, which she wore under her Alpine cloak. Her wardrobe
being so limited, we had bought her a blue dress, at no great cost,
before leaving England, and her mother made it up. In order that she
should not be different from the Norwegian style of ornamentation, we
purchased some plain silver buttons. They were stitched on in front, and
at the cuffs, on a Scotch plaid braid, which trimmed the dress, and was
the selection of her mother. We were rather amused, as we looked up from
our writing, to see her descend from the inner room, where she had
completed her toilette. The silver buttons were resplendent on the dark
plaid braid. The dress was made according to the gipsy fashion. We
thought her mother might have allowed her a little more skirt, and the
bodice was rather close-fitting--scarcely room enough for development.
Esmeralda had naturally a wonderfully small waist, and the dress was so
made that it seemed quite tight all the way down before, being more
ample behind. There was no concealment of legs; she had put on some
coloured stockings, and her Alpine slippers, which we had given her to
rest her feet occasionally when she took off the heavy boots so much
admired by Mr. T. She had no reason to be ashamed of her foot and ankle.
Her dark, raven hair was natural; no wretched chignon, and masses of
false hair, distorted nature--there was no deception, truth was
represented, reality was without a rival. Esmeralda we shall always
remember as she then appeared in the guest chamber of beautiful
Eidsvold. One of our attentive servants came up soon afterwards, and was
apparently astonished at the sudden change to the gorgeous apparel she
beheld. The transformation was as complete as one of those changes we
read of in the old tales of enchantment. The “pige” did not stay long,
but silently departed, and soon after returned, with another of our
attendants, who gazed with a curious air of interest at what she saw.
The old man soon came up, and occasionally stood in the passage.
Sometimes he spoke--we did not understand him; then he would take off
his hat, bow, and retire, whilst we continued our writing. We now
discovered, to our annoyance, that the guitar had been left behind.
Zacharia was certain he had seen it on board the _Albion_. We began to
think we should never be able to get our things together, and sent a
telegram to Mr. Bennett, from the station, saying that our things had
been put on board the steamer, and to ask him to kindly send us a copy
of Murray’s Guide Book. We were anxious to be well prepared with all
information. Then we received a note addressed to us by name, but Mr.
Bennett, not knowing where we were, and possibly supposing us camped on
the shore of the Mjösen Lake, had, to insure its delivery, added, “Den
Herre som reiste igaaraftes med 3 œsler,” meaning the gentleman
travelling last night with three donkeys.

It appeared that two packages had been found. Three others, Mr. Bennett
said, were probably in the hold of the vessel; and Captain Soulsby had
reported several odds and ends, left in our cabin to be forwarded. We
were almost _au désespoir_.

My gipsies must do something; so the violin, tambourine, and
castanettes, again sounded in a maze of polkas and waltzes. At times a
succession of visitors came up, and stood in the passage to hear the
music, but we could hold no converse with them. At last we had coffee,
eggs, and bread and butter. What coffee! We often wonder how it is we so
seldom have in England anything which represents the name. In France,
Germany, Norway, and Denmark you have excellent coffee almost
everywhere. Our gipsies had managed wonderfully well. Zacharia did once
upset the contents of his cup of coffee over the white cloth. We made
them use their napkins, and restrained as much as possible the use of
the knives, at times, when the fork was the proper vehicle to the mouth.
Much nervousness was in consequence avoided. As we were lounging over
our coffee, our guardian angel, the old man, came up, and bowing,
murmured something about Herre wanted to see us. Who could want to see
us? Probably some matter connected with our baggage, which was strongly
associated at that time with every idea. We went down soon afterwards,
and entered the next house under the same roof. A stout, portly,
nice-looking man in uniform took off his hat, and said a very good
English “Good evening, sir.” He was captain of the lake steamer, leaving
the next morning for Lillehammer. The captain wished to know whether we
were going next morning. He was also anxious to see the donkeys. Taking
him with us to the stable, he said he would have a box ready to sling
them on board, and they must be down at the place of embarkation, near
the station at nine o’clock. We said they should be there, and that we
should have much pleasure in going by his steamer, and avail ourselves
of his knowledge of English. Wishing good evening, he strolled off to
take a bath, in the large wooden bath-house, on the side of the lake
below.

Returning to our room, we continued our diary. Noah informed us at
dinner, that he had put by an engagement of £1 a week, offered by some
farmer, in order that he might accompany us. Much thankfulness was
expressed at so much self-sacrifice, and it was the subject of many a
quiet joke during our journey. How pleasantly the time passed. How
smiling life seemed in the retirement of Eidsvold. Again Zacharia struck
up his violin; again Noah executed a clever roulade on his tambourine.
More visitors occasionally appeared, and disappeared. Then we sent Noah
and Zacharia down to the station, to see if any of our baggage had come
by the last train, and we were fortunate enough to receive four
packages, including our guitar, and one package by Captain Soulsby. The
case of provisions could not be found. Our telegrams increased. We hoped
to get the case next morning before the steamer left Eidsvold. In the
stillness of the closing evening, we sang with the guitar, our gipsy
song. One of our attendants was most certainly in love with Noah. We had
generally sent him to the other house, to ask for whatever we wanted. It
was practice for him, and no doubt he had made a conquest. About ten
o’clock the attendants made up the bed on the sofa, and we gave them
another last air before we retired. Well we remember the look our clean,
tidy, and comely “pige” gave Noah, as he played his tambourine with an
energy of feeling peculiar to the gipsy race. “Cushty ratty” (gip.,
good-night) to all, and we were soon asleep.

It is light at an early hour in Norway. We were up at four o’clock, a
number of letters were written. At six o’clock it was found that
Esmeralda had one eye nearly swollen up. A musketo had lounged in,
through the open window in the night. It was natural that he should be
attracted by her dark eyes, but he should have been satisfied, with
distant contemplation. I was called in as the “cushty drabengro” (gip.,
good doctor), and by the aid of some glycerine rendered the bite less
painful.

The rest were soon up. We had found Zacharia in some extraordinary
complication of bed-clothes on the sofa. I think he was glad to regain
tent life, for this was the last time he slept off the ground during his
stay in Norway.

“Frokost” was served at seven o’clock--coffee, eggs, bread and butter.
As usual, all excellent. The bread, we understood, was sent from
Christiania to Eidsvold. The morning was lovely--our spirits almost
irrepressible. Esmeralda poured out the coffee--“del the moro” (gip.)
“give us the bread,” Romany and English sparkled on the board.

After “frokost” we repacked some of our baggage, and Esmeralda brushed
our coat. The bright anticipation of a delightful trip along the Mjösen
Lake, and the probability of our case of provisions coming by the
morning train, in time for the steamer, had quite banished all
melancholy. Noah and Zacharia gave one or two tunes after breakfast as a
farewell, whilst the comely “pige” gazed at Noah in speechless wonder.
She stood all spell bound. We fear the gipsy’s eyes, for they had
scarcely any other medium of conversation, had wrought much mischief.
Some man appeared at the open doorway, with his knife at his side, and
seeming transfixed, so completed the tableau. Time flew on with rapid
wing. Noah and Zacharia departed with the donkeys. We had more time; and
as we sat on the sofa, waiting for our account, we took our guitar, and
sang our last song at Eidsvold, “Welcome, you dear old land.”



CHAPTER IX.

    “Choriñoac kaiolan
     Tristeric du cantatcen,
     Duelarican cer jan,
     Cer edan,
     Campoa du desiratcen;
     Ceren, ceren
     Libertatia hain eder den.”

    _Le Pays Basque_, par FRANCISQUE MICHEL.

    “The little bird in the cage
     Singeth sadly,
     Withal to eat,
     Withal to drink,
     He would be out;
     Because, because
     Nothing is sweet but liberty.”

    MODERATE BILL--PROVISIONS LOST--WE MEET AGAIN--GIPSIES IN
    ADVANCE--LEFT ALONE--A WELCOME TELEGRAM--NORWEGIAN BATH
    ROOM--SINGULAR PAINTINGS--ONCE MORE FAREWELL--THE TELEGRAPH
    CLERK--THE MJÖSEN LAKE--THE DRONNINGEN--RUINED
    CATHEDRAL--UTILITARIANISM--LILLEHAMMER--ONCE MORE IN CAMP.


Our bill was moderate--four dollars, four marks, and eight skillings;
twenty-four skillings for attendance seemed quite sufficient. Our things
were all placed on a truck; Esmeralda carried Zacharia’s violin, our
guitar, and our two extra caps, whilst we took our courier-bags, and,
under our arm, in two satchels made for them, the two Regent-street
tambourines. Our appearance certainly much resembled travelling
musicians.

Bidding adieu to the kind people of the house, we were soon descending
the winding road to the steamer. As we walked along, we could not help
alluding to the astonishment our numerous friends would express if they
could see us. Noah and Zacharia soon after met us; they had left the
donkeys at the railway-station, and came to say the provisions had not
arrived. When we reached the station, another telegram was sent, in
which we mentioned Hudson Brothers, as consignors to Messrs. Wilson. The
clerk of the telegraph office began to regard us as an habitué of the
bureau, and we looked upon him as a pupil in the English language. We
were astonished at his progress, and he was apparently equally so at our
large expenditure of money in telegrams. Rather in mournful mood, we
went to the wooden platform to which the steamer was moored. There was
the box; there stood the donkeys; there the men to put them into the
box, and the sling, to sling them on board. How are the donkeys to be
put into the box? Vain were the efforts made--all to no purpose; the
donkeys had made up their minds. At last, with the united efforts of
four men, and Noah, one by one they were pulled, dragged, lifted,
carried, forced, in wild resistance, over the passenger’s bridge, and
along the deck, in sight of the astonished lookers-on. The “Puru Rawnee”
and his companions were at length safely placed before the windlass on
the fore-deck, close to four brass guns, ready loaded for a salute. We
decided to go to Christiania, in search of the provisions, and sent
another telegram to Mr. Bennett. The passage-money of our gipsies, and
the three donkeys to Lillehammer, amounted to five dollars, seventeen
marks; we also paid six marks for our gipsies’ dinner, including one
bottle of “Baiersk Öl” between them, and a cup of coffee each. The
captain kindly promised to look after them, and arrange for them to
camp, when they got to Lillehammer. Just before leaving, we gave them
some Norsk words for bread, cheese, coffee, &c. The old man in the white
hat, our guardian angel, was, of course, at hand. With much anxiety he
wrote down the words for Noah. Unfortunately, Noah could not read; but
as the old man pronounced each word aloud, Noah followed, and the old
man did not suspect, apparently, the neglected education of his pupil.

There was the sound of the coming train, just before eleven; down came
the passengers, hurrying with their things to the steamer. There was the
officer, and his wife, with the Tyrolese hat and feather--we had met
again. Their two carrioles[27] are put on board--hasty salutations--we
learn that the invalid barrister has left Christiania for Bergen--they
are going to Gjövik. We told him our dilemma, and he said we had hurried
too quickly through Christiania. They had been busy making purchases at
Christiania. Our conversation now ceases, for the steamer must depart.
The stout captain took up his position on the steamer’s pont, and,
taking out his watch, he gave the signal for starting. As the
_Dronningen_ glided along the still waters of the Mjösen, our “cushty
chavos” (gip., good children) made farewell signals to their Romany Rye.

[Illustration: NORWEGIAN FENCE.]

Another telegram to Mr. Bennett, to say we should be in Christiania at
seven o’clock in the evening, no train leaving Eidsvold before the
afternoon. The telegraph clerk expressed his astonishment at the number
of our telegrams, and increased his stock of English. We felt lonely
away from our people. It was a very warm day, and we had some hours on
hand. Crossing the bridge at the head of the lake, near the railway
station, we passed the houses on the opposite side, and walked along the
dusty narrow road beyond. We could see nothing but inclosures on either
side the road. The common style of Norwegian road fence consists of
posts, with two long parallel rails, supporting a number of slanting
rails, of shorter length, loosely placed between them.

There was no shade. The wooden log houses, here and there, had generally
tiled roofs. No attempt was made at ornament or picturesque effect.
Everything in the rough. We sat on the narrow road side, and noted up
our diary; then we returned to the houses again near the bridge, and
being hungry, boldly walked into one which bore some resemblance to a
place of refreshment. They civilly said they had nothing, and that there
was a house on the hill, beyond the station, where refreshment might be
had. They meant the house at which we had lately stayed.[28] It was
about half-past two o’clock when we again crossed the bridge, and called
at the telegraph office. The polite clerk seemed rather pleased to see
us, at the same time handing a telegram with much alacrity.

A life-boat on the ocean to the shipwrecked mariner, could not have
given much greater pleasure. The provisions had been found. Our name was
not on the case, but our mention of Messrs. Hudson Brothers, as
consignors, had fortunately furnished the clue. They would reach
Eidsvold that night. With some degree of satisfaction we soon ascended
the hill, and came to our quiet retreat. The comely “pige” welcomed
us--she seemed much pleased--and we were shown into a finer, and more
stately chamber, than the one we had before occupied. We were hungry,
and our dinner was quickly served. Côtelettes, potatoes, and some kind
of sweet dish, with some “Baiersk Öl.” Then we wrote letters at a table
near the window, in View of the Mjösen Lake. All was quietude; we felt
as if we were lost. At six o’clock our thermometer was 82° Fahrenheit.
We determined to take a Badekar (bath). The large wooden bath-house was
at a short distance below the “gjœstgiver-gaard.”

[Illustration: NORWEGIAN BATH-ROOM.]

Crossing over a light wooden bridge from the lake shore, we were
immediately on a balcony extending round the building, above the waters
of the lake. Doors opened from the balcony into the bath-rooms. Each
visitor has a small dressing-room adjoining another small room, in which
stands a zinc bath. As we looked in, a curious leather spout pendant
from the ceiling supplied the water to the bath. It was a clumsy
contrivance, and out of repair; part of the water poured in streams on
the floor, whilst the other portion found its way into the bath.

[Illustration]

The man in attendance, who came to prepare the bath, could not
understand what heat we required, especially as they use Reaumur, and
we use the Fahrenheit thermometer. A Norwegian gentleman, just taking
his bath, and very scantily clothed, at the request of the man, politely
came to the bath-room door to act as interpreter. He spoke some English,
and kindly relieved us from our difficulty. Thanking him for his aid, he
bowed and retired. The price of our bath was fivepence. Giving the
attendant a few skillings, we returned to our pleasant room at the quiet
“gjœstgiver-gaard.” How dreamy we felt at eve, as we watched from our
window the lights and shadows on the Lake Mjösen. A gilded surface in
the evening sun--how full of beauty--one seemed to view the imagery of
other worlds. There is in nature more than art can tell, or language
render. Not a leaf but has its history, a flower its tale, nor a sound
without its music to the mind. There were some quaint old paintings on
the panels of the chamber, which caught our attention as we sat musing
there, and we hastily sketched them. One represented a priest in
old-fashioned clerical costume walking unconsciously as he reads, into
a river, or out to sea. The priest is saying, as he reads: “Jeg maa gaae
til Bunden i dette Problem for jeg gaae vidre.” (I must go to the bottom
of this problem before I go farther.)

[Illustration]

The other painting represented a stout clergyman who is being rowed
along a lake or river. He is so stout that the end of the boat in which
he sits is nearly under water. He is supposed to be shouting to the
boatman:

“Hal’ud manne. Der gaa er Dampen.” (Pull away, lad! There goes the
steamer.)

With our mind much at ease we retired early to rest. By some chance they
put us to sleep in Esmeralda’s bed. We rose at four o’clock the next
morning, and wrote letters. Our “frokost” was served at seven o’clock.
It was a beautiful morning: our comely “pige” was there, but she had no
gipsy Noah to admire. We paid our account--three marks sixteen
skillings. Slinging our courier-bag over our shoulder, as we gave the
comely “pige” a douceur, we again wished these kind and attentive people
farewell. It must be owned that we lingered for a moment near this quiet
retreat, so full of pleasant moments and long-to-be-remembered
reminiscences.

At the railway-station the case of provisions, which had arrived, cost
us one dollar. Sealing our letters in the telegraph office, we posted
them. The case of provisions, which was very heavy, was brought down to
the steamer, and placed on the jetty to be taken on board. We then
noticed, fastened to it, a letter from Mr. Bennett, and Hudson Brothers’
receipted bill, attached outside the case. It appeared that some of the
packages in the case had burst open. Pea-flour, wheat-flour, salt, and
other contents had got mixed and spread about in wild confusion. Mr.
Bennett had kindly had the pea-flour and salt put into a bag. Great care
is requisite in packing for long journeys. The provisions were all right
at last. Paying another visit to the telegraph office, we remitted to
Mr. Bennett a sum sufficient to cover all costs incidental to the
baggage and expenses, and also wrote a letter to him. We must ever
acknowledge his kind attention. Mr. Bennett’s services are invaluable to
new arrivals; ten minutes’ conversation with him will often save the
tourist days of trouble, vexation, and delay. You have, also, the
feeling that he is a gentleman, and you can trust his advice. Our
telegraph clerk was wonderfully polite, and we felt a certain amount of
regret when for the last time we wished him good morning. As we left the
office, he said, in very good English, “I think, sir, you are now all
right.”

We returned to the steamer, which left Eidsvold at half-past eleven in
the forenoon.[29] The passengers were for the most part plainly dressed,
and of the class of small farmers. The men wore large, ample trousers,
and thick, heavy Wellington boots. The excursion along the lake was
delightful. The Mjösen is sixty-three English miles in length. On the
shores of the lake, the steamer passed numerous farms and pleasant
homesteads, with pine and fir forests forming a distant background.
Towards Lillehammer the scenery becomes more picturesque; the landing
stations often reminded us of colonial settlements. Then we became
acquainted with a young passenger and his friend who were going to
Lillehammer. The friend spoke a few words of English. A tall,
smart-looking young Norwegian officer, neatly dressed in plain clothes,
who had travelled in England, France, and Prussia, spoke English
fluently. Whilst we were conversing, an old man came up with a number of
knives to sell; they were suspended to a wire. After some inspection, we
selected two knives at six marks each, and one at one dollar. Then came
the money payment; it was a serious business. We produced a handful of
those varied coins, many not counting for the value they are marked. A
young man who spoke a few words of English volunteered to count out the
sum. The countenance of the old man gazing on my money, and the young
man, who was anxious to be exact to a skilling, would have made a good
subject for Frith, or some artist skilful in making a group on canvas
convey its own wordless history. The hunting-knives were intended as
presents to our gipsies. Although the only Englishmen on board, with
such homely, kind people, we felt as with friends, and they seemed to
give us welcome to their beautiful land. As we surveyed the Lake scene,
the _Dronningen_ steamed in sight. Our friend the captain took off his
hat in salutation to our captain and passengers. When we were returning
his greeting he seemed to recognise us, and again waved his hat in final
adieu. The _Dronningen_ is said to be the best steamer on the lake. What
a strange exhilaration we felt as we inhaled the pure lake breeze,
whilst the steamer glided along the waters of the Mjösen. We had no
care. The moments seemed an existence of perfect enjoyment, with only a
short span dividing us from our tents, and people, and first Norwegian
camp, whence we should wander over many leagues of nature’s fairest
scenes. On the shores of the lake, to our right, stand the ruins of Stor
Hammer cathedral, forming some picturesque arches, in broken decay,
nearly all that remains of a once noble pile destroyed in 1567. At this
part of the lake, George Bidder, once renowned as the calculating boy,
whose wonderful memory and rapid calculations we had often read of in
days gone by, had purchased an estate.[30]

Although there are not many castles in Norway, on the island of Helgëo
are the ruins of a fortress built by Hako IV. The old church of
Ringsaker, on the eastern shore of the lake, is said to possess an altar
curiously carved, and also the body of a priest, singularly preserved
from the ruthless hand of time.[31] The old church is said to stand on
the battle-field where St. Olaf gained one of his many victories, and
adds one more interesting association to the shores of the Mjösen.

Dinner on board the steamer is announced as “fertig” (ready). It was not
a table d’hôte consisting of many dishes, but a substantial meal of
fish, meat, and a Norwegian dish, of which milk formed a large
ingredient. As we afterwards lounged on deck, the Norwegian officer
looked over our song, gave us some hints of pronunciation of Norsk
words, and said the English verses were well translated into Norwegian.
The song, with its engraved bordure of gipsy life and Norwegian scenery,
seemed to interest him very much; and before he left at Hammer he was
much pleased with the copy we presented for his acceptance.

One large island, in the lake, we were told, was the most fertile in
Norway. The shores of the lake are not very far distant from each other.
All was sunshine, with a strong breeze upon the lake. How changed the
scene in winter. One of the passengers told us the winter continued
eight months, sometimes even nine months. The days in summer are often
very warm, and the nights cold. The homesteads had no pretensions to
Swiss decoration; and the villages had a similar appearance to a new
settlement in Australia. Without the forest trees Norway would soon be
a sterile spot. Take the timber from the mountains, and all would be a
barren, cheerless wilderness of rocks and stones. It is to be hoped that
government will one day restrain the rapid destruction of the forests.
Even in England the shady lanes are fast vanishing before the
close-cropped hedge-rows; barely a fence which is considered necessary
in this utilitarian age. The birds, which once found shelter and
convenience for building their nests, are diminishing fast, and one must
often listen in vain for their cheerful song.[32]

The steamer passed a very picturesque rocky island towards Lillehammer.
Only one traveller now remained who spoke English, and his stock was
limited, consisting of two words. Fortunately, we arranged with the
steward for a stock of three bottles of brandy, and two or three bottles
of St. Jullien claret, before the officer who spoke English left the
vessel. We paid one dollar for our fare, and three dollars one mark and
eight skillings for dinner, coffee, ale, bread and cheese, three bottles
of brandy, and two of claret. We tried in vain to pass an English
sovereign, to economise our small coin. The steward spoke a little
English. He was a jolly-looking, buzzy, fuzzy, smick-smack, smooth,
straight up-and-down, and no mistake, sort of fellow. He did his best to
assist us. We soon steamed up to the wooden pier below Lillehammer. Noah
was standing between our two tents, pitched on a rise of ground, above a
wooden building by the pier. Noah saw us at once, and came down to the
pier as jauntily as possible, with a pipe, to our great surprise, stuck
in his mouth.

Waiting until the passengers had gone on shore, we called Noah on board,
and gave him the bottles to carry to our tents. The case was slung on to
the pier. The steward referred to the captain, who spoke English, and
decided that the amount we had already paid included carriage to
Lillehammer. They wished us good-by, and we left the vessel. A porter
from one of the hotels, who came to us, placed the case on a truck, and
we told him to take it up to our tents. Esmeralda came forward as we
approached the camp. The gipsies were much pleased to see us again.
Esmeralda said she knew we were on the steamer. Whilst we were talking,
we caught sight of the truck and case going up the road from the lake to
the town of Lillehammer. Noah and ourselves went after it, and soon
after Noah and the porter brought it to the tents. The case was a large
wooden box of considerable weight. With much satisfaction we
contemplated its arrival in camp. The tents were now actually pitched on
the shore of the beautiful Mjösen Lake. Its calm waters, lovely in the
eventide, and the quietude of nature, gave us one more glimpse of
perfect happiness.



CHAPTER X.

    “Let us rest a bit in our tent this fine evening to collect our
    memoranda from the note-book hurriedly pencilled. Yet it is not
    easy to withdraw the eye from the beautiful picture before us,
    framed by the curtains of our canvas boudoir.”--_The Rob Roy on
    the Jordan._

    OUR FIRST CAMP--CAMP VISITORS--GIPSY MUSIC--FOREIGN
    TABLEAU--CURIOUS OBSERVATIONS--PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE--EARLY
    START--LAING’S SUGGESTIONS--THE GUDBRANSDALEN--THE HUNNEFOS--THE
    AUSTRALIAN MEAT--CAMP RULES--THE PAIR OF GLOVES--SUDDEN
    SHADOWS--OUR TALISMAN--NEW FRIENDS.


The Mjösen is a fine lake. The scenery is not bold, or imposing in wild
and rugged outline, but it is beautiful and pleasing. There is a
richness often wanted in the wilder scenes of nature. Our contemplation
must be short; we have work to do. Noah with my Tennant’s geological
hammer soon began to loosen the nails of the provision-case. A crowd of
boys, who gathered round, and the tall man in the background, rendered
the group of spectators a complete study; there was an expression of
deep interest as Noah loosened every nail. Our gipsies had been well
cared-for by the gallant captain of the _Dronningen_. He had kindly
arranged for our people to pitch their tents on some waste ground near
the lake; the woman of the house above seemed to exercise a sort of
right over it, and had agreed to supply our people with food at the
house. She was an energetic old woman, with not a very good-tempered
expression of countenance, but she had been very attentive.

The captain had on the previous evening taken our gipsies in a boat
across the lake. They had spent the evening very pleasantly with himself
and wife. Some sympathy was expressed for the separation of Esmeralda
from her husband, referring to myself. The gipsies, we afterwards
understood, had a gay time on board the _Dronningen_; they played at the
captain’s request, who collected quite a fortune for them. Noah and
Zachariah[33] were also treated to cigars, and various liquids by the
passengers. Their voyage on the Mjösen Lake seemed to have been
unusually gay. Once more we were in camp, and the boys from the town
above kept accumulating round our tents. Then we went up the road
towards Lillehammer with our maps, and examined the route, and the
direction ready for our journey next morning. When we returned, it was
eight o’clock. There were so many people about, that Esmeralda and
myself went up to the woman’s house to have coffee. Noah and Zachariah
afterwards took their turn whilst we stayed at the tents. Noah had our
instructions to pay the woman, but he was quite unable to regulate the
account. We found the old woman, who was exceedingly polite, charged us
three dollars for our coffee that evening, and a day and a half board
for our gipsies, and the use of the waste ground. The charge was nearly
as much as we had paid at the comfortable inn at Eidsvold, with lodgings
for a longer period. The gipsies had promised her some music; and as we
were anxious to pass the time until the people should disperse,
Esmeralda and Zachariah came up to play one or two tunes. We had an
upstairs room, very bare of furniture, containing only a small table and
sofa and two or three chairs. Esmeralda sat on the sofa, and myself and
Zacharia at each end of the table. Away went the violin and the
tambourine, waltzes and polkas, in rapid succession. The old woman
walked about in an ecstacy. Very shortly afterwards a large crowd of
both sexes appeared at the doors of the room, and we motioned for them
to dance or sit down. In came the steward of the steamer, smoking a
cigar, and the cashier with him. Bang, bang, went the tambourine.
Esmeralda, with her dark eyes flashing, was no mean tambourinist. With
regard to dancing they seem very diffident. Chairs were brought, and the
steward and cashier were accommodated. The former smoked, and seemed on
the best of terms with himself and everybody else. He was a
good-humoured, good-tempered fellow, and pressed us to have something to
drink. Notwithstanding we declined, in came the woman of the house with
two bottles of beer and glasses for us. The bottles were uncorked and
the steward came to pour out the beer; but although he pressed us to
take some, and also to allow our gipsies to do so, we were firm in our
determination. With an air of almost disappointment that we did not
accept their hospitality, he returned to his seat. Jingle, jingle, went
the brasses of the tambourine. The room, and passages to it became quite
thronged. The steward smoked; the cashier seemed, we thought, to look
with apparent admiration at our tambourinist. We had evidently an
appreciative audience. The assemblage reminded us, as we sat there in
quiet contemplation, of one of those foreign scenes at times represented
in dramas in London. Gipsies, foreign costumes, log-house, landlady,
peasants with knives at their sides, steward of steamer and cashier,
wild strip of broken ground below the house, tents, donkeys, steamer,
and the lake beautiful with the shadow of declining day--all the
elements of romance were there, and it was a reality.

We looked at our watch: it was nearly ten. We rose, and passing through
the visitors wished them good evening, and were soon seated in our
tents. Group after group of people came thronging down, taking a cursory
glance, as they passed, as if unwilling to intrude. We were busy
arranging and packing our things for the next morning: some would now
and then peep in; one went so far as to take hold of our tent carpet and
examine it. Another laid hold of our iron kettle-prop outside, and it
was amusing to see the earnest discussion that was going on as to its
use. An intelligent man with a benign smile made a motion with it, as if
making holes in the ground, and whilst pointing to the tent-rods looked
at us for confirmation. He was evidently much gratified by our nod of
assent. The centre of attraction were the donkeys; party after party
from Lillehammer swept by our tents along the broken ground, to the spot
where our donkeys stood. They were examined with an earnestness which
showed our friends to be warmly attached to the subject of natural
history. The steward came up to our tents, soon after we left the house,
and pressed us to come with him on board the steamer, but we declined;
whereupon he took off his hat and left. The goods porter of the steamer
wandered about our tents for some time, and at last came up and said he
wanted half a dollar more for the carriage of the case. When we took out
our money to pay him, he said it was a dollar. Perhaps we misunderstood
him at first. The captain had said we had nothing more to pay; but, not
having any time to investigate the matter, we trusted to the proverbial
honesty of the Norwegians, and so paid the dollar required. Taking
advantage of a lull in the number of the visitors, as it was becoming
late, the case was unpacked. Then more visitors came; but we went on and
repacked our provisions in our bags, for carriage the next morning on
our donkeys. Some of the lookers-on near our tents criticised our
biscuits, and especially our pea-flour which was scattered over
everything. They did so good humouredly, and seemed astonished at our
stores. Zachariah launched the empty case on the lake below. Our
visitors at last became few in number, and less frequent.

Esmeralda carefully packed up her dress with the silver buttons. She had
hung it on a bush near the tents after they had arrived at Lillehammer.
The blue dress and the silver buttons gleaming in the sun must have been
a pleasing sight. At last we went to bed; that is, we retired to sleep
on our waterproof rug and carpet within our tent partition. The
indistinct sound of voices outside our tents and the noise of persons
who appeared to be wandering about the donkeys still continued, but we
were all soon asleep: The thermometer had been at 86° Fahrenheit in the
day.

       *       *       *       *       *

The hum of a small mosquito awoke us at about two o’clock in the
morning; at half-past two o’clock we roused our gipsies. The things were
soon packed on the donkeys by Noah, who was an excellent packer. We
finally struck our camp at three o’clock A.M. The house where our coffee
had been supplied the previous evening was shut up, and wrapt in
silence; the woman of the house was possibly slumbering with the three
dollars under her pillow. The steamer lay moored at the wooden pier,
where the steward and cashier, if they slept on board, may have been
dreaming of the dark-eyed gitana.

How silent all seemed in the early morning on the banks of the Mjösen
Vand. Not a soul stirring, save one solitary fisherman in his boat in
the far distance upon the lake. With our Alpine stocks, tents, and
baggage, donkeys and gipsies, we slowly ascended the road to
Lillehammer. How delightful in the freshness of the early morning to
commence our nomadic wandering of many days. Laing says, in his
excellent work on Norway,[34] “A young and clever English sportsman,
especially if he had a taste, also, for any branch of natural history,
ought to pass a summer very agreeably with his rifle, fishing-rod, and
his tent, among the fjelde and lakes, encamping where fancy and sport
might lead him, and carry all his accommodation on a couple of ponies.”

As we passed through the town of Lillehammer we noticed that most of the
windows were shut; the inhabitants were enjoying their morning sleep. We
felt thankful that we carried our home with us. Lillehammer is not
without its associations; its former cathedral and monastery were
originally founded by an Englishman, Nicholas Breakspear, in 1160. He
was afterwards Pope Hadrian IV. As we passed down the long street, one
man was on the look-out; with hot haste he rushed to the back of the
house, as if to apprise some one else of our coming; he returned as we
were going by, and said “Ya, ya!” when we asked if we were in the right
road for Holmen; then standing in the street, he gazed after us until we
were out of sight.

With feelings of bright anticipation we had entered the long and fertile
valley of the Gudbrandsdalen.[35] Commencing at Lillehammer, the valley
of Gudbransdalen extends 168 miles to the foot of Dovre Fjeld. Our route
is on the right bank of the Logen. Many cultivated farms occupy the
lower portions of the often narrow valley on each side of the main road,
while hills and pine woods rise above them on either side.

We all felt particularly hungry as we pushed on for some distance along
a good road on the right of the river Logen. Coming to a small stream of
water on the road-side, we partly unloaded our donkeys; on a small space
of rough ground the gipsies lighted a fire, and prepared our breakfast
of tea, sardines, and college biscuits. One large carriage and pair
passed us _en route_ for Lillehammer; a pony with carriole was tied
behind it, and all were jogging along at a comfortable pace, with the
occupants fast asleep. Noah commenced repacking our donkeys, when a
timber cart passed with two men upon it; one wore a red cap. They
stopped and scanned our donkeys with curious eyes; then they wished to
know why we did not use the donkeys to draw a carriage. The man in the
red cap offered Esmeralda a seat on his timber, which, though kindly
meant, was not accepted. They went on before us, and evidently made
known our coming, for from time to time men and women rushed up to the
fences on the road-side to look at our cavalcade;--it was a very
picturesque one, including Zachariah almost fast asleep on one of the
loaded donkeys. As we proceeded we were overtaken by a carriage, in
which we recognised the inn porter who had assisted us with our case
from the steamer. The two travellers in the carriage had been our
fellow-passengers by the steamer on the Mjösen; they took off their
hats. Another carriage afterwards followed, and another steam-boat
passenger took off his hat and recognised us again. We were now some
miles from Lillehammer, and Noah was sent to try a roadside house for
bread; the woman, who spoke a little English, recommended a house
beyond. Coming soon after to an old road leading below the new main
route--along the edge a deep declivity covered with trees and bushes,
which formed the lofty bank of the rapid foaming river Logen--we halted.
We were in sight of the falls called the Hunnefos. The river is broad
and rapid; and the falls, although not of great height, are nevertheless
picturesque. Above the old road an embankment of loose stones sloped up
to the main route, which was not very far above us, although overlooked
from the road; the spot now overgrown with short turf was sufficiently
level and out of the way for our camp. We were all rather sleepy, and
wanted rest; the day had become very hot. Esmeralda had not felt very
well; a very small quantity of quinine helped her on the journey. Having
decided to remain here, the donkeys were driven down the old road for a
short distance. From this spot we had a beautiful view of the falls; our
camp was probably not far from the station of Aronsveen. It was
delightful to lounge among our baggage after we had unpacked. The road
being a sort of cul-de-sac, we left the donkeys to ramble below. Noah
went in search of bread and butter to a farm-house, and procured a small
loaf and half a pound of butter, for one mark and a half; the loaf was
black bread and small. Several very heavy showers came on, but our light
siphonia waterproof from Edmiston’s kept all our things perfectly dry.
Dinner was prepared at about one o’clock; a case of the Australian
cooked mutton was opened: with some hesitation we had added Australian
meat to our commissariat; we had ventured to take it, like the skater
who tries the ice for the first time. Our sardine-opener in the form of
a fish, which cost 6_d._, soon gave us access to the tin of meat. All
pronounced the Australian preserved mutton excellent. Esmeralda, who had
been very sleepy and not very well, though revived by the quinine, did
not entirely recover until after dinner. A bottle of claret was shared
amongst us. It was our first day in camp, and our rule of no stimulants
or smoking allowed was not rigidly enforced. Two songs with the guitar
enlivened the party; then a duet, violin and guitar; afterwards a duet,
violin and tambourine; finale, all the instruments together. Noah was
chaffed as usual. The sun became so hot after dinner, that we could
scarcely bear our terrace, placed as we were at the foot of an
embankment of loose bare rocks. The donkeys escaped and went towards
Lillehammer. Noah had fallen asleep, but starting up in a sort of
stupor, at length succeeded in bringing them back. Some of the people
passing along the main route stopped to gaze at Noah. Some few came
down, and a small glass of brandy was handed to them to drink Gamle
Norge. It was after all very convenient not to be able to answer all the
questions asked; much trouble was saved. We had provisions, and it was
not of much consequence to us, in the way we had chosen to travel, if we
did not understand many words, and could not satisfy all curiosity. The
trout from the Mjösen, it is said, cannot ascend the falls of the
Honnefos; they are exceedingly good, and some are stated to have weighed
36 lbs. Gipsies being a restless people, Noah and Zachariah were sent to
fish with two rods and some small trout flies; we had no hope of their
catching anything, but it employed their time, and was an occupation for
them. The water was a light snowy blue, with a strong and rapid stream.
Esmeralda felt sleepy, and was threatened with the loss of a pair of
gloves; yet we felt that we could not play with her, or approach her on
any other terms than were honourable to both. We worked at our notes and
maps while the gipsy maiden slept, and her brothers slashed the water in
the rapids below; about seven o’clock Noah and Zachariah returned, as I
expected, without any matchee (fish).[36] A number of people came down
the embankment occasionally to look with curious interest on the
donkeys. The animals were carefully examined, and another page was added
to the natural history of Aronsveen. One interesting young person came
and looked from the road above at Noah with much interest; she
afterwards came a second time, and lingered ere she left. We decided
that, as we had started so early, we should rest where we were for the
night, and start early the next morning, about four o’clock.

Noah, after a coaching in Norwegian words, went to seek bread-and-butter
(smör og bröd) at the farm-house. He was to display some money in his
open hand as an additional inducement. No result being reported on his
return, we sent him a second time to the charge for fladbröd, but they
had not got any to part with. We lighted our fire; tea was made, and a
pleasant meal of fried bacon, college biscuits and butter, was soon
concluded. Bread was bought, when we had the chance, in order to save
our biscuits.

It was now decided to have our tents pitched for the night. Noah had
just made the holes with the kettle-prop, and was putting in the tent
rods, when a number of people suddenly appeared at the edge of the
embankment above. Down came a tall gentleman, apparently between fifty
and sixty, followed by probably his son and a short stout gentleman. He
said something in a tone of authority to Noah, who, not understanding
what was said, went on calmly with his tent-pitching. We were at a short
distance from Noah with Esmeralda, arranging some of our baggage. It
appeared to us that something about illegal was said: breakers ahead
crossed our mind; we must port helm. We advanced to Noah’s assistance,
and said in Norsk--“Good evening;” then we quietly reached out our
silver-mounted flask, and pouring out a small glass of brandy, handed it
to the senior of the party. He handed it back politely for us to drink
first. We just tasted it, and said, Gamle Norge.[37] He took a small
sip and then emptied the glass. We poured out another and handed it to
the younger visitor, whom we took to be the son, a well-dressed,
nice-looking, gentlemanly young fellow, who drank some of it. His father
seemed one whose views of the world were stern and not on the lively
side of the picture. His son had a pleasant twinkle in the eye, and
seemed rather amused at the scene. The father then began apparently
asking questions. We did not understand much of what he said, and Noah
and Zachariah continued putting in the tent-rods, without troubling
themselves about the matter. It was necessary to say something, and we
informed them we were going at four o’clock next morning, pointing to
our watch; and thinking it best to clench the affair, we quietly opened
our courier-bag, and handed the document kindly given us by the Presten
Eilert Sundt. We felt much in the position of the Harlequin and
Columbine, who are suddenly brought to a dead lock in a Christmas
representation, and have to invoke for their safety some good genius of
extraordinary power. We quickly observed the countenance of the senior
gentleman who commenced reading. “Herr Hubert Smith from England, with
Tater (Rommanes gipsies), three donkeys, and two tents, &c., travelling
from Christiania to Romsdal, Voringfos, &c., to Christiansand, to see
the country and study the Norwegian gipsies, etc.; with a final request
that we should have help and assistance from his countrymen,” &c.[38]
When our visitors came to the signature, “Eilert Sundt!!!” said the
senior gentleman in a deep whisper to his son; the son, who was also
looking over the paper, seemed equally astonished. They examined the
seal for a few moments, and handed the document back. Without saying
more, they watched the tents which were put up soon after. They seemed
rather surprised at our tent with all its paraphernalia and fittings,
and then politely lifting their hats and bowing, without another word
they suddenly left the scene. The people who were collected on the top
of the embankment as spectators evidently did not seem to understand how
it was. Perhaps some terrific example was expected to be made of our
tall gipsy, Noah, as a warning to all the gipsies in Norway. It is
impossible to say, and probably it will remain one of the links in the
history of our wanderings which can never be supplied, nor is it of much
consequence.



CHAPTER XI.

      Ewn law law, cymm’rwn lili,
      A’u blodau’n rhanau i ni,
      A bysedd rhwymwn bosi,
      Ffel yw hyn nid ffol wyt ti,
      Rhoet yn glòs, fel ar rosyn,
      Gwlwm da ar galon dyn.

    Let’s hand in hand pursue our way,
    And pluck the lily as we stray,
    Its flowers pretty we will take,--
    Our fingers can a posy make.
    This, and with a fragrant rose,
    Place on man’s heart, whence goodness flows.

    _Welsh Pennillion_, by LEATHART.


    NIGHT ALARM--THE PURU RAWNEE--DONKEYS ADMIRED--NORWEGIAN
    PONIES--OUR GIPSY LIFE--NORWEGIAN FLOWERS--WILD FOREST--THE PIPE
    OF TOBACCO--PICTURES OF IMAGINATION--THE CRIPPLED MAN--CAMP NEAR
    HOLMEN--NOAH’S SELF-DENIAL--WET NIGHT--PEASANT GIRLS’
    SERENADE--ZACHARIAH’S GAIETY--LOVELY NATURE--NORWEGIAN
    NEWSPAPER--THE MYSTERY EXPLAINED--FROKOST SPOILT.


Our tents were pitched with a balk towards the embankment, made with our
blue rug embellished with foxes’ heads. The rug was stretched along our
Alpine stocks driven in the ground. At the top of the embankment, some
of the people still remained watching. Our large _siphonia_ waterproof
was stretched, and fastened over the intervening space between the
tents. Only an opening was left close to the edge of the steep and
almost perpendicular declivity.

The sound of the river was music to us, as it foamed in the stillness of
the night. We retired within the parascenium or partition of our tent,
and were soon asleep. Soundly we slept, lulled by the roar of the falls
of the Honnefos; we did not even hear the noise of a small stone
afterwards thrown against the tent from above, or the rush of Noah and
Zachariah outside with nothing on but their shirts, nor their shouts to
the people above, who only laughed, and had no doubt done it merely to
take a last fond look of our tall gipsy, Noah. They must have been
profoundly impressed by their very picturesque attire.

We awoke at 12.20; it was rather too early for our start, so we turned,
missed the time, and awoke at half-past five instead of four o’clock.
The word was given. All were soon stirring. It had rained heavily in the
night. Tents were struck, donkeys packed; at a quarter past seven
o’clock we were _en route_. Esmeralda was as lively as possible. We were
all in excellent spirits, our donkeys stepping out bravely with their
loads. Our beautiful Puru Rawnee leads the way, the hawk bells jingling
on its light collar of scarlet bocking. At every place we passed, we had
a rush of the country peasants to see us. It was amusing to observe
their eagerness to be in time, as they left their occupations in hot
haste to gaze upon our donkeys. At some places we had been expected.
Some mysterious intimation had been given, and the peasants were ready
drawn up waiting with great expectations our approach. As we journeyed
onwards, it was desirable to buy bread to save our stock of biscuits.
Noah tried at one or two houses. The first was a large house where they
were evidently waiting our arrival. The windows were embellished by
many heads: the female sex predominated; most of the males appeared in a
courtyard opening to the road. “Try here,” we said to Noah, giving him
some money to take in his hand, “and say, ‘smör og bröd.’” He was not
successful, for he was shown into a large room, with coffee, bread, &c.,
on the table. Probably he could not make any one understand, or they had
no bread to sell, for he returned empty-handed. One man we noticed soon
afterwards running in the distance across the fields. It was amusing to
see the wild struggles he made to be in time. With much sympathy for his
unwonted efforts to accomplish so much speed, we had regulated the pace
of our donkeys to give him a chance.

At last we came to a quiet part of the road between two fir woods, with
a narrow space of green sward on each side; a rippling stream crossed
the road in its course to the River Logan. The sun gleamed pleasantly
forth. Our fire was soon lighted, and our meal consisted of biscuit,
Australian preserved meat, and tea. The Australian meat was much
appreciated as an edible: we were all agreeably surprised to find it so
good. In a country like Norway, it is indispensable to those who seek
the freedom of camp-life. As we concluded our meal down came the rain,
but we were prepared, and all our things were immediately under our
large waterproof. Then we sheltered ourselves with the waterproof rugs,
and quietly waited for the heavy shower to cease. Several carrioles were
driven by, and some carts passed. Noah had to lead one pony who shied at
our donkeys; another pony had to be taken out and coaxed by them. The
Norwegian ponies, who are the most docile animals in the world, were
often suspicious of our harmless donkeys, who, quietly browsing, looked
as unlike dangerous ferocity as could possibly be imagined. The rain
ceased. It was eleven. Esmeralda and ourselves pushed on along the road
with two donkeys already loaded, whilst Noah and Zachariah were putting
the remaining baggage on the third. When they came in sight shortly
afterwards, Esmeralda said we must pretend to be strange gipsies, and
ask them where they were _gelling_ to.

“Shawshon baugh?” (how do you do), said Esmeralda, drawing herself up
with an assumed look of contempt, as her brothers came up with their
donkey and baggage.

“Shawshon baugh?” said they; “where be you a _gelling_ (going) to? I
suppose you Romany’s have been married some time.”

“Howah,” (yes) said Esmeralda, “we’ve been married about a year.”

We must confess to a queer sensation that by some gipsy incantation we
were no longer free.

“Which is your merle?” (gip., donkey), demanded Noah, stalking up to the
front.

“That’s mandys” (mine), said Esmeralda, pointing to the Puru Rawnee,
which she claimed for her own. Gipsy wives have evidently separate
rights of property, thought we, which we were not before aware of. “The
other is my husband’s,” said Esmeralda, looking at us with her dark
eyes, which made us feel as if we were merged into another
individuality.

“Will you gipsies chaffer with us?” said Noah and Zachariah.

But we remarked, “Your merle’s got no tail.” This was said in
disparagement of the one supposed to be theirs, for our donkeys were by
no means wanting in this respect. The tail of one was perhaps rather
smaller than the other’s.

“Why,” said Esmeralda, “that’s your donkey. You don’t know one merle
from another.”

They had got mixed, and we had mistaken the one just come up. The
serious earnestness of the gipsy girl gave us a hearty laugh. So they
went on rockering (talking) in their Romany mous (gipsy language). As we
journeyed onwards, how fragrant the wild flowers. Those wild flowers of
Norway can never be forgotten. Gipsies like flowers, it is part of their
nature. Esmeralda would pluck them, and, forming a charming bouquet
interspersed with beautiful wild roses, her first thought was to pin
them in the button-hole of the Romany Rye (gipsy gentleman). We were not
the only party with tents and baggage; for we had noticed, as we passed
along the road from Lillehammer, a number of white military tents
pitched in the valley below us, on a pleasant flat of turf land on the
opposite side the River Logan. We were informed afterwards, it was an
encampment of the Norwegian militia for military training.

Shortly afterwards we passed a large house near the roadside, which
appeared to be a gjœstgiver gaard. The people came out to look at us.
Noticing some articles for sale in the window, we sent Noah back with
some money, and he soon after returned with ten loaves of bread, and a
pound and a half of butter, for which he paid four marks and a half.
Noah said he bought all the bread they had. We were so well pleased with
the acquisition, that, finding it was a general shop, Zachariah was sent
back to replace his dilapidated hat with a new wide-a-wake, which cost
us one dollar. When we examined the hat on his return, we read within it
the well-known English name of Christy. Noah and Zachariah had each
invested in a handkerchief; Noah’s consisted of four pictures of the
loudest pattern. Noah’s commercial transactions had also extended to a
pipe and tobacco, and he appeared smoking it to the disgust of the rest
of the party. Indications of coming rain caused us to arrange the
waterproofs over our baggage. Several people came up to look at our
donkeys.

The bread being packed safely away, we again pushed on, and entered a
wild, thick forest at the foot of some steep rocky hills. The River
Logan was not far to our left. Taking the first opportunity, we now told
Noah that it was contrary to the rules of our camp to smoke, and that he
must at once give up his pipe and tobacco.

“No, no, sir,” said Noah, in a melancholy tone, “I must have some
tobacco.”

“Well, Noah,” we replied, “we must have our wish, we have always done
what we could for you, and we expect some sacrifice in return.”

Esmeralda and Zachariah joined in the request.

A slight cloud passed over Noah’s look as he dropped behind. We must,
however, do him the justice to say that his temper was excellent. Noah
was ever cheerful under the greatest difficulties.

As we quietly journeyed through the forest, how delightful its scenes.
Free from all care, we enjoy the anticipation of a long and pleasant
ramble in Norway’s happy land. We felt contented with all things, and
thankful that we should be so permitted to roam, with our tents and wild
children of nature in keeping with the solitudes we sought. So we
travelled onwards towards Holmen. The rain had soon ceased. Tinkle,
tinkle went the hawk-bells on the collar of our Puru Rawnee, as she led
the way along the romantic Norwegian road.

    “Give the snakes and toads a twist,
     And banish them for ever,”

sang Zachariah, ever and anon giving similar wild snatches. Then
Esmeralda would rocker about being the wife of the Romany Rye, and as
she proudly paced along in her heavy boots, she pictured, in painful
imagery, the pleasant life we should lead as her Romany mouche. She was
full of fun: yet there was nothing in her fanciful delineations which
could offend us. They were but the foam of the crested wave, soon
dissipated in air. They were the evanescent creations of a lively,
open-hearted girl. Wild notes trilled by the bird of the forest. We came
again into the open valley. Down a meadow gushed a small streamlet,
which splashed from a wooden spout on to the road-side below. From a log
cottage in the meadow above, a man quickly crawled down the steep bank,
like a spider along in his web. He took his station on the bank near the
streamlet’s falling water. The man was pale and wan, and begged for
alms. He seemed to have no use in his legs. Could we refuse? We who
roamed free as the birds of the air. We gave him some skillings. The man
seemed very thankful, and we soon after saw him crawling slowly up to
his small wooden cottage, from whence he commanded a view of the road.
Now we came near the river-side, and pushed along to find a camping
ground. We had again forest on either side. The river was near, and on
the hills of the narrow valley we could see many farms. At last we
decided to camp on a rise of ground above the road: an open woodland, on
the edge of the thick forest, which covered the hill above. The road
wall was broken down in one place, giving passage for the donkeys, after
we had unloaded them. Our things were hoisted up, and soon carried to a
pleasant slope, partly secluded with scattered brushwood and trees,
having a view of the road, river, and lofty hills on the opposite side
of the valley. The rain commenced as we were pitching our tents. The
first losses we discovered were our two caps and guard, with a carved
fish at the end of it, and the green veil in which they were wrapped. It
was provoking. They must have been left on the roadside when we halted
near the house where we bought the ten loaves of bread; probably near
Gillebo or Skardsmoen. They were of black felt, and we were now left
with only the straw hat we then wore.

Our tents had not been long pitched, and our fire made, when a tall,
pale man came to us from the road. He carried a wallet; had a
walking-stick in his hand, and we understood him to say he was going to
Romsdalen. He seemed much interested with our tents, and accepted some
brandy and tobacco. The spot where our tents were pitched was near a
sort of small natural terrace, at the summit of a steep slope above the
road, backed by a mossy bank, shaded by brushwood, and skirting the
dense foliage of the dark forest of pine and fir rising above our camp.
We had tea and bread, and our Australian meat, which was excellent. The
clouds gathered darkly over the mountains, and there were some heavy
showers. More visitors came in succession; some had brandy. Their
attention seemed divided between the tents and donkeys. At length the
rain probably prevented more from coming.

In the course of the afternoon, when we got into camp, Noah came and
said, “I think, sir, instead of buying tobacco, I had much better have
put the money by to get me a pair of stockings.” We asked how much he
gave, and he said half a mark. “Then, Noah, give up the pipe and
tobacco, and you shall have the half-mark.” Our gipsy came soon after.
He had evidently made up his mind.

“Mr. Smith, you don’t like my smoking, sir; here’s the tobacco and pipe.
I don’t wish you to say I didn’t do what you required.”

As Noah handed over the pipe and tobacco, one would have thought he had
given up some dearly-prized treasure. Although we gave him the half-mark
with pleasure, we could not help feeling some compunction; still, as
“shorengro” (gipsy chief) of the party, we were bound to see the camp
rules obeyed, and Noah knew them before he started. Pusillanimity and
want of firmness would have destroyed the success of the expedition.

After tea we sat up to write our notes. The occurrences and events of
each day must be written whilst they are fresh in the memory. Nor must
they be left to remembrance, or the clear lettering of correctness and
truth will be lost. What are now given are mere transcripts of notes
written on the spot, and at the time. Whatever be their worth, rough as
they are, it is hoped their truth will give them some value. We were
glad to retire to rest. It rained heavily in the night. Once or twice
the light Siphonia waterproof was blown off. Noah had to get up in the
night to put it on, and to dig a trench round the tents. We could feel
the moisture coming in from the bank above. It was with difficulty we
kept our provisions dry.

Our first Sunday morning in camp. It was one of our camp rules never to
travel on a Sunday. It was made a day of rest for ourselves and the
animals. We looked forward throughout our travels to our Sunday for
quietude and repose. The morning was dull and wet. We breakfasted about
seven o’clock. The frokost (Nor., breakfast) consisted of fried bacon,
bread, and tea. The materials for a soup for dinner were put ready.
Whilst it was cooking, a German gentleman, accompanied by his skydskarl,
came up from the road. He inquired if we were German. Then he informed
us that there was an account of us in the newspapers. Having looked at
our tents, we sent Zachariah with him to see the donkeys. The German
gentleman seemed much gratified, and, shaking hands with Zachariah, left
our camp. Many carriages passed along the road during the day. After our
dinner of soup, made of ham, peas, flour, and Liebig’s essence of meat,
we remained in our tents. Some young peasant men and women came and sat
in the rain outside looking at us. We gave two of the peasants some
brandy and tobacco. Then all our visitors left, except four interesting
young peasant girls, who still lingered. One had an umbrella, and all
four standing in the rain at a short distance from our camp, sang for us
a Norwegian song to a pretty Norwegian air. They had pleasant voices. We
listened to them with much pleasure. There was so much sweetness and
feeling in the melody. It was a serenade of four Norwegian peasant
girls. We appreciated their kind attention to wanderers from a far
land. Though we could not converse, we thanked them with our looks when
they afterwards left the camp.

[Illustration: PEASANT GIRLS’ SERENADE.]

We had many visitors. At one time a group of five young peasant girls
came and stood before our tents. Noah was too shy to go out and rocker
Norwegian. Zachariah made up for his brother’s timidity. Full of fun,
what dreadful faces the young gipsy would pull. They were absolutely
frightful. Then he would twist and turn his body into all sorts of
serpentine contortions. If spoken to, he would suddenly, with a hop,
skip, and a jump, light in his tent, as if he had tumbled from the sky,
and sitting bolt upright, making a hideous face, till his mouth nearly
stretched from ear to ear, while his dark eyes sparkled with wild
excitement, he would sing:--

    “Dawdy! Dawdy! dit a kei,
     Rockerony fake your bosh.”

At one time a woman brought an exceedingly fat child for us to look at,
and she wanted Esmeralda to suckle it, which was of course hastily
declined. We began to ask ourselves, if this was forest seclusion.
Still, our visitors were kind, good-humoured people, and some drank our
brandy, and some smoked our English tobacco. Had they not partaken of
our salt? We, as Arabs of tent-life, gave them our friendly welcome.
After our tea, at five o’clock we had a pleasant stroll. Once more we
were with Nature. There we lingered, till the scenes round us, in their
varied beauty, seemed graven deep in our thoughts. How graphic are the
lines of Moore:--

    “The turf shall be my fragrant shrine,
     My temple, Lord! that arch of thine
     My censer’s breath the mountain airs,
     And silent thoughts my only prayers.

    “My choir shall be the moonlight waves,
     then murm’ring homeward to their caves,
     Or when the stillness of the sea,
     Even more of music breathes of thee.”

How appropriate, were the words of the great poet to our feelings.
Returning between eight and nine o’clock, we found Esmeralda standing by
the tents. We went in and sat down. Another party of visitors
approached. Now and then they halted, as they looked towards our tents,
and would then refer to a paper. They stood occasionally for a few
moments in earnest discussion. We were much puzzled to make out what
they were doing, as we sat in our tent looking at them. One of the
party, a tall, fine-looking man in plaid trousers, large beard, and cap,
advanced. As we bowed, he handed us a Norwegian newspaper, and pointed
to a paragraph, which we soon found related to ourselves. They all took
some brandy; and when we offered to buy the newspaper, they most kindly
presented it to us. Then Zacharia took them to see the donkeys. When
they returned, we made them understand, that they were at the camp of
the Englishman, referred to in the paragraph. They inspected the tents
and pinthorns. They felt the blanket coverings, and also the waterproof
Siphonian cover. Examined our camp kettle; and we explained to them the
mysteries of our Russian lamp. There was much discussion among them
about our tents. They stood by them for a quarter of an hour. Perhaps
the description in the paragraph was not quite understood. The paragraph
ran thus, and underneath we give an English translation:--


EXTRACT FROM THE DAGBLADET, NO. 142, 23rd JUNE, 1870. CHRISTIANIA.


“EN ORIGINAL ENGELSKMAND.

“Blandt den Mængde af fremmede Turister skrwer Mgbl., der i disse Dage
opholder seg hei i Byen for herfra at tiltræde Reisen om i Landet, er
ogsaa en Engelskmand Mr. Smith, der er saa lykkeligat have opdaget en ny
Specialitet inden Turistlwets Enemœrker. Han reiser nemlig ikke hrerkeu
i Kariol, eller Kano, meu tilfods og forer alligevel med sig Mad,
Drikke, Klœder, Sko, Hus, Hjem og alle andre Livets Velsignelser lige
indtil gode Naboer. Han ledsages kort at fortœlle af 3 Æfler, paa lwis
Ryg der lœsses allehaande Livsforn oden heder iberegnet Telte, som
slaaes op, hvor og naar han onsker at raste, for atter at tuges ned
igjen, naar han drager videre, og som under hans Reise helt oz holdent
maa ers tatte ham almmdeligt Husly. Det er saaledes et fuldstændig
gjennemfort Romadelir, der udgjor Mr. Smith’s Specialitet; men for at
gjore dette rigtig Komfort abelt har han taget med som sin Betjening paa
Reisen et Selskab af veritable Romader, nemlig tre Tatere (gypsies) to
Brodre og en Soster. Det skal vere Mr. Smith’s tanke at anvende 3--4
Maaneder paa et gjennemstreife vore Hoifjeldsegne, og rimeligvis vil
mangeu af vore Turister da faa Leileghed til at se deu lille Karavane,
der udgjor hans Reisetrœn.”


TRANSLATION OF THE FOREGOING.


“AN ORIGINAL ENGLISHMAN.

“Among the numerous foreign tourists, says the Morgen bladett (Morning
Paper), there is at present staying at Byen, with an intention of
proceeding inland, an English gentleman, Mr. Smith, who has made a new
invention for the use of tourists. He neither travels by carriage or
boat, but on foot, and nevertheless carries with him food, drink,
clothes, shoes, and every other necessary of life in a small compass. It
consists of a folding contrivance on three donkeys, in which the
articles are packed, and is carried on the back, forming when spread out
a tent, whenever he wishes to halt, and the tent can be struck at
pleasure. The invention is of a completely nomadic character, and to
render the expedition still more consistent, he is accompanied during
the journey, by a party of real nomads, viz.:--three Tartars (gipsies),
two brothers, and a sister as servants. Mr. Smith designs to spend three
or four months in our upper plateaux, in which he is far more reasonable
than many of our tourists, few of whom do more than join some small
party in the ordinary way.”

Our friend in the plaid trousers, who seemed a shrewd, intelligent man,
did his best to solve all difficulties. We could not feel otherwise than
pleased at the interest they took in our expedition. The voice of the
tall man in plaid trousers generally dominated the conversation. At
length, after a comparison between the respective merits of donkeys and
mules, with many salutations, they left our camp. They had scarcely
gone, when two or three good-looking peasant girls came, accompanied by
some young men, and one rather good-looking woman, who asked a variety
of questions in rapid succession. It is to be feared our answers were
exceedingly indefinite, but she seemed to explain everything to
everybody, and we began to look upon her as part and parcel of our camp.
One lively, good-tempered, nice-looking girl knelt down near us, as we
were seated writing our notes, and kept looking at everything in the
tents, not hidden from view. Sometimes she laughed so merrily, that the
impulse was catching, and we found ourselves joining, in her cheerful
mood. Esmeralda had retired to sleep; the visitors were very anxious to
see her, when informed by signs she was asleep, they contented
themselves with looking at her Alpine slippers, which came in for a long
criticism by the rather good-looking visitor, who explained everything,
to everybody, until the hour becoming late they all left.

It rained heavily during the night, and it required some management to
keep our things dry.

At 12.38 A.M. we called to Noah to report upon the morning,--“All misty
and wet,” said Noah, as he looked out; and our getting up was postponed
till six o’clock, when all rose for frokost (breakfast). Zachariah made
the “yog” (gip., fire) in the wet damp morning; then when the fire burnt
up, Zachariah, in putting our kettle of soup on the kettle-prop to be
ready for breakfast, contrived to upset nearly the whole. The scene was
melancholy and effective; the reverse of complimentary, were the
observations of the rest of the party. Accidents will happen, so making
the best of our loss, tea was substituted. Zachariah seemed more than
any of the rest, disappointed and grieved, at what had occurred.



CHAPTER XII.

    “Many times he would go into the forest of the peeke, and set up
    ther his tent, with great provision of viteles, and would
    remaine ther vii weeks or more hunting and making other worthy
    pastimes unto his company.”--HUNTER’S _South Yorkshire_.

    UNSUCCESSFUL FISHING--A MILITARY OFFICER--THE DERNIER
    RESSORT--OUR GIPSY RECEPTION--INTERRUPTED TOILETTE--FÊTE
    CHAMPÊTRE--DANCING ON THE GREENSWARD--TINCTURE OF CEDAR--THE
    DISAPPOINTMENT--THE LOSNA VAND--THE KETTLE PROP LOST--PEASANT
    CHILDREN--INTERESTING DISCUSSIONS--WRITING UNDER
    DIFFICULTIES--THE KINDLY HEART.


When frokost (Nor., breakfast) was over, we sent Noah and Zachariah to
the Logan, with a fishing-rod each, and some trout-flies. Esmeralda
stayed at the tents, and added to the remains of the former stock of
soup, some rice, Liebig’s essence of meat, pea flour, and some
mushrooms, gathered _en route_. She prepared some excellent soup for
middags-mad (Nor., dinner). Esmeralda was standing outside the tents,
when a traveller from Throndhjem came up with his Skydskarl from the
road; he spoke to her in English, but she did not appear to understand
him. When we came out of the tents, the stranger bowed, and said it was
a pleasant way of travelling. He asked if we were Italians, at the same
time looking at Esmeralda. We informed him the others were Romanys. He
wished to know if we had our wife with us, and we informed him we were
not married. Then our visitor asked how we managed in the rain, and when
he had looked round our camp, politely took off his hat, and left. Noah
and Zachariah returned without having had a rise. Leaving them in charge
of the camp, Esmeralda and myself went to see a waterfall, but, missing
our way in the forest, we returned laden with ferns, foxgloves, and
lichens. We found at our camp a very respectably dressed young woman,
accompanied by a girl with scanty white petticoat, barelegs and feet.
Getting out our dictionary, we told them they should have some music, if
they came at seven that evening. They mentioned otta klokken (Nor.,
eight o’clock), and it was so arranged. Noah and Zachariah having played
them two or three tunes, our visitors left. The soup at dinner was
excellent, and with some bread and butter, made a good meal. The weather
now became very fine; we seated ourselves on a mossy bank, some short
distance at the edge of the tangled thickets of the forest, which
skirted our camp. Gleams of sunshine enlivened the scene. Esmeralda was
busily cleaning our boots, when we noticed close to us, a tall,
gentlemanly, Norwegian officer. He wore a military cap, and had come
along a narrow pathway through the trees. We had not heard his
footsteps, and as he paused for a moment, a faint smile seemed to play
on his countenance. We bowed, and asked him if he spoke English, but
finding he was not able to do so, we sent Noah to show him the donkeys.
Noah was busily levelling, with our camp spade, certain inequalities of
the small terrace near our camp, so that our visitors might have level
turf for their dancing in the evening. When the officer returned, he
appeared to wish to say something in English; a dictionary was handed
to him, but that failing, Mr. Bennett’s “Dialogue Book” was given as a
_dernier ressort_. Whilst he was in search of words, Esmeralda was busy
brushing our clothes; sometimes he was turning over the pages, and
sometimes he seemed rather astonished and amused at Esmeralda’s style of
brushing, especially when she pulled our coat, and gave us a bang with
the brush for not turning round. In vain he searched the “Dialogue
Book,” and then he shook his head. Esmeralda completed her task, and
declared we looked five pounds better. We then showed the officer the
tents.

It was with much regret, we felt our inability to converse, yet it is
astonishing what can be done, by a few words and signs. His carriage was
in the road below. The day had become pleasant and warm; Zachariah and
Esmeralda seated themselves on the mossy bank by the terrace, not far
from our tents. Soon their wild music might be heard in the forest. The
driver and a boy belonging to the officer’s carriage came up. A militia
soldier marching along the road in a light suit of jean, with his
knapsack on his back, was called up by his officer, whom he saluted. Our
audience was complete. The officer was going to the militia encampment
we had noticed as we came from Lillehammer. The music seemed to please
him; he laughed at Zachariah’s wild comicality. When they had finished,
with an exchange of salutations, he wished us good-by, and left. Our
visitors were now gone. Noah and Zachariah washed themselves; and we had
our tea, with potted tongue, and bread and cheese. As we were seated by
our camp-fire, a tall old man, looking round our tents, came and stood
contemplating us at our tea. He looked as if he thought we were enjoying
a life of happiness. Nor was he wrong. He viewed us with a pleased, and
kindly expression, as he seemed half lost in contemplation. We sent for
the flask of brandy, and he drank to Gamle Norge (Nor., Old Norway), and
then left to see the donkeys. In a few minutes Esmeralda cleaned and
re-packed our tea things.

Returning to our tent we put on our Napoleon boots, and made some
additions to our toilette; whilst we were so engaged, some women came to
the tents. The curiosity of the sex was exemplified, for they were dying
to look behind the tent-partition which screened us from observation. We
don’t know what they expected to see; one bolder than the rest, could
not resist the desire, to look behind the scenes, and hastily drew back
and dropped the curtain, when we said rather sharply, “Nei! nei!”

Esmeralda shortly afterwards appeared in her blue dress and silver
buttons. Then we all seated ourselves on a mossy bank, on the side of
the terrace, with a charming view across the valley of the Logan. At
eight o’clock the music commenced. The sun shone beautifully, and the
mosquitoes and midges bit right and left, with hungry determination. We
sat in line on the soft mossy turf of the grassy slope, sheltered by
foliage, Esmeralda and Noah with their tambourines, myself with the
castanets, and Zachariah with his violin. We had not played very long,
when a man passing along the road below heard the music, and ran up.
Much astonished he seemed, as he stood at a short distance from us, on
the side of the terrace, and gazed at each by turn. When a tune ended
he smiled approvingly. Some peasant women and girls came up after we had
played a short time. It was a curious scene. Our tents were pleasantly
pitched on an open patch of green sward, surrounded by bordering
thickets, near the sunny bank, and the small flat terrace, which Noah
had levelled in the morning. The main road was immediately below; and
down the valley rolled the wide river Logan, with a picturesque island,
dividing its rapid stream. The rising hills and rugged ravines on the
other side the valley, all gave a singular, and romantic beauty to the
lovely view. Although our gipsies played with much spirit until nine
o’clock, none of the peasants would dance. At nine o’clock our music
ceased, and we all retired to our tents, with the intention of going to
bed. When we were going into our tents, a peasant, and several others
with him, who had just arrived, asked us to play again. We declined, for
we had already played an hour, and merely did so for our own will and
pleasure. The peasants appeared very anxious, and offered us a three or
four skilling piece, which we politely refused. At length, observing
several peasant girls were very much disappointed, we decided to play
once more, It was past nine o’clock when we again took up our position
on the mossy bank. Noah was accepted by one of the Norwegian girls as a
partner, and we made another couple with a good-looking young peasant
“pige” (Nor., girl). When she was tired, we danced with Esmeralda. Both
partners managed the schottische famously on the level turf. So we
danced, and the peasant girls, until nearly ten o’clock. The terrace was
rather limited in extent. Once we nearly whirled ourself and Esmeralda
over the slope, and into the road below. The gipsies suffered grievously
from musketos early in the evening.

“Ah!” said we to the gipsies, “that is soon prevented.”

Producing a bottle of tincture of cedar, which a Canadian friend had
heard was an infallible remedy, all our gipsies’ faces, including our
own, were carefully painted over with the brown liquid. For the
information of our readers, we can only say it was a decided failure,
and after several trials, in which the tincture only seemed to irritate
the skin, without deterring in the slightest degree, the rapacity of
hundreds of devouring insects, tincture of cedar was voted a miserable
delusion, and a provoking sham.

Soon after we had wished our visitors “god aften,” (Nor., good evening)
and had retired to our tents, a carriage pulled up in the road below.
The occupants came up and walked round our camp. We did not see them,
but were told afterwards by our gipsies, that one of our visitors, was
the young man who had assisted us with our provision case at
Lillehammer.

At half-past two o’clock the next morning, Tuesday, the twenty-eighth of
June, all were moving. The idea that we were first up was speedily
proved incorrect. Directly we left our tents, a Norwegian tramp, of torn
and tattered appearance, came and gazed at our camp in mute
astonishment, and then silently departed.

Esmeralda was soon up. Our kettle of soup was put ready to boil for
breakfast, and the fire was lighted. Noah took charge of the kettle and
pepper. The soup was boiled, and served out in our bowls, as we sat in
the rather dull, cloudy, cold morning round the fire. Never shall we
forget Zachariah’s look of epicurean disappointment, and misery, as he
tasted the soup, and threw down his spoon.

“Now then, Noah, I can’t eat it!” We could not help laughing. Then it
was tasted by ourselves. Esmeralda tasted it. Noah had literally deluged
it with pepper. The soup was condemned. Noah took our anything but
complimentary remarks upon his cuisine, with his usual good-temper, and,
as if to show that the soup was really not so bad, he finished our
shares as well as his own. Slices of bread and butter were cut for
ourself, Esmeralda, and Zachariah, and we decided that Noah should never
again attempt any culinary operations.

Hastily striking camp, all our things were packed and loaded. Our party
left the camp ground at half-past five o’clock.

On the right of the road, going to Holmen, a short distance below our
camp, we passed the mile-stone which marked two and a half Norsk miles,
or seventeen and a half English miles from Lillehammer.

At Holmen bread could not be purchased, but we were told that we could
get some at a house beyond, where Esmeralda afterwards bought eight
loaves for two marks and a half. Several men followed us along the road
to see our donkeys.

Passing a small sheet of water, some crows on the the bank were so tame
that they allowed us to come close to them. The Norwegian crow has some
white about it, but in size it is much the same as the English crow.

As we reached the shores of the Losna Vand, a long narrow lake, the rain
clouds seemed to be gathering over some very picturesque mountains near
its shores.[39] Coming to a small recess of ground, by a stream of water
on the road side near the lake, a halt was called--in truth we were
rather hungry. The remembrance of the hot soup had not become effaced
from Zachariah’s memory. When our things were unpacked, it was at once
discovered, that our kettle prop had been left at our last camp. We were
much annoyed, not only on account of the difficulty of boiling our
things, but with regard to making holes in the ground for our tent
raniers. As a substitute for our lost kettle prop, two Alpine stocks
were brought into use, and some twisted wire was fastened between them,
to suspend our kettle over the fire. Whilst we were engaged in preparing
our meal, the rain storm gathered on the hills at the head of the lake.
All our baggage was safely stowed away under our invaluable siphonia
tent cover. Esmeralda was also sheltered in a comfortable place amongst
the baggage. As her brothers and ourselves were pouring out the tea, it
began to rain heavily. Soon afterwards, we found the donkeys had strayed
out of sight, and Noah had to follow them at least half a mile, before
he could bring them back to the camp.

A woman soon made her appearance and begged. We think she lived in a
house on the road side, not very far from where we were. Four skillings
seemed to please her very much. Then came a little boy dressed in only
a few rags, who seated himself near our camp as we were taking our
breakfast. The rain had almost ceased for a short time. The boy looked
so piteous, as we were demolishing, with considerable appetite, tea,
bread and butter, and sardines, that we could not help giving him some
bread and butter. The little fellow said nothing, but putting out his
hand, he clasped ours with a look of intense gratitude. Then came three
small girls, and they also had bread and butter. The rain recommenced,
but, breakfast being finished, Esmeralda was carefully covered up. Noah
and Zachariah immediately disappeared underneath some part of the
waterproof and fell asleep. We retired also, with our head just out, so
that we could observe the travellers passing along the road. Several
peasants came up, and stared at the donkeys, as they stood in the rain,
near our dark mass of siphonian waterproof, with nothing else to be
seen, but our head. They asked a number of questions with very little
result, after which the donkies were again examined. Their mouths were
opened, teeth reckoned, and their conformation carefully noted. Their
tails were handled. Sometimes one of the donkeys, on such occasions,
would move his hind leg, and great was the rush to get out of his way.
We were asked their ages. The visit generally wound up with an earnest
discussion amongst themselves, in which we could distinguish the words
asen (donkeys), and heste (horses), often repeated.

Another group of women and men soon came to the spot, and, as we rested
on our elbows with our head, out of our waterproof, we were again the
subject of farther interrogatory. It is probable they did not elicit
much, though our vocabulary improved with the journey. A peasant drove
up with a crippled militia man. The driver at once got down in haste. He
was particularly curious about the donkeys; in fact the three donkeys
were evidently expected to be seen somewhere on the route, and they had
become the subject of eager anxiety.

At one time, we almost expected to see the lone figure of the Birmingham
bagman, in the driving rain, on the lake side, hovering near our
donkeys, but he never came. Rain, rain, ever rain. We tried to write our
notes, but our pencil formed all kinds of arabesque lines in zigzag
pattern, which still remain in our note-book, and we fell asleep. The
falling book awoke us to consciousness, and the necessity for action. We
gave Esmeralda some quinine and water, and took some ourselves. Taking
advantage of a lull in the rain-storm, the order was given to pack up,
and we were soon _en route_.

The Losna Vand is a picturesque lake, but its beauty would have been
more appreciated on a fine day. Our party travelled on, till we crossed
a bridge over a stream, at the foot of a wild gorge. At the house near,
we obtained two loaves of rye bröd, and half a pound of butter for 9_d._
The rain poured down heavily. We took shelter from the driving rain and
wind, for a short time, to the leeward of a small log hut, on the shore
of the lake by the roadside, whilst the donkeys stood under the wall on
the other side the road. The gipsies were as lively as usual, though
they were wet through, and had no change. We had our light siphonia
waterproof on, and Esmeralda her long Alpine cloak. The gipsies sang,
whilst Zachariah tumbled, and danced, and laughed, and pulled all kinds
of dreadful faces. Then Noah found a curious round stone of quartz, but
it was too heavy to carry. Some women came and looked at us with
curious interest. We did not stay long. Notwithstanding the wind and
rain, we must continue our journey, till we come to some spot where we
can camp. When we had passed a short distance along the road, an
interesting child, who had come down from a log cottage above, offered
us a skilling. The little girl and her parents had evidently
commiserated our forlorn condition as nomad wanderers, and were anxious
to give their unsolicited assistance. It will not be forgotten in their
account with the next world. We were obliged to refuse, and, shaking the
little girl by the hand, bade her farewell. May she have long happiness
in life, as her kind heart deserves.



CHAPTER XIII.

    Twist ye, twine ye! even so,
    Mingle shades of joy and woe,
    Hope and fear and peace and strife,
    In the thread of human life.

    _Song of Meg Merrilies._ SIR WALTER SCOTT.


    WET TRAVELLING--VODVANG--OUR RUSSIAN LAMP--SWEDISH VISITORS--
    ALL WELL--MY HOBBINENGREE--THE CHILD OF NATURE--GUITAR
    SONGS--THE VILLAGE BEAU--MERLES GONE--THE MUSKETOS’ VICTORY
    --MORE RAIN--SCOTCH TRAVELLER--TIMBER FLOATERS--GIPSIES--
    ENRAGED ENGLISHMAN--THE FRIGHTENED SKYDSKARL--GIPSIES’
    ENDURANCE--THE LISTARI COMMOTION--LISTAD SCENERY.


Our donkeys were pressed onwards, and passed some carts laden with
merchandise. Anxiously our gipsies looked out for a camping ground. The
waters of the lake, dashed in waves on the stony shore. The wind and
rain met us in the teeth. Misty clouds gathered on the summit of the
mountains opposite, as we travelled along at a quick pace. The packs on
our donkeys, were carefully covered with our waterproofs. In vain we
looked at every point for a camping ground. At one log cottage on the
hill above the road, a woman with a yellow handkerchief over her head,
rushed out, and ran down towards the road. Then a boy suddenly appeared
on the other side of the house, and throwing up his arms when he saw us,
they revolved like the sails of a windmill, as he struggled with
quickened pace after the woman. Both ran towards an eminence of ground
at some distance below the house near the road. “I hope they will get
safe down,” remarked we to our gipsies. Sometimes the boy gained upon
the woman. The race was exciting. Speculations were hazarded as to which
would get in first. The woman might fall, but she did not, and won the
race. Both stood in breathless contemplation as we passed. At last we
reached Vodvang, splashed, wet, and weary.

There were not many houses at Vodvang. People were looking out of their
windows, and several men had collected on the balcony of a large house,
probably the gjœstgiver-gaard, to see us as we passed. The church was a
quaint wooden structure painted red. The monumental records in the
graveyard round it, were few in number--small wooden crosses, generally
of similar pattern. Two men followed us along the road. Noah was sent up
a wild-looking pathway to the top of a wooded hill, but found no camping
ground. Then we inquired from the two men, who pointed several times to
a thick fir wood a short distance beyond. We gave them twelve skillings,
which they seemed very reluctant to take, and wished to return, but we
said it was drike penge, and left them. Proceeding as fast as our
donkeys could travel, for it was now past eight o’clock, we at length
came to a private road, leading, through a gate, to the wood. There was
no time to hesitate. We must go somewhere. Zachariah swung open the
gate, and our wayworn looking party, were soon in a large, and
picturesque forest glade. The track apparently led to some house. Almost
immediately, we unloaded our baggage, and commenced pitching our tents,
in a small gulley below the forest track.

The tent rods were scarcely in the ground, when up came three men, and
two boys. The brandy flask was brought out in the heavy rain, and brandy
poured out for the three men. They seemed pleased that we were going to
camp there, and showed us a better place in the wood, for the donkeys to
graze, than where Zachariah had tethered them. It was raining fast. Noah
and Zachariah were wet through. Esmeralda not very dry; and our own
boots and legs very wet. Our gipsies were not easily dispirited. We
could not have selected better people for our campaign; accustomed to
all weathers from their infancy, they met with ourselves cheerfully, all
difficulties. Our tents were soon pitched, the siphonia waterproof cover
fastened, and our things stowed away. Then the fire must be lighted in
the rain. Whilst we prepared the Russian lamp, Noah gathered sticks.
Only damp ones could be got. A crowd of peasants had come to our camp,
and watched with curious interest our Russian lamp. They looked on with
much astonishment, especially when the Russian lamp, underneath the
sticks, gave forth its brilliant stream of flame. At the first trial the
lamp ignited the sticks, but the fire was soon extinguished by the
falling rain.

A boy kindly brought us some dry wood, and notwithstanding the rain, our
lamp succeeded upon the second trial, and our kettle was soon boiling
for tea.

Just as we had made the tea, Noah called out in Romany, that a boro rye
(gip., great gentleman) was a vellin (gip., coming). The new visitor was
a young gentleman wearing spectacles. He said he was not a native of
Norway, but from Sweden. He was staying at a large house on the side of
the wood above the road, and had seen our party come up in the rain from
the main route. Two ladies who were travelling with him were in the
forest track near our tents. Though he did not speak French, he informed
us that one of the ladies was well acquainted with the language. The
ladies then came to our camp. The rain had partly ceased. One of the
ladies, yet young and good-looking, possessed an ease and dignity of
manner we have seldom met with. She asked permission, in French, to see
our tents. How useful we always find the French language as a medium of
communication in our wanderings over the world. The tents were examined.
Our gipsies were described as gitanos, who always dwelt in tents and
were faithful to us. The young lady, her companion, who seemed amused
during the visit, was also much interested in our wild, wandering life.
At length, after a pleasant conversation, they all three left our camp.
Then we had our tea. The peasants did not come during the meal, lest
they might disturb us. When a number of them came afterwards, Zachariah
played his violin, and Noah and Esmeralda their tambourines. Great
curiosity was manifested, whilst Zachariah, all life and spirit, sitting
in his damp clothes, on the wet grass by the fire, was ever pulling
queer faces, new and then saying, “Dit a kei, look at that Bongy mouee,
ha, ha”; and again they played some lively and spirited tune. We lounged
in a corner of our tent. The Swedish gentleman came again. For some time
he sat with Noah by the camp fire, asking occasional questions in broken
English. He was lively and pleasant, and much fun seemed going on. Noah
gave him some very original answers. The peasants seemed anxious to see
us all in bed, but at last dispersed, and we fell asleep.

After a sound and refreshing night’s rest we were up at 7 o’clock; the
morning was fine, and we could now appreciate the beauties of the
woodland scene. The forest extended over the rocky hills, which bounded
the valley. Esmeralda bustled about to prepare our breakfast; no one was
the worse for the toil and fatigue of yesterday. Some peasants came, and
were told we should give them some music at Otta Klokken (Nor., 8
o’clock). Noah and Zachariah were furnished with fishing tackle, and
sent off fishing.[40] The Swedish gentleman and the two ladies, we
observed early in the morning, passing along a track through the wood
near our camp. We both saluted. They were making an excursion, partly on
foot, through Norway. As they crossed the river, they met Zachariah, and
asked him if he always slept out in tents, and how many they were in
family. The morning was devoted by Esmeralda and ourself to our camp
arrangements; she was becoming an excellent housekeeper. What an
impulsive dark-eyed girl! notwithstanding her odd sayings, and at times
roughly turned phrases, one could not but admire the rude energy, and
exercise of will she possessed. Noah and Zachariah returned. Mid-day
meal consisted of broiled ham, tea, and bread and cheese. Two men came,
and also the woman with bare legs, who had visited our last camp; they
took much interest in our Australian method of making tea.[41] Some
children who came had bread and butter; one man had tobacco, and as they
sat near, our musical box seemed to give them much pleasure. The two men
suggested a better spot in the wood for the donkeys to feed, and they
were taken there. Esmeralda and ourself left at 3 o’clock, and ascending
a steep hill through the forest, reached some broken rocks, where we had
a delightful view. After we had seated ourselves, we wrote our notes,
and Esmeralda, who sat at our side, conversed occasionally. Who could
feel other than regret, at so much want of culture, and so much wild
sterility of mind, yet if she had undergone the modern methods of
training, she would no longer have been the wild flower of nomadic
life; she would not have been my companion in the wild forest, the
valley, and lonely glen. There was much that was impulsive, and
original, much that was impassioned, and sensitive in her powers of
appreciation. It was astonishing, with all her disadvantages, she was
what she was. As the brilliant sunshine of a Norwegian evening, gilded
the pine forests, and distant fjelds, the indescribable feeling of happy
freedom, cast its bright rays upon our hearts. Lingering for a moment,
as we shut our note book we quitted a scene we may never view again, and
returned through broken forest glades, to our camp, ready for tea at 6
o’clock. When we reached our camp, no one was there. Noah came in soon
after, having been in quest of eggs. When our tea, and bread and butter
was consumed, Zachariah returned from a boating expedition; presently
the peasants came, and asked when the music would begin. Taking out our
watch we told them it was five minutes to 8, and we should begin at 8
o’clock. We sat in our tents, and opened our concert, first with our
gipsy song and guitar accompaniments, and then with the “Mocking Bird.”
The tents were decorated with a picture of Alpine scenes. One or two
tunes were played by all our gipsy party, but the peasants crowded round
our tents until they nearly brought them down. Finding they wished to
dance, we took some rugs, and went to the side of the flat roadway
through the forest.

The forest scene pleased us; the evening was very fine. Zachariah never
tired as he played his violin; sometimes we joined with castanets,
sometimes with guitar, and occasionally with tambourine, relieving each
other by turns.

Noah and Esmeralda waltzed together, and the couples who danced
increased. The young men who danced were not many; the beau of the
village, (and we always had one at all our peasant re-unions) was very
active. We shall never forget, his good-tempered chubby face, and
country bumpkin appearance, as he spun round in large low shoes, and
worsted stockings, voluminous trowsers, and short jacket, which did not
reach below his waist. The proportions of his Dutch build, were shown to
advantage. It must have been warm work, as he puffed in his thick cloth
snuff-coloured suit. If we looked through a powerful microscope at the
fat boy in “Pickwick” we should see our friend exactly represented. He
was Wackford Squeers’s sample schoolboy on a large scale. We can see him
now in the open track of the forest at closing eve, with that stout
young peasant girl of the Rubens style of beauty, twirling in an agony
of exertion as Noah executed a roulade on the tambourine; we liked to
see him, and his dancing was no doubt the envy of those peasants, who
would have done likewise, if they could.

At half-past 9 our music ceased; several peasants pressed us to
continue; the beau of the village even went so far as to offer us four
skillings--he was, no doubt, a rich landed proprietor--of course we
politely refused with mange tak (Nor., many thanks). Our heart at once
relented--we have danced ourselves. The beau of the village, was again
in his element, as a whale is at sea. They had got into step; we had
found out the tunes they liked. At 10 o’clock our music again ceased.
Wishing them good-night, we retired. Several peasants came to see the
tents, one asked for more music, but finding we did not respond, the
last group took off their hats, and left.

The peasants had not long departed, when down came Noah in haste to our
camp: “The merles (donkeys) are gone, sir,” said the gipsy. Noah could
see how it was. The ropes were left, and the men who had told us that it
was a better place for grass, had only done so to steal them. We could
not bring ourselves to suspect our friends, the Norwegian peasants, whom
we had just been entertaining as our visitors, and who were always so
kind, and friendly with us.

We immediately went with Esmeralda in search of our missing donkeys.
Taking a track through the forest, we met some peasant children, to
whom, with some difficulty, we explained that the donkeys were gone.
They seemed to divine our thoughts, “Nei, nei,” said one little girl,
pointing to a particular part of the wood, and as she was coming with
us, a shout from Noah, and Zachariah, informed us they were safe. The
peasants had kindly moved them to a better spot for grass. When the
gipsies had tethered one of the donkeys, which they usually did, they
returned to the tents. Noah said some of the peasants were still gazing
at our merles.

The thermometer had been 74° during the day.

Sleep, who could sleep? Myriads of musketos had invaded our tents. We
were all dreadfully bitten. Sleeping in a rug bag, our face only
suffered. Our forehead was one mass of small swellings. We were all up
at 2 o’clock in the morning. In the tent or out of the tent it was all
the same.

Grievous were the complaints as we ate our breakfast. Wildly Zachariah
flourished his Norwegian knife, as the enemies of his comfort attacked
him on every side. In vain he vowed vengeance against the “skeatos.” We
were determined not to endure the persecutions of our numerous
tormentors any longer. The morning was cloudy, with drizzling rain.
Striking our tents, we loaded our donkeys, and a little before 6 o’clock
left the forest, and Losnœs _en route_ for Listad. Near a beautiful
lake, we passed two hamlets, at each of which our cavalcade occasioned
great excitement. New and varied scenes met us at each turn, as we now
left far behind us the town of Lillehammer, and the picturesque shores
of the Mjösen Vand. It was astonishing the interest our donkeys
occasioned. Here and there as we passed along, people rushed from their
various pursuits, to get a glimpse of our party. One woman ran after us,
and eagerly asked if the donkeys eat grass, at the same time plucking
some from the road side, that we might better understand her question.
At one place, we purchased four loaves of bread, and a pound of butter
for 1_s._ 3_d._ Esmeralda at the same time tried to buy a stardy (gip.
for hat) to replace those lost, but could not get one. At length we
reached a large wet marshy valley, and met some men with long poles
tipped with iron hooks. Soon afterwards a gentleman driving a carriole
overtook us, and asked Noah if we were Italians. Finding he spoke
English, we went up to him, and he told us he was from Scotland. Telling
him we were travelling _à l’aise_ with our tents and baggage, the
novelty of the idea seemed to delight him, and bowing, he continued his
journey. The end of the marshy valley, through which the Logan still
held its course, was at length reached. On the side of a large
projecting mass of rock, on the road side, near a stream of water, we
found a large open space of ground, strewn with loose rocks. Part of the
baggage was taken off the donkeys, who foraged about in rocks for scanty
herbage. Lighting a fire, we had tea, bread, sardines, and Australian
meat. The men with the poles again made their appearance with increased
number. They drew up in line, and having grounded their poles, stood at
ease. First they stared at ourselves and gipsies, as we rested near our
baggage, and then at our donkeys. There were nine of them, of all sizes,
and miscellaneous costumes. They were timber floaters. Their long poles
were used to push the logs of timber adrift, when they stuck fast on the
sides of the river. Quantities of timber cut down in the forests, and
marked, finds transit in this way to the sea. As we were writing our
notes, we also made a rough sketch of the men. A boy soon afterwards
came, and said something in Norwegian about a quarter of a mile, which
we at last understood to mean a convenient camping ground at that
distance beyond us. Several other people came, and stood in the road,
gazing at the donkeys, as they wandered about the rocks.

[Illustration: TIMBER-FLOATERS.--MID-DAY HALT.]

The sun was now brilliant; the scene was particularly beautiful. Our
gipsies after lunch fell into a sound sleep.

We had halted about 10 o’clock, and we left at 4 o’clock. Noah was quite
unwell, and all suffered, more or less, from mosquito bites of the
previous night. As we looked back, we could not help pausing some few
minutes, to admire the picturesque outline of the mountains. We had not
been long _en route_ when three Englishmen in carrioles, came suddenly
round a turn in the road. We heard one exclaim, “Gipsies!” as they
overtook us, and drove by. We noticed the first was a bronzed, military,
good-looking man. The driver of the second carriole, who was an
excellent specimen of the English gentleman, said something, and bowed,
and they were rapidly followed by a younger gentleman, and soon out of
sight. Two or three travellers with carrioles met us afterwards, and
looked at us with much curiosity as they passed. The evening was fine
and enjoyable; the country on either side, was well wooded and
mountainous. The river Logan added much to the picturesque beauty of the
scene. Suddenly a carriole appeared behind us, driven by one who was
evidently bent on salmon fishing. He wore a mackintosh, and had a
south-wester over his head. When any carriages appeared my gipsies
immediately got our donkeys in line along the side of the road. Noah at
the head of the first, Zachariah the second, and Esmeralda led the
third, so that they were all kept well out of the way. The traveller’s
Norwegian pony seemed a little shy in passing us; but the traveller was
driving quietly by, as the donkeys were halted, when down jumped the
Skydskarl, and rushed to the pony’s head, which was suddenly checked
into the road fence.

“What the devil are you doing, boy!” shouted the driver, whose
nationality was unmistakable.

Esmeralda went to the pony’s head. We could hardly help laughing.

“Let go his head,” shouted our enraged countryman at the boy. Poor
fellow, he was too bewildered, and probably did not understand English.
With redoubled energy as he stared at the donkeys, he kept pulling the
pony’s head against the fence, whilst Esmeralda was pulling the contrary
way. In vain the traveller urged the pony. Wildly the Skydskarl held its
head down.

“Get behind, boy,” shouted the traveller, “you’re pulling back. He’s
quiet enough--let go, boy!!”

At last the Skydskarl retreated in confusion to the back of the
carriole, half crying. The traveller was soon out of his difficulty, and
rapidly disappeared along the road, apparently intent on his fishing
expedition. Occasionally we came to a rural cottage, at one of which we
noticed a lamb, and a goat. Zachariah played a pretty slow waltz, as we
lounged along the road, all rather sleepy and tired. There was something
of pure romance, and feeling, as we stood apart in spirit, and
contemplated our calvacade, pushing their way to some unknown camping
ground. There was our fine, strong, light-coloured donkey, with its
Jerusalem cross, carrying its heavy packs with ease, stepping to the
music of the bells on its scarlet collar. There was something soothing
in those bells, timed by the animal’s movement. Then followed the puro
rye, and the tarno rye, contrasting in colour. There was Zachariah
walking by their side, now and then performing, a slow waltz, to the
tune he was playing on his violin. However long the day, however wet and
disagreeable the weather, still his gleaming eyes and merry ha! ha! dit
a kei, the _tarno rye_, by gum, Mr. Smith is going to _dell_ (gip.,
give) _mandy_ a _metramengery_ (gip., tea) this evening. Then came the
tall form of Noah with his Alpine stock, and deer-stalking hat, set
jauntily on one side. Noah was an admirable fellow for loading and
packing; he had much improved since our campaign last summer; never out
of temper, with plenty of energy and determination. By our side walked
Esmeralda, in her long tweed cloak, fastened round her waist, small hat
and feather, and thick boots studded with nails. Our guitar, in a light
cover, was slung over her shoulder, whilst we carried, in a light cover,
made on purpose, her tambourine, with our courier bag. Tall and slim,
with raven hair, and jet black eyes, about our own height, the young
gipsy girl had an indomitable spirit. Sometimes she caught hold of our
hand, so that it might be more help to her, as we journeyed onwards,
for she had had no sleep the previous night, and was much tired, all had
been dreadfully bitten with mosquitos. The log houses we came to, had
their groups of peasants waiting to see us. Some would run with
tumultuous haste, to be in time, and a red cap generally appeared
prominently as one of the number. They had often a good-humoured smile
on their countenances. It was lovely scenery all the way, especially
when we reached the turning to “Venebrygden” and crossed a rapid, broad
stream, issuing from a rocky gorge, beneath a lofty mountain, whose base
to nearly its summit, was covered with fir. An old man with a wallet
came from a log house, near the road, and we gave him a piece of money.
At length we came to a place we were told was Listari. It was a large
house of superior construction, on the road side, with extensive
buildings, and an appearance of much comfort. Some heads appeared at the
windows as we approached. Then we heard the sudden clatter of feet,
running downstairs, to obtain a nearer view of our party.

There was an excited rush. One gentleman stuck to a front window
commanding the road, and looked at us with a curious, and amused
expression of countenance. The old man with the wallet joined us again,
and we gave him another piece of two shillings. He said something, which
we thought meant camping ground beyond, and passed on. We were now
anxious to camp. Coming near Listad we noticed some unenclosed ground,
rising in a steep slope, to the base of some fine bold precipitous
rocks, close above the valley. The sloping ground was steep, with little
grass, covered with loose rocks and scattered birch-trees. A rough
turf-way led apparently to a first ridge, of lofty ground, immediately
above the road. Zachariah went up first, and hearing his peculiar gipsy
whistle, we all climbed the track, rough with uneven grassy hillocks,
studded with birch-trees, and sheltered by rocks. In a small hollow,
near a rough fence, at the summit of the ridge, our donkeys were
unloaded. It was a beautiful camping ground for our night’s repose.



CHAPTER XIV.

    “He grows, like the young oak, healthy and broad,
     With no home but the forest, no bed but the sward;
     Half naked, he wades in the limpid stream,
     Or dances about in the scorching beam.
     The dazzling glare of the banquet sheen
     Hath never fallen on him, I ween;
     But fragments are spread, and the wood-fire piled;
     And sweet is the meal of the gipsy child.”

    ELIZA COOK.


    A GORGIO--COMFORTABLE BONDEGAARDS--MORE SPEILE--THE LOST
    KEY--DEN ASEN TOUJOURS--VEGETABLE SUBSTITUTE--THE GOODLO
    DISCUSSION--WIVES’ UTILITY--FRIENDLY PEASANTS--NORWEGIAN
    WALTZ--GIPSY CHAFF--THE DARK WOMAN--ANXIOUS QUERISTS--EARLY
    VISITORS--TIMID WOMAN--GIPSIES APPRECIATED--THE CHARMING
    POST-MISTRESS--THE MANSION NEAR HARPE BRÖ.


No sooner had we unpacked, and our things were under our waterproof,
than a gorgio was announced. As if by magic, a middle height, thick set
man appeared through some birch-trees. He hesitated, and did not speak.
Our silver-mounted flask was quickly drawn from its plaid bag, and we
handed him some aquavët. Silently drinking, he nodded his head. Seeing
the end of a pipe sticking out of his waistcoat pocket, we offered him
some English tobacco, which he also took, and saying in a whisper,
“tak,” vanished as silently as he came. A fire was lighted to boil the
water, which Zachariah procured from a torrent in the rocks above the
camp. Metramengry consisted of tea, fried bacon, two small trout caught
at Vodvang, and bread. The rain suddenly commenced, and it poured in
torrents. Dark clouds gathered thickly, as we sat at tea wrapped in our
waterproof rugs. Not long afterwards the silent man returned with three
others, who also had brandy. We pitched our tents in the rain, and,
thanks to our waterproof covering, our things were kept tolerably dry.

The view was magnificent. The broad waters of the Logan flowed in the
valley below us. Islands in its stream heightened the picturesque
effect. A considerable quantity of well wooded and grassy land formed
the bed of the valley. Pleasant bondegaards, or farms, extended to the
base of hills, crowned with forest. Beyond rose the peaks of the wild
Fjelds.

Esmeralda had quite recovered from her fatigue; Noah was now quite well.
Tea is a grand restorer of failing energy. Esmeralda was at once active
in our tent arrangements. All things must have their place.

“Now, Mr. Smith, look sharp, or I must give you a severe doing,” and
Esmeralda’s dark eyes flashed fire, and sparkled with merriment and
witchery. Sometimes, when we were a careless lounger about the tents,
she would say, “Dableau! you are going in and out, in and out, and never
doing anything.”

Then Noah might be heard, “What are you at, Zachariah; can’t you see
where you are going to? I think you are making yourself too much of a
man!” An observation which Zachariah would answer with “Dawdy, dawdy,
fake your bosh;” and, making a succession of droll faces, would skip
about in the rain, singing, “Fem de dura.” We will not answer for the
correctness of Zachariah’s intended quotation from the Norwegian
peasant girl’s song we heard at our camp near Holmen.

More people came wandering about, some looking at our donkeys and others
staring at our tents. They were all of the peasant class, kind,
homely-looking people. It was about a quarter to 7 o’clock when we
encamped. Taking our places in our tents at about 9 o’clock we commenced
our gipsy Norwegian song, with guitar and violin accompaniment. Then
followed our song, “Farewell;” afterwards dance music, violin and
tambourine. A tolerable number of peasants were seated on the bank
opposite the entrance to the tent. They sat in the rain on the wet grass
until we had finished. After much talking, in which the female voices
certainly predominated, they shouted “Farvel.” The interest they seemed
to take in our music was most amusing. They had such smiling
countenances. One young peasant girl especially kept looking at each by
turns, and then laughing, until we could hardly help relaxing our
expression of _insouciance_. As they departed, a peasant kindly
suggested a better spot for the donkeys to graze than where the gipsies
had first put them. Music being over, we all retired to bed. Just as we
were dozing away, Zachariah’s voice was heard: “Mr. Smith, sir!”

“What do you want, Zachariah?”

“I have got your key and pencil, sir.”

“Never mind, go to sleep!”

“But, sir, you can’t unlock your box without it. You must have it, sir.
Otta clocken, more music, ha! ha!”

Then we heard scratch, scratch wildly at work, and presently Zachariah’s
voice: “I can’t stand it! I cannot stand it any longer; these skeato’s
will kill me!”

We must say our sleep was sound and undisturbed until half-past 6
o’clock. Much rain had fallen in the night. It was the first of July.
Noah lighted the fire, and boiled the water. Two men came to our camp
and had some brandy whilst we conversed with them in broken Norwegian.
One was a traveller from Christiania. We told them that if they came
again we should play our music at 8 o’clock in the evening. As we took
our breakfast of tea, bread and butter, and potted meat, stray parties
of peasants watched us with much interest. We gave several small
children some biscuits. An intelligent peasant came and asked a variety
of questions about the donkeys. Another brought his wife and children. A
large party came before our dinner at 1 o’clock, and a short stout,
well-dressed man, with a turban cap, discussed in an animated manner
various matters connected with the donkey race. Their voices seemed
constantly to mingle with our ideas as we wrote a letter to the gipsies’
friends, in which Esmeralda inclosed some beautiful wild flowers.

We sent Noah and Zachariah to the river to fish for dinner. When they
were gone, a peasant boy came up with a large sack of hay, which he gave
the donkeys. We were touched by his attention; for some time he silently
watched them. Before he left we gave him a copy of our gipsies’
Norwegian song. He took us by the hand, and looked with such a kindly
expression in our face, that we could not help feeling that the world,
after all, was not so bad as we had thought it. As a substitute for
vegetables, crystals of citric acid, dissolved in water, were
occasionally taken by ourselves and the gipsies. Noah and Zachariah were
full of fun when they came back from fishing at 1 o’clock, having
caught six small roach and perch.

“Ha! ha!” laughed Zachariah, “Mr. Smith, I know some good flies for my
fishing this evening. All right, sir;” and he danced a war dance on the
turf till he fell backwards over a birch tree stump, to the great
amusement of himself and the peasants who were watching us with
continuous interest.

We had tea, fish, and balivas (gip. for bacon) for dinner. Sugar was a
source of difficulty. In putting the sugar first into each pannikin
before the tea was poured out, Zachariah was not considered an example
of economy. Not that we were inclined to limit very strictly his
penchant for it, but we were not sure where we might be able to get more
when our stock was finished.

Esmeralda was busy. We were writing. Noah therefore officiated, whilst
Zachariah, with a look of injured innocence, stood by, and said--

“I shall not have anything more to do with the goodlo” (gip. for sugar);
a resolution we entirely agreed to.

Still Zachariah often had more than any of us, which he would
occasionally acknowledge with “Thank you, sir,” “God bless you,” “Quite
enough, sir,” as he stirred it up in his pannikin with an air of extreme
satisfaction.

The bacon and fish at dinner were excellent; we hardly knew which was
best. A peasant boy brought us a bundle of sticks for our fire. The sun
became exceedingly hot. Esmeralda and myself went and sat in some shade
near our tents. Zachariah found a shady corner under some rocks. Noah
first looked out a few things in his tent for Esmeralda to wash. Then he
afterwards stood in the shade of a birch tree, blacking his boots, and
observed to Esmeralda--

“I shall not help my wife as Mr. Smith does you.”

“Well,” said Esmeralda, “what is a wife for?”

“For?” retorted Noah sharply, giving his boot an extra brush, “why, to
wait upon her husband.”

“And what,” said Esmeralda, “is a husband for?”

“What’s a husband for?” exclaimed Noah, with a look of profound pity for
his sister’s ignorance, “why, to eat and drink, and look on.”

It would seem to us that the more rude energy a man has in his
composition, the more a woman will be made take her position as
helpmate. It is always a mark of great civilization, and the effeminacy
of a people, when women obtain the undue mastery of men.[42] When Noah
had finished blacking his boots, he went with Zachariah to take the
donkeys for water along the road towards Listad As they turned, Noah and
Zachariah astonished the peasants by racing along the road mounted on
the donkeys, with their faces to their tails. Noah and Zachariah
afterwards went fishing.

We lounged on an eminence writing our notes, and Esmeralda washed for us
a shirt and collar, and some of her own and Noah’s things. We had a
succession of visitors all the afternoon. Some wore red caps; all were
deeply interested in the donkeys. In fact, if we could have kept them
secluded in a tent, we might have made a large fortune by exhibiting
them. We had, however, no wish to do so. Our peasant friends were
welcome, and if our wild music gave them pleasure, they were welcome to
that also. They certainly showed us much civility and kindness during
our wanderings. We cannot forget them.

When we were at the tents at 6 o’clock, Zachariah had returned with two
small fishes, and Noah with one of tolerable size. Having made a hurried
tea, a large number of peasants collected, before 8 o’clock, about our
camp. The music commenced at our tents soon afterwards, and then to give
them an opportunity to dance, we went outside. There was a good space of
ground close below our tents, but a tree was in the middle of the
ground. This was at last uprooted by the peasants. Our beau of the
village on this occasion was a thin, rather roughly-dressed, young man,
but an inveterate dancer. The gipsies at once named him Arthur. If a
house had interfered with the convenience of the dancers instead of a
tree, it is possible that he would have pulled that down also. Of the
females, two small girls were the best dancers; and they seemed
thoroughly to enjoy themselves.

The dancers patronised the skip waltz. It was a curious scene. Three or
four of the peasants were dressed in blue jackets with silver buttons
and silver frontlets hanging from their necks.

My gipsies were particularly lively and in high spirits. The variety of
costume, and any slight eccentricity of manner, was at once the subject
of their criticism. We did our best to moderate their gaiety, and romany
chaff, now and then as they played their wild music, we could hear.

“Dit a kei! (gip., look there) there’s Arthur!”

“Ha, ha; no it isn’t Arthur; that’s Johnny!”

“Ah, the sapeau (gip., snake)! Why, he’s got Crafty Jemmy’s nose!”

“Dik the gorgio in Uncle Sam’s stardy (gip., hat)!”

“Oh nei! oh nei! What are you a salin (gip., laughing) at?” “It’s our
Elijah vellin (gip., coming) from Bosbury, a seaport town in the middle
of England. Look at his chokas (gip., shoes)! Hasn’t he got bongy mouee
(gip., ugly mouth)!”

“Dik that fellow’s swagler (gip., pipe)!”

“Arthur can dance! Now Arthur’s a-going it! Well done, Arthur!!”

Bang-bang went the tambourine, as the beau of the village whirled his
partner round, to the admiration of the surrounding throng. There was no
harm meant by our gipsies’ chaff. If anyone present had wanted their
assistance, they would have been the first to give it them. It was quite
impossible for them to remain quiet; naturally impulsive and gay, they
must laugh in their lightsome moods. There were some young ladies, and
apparently their brother, sitting near.

As we were standing with Esmeralda at our tents, whilst Noah and
Zachariah were playing, a dark thick-set, heavy-featured old woman
pressed through the throng round us. She had all the appearance of a
gipsy, when she suddenly shook Esmeralda by the hand. We thought she was
a Norwegian Zigeuner. Then she took hold of Esmeralda’s large necklace,
and tried to take it off, before she could recover from her surprise.
Immediately we saw what she was doing, we pulled her away, and she
retired in silence through the crowd. We saw her afterwards, sitting on
a bank, watching us.

It is ten o’clock, and our music ends, saying, “God nat (Nor., good
night), god folk (Nor., good people).” We retired to our tent. Most of
our visitors left. One young gentleman, who spoke English, said to Noah
outside our tents, “A little more music.”

“I can’t, sir,” said Noah. “The master never has any playing after ten.
You should have come before, sir.”

The young gentleman who had the young ladies with him then asked Noah
what time we went in the morning.

“At 9 o’clock, sir,” said Noah.

One of the young ladies then inquired in English if Noah could tell
fortunes.

“No,” said Noah; which no doubt was a matter of great disappointment.

Then the gentleman asked Noah his sister’s name.

“Agnes,” said Noah.

What next will he tell them, thought we, being anxious for him to go to
bed.

Then one of the young ladies asked his sister’s age; and Noah told her
sixteen. Then he was asked who we were. Not knowing how long they would
stay--for we had to rise early next morning, and knowing that any
curiosity would only get wide answers from Noah--we went out, explaining
that we had to travel early, and we liked all in camp to go to bed in
good time. They did not say much, but, wishing us good evening, they all
left. The young gentleman spoke very good English. We were still
troubled with a number of children, making a noise about our tents,
until after eleven, instead of going when the music ended at ten
o’clock. At last all was silence.

We were up the next morning at half-past 1 o’clock, enjoyed a good wash,
lighted a fire, and had Noah and Zachariah up about 2 o’clock. We were
anxious to give them all the rest possible; Esmeralda was called the
last. For frokost, we had tea, fish, bread, and potted-meat; Esmeralda
and myself had some citric-acid afterwards. Our donkeys were nearly
loaded, and ready to start at 5 o’clock. We were just having a romp with
Esmeralda and her two brothers, as we were packing up our things, and a
merry laugh, when some men appeared at the fence near our
camping-ground. They seemed much astonished, and rather disconcerted;
probably, they expected to find us asleep. They lifted their hats, and
soon afterwards left. Our donkeys loaded, we looked carefully round to
see that we had collected all our effects. The main road was soon
gained, when we descended from the steep ridge on which we had camped.
We had now travelled more than five Norse miles from Lillehammer, or
thirty-five English miles, as we proceed quietly along the road from
Listad.

We could never tire of the beautiful valley of the Logan. Our mode of
travel gave us ample opportunity to study its varied scenery. At any
points of interest we could halt, without the thought of being
behind-time at the next post station, or of being reminded by the
Skydskarl that we were lingering too long. It was about seven o’clock;
the morning was very sunny and pleasant as we came to a place said to be
Tresgone. The name is not marked in our map. Noah and Zachariah went to
a small log-house, near a mill, at the foot of a gorge, to purchase
bread and butter. Directly the woman saw them, she shut the door with
considerable haste; their Alpine stocks had created a sudden alarm.
After reconnoitring them through her window, confidence was restored;
she opened the door and did a stroke of business, selling us four loaves
for fifteen skillings. A man on horseback, with white hair, kept with us
occasionally for some miles; he had, naturally, white hair, like an
Albino, and not the result of age. For some distance, at different
points on the road, the peasants hurried from their work, and, with
anxious faces, struggled to be in time to see our party pass; sometimes,
an aged man, with serious weather-beaten face, wearing a red cap on his
head, was awkwardly scrambling towards the road-fence, followed by a
woman and children. At other times, two or three men would race along
the road-fence and take up their position at some distance before us,
waiting the moment when we should pass. In fact, at times, we almost
felt as if we were marching past the saluting-point, leading a company
at a review, though the group of peasants differed much from a staff of
officers at a saluting-point; we had, nevertheless, to stand the test of
what appeared to be a close and scrutinizing examination of our
company.

At one time, Noah played his violin as he sauntered along. Occasionally,
Zachariah was a short distance in advance, with the donkeys, and the
peasants collected at the road side, would politely take their hats off
to him, an honour Zachariah appeared much to appreciate. We reached
Branvold,[43] and at a station on the road side, we found we could post
our letters. The house was remarkably clean and comfortable, and had,
apparently, excellent accommodation. The civil pige found us a pen and
ink, and went to call her young mistress, who had not yet left her room.
We met a gentleman staying there who had been passenger on board the
steamer on the Mjösen Lake; he went out to look at the donkeys. The
young post mistress took our letters; one letter was to the gipsies’
friends. She was a very agreeable, pleasant-looking girl, who spoke
English with an admirable accent. We paid eight skillings, which she
said the postage would amount to. Soon after we had left the station she
came running to us, and said, “Mr. Smith, it is sixteen skillings;” and
received the money. Shortly after, she came driving up in her carriole,
and said, “Mr. Smith, I find it is sixteen skillings more.” In truth, we
were not sorry to see her again, she was such a kind, pleasant, merry
girl, withal neatly dressed, and good-looking. We laughed, as we held
out the palm of our hand containing a number of Norwegian coins that
she might count out what she wanted; nor did we omit to pay a just
tribute to her knowledge of the English language. After the young post
mistress had left us, we came along the road towards a large house,
having more of those characteristics of the country gentleman’s
residence than any we had yet seen. The house stood in its own grounds,
at a short distance before we reached the turning from the main route to
“Harpe Brö.” When we passed by it, the gentleman and his family were
assembled near the entrance-gate to the grounds. He was a fine, tall,
gentlemanly man, accompanied by a very good-looking young lady, who
stood near him. She was the best-looking young lady we had yet seen in
Norway. Two young gentlemen, we supposed to be sons, were also there.

The gentleman lifted his hat, and seemed to give us a kindly welcome; we
returned his salutation. There was something pleasurable in such kindly
feeling; we little think how much we can do in this world to lighten a
lonely wayfarer’s heart.



CHAPTER XV.

    “We remounted, and I rode on, thinking of the vision of
    loveliness I was leaving in that wild dell. We travel a great
    way to see hills and rivers, thought I; but, after all, a human
    being is a more interesting object than a mountain. I shall
    remember the little gipsy of Hadjilar long after I have
    forgotten Hermus and Sipylus.”

    N. P. WILLIS.


    THE VELOCIPEDE--ROADSIDE HALT--LOVELY SCENERY--DISAPPOINTED
    AUDIENCE--THE LITTLE GIPSY--THE LOST POCKET--THE SEARCH--GIPSY
    LAMENTATION--AMUSED PEASANT GIRLS--NORWEGIAN HONESTY--THE POCKET
    FOUND--A NOBLE HEART--PLEASANT
    VOYAGEURS--PATRINS--STORKLEVSTAD--TAMBOURINE LOST--NORWEGIAN
    HONESTY--ECCENTRIC VISITS--INTERROGATORY--THE CAPTAIN--THE
    INTERVIEW--THE VILLAGE MAGNATE--MEGET GODT--ESMERALDA IN
    CAMP--THE LAST VISIT--THE MOORLAND MAIDEN.


We had not gone far along the road, when we saw a blacksmith’s shop; a
man suddenly appeared from it, and came towards us on a velocipede.

“Why,” said Esmeralda, “there’s a _velocity_”!

“What broad wheels,” said Zachariah.

“It’s Arthur coming to town,” answered Noah.

The man was working it along might and main, with his hair flying; he
was a strong framed man, with an intelligent countenance. The velocipede
was probably manufactured by himself; although very roughly made, he
managed to go at a fair pace; when we came to the route turning from the
main road to “Harpe Brö” our companion with the naturally white hair,
who had occasionally ridden with us during the morning, and by whose
assistance we had increased our vocabulary of Norwegian words, wished us
good day.

At a short distance beyond the blacksmith’s shop, as our donkeys were in
advance, they strayed off the road into an open fir wood. Two young
ladies, and a man had followed us for a short distance; they seemed to
think we were going to halt in the wood, and as they stood watching us,
we thought they seemed disappointed, when the donkeys were driven back
to the road, and continued their journey. It was rather too early in the
day for rest. Sauntering quietly along, we at length came to an open
space having a wooden seat; this accommodation we particularly noticed
in Norway at some points on the wayside. Generally, in a pleasant
romantic spot, the ground is gravelled from the road, and a long wooden
seat is placed for the convenience, and rest of the weary wayfarer. In
selecting this spot, care is taken that it is near water, and close by,
we usually found a deliciously clear stream, to slake the travellers’
thirst. On this occasion we at once commenced unloading our baggage near
the wooden seat, and as we did not intend to remain very long, Noah left
the pockets girthed on two of the donkeys, who soon after wandered off
to graze.

When we looked round we were struck with the beauty of the scene. Not
far above us, on the opposite side the road, a log cottage stood lonely
on the side of a steep rising hill. A brawling stream passed underneath
the road near us; we saw it again, as it issued from a narrow brick
arch, and was soon lost in the bushes of the declivity, which formed the
bank of the Logan just below.

The picturesque summit of a mountain closed the narrow valley from the
world beyond.

Leaving our things by the seat, we went down to the stream at the arch
below the road, and crossed to a small patch of green sward on the other
side. It was quiet and sheltered, and our fire was soon lighted. Tea,
sardines, bread and cheese, formed our repast. A woman from the log
cottage came down and stood near looking at us. We gave some biscuits to
a small child in her arms; Zachariah was sent off to fish. It was about
10 o’clock when we arrived; the view was charming; Noah lounged on the
grass with the violin; as he was tuning it up, a young man came and
leaned over the rails of the road above, in silent contemplation. He is
expecting some music. You little think, my young friend, the treat you
are going to have, thought we. When Noah began to scrape, the effect was
marvellous; we turned, and the young man was gone. The sounds ceased,
for Noah himself fell asleep. Esmeralda had a very fair voice. It was
pleasant to hear her sing at times, as we walked along the winding
valley of the Gudbransdalen. Now we amused ourselves talking by the camp
fire, and as we reclined on our waterproofs, we wrote down at her
dictation, one of her ballads: “The Little Gipsy,” with the addition of
a few words, by a gipsy aunt, where Esmeralda’s memory had failed. We
now give the song in its entirety. It has been long a favourite with the
country people.


THE LITTLE GIPSY.


    1.

    My father’s the King of the Gipsies, that’s true;
    My mother, she learned me some camping to do,
    With a packel on my back, and they all wish me well,
    I started up to London, some fortunes for to tell.

    2.

    As I was a-walking up fair London streets,
    Two handsome young squires I chanced for to meet,
    They view’d my brown cheeks, and they liked them so well,
    They said, My little gipsy girl, can you my fortune tell?


    3.

    Oh yes! kind sir, give me hold of your hand;
    For you have got honours, both riches and land.
    Of all the pretty maidens, you must lay aside;
    For it is the little gipsy girl that is to be your bride.

    4.

    He led me o’er hills, through valleys deep, I’m sure,
    Where I’d servants for to wait on me, and open me the door;
    A rich bed of dowle, to lay my head upon.
    In less than nine months after, I could his fortune tell.

    5.

    Once I was a gipsy girl, but now a squire’s bride,
    I’ve servants for to wait on me, and in my carriage ride.
    The bells shall ring so merrily; sweet music they shall play,
    And we’ll crown the glad tidings of that lucky, lucky day.

Two men with carts passed whilst we were resting, and they halted to
look at our donkeys.

It was nearly 2 o’clock, when myself and Noah went up to the wooden seat
to load the animals. As we were standing by our things, a carriage
passed, a gentleman driving with apparently his son, asked if we were
going to camp there, we told him we were going on; He asked how many
miles we travelled in a day, and we answered fourteen or fifteen. They
wished us a pleasant excursion, we wished him _bon voyage_, and, lifting
our hats, he drove on. Two donkeys were packed, and Noah brought up the
third. Where’s the pocket? said Noah, looking rather wild. “Pocket?”
said we, “isn’t it among the things?” No, sir, we never took it off; “it
must have slipt off somewhere.” In fact, we had not taken the pockets
off two of the donkeys, but one pocket had been pushed off by the Puru
Rawnee, against the road rails, whilst we were at lunch, and Noah had
placed it by the seat; what had become of the other we could not tell;
we both went some distance along the road where they had been browsing,
but could not find it. Esmeralda was much enraged. All her things with
Noah and Zachariah’s scanty stock, and their sheets, tent blankets, and
sleeping blankets, were also in the lost pocket. We went up to the
house, and managed to explain to two women the position we were in. Noah
said: “Sir, it must have been taken off, for there is no mark on the
road where it has come down.” Esmeralda fixed her suspicions on the
unfortunate cart drivers, who had been looking at the donkeys; we
repudiated the idea, and said they were driving the wrong way to have
done so. A vigorous search was made, with the help of the younger
peasant woman, amongst the bushes of the steep bank, between the road
and the river, where the two donkeys had been also wandering, but no
pocket could be found.

We decided to go on. To the young peasant girl, who seemed as anxious as
ourselves for its recovery, we gave a mark, and an address, so that the
pocket, if found, might be sent to Nystuen, to the “Herren mit drei
asen.”[44] Esmeralda rode one donkey, and in no very enviable frame of
mind, we hurried along at a rapid pace.

Noah exclaimed, “I could sit down and cry, sir. I don’t want no tea--I
can’t eat.”

“Well, I can,” said Esmeralda, boiling with indignation. “I know it is
taken; we shall never see it again. My small smoothing-iron, I would not
have parted with it for anything, I have had it so long; and my dress--”
and she half gave way to a flood of tears. “It will do them as has taken
it no good.”

Zachariah had just joined us from the river without a fish.

“Ah,” said he, in a weeping tone, “my pretty dicklo (gip. handkerchief)
is gone.”

I believe this handkerchief constituted nearly the whole strength of his
wardrobe.

“It is fortunate,” said we, “both pockets were not lost. We must manage
as well as we can; some shelter is left, and all our provisions. It
might have been worse. You shall have more blankets, Noah. We are quite
sure the pocket has not been taken; they are honest in Norway--far more
honest than most other countries we have travelled.”

So we pushed along till we saw a blacksmith, and two other men standing
at the road side. We explained our loss to them as well as we could.
They pointed to a fir wood above us as a convenient camping-ground, but
we wanted to proceed on our journey, and went on. At the next place we
came to, we purchased four loaves of bread for fifteen skillings. At one
large house we passed, near the road side, a large number of persons
were assembled, probably at some fête. There was a general rush to see
us. When we came to a large wooden water trough on the road side, some
girls who saw us, ran down the meadow above; they were great
loosely-dressed peasant girls, who laughed at us immoderately.

“What are the sapeaus (gip. snakes) crying about?” said Esmeralda, in no
very good temper.

At any other time she would have laughed with them.

“Ah! the Bongy mouees” (gip. ugly mouths), shouted Zachariah. “They were
tolerably well slap-dashed in Romany, as I have no doubt we were
good-humouredly in Norwegian.”

We had not gone many yards from the water trough, when the young woman
we had seen at our mid-day halt, came running round a corner of the
road. She seemed half fainting and exhausted, and, staggering to the
water-trough when she saw us, she dashed some water over her face, and
hurriedly drank some. We at once stopped the donkeys, and the girls
above the road ceased laughing. They seemed puzzled at the scene. We
went to the poor girl, who said, when she was able to speak, she had
found the pocket, which had slipped off the donkey close to the river’s
edge. It was lucky it had not rolled in. Being satisfied from the things
she found inside the pocket, that it belonged to us, she had followed us
with it, and at last left it at some place on the road, so that she
might more quickly overtake us. It was decided that Noah would take one
of the donkeys, and go back with the peasant girl for the pocket. We
were profuse in our thanks to her; she was a good, honest girl. We don’t
think our gipsies will ever again believe, that such a thing as
dishonesty, is possible in Norway. Pulling out a large handful of money
from our pocket, we pressed it into the girl’s hands. She wished to give
part back; it was too much, she did not like to take it all. We would
have no denial; as she was returning she took out her handkerchief in
which she had placed the money, and again offered us part; she did not
like to take so much. We made her put it back. Under such circumstances
what cared we what the sum was; we felt inclined to give her all we
possessed, she had been so honest. How much inconvenience we might have
experienced, but for the activity and kindness of this Norwegian peasant
girl. Shaking her heartily by the hand, she returned with Noah. We may
never meet again; we do not even know her name. Yet there is a world
beyond this. May her fate be with the blessed of a future and eternal
life. Continuing our route, we left behind us _Burre_, and the turn to
_Kvikne_. It may easily be imagined we went along in much better
spirits; all was sunshine. Noah would follow with the lost pocket, and
find us in our camping-ground. Patrins,[45] intelligible to our gipsy
party, were strewed as we went along the road. Pieces of grass,[46] to
all appearance scattered carelessly along the route, yet they had a
meaning, and a language which a gipsy easily reads. The points of the
grass indicated the way we took.

Although anxious to finish our day’s journey, we could find no
convenient camping-ground. We met the gentleman we had conversed with in
the morning. His son descended from the carriage to lead the horse by
the donkeys. Kindly salutations were exchanged. Noah said that when the
gentleman afterwards met him, he said, “Your master seems a pleasant
gentleman.”

“‘Well, sir, he’s always the same,’ I answered, and the son gave me a
cigar, whilst the gentleman sent his kind regards to you, sir.”

Our camp rules were relaxed, and Noah was of course allowed on this
occasion to smoke. We continued our way up a narrow gorge between high
mountains, but did not find any convenient camping-ground. In the
distance we saw log houses near the river Logan. These were
Storklevstad, Viig, and Qvam. As we descended the road we noticed a
rough narrow way on our right, with a telegraph post in the centre.
Zachariah went and reported that it led to a large common extending to
mountains beyond. Esmeralda and myself were at first inclined to
continue our route. As we were considering, a young man having the
appearance of a carpenter came by, and we asked him if we could camp
there. He said “Ya, ya,” and the lane being too narrow, and awkward for
the donkeys to go up loaded, the man helped us, very kindly, to unload
our heavy packs, and assisted us to carry them to a rock on the common;
we gave him two demi vers of brandy. The distance we had travelled had
been long, the weather seemed inclined for rain, and we were glad to get
in for night quarters. This corner of the common was bounded by hedges.
Under a thick high hedge on the common side we made a fire, and our tea
was soon ready, with ham fried in oil, and bread. Noah came in time for
tea, and, selecting a camping-ground on the common, put up the
tent-rods. The moorland, extending up a mountain, was covered with large
masses of rock and low bushes. Visitors soon came. An old man with a
wallet gave our donkeys some bread whilst we were at tea, and we gave
him some brandy. Women and children came, and were very civil. Our tents
were soon pitched, and arranged, and our things carefully stowed away.
The waterproof was so placed over our tents, that our visitors were
obliged to sit down, in order to see us through the opening.

Noah searched for his tambourine, but it could not be found, to his
consternation; we came to the conclusion that it must have been left on
the hedge bank near the water trough. Noah was loud in his lamentation,
when a peasant suddenly brought it to the tent. We had left it where we
supposed, and the peasant honestly restored the tambourine. We gave him
a good recompense with many thanks, though he did not seem to wish any
money reward. We had seldom met such kindly people. Gladly we commenced
playing our music, and having recovered all our things, we were much
pleased to find ourselves in a comfortable camping-ground for the
night. Scarcely had we commenced playing, than the crowd of people
increased round our tents. It was as much as we could do to keep them
from crushing the tents in. One little man in spectacles, and a curious
turned-up hat, with a knowing comical expression of countenance, came
crawling into our tent on all fours. First he looked up at Noah, then at
Zachariah, then at Esmeralda, and then at myself. We did not stop our
playing. He put up his finger as a signal for us to stop, but we could
not interrupt the tune. Then he expectorated freely on the intervening
space in our tents; fortunately, that part was only turf, but the
absence of saliva was at all times preferred. Then he stared curiously
through his spectacles, being still on his hands and knees. Some village
magnate, thought we. Then he suddenly summoned all his energy, and asked
loudly all kinds of questions in Norwegian, whilst we continued our
music. We thought he was slightly intoxicated, but it may have been an
eccentricity of manner. He seemed to know some words of English. Noah
said “Don’t know” to most questions. We could distinguish the word
Tater, and Noah said “shoemaker,” and nodding at Zachariah, “cobbler.”
Then he addressed some question to ourself, to which we answered “Nei,
nei.” “Jeg gaae Romsdalen,” still persevering, he pointed to Esmeralda,
who was rattling her tambourine, and he seemed specially anxious to know
what part she took in the economy of the tents. At last he was quiet for
a short time, and some one who did not like his attempted interruption
of the music, pulled him out by his legs. Alas! he soon returned,
crawling in again to the tent, expectorating as usual. Noah seemed his
grand point of attack. Addressing Noah, he pointed to us with a look of
triumphant discovery, and said, “Artistique,” but Noah did not seem to
comprehend.

We are afraid his pertinacity met with very little reward. A
considerable number of persons continued round our tents, and we
finished music towards 10 o’clock. Then our visitors wanted more music.
It was very complimentary to our musical talent, but we did not play
after 10 o’clock. One young man who spoke some English, came to us, and
asked to have more music. We explained that we had been up at 2 o’clock
that morning, and did not allow music after 10 o’clock, and wanted to go
to bed. Our visitors did not go for some time, but kept talking, and
making a noise, until nearly 11, when we gladly fell asleep.

Another Sunday. We welcomed the day as we ate our breakfast of tea,
potted meat, and bread. Then the word was given that the gorgios[47]
were a vellin. Many visitors soon collected, who were so curious, that
one of our party had to stand at the entrance to the tents during the
morning. A young man in long riding boots and horseman’s cloak, with a
whip in his hand, speaking English and German, informed us that an
English captain would shortly pass if we liked to see him. We said if he
were going to Lillehammer he might render us a service. An intelligent
young Norwegian peasant said he would let us know, when the captain came
along the road. We conversed some portion of the morning with our
visitors, and added to our knowledge of Norsk language.

At last the young Norwegian came and said the captain was come. We took
Noah and the young peasant with us, and started towards the village of
“Qvam.” After a sharp walk we reached a post station on the road side
near the river, and leaving Noah and the peasant in the large kitchen
with a bottle of “Baiersk Öl,” we went into an inner room to see the
captain.

The officer, whom we expected to find an Englishman, was Norwegian. The
French language was at once our medium of communication. We quickly
explained that we had lost two hats between the Honnefos and Moshuus,
and if _en passant_ he heard of them, we were anxious to have them
forwarded to Nystuen, and a handsome reward would be given. He looked at
our route on the map. Monsieur le Capitaine was just going to dinner; a
fine pink trout was served up. The captain asked us if we were going to
dine, but was informed that our dinner waited us at the camp. He said he
should be happy to inquire, and should meet us next morning, when he was
returning. The captain spoke French very well, and at first sight we
should have taken him for a French officer. There was a gentlemanly
frankness about him which pleased us. Although not tall, he was of
compact build, strong, and energetic, much indication of prompt and
rapid action--one prone to vigour of thought, and quickness of decision.
He possessed the bearing of a military man. We regretted we could not
see more of him. Giving him our card, and shaking hands, we parted.

Noah and the Norwegian were allowed another bottle of “Baiersk Öl” on
our return to the kitchen, and taking a sip to drink “gamle norge,” we
immediately left.

The peasant returned with us. At a short distance from our camp, the
village magnate came forth from a house, still wearing his curious
turned-up hat. The little man seemed rather pleased to see us. As he
advanced with a comical expression of countenance, he appeared to have
something of importance to communicate. We politely paused a moment. He
wanted to--to--“sell us a cheese!”

The peasant took a share of our dinner which was ready in camp. We were
obliged to take our dinner inside our tents, on account of the number of
visitors. They were never absent. It was a matter of conjecture whether
they ever ate anything themselves; they seemed to be at our camp from
morning till night. Our sensations were probably similar to those
formerly experienced by the lions in Wombwell’s well-known menagerie,
when viewed at feeding time.

Esmeralda had the soup ready, which consisted of white beans, pea flour,
rice, and Liebig’s essence of meat. Our peasant, as he sat on the grass
near us, with his bowl of soup, seemed thoroughly to enjoy it. We gave
him some English Cheddar cheese, from Hudson Bros., which seemed to
astonish him; and we heard him say to our interested visitors “meget
godt” (very good).

Whilst we had been absent, one young fellow, who spoke a little English,
came to our tents, and presuming too far upon Esmeralda’s good nature,
received a severe blow on the shoulder with a stick, which shut him up.
Probably to raise his spirits, he asked Zachariah to give him some of
his master’s brandy, which resulted in a sharp answer, and he left the
camp.

During dinner time a large number of visitors carefully watched our
smallest movements. We had no idea we could possibly meet with so much
solicitude as evinced, by the good people of Storklevestad, Viig, and
Qvam.

After dinner, leaving our gipsies in charge of the tents, we retired to
the mountain, to enjoy some quietude, and contemplation. How we watched
the beautiful scene before us! The Blaa Fjeld, and the picturesque river
Logan! The nature of this world, as God made it, is ever beautiful. Who
can tire of its contemplation?

When we returned at 6 o’clock, throngs of visitors--as a German would
say, “Immer! Immer!”--were grouped about the tents. Esmeralda was at the
fire preparing for tea, with several young fellows buzzing about her. We
seemed to come like a cloud upon their sunshine. Their fun was harmless,
but obstructive to our chances for the next meal. Esmeralda was sent
into the tents to get the tea things ready. Noah soon brought the tea,
and we did not go out again. Our visitors wandered about round and round
our tents, sometimes gazing at the donkeys, then returning, till about
half-past 10, when they all left.

How calm and quiet the Norwegian night, when the hum of voices is
hushed! How delightful, as we looked forth from our tents! Then we
distinguished three figures gliding over the moorland towards us. They
approached; it was about 11 o’clock. There was the bright-eyed,
good-looking Pige, whom we had noticed at our tents during the day,
without shoes or stockings. Now she had some stockings on, probably
borrowed from some friend, to give her a more respectable appearance.
She was followed by a little boy and girl; and as she hovered near our
tents, she pointed to Noah, and then towards her cottage in the
distance. She made love by signs. In vain we wished her “good night.”
Poor girl! She still lingered, sometimes pointing to herself, and then
towards the village.

We were just going out to persuade her to go home, when Esmeralda asked,
why we should trouble ourselves about her.

“Why should we?” We at once gave up the diplomatic mission. Zachariah
was sent outside the tents instead, and made signals for her to go.
Smiling, she said, in a clear, pleasant voice, “Farvel, adieu!” and,
kissing her hand, left.

Oh, no! she was quickly back again, followed by her Lilliputian retinue,
who floundered after her among the rocks. There she lingered like the
siren of the Rhine. Noah was fortunately spell-bound in his tent. Who
knows, if he had gone, he may at this moment have been, a denizen of
Storklevestad! She again seemed going from our tents.

Thank goodness! we are now quiet. Vain delusion! “Farvel, adieu!” She
was again standing on a rock near our tents. How she lingered! Perhaps
Noah might change his mind. “Farvel, adieu!” we said. “Farvel, adieu!”
the gipsies shouted. She loved--she lingered. Noah came not. At last she
went; but we could see her, as she went across the moorland, at times
turn, and stand irresolute; till the very last, “Farvel, adieu!” of the
Norwegian peasant girl died upon the wind, and we all went to sleep.



CHAPTER XVI.

DIE DREI ZIGEUNER.

    “Drei zigeuner fand ich einmal
       Liegen an einer Weide,
     Als mein Fuhrwerk mit müder Qual
       Schlick durch sandige Haide.

     Hielt der eine für sich allein
       In der Handen die Fiedel,
     Spielte umglüht vom Abendschein,
       Sich ein feuriges Liedel.”

    LENAU.



THE THREE GIPSIES.

    “Once three gipsies did I behold;
       In a meadow they lay,
     As my carriage heavily rolled
       Over the sandy way.

    “In his hands, as he sat alone,
       Fiddle and bow held one,
     Playing an air with fiery tone,
       In the glow of the evening sun.”

    ALFRED BASKERVILLE.


    COLONEL SINCLAIR--QVAM CHURCH--DEATH OF SINCLAIR--MONSIEUR LE
    CAPITAINE--THE HIGHFLYER--THE HEDALS--ROMANTIC LEGEND--ANTIQUE
    MANSION--THE KRINGELEN--KIND RECEPTION--WARM WELCOME--THE BROKEN
    TENT-POLE--THE REINDEER HUNTER--THE RUDANE FJELDE--GIPSY-LOOKING
    WOMAN--MORE FISH--CHIROMANCY--ESMERALDA’S FORTUNE--THE HANDSOME
    CAPTAIN--HIS SPORTING ADVENTURE--ESMERALDA’S GIFT--OUR SOIRÉE
    DANSANTE--GIPSIES’ GLEE.


The next morning was fine, but dull. We were up at half-past 1 o’clock,
and decided to try the artificial minnow. The trout we had seen the day
previous served up for the captain’s dinner no doubt occasioned the
resolution.

The Logan was close at hand. Esmeralda’s soup was warmed up for frokost.
Our things were afterwards all carried down into the main road. Noah
went for the donkeys to load them, and we fished along the Logan to
Qvam. How still and quiet all appeared at Storklevestad, Viig, and Qvam!
Not a soul stirring! As we fished towards Qvam, we saw inscribed on a
large stone on the road side near the river--

    Her blev Skotternes anfœrer
         George Sinclair
        Begraven efterat
         Han var falden
       ved Kringelen den
           26 August,
             1812.[48]

Our fishing resulted in the loss of our artificial minnow, no sport, and
we put up our tackle. The Qvam churchyard on the right of the road was
near us. Our party had not come up. Then we strolled round the church
which, as usual, was built of wood, with very large porches. Flowers had
been placed on one grave. It is here that Col. George Sinclair is
buried. In 1812, Col. Sinclair landed on a farm near Veblungsnœs, in
Romsdalen, in command of nine hundred Scotch troops. They marched
towards Sweden to aid Gustavus Adolphus against Christian IV. King of
Denmark.

At a hill called the Kringelen, beyond Qvam, near Solheim, the peasants
rolled down large quantities of rocks on his troops, who were either
crushed to death, drowned in the river below, or killed by the peasants
who attacked them when in disorder. Only two are said to have survived.

We have never seen any minute particulars of the tragic end of this
military expedition. It is said that a young lady, hearing that one of
her own sex was with the Scotch, sent her lover for her protection.
Unfortunately, as he approached, Mrs. Sinclair mistook his object, and
shot him dead.

The other Scotch and Dutch troops, who landed at Thronjhem, reached
Stockholm, and helped the Swedish King to conclude advantageous terms of
peace. What became of Mrs. Sinclair, we do not know; or where the Scotch
soldiers were buried. The colonel seems to have been a bold and daring
man. The Norwegian peasants gave their enemy a quiet resting place in
the pleasant churchyard of Qvam, and his melancholy history is another
illustration of the uncertainty of human hope.

Soon after 6 o’clock Noah, Zachariah, and Esmeralda came up with the
donkeys. Noah was limping along very lame. In taking one of the donkeys
to be loaded, the animal slipped over a rock and fell across his leg.
Noah walked with difficulty, and was very sleepy--in fact, when we had
left Qvam, and the sun became warm, we could scarcely keep our eyes open
as we pushed on along the road as fast as we could for several miles.

At a turn of the road, some distance from Qvam, we saw a number of men
without uniform marching towards us. Zachariah was at first rather
frightened. The men advancing took up nearly the whole of the road.

Our friend, Monsieur le Capitaine, was marching at the head of his men,
who were going to their periodical militia training. We were looking out
to see which side the road to take, when Monsieur le Capitaine opened
out his men right and left, and we passed through their centre, which
afforded them ample opportunity of observing our cavalcade.

“Bon jour, Monsieur Smith,” said the Captain; “pleasant journey.”

We also wished him “bon jour,” and with mutual salutations each passed
on our different routes.

They were a very fine body of men--an army of such men, properly
handled, need not fear any other soldiers on equal terms. Had the
opportunity permitted, we should have enjoyed a visit to one of their
militia camps.

It was very warm. Zachariah played his violin along the road in advance;
Esmeralda and Noah were very sleepy and tired, and we were not
disinclined for a halt. For some time we could not meet with a
convenient resting-place; at last we came to a delightful valley. There
was the open macadamised space on the roadside, with wooden bench
considerately placed for the convenience of travellers. The same
accommodation might with advantage be adopted in England. Then there was
a small space of broken greensward, sloping from the road, where we
could light our fire. A large bondegaard below, near the River Logan,
gave us the impression of contentment and comfort. It was a charming
valley.

As we came up to the wooden seat we observed a curious-looking man, who
the gipsies said was some travelling “Highflyer.” The man was reclining
on the the open patch of greensward near the seat; his wallet was beside
him, and he was smoking his pipe--who knows? he was probably
experiencing more enjoyment than the most wealthy millionaire.

The donkeys were soon unloaded. Noah went down to get some water at the
farmhouse, and shortly returned with the “vand” (Nor., water). A woman
and a boy brought up some grass for the donkeys, and she afterwards
offered us the use of some rough ground above the road for the donkeys
to graze in. The offer was accepted, for the herbage was very scanty on
the roadside. Our water was soon boiled, and we had tea, bacon, and
bread. Taking out the packet of tobacco given up by Noah, we gave some
to the Highflyer. It is not surprising that Noah was reluctant to part
with it. Printed on the outside of the packet we observed the
following--

    Petum optimum supter solem,
    De beste Tobac onder de Son;
    Der beste Toback under solen
            Af C. Andersen,
             Lillehammer.

The Highflyer seemed much pleased. The sun was exceedingly warm, and,
placing some rugs in the scanty shade of some rocks on the opposite side
of the road, Esmeralda fell asleep. The woman brought us some milk, and,
finding it impossible to write, we gave way to inclination and indulged
in a good sleep. Noah and Zachariah went to the river fishing, and
Zachariah caught four not very large trout. Then we woke up and worked
at our notes.

A young farmer, a fine young fellow, his wife, and son and daughter,
came up. The young farmer had been at our camp near “Storklevstad”; they
brought up fresh grass, and were very attentive. The “Hedals” rose
above us, with snow still remaining on the higher ridges.

Not so very far from this point, across the mountains, is the
“Ridderspranget” (the Knight’s Leap). Tradition says that a knight of
Valders wooed a young lady of Lom. The friends did not favour the
lovers’ wish. The knight, at last, mounted on a swift horse, carried the
lady off, and, being closely pursued by the friends, jumped a wide
chasm, and escaped with the girl of Lom, for whom he had risked so much.
The spot, which is between two lakes, still goes by the name of the
“Ridderspranget.”

Esmeralda, probably owing to the heat, did not feel well. Before we
left, Noah and Zachariah played for the people of the bondegaard, who
had been so attentive, several tunes with the violin and tambourine. The
Highflyer went towards Qvam.

At 3 o’clock--having presented the good woman with a mark, and the
children with three skillings each--as they gave us their kindly wishes,
we again continued our way. Noah had added four more trout to our stock,
so that we had now eight fish for the evening’s meal. We were all very
sleepy, but kept on with much perseverance. Zachariah, who rode on one
of the donkeys, fell asleep and his hat fell off, and then he dropped
his violin in the road, but both were picked up. After we had passed
Dengarden--so we made out the name--Noah was so sleepy that he became a
straggler; his legs almost refused to serve him, and we at last lost
sight of him at a turn in the road.

A very interesting house on the roadside attracted our attention. We
understood the name was Nusamberg; it had the appearance of an old
mansion. Though constructed of wood, its massive timbers gave it
structural solidity; extensive granaries and outbuildings surrounded the
house, and one portion of building was surmounted by a kind of cupola
with a large bell. If it had been in England we should have taken it for
an old manor house.

Noah did not overtake us, and we went back, expecting that he had fallen
asleep on the roadside; at last we saw him in the distance, walking
slowly along, with difficulty getting one leg before the other.

As we came in sight of “Breden,” which stands near a lake, our party
were at once perceived. A boat pushed off in hot haste across the lake
with a number of peasants to see us. When we entered the small village
of houses grouped on either side the road, great was the excitement.
People ran hastily up to see our donkeys; a pony in a “stolkjœrre,” or
light cart, turned restive, and occasioned much confusion. Our donkeys
ran against one another, and our things becoming entangled, the packs
were nearly pulled to the ground.

At last, when we were clear of the village, Noah and Zachariah were sent
to a landhandelri[49] to buy butter and bread. The young man at the shop
had been at our camp at Qvam. They could only get fladbröd and butter.

The steeps of the Kringelen, memorable for the destruction of Col.
Sinclair and his soldiers, were passed. The spot had been well selected
by the Norwegians. Then we came in sight of Sels. Having risen early, we
were all tired and hungry. At this juncture, seeing a woman driving some
cows from the road, we asked to camp on some rough broken ground above
the house. A quiet spot was selected, where, undisturbed by visitors,
our tents were pitched. Looking down upon the narrow valley, it was
delightful to enjoy the repose of a quiet evening. Few were permitted to
come near our tents. Our donkeys had, as usual, their admirers, but they
were few and select. The woman brought us a bowl of milk whilst we were
at tea.

We were up at seven o’clock next morning. After a quiet breakfast,
Zachariah caught four trout in the river. Giving these kind, homely
people some music and two marks, our party left Sels in the distance.

The scenery during the morning was very picturesque, and coming to a
portion of newly-made road we halted in a recess of broken ground at the
bottom of a wooded hill, near a log cottage. One of our gipsies went to
the house for water, and the woman kindly offered to boil it, but this
we did not require.

As we were taking our lunch we became the subject of much interest to
the road men and some boys; to some of the men we gave tobacco. After
the meal our gipsies played their music, whilst we lounged, looking at
the beautiful scene before us. The road men appeared to enjoy themselves
quite as much as we did--they sat on the roadside, smoking their pipes
and listening.

It was not long before we were _en route_, and being still in sight of
the river Noah and Zachariah were sent to fish. Esmeralda and myself
made the best of the way with the donkeys towards Laurgaard. Great
improvements were being made upon this part of the road; in some places
the road was diverted and the distance shortened--sometimes we had to
change from the old road to newly made portions, and then back to the
old road not yet altered. At every place the peasants flocked out to
see us. One place we especially remember as being near a wild gorge
leading to the mountains from the valley. An old man gave us such a
kindly hearty welcome to his land that we presented him with some
tobacco.

In passing a narrow part of the old road one of our donkeys ran against
the Puru Rawnee, and the baggage becoming entangled my tent pole was
broken through. It was very annoying. At last we came in sight of the
Laurgaard. A peasant who had walked with us some little distance, and
who seemed desirous to aid us as much as possible, was asked if we could
find a camping-ground on the other side Laurgaard. He shook his head.

We had just passed some picturesque rocks; the river Logan was on our
left, the rocky slopes of the mountain on our right. Our peasant pointed
to what appeared to have been an old road, now disused, a short distance
above us along the hill side. The old roadway formed an admirable
terrace of flat ground for our tents. Our donkeys soon struggled through
the bushes and broken rocks to the spot we selected, and were then
unloaded. Several peasants appeared at the place, and also a Norwegian
officer. Our first care, as the gipsies unloaded our things, was to
splice our tent pole, which we did with a flat piece of wood we had
found _en route_, and some waxed string carried with us. Our proceedings
were observed with great interest as we pitched our tents. The visitors
increased, and we promised to give them some music for dancing after we
had finished our tea. Immediately after tea, as the peasants assembled
at close of eve, our guitar, violin, tambourine, and castinets broke
the stillness of the Norwegian valley. On this occasion we had two beaux
of the village instead of one. The old road being level was well adapted
for dancing. There were several peasant girls, whose quiet and modest
manners were very pleasing. One beau was a light haired young man who
borrowed a friend’s shoes to dance in. The other beau was a slim-slam,
away-with-care sort of young fellow, who had the appearance of “un vrai
chasseur,” an intrepid reindeer hunter. He was a good-looking fellow,
carried hard sinew and muscle, well-proportioned, moderately tall and
strongly knit, wiry and active, wore very large capacious trousers, and
strong Wellington boots. A hunting knife hung by his side, and a
close-fitting shirt and small cap lightly stuck on his head completed
his attire. He held himself very erect, and danced in a stiff, jerky,
jaunty style. We had the usual complement of children, in many and
various kinds of tattered garments. The peasants seemed to enjoy
themselves. Esmeralda danced with her brother, and we also took her for
partner; but the half-hour is ended, our visitors leave as the rain
commences. We had very heavy rain in the night.

Ourself and the gipsies were up at 4 o’clock, and went fishing. The
river Logan near our camp was interspersed with pools and shallows, and
appeared very likely in appearance for fish. The bridge at Laurgaard is
said to be 1000 English feet above the level of the sea. We must confess
that Noah and ourself returned without fish to breakfast. Directly the
meal was concluded Noah and Zachariah were dispatched to the river
again. A fine-looking old man came to see our tent after breakfast. He
wore a red cap, and said he was a great fisherman. We found him full of
information. His sæter was on the Rudane Fjeld, where he said there were
many reindeer; in summer the weather was beautiful. The old man came
often during the day, and we bought some trout from him, and also from
several peasant boys, who immediately they caught a fish brought it up
to our tents.

In the read below we noticed a curious dark little woman accompanied by
a middle-aged man, a tall young woman without shoes or stockings, and
two young boys. They carried their effects apparently for sleeping and
cooking. Directly they saw the donkeys they came towards our camp. The
boys tried to touch our donkeys, but the young woman held them back, and
one was smartly cuffed. When the elder woman reached our tents we at
first thought she was a gipsy. Her complexion was very dark, and she had
black hair; she had pleasing manners, but in person she was very short,
with small hands and feet, and a peculiar redness round the eyes, as if
from smoke. Esmeralda tried her in Romany, but she could not speak it.
She was very probably a Lap. The others of her party seemed to hold her
in great respect. She carried a courier bag suspended to a girdle,
exactly similar to the one we bought in the Valders, and of which an
engraving is given in this book. We gave her some brandy and the man
some tobacco, upon which she opened her bag, and in the politest manner
possible, offered us two skillings, which we did not accept. Every now
and then as she looked at our tents and then at the donkeys grazing
near, she smiled and bowed in an ecstasy of pleasure, raising her hands
often, saying “_Nei, nei!!_” in a sweet plaintive voice. Esmeralda asked
if she told fortunes, and she said yes. It is probable that she did not
understand the question. She offered to sell Esmeralda a ring, but she
did not require it. As they left they lingered again near the donkeys.
The old lady seemed in raptures with them. One of the boys again made a
sudden attempt to touch one, and was dragged away by the younger woman
as if his life was in jeopardy.

They at length left and slowly disappeared through the rocks at a turn
in the road beyond the camp. Noah and Zachariah caught several fish
during the morning. The fish were fried for dinner with the usual
accompaniment of tea. We scarcely knew whether we dined early or late,
both meals were so much the same. From time to time travellers passing
along the road suddenly pulled up when they saw our tents and donkeys,
and getting down slowly made their way up to our camp. The donkeys
seemed, as usual, to excite a wonderful amount of interest.

We had finished our mid-day’s meal. Noah and Zachariah had gone to the
river to fish. Esmeralda and myself were sitting in our tents; the gipsy
girl was occasionally rockering Romany whilst we wrote our notes. Then
the thought occurred to her that we should tell her fortune.

“Your fortune must be a good one,” said we, laughing.

“Let me see your hand, young woman, and your lines of life.”

We shall never forget Esmeralda. She looked so earnestly as we regarded
attentively the lines of her open hand. Then we took her step by step
through some scenes of her supposed future. We did not tell all. The
rest was reserved for another day. There was a serious look on her
countenance as we ended, but reader, such secrets should not be
revealed--say what we will the hand carries the same language as those
thoughtful lines on your face, or the conformation of your head. It is
not all who can interpret them. Though we do not believe in chiromancy
and ghosts, how many in the world do. We do not say such things are
impossible; there are warnings, forebodings, and presentiments at times
too strong to be doubted. There are curious facts noted which cast
singular light upon these links between two worlds. Instances of spirit
travel are given. The open pages of nature reveal strange things. Pliny,
Scott, Byron, Johnson, Wesley, and Baxter[50], seem to have been imbued
with some belief in the supernatural. We know not what it is; we call it
superstition. When we express our unbelief, somehow there is often an
inward consciousness to belie our words. Surrounded by much that is
false, there may be some reality. We halt on the threshold of
indecision. One thing is certain, there is a dark mysterious veil across
man’s future in this world. Will it profit him to raise its folds? We
think not.

Esmeralda commenced to tell our fortune; we were interested to know what
she would say. We cast ourself on the waves of fate. The gipsy girl
raised her dark eyes from our hand as she looked us earnestly in the
face.

“You are a young gentleman of good connections; many lands you have
seen; but, young man, something tells me you be of a wavering
disposition.”

We looked up, and a Norwegian peasant stood close by; we had not heard
him approach. He was at the entrance of our tents in puzzled
contemplation; we lost the remainder of our fortune.

Not very long afterwards, we were sitting in our tent, when Esmeralda,
who was looking out, said, a “Boro Rye’s a vellin.” We went out; an
English officer was coming to our tents; he was travelling from
Throndjhem to Christiania. His name was one of a family renowned in
Scottish history. Our visitor was very good-looking, and seemed much
interested in our camp. Seeing our tents from the read, he came up to
inspect them; a heavy shower of rain coming on, he accepted our shelter,
and reclined in our tent with Esmeralda and ourselves. The carriole
driver sat at the entrance. Our visitor informed us that a friend and
himself had been out with a pony, tent and provisions, upon a fishing
expedition, on the Tana. It did not appear that he remained long with
his tent, for we understood him that his friend had been unwell and they
soon returned. The country of the Tana seemed to please him very much.
We gave our visitor some results of our practical experience in
camping, as he sat waiting for the rain to cease; in truth, he seemed in
no hurry to continue his journey. One of our gipsy songs was presented
to him as a souvenir of his visit; then we purchased some trout from the
Skydskarl, for one mark, eighteen skillings, very fine ones they were,
and had been caught in a lake. Esmeralda presented the captain with a
“pinthorn,” used to fasten the blankets of our tents. This present,
which he told Esmeralda he should keep, was placed carefully in his
pocket-case. In making the expedition to the Tana he had taken out a
tent from Throndjhem with a pole in the middle and pieces stretching out
from centre.

Our gipsy tents were carefully inspected, then our waterproofs, pockets,
bags, and other things. The method of pitching our tents was explained.
Before he went he gave us a bottle of brandy which he did not want, and
promised to inquire if anything had been heard of our lost caps. His
driver, we thought, was under the impression that the captain would take
up his residence with us. Noah came up as our visitor was leaving. The
rain cleared off, and, wishing us good-by, he was soon driving rapidly
towards Christiania. Our visitors continued, successively, until tea
time. For our tea, we had more fried trout. An old man brought us a
quantity of fladbröd and butter, for which we paid tenpence. Wire was
procured at Laurgaard to suspend our boiling-can and kettle over the
fire. The loss of our kettle-prop put us to much inconvenience. At eight
o’clock, the peasants, notwithstanding the rain, came to our camp for
dancing; fortunately, the rain ceased, and they seemed to enjoy
themselves very much. One tall, powerful, middle-aged peasant, who came
with our visitors, was very fond of dancing. He was, apparently, the
respectable owner of a gaard in the neighbourhood. Though very anxious
for Esmeralda to dance with him, she would only dance with ourself or
Noah. Then he asked us to dance with one of the young peasant girls,
probably, a daughter, or some relation, which we did. She was the best
dancer; a very good type of the Norwegian peasant-girl, tall, quiet,
modest, and good-looking; we found her an excellent partner. Our beaux
of the village kept up the dancing and the gipsies their music. “Lend me
your shoes” must have put his friend to some expense for repairs, and
“Slim-slam,” the reindeer-hunter, nobly did his duty. We were almost
bewildered at times. It was hard work to control the exuberant spirits
of our gipsies. The amount of Romany chaff was something extraordinary.
Fortunately, our visitors did not understand it, nor do we think the
gipsies understood much of it themselves. Their gaiety knew no bounds.
Esmeralda once laughed loud enough to frighten the reindeer from the
Rudane Fjeld. She had more than one severe doing, as she called it,
during the evening.



CHAPTER XVII.

    No lust of wealth, nor scent of distant war,
    Nor wisdom’s glory lures them on afar;
    ’Tis not for these the children of the night
    Have burst at once on realms of life and light;
    ’Tis the dread curse--behind them and before--
    That goads them on till time shall be no more;
    They claim no thrones--they only ask to share
    The common liberty of earth and air--
    Ask but for room to wander on alone,
    Amid earth’s tribes, unnoticed and unknown.

    DEAN STANLEY’S _Oxford Prize Poem, The Gipsies_.


    GIPSIES’ AFFECTION--LAURGAARD ADIEU--BEAUTIFUL GORGES--ONWARD
    EVER--ESMERALDA’S IRISH SONG--DOVRE--FRIENDLY TRAVELLERS--THE
    KRAMBOD--THE HERR TOFTE--KING’S VISIT--OUR NIGHT CAMP--NIGHT
    DISTURBANCE--KINDNESS TO ANIMALS--OUR BEAUTIFUL
    BOUQUET--SNEHÆTTEN FJELD--DOMBAAS--COMFORTABLE SITUATION--WILD
    SCENERY--OPPORTUNE VISIT--ILLUSORY HOPE.


More than once we were half-inclined to tie a loose piece of rock to our
gipsies’ necks and throw them into the Logan; still, we had promised to
bring them back, dead or alive, to their parents. Gipsies, whatever
their faults may be, have boundless affection for their offspring,
perhaps too much so. A promise is a promise; we kept ours. Our music
ceased in the valley of Laurgaard, and we wished our visitors all
good-by. Many lingered by the donkeys as we retired to our tent, and
watched the picturesque valley before us. The delightful stillness
seemed to give to our musings a charm and novelty only experienced in
tent life. Then we heard the sound of merry voices in the road below; a
children’s game; the peasant boys united to keep the girls from coming
up the bank to the road. Sometimes there were sharp and vigorous
contests, and the girls, for a time, had almost taken the road by storm.
Here and there we saw single-handed encounters; then several girls, who
had maintained the struggle, would be pushed down, and rolled over the
bank pell-mell on one another. Now and then boys would be dragged from
the road and swung in a heap on the green sward. To whom the victory, we
know not; exposure to the open air predisposes to sleep. What a deep and
refreshing sleep was ours when all was still. In the early morning,
within view of Laurgaard and its bridge, the tents of the wanderers,
with three donkeys browsing near, might be seen on the hill side.

We were late the next day, for we did not rise before seven o’clock. At
eight o’clock, we had a good breakfast of trout; they were excellent.
The old fisherman with red cap came to see us again, and gave us some
reindeer flesh; we made him a present of some fishing-flies.

Striking camp, with a hearty farewell to those peasants who came as we
were leaving, we were again _en route_. Esmeralda, Noah, and Zachariah
were full of spirits, as we entered the beautiful wild gorge beyond
Laurgaard. A man from a sæter in the mountains followed us for some
short distance, and we saw him afterwards sitting on an eminence,
watching us as we toiled up the steep ascent of the romantic glen.

At Romungaard, near Laurgaard, Colonel Sinclair stayed the night
previous to his death at the Kringelen. The road also branches off from
Laurgaard to Vaage. On either side the mountain slopes were thickly
wooded with Scotch fir, interspersed with birch. We had a long ascent
from Laurgaard, but the scenery amply repaid us for our toil.[51] The
river foamed in the rocks below, and at one place Zachariah tried his
fly, but without success. The Haalangen Fjeld, and the Rusten Fjeld
bounded our route on either side. We met several carrioles, and some
peasants followed us. At last, we came to a small wood of alder bushes,
open to the road. On the opposite side the valley we noticed a very
large house. The donkeys were no sooner unloaded, than a tall young man
and several peasants came to us. It is not pleasant to have visitors
pressing round when you are preparing for your bivouac meal. Explaining
that if they would leave us for half-an-hour we would give them some
music they at once left. Our mid-day’s meal, consisting of fish, was
scarcely finished when our visitors returned. The tall young man was a
very intelligent fellow. The peasant who had introduced us to our
partner the evening before was there. We sang our gipsy song with the
guitar; Zachariah and Noah played for them; and one of our visitors also
played some Norwegian airs. The order was at length given to load; Noah
did so, with a considerable amount of chaff with his brother and sister.
All being ready, we bade our visitors adieu, who seemed disappointed we
were not going to camp there for the night.

The valley now became more open, and we began to descend towards
“Dovre.” The usual number of peasants came at various points on the road
to see us; sometimes Zachariah played his violin, sometimes Esmeralda
sang. One song was an Irish song; it is a curious specimen of song lore.
Esmeralda would sometimes dance as she sang the words of the song; we
have never met with it before, and therefore give the words. The song
and the dance, and air, by the gipsy girl, with all the accessories of
pine forest, rising mountains, and a wilderness of interesting scenery,
was very effective.


ESMERALDA’S SONG.

    “Shula gang shaugh gig a magala,
     I’ll set me down on yonders hill,
     And there I’ll cry my fill;
     And every tear shall turn a mill,
     Shula a gang shaugh gig a magala
     To my Uskadina slawn slawn.

     Shula gang shaugh gig a magala;
     I’ll buy me a petticoat, and dye it red,
     And round this world I’ll beg my bread.
     The lad I love is far away,
     Shula gang shaugh gig a magala
     To my Uskadina slawn slawn.

     Shul, shul gang along with me,
     Gang along with me, I’ll gang along with you;
     I’ll buy you a petticoat, and dye it in the blue;
     Sweet William shall kiss you in the rue,
     Shula gang shaugh gig a magala
     To my Uskadina slawn slawn.”

We passed “Brœndhaugen,” having the Jetta Fjeld on our left and St.
Kaven and Vesle Fjeld on our right. Two very civil peasants at length
joined our party. The clouds seemed very wild and dark over the
mountains of the Dovre Fjeld. At length we crossed a bridge near Dovre.
The loose blocks of water-washed stones on our road towards the bridge
added to the wildness of the evening scene. After some failures, we made
the men understand that we wanted to find a shop to buy bread. When we
had passed the bridge a lame boy came to solicit alms, and we gave him
two shillings. As we approached the village of Dovre a close carriage
drove up, and the donkeys were halted for it to pass. The traveller also
pulled up and began leisurely to inspect the donkeys through the
carriage window. Our time was pressing. Noah was indignant that we
should be expected to wait to satisfy the curiosity of every traveller.
If they had been ladies the case might have been different, but now our
party moved on without delay.

The road we had followed during the day was at one time as high as 1800
feet above the level of the sea. Now we had descended to about 1500
feet. A gentleman drove past in his four-wheeled carriage, having
apparently some of his family with him. Stopping his carriage, he seemed
much interested with our party. Some hay was given to the donkeys from
the stock he had for his own use. There was something so friendly in his
manner, that if he had wished to gaze on the donkeys all night they
would probably have remained where they were. Comfortable houses were
scattered here and there, and we noticed posts and rails set up in the
fields, which seemed to us to have no sort of use as fences. At first we
thought they must be somehow connected with the winter’s snows, as drift
barriers, but we afterwards found that the grass when cut is placed on
them to dry, and in many places we observed the same method of making
hay.

The village landhandelri, or shop, stood near the church. Noah was sent
with money to buy bread, whilst we went down a short steep descent of
the road beyond the churchyard and halted. In a very short time a number
of boys and children collected around us; a dog began to bark at the
donkeys, and a man immediately hit the dog and took him away. We
afterwards gave the man some tobacco. We could not help remarking the
kind and orderly conduct of the peasant children.

The church, of wood, is roofed with large slates surmounted by a steeple
painted green. Though not in accordance with our idea of architectural
taste, it was immeasurably superior to the green pagoda we once saw on
the top of the old church of Guérande, in Brittany. Noah was very
successful, and bought nineteen loves of bread for three marks nine
skillings. As we left Dovre, Zachariah was sent back for eggs, and he
joined us soon after with twenty-one eggs in a handkerchief, for which
he had given one mark nineteen skillings.

Our way continued along a very pleasant road to Toftemoen. A number of
peasant boys followed us, who were, no doubt, anxious to see us camp.
The station of Toftemoen stands from the road, with a large open space
before it. A great number of Norwegian ponies were loose near the
station. The house seems very comfortable, with ample accommodation. It
is the residence of Herr Tofte, a descendant of Harold Haarfager (the
Fair-haired). Harold Haarfager died in 933, and was succeeded by his
son, Hako the Good, so that Herr Tofte has a splendid and royal
ancestry. It is stated they never marry out of their own family.

In Mr. Bennett’s hand-book it is noted that the king dined here on his
way to be crowned at Throndjhem, in 1860, and Herr Tofte had sufficient
silver plate for the use of his Majesty and all his retinue.

A traveller accosted us near the station, who was probably one of the
passengers of the close carriage we had seen near Dovre. He seemed
anxious to know how far we were going. No time was to be lost, for it
was eight o’clock. We passed along the sandy road by a piece of rough
broken ground, and then all the peasant boys left us when they found we
did not camp there. At last, descending a short declivity of the road,
we came to some open greensward lying between the road and the river. A
narrow patch of turf with a stream running through it. On the opposite
side the road a thick wood, inclosed by a fence, made an admirable
shelter; a quiet retired place between two hillocks. As we came to the
flat we saw the trace of fires, and at once unloaded and pitched our
tents as far from the roadside as possible, and very near to the low
river bank. It was a romantic camp-ground.

The view was beautiful--a rocky island in the river formed the
foreground, and beyond we gazed upon the mountains of the Dovre Fjeld.
The day’s toil was soon forgotten as the fire burnt brightly and night
cast its dark shadows on our lonely camp. Our eggs were broken one by
one into a bowl. If stale, they were consigned to the river; if fresh,
to the frying-pan. About seventeen out of twenty-one remained for the
omelette, which with bread formed our evening’s meal.

A jolly, pleasant old man came up whilst we were camping, and taking a
dram of brandy bowed and retired. Then the donkeys strayed and a tall
peasant came and helped Zachariah to search for them. The donkeys were
found up a lane, at some distance from our camp, and Zachariah asked the
man to ride one of them back, but the peasant shrunk from it with alarm,
and said something which probably meant, “Not if I know it.” Zachariah
mounted on one of the donkeys, drove the other two before him at racing
speed, whilst the peasant followed almost dead with laughter. Zachariah
informed us some carriers were halted for the night on the road-side, at
a short distance from our camp. The name of the place, as far as we
could make out, was Losere. We were left undisturbed, and in the quiet
enjoyment of our camp fire, till we retired to rest.

On the top of the short road ascent, near our camp, a large gate led
from the road towards a house above. Some traffic seemed to be going on
towards this place. About four o’clock in the morning we heard a heavy
tramp of horses’ feet, apparently close to our tent. Then there was the
sound of a man’s voice--pūr-r-r-r! pūr-r-r-r. It was evident that the
animal fought shy of our tent or the donkeys. We called to Noah, but
beyond a heavy snort or two we had no response. We went out twice; the
second time we saw a man with a pony going up the opposite ascent. His
pony still fought very shy of one of the donkeys grazing near the road.
About seven o’clock, when we were getting ready for breakfast, we saw a
boy driving a load of wood towards the gate. The pony just as he came to
the gate, seeing our tent below, turned suddenly round. We struck our
tent, and going up found the boy with the wood fastened on a low, light
Norwegian wood-carriage, overturned in a ditch. With Noah’s assistance
the pony, timber, and carriage passed without difficulty through the
gate, and we gave the boy four skillings, which seemed to astonish him.

In Norway we particularly noticed the temperate manner with which
drivers manage their horses. All is patient kindness. The animals are in
consequence docile to a degree. Beyond the quiet pūr-r-r-r, and a shake
of the reins, nothing is heard; no coarse expletives, no brutality of
treatment, such as we have occasionally witnessed in our own country,
unworthy the Christian and the man. In England, necessity founded a
society, and passed a stringent Act of Parliament, for the protection of
dumb animals, &c., but in Norway it is unnecessary.[52]

A few peasants came up as we were loading our donkeys, and the gipsies
gave them some music before we continued our journey. The soil now
became very sandy, and the ground below the road jutted out into large
promontories towards the river’s bank.

We were joined by a travelling shoemaker and his companion, who evinced
much curiosity about the boots worn by our party. The route now ascended
far above the river Logan, and the view became very wild. In some Scotch
firs Noah and Zachariah and the shoemaker saw a squirrel, which had a
narrow chance for its life; but to our satisfaction escaped. The wild
flowers were beautiful. Esmeralda plucked them as we went along, and,
as usual, presented the Rye with a handsome bouquet. The shoemaker and
his friend left us at some bondegaard, and we soon after reached
_Dombaas_. This is apparently named as _Lie_ station in an early edition
of Murray. The Dombaas Post Station is a short distance from the
junction of the Romsdal and Throndjhem routes. The road to Romsdalen
branches off to the left, and that to _Throndjhem_ to the right. Dombaas
appears to be an excellent station. We, of course, cannot give our
actual experience; but we have no doubt most excellent accommodation
would be found there. We halted in some open ground of the extensive
forest on the opposite side the road to the station. What a ravishing
scene met our view, as we sat down on the mossy turf, whilst the gipsies
made preparations for dinner. What a wilderness of pine forest! On our
right, the road we had just turned from continued over the Dovre Fjeld
to Throndjhem. Not far from us, on the left of the road to Thronjhem, is
the Snehœtten Fjeld, 7714 English feet above the level of the sea. The
ascent to this mountain is gradual, and its peaked summit is only 3500
feet. Some few people came to see our donkeys; but they did not disturb
us whilst we were preparing and taking our mid-day’s meal. Our meal
consisted of fried bacon, one fish Zacharia had caught, and bread and
tea. A very intelligent, pleasant young Norwegian came to us afterwards
and spoke English. It is possible that he was the son of the owner of
the station. He told us where there was good pasture for the donkeys;
but we were going on, and did not intend to camp for the night. Yet we
left with regret, for it was a beautiful ground for our tents. Large
forests extended on various sides, with excellent pasture. A young
ragged boy, to whom we gave some tobacco and brandy, came and conversed,
whilst one, who was probably the owner of the station, stood in the road
above, smoking his pipe as he contemplated our party. Whilst we wrote
our notes, Noah loaded the donkeys, and he chaffed his brother and
sister in a jumble of English, Romany, and a few Norwegian words he had
now learnt. Two or three respectably dressed, quiet, well-fed men, who
had come to see us, were probably connected with the station. The
gipsies played a few tunes, and then we passed through the forest across
two wild, brawling, rapid streams; and, ascending the steep road on the
side of a picturesque valley, we came to some houses. We were at once
followed by several boys; one of whom was very intelligent and spoke
some English. Zachariah was mounted on the packs of one of the loaded
donkeys. The boys evidently expected us to camp; but at last, after
walking some distance, gave up in despair. The road now crossed the side
of a mountain, with no inclosures. Below us lay the valley and the
river. Finding we should shortly come to more houses and inclosures, we
at once decided to camp without delay at the foot of a rocky slope
covered with low scrub and bushes. As we were just unloading our
donkeys, a man came in sight with an axe in one hand and a piece of wood
in the other. The sight of our party soon stopped his progress. He
looked as if he thought we were fairies or some such visitants to earth.
The axe reminded us that our tent pole was now so broken as to be almost
useless. We beckoned him in vain. The peasant had evidently resolved not
to venture nearer. Noah and ourself, taking the broken tent pole, went
to him and gave him a dram of brandy to screw up his courage. The
peasant soon saw what we wanted, and taking the broken pole as a
pattern, went off to make a new one.

As the gipsies lighted our fire, they noticed in the valley far below
us, at the base of the mountains, a curling smoke, which they thought in
the indistinctness of the evening to be a “gipsies’ camp.” Very anxious
indeed were we to meet with a camp of Norwegian gipsies. Ever on the
look-out--as yet we had been unable to meet with any Romany tents--the
meeting of English gipsies with Norwegian zigeuner, and their greeting
in Romany, would have been a most interesting study. The route we were
travelling was evidently too much populated and frequented for these
wanderers. Prœsten Sundt indeed says, “They choose the most devious and
least-frequented roads or ways between Stavanger and Aggerhuus, and
northwards away to Throndjhem and Finmarken.” Still there was the
chance, and we hoped as we travelled northwards we should be fortunate
enough to meet some gipsy tribe of dusky wanderers with their tents,
horses, trappings, pigs, and baggage. In this instance, after watching
for some short time with earnest attention, it was decided by our
gipsies that the smoke did not issue from the camp of any of their
people.



CHAPTER XVIII.

    From every place condemn’d to roam,
    In every place we seek a home.
    These branches form our summer roof,
    By thick-grown leaves made weather-proof.
    In shelt’ring nooks and hollow ways,
    We cheerily pass our winter days.
    Come, circle round the gipsies’ fire,
    Come, circle round the gipsies’ fire;
    Our songs, our stories never tire.
    Our songs, our stories never tire.

    _The Gipsies’ Glee._ REEVE.


    THE NEW TENT POLE--WHAT IS INDIGESTION?--PEASANTS AT CAMP--A NEW
    FRIEND--HOLIAKER STATION--NORWEGIAN HONESTY--LŒSJE VAND--THE
    TETTERAMENGRY--AN UNSOLVED MYSTERY--THE GIPSY COLLAPSE--GOOD
    ADVICE--INTEREST IN DONKEYS--A MOUNTAIN DISTRICT--NO CHURCH
    BELLS--THE BOY’S QUESTIONS--THE KJÖLEN FJELDENE.


The old man presently brought a new tent pole, for which we paid sixteen
skillings. We had left Dombaas about half-past 5 o’clock. Our present
camp was called by the people, “Losere.” A few peasants came to our
tents, and we must say presented a starved and worn appearance. They
were a kind people, and brought us firewood. We had bread, butter, cold
bacon, and tea. The peasants were told they could have some music when
our meal was ended. How we enjoyed the evening scene when the peasants
approached our fire! and we invited them, as usual, in our well got-up
phrase in Norwegian, “Ver so artig tage en stole” (Be so good as to
take a seat), pointing to the turf, which was the only seat we could
offer them. The moon rose upon the summits and ranges of distant
mountains beyond the valley. Its pale rays gleamed in the still night on
the waters of the Logan. Nature was lovely in all her beauty. As our
bivouac fire glimmered on the peasants’ hard-worn countenances, furrowed
with lines of hardship, we could observe the pleasure which our music
gave them. Wild though it was, it seemed to suit time, place, and
circumstance. The violin, tambourine, castanets, and guitar are
admirably adapted for the minstrelsy of the wanderer’s life. As our
music ended they left, and we retired to our tents. The ground was high;
the night was cold; we had little shelter; but we were now habituated to
camp life, and did not feel any inconvenience. Our sleep was ever deep
and refreshing. If any of our party had been asked, “What is
indigestion?” we could not have given them any decisive answer.

The morning was fine and beautiful, as we rose at 7 o’clock. From the
mountain where we had camped we could see Holiaker. Our breakfast
consisted of tea, and bread and butter; at Dombaas we had given our
gipsies citric acid and water; it is a substitute for vegetables, which
we had not been able to procure since we left the _Mjösen_ Lake.
Zachariah had refused to take any citric acid until he reached Dombaas;
whether it was from want of vegetables we could not tell, but what with
musketos, insects of various kinds, and possibly the want of vegetables,
his skin was irritable to an uncomfortable degree, especially at night.
This irritation of the skin we have known before in camp life. A friend
of ours tenting with us the year before, had suffered very much from
similar irritation of the skin not the result of musketo bites;
sometimes we thought it was nettlerash, but in two or three days after
our friend had quitted the tents the irritation had disappeared. In
Zachariah’s case the gipsies and ourself thought he had been bitten by
creas (gip. ants) or that musketos might have occasioned it; then it was
assigned to want of vegetables or impurity of the blood. Should any one
of our readers be able to suggest the cause and remedy we should be much
obliged for their communication. In this case, as the Cushty Drabengro
of the party, we prescribed citric acid, which we carried in crystals,
and dissolved in water. One peasant brought a large basket of hay for
the donkeys, for which we paid a mark. The basket conveniently fitted on
the back like a knapsack. Before we left our camp, we thought it might
be well to buy a sheep, for we had not purchased any meat since we left
Christiania, and it might be prudent to save our commissariat.

We explained to the peasants by aid of our dictionary, and they seemed
to understand our wishes, but whether they were afterwards unable to
procure the sheep, or did not distinctly comprehend, is doubtful, for
our negotiations were without result. Zachariah and Esmeralda played a
few airs for the peasants whilst Noah loaded the donkeys.

Soon after we left our camp the route lay between enclosures. No lack of
excitement on all sides; at one house a stout good-tempered woman and a
dark good-humoured seafaring-looking man, probably her husband, came
out.

Finding we wished to purchase something to eat, he went with us along
the road to the Holiaker station.

Whether he was the master, or a friend of the house we could not decide.
In the large clean kitchen he conversed with a tall, respectable,
delicate-looking woman. At first she began to make coffee for us; then
we explained through the seafaring man we did not want coffee, but
bread, butter, and eggs; then she commenced to boil the water for the
eggs. At last we made her understand that what we purchased the gipsies
would take with them.

The donkeys were brought down to the station door, and we bought a
quantity of fladbröd, twelve eggs, some potatoes, 5½ lbs. of what
appeared to be the shoulder of very dry wasted-looking mutton, and some
salt. It was proposed to have some treacle, but we could not find the
Norwegian word in the dictionary.

As we put the different things we bought down in our note book, our
seafaring-looking friend priced them; an old man came in whilst we were
there, and our gipsies took the things to the donkeys. Whether we
misunderstood the weight of the mutton, we cannot tell, but we gave him
eight marks five skillings, though we thought the price rather high.
Upon counting it, they honestly said we had made a mistake, and returned
three marks; they also, we found, gave us the salt and six eggs into our
bargain; many lands we have travelled, but never have we met with a more
honest race of people than the Norwegians. Our things being packed away
by the gipsies, we shook hands with these _honnêtes gens_.

The idea occurred to us that they took us for a wandering artist.
Farewell, honest people! For some time they watched us from the house,
as we went along the road towards Holiaker church.

On our left we saw the Lake by Lœsje, and at last came to a shallow
stream in a large forest of Scotch firs open to the road. The soil was
light and sandy; large masses of moss-covered rocks were scattered
through the forest, and here and there we saw open glades amongst the
trees. To a spot pleasantly secluded from the road the donkeys were
driven. The day being Saturday, we expected our Sunday would be spent as
a day of quiet and repose, but it was an illusory hope. The ground was
covered by a kind of heath with foliage like our boxtree. We had no
sooner unpacked, than the gipsies looked round and two gorgios were
announced. It did not matter how secluded the spot, in less than two
minutes one or two Norwegian peasants seemed to rise out of the ground;
indeed if they had been smaller, and had not chewed tobacco, we should
have taken them for fairies; two peasants were now gazing at our party.

The plaid bag was called for, and they quaffed brandy to Gamle Norge and
filled their pipes with tobacco. One said something about a better
place, but we were content to rest where we were now that we had
unloaded.

The stream flowing to the Lake on the other side the road was
conveniently near. A slice of fried ham and an egg each was consumed,
and Noah and Zachariah were sent to the Lake to fish. When they returned
at eight o’clock, Esmeralda had the tea ready; they had caught five
trout, which were soon in our _tetteramengry_ (gip. frying-pan) with
four eggs. The news had spread. The peasants came in numbers; whilst
Esmeralda was frying our fish our visitors earnestly chewed and spit in
all directions about our fire; some went to the donkeys, some inspected
our things, the rest closed in upon Esmeralda, who could scarcely
complete her cooking.

We could see indications of a white squall on the usually smiling
countenance of our gipsy _Hobbenengree_;[53] sometimes she shoved them
right and left, and said something about gorgios getting in her road.

“Now then!” said Esmeralda in a _fume_, “chiv the Metteramengery, just
dik the gorgios all round. I can’t think what they all want to see.” It
was very excusable, our peasant friends had never seen our donkeys, or
tents, or gipsies before, still if they would have left us quietly
whilst we were at tea we should have much preferred it. When we were
seated near the fire, the peasant men, women, and children closed round
us; it was difficult to decide, as we watched their countenances,
whether they thought our meal well or indifferently cooked; it might not
have been up to a dinner produced at Les Trois Frères, (we hope the
Communists have spared it). Nor had we champagne frappé, but under the
circumstances we found our tea from Phillips’s, King William Street, a
very good substitute. Esmeralda was an excellent _cuisinière_,
especially when the gorgios gave her sufficient elbow room; nor had we
any means of ascertaining their ideas as to the luxury of the diet. This
with some other matters must remain one of the unsolved mysteries of
this book. The intense and solemn earnestness with which our visitors
watched every scrap we ate was interrupted by a peasant woman’s child,
who was taken with a cascade fit, and very near made an important
addition to Zachariah’s pannikin of tea. This closed rather abruptly our
soirée. Noah went to pitch the tents, Esmeralda put up the tea things,
and though rather reluctant, as she said, to play for the gorgios, at
our request accompanied Zachariah on the tambourine. Our visitors seemed
much pleased; Zachariah was irrepressible with Romany chaff, although I
had cautioned him to be careful when we had visitors. The music ended,
eleven o’clock came, no signs of any one leaving; what with Esmeralda
shouting from the inside our tents at those who touched the outside, and
Noah and Zachariah tumbling with wild merriment, we were _au désespoir_,
until taking hold of Zachariah, we threw him, after a brief tussle, into
the tent, and caught him such a box that he was effectually silenced.
There was a gipsy collapse. We informed the visitors we wanted to go to
bed, and they quietly left, except some few who still clung to the
donkeys at some distance away.

We began to think we should end our days as a showman, or the
respectable manager of a strolling company of players. It was a
beautiful moonlight night, as we strolled forth for a few minutes before
retiring to rest. Just going to sleep, we heard Zachariah’s voice, in
melancholy and watery tone: “Mr. Smith’s tired of me,” whimpered he;
“next time he’ll try and do without me; some people change. Mr. Smith’s
changed; I hope he’ll get another as will do as well.” We seized the
opportunity to explain his real position, and his proper line of
conduct; the gipsies had received much kindness from us, we shared with
them our provisions whatever we had. Somehow gipsies, donkeys, tents,
and accessories seemed to have become part and parcel of our existence.
They gave us a dreamy happiness, as we floated along by mountain, river,
lake, and forest. The gipsies’ wild energy never flagged; we could pull
through any difficulty; wet and fine, storm and sunshine, still our
tents found a resting-place in the wild scenes of a beautiful and
hospitable land. The gipsies saw the force of our observations, and with
“cushty raty” to all, we were soon in a sound sleep.

We did not get up very early; it was nearly nine o’clock; Esmeralda had
a slight cold. The morning was very fine, and the last three or four
days had been very warm. Noah went out, and found the peasants had
already collected, and were increasing in numbers. Noah made tea, fried
two excellent trout with four eggs, which, with bread and fladbröd and
butter, formed our frokost.

The visitors were so numerous that we had breakfast in our tent. Whilst
at breakfast a peasant would occasionally try to look at us through the
opening we were obliged to have for ventilation. We were at last obliged
to speak rather sharp to those pressing against our tent, and they were
more careful; we had very little fault to find. We do not believe they
would ever give intentional annoyance; in fact, the kindness we received
on all occasions throughout our wanderings will ever be remembered.

As the sun rose our tents became very warm; we strolled out, dressed in
our light blue flannel jacket, white waistcoat, light trousers, long
Napoleon riding boots, and straw hat, which was the only one we
possessed. It was a deliciously warm morning; on the opposite side of
the lake we could see the Kjölen Fjeldene rising above it. Our camp was
in a large forest, extending towards the Stor Horungen. The Jora Elv,
which we had crossed near Dombaas, flows between the Stor Horungen and
Hundsjö Fjeldet; then on its left banks are the mountains called “Sjung
Hö” and the “Tvœraatind,” and on the right the “Mjugsjö Hö,” “Skreda
Hö,” and beyond are the wilds of the “Snehœtten”. The Jora Elv falls
into the Logan near Dombaas. This extensive tract of mountain, forest,
lake, and river is as yet, we believe, little known to anglers.

We bought twelve eggs from a peasant woman for twelve skillings; a boy
brought six trout, which we also bought for twelve skillings. We confess
to feelings of melancholy that, with three fly-rods and an immense stock
of flies, in a country like Norway, we should so far lower our dignity
as a sportsman as to buy trout. Still four hungry people to be fed much
influenced the purchase. We hoped for better things, which might remove
this passing shadow from the annals of our angler’s life.

It occurred to us to go to church, but there was the uncertainty as to
the time the services commenced, and whether there would be any service
on that particular Sunday. In some districts service is only held on
occasional Sundays, as we remember to have been the case in some
parishes in Wales. The country churches are built of wood; we only met
with one exception. No church bells in the valley sounded over the
waters of the lake.

A large number of peasants congregated round us as we sat down on a
rock; wherever we moved there they came. As we lounged about near our
tents, and looked round at the peasants of all sizes and ages, females
with children in their arms, young girls and ragged boys wandering after
us through the rocky mazes of the broken ground, like a comet’s tail,
but not quite so luminous, we resigned ourselves to our fate. The
peasants seemed as interested as usual, and we conversed as well as we
could with them. They are a friendly, kind people. One boy spoke English
very fairly, though he had never been in England; there was an
intelligence about him which pleased us. Several questions were
propounded, one was whether we had grapes in England--if we had much
fruit--whether we could fish free--what kind of winter we had in
England--if we had been in France and Germany? The boy was much
astonished when we told him we had not only been to France and Germany,
but all round the world. The boy was told, if he would come to our camp
in the evening, he should have an English book as a present.

Notwithstanding frequent solicitations that we would give them some
music, we remained firm, and gave our reasons. They asked if we had any
objection to a peasant playing. They were told to please themselves, so
that it was not close to our tents. The peasant had a large, powerful,
fine-toned accordion, and, if it had not been Sunday, we should have
managed a pleasant concert.

Noah and Zachariah had leave of absence till three o’clock; they
returned at half-past two o’clock. Having crossed the lake in a boat,
they had been for a ramble on the “Kjölen Fjeldene.” A peasant boy had
offered them the use of the boat if we stayed a day longer. Our dinner
consisted of six fish and five eggs, fried in oil, with black bread and
tea. Though our visitors were then reduced to about twenty-five persons,
at three o’clock there were again fresh arrivals; one peasant woman
brought the donkeys fresh grass. They hurried up in parties, perspiring
in the warm sun, inquiring for “den asen.” Then they hastened as fast as
they could over the rocks to where they were. Endless discussions were
held over them; our poor donkeys must have been much astonished at their
sudden importance.



CHAPTER XIX.


SERENADE.

    Thy gipsy-eye, bright as the star
    That sends its light from heaven afar,
    Will, with the strains of thy guitar,
        This heart with rapture fill.
    Then, maiden fair, beneath this star,
    Come, touch with me the light guitar.

    Thy brow, unmarked by lines of care,
    Deck’d with locks of raven hair,
    Seems ever beautiful and fair
        At moonlight’s stilly hour.
    What bliss! beside the leafy maze,
    Illumined by the moon’s pale rays,
    On thy sweet face to sit and gaze,
        Thou wild, uncultured flower.
    Then, maiden fair, beneath this star,
    Come, touch with me the light guitar.

    ESMERALDA AT THE LAKE--OUR CADEAU--THE
    VISITORS--DISAPPOINTMENT--AN ADONIS--THE SILENT VISIT--THE OLD
    MILL--A NORWEGIAN FOX--THE PURU RAWNEE’S FALL--THE FOREST
    SCENE--ZACHARIAH’S TORMENT--UNDER DISCIPLINE--MUSIC IN THE
    FOREST--DISTANT ADMIRERS--THE ENGLISH HUNTER’S GIFT--OUR GIPSIES
    FISHING--THE MILITIA CAMP--SILENT VISITOR--ORNAMENTAL
    FLADBRÖD--A FOREST CONCERT.


Some of the peasants, especially women, were most anxious to explore the
hidden recesses of our tents, but this could not be permitted. Our
gipsies were very well conducted, and quiet in their demeanour, as
befitted the day.

After dinner Esmeralda, who had washed and dressed herself in her robe
with silver buttons, accompanied us for a quiet stroll to the shores of
the lake; her brothers were left in charge of the tents. The distance
was not very far. Seated on a wooded knoll above the shores of the lake,
we watched its silvery waters and the picturesque outline of the Kjölen
mountain; its patches of snow near the summit were not yet melted by the
summer’s sun. How enjoyable was life in the wild mountains near the
smooth lake whose silvered waters seem ever smiling; all seemed in
repose as we breathed the pure air of heaven. The lake, we understood,
was called the Logan Vand. A peasant woman, at a house near the lake,
asked us to come in, both going and returning, but we preferred the open
air.

We returned to tea at about seven o’clock. A large number of peasants
were scattered in all directions about our camp and round the donkeys.
Four eggs were boiled for our tea, with bread and butter. After tea, we
presented our friend, the boy who spoke English, with “Views of
Jerusalem and its Environs.” The boy read a passage, _vivâ voce_, from
it in English with great correctness and good accent; the present
pleased him very much, and we were glad we had thought of giving it to
him. If we spoke to a peasant a crowd immediately collected round us. It
appeared to disappoint them that music was not permitted, but we were
quite firm.

At nine o’clock we wished them good night; still they remained, and a
large number kept wandering round our tents. Some few lighted a fire of
juniper; the smoke blew towards our tents, and Noah rushed out with an
alpenstock and put it out.

The hum of voices at length became less distinct, and we were thinking
of retiring to rest. Esmeralda was already partly asleep behind her tent
partition, we were seated opposite our gipsies, when another party came
up from the road. One was upwards of six feet high, and dressed
differently from the peasants’ usual costume--a tall young fellow with a
very long pipe. The waterproof cover was arranged so that the entrance
to our tent was only about two feet high; the tall visitor, who seemed
to have been enjoying himself, and was rather unsteady, lay down on the
turf, so that he could see us. At first he said to Noah, “Spille a
little,” meaning that we should play. Then he turned to us, “You speak
English?” But when we spoke to him, he said, “I cannot understand you.”
Then he asked Noah if he spoke Norsk. Noah’s knowledge of the Norsk
language was still very limited. Our tall visitor, whiffing his pipe in
a half-fuddled state, kept saying in English, “I have beautiful girls,
mony, mony--you have beautiful girls.” We said, “Nei, nei.” And as he
said something about “den asen,” we pointed in their direction, and he
went off with his friends to see them. We thought they were gone, when
our tall Norwegian suddenly came back again, and lay down on the turf.
After a pause he said, “Spille a little;” and then said, “I hear you
have beautiful girl; I should like to see her. I have beautiful
girls--mony, mony.” He tried to pull the curtain aside, but we prevented
him, with “Nei, nei.” In vain we wished him good night; still he kept
saying occasionally, “You have beautiful girl, I have heard; I will show
you my beautiful girls--I have beautiful girls, mony, mony.” His
friends, however, seemed anxious to get him away, and at last, with some
reluctance, he left our tents, probably to join the beautiful girls, of
which he said he had mony, mony.

At the last moment, before going to bed, we strolled out in the
stillness of the night. We were just at the moment standing in the
shadow of some firs, when we observed the figure of a man advancing
noiselessly towards the tents. When he saw them, he retired, and soon
after returned, followed by another man. We could only just discern the
two figures as they advanced, step by step, cautiously towards the
tents. They paused. Very probably they thought we were all fast asleep,
and did not wish to disturb us. They stood for some short time gazing
motionless at the tents, and then retired as quietly as they came.

At half-past five o’clock we were again bustling about. More peasants
came even at that early hour. The man from the house near the lake
brought six trout, which we bought for six skillings. An old woman
brought some grass for the donkeys. One woman brought milk, but too late
for breakfast; not being able to carry it with us, we did not buy it. An
old peasant woman, with a peasant man in a red cap, wanted us to play
some music for them. They looked disappointed, when we said we were
going off at once.

It commenced to rain when we were packing, and we were anxious to
proceed on our wanderings. We turned from our camp to the road, and bade
adieu to our peasant friends, whom we left sitting in the rain, looking
at our now-deserted camp.

Proceeding up the valley, the views were pleasing. The rain was not
heavy. At Motterud a curious old mill attracted our attention. Passing
through the hamlet of Moseneden, as we understood it to be, we reached
the open forest just beyond, and halted on the right of the road. Our
middags-mad consisted of tea, fried fish, fladbröd, and butter. Some
peasant girls watched us at a distance in the forest. A jolly, pleasant
old man came to us, and a boy, with a large hump on his chest instead of
his back. The order was given to load, but no donkeys could be found;
fortunately a stream of water between two deep banks at some distance
gave us a clue to the direction they had gone.

After some trouble, and a hint from the jolly peasant, the donkeys were
found near the hamlet of Moseneden, on the borders of the forest, and
brought back. When Noah was loading the puru rawnee we presented the
jolly peasant with an oil bottle just emptied. The peasant seemed very
pleased with his sudden acquisition of fortune, and showed it to the
peasant girls, who brought down a Norwegian fox for us to see.

The girls had the fox fastened by a chain. It is called a “Rœv” in
Norwegian, and is smaller than the English fox, being rather lighter in
colour. Foxes are very numerous in some parts of Norway. The peasant did
not smoke, but the usual discussion took place about the donkeys.

At this juncture a storm of rain came on, and my gipsies disappeared
with the baggage under the large waterproof. The peasant contented
himself with the scanty shelter of the trees; and we were protected by
our light waterproof coat. Whilst we conversed with the old man, Noah
now and then put his head out from underneath the waterproof, and would
say “Blankesko.” The peasant, looking round, could see nothing, and
appeared puzzled to understand what blacking shoes had to do with his
observations about the donkeys. Sometimes it was “meget godt,” or a
“Romany” word, or scrap of a song, with smothered laughter from
Esmeralda. We spoke to Noah afterwards, and he promised to be more
careful. Some license we permitted among themselves, to exhaust their
exuberant spirits.

The rain ceased. The donkeys were loaded. Wishing the peasants adieu,
with mutual salutations, we continued our route through the forest.
Scotch firs, and light sandy soil; no enclosures--nothing but open
forest. Here and there, the trees were scattered thickly near the road.
Occasionally we came to an open glade. Zachariah, who had gone on
before, fell asleep on a rock on the road-side. As we came near, he
suddenly jumped up, and our puru rawnee, taking fright, shied across the
road, and fell all fours under her load.

Of course there was a torrent of Romany and English poured by Noah on
his brother’s devoted head. The puru rawnee was unloaded, and
fortunately unhurt. The place where she fell was soft, with loose sand.
Our journey continued, and at about half-past four o’clock we came to
some open greensward in the forest. The road made a curve round it. At
the farther corner, sloping from the road, about a hundred yards
distance, at the foot of a wooded bank, near a small narrow purling
stream of clear water, we pitched our tents.

A picturesque mountain, with pointed summit, rose to view above the
dense mass of forest trees which intervened between our camp and the
Logan. On the other side the stream, a narrow green mossy glade,
fringed with thickets, diverged to another bend of the main road through
the forest.

Our tents, when pitched, could be seen from the road. Zachariah suffered
every kind of misery it was possible to imagine from irritation of the
skin, resulting from bites of insects or impurity of blood--perhaps
both. His feet were the worst. We made him bathe his feet in warm water
and oatmeal, which relieved him very much. At night, when he was warm,
the itching was intolerable. Instances of this kind only experienced at
night without eruption or rash on the skin’s surface, we had met with
before in camp life. Yet it does not seem to be a common occurrence in
gipsy life. Potatoes enter largely into their diet in England. Noah’s
feet were slightly troubled with this irritation. When an opportunity
occurred, we determined to dose them all with brimstone and treacle.

Noah went to look out for a bonde-gaard, and purchased some fladbröd for
twelve skillings, and a pound of butter for one mark. Just before tea, a
boy in a red cap came to our tents. The boy was a fair, interesting,
slim boy, about seventeen. His features were good. There was a serious
earnestness about him which we admired. He had a small quantity of
brandy to drink, and he left. Then his father and mother came, as we
supposed them to be, to the tents, and some other people. They came from
the farm-house, where Noah had bought the fladbröd. The father was a
bearded, thickset, middle-aged man. There was a look of much
intelligence about him. Whilst we were taking our tea and fladbröd and
butter, they all sat on the opposite side the stream looking at us. Noah
commenced pitching our tents directly after. When Noah had put up our
tent, and our things were all arranged in it, they seemed much
astonished. After we had shown them the arrangements of our tent they
were going away, when we went after them, and said, if they came back,
we would give them some music. Noah and Zachariah played several airs.
Esmeralda began to remark upon our visitors’ appearance; but we very
sharply rebuked her, and, murmuring something about not being able to
say a word, she retired submissively into the privacy of the tents. Upon
an expedition of this kind it is necessary to maintain discipline.

One of our female visitors had a child slung on her shoulders. When they
had left in the still hour of closing evening--so delicious in the
forest--we sang two songs to the accompaniment of the guitar, violin,
and tambourine.

Our health had wonderfully improved. Continued and incessant reading was
now impossible. The mind transplanted, as it were, to new fields of
observation, gathered fresh tone and vigour. The physical senses became
quickened. The disturbing influences of the busy world were felt no
longer. Seated on the turf near our tents we were busily engaged writing
our notes. The gipsy girl came noiselessly behind us--so quietly we did
not hear her, as she came from the tents in her stockings, treading
lightly on the green sward. Silently she gave us a chuma (gip. kiss). It
was a kiss for reconciliation. We looked up surprised. A peasant boy,
till now unseen, stood looking through the bushes in amazement. He did
not appear to comprehend the scene, nor could we give him any
explanation. We turned, and were again alone. What could we do? We
dismissed it as the chimera of a forest dream. We had forgotten it; yet
it is upon our notes, and so it is left.

Several peasants were looking at the donkeys quite late. We alone were
up. They afterwards came to our tents, and conversed till we wished each
other good night. The musketos continued their attacks during the
evening.

The morning was very rainy. About eight o’clock some people came and
walked round our tents. We were not up. They walked away without
observation. When we got up at half-past eight o’clock, the rain had
partly abated. We were not troubled with musketos in our tent during the
night. Zachariah was much benefited by the oatmeal and water. A mark’s
worth of fladbröd was consumed for breakfast; this, with the addition of
butter and tea, completed our meal. Whilst we were at breakfast the
farmer’s son came by carrying three calves’ skins on his back,
accompanied by some peasant boys. Nearly all the Norwegians carry
hunting-knives by their sides. Another boy afterwards passed by our
tents with a long pole, used as a “fisk-stang,” or fishing-rod. After
breakfast two women tramps, or “highflyers,” as the gipsies called them,
passed along the road. One had a child fastened on her back, and was
leading another by the hand. They seemed astonished at our tents and
donkeys, and sat down looking towards our camp for some time.

The weather being unsettled, we sent Noah and Zachariah with their
fishing-rods towards the Logan. They were told to try a lake in that
direction through the forest. Directly they were gone, a man and some
boys came to see us, and the man had some tobacco. He possessed a pipe
which he seemed to prize very much; the pipe had been given him by an
English gentleman named Ferrand, who had been in the mountains, reindeer
hunting. Our visitor was a fine strong fellow, and said that the
reindeer were numerous in that part of Norway. The hunter was
exceedingly pleased with the tents, as also another man who afterwards
came.

In the course of the morning a carriage and pair passed along the road;
they were evidently English. We heard one young lady exclaim, as she
caught sight of our camp, “What an awfully comfortable tent.” A lady in
a carriole followed them. They stopped a short time in contemplation and
then continued their journey, which we hope they enjoyed as much as we
did ours.

A young Norwegian traveller and his wife drove up in a _Stolkjœrre_.
They both got down and came to our camp, and asked a number of questions
about the donkeys.

We made a sketch of our camp whilst Esmeralda, or “daughter,” as her
brothers sometimes called her, went up to the “Bondegaard.” Esmeralda
returned with twenty-three fladbröd cakes, and eight extra ones given as
a present by the farmer’s wife--a kind, homely, respectable woman. She
was very busy baking, and asked Esmeralda in, and said they should come
down for some music in the evening.

The rain cleared off, and about half-past three Noah and Zachariah
returned. Noah had caught twenty-one and Zachariah ten grayling and
trout, some of fair size. The addition to our provisions was very
satisfactory. All the fish had been caught in the river Logan; some of
the fish were immediately fried, and eaten for dinner with fladbröd.
Noah was the subject of some amount of joking about his success, and we
kept an account of the number of fish he and Zachariah had caught during
the journey. At half-past four o’clock we started them off again to the
river. After Esmeralda had cleared up her things, and put the dinner
away, she went up to the “Bondegaard” for another pound of butter, and a
mark’s worth of flabröd and salt. Whilst she was away a militia soldier
in dark green uniform tunic, and cap, came by in a “Stolkjœrre,” a sort
of light cart. When he saw our tents from the road, he pulled up. After
waiting some time, looking towards our camp, he came down and saluted.
It appeared he had come from the camp near Lillehammer. As one who had
had some experience in camp matters he appeared much interested in our
arrangements. We explained everything as well as our knowledge of the
language permitted. After he had drunk to Gamle Norge, he returned to
his conveyance. Then his wife came down, and looked at our tents; she
also drank to Gamle Norge,[54] and then returned, and they continued
their journey.

The soldier and his wife seemed very quiet and respectable people.
Esmeralda had only just returned when down came three travellers from
their carrioles. Our visitors were in light summer blouses and straw
hats, and had round tin cases suspended from a strap over their
shoulders; they were evidently men of education. One, I believe, was
from Throndjhem, another from Drammen, and the third from Christiania.
We answered their questions about our tents, and informed them they were
English gipsy tents (zigeuner). Our visitors were apparently going to
Romsdal themselves. As we shook hands we hoped their journey would be a
pleasant one. When they were gone another traveller drove along the road
in a carriole, and came down. He was dressed in a white round-crowned
hat, black surtout coat, and possessed a German silver watch-chain. He
wandered about our tents; we could not make much of him; whatever we
said scarcely produced a word, and we at last left him to continue our
writing. Then he came and looked over our notes as we wrote--a breach of
good manners which occasioned us to shut our book. He then walked away
to our camp spade, scanned it very minutely, and left.

The farmers’ wife came down to our camp with her three children, and
made us a present of some fladbröd and milk. The fladbröd we had from
this farm was the best we met with in Norway. They made three kinds: one
kind of fladbröd was very thin, and stamped with curious tracery that
made us regret its demolition; so much did the ornamental fladbröd
excite our admiration that we managed with much care to bring back one
specimen to England. A representation of it is now given, together with
an ornamental Norwegian box-lid which we afterwards found on the shores
of the Lille Mjösen. We trust the fidelity of the engraving will be
recognised by the farmer’s wife if she ever sees this book. We told her
our music would commence at nine o’clock.

After she had left, an old peasant with a round cap came, and we showed
him our tents and donkeys. He seemed in raptures with the donkeys, and
kept exclaiming Peen giœre! Peen giœre!!--meaning very beautiful. This
was a common expression of the peasants as they lifted their hands and
expressed their admiration of our donkeys. As far as we could make out
we were near “Lœsjeskogen,” and the station of “Lesje Vœrk.” On our
right are the mountains of the “Stor Hö,” and the “Sœter Fjeld.” Across
the Logan are the Tœver Fjeld, Hyrion Fjeld, and the Skarvehöerne. We
should think this would be a good position for fishing, and reindeer
hunting, though we scarcely think the reindeer hunting of these parts is
so good as formerly, and a sportsman must seek the wilder recesses of
the mountains.

[Illustration]

Our gipsies, Noah and Zachariah, returned. Noah had caught four trout,
and Zachariah one. Although cautioned specially, Noah had been wading,
and his feet were very wet. Some of our trout were fried for tea. Three
men and a woman came down to the stream, and watched with interest our
method of cooking. After tea we gave our visitors some music--guitar,
violin, and tambourine. It was a very damp evening, and few visitors
came. At last Zachariah broke a violin-string, and the rain commencing,
ended our concert.



CHAPTER XX.

    “There was a gipsy’s tent, close beside me, and a party of about
    ten of this wandering tribe were seated around a wood fire,
    which habit seemed to make them approach closely to, whether it
    was cold or hot weather.”

  Séñor JUAN DE VEGA, the Spanish Minstrel of 1828-9.[55]


    NOAH UNWELL--THE TINE--NEW SCENES--THE LEPER--HASTY
    DEPARTURE--LESJEVŒRKS VAND--WELL MET--AGREEABLE
    WANDERERS--SPECIALTY OF TRAVEL--DELICIOUS TROUT--LAKE
    SCENERY--NORWEGIAN POSTMAN--NIGHT VISITORS--MORE
    TOURISTS--MOLMEN CHURCH.


Immediately after our music had ceased, Noah was taken ill with severe
rheumatism resulting from getting wet. Our services as the “Cushty
Drabengro.” (Gip., “good doctor”) of the party were in requisition. He
was sent to lie down in the tents, and we rubbed his back and body well
with brandy, giving him a stiff glass of brandy-and-water to drink. All
had retired to rest, but ourself. Hearing voices near our donkeys, we
went up and found a number of peasants and peasant girls near them. We
had an idea that they had been teasing them. Taking the peasants down to
our tents they looked round our camp, and when we wished them good-night
they left. It rained heavily as we went to sleep.

Much rain had fallen in the night. We looked out about seven o’clock on
the morning of 13th of July; the rain had ceased, but misty clouds
gathered thickly on the mountains. A fire was lighted, and Noah was
better, and we made him rub some of our bruise mixture on his knee.

Noah promised never to go into the water again. As we were getting our
breakfast, the farmer’s son passed with a wooden bottle of milk and a
wooden “Tine.” This word is pronounced “Teena.” It is a small wooden
oblong box with a slide lid used for carrying provisions. A box of this
kind is in common use all over Norway. Some of them are curiously
ornamented, according to the fancy of the possessor. For Frokost we had
fried trout, fladbröd and butter, and tea. Two women came to our camp;
one were men’s Wellington boots, and they were both knitting.

Whilst Noah was packing up, he said he dreamed we lived in a beautiful
wooden house, and were going to the East Indies. The gipsies dreamt very
often of their Romany Rye--sometimes Noah, sometimes Esmeralda, and
sometimes Zachariah. It was impossible to leave such a beautiful
camping-ground without regret. Whilst we were getting our things
together three young tourists, carrying their knapsacks, came to our
camp; they were very intelligent, agreeable companions. One of them said
his father lived at Veblungsnœs. They left before the gipsies had
loaded our donkeys. The weather now cleared up, and we were soon _en
route_. As we afterwards passed “Lesje Jernvœrk” (ironworks), we saw the
three tourists at the station. Mr. Bennett, in his handbook, says it is
a tolerable inn kept by civil people. Our road lay through a pleasing
diversity of lake, mountain, and pine forest. The tourists soon
afterwards overtook us; one knew something of French, and we were able
to converse more at ease. As we passed a house on the road-side, we
observed our silent visitor in black surtout coat, and German silver
watch chain, standing outside immobile with all his schoolboys. He was a
schoolmaster. They seemed as a guard just turned out, and not a sound
was heard as we passed. The peasants evinced the usual curiosity. One
old woman who was knitting exhibited great signs of pleasure. One of our
tourists said she was in an “extasy.” We had the donkeys, much to Noah’s
chagrin, stopped for her inspection. The usual exclamation “Peen giœre!”
was marked with much emphasis. Our tourists had gone on. The old lady
followed along the road. As we went down a short descent to a bridge, we
noticed a beautiful level camping-ground along the brook-side, sheltered
by a few bushes, at a convenient distance from the road.

The camping-ground was all we could desire; saying, “We will camp here
for to-night,” the word was given to halt. The donkeys were driven down
to the brook-side. The old lady, who had been joined by three boys,
still walked after us. The gipsies were so busy unloading that they did
not pay much attention to our visitors.

As we suddenly looked round we were astonished at the appearance of one
boy about sixteen; his face was completely eaten up with a kind of
leprosy (spedalskhed) frightful to see. The boy wore a cross-belt, and
carried a knife. He withdrew behind some bushes close by, perhaps to
screen himself from observation, when he saw the countenances of ourself
and gipsies--we had only had one glance--it was quite enough. Esmeralda
said she should never forget it. It was quickly decided that it would be
impossible to eat anything in comfort whilst the unfortunate boy was
near our camp. One donkey was already nearly unpacked, but we did not
see why we should be troubled with the vision of the afflicted leper
whilst we could move to a more favoured spot. Ordering the donkeys to be
reloaded, which my gipsies obeyed with wonderful alacrity, we were soon
again _en route_.

The old lady was talking to a man driving a cart, apparently full of
school children. He had pulled up at the bridge. They were evidently
discussing a variety of matters relating to us. Without looking behind,
we left the poor boy and his companions in complete possession of our
intended camp.

At a stream of water we overtook our three tourists, lying down. Two had
their shoes and stockings off, and were bathing their feet. Telling them
we should push on till two o’clock, we left them.

Following the main road in sight of the “Lesje Vœrks Vand,” a lake seven
English miles long, and 2,050 feet above the sea-level, we reached a
stream flowing into the lake. Descending to the bridge, we crossed the
stream which flowed down a sheltered gully. There was a convenient
camping-ground on the brook-side below the bridge and near to the lake.
A few bushes between our camp and the lake made the spot more sheltered.
We had just unloaded when our three tourists came up. Before they left
we presented each with one of our gipsy songs. Zachariah in a very short
time added a beautiful pink trout from the lake to our broiled ham,
fladbröd and tea, for dinner. Up to this time Noah had caught
thirty-seven trout, and Zachariah thirty-four. Taking Noah with us after
dinner, we went through a wild tract of moorland, thinly treed, along
the lake for about three English miles. After crossing some wild
streams, we came in sight of the wooden church and the station of
“Molmen,” which stands a short distance from the road. Noah went down to
the station, while we lounged by the side of a stream near the road, and
wrote up our notes.

“Molmen in the distance,” we mentally observed. Out came pencil and
book. There was a charm in one’s existence as we seated ourself on the
turf which formed the bank of the clear pure stream. What mingled hues
of delicious colouring caught the eye as we gazed on the various
grasses, wild flowers and heath which formed the nature painting of the
scene about us. The mind had not long been engaged in quiet
contemplation, when we observed a gentleman in a straw hat walking along
the road drawing after him a light kind of truck. Underneath the
framework, on a suspended netting, we noticed his knapsack, _sac de
nuit_, and other articles _du voyage_ for the use of his family. The
gentleman and his light truck was followed by his family. Three
good-looking grown-up daughters, and their friend or _governante_; two
young boys in long Alpine boots, holland trousers and check shirts, and
a fine large black dog followed after. It was a case of nomad meet
nomad, wanderer meet wanderer, each following his own idea, and each, I
believe, thoroughly enjoying his own will and fancy. How could we be
mistaken, there was a joyous expression of countenance. One rapid glance
was sufficient. They were happy in their way of travel. Far happier than
very many we met in their carrioles or stolkjœrrer as we journeyed up
the “Gudbransdalen.” An interest quickly gathered round the travellers
as they passed, which riveted our attention. They were gone, we were
left, yet we seemed to regret that we had not somehow made their
acquaintance. Pencil in hand we still lingered by the stream when we saw
the tall form of our gipsy Noah coming along the road. One mark’s worth
of fladbröd and ten eggs for 18 skillings had been purchased. Noah said
the gentleman who had just passed had seen him at the station, and
finding who we were, had asked about our camp and wished to see it. Noah
told him we were staying in sight of the road near to the lake. As we
soon after returned towards our camp, the gentleman and his family were
resting near a house on the road-side. Very shortly after we had reached
our tents, we heard their voices in song, as they walked along the road.
We listened with pleasure to some pretty Norwegian air which came to us
on the wind. Very soon they reached the bridge. We both saluted as we
went towards them from the brook-side. We were two wanderers happily
met. Each following his own speciality of idea. Each apparently
successful in result. Our baggage was heaped on the ground as they came
a short distance from the road to our camp. Our visitors conversed in
Norsk, French, and English. He asked if it was not very cold and damp on
the ground. They saw our donkeys, and our various things, including the
guitar and tambourines. The gentleman was a Mr. B., of good position in
Norway, who had landed from the steamer at Veblungsnœs, with his light
truck and family, and had travelled through Romsdalen when we met. At
parting we presented one of the young ladies with our gipsy song, and
with mutual good wishes we watched them ascend from the bridge of our
retired gully, and disappear over the top of the abrupt ascent.

The time was half-past five; the small amount of success we had had
fishing during our travels was not calculated to raise our reputation
with the gipsies as an expert angler. Up to this time we had not caught
a fish. Noah had caught fish; Zachariah had caught fish. Esmeralda had
cooked them, and we had only eaten them; something must be done.
Metteramengry[56] (Gip., “tea”) was postponed. Noah was told off to
accompany us. The fishing-rods and tackle were ready, and we were soon
on the light gravelly shore of the charming lake. It was all that could
be desired for fishing, yet we did not for some short time get a rise.

Ah! what! a fine trout heavily fighting; no landing-net, but he is
safely landed, just one foot long. The light evening breeze caused a
ripple on the surface of the lake, another rise and another trout
hooked. Our tackle was light, and just as we had him at the shore he
broke the fly. It was but the glance of an instant as we saw him steady
himself in the water. At once we were in the lake, and threw him on the
shore with both hands. The trout was caught, and equalled the first in
size.

How lovely the gleams of evening sun upon the lake. The romantic islets,
and the rising mountains from the opposite shore. Again we have another
trout hooked; this time it is a very fine one. Steadily and calmly we
handled a difficult adversary, and landed our trout without a
landing-net on the lake shore. The trout measured one foot four inches.
Noah, who had caught nothing, was astonished, and soon after we returned
to our camp at seven o’clock. Esmeralda and Zachariah had our tea ready,
and the largest trout was soon in the frying-pan. Pink as salmon the
trout eat with a delicious flavour, and was soon consumed with our
fladbröd.

After tea the postman pulled up at the bridge. We had seen him before,
and some men came up who appeared to have been surveying. Zachariah then
played his violin, and Esmeralda her tambourine, and Noah put up the
tents whilst we lounged on the turf, and the men gazed at us from the
road. When our tent was up we took Esmeralda’s tambourine, and she went
to arrange our things for the night. The peasants left when the music
ceased. It is not so easy to play the tambourine. Much suppleness of the
hand is required. The exercise is excellent for the arms and fingers.
The roulades and the burr of the jingles with the tips of the fingers
require practice. Noah gave us a lesson when our visitors were gone.
Then we had more peasants. One woman we imagined wished to know if we
wanted coffee, and did not seem to think we understood clearly the
luxury she proposed. She went to each in turn, and at last gave us up in
despair. The peasants who came to see us seemed hard driven for an
existence, their clothes were patched and mended, and their faces
expressed endurance and hard life. Noah, who was much better, had a
glass of brandy-and-water before retiring to sleep. After our party
were at rest for the night we heard the voices of women, and went out of
our tent. It rained hard; the women were at the top of the ascent by the
bridge, looking at our tents. One had an umbrella. The sound of talking
was very distinct for some time after we had gone to bed.

The night was wet, and the morning damp and drizzly. We were up between
seven and eight o’clock, and went fishing in the lake before breakfast,
where we caught another trout a foot long. The breeze from the lake had
given us an excellent appetite when we returned, and we found Esmeralda
had cooked the two large trout of yesterday for breakfast with four
eggs. The reputation of the Romany Rye as a fisherman after catching
four feet four inches of trout from the lake in so short a time was
completely established in the minds of the gipsies. We had no means of
weighing our fish. The trout out of this lake are beautifully pink, and
delicious to eat.

Frokost was finished. Esmeralda was putting the things away. The morning
was now finer, and we perceived passing over the bridge two young
tourists, dressed in red shirts, with white trousers tucked into their
high boots, which laced up in front. These kind of boots, similar in
make to the style of the ladies’ Alpine boot, seem to be much patronised
in Norway by walking tourists. They appear to be excellent boots; but we
doubt whether they will stand heavy mountain work with the same comfort
to the wearer as our ordinary Alpine boot. During all our long and
continued walking through Norway in all weathers, the strong Alpine
boots made at Medwin’s, Regent Street, never gave us a single blister.
Each tourist carried his knapsack, and seeing our tents they sat down
on the road-side, on the top of the declivity by the bridge, to look at
our camp. When we went up to them, and asked them to come down to our
camp, we found them very nice fellows. One spoke English. The donkeys
were shown them, and the tents; and then we presented each with a copy
of our gipsy song. They seemed much pleased. Yet, in after years, if
they chance to meet with it among their _souvenirs de voyage_, they will
again remember the “Englishman and gipsies” camped by the little bridge
and wild stream near Molmen. After the tourists had continued on their
way towards the Gudbransdalen, some peasant men and women arrived. One
peasant woman seemed, as far as we could make out, to wish us to stay
longer to attend some _fête_. Probably they wished to engage our musical
services. We could not make out very distinctly what she did want. As we
struck our camp and packed up, they asked us to spille[57] a little; but
the weather was again cloudy and inclined for rain, and we at once left
for Molmen. There is a very pretty wooden church at Molmen. An old man
and several peasants were at the road-side near the turn to the station,
which is a short distance from the road. The old man advanced and said,
“Velkommen.” There was something touching in this honest and hearty and
kindly word to the nomad strangers.



CHAPTER XXI.

    If the gipsies are not the dispersed Egyptians, where are that
    scattered people? If the dispersed and scattered gipsies are not
    the descendants of the offending Egyptians, what are they?

  _The Gipsies._ By SAMUEL ROBERTS.


    THE RAUMA--A LOFTY CLIMB--MORE RAIN--THE FOREST WALK--TENT
    LIFE--PEASANT FÊTE--NORWEGIAN DANCING--ZACHARIAH’S RIDE--THE
    WOOD CARVINGS--A PSALMODION--STUEFLAATEN--THE
    ROMSDAL--MAGNIFICENT SCENERY--ENGLISH SPOKEN.


Taking Noah down to the station, we purchased one mark of fladbröd, one
mark of butter, and four skillings’ worth of soap. Esmeralda had used
all our stock of soap. The quality of soap in some parts of Norway is
indifferent. The kitchen was extremely hot; but we went into a small
comfortable sitting-room, where we inspected photographs of various
eminent men of Norway, and some carved spoons, during the few minutes we
stayed. As we returned to the road, the old man asked us how far we were
going, and seemed disappointed when we said, “Langt.” It is probable he
wished to see our camp. Our party were soon following the banks of the
river Rauma.

From the “Lesje Vœrks Vand” the Logan flows south, and the Rauma, whose
banks we had now reached, flows north. The picturesque lake, from which
these two rivers have their source, is about one Norsk mile long. The
Logan falls into the Mjösen Lake at Lillehammer; the Rauma falls into
the Isfjord, a branch of the Romsdal Fjord near Veblungsnœs. Romsdalen
begins at Holsœt,[58] near our camp at Lœsje, and is about fifty-six
miles long. The country through which we travelled on the banks of the
Rauma was very beautiful. Molmen is a good fishing station. We saw some
large trout in the Rauma, near Molmen. The same interest continued with
regard to our donkeys. One peasant got out on the roof of his house to
get a better view. At one place a peasant came after us, and suggested
we should camp on some wild waste land through which our route passed,
and across which the wind was coldly blowing. There was little shelter.
The place was not inviting, and we had yet time to be fastidious in the
selection of a camping ground. Having passed “Enebo,” we continued our
route. Zachariah rode on the top of the baggage of one donkey, and
occasionally played his violin. At length we came to a wild extent of
open moorland, with mountains rising on either side. Over the plain,
detached clumps of trees, gave the scene a more cheerful aspect. On the
moorland’s edge, to the right, hanging woods covered the base of the
mountains to a considerable height.

The picturesque mountain, called the Raanaa, dark in its wild clouds,
and a mountain we understood as the Konokon, also the Kongel, the Kolhö,
and Böverhö Mountains were before us. We turned off the route to the
right across the moorland, and halted near a small lake by a clump of
trees, in sight of a picturesque waterfall. The donkeys were unloaded in
a cold wind and heavy rain. Two boys came up almost immediately, and,
putting up our fishing-tackle, we followed them, with Zachariah, across
the moorland to the left of our route, and, reaching the enclosure of a
hanging wood on the steep bank of the Rauma, we were soon fishing in its
stream. The water had a thick greenish hue. The wind was very cold, with
occasional rain. Some of the throws were exceedingly good; but not a
rise, and we returned in about an hour to our camp. Dinner consisted of
three pounds of our dried meat, from Holaker, boiled with potatoes,
rice, pea-flour, and reindeer moss, to flavour it. Very good it was:
soup first, then meat, potatoes, and fladbröd, water being our beverage
instead of tea when we had soup. A man and two boys came, and we gave
the man brandy, and the two boys brandy-and-water. When the peasant took
his brandy neat, he seemed thoroughly to appreciate it, and his visage
bore marks of a fondness for aquavit. A tall, respectable-looking old
man, in an ample black cloth dress coat, with a belt round it outside,
to which his hunting-knife hung, and large gloves on, came up. They
stood in the rain looking at us, as we sat in the wet enjoying our
dinner, with the exception of the meat, which was too tough even for
ourself and three hungry gipsies to masticate. The greatest part of the
meat was put by, to be again made into soup.

Dinner being finished, and being extremely wet about the legs, we
proposed to visit the waterfall we saw in the distance. It was about
four o’clock, and Esmeralda accompanied us, whilst Noah and Zacharia
remained in charge of the camp. Passing by the moorland lake, we were
soon in the forest, sometimes nearly over our boots in wet marshy
ground, and at other times climbing precipitous rocks, covered with moss
and foliage, overhung with pine and birch. Our route was devious and
uneven, damp and moist. The vand fos was given up. A beautiful bouquet
of wild flowers was secured, and at six o’clock we sighted our camp. Our
feet were wet through as we came up, and found our tents had been
pitched by Noah in our absence. Changing our wet things, we had tea and
fried trout in our tents. It was delightful to find ourselves
comfortably seated in the luxuriousness and independent freedom of our
tents, in sight of the forests and picturesque fields. A gentleman came
whilst we were at tea, probably from his carriole, which he had left on
the main route. As he walked round the tents, he bowed, and seemed much
pleased with a scene illustrating nomadic life in wet weather.

The clouds cleared towards half-past eight, and the peasants made up a
large fire for us. Then they came round the tent, and we sang our gipsy
song and the “Mocking Bird,” with the guitar accompaniment.

The weather being new tolerably fine, we went to the fire and played
some few airs. The peasants evidently wanted to dance. Two beaux of the
village were as usual there: one a slim, short, pale young man, with
black surtout coat; and the other a young man in ordinary peasant
costume. They began dancing together to our music, and the pale young
man took off his hat very politely to Esmeralda, who was seated in the
tent. Finding the peasants wished to dance, and that the turf was too
uneven, we went up to the road, and taking our waterproof to sit upon,
the gipsies, Noah, Zachariah, and ourself played them a number of
polkas. The two beaux of the village soon found two stout peasant girls
for partners, and danced to an admiring audience. Noah danced with one;
but he said she smelt so much of ointments he could not go on. The
peasants seemed much pleased with the music--in fact, I believe we were
improving. Zachariah played a Norwegian tune he had picked up on board
the steamer going to Lillehammer, which seemed to suit them exactly. The
pale young man in the surtout coat, and an active peasant girl, danced
to it in a peculiar Norwegian step. We liked to see them. As they
danced, sometimes the pale young man relinquished the waist of his
partner, and they both turned the reverse way apart, keeping up the step
till they again met once more, and whirled round rapidly together. The
stillness of evening, with its freshness after rain, as the dancers
waltzed in the midst of the wild moorland, to the sounds of the violin,
guitar, and tambourine,--a thousand different dreams crowded upon our
fancy. That Norwegian air!--again and again we played it, till our
dancers were almost tired. The spectators apparently enjoyed looking on
quite as well. There was the peasant who appreciated spirits, and many
more. They are a good-humoured people. One peasant girl would insist
upon Esmeralda coming up. The pale young man wished to dance with
Esmeralda; but she would only dance once with her brother before he went
to take her place at the tents. All things have an end. Our music ended.
Wishing our friends, including our two beaux of the village, good night,
we went to our tents, and the peasants soon after left. Esmeralda was
rather unwell, for she had neglected to change her wet boots.
Brandy-and-water was administered to Esmeralda and Noah. The night was
damp and cold, and we could scarcely keep our feet warm.

Rising at about seven o’clock we went again to the Rauma; but fished
without success. The morning was cold. Returning to breakfast, Esmeralda
had prepared four eggs, tea, and fladbröd and butter, for the party. As
the gipsies were striking our tents and loading our baggage a man and
two boys came, and a little girl with some milk, but too late for our
breakfast. She had brought it some little distance, and we bought it for
five skillings. Leaving our camp, we passed the waterfall, and crossed a
bridge, leaving the open moorland for the enclosed road. The river
seemed well adapted for fish; but we do not think much sport can be
obtained at this part of the Rauma. Very soon after we commenced our
day’s journey, Zachariah, who had ridden on one of the loaded donkeys
most of the previous day, wished to ride again. Occasionally we did not
object; but our donkeys had already quite sufficient weight without the
addition of Zachariah. His brother and sister were of the same opinion
as ourself, and, although he alleged pain in his stomach, we suggested
that walking would be its best antidote. With a wild waywardness of
disposition, he soon after jumped on one of the loaded donkeys from
behind, which resulted in his being pulled off with a shake, which, if
it did not bring him to his senses, brought him to his feet for the rest
of the day’s journey.

The Shorengro (gip., chief) of a party should be firm. Camp laws, as
laid down before starting, should be adhered to. In matters requiring
the decision of the directing mind, caution should be used. When
settled, arrangements should be firmly acted upon; wavering and
feebleness of purpose will soon ruin the success of any expedition; calm
serenity of mind, and good temper through all difficulties, is
indispensable. The peasants showed the same anxiety as usual to see our
donkeys. The former station at Nystuen is now discontinued.

Before we reached Stueflaaten a reindeer-hunter came to us in the road,
a thick-set intelligent man, dressed in good clothes and wearing long
boots. The hunter spoke a little English. We went with him up to his
house, close to the road. The large family room, used as kitchen and
general room, was as badly ventilated as usual. Very seldom we ventured
into the close atmosphere of the Norwegian farm-houses. There are, no
doubt, exceptions. Many of the houses have very small windows, which do
not open, and they are therefore closed winter and summer. The musketos
and flies and heat are kept out, but then it is generally at the cost of
fresh air, that invaluable health-producer, too lightly estimated. The
room had a trap-door in the floor, with a ring to it, which somehow we
always connect with a scene of mystery; some adventure requiring to be
worked out with a melodramatic _dénouement_. The reindeer-hunter’s wife
furnished us with some butter, two eggs, and some fladbröd, for which we
paid one mark three skillings. The butter was of dark yellow colour, but
we found it good. They had a very primitive weighing-machine, a short
piece of round wood with a knob at one end, and a small hook at the
other. The article to be weighed is hung on the hook, and the machine is
balanced on the finger at certain marks, which indicate the weight.
Several carved spoons, and an ingeniously carved butter-cup, were
produced. For the butter-cup, which the reindeer-hunter had carved
himself, he wanted three marks. At our request he reached a “Psalmodion”
down--a very primitive Norwegian instrument--one string stretched over a
flat board, played with a kind of fiddle-bow. The sound is neither
harmonious or lively, though the hunter, who played it, was probably a
good performer. There was much that was ancient and belonging to a past
age, in the house. We afterwards bought one of his carved wooden spoons
for ten skillings, which seemed to please the reindeer-hunter very much.
The carved spoon was given to Esmeralda, and ultimately broken.

[Illustration: PRIMITIVE WEIGHING MACHINE.]

The station of Stueflaaten stands upon a rise of ground forming a kind
of promontory, round which the road circles, so that you can walk up one
side to the station and descend on the other into the road. There is a
sort of balcony, with seats round it, and steps up to it, in front of
the entrance door. A very civil hostess--we took her for such--met us
from the kitchen. They had also an inner room, in which a large fire was
burning. Our stores were replenished with three marks’ worth of
fladbröd, potatoes, and twelve eggs. The people of the station came down
to see our donkeys. At a short distance from Stueflaaten the route
descends the side of steep rocky cliffs by a zig-zag road cut through
the rocks. A large expanse of fjeld and forest, broken and intersected
by rushing torrents, leaving nothing but streaks of white foam visible
in the distance, converged to the deep, deep, narrow romantic valley we
were now entering. The day had become fine and beautiful. We gazed in
silence as we commenced our descent down the road, carried in a slanting
direction to an angle, so as to render the way less difficult and steep.
At a very short distance after we had turned the angle of the road a
halt was called. In a recess covered with wild flowers, and bushes on
the top of the sloping bank, above the road, we found sufficient room
for our middags-mad.

The broken bank was overhung by steep rocks. The fire was soon lighted.
Esmeralda peeled some potatoes. An excellent soup was made from our
stock of yesterday, to which was added the dried meat from Holiaker, to
be boiled a second time with potatoes, Liebig’s essence, and a quantity
of wild sorrel. What a beautiful scene! What numberless streams dashing
in their deep-worn watercourses into the blue waters of the Rauma, which
loses itself in the deep ravine of the narrow valley; so we stayed until
it was found to be six o’clock. Hastily loading again we followed the
gradual descent of the road. Before us rose the singularly shaped
mountain, said to be the Dontind.[59] Its shape is peculiar, with its
escarped precipices and snowy summit. A very picturesque waterfall came
dashing down the rocks to our right, and close by stood a very small
wooden mill, with its simple and primitive method of grinding. The
miller was there as we looked in, and had just room to stand inside. He
was grinding oats. If many articles of food are not so fine in quality
in Norway, there is one satisfaction, that what you have is generally
genuine.

At last we came to where the Rauma, at a short distance from the road,
enters a deep gorge, and forms the beautiful fall of the Sœndre
Slettefossen. The river passes through a deep chasm of rock, and is
spanned by a narrow log bridge. Not far from the fall, on the opposite
side of the road, we found some rough broken ground at the back of a
rocky cliff. An old carriage-way had once gone through the rocks, but
was now stopped up, so that we found ourselves on a comfortable platform
above the main road.

The view was beautiful. The donkeys were driven up, and quickly
unloaded. An old peasant man and woman, and one or two children were
there, as if they had been forewarned of our arrival, and were ready to
receive us. Out came our silver-mounted brandy-flask. It was of handsome
spiral shape and formed of glass. How it escaped being broken we could
never make out, but we have it now. The old man and woman drank their
brandy, and seemed much pleased. They plucked some grass to feed the
donkeys. Very soon other peasants came, and a reindeer-hunter, who spoke
some English. The hunter was a very civil intelligent man; he could read
English, and spoke it tolerably well, telling us there were many
reindeer, and he would go with English gentlemen shooting them.

Our evening meal was soon ready, four eggs, fladbröd, butter, and tea.
The peasants were told that after our tents were pitched they should
have some music. Two of my tent-rods were broken, and we had to splice
them--. In consequence of the loss of our kettle-prop we were obliged to
make holes for our tent-rods with the sharp point of one of Tennant’s
geological hammers. Whilst the tents were being pitched we continued our
_notes de voyage_.

The peasants were not numerous, but they were appreciative as we played.
It was interesting to watch their kindly countenances as they gazed on
the nomads, with their tents and donkeys, on the sheltered platform of a
rocky cliff above the Rauma. When our music ended, and we wished them
good night, they did not remain about our tents, but quietly left us to
take our rest.



CHAPTER XXII.

    “Commend me to gipsy life and hard living. Robust exercise,
    out-door life, and pleasant companions are sure to beget good
    dispositions, both of mind and body, and would create a stomach
    under the very ribs of death, capable of digesting a bar of pig
    iron.”

  GEORGE S. PHILLIPS (January Searle).


    THE DONTIND--ORMEIN--MOUNTAIN ROAD--OUR BIVOUAC--DELIGHTED
    VISITOR--THE WATER ELF--EXCITED GIPSIES--TAGE EN STOL--NORWEGIAN
    GIRLS--SUNDAY ON THE RAUMA--CARRIOLE TRAVELLING--COMING TO
    GRIEF--“SPILLE” A LITTLE--ESMERALDA’S BIRTHDAY--THE NORWEGIAN
    CLIMATE--THE SJIRIAGLNS--UNCOMFORTABLE BED--THE LARGE ANT.


It was a charming night. The Rauma foamed beneath and lulled us to
sleep. The snow-covered and singularly shaped “Dontind” towered in the
distance above the valley.

At seven o’clock the next morning we were up and had breakfast, tea,
fladbröd, and butter. Whilst the gipsies were loading, we went to the
log bridge, and viewed the picturesque fall of the Rauma, the “Sœndre
Slettefossen,” foaming through high and overhanging rocks. Returning
soon afterwards to our camp, we found Noah and Esmeralda in high
dudgeon. A gale at sea, a simoom, or even an earthquake, could only be
compared to it. The gist of Noah’s wrong was some real or fancied
neglect on the part of Esmeralda to pack one pocket properly. In
travelling our tent-cover, rugs, wardrobe, and a number of minor
articles, were packed into one pocket, which was placed on the puru
rawnee, and formed a pad for the other things she carried to rest upon.
To avoid injury to the animal’s back it was, therefore, very essential
that all hard substances should be placed in the corners of the pocket,
so that they should not bear upon the animal’s back. It was necessary to
use great care, especially during the long and difficult journey we had
before us. Pouring oil on the troubled waters of the boro panee (gip.,
sea), we started with the thermometer at 78° Fahrenheit. All soon
subsided into tranquillity and friendly feeling.

The sun now became very hot. Everywhere we were greeted with the same
excitement, and the donkeys were much admired; grass was at times given
them, and a friendly welcome to ourselves. Descending the beautiful road
on the right side of the narrow valley, with pleasant farms below us on
the slopes to the Rauma, we reached the post station of Ormein.
Beautifully situated as it is, this station would be excellent quarters,
and a comfortable resting place for the lover of nature, and the
fisherman. There was a general rush as we came up. The donkeys were
surrounded, and water and grass were brought for them. We went into the
station and purchased a large loaf of bread, some excellent crisp
fladbröd, a pound of good butter, and two kinds of Norwegian soap, for
one mark and twenty skillings. There was a bed in the kitchen, covered
with an animal’s skin. The fire was made on a raised hearth, the chimney
rising straight from it, but without contact with the sides of the room;
so that there is great economy of heat obtained. As you look from the
station to the “Alter Hö” on the other side the valley, the picturesque
vandfos, called Vermedalsfossen, dashes down the mountain side through
wild and moss-covered craigs to the Rauma. From this place the Dontind
or Storhœtten may be ascended. Leaving the kind and civil people of
Ormein about half-past twelve o’clock, we continued our journey on the
right bank of the Rauma. The road was still inclosed, and the immediate
banks of the Rauma were cultivated for hay, potatoes, and grain, which
seemed to thrive in sheltered situations. At length the mountains became
more steep, lofty, and rugged on either side the valley, which formed a
narrow flat through which the now level road ran. Coming to a gate we
entered a space of wild broken ground open to the Rauma, which was close
to the road. A very large mass of rock pitched on end, looking not
unlike the representations of the celebrated English rocking-stone in
Cornwall, stood not far from the gate, to the right of the road. The
open green sward was margined by thick and tangled brushwood, rising
immediately to the mountain precipices which overhung the valley. At a
short distance beyond, the lofty mural steeps of a snow-covered mountain
seemed to leave no possible outlet. Towering precipices of barren rock
rose almost at once from the banks green with foliage on the opposite
side to Rauma. Cascades fell in fleecy clouds of spray on either side
into the valley below; we were never tired of watching them. The banks
of the Rauma were low, the stream broad and broken in its course, and
had a thousand rippling eddies and swirls formed by its rough and uneven
bed. Birch-woods clothed the lower sides of the valley. One small log
cottage in the distance, close to the road and near the river, was the
only sign of human life we could see. The marks of bivouac fires under
the shelter of the large leaning rock showed that it was a favourite
halt for wayfarers.

The tents were pitched on a dry hillock near the low bushes beyond the
leaning rock. We had just said to the gipsies that we should shortly see
a peasant perched on a rock or on the top of a mountain, when two
peasants immediately appeared, and some brandy was handed to them. One
drank his glass with evident satisfaction, but the other pointed to his
chest, so his companion swallowed his share. They got some grass for the
donkeys, and afterwards left. A boy, who was travelling on foot with a
satchel and his coat hanging from it, came from the road; he wore long
boots much patched, home-spun brown trowsers, and waistcoat to match,
with large black buttons having a flower on them in relief. Poor fellow,
he was delighted with the animals, and for a considerable time sat
watching them, with a smile of intense satisfaction on his countenance.
The donkeys, we think, began to feel their social position in the animal
world much elevated. The boy at last went some distance up the steep
side of the mountain to get grass for them. He first ascertained from us
that they eat grass, which he might have seen had he noticed what they
were doing. Some weak brandy-and-water was offered to him, but he
declined to drink it. The musical box was set playing near him as he lay
on the grass, and he seemed delighted. Another boy came, and they seemed
very reluctant to tear themselves away from our donkeys, but at last
they left.

After a dinner of tea, ham, eggs, fladbröd, and butter, Noah washed his
shirt, and went fishing with Zachariah. Esmeralda went to the river to
wash some of our things, and we lounged by the tents. Several peasants
came to see the donkeys.

The scenery of the valley was charming, and the evening wore on till six
o’clock. First Zachariah returned dripping with wet, looking like a
water elf fresh from the Rauma. He produced a grayling more than a pound
weight, and some small trout, and related that he had nearly caught the
grayling, and was getting it to the bank when the fly came out of its
mouth. In an instant he plunged in, and threw it out. As he was changing
his wet things, which we at once insisted upon, some people passed along
the road who seemed much amused, and he had to play at hide-and-seek
round the large rock to conceal himself. We rubbed him over with brandy,
and he went fishing again.

Esmeralda, who had completed her washing, made tea, and whilst we were
finishing our meal, some carriers came up and halted near the rock. They
were informed they might have the use of our fire. Zachariah’s tea was
put by for him. The carriers were rough, hardy men, well-dressed, and
respectable in appearance. They had a light cart heavily laden. One of
them sat down, and producing a quantity of fladbröd from a tine
(pronounced teena) and a small wooden box of butter, commenced leisurely
consuming his provisions. Most of the peasants we met chew tobacco. We
often saw them produce a quid from their pockets, and, putting it in
their mouths, spit in all directions. Snuff-taking did not seem to be a
habit. The carriers said they had come from Veblungsnœs, and had halted
to rest their horses, and would not remain the night. They were
delighted with our tents, the interior fittings, and especially with the
donkeys.

It was after ten o’clock when Zachariah returned with his eyes sparkling
with fire, and seventeen small trout. The usual animated discussion
arose between the gipsies as to who had caught the most fish. “Now then,
Lucas,” Noah would vociferate, “I say you have only caught
twenty-three.” “What, only twenty-three?” Zachariah would answer, his
eyes wildly flashing with excitement, and shouting in a still higher
key, “No such thing, Noah.” “Now you count, Mr. Smith; here are
seventeen, and nine before, make twenty-six.”

What a picture study! wild valley, night-fall, two excited gipsies,
ourself arbitrator, trout lying near on the turf, hanging rock, camp
fire, gipsy girl standing by the tents, roar of river, dark gloom of
precipices above our camp. Can we forget the scene? About ten o’clock
several peasant girls arrived to lend more romance to the evening
incidents. One or two old men in red caps also arrived. The night was
beautiful; we sat down on the turf outside our tents, Zachariah
boshamengro (gip., violin-player), myself with castanets, and Esmeralda
with her tambourine. Bowing to the peasants, we said in our best
Norwegian, “Ver so artig tage en stole” (be so good as to take a seat),
pointing to the turf, upon which they sat down. After some music an
intelligent-looking young Norwegian played some Norwegian tunes on an
accordion he had brought. It was not in very good tone, but we were glad
to hear the Norwegian airs he played. Then we suggested a dance.

“Ah!” said Esmeralda, “look at that Rackly a salin at Noah.”

Noah at once got up, and whilst a young peasant was apparently trying to
prevail upon her to dance, Noah seized her round the waist; the ice was
broken, and they whirled round in a polka on the turf. Then the young
peasant took her for a partner; she was a nice-looking girl, but wanted
rather more agility of step. The Norwegian girls, as a rule, want the
elasticity of the southern belles. Norwegian girls have, however, a
quiet and kindly expression of all that is good and sweet in
disposition, and true-hearted feeling. What a contrast between them and
the dark-eyed olive-complexioned girl of the south. Equally in contrast
the warm-blooded animation of the southern girl, when roused by the
excitement of some strong and sudden emotion.

Only one Norwegian peasant girl joined in the evening green-sward waltz.
The accordion-player had his dance with the Rankny[60] Rackly (gip.,
pretty girl), as the gipsies called her. We played two more tunes for
them, and when we had finished we wished them good night, and they left.
The carriers then departed on their journey, and as we were going to bed
some more came up and halted for the night by the leaning stone. The
newly-arrived immediately went to the donkeys, and got some grass for
them. One man brought me something to drink, but we declined it with
thanks. To one we gave some tobacco for his pipe, and, retiring to our
tents, we were soon all asleep.

Another Sunday. We lay unusually late--nine o’clock. The morning was not
inviting, but very dull and cloudy. The rain fell fast, and we could
hear the roar of many waterfalls down the precipitous sides of the lofty
mountains above us. The sound of the river and the roar of waterfalls in
a wild valley were conducive to sleep. The gipsies soon had a fire
under the shelter of the leaning rock. The carriers were gone. Our
frokost consisted of tea, fried trout, bread, and potted tongue. After
breakfast Noah and Zachariah rode the donkeys, in search of bread and
butter. We stayed in our tent writing. Some peasants came, from time to
time, to look at our camp and donkeys.

As we were writing before dinner, we observed several carrioles coming
along the road _en route_ towards Ormein. The carriole is a light easy
carriage, admirably suited for a hilly land, and well adapted to the
small sure-footed ponies of the country. The only objection we are
disposed to make is the necessity of travelling along the road alone; if
with friends, you post from one station to another, at some distance
apart, without being able to hold much converse or communication. In
this instance the carrioles followed, one after the other, at some short
distance. As they passed our tents and the hanging stone, two of the
travellers, in knickerbockers and Scotch caps, appeared to be
Englishmen. The driver of one of the carrioles was dressed in black, and
appeared to be a Norwegian. The animal he drove was rather larger than a
pony, and apparently timid and shy. Suddenly the horse swerved, and the
driver checked him rather sharply. In a moment both shafts broke through
with a crash. The traveller got out; the horse remained still. We went
down to the broken carriole, and said it was unfortunate. The traveller
said something quietly in Norsk. Returning to the tents, Esmeralda gave
me some rope. In the meantime two or three of the other _voyageurs_ came
back from their carrioles, including one of the Englishmen in
knickerbockers. Three of the party seemed Norwegians. Very few words
were said--they were men of action. In less time than it has taken us to
write this, the broken carriole was fastened with the rope they brought
with them to a stolkjœrre. The other travellers went forward, and
getting into their carrioles, they were all soon out of sight. Noah and
Zachariah met them as they returned, in pouring rain, from a farm, where
they had purchased butter and excellent fladbröd. The people were very
kind, and gave them some milk, and the donkeys grass. They were both
very wet; but had no change. At two o’clock, a second tin of Australian
meat was opened. We had tea, Australian preserved meat, potatoes, and
fladbröd. The Australian meat was excellent, and a very good dinner we
all made. From our tents we could see very plainly all who travelled
along the road. During the afternoon a close carriage drawn by three
horses abreast pulled up, and a lady and children inside seemed much
interested. A gentleman outside said to them, the tent is waterproof.
They all stayed for a short time, looking from the road at the fragile
abri which sheltered us from the elements. Several peasants arrived, and
immediately went to see the donkeys. We gave two of the peasants some
tobacco, and one brought us a steel pen which we had dropped on the turf
near our camp. They wanted us to “spille” a little; but it was Sunday,
and we made it a day of rest. It rained heavily during the afternoon.
Thick mist clung to the summits of the steep and lofty mountains. Noah,
Esmeralda, and Zachariah all fell asleep till seven or eight o’clock.

A Sunday on the banks of the Rauma.--With how much pleasure we welcomed
a day ordained for the world’s especial rest. To our party it was
welcome after the wanderings of each preceding week. This Sunday was
also Esmeralda’s birthday, and we had wished her happiness.[61] One
could not help feeling regret as we reflected upon the condition of
these light-hearted wanderers. Esmeralda knew one prayer. We hoped on
our return to England to have her confirmed. With all their waywardness,
wilfulness, impulsiveness, irrepressible energy, and at times apathetic
listlessness, careless alike of to-day or to-morrow, there were still
some redeeming points of character, gleams of sunshine, which gave
uncertain glamour to their mystic fate.

We talked to some of the peasant visitors as well as we could. They sat
at our tent entrance. One young peasant came in with his pipe, and began
to smoke and spit in all directions. When he understood that no smoking
was allowed inside, he seemed annoyed at his own forgetfulness, and took
his seat again at the tent entrance.

There is a high principle of character about the Norwegian people, which
won our respect and esteem. It was not on one occasion, but many
occasions, that we had instances of their strict probity. Many are poor;
but they are honest. That conscious feeling of good intention, produces
the manly bearing, and national independence of spirit, with which the
Norwegian people are so largely imbued.

Many of the peasants wished particularly to know what the donkeys cost,
and were often loud in their exclamation, “peen giœre,” “peen giœre,” as
they walked round them.

Yesterday the temperature had been, at three o’clock, up to 90°
Fahrenheit; to-day, in the evening, it was only 68°; towards seven
o’clock it became cold. Between seven and eight o’clock we had tea of
fried grayling, fladbröd, and butter.

After tea, taking Noah and Zachariah with us, we went to see a beautiful
waterfall not very far along the valley, on the right of the road going
to Veblungsnœs. The spray from it was at times blown in thin mist across
the road. The steep, dark gray rocks of the “Sjiriaglns,” as we
understood the name (it was so written down for us, but we do not find
it marked in any of our maps), overhung the road. In the picturesque
gorge of this part of the valley three diminutive log houses stood at
some short distance apart from each other--the lowly shelter of the
peasants of this rugged glen. What must be the life of these poor
people! How hard their fare! but still they seemed contented. It may be
they have a larger share of happiness than we could imagine possible.
When we returned to the tents Zachariah tried to dry his trousers at a
fire at the hanging rock.[62] Noah and Zacharia had been very wet in
the morning. Noah had no change of trousers. Zachariah’s were soon
smoked and singed, as the legs were stretched out on two crossed sticks
fastened together, giving them the appearance of a mawkin to frighten
the birds. Ultimately, at bed-time, it was stuck up within the tents
near the water-cans and other things. As we were going to sleep, the
unfortunate mawkin fell down with a tremendous clatter amongst the cans.
Noah said it was a ghost. Zachariah pushed it at Noah. Noah sent it
spinning at Zachariah. “Now then, Abel!” “Here, Lucas!” Bang went the
mawkin into the pans again. We got up to lay the ghost, and ejected the
mawkin forcibly from the tent; but in doing so our leg accidentally
caught a can full of water, which emptied itself into Zachariah’s
blankets. Zachariah’s hilarity was at once damped. As we turned to go to
sleep, we heard him in loud lamentation about his uncomfortable state,
which he had partly originated.

It was very wet the next morning. We awoke at seven, and somehow fell
asleep again. The gipsies would sleep for ever. To our astonishment it
was ten o’clock. Our gipsies got frokost ready at eleven o’clock. The
damp mist gradually cleared from the mountains, and we had tea,
fladbröd, and butter for breakfast. Noah and Zachariah were dispatched
after breakfast to the bondegaard they had been to on the previous day,
and returned with a mark’s worth of fladbröd and butter. They were very
kind to them at the farm. We made a sketch of one of the peasants’
lonely log-houses of the valley, whilst Noah and Zachariah were fishing
for our commissariat. The narrow road winds close to the cottage beneath
the broken cliff. A snow plough lies on the other side the road. A
narrow inclosure separates the road from the Rauma.

What a wild solitary existence in the depth of winter’s snow must the
peasant owner of this cottage lead!

For dinner we had soup made of ham, peaflour, wild sorrel, rice,
Liebig’s essence, and the dried meat of Holiaker for the third time. We
tried to purchase some potatoes from the peasant living in the nearest
log cottage to our camp, but he had none ready to get up. The musketos
had not troubled us much since we had camped in the valley; but we had
met with two large black ants, or, as the gipsies call them, “creas,”
near our tent. They measured exactly three-quarters of an inch long.

After dinner we all went out fishing, whilst Esmeralda was left in
charge of the tents. Several peasants came to look at the donkeys during
the afternoon. Some travellers, hastily proceeding, stopped their
stolkjerrers and, looking wildly round, hastened to where the donkeys
were quietly grazing.



CHAPTER XXIII.

    “He checked his steed, and sighed to mark
     Her coral lips, her eyes so dark,
     And stately bearing--as she had been
     Bred up in courts, and born a queen.
     Again he came, and again he came,--
     Each day with a warmer, a wilder flame;
     And still again,--till sleep by night,
     For Judith’s sake, fled his pillow quite.”

    _Judith, the Gipsy Belle._ By DELTA.


    MUSICAL PEASANT--CASCADES--THE LEANING-STONE--THE SERIOUS
    PEASANT--ZACHARIAH ILL--NO VENTILATION--THE MAGICIAN’S
    PEAKS--THE MANGEHÖE-“RAMULOUS”--ROMANTIC VALLEY--AGREEABLE
    VISITORS--THE SERENADE--FUTURE ROUTE--HORGHEIM--RIP VAN WINKLE.


The young peasant who played the concertina came and looked at the fence
next the leaning-stone. He probably owned the adjoining enclosed land.
Esmeralda said she thought he seemed doubtful whether part of his fence
had not gone on to our fire. Esmeralda at once gave him some brandy, and
he seemed pleased, and went and brought her a large heap of fire-wood.
Strict injunctions had been given, that the dead wood, and there was
plenty of it, should only be taken from the adjoining bushes.

[Illustration: CAMP AT LEANING-STONE, SJIRIAGLNS.]

A party of English travellers passed towards Veblungsnœs, and another
towards Christiania. One young lady, who saw Noah fishing, asked if he
had caught any. Our gipsies returned to tea at eight o’clock. Plenty of
fried trout, tea, fladbröd, and butter formed our meal. Zachariah was
very cold, and unwell at tea, with severe pain in his shoulders. We sent
him to bed, and rubbed him with brandy, and gave him some to drink. One
young peasant came, and seemed to have ridden some distance to see the
donkeys. The valley of our camp was beautiful. Like Rasselas, we seemed
completely shut in from the outer world; that portion of the valley
towards Veblungsnœs, by the Sjiriaglns Fjeld, which forms a barrier of
three lofty bastions of rock, jutting forth in rugged outline, and
rounded summit, marked with streaks of snow.

Sterile crags of dark and green rock have here and there cascades,
falling through the air, from the highest summits of these mural
precipices. No egress seems possible from below. White fleecy clouds of
mist gather on the upper cliffs, relieved by the green verdure which
clothes the sides of the valley. The foliage creeps and feathers up the
high ramparts of rock, till lost in the regions of desolation and
sterility. What magnificent waterfalls leap forth from the hidden
recesses of mist and cloud. They fall in thick white foam, are scattered
in floating spray, glittering in a myriad of spangles, when illumined by
the passing gleams of sun. Down, down, the white foam falls to depths
far beneath. Birch-woods mingled with the fir stand forth from their
mossy beds, and line the valley with the richest colouring. The gurgling
waters of the Rauma wind their course along, fringed at the sides with
birch and alder[63], wild flowers, grass, and fern. Unceasing moisture
gives the freshest green, and a luxuriant ground of varied colour carves
forth a natural setting, to the romantic woods of birch, the juniper,
and the Norwegian pine, unrivalled in conception, and inimitable by the
art of man.

About eleven o’clock at night we were writing these notes by the
leaning-stone, near the remains of our camp fire, when the old man from
the nearest log cottage came up, and asked what o’clock it was. As he
came noiselessly round the leaning-stone, we motioned him to take a
seat, on a loose piece of rock near to us. When he sat down we noticed
that he was one of those deep-lined featured men, who seem worn by
exposure and hard living. Telling him the hour, he looked curiously at
our gold watch, which we at once showed to him. This was supplemented by
a glass of brandy, and some tobacco, with which he filled his pipe. As
he sat by the embers of our fire, in answer to some questions about the
winters in Norway, the peasant looked fixedly, and earnestly at us, and
said, “Meget kalt, meget ice, meget snee,” and he raised his hand high
above the ground. The tone in which he slowly said these words, in
deep-marked emphasis, we shall not easily forget. Many of his
countrymen, he said, went to America. The peasant then asked about
England, and its climate. He told us there were many reindeer, and he
went after them into the mountains. No one was allowed to shoot them
from the 1st April to the 1st August. He remained sitting with us, and
talking by the large stone. At last he suddenly asked what o’clock it
was, and when we told him the hour, he wished us good night, and
departed. It was nearly twelve o’clock when we went to bed.

During the night Zachariah was groaning and complaining; his head was
very bad, and his stomach. Noah was up at twenty minutes past four
o’clock, and he had breakfast ready at twenty minutes to five o’clock.
We gave Zachariah a hot glass of brandy-and-water with sugar. Our
breakfast consisted of the remainder of our trout and grayling.
Zachariah could take very little to eat or drink. The morning was fine,
the sun just tipped the edge of the mountains above the valley. We
decided to go if Zachariah could be removed, when the sun had reached us
in the valley. We got Zachariah out, and placed him in a snug corner
under the leaning-stone, whilst the tents were struck, for it was about
eight o’clock. When near the river, a tall young English traveller
passed, who was anxious to catch the steamer at Veblungsnœs, and, saying
the scenery was the finest he had seen, asked if we had caught many
fish. He was soon after followed by a traveller in another carriole,
whom we took to be his friend. The donkeys being loaded, we placed
Zachariah on the packs of one, and were leaving, when a man came up just
in time to see the donkeys, with which he was much delighted. We left
him sitting on a rock watching us as we went out of sight.

The sun became clouded before we had proceeded far down the valley. The
two first cottages we passed were shut up, but at the third we saw a
peasant woman, who seemed much pleased when we gave her an empty bottle.
The three small homesteads of this part of the valley were of the most
humble description--far inferior to an out-building, or hovel of some of
our second-rate farms in England. Ventilation is scarcely ever thought
of, and cleanliness much neglected. We were told that a clever
scientific Norwegian gentleman had lately given especial attention to
this subject, and had written upon the sanitary condition of the
Norwegian people. It rained heavily as we passed through a succession of
narrow and romantic glens, of the valley of the Rauma. The peasants
collected as usual with unabated interest to see our donkeys. Purchasing
a mark of fladbröd and butter at one place, and a mark’s worth of butter
at another, we passed “Kors,” and at a large house which we believed to
be the Fladmark Post Station, they came up to the road, and grass was
placed for the donkeys to refresh themselves. They all seemed to give us
a friendly welcome. The Rauma formed most picturesque falls and torrents
along its rough and broken course. Sometimes we passed through pine
woods on its rocky shelving banks, and at other times through the
cultivated land of some Bondegaard. As we travelled onwards all was
enclosed from the road, and though inclined to halt for dinner, we could
not find one convenient place. Our gipsies, notwithstanding the dismal
weather, were as lively as usual, and wandered at times from the road in
search of wild strawberries, cranberries, and bilberries. They had a
plentiful harvest of bilberries, and even Zachariah’s voice lost much of
the melancholy of its tone. At length we entered a wild valley shut in
on the left by Troldtinderne, commonly translated into English as the
“witches’ peaks,” but we were informed by an excellent authority that
the translation should be the “magician’s peaks.” Nothing could be more
wild and picturesque in outline. In front, as we advanced, rose the
magnificent single peak of steep gray rock called the Romsdalshorn,
rising to its lofty height from the hanging crags which formed a massive
wall of rock to the valley in the distance below. On our right the dark
precipices of the Mangehöe rendered the valley narrow and secluded. It
was impossible not to feel the wild grandeur of the scene. The broken
barren ground forming a hillock below the precipice of the Mangehöe
seemed just suited for our camp. At a house beyond, the peasants were
collecting in the road to see us pass, and, taking Noah, we asked if we
could camp. A man said, “Ya, ya.” The donkeys were at once turned from
the road across some rough ground. The hillock in sight of the road was
gained, and our tents pitched in the heavy rain. Peasants--men, women,
and children--collected to see us. Some well-dressed boys also came, and
may have belonged to a pleasant residence, across the Rauma, which we
had seen before coming to our camp. It was with difficulty we could
moderate the loud energy of our gipsy housekeeper; indeed she required a
very heavy curb to repress, at times, the too boisterous spirits of her
wild free heart. Our tents being pitched, our middag’s mad was prepared.
The Australian meat was excellent as usual, and fladbröd and butter
completed the meal. The butter we had bought at the farm _en route_ was
not good. Our gipsies pronounced it bad, and it was ordered to be used
for frying purposes. This was the only instance when we had met with
indifferent butter; at other times we found the Norwegian butter
exceedingly good.

The woman of the nearest house showed Zachariah where he could get water
for our tea, and we bought from her two pounds of very good butter for
two marks, six eggs for twelve skillings, some milk eight skillings,
cream six skillings, and from another woman a small goats’ cheese
eighteen skillings.

In the evening we had tea, and fladbröd, and the goats’ cheese. The
cheese was good of the kind, but the gipsies pronounced it “ramulous.”
It is not unusual to find in those classes of people, who may be said to
be poor, proneness to criticise what is placed before them, and often to
have a greater want of economy than many who have been accustomed to
plenty. In this instance we spoke in its favour, and said it was good
enough for our camp, and in a day or two the gipsies took a great fancy
to it, and in a very short time it was all eaten.

After tea we gave the peasants, who collected at our tents, some music.
How we enjoyed the picturesque scene; wild nature seems to give singular
inspiration. The music of a mountain land has a melody peculiar to
itself. It seems to come forth from the deepest recesses of the
heart,--those fine vibrations in nature, which seem but the echoes of
other worlds. First we sang them our gipsy song with violin and guitar
accompaniment; then the “Mocking Bird.” Afterwards we played a number of
airs. Sometimes we played the tambourine with the gipsies, sometimes the
castanets. It rained, but what cared the Norwegian peasants for rain?
There they sat till about ten o’clock, when we told them that after two
more tunes we should go to bed. The music ceased; a kindly good night,
and they left our camp. Then we watched the splendid outlines of the
magician’s peaks above us, in the silent night, the stillness was only
broken by the loud rumbling sound of falling snow from some shelving
ledge, to the rocks beneath. As we surveyed the lofty “Skulnablet” above
the Rauma, we decided to try some part of the Romsdalshorn or adjacent
mountains if the next morning was fine. We retired to our tent, with all
the pleasure of one who enjoys refreshing repose in the midst of nature.

It rained in the morning, and we could not attempt a mountain ascent.
About nine o’clock we had breakfast, and sent Noah and Zachariah off to
the Rauma fishing for our commissariat. We had tea, boiled milk, and
fladbröd and butter for breakfast. The gipsies caught some fish for
dinner,--Noah 10 and Zachariah 9, one being a grayling one foot two
inches long. The morning was showery, and we wrote letters in our tent
to post at Veblungsnœs; Esmeralda was cooking dinner. We noticed a young
lady looking at our donkeys with the peasant boy from her stolkjærre;
very soon afterwards she came up to our tents, with her three sisters
and a tall young gentleman, her brother,--he did not appear in very
strong health. They spoke to Esmeralda, and then looked into our tent,
where we were writing our letters, we bowed, and they seemed rather
surprised at the interior comfort of our tent. Then taking one of our
gipsy songs, we presented it to one of the young ladies; she seemed much
pleased at the unexpected present, and they tried to sing it to a tune.
Taking our guitar we sang them the song; their brother took off his hat
when we concluded. As we were sitting in our tent, they sang a Norwegian
song very nicely together. The incident gave us much pleasure, as it was
unexpected; one sister spoke English, she had a brother a clergyman on
board some vessel in England, so Esmeralda informed us. They had not
long left when the boy came back with the song, and a note on the back
in pencil with Miss M.’s compliments, asking us to kindly write our
name and date on back of song: we did so, and they went off in the
direction of Ormein. After our dinner of fried fish, tea, fladbröd and
butter, the gipsies were sent off fishing. The woman of the nearest
house, which we understood was called “Monge,” brought a jacket to sell
to Esmeralda; the purchase of two marks worth of fladbröd was preferred
instead. During the afternoon we wrote letters, and after tea our
correspondence still continued until 9 o’clock. The peasants again came,
and our music commenced; this evening Zachariah with the violin, ourself
guitar, Esmeralda castanets, and Noah tambourine. Our music is certainly
improved. The people seemed to live very hard in this valley. One of the
peasant boys, a lively little fellow, picked up a number of English
words; we were asked for another song, and they left at 10 o’clock.
After 10 o’clock the rain ceased, and the mist cleared away, and the
night was beautiful; we had a serious consultation about our future
route after we had reached Veblungsnœs. On looking at our maps, it was
quite clear we had a very short time to accomplish the distance to
Christiansand; still we did not like to give it up, and decided that if
we could get over some mountain track from Gryten to Skeaker we might
yet reach Christiansand before the end of the summer.

The morning was fine, we were up about 7 o’clock, and bought from the
woman of the nearest house some very nice thin sweet fladbröd cakes,
stamped in relief, for one mark, and also some cream for 12 skillings. A
man came, and we paid him what he required, 36 skillings, for our camp
accommodation on his ground. The tents being struck, and the donkeys
loaded, we were _en route_ about 10 o’clock; before we reached the
station of Horgheim we were overtaken by the Miss M----s and their
brother; they had been to see the waterfall near Ormein; we came up with
them again at Horgheim, and asked their advice about our route from
Veblungsnœs over the mountains. In answer to our inquiries, they said
gipsies were sometimes seen about Veblungsnœs; when they were told our
gipsies’ names and ages, they were much pleased with the name of
Esmeralda. The young lady, who spoke English, said that Mr. Sundt had
interested himself very much with the gipsies, and had written upon the
subject. We told them we had a _résumé_ of Prœsten Sundt’s works, and
were also very much interested on behalf of the gipsy people.

[Illustration: TROLDTINDERNE,

MAGICIANS’ OR WITCHES’ PEAKS.]

They told us they were going to take steamer at Veblungsnœs, and passed
us soon after we left Horgheim. As we followed the road round the base
of the Romsdalshorn, we came to some waste ground open to the road, and
partly covered with bushes. The donkeys were driven to a shady spot near
a small stream of water. The Magician’s peaks rose immediately above us;
at irregular intervals, we heard about its summits a noise like distant
thunder, the sound was produced by falling masses of snow loosened by
the summer sun; we could almost imagine ourselves in the Catskill
Mountains, where Rip Van Winkle met Hudson and his spectre band. A
witchery seemed to hang about those grey fantastic peaks. The
middags-mad consisted of fried cheese, tea, fladbröd and butter, and
potted tongue. We can assure our readers that few can realize the luxury
of lounging on soft mossy turf, after a pleasant meal, though simple it
may be, near a rippling stream, shaded from the mid-day sun, at the
foot of lofty and picturesque mountains. Half listless and dreamy, We
gazed on the singular outlines of the Magician’s peaks; a thousand
spells of enchantment seemed to chain the spirit to an absence from all
care, trouble, anxiety, and woe, which is wearing to the grave three
parts of the mortals of this world! All our gipsies were at once in a
delicious state of unconsciousness, in tumbled heaps, as part of the
baggage, lying on the turf around.



CHAPTER XXIV.

    “For the dance, no music can be better than that of a gipsy
    band; there is a life and animation in it which carries you
    away. If you have danced to it yourself, especially in a
    czardas, then to hear the stirring tones without involuntarily
    springing up, is, I assert, an absolute impossibility.”[64]

  BONER’S _Transylvania_.


    THE INVALID--RESTIVE DONKEYS--FIVA--AAK--VEBLUNGSNŒS--THE
    NORWEGIAN FARMER--THE GRASSY KNOLL--A NORWEGIAN TOWN--THE
    FJORD’S SHORE--THE VEBLUNGSNŒS’ BATHS--HERR SOLBERG--HOMME
    GALANT--MUSICAL CONVERSAZIONE--GIPSY MUSIC.


Supremely happy in our wandering existence, we contrasted, in our
semi-consciousness of mind, our absence from a thousand anxious cares,
which crowd upon the social position, of those who take active part, in
an overwrought state of extreme civilization. How long we should have
continued our half-dormant reflections, which might have added a few
more notes upon the philosophy of life, we know not, but we were roused
by the rumble of a stolkjærre along the road; it was quite time we moved
on towards Veblungsnœs, and the gipsies began to get our things
together. The stolkjærre stopped. A tall pale invalid man descended; he
struggled through the bushes to where we were, though the exertion
evidently cost him much, but he conquered; he came, and he saw the
donkeys. A faint smile lighted up a countenance, expressive in its
deep-lined features, of a once firm and determined will, but now marked
with the last stage of consumption. Enveloped and wrapped up in dark
clothes, wearing gloves, long boots nearly to his knees, although in the
height of summer, he surveyed with a quiet smile our donkeys, ourselves,
our gipsies, and our baggage. He had a female with him whose countenance
was the exact expression of anxious care, and a young man who seemed
astonished at the weight of the baggage. What was to be done to show our
hospitality. Lucky thought; out came the quinine, a small tumbler filled
with water, and the white powder was mixed in it; we intimated that it
might be of benefit. Poor fellow! he wanted a strength-giving potent
draught; it could do him no harm, it might do him some good. Taking a
sip ourselves, and handing it to him, he drank it every spot. How did he
know that, like Rip Van Winkle, he might not have fallen in with another
Hudson and his band, and would sleep for twenty years beneath the shadow
of the Magician’s peaks. The tall, careworn-looking man handed me back
the glass, and seemed much pleased. We gave him the tin cannister which
had contained our potted tongue, with all the wonderful hieroglyphics
generally scrolled outside: it was a parting souvenir of the nomads.
Just as he had turned to go, the tarno-rye made a dash through the
bushes, with Zachariah and Esmeralda dragging, fighting and struggling
with him; crash, crash went the bushes close by us; the invalid was
nearly frightened out of his boots. What did he know about these
animals, and what habits of ferocity they might possess? The contention
was fierce between the tarno-rye and our gipsies, until he was brought
to the baggage for loading. The invalid struggled, with unsteady gait,
through the bushes, and, with the aid of his female attendant, ascended
with difficulty into his stolkjærre, which was immediately driven away.
He escaped the fate of Rip Van Winkle; may the draught he took under the
Magician’s peaks give him health for twenty years. Some young
woodcutters, with axes in their hands, came up as we were starting; they
accompanied us along the road. On our left across the Rauma, we noticed
a large pleasant residence called “Fiva.” The woodcutters said it was
the property and residence of Mr. Bromley Davenport and a Mr. Ingram.
They must have a splendid view from the house toward the Romsdalshorn;
we were informed that three farms had been purchased by the owner along
the banks of the Rauma, which made the fishing very complete. The salmon
in the Rauma do not ascend above Ormein. The situation of “Fiva” is
admirable; the various bends and windings of the river round the estate
are full of rapids and pools, that would have delighted the English
father of all anglers, Isaac Walton.

The valley now became more fertile. We passed through pleasant grassy
meads. Our woodcutters went to some houses on the roadside. We met
several stolkjærrers, whose horses were rather shy in passing our
donkeys. The peasants manifested the same curiosity about them. Now the
valley assumed a more smiling aspect, and we came in sight of Aak
“Lehnsmœnd,” Andreas Landmark’s House. The Hotel Aak is seven miles from
Horgheim, and three from Veblungsnœs. As we saw the comfortable wooden
house standing on a rise of ground above the road, with a diversity of
green slopes and shady woods about it, we knew it to be the spot
mentioned by Lady Diana Beauclerk in such high terms of commendation. In
contrast with the wild valleys we had left, it seemed a sort of oasis in
the desert.

When we passed Aak, some ladies who saw our party ran down from the
house to see us; but a turn of the road soon hid us from them. Crossing
two bridges, and passing a large comfortable house, we ascended the
steep hill to a rise of ground above Veblungsnœs. Then passing through a
gate upon the road, we saw a quiet lane through some waste ground
covered with bushes, where we told Esmeralda and Zachariah to stay with
the donkeys. Taking Noah, we went to reconnoitre for a camping ground.
Very soon we came to the edge of the descent to Veblungsnœs. Pausing a
moment to look at the wooden church and town below, we went to the left,
across a large space of open ground used as a drill-ground for the
Militia; and, after looking at a large wooden building erected for
military stores, we went down a lane to a gate, through which we saw
several men and women raking up new-mown hay. This quiet spot formed a
sort of knoll, above a small dingle, at the back of the bondegaard.

A green slope, and wooded mountain, rose abruptly from the other side of
the stream. This seemed a haven of rest, as Veblungsnœs was to be our
farthest point of travel north, our Ultima Thule. At once we entered,
and going up to the farmer’s son, as we rightly took him to be, we
proposed to come there and camp. Very much astonished he seemed. When he
recovered his breath, he said something about his father, and went with
us towards the bondegaard. The farmer’s house was of the better class,
and substantially built of wood. We entered a kind of family room, where
the master and his wife were seated at table, taking milk, and raw dried
salmon cut in slices on their fladbröd. The bonde was dressed in dark
clothes, being upwards of sixty; of respectable appearance, weather-worn
countenance, with sharp angular features, at once expressive of
shrewdness and cupidity. In social relations of life, he was a very
respectable man. Of generosity he had none in his composition--one who
would drive a hard bargain to the uttermost farthing.

The farmer came with us to the gate in a sort of bewildered state. It
was a fine scene as he came along with his son and a retinue of
peasants and peasant girls holding rakes in their hands. Then there was
the consultation at the gate opening to the junction of two deserted
lanes. Our imperfect Norsk was aided by signs; but we plunged through,
with Noah standing as a sort of aide-de-camp waiting for orders.

A consideration was mentioned. “Ah! a consideration! money _penge_! ha,
money _penge_! The silver key!” The donkeys must be seen. Noah soon had
them down with his peculiar whistle. The old man’s eyes twinkled as he
surveyed them. A consideration! we saw crossing his mind, as the hero in
Hans Breitman’s ballad, “He stood all shpell-pound.” The donkeys were
driven up to the knoll, and our things were unloaded down.

“Well,” thought we, “if we have to pay, we shall have strict
privacy--private ground!”

The hay was cleared off the knoll, the tents pitched; the donkeys were
put up in the wood above the mown slope, on to the other side the
dingle. Esmeralda said an officer, whom she designated as the Commandant
of Veblungsnœs, had passed them near the gate, and was a very pleasant
gentleman, who lived in the large house we had passed near the bridges.

Eggs and bread could not be purchased at the farm. Some visitors came to
our tents after tea; amongst others, Mr. L., of the telegraph office,
who said he should be glad to give us any assistance. Our visitors did
not stay late, and we retired to rest at an early hour.

It is Friday, the 22nd July. The morning being wet, we did not rise very
early. Taking Noah and Zachariah, we left our camp for Veblungsnœs, at
about three o’clock in the afternoon. Passing from the bondegaard,
across some open arable fields, to an avenue of trees, we entered under
its shade into a small wooden town. Passing up the main street, we soon
found ourselves in a kind of conglomeration of houses, with short lanes
having no continuance. One open space represented a kind of square.
Alleys, at occasional angles, debouched to the waters of the Isfjord,
which partly surrounds the town. Veblungsnœs is the port of Romsdal.
Though we could not account for it, we were at once interested in the
place. There was a charm about its silent quaintness which made us
linger with pleasure.

The telegraph office was closed till four o’clock. Veblungsnœs evidently
was buried in its siesta. The siesta, or kief, in mid-day is claimed by
the inhabitants of many northern countries. The tradesmen would be quite
offended if you went to their shops in their mid-day hours of
refreshment and repose. How different from the American style of one,
two, gulp, and gone! No busy scenes or people met our view. The extreme
quietude of the town seemed to communicate itself, and exercise its
influence on the spirit. At times we imagined we were in a large ship or
timber-yard, when the workmen had all gone to dinner. Strolling down a
short alley, we were at once on the strand of the Isfjord. Walking along
the water’s edge, we could not help admiring the beauty of the evening
scene. No one was visible. One small fishing-boat, partly drawn up on
the beach, was just ready for a cruise. Nets, everything--even the dried
fish, probably the store of provisions for the fishermen till their
return--were placed in order. Some curious-looking fish, probably
rejected as unsaleable, were lying on the shingle. One had green eyes,
with its mouth in its throat; two or three mouse-coloured fish, equally
singular and repulsive, were thrown near. It is strange what deformity
occurs in the fish creation. It is said that in a lake in Wales the fish
are all deformed. We have not yet verified the fact. Returning to the
telegraph office, we saw Mr. L. All that he could do to render our stay
agreeable he did. Our future route was discussed, and it seemed quite
clear that it would be impossible to reach Christiansand before the end
of the summer season. The idea that our party might take baths next
occurred to us; not that we expected to find anything approaching the
accommodation or luxury of ancient Rome. Baths, containing hundreds of
seats of marble, adorned with splendid frescoes, and whose fittings were
of alabaster, porphyry, and jasper, where every luxury was found that
human thought could devise.[65] What the baths of Veblungsnœs would have
been we know not; but they had only one, the spreading waters of the
Fjord, before us. The post-office was in the main street, and kept by
polite and kindly people. The postage of each letter to England cost
twelve skillings, and those to France fifteen skillings.

We sent a telegram to the Chevalier to announce our safe arrival;
another to Kongsberg, for our letters to be sent to Lom. It was also
mentioned to us that Herr Solberg, of Molde, wished very much to take
photographs of our donkeys and camp, if we would kindly consent. We were
even offered some copies without charge, as an inducement. The news of
the day was also important; for the first time we learned that France
and Prussia had declared war, and England would be neutral. Before we
left we purchased a large quantity of bread, which Noah took into his
possession. Leaving the quiet little town, we at length approached our
tents, where we found two Norwegian officers seated in cheerful mood
talking to Esmeralda at the tent entrance.

They were gayety itself as they reclined on the green turf. One officer,
who seemed about sixty, had all the manners of the “homme galant,” and
spoke some English. When they saw me they at once rose, saluted, and
left. Esmeralda said the older officer, who spoke some English, was very
polite, and said to her, “How do you manage with four men?” To which she
answered, “I have only three men.” Then the officer said, “Who do you
talk to most--I suppose your beloved Mr. Smith?” Esmeralda said she did
not talk to anyone. The officer then wanted to purchase a lock of her
hair; but she would not let him have any. We cannot venture to dwell on
his feelings of cruel disappointment.

We were much pressed by the people of the farm to give them some music
in a large room, probably used as a granary. We went to see it first.
The room was large and lofty on the ground-floor. We consented to play
for them at nine o’clock. The farmer himself we saw very seldom, and it
is scarcely probable that he originated the idea.

An English gentleman staying at Aak, who had been to the telegraph
office, came to our camp, and sat down in our tents. From his intimate
knowledge of Norway, he was able to give us considerable information. It
was very fortunate. We presented him with a copy of our gipsy song,
before he left, as a souvenir of our camp.

At nine o’clock, chairs having been placed for us, we took our seats and
commenced playing, ourself the guitar, Noah the tambourine, and
Zachariah his violin. We had a large party--unexpectedly so, some of the
officers and their wives, and many of the principal inhabitants of
Veblungsnœs; and we had not anticipated more persons than the people of
the bondegaard. Esmeralda was left in charge of the tents; but our
visitors had so much delicacy that directly we left the tent no one went
near it. What a scene! The room was suddenly filled with dancers and
visitors. One tall young officer, a fine young fellow, was especially
active. We had a favourite polka for them, which we afterwards
christened “Veblungsnœs.” Zachariah put all his gipsy nerve and feeling
into his music. Nay, our Romany Boshamengro, almost rivalled, if he did
not surpass, Barna Mihali, the celebrated gipsy Violinist of
Hungary.[66] Even Orpheus might have bit his lips; but he was not there.
All that wild gipsy inspiration could do, was done--tones that produced
a whirl of sensation. Noah did his part stoutly on the tambourine. We
made the acquaintance of several very pleasant officers and others--one
or two we had met in our wanderings. They seemed like old friends.

Then Esmeralda came and played, in place of Noah, with her tambourine.
Between the dances we conversed as well as we could with the officers
and other visitors. Mr. L. was also there. The Norwegian officers have
much military smartness about them. Many of them can speak French or
English, and sometimes both. We always found them gentlemen. The Militia
officers receive regular pay all the year; their men are only paid
whilst on duty. The Militia men we saw, were fine strong young men,
capable of any amount of endurance. Such was our introduction to the
inhabitants of Veblungsnœs. We saw almost as much of them, as if we had
made a series of visits to their houses. At the same time we had escaped
the inconvenience of too much hospitality, and still more, of being
obliged to sit in close warm rooms, which, to one accustomed to the
natural saloons of the wild forest, is at any time a very severe
penance. In the clear light of a Norwegian evening, the younger people
danced to the strains of our wild music; others looked on, and
conversed; all seemed to enjoy themselves. Ten o’clock came: our music
ceased. Specially requested, as we left, we seated ourselves on a slope
of turf near our tents, and sang, “The Gipsy Song,” with guitar
accompaniment. They seemed pleased. With many adieux, they left. So
ended what may be termed our gipsy conversazione at Veblungsnœs.



CHAPTER XXV.

    Where is the little gipsy’s home?
    Under the spreading greenwood tree,
    Wherever she may roam,
    Where’er that tree may be;
    Roaming the world o’er,
    Crossing the deep blue sea,
    She finds on every shore
    A home among the free!
    A home among the free,
    Ah, voilà la gitana, voilà la gitana.

    _Drama, of “Notre Dame.”_ By HALLIDAY.


    PURCHASES--ZACHARIAH’S TROUBLE--ESMERALDA’S PHOTOGRAPH--THE
    KIÖD--PRICE OF MEAT--THE YACHTSMEN--THE THREE PEAKS--THE
    SPIRIT-WORLD--FROST BITES--ULTIMA THULE--ESMERALDA
    GALVANISED--THE FJORD--HEEN KIRKE--PARELIUS--EIDER
    DUCKS--BEAUTIFUL BOUQUETS.


Our gipsies had breakfast ready soon after 7 o’clock, and taking Noah
with us, we found Mr. L. at Veblungsnœs. With his assistance we obtained
from an excellent general shop, the only one of the kind apparently in
Veblungsnœs, two bottles of very good port wine, for one dollar two
marks twelve skillings, twelve pounds of brown sugar, for one dollar
four skillings, or about eight shillings and eight pence English money;
some brimstone and treacle for the gipsies, soap, and some small items
came to another dollar. The owner of the shop, which contained a variety
of almost everything, had a counting-house attached, where he changed
for us a ten-pound Bank of England note, into a quantity of small money
of the country. We forget his name. All tradesmen should have their name
and address printed at the head of their bills, and give one on all
occasions, so that chance customers may have some means of reference and
recommendation. Noah was heavily weighted; more bread cost two marks
four skillings, and some sundries, and gurnet for dinner, made our
expenditure nearly another dollar. Mr. L. had read much in English, and,
although he had never been in England, conversed with great ease and
fluency in the English language. We returned to our camp, to meet Herr
Solberg, the photographer.

The day was beautiful, Herr Solberg was ready with his apparatus. The
photographer came from Molde; he is a tall, pale, quiet, intelligent
man. Esmeralda had put our things ready, so that our toilette was soon
made. As to herself, she was resplendent in the blue dress, plaid braid,
and silver buttons. Her brothers had very few additions they could make,
but Noah contrived to buy at Veblungsnœs a paper front and collar, which
gave him immense satisfaction. Zachariah was in a melancholy temper; no
one had bought him a churie (gip. shut-knife) at Veblungsnœs. His
existence was blurred, his cheerfulness clouded, and his smile was gone.

[Illustration: THE ENGLISH GIPSIES’ CAMP AT VEBLUNGSNŒS.]

About 12 o’clock Herr Solberg took his first stereoscopic view. Mr. L.,
some ladies, and one of our former visitors, a Norwegian captain and his
son and children, came to our camp. The stereoscopic view was pronounced
perfect. The donkeys were a success, and the wooded hill above our camp
came out with the background exceedingly well. Another photograph of
ourselves, tents and donkeys, was afterwards made, and also a carte de
visite of Esmeralda, standing under a birch-tree, with her tambourine in
her hand. On her finger is a silver ring, presented to her by one of our
friends, as a memento of Veblungsnœs. As the ladies sat on the grass
looking on, we set our musical-box to play near them, and so the day
passed until 3 o’clock, when the sun having been too high and powerful
for a good single photograph, Herr Solberg left us to have our dinner,
and to return again at 4 o’clock. Our gurnet was very good, but
exceedingly reduced in substance in boiling. Upon Herr Solberg’s return,
he took another successful photograph of our camp, and left. The donkeys
are very difficult to take, but by a happy chance they were exceedingly
quiet at the right moment. The engraving now given, is taken from Herr
Solberg’s photograph of our gipsy camp at Veblungsnœs.

Noah was soon required on duty. Having sufficient time before tea, we
went to Veblungsnœs, and bought some sealing-wax and glue, whilst Noah
went to a spirit store, kept by an old man, who had all the appearance
of a jovial Bacchanalian. Two or three bottles of aquavit, or
brændeviin, a sort of corn brandy, was bought by Noah. We afterwards
imagined the bottles were filled with the dregs of one of the casks,
perhaps, the brandy was therefore more potent. Certain impurities
floating about did not inspire confidence. It was inferior to that we
had purchased from the steward of the steamer at Lillehammer. The brandy
was intended for our peasant visitors at camp. We were annoyed, but
found they were not very squeamish, and seemed to like it; yet we
wished to give them the very best, and were always ready to give the
highest price.

Meat, or as it is called in Norwegian, kiöd, is not very obtainable. No
butchers’ shops are to be met with at Veblungsnœs. No joints of meat
hanging up for sale. Mr. L. believed that a large ox had been killed for
the funeral of a substantial bonde, residing at a large house, on the
high-road near Veblungsnœs church, and he would inquire. We had just
returned to our camp when we received a letter from Mr. L. and went with
the bearer to the bondegaard. They could let us have ten or fifteen
pounds of beef, at ten skillings per pound. We went up some steps from
the road to the house-door; but the atmosphere was too close for us to
remain inside. Going with a man to a door at one end of the house, he
entered a kind of cellar, and we were shown the meat in a cask. They
kindly sold us ten pounds of the beef, which Noah took away. We paid
four marks four skillings, or three shillings and nine pence English
money value. Being uncertain when we should have another chance of
buying fresh meat, we thought it desirable to save our stores as much as
possible.

Visitors were at our tents when we returned for tea. Sounds of voices
speaking nautical English met our ear: the skipper of the yacht
“Claymore” introduced himself, with one of the yacht’s crew and their
Norwegian pilot. The skipper said two or three young English gentlemen
were cruising with their yacht, and she was at anchor in the Fjord[67]
near Veblungsnœs. The yacht had reached Christiansand about the time we
reached Christiania. We gave them some brandy, and the skipper seemed
quite delighted to see anyone who could talk English. He told us they
had an ancient claymore for a figure-head on board, and three dogs and a
monkey. On leaving they said we might probably come to see the yacht
before she left.

The Norwegian Sunday commences at 5 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. As
usual, we determined not to allow any music in the evening, and we heard
afterwards, the farmer, who was very scrupulous upon the observance of
the Sunday, was much pleased.

When our Visitors from the “Claymore” were gone we were ready for tea.
Zachariah was unable to eat any of the fried meat. Our can of water was
boiled, and our beef fried, at our camp fire, at the bottom of the
grassy knoll, on which our tents were pitched. A clear, winding, narrow
brook, shaded by alder and birch bushes, rippled below us; the grass was
short, having been newly mown, and the hay was taken away. A fine bold
mountain rose before us, with rocky peaks, as we looked from
Veblungsnœs. The summer’s sun had not melted all its winter snow. Its
three peaks were called the King, Queen, and Bishop. After tea Captain
C. came by our tents _en route_ to the telegraph office. All were
anxious to hear tidings of the war. Mr. L. coming to our camp soon
after, told us the news, and we all walked together to Aak.

The walk from our camp to Aak must have been about two miles. Mr. L.
conversed with a young Norwegian gentleman who joined us, and we
sauntered along with Captain C. The calm stillness of the Norwegian
evening was very refreshing. By some chance our conversation turned
upon ghost lore as one of our subjects. Each had our idea. Captain C.
related one or two singular instances of undoubted occurrences. Wraiths,
it has been said, may be accounted for by the wave of thought in distant
manifestation. The body in one place and the spirit in another; voices
as sounds seemingly distinct, sometimes heard through the wide distance
between two souls inseparable. Before departure from the world, the
spirit sometimes manifests itself to some loved friend. The wraith has
accomplished its mission, and it is gone for ever. People who dwell with
Nature seem peculiarly susceptible to such influences. In the regions of
the mightiest works of our Creator’s hand, we find them naturally most
prone to such impressions. Gipsies are not without their experiences on
such subjects. More than one instance has found a place in our gipsy
lore.

We have reached Aak, our discussion on a variety of subjects, ends in
our finding ourself in a most comfortable room, hung round by
photographs of Norwegian scenery, and seated at a small table, quaffing
a glass of sparkling baiersk öl. The presence of English travellers was
evident, from a marked attention to ventilation. A tidy pige, or
waiting-girl, with quiet manner, and ready attention, attended to some
travellers, who were taking their evening meal, at a long table near us.
All was cleanliness and comfort at Aak.

Our stay at Aak was brief. We returned to our tents with Mr. L., who was
full of information about his country. Those who are accustomed to our
English climate, can scarcely realize the length of a Norwegian winter.
It is very cold at Veblungsnœs, from about the middle of September to
the middle of March. All that we now saw before us, so pleasant and
smiling, would in a short time be covered with a white fleecy mantle of
deep snow. Many scarcely venture out from September to March, and the
cold winds sometimes produce on the face, not inured to continued
exposure, what is called the Rose. It is a pink tinge upon the
countenance, which in some is not altogether a blemish. Frost-bites and
chilblains are of course the occasional result of so much cold.
Frost-bites should be rubbed at once with snow. The oil from reindeer
cheese is said to be a cure for frost-bites. Although the cold is
intense at times, the atmosphere is dry and not unhealthy. If the
Norwegian summer were twice the length, Norway would be a paradise.

The morning was windy, Noah’s tent was almost blown over. Our breakfast
consisted of tea and bread and butter. Esmeralda was not well; Zachariah
was still afflicted with a churie (gip., shut-knife) monomania. Two
days’ inactivity, and extra good living, was evidently plunging our
gipsies, into the depths of biliousness. It was in vain we had dosed
Zachariah with brimstone and treacle, until he was a qualified inmate
for Dotheboys’ Hall, and a fortnight with Wackford Squeers, would have
done him an immense amount of good. Noah was always lively. A few hours’
rapid movement would restore all.

With all their waywardness, and restlessness of spirit, we had the
elements for rapid action, and a physical energy, with which to push
through any obstacle. Veblungsnœs, it was determined, should be our
Ultima Thule, and striking our tents on Monday morning, we should seek
new scenes in the wild Norwegian fjelds. Still wandering south--still on
our homewards route, our little band of hardy nomads, would have to
brace themselves to fresh exertion. What a vast expanse of mountain,
glen and forest lay before us, which we must traverse, before we again
reached the sea.

At half-past nine o’clock Esmeralda was ready to accompany me to
Veblungsnœs. She looked well in her blue dress, plaid braid, and silver
buttons, and her heavy boots were blacked and shining, specially for the
visit. As we entered the avenue of trees all was quiet and repose. A
Sunday in England could not have been more calm, and free from busy
turmoil and bustle. The town of Veblungsnœs seemed to have a perpetual
Sunday, for it was the same on week days; there was nothing dull, or
dreary about the place, yet there was nothing to see in it; it possessed
an indefinable charm, arising out of its attempt at nothing. We left it
as we found it, to be remembered with pleasure.

Esmeralda had been promised to see the telegraphic apparatus. Our word
to our gipsies was always relied upon by them; if it was said to them,
it was done. Mr. L. was ready to receive us, and the apparatus was
explained, and Esmeralda was electrified. With a present of a quantity
of strawberries from Mr. L. she departed for our camp, whilst Mr. L.
arranged for our departure in a boat to see the “Heen Kirke,” on the
Isfjord.

The Isfjord is a fine expanse of water. Our two oarsmen were ready,
strong hardy men, chewing tobacco without intermission, and spitting
perpetually. Their pallor of countenance may have been produced by
immoderate chewing. The yacht, “Claymore,” was resting at anchor; the
owners of the craft were enjoying a sporting tour. There is a great
enjoyment of independence in a yacht cruise. Norway is admirably adapted
for yachting; but our time was limited, and getting the wind, our sail
was hoisted, and we soon left Veblungsnœs in the distance. Gentle slopes
rise from the margin of the Fjord for a short distance, dominated by
lofty steeps and rising hills; here and there small log houses, being
the residences of the peasant owners, come into view. The small property
round each, is their farm.

The cost of an ordinary sized farm on the shores of the Fjord, would
average about 600 to 700 dollars, or about £157. 10s. English money,
according to the size of the farm. Few attempts are ever made to give to
the Bondegaard, the picturesque appearance of the Swiss cottage. With
very little more expense and labour, the Norwegian peasant’s cottage,
might be made exceedingly pretty, and ornamental.

The “Heen Kirke” had no unusual attraction in itself; one Norwegian
church is so like another. No old monuments to please the antiquarian
taste; no mediæval tombs; no brasses, Norman arches, Saxon doorways, and
decorated windows; no corbels, bosses, and grotesque imagery of ancient
stone sculpture; no tesselated pavement, and richly ornamented
cloisters, dark with age, and dim with poetic light. No peel of bells,
and massive tower covered with ivy, resorted to by owls, and jackdaws.
No ecclesiastical library of black-lettered books, curiously and
substantially bound, in dark and dusty covers, crammed into shelves, and
forgotten in some corner of the vestry. The worm-eaten oak chest was
wanting also, containing well-thumbed registers and sacramental plate,
secured by three large locks, one for the vicar and one for each of the
churchwardens. The Norman stone font, with elaborate carving was absent.
The crypt and sedilia,[68] were not to be found, and a chained Bible we
did not see.[69] Yet, withal, the people are earnest in their prayer,
their ways are those of peace, and their pastors appear to hold the
affections of their flock.

We had a beautiful view of the “Kavlee Fjeld” as we returned. Stretching
forests of pine extended beyond the head of the Fjord. On our left we
saw the once abode of “Parelius,” a wild spot beneath a precipice, near
the margin of the Fjord. Parelius was a great linguist. No one appears
to have chronicled his linguistic skill, though he learned a living
language, which few if any can. Even the Parisien of the Jardin des
Tuileries, whose command over birds is wonderful, did not seem to know
their language; even Mademoiselle Vanderschmeck, could not rival
Parelius, who lived in the solitary Bondegaard, on the shore of the
Isfjord. Parelius conversed with birds; he is said to have known their
language. On one occasion some peasants asked him, when he was in
another parish, away from home, what the crows hard by were
saying--“They say,” said Parelius, “that a bear has just killed one of
my oxen, and must go home.” He returned to verify his loss. Whilst
Parelius was from home one day, an avalanche from the precipice above,
destroyed his house. We were told he lived some fifty years ago.
Parelius is gone--the house is gone. Whether he was a native of
Veblungsnœs we cannot say. No record appears to have been made of this
eminent man, some account of his life, scanty though it be, may rescue
his name from oblivion.

The fjords of this coast are well stocked with fish, and the islands and
rocks with wild fowl. The eider ducks are numerous; their nests are made
on the ground, and the down is taken from the nest after it is placed
there by the bird. About half-a-pound of down is taken from each nest,
which is reduced to a residue of about a quarter-of-a-pound for sale or
use; a very small quantity of the down is sufficient to stuff a
coverlet; its wonderful lightness and warmth renders it extremely
valuable. There is now a law for the protection of the eider duck; they
may not be caught or killed from 15th April to 15th August.[70]

Fiva is said to have the best salmon fishing on the Rauma. We had a
fresh wind on the Fjord as we returned. Birch twigs are used as
fastenings for the boat sail instead of rope, in fact, the birch twigs,
or withes, are substituted for rope in every variety of way. After a
pleasant cruise we landed, and left our friend, and reached our camp
with an excellent appetite.

Our dinner consisted of soup, meat, and bread and butter. Esmeralda was
unwell and could not eat anything. Zachariah was still murmuring about
the churie (shut knife) no one had bought for him. He received a
lecture; the shadows of his future were forcibly set before him.

After dinner the “Lehnsmœnd’s” lady from Aak, and her two daughters came
to see the donkeys. A very beautiful bouquet of flowers she brought for
our acceptance. Lady Di Beauclerk, in her Journal,[71] speaks of the
beautiful flowers of Aak. Whilst our visitor and her daughters sat in
our tents, we sent for the donkeys, which were much admired. Zachariah
was presented with a box of ornaments before they left. So our visitors
came and went in succession during the evening, and our first idea of
strict seclusion, by camping in private ground, we found an illusory
dream.



CHAPTER XXVI.

    These prophecies are repeated, particularly by Ezekiel, many
    times almost in the same words in different chapters (see
    particularly the whole of the 30th and 32nd), as if he were
    desirous in an especial manner to enforce them. These
    denunciations and prophecies, then, seem clearly to establish
    three distinct important events to the Egyptians--first, their
    complete conquest and dispersion; secondly, their remaining
    dispersed, without idols, among all nations and countries, in
    the open fields, during forty years; and, finally, their being
    again brought to the land of their habitation, where they shall
    be taught to know the Lord.

  _The Gipsies._[72] By SAMUEL ROBERTS.


    OUR GUIDE--TO THE MOUNTAINS--MYSTIC LIGHT--THE PHOTOGRAPHS--THE
    CLAYMORE YACHT--NORWEGIAN GIPSIES--SINGULAR
    RACE--OCCUPATIONS--GIPSY BURIALS--ROMANTIC
    LOVE--PREDESTINATION--THE BONDEGAARD--THE HIGH
    DEMAND--ESMERALDA’S SOUVENIR.


A note was soon after placed in our hands, by a broad-shouldered
thickset muscular man, rather under middle height, with a thick sandy
almost red beard; his small quick eye betokened alertness, and
self-possession, his countenance expressed good temper, fidelity, and
rectitude. It was not necessary to look again, as we took the note. He
was a broad-chested, sturdy reindeer hunter, of the Fjeld; the note was
an introduction given by Mr. L. the bearer was Ole Halvorsen, or as he
is usually called Ole Rödsheim, from the name of his station and land
in Bœverdal. A certificate of strong recommendation by two English
gentlemen, for whom he had recently acted as guide, and had lately
parted from, was also given us. Captain C.‘s name was also used with his
permission. We at once liked Ole Rödsheim; his quiet manner, and
appearance, was so different from many of the “Tolks,” and guides, who
are often more trouble, and expense than use; most of them would sneeze
for an hour, at the idea of sleeping on some damp heath, under a rock
during a windy wet night, near the exhilarating influence of a cold snow
field; such were not the men for our expedition, and Ole Rödsheim was.
After a careful inspection of our maps, we soon arranged in our minds,
the course for our future expedition after we left Veblungsnœs. The
summit of the Galdhœpiggen, the Mörkfos, and the valders, with a long
route through many Mountain and Lake scenes, we proposed to accomplish.
Ole Rödsheim spoke good English, and the following arrangement was soon
concluded; he was to join us near Molmen, and guide our party over the
mountains, to Skeaker, Lom, and Rödsheim, and ascend with us the
Galdhöpiggen, for the sum of three dollars and a half, finding himself
board and lodging; his services afterwards, if required, to be 4 marks a
day, including everything. Deciding to make a forced march, and travel
in two days what we had before travelled in four, we agreed to be at the
Böver Moen (Beaver stream) between Stueflaaten and Molmen on the
following Wednesday morning.

[Illustration: VEBLUNGSNŒS, WITH CHURCH, FJORD, AND MOUNTAIN OF THE
THREE PEAKS, “THE KING, QUEEN, AND BISHOP.”]

With what pleasure we looked forward to fresh scenes of travel and
adventure in even wilder scenes of nature than those we had yet
traversed. Those we had seen were very beautiful; each camp seemed to
eclipse the last, in the beauty of its scenery. On those still clear
Norwegian nights, full of mystic light, lovely in their starlight
stillness, the mind seemed enthralled, in a thousand pleasing fancies;
the music of the waterfall; the voices on the breeze. The melody of
nature, produced impressions we can never forget.

Norway is not the country for the sybarite, fainéant, and the flâneur;
it is the home of the hardy mountaineer, the angler, the reindeer
hunter, and nomad wanderer, the lover of nature and nature’s works in
her wildest and most beautiful forms.

Plants, mosses of every hue, trees, rocks, glaciers, torrents, lakes,
fjords, waterfalls, mountains, woods, and glens, are, in their
perfection, met at every step, in Norway’s free romantic land.

When Mr. L. came to our camp in the evening with Herr Solberg, we
arranged for our photographs, and paid for them. The views of
Romsdalshorn, Veblungsnœs, and Troldtinderne, from which the engravings
in this book are taken, had yet to be completed specially for us. They
were afterwards forwarded; Herr Solberg was allowed the privilege of
disposing of the stereoscopic view of our gipsy camp, and the carte de
visite of Esmeralda. The specimens he brought to show us, were presented
to Esmeralda.

Our last walk with Mr. L. is taken by the Isfjord. As a parting souvenir
we gave him an illustrated copy of Her Majesty the Queen of England’s
Journal, with which he was much interested; Mr. L. added much to the
pleasure of our visit to the quaint old town of Veblungsnœs. When shall
we meet again? So it is in this world; we meet and we part, but
fortunately the memory retains friendship’s recollection not so easily
effaced.

From the Isfjord, near Veblungsnœs, the farm was pointed out to us where
Colonel Sinclair, who perished at the Kringelen, landed with his forces.

The church of Veblungsnœs is represented in the engraving of the town.
There was nothing remarkable about this church to note. A newly dug
grave was prepared in the churchyard for the deceased Bondegaard, who
had resided near. If it happens that the clergyman cannot attend when
the corpse is buried no delay occurs; the service is read over by the
clergyman at some future time, when he attends for church service. The
yacht Claymore added a charm to our evening contemplation of the
Isfjord. Noah said he had seen one of the gentlemen of the yacht on
shore, who had that day ascended the mountain above our camp.

Our stay was now nearly ended. Hitherto our travels had through every
difficulty, been most successful; we had scarcely lost anything; the two
hats, musketo veil, and kettle prop we could manage without. Mr. L. told
us that two young Norwegian friends who had made an excursion, came to
him with scarcely anything left; they had forgotten some article at
nearly every place they went to. With some trouble the things were again
recovered. When the travellers departed, they again contrived to leave
behind them an umbrella and a pair of galoshes.

Some of the Norwegian gipsies usually attend the October fair at
Veblungsnœs. The women are very handsome, and some of the men. When they
attend the fair, the women drink even more than the men. They are very
fond of music, and at the fairs, when they have drunk to excess, are
very quarrelsome and passionate. Under the Norwegian law any person who
arrives at a certain age without being able to read or write, and who
has not been confirmed, is liable to be committed to gaol. There they
remain until they can read, write, and are properly instructed in
religious knowledge. Many of the gipsies when examined by clergymen,
have been found so ignorant, and without instruction, that they have
from time to time been committed to prison, and detained there, till
they came up to the standard of required proficiency. Prœsten Eilert
Sundt had therefore good opportunities of seeing them, and conversing
with them. The vocabulary of Romany words, as spoken by the Norwegian
gipsies, which he has collected, with other information, is very
valuable.[73] His mission seems to have been performed with much energy.
The short résumé of his works, given in the appendix to this book, we
had specially made for our English readers; it gives some idea of the
state in which he found this wandering and singular people in Norway.
The Storthing granted a large sum for the amelioration of their
condition. We were told that some gipsies who had money given them, and
were settled in farms on the shore of the Isfjord opposite Veblungsnœs,
did not remain long, and, selling their farms, disappeared with the
money. Many of the gipsies who attend the Veblungsnœs fair, when asked
where they came from, say the Valders. This was one reason why we
decided to return with our gipsies through that part of Norway.
Notwithstanding, Prœsten Sundt’s account of their mode of life, and
predilections, and the very unenviable notoriety they seem to have
attained in Norway, we were certainly anxious to fall in with a band of
these wanderers, so that our people might hold converse with them. We
were told that some of the gipsies had land in the Valders! but it is
very possible that the statement that they came from that part of Norway
was an evasive reply. It is very seldom gipsies will give even their
right names to curious questioners; as in other countries where they are
found, and in very few they are not, they deal in horses and work in
metals. The Norwegian gipsies are skilful workers in brass; we were told
that they live in houses in the winter, the cold being too intense for
them to travel with their tents.

The circumstance of the non-burial of the gipsy dead in the Norwegian
churchyards, as stated by the Prœsten Sundt, is not confined exclusively
to the gipsies of Norway. Baudrimont in his “Langue des Bohémiens,” as
spoken by those living in the Basque provinces, says at page 27, “We
know not what becomes of the gipsies who die; not the slightest trace of
them is ever met with. This has given rise to the idea, that they turn
the course of rivulets, and, digging a pit, place the body in the
torrent’s bed, and again let the water resume its course.”

Francisque-Michel in his work, “Le Pays Basque,”[74] at page 143,
says:--“‘I have noticed in many localities,’ said Monsieur le Vicomte de
Belsunce, who was for a considerable period the mayor of a district,
‘that gipsy men and women of great age, long known to the present
generation as old people, disappear suddenly, and never return. It is a
common occurrence, and yet no labourer in the fields, or traveller on
the roads, or shepherd, or hunter in the mountains, ever sees the trace
of a grave.’”

And the same author says:--“Was Grellman[75] right, or was it true, as
many assert, that these people turned the course of some brook whilst
they made the grave, and turned the stream over it immediately
afterwards? Such a burial would not leave any trace, and it was so they
buried Attila, who followed, when he came into Europe, the same route as
the gipsies.”

The more the gipsy element becomes mingled with other house-dwelling
races the less strongly will they cling to their tents. We who have
tried it must confess to a strange fascination in tent life. To our own
knowledge we have known instances of gipsies who have married
house-dwelling gorgios. One singular instance of romantic love was once
narrated to me of a young gentleman of birth, who became so infatuated
as to leave all for a handsome gipsy girl he met with. She left the
neighbourhood of his home, but he could not rest, and, with a few
things, followed and found her, and at last submitted for her sake to be
her husband and adopt tent life. His end was sad. He was making some
pegs for her to sell, but being unpractised in the art, and clumsy with
his knife, it slipped and entered his thigh, probably severed the
femoral artery, for he died soon after.

As long as much of the gipsy element remains, it is not probable that
they can be bent to the steady pursuits of a stationary house-dwelling
population. As well try to turn the falcon into a barn-door fowl; but
Christian charity should lead us, if we cannot alter their nature, to
aid in placing them in such course of life, as may best improve and
raise their moral condition, without requiring them to sacrifice
entirely, those strong and restless feelings, which seem inherent in
their being, and the necessity of some mysterious law or predestination.

We sat out late by our tents, writing our notes; the long evenings of
clear light, enabled us often to snatch those hours which in England,
would be quite dark. The gipsies, before we retired to rest, had their
dose of brimstone and treacle, and with many anticipations, we were soon
buried in repose.

All was stir and bustle. Up, Noah!--up, Zachariah!--vand! All were
moving before six. Eggs, bread, butter, and tea for breakfast. Esmeralda
had been unwell all night. Our gipsies had been living well, and without
their usual exercise. Esmeralda was evidently bilious. She had behaved
very well, and was now deep in the mysteries of cooking and
housekeeping.

The old farmer hovered near as if he was looking out for his quarry. We
had scarcely seen him about before. We were uncertain when Mr. L. would
come, and therefore mentioned to the farmer that we wished to pay him
for our accommodation.

He led the way into his house, and we found ourselves in a little
parlour, comfortably furnished, but without any ventilation: a picture
of the death-bed of King Oscar in 1859, two prints of the Emperor
Napoleon III. and the Empress, and a German coloured print called
Elise, and Our Saviour, were placed on the walls.

His daughter brought in a bottle of some wine or cordial, and a
wine-glass, but we asked for a cup of coffee in preference. In answer to
my request, the old man, who sat on the other side of the table, counted
slowly on his fingers five marks--“Een thaler,” said he. It was what we
expected, and proceeding to pay him, we pulled out three dollar notes.
Not wishing to pay more of our silver away than we could help, we
thought it a good opportunity to pay one of our dollar notes. Directly
the old man saw the notes he suddenly counted three on his fingers, and
raised his demand to “drei thalers.” It was of little consequence, and
we paid him his demand, disgusted with his cupidity--three dollars, or
13_s._ 6_d._ English money, which in Norway was equivalent to the rent
of a cottage and ground for one year for a Huusmand. What different
hospitality the wanderers met with from many not half so wealthy, who
brought to our camp fladbröd for our acceptance. This, and the one at
Lillehammer, were the only two instances we met with of any
over-exaction in Norway. We were told afterwards that one dollar was
amply sufficient.

We had almost loaded our donkeys when Mr. L. came; and at our wish a
boatman brought up two very fine sea trout, for which we paid three
marks and twelve skillings, and took them with us.

The militia were to commence their training at Veblungsnœs that morning.
One of our former acquaintances, a Norwegian captain--a fine specimen of
a thorough-going military man, erect and handsome, with his grey
moustache--had come to see us off. Esmeralda stepped forward, and
pinned some beautiful flowers, selected from the Aak bouquet, in Mr.
L.’s coat. A copy of our song was left for Monsieur le Capitaine’s son;
another for Frue Landmark, of Aak; and one for Herr Solberg; and two
copies for Mr. L. to do what he liked with. The Chevalier had sent a
very nice return telegram to us. Mr. L. and the Captain were astonished
at the weight our donkeys carried. We wished the farmer’s wife and
daughter and son good-by. The old man was absent, probably gloating over
his sudden acquisition of wealth. His son and daughter were very quiet,
respectable young people. The farm people collected on the ground, and,
saluting each other with our hats, we left the camp, and passed up the
wide lane leading to the main route. As we were disappearing over the
edge of the ascent, we saw the Capitaine and his son still looking after
us; they waved their hats as we vanished with a farewell signal in
return.

[Illustration: ROMSDALSHORN,

VIEW FROM NEAR “AAK.”]



CHAPTER XXVII.

    There is something remarkable in the eye of the Romany. Should
    his hair and complexion become as fair as those of the Swede or
    the Finn, and his jockey gait as grave and ceremonious as that
    of the native of Old Castile; were he dressed like a king, a
    priest, or a warrior, still would the Gitáno be detected in his
    eye, should it continue unchanged.... Its peculiarity consists
    chiefly in a strange, staring expression, which, to be
    understood, must be seen, and in a thin glaze which steals over
    it when in repose, and seems to emit phosphoric light. That the
    gipsy eye has sometimes a peculiar effect, we learn from the
    following stanza:--

    A gipsy stripling’s glossy eye
      Has pierced my bosom’s core,
    A feat no eye beneath the sky
      Could e’er effect before.

    _The Gipsies._ By SAMUEL ROBERTS.



    ADIEU
    AAK--ROMSDALSHORN--TROLDTINDERNE--FLADMARK--YOUNG-NORWEGIAN
    LADIES--OUR FAIR VISITORS--A NIGHT SCENE--MORNING
    MEAL--EXHAUSTED PEASANTS--ESMERALDA’S COMPLIMENT--A GIPSY
    CUISINE--HOW GIPSIES SLEEP--OUR GUIDE ARRIVES--THE INVISIBLE
    BATHER--THE RACE--THE RIVER GRÖNA.


We passed the quiet scenes of Aak and its beautiful scenery; we saw
Captain C----, and some young ladies coming down to the road from the
house. The charming terrace before the house and grounds are kept in
excellent neatness and order. Frue Landmark also came down to see our
donkeys again. Captain C. was going south, and might probably overtake
us, but we did not see him again.[76] Very useful indeed was the
information he gave us. Frue Landmark, whom we saw in earnest
conversation with Esmeralda, presented her with some ear-rings. So we
made our adieux to all, and left a spot so pleasantly described by Lady
Di Beauclerk. Her ladyship is the daughter of the ninth Duke of St.
Albans, whose first wife was Mrs. Coutts, the once celebrated Miss
Mellon, whose interesting memoirs were published some years since.

The sun was very warm. We were all in excellent spirits; who could be
otherwise in the midst of so much free life? Herr Solberg, the
photographer, met us, apparently looking for a Point de Vue. Then we
passed Fiva, and a short distance beyond we halted in the old place
among the green bushes, by the rippling stream, at the foot of the
Romsdalshorn and Troldtinderne. Our dinner consisted of some of the
boiled beef, fried with butter. It was about twelve o’clock; Zachariah
was despatched trout-fishing. Esmeralda was better; some quinine in the
morning had spirited her up. She was not allowed to be idle. As we
bustled her about, she said she thought the Rye was in a murmuring way.
Then, as we lounged note-book in hand, we had a chaff at Noah, who was
half asleep, and woke up looking very wild, to be asked, what he would
take for his paper front, and collar, for which he had given four
skillings. The front was now all but gone. “What you like, sir,” said
Noah, and heaving a deep sigh, fell back into the region of gipsy dreams
sounder than ever. We looked in vain for the invalid visitor who was to
take the place of Rip Van Winkle, and somnolency resulting, who knows
but we ourselves might not have been there now; but the good genii of
the magician’s peaks awoke us. There were the dark fantastic rocks,
streaked in gilded rays of the summer’s sun. The distant roar of thunder
in the lofty precipices, produced by falling snow, sounded in the narrow
gorge. Our donkeys had strayed; we aroused Noah from a deep sleep, who
disappeared down the valley and brought them back. On his return, he
said he had seen a number of gentlemen along the Rauma near Fiva, with
guns and fishing-rods. It was nearly four o’clock. The donkeys were
hastily loaded, and we were again _en route_. Zachariah was overtaken
before we reached Horgheim, and had succeeded in catching twenty-three
small trout. A young traveller and his wife came up in a stolkjœrre, and
kept behind us till we got to Horgheim. They wanted us to stay there, so
that they might get first on account of the donkeys, but we were pressed
for time, and when they came up afterwards, their horse passed very
quietly. The traveller, who was Norwegian, spoke English, and they
appeared a newly-married couple. We passed our old camping-ground beyond
“Horgheim,” and bought a mark’s worth of fladbröd from the woman of the
house. Our old camp near the leaning-stone was our intended destination.
At one part of the road we met a number of carrioles. A lady in a green
Tyrolese hat and feather, who seemed unaccustomed to driving, was one of
the party. As she passed, the pony shied, and the boy who stood upon the
board behind her, with great quickness, seized the reins.
“P-r-r-r-h--p-r-r-r-h,” said the boy, and away they dashed past us. The
boy, afterwards, reined the pony up rather sharply; the pony reared,
and the lady jumped out with a small scream; the gentleman we took for
her husband bringing up the rear, passed quietly enough, and as no one
was hurt, we again continued our way.

We passed Fladmark; our donkeys had not lost their interest to the
peasantry; many collected to see them. Fladmark seems a large station
and the scenery is very picturesque. In fact, at every turn we had fresh
scenes to admire. When we had passed Kors and were drawing near our old
camping ground, in passing through a gate on the road, our Puru Rawnee
ran our packs against the gate-post, and broke a bottle of port wine.
Noah and Zachariah caught some in the kettle lid, which they were
allowed to drink. We did not feel inclined to take any ourselves.
Esmeralda had a very small quantity, but the stimulant made her feel,
she said, very queer. Then we followed on slowly with her, for she was
rather tired, whilst Noah and Zachariah pushed on in advance. We were
soon afterwards overtaken by a stolkjœrre; a man was driving two young
ladies, and a young gentleman, their brother, was walking. They stopped
after they had passed us, and seeing that they wished to speak, we
addressed them. The one young lady, who spoke English very well, said
they had come to Veblungsnœs by steamer, where they had heard of us, and
had seen our song. They wished very much to see our “deer.” Many in
Norway took our donkeys for a species of reindeer capable of carrying
weights. The young ladies were very agreeable and good looking;
something very charming about them. They seemed much interested in our
expedition. Being told that our gipsies were in advance, and where we
should encamp, they drove after them.

When Esmeralda and myself reached the leaning-stone in the valley of the
Sjiriaglns Fjeld, it was getting dusk. The young ladies were looking at
our things just unpacked, and Noah was putting up the tents on the old
camp ground near the large rock. The young ladies wished to hear us
play, but something to eat was a preliminary necessity before we could
give them any music. They decided, therefore, to wait. The young ladies
said, “We should much wish to hear you play; we heard of you at
Veblungsnœs.” Our tents were soon pitched, and Zachariah, who had given
up grumbling about his churie, got our tea and broiled meat ready with
remarkable celerity. The young ladies said, “We should so like to sleep
in a tent.” “Do you not find it cold?” “No,” we said, “We have a
waterproof on the ground, and a carpet over that. It is all we require
for our bed.” Then as we were going to tea in our tents the young ladies
decided to take something to eat themselves at our camp fire.[77] They
gave us some dried rein-deer meat, and we gave them some of our biscuit.
Noah said they were such nice young ladies he could give them anything,
and sent Esmeralda with his panakin of tea instead of having it himself.
Esmeralda did not eat anything, and went and talked to them. Then we
sent them bread-and-butter, and finished our tea. The young ladies sent
their cards to our tents whilst we were at tea. Miss Grethe S----, of
Halsund, and Miss Marie B----, of Molde. Then they came from the camp
fire where they had finished their repast. The shades of evening had
fallen; the sound of the waters of the Rauma came upon the night. Their
brother and the driver of their stolkjœrre joined them as they stood at
our tents, in the valley of the cascades, of wild scenery, of all that
was beautiful in nature. Much pleased they seemed, as they listened to
our gipsy song, and still more pleased they appeared when we presented
each with a copy. We played for them several airs with our guitar,
violin, and tambourine. It was twelve o’clock when they left to go on to
Ormein for the night. We had had a long day; as they left, I found that
one of the young ladies had presented Noah with a cigar-holder. Soundly
we slept, for we did not awake until eight o’clock. One of our sea trout
fried in buttered writing paper was delicious for breakfast. We were
just leaving, at twelve o’clock, when a drayman came up, and we gave him
some brandy. He said an English gentleman was coming to Ostersund to
fish in the “Glommen,” in August. The man said his son could speak
English very well. For some time he followed us along the road, but at
last we left him behind. The sun was exceedingly hot when we reached
Ormein.[78] As we approached the station the two young ladies rushed
out. One had two plates in her hand. They shook hands with all of us,
and we had a very warm welcome indeed. Their brother brought some water
for the donkeys. The young traveller and his wife were also there. A
very enthusiastic reception we had. Miss S----, said, she had come there
to meet a sister from Christiania. But time presses, we must away; the
comfortable station must be left. With many adieux and godt reisen from
the young ladies, we ascended the hilly road from the station and left
the beautiful scenery which surrounds it.

Staying at our old camping-ground near the “Sœndre Sletten fossen,” we
had our mid-day meal--tea, fladbröd, and butter. Noah and Zachariah
played some music, whilst Esmeralda had some instruction in dancing.
Between four and five o’clock our party were again _en route_ up the
zig-zag hilly road, with Vand fos, rock, or forest, continually in view.

At one point of the road a man, woman, and child came running after us.
They wished to see the donkeys. Noah and Zachariah were far on before.
The peasants’ countenances were marked with an expression of earnest
anxiety. The gipsies kept pushing on. Esmeralda said, “We can’t stop for
every gorgio,” and away ran the man up the hill with his small boy
tugging at his belt behind, and the wife following, ready to sink for
want of breath. We came just in sight of our gipsies at a turn of the
road, and shouted, when they at last halted very reluctantly.

The peasants, we were glad to see, reached them, but nearly exhausted
with haste and fatigue. Some more people came from a house near, and
brought some hay for the donkeys. We were anxious for our peasant
friends to see the animals, and many were the questions they asked. When
we talked of winter they seemed to shiver, and a shade of melancholy
passed over their countenances. After a halt of about ten minutes we
again continued our journey.

As we reached the summit of the hill near “Stueflaaten” the clouds
threatened rain. At Stueflaaten station a delicate-looking woman with a
stout child showed us into the guest-chamber. There were two beds. The
walls of the chamber were painted green and red. Some photographs also
adorned the room, which was very clean, but to us the atmosphere was too
close to be pleasant. They procured for us some butter, potatoes, and
fladbröd, for which we paid three marks. They gave us full value for our
money. The evening was wearing rapidly on as we left the station. Very
soon after we met a carriage and pair, in which sat a dark-eyed
traveller. His hair was jet black. Our gipsies had to look sharp to get
our donkeys in single file, and as we brought up the rear with our
alpenstock the traveller scanned our party with much curiosity.
Esmeralda paid him the compliment afterwards of saying his hair was as
dark as any Romany’s.

It was getting late, as dusty and travel-worn we came on to the open
moorland by “Böver Möen.” This time we camped near two or three broken
firs, not very far from the road, and near a hedge enclosing a thick
wood. Very shortly after our gipsies had unloaded our things, and had
lighted our fire, three fishermen, appeared in the distance coming
towards us. One was better dressed than the others, and was the only
wooden-legged man we saw in Norway. He was stout and portly. From his
waistcoat he had suspended two small trout, the result of his fishing
expedition. Each had some of our brandy-and-water, and drank to Gamle
Norge. Some boys came afterwards and brought some grass for the donkeys.
Then they watched our cooking with interest. Whilst Esmeralda was
getting the potatoes ready, we fried some sea-trout in buttered
writing-paper. Very much surprised they seemed at the luxury of our
cuisine. Then Esmeralda fried some fish in the ordinary way, and also
some sliced potatoes. We enjoyed our tea on that open moorland, in sight
of a foaming waterfall down the mountain-side by the Böverhö.
Brandy-and-water was handed round to those peasants assembled. Ourself
on guitar, and Zachariah with his violin, sitting as much in the smoke
of the fire as possible, on account of the myriads of musketos, played
lively airs, whilst Noah was pitching the tents. Esmeralda was engaged
putting up the tea-things with every now and then a hearty denunciation
of the “migs” or musketos. Some young peasant-girls came in time for the
music. One, a very modest, pretty girl, knitting a stocking, or a
strumper, as the gipsies called it. Another peasant-girl brought us some
milk, which she sold us for three skillings. When our music was
finished, and the peasants had wished us good-night, we retired to rest.
Rest indeed for Zachariah. He was the smallest of the party, and the
mosketos with excellent generalship concentrated their attacks upon the
weakest point, when Zachariah killed one, two were in its place. Wildly
he scratched, slapped, tumbled, and tossed, to his brother’s disgust,
who would say sharply, “Now then, can’t you be quiet? Where are you
getting your piro[79] (gip., foot) to. Can’t you lie still, and let me
go to sleep.”

Many readers may imagine that the brothers slept side by side. They
slept in true Romany fashion, that is, the feet of each are placed on
each side of the head, or under the arms of the other. In this way a
wonderful amount of warmth is obtained. One blanket covered both, and
sometimes we might see in a morning Noah’s feet sticking out on each
side of Zachariah’s head.

The weather seemed inclined for rain the night before, but the morning
of Wednesday, 27th July, was delightful. Noah was roused before six
o’clock. To-day we should be in the mountains. We heard Ole Rödsheim had
been at Stueflaaten. The trout Zachariah had caught were fried for
breakfast; four pounds of beef, the remainder of what we had bought at
Veblungsnœs was reluctantly condemned as spoilt. The hot weather had
quite spoiled it. Some Norwegian girls came, and we had three skillings’
worth of milk, and twelve skillings’ worth of stamped sweet fladbröd.
Our donkeys were nearly loaded about nine o’clock, when we saw Ole
Rödsheim stepping over the moorland. He did not think we had arrived,
but came to look out for us. He scarcely expected we should manage the
distance in the time.

Ole Rödsheim had stayed the night at “Enebo.” As we passed the house he
took a cup of coffee, and we soon after crossed the Enebo bridge,
entered a beautiful green lane, and left the main route before coming to
Molmen. It was delightful to find ourselves no longer on the hard road.

Ole Rödsheim led the way from the lane by a track through the open
woodland. Now we come suddenly upon a purling stream of water with deep
holes, shaded from the summer sun of the hot and sultry day. What is
this we see on the bank near a pool in the stream? A heap of woman’s
clothes; even her shoes; but where’s the woman? Instinctively we looked
into the quiet pool formed by the stream, but no water-nymph was there.
There was the clear gravelly bed which made us wish to take a refreshing
plunge.

The clothes were left. The woman was gone. Probably wandering about in
the forest. We hope she did not unhappily lose herself. It is one of the
mysteries of this book we shall never be able to clear.

At one log châlet Ole Rödsheim took an old man with us for a short
distance. At another part of our winding way up some open ground towards
the woods, we could see on the opposite side the valley sloping to the
stream below a man and woman running at the top of their speed in the
hot sun towards a bridge over the river. Our party were fast ascending
towards the ridge of the ascent, and would soon be out of sight.
Sometimes the woman gained ground upon the man. Every muscle was
strained. It was the best steeplechase we ever saw. Then they dashed
wildly across a slight wooden bridge at some distance off. We purposely
delayed our cavalcade, to let them have a chance, and panting for breath
and almost exhausted, they ultimately reached us. The admiration they
exhibited for the noble animals with which we travelled left no doubt
that they felt quite rewarded for their long and well-contested race. We
forget which came up first.

Passing to the “Gröna elv,” above Molmen, we had the opportunity of
seeing the picturesque waterfall called the Gröna fos. It roars through
overhanging rocks, and high above the Gröna we reached a slight
horse-bridge stretched over a wide deep chasm, with the rapid waters of
the river below. Very little attention appears to be given to these
bridges. The planks were loose, and in places out, and some were not
fastened. Stopping up the open places as well as our materials would
allow, we determined to risk our animals. They fortunately went over the
bridge exceedingly well, but the last heavily laden donkey nearly
slipped its hind leg through an awkward crevice, and was only just
saved.

Ole Rödsheim was very handy in our first experience of Norwegian
mountain-bridges, and quite verified our early formed opinion of his
quick readiness of resource.

Now we were winding through a forest of firs and birch. Very warm it
was, but the way was delightful. There were two tracks to the Ny Sœter,
but Ole chose the track by a sœter, we believe called the Gröna
Sœter.[80] This we reached in good time. The sœter is built on a wooded
plateau above a wild gorge through which the river Gröna takes its
course.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

    --Je ne connais pas de reine de ce nom-là.
    --Même parmi les zingaris?
    --C’est vrai, dit Fernand, j’oubliais les Bohémiens ont des rois.
    --Et des reines, dit Ginesta.

    _Le Saltéador_, par ALEXANDRE DUMAS.

“I do not know any queen of that name.” “Even among the gipsies?” “It is
true,” said Fernand, “I had forgotten the gipsies have kings.” “And
queens,” said Grinesta. P/

    BOTANISING--ESMERALDA LOST--FOUND AGAIN--THE EAGLE--MOUNTAIN
    DIFFICULTIES--MOUNTAIN BIVOUAC--ESMERALDA ILL--OLE’S BED--HOTEL
    BILLS--ROUGH ROUTE--DONKEYS IN SNOW--THE PURU RAWNEE DOWN--THE
    NY SŒTER--GIPSY DISCUSSION--THE ENGLISHMAN’S
    HOUSE--HOSPITALITY--NORWEGIAN NAMES--FILLINGSHÖ--LARGE LAKE.


No one was at the sœter. After a middags-mad of tea, bacon, potatoes,
fladbröd and butter, and a rest, we continued our journey. After
pursuing our rough mountain track for a short time, we left the forest
of the steep mountain side, and commenced a toilsome ascent, in a warm
sun, across a wild rocky ravine, bare of trees, with a stream running
down it. It was not very deep. Our party slowly ascended one side of the
ravine towards the higher slopes of the mountain.

Gradually Esmeralda and ourself, who were collecting wild flowers, and
Alpine Flora, were left behind. Patches of snow rested here and there as
we ascended the sides of the “Hyrjon Fjeld.” The open mountain was
rocky and bare of vegetation. Gradually and slowly we ascended higher
and higher, when we suddenly missed our party. Track there was none
distinguishable. We ascended to some higher ridges; but could see
nothing of our guide, gipsies, or donkeys. A white handkerchief was
fastened to the end of our Alpenstock. We used the shrill cry of the
Australian signal and cooed loudly, but could hear no signal in return.
Not a vestige of human life was to be seen on the rugged mountain slopes
around us. It was quite clear that somehow we were lost. We had our
compass; but then, we had no idea as to the course across the mountains
Ole Rödsheim proposed to take.

Esmeralda did not appear much disconcerted by the incident. It was a
scene for the artist’s pencil, as the gipsy-girl ascended a hillock
strewn with loose grey rocks, covered with lichen. There she stood in
the evening sun, in a distant land across the sea, the blue feathers of
her small straw hat, waving in the light warm breeze. One could not help
feeling, that there was something more than common in this mystic race.
The lone figure of the gipsy-girl, whose home was nature, seemed the
queen of the wide expanse of barren “Fjeld” which she then surveyed. She
gave a whistle--that peculiar shrill whistle which is known among
themselves; a whistle, which, if not heard quite at Christiania,
certainly must have disturbed the wild rein-deer of the surrounding
fjelds from their slumbers.

We had almost come to the conclusion that we might have to spend the
night as best we could on the “Hyrjon Fjeld;” just then we heard a
return signal across some ravines beyond us to our right. Zachariah had
come back in search. They had turned sharply across the mountain slope
to the right, and were hidden from view by the intervening ravines. We
raced across the mountain side, and crossing some snow slopes of a
ravine, getting well ahead, we kept up a sharp and rapid fire of
snowballs at Esmeralda, prudently retreating immediately afterwards in
pursuit of our party.[81]

Noah and Ole Rödsheim were waiting. The donkeys were soon in motion.

“Ah!” said Noah, who had a great contempt for botanical research;
“That’s the way with Mr. Smith; he plucks a flower, and then calls
daughter to look at it. She says it’s very pretty; and there they stand
till nobody can tell what has become of them.”

Poor Noah! botany was not his forte. But all was sunshine again, and we
quietly pursued our rough uneven way.

Our path was now in the wild fjelds. Ole had his peculiar landmarks.
Sometimes it was a rock; sometimes a large stone placed edgeways or on
the top of another. For some time we kept along the side of a rugged
slope. A large black and white eagle soared above us with a hawk near
it. It gave life to the scene. Soon afterwards we came to an old
reingrav. This is a kind of pit or trap formed of loose stones, into
which the reindeer were sometimes driven by the hunters. A portion of a
reindeer’s horn was picked up by Noah and given to us.

Our way became more difficult. Each of the gipsies had to lead their
donkey. The ground was in places very treacherous, and we often came to
steep descents. The Puru Rawnee, who was loaded much more heavily than
the other two, got her hind legs into very deep ground near some rocks,
and was with difficulty extricated. At some distance beyond, in
descending a slope, the Puru Rawnee went right into a quicksand. We had
to unload her, and the ground being full of loose stones, we were afraid
she would cut her legs all to pieces. Noah was almost despairing. It was
his first experience of mountain work.

“What can we do, sir?” said he, in a melancholy tone, “in such rough
roads as these?”

Ole Rödsheim came back to us, and we carried most of the things some
distance down to firmer ground. Again loading, we started once more.
Zachariah was as lively as ever, with his donkey the Puro Rye, making
short cuts, and going now and then in advance, until warned to be
careful. We kept our course, until at last, crossing a streamlet, in
spite of every precaution, the Puru Rawnee sank right into another
quicksand, out of which we had much difficulty in extricating her. The
things had to be taken off. We proposed camping out where we were; for
the donkeys, especially the Puru Rawnee, were getting tired.

Ole Rödsheim suggested that there was better camping ground on the other
side a mountain ravine, a short distance beyond. We decided to make a
push for it, and soon after succeeded in reaching a wide rocky ravine.
The stream was broken into many rivulets. The torrent’s bed was strewn
with loose rocks; so that with our tired loaded animals, we crossed with
difficulty, and winding round the foot of a lofty knowle above the
ravine, we entered a shallow gully at the back of it. Ascending a gentle
slope to the flat summit of the knowle, we found an excellent camping
ground.

The conical hill was just adapted for our tents. To our right the waters
of many streams issued from the large snow-field we could see at a short
distance up the ravine. In front, at the foot of a long slope, and
crossing the end of the ravine, we could see the deep valley of the
Gröna, and above us the Skarvehöerne.

Our tents were soon pitched. Ole Rödsheim said he should camp out if we
could lend him a blanket. Our fire was lighted, and we shared with him
our tea, eggs, fladbröd, and butter. Esmeralda lay on the ground near
the camp-fire, and could not take anything. She was taken very unwell.
She wished to be left in peace, and to Noah, who asked her again, she
said “No!” so sharply that he quickly left her.

Ole Rödsheim went to make his bed under a rock on the side of the gully
below us. His little wallet, and small brass camp-kettle in it, were
left by our smouldering fire. Almost immediately after down came
torrents of rain. We had just time to seize our waterproof rug which we
slept on, and our guide’s wallet. Our first thought was for him. He had
just formed a sort of nest like a coffin with loose stones, the lower
part covered over by flat stones stuffed with loose heath and stunted
birch. In an instant he was stretched in his form. Throwing the
waterproof over him, we gave him his wallet underneath, and left him for
the night. There was one satisfaction, our guide would be perfectly dry
if not particularly warm in his mountain quarters.

Returning to the tents in pouring rain, we unfolded our waterproof, and
placed it over the tents, for the moisture was already making its way
through our blanket covering. Esmeralda had crawled in, and was lying in
a very helpless state. We had to move her, whilst we made her bed, and
packed her up comfortable for the night. She might be bilious from the
middags-mad of potatoes and bacon; but she said afterwards it was owing
to a sudden chill when she ate some snow, or from her wet feet. Giving
her some brandy the last thing, for she did not know how she felt, we
hoped our universal panacea would effect a cure.

Just before going to bed, the rain ceased; and going to Ole, a voice
under the waterproof said he was very comfortable. As we were going into
our tents, we could not help gazing on the magnificent sea of white mist
rising from the deep valley of the Gröna below.[82]

Soon after five o’clock we were up, and descending in a thick mist to
the ravine, we had a good wash. The donkeys were inspected, and their
legs carefully rubbed down with our bruise mixture, which was an
universal remedy for all cuts, bruises, aches, and pains. Ole was
apparently sleeping soundly, and we did not disturb him. Our gipsies got
up, and at six o’clock Ole was moving and none the worse for his rough
accommodation. He had, I believe, been up before to see if the donkeys
were safe. Everything was wet, and no fuel could be found but one or two
damp sticks from the ravine, and the roots of heath and dwarf birch. A
fire seemed hopeless, but our Russian lamp overcame all difficulty, and
we soon had a fire. Tea and fladbröd and butter formed our breakfast.

Whilst we were leading our donkeys, a pale, large-boned peasant
appeared. No one knew from whence, but he was able to quaff some of our
brandy. Esmeralda was again tolerably well. As Ole proceeded in advance,
and we were ascending the right slope of the ravine, he shouted--“Ah,
Mr. Smith! you have no hotel bills to settle, sir.” Ole seemed to have
taken a deep interest in our mode of life.

Our ascent up rocky slopes was laborious and heavy. The Digervarden
Fjeld on our left, and the Grönhöerne on our right. In the distance was
the Skarvdalseggen and the Digerkampen. With even pace we followed our
rough stony track, often near slopes of snow. All nature was as desolate
and sterile as could well be imagined. Although lightened of its load,
our Puru Rawnee had still a heavy weight. It was necessary to be very
careful as to boggy ground. At one place, notwithstanding all care, she
was effectually bogged in a deep quagmire, and with difficulty pulled
out. Crossing a sterile ridge of loose gray rocks, Ole suggested we
should try some large snow slopes as easier, which we did. Sometimes
where the snow was not deep we managed very well, and passed over slopes
of smooth frozen snow glittering in the sun.

Occasionally, as we again came to the rocks, the snow was deep, and we
found ourselves for a few feet plunging with our donkeys above our knees
in snow, and the loaded animals could scarcely get through. Again we
were picking our way over loose rocks, with occasional reaches of frozen
snow to cross. Our journey was toilsome. The upper portions of our route
were sterile and dreary, without that abrupt boldness of outline which
gives an interest to the scene. As we commenced our descent to the
valley of the Lora Elv, to reach the Ny Sœter, we had to descend a very
rough mountain track, difficult for our already tired donkeys. Still we
were anxious to reach the Ny Sœter before we called a halt. At last, at
an awkward place, the Puru Rawnee fell, and, in trying to recover
itself, again fell, with its head doubled under its body. The whole
weight of the packs slipped forward upon it. As it rolled over and lay
motionless, we thought our beautiful Puru Rawnee had broken its neck.
Quickly getting the baggage away, we let it lie quiet. After some short
time, it seemed to recover, and got up. Ole Rödsheim shouldered our
fishing rods and some heavy packs. Each took something to lighten
materially our gray donkey, and, walking quickly down past an old
reindeer grav,[83] we soon reached several small log-houses, near a
brawling snow stream, called the Lora Elv. We had arrived at the Ny
Sœter.[84]

Near the Ny Sœter there was a fenced paddock, and close to the Sœter a
sheltered flat of turf, where we unloaded and pitched our tents. Our
day’s journey had taken us from half-past nine o’clock till four
o’clock. The Lordalen, as it is called, is now almost bare of trees,
cold, and uninteresting in appearance even in the height of the summer
season. The rage for cutting down the forests in Norway will render the
country in some parts almost uninhabitable. In Wales the climate would
be warmer, and the mountains more picturesque, and the country far more
beautiful, if still clothed with its ancient forests; but Norway can
never be used for sheep pasture, as the hills of Wales, on account of
the climate; and the forests for shelter are still more necessary in the
northern clime.

Middagsmad consisted of tea, ham, potatoes, and pickled walnuts.
Ourself, Noah, and Zachariah went fishing; but, not meeting with any
sport, we soon returned with Noah. The peasants at the Sœter were very
kind, civil people. They were all women and children, one being a boy.
One very nice little girl hummed very prettily several Norwegian airs
for us. The wind blew cold in the evening. Zachariah came back to tea,
with two trout. For our aftensmad we had Zachariah’s two trout, with
fladbröd and butter from the Sœter. Esmeralda was very bilious; could
not finish her tea; said she could not touch tea again; was unwell. The
tea, she said, was not good, or the fladbröd. Her brother Noah said she
ate too fast, and so made herself unwell; for, said Noah, the tea is
excellent. Our gipsies would now and then wrangle and chaff, till a
stranger would suppose they were going to fight, as on this evening.

“Now, then, Lucas, don’t tell lies. Dawdy. There’s a state he puts
himself in, the ballo shero!”

“Dik the Bongy Mouee!” exclaimed another. “Sheep’s eyes! ah, you talk
backwards, like Amy, you do!”

Then Esmeralda would say satirically, “Well indeed, so manly! Doesn’t he
put himself over every one, Ambrose does.”

“What is daughter saying?” answers Noah. “Blankesko! look at Ezekiel.”

“Don’t say so,” shouted Zachariah.

“Ask Mr. Smith whether it is a lie. Oh, yes; Ambrose can do anything, he
can.”

It was, however, satisfactory to know that in a few minutes they did not
trouble themselves about their hastily expressed opinions of one
another.

Our gipsies were shortly afterwards singing, “Gamle Norge,” humming a
tune, or arranging our things with a merry laugh. Poor Mr. Rödsheim was
sorely puzzled at the variety of names they seemed to possess; but at
last Noah settled down into Mr. Ambrose, Esmeralda into Miss Daughter,
and Zachariah into Master Zâkēē.

In the evening, as the Sœter girl collected her cows, there was
something charming in her peculiar call. The high modulated pitch of the
voice--tones at once plaintive and persuasive, seemed to lure the
animals to her from the far distance. It was nine o’clock when we sang
our gipsy song for them, and then ourself, Noah, and Zachariah sat by
the fire playing the guitar, violin, and tambourine, as the young girls
danced on the level green till ten o’clock.

Ole Rödsheim slept in state that night--the Englishman’s house was
placed at his disposal. This log-house appeared to have been built for
sportsmen, and had been occupied by English gentlemen, in 1869, for
reindeer shooting; but on these fjelds, we were told, the reindeer were
now scarce, and the rype not plentiful.[85]

Ole was stirring in good time. Eggs for breakfast, with tea, fladbröd,
and butter, from the Sœter, for which we paid two marks, twelve
skillings. Ole Rödsheim, who at first was scarcely inclined to touch
tea, as he usually drank coffee, now seemed getting quite fond of it.
One English gentleman to whom he had been guide, seems to have been
equally fond of brandy. It was during forest travel in Australia that we
first acquired the habit of taking tea with each meal. It is the custom
in the Bush; and, as regards ourselves, we have found it sufficient
stimulus for every kind of exposure and hard mountain work.

At breakfast, the women of the Sœter brought us a present of some milk,
and Esmeralda a cake of best fladbröd, with clotted cream upon it--very
different hospitality from our host at Veblungsnœs. It was excellent;
but we think added slightly to the biliousness of Esmeralda. Then they
brought us more cake and clotted cream; but we were obliged to beg off
and get Ole Rödsheim to explain that we had really had quite sufficient.

The woman took us to see the Englishman’s house. It was very clean; but
bare of furniture. The Englishmen, who were evidently of lively
temperament, appear to have stayed there some time. As a change from
hard life in the fjelds, a Norwegian musician would occasionally come,
and the Sœter girls from the district assemble for a dance on the level
green. Their names were recorded inside the door of the Englishman’s
wooden house as follows:--

  Oline Flikle
  Anne Brenyord
  Eli Loflinsmoe
  Marit Norstigaard
  Marit Thorhols
  Marit Brenyörd
  Yoraana Norstigaard
  Mari Thorols
  Mari Rudi
  Marit Stavem
  Anne Skarpol
  Britt Skarpol.

Giving the woman’s son a present of some fishing flies, which he wanted,
and the woman a large tin water-can which we managed to spare, our party
left about ten o’clock. The first difficulty was a bridge, but after
much trouble we got the donkeys over, and ascended the mountain slope of
the valley through the few scattered birch trees which were left.

The track was not beset with much difficulty, and, ascending the high
lands of the Fillingshö Fjeld, we had the Skardstind and Kjölen Fjeldene
on our left, and the Jehanshö Fjeld on our right. We were now in the
Gudbransdalen. Traversing wild open moorlands, with scarcely any
vegetation, we halted about two o’clock by a small streamlet, on the
open mountain. A few sticks we had collected on our way enabled us to
make our fire. Tea and fladbröd and butter formed our meal. The fladbröd
was not of the best description. Zachariah called it bearskin, but after
all it was palatable to a mountaineer, and we bid him be satisfied he
did not fare worse; it was nearly all consumed at this meal, to
Zachariah’s intense satisfaction.

We were soon ready for a start. The animals had rested; the Puru Rawnee
did not seem much the worse for its fall the day before. It is not well
to keep them _en route_ more than four hours without a rest. The Puru
Rawnee’s back was slightly sore, and we adopted the plan of folding the
tent cover into two rolls, and placing one on each side its back, so as
to relieve all pressure. This plan answered exceedingly well.

Leaving about four o’clock, we passed near the Aur Vand, or, as it is
marked in one map, the Horgven Lake. It is a large lake, and Ole said it
was celebrated for its fish. As we continued our way down a very steep
mountain track, descending towards Skeaker, the Lomseggen came in view,
and snowy hills on our right. On one side we had the Bipsberg, and the
other the Loms Horungen.

Zachariah, who had ridden with the packs on his donkey along the
undulating plateaux, had now to dismount. Each had to go to the donkey’s
head; the track was precipitous on the side of a deep ravine.



CHAPTER XXIX.

    The very look of each of them denotes strong talent; while in
    whatever they have undertaken to perform, they seem to have
    surpassed others, whilst they are at once unabashed and polite.
    It is true that they have not been tried in many things; but
    they are, it seems, the best fortune-tellers, the best singers,
    the best boxers, and, perhaps, the best doctors in the world....
    They speak, too, the several languages of each country with much
    greater propriety than the lower ranks of natives themselves do.

  _The Gipsies._ By SAMUEL ROBERTS.


    THE PEASANT’S WOOD--SKEAKER--OUR FAIR VISITOR--ESMERALDA’S
    INDIGNATION--THE GIPSY HORNPIPE--THE FATE OF EZEKIEL-- FEEBLE
    ADVOCACY--THE RANKNY[86] RACKLY--THE OTTA VAND.


Noah broke his alpenstock. Descending still lower, we saw a waterfall
formed by the stream from the lake. In a large extent of wood, on the
other side, numbers of firs, which had once formed a picturesque
shelter, had been cut down, and were lying on the ground. The owner, a
well-to-do farmer, had yielded to the solicitations of a
timber-merchant, and had cut down much of his wood. The timber-merchant,
after buying and taking some of the best, found it was not worth his
while to remove the remainder of the trees, owing to the roughness of
the stream down which he intended to float them. The timber was
therefore lying as we saw it, probably to be used as firewood.

By a short cut we descended down a very steep bank, with our animals and
baggage, to the level road to Skeaker. The road was an extremely narrow
lane, with a wooden fence on both sides; fields of grain were improved
in luxuriance by irrigation. At one place we saw a peasant throwing
water over his grain with a wooden shovel. The peasants seemed
well-to-do. The farms on each side the road were numerous, but small in
size.

Then we had the usual rush to see the donkeys, and an occasional meeting
in the narrow lane with ponies, who obstinately refused to fraternise
with our cavalcade.

At last, after passing a large well-built wooden house, with a stuffed
owl on the summer-house of its garden, we crossed a bridge over the Otta
Elv.

Our camp was selected on a large open common, under the shelter of a
wooden fence, not very far from the road. Ole went to a farm-house for
provisions, and to say we had camped there. The tents were soon pitched,
a fire lighted, and we had tea and eggs in our tents. The gipsies were
very lively; the day’s exertions had quite cured Esmeralda.

Numbers of peasants came in groups toward the camp. One man, dressed in
black with a slouched hat, was the most solemn-looking individual we
ever saw. The gipsies called him Uncle Elijah; another was styled
Ezekiel. Ole said there were some peasants who did not like music or
dancing.

The numbers increased, and they thronged round with eager curiosity. We
were thankful that Ole was now showman; no doubt, with much ingenuity,
Ole made many difficult explanations. Our guide was quite equal to the
task.

The donkeys were ever surrounded by anxious visitors. One very pretty
girl came up, as we were standing at the tent entrance; speaking English
with a strong American accent, she said, “And where do you live?”

Our answer that we occasionally resided in London, seemed a sufficient
address, for she continued, “Are you married?”

“Oh, no,” said we, with a tone of much melancholy.

Then she told us she had been in America and England; that she liked
England better than Norway. She said she wanted to get married, and
stayed in Norway to be with her mother. Her brother had sold the large
house and farm, on the other side the river, to the government for 6,300
dollars. For some time we conversed together.

After the pretty Norwegian had left, we went to sit in our tent. As we
entered, Esmeralda drew herself up with much dignity. A storm was
coming--indications of the hurricane appeared on the surface of her dark
flashing eyes.

“The Rye had better have his Norwegian Rackly at once! She’ll keep your
tents for you! Didn’t you hear how they rocker’d together, Noah?”

“Well,” said Noah, in secret enjoyment of his sister’s indignation, “the
Rye did say something about marriage, when she axed him.”

“Won’t she see after the Rye’s things?” exclaimed Esmeralda, more and
more indignant.

“Dawdy! dawdy!” said Zachariah, in his blandest accents, as he sat on
the ground and quietly rubbed his hands, swaying to and fro, whilst his
dark eyes sparkled with malicious fire. “Dawdy! dawdy! but the Rye can
tice it on with the girls, can’t you, sir?”

“Tice it on,” answered Esmeralda; “I’m not to be deceived. Noah, let’s
be a gellin.”

There was an expressive tinge of indignant melancholy as Esmeralda said
this. Our position was like the mariner in a heavy sea. After all, we
really had no desire to change our hobbenengree, Esmeralda, who had
travelled with us so many miles, and shared with us so many fatigues.
Why should we change? Why should not Noah ask the pretty Norwegian girl
in marriage? Indeed, we at once undertook to carry out the delicate
mission. The question should be asked when she came. Noah was not
unwilling.

Notwithstanding Esmeralda said, “Dawdy! There’s a scheme of the Rye’s,”
she was evidently more at ease, and in a few minutes we were playing
some of our gipsy and other tunes, nor did we forget the “gipsy
hornpipe,” the favourite air of our gipsies’ ancient grandmother, who
had recently died at some incredible age, after giving to the world
seventeen children.

The number of our visitors increased. Seated in our tents, we played a
variety of airs. Some few danced on the greensward near; many tried to
get a view of us by looking over the baulk between our tents. Ole was
the centre of many a circle, as the peasants grouped round him, asking
him all sorts of questions.

At length the push and pressure was so great our tents were in danger of
being levelled with the ground. In vain Esmeralda became impatient and
remonstrated, still the peasants, anxious to see us, crowded against
the tents and baulk.

Well we remember the tall active form of the gipsy girl, rising suddenly
from the ground. Never shall we forget the amazon of our tents, the wild
spirit of our many wanderings, seizing Noah’s broken alpenstock. We were
reminded of

    Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!
    Were the last words of Marmion!

as she went forth. There was a sudden withdrawal of pressure from our
tents; there was a tramp of feet, a hurried stampede of short duration.
Whether Uncle Elijah was knocked down, or what became of Ezekiel we
never knew. We did not go out to pick up the wounded. Probably their
bodies, like that of King James II., at the battle of Flodden, were
never discovered. They did not appear the next morning. We mourned them
as amongst the slain. Flushed and heated from the fray, Esmeralda soon
returned. Our music continued till closing eve warned us it was time for
rest. The peasants wished us good-night, and departed.

Yet once more before they all departed we held converse with the very
pretty girl of Skeaker. Esmeralda had the satisfaction of hearing us
propose for Noah. Our visitor did not appear altogether adverse, but we
fear our advocacy was feeble, for nothing ultimately came of it, and we
retired to rest.

We mused lightly upon the novelty and charm of our wild wandering life
as we rose at six o’clock. Ole Rödsheim procured us eggs for breakfast.
Fire was lighted; Zachariah tried the river for fish. In vain we sought
a spot sufficiently private for matutinal ablutions; the river banks
were almost level with the water’s edge; our camp was almost on an
island. We afterwards retired beneath the arch of the second bridge,
where we had all the seclusion of a private boudoir.

As we appeared on the bridge, refreshed and braced up for the day’s
exertion, to our surprise we again met the pretty girl of Skeaker. She
had a young companion with her. Her American accent seemed now to give
us pleasure, and then she spoke English very well. As we exchanged
greetings chance caused us to look towards the river; the tall slim form
of our hobbenengree (gip. housekeeper) was standing by the water’s edge,
looking towards us. Her dark flashing eyes followed every movement.

As we slowly returned to the tents we expected another storm, but
Esmeralda waited till she was gone. “I saw it all,” said Esmeralda,
somewhat reproachfully. “How artfully the Rackly waited till you were on
the bridge; but never mind, you can take her.”

It was difficult to convince her that Noah’s suit required several
interviews and much pressing solicitation.

Our camp ground was delightful; several visitors came to our camp. Noah
was leading the donkeys for our departure. Then we soon perceived our
pretty Norwegian friend who spoke English; she had one or two young
ladies with her.

Whilst Ole Rödsheim gave Noah some assistance, I proposed to give our
visitors a few parting tunes; in fact, they were anxious to hear us play
once more.

Esmeralda looked in no lively mood towards her supposed rival. She
would not play for the gorgios. Taking our guitar, we sat down, and,
accompanied by Zachariah on his violin, we gave them some farewell
music.

All is ready. The morning is beautiful. About ten o’clock the word was
given to start. Ole formed our advance guard, and led the way, staff in
hand, some distance a-head. By some shuffle in the cards of fate,
Esmeralda was in the rear guard as we bowed farewell to our friendly
visitors, and especially to the long-to-be-remembered pretty girl of
Skeaker.

Our party quietly followed the narrow road along the right shore of the
beautiful “Otta Vand.” The road was very narrow, and fenced in.
Comfortable homesteads of the peasant farmers were delightfully placed
between the road and the lake. We remarked their substantial, and
well-to-do appearance. This seemed one of the most fertile districts we
had yet traversed.

Crossing the “Sand Aa” (Nor. sandy rivulet) we gradually approached Lom,
which is about six or seven English miles from Skeaker. Some of the farm
houses built on promontories, stretching from the shores of the lake,
have names terminating in “næs” (Nor. point), as for instance, Studnæs
(rough point), and many others. At a farm called Sundtnæs, we bought
twenty-five eggs for one mark five skillings. Our expenses at Skeaker,
including butter, eighteen eggs, and fladbröd, amounted to three marks.

On our way from Skeaker, Esmeralda soon recovered her wonted spirits,
and said quietly, she hoped we would not think anything of what she had
said; she did not mean it; was it likely we should have anyone else to
look after our things. It is wonderful how soon the heart inclines
itself to forgive; yet in after days now, and by chance, a quiet
allusion to the pretty girl of Skeaker produced its effect on our
suspicious hobbenengree.



CHAPTER XXX.

    Your pulses are quickened to gipsy pitch; you are ready to make
    love and war, to heal and slay, to wander to the world’s end, to
    be outlawed and hunted down, to dare and do any thing for the
    sake of the sweet, untramelled life of the tent, the bright blue
    sky, the mountain air, the free savagedom, the joyous dance, the
    passionate friendship, the fiery love.

  MATILDA BETHAM EDWARDS’S _Through Spain_.


    THE WASPS’ NEST--LOM--KIND FRIENDS--SONGS OF BJÖRNSEN--THE
    PRŒSTEN’S MINISTRATION--THE REPULSED STUDENT--BEAUTIFUL
    VALLEY--THE TWO ARTISTS--THE BŒVER ELVEN--RÖDSHEIM--THE
    RAVINE--THE LOST STARDY--ASCENT OF GALDHÖPIGGEN--THE HIGHEST
    MOUNTAIN IN NORWAY--THE NIGHT ASCENT--THE DOME OF SNOW--THE
    SUNRISE.


Zachariah, the Mephistopheles of our party, desiring probably to afford
more varied incident for our “impressions de voyage” declared war upon a
wasps’ nest.

Although warned, but too late, he took a hasty shot with a stone at the
nest, artistically constructed, on a bough, hanging on the road side.

What business had we to quarrel with these paper makers, who knew their
art long before man had emerged from his pre-historic condition? why
needlessly destroy their curious homestead? but the stone had gone upon
its mission.

Zachariah soon became acquainted with the “lex talionis” of the invaded
colony; strange to say, the wasps directed their attack only on
himself. He was singled out as the aggressor, and a sharp sudden sting,
under one eye, entirely ruined his personal appearance for the morning.

We arrived at Lom about mid-day. Ole went in advance to see the Prœsten
Halling. As we approached a large open expanse of meadow land, open to
the junction of roads, from Skeaker, Vaage and Rödsheim we saw the
church, which picturesquely stands near the lake.[87] Near it, the
charming manse of the Prœsten Halling. A large wooden structure near the
road, we were told, had been used formerly as a granary to store the
grain, paid as tithe, to the clergyman of the parish. This payment is
now, we believe, made in money. As we looked upon the church and
parsonage, surrounded as they were, by the meadow park, with the broad
silver lake near, the rising mountains on all sides, and the clear blue
sky above, our senses seemed entranced with the passing beauty of the
scene; it was one of those chance glimpses of perfect nature, which cast
their anchor deep in memory, and leave a lasting impression of bygone
days.

That the Prœsten was in harmony with so much that was pleasing, we did
not doubt, and when he came to meet us accompanied by our guide, he
warmly welcomed our gipsy party; he would have us enter beneath his
roof, and accept his kindly hospitality; we did not value the proffered
hospitality the less, though we did not accept it. Ours was a life of
travel in the fresh air of heaven; air that myriads are dying for every
day. It is as essential to man as water is to fish. The delightful shade
of some trees near the road, a short distance from the parsonage,
tempted us; there we halted, and there, reluctantly, the Prœsten allowed
us to remain. After strolling with him for a short time along the
pleasant walks of his grounds, he left us to take our mid-day meal; we
enjoyed it in our own gipsy fashion; our meal consisted of fried bacon,
fladbröd and tea. Ole obtained our letters and newspapers from the Loms
Postaabneri. We had telegraphed our correspondence from Kongsberg; the
packet was large, and cost us three dollars and forty-four skillings.
Our newspapers which had been sent to Bergen, we left to their fate; the
“Illustrated London News” seemed to please the Prœsten Halling, and his
family. When our mid-day meal was concluded, Prœsten Halling, Mrs.
Halling, three young ladies, her sisters, a brother, and two gentlemen
staying with Mr. Halling, came to see us; They were much interested with
our gipsies; Zachariah’s swollen face had unfortunately marred his
beauty, Noah had unfortunately taken some offence at his sister
Esmeralda. Noah’s temper was to blame; occasionally an interchange of
Romany and English terms flashed between them.

We had wished our gipsies to appear to the best advantage. One with a
swollen eye and two at cross purposes had a jarring effect on our
nervous system, nevertheless, our visitors seemed interested with them.
We trust they made allowance for the wildness of their nature. We can
assure them, Zachariah had not always a swollen eye, and Noah was rarely
out of temper; even our hobbenengree had her moments of sudden
sunshine, delightful after previous storms, and the fitful passions of
her gipsy soul. All was harmony after we had commenced our
music--guitar, violin, and tambourine. We sang for our visitors the
gipsy song, and gave the Prœsten Halling a copy of it, as a parting
souvenir; the ladies, and some of the gentlemen, sang several Norwegian
melodies for us. They had good voices; “over the high fjeld” was a
beautiful song, and seemed appropriate to our parting. Some charming
Norwegian songs are written by Björnsen. Very pleasantly passed our
mid-day halt, with the Prœsten Halling and his family. Wide spread, we
afterwards found, was the fame of the Prœsten Halling[88] for his kindly
heart, his true christian feeling, and invariable hospitality to
travellers. Speaking English perfectly, we were told he had officially,
much and active ministration, among the English navvies employed, during
the construction of the Railway from Christiania.

Our donkeys were again loaded. The Puru Rawnee had a chafed back, but by
careful folding of our tent-cover, we prevented pressure upon it; sore
backs are always difficult to prevent in crossing a mountainous country.
We had reached Lom about twelve o’clock, and left about four. Our
gipsies were ready; we bade all farewell, perhaps never to meet again,
but not the less to be held in our pleasing remembrance.

The evening was very warm; indeed, as we slowly followed the road up the
“Bœverdal Elv,” we found it exceedingly hot. It is about nine miles
distance from Lom to Rödsheim; comfortable homesteads met our view as
we passed along. The usual excitement to see our donkeys was here and
there met with. It is said there are four hundred farms in the parish of
Lom, and every tenth man had lately emigrated, but no inconvenience had
been felt by the diminution of population.

Not far along the road, we met a young Norwegian student _en route_
towards Lom. Ole conversed with him. He was dressed in light tourist
costume, and high lace-up boots, and had attempted alone the ascent of
the Galdhöpiggen. The student had failed, and was returning with all the
weight of disappointed ambition upon his mind. Ole had predicted the
failure. Well we remembered our similar fate in former years, when we
ourselves, and several fellow-tourists, headed by the celebrated
mountaineer, poor Hudson, returned from an attempted ascent of Mont
Blanc. Tired, wayworn, torn, and jaded, and, worse, disappointed, we
reached the picturesque Hotel Mont Joli at Saint Gervais only to try
again with better success.

Ole, anxious to reach Rödsheim as soon as possible, went on in advance.
We saw him again, when he had reached his father’s farm near the road
side. Ole and his father were just going to start for Rödsheim in a
stolkjœrre. His services were unnecessary as guide to Rödsheim. It was
useless for Ole to remain with us. They wished us much to go with them
in the stolkjœrre, and leave our gipsies and donkeys to follow after.

Ole’s father was a fine, hale, strong old man, and his wife a comely
stout woman. We preferred to remain with our gipsies and baggage,
feeling a sort of independence of all kinds of lifts. Possessing good
health and spirits, we felt no fatigue from our daily exertion.
Exposure to the fresh air seemed to give us an enduring strength quite
beyond the requirement of stimulant or the necessity for artificial
locomotion.

It was now determined to push on after Ole Rödsheim as rapidly as we
could. Zachariah was mounted on the top of the baggage on the Pure Rye.
Noah took the lead on foot in care of the Puru Rawnee and Puro Rye.
Esmeralda, who, was tired, we mounted on the baggage of her Merle, the
Tarno Rye, and brought up the rear. The road was tolerably level and we
proceeded along at a sharp pace. Every turn of the valley brought us in
view of fresh scenes to admire.

Passing a wicket on the road side, we caught sight of two young artists
in the garden of a small cottage. Their canvas was upon an easel. One
was then painting a scene from nature. They were apparently taking a
bend of the valley down which the glacier-coloured waters of Bœver
Elv[89] dashed its wild course. The maisonette was so homely, the point
of View so picturesque, we could not help pausing. Quickly calling a
halt we exchanged salutations with them. They were both very good
looking young fellows. The one, we were informed afterwards, was
considered the handsomest man in Norway. He was certainly exceedingly
handsome, though a trifle too effeminate for a man; yet there was much
to admire in the form and expression of the countenance. They accepted
an offer of some aquavit to drink “gamle norge.” Our flask was brought
into requisition. Somehow the brandy seemed rather muddy, both in flask
and bottle newly opened. Noah accounted for it by saying that when the
old man at Veblungsnœs sold it to him, the brandy was nearly out of the
cask, which had to be lifted up, before he could fill the bottles. A
passing suspicion crossed our mind that it may have been caused by the
addition of water, but still we did not like to suspect any one of our
party. Be that as it may, the artists both quaffed off a small tumbler
each without even winking their eyes. With a hasty farewell, we
continued our road, pushing on at a rapid pace.

As evening fell, and we gradually lost the heat of the sun, there was a
refreshing coolness in Bœverdalen. On our right the lofty heights of the
Lomseggen Fjeld, extending from Lom, rose above us; on our left the
Bœver Elv was ever near the road,--at times wide, broad, and broken into
many rough and shallow rapids. Our party was not out of place in such
picturesque scenes. The two leading merles, loaded with various baggage,
tent raniers, and camp appliances, including Zachariah, the
Mephistopheles of our party, mounted on one, were followed by the tall,
lank, muscular form of Noah. He combined the appearance of the smuggler,
brigand, the chamois hunter, and gipsy. Noah was the beau ideal of the
“genus homo,” as we see them depicted according to the conventional
rules of art. At a short distance behind, as a sort of rear guard,
Esmeralda was mounted on the miscellaneous baggage of the Tarno Rye,
with ourselves near. How lively and happy the hobbenengree seemed!
Bronzed by exposure to the hot Norwegian suns, hardened by rough spare
diet and continued travel through all weathers, ours was indeed a life
of health, freedom, and pleasure.

About eight o’clock we came in sight of Rödsheim. It is a substantial
wooden house, with capacious out-buildings, near an excellent mountain
road. The house stands at the foot of a rocky hill at the head of an
ascent where the valley becomes narrow. On the other side the road,
close to the house, the Bœver Elv dashes through a deep cleft of narrow
gorge in the rocks. There is no fishing in the glacier water of the
river. The house at Rödsheim was very clean and well ventilated. Ole
well knew the English penchant, especially of the mountain tourist. The
comfortable guest chamber of his house had always its open window, with
pleasant View down the valley.

Ole Rödsheim[90] was ready to receive us. He pointed out a convenient
camping ground a short distance beyond the house, just below the road,
close upon the edge of the precipice of the ravine. It suited us
exactly. Ole knew it. He had not been camping with us some days without
knowing the foibles of our heart.

“There’s the spot for the Herre.”

Ole was quite right; and the roaring waters of Bœverdal Elv in the
stillness of that night hushed our party to sleep. Our tents were
quickly pitched by our gipsies. The pige from the house brought us
firewood. We had eggs, bread and butter, and tea, for our evening’s
meal. Ole Rödsheim brought out a bottle of his home-brewed beer. We had
one glass each, for we shared everything with our party. It was
excellent beer. Then we went to the house, and made acquaintance with
Mrs. Rödsheim, a quiet, pale, industrious helpmate. She appeared an
excellent housewife. After a chat with Ole, we returned to our camp. Our
music enlivened the quiet valley before we retired to rest.

Mephistopheles was in sad tribulation. May it be recorded, that the
evening before, the hat from Christy’s of London, purchased in Norway,
which had cost us one dollar, was blown into the ravine, and had
disappeared. It was an occurrence which could not long be concealed. The
hat must be produced some time, or accounted for. We certainly were
annoyed when he confessed the fact. Something was said about the owner
going to Christiania without one. Ultimately the Rye relented. Ole
Rödsheim lent Zachariah a cloth military-looking cap, which was
afterwards purchased second-hand for less than half the price of the hat
lost.

Sunday morning at Rödsheim. We were up in good time. How we enjoyed our
breakfast in the rocks at the edge of the deep ravine. The day was very
hot. It was the last day of July. Most of the peasants would be actively
engaged next month in their harvests. Ole came occasionally to see that
we had everything we wished. Once Ole said, in a melancholy tone, he
wished to speak with me aside. We went with him away from the tents, and
he placed in our hands a blacked-edged letter, saying it might contain
bad news, and we might wish to be alone when we received it.
Fortunately, the emblem of mourning referred to past events already
known. Yet we did not think the less of Ole’s kind thought. Some
peasants came to see our camp and the donkeys. All was quietude and
peace at Rödsheim.

One of the points to be attained in our line of travel, was the ascent
of the highest mountain in Norway, the Galdhöpiggen, or pike of Galdhö.
Who Galdhö was we could not ascertain.[91] Although we were unsuccessful
in obtaining the origin of the name, we determined, if possible, to make
the ascent of this mountain.

It was arranged that we should start at nine o’clock at night, Ole,
ourself, and Noah, for the expedition. Esmeralda and Zachariah to be
left in care of the tents.

At mid-day we had ham, eggs, and potatoes for dinner, close to our camp.
On the edge of the ravine stood a small log-hut used as a blacksmith’s
shop. Since our kettle prop had been lost, we had substituted two Alpine
stocks with a wire between them for boiling our water for tea. It was a
clumsy substitute, which necessity imposed upon us. Ole now arranged
that a blacksmith should make us another prop before we left Rödsheim.

At nine o’clock Ole was ready, and ourself and Noah were each armed with
an Alpine stock. Each took a small supply of bread and goat’s cheese.
Making our adieu to Esmeralda and Zachariah, we were soon _en route_ up
the valley.

We had not proceeded far when a farm servant from Rödsheim overtook us,
and said that two English gentlemen required Ole’s presence as guide.
They were certainly unfortunate; the expedition had commenced, and Ole
sent back a message of excuse.

Ole soon afterwards left the main road. Entering a thick wood to our
left in Indian file, we ascended a steep winding foot path, until an
open plateau was reached. Very shortly afterwards we reached the
“Rödberg Sœter.” Ole knocked at the door, and obtained a rope from the
woman. It was exactly half-past ten o’clock. Walking over some
undulating turf ground we soon afterwards commenced another steep
ascent. The slope was covered with loose stones, scattered on all sides.
It was quite dusk, and deliciously cool after the heat of the day. At
half-past eleven Ole called a halt, and we had a slight repast of bread
and cheese and cold tea.

Again we were _en route_, still walking in Indian file, and soon reached
another long narrow plateau. Over loose rocks, in the dim light, we
picked our way as we could for some distance. The Dögurdsmaals Kampen, a
steep sharp mountain, rose above us. We at length skirted the glacier
lake of the Gjuvbrœen. In this lake we were told by Ole, the Herre
Watson, the tourist of tourists, once bathed. Ole evidently considered
our countryman one of the best mountaineers he had seen. It must have
been a cold plunge; but what is there that an Englishman will not
undertake? If we had passed it at mid-day the example may have been
followed.

The long reach of stones, whose angular points made it necessary to keep
a sharp look-out at every step, were at last exchanged for a gentle
slope of tolerably hard level snow. It was a great relief, after the
rough pathway of stones just left. A false step on such an irregular
causeway involves a broken leg, a grazed shin, or at least a sprained
ankle.

At last we reached the edge of a broad but at this point tolerably level
glacier, across which we could in the dimness of the night see the dome
of the Galdhöpiggen rising beyond. Its summit, a dome of hard frozen
snow, rests against a precipice of rocks, above which it rises some
feet. From the small nearly flat space, which forms the head of the
Galdhöpiggen, the frozen snow immediately slopes off at an angle of from
40 to 50 degrees, and joins the glaciers in the far distance below. It
was a wild and desolate scene, as we sat on some broken rocks. Another
precipice rose to our right, as if to test supremacy with the
Galdhöpiggen in this region of eternal snow. After some slight
refreshment we roped ourselves together. No great difficulty presented
itself as we crossed the glacier to the rocks which formed an arrête to
the snow dome of the Galdhöpiggen. Once or twice Noah sank up to his
middle, but the crevasses were narrow and easily crossed. Very easy work
to one who had crossed the Glacier des Bossons.

Then commenced the ascent of the steep arrête of rocks, but even these
presented no great difficulty to a fair average mountaineer. Then came a
rise of frozen snow at the junction of the dome with the rocks. There
was an awkward crevasse to cross. Ole carefully tested the snow, and it
was soon overcome. We were now on the frozen slope of the snow dome. On
this, as we had no nails in our thick fishing-boots, with the utmost
difficulty we could keep our legs. With the aid of our Alpine stock the
summit was at length reached at five minutes past four o’clock. This is
the highest mountain in Norway, 8300 feet above sea level. When we were
on the rocks of the arrête we saw a glorious sunrise over the _Lauvhöen_
Fjeld. The morning light enabled us to see a vast wilderness of dark
rocky peaks rising from a setting of eternal snow. No sign of human
habitation, no signs of animal life--silence reigned around us.
Reindeer’s bones were lying on the rocks near the dome.



CHAPTER XXXI.

    It was the afternoon of the third day after the arrival of
    Cadurcis at the gipsy encampment, and nothing had yet occurred
    to make him repent his flight from the abbey, and the choice he
    had made. He had experienced nothing but kindness and
    hospitality, while the beautiful Beruna seemed quite content to
    pass her life in studying his amusement.

  DISRAELI’S _Venetia_.


    THE REINDEER’S FATE--DESOLATE SCENE--SEVERAL ASCENTS--THE
    FRIGHTENED PEASANTS--A COAT LOST--ESMERALDA’S VIEWS--ABSENT
    TREASURES--OLE RE-ENGAGED--A NEW KETTLE PROP--THE HANDSOME
    ARTIST--COMFORTABLE STATION--ADIEU RÖDSHEIM--OUR EXCELLENT
    GUIDE--CROSSING THE BRIDGE--ZACHARIAH’S ESCAPE.


On the hanging precipice of rocks, the highest in Norway, a reindeer had
met its death. The large glaciers of Tverbrœen Svelnaasbrœ and
Styggebrœen we could see below us. The glorious sunrise had lighted up
the Lauvhöen, Hestbrœpiggene, Hesthö, Sandgrovhö, Tvœrfjeld, Lomseggen,
and Grjotaa Fjeld with its large glaciers. Then we had the deep valley
of Visdalen on one side and Leirdalen on the other. The lofty Fjelds of
the Eisteinshovd, Kvitingskjölen, and Hjem Fjeldene in the distance.
Across Visdalen and near to us the mountains of the Glitterhö,
Glittertind,[92] Glitters Rundhö, and Troldsteens Rundhö. To the west
are the mountains of the Vesle Fjeld, the Kjœrringhœtta and many others.
What a wild boundless region of peaks to the south--far, far beyond our
sight. An endless extent of riven rock, above the glaciers snow, of an
ever frozen region. The Stygehö, Tverbottenhorne, Kirken. Uledals
Tinderne, one of whose peaks was also afterwards ascended by Messrs.
Browne and Saunders. The Leirhö, Memurutinden, Heilstuguhö, Tyknings,
Snehö, Beshö, Sikkildals Hö, Heimdalshö, Simletind, Skarvdalstind,
Knudshultinden, Mugna, Kalvaahögda Melkedals-tinderne, Skagastöltind,
the Koldedals-tinderne, and the wild peaks of the Horungerne.

Noah lighted a fire on the rocks near the dome. We sang a gipsy song.
Then a memorial of our visit was placed in a bottle, and added to those
records of former ascents already there. At five o’clock a.m. we
commenced our descent, Ole leading, ourself next, and Noah bringing up
the rear. In the same order we had ascended. With difficulty we kept our
legs on the frozen snow sloping from the dome. If we had rolled with Ole
and Noah to the glaciers below, our wanderings would certainly have been
at an end.

The rocks were soon reached, and, descending to the glaciers below, we
reached Rödsheim before ten o’clock the same morning. This gives
thirteen hours from Rödsheim and return. Mr. Watson, who is a member of
the Alpine Club, accomplished the ascent in 1868 in nine hours and a
quarter actual walking. The Prœsten H. Halling had made the ascent, and
also one of the young ladies we had met at the Prœsten Hallings. What
cannot ladies accomplish when they make up their minds?

The Galdhöpiggen, we were told, was first ascended in 1851 by a
schoolmaster and a farmer, who took three days to succeed. In 1864 Ole
Halvorsen, or, as he is very often called from his farm, Ole Rödsheim,
ascended it from Rödsheim. Captain R. J. Campbell ascended it in 1866;
since then to the present time there have been several ascents from
Rödsheim. The Prœsten Honoratus Halling, of Lom, Messrs. H. Smith,
Wright, and G. H. Wright, from Lom Rectory, H. S. Marriot, H. W.
Cuthbert, J. Dymsdale, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, and lastly, Messrs. Boyson
and Harrison, to whom Ole Halvorsen had acted as guide before we engaged
his services. Some tourists have ascended, we believe, from Visdal since
the first ascent was made.

Esmeralda and Zachariah welcomed us at our camp at Rödsheim. They had
felt quite lost. Esmeralda did not approve of our staying out all night.
They had not been able to sleep. In the middle of the night they said an
attempt had been made to steal the donkeys. Two men were near them, and
one was actually trying to mount one of them. Esmeralda and Zachariah
went up to them, and both men ran away along the mountain road with
Esmeralda and Zachariah in pursuit. We can imagine Mephistophiles, the
descendant of some count of Lesser Egypt, with nothing on but his shirt,
swiftly pursuing two heavy peasant descendants of some Norwegian chief
of ancient time, flapping the road with their heavy shoes, panting and
breathless to escape the unexpected apparitions from the rocks of the
Bœver Elv in the dead of night. “Norwegians stealing, ce n’est pas
possible!” said we. “Curious to examine the animals near the road, they
had merely ventured to inspect them closely, and you nearly frightened
them to death.”[93]

A dismal revelation had also to be made, for on returning from the
Galdhöpiggen it was discovered that our siphonia overcoat, secured by
straps, had been lost on the arrête near the mountain’s summit. Ole
would then and there have returned for it, but this we would not allow;
and a look-out was to be made during the next ascent.

Then our boots, which were not new when we commenced our wanderings,
were declared by Esmeralda to be a complete wreck. Before our ascent of
the Galdhöpiggen, they had been severely tested by nearly all the wear
and tear of the distance to Rödsheim. Even Medwin’s won’t last for ever.
Then it must be remembered we never had a single blister during the
journey. C’est quelque chose, thought we, as Esmeralda looked out from
the wardrobe pocket, another pair of Medwin’s fishing-boots nearly new.
Shall we ever forget the look Esmeralda gave us when she held up the
débris of those replaced? Can we forget the tone in which she somewhat
reproachfully said, “Now, look at these chockas!”

Having made rapid but unsatisfactory résumé of the results of our
ascent, Esmeralda treated the whole affair in a most contemptuous
spirit. Instead of receiving much laudation, our mountain expedition was
looked upon as a profitless expenditure of time, and energy, and a
reckless desertion of our tents. In our mind we contrasted our
reception with what it might have been elsewhere. No cannons fired as at
Chamounix. No “bouquet of flowers” as we remember at St. Gervais. No
“vin d’honneur,” no anything. We sat down to breakfast, and felt very
much as if we had done something wrong without having done it.

[Illustration: “NOW, LOOK AT THESE CHOCKAS”!!!]

One thing is quite certain, the appetite of the two mountaineers had not
lost anything by the expedition. Breakfast being completed, we adjourned
with our note-book to the cool shade of some rocks just above the road.
Esmeralda came to talk to us as we wrote. Two or three lines went
tolerably easy, then the pencil and note-book glided from our hand, and
we fell fast asleep till mid-day.

As we awoke, we perceived the silent figure of Esmeralda still watching
by us. It was found to be time for dinner and we returned to our tents.

Two Swedish travellers were at Rödsheim. They had visited our tents
before we returned from the Galdhöpiggen. One young traveller spoke some
English; he said we came to see the pretty valleys and the pretty girls,
but we see no pretty girls. We went to a sæter, and they offer us a bed,
but we see it was dirt, and sleep in the grass. He then asked them if we
could speak Romany. “Oh, yes,” said Zachariah, “he taught us, sir.” Then
he inquired how we learned it. “I don’t know, sir,” answered Zachariah,
“but he has books.”

In arranging our things before tea time, we fancied that the aquavit in
our flask had somewhat diminished since the replenishment for the two
artists. The subject being mentioned to Esmeralda, for we were always
plain with them, Noah seemed so hurt, that at last our suspicions were
disarmed. We were not very certain; we, at any rate, blamed Noah for
buying such brandy at Veblungsnœs; it was peculiarly muddy in
appearance. We had always found Noah honest, so we ultimately left the
matter in the same inextricable confusion we had found it, freely giving
him the benefit of all doubt. Having written a letter or two and entered
a memorandum of our ascent in the guest-book at Ole’s, he came to our
tents and had tea. As we left the house to return to our tents we met
the two artists at the door, Who we found were going to remain at the
station for the night.

Ole Rödsheim had given us so much satisfaction as guide, that we
determined to engage him again. We paid him three dollars, two marks,
and twelve skillings for his previous services, which included our
ascent of the Galdhöpiggen. Another engagement was made to take us
through the mountains to the Mörk Fos, and _viâ_ Eisbod and the Tyen
Vand to the Bergen road, near Skogstad. It was arranged that he should
have four marks a day and two days’ pay, eight marks more, for his
return home; this amount to include Ole’s board and lodging.

Having carefully gone through the maps of the different routes with Ole,
we decided to start the next day.

The blacksmith, who was a sober, sedate looking man, had come
occasionally to the log hut during the day to make our kettle prop in
the most approved gipsy fashion, size, and shape. Imagine his horror and
astonishment, when he returned, after an absence, to find Mephistopheles
hammering a piece of iron into some inconceivable shape; sparks flying,
tools freely used, fire blazing, and anvil ringing. The usurpation was
almost too much for him. With a caution to Zachariah to keep to his own
affairs, and explaining the matter to Ole as an unfortunate instance of
out-of-place ingenuity, the kettle prop was ultimately finished and
Noah’s Alpine stock mended at a cost of three marks and a half.

This was to be our last evening at Rödsheim. We were honoured by a visit
from one of the beaux of the village, who danced at Laurgaard. Alas!
there was no more dancing for our beau. The girls were either engaged in
the harvest or at the Sœters. All the peasants were now busy in their
harvest. The farmer was carrying hay on the steep slope of the valley
opposite our tent. Ole had a large flock of goats brought in; the
largest number we saw together in Norway. The handsome artist, whose
photograph hung in the station at Rödsheim, came to see our tents at
about ten at night; we were just going to bed, so he did not remain
long. The Swedish travellers had left, we hope, to see many pretty girls
before they returned home. We did not see them to speak to, or we should
have recommended them to visit Skeaker.

Tolerably well rested, we were up at six o’clock on Tuesday, the 2nd of
August. At seven we had breakfast of broiled bacon, bread, and tea; Noah
soon after struck the tents, and the things were packed up; a goat’s
cheese and a “myse ost,”[94] and all the bread Ole could spare, was
added to our commissariat. The station at Rödsheim is well supplied with
excellent bread, beer, tea, biscuits, potatoes, and, in fact, most
requirements which constitute the comfort of the hungry tourist. They
are comfortable quarters, and the house very clean and well ventilated.
We had no opportunity of seeing the sleeping accommodation, but if we
could form an opinion from what we saw below, we have very little doubt
that travellers are well cared for in that respect.

Our cost for provisions, butter, cheese, bread, potatoes, eggs, and
milk, came to two dollars, three marks, and fifteen skillings; and we
paid three marks, eight skillings additional postage of letters _viâ_
Lom. Some of the bread and cheese we took with us for future
consumption. At ten o’clock we took our departure after we had wished
Mrs. Rödsheim farewell. She was a quiet, delicate, person, but very neat
and industrious and attentive. The artists were still companions of
Morpheus, so we left them a song each, and made Mrs. Rödsheim the
present of an English book. To Ole, also, we gave one of our songs. We
also left the last “London News,” and copies of the “Standard” at the
station, and so ended our pleasant visit at Rödsheim.

Noah and Zachariah went on before us with the merles and baggage.
Ourself and Esmeralda sat upon a rock a short distance above Rödsheim
waiting for Ole to come up. The valley at this point widens; the river
is very broad, shallow, and picturesque, before it loses itself in the
deep rocky gorge at Rödsheim.

The scene was so charming and the morning so lovely we could have
lingered there with hours of pleasure. In the distance up the valley we
could see the small wooden church of Bœverdal; but Ole is come, and we
must away.

Ole equipped for the mountains. He had high Norwegian boots, lacing up,
much resembling the ladies’ Alpine tourist boot, but of course of
rougher make. Ole had left his dark coat behind him, so as to be more at
ease. His trousers were tied round the leg below the knee with pieces of
cord; he had his knapsack, wallet, and staff. The photograph represents
Ole Halvorsen, of Rödsheim, near Lom, as he appears in his coat. We
esteemed ourselves fortunate in having secured the services of a guide
in every way trustworthy, and thoroughly acquainted with an extensive
region of mountain land. Ole was in the best period of his life, when
man’s strength and experience unite in maturity; as the the companion
of the reindeer hunter and Alpine tourist he is invaluable; never makes
difficulties, speaks English well, will do the best he can to save
expense, talks little, but to the purpose, is always ready for a start
at whatever early hour you name. Turning along the mountain road from
the valley to the left of the church, we overtook Noah and Zachariah. We
were told that service is performed in the church every fourth Sunday.
It was built, Ole said, for 2000 dollars; 500 dollars from Government,
500 dollars secured by a chief rent, and 1000 dollars contributed by the
inhabitants. Not much of our morning route had been accomplished, when
we came to a narrow bridge over a wild, rapid, foaming, torrent, rushing
over a declivity. Vain was our attempt to get any of the donkeys over
the bridge. It was amusing to see the fierce contention; gipsies
pulling, gipsies pushing, Ole and ourself mixed up in the general
struggle without avail. Then we determined to force them through the
torrent, which rushing swiftly over large stones, and then falling in
cascades below, was difficult to wade. We could not remain all day. One
donkey was forced in, and got safe through; another, also, but the
third, which was rather heavily laden, would not stir till
Mephistopheles suddenly jumped on the top of the baggage. The donkey was
soon staggering through, guided by Zachariah in the rough rocks of the
stream. For a moment, the animal faltered in its foot-hold. Are they
both to be carried down the roaring cascades? Another plunge, and by
good fortune, the donkey reached firm ground and more shallow water;
they were soon safely landed.

Very thankful we were that Zachariah had come out of the adventure
safely. We had no desire to lose our Mephistopheles, and if he had not
suddenly mounted on the spur of the moment we should have prevented him
from incurring such a risk.

The route was delightful; sometimes through forest scenes and along the
mountain stream, till at last we came to the Elv Sœter at about
half-past twelve o’clock.

The Elv Sœter is now a large farm, though originally it was, as the name
indicates, probably nothing but a mountain sœter.



CHAPTER XXXII.

    What if in yonder chief, of tattered vest,
    Glows the same blood that warmed a Pharaoh’s breast?--
    If in the fiery eye, the haughty mien,
    The tawny hue of yonder gipsy queen,
    Still dwells the light of Cleopatra’s charms,
    The winning grace that roused the world to arms--
    That called Rome’s legions to a watery grave,
    And bound earth’s lord to be a woman’s slave?

    DEAN STANLEY’S _Prize Poem, “The Gipsies.”_


    THE ELV SŒTER--A MOUNTAINEER--THE YTTERDAL SŒTER--TO MAKE
    GRÖD--THE GRÖD STICK--EVENING CONCERT--A WILD NIGHT--THE
    WATERFALL--MOUNTAIN GLACIERS--THE LERA ELV--CAMP BY A
    GLACIER--NOMADIC HAPPINESS--A GIPSY MÄELSTROM--INSECT LIFE.


The wooden buildings are large and capacious and in good order, and one
portion of the building was surmounted by a cupola, with a large bell to
call the farm people to meals. We noticed two enormous pine-tree logs as
we passed through the yard of the farm. Near a log hut, a short distance
beyond the farm-house, we camped at the edge of the deep, narrow ravine,
in the depth of which we could hear the sound of the river below. Ole
said we could have some reindeer meat, and, going to the farm, we were
shown a cask half full of salted reindeer, in a dark store under a sort
of granary. For one mark we purchased about four pounds weight, without
bone. There was a kind of crate near, with a small gröd span in it, a
sort of barrel for carrying food. We afterwards purchased a rope made of
pigs’ bristles, very light and useful, and nine pounds of barley-meal,
and another mark’s worth of reindeer meat. The whole cost--

                                 _m._  _s._
  Rope of pigs’ bristles           2   12
  9 lbs. barley meal               1   12
  Reindeer meat, about 8 lbs.      2    0
                               ----------
      Total                    $1  1    0

Ole said the reindeer had been killed some time, and when we seemed to
doubt whether it was killed in season, he remarked it occasionally
happened that they were killed by accident. The reindeer hunter came to
our camp when we were having our fried reindeer and tea. He was the son
of the widow of the owner of the farm, and she was then at a sœter. The
reindeer hunter was a tall, spare, active young fellow, fair, with his
hair cut short. He wore a Norwegian cloth cap, a coarse shirt, without
necktie, secured at the neck by a large silver button. His loose
trousers were faced with dark leather, and also the seat; large
Wellington boots of pliable rough leather came up to nearly his knee,
with red leather let into their tops. He had something of the bearing of
Slim-slam, our friend at Laurgaard, and his _tout ensemble_ was
decidedly picturesque. Ole told us he had once been out with some
artists upon the mountains with a tent.

Our gipsies packed up and we left about half-past four o’clock, which
afforded us sufficient time to enter up our notes. Our way is now
through forest scenes, up a rough mountain road. At no very great
distance on our right we had “Raudals Vand,” a large lake, and the
“Blaahö,” and “Hest-bræ-piggene” mountains. Sometimes we were close to
the Lera Elv; at other times our route took us more into the forest.
Often we lingered to make a hasty sketch, and then Esmeralda would wait
on the side of the route lest we should miss the track in the forest. No
hobbenengree could be more careful of the Shorengro of the expedition.
Later in the evening a mizzling rain fell, and at last we crossed the
river through a shallow ford. Near the river, below a lofty mountain, we
reached the Ytterdal Sœter.

The Ytterdal Sœter consisted of a collection of log huts, with a loose
stone-wall paddock behind. Cows, goats, and bristly pigs were scattered
about the trampled ground among the rocks close to the sœter. Down the
steep mountain above we could see a picturesque vand fos. When we came
to the sœter a shepherd’s dog kept up a constant barking which
Mephistopheles did his best to perpetuate until sharply rebuked.

Ole and Noah then went round the house to select a camp ground in the
inclosure. All was damp with drizzling rain, as our gipsies drove the
donkeys through a broken gap in the wall, and pitched our tents in the
corner of the inclosure, near the sœter. Being rather damp we changed
our things, and then decided to have gröd for our aftens-mad. Ole went
to prepare the gröd at the sœter; the rest went to learn the method of
making it. First, he filled the large iron pot of the sœter with water,
to which he added a small quantity of salt, and a little barley-meal;
the water boiled in twelve minutes; then the woman placed the large end
of the short gröd-stick in the boiling water, and kept rapidly swirling
it backwards and forwards between the palms of her hands, whilst Ole
added from time to time barley-meal from the bag, till the proper
consistency was obtained; the pot was taken off the fire in about three
minutes after the water commenced boiling; the gröd was then ready to be
eaten. This, with a large can of milk, was carried to our tents for the
evening’s meal.

It is usual when the gröd is eaten for each person to have two small
bowls, one containing milk and the other the gröd, and then a spoonful
of gröd is taken and dipped in the milk and so eaten. Our party
afterwards dispensed with two bowls, the gröd and milk being put into
one bowl, which saved trouble, with the same result.

The wooden bowl, and the wooden spoon, and the gröd-stick, which is made
of a small fir sapling taken up by the roots and peeled, and the roots
and stump cut to the length required, we purchased for twelve skillings
next morning from the woman of the Ytterdals Sœter, and they are
represented in the following engraving.

Some of the gröd we reserved for breakfast, and it is considered all the
better after it has been kept for a short time.

Noah informed us at tea that he should let into the pobengree (gip.,
cider) when he reached England, and have a good soak. Gently, Noah, or
there will be none left for anyone else.

The women of the sœter were all lightly dressed, a chemise and a
petticoat being nearly all they had on; They keep about twenty cows, and
make from thirty to forty cheeses in the summer season, which sell for
four marks each. We counted forty-five goats near the sœter. The
woman’s husband was engaged at the harvest in the lower valley.

[Illustration: GRÖD-STICK AND BOWL, LEIRDALEN.]

It was very dark as we went to the sœter, after our evening meal was
concluded. We found three other women there. The room was scrupulously
clean. It is certainly the most comfortable, and cleanly sœter, we met
with during our wanderings; they had a good bedstead, convenient
fire-place, and a very ingenious folding table. It was a curious scene,
as we played our music by the fire-light and watched their interested
countenances. The women were very fair. All mountain races are fond of
music. It would seem as if the quickened instincts of the people, whose
lot is cast so much in mountain scenes, are attuned to harmony with
nature. The women seemed much pleased. The room was dreadfully hot and
we had the door propped open, which was the cause of occasional contests
with a tame goat, who seemed determined to come in. At last we were glad
to escape the heat and went out into a dark, windy, rainy night. It
poured with rain as we got to our tents, yet we did not envy Ole
Rödsheim his night’s rest in the hot room of the sœter; but hot and cold
seemed all the same to Ole; Then the rain came down so heavily it began
to come into our tent, and a trench being now dug round it we soon fell
asleep.

The gröd and some more milk formed our frokost, and saved tea, sugar,
bread and butter. Mixed occasionally with other food it is excellent for
the mountains where you can have fresh milk at the sœters. The nutriment
was quite sufficient for mountain work. A meal of gröd and milk for five
hungry people cost on an average the sum of about sixpence. The cost of
the five kops of milk at the sœter was twenty skillings.[95] The woman
seemed well satisfied with eight skillings for the trouble we had given
her. The two pounds of butter we purchased to take with us cost two
marks more.

Whilst the donkeys were being loaded, taking Zachariah with us, we went
to see the waterfall above the sœter. The torrent dashes from the steep
mountain above, and descends in fleecy clouds to the broken rocks below.
Occasionally, above the continuous sound of the falling waters, we could
hear a rattling roar, as if loose rocks were suddenly dashed about in
the waters far above. Then all subsided into the same constant hum of
the falling torrent. It is picturesque, but quite below comparison with
many we had before seen, especially in Romsdal.

When we returned, and were ready to start, we missed Ole, Noah, and
Esmeralda, who we at last found eating best fladbröd and cheese in the
sœter. It was a present from the woman.

Saying adieu to the women of the sœter, we now left at ten o’clock. The
fir woods had been left behind, and we proceeded up the wild valley of
the Lera from the Ytterdals Sœter.

The Vesle Fjeld and its glaciers were on the right bank of the Lera. One
peak of dark rock rising from glaciers on either side, Ole said had
never been ascended. Ole said Messrs. Boyson and Harrison were much
pleased with the scenery.

At the sœter Ole had found one of Mr. Boyson’s spoons, which had been
left there, and he was going to return it. We were told that at one
place Mr. Boyson had accidentally left a bag containing £30, but of
course in Norway it was perfectly safe, and was afterwards restored
safely to his possession.

The sun became very hot. Esmeralda and Zachariah both rode upon the
baggage of their donkeys. The road now became a more narrow track. All
the donkeys were evidently suffering from the heat. The Puru Rawnee had
fallen once, and the Tarno Rye, after falling with Esmeralda two or
three times, was unloaded, and we halted at some rocks above a waterfall
on the Lera.

It was an exceedingly warm spot, with no shade. The second piece of
reindeer meat was boiled in our kettle, with some potatoes. Though
rather salt, the soup was excellent. Some of the boiled meat and
potatoes were also eaten, and washed down with spring water. After
middags-mad we tried to write our notes, and fell fast asleep. In fact,
we were all disinclined to move, but managed to start about four
o’clock.

Mephistopheles was in high spirits. Noah was very lively, which soon
ended in a disagreement with Esmeralda. We had to quiet the contending
parties. The offence charged against Noah we noted down, and it was a
serious one. In a surreptitious manner Noah had possessed himself of his
sister’s cloak, which he had tried on, with an attempted imitation of
her _distingué_ style of stepping over the rough banks of the Lera Elv.
In Noah’s clumsy imitation of his sister’s movements, which were just
the reverse of clumsy, he contrived to poke a hole through the Alpine
cloak. We say no more, only we refer the reader to a paragraph of the
short extracts from Prœsten Sundt’s work, in our Appendix, and, as there
described, we feared similar results.

At about seven o’clock we encamped. The donkeys had done better in the
cool of the evening; it was decided that they had quite enough to carry,
without the addition of extra weight, especially over the rough and
stony route before us. Adhering firmly to this resolve, unless for the
purpose of crossing some river, the animals enjoyed this immunity for
the rest of our wanderings. The part of the valley where we had halted
for the night was very wild; there was very little verdure, except some
low stunted bushes, moss, and heath. Ole and the gipsies gathered heath
enough to make a fire for tea. The tents were pitched exactly opposite
the “Smörstab Bræen” (Butter glacier). We contemplated with interest an
outline of sharp dark peaks rising before us. Close to us, on the east
side of the Lera Elv, extended the glacier of the “Blaabræen.” Beyond we
could see the Tverbottenhornene. A short distance from our camp we found
a deserted cabin occasionally used by reindeer hunters.

It is with much pleasure we are able to say that Noah and Esmeralda were
not prevented, by results similar to those described in the paragraph
referred to in the Appendix, from appearing at tea.

There was something so _hors de voyage ordinaire_ in our wandering
existence, so charming in the freshness of wild nature, so free from
conventional restraint, lingering in regions not yet spoilt by so-called
art, and disfigured by man’s attempts at civilisation. All was so
silent, as we looked from our camp fire in delighted contemplation of
the great glacier of the “Smörstab,” and the sharp-peaked mountains
separating us, as it were, from other worlds. We had escaped for a time,
the thousand and one cares, which beset us on every side in dense
populations, and had left far behind those scenes, and voluptuous lures,
which the poet saith

    Meek Peace was ever wont to shun.

Tea was cleared away by our energetic hobbinengree. We often silently
congratulated ourselves that the tea service was of tin, such was the
rapidity with which they sometimes vanished into her kettle bag.

Mr. Rödsheim, as the gipsies generally called Ole, commenced the
manufacture of birchwood cruppers for our animals, in anticipation of
steep mountain ways, and he also engaged his time on some hobbles of the
same wood, which we wished to take to England. Then, as night came fast
upon us, Ole selected his bed between two large rocks; with our spade he
made with rough sods a sort of turf coffin, about a foot deep, over
which he placed a large mass of heath roots, and moss which he had
peeled off the ground, the moss being turned downwards; then our
waterproof was placed over all. When his bed was ready, he proposed that
we should start at five o’clock the next morning.

[Illustration: NORWEGIAN BIRCHWOOD CRUPPER.]

“I shan’t get up at five o’clock!” shouted Esmeralda, in a shrill voice,
which nearly broke the drum of Ole’s right ear. “I don’t care; I shan’t
get up to please anybody!”

Noah and Zachariah looked at one another, as much as to say, “Dawdy!
she’s up; may our good shorengero land safely on the other side.”

“The next day’s journey is a long one,” suggested Ole, slowly
recovering; and we promptly decided for half-past five. Ole screwed
himself into his turf coffin, and, wrapping his head in his woollen
shawl, we laid the waterproof over him, and he was comfortable for the
night.

“Well,” said we to Esmeralda, being determined to maintain discipline,
“you shall please yourself, but remember we move on in good time
to-morrow.” Our hobbenengree was at once a study, which would have made
the fortune of an artist.

For a time we wrote up our notes, till the shadows of night descended on
the dark peaks, and a chill air came from the Smörstab glacier, when we
retired to rest.

Our sleep the next morning was disturbed by Ole asking for matches and
paper to light a fire. Very shortly we joined him. “Now,
Zachariah!’--vand! vand!” Zachariah and Noah were soon up. We had only
made eight miles yesterday, and it was a long day’s journey to reach the
Utladal Stöl. The morning was windy, with a heavy dew, but we could see
the sun creeping down the opposite mountain peaks, promising a hot day.

Tea was soon ready; a tin of potted meat was opened, and spread upon
slices of bread. All four commenced breakfast with a good appetite.

When Esmeralda found that we did not attempt to disturb her, it is
wonderful how quick she appeared, and the tents were immediately after
packed up. Our camp was about 4,000 feet above the level of the sea. We
observed some cow-dung flies and spiders in our tent before it was
packed up.

The rugged peaks of the Tverbottenhornene (signifying peaks of the pass
from one valley to another) rose before us. What a line of dark peaks!
The scenery of this valley is extremely wild.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

    “That the language of the Hindoos and that of the ancient
    Egyptians may have sprung from the same root is very probable;
    nay, it is almost certain. The language of the latter is a
    _lost_ language, that of the gipsies a _found_ one, claimed by
    and for no other people. All these things tend to confirm the
    surmise (may I say the fact?), that the gipsies are the
    long-dispersed Egyptians. To talk of their being Sondras
    (without showing a miraculous change of nature), would be as
    absurd as to affirm that they were expelled Esquimaux.”

  _The Gipsies._ By SAMUEL ROBERTS.


    THE VIRGIN PEAK--ESMERALDA IN THE LERA--A DRIPPING NEREID--HEAVY
    CLOUDS--THE CHURCH MOUNTAIN--WILD REINDEER--WHERE’S THE
    TEA?--SINGULAR GLACIER--VALLEY OF RED SANDSTONE--THE HUNTER’S
    CAVE--THE UTLADAL STÖL--THE MUMPLY VALLEY--FLÖDSGRÖD--A MOUNTAIN
    STÖL--A ROUGH PATH--THE PURU RAWNEE’S ESCAPE--THE NARROW BRIDGE.


At eight o’clock we were _en route_ up the valley, and at length came in
sight of the steep, dark, and pointed mountain called “Kirken,” or
“Church Mountain.” This mountain reminded us very much of the “Trifaen
Mountain,” near the gloomy lake called Llyn Idwal, in North Wales, which
we once ascended. Even the barren sterility of the “Trifaen,” and the
shores of Llyn Idwal, and the “Devil’s Kitchen” above; the stony wastes
of the glyders, and the rugged pass of Llanberis, have no scenes of
extreme desolation, and absence of vegetable and animal life, similar to
some of the wilder Norwegian valleys through which we wandered.
“Kirken,” we were told, had never been ascended. Had time permitted, we
should have been much tempted to have spent some days on the shores of
the lake near.

Alas! the Norwegian summer is too fleeting. When we came up the valley,
near the Leir Vand, which is 4736 feet above the sea, Ole proposed that
the party should cross the Lera. It was a tolerably wide, rapid, broken
stream, where the donkeys had to cross.

Ole and myself went some distance up the river, and Ole soon crossed. We
were preparing to do so, when we saw Mephistopheles, mounted on the top
of his loaded donkey, stemming the rapid waters of the Lera in the
distance below.

The loaded Puru Rawnee was also bravely struggling in the rapid current
of the river for the other bank.

Then, as we turned again, we saw Esmeralda’s blue feather flaunting in
the wind, as, mounted on the baggage of her loaded donkey, she was
plunging across the rough bed of the river, when, oh! the Tarno Rye has
made a false step! Our baggage gone--saturated and spoilt!
Instantaneously, a fearful splash: Esmeralda is tumbled into the river,
and the baggage saved.

Are those sounds of suppressed lamentation we hear from Ole and
Mephistopheles, on the bank of the Lera? It seemed to us more like
laughter than anything else we ever heard.

We were too far off to render assistance, before we saw the dripping
form of our high-spirited gipsy girl rise from the cold icy waters of
the Lera. Esmeralda looked like a beautiful Nereid--a wild water-nymph.
Her long raven hair, now without a hat, glistened with the falling
moisture of a thousand spangles in the sun. Will no one plunge in to
help her? Would we were there! Now she has reached the shore. Crossing
the river we were soon with our party. Esmeralda was very wet. Although
the stream was not very deep, falling in as she did, her clothes were
completely soaked. The straw hat and blue feather, carried off by the
stream, was recovered some distance below.

The cold waters of the Lera had not improved the temper of our
hobbenengree. We offered her our best consolation, and at once proceeded
_en route_ as the best means of drying her clothes. Her _amour propre_
had been touched by the laughter of Noah and Zachariah.

Ole, with his usual tact, went as far in advance as was compatible with
his duties as guide.

Mephistopheles, in his most insinuating tones, said: “Dawdy, wouldn’t
the Rye have gone into the panee to save his Romany Juval? Wouldn’t you,
sir?”

“And why didn’t he do so?” said Esmeralda, sharply. “Nobody stirred; I
might have drowned over and over again for what they cared.”

“Well, daughter, we were just agoin’ in,” said Noah, with a grim smile.

“Going!” shouted Esmeralda; “go to Gorsley, and see Lizzy. Ambrose can
do it; can’t he? What a state he makes himself over everybody else.”

Now Noah was up. Esmeralda, by her allusion to Gorsley, had hit Noah in
some vulnerable place.

The pretty little donkey, which had done its best with a heavy load, and
the addition of Esmeralda’s weight, was of course severely
anathematized; but, strange to say, like the little jackdaw in the
“Ingoldsby’s Legends,” it seemed “never a penny the worse.”

Indeed, Esmeralda was very angry; but at last she became more cheerful
in proportion as her clothes became more dry. We were still in sight of
the Leir Vand. There are no fish in it, or apparently in the Lera Elv.
Kirken (Church) Mountain is extremely steep and picturesque. This view
of Kirken (Church) Mountain, steep, dark, and escarpé, and of the
Tverbottenhornene, the dark rocky mountain to the left, standing almost
isolated and apart, as seen from a point of view in the Gravdal, we
sketched during our mid-day halt.

[Illustration: KIRKEN MOUNTAIN, FROM GRAVDAL.]

We were not far from the Lang Vand and Visdal. Ole said that four
valleys commence near Church Mountain: Visdal, Leirdal (Clay Valley),
Gjendindal and Gravdal (Valley of the Grave). Four rivers have also
their source here: Visa Elv, Lera Elv, Gjendin Elv, Gravdal Elv. We had
to ford several smaller streams, and our route lay over a wild, sterile,
stony tract, among picturesque, sharp, peaky mountains. We could see the
peaks of Uledals Tinderne, one of which was soon afterwards ascended by
Messrs. Browne. Coming at length to a small lake, we distinctly saw on a
glacier below a mountain called by Ole the Hogvarden Tind (Peak of the
High Pass), a herd of about forty-five wild reindeer. We were not very
far from them. Under the shelter of scattered rocks we could have had a
still closer view. Ole regretted he had not brought a rifle. They might
have been stalked easily. The sun was also in our favour. Although for
some time we were in view of the reindeer, they did not notice us, and
when we went out of sight the herd were still on the glacier. It was a
beautiful sight as we watched them on the sloping snow. Descending down
the valley, we called a halt at a large rock near a small mountain
stream. We had accomplished a distance of about eight or nine miles. It
was about twelve o’clock. Not far from where we halted runs Simledal
(Hart’s Valley), and beyond us Ole pointed out the direction of the
Raudal (Red Valley).

We were now in our element. How could we be unhappy in such picturesque
scenes, pure nature, pure air, free existence? Even our gipsies were in
keeping with the rough unhewn rocks and wild flowers of this
unfrequented region. Just at this point of reflection Mephistopheles,
who was boiling our can of water over a fire of heath roots and moss,
called out in a melancholy screaming tone of voice, exactly imitating
his sister at our camp the evening before, “Where’s the tea?
Zachariah!! where’s the tea?” It was so true to tone and manner that,
braving Esmeralda’s displeasure, even Ole joined in the laugh. All was
immediately fun and merriment in our camp. Even Esmeralda deigned to
laugh. The reindeer meat, boiled the day before, was fried with
potatoes. This with tea formed an excellent meal--in fact, Ole said many
in Lom never had such a dinner.

Our gipsies were full of fun. Zachariah put up an impromptu tent with
two of our tent raniers and an Alpine stock, to shade Ole from the sun,
and he at once fell asleep. Then Zachariah contrived one for himself,
which was taken possession of by Noah, after a mimic battle. Esmeralda
put the things away, and all took their siesta, while we made two
sketches and entered up our diary. At twenty minutes to four our party
were again _en route_ down the valley.

The donkeys were quickly loaded. Over rough uneven ground we descended
the valley until we were below the picturesque Storbeatind and its
singular glacier.[96] Ole said it was so called, and that the Utladal
Elv derived its source from the Gravdal Vand. The river from this
singular glacier branched into many streams. Between two sterile steeps
the glacier narrows in its course and falls abruptly into the valley.

Above the almost straight line of glacier wall we saw an isolated,
lofty, peculiarly-shaped mass of ice, which put us in mind of one of the
ice cliffs in the Glacier des Bossons at Mont Blanc, so well represented
by Coleman in his “Scenes from the Snow Fields, or the Upper Ice
World.”[97] The glacier seemed to overhang the narrow valley. The
approaching night added to its picturesque effect.[98]

Ole crossed the river at some rocks below. Noah, Zachariah, and
Esmeralda crossed with the donkeys. They all had to stand a thorough
drenching of their legs and feet in the ice cold-water fresh from the
glacier. Esmeralda stood it manfully. We went a short distance below,
and, taking off our trousers, boots, and stockings, waded through. The
cold was intense. As we came up with our party, they had just seen a
reindeer; it was coming towards them, and was quite close before it
perceived our party and turned again. Zachariah gave chase; but it
slowly made its way among some loose rocks, and he lost sight of it.

[Illustration: ICE CLIFF, STORBEATIND GLACIER.]

The track was now extremely rugged, tortuous, and steep at times. We had
several streams to cross, and made our way with difficulty. In crossing
one narrow brook Zachariah’s donkey, which was very sure footed, slipped
back, and part of its load, containing Ole’s things in a pig’s bristle
bag, and the pocket containing Noah’s blankets, and our kettle bag, got
slightly wet before we could get it out.

There was no time to lose; on we went, and at length we came to a very
interesting steep mountain way between red rocks. Here we had the Red
Sandstone formation suddenly appearing near mountains of gneiss. The
gipsies had hard work of it. Each of the donkeys had to be carefully
led, and the loads steadied. Sometimes the loads, in going down a steep
descent, would slip forwards, and in ascending would get nearly over the
animal’s tail; so that the load had to be readjusted. We did the best we
could with Ole’s impromptu cruppers. It was hard work for Esmeralda; but
we relieved her as much as possible. Ole was ever at hand when a
difficulty occurred.

We must say that our gipsies stuck to their work bravely. It was not
long after we had come to the Red Sandstone rocks, that the Puru Rawnee
slipped backwards into some deep boggy ground. It was impossible to
avoid at times such mishaps. We had sometimes no choice, and on we must
go. Noah, Ole, and Zachariah, at last, by pushing and lifting and
dragging, got it out.

Mephistopheles, whose loud laugh rang amongst the rocks, was ever gay;
but his laughter became wonderfully like poshavaben (gip., false
laughter), when Ole said, in joke: “Master Zâkē], we shall have to cross
the river just now.”

Night was rapidly drawing on, and we had not yet reached the Utladal
Stöl. At last we came to a romantic reindeer hunter’s cave. It had a
narrow entrance in the rocks; no outlet for the smoke from the inside
but the entrance. Traces of fire remained, and we noticed marks on a
bank near where the hunters had tried their rifles. We had only time to
explore it, and make a hasty sketch.

Shortly afterwards, just at dusk, we came to the open ground of the
Utladal Stöl. It was a small melancholy valley. On a rise of ground, a
short distance from us, we could see the stöl or sœter built of loose
stones, one story high with one window. Somehow the stöl had a dismal
deserted appearance. Some cows were grazing near.

We were close to the river, some hillocks covered with low bushes only
intervening. The donkeys were very tired, and it was just nine o’clock.
Even Noah was out of sorts. The cows rendered the camp ground far from
desirable. There was no time for much choice, or we should have tried
some other ground. The woman of the sœter was out, so that we could not
have cream porridge as intended. A small boy represented the woman. Our
tents were quickly put up. Noah said he liked places where you could see
plenty of people. This was the only camp ground we had disliked through
our wanderings. It seemed like a valley where a dozen suicides had been
committed, supplemented by an undiscovered murder. Though the influences
were dull and gloomy, we made an excellent meal of tea with fried ham,
and Ole informed us that the woman had returned, and we could have
“flödsgröd” the next morning.

Ole, in answer to our inquiries, said that there were no fish in the
Utladals Elv, only newts, black-looking water lizards, sometimes called
“asgals,” in England “lacerta palustris.” There were no birds; even the
“philomela lascinia,” or one-headed nightingale, usually considered a
foolish bird and easily caught, was not fool enough to perch in this
valley.

Ole retired as quickly as he could to occupy the bed at the stöl, where
we were told Messrs. Boyson and Harrison had stayed one night--we do not
say slept, for we are extremely uncertain whether they did so.

Notwithstanding the Romany chaff--for the gipsies were blowing great
guns during tea, and pronounced the place in an impressive manner to be
“mumply”--we got an excellent night’s rest in our comfortable tent,
lulled quickly to sleep by the rushing waters of the Utladal Elv.

At six o’clock we were performing our matutinal ablutions on the banks
of the Utladals Elv, regardless of the newts, who might be staring at
such an unusual visitor. Then we had a consultation with Ole about our
future route. On reference to our maps and a calculation of the
different routes to be followed, it seemed that we should reach
Christiania with difficulty at the time we proposed. We sighed for a
double summer in such a splendid country for mountaineering. At first we
thought of giving up our visit to Mörkfos; then remembering Captain
Campbell’s description of this magnificent fall, we determined it must
be visited, even if we pushed through the rest of the journey by forced
marches.

Our breakfast of “flödsgröd” was prepared by the woman and ready at
eight o’clock. For the information of our readers, we will describe how
it is made. Two quarts and a half of beautiful cream were boiled by the
sœter woman in an iron pot, to which we added some of our barley meal
carried from Elvsœter. This was mixed together with the gröd-stick, and
carried down to our tent. The flödsgröd was quite sufficient for the
breakfast of five persons, and is a dish highly prized by the
Norwegians, being eaten without the addition of anything else. It is
very rich; the butter from the cream floating about at the top in a
melted state.

The two quarts and a half of cream cost us one mark twelve skillings,
and we gave the woman four skillings, which Ole suggested as quite
sufficient. All the party excepting perhaps Ole, preferred the ordinary
gröd with milk.

[Illustration: UTLADAL STÖL, MUMPLY VALLEY.]

The woman was a thick-set strong young person who lived alone at the
sœter with her little boy. She had plenty of occupation; seventeen cows
to milk every day, besides taking care of seventeen goats and twenty
sheep.

The Utladal Stöl was built with loose granite stones, earth, and sods,
forming one long low building, divided interiorly into three
compartments, one opening into the other across the ground floor. They
had hardened mud floors. The second room contained a fire hearth and
chimney and bed, and was lighted with one small window which did not
open; the compartment was used as a dairy. There were three ventilators
or holes in the roof, which, by the aid of a long stick attached to a
square piece of board, could be lifted or closed at pleasure. The
Utladal Stöl was roofed partly with turf and partly with flat stones. In
the Bergen Stift we were told that the sœters are called “stöls.” The
Utladal Stöl was much like the dwelling-houses which were often met with
formerly in the wild parts of Carnarvonshire and other counties in North
Wales. In Norway the stöls are not used as dwellings like similar
buildings were in former times in Wales. They are only occupied for a
short period of the year in summer. Two guns, for shooting reindeer,
hung from the roof of one of the rooms.

We were glad to leave, at ten o’clock, this melancholy part of the
valley, which is between the Raudals Hö, or Hill of the Red Valley, and
the Utladals Axelen. The donkeys were not very fresh, and ascended
slowly the steep ascent from the stöl. Esmeralda’s donkey, the Tarno
Rye, was rather weak at starting. The Puru Rawnee was stronger, but its
back was a little sore. Our cruppers were made of twisted birch twigs
wrapped with a piece of carpet. Birch twigs are used for a variety of
purposes in Norway--crates, net baskets, hobbles, cruppers, fastenings
for sails, oars, withes for gates, &c.

Soon afterwards we descended the other side of the hill towards a stream
called the Lille Utladals Elv. The gipsies called it a “slem drom.” Our
donkeys made their way with difficulty, and great care had to be used
to keep the loads in place and the donkeys on their legs.

Reaching the rapid waters of the torrent in order to avoid the deep
boggy ground on its bank, we were obliged to go upon the loose stones
and shelving rocks on the brink of the stream.

In reaching the river the Puru Rawnee had fallen twice, and the second
time had broken our tent pole into two pieces. Ole and ourselves took
some of the things and carried them to lighten the weight.

The Utladals Elv, by which we had camped the previous night, was roaring
between some precipitous rocks just beyond, and flowed into the stream
we were following. At the junction we had to cross a narrow bridge over
the Utladals Elv.

Some sloping slippery shelving rocks at the brink of the Lille Utladals
Elv, had to be crossed to reach the bridge over the other stream. The
first attempt was made with the Puru Rawnee, whose legs slipped from
under it, and sliding down the slippery rock on its side, was held back
by Noah just in time to prevent its going into the river. One end of the
pocket was already in the stream, and the Puru Rawnee and our baggage
upon her in another minute would have probably been carried down the
rapid torrent and lost. Noah succeeded in holding her on the rock till
we got some of the baggage unloosed. She was at length recovered, and
the other donkeys were afterwards safely guided over the same rock to
the bridge.

There was no wading at this part of the Utladals Elv. We had a strong,
deep, heavy current of waters rushing with wild impetuosity under the
overhanging rocks. High above the foaming waters, a narrow frail
bridge, with a wicket and slight hand rail on each side, spanned the
river. The Utladals Elv formed its junction just below with the Lille
Utladals Elv. Ole stepped across the bridge with I don’t know how many
pounds of baggage, on his shoulder, as if he expected the whole
cavalcade to follow _à pas de chasseurs de Vincennes_.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

    As Cadurcis approached, he observed some low tents, and in a few
    minutes he was in the centre of an encampment of gipsies. He was
    for a moment somewhat dismayed; for he had been brought up with
    the usual terror of these wild people; nevertheless, he was not
    unequal to the occasion. He was surrounded in an instant, but
    only with women and children; for gipsy men never immediately
    appear. They smiled with their bright eyes, and the flames of
    the watch fire threw a lurid glow over their dark and flashing
    countenances; they held out their practised hands; they uttered
    unintelligible, but not unfriendly sounds.

  DISRAELI’S _Venetia_.


    A DIFFICULT CROSSING--AGAIN EN ROUTE--SKÖGADAL SŒTER--SŒTER
    ACCOMMODATION--SPLENDID SCENERY--THE SKÖGADALS ELV--THE
    MYSTERIOUS BONE--MOUNTAIN EXPLORATION--THE PACK HORSES--A
    SLIPPERY FLOOR--MUSIC IN THE SŒTER--FLŒSKEDAL STÖL--THE MÖRK
    FOS--MAGNIFICENT FALL--THE CLIFF’S EDGE--THE IRIS--ALL PAY AND
    NO COMFORT--A REINDEER SHOT--THE DESERTED FARM--A MOUNTAIN
    SHADOW.


The three donkeys looked as if they much preferred remaining where they
were. Esmeralda said we should never get over.

Noah said “No donkeys can go over such places as these, sir.”

“What can we do in such ways?”

Even Mephistopheles had not quite shaken off the gloom of our last camp,
and looked “mumply.” We did not say much.

“There’s the other side. They must go.”

[Illustration: LUSEHAUG BRO, UTLADAL.--RESTIVE DONKEYS.]

And without losing more time we all set to work and carried the baggage
over. Then came the Tarno Rye’s turn; Zachariah pulled at its head,
whilst ourself and Noah pushed behind, and forced it by main strength up
the stones to the wicket. It was almost over the cliff once, but we both
laid hold of a hind leg each, whilst Mephistopheles tugged at the
donkey’s head. As the frail bridge shook it is lucky we did not all
vanish into the chasm below. With main force the Tarno Rye was lifted on
to the bridge, and finding itself there quietly allowed itself to be led
by Zachariah and Ole to the other side.

It was rather expected we should succeed in the same way with the other
two, but they made such a resolute fight that there was considerable
risk of losing one of the donkeys through the handrail at the end of the
bridge.

“Bring the tether rope, Noah.”

We then proposed to noose them by the head, and so drag them over. Noah
further suggested that we might double the rope and pass it round the
donkeys hind quarters. It was a good idea immediately adopted. The Puru
Rawnee was the first. Esmeralda and Zachariah at the ends of the doubled
rope across the bridge. Ourself on the bridge steadying its head. Noah
and Ole pushing behind.

Sharp was the contest, first at the stones leading to the bridge, then
at the light rails at the end of the bridge which shook under our weight
as the donkey resisted. Now and again Esmeralda pulled. Mephistopheles
pulled, and the Puru Rawnee, at length, sorely against her will, was
dragged over the bridge.[99] The Puru Rye was also soon pulled over by
the same method, amid much laughter from our gipsies. In a few minutes
the donkeys were again loaded.

“What is the name of the bridge?” asked we.

“Lusehaug Bro,” said Ole as we pushed along the Utladals Elv, and whilst
we gradually ascended obliquely higher above the Utladals Elv, so the
Utladals Elv seemed to sink deeper, and deeper, into the hidden recesses
of a bottomless ravine. In a short time we entirely lost sight of its
rapid waters.[100]

This river is ultimately joined by the waters from the Mörkfos. After
winding along the hill side we reached a sort of upper plateau at the
foot of the Skögadal.

Near the Skögadals Elv are two sœters some short distance apart, on the
banks of the Elv, whose swift course is soon lost down the precipitous
steeps which abruptly fall from the plateau to the dark narrow ravine
below. Halting at a short distance from the Skögadal sœters, a fire was
lighted, and we had fried bacon and potatoes and tea for dinner. Until
we had another tent pole it was impossible to pitch our tent. Shortly
after dinner it poured with rain, but our baggage was all safely covered
with our siphonia waterproof. Ole showed his ready skill by cutting down
a small birch tree in the wood just above us, which he shaped out with
his hunting knife to the proper size and length, and then cut holes
sufficiently large for our tent raniers. A very good substitute Ole
made. We have it now, after all the rough work of our remaining
campaign. There was a slight cessation of rain, during which the tents
were pitched. We were delighted with our camping ground. All were
pleased with it. It was certainly a wild, secluded, and beautiful spot.
There was the pleasing reflection that we were at home in our pleasant
camp. No care, no trouble, no sleeping in sœter beds in a suffocating
close atmosphere, or lying on mud floors, slimy with spilt milk and damp
moisture. No anticipation of fleas, with the certainty of such
anticipation being realized to the fullest extent of human endurance.
Then there are floating visions as to the number and variety of people
who have previously slept in these beds. Some idea may be formed of
sœter life by the following extract of recent personal experience,
related by Mr. Murray Browne:--“I prepared for the night by pulling on
my second shirt and second pair of trousers over that which I was
wearing at the time. I then lay down on the floor with a rug--a sort of
horse-cloth--under me, and a rope for my pillow. My brother and Saunders
slept on a sort of bench, with their legs stretched under a kind of
shelf which served as the only table. The women and children occupied
the only bed, and Hans and his son slept, like myself, on the floor.
Before long it got very cold.”[101]

On the right of the Utladals Elv a foaming torrent falls from an upper
plateau of the Horungerne. On our left we could see the Skögadals Elv,
and on the opposite side the Aurdals Axelen, forming the two sides of
the valley out of which issues the Skögadals Elv, and falls down rocky
steeps into the deep gorge of the Utladal. A beautiful green,
moss-covered, rocky, low hill, formed our foreground on the opposite
side of the Skögadals Elv. As you look down the deep gorge beyond, two
hills rise in picturesque outline, one with a very steep, dark summit.
The white foam of a waterfall contrasts with the dark rocks of the
mountain down which it falls. In the far distance a small pointed hill
stands alone. It is far down the gorge, as far as the eye can reach. For
our tea we had gröd and milk. Ole retired to the sœter at eight o’clock,
and as it rained heavily we all went to bed. When we retired to rest on
the mossy turf; we could not help expressing pity for the unfortunate
people stoved up in the sœters. Ole said it would probably rain next
day, but if fine it was arranged that he should call us up at three
o’clock the next morning.

It rained heavily when we awoke about three o’clock so that we continued
our repose. Ole called us at a much later hour. We gave him out of our
tent, matches, and material for making the fire, and soon joined him.
The gipsies also were up and stirring. Esmeralda soon managed the
breakfast service from her kettle bag, which was quite equal to
Pandora’s box for the extraordinary quantity and variety of things it
contained. The frokost consisted of fladbröd, butter and tea. The day
was dull and cloudy. We could hear with greater distinctness the roar of
the rising waters of the Skögadals Elv. This was pleasant, except that
we had the prospect of having one or two of our donkeys drowned in
crossing the rapid waters.

The morning gradually cleared, and we diligently wrote up our notes till
one o’clock. Esmeralda then announced our mid-day meal. The hobbenengree
had boiled some of Ole’s bacon with the unfortunate piece of dried meat
from Holaker, which had persistently haunted our soup kettle for so many
miles. There was no mistaking it as Noah pronged it out with a fork, and
suddenly let it fall back into the soup, as if he had seen the ghost of
his Uncle Elijah.

Although not in our arrangement Ole had always had his meals from our
commissariat. Ole Rodsheim was worthy of our hospitality, and we had
enough to spare. On this occasion Ole said he had shared all our meals,
and we might as well consume the bacon, and three loaves of bread he had
brought with him. As to our tea Ole had acquired such a taste for it,
that we doubt whether he will ever again be able to do without it. Our
meal consisted of soup, boiled bacon, the mysterious piece of dried
meat, potatoes and fladbröd.

When we looked over the maps after dinner with Ole, we could not help
being astonished at the _étendue_ and wonderful extent of wild mountain
terrain scarcely explored by the Alpine Club. What a network of deep
gorges, glens, valleys, lakes, and glaciers, out of which rise hundreds
of steep and rugged peaks; very many have never been ascended and are
scarcely known. Three lakes were pointed out by Ole as having been
purchased by English gentlemen; the Rus Vand, the Heimdals Vand, and the
Sikkildals Vand. Some of the lakes are of considerable extent, as the
Bygdin Vand, which Ole said was about seventeen and a half miles long.
The Gjendin Vand and the Tyen Vand were also large lakes easily reached
from near our tent. After a careful inspection of our maps, we decided
to take Ole early the next morning and visit the Mörk Fos, leaving the
gipsies in care of the camp, and returning in the evening. A
reconnaissance was made up the Skögadals valley above the sœters to find
a crossing for our donkeys; the usual ford was too deep. Noah and
Zachariah said no donkey could stand with water above his knees. The
place, at last selected, was certainly better for our purpose, but we
were not very sanguine. Ole said a carrier was expected at the sœter
that evening, and some help might be obtained.

It was a beautiful evening after the rain. The view up the Skögadal
(wooded valley) with Melkadalstinderne (the peaks of the Milk valley) in
the distance, and across the river the Aurdals Axelen, which Ole said
meant the shoulder of the stony valley, completed a scene long to be
remembered; the sides of the Skögadal valley being covered in places
with birch wood, has not the too sterile and desolate appearance of some
valleys through which we had passed. About five o’clock, when we were
having our gröd and milk for tea, the expected carrier and his boy were
seen coming up the mountain track below our tents. The horses shied at
first at our camp, but Noah went down and led one, and they passed
without difficulty. Each horse can carry about eight vaage, rather more
than 3 cwt., each Norwegian vaage being 38 lbs. One of the carrier’s
horses was a powerful animal, larger than the Norwegian pony. Two strong
wooden barrels, with lids, are slung on each side a wooden frame or
saddle furnished with iron rings and a leather crupper. The barrels are
two feet two inches long, by eleven and three-quarter inches wide, and
one foot eight inches deep. The weight is well balanced, and the
fastenings very strong and well adapted to stand the rough stony tracks
of the Norwegian fjelds. An arrangement was quickly made for the carrier
to take Ole and ourself across the Skögadals Elv the next morning, and
bring us back in the evening, for half a mark each. It rained heavily
after tea. About nine o’clock, when it was over, we took Noah and
Zachariah to the upper sœter to give the people some music. Ole was
there, the carrier, and his son, and the sœter women. As we came in we
made our début in the Skögadal world of music by slipping on the uneven
mud floor of the first room, and falling down, nearly upsetting the
sœter woman’s bucket of milk, who was milking, and if we had not been
very quick completely smashing our guitar. Our satisfaction at having
rescued our guitar which had been carried without injury by Esmeralda so
many miles, quite healed any bruises we sustained. No bones broken; we
were soon up, and in the second room. The violin, guitar, and
tambourine, soon waked up the stillness of the night. We must say that
no artistes of the greatest celebrity could have had a more pleased and
admiring audience. As we retired we felt quite giddy from the extreme
closeness of the atmosphere of the sœter. Noah had also carried off two
fleas; so much the better for Ole. The night was damp and windy as we
sought our camp and went to bed.

Early awake, we were completing our toilette to the music of snoring
gipsies when Ole came. Half-past five, gröd and milk formed our
breakfast, Ole adding to his own some myse ost, to qualify, as he said,
the milk. The carrier came with one of his horses; we both mounted and
forded the Skögadals Elv, and turning the horse back he returned across
riderless to his master. Commencing our expedition at seven o’clock, we
made our way for some distance through a large birch wood, and at length
descended into the valley called Aurdal.[102] This part of the narrow
valley which we crossed is completely full of enormous stones piled one
upon another in wild chaos. Ole called the valley Urdal or Aurdal. All
was wild sterility, and the separate detached blocks of loose stone were
often so enormous, that it was slowly, and with difficulty we made our
way to the opposite side. A stream flowed far beneath the loose stones
tossed and piled above its course in extraordinary masses. Its waters
were at times obscured and hidden by the blocks of stone of all shapes
and sizes, piled in heterogeneous confusion. When we left this stony
valley we continued our route along the sloping sides of the mountain
beyond, to the left of the deep gorge of the Utladals Elv. At about
eleven o’clock in the forenoon we reached the “Fleskedal Sœter.” The
stöl is pleasantly situated on a rise of open mountain ground near a
clear stream of water. Leaving our things with the sœter woman, we
descended through a steep forest of birch and firs, and at last crossing
a new bridge over a wild torrent soon afterwards reached another stöl or
sœter which was closed. This was the Vettismark forest and sœter. Ole
said that this forest was renowned for its large trees. Round the sœter
the trees were partly cleared; some were left scattered here and there.
The whole scene reminded us of a sheep station in an Australian forest.
From this picturesque plateau we had splendid views of some of the
summits of the Horungerne mountains. The scene was beautiful in the
sunshine of mid-day; it made us wish to linger there for ever. What a
spot for a tent. Crossing the narrow stream near the sœter, and passing
through a lovely forest view, we were soon near the edge of the hanging
cliff, over which the narrow river we had crossed, falls in one straight
and almost perpendicular column of water, not less than 800 feet--we
thought it more. In a note to Captain Campbell’s interesting article on
the Mörkfos, published in the “Alpine Journal” of August 1870, it seems
that the height of the fall is about 1000 feet.[103]

We refer our readers to this article for an excellent description of
this waterfall, and especially to the engraving there given of the fall,
which is from an original sketch by Captain Campbell.

The sun shone high; the sky was Italian blue. Ole produced his rope;
carefully securing it round our body, he steadied himself at a small
tree and held the other end of the rope. Then we advanced to the edge of
the hanging cliff. The wild heath formed an arched and matted roof above
the far distant rocks in the abyss below. As we cautiously leant over,
Nature broke upon us in all the light of her splendid magnificence. Who
can doubt the power of a great Creator who views such scenes? We could
have stayed there never-tiring to eternity. As we seemed to catch as it
were the broken ground with our legs, almost suspended in mid air, we
could not divest ourselves of the thought that some of the finest
scenes in Nature are often overlooked. Had the shelving cliff given way
we were secured by a rope, but we must say our position would have been
unpleasant. The cliffs on either side stand abruptly out and are
overhanging, so that it is difficult to get a good view of the fall from
above, except at the point we were looking over. The rocks below, which
receive the waters of the fall, for some distance upwards are almost
black.

When we retired from the cliff’s edge, we roped Ole and he had a similar
view. Notwithstanding all that had been said by Captain Campbell, the
Mörkfos far surpassed our expectations in height, volume of water, and
picturesque beauty. There is no drawback. All accessories are perfect.
Mountain outline, rock, tree, forest--all that surround the fall, rival
it in their several perfections of harmonious beauty. Reluctantly we
must say, that even the Rjukan fos and its romantic association of the
“Lovers” or “Marie stein” is scarcely equal to the Mörkfos.[104] Other
lovers of nature who visit this wild scene may probably pass a decisive
opinion either to confirm or reverse ours. Both falls have their
separate beauty.

The valley of the Aardal below, is all the most enthusiastic lover of
nature could desire.[105] Opposite to us were the magnificent steeps of
the Maradalstinder. The waterfall roaring down its sides, was only
dwarfed, by its more splendid rival the Mörkfos. The fall opposite is
the Maradals elv fos. As we watched it, a beautiful iris of red, yellow,
and blue, hovered above the foaming waters, the only one, we had ever
seen.

Before we left, we contemplated the deep valley of the Aardal, and its
wooded sides. Trees covered the summit of the cliffs, on either side the
Mörkfos. One mountain ash, had caught its roots in a cleft, and overhung
in mid-air. Scotch firs crowned the rocks above.

We left at a quarter to one. Never shall we forget a small patch of
golden moss, forming a miniature island in a small forest tarn; its
resplendent colour in the glowing sun. Near the sœter in the Vettismark
forest, a few large trees scattered near, were without bark, and dead.
The Vettismark Sœter, and the Fleskedal Sœter, Ole said, belonged to the
same owner. The ascent to the Fleskedal Sœter was very steep, but we
reached it at five minutes past two o’clock.

Our middags mad, on the banks of the stream, near the Fleskedal Sœter,
consisted of cold bacon, fladbröd, a box of sardines, and kage bröd, or
ovens bröd (bread baked in an oven), which we had brought with us. Ole
boiled our water at the sœter, and we had two pannikins of tea. The
Fleskedal Sœter is a new sœter. One woman, and some children, were
staying there. The sœter is built of wood, and of the usual size. We
paid the woman four skillings, for allowing Ole to boil our water at the
sœter.

It appears that Messrs. Boyson and Harrison stayed at the Fleskedal
Sœter one night, with three other gentlemen going to Lyster. We were
told that for one bed, for two of the party, the other three sleeping as
they could, and for some fladbröd, butter, and milk, they were charged
two specie dollars, or nine shillings English money, when they left. An
English gentleman, accompanied by a reindeer hunter, came to the
Fleskedal Sœter the day before we arrived, and stayed all night. Early
in the morning he had shot a reindeer in the mountains.

The English sportsman returned to the sœter for a pony, but could not
get one, and went to obtain one somewhere else. He said he should
reserve the reindeer’s skin for himself, and send the carcass to a
friend at Bergen. Ole said he would probably have to pay two or three
dollars, and if he had sent it down to Skögadals Sœter, the carrier
would have met the steamer for Bergen, and it would have gone at a much
cheaper rate.

Leaving Fleskedal Sœter at about four o’clock, we had a delightful walk
along the mountain slopes. At one point, in the depths of the valley
below, on the opposite bank of the Utladal Elv, we could see the
Bondegaard of Vormelid. A deep dark shadow seemed to hang about it in
the far distance below. What a solitary abode. Few footsteps would ever
pass its threshold. Imagine the winter solitude of this homestead. The
silence broken by the wolf’s howl. Ole said the bears had destroyed the
cattle of the former owner. He was nearly ruined. The bridge across the
torrent was broken down, and the house deserted. Ole signaled as we
approached the Skögadals Elv. The gipsies were soon on the alert to give
us welcome. The carrier brought two horses, and we crossed the river.
Our tents were reached at seven o’clock.

The gipsies appeared to have slept most of the day. They had not even
quarrelled. We began to think they must be ill, until we found they had
diligently inspected nearly every single article we possessed, which
were afterwards carefully arranged upside down. We decided to move very
early the next day, and Ole had the gröd at once prepared for breakfast
the next morning.

Before retiring to rest, we strolled on the turf near our tents, and
watched the secluded valley by moonlight. Vast ranges of snowy mountains
were before us silvered by the moon. As we looked down the valley, we
could not help observing, a large shadowed outline, representing the
figure of a woman, singularly distinct, and formed by the conformation
of a hill above the ravine. It was Sunday, and no music was given at the
sœters.



CHAPTER XXXV.

    “That gipsy grandmother has all the appearance of a sowanee”
    (sorceress).--“All the appearance of one!” said Antonio; “and is
    she not really one? She knows more crabbed things, and crabbed
    words than all the errate betwixt here and Catalonia; she has
    been amongst the wild Moors, and can make more drows, poisons,
    and philtres than any one alive. She once made a kind of paste,
    and persuaded me to taste, and shortly after I had done so, my
    soul departed from my body, and wandered through horrid forests
    and mountains, amidst monsters and duendes, during one entire
    night. She learned many things amidst the Corahai, which I
    should be glad to know.”

  BORROW’S _Bible in Spain_.


    THE MEISGRIE--WE CROSS A RIVER--THE SLIPPERY ROCK--AN ACTIVE
    GUIDE--THE CARRIER’S AID--THE LAME
    HORSE--MELKE-DALSTINDERNE--THE STONY WAY--THE NEDREVAND--OLE’S
    NIGHT QUARTERS--THE LAKE BY MOONLIGHT--EARLY RISING--EISBOD ON
    THE BYGDIN LAKE--THE POET’S HOUSE--VINJE THE POET--THE POETICAL
    MORTGAGE--PLEASANT ACQUAINTANCE--OLD NORWEGIAN POETRY--THE
    REINDEER HUNTER--ESMERALDA CONDONED.


At twenty minutes past two o’clock we were up. Calling Ole and our
gipsies, we had our gröd and milk for breakfast. Our expenses at
Skögadal amounted to nine marks eighteen skillings, as follows--

                                          _m._  _s._

  2 lbs. butter                            2   0
  Cheese                                   0   6
  36 cakes of fladbröd                     2   6
  5 cans milk, 9 skillings per can         1  21
  8 lbs. barley meal                       1   8
  Sœter women                              0  13
  Carrier crossing river                   1   0
                                          ------
                                           9   6
                                          ======

Some little delay occurred in getting the carrier and his horse. He was
the husband of the woman of one of the sœters. She was a tall powerful
woman, with a red face, and sharp temper, much older than himself. It
was whispered that he had married her for her money. If he had, she had
certainly the best of the bargain. Our tents and heavy baggage, were
soon packed up in a meisgrie or crate, and slung up on the wooden
packsaddle of the carrier’s horse. The Norwegian meisgrie is a capital
contrivance. It is a kind of network made of birch twigs, which laces up
with a long tie, one foot eleven inches long. It is very strong and very
light. Wishing the sœter women farewell, and they seemed sorry to lose
us, especially the music, we soon reached the river.

Our people and baggage were soon forded across. We remained behind with
our three donkeys, having a tether rope stretching across the river.
Fastening it with a noose round the Puru Rawnee’s neck, she was first
pulled across, plunging and struggling to the other bank. The Tarno Rye
was assisted through the stream in a similar manner. The Puro Rye saved
us the trouble by jumping into the stream, to follow his companions.
There was a loud outcry by the gipsies that he would be drowned, but he
fought through the torrent famously, and reached the other bank in
safety.

The view was beautiful as we looked up the Skögadal. The Melkadalstind
towered above the mountain ranges, which closed the upper portion of the
valley, leaving no outlet, but a stony col on the distant ridge. The
occasional wooded sides of the valley, with firs, birch, and dark
foliaged alder, relieved the valley from all appearance of desolation.
The white foam of two torrents, and occasional patches of snow, on the
mountain sides, at the head of the valley, contrasted well with wooded
slopes which margined the winding stream.

[Illustration: VIEW OF MELKADALSTIND, FROM THE VALLEY OF SKÖGADAL,
SKÖGADALS ELV.]

We had now crossed the river, and, following over the broken ground of
its right bank, we at length reached the head of the pleasant valley of
Skögadal. Again we had to cross the Skögadals Elv now a narrow impetuous
torrent, rushing forth from a glacier, at some distance to our right.

The carrier with his strong horse, for which he wanted sixty dollars,
crossed easily enough. Noah and Zachariah managed somehow to get to the
other side with the donkeys. The Skögadals Elv was now not very wide,
but rapid, and over our knees, in the middle of the stream, which was
icy cold. Never shall we forget Ole in a narrow part of the stream, out
of which rose two rocks, balancing on one, whilst he steadied Esmeralda,
who had jumped on the other. The torrent narrowed in its course, swift,
and impetuous, occasionally laved with its flowing waters Esmeralda’s
boots, as she stood on the slippery rock, preparing, with Ole’s
assistance, to make another jump. It was a question for some minutes
whether Esmeralda would not lose her foothold, and drag Ole after her,
into the foaming waters.

The scene was charming, the reindeer hunter on one rock, Esmeralda on
the other, both hand in hand. Balanced above the flowing waters;
sometimes we thought Esmeralda was slipping backwards, now with Ole’s
assistance she has recovered herself. Another jump across the foaming
waters; Esmeralda hesitates. A word of encouragement, Esmeralda jumps.
She has reached Ole’s rock, she balances again; thanks to Ole, by
another hasty spring, she is safe on the other side.

Soon joining our party, we ascended a winding stony track from the
Skögadal, passing through a col, we reached a second long wild valley,
wild and stony in the extreme, here and there a glacier above. The fine
peak of the “Melkedals” above us. Sometimes we skirted the margin of
small sheets of water, and lonely mountain tarns. Over this long reach
of broken rock we made our way slowly; at last we again ascended
towards another col, to reach apparently another valley beyond. We had
nearly reached the top of the ascent towards the next valley, when the
carrier suddenly halted, and Ole said he wished to take something to
eat. Our carrier was a quiet, spare, muscular, and not bad-looking man;
we had noticed him when we crossed the river; no shouting, bustle,
bewilderment, or gesticulation, he simply did quietly what he thought
best. If it did not succeed, and we had all been drowned, it is doubtful
whether he would have moved a muscle of his countenance. Yet he was not
a man without feeling, and would probably have felt all the more. All
was regulated to one steady pace for horse and man, and to save the
world he would not have gone slower or faster. A fire was made with the
roots of stunted juniper, and our water boiled for tea. Our carrier had
only some fladbröd, and raw old bacon for his dinner. From our
commissariat we supplemented it with tea, and brandy and water. It was
soon found that when we had halted at twelve o’clock, he considered his
bargain ended, and that he was entitled to his dollar, and an extra mark
for his second horse, to cross the Skögadals river. It was thought we
should have had his services for the best part of the day.

Ole asked our carrier to give us another hour which would make what he
considered the value of the dollar, but the man would not go any
farther; an extra mark would not tempt him. He had come eleven miles;
one of his horse’s shoes was loose. Our gipsies thought he should have
continued until one o’clock. Lending the man our hammer, and axe, to
fasten the horse shoe on, which was much too small, we paid him his six
marks. Advancing towards us in a solemn manner, he shook hands, and
with his horse rather lame, he went off at the same regulated steady
pace. If intelligence had been suddenly brought that the Skögadals
sœter, had been burnt down, and his tall wife in it, we do not think he
would have gone one step faster towards the scene of conflagration.

Noah! Zachariah! let the donkeys be loaded. Esmeralda clears our dinner
service into the kettle bag. Ole is up and stirring; we are soon off at
ten minutes past one o’clock. Our party was soon over the ridge; a long
stony valley lay before us beneath the rugged steeps of the
Melkedalstinderne. The donkeys did their best with their loads; the lift
with the carrier’s horse in the morning, had been very useful. Ole had
evidently resolved to make a determined push towards Eisbod. Many swift,
but shallow streams coming from the glaciers above, were crossed without
difficulty. With some perseverance the Melkedals vand[106] is reached;
it is called the œvre vand or upper lake. A still dark lake, nothing but
masses of loose rocks for its shores. Ole said there were no fish in it.
How we made our way over the loose masses of stone on the left bank,
from one end to the other, is a marvel, sometimes up, sometimes down,
with often nothing, but pointed rocks, for our loaded animals to stand
upon. Noah did his best. At last the Puru Rawnee slipped with her load,
and fell with her legs between the rocks. We were much afraid she would
break or cut her legs all to pieces. She was quickly unloaded. By good
fortune our handsome Puru Rawnee, had not broken any bones; the hair was
bruised off in some places; she was able to go on. Quickly reloading
again, we were thankful to leave the desolate shores of the Melkedals
vand, still struggling on step, by step, with our tired animals; at
length we reached a small wild mountain tarn. At one place we crossed
the track of a reindeer; time was fast fleeting towards night, we could
not very well camp where we were, nothing but rocky steeps, and loose
masses of stone on every side, not a blade of grass to be seen for our
donkeys. Leaving the lonely tarn we came to a mountain stream. Our route
now became very steep, often down loose masses of rock. Ole and ourself
had to lead the way, and occasionally form a rough road, or form steps
with loose fragments of rock, to enable our animals to proceed. All the
care of our gipsies was necessary. A false step by either of the donkeys
would probably disable it for further exertion. At some places we had to
pile up masses of stone for a considerable height, to enable the donkeys
to descend the rough, and broken declivities of rock. Slowly and
cheerfully we made our way, everyone doing his best. Now and then some
small streams of water had to be crossed. Coming down a steep declivity
we at length came in sight of the waters of the Melkedals, “Nedre Vand,”
or the Lower Lake.

As the shades of night were fast descending, we reached the lake, and
making our way slowly along the left bank, we halted on a slope, close
to the shore of the lake. There was a semblance of green; just enough
blades of grass, to enable us to fancy we were on turf. Seeing nothing
but loose rocks beyond, we decided to stay.

“Well, sir,” said the gipsies, “where’s the fire?”

[Illustration: MELKEDALS, NEDRE VAND.]

“Ah,” said Ole, “perhaps you can do without one this evening, or we will
go on if you like.”

We determined to stay.

“It is uncertain,” said Ole, “if we come to any better camping-ground.”

Zachariah, who was always foremost in settling all matters, had first
to be extinguished before we could light our camp fire at the Nedre
Vand.

“Fire,” said we; “some fuel shall be found somewhere--warm tea we will
have.”

The donkeys were soon relieved of their burthens. It is astonishing how
soon men accustomed to camp life in the mountains, quickly avail
themselves of all material. With a few roots, and some dry turf, our
water soon boiled over a camp fire. We had never failed during our
campaign. There is, besides, something very cheerful in seeing your fire
in the shades of evening, on the shore of a lake. Our spirits were soon
as gay as usual. After our tea, fladbröd and butter, Ole made himself
comfortable under a rock. First, putting up some sods with a spade; then
placing a large flat piece of turf, and stunted juniper roots above, Ole
slipped himself under, and wrapping a handkerchief, and his bag of pig’s
bristles round his neck and head, with our waterproof over all, was soon
asleep.

Ole said we had travelled about seventeen miles from Skögadal sœter. At
one time just before tea, Ole went up the ridge beyond our camp, to
examine the way. He thought he heard a rifle shot, and might meet some
reindeer hunters.

It was a beautiful moonlight night; we stood on the shores of the lake
after all had gone to rest. There was our sleeping guide under his rock.
There our sleeping gipsies ’neath their tents; near our camp our three
gallant merles. They had indeed fought their way well for us; nor did we
forget to caress them sometimes. The Puru Rawnee had to be bathed
occasionally with a little weak brandy and water; sometimes to be
strengthened up with a little bruise mixture; biscuit, and now and then
a piece of bread, also fell to their share.

Beyond a picturesque island on the other shore, we could see a large
glacier stretching apparently into the very waters of the lake.[107] How
beautiful in the moonlight below those wild peaks. There were some dark
crevasses to be seen on the glacier’s surface. At times, in the
stillness of the night, we could hear that sound peculiar to glaciers, a
loud cracking noise, which echoed across the waters to our camp.

Up at half-past three o’clock. Zachariah! Vand! water! yog! fire! now
quick, Noah! Our gipsies are up. Ole is up, of course. We saw him to
bed, or we should think he sat up over night to be ready. Tea, fladbröd,
and our last tin of potted meat, for breakfast. Tents struck; all moving
along the slope from the lake at seven o’clock.

We slowly make our way over loose stones, and a mountain ridge is soon
gained. We commence our descent towards the Lake Bygdin far below us.
Descending carefully down a snow slope, we crossed a wild torrent.
Sometime afterwards we reached the left slopes of Melkedalen, between
the Grava Fjeld and Slaataafjeld. Still continuing our descent of
Melkedalen, we reached the shores of a lake.

As we came in sight of this long, and beautiful lake, Ole pointed out
the “Poet’s House” on a bold promontory. At the head of the lake we
could perceive it. It has just the appearance of a newly-built châlet,
or sœter; something lonely and picturesque in its position. Its
association with poetry gave it a further charm.

We were still at some distance from the “Poet’s House.” Ole signalled
for a boat. In the distance we could see some figures near the house,
apparently watching our party. They were probably puzzled, as to who we
could be, issuing forth in early morning, from the wild recesses, of
Melkedalstinderne.

Two boats came to the shore where we were. All our baggage was placed in
one; we handed Esmeralda into the other. Ole, Noah, and Zachariah
started off on the donkeys to ford the river, and round the upper bend
of the lake to the “Poet’s House.”

The boats glided on the smooth water of the lake. The sun gilded the
lofty mountains on either shore; all quietude, peace, and contentment.
The Norwegian poet has well chosen, thought we, this charming seclusion
from the world.

Our boats rounded the promontory past the “châlet.” Two ladies, and
three gentlemen were near it; some were seated, watching us as we came
near. They were making use of a large telescope.

Our boatmen landed at some little distance past the “Poet’s House” on
the beach of the promontory,--a sort of inland bay. As we came to the
shore, we noticed a man seated near a hut, whisking a leafy branch over
some dark looking pieces of meat, hanging from a line. We afterwards
found it was rein-deer meat, being dried in the sun. The man was keeping
the flies off, while the meat was being dried for future consumption.

Our baggage was all safely deposited on a pleasant slope of ground, not
far from the rein-deer hunter’s hut. We had a good View of the “Poet’s
House.” Ole, and Noah, and Zachariah soon joined us. Our boatmen were
well satisfied with one mark. Noah and Zachariah had got their legs wet
in crossing the river, but Ole had the forethought to take off his
stockings, before he rode into the stream.

The history of the “Poet’s House” appeared to be as follows:--The wooden
cottage, which consists of two small rooms only, cost 100 dollars,
Norwegian money, or about 20_l._ English. The poet, Aasmund Olafsen
Vinje, joined with others in the cost of erection. When the poet was
required to pay 25 dollars, his stipulated share, he was unable to do
so. He had certainly more than 25 pence, but he could only spare 5
dollars. This was certainly better than the man who owed 465_l._ 4_s._
6_d._, and offered his creditor the 4_s._ 6_d._ Poets, somehow, are
seldom wealthy. We have occasionally bright exceptions. Vinje was not
one. To release the poet from his difficulty, it was agreed that he
should mortgage his interest in the house, and write a mortgage in
poetry for the sum. Vinje did this. The mortgage deed in poetry, will
ever remain, a curious, and interesting association, with the “Poet’s
House” on the Bygdin lake.[108]

Our experience does not enable us to give a single instance of any of
the English lawyers writing a mortgage in poetry. The only instance we
know of any legal document being written in poetry, in England, is the
will of Sir Willoughby Dixon, of Bosworth Park, Leicestershire. It was
written by himself. United to the refinement of the scholar, there is
often a sharp, sound, practical hitting the-right-nail-on-the-head sort
of ability, among the country gentry of England. A manly vigour of
intellect, united to an intense love of honourable dealing, and fair
play, in all the affairs of life.

A rein-deer hunter, a friend of Ole’s, soon afterwards came to us. He
was a tall, spare, keen man, and brought some rein-deer meat up in a
small wooden tub. We were afraid to buy more than one piece; the weather
was hot, and the meat would not keep long. Another reason for not buying
more rein-deer meat was, our chance of obtaining fish at the Tyen Lake,
which we expected to reach the same afternoon. Our fire was soon
lighted. One of the gentlemen from the “Poet’s House” came up. The
gipsies were very busy preparing our dinner. A young Norwegian
gentleman, who wore a uniform tunic and trousers of green cloth, came to
our camp. He was fair and prepossessing. Amiability was written in his
countenance, without looking in his hand. He spoke some English. After
our meal, it was arranged we should pay himself and friends a visit at
the “Poet’s House,” where they were staying. Tea, fried rein-deer,
pickled walnuts, and fladbröd, formed our repast. A short man, in a
leather jacket, trousers, and cap, came up, and we paid him sixteen
skillings for the rein-deer meat.

Skeaker was before us. Resolving in our mind to go without our gipsies
to the “Poet’s House,” we left them to pack up and load the donkeys,
whilst we went with Ole to visit the poet’s retreat.

The châlet is built of logs, on a rising point of land, at the head of
the lake. The first of the two rooms it contained, had a fireplace for
cooking, and two boarded bedsteads, not unlike “bunks,” but more
finished, and elaborate. The room had also one window, which would not
open. A door gave entrance to the inner room, also provided with two
similar bedsteads. The inner chamber was occupied by the ladies, and had
only one window, which apparently did not open for ventilation. A
beautiful bouquet of wild flowers, stood upon the room table; all was
order and neatness. How soon we distinguished the female hand, in
domestic arrangement.

The view from the châlet was a scene of enchantment, as we looked in the
glorious midday sun, over the distant expanse of lake. On the left shore
of the lake, rise the mountains of the Grava Fjeld, Galdeberg, the lofty
Sletmarkhö, and the Svartdalspiggne. Again, to our right, rise the wild
mountain ranges of the Dryllenöset, Volaahornene, and Oxendalsnöset, the
home of the rein-deer, the eagle, the wolf, and the bear.

The visitors at the “Poet’s House” appeared to do everything for
themselves. They had, no doubt, their commissariat, like ourselves. The
young ladies were very agreeable, and good looking. We were told they
were the daughters of a banker. The elder gentleman of the party, who
spoke a little English, pointed out some old Norwegian poetry, written
in pencil, on the inner room door. They had been staying at the châlet
about eight days. Often, in after life, shall we remember our pleasant
visit, to the “Poet’s House,” on the beautiful Lake Bygdin.

On our return to our party, we found Noah had broken his Alpine stock.
Zachariah had commenced fishing in the lake, but was referred by some
man to a stream near, which Zachariah alleged was destitute of fish.
Esmeralda was short and chaffy.

One rein-deer hunter, made a start for the mountains with the
telescope. We were told that it belonged to Prœsten Halling, who seemed
either in person, name, or belongings, to be everywhere. The rein-deer
hunter swung off at a jaunty pace, as if he would make short work of the
very steep mountain before him. Ole said he was going to look out for
rein-deer.

The party from the “Poet’s House” came up to see us off. They seemed
interested in our equipment. We also showed the young ladies our guitar.
A copy of our song, had previously been given to one of the party. With
very little delay, we hastened away from this region of poetry.
Esmeralda was getting impetuous. Even the donkeys, after all their
mishaps during the previous day, were eager to proceed on the journey.
With many adieux to the very pleasant visitors at the “Poet’s House” we
left Eisbod, and the Bygdin Lake.[109]

Esmeralda was very determined, stepping after the baggage, as only a
gipsy can step. Ole, of course, leads the way. Three merles loaded, Noah
and Zachariah, and then Esmeralda, and then ourselves.

Esmeralda had been very quick in movement, up and down, and everywhere,
with now and then, something to say. We were thankful when we were
removed, with this restless orbit of our wanderings, from the “Poet’s
House.” Yet she said soon afterwards, she had only pretended to be
offended, we must think nothing of it. We were on the eve of fresh
scenes, why should we remember a slight ripple on the glittering surface
of the waters of Lake Bygdin.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

    The guitar is part and parcel of the Spaniard and his ballads;
    he slings it across his shoulder with a ribbon, as was depicted
    on the tombs of Egypt four thousand years ago. The performers
    seldom are very scientific musicians; they content themselves
    with striking the chords, sweeping the whole hand over the
    strings, or flourishing, and tapping the board with the thumb,
    at which they are very expert.

  FORD’S _Spain_.


    LAKE TYEN--THE TOURIST CLUB CHÂLET--LORTWICK SŒTER--LAKE
    DRIFTWOOD--A COLD MORNING--A CHEAP MEAL--THUNDER IN THE
    AIR--SUNSHINE AGAIN--THE SEPARATION--THE GALLANT OLE
    FAREWELL--TO CHRISTIANA--ENERGY ALWAYS--PUSH ON--THE BERGEN
    ROAD--THE VIOLINIST--ONE DOLLAR MORE--PICTURESQUE SCENE.


Eisbod, on Lake Bygdin, had been left at one o’clock. The Lake Tyen was
soon reached. The Lake Bygdin is said to be 17½ English miles long, Lake
Tyen about 12 miles. The evening was beautiful when we reached Lake
Tyen. Our route lay along its left shore nearly the whole length of the
lake.

After we had journeyed some short distance, following the narrow
footpath or rough track, we reached Tvindehougen.

This is also a wooden châlet, on a rise of ground above the lake,
erected, we were told, at the cost of the “Norwegian Tourist Club” for
their accommodation in summer. The cost, we were told, was 100 dollars,
equivalent to about 20_l._ The sketch of the châlet we then made is
given below, with a view of the lake, and the Koldedalstinderne (peaks
of the cold valley).[110]

[Illustration: NORWEGIAN TOURIST CLUB CHÂLET.]

Ole shouted to some fishermen at “Fiskebod,” on the other side of the
lake. It was expected they would bring some fish. One man came in his
boat after we had waited quite a quarter of an hour. Ole was
disappointed to find he had brought no fish. It occurred to us we should
have to pay him after calling him over: a glass of aquavitæ settled
matters to his satisfaction. There were two men at the “Tourists’
Châlet.” One was a tall thin fellow, draped in leather, and nothing
else--coat, breeches, stockings, and a sort of skin shoe. The châlet
consists of two rooms, with superior kind of “bunks,” or bedsteads, but
no fittings of any kind. The windows are too low to obtain a pleasant
view of the lake when standing up, and are not adapted for ventilation.
Travellers staying at the châlet must take everything with them,
including bedding, &c. There is a stove in one room. We must, of course,
consider that this châlet of the Norwegian club, is only intended for
summer residence. Travellers who avail themselves of its accommodation,
must be mountaineers. It is a shelter from the storm, wind, and
night-air, and is not intended for anything more. The evening was warm
and sultry; at the same time we enjoyed the summer’s sun, as we made our
way, as best we could, along the narrow broken track.

Except ourself, all the party were very thirsty; even Ole, seldom
troubled with thirst, made frequent visits to the clear rippling
mountain streams, which often crossed our path.

At evening close, we reached a green, pleasant slope, below a rising
bank, covered with juniper bushes, and very near a shingly beach on the
lake.

We were within five or ten minutes of the time, Ole predicted we should
reach the sœter of Lortwick. The name, Ole said, meant dirty. Not from
the state of the sœter, but from the prevailing bad weather of that part
of the lake. If we could judge from the outside of the sœter, it might
also have suited the name.

At first the gipsies did not see any dry fire-wood. “Go to the shingly
beach,” said we, “you will find plenty.” There is always some rough
wood, drifted up by high winds on every beach. They found plenty, and we
had a good fire.

What is that we hear, as Noah is putting up the tents? Esmeralda’s voice
to her brother Zachariah, in severe reproof--“Push it on,
Highflyer.--What, pushing the prop the wrong way. Oh, Lucas! Lucas! you
were always a mumper!”

We had tea, fladbröd, and butter, for our aftens-mad, Ole afterwards
went to the sœter, and had their iron pot cleaned out for gröd in the
morning.

Noah produced a meerschaum pipe, and began to smoke. What camp
rules--smoking! Noah was, upon explanation, found to have picked it up
at a spring, and said he was only drawing out the contents of the
tobacco in it, to empty it. He very soon put it up. After
reflection--Why are thoughtless tourists so careless, as to leave their
pipes about, to the serious injury, and temptation of our gipsies?

Just as we were retiring to bed, Esmeralda thought she heard a toad
creaking--didn’t like it. As far as we could ascertain, it was her
brother Zachariah, who was fast asleep in bed snoring.

Up at half-past three O’clock; a very cold morning; there is a wintry
feeling about the air. To-day is Wednesday, the 10th August, yet, after
all, we can stand without inconvenience, the chilliness of an early
sunrise in the mountains. The view was beautiful, as the sun rose beyond
the lake, over the sharp peaks of Koldedalstinderne. We went to the
Lortwick sœter. Ole was of course up. Does he sit up all night? was a
question, we again asked. He had got the iron pot full of water ready to
boil. When we returned Noah was sent for the gröd. How we enjoyed,
notwithstanding the extreme freshness of the morning, a summer’s day
iced, as we had our matutinal splash in the lake. Noah soon brought the
gröd to the tents; Ole joined us, and we had our breakfast. Gröd and
milk is certainly a cheap meal, sufficient for five people scarcely
exceeds the cost of ten skillings. We found the gröd very good for hard
work; our cost at the Lortwick sœter was--

                        _m._  _s._
  2lbs. butter           2   0
  Fladbröd               0  12
  Milk                   0   8
  Sœter                  0   4
                        ------
      Total cost         3   0

At six o’clock in the morning, we passed the Lortwick sœter on the Tyen
Vand. Esmeralda and Noah had evidently got up on the wrong side the
turf.

The Lake Tyen is picturesque, but not so wild as the Lake Bygdin. Time
did not permit us to test the fishing. The view, especially from the
“Tourist’s Châlet,” Tvindehougen, is very picturesque. On the opposite
shore there are generally some Norwegian fishermen, at a place called
Fiskebod.

As we left the shores of the lake, the gipsy storm rose higher; the
hurricane of human intellect was even too great for Zachariah to swim
in--Mephistopheles kept aloof with his donkey, as a mariner shuns a
maëlstrom. Even Ole pushed ahead some yards farther than usual, not
altogether out of reach of the wordy projectiles, which fell around.

We were used to it--ours was a kind of charmed life; it is marvellous
how we sometimes escaped. Fancy the melancholy termination of our
career, as a wandering gipsy, on the shores of the Tyen Vand.

The Birmingham bagman would have lost two copies of this work. The fate
of the English gipsies in Norway, would have remained an impenetrable
mystery.

Esmeralda, as we passed the Lortwick sœter, would now and then advance
rapidly from the rear, and fire a heavy broadside into Noah. The Romany
chaff was very severe on both sides. “Isn’t Ambrose a balloshero? Oh,
yes, Ambrose is like varnon, when he rockers like a galdering gorgio.
Ambrose can talk, can’t he? The mumply dinlo! What a state he puts
himself in, over everybody else.”

Noah was by no means wanting in ammunition. When Esmeralda fell back to
the rear, we did our best to keep her there. Noah kept a running fire
all the time. The tall gipsy kept his temper very well, except when
severely hit, by some more than usually sarcastic allusion.

Leaving the lake, we passed down a narrow gorge. At the head of this
gorge, Esmeralda again brought up all her reserve of the Romany
artillery. Uncle Elijah was brought up, knocked down, and killed ten
times over.

How well we remember the tall active form of the gipsy girl, rapidly
bringing up her merle and baggage from the rear, her eyes flashing with
indignant fire--poor Noah--what will be his fate? The battle of Dorking
was nothing to it. Noah stands firm. He takes advantage of the intricacy
of the narrow pathway; the broken nature of the ground separates their
forces. Ole, we see, is still alive; a stray shot is only heard now and
then.

Again we had calm, and quiet, on the horizon. Shortly after coming forth
from the defile, we halt. Our donkeys are unloaded on the summit of a
lofty slope. At a short distance from us there is a sœter. Below, at the
bottom of the valley across a small river, we see the Bergen road. The
gipsies had had their say. No one had any conception, or they
themselves, what it was all about. An exhaustion of superabundant animal
energy, and intense physical force. All was forgotten. A fire was
quickly lighted in the now warm sunshine. Ole and ourselves were now to
part. The middags-mad consisted of fried English ham, vinegar, fladbröd,
butter, ovensbröd, and tea. Ole was delighted with our tea. He carefully
measured the tin pannikin we had given him to use. Ole always had the
same. Noah said he knew it by a dinge on the side. Our guide said he
should have one made like it. All our camp arrangements had, apparently,
much interested Ole. Mountaineers are naturally interested in the most
portable, and convenient methods, of affording food and shelter, in
those regions where accommodation is scanty and uncertain. There was
very little that we had not provided; scarcely any addition necessary,
beyond those things we had already brought. Such was the practical
result of our camp experience.

After our middags-mad, slightly tinged perhaps with a shade of
melancholy, we strolled aside with Ole. The cost of Ole’s services
amounted to eight specie dollars, calculated at the rate of four marks a
day, and including his return allowance. Our coat, lost on the
Galdhöpiggen, was to be sent by parcel post if found. The postage would
be twelve skillings per pound, and we gave him one mark twelve
shillings.

Ole said he hoped to see us again; we hoped so too. With unfeigned
regret we parted with our gallant Ole Halvorsen, of Rödsheim. Always
punctual, even-tempered, and ever anxious to save us any unnecessary
expense; possessed of much practical experience of a large region of
wild country; ready to camp out on the mountain side without a tent;
undaunted in the hour of difficulty; never at fault, quick in
expedients, cool and calm; of few words, but full of information; we pay
this parting tribute to our excellent Ole Halvorsen.

Ole said he had never fared so well in the mountains. It was a
compliment to our cook and commissariat.

“Good-by, Mr. Ambrose, good-by, Miss daughter, and master Zâkēē,” said
Ole.

“Good-by, Mr. Rödsheim,” said our gipsies as we shook hands, and with
our parting farewell, and good wishes, Ole was soon far up the mountain
side.

Our donkeys were already loaded. In a very short time we had crossed the
river, and had reached the Bergen road. Our party came forth from the
deep recesses of the Horungerne mountains with new energy; issuing
forth, as it were, from the vast wilderness of peak, glacier, lake, and
river, to the civilized world. The distance to Christiania was yet
considerable; the time we could allow ourselves was short; the summer
fast waning, yet we had gathered renewed energy. Our donkeys pricked
their ears when they found themselves on the hard road. Nothing could
exceed the health and spirits of our party. A few forced marches would
accomplish all we required. Mephistopheles said it could not be done in
the time, and was quickly snuffed out.

It is necessary to push on in this world. Splangy when he goes out to
hunt, will always be in somewhere. It is true his weight may be a stone
or two more than his hunter can well carry. It is equally certain that
Splangy’s mare is disinclined to jump if it can bore through a fence. If
she stumbles into the first ditch, Splangy tumbles into the second.
Still Splangy never looses the reins; he pulls through, and is always in
somewhere.

Then there are Johnson and Toboys, men of business. Johnson is said to
sleep with one eye open, and Toboys never sleeps at all. They have
business all over the world. For instance, when an order is given, it is
sent in to the day. It is pushed through. The set of chairs are in the
drawing-room, never mind if the owner, a few days afterwards, sits on
one with a defective leg, and is flat on the floor, with the chair upon
him. He is painfully reminded of Johnson and Toboys’ address. Well,
after all, says he, they were delivered in time for me to receive the
Prussian Ambassador. With many other firms, says the owner, I should
have had to wait two years, when the chintz would be faded, and the
fashion gone. Johnson and Toboys, of course, get the order for his
dining-room. The furniture van dashes up; all is delivered on the day.
What matter if one chair is afterwards discovered legless. Ah! says the
owner, holding it up, it is well cushioned, and comfortable. What matter
if, forgetting the legs, he sits down, turning an acrobatic
back-somersault in the air? Carpets are thick now-a-days; no bones are
broken. The owner is only painfully reminded of Johnson and Toboys’
address. Never mind, says the owner, after all, they were in time for me
to receive my friend Fitful and his wife from India. It soon turns out
the workman who had the legs, had no head; they were only forgotten.
Johnson and Toboys have made their fortune, whilst some firms are
thinking about it. Let us push on.

The Bergen road was reached by our party, at a point between Nystuen and
Skogstad. The trout of Nystuen are said to be exceedingly good. We were
at the foot of the Fille Fjeld. The scenery was charming as we followed
the road down to Skogstad; all down hill, and an excellent road. Groves
of birch, mountain willow, and alder trees, alternating with rock
scenes, and fir wood. The Findal’s Horn rises to our right. Allons donc!
How gaily the Puru Rawnee, with her jingling bells stepped out; ever
leading; head well up, as if in her pride, she knew she was always
admired. We shall never see another donkey like her; such fine long
legs, clean, and admirably shaped, stepping under her heavy load, as if
it was nothing. _Allons donc!_ as we rapidly followed the winding road,
and our party soon reached Skogstad Station. We had parted from Ole at
the sœter, at twenty minutes past twelve o’clock, and reached Skogstad
at half-past one. In we went to get some fladbröd. Whilst the pige was
getting the fladbröd, we went into a very small comfortable side room.
Seeing a curiously inlaid violin hanging up, we asked the pige the
price. She brought the master of the station; he called the ostler. It
now appeared the ostler was a fabricator of violins; a musical genius.
The short old man, who wore breeches on very bow legs, reached out
another violin from a cupboard. This was of more recent manufacture, and
far better tone. The station-master, who was a very pleasant obliging
man, prevailed on the ostler to play a tune. “An ancient Norwegian air,”
said the station-master. We can only say the composer must have been
far from lively at the time of composition. The old man sawed away in a
slow methodical manner. As contrasted with our camp music, it was
lugubrious. How delighted Ole Bull, the celebrated Norwegian violinist,
would have been with his countryman’s performance. Mephistopheles was
nearly in a fit. We ordered a bottle of excellent ale, and gave the
ostler a glass to drink gamle norge. The ostler had exhausted his
inspiration, and the ale had no reviving effect. The gipsies and myself,
therefore, finished the rest. Ah! what about strict camp rules? We are
not in camp, we are in the Skogstad Station. Then Mephistopheles played
some rather stirring airs on the new violin and the old one. We
understood it was one of the Hardanger violins, and asked the price. The
station-master and the two pige stood by, whilst Mephistopheles played.
Then the station-master said, “English,” and smiled. The ostler wanted
three dollars. We were considering, trying, discussing, when up drove
some carrioles to the station; English travellers in knickerbockers. Out
went the old ostler; out went the station-master. We paid the pige for
the fladbröd and öl. Noah took the Hardanger violin, if it was one,
under his arm. The ostler was outside, standing by the pony of the first
carriole just put in. We handed three paper dollars to the old man.
“Fire,” said the old fellow, showing four fingers. “Nei! Nei!” said
Noah. “No,” said we, finding the old man had suddenly raised his price.
“Tre,” and we put out our hand with our three dollars. The two young
girls were close by him with anxious countenances, evidently expecting
we should give up the purchase.

[Illustration: THE NORWEGIAN VIOLIN.]

The scene was famous, Skogstad Station, and its picturesque scenery.
Carrioles before the entrance with ponies just put in, and ponies just
taken out. Jolly station-master; English travellers in knickerbockers
just getting into carrioles. Two rather pretty Norwegian girls standing
beside the old ostler; old ostler, the picture of irresolution. His
melancholy countenance, expressing anxiety to get one dollar more.
Esmeralda at our elbow, telling us not to let the gorgio do Mandy. Her
tall gipsy brother waiting for the ancient violin, Mephistopheles
saying: “Maw kin the Bosh, sir, if he don’t lel the three dollars.”[111]
We were just going off; the old man suddenly clutched the three dollar
notes. Noah quickly placed the ancient violin and bow under his arm.
Away we went from the road side scene, and soon joined our animals and
baggage.

The violin as represented still remains a souvenir of Skogstad.

Scarcely had we left, when a tall powerful man, in breeches, came
running after us in breathless haste; taking off his hat, we found he
wished to see the donkeys; staying a few moments to gratify his
curiosity, he exclaimed many times Peen giœre!!! peen giœre!! “Ya, ya,”
said Noah, and we again continued our journey, wishing him god morgen.



CHAPTER XXXVII.

    The gipsies are not destitute of good qualities. They have a
    species of honour; so that, if trusted, they will not deceive or
    betray you.

  _The Gipsies._ By SAMUEL ROBERTS.


    CAMP ON LILLE MJÖSEN--THE SKJYRI FJELD--AN ACQUAINTANCE FROM
    EISBOD--CAMP RULES CONFIRMED--OUR GIPSY NOAH--ENGLISH
    SPOKEN--SINGULAR STONE--ILOE STATION--OUR FRIEND FROM
    EISBOD--ARTIST SOUVENIRS--ZACHARIAH’S SPORT--FAST
    TRAVELLING--HARVEST TIME--SECLUDED CAMP--ABLE PLEADING--THE STEE
    STATION--OBLIGING-HOSTESS--TETHER ROPE LOST--THE KINDLY
    WELCOME--AN ENGLISHMAN’S WISH--AN OPEN AIR CONCERT--ESMERALDA’S
    FLOWERS--ADIEU, BUT REMEMBERED--A MID-DAY REST.


A wild river on the left of the road soon found its outlet in a small
lake. A man and woman, in a boat upon the lake, were fishing with a net;
soon afterwards we came to Oye on the “Lille Mjösen Vand.” We purchased
five eggs at a house near the road, for five skillings; and the young
Norwegian girl showed us a curious violin they had in the house. The
Lille Mjösen is a very beautiful and picturesque lake; the road lay
through wooded slopes, on the right bank, steep rocky cliffs towered
above us. Before reaching Tune, we came to a charming grassy knoll,
immediately above the road; the small stony gully, on one side, was
convenient for the donkeys to graze. A large forest of spruce fir
surrounded the knoll on all sides, except towards the road, below which
the stony shingly shore of the lake extended; above the forest slope
were some lofty picturesque rocks. From the knoll, we had a delightful
view across the lake, which was not very broad at this part. On the
opposite shore, the Skjyri Fjeld rose in very lofty steeps, almost
immediately from the waters of the lake. We noticed also, on the other
side, one small gaard, lonely by itself, on a narrow slip of reclaimed
land, a few acres, between the water, and the base of the precipice,
which rose almost straight to lofty summits, covered here and there by
fir wood.

Our knoll was delightfully shut in and secluded; the lofty trees of the
spruce fir stretched to the base of the cliff above. So steep were they,
that verdure could not exist. Although only four o’clock, the camp
ground was so tempting, we determined to halt. Noah and Zachariah fished
in the lake without success. The evening was very warm and sunny. Our
aftens-mad consisted of tea, fladbröd, eggs, and butter.

At the Skogstad Station, we had had one mark’s worth of fladbröd, and
the bottle of ale cost twelve skillings, the usual price. Our violin
three dollars, the price at first asked. A few carrioles passed
underneath during the evening, but the travellers did not observe us.
Our music in the stillness of evening sounded across the lake, In the
dim light, we could see a fire on the other shore. The evenings now get
more damp, night begins sooner. Quite late, as Noah was putting up our
tent, a Stolkjœre came by; the traveller pulled up, and, to our
surprise, we again met our acquaintance of the Bygdin Lake, the young
gentleman who wore the uniform tunic. We welcomed him as an old friend;
he said he had come to a certain point on the route with the ladies,
and they had met Ole. Our friend said he had parted from the other
visitors we met at the “Poet’s House,” and hoped to be in Christiania on
Sunday. We gave him one of our best cigars, which he said were not often
met with in the mountains. A short chat, of course, about the war, and
we parted, probably to meet again in Christiania.

Near our tents there was an exceedingly large nest of creas (gip.,
ants), as my people called them. Their communistic ideas were at once
apparent; they swarmed about our camp, taking away all they could carry.

They had three large tracks diverging from their nest to the road, down
which thousands were hastily hurrying to and fro; it was very
interesting to watch them. Nature has an ever-varied, and instructive
page to set before you at every step.

Going out of our tents the last thing, we were astounded at what we saw
by the camp fire. The appearance of a Huldre (fairy), or a Jotul
(giant), could not have astonished us more. Noah was seated, and
actually smoking a pipe; it was as the French say, “un peu trop fort,”
camp rules infringed, laws broken, what next? we of course spoke upon
the subject.

We shall not trouble our readers with our Nicotian lecture. It was in
vain Noah advanced that smoking was better than chewing; we were firm.
He had given his word, knew the camp rules, and we could not have any
future confidence in any man who broke his word with us. Noah, with a
melancholy look, slowly put out his pipe, and it disappeared. “You shall
not say I am a liar, sir; I shall keep my word, as I have promised.”
After all, Noah, in his wild way, is not a bad fellow; he has been
thrown into all kinds of temptation, without care, or instruction of any
sort, leading a wild wandering life, yet, throughout our campaign, we
never heard him once utter an oath. It is more than we can say with
regard to many others we have met, persons more educated, and with
better opportunities. Yes, Noah is tolerably steady; notwithstanding, a
few cigars, and a little brandy, might be much imperilled if placed in
his way. We must however give Noah his due, to us he was ever ready to
do his share in the rough work of our Norwegian wanderings. We must ever
take an interest in Noah’s fate.

It is Thursday the 11th of August, the morning is very fine, our party
up at twenty minutes past four o’clock. Our fladbröd was exhausted;
nineteen college biscuits were allowed to each, with butter and tea for
breakfast. The morning was cold till we had the sun upon the valley. The
Lille Mjösen is a charming lake. Our party were soon off.

We had not long left our camp, when we met a gentleman carrying an
umbrella to shade himself from the morning sun. He was a Norwegian
clergyman, who spoke English very well, and had been staying with an
English family in Christiania. Evincing much interest in our expedition,
he kindly gave us some very useful suggestions with regard to our future
route. The route he suggested as best suited for camping purposes, and
as also being very picturesque, was _viâ_ Krœmmermoen, the Spirilen Lake
and the Krogkleven. When he left us to continue his walk, we immediately
afterwards reached an inn, which appeared very comfortable; several
travellers were staying there. They were attired in their best wearing
apparel, and were evidently enjoying a summer tour. We tried to get
some Kagebröd; all they could offer us were some very seedy pieces of
bread, rather mouldy, and one piece of fladbröd, which Noah could have
demolished at a mouthful. The bread we left, but a pound of fresh
butter, at twenty-two skillings, we took with us.

Soon afterwards a man came running after us in breathless haste; our
donkeys were the object of attraction; great was his admiration before
he left us.

In a roadside churchyard we soon after passed, we believe it was Vang,
there is a singular stone, carved with an interesting relief, and an
inscription.

In some churchyards we passed in Norway, a mere cross of wood marks the
grave. Now and then we observed a railing round a grave, and
occasionally, but very seldom, a marble head-stone, with an inscription.
Then we came to birch woods, and a beautiful road along the side of the
lake. Sometimes, as we journeyed close to the water edge, shaded by
lofty rocks, our gipsies, as they caught sight of the large trout, would
exclaim--“Dawdy, what a borrieck matcho!”[112]

In the Lille Mjosen, we observed nets set with floats. Spruce fir is the
predominant tree of this district. The scenery is very beautiful; wood,
mountain, rock, and water in great perfection.

Our gipsies pushed the donkeys on rapidly; some- times on the trot.
About one o’clock we saw to the right of the road “Öiloe Station.”

We were delighted with the scenery of this place. Sending Esmeralda and
Zachariah on with the baggage, with instructions to halt at the first
convenient place, we went with Noah up the road to the station.

We had to forage for bread. The mistress of the station, a portly
good-natured woman, looked out of an upstairs window, as we came up.
When we entered the old house, we were surprised to meet our friend,
from the “Poet’s House,” at the Bydgin Lake. It seems he was waiting for
a carriole to take him on. Through his kind assistance, the mistress
spared us part of a loaf, six eggs, and some fladbröd, for sixteen
skillings. Noah at once took possession of the provisions.

The mistress, who was a fine-looking woman, possessing some remains of
former beauty, took us upstairs. It was a sort of large guest room, with
two windows, and three or four beds. The station seemed to have been a
perfect nest of artists. We were not surprised. The scenery around was
lovely. Not that it was as impressive, as that we had lately left; but
all the elements which entrance, and captivate the mind, of those who
seek nature, were there. The artists had left their marks. One artist of
the name of Lorck, had, on the morning of his departure, painted his
watch on the wall, above the head of his bed. When he had left, the
pige, thinking he had forgotten it, attempted to take it down. Another
had painted a key on the wall, almost, if not quite equal to the one on
the wall of Wiertz’s celebrated, and singular Musée at Bruxelles. There
was also a landscape scene painted on the wall, of another part of the
room, over one of the beds.

Of course the pencil of an industrious countryman was busy- “W.J.
Phillips, Prestwich, 20-7-70.” Then we were shown a small likeness of
Eckersberg the artist, which represented him as dressed in a red coat;
the portrait had been painted by himself. We were told he had died three
weeks before our visit, and the artist would never again visit the
scenes which had afforded so many subjects for his pencil.

Then the hostess produced two girdles for sale, the owners being poor
and wanting money. We at last bought one of the girdles as a souvenir--a
Norwegian maiden’s girdle.

[Illustration: NORWEGIAN MAIDEN’S BELT, ÖILOE.]

An engraving is now given of the belt. The ornaments and fastening are
all in brass. The only similar belt we saw in Norway, was worn by the
little dark woman, who visited our tents at Laugaard.

The hostess afterwards brought us some milk, for which she would not
make any charge. In fact, our Bygdin friend, the hostess, ourself, and
Noah, had quite a delightful conversazione. Vague news was of course
given about the war.

When we had just descended the extremely primitive stairs, and were
going out of the door, the husband met us. He gave a sort of suppressed
shriek, when he saw Noah with the provisions. Our friend from the Bygdin
Lake, and the man’s tall wife, said some words to him. Noah had
certainly not taken the watch and key painted on the guest-room wall.
Whatever they said, the effect was magical; the husband disappeared.
With kindly salutations, we left the abode of artists.

What a charming spot Esmeralda had selected for the mid-day’s halt, at a
short distance from the station, where the road traversed some new-mown,
parky-looking ground, open to the road; they had unloaded near a clump
of trees.

The river from the Lille Mjösen Lake, broken into picturesque rapids,
was close to us. Esmeralda was seated midst the baggage, and the donkeys
were grazing near. Zachariah was at once started to fish for the
commissariat, and afterwards returned with seven delicious trout; one
was a very fine one, one foot three inches long; beautifully pink. For
our middags-mad, we had eggs, potatoes, fladbröd, and cheese. Our friend
from the Bygdin Lake, soon after passed along the road, _en route_ to
Christiania, and waved his _adieux_. Several carrioles and carriages
passed along the road towards Bergen. Some were apparently English
travellers, and seemed rather astonished to see a party of gipsies near
the roadside.

Occasionally the travellers looked with curious interest, as they
contemplated, _en passant_, our mode of travelling. It was a glorious
warm sun, and we enjoyed our halt amid the lovely scene.

The animals are reloaded, and we are odd at half-past three o’clock.
Shortly afterwards we were overtaken by a German smoking in his
stolkjœrre. Very much interested he seemed in our cavalcade, and
evidently took us for strolling players and musicians. He passed, and
then pulled up; stared, lingered, and ultimately offered Esmeralda a
seat in his stolkjœrre. She declined his offer. Then he pressed it. We
then came up, and told him our party always preferred walking. He asked
us what we performed, and begged our pardon when he was told we
travelled for our pleasure, with our tent, and baggage, to see the
country.

The German said--“You are looking well; it agrees with you. I prefer to
travel faster. I do fourteen Norsk miles a day (ninety-eight English).
Wish you all a pleasant journey.” And he drove off towards Christiania.

The road was very pleasant. Sometimes through forest, sometimes through
the cultivated enclosure of a gaard. A young Norwegian passed us at one
place, who spoke English. In passing through a forest, Noah picked up a
small spruce fir which was uprooted, and was lying by the way. This
replaced his broken alpenstock. It was carefully peeled, and made into a
respectable walking staff.

At a short distance from Stee, we came in sight of the river, and a fall
of water, near some saw-mills, apparently closed during the absence of
the workmen at the harvest. All were now busy in the fields. In Norway
the summer is short. To harvest quickly is a matter of pressing
necessity. Everything gives place to the harvest. A tolerably quick man
on a farm, we were told, earned about twenty dollars a year
wages--rather more than four pounds English--his food lodging, two
pairs of shoes and two pairs of stockings, and two shirts. Men engaged
by the day receive, we were told, about one mark twelve skillings.

Near the mills, a stream of water crossed the road from a thick wood on
the left. The stream afterwards joined the river near the mills. Through
the wood, there was a pathway leading to some open broken ground
surrounded by trees. It was a pleasant secluded spot, not far from the
road. Here we camped. Our aftens-mad consisted of fried trout, tea, and
barley-meal cakes made in the frying pan. Zachariah caught seven trout,
and Noah three trout, in the river. We went after tea to fish, but it
was almost dark, and we returned to our camp.

In the early morning, at twenty minutes to four o’clock, when we got up,
the air was rather cold. Our fire being lighted, we had for breakfast
fried trout, fladbröd, and tea. Zachariah went fishing, whilst Noah was
having his matutinal wash. Esmeralda, seated near the fire, commenced.
She was sorely grieved to think we should part with the donkeys. The
poor animals would be left to be ill used in a strange country. She did
not like to part with things she was used to, after they had gone with
us so many miles. She looked as if we were going to have them shot
immediately after we arrived at Christiania.

She pleaded so earnestly on their behalf, that she would have won the
heart of any one of the members of the Humane Society, if he had been
present.

What could we do? One, of course, was promised to our friend the
chevalier; but the other two? These were not promised. We, of course,
took what our hobbenengree had said into consideration.

It was a lovely morning, when the sun was up. In the first burst of its
splendour, we watched its broken rays, gild the waters of the shaded
stream, near our camp. How rich in colouring, the tinted moss on the
broken rocks. We could have lingered long in contemplation. Yet our
party must quickly move. Our tents are struck, and we are again _en
route_.

Zachariah tried with his rod and line, as we went along the road, but
without success, and at last he put up his tackle.

Shortly afterwards we arrived at the Stee Station. The house was not far
from the road on our left. Taking Noah with us, we went up to purchase
for our commissariat.

The guest-chamber is tolerably large, and well lighted, but not very
lofty. All the furniture was in the old Norwegian style. On the walls we
noticed likenesses of Prindsesse Alexandra og Prindsen af Wales; also
Eugenie Keiserinde and Napoleon 3rd Keiser af Frankrig.

Two travellers appeared below with carrioles. The very civil and
obliging mistress, we supposed her to be, of the Stee Station, soon
provided us with a beautifully cooked pink trout from the Slidre Fjord,
fladbröd, eggs and potatoes and butter, for which we paid--

                _m._ _s._
  Fladbröd       1   0
  Fiske          0  12
  12 eggs.       0  12
  1 lb butter    1   0
  Potatoes       1   0
                 -----
                 4   0

Then our young Norwegian hostess came down to the road, with one or two
piges of the house, to see our donkeys, and have a chat with us, each
knowing very little of what the other said. Yet it is astonishing how we
managed to make ourselves understood, with our small vocabulary of
Norwegian words. They wanted us to play, but Zachariah’s violin was out
of order, and time pressed. Bidding them all farewell, we were once more
_en route_.

The Stee Station is pleasantly situated, not far from the Slidre Fjord.
Bears and game are said to be in plenty in the neighbourhood; and we are
able to say that the trout are excellent. Those caught by Mephistopheles
in the river, a short distance before we came to Stee, at our last camp,
were delicious. Very shortly after we had left Stee, the melancholy
discovery was made, that our donkey’s tether-rope, and neck-strap, had
been left behind at the last camp.

General recrimination among our gipsies. Esmeralda had unloosed the Puru
Rawnee the first thing in the morning, to give it more liberty, and the
rope was left on the ground. Noah thought it was put up. Well, after
all, it may be of some use to those who found it. They had no chance of
restoring it, and we managed without, during the rest of our travels.

Now we were again in enclosures. The road lay along the left shore, and
a short distance along the length of “Slidre Fjord.” It is a long, and
considerable extent of water.

Our party had not gone very far, when we passed an excellent house on
the right of the road--much better than those generally seen. Soon
after, when we had partly passed down the short descent beyond the
house, a gentleman came after us. As he came up and addressed us, we at
once called a halt.

Two ladies then joined him. The gentleman was a pale, and exceedingly
intellectual-looking man. We understood him to say that he had seen some
account of us in the _Times_. Afterwards, we heard him addressed as
Doctor.

Directly after, some more ladies came down the hill from the opposite
direction, accompanied by one or two young gentlemen. One, a tall,
gentlemanly, amiable, young Norwegian, is especially selected to
converse with us in English, and act as interpreter.

In very good English he said, “I pray you, sir, speak slowly, and I can
understand you.” We did so, and managed exceedingly well.

Our visitors had now increased to quite a large party of ladies and
gentlemen, all surrounding our gipsies and donkeys, talking, discussing,
asking questions, all in one breath. It was quite a roadside scene, as
we almost blocked up the narrow part of the way at the foot of two short
ascents. The sun was exceedingly hot, fiery, and bright.

Just at this moment, a lady in a carriole, driven by her skydskarl, came
down the rather steep descent towards us. She was of English
_distinguée_ type of beauty, and did not appear either comfortable, or
delighted with her mode of travelling. There was a pallor on her
countenance; she seemed nervous and delicate.

Another carriole, coming immediately behind, was driven by a nice,
good-humoured, handsome fellow, we judged to be her husband. His wife,
who did not speak, had, like many who journey through life, a care-worn
impress written on every line of her thoughtful countenance.

They had scarcely gone past, when the English traveller suddenly pulled
up, and we had a few minutes’ converse. We thought he seemed, half to
envy our independent mode of travelling, for at parting he said, “Just
the thing I should like,” and, smiling, wished us a pleasant journey.

After our English travellers had left us, we found our visitors still
interested in our gipsies, animals, and baggage. Noah soon unpacked our
tin box, and we presented one of our songs to the Doctor, one to the
young gentleman who spoke English, and one to a very pleasant, kind,
amiable lady of the party.

Whilst Noah was rearranging our baggage, the young gentleman who spoke
English said, “Come further, where there is ombre.” Very shortly we came
to another exceedingly comfortable, good-sized house, standing in its
nice pleasant garden, with an approach from the road. The “Slidre Fjord”
was below it, and the situation was delightful. There they pressed us to
remain, and take rest; we would find shade and convenience. Finding we
could not stay, one of the ladies ordered her servants to bring out
bottled Baiersk öl and glasses, and a large jug of excellent draught
beer, which at last we consented to have. We halted ’neath the shade of
a tree which overhung the road. Our gipsies were very thirsty; we were
obliged to be very firm as to quantity. Our kind friends pressed us much
to stay with our tents, but our time was limited.

Then our guitar, and Zachariah’s violin were tuned up: the heat and
knocking about had not improved their tone. We sang for our kind
entertainers our gipsy song. Afterwards, three of the young ladies (and
they were very good-looking), joined by one of the young gentlemen, sang
for us. Very nicely they sang; one held a small book of Norwegian songs,
to assist the memory. Noah and Zachariah afterwards gave them some
music, with their violin and tambourine.

The lady had fruit brought out. In all our wanderings they were amongst
those whose acquaintance--alas! too short--will always be remembered
with pleasure.

Time passes rapidly. The gipsies’ instruments are put up. The kind
Norwegian lady gave Esmeralda a bouquet of flowers from her garden.
There was much in this present, which drew us still closer, in our
appreciation of her friendly thought. The heroine of our book receives a
bouquet of flowers! It is not thrown down at her feet, with the
grandiose air of “There, take it!” It is given her by one whose amiable
spirit had our sympathy, and for whom we felt at that moment we could
have risked much. She had given the bouquet to the heroine of our
wanderings--Esmeralda, the true, not the fictitious, heroine of this
book!

The young gentleman who spoke English expressed in English terms their
good wishes. They were thoroughly good people, with all the refinement,
and gentleness of those best feelings, which should predominate in our
nature. As we went out of sight, in passing a turn of the road, we saw
them in the distance, waving their handkerchiefs in parting adieux.

It was now midday; the sun was intensely hot. Our animals, who could
stand almost anything, seemed oppressed with the heat. We had, we
believe, just left “Lomen.” There were enclosures on both sides the
road; no convenient place to give us shade and rest. We must push on.
Each day, as we wandered on, we never knew where we should dine or
sleep.

The district we now passed through was well cultivated. Many gaards on
each side the road. The peasants were busy with their harvest. Even
their anxiety to make provision for the winter of life did not prevent
them from running, at times, with excited and unwonted energy, to the
road fences to see us go by.

At one place, we observed a tall peasant running down a steep declivity;
in his hurry he had left one of his shoes behind, one on and the other
off. “Here comes neck or nothing,” said Esmeralda, as he nearly took a
header down a steep rock.

Still we had to keep on. Small patches of hops, we noticed at some of
the gaards, perhaps a few perches; never, we remember, more than a rood.
Yet they seemed to grow luxuriantly. Trailing in their rich foliage, and
blossoms, they are always an interesting feature in any scene. Now and
then, we noticed hemp. There was a well-to-do appearance in this
district.

We had gone some distance in the heat of the sun, travel-worn, and
dusty; at last we descended a steep declivity, and on our left we
perceived a rough piece of open ground, covered with scattered trees and
bushes, sloping to a dingle. A cool, clear stream, rippled near an old
mill, and crossed the road. The road descended, and again as rapidly
ascended. All was secluded.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

    Now, where is the kettle? so hungry are we,
    Surely our supper the next thing must be;
    The fire already is blazing up high,
    And asking for rashers of bacon to fry;
    The damper is perfect, the pannikin’s found,
    And all laid out on the banqueting-ground;
    When everything’s ready, I have not a doubt
    A monarch might envy our “camping out.”

    _Bush Flowers from Australia._


    AN ENGLISH FISHERMAN--THE HAUNTED MILL--THE TOURIST’S
    PURCHASE--NOAH’S GOOD FORTUNE--THE STRAND FJORD--A WOMAN’S
    CURIOSITY--THE HEROINE OF OUR BOOK--A NORWEGIAN SEAMAN--THE
    MISTAKEN MANSION--THE AURDAL CHURCH--FRYDENLAND STATION--A
    ROADSIDE HALT--THE APPRECIATED GIFT--THE SEVERE YOUNG LADY--THE
    KIND-HEARTED PEASANT--KRŒMMERMOEN--IMPULSE AND REASON.


What delicious shade. Our water was soon boiling near the old mill. Our
readers must not suppose the mill was a large one; it was about four
times as large as a good-sized sentry-box. We may have even exaggerated
the size. Norwegian mills are not on the ponderous scale of English
ones.

The middags-mad consisted of our Stee trout cold. It was a fine trout,
either steamed or boiled. In the heat of the day, the trout was
pronounced by our gourmand gipsies excellent; some vinegar was allowed
with it, besides tea, fladbröd, butter, and fried eggs.

The time had marked two o’clock when we arrived. The pleasant slope of
green turf where we sat commanded the road. Whilst we were taking our
midday meal, two Englishmen, one having a fishing-basket slung over his
shoulder, passed in a stolkjœrre. Then we saw two young Norwegian
tourists, in their high laced-up boots, one of whom carried a skin
knapsack; they were pushing on at a swinging pace. Noah and Zachariah of
course fell asleep. Esmeralda went to the old mill, and fancied she
heard a curious moaning sound, something like groaning in it. We did not
investigate it; besides, the mill was fastened; neither had we any
permission from the owner to go into his mill--sit up in a haunted mill
a few feet square! If the wheel should be turned by the ghost, where
should we be? Ground to flour, eaten by a Norwegian for his
middags-mad--made into fladbröd, and eaten by some English tourist. If
we are to see ghosts, let it be in an old castle, family mansion, or the
ruins of an abbey; but a mill;--besides, where was the owner?

As we sat on the green slope, we observed a wooded promontory,
stretching into the fjord, below the road, and sent Noah to reconnoitre
for camping ground. The Tarno Rye, we found, had a sore back; our
bruise-mixture was applied. Noah reported unfavourably for remaining.
The donkeys were loaded, and we quickly left the dingle, and the haunted
mill. Somehow we had lingered, and lounged, in the pleasant shade, till
after five o’clock. _En àvant_ was the word; away went tall Noah in
advance, with the Puru Rawnee before him, the rest following, bag and
baggage, as hard as the party could go, Noah with his coat off and his
trowsers tucked up.

In the distance we could see Ulnœs church, near the “Strand Fjord.” Now
we met a party of English tourists, bent upon enjoying themselves.
Donkeys are drawn up in line for them to pass as we push on, with Noah
in front. One said “Hvor meget,” pointing to Noah’s stick; probably he
took us for Norwegian gipsies. Noah made no demur. The fir staff was in
the Englishman’s hands in two seconds, whilst the gipsy pocketed two
coins, which, we believe, made him one mark two skillings richer. Our
passing was so hasty, that nothing more was said, as the jovial party,
with much glee, carried with them Noah’s staff, as a souvenir of the
incidents of travel.

Noah was well chaffed by Zachariah and Esmeralda. Noah was in high glee;
he had sold the stick he had picked up yesterday, for one mark two
skillings. Mephistopheles was miserable with vexation, that he had not a
fir stick, to sell at one mark two skillings, to some English tourist. A
division was even suggested. As the shorengro of the party, we should
have come in for the lion’s share. Nay, there is a precedent in Isaac
Walton, where the gipsies divide a sovereign. Esmeralda supported the
idea, but the suggestion was without result.

Very shortly after we had passed Ulnœs church, we saw a peasant standing
on the roadside. His gaard was not far from the road. At first, when we
asked him, he said he had no fladbröd, but afterwards said “Ya.”
Esmeralda and ourself went down to his house. First, he brought down two
very large rounds of fladbröd. When we gave him a mark, he gave us half
a mark back, and brought four more large rounds down. One large round of
fladbröd generally costs two skillings.

It is difficult to purchase, even fladbröd, in harvest time: most of the
peasants are away from their houses. If we had not been provided with a
good commissariat, and had trusted to what provisions we could purchase,
our party would have, indeed, fared very badly during their wanderings.

It was now getting dusk. We were near the shores of the Strand Fjord;
nothing but inclosures met our view on either side the road; we must
soon camp somewhere. It was nearly nine o’clock, when we came to a
steep, barren, stony bank above the road. The upper portion was scantily
wooded with birch trees and bushes. Hobson’s choice. The donkeys were
unloaded, a fire lighted, and our baggage put on the only available
ground, behind a low rock, just above the road.

Our aftens-mad was not lively. Midges and musketos attacked us on every
side. Esmeralda got the water for tea from the fjord; she had to go from
the road, across some enclosure, belonging to a cottage near. The woman
shortly after came up to the road fence. Mephistopheles was interrogated
in Norsk. Mephistopheles did not understand a word the woman said.
Mephistopheles was extremely civil, saying “Ya, ya,” to every question
she asked. At length she wound up with “Hvor fra” (where from?). To
which Mephistopheles answered, “Coryadreadaminch.” The woman immediately
left.

Very soon after we had halted, the loss was announced of the brass
fishing-reel, from the fishing-rod, Zachariah had been using. Zachariah
had forgotten to take it off the rod in the morning.

Notwithstanding our tent was pitched on the only available spot,
consisting of loose angular stones, in spite of midges and musketos, we
were soon sound asleep. The English gipsies in Norway, were long past
that deplorable state of modern effeminacy, when you are unable to sleep
comfortably on a gorse bush, with a bundle of thorns for a pillow.

It had thundered, and lightened, and rained heavily in the night. We
were all fearfully bitten with musketos. Noah had been unable to sleep;
Esmeralda not much better. Mephistopheles slept the best.

Being Saturday, the 13th August, we were anxious to secure a good
camping-ground for our Sunday’s rest, and another day of quiet and
repose. At three o’clock in the morning our gipsies struck the tents.
The frokost consisted of tea, bacon, potatoes, cheese, and fladbröd.
Esmeralda was rather bilious, with a sore lip. Our anxiety was great for
the health of our Hobbenengree. Supposing anything happened to
Esmeralda, the heroine of this book would be lost; and what is a book
without a heroine? The Birmingham bagman would at once decline the work,
as not according to contract. It would have been utterly impossible to
supply her loss. There is no second Esmeralda--none like her. In truth,
with all her tempers, all her faults, Esmeralda was the spirit of our
wanderings. The pure Romnechal of our expedition.

Our donkeys were nearly loaded, when we were surprised by the apparition
of a tall seaman, standing in the road close by. He informed us he had
stayed the night at the house near--the same, probably, where our
friend, the woman of the previous evening, lived. His ship had been lost
near Throndhjem, and he was now going to Bergen. Had been in America;
spoke English very well, with a strong American accent. We gave him a
dram of brandy, and two skillings; whereupon he said, “It’s d--d bad for
you not speaking Norsk,” and wishing us a good voyage, departed.

Before six o’clock we were _en route_. The rain had laid the dust; the
morning was cloudy. There were two fishermen’s boats on the Strand
Fjord. We passed the Strand Kirke. The scenery was very picturesque,
rocks towering above us on our left, the Strand Fjord on our right. Some
goats were racing and jumping on the narrow crags of a steep precipice
above us.

Coming to some saw-mills, we crossed a wild ravine. Shortly after
passing through a fir wood, we came in sight of the Fagernœs station. A
shop is said to be attached to it. Upon inquiry, we found they had no
shop, and we could not purchase anything. Some people came out to look
at our donkeys, and we were soon _en route_.

The district through which we now passed seemed more populated, and is
called North Aurdal. Two English tourists overtook us; one had a
fishing-basket, and said he had not had much sport. He shortly after
changed horses with a post-man, opposite a large building to our right.
At first we took it for a gentleman’s mansion. It was the second
building of stone, we had seen, since we left Lillehammer. All was
neatness, with a drive to it from the road. When the English tourist
changed horses in the road, opposite the entrance, we thought it might
be a very first-class station. When we came up, and had some
conversation with a very pleasant, well-dressed Norwegian, who was
standing at the entrance, we found it was the gaol of the North Aurdal.
He spoke English well, and had been in America. It is very probable he
was the governor. They have a nice church at Aurdal, and a pleasant
graveyard, close to the road. The wooden crosses were in the usual
style. There was one simple marble monument, bearing an inscription; we
notice it, for its brevity--

     Christopher Rogge
    Tódt 21 April, 1863,
      Dod Nov., 1865.

As we came towards the Frydenland station, there were many houses along
the roadside; some, apparently, for private residence. Two well-dressed
young ladies passed us, and one smiled so pleasantly, that we could not
omit the politeness of lifting our hat.

The Frydenland station is close to the road, and seemed very
comfortable. They have a good-sized sitting-room, with a sofa, and all
is exceedingly clean. The mistress was very civil and attentive. Whilst
she provided us with three loaves of excellent bread, and a pound of
good butter, we discussed a bottle of baiersk öl in the sitting-room.
Noah and Zachariah came in for their share. Esmeralda took charge of our
baggage outside. Our bread, butter, and bottle of öl cost two marks
twelve skillings. As we came out into the road, the donkeys had found
their admirers. A tall old gentleman with an immense hat, a stout lady,
and a young lady, from a neighbouring house, and several people, were
inspecting our animals and baggage. As we left, we exchanged
good-humoured salutations, and their looks implied their best wishes for
our _bon voyage_.

About twelve o’clock we approached to very nearly the turn from the main
road towards “Krœmmermoen.” Coming to a large wooden trough on the
roadside, supplied with clear water by a wooden spout from the rocks
above, we called a halt. On the opposite side the road, a convenient
space had been left, with a long wooden bench for travellers to sit
upon. This is an excellent provision for the convenience of the
wayfarer, which might be copied with advantage in England. Below the
stone wall, along the roadside, the ground sloped to a valley.

Our baggage was all heaped behind the bench against the wall. A fire was
lighted in the rocks above the road, and our water soon boiled for tea.
A peasant, who lived at a house near, soon came down the road. He was a
strong, powerful, intelligent-looking man, dressed in leather
knee-breeches, woollen stockings, large shoes, one brace, and a spotted
woollen shirt. The man was soon joined, by two comely, young,
good-humoured females, probably his daughters. Then a peasant woman came
from another house; soon after, a tall man came from we don’t know
where. Peen giœre! Peen giœre! they all exclaimed, as they gazed in
bewildered admiration at our donkeys. Out came the flask. We like to
have our things admired. Out came the tobacco, and the man in leather
breeches, borrowed a pipe from the tall man, and began to smoke. We were
evidently looked upon as strolling actors of the better sort; yet the
donkeys were their chief delight. Then they were much interested in our
mode of making our tea in the Australian fashion, putting the tea into
the boiling water, and reversing the usual mode. At length all, except
one woman, and one or two children, left us. After the sardines were
gone we presented the woman with the empty sardine box, whereupon she
seized us by the hand, and shook hands, and immediately afterwards left,
probably to place it in the strong armoire of her salle à manger.

Then, as we were at our middags-mad, a carriage and pair came in view,
_en route_ towards Bergen. Our Tarno Rye stood in the road. Noah was
detached, but the Tarno Rye took himself off to the roadside, as soon as
he saw the carriage.

The skydskarl was driving. A young lady was seated in front by the
driver. An old gentleman and lady, probably her parents, were behind.
Never shall we forget the young lady as the carriage came near our Tarno
Rye. With desperate eagerness she suddenly snatched the whip from the
boy. Then she dealt with all her might one vigorous stroke at our Tarno
Rye, who was quietly standing on the roadside. We were amused at the
expression of determination, and serious earnestness her countenance
assumed. It is dreadful to think that our gallant Tarno Rye, after all
his wanderings, was so nearly annihilated. What would Esmeralda have
done? Fortunately our Tarno Rye, like the little jackdaw, in the
Ingoldsby legend, was never a penny the worse.

Immediately after the carriage passed us, we saw what we at once knew
before, that she was English. A heavy shower of rain came on soon
afterwards, and, covering our baggage with the waterproof, we all
availed ourselves of the same shelter. Our friend, the Norwegian farmer,
came down the road through the pouring rain, and asked us to take
shelter in his house. We explained that our covering was waterproof. He
said something about our being wanderers, pointing good-naturedly
towards his house, and then left. He had come through the rain himself,
to offer us shelter and hospitality.

The rain cleared a little at half-past four o’clock, and we left at
five. The farmer came down again. We gave him one of our gipsy songs as
a souvenir, and he seemed much pleased. Afterwards, he came and showed
us the turn from the Bergen and “Gjövig” road to Krœmmermoen. Shaking
hands, he left us, with many wishes for our prosperous journey.

The road towards Krœmmermoen was similar to one of our English country
lanes, very pleasant, and picturesque. At times we passed through thick
fir woods open to the road. It soon rained heavily. Noah and Zachariah
had no overcoats or change, and were obliged to take their wetting
philosophically. At some places we tried for fladbröd, but in vain. One
woman came across a field, with wild fruit to sell us. We did not take
the fruit; but as she stood in the wet, we could not help giving her
some recompense. Ultimately, we came to the edge of a tremendous
declivity. If you make a zigzag road down the outside of St. Paul’s, you
have got it. A very small piece of broken ground lay on our right, at
the edge of the steep precipitous descent. On this we drove the donkeys.
Just then, up drove a carriole, and we recognised one of the young
gentlemen from Lomen. The carriole was one of the best we had seen, and
was drawn by a beautiful Norwegian pony. Directly the pony caught sight
of our donkeys, out got our friend, with the inevitable p-r-r-rh
p-r-r-r-rh. The pony, with Noah’s assistance, was safely led past. Then
our Norwegian friend came to us, and we conversed, as well as our
knowledge of each other’s language would allow. When he was gone, Noah
and Zachariah were dispatched to seek a camp-ground, lower down the
hill, nearer to Krœmmermoen. We were now above the deep and charming
valley of Lille Bang. The rain drizzled down occasionally, as we stood
on the broken ground, at the edge of a deep, wooded steep. One donkey
lay down with its load. Esmeralda in her long cloak, paced the wet turf,
hot, and fiery. Our beautiful Puru Rawnee had given her some offence. It
seldom rains but it pours. The Tarno Rye had escaped a young English
lady, and now our Puru Rawnee, was to be knocked down by the heroine of
our book. Very likely! Supposing our Puru Rawnee killed! what then? The
Birmingham bagman will refuse his two copies. “You’ve fallen short.
Don’t find the Puru Rawnee at the end; contract not complete.” Esmeralda
makes a dash at our beautiful donkey; her dark eyes flash fire. The
spirit of the young English lady pales before her. If the young English
lady had been there, it is probable she would have learned a lesson in
humanity. We interposed. Fancy a studious, thoughtful, wanderer of
nature, staying, for the moment, the torrent of impetuous feeling of the
tall handsome gipsy-girl, Esmeralda, about to overwhelm the beautiful
Puru Rawnee, at the edge of a wooded steep, in the mizzling rain, of a
Norwegian summer’s eve! Gipsies are creatures of impulse. Few words said
we. Strong, and impetuous as were the passions of our heroine, she had a
heart--at times, could deeply feel. The Puru Rawnee escaped unhurt.



CHAPTER XXXIX.

    Helpe me wonder, her’s a booke
    Where I would for ever looke.
    Never did a gipsie trace
    Smoother lines in hands or face;
    Venus here doth Saturne move,
    That you should be the Queene of Love.

    _Masque of Gipsies._ BEN JONSON.[113]


    THE GIPSY SIGNAL--OUR AUSTRALIAN MEAT--THE FAIR POETESS--OUR
    FRIEND FROM EISBOD ILL--THE RYE’S UNWELL--THE LEHNSMŒND OF
    BANG--THE FERRYMAN AND SON--WE CROSS THE BEINA--TATERSPROG--A
    KIND FAMILY--STORSVEEN STATION--SECLUDED VALLEY--A TOURIST LELS
    US--ESMERALDA’S ADVENTURE--THE PEASANT WOMEN’S SONG--SORUM
    STATION--TENTS PITCHED BY A LAGOON--NŒS--NO HORSEBOAT--IMPROMPTU
    HORSEBOAT--HOW WE GOT ACROSS--A RIVER SCENE.


In a short time, Esmeralda and ourself slowly descended the steep
winding road towards Krœmmermoen, as we heard the gipsy’s whistle in the
distance. Evening was fast closing. The road wound zigzag round the head
of a deep gorge. Soon afterwards, to our left above the road, we saw
Noah, with a fire blazing in the rocks.

It was a retired nook of the road, which had been almost made on
purpose. The last of our Cheddar cheese was brought out for our evening
meal. The cheese had kept good through all our wanderings. We had also
tea, broiled ham, and what remained of our fladbröd. A few people
passing down the road, came up to our tents. Night closed in, and the
wanderers, after their long day’s journey, were soon soundly asleep.

Heavy rain fell in the night. We were up in good time next morning. For
frokost, we had biscuits, and butter and tea. The morning was showery;
but many visitors came to see us. Then the Lehnsmœnd, a brother, we
think, of the Prœst of Bang, came to our tents. The herre had a young
lady, we believe a niece, with him. He was a pleasant, gentlemanly man,
who spoke English very well. After we had shown him our tents, he said,
if we stayed the next day, he should be happy to introduce us to his
brother. As he left our camp, we presented him with our gipsy song, as a
souvenir.

A tin of preserved Australian meat was opened. Really this meat is
excellent. What could be better? Even our gipsies were perfectly
satisfied, and thoroughly enjoyed it. With some boiled potatoes, we made
an excellent middags-mad.

At five o’clock we sent Noah and Zachariah down to Krœmmermoen to buy
bread. They met with our friend from Eisbod, on the Bygdin Lake. He had
been taken ill, and could not proceed on his journey.

Whilst they were away, some young ladies came to our camp, and sat on
the rocks near. At last one bowed to Esmeralda, who spoke to her, and
asked her to take a seat in our tent; but she hesitated. We went to
them. They seemed much interested in our tent life. The young lady, who
spoke English, said she was merely a visitor at Bang. She expatiated on
the beauties of the valley, and then she asked us, if we would kindly
give her one of our songs. She said she had written some verses herself,
and begged our acceptance of them. The young Norwegian lady had very
pleasing manners--something winning and charming. Perhaps she had not
the highest type of beauty; still there was a power to fascinate, such
as we had not often met with, even in those of a more perfect mould--a
softness, a gentleness of manner, always accompanied with goodness of
disposition, and kindness of heart. Poetry! Yes; it vibrated in every
word she spoke. Could we refuse her anything? Two copies of our songs
were brought forth from the recesses of our tin box. We presented one,
to our fair visitor, and the other, to one of her friends. There was a
third; but unfortunately we had forgotten there were three
lady-visitors. The verses presented to us we shall prize. Reader, we
must give them place in this account of our wanderings. Our book would
be incomplete without them.

The following are the Norwegian verses. The translation we have had
made, is also given with them. Our readers will not now be surprised
that we admired the beautiful scenery of Lille Bang.


    1.

    Hvor deiligt er det lille Bang
      Naturen mig indbyder,
    Til ret at stemme i en Sang
      Som udaf Hjertet lyder.

    2.

    Hvad er det dog som mangler her?
      Alt i en skjön Forening,
    Naturens Krœfter i sig bier
      Derom er kun een Mening.

    3.

    Sig Fjeldet slynger i en Krands
      Om Dalens Yndigheder;
    Hvor Elven i en lang Runddands,
      Let gjennem denne swœver.

    4.

    Ved Siden af den stille Elv,
      Sig frem med Bulder trœnger,
    Det rige store Fossevœld,
      Og Klippens Masser spranger.

    5.

    Ei heller Skovens Dunkelhed,
      Man blandt det Andet savner,
    Thi Fjeldet prydet er dermed,
      Og Dalens Skyöd den favner.

    6.

    Hvad staaer der da tilbage som,
      Det lille Bang ei eier?
    Hvis du det kan saa Kom o Kom
      Naturen alt opveier.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Sweet lille Bang, delightful spot;
      Nature herself, impelling,
    Bids me pour forth such tuneful song,
      That now my heart’s o’erwelling.

    What now, then, may be wanting?
      All Nature’s powers combine,
    With order and with harmony,
      To perfect the design.

    The Fjeld-slopes’ flowery garlands
      Enwreath the little dale;
    And, winding in and outwards,
      The rippling streams prevail.

    Yet, ’twixt the banks so stilly,
      The murmuring waters flow,
    Till down a rapid torrent,
      Restless, on they go.

    Nor wanting from the gloam-land,
      ’Mid the grove’s secluded alley,
    Is the eider duck to give some life
      To hill-side and to valley.

    What charm is there yet wanting,
      Which lille Bang has not?
    Her voice invites all Nature
      To show a fairer spot.

Noah and Zachariah returned with the kagebröd, dark, heavy bread, with
carraway seeds in it.[114] Our friend from Eisbod had sent to say, he
would come up to our camp, if well enough. They had also made
acquaintance, with an old Norwegian, who resided near the village. He
showed them his violin, for which he wanted four dollars.

After we had finished our tea, bread, and butter, more visitors arrived.
One peasant was an important representative of royalty. He wore a large
waistcoat; on every button he had a photograph of some potentate. The
King and Queen of Sweden, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the King
of Sardinia, were among the number. His waistcoat, in fact, included
nearly all the crowned heads of Europe. After tea, we sat in the rocks
above our camp. The evening was very damp, and showery. When we
returned, our visitors were still sitting by our tents. Notwithstanding
heavy rain, they continued until about nine o’clock.

It was three o’clock in the morning when we were stirring. The Tarno
Rye’s back was much chafed. The donkeys had eaten the best part of one
of our pocket handkerchiefs, the day before. For frokost we had tea,
black-bread, and cheese.

The morning was cloudy, as we left our camp at half-past six o’clock. We
did not feel so well as usual. Our health had been excellent throughout.
As we passed a cottage, the gipsies pointed out the old man’s house,
with its flag, and large stone, with a photograph let into it, of his
majesty Carl John.[115]

When we came to the Krœmmermoen station soon afterwards, Noah and
Zachariah were sent to buy bread, and wire at the shop. The station is
apparently exceedingly comfortable. Esmeralda went on with the baggage.
Going up stairs, we were shown into our friend’s bed-room. Our friend
from Eisbod was in bed looking very pale and unwell. Something had
disagreed with him, and he had not been well since he left Skogstad.
Apparently he had a severe attack of diarrhœa. Our bread cost us one
mark, potatoes four skillings, and wire ten skillings.

As we left our friend, he said he should try and continue his journey
the same morning. It seemed as if we were ever destined to pass, and
repass, and meet continually.

When we overtook our baggage shortly after, near the village church of
Bang, we found our lady visitors of the previous day, and the Lehnsmœnd,
and their friends, assembled, to give us their parting good wishes. Much
we regretted, that our time did not permit us to stay another day. Bang
is delightfully situated. However powerful the description, there is
much that the poet’s pen, will fail to convey.

The Lehnsmœnd, our agreeable visitor of the previous day, the young
gentleman we had seen at Lomen on the Slidre Fjord, the ladies,
especially our fair visitor, who had given us the verses, were as
charming as before. All united to say to us “_Bon voyage_,” as we left
the lovely dale of Lille Bang.[116]

After we had left Bang, the road reached the river’s bank. Fortunately
there was a horse-boat, with a landing and all complete. The ferry-house
was on the other side; the river Beina was before us. The old man at the
ferry wore breeches and stockings, and very large shoes. He was heavy,
stooping, and slow, and was followed by his son, who was his duplicate,
in large baggy trousers, and immense shoes, and a shade slower still.
They were a perfect study. A draper’s assistant would have measured up
their time, at five minutes the yard. Both had a sparkle of comicality
in their eyes, as they helped our gipsies to carry our baggage from the
donkeys into the boat. Strange to say, the donkeys walked on to the
horse-boat, without a moment’s hesitation. The old man rowed with two
very large oars, whilst his son slowly used a shaft.

The boat reached the opposite bank, and the donkeys were safely landed.
Two females, we took for his wife and daughter, came to a fence to look
at our donkeys. The old man began to assist in taking our baggage on
shore. Presently Mephistopheles rushed on deck. The old man was slowly
dragging at a heavy pocket, which generally took the strength of Noah,
and ourself, to lift on to the Puru Rawnee. Suddenly Mephistopheles,
spinning the old man almost round, like a tee-to-tum, swung it over his
shoulder like a feather, and in two seconds deposited it on shore. We
shall never forget the old man’s look of amazement, and his son’s sudden
pause to take another look at Mephistopheles. Then Mephistopheles in his
hurry tumbled headlong over some bags, to the amusement of the two
ferrymen.

It was found that a rope had been left on the other side the river.
Mephistopheles jumped into a light pram, and by his rapidity, almost
tumbled the man’s son into the bottom of the boat. Away went
Mephistopheles, with two oars, splashing across the river. Now they are
coming back, the old man’s son sprawling in the stern, as he holds on,
with astonished look; whilst Mephistopheles, with fearful irregularity,
is sending the waters of the Beina in all directions.

Our gipsies are screaming with laughter. “Ha, ha! Uncle Sam coming from
Bosbury, a seaport town in England! Dik the Balo-Shero. Look at Elijah!
Why, he’s got a square nose.”

We were exceedingly thankful that our gipsies’ tatersprog and English
slang was never understood. “Coming from Bosbury,” had reference to a
question, a countryman once asked one of the tribe, “Where’s Bosbury?”
“Bosbury? why, it’s a seaport town in the middle of England, with lots
of ships!” “Well,” said the rustic, “I never heerd on it afore.”

Whilst the ferryman’s son was enjoying his rapid transit, his father,
mother, and sister, as we supposed them to be, were enjoying our brandy.
Of course, the son, when he did land, drank “gamle norge” to his happy
escape. It was not the first aquavit he had taken. Energy is catching;
they began to look quite sharp. Our transit cost twelve skillings.
Mephistopheles played them a tune on his Violin. The ferryman and family
seemed highly delighted. We left with their good wishes, to continue our
journey.

Still we became more and more unwell. Slowly we went on, until we came
to a large gaard, of superior size, and comfort.

The road passed through a large open meadow, shut in by gates, on the
banks of the river. Near the river the grass had been newly mown. The
farmer, and some of his family, came to see the donkeys, which the
gipsies halted for their inspection. The farmer’s wife asked if they
stood on their hind legs. The people seemed so kindly; the meadow so
charmingly situate, on the banks of the broad river, that we decided to
stay. We made the farmer, and his wife, understand that we wanted a mark
of fladbröd, and six skillings’ worth of milk. Esmeralda went to the
gaard for it. They nearly filled one large can full of milk. Noah in the
meantime lighted a fire, and made the gröd. The donkeys were driven
across a dry portion of the shingly bed of the river, to a green island
for rest and shade.

The farmer and his wife sat down near us. It was astonishing the kindly
interest they took. We fancy we looked ill and worn. At first we said
nothing to our gipsies. It may probably pass away, thought we. “Du
courage.” Esmeralda soon discovered that something was the matter with
the Rye, and we told her. Still we sat on the beautiful new mown turf,
gazing on the rapid broad flowing river, the farmer, and his wife and
family near. Then the donkeys were driven back for us to go. Some of the
family brought green corn, and green peas, for the donkeys to eat. Then
we gave the farmer’s wife a song, for, somehow, we seemed to have
established a friendship with them. The farmer’s wife seemed anxious to
know our name; so we wrote it on the back of the song, with the date.
Then she asked, whose wife Esmeralda was, and if we worked in metals.
They did not quite seem to understand, when we said we travelled for
pleasure. So we parted from the friendly farmer, and his wife, and
family, at about twelve o’clock, and continued our journey.

Passing the Höler Elv, we came towards Storsveen. Once a man came out of
a wood, hastily put up his scythe, and followed us. He wanted to see our
donkeys. The grain is stacked up in the fields, sheaf upon sheaf, round
poles, six feet high. Zachariah tried the river, but could not catch any
fish. It did not appear there were many.

Near Storsveen, we saw a pig with a broken nose. Soon after we had
passed the turn down to the Storsveen Station, we noticed behind us a
traveller. It was our friend from Eisbod, walking after us with his
knapsack. We had met again. Our friend said he was much better, and was
going to Storsveen; but seeing us before him, he had overtaken us. After
a pleasant converse, he returned to Storsveen Station to get a
conveyance, and said he should overtake us again.

Struggle as we would, we got worse. Our gipsies noticed it. They became
more silent. We told Noah to camp, at the first convenient spot. About
two o’clock we came to a beautiful part of the valley. All that we could
desire. The road passed through an amphitheatre of green turf, closed in
by rising rocks, covered with dense, and thickly hanging woods. In front
we had the broad river. A dry, level, shingly beach, stretched out, to
nearly the middle of the stream. On the opposite bank, to our right,
there was a magnificent cliff, above the river, clothed with wood. The
scene was well suited for a rest. Our gipsies quickly drove the donkeys
to a rising hillock, beneath the wood, a short distance from the road,
and pitched our tents. Our friend from Eisbod, came soon after in a
conveyance. Paying a short visit to our camp, he had one of our cigars,
a pleasant converse, and had almost recovered.

As he was leaving in his conveyance, two smart young tourists came along
the road; they were on foot. Their whole equipment was neatness, even to
the umbrella. As, very far from well, we sat near our tent, we could see
them in conference, with our friend from Eisbod. Immediately afterwards,
one produced a sketch-book, and apparently sketched the donkeys. Then he
appeared to be taking a sketch of our camp, and Esmeralda, and ourself.
Noah got up, and in an earnest tone said, “They are ‘lelling’ you, sir,”
and vanished off to the river, where Zachariah was disporting himself on
the shingly beach, with nothing on but his shirt.[117] They at last
appeared to have completed the sketch of our donkeys, and camp, for
suddenly the book was shut. They took off their hats; we, of course
returned the salute, and they continued their excursion. If we had not
been so unwell, we should have sought their acquaintance.

Very quietly we rested in our camp. Esmeralda did what she could. No one
came. It was just such a spot one could wish to die in. Yes; but who is
to write “Tent Life with the English Gipsies in Norway”? Where are the
Birmingham bagman’s two copies? Where will be the many others required,
including that for the officer with the Roman fever? Are they to be
disappointed? No: we shall not fail them, in the closing scenes of our
nomad wanderings.

Noah came back before our aftensmad, with thirteen minnows, and
Zachariah three, which were fried for tea, with fladbröd and butter. The
afternoon was beautiful, and at nine o’clock we retired to rest.

It is Tuesday, 16th August. _En route_ Zachariah, “Vand” “Yog.” We are
all up at half-past three o’clock. It rained a little, and was very
cloudy. One carriole passed on the road in the night, and another early
in the morning. Noah lighted a fire, and we had Australian preserved
meat, and fladbröd, and tea for breakfast.

When the gipsies were packing up, a man and a boy came across the river
in a boat, to look at the donkeys. Whilst they were absent from their
boat, Esmeralda went to the river to wash, and getting into the boat to
amuse herself, it got detached from the side, and she was floating away,
without oars, into the middle of the river, when she jumped out nearly
up to her middle. This incident, she did not relate until afterwards,
thinking we might be angry with her, for getting into the boat.

The tents are struck, the donkeys loaded, and we are off at eight
o’clock. The rest and repose at our beautiful camping ground, had given
us renewed spirit. We were decidedly better. The weather cleared. The
road winds, through a diversified scene, of thick fir woods, and
occasional enclosures. One very large gaard on the opposite side the
river, before we reached Sorum, was admirably arranged for comfort and
convenience. It was pleasantly placed above the river. We noticed a
pigeon-box against a large granary, the only one we saw in Norway.

Coming to a delightful spot, near a stream of water, in a wood, not far
from the road, we halted. There were some houses on the other side the
road. One woman was singing, who had an excellent voice. We seldom heard
any singing in Norway. Singing birds, and singing women, were scarce. We
were pleased with this woman’s voice.

Our middag’s-mad consisted of Australian meat, fladbröd and butter, and
cheese and tea. We had also chocolate. An altercation took place
between Noah and Zachariah. Mephistopheles shouted so loud, we gave him
a bang on the head, which effectually laid his spirit low.

At half-past three o’clock, the party were again _en route_. The country
was very pleasing; the weather delightful. Zachariah played, from time
to time, his violin, as we slowly journeyed along. The Sorum Station is
a quaint old place. The road passes through a sort of court surrounded
by wooden buildings. It is kept by very respectable people. We purchased
twenty-two skillings’ worth of fladbröd and butter. All the _gens de la
maison_ assembled to see us, including the traveller, who had passed in
his carriole.

With mutual salutations, we again left, Zachariah playing his violin, as
we passed through a thick forest. Then we had more enclosures, and some
pretty rural lanes. At last, towards the close of evening, when the road
passed through an open fir wood, we noticed a large lagoon, or open arm
of the river, to our left, on the margin of the wood.

A halt was called, and we camped on the edge of the wood, below the
road. Our tents were pitched near two tall Scotch firs, standing outside
the wood, with a pleasant view across the lagoon. It was from six to
seven o’clock, when we halted. Noah and Zachariah went fishing, but
without success. Our aftens-mad consisted of tea, ham, fladbröd, butter,
and chocolate. Esmeralda and ourself practised Romany. Our health was
fast returning--in fact, we were almost as well as usual.

Up at four o’clock. Now, Noah! Zachariah! Noah got the water, and our
fire was lighted. We were just going to breakfast at five o’clock, when
three men, and a peasant woman came by. They were going harvesting. Loud
were their exclamations of “peen giære” (fine beauty), “meget peen,”
“nei, nei.” They looked curiously at our preparations for breakfast, and
then left.

When Noah was loading our donkeys, three men and a girl came to see the
donkeys, and were surprised at the weight they carried. It appeared we
were at a place pronounced like Helgst, about one furlong from Nœs.

At seven o’clock, pushing onwards along a pleasant forest road, we again
came to enclosures. Then a church appeared to view and a rifle range.
The range appeared a very short one, having a booth, apparently used as
a shelter for the marksmen.[118] We had now left the Valders, and had
seen some of the beauties of the Aadalen. Nœs was at the upper shore of
the Spirilen Lake, and it would be necessary to cross the Beina at its
outfall to the lake.

The Nœs Station is large, and in a wooden building near, we found a shop
containing a variety of goods of all sorts, and sizes. First we bought
wooden spoons, and soap, for twenty-two skillings, and then some
fladbröd for one mark. Noah had gone beyond the house, to the
ferry-boat, on the lake shore. Esmeralda and ourself were leaving the
shop, when we met Noah, with a gloomy countenance. He informed us there
was no horse-boat, and the donkeys could not possibly cross.

Saying we should soon see whether we could cross, we all went down with
a civil man, who seemed the owner of the ferry, and premises. After
much talking, he explained that the steamer left at seven o’clock in the
morning, and it was now nine o’clock, and we were too late.

Looking at the two small boats, we explained to the ferryman, that we
must get across somehow. He seemed to catch our meaning; but our gipsies
shook their heads, and said the poor donkeys would be drowned.

To continue our journey, we were determined. The obstacle of a river was
not to be thought of, for a moment. A day would be lost, by camping at
Nœs until the next morning. Although we might probably make up lost time
in the steamer, still we preferred going on by land, if possible.

Returning to the shop, we bought a pound of white sugar for 20
skillings. The old man in the meantime appeared with two men, and poles,
and a strong tether rope, and an axe. Again we returned to the sandy
beach. Noah and Zachariah were very desponding at the sight. It looked
very much as if they were going to erect a scaffold, and behead the
donkeys on the spot. The owner of the ferry shortened one of the poles,
and in a few minutes, the two small boats were securely lashed to the
two poles, extending over them crossways. Our gipsies were still unable
to disconnect the donkeys, with anything short of drowning.

A small crowd of peasants now collected to view the passage of the Beina
by the English gipsies in Norway, with their animals and baggage. Most
of the men, who chewed tobacco, were dressed in light jumpers, patched
trowsers, and large heavy boots, without stockings; the kind-looking
stout female, who sold us the fladbröd, was there, and young peasant
girls, with handkerchiefs tied over their heads.

The Tarno Rye was first bridled, and led to the boats by Zachariah.
There it decidedly refused to go any further. Zachariah pulled, Noah
lifted at its hind legs, ourself and two men lifted at the fore legs.
The struggle ended, in our fairly carrying the donkey into the one boat,
at the risk of all coming down into the water, together with one
tremendous splash; the other boat was turned sideways, and we forced the
Puro Rye into it, whilst a man held its head. The boats were quickly
rowed off by another man, and the animals safely landed.

One man was bold enough to ride one of the donkeys to a wood close to
the sandy beach. Zachariah rowed back. All were highly pleased at the
success. The Puru Rawnee made a tremendous fight. Zachariah tugged, and
the Puru Rawnee got one hind leg over the boat’s side; but a stout
fellow, who ultimately nearly pushed it over Zachariah, placed its leg
safe in the boat. The baggage was put in the other boat, to balance the
donkey, and then they crossed the river.

The boats returned. We paid the man fifteen skillings, which seemed to
satisfy all, and with our gipsies, and the rest of our baggage, soon
reached the other side. Several were collected, when we landed: one
gentlemanly, well-dressed Norwegian, looked at our maps, and pointed out
the route. Esmeralda immediately began to castigate her donkey, then
scolded Zachariah, and was in her turn scolded by ourself, whilst the
boatmen drank “gamle norge” in our aquavit.



CHAPTER XL.

    They played on the guitar until the warm day had given place to
    the starry night. I sat on my balcony, and looked on with
    pleasure at the gaiety of youth.

    With castanets they danced,
      Their only music this;
    Their eyes into each other’s glanced,
      Quaffing sweet draughts of bliss.

    _In Spain._ HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.



    WE LEAVE THE BEINA--THE LILLE PIGE--ANY PORT IN A STORM--THE
    FAIRIES’ VISIT--THE SPIRILEN--YTRE AADALEN VAL--LARGE
    BONDEGAARD--HEEN WOODLAND CAMP--EVENING VISITORS--THE
    HÖNEFOS--INTELLIGENT POSTMASTER--NORDERHOUG CHURCH--HALT NEAR
    VIK--THE GIPSIES’ POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY--NOAH AND THE
    PHILANTHROPIST--STEENS FJORD--THE KROGKLEVEN--BEAUTIFUL
    GORGE--CAMP NEAR THE KING’S VIEW.


Noah and Zachariah quickly loaded the donkeys;[119] one of the boatmen
showed us the way. We followed a track from the river through the wood.
An old boat near the river, in the wood, turned on one side, with the
marks of a fire having been lighted before it, showed that it had been
used as a bivouac.

Passing through the court of a large house, near the wood, we shortly
afterwards, entered by a gate into a pleasant shady way, leading along
the left shore of the Spirilen Lake. A large crowd were still watching
our cavalcade from the house.

It was about twenty minutes past ten o’clock, when we left the river
Beina;[120] a halt was called at eleven, in a wood, on the shores of the
Spirilen.

Our middags-mad consisted of soup, made of potatoes, ham, bacon, and
Liebig’s essence, with addition of some gröd.

Zachariah went fishing, but was unsuccessful. The rain commenced, and we
either slept, or wrote our notes from about two o’clock until four
o’clock.

Again we were all on the move. Following the rough track through the
fir-forest, we had pleasing vistas of the lake. Then we came to where
some men were making a new road, and sometimes, we had to change from
the old road, on to the new portion, lately opened for traffic; passing
Bjönvicken to Engordden the road had enclosures, and farms on either
side. About six o’clock we noticed the steamer going up the lake to Nœs.
At one place, we passed a new house, which appeared to have a shop. Soon
after, a little girl followed us with something wrapped in a white
napkin. It occurred to us, to send Noah back, and see if he could get
bread. The little girl at once guessed what we wanted, and told us bread
could be purchased, at six skillings a loaf. She was a neatly dressed,
intelligent little girl, and we gave her 3 skillings for her
information; she at once seized our hand, and said tak; soon afterwards
she went into a house on the roadside.

There were nothing but inclosures for some distance. The evening was
rapidly closing; on we pushed: no camp ground; still we hurried along.
We were now on a part of the road recently made, and must shortly sleep
somewhere. At last, just at dark, a small driftway was noticed, to a
narrow strip of new-mown turf, between the road, and the lake. No time
for hesitation; the donkeys were quickly driven down to the turf. Some
high bushes formed a screen from the road, and a shelter for ourselves.
A boat was moored on the sandy beach near. The donkeys were at once
unloaded in a quiet corner, a fire was lighted on the shore, and our
water quickly boiled.[121] Zachariah was on the look-out for Noah, who
soon came with three loaves of bread, which had cost a mark. The tents
were at once pitched. Our gipsies made short work of tea, bread and
cheese. “Let’s gell to our woodrus,”[122] said Noah. “Cushty
ratti,”[123] said we; and they were soon asleep. It was a dark murky
night, as we sat by the dying embers of our fire. Gradually the rain
increased, and we retired to our tent. The turf had been newly mown, and
was delicious to rest upon. We listened to the boat rising and falling
on the waves, as they dashed in the night wind, on the sandy shore. It
had rained heavily during the night, accompanied by lightning. Between
two and three o’clock in the morning we were up, the morning was dark
and cloudy, with misty rain. Fire was lighted; Noah warmed up some
simmin (gip., soup),[124] saved from yesterday’s middags-mad; we had
also tea, and bread and cheese--an odd combination--which was hastily
disposed of. The top of a house could be seen on the other side the
road, close above us: the inhabitants little thought they had visitors
sleeping just below them. It is probable that they would be sorely
puzzled, when they went for the boat’s paddles, in the bushes behind our
tent, to see the impression on the turf--the impression left by our
sleeping forms. Perhaps they might think, some Huldre or fairy had been
there: at any rate, we did not wait to elucidate the occurrence, which
may be involved in mystery to this day. At five o’clock, animals,
baggage, and gipsies were well on the road towards Finsand.

There was something exciting in our wanderings. Our animals still
continued quite equal to their work, and every day decreased the weight
of the commissariat; the weight they had to carry was now much lighter.
At eight o’clock we halted on the margin of an open bay of the Spirilen
Lake, near some houses. As we were having another meal of cold bacon,
meat, and bread and cheese, and tea, we saw the steamer pass down the
lake from Nœs. A woman and a man came and wanted to buy one of the
donkeys.

At nine o’clock, we were again on the move towards Somdalen. Then we
came to a narrow channel of the lake, through which the steamers pass to
the Aadals Elv. The road, after passing through Somdalen, continued
through fir-forests, and pleasant scenes. At one part of the forest, we
saw some wood pigeons, and at another, a jackdaw. When we had passed
Somdalen, we halted again; our rest was on a greensward surrounded by a
stream, in an open space below the road, surrounded by a wood. It was a
nice secluded spot. We halted at a quarter to twelve; the sun was warm
and pleasant; we had tea, fried ham, and bread. Esmeralda’s spirits were
in the ascendant. We left at twenty-five minutes to two o’clock. Our way
was through beautiful forests, which reminded us of some of the wild
scenes of Australia. As to Mephistopheles, he was buzzing about like a
butterfly; we nearly crushed him once or twice.

At last we came to a large farm on the borders of the forest, by Ytre
Aadalen Val. The road led from the forest, over a rise of open
cultivated ground, near a large and convenient gaard. We had lingered
behind. As we again came up with our gipsies, they were passing over the
cultivated land near the gaard. The master of the Bondegaard, a stout
man, and apparently his wife and two daughters, and a large retinue of
dependants, were grouped to see us pass. They surveyed us with
curiosity, but did not speak. Scarcely had our gipsies got out of
hearing, than one of the dependants was the subject of severe criticism.

“Look at that country gorgio,” said Mephistopheles.

“Ha,ha!” said Esmeralda; “why, he’s a kok-y-yock” (cock-eye).

“No,” said Noah; “that’s our varnon.”[125]

“O nei! O nei!” said Mephistopheles; “peen giære, peen giære!”

Somebody was extinguished, and order was restored. Gipsies, as a rule,
not being educated, and having a great amount of gaiety, and physical
energy, in default, occasionally, of rational conversation, seize upon
circumstances, and things, of the most minor importance, to occupy their
attention, in a warfare of Romany chaff against everyone, and
everything, with singular expression, tempered with strange energy, and
lively spirit.

The master of the Bondegaard was exceedingly stout, and we reasoned
afterwards, upon the inconvenience of being so stout, and the advantage
of a gipsy life, in keeping the body, in its proper symmetrical
proportions.

Now we are in the forest again, and this portion of our route, is much
more beautiful than we expected. The Spirilen does not rival many of the
Norwegian lakes, though there are many pleasant scenes along its shores.

At this part of our route we saw some of the most lofty spruce-fir we
had seen during our wanderings in Norway.

We were now fast coming towards Heen, where the steamer meets, we were
told, the railway to the Rands Fjord.

Through the forest we went. Esmeralda, who was so lively at our last
halt, seemed getting tired, and wanted to ride, but our camp rule did
not allow it. Again, we hoped soon to halt: the heroine of our book was
not to be neglected, and lost by the way, for the want of care and
proper attention.

Soon after we descended a steep declivity in the forest, and came upon a
charming glade on a stream, which, we believe, is called the Vœls Elv.
At the foot of the declivity, flowed its shallow stream of water. On the
left of the forest-way, before we reached the stream, we saw some open
green turf, secluded by clumps of forest trees, and beyond, and on all
sides, a woodland of apparently interminable forest, as far as the eye
could reach. ’Twas a lovely spot for the tired Esmeralda to repose.

The tents were put up at once in the open glade, near the flowing
stream. We were soon engaged writing letters. Esmeralda was washing at a
fire near a clump of trees, not far from the stream. Noah was making a
basket. A tall blacksmith, as we supposed him to be, carrying a rifle,
came to our tents. He told us there were wolves, and bears in the
forest. Then we had afterwards, a party of three gentlemen, and a lady;
they were very nice people. One dark, good-looking young gentleman,
spoke English. We were pleased to see them at our tents. They inspected
our camp, Russian lamp, cooking apparatus, and our donkeys. They seemed
much pleased. It would have given us pleasure to have known more of
them.

It was, indeed, a beautiful camping-ground, in a large wild forest. Our
fourth meal this day--for we had crowded on considerable sail--consisted
of tea, sardines, bread and cheese. At nine o’clock, all were resting
in our tents. It is noted in our impressions, that the evenings get
colder and shorter, chilly and damp.

Friday, the 19th of August; we are again stirring at twenty minutes past
three o’clock. Up rise our three gipsies, in the wild Norwegian forest:
_en avant_ is the word.

As we were standing by our camp-fire, we heard footsteps; a man and a
boy appeared at that early hour, to see our donkeys. They were
astonished to find anyone already up and moving.

The frokost consisted of tea, biscuits, and cheese. Our donkeys loaded,
we moved off at six o’clock. Noah left his unfinished basket on our
camp-ground, as a souvenir. Soon we passed under the arch of the Rands
Fjord Railway. Then the road lay through enclosures, and we came in
sight of Hönefos.

Before we entered the town of Hönefos, we cautioned Mephistopheles, as
to propriety of conduct. It was, perhaps, about nine o’clock; many
people came out of their houses, and anxiously inquired what the donkeys
were. Mephistopheles called for a glass of sherry, and imitated a
drunken man, until he was called to attention. A civil Norwegian coming
up, we inquired for the Postaabneri and a krambod.

Keeping Noah with us, we sent the donkeys and baggage through the town,
in care of Esmeralda and Zachariah. Coming into a sort of square, our
first visit was the post-office; we went into a court-yard, and entering
the back of a house, we soon found ourselves in a small room, with a
kind of bank counter, behind which sat a respectable-looking, pale,
intelligent man. By his side, he had an ear-trumpet, for he was deaf;
behind him, he had shelves, filled with books; on his long table, he had
writing materials, documents, and papers relating to his duties. He
spoke in English with a very good accent; we wrote our answers, for he
was deaf. The postage of our English letter, was sixteen skillings, and
four skillings each for our letters to Christiania. Readily giving us
some information, about the steamers with mails from Christiania, we
left our civil postmaster. The war seemed the all-engrossing topic of
the time, and we had, of course, some converse on the subject.

Our next visit was to the shop, where we bought five pounds of sugar,
for three marks eight skillings; five loaves of bread, for one mark six
skillings; and, at a baker’s, we bought two loaves of bread, for eight
skillings and six cakes for six skillings.

Hönefos is a spirited town, and a pretty one. Crossing the Hönefos
Bridge we soon rejoined our baggage. As we ascended a hill, and
continued our route along the new road, which is being made, we had a
beautiful view of the town.

A French gentleman, who was driving towards the Hönefos, had asked
Esmeralda and Zachariah, if they were French.

Soon afterwards we came to an iron mile-stone, marked five miles to
Christiania og Dramen (thirty-five English miles).

Then we saw Norderhoug church. It is large, as compared with many of the
Norwegian churches we had seen. The parsonage and village have an air of
substantial comfort. Geese and ducks, and cherry-trees were seen for the
first time during our wanderings in Norway. This village is noted for
the destruction of a small Swedish force, which was quartered at the
Parsonage House in 1716.

Still following onwards along our route, we came to enclosed lands,
which appeared quite as fertile as any we had seen. Here and there, the
harvest people would hurry towards the road fence, to catch a sight of
our donkeys, as they passed. Some asked one question, some another. Our
gipsies answered wildly any Norwegian word at hand, or ya! ya! Now we
meet a carriage and pair, and the gentleman takes off his hat, which we
of course acknowledge.

At length we halt on the right of the road on the hill above “Vik
Station,” on some rocky open ground.

It was twelve o’clock. Our gipsies obtained some water for our tea at
the Vik Station from their private supply. A servant girl, and man, with
some children from the station, brought our donkeys some grass. It was a
kindly thought. The sun was warm as we sat amid the rocks and heath.
Whatever faults our gipsies have they are not tainted with Fenianism or
Communistic ideas. They have ever held for Monarchy, and even among
themselves, they have from time to time, their kings and queens. Our
gipsies are extremely ignorant of political philosophy. They do know
that her Majesty Queen Victoria, is the Queen of England. The names of
Disraeli and Gladstone had not yet reached them.[126] They have no
Romany words for political regeneration; they take no interest in the
rights of man. Let them follow their wild nomadic life, they are
satisfied. The Queen has worse subjects than our gipsies. It is possible
that tall Noah, would answer a political philanthropist, much in the
words of the “needy knife-grinder,”--“I shall be glad to drink your
honour’s health, in a pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence, but,
for my part, I never love to meddle with politics, sir.”

It is probable that tall Noah might be answered in the well-known words
of the philanthropist,--“Wretch, whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to
vengeance; sordid, unfeeling reprobate, degraded, spiritless outcast!”

Then we can only say it would be very inconvenient for the
philanthropist, if he was within a mile of tall Noah’s tent.

Our middags-mad consisted of tea, bread, butter, and cheese.[127] At
half-past three o’clock we were once more _en route_ for the Krogkleven.
Descending the hill by the Vik Station, the master of the station came
out. We halted the donkeys for him to see them. He is a very pleasant
man. The station seems very comfortable. It is mentioned, that there is
good fishing near.

Reaching the shore of the Steens Fjord, a storm seemed to be gathering.
Then, as we came to a fisherman’s house, and saw him leave with his
boat, and nets, we deemed it a sure harbinger of calm weather. Soon
after the threatened storm cleared away. We crossed the bridge over the
Steens Fjord to Sundvolden.

The magnificent cliffs of the Krogkleven were now above us. A man
pointed out the Kongen’s Udsigt or King’s View. At Sundvolden they
accommodate travellers. The house seems large and commodious. They have
a pleasure garden, with a small fountain, but we observed that the
garden lacked taste in arrangement, and freshness, and beauty in
flowers.

When our cavalcade passed the large open space in front of the station,
a tall, pale, young Norwegian, apparently belonging to the house, said
to Noah, with some authority, “Hvor fra reisen de.”[128] Noah, who was
in advance, probably did not understand, or as usual, did not answer
every inquisitive question, and kept pushing on. Immediately after we
commenced the steep ascent to the heights of the Krogkleven. It is
generally said, that the ascent to the Kongen’s Udsigt takes about an
hour. Very shortly afterwards, we were overtaken by the pale young
Norwegian, with an elder companion, who took off his hat, and bowed. He
said, in excellent English, that he had seen an account of us in the
newspapers. He owned a farm in the neighbourhood, and wished to buy one
of our donkeys. Explaining that we had already promised one as a
present, and that we should probably take the other two to England,
after a short conversation he left. The road was most picturesque. It
would have been a sad omission, had we left Norway, without returning by
this route. In about three-quarters of an hour, we reached the house at
the top of the gorge. A woman lives in the house, which being near the
King and Queen’s View, is used for the temporary reception of
travellers, and pic-nic parties. From the large open space, at the
summit of the ascent, the main road, now level and flat, passes through
the forest towards Christiania. A track leads through the woods on one
side to the Kongens Udsigt,[129] and on the other to the Dronning’s
Udsigt.[130] At the summit of the ascent near the house, a large board
is fixed up, upon which is painted the figure of a navvy, with his
spade; an iron box is placed under, with a narrow slit, to receive
money, for the benefit of the men who made the road. We read _de haute
voix_, for the satisfaction of Esmeralda, the following inscription:--

    Oh, I have roamed o’er many lands, but never yet have seen
    Nature’s face so grand and fair, as in this land, I ween.
    And from this cleft, how calmly grand, the varied beauties vie--
    The nestling hamlet, glassy lake, and mountain towering high.
    ’Tis true! ’tis worth a pilgrimage; but why not smooth the way?
    Help us, my friend; yon box, your mite, it shall be, as you may.

We gave a mark. The inscription is also written in Danish and German.

From this point we were now only twenty-one English miles from
Christiania.

As we were copying the inscription, Noah and Zachariah, had proceeded
onwards, along the road towards Christiania.

After following them about a mile, we returned back in a heavy shower of
rain, to camp on the open space at the head of the Krogkleven gorge.



CHAPTER XLI.

    “I fear, Colonel,” I replied, “that I must plead guilty to
    having been an associate of these gipsy vagabonds, and I may as
    well add that I have spent nearly all the summer with them, and
    found them pleasant, healthy, and instructive companions. I like
    the gipsies, and the wild life they live; and it is a pleasant
    occupation for me to study their manners, customs, traditions,
    and language.”

  GEORGE S. PHILLIPS (January Searle).


    SUMMER WANING--NORWEGIAN SCENERY--SPLENDID VIEWS--THE CROSS
    FIRE--SORTE DÖD--ROMANTIC CAMP--MANDY’S A RYE--THE TOURIST’S
    DOG--THE HOBBENENGREE’S SURPRISE--THE BARON AT BŒRUMS
    VERK--SNAKE KILLED NEAR OUR TENT--OUR LAST NIGHT IN CAMP--ADIEU,
    CAMP LIFE.


On the open space near the road, our donkeys were unloaded. The spot was
surrounded by forest. It was convenient for an early visit to the King
and Queen’s views next morning. A can of milk was procured from the
house near, for nine skillings, and with some barley-meal, we had our
aftens-mad, which consisted of gröd. It was rather thin, but Noah
pronounced it meget godt. Whilst the tents were being pitched, the pale
young Norwegian from Sundvolden passed by our camp, and conversed for a
short time, and then continued his route. We retired to rest at eight
o’clock. The nights were now getting cold, and damp, with heavy dews,
and the air had a wintry feeling. Night draws on quickly, and the ferns
are already changing tint.

It is Saturday, the 20th of August. We rise at five o’clock. Noah
obtained water; a fire was lighted, and we had tea, bread, butter and
cheese for our breakfast. First we took Noah with us up a broken, rough
track, through the forest to the Kongen’s Udsigt. It was not far from
our camp. A lady and gentleman had preceded us on horseback. The morning
was dull, and cloudy. In twenty minutes we were at the top of the cliff,
and standing on a kind of large balcony of rough boards.

An old man suddenly appeared from the rocks near, as a spider would
pounce on two flies. He pointed out different fjelds, and told many of
their names. What a magnificent extent of wild mountain, wood, and water
lay before us! The Gousta we could distinctly see, although said to be
distant seventy English miles. It recalled to mind a period of former
travel, when we once ascended its wild, and narrow ridge, of loose
rocks, to its highest point.

Far below us, we could see the smooth waters of the Tyri Fjord, the
Steens Fjord and the Holz Fjord.

As to the wooden frame-work, it was covered with names--the pencilled
autographs of numerous travellers; many now dead and gone. Yet, amongst
the many, we saw the name of “B. Disraeli.”

Half a mark as we left made it indispensably necessary that we should
shake hands with the old man of the Krogkleven.

In a short time we reached the Dronning’s Udsigt. The plateau is at a
somewhat lower elevation, between two cliffs wooded with birch and fir;
whilst we sat on the wooden seat, Noah quite agreed with ourself, that
the view, though very beautiful and extensive, did not equal the
Kongen’s Udsigt.

As we returned to our camp, we observed on a gate the name of Luk
Grindon. At the house, the woman showed us a horn of birch wood, about a
yard long, which she sounded for us, and ultimately Esmeralda succeeded
in blowing it.

When we came to our camp, Zachariah had struck our tents, and packed the
things up ready for loading. The pale young Norwegian again passed along
the road; speaking in Norwegian, he said, “It must be very cold.”
Esmeralda got out our tin box, and we presented him with our gipsy song.
Esmeralda was full of energy and fire. Our visitor seemed much
astonished, as she flung the things about, and occasionally we had a
cross-fire of English, and Romany, which he did not understand. Our
visitor, apparently, did not know what to make of it as he left, but
Esmeralda meant no harm. The superabundant energy must be exhausted,
and, occasionally, like other people, she got up on the wrong side the
turf.

Away we all go at ten o’clock, through the charming wild forest towards
Christiania. The sky has cleared, and it is a sunny day.

During our route from Stee by Lomen, Slidre, and other places in the
district of the Valders, until we reached Aurdal, we had looked in vain
for anyone resembling a gipsy. The gipsies who visited the fairs at
Veblungsnoes generally stated they came from the Valders, so that we had
some hope, that in passing through the district, we might meet with some
of this people.

As we now refer to the Valders, it was this district that suffered so
severely in the 14th century from the _Sorte Död_ (black death).

It is said that a foreign vessel stranded on the Norwegian coast with a
dead crew. In a short time a kind of plague, called the “black death,”
depopulated many districts, so that not a single inhabitant
remained.[131]

We soon came near a Bondegaard in the forest, and met a young Norwegian
lady; she smiled as she passed us. “Ah, sir!” said Zachariah, “you diks
as if you would like the cova juval for your Rawnee.”

Again we came to open ground in the forest, and halted at twelve
o’clock. Our middags-mad consisted of tea, sardines, bread and cheese.
The oil from the sardines had a most soothing effect on Esmeralda’s
temper, she became the perfection of amiability, and politeness.

Again we were moving, at three o’clock in the afternoon; our wanderings
seemed somehow coming to a close. “Upmyderydowno,” said Noah, as he
lifted the heavy pocket on our Puru Rawnee.

Mephistopheles soon after took his violin. The echoes of the forest were
awakened with wild gipsy music, as we tramped along at a swinging pace.
Sometimes Noah with the tambourine--sometimes Esmeralda, even the Rye,
we believe, took it occasionally, to the astonishment of one or two
stray peasants.

It was a sunny evening; except at one place, near a sheet of water, we
scarcely saw a house. After crossing a picturesque river in a deep
ravine, we reached the borders of the forest, at a less distance than a
mile. An extensive view of cultivated country, and enclosures, towards
Bœrum, decided us to return to the ravine.

We had noticed a steep, and lofty wooded knoll on our left, above the
broken river of the ravine. On our return to it, we found an open space
on its summit to pitch our tents. It was a beautiful camp-ground; a
thicket of firs secluded us; we had bilberry bushes and juniper, heath
and moss in luxuriance. A steep and lofty bank of loose stones, covered
with moss, sloped steeply to the river. From our camp we could command a
view of the road crossing the river. At the side of the stream, on the
opposite side the forest road, some green turf gave excellent pasture
for our donkeys. The river wound its broken course round our camp, and
was lost in the deep and tangled thickets. Esmeralda at once went down
to the river, near where the road crossed, to wash. Noah had only one
shirt, and he did not like to take it off to be washed, and be without
one. At last we gave him one of our old white shirts.

Noah was delighted--“Dawdy!” said Noah, skipping about, when he had put
it on, and had given his own for his sister to wash. “Dawdy! mandy’s a
Rye.”[132]

Presently two tourists crossed the river below, with their knapsacks and
dogs; one traveller was tall, the other short, with sandy hair. The dogs
commenced barking at the donkeys. They seemed surprised to see
Esmeralda, apparently alone. Whilst calling their dogs away from our
donkeys, they spoke to Esmeralda; as they looked up, they saw us looking
down, from our camp.

Immediately after they came up, and we found them very agreeable; one
spoke French. They had come from Christiania, and were going to the
Krogkleven. They told us some news of the war. The tall tourist’s
English dog sat up with a pipe in his mouth, and his master’s hat on.
This formed an exception to our rule--no smoking in camp.

Before they left, Noah pitched our tents. Then Esmeralda came from her
washing. They were much pleased with two copies of our songs, and, as
they left, they said they should call on their return, but we never saw
them again.

The aftens-mad consisted of soup, made of our last ham bones, Liebig’s
essence, pea-flour, rice, and bread.

There is something delightful in the closing evening of the wild forest;
the murmuring waters are below us; Esmeralda has gone into our tent; our
visitors are gone. As we linger near, we can perceive that our
Hobbenengree is surprised at the confusion in which we have left our
things; she has turned aside our blue curtain, with its zig-zag braid,
as she enters. Soon we hear an exclamation,--“Well, now, I’ll be
blessed! Dableau! If the Rye hasn’t pulled out everything, and put
nothing in! My word, I will warm somebody’s listner just now!”

Reader, we must plead to being rather absent. Our campaign is nearly
ended; we are going to rest. Mephistopheles comes in. “Sir, I have just
seen an adder in the stones below the tent.”

“Let the sapeau alone, Zachariah,” said we, not wishing to hear more
about adders.

Our camp was soon buried in sleep.

On Sunday, 21st August, it was a beautiful morning, when we rose at four
o’clock. Our breakfast consisted of cold ham bones, biscuits, and
English cheese. About half-past ten o’clock we took Noah with us to
Sandviken. Our route lay through Bœrums Verk. It is an interesting spot
as belonging to one of the last Barons of Norway. A fine chateau stands
upon the crest of a hill above the village, something in the style of
Oscars-hall.

The Baron is a courteous and polite man. We at once noticed the
influence and effect of such a mind upon the manners of his dependants.
The Baron possesses large iron works at Bœrums Verk. The church near is
built of bricks, and, for the first time in Norway, we heard bells.
There is something about bells which reminds us of prayer, of peace, and
contentment. At the inn at Sandviken we found every attention we could
wish. They must have been somewhat astonished at tall Noah, my Sancho
Panza, his trowsers being patched to the utmost extent human ingenuity
could devise; they included the best part of a coat, amongst other
additions.

At the inn at Sandviken there is a sort of travellers’ room. Our
middags-mad consisted of a beefsteak each, at one mark six skillings the
steak, and one bottle of Baiersk öl at twelve skillings; we gave the
pige four skillings. Sandviken is a pleasant village, about nine miles
from Christiania. We arranged for a carriole, from Sandviken to
Christiania the next day, and, leaving, we reached our camp, at seven
o’clock.

Esmeralda and Zachariah had not taken any dinner, but had waited our
return. Mephistopheles had actually killed a snake in the stones near
our tent. It measured one foot eight inches long, having a brown back,
and black belly. It was the only one we saw in Norway; it was no myth;
Mephistopheles said there were more.

Two tourists, when we returned, were looking at our tents, and talking
to Esmeralda; they were going to take the steamer, at nine o’clock that
night, from Sandviken, and were obliged to leave at once. They were very
nice young fellows. As we sat in our tents, taking our tea, biscuits,
and cheese, another party of tourists came, and bowed to us. When we had
finished, a number of peasants congregated round our camp fire. They did
not seem disposed to leave, although we were anxious to retire for the
night. Mephistopheles at length approached the fire in a mysterious
manner, and throwing into it some crumpled paper, walked away. They
thought it explosive, for they quickly left.

Now the closing scenes of summer had come, we were told that the nights
in Norway were cold, and frosty, from the 20th to the 23rd of August. No
one will ever know our feelings as we paced, up and down, on this last
evening of our camp wanderings. It was the last night of our tent life
in Norway. Somehow even our donkeys seemed to take an enlarged sphere,
in the region of our affections, as we viewed them, quietly grazing, in
the picturesque ravine. A clinging affection seemed to return, now that
we were about to bid adieu to our tents, equipage, to our gipsies, even
to our donkeys; we were now to end our camp life, with our English
gipsies, in this wild Norwegian forest.

We had for a time escaped from our books, which are as whetstones to the
human understanding; yet, occasionally, they wear away the intellect,
until it has nothing left to sharpen. Is it necessary to bestow so much
time in classical study? There was a time when it entered largely into
our necessities. Now there is a great change. Our intercourse with all
parts of the world requires a knowledge of many modern languages. Life
is short. One often doubts if competitive examinations are useful. Some
individuals, all mind, and no energy, occasionally attain to positions,
requiring more physical energy than mind, to the country’s disadvantage,
and their own misery. Camp life is the obverse of book study; whilst it
fosters the physical energy, it develops, and strengthens, the nervous
system, and gives a self-reliance, which cannot be comprehended by the
Kairengro, of what is called civilized life.

It is our last morning; we are up at four o’clock. Our breakfast
consisted of bread and cheese, and tea. Noah was presented with another
pair of trowsers, to appear at Christiania. Taking our courier bag, and
a few books, and clothes, we left; reluctantly, we must say. More than
once, we turned, as we saw our tents above the ravine. More than once,
as we turned, we saw our beautiful Puru Rawnee on the greensward near
the river; we had reached the top of the ascent. As we left the ravine,
once more, we saw the form of some one coming after us--it was
Esmeralda. Our camp life in Norway has ended.

[Illustration: ESMERALDA.]



CHAPTER XLII.

    “The King of the Gipsies, or El Capitan as he is called, is a
    fine musician, and we invited him to come up to the hotel one
    evening to play to us. Captain Antonio’s company is not to be
    had for the asking.... It was a wretchedly poor instrument, and
    we began to wonder what sort of torments were about to be
    inflicted upon us, when on a sudden the tuning ceased, and the
    music seized hold of us like galvanism; for it was such music as
    one had never dreamed of before.”

  MATILDA BETHAM EDWARDS’ _Through Spain_.[133]


    CHRISTIANIA--GENEROUS OFFER--ADVICE WE DO NOT TAKE--THE
    PAPER--VIKEN FISHERMEN--CHRISTOPHERSON’S--NORWAY
    FAREWELL--DONKEYS’ ACCOMMODATION--WANT OF FEELING--OUR
    STEWARD--THE GIPSIES’ FRIENDS--THE SPANISH COURIER--THE LITERARY
    AMERICAN--THE GIPSIES’ MAL DE MER--THE DONKEYS IN A SMOKE
    ROOM--THE LOST NECKLACE--ENGLAND’S SHORE--TO OUR READERS.


Very lightly shall we touch upon the remaining portion of our journey. A
carriole from the Skyds Station at Sandviken conveyed us to the Victoria
Hotel at Christiania. We had dined there on our first landing; we went
there on our return. Every attention, and comfort, is to be found at the
Victoria.

Our friend the Chevalier gave our gipsies a beautiful camp ground for
the tents, on a wooded knoll, near the Christiania Fjord.

They were to follow us to Christiania the next morning after we left
them.

About noon on the following day after our arrival, we strolled out of
the city to meet them. Our gipsies had halted in the shade of some
trees. A young officer had stepped down from his carriage, and was
speaking to Esmeralda. The lady in the carriage had kindly offered them
camping-ground on her property. It was kindly meant, but we had already
arranged. The same evening, our gipsies were encamped near Christiania
Fjord--the last camp of the English gipsies in Norway.

It seemed as if we had left the Bendigo, or the Goulborn gold-diggings,
or some scenes of the boundless Bush forest of Australia, and had just
come down to Melbourne. Australian readers will understand the feeling.

Our steamer would leave on Friday afternoon. It is the “Hero,” under
command of Captain Nicholson.

We call at H. Heitman’s office, and showed our return ticket, and
informed him that two of our donkeys would return with our party. H.
Heitman made some objection about finding accommodation for the donkeys,
and suggested leaving them behind. Either, said he, they must be on full
deck, or go below. The full amount for their return passage had been
paid as for horses, and they were entitled to proper accommodation. We
said we had quite determined to take them with us.

The time passed quickly from Monday until Friday the 26th August. It is
not our intention to give any description of Christiania. Excellent
descriptions of all worth seeing in this beautifully situated capital,
have been given by many English writers, and in Murray’s Guide Book. We
like Christiania, for the home-like feeling we experienced, as we
wandered through its streets, and conversed with its people. The city
has nearly, if not quite, doubled, its population, within the last
twenty years, Norway must advance.[134] It is a country where one
breathes a true spirit of freedom. Norway exhibits an instance of the
greatest amount of liberty being quite compatible with a monarchical
form of government.

Sometimes we lounged at Paperviken, watching the anglers, as we waited
for the steamer, when we were going to visit our friend the Chevalier.

The hospitality of the Chevalier and his agreeable wife was boundless.

We believe we only slept once in our room, at the Victoria. Then our
host had friends, and very pleasant hours we spent with them.

One clergyman knew something of the Romany language, and was much
interested in our gipsies. Then we had Norwegian souvenirs to purchase
for our friends in England.

A camp kettle was purchased for tall Noah, exactly of similar pattern to
that used by Ole Halvorsen. It was the one great wish of Noah’s
existence. Esmeralda was not forgotten.

Then there was the usual lounge at that quaint old place 17 Store
Strandgade, where you are sure to find Mr. Bennett, and some English
tourists whose heads are full of carrioles, forbuds, fast and slow
stations, routes, provisions for their Tine,[135] and a bewildering
amount of small money of all sorts and sizes.

Then we met with our friend from the Poet’s House at Eisbod, who had
quite recovered. He dined with us, and whiffed his cigar in the charming
smoking, and lounging-room of the Victoria.

Nor did we forget to look into Christopherson’s dining-room, or take our
cup of coffee under the verandah there, with its trees before it, and
the small tables and chairs under it, reminding us of the Paris
boulevards.

The weather was so sunny, the atmosphere so pure and clear, and our
visit rendered so pleasant by kind friends, that with much reluctance we
ordered our things to be taken from the Victoria to the steamer.

Christiania, with its palace, Storthing House, Library, Museum of
Northern Antiquities and zoological collection; its Oscarshall with
Tiedman’s paintings, the old castle of the Agershuus, must now be left.

Our gipsies left their last camp on the Christiania Ford that morning.
The wooded knoll above the Fjord to the left of our engraving was the
last camp of the English gipsies in Norway.

Parting souvenirs had been given them by our friends which showed the
interest they had taken in them. All our baggage was safe on board the
steamer, and our Puru Rawnee and Puro Rye were on deck.

The steam is up. We say farewell to our valued friend the Chevalier. The
View of Scandinavian scenery he left in our hands, as a parting gift
from his lovely young wife and himself, will always be prized. Adieu,
also, to our friend from the “Poet’s House” at Eisbod. Adieu, Norway,
adieu!!!

Esmeralda’s and Noah’s tambourines may never again be heard in the
Norwegian valleys. Zachariah’s violin is silent. Our guitar is put up.
Once more we say farewell!!!

We had our usual complement of passengers, officers, tourists, and
fishermen, including our former fellow passengers, the officer and his
handsome wife, with the Tyrolese hat and feather, and the portly
gentleman, whom we had also met at Christiania. The Birmingham bagman
had, somehow, not found his way out of the Horungerne mountains, or
wherever he might be.

[Illustration: THE LAST CAMP OF THE ENGLISH GIPSIES IN NORWAY.]

The vessel was well ventilated, but we preferred the “Albion;” the
“Hero” being full-decked from stem to stern, there was very little
shelter, except in the smoke-room.

We had a number of Norwegian emigrants, going to America, in the
second-class cabins.

No accommodation had been provided for our donkeys. They were left to
take their chance on deck, in a cold, damp night, at sea. When we went
to see them, our Puru Rawnee looked as if she could have kicked H.
Heitman overboard. Captain Nicholson did what he could for us, when we
spoke to him about them. No agent of common feeling would have left them
thus to take their chance. As God is to man, so man is to animals.
Kindness is required from man to those living creatures created for his
use.

We could not help liking Captain Nicholson. There was a manly spirit
about him, and at the same time we saw he possessed a kindly heart. The
sailors put up by his directions afterwards, a sort of rude tent of
sails, under which our donkeys had to balance themselves, on the wet
deck, looking exceedingly uncomfortable, and out of place. They had been
exposed all the Friday night near the fore-hatchway, without the
slightest shelter.

It so happened that by good fortune John Smith was our steward, his wife
the stewardess. They are wonderful people. John Smith is slightly past
the meridian of age; a little bald, but active and stirring, and of such
energy! Always on his legs. He could far surpass the most distinguished,
and eminent acrobat, in the way he balanced plates, dishes of fowl,
bottles of champagne, anchovy sauce, wine glasses, and dozens of other
things besides.

“Coming, sir. Iced champagne, if you please; who said seltzer water and
brandy? Mange tak. Eating sir! nothing but eating!”

Impatient tourist.--“John Smith, you have not given me any sauce with my
fish.”

“Caper, sir, or Worstershire? Coming, captain. Oh, dear! what are they
about up there? Oh, here it is, all hot. That’s right,” says John Smith,
balancing hot plates, on the tips of his fingers, as if he expected a
round of applause from the passengers. “Here you are--hot plates, sir.
Perry for you. Did you say tea? ver so artig. Sugar and cream--Tak skal
de have. The year’s over--bang, bang. Thank goodness, here are some
empty bottles broken--I did not know what to do with them. How could I
find a father for so many dead men? Ah, pease pudding for you, sir--half
a pound? No, not for you, sir. You, sir? Here it is on a smaller plate,
so that you should not think it was the same. I wish I could change my
name; I’m tired of hearing it. Have you everything you want, sir?” as he
looked across the table at us. “More bread? here it is, sir,” and the
identical John Smith still pushed about without assistance, but every
finger, was worth its weight in gold.

On Saturday morning we came to Christiansand, and on going ashore
received two letters from the post-office, paying eighteen skillings.
They were both from some English gipsies, who expected we should be all
killed in the war. Their ideas of geography were very loose.

Our gipsies are quite _hors de combat_, and wretchedly seasick and
helpless. On Sunday, our last day at sea, the weather was rough, wet,
and excessively disagreeable. We were up at five o’clock. Only four
passengers, and Captain Nicholson, appeared at breakfast when we sat
down.

A Mr. McG----, an old veteran fishing-tackle maker, was never sea-sick,
and particularly hardy. The Honourable Mr. V----, who had camped out in
America, with his tent, and the tall owner of the Rus Vand, were
amongst the passengers, who seem quite at home during the voyage.

The Honourable Mr. V---- was a fine-looking, handsome fellow, who had
been fishing between Christiansand and Throndjhem.

Amongst other passengers we had an American gentleman, and his wife, and
courier. His courier was apparently Spanish, and was much interested in
our gipsies. He expatiated on the El Capitano of the gipsies at Granada.
The tall, intelligent American gentleman, and his wife, we had observed
at the table-d’hôte at the Victoria Hotel.

Before landing, he told several of us he was going to Ireland to examine
for himself, and ascertain how it was possible so many uneducated,
bigoted, quarrelsome, discontented, drunken people could be annually
sent to the American shores, from any country supposed to be civilized,
and under a good government.

Some passenger suggested, he would see the bright side of society when
he reached Ireland, the Irish being extremely kind and hospitable.

The American passenger, said he would see the dark side also. He was a
tall, intelligent-looking man, and evidently a man of observation.

Few of the passengers escaped sea-sickness. The captain told our gipsies
that we stood the sea exceedingly well; our appetite was very good, and
we were never unwell all the voyage.

Land was announced about eight o’clock. John Smith began lighting the
saloon lamps; when they did not light readily, he said, “God bless the
Queen and all the Royal Family!” which fervent, and loyal ejaculation
seemed to facilitate amazingly the undertaking on hand.

When the saloon was lighted up, we could enjoy the views on the saloon
panels, of Windsor Castle, and the King of Sweden’s palace at Stockholm,
until John Smith suddenly said we had twenty-five miles of river before
landing, which apparently dulled most of the passengers’ appreciation of
the beautiful.

Several passengers were determined to go on shore when they had the
opportunity, at any early hour in the night. Our donkeys were put near
the engine boiler for warmth. The gipsies were dreadfully sea-sick, as
we went to bed.

We were told that some time afterwards John Smith, who was at any hour,
night and day, here, there, and everywhere, had been suddenly called to
the smoke-room on deck. Some of the passengers, possibly belonging to
the Humane Society, had placed our donkeys in the smoke-room. The
biscuits on the table had rapidly disappeared.

Fancy John Smith in the dim light of the deserted smoke-room, with his
head whirling round from his attendance on passengers, politely
inquiring at the door what the gentlemen pleased to want.

Getting no answer, it seems he went in to see if the gentlemen were
hopelessly sea-sick, and some jovial passenger, we were told, locked him
in with his strange companions.[136]

By some means our steward was released, for he supplied us with tea in
the early morning, when we also settled our expenses, for the gipsies,
and ourselves, at £3 9_s._ Nor did we forget John Smith’s and the second
steward’s fee.

We had another item for corn, for our donkeys from Christiania--3 marks
16 skillings. We are afraid our faithful animals had a miserable voyage.

Our gipsies would require the donkeys before they reached their friends,
and they ultimately found them somewhere in Gloucestershire. The Tarno
Rye was left as a souvenir with the Chevalier, the only donkey we
believe in Norway.[137]

Before we left the vessel, Esmeralda discovered that her necklace of
blue and white beads, and Norwegian coins, had been stolen. Captain
Nicholson, and the stewards, did all they could to recover it. Although
not of much intrinsic value, it was a gipsy relic, which Esmeralda
prized. We offered a reward, which was afterwards increased to £10, but
without result.

Fortunately, another similar necklace was in the possession of the
family. This was given to her, and we supplied other Norwegian coins in
the place of those stolen.

As we left the Hero, and landed on England’s shore, John Smith was still
on the wing, for a thousand different requirements. “Coming, sir! there
is no peace for the wicked; I must be very wicked, I know I must.”
Would that all discharged their duty as faithfully as John Smith!

Reader, I gently take you by the hand. We have met, but in the pages of
this book. Yet, if you have followed us in our wanderings, we have made
some sort of acquaintance. Perhaps we may meet again--perhaps
not;--farewell.



CHAPTER XLIII.

                                  So farewell,
    The students’ wandering life! Sweet serenades
    Sung under ladies’ Windows in the night,
    And all that makes vacation beautiful!--
    To you, ye cloistered shades of Alcalá,
    To you, ye radiant visions of romance,
    Written in books, but here surpassed by truth.

    LONGFELLOW’S _Spanish Student_.


    ALLURING PROMISES--COMPLIMENT TO ENGLISHMEN--TRUE SKETCHES OF
    GIPSY LIFE--THE GIPSIES’ ORIGIN--YET A MYSTERY--ESMERALDA--NOAH
    AND ZACHARIA--BEFORE THE CURTAIN--THE END.


We have felt that the alluring promises of our fellow voyageurs must not
be neglected. So many copies of this record of our wanderings already
ordered. Even the Birmingham Bagman, of far-seeing speculative mind, had
ordered two copies; this in itself would give confidence. What became of
him we do not know. We trust he did not see fit to follow us, and so get
lost in the Wild recesses of the Horungerne[138]. Again, much curiosity
has been evinced by friends, to know the incidents of our expedition.
Only a short time since, we received the following letter, from a French
gentleman, who, although he has never been in England, is a devoted
student of the English language. We know our friend will not be
offended if we give the letter. There is so much genuineness of feeling
about it, that the reader will not be surprised, if it added another
reason to those mentioned:--

“I learn always English, but I am a dull learner. I not plod on, but I
work on--gift comes by nature. I am steady, and I am not cast down by
unsuccessfulness.

“You are upon a journey; doubtless you shall climb up some hill covered
with snow, or you shall go into some country which the sun dry or dries
up; or you will go into some old castle haunted by the ghosts, but you
cannot light upon such buildings, amongst the Norwegians or in
Australia.

“If you relate, or you give forth, which you saw, send me that writing.
Write a letter, is a hard work to me, but translate, or read, is more
facil.

“I am much pleased by reading the book you have presented me, I read it
over. It affords illustrations of English character--daring, patience,
energy, are the qualities of the Englishmen.

  “I remain, &c.”

Again, our intention has been to give some truthful sketches of gipsy
character, divested of any imaginary fiction.

Esmeralda, Noah, and Zachariah are, we believe, a fair average type of
the true tenting gipsy. There has been a scrupulous avoidance of
anything tending to gloss their faults. They are presented to the
reader, rough as they are, surrounded with only such romantic interest
as they derive from the real occurrences, incidents, and adventures,
which occurred in every-day life. We did not leave them any the worse
than we found them; indeed, we trust that some influences may not be
lost on their future. In utilising their rough gipsy energy, no attempt
was made to struggle against the established instincts and traditions of
their race. Past experience shows the inutility of all hope of much
practical result in trying to do so. For some purpose we know not of,
they have fulfilled, and now fulfil, a singular destiny. The facts
before us, as given by the research of many authors, in various parts of
Europe, leave no doubt as to the inscrutable hand of Providence, in
their mission upon earth. Not before that is accomplished, will they,
like other races, be blotted out.

Even to the present time, their origin is a mystery, not yet
solved.[139] Their language, to which they have clung, as the drowning
man clutches the straw, links them undoubtedly to a very early date, a
bygone past, far remote in the history of men and nations.

Esmeralda! Oh, yes, my readers; the Rye has had painful experience of
the Rawnee’s temper. She is now seventeen years of age, five feet eight
inches high, and dark to the extreme gipsy eyes and hair. Yet she is
honest, energetic, and kindly in disposition; which covers a multitude
of faults, in these nomads of the world. She can sing, and she likes to
dance. Yet she has much tact, control, and common sense. Few girls at
Esmeralda’s age would have ventured with the Rye, and her brothers,
over the sea to a distant land. She followed them through all their wild
wanderings.[140] No! Esmeralda has something of the Cleopatra blood,
which is not quite used up.

[Illustration: OLE HALVORSEN, OUR GUIDE.]

Well, readers, after all, Noah is not a bad young fellow, six feet high,
without his boots, about which so much trouble had been taken, and which
cost so much. He is in want of a wife. In camp, and out of camp, his
temper is excellent. Noah at times is chaffy--Noah likes dancing. Noah
is honest, and Noah likes his beer, when camp rules, which are very
stringent, permit it. Noah can pack and pitch tents--can you doubt it?
He packed our donkeys through Norway, and unceasingly rockered his
brother and sister, to use a mild term, whilst they did their share in
that interesting department, and failed to hit his rigid regulations to
a shade.

Well, readers, Zachariah, Mephistopheles, after all is a nice dark young
fellow when you don’t put him out of temper, and then--we won’t say
what. He can fish, go for vand, and light the yog.[141] He is honest--we
hope he won’t be hung; at the same time our experience shows he cannot
be drowned. If you attend our camp, he can play the violin.

[Illustration: LAST GROUP. FAREWELL!]

As we are about to make our parting adieux, do we not hear some call for
Uncle Elijah--Ezekiel--Uncle Sam of Bosbury--the beaux of the village,
the Reindeer hunters, more than all, the pretty girl of Skeaker, and our
many peasant friends. No one answers; where is our guide to lead the
way? Ever ready, our gallant Ole Halvorsen, steps to the front, and for
himself and them bids you all good-by.

Nor shall our gipsy band be wanting at the last. Come, Esmeralda, Noah
and Zachariah--quick! Mephistopheles, to the front. Kind readers, we bid
you all farewell.

    And now, adieu I we must leave you,
      To wander o’er forest and fell,
    Our blessing for ever attend you,
      And echo our parting farewell!

[Illustration]



APPENDIX.

PRŒSTEN EILERT SUNDT’S WORKS ON THE NORWEGIAN GIPSIES.


The very important works relating to the Norwegian gipsies which have
been compiled and published for the Norwegian Government, by Prœsten
Eilert Sundt, are peculiarly interesting, not only as affording the most
recent and reliable information regarding this singular people, but from
the many details and facts which are noted, as to their modes of life,
language, religion, customs, and occupations. The first work, “Beretning
om Fante-eller Landstrygerfolket i Norge,” published in Christiania in
1850, followed by another edition, published, Christiania, 1852,[142]
contain the results, and the most reliable information that Prœsten
Sundt, then a candidate for holy orders, could collect during two years’
patient and persevering research. During this period, he was able to
obtain with tolerable accuracy, their probable number, and a great
amount of reliable information, relating to their habits, means of
existence, and, above all, the prospect of inducing them to abandon
their ordinary mode of life. Prœsten Sundt had many facilities to aid
him in accomplishing this undertaking, with the sanction and authority
of the Norwegian Government. He had free access to all local and public
records and documents, and thus had unusual opportunities of satisfying
himself, from time to time, and testing the truth and falsehood of the
accounts given to him by the gipsies. Again, his clerical character was
a ready passport to every village clergyman and Prœstgaard.

Prœsten Sundt describes the Norwegian gipsies as a race of
yellowish-brown, black-haired people, having dark, piercing eyes, and
who are of foreign and suspicious aspect. Wandering incessantly, up and
down the country, they frequent the most devious and solitary roads and
ways between Stavanger and Agershuus, and, northwards, away to
Throndjhem and Finmark.

Their bands vary in number, and consist of men, women, and children,
provided, sometimes, with horses, carts, and some few domestic animals,
particularly pigs. They assume the most varied characters, and some of
them are tinkers, sievemakers, horsedealers, and horse-doctors, and, in
fact, follow many of those occupations generally adopted by the gipsies
of every country, as most compatible with a roving life. Prœsten Sundt
also states that many are plunderers and robbers, and our own experience
has clearly shown, that the gipsies, deservedly or otherwise, have
acquired a very indifferent reputation in Norway.[143] They are clearly
regarded with far less favour than in England, where the romantic life
they lead has furnished endless incidents for the novel, the drama, and
the feuilleton of the press. This, and their strange, wandering life,
and mysterious origin, may account in some degree for the passing
interest they at times create and obtains for them, here and there, _par
souffrance_ though it be, occasional shelter and protection. The
earliest mention, according to Prœsten Sundt, of the gipsies in Norway,
is to be found in an Ordinance of 1589, and he is of opinion that they
did not enter by way of Denmark and South Sweden, but through the north
of Sweden, and Duchy of Finland; in fact, through North Russia.

Another reason stated by Prœsten Sundt, why the gipsies are regarded
with a mixed feeling of fear and aversion, is on account of a belief, of
which the Norwegian peasant cannot altogether divest himself, that the
foreign-looking “Fanter” has power to bewitch both man and beast.

They invest these wanderers with supernatural powers, a power which has
occasionally been attributed to some of the peaceful Laplanders, who
dwell in Norwegian Finmark; for Laing says, in his work on Norway, page
411, when referring to the Laplanders, “The idea of witchcraft is not
entirely worn out; and the bonder have many tales of the supernatural
powers of the old fjelde women.”

Originally, these wanderers were all of pure gipsy blood; but in recent
times they have gradually become, in many instances, mixed with a
section of the Norwegian population, vagrant outcasts or “Skoiern,” a
class which they would at one time have refused all intercourse with;
and the result is, the occasional mixture of fair-haired children.

The blending of such a strain of Norwegian blood would not improve, but
rather have a deteriorating effect. This has not happened to the same
extent in England, where the admixture has often been from those of the
better class of the English population, to the proportionate advantage
of the gipsy tribe.

Yet, even in England, there is a feeling among gipsies, once still
stronger than it is, against mixed marriages, and one of their own
people is generally preferred to the gorgios.

Since the beginning of the present century, Norwegian laws relating to
gipsies have been made much less stringent, and therefore more easily
enforced. The regulations, also, with regard to all persons being
required, at a certain age, to know how to read and write, and to be
confirmed, has consigned many gipsies to prison, until they were
sufficiently instructed, as mentioned at page 301 of this work.

From inquiries made by Prœsten Sundt, it appears that gipsies who
remember “the good old times,” deeply lament their admixture with other
blood, and formerly, according to their accounts, a gipsy woman who had
consorted with a fair-skinned man, became “food for fire;” that is, she
was tied to a stake, and burnt. In the case of male offenders, the old
gipsy law was less severe; for they were expelled the tribe. His
doom--“fallen i brodt”--was pronounced, and he became an outcast for
ever.

It would appear that Prœsten Sundt’s efforts to reclaim the Norwegian
gipsies met with little success, and he found much which led him to
fear, that it is very improbable they will ever adopt the habits of
civilised life. An irrepressible desire to wander seems natural to the
race; and even their children, adopted and well-treated by farmers and
clergymen of the country, generally run away to the woods, in search of
their relatives, as soon as they are able. From the accounts given by
Prœsten Sundt, it would seem that the Norwegian gipsies are much lower
in morality than the gipsies of some other countries. It is a mere
chance if they are baptized; they seldom, if ever, frequent church; an
impenetrable mystery surrounds the death of their aged people. No
Norwegian pastor has ever been present at the burial of a gipsy, unless,
indeed, we except such as may have died in prison. Though Prœsten Sundt
carefully questioned the gravediggers of the parishes wherever he went,
one alone was able to remember that he had once dug a grave for a
gipsy.[144]

Nothing being known as to what becomes of their dead, it is not singular
that the Norwegian people believe that the gipsies kill their aged
parents and relatives, to save themselves the trouble of taking care of
them. This conclusion is quite contrary to our own experience of the
English gipsies, who exhibit great affection towards their aged people,
many of whom have survived to great ages, receiving to the last constant
care and attention.[145]

Prœsten Sundt says the gipsies vehemently deny that they kill their old
people, but state that, in former days, the aged people killed
themselves, and that even yet, weak folk end their days as their fathers
did.

It may be imagined by some, that the gipsies may have been of the same
race as the nomadic Laplanders, but it is conclusively shown that the
Norwegian “Tatare” or “Fantefolket” are not in any way belonging, either
in blood, or in language, to the Laplander of Finmark. With regard to
language, it is entirely different, and we have extracted from Prœsten
Sundt’s work, published in 1852, some words of comparison between the
Norwegian gipsy and the Norwegian Lap, having added the synonymous
English, English gipsy, Hindee, and Sanscrit words.

  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  | NORWEGIAN | Norwegian | Lithuanian | Spanish | Persian | NORWEGIAN | ENGLISH |      HINDEE.       |       SANSCRIT.        | ENGLISH.|
  |           |  GIPSY.   | ZIGEUNER.  | Gitano. |  Luri.  |    Lap.   | Gipsy.  |                    |                        |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |  Vand     |   Pani    |   Pani     |  Pani   | Pani    | C̃acce    | Panee   | Pānee              | Pāneeyŭṅ[146]          | Water.  |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |  Ild      |   Jag     |   Jaag     |  Yaque  | Aik     | Dolla     | Yog     | Āg                 | Āgnĭ                   | Fire.   |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |  Nœse     |   Nak     |   Nak      |  Naqui  | Nack    | Njudne    | Nok     | Nāk                | Nāsā                   | Nose.   |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Nāsĭkā                 |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Nŭsā                   |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Nŭsĭyā                 |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Nāŭ (_fem._)           |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Nās (_crude_)          |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |  Haand    |   Vascht  |   Wast     |  Bas    | Khast   | Gietta    | Vast    | Hŭth               |                        | Hand.   |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         | Hŭst               | Hŭstŭ                  |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         | Hāth               |                        |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+----------------------- +---------+
  |  Kniv     |   Tjuri   |   Tschuri  |  Chori  | Cheri   | Nibbe     | Churee  | Chooree            | Choorĭka               | Knife.  |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Chooree                |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |  Sort     |   Kalo    |   Kalo     |  Calo   | Kala    | Cãppes    | Kalo    | Kālā (_masculine_) | Krŭshnŭ                |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         | Kālee (_feminine_) | Kālŭ (_masculine_)     | Black.  |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Kālā (_feminine_)      |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Kalŭṅ (_neuter_)       |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         | Teen               | Trĭyŭ (_masculine_)    |         |
  |  Tre      |   Trin    |   Trin     |  Trin   | Teran   | Golm      | Trin    | (In composition,   | Tĭsrŭ (_feminine_)     | Three.  |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         | Tir, or Tri.)      | Treenĭ (_neuter_)      |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Ooshnŭ                 |         |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Tŭptŭ (_masculine_)    |         |
  |  Varm     |   Tato    |   Tato     |  Tati   | Tata    | Bakas     | Tatto   | Gŭrm (Tāp fever.)  | Tŭptā (_feminine_)     | Warm.   |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Tŭptŭrŭṅ (_neuter_)    |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |         |                    | Chŭtwārŭ (_masculine_) |         |
  |  Fire     |   Schtar  |   Schtaar  |  Star   | Ischtar | Njællja   | Star,   | Chŭtoor (in        | Chŭtŭsrŭ (_feminine_)  | Four.   |
  |           |           |            |         |         |           |   Stor  | composition, Chou  | Chŭtwāree (_neuter_)   |         |
  +-----------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+-----------+---------+--------------------+------------------------+---------+

From this comparison of words, it appears that the Romany has no
resemblance or affinity to the Lap; whilst the similarity of the
Norwegian Tater, or gipsy language, to that spoken by the gipsies of all
the countries of which examples are given, leaves no doubt that they
speak one language, peculiar to themselves.

The Norwegian gipsies are mentioned as a warlike race, travelling with
weapons, especially knives, and a dangerous weapon, called “Tjukei.”
This weapon, used by the Norwegian gipsies, is most commonly made of
Bamboo cane, and is about the length of a walking stick, being covered
with hide or leather. The middle of it, where it is held, is covered
with brass, and both ends of the “tjukei” are heavily loaded with lead.
It is formidable, and a blow from it is often most dangerous. The
Norwegian gipsies use this weapon with much skill, twirling it round in
their hand with wonderful rapidity, passing it dexterously from one hand
to the other, in an almost imperceptible manner, a feat which enables
them to continue the combat after an arm is disabled, and also to attack
their opponent where it is least expected. The “tjukei” seems to be used
in similar manner to the Irish shillaly, with which an Irishman is so
expert.

As the Tinklers, or Scottish gipsies, the Norwegian gipsies seem to have
had their feuds and disagreements, ending in severe fighting and
bloodshed. Their animosity and feelings of revenge were doubly
dangerous, from the uncontrolled and strong impulses of their nature,
the full extent of which can scarcely be comprehended by a kairengro, or
housedweller. Even in England, curious instances of wild revenge have
occasionally occurred, resulting in the death of one party. On the
occasion of such contentions in Norway, the women often join in the
fray, and an instance of the ferocity of the gipsy women is given by
Præsten Sundt, as occurring at Ullensaker, some time since, at a fight
which took place between two strong bands of Norwegian gipsies, which
was long remembered in the district. Two of the gipsy women there fought
with such violence and determination, that at last they stood face to
face, without a shred of clothes left for their comfort and convenience.

This hostile encounter of Norwegian Tatare is similar to some of the
gipsy contests mentioned by Simpson as occurring occasionally between
bands of Scotch gipsies; One fight occurred at Rommano, on the 1st
October, 1677, between two gipsy clans--the Fawes and the Shawes--about
some spoil, after Haddington fair, when old Sandie Fawe and his wife
were both killed, and George Fawe dangerously wounded. In the February
following, old Robin Shawe and his three sons were hung for killing
Sandie Fawe and his wife. Dr. Pennecuik erected on the spot a dove-cote
to commemorate the battle, with the following inscription:--

                    A.D. 1683.
    The field of Gipsie blood which here you see,
    A shelter for the harmless dove shall be.

Another fierce contest is described as having occurred in the spring of
the year 1772 or 1773, the battle originating from the encroachments of
one tribe on the district assigned to another, the fertile source of
many gipsy quarrels.

This battle happened near Hawick, and, according to Simpson, the
celebrated Alexander Kennedy, a handsome, athletic man, at the head of
his tribe, with little Wull Ruthven, the father-in-law of Kennedy, and
commonly known over the country as the Earl of Hell, and Muckle Wull
Ruthven, a man of uncommon stature and personal strength, with Kennedy’s
wife, Jean Ruthven, and a great number of inferior members of the clan,
males and females, including children, were opposed to old Robert Tait,
Chieftain of his horde, whose forces consisted of Jacob Tait, young
Robert Tait, three of Tait’s sons-in-law, Jean Gordon, old Tait’s wife,
and a train of youths of both sexes, of various ages, composing his
family adherents. The whole of the gipsies were armed with cudgels,
except some of the Taits, who carried cutlasses, and pieces of iron
hoop, notched and serrated, and fixed at the end of sticks.

This fray appears to have been prolonged with desperate determination,
both parties observing silence, and nothing being heard but the heavy
rattle of their sticks, till at last the Earl, who had retired to get
his wounds dressed, seeing his daughter, Kennedy’s wife, dreadfully
wounded, lost heart, and, with the rest of his party, fled, leaving
Kennedy alone, with the infuriated Taits striking at him on all sides.
Kennedy, who handled his cudgel with extraordinary dexterity,
judiciously retreated to the narrow bridge of Hawick, where he was
severely pressed by the Taits, and there is little doubt they would have
killed him, but for his advantageous position. With one powerful sweep
of his cudgel, he disarmed two of the Taits, and felled another to the
ground. Kennedy’s determined stand, single-handed, without a follower
left, against all the Taits, excited a warm interest and sympathy in his
favour among the inhabitants of the town, who had witnessed the conflict
with amazement and horror. When Kennedy broke a cudgel on his enemies
with his powerful arm, they handed him another, till at length a party
of constables arrived to his relief, and apprehended the Taits; but as
none of the gipsies were actually slain, the Taits were afterwards set
at liberty. In this battle, it was said that every gipsy, except
Alexander Kennedy, the brave chief, was severely wounded. Simpson
remarks, that what astonished the inhabitants, was the fierce and
stubborn disposition of the gipsy females, who, when they were knocked
down senseless to the ground, rose again with redoubled vigour and
energy for the fight. This conflict was called by the English gipsies,
the “Battle of the Bridge.”

Many other instances could be given with regard to gipsy contests; but
enough is before the reader to show that the wild, lawless life of the
Norwegian gipsies was formerly equalled by those of Great Britain,
especially in Scotland, where they often carried arms, and in some
instances, their bands were attached to some noble house, from whom they
derived occasionally protection. It is a peculiar feature of their
history, that in almost every country through which they wandered, they
have at times drawn upon themselves the strongest hostility of the
administrators of the law, and very often a policy of extermination; yet
they have still managed to survive, as a distinct people, still clinging
to many of their hereditary usages and nomadic habits with singular
tenacity.

Prœsten Sundt observes, that it is strange, living, as they do, in small
detached bands, they should still retain so many usages, traditions, and
habits in common. The true reason he conceives to be, that their
meetings are more frequent than we could suppose possible.

On the authority of an old gipsy, he states that when a band comes to
cross roads, they are accustomed to place on the right-hand side of the
one they are following, some small twigs of fir, upon which they lay a
small stone, in order that the wind may not displace them. Any one
passing who does not know the meaning of the sign, either does not
attach any importance to it, or, at most, thinks that a child has been
there at play. The object of the sign is to show to another band where
they may meet with their own people; and it is always of great service
to such good “Romany” as may require food and shelter, to be able thus
to distinguish the route by the sign called the “patron,” placed at
intervals on some gipsy trail.

In the winter, the Norwegian gipsies use another sign, which they make
in the snow with their whips. The sign is called by them “faano,” and
resembles a sack with the mouth closed.

These two signs are very useful when two bands agree to travel in
company; for, in order to avoid attracting attention, they are obliged
to have always at least one day’s journey between the two parties; and
it is by the aid of these signs, they are able to follow each other with
ease. At times, too, messengers pass between the bands, to give timely
warning should the authorities he in pursuit of them.

Prœsten Sundt cautiously hesitated to believe this, as well as much
which the gipsies told him; but the authority of Borrow upon this
subject, and from the practical and certain information we ourselves
have gained, as to the use of “patrins,” leave no reason to doubt the
truth of the account given by the Norwegian gipsy.

In August, 1855, a royal proclamation, in reference to further efforts
to be made to control and reclaim, if possible, all Norwegian and
Swedish gipsies, gave additional evidence of the interest with which
they were regarded by the authorities, and a large sum of money having
been voted by the “Storthing,” Prœsten Sundt was enabled to publish his
work, “Forsat Beretning om Fantefolket.” Christiania: 1859.[147] In this
work the author gives most minute particulars concerning the success of
his efforts, and quotes the cases of upwards of four hundred
individuals, who had been maintained at the charge of the State, during
the years 1855-9, at a comparatively trifling expense. The children had
also, in most cases, been placed with peasant families. Prœsten Sundt
gives a vivid picture of the vicissitudes in life of the gipsies, who,
however, cannot be said to be neglected by the authorities. In 1862,
Prœsten Sundt issued a small volume, entitled “Anden Aars Beretning om
Fantefolket,” which contains many interesting and additional particulars
relative to the Norwegian gipsies. This was followed by a Special Report
of 56 pages, issued in 1863, and a small volume of 113 pages, published
in 1865, both relating to the Norwegian gipsies.



II.


    Tabulated Comparison of the Norwegian gipsy (Tatersprog), and
    the English gipsy (Romanes), showing the similarity of many
    words in the two languages, notwithstanding the early separation
    of this people, in detached hordes, in two distinct kingdoms.

  --------------------+---------------------+------------------------------
   PRŒSTEN SUNDT’S    |   ENGLISH GIPSY.    |           ENGLISH.
   NORWEGIAN GIPSY.   |                     |
  --------------------+---------------------+------------------------------
    Ava               |  Av, Avel, Avellin  |  To come, coming
    Bal               |  Bal                |  Hair
    Balo              |  Balo               | {Pig, swine
                      |                     | {Balo Shero, pig’s head
    Balivas           |  Balivas            |  Bacon
    Bar               |  Bar                |  Stone
    Baro              |  Boro               |  Great, fine
    Barvaló           |  Barvelo            |  Wealth, much
    Basscha           |  Bosch              | {Fiddle, to play
                      |                     | {Boshamengro, a fiddler
    Beng              |  Beng               |  The devil
    Berro             |  Bairo              |  Boat
    Besscha           |  Besh, Beschellay   |  To sit, sitting
    Bittan            |  Bitty, Bitta       |  Little
    But               | {But, Bootsee,}     |  Much
                      | {Kissy, Koosee,}    |
    Dad               |  Dad                |  Father
    Deia              |  Daya, Day          |  Mother
    Devel             |  Dovel, Duvel       |  God
    Diklo             |  Dicklo             |  Handkerchief
    Dives             |  Divus              | {The day
                      |                     | {Cushty divus, good day
    Doschta           |  Doosta             |  Enough
    Drabb             |  Drabengro          |  Doctor (one who dispenses
                      |                     |    medicine)
    Dromin            |  Drom               |  Road, way
    Dummo             |  Dummo              | {The back; Dumo, Turkish
                      |                     | {  gipsy for back.
    Dur               |  Dur                |  Long
    Döi               |  Doi                |  There
    Ful               |  Full               |  Dirt
    Gav               |  Gav                | {Village
                      |                     | {Boro gav, town
    Giv               |  Giv                | {Corn
                      |                     | {Givengro, farmer
    Grasni            |  Grasny             | {Mare
                      |                     | {Crashnia (Basque Romany)
    Grei              |  Grei, grye         |  Horse
    Gurni             |  Gurny              |  Cow
    Ja                |  Jee, jaw, gel      |  To go
    Jila              |  Gilee, givelee     |  Song
    Juklo             |  Jukel, Juklo       |  Dog
    Kas               |  Kas                |  Hay
    Kei               |  Kei                |  Here
    Ker               |  Kair               | {House
                      |                     | {Kairengro, house-dweller
    Kil               |  Kil                |  Butter
    Kokka             | {Hokerpen}          |  A lie, falsehood
                      | {Hokapen }          |
    Kokkero           |  Kokero             |  Self
    Kolliva           |  Ollivaws           |  Stockings
    Kalo              |  Calo               |  Black
                      |                     | {Letter, a writing; chinomengree
    Lil               |  Lil                | {  also used in English
                      |                     | {  gipsy for letter
    Lon               |  Lon                |  Salt
    Lovo              |  Lovo               |  Money
    Ma                |  Maw                |  Not
    Maro              |  Moro               |  Bread
    Mas               |  Mass               | {Meat
                      |                     | {Moolo mas, carrion
    Möi               |  Mouee              |  Mouth
    Matejo            |  Matcho, Matchee    | {Fish
                      |                     | {Macho (Basque Romany)
    Mommali           |  Mumlee             |  Candle
    Mors              |  Moosh              |  Man
    Mulo              |  Moolo              |  Dead
    Mussi             |  Moschee            |  The arm
    Nak               |  Nok                |  Nose
    Nav               |  Nav                |  Name
    Pab               |  Pob                | {Apples
                      |                     | {Pobengree, cider
    Pani              |  Panee              |  Water
    Parikka           |  Parik              |  To thank
    Patron            |  Patrin             | {Leaf-signal
                      |                     | {Patrin (Turkish Romany) leaf
    Pi                |  Pi                 |  To drink
    Piro              |  Peero              |  The foot
    Piri              |  Piri               |  Pot or kettle
    Por               |  Por                |  Feather
    Pral              |  Pal                |  Brother
    Puro              | {Puro           }   | {Old
                      | {Puru (feminine)}   | {Phuro (Turkish Romany)
    Pœna              |  Pen                |  Sister
    Rakra             |  Rocker             |  To talk
    Rakli             |  Rackly             |  Girl
    Rankano           |  Rye                |  Gentleman
    Rani              |  Rawnee             |  Lady
    Rasscho           |  Rashei             |  Priest
    Rat               |  Rat                |  Blood
    Ratti             |  Ratti              |  Night
    Rup               |  Rup                |  Silver
    Schelano          |  Shillino           |  Cold
    Schero            |  Schero             |  Head
    Siva              |  Siv                |  To sow
    Sonneka           |  Soonakey           |  Gold
    Stadi             |  Stardy             |  Hat
    Summin            |  Simmin             |  Soup
    Tatto             |  Tatto              |  Warm
    Tjavo             |  Chavo              |  A child
    Tjei              |  Kei                |  A girl
    Tjumma            |  Chuma              |  A kiss
    Trash             |  Trash              |  Fear
    Tud               |  Tud                |  Milk
                      |                     | {The hand
    Vascht            | {Vastee, Vast,}     | {Basta (Basque Romany)
                      | {Vastro       }     | {Vast (Turkish Romany)
    Vesch             |  Vesh               |  Wood, forest

The foregoing comparison of the gipsy language (Romanes), as spoken by
the Norwegian and English gipsies, will probably be sufficient to
satisfy our reader that both languages are the same.

Long as their separation has been, from whatever portion of the world
they came, the Norwegian and English gipsies are evidently one and the
same people.

The circumstances and causes which have separated and scattered this
singular people in detached hordes, to be wanderers in the midst of
civilisation, at present remains an impenetrable mystery.



III.


The following table of comparison of Romany numerals, which we have
arranged, may be interesting. The English gipsy numerals are completed
to ten, partly from Bryant’s collection of English gipsy words,
published in the “Annual Register” of 1785. We do not know any instance
of an English author, since that date, obtaining from the English
gipsies, Romany numerals so high as ten. Hoyland, in his work,
published in 1818, gives a list from Grellmann, whose work was
translated into English by Raper, in 1785. Hoyland also gives some
examples from Bryant, but only verifies, from his own research, the
gipsy numerals up to five, and the numeral ten. Crabb, the gipsies’
friend, who published a work in 1818, gives examples of gipsy numerals
from Grellmann, Hoyland, and Captain Richardson. No other succeeding
authors appear to have been able to make up their list of English gipsy
numerals to ten, without having recourse to Bryant or Grellmann.
Simpson, who has written an interesting work upon the Scotch gipsies, a
work evidently the result of much patient research, gives the Scotch
gipsy numerals as far as ten; but, after six, the remaining numbers
given have evidently no affinity to the Romany language. Either the
gipsies, not knowing the numerals to ten, gave him wrong words, or he
mistook the sound. Although many words of the language may have been
gradually lost, we can only wonder how they have managed to preserve,
through all their wanderings, hardships, and difficulties, this link,
fragmental though it be, to an early past, in some long-forgotten land,
whence they originally came.


TABULATED COMPARISON OF GIPSY NUMERALS.

  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  | Bryant’s |   Sundt’s  |  Sundt’s   | Borrow’s | Borrow’s  | English | Hoyland’s | Simpson’s | Grellman. | Polock’s  | Paspati’s | Paspati’s | Hindostance. |   Hindee.  |     Sanscrit.       | English. |
  | English  |  Norwegian | Lithuanian | Spanish  | Hungarian |  Gipsy. |  English  |  Scotch   |           | Sanscrit. | Turkish   |  Asiatic  |              |            |                     |          |
  |  Gipsy,  | Tatersprog | Tatersprog |  Gipsy.  |  Gipsy.   |         |   Gipsy.  |  Gipsy.   |           |           |  Gipsy.   |  Gipsy.   |              |            |                     |          |
  |  1785.   |  or Gipsy. |  or Gipsy. |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           |              |            |                     |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           |              |            | Ēkŭ (mas.)          |          |
  | Yec.     | Jikk       | Jek        | Yeque    | Jek       | Yek     | Yake      | Yalk      | Ick       | Eka       | Yek       | Yúka      | Ēk           | Ēk         | Ēkā (fem.)          | One      |
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           | Ek        |           |           |           |              |            | Ēkŭṅ (neu.)[148]    |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           |              |            | Dwi (crude)         |          |
  | Due.     | Dy         | Dui        | Dui      | Dui       | Dui     | Duée      | Duie      | Duj       | Dui       | Dui       | Di        | Dŏ           | Dō         | Dwau (m. and f.     | Two      |
  |          |            |            |          |           | Doi     |           |           | Doj       |           |           | Didi      |              |            | Dwē (neu.)          |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           |              | Trŭe       | Tri (crude)         |          |
  | Trin.    | Trin       | Trin       | Trin     | Trin      | Trin    | Trin      | Trin      | Trin      | Tri       | Trin      | Dun       | Teen         | (like try) | Trŭgŭ (mas.)        | Three    |
  |          | Drill      |            |          |           |         |           |           | Tri       |           |           |           |              | Tri        | Trisŭ (fem.)        |          |
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           |              |            | Treeni (neu.)       |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           |              |            | Chŭtoor (crude.)    |          |
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           | Ishtár    |           |              |            | Chŭtwārŭ (mas.)     |          |
  | Stor.    | Shtar      | Schtaar    | Estar    | Schtar    | Stor    | Stor      | Tor       | Schtar    | Chater    | Shtár     | Ishtar    | Chār         | Chār       | Chŭtŭsū (fem.)      | Four     |
  |          |            |            |          |           | Star    |           |           | Star      |           | Star      | Shtái     |              |            | Chŭtwāree (neu.)    |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           | Pansch  |           |           |           |           |           |           |              |            |                     |          |
  | Peng.    | Pansch     | Pantsch    | Pansche  | Pansch    | Peng    | Pan       | Punch     | Pantsch   | Pancha    | Pantch    | Pentch    | Pãnch        | Pŭnch      | Pŭnch               |  Five    |
  |          |            |            |          |           | Panj    |           | Fo        | Pansch    |           | Pandj     |           |              |            |                     |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           | Tschowe   |           |           |           | Chhŭh        |            |                     |          |
  | Sho.     | Sink       | Shoov      | Job      | Tschov    | Sho     | --        | Shaigh    | Schow     | Shat      | Sho       | Shesh     | Khŭt         | Khŭt       | Shŭsh (crude)       |          |
  |          |            |            | Zoi      |           | Shov    |           |           | Sof       |           | Shov      |           | Shŭt         | Shŭt       | Khŭt} (mas. fem.    | Six      |
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           | Shŭsh        |            | Shŭt}  and neu.)    |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          | Schuh,     |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           | Sāt          |            |                     |          |
  | Afta.    | more often | Efta       | Hefta    | Efta      | Afta    | --        | Naivairn  | Efta      | Sapta     | Eftá      | Hoft      | Hŭft         | Sāt        | Sŭptŭṅ (crude)      | Seven    |
  |          | Sytt       |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           | Sŭpt         | Sŭpt       | Sŭpt (m. f. and n.) |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           |           |           | Āth          |            |                     |          |
  | Oitoo.   | Okto       | Ochto      | Otor     | Ochto     | Oitoo   | --        | Naigh     | Ochto     | Ashta     | Okhtó     | Háisht    | Ŭsht         | Āth        | Ushtŭṅ              | Eight    |
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           | Luften    |           |           | Ohtó      |           | Hŭsht        | Ŭsht       |                     |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  |          | Engja,     |            |          |           |         |           |           |           |           | Enéa      |           |              |            |                     |          |
  | Enneah   | often      | Enja       | Esnia    | Enija     | Euneah  | --        | Line      | Enja      | Nava      | Enia      | Néya      | Nou          | Mŭvŭ       | Nŭvŭṅ (crude)       | Nine     |
  |          | Nin        |            |          |           |         |           |           | Eija      |           | Iniya     | Nu        | Nŭh          | Nau        | Nŭvŭ (m. f. & n.)   |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+
  | Desh.    | Tin        | Desch      | Deque    | Dōsch     | Desh    | Dyche     | Nay       | Desch     | Dasa      | Desh      | Dez       | Dŭs          | Dŭs        | Dŭsŭn (crude)       | Ten      |
  |          |            |            |          |           |         |           |           | Des       |           | Des       | Dest      |              |            | Dŭs (m. f. and n.)  |          |
  +----------+------------+------------+----------+-----------+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+--------------+------------+---------------------+----------+



IV.


THE NORWEGIAN POET’S MORTGAGE OR PANTEBREV.

    Eg er, som vel Du veit, ein Fjellets Mann,
    og derfor dreg til Fjells, so tidt eg kan,
    at friska meg paa Fly og bratte Bryn,
    og sjaa ikring meg alle store Syn.

    Men efter som eg meir paa Alder steig,
    og Foten mindre lett frametter seig,
    so laut eg soleids sveiva meg og snu,
    at eg i Jötunheimen fekk ei Bud,
    der eg ein Maanads Tid kan liva vel
    og styrkja millom Fjellom Skrott og Sjel.

    Eg plassen valde, etter Syn pan mange
    ved Bygdins vestre Ende paa ein Tange.
    Fraa logne Heim, der ser Du Tinder vaja,
    og Sletmarkhö, som likjest Himalaya.
    Med kvite Lokkar stend ho som i Tankar
    so nett som hægsta Tinden Gaurisankar.

    Eg tri fekk med meg til det Byggjeverk,
    men endaa er min Pung so litet sterk
    at ikke eg, som er ein afsett Kar,
    kan löysa in min Part i denne Gard.
    Fem Daler hadd’ eg, so var Pungen tom,
    og fem og tjuge er den heile Sum.
    Men dette vantad Tjug til Samskotslag,
    det fekk af Konsul Heftye eg idag.
    For dette og den gode Viljen sin
    eg gev’n Pant i denne Garden min.

    So, om eg döyr, hel dreg af Landet ut,
    so eig i Garden han den fjorde Lut,
    imot at han fem Daler legger af
    til deim, som paa mit Bu kan hava Krav
    forutan Alt, som etter Svärt paa Kvitt,
    paa Garden kostad verdt i Navnet mitt,
    i Fall han ikkje vil, som hender tidt,
    til Andre selja dette pantet sit,
    og draga pantesummen derifraa
    hjaa deim, som Garden etter Auktion faa,
    Til kvert eit Nytaar fæer han Renta plent,
    i Kongens Mynt med Retten fem procent.

    Og so han hev for Gud og Retten sin
    der fyrste Pant i Eidsbu Garden min
    som vel er ny, men derfor god som gyld,
    og fær nok Numer og Matrikulskyld,
    og so i Thingets Bok eit serskilt Rum
    paa lange, store mugne Folium.
    Og saa som Vitne stend her, daa til Svars
    Voldmester Thjöme, Archivaren Sars,
    som eiga Garden etter Lod og Linje
    isaman med med meg--AASMUND OLSEN VINGE.[149]

    Christiania, 28de November, 1868.
                                     Til Vitterlighed:
                          H. J. THJÖME.      E. SARS.

Læst, extraheret, og protokolleret ved Maanedsthinget for Vang og Slidre
Thinglag den 16de December, 1868. Det bemærkes at Debitor ei erfares at
have thinglæst Hjemmel paa Pantet, ligesom det ei kan erfares at være
skydsat eller at henhöre under noget Brug, hvorfor nærværende Dokument
er bleven extraheret paa Vangs Sameies Folium.

For Thingl og Anm, 60--sexti skill.

  ENGELSCHJÖN.


TRANSLATION OF THE NORWEGIAN POET’S MORTGAGE, OR PANTEBREV.

THE MORTGAGE.

    I am, as well you know, a man of the mountains,
    And therefore go to the Fjelds as oft as I can,
    To freshen myself on craig or broad hillside,
    And look around to see as far as I can.

    But as I find I’m getting on in years,
    And that I am not so fleet of foot as I was,
    I lie and bask in the sun, and think
    That I should like a hut in Jötunheim,[150]
    Where I could live well for a month’s space,
    And strengthen body and soul among the fjelds.

    I chose the spot, after looking at many,
    With the west end of the hut upon a tongue of land.
    From the little hut you see the peaks so lofty,
    And Sletmarkhö, so much like Himalaya.
    Bareheaded, thus I stood in contemplation,
    On mighty Gaurisankar’s highest peak.

    I took three with me for this building work;
    But then my purse is so extremely light,
    That I, who am but an humble fellow,
    Cannot pay my share in this property.
    I had five dollars--so light was my purse,
    And five-and-twenty was the sum required.
    But this much wanted, twenty in the total,
    I got to-day from Mr. Consul Heftye.
    For this, and for his kind goodwill,
    I give a mortgage on this house of mine.
    So, if I die, or if I leave the land,
    He shall possess the fourth part of the house
    On paying down five dollars to the man
    Who may have any claim upon my hut,
    Excepting all that, as the receipt does show,
    Was spent upon the house in my own name,
    In case he will not, as ofttimes occurs,
    Sell this, his mortgage, to another man,
    Deducting the amount of the mortgage from
    That which the house will fetch when sold by
    Auction. With each new year he interest shall
    Receive, in Royal coin, at legal five per cent.

    And thus, before God and the law, he has
    The first mortgage on this isthmus house of mine,
    Which is quite new, and, therefore, good as gold,
    And shall have number and matriculation,
    And have a space allotted in the books of the
    Court, in their great big, musty folios.
    As witnesses appear the Dike inspector,
    Thjöme, and the Keeper of the Archives, Sars,
    Who own a share and portion in the house,
    Together with myself--AASMUND OLSEN VINGE.

    Christiania, 28th November, 1868.
                                     Witnesses:
                        H. J. THJÖME.      E. SARS.

Read, extracted, and protocolled at the Monthly Court for the district
of Vang and Slidre, the 16th December, 1868.

It is observed, that the debtor is not aware of having produced any
proof of the mortgage; neither can it be ascertained that it has been
taxed, or that it belongs to any custom, for which reason this document
was extracted on the folio for joint ownership for Vang.

       *       *       *       *       *

For production and entry, 60--sixty skil.

  ENGELSCHJÖN.



V.


We have thought it well to insert in the Appendix, the following notice
from J. P. Laurent’s “Livet i Felten,”[151] relative to Mr. Bennett, so
well known to almost every tourist and sportsman who has visited
Christiania during the last twenty years; and to those of our readers
who have chanced to linger in the quaint old rooms at 17, Store
Strandgade, mentioned at page 52 of this work, the notice may probably
have an additional interest.

“Til min store Sorg erfoer jeg her, at vor Engelskmand under mit Ophold
i Kolding havde forladt Korpset og var dragen til Norge, som han
pludselig havde faaet Lyst til at see. Da jeg anseer det meget uvist, om
han atter faaer Lyst til at vende tilbage hertil, ved Udgangen af
Vaabenstilstanden, og om han overhovedet nogensinde kommer tilbage til
Danmark, baaber jeg ikke, at jeg begaaer en Indiskretionsfejl ved at
navngive dette Menneske, der med saamegen Interesse personlig har fulgt
vor Sag i over et halvt Aar. Da han paa Udrejsen bad Obersten om et
maatte folge Korpset som civil Ledsager, naturligviis uden at staae i
nogetsomhelst Forpligtelsesforhold til Korpset, tilbod han sig at
assistere Lœgerne, og, efterat han var bleven Almindelig kjendt, kaldte
Karlene ham ‘den Engelske Doktor.’ Han hed T. Bennett og Kaldte sig for
Spög: Voluntary assistant to the medical officers of the Danish army.
Inden han forlod Korpset var han afholdt af Alle paa Grund af sin
godmodige Characteer og utrættelige Tjenstvillighed imod Alle. Ved
Retiraden fra Nörre Maestrup efter det natlige Overfald laa en af vore
Jægere syg i den Gaard, Fjenderne havde omringet, og var ganske sikkert
bleven fangen, hvis ikke Bennett havde taget ham paa sin Ryg og slœbt
afsted med ham, saalœnge han Kunde.--Paa Maeschen[152] (_sic_) vandrede
han bestandig paa sin Fod, skjöndt man ikke vilde have nœgtet ham Plads
paa Bagagevognene, og paa lœngere Toure tog han ofte Gevœret eller
Tornystren fra de Trœtteste og bar det ufertrödent.--Naar det var, at vi
laae i Bivouak, eller i lœngere Tid maatte staae opstillede paa et eller
ander Sted uden at turde forlade samme, ilede Bennett stedse omkring og
forskaffede, hvad han kunde, til at vedergvœge Obersten og Officererne
med, og stedse bar han til det Öjemed et Par Flasker Viin i sin
Tornyster. Man kunde vedblive at fortœlle mange lignende Exempler paa
den Hengivenhed, hvormed han fölte sig knyttet til vort Korps, og den
rastlöse Iver, hvormed han strœbte efter at tjene Alle, og vi vare Alle
enige om, at han fortjente en offentlig Udemœrkelse.

“Den nœrmere Anledning til, at han fulgte med os, samt han noble Adfœrd
i den Anledning fortjener ogsaa at omtales. Da Korpset forlod
Kjöbenhavn, var det egentlig en Broder til en af de Frivillige, der
önskede som Civil at ledsage os, i Begyndelsen rigtignok Kun til
Roeskilde, men senere hile Felttoget med. Bennett troede at vœre den
Frivilliges Familie nogen Forbindtlighed skyldig og skrev hjem til den,
at naar den yngre Broder maatte gaae med, vilde han, Bennett, bestandig
ledsage denne og fölge ham hjem, naar han selv vilde. Og da den yngre
Broder forlod Korpset i Ejstrup i Begyndelsen af Juli Maaned, ledsagede
Bennett ham ganske rigtigen til Kjöbenhavn, og blev i den Anledning
forsynet med en sœrdeles smigrende Skrivelse fra vor Oberst. Men neppe
var Bennett kommen til Kjöbenhavn, förend han uopfordret löb omkring til
Officierernes Familier og bragte Hilsener fra Mœnd og Slœgtninge, og
derpaa vendte han tilbage til Armeen og bragte os en Deel personlige
Hilsener fra Hjemmet. Inden han blev mere bekjendt, paadrog han sig
flere Ubehageligheder. Paa Als blev han antagen for en Spion, og i
Haderslev vilde Politiet absolut arrestere ham som Friskaremand til
Engelskmandens store Fornöjelse. Selv Karlene ansaae dette lange
Menneske med stort, rödligt Skjœg og hvidt Halstörklœde for en förloben
tydsk Haandvœrkssvend og holdt Öje med ham paa Marschen, indtil, de
lœrte ham bedre at Kjende.--Endelig bör jeg ogsaa ömtale, at han er
Forfatter af de engelske Vers og Krirgssange, som i afvigte Sommer
fandtes indrykkede i den _Berlingske Tidende_.”


TRANSLATION.

“To my great sorrow, I here learn that our Englishman, during my stay at
Kolding, has left the corps, and gone to Norway, as if he had suddenly
formed a wish to see it. As I consider his return very uncertain
previous to the expiring of the armistice, or whether he will revisit
Denmark at all; whether or no, I wish to mention the person who has
supported our cause with such personal interest for more than half a
year. When he first arrived, the Colonel asked him whether he would
accompany the army in the capacity of a civil officer, of course without
any military obligation towards the corps. He volunteered his assistance
in the medical department, and, after remaining some time with us, and
becoming generally known, the men called him ‘the English Doctor.’ After
this, T. Bennett sportively called himself ‘Voluntary Assistant to the
Medical Officers of the Danish Army.’ Although he has left the corps,
he was esteemed by every one, on account of his kindly character and
earnest desire to be useful to everyone. On the retreat from Nörre
Maestrup, after the nocturnal attack, one of our Jägers was lying in a
yard; the enemy had surrounded it, and he was certain of being taken
prisoner, had not Bennett carried him off on his back, and trudged away
with him as far as he could. On the march he was always on foot,
notwithstanding that he might have had a place on the baggage waggons,
and on longer expeditions he would frequently take muskets or knapsacks
from the weary, and carry them forward. When we happened to be lying in
bivouac, or were forced to stop in any place, without daring to advance
or recede, Bennett always went with the Colonel and officers to
reconnoitre, for which purpose he carried a couple of bottles of wine in
his knapsack. Many similar instances might be related of the devotion
with which he felt himself bound to our army corps, and of his ardent
zeal to be useful to all, and how all our men loved him. He deserved a
public distinction.

“On the last occasion he accompanied us, his noble behaviour again
deserves an excellent report. When the corps first left Copenhagen,
there was a brother of one of our volunteers, who wished to accompany us
in a civil capacity, and, indeed, reached Roeskilde sufficiently, but
his health broke down at the review. Bennett deemed it his duty towards
the volunteer’s family to write, that if the younger brother should
join, he would be a companion to him, and bring him home if he wished
it. And when the younger brother left the army, at Ejstrup, in the
beginning of the month of July, Bennett most kindly went with him to
Copenhagen, and, provided with a most flattering letter from the
Colonel, was to remain there. Scarcely, however, had Bennett reached
Copenhagen, ere he, unsolicitedly, visited the officers’ families,
bringing greetings from friends and kindred, after which he immediately
returned to the army, with many personal messages from home.

“Until he had become better known, he had many annoyances. At Als he was
taken for a spy, and in Hadersleben the police actually wanted to arrest
him, to the Englishman’s great amusement. Our men even looked upon the
tall man, with his fair beard and white neckerchief, as a German
mechanic who had deserted, and kept an eye on him while on the march,
until they learned to know him better.

“I should also finally mention, that he is the author of the English
poem and war songs, which I found last summer printed in the _Berlingske
Tidende_.”


THE END.



    _The following Works are advertised by the Author of “Tent Life
    in Norway” at his own expense, as either relating to the scenes
    of his travels, or to subjects connected with his book, or from
    a feeling of personal interest, and a wish to promote their
    authors’ success._


HOW TO SEE NORWAY. By JOHN R. CAMPBELL. London: LONGMANS, GREEN & CO.
1871.


THE PLAYGROUND OF EUROPE. By LESLIE STEPHEN, late President of the
Alpine Club.

London: LONGMANS, GREEN & CO., Paternoster Row.


LAST RAMBLES AMONGST THE INDIANS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND THE ANDES.
By GEORGE CATLIN, Author of “Life Amongst the Indians,” &c., &c.

London: SAMPSON LOW, SON & MARSTON, Milton House, Ludgate Hill. 1868.


THE SEVERN VALLEY: A SERIES OF SKETCHES DESCRIPTIVE AND PICTORIAL, OF
THE COURSE OF THE SEVERN, &C. By J. RANDALL.

London: JAMES S. VIRTUE, City Road and Ivy Lane. 1862.


A POET’S DAY-DREAMS. By HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN, Author of “Pictures of
Sweden,” “Improvisatore.”

London: RICHARD BENTLEY, New Burlington Street. 1853.


INVESTIGATIONS IN THE THEORY OF REFLECTED-RAY SURFACES, AND THEIR
RELATION TO PLANE REFLECTED CAUSTICS. Also in the APPENDIX, a Theory of
Plane Caustic Curves, identified with the Evolute of the Auxiliary Curve
of Equiangular Intersection. By the Rev. G. F. CHILDE, M.A.,
Mathematical Professor in the South African College, Cape of Good Hope.

Cape Town: Published by J. C. JUTA, Wale Street. 1858.


ON RELATED CAUSTICS OF REFLECTION, AND THE EVOLUTE OF THE LEMNISCATA, AS
DERIVED FROM A CAUSTIC OF THE HYPERBOLA. By the Rev. G. F. CHILDE, M.A.

Cape Town: Published by J. C. JUTA, Wale Street. 1859.


SINGULAR PROPERTIES OF THE ELLIPSOID, AND ASSOCIATED SURFACES OF THE
NORTH DEGREE. Dedicated by permission to his Royal Highness Prince
ALFRED. By the Rev. G. F. CHILDE, M.A., author of “Ray Surfaces,”
“Related Caustics,” &c., Mathematical Professor in the South African
College, Member of the Board of Public Examiners at the Cape of Good
Hope.

MACMILLAN & CO., Cambridge; J. C. JUTA, Cape Town.


THE RELIQUARY: A DEPOSITORY FOR PRECIOUS RELICS, LEGENDARY,
BIOGRAPHICAL, AND HISTORICAL. Edited by LLEWELLYNN JEWITT, F.S.A.,
Member of the Archæological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.,
&c.

London: JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 36, Soho Square; Derby: BENROSE & SONS,
Irongate.


BISHOP PERCY’S FOLIO MANUSCRIPT BALLADS AND ROMANCES. Edited by JOHN W.
HALES, M.A., Fellow and late Assistant Tutor of Christ’s College,
Cambridge, and FREDERICK J. FURNIVAL, M.A., of Trinity Hall, Cambridge,
assisted by Professor CHILD, of Harvard University, U.S., W. CHAPPEL,
Esq., &c.

London: N. TRÜBNER & CO., 60, Paternoster Row. 1867.


SOUTH AMERICAN SKETCHES; OR, A VISIT TO RIO JANIERO, THE ORGAN
MOUNTAINS, LA PLATA, AND THE PARANA. By THOMAS WOODBINE HINCHCLIFF,
M.A., F.R.G.S., Author of “Summer Months Among the Alps.”

London: LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, ROBERTS & GREEN. 1863.


SCENES FROM THE SNOW-FIELDS; BEING ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE UPPER ICE-WORLD
OF MONT BLANC, from Sketches made on the spot in the years 1856, 1857,
1858. With Historical and Descriptive Remarks, and a Comparison of the
Chamonix and St. Gervais routes. By EDMUND T. COLEMAN.

“But the feeding of rivers and the purifying of winds are the least of
the services appointed to the hills. To fill the thirst of the human
heart for the beauty of God’s working--to startle its lethargy with the
deep and pure agitation of astonishment--are their higher missions. They
are as great and noble architecture; first giving shelter, comfort, and
rest; and covered also with mighty sculpture and painted
legend.”--RUSKIN.

The Views lithographed and printed in colours by VINCENT BROOKS.

London: LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, LONGMANS & ROBERTS. 1859.


THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF CHARNWOOD FOREST. By T. R. POTTER. With
an APPENDIX on the GEOLOGY, BOTANY, and ORNITHOLOGY of the District. The
Geology by J. B. JUKES, Esq., M.A., F.G.S. The Botany by the Rev. ANDREW
BLOXAM, M.A., and CHURCHILL BABINGTON, Esq., Scholar of St. John’s
College, Cambridge; and the Ornithology by CHURCHILL BABINGTON, Esq.

London: HAMILTON, ADAMS, & CO., Paternoster Row; R. ALLEN, Nottingham;
E. ALLEN, Leicester. 1842.


SCRAMBLES AMONGST THE ALPS IN THE YEARS 1860-69. By EDWARD WHYMPER. With
five Maps and 120 Illustrations. Second Edition. Price One Guinea.

London: JOHN MURRAY, Albemarle Street.


_Just Published, in 12mo., pages 470, price 16s._

THE LICHEN-FLORA OF GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND, AND THE CHANNEL ISLANDS. By
the Rev. W. A. LEIGHTON, B.A., F.L.S., F.B.S. Edin.

Apply for Copies to the Author, Luciefelde, Shrewsbury, with P.O.O. or
cheque, and postage 5d.


_Also by the same Author_,

Price One Guinea to Subscribers, and One Guinea and a Half to
Non-Subscribers, A CONSPECTUS OF ALL THE LICHENS HITHERTO DISCOVERED
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. With Diagnoses, &c.

Apply for copies to the Author, Rev. W. A. LEIGHTON, Luciefelde,
Shrewsbury.


THE BIBLE IN SPAIN. By GEORGE BORROW, Author of “The Gipsies in Spain,”
&c.

London: JOHN MURRAY, Albemarle Street. 1861.


HAPPY THOUGHT HALL. By F. C. BURNAND, Esq.

Published by BRADBURY & AGNEW, 10, Bouverie Street, Whitefriars.


THE ART OF TRAVEL; OR, SHIFTS AND CONTRIVANCES AVAILABLE IN WILD
COUNTRIES. By FRANCIS GALTON, F.R.G.S., Author of “The Explorers in
Tropical South Africa,” and Honorary Secretary to the Royal Geographical
Society.

Published by JOHN MURRAY, Albemarle Street.


GUIDE TO THE PYRENEES, FOR THE USE OF MOUNTAINEERS. By CHARLES PACKE.
Second Edition, with Map and Illustrations, 7_s._ 6_d._


THE ALPINE GUIDE. By JOHN BALL, M.R.I.A., late President of the Alpine
Club. Thoroughly revised Editions, in 3 vols., with Maps and other
Illustrations.

GUIDE TO WESTERN ALPS, including Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, and Zermatt,
6_s._ 6_d._

GUIDE TO CENTRAL ALPS, including all the Oberland District, 7_s._ 6_d._

GUIDE TO EASTERN ALPS, price 10_s._ 6_d._

INTRODUCTION on Alpine Travelling in general, and on the Geology of the
Alps, price 1_s._

Each of the three volumes, or parts of the “Alpine Guide,” may be had
with this Introduction prefixed, price 1_s._ extra.


THROUGH NORWAY WITH A KNAPSACK. By W. MATTIEU WILLIAMS. With six Tinted
Views and Map.

London: SMITH, ELDER & CO., 65, Cornhill. 1859.


THE HANDBOOK FOR NORWAY. By T. BENNETT.

Christiania.


CANADA IN 1864: A HANDBOOK FOR SETTLERS. By HENRY T. NEWTON CHESSHYRE,
late R.N., Author of “Recollections Of a Five Years’ Residence in
Norway.”

London: SAMPSON LOW, SON & MARSTON, 14, Ludgate Hill. 1864.


THE GAME BIRDS AND WILD FOWL OF SWEDEN AND NORWAY. Together with an
Account of the Seals and Salt-Water Fishes. Embellished with a Map, and
Illustrations executed in Chrome-Lithography, and 65 Woodcuts. By L.
LLOYD, Author of “Field Sports of the North of Europe” and “Scandinavian
Adventures.”

London: DAY & SON (Limited), 6, Gate Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, W.C.
1867.


OLD SPORTS AND SPORTSMEN; OR, THE WILLEY COUNTRY. With Sketches of
Squire Forester and his Whipper-in, Tom Moody.

“You all knew Tom Moody, the Whipper-in, well.”

By JOHN RANDALL, F.G.S., Author of “The Severn Valley,” &c. Illustrated
with numerous Engravings.

London: JAMES S. VIRTUE, City Road and Ivy Lane.


BRADBURY, AGNEW, AND CO., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] During this reign, after the battle of Hafsfjord, the great viking
“Rolf Ganger,” son of Earl Rognvald, having offended King Harald, was
banished from Norway, and, in company with many other Northmen, sailed
with a fleet of vessels to the Hebrides, and from thence to Normandy,
where the Northmen, about the year 896, obtained possession of Rouen,
and Rolf Ganger, afterwards embracing Christianity, became Duke of
Normandy.--_Histoire de la Conquête de l’Angleterre par les Normans_,
par Augustin Thierry, vol. i. p. 114.

[2] From the Heimskringla, or Chronicle of the Kings of Norway,
translated from the Icelandic of “Snorro Sturleson,” by Samuel Laing.

[3] The king ascends the throne as King of “Sweden, the Goths and
Vandals, and Norway;” but in all Acts specially relating to Norway, that
country is entitled to be named first, and this work being entirely one
of Norwegian travel, we have for that reason given Norway precedence in
our Dedication.

[4] Laing defines a Viking and a Sea-king thus:--a sea-king, one
connected with a royal race--either of the small kings of the country or
of the Haarfager family, and who by right received the title of king as
soon as he took command of men, although only a ship’s crew, without
having any land or kingdom. The Viking is a term not connected with the
word kóngr, or king: the vikings were merely pirates--alternately
peasants and pirates--deriving the name Viking from viks, wicks or
inlets on the coast, where they harboured their long ships or
rowing-galleys. Laing says every sea-king was a viking, but every viking
was not a sea-king.

[5] An interesting article, by Mr. Whymper, with frontispiece, showing a
“Fragment of the Jakobshaven Ice Stream,” appeared in the “Alpine
Journal” of May, 1870. Another article, the result of recent
exploration, entitled “Some Notes on Greenland and the Greenlanders,”
with a frontispiece, from Mr. Whymper’s pen, appeared in the “Alpine
Journal” of this month.

[6] Although we prefer our gipsy tent for convenience and comfort, it
cannot be compared to Mr. Whymper’s Alpine tent for security of shelter
when pitched on a camp ground of sterile rocks amongst high mountain
peaks, exposed to strong gales of wind.

[7] The pannikins hold about a pint and a half, and each weighs 6 oz.
They have a small loop handle on each side, which folds down, and is
covered with leather, so that the pannikin can be carried when filled
with hot tea. This kind of pannikin, first suggested to us by Mr.
Whymper, whose plan it is, we prefer to any other we have seen for
weight, size, and convenience.

[8] We have recently purchased a new and ingeniously contrived “cooking
canteen,” designed by Lieutenant Lecky, H.M.S. _Asia_. This canteen may
be inspected, and is for sale at 79, Mark Lane, City. It weighs 22 lbs.,
and its cost is two guineas. We however think it more adapted for a
military encampment than for an expedition like our own. One large light
fish-kettle, frying pan, and tin boiling kettle, were amply sufficient
for all requirements; and after the wear and tear of our wanderings in
Norway, they are still serviceable and fit for another expedition.

[9] “The ass is an excellent and sober little beast, far too much
despised by us. He is not only the most enduring, but one of the
quickest walkers among cattle, being usually promoted to the leadership
of a caravan. He is nearly equal to the camel in enduring thirst, and
thrives on the poorest pasture, suffers from few diseases, and is
unscathed by African distemper. The long desert roads and pilgrim tracts
of North Africa are largely travelled over by means of asses.”--_The Art
of Travel_, by Francis Galton, F.R.G.S., p. 195.

[10] Monsieur Bataillard, in his interesting work “Nouvelles Recherches
sur l’Apparition et la Dispersion des Bohémiens en Europe,” says that
the earliest mention of Taters in Norway is found in a law of 1589. His
opinion is that they did not enter Norway by way of Denmark and South
Sweden, but through North Sweden and the Duchy of Finland, that is to
say by the north of Russia. This opinion appears to have been supported
by Presten Eilert SUNDT. M. Bataillard, therefore, considers that the
Norwegian gipsies were not part of the numerous hordes who entered the
south of Europe subsequently to the year 1417. M. Bataillard is the
author of a work entitled “De l’Apparition et de la dispersion des
Bohémiens en Europe,” published in 1844, and now out of print. The same
author has recently published another interesting and valuable
contribution, entitled “Les Derniers travaux relatifs aux Bohémiens dans
l’Europe Orientale,” published 1872. In this work Monsieur Bataillard
gives a most able review of the works of various authors who have
written upon the gipsy people wandering in Eastern Europe.

[11] Jean Batiste Schwilgué was born at Strasbourg, 18th Dec., 1776, and
completed the celebrated clock in the Strasbourg Cathedral.

[12] It may be that the noble descendant of the Penningtons owed his
almost miraculous escape, to his possession of the curiously-wrought
enamelled glass cup, given by King Henry the VIth after the battle of
Hexham, 1463, to his ancestor, Sir John de Pennington, knt., with a
prayer that the family should ever prosper, and never want a male heir,
as long as the cup remained unbroken. The cup is called the “Luck of
Muncaster,” and Muncaster Castle, and its long broad winding terrace,
commanding magnificent views over the valley of Eskdale, is one of those
enchanted spots which we meet with in the picturesque county of
Cumberland. It is singular that another family in Cumberland also
possess a similar talisman, to which is attached a rare value, “The Luck
of Edenhall,” belonging to the ancient family of Musgrave. It is an old
enamelled drinking glass, said to have been seized in olden time by a
Butler of Eden Hall from some fairies he surprised dancing near St.
Cuthbert’s well in the Park. The glass had been left by the fairies near
the brink of the well, and the fairies, failing to recover it, vanished
with the words--

    “If that glass either break or fall,
    Farewell the Luck of Edenhall.”

An interesting account is given of the “Luck of Edenhall” in Roby’s
interesting “Tales and Traditions of Lancashire.”

[13] Puru Rawnee--old lady.

[14] Puro Rye--old gentleman. In Turkish Romany, phuro--old.

[15] Tarno Rye--young gentleman.

[16] Although the account, singular as it is, receives very general
credence, and the place of sepulture, on the roof of the mansion near
Hyde Park, is even pointed out, we must say, that a literary friend, who
devoted some time to the inquiry, discredits the truth. In a letter
written by a near relative of the titled possessor, which we have seen,
it is stated, that the account is correct, and it is also stated, that
the property, for that reason, was purchased for a lower price. The
matter therefore remains involved in some mystery. We have since been
informed by a clergyman, that he well remembers being told, of the
sepulture of a body, on a house near Clapham Junction, on the London and
South-Western Railway. Another instance has also been mentioned to us,
as occurring in one of the midland counties. At the last moment, but in
time to find a record in this note, a friend has kindly sent us the
following facts, illustrative of our page heading, “Strange Wills.” At
Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, a pleasantly situated place on the High
North Road, about eleven miles from Hertford, a resident, Henry Trigg,
having peculiar ideas about the resurrection, left his property to his
heirs, upon condition, and in trust, that they put him in an oak coffin,
and placed his body on the rafters of his barn, attached to the Old
Castle Public House, in the parish of Stevenage. There he was placed in
1724, and there he now remains. In the time when coaches stopped at the
Old Castle Public House, there were many travellers on the Great
Northern Road. The old oak coffin was then a lion of the place, and
brought grist to the landlord of the inn. Even now it is occasionally
visited by the curious.

[17] Sometimes spelt Telemarken.

[18] Cæsar Moreau, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, was the author of
“Précis sur la Franc-Maçonnerie; son Origine, son Histoire, ses
Doctrines, &c.” Also the founder of the Société de Statistique
Universelle, et de l’Académie de l’Industrie Française; also Member of
the Royal Society, and many other learned societies in Europe.

[19] His Majesty, the noble-hearted Carl XV., patron of literature and
art, himself an author, was born 3rd May, 1826, and died, after a severe
illness, in the noontide of his life, at Malmoe, in Sweden, on the 18th
September, 1872, mourned and sincerely regretted by his attached
subjects. The King was the eldest son of Oscar I., and grandson of the
celebrated French General Bernadotte, Prince of Ponte Corvo, who
ascended the throne in 1818 as Carl XIV. His Majesty Carl XV. was buried
on the 9th October, 1872, in Ritterholm Church, and is succeeded by his
brother, the Duke of Ostergötland, under the title of Oscar II.

[20] Höyland, the Robin Hood of Norway, after three years’ patient
perseverance, effected a clever escape, from the Agershuus. Being again
retaken afterwards, he ultimately died, within the walls of this castle.
It is said that some of his treasure is still buried in the fjelds of
Norway, where he had deposited, his spoils for safety.

[21] Two intrepid French travellers afterwards landed from their
balloon, “La Ville d’Orléans.” Captain Rolier and Emile Cartailhac,
during the siege of Paris, ascended from that city, on the night of the
24th November, 1870, and after a perilous voyage of adventure, across
the sea, they ultimately descended in Norway, on the snows of the
Lidfjeld, in the Thelemarken. The two aëronauts received shelter, and
assistance from the two mountaineers, Clas and Harold Strand; and with
the welcome and hospitality of an ever-generous people, they were
enabled to leave Christiania, and reach in safety their native land.

[22] Colonel Harriot, whose collection of Romany words is, we believe,
principally obtained from the gipsies of the New Forest of Hampshire,
gives one, “yek;” two, “due;” three, “trin;” four, “star;” five, “panj;”
six, “shov;” and says, “Beyond these numbers I never could proceed with
any success.”

Dr. Bath C. Smart, in his collection of gipsy words to complete his
gipsy numerals to ten, takes seven, “afta;” eight, “oitoo;” and nine,
“enneah,” from Bryant’s collection, saying he never met with any English
gipsy acquainted with them.

Hoyland obtained from the English gipsies one, “yake;” two, “duee;”
three, “trin;” four, “stor;” five, “pan;” ten, “dyche;” but the
remainder of his numbers he appears to have taken from Grellman. Hoyland
says it is not a little singular that the gipsy terms for the numerals
seven, eight, and nine are purely Greek.

[23] Vocabulaire de la Langue des Bohémiens habitant les Pays Basques
Français.

[24] Author of “Le Pays Basque, sa Population, sa Langue, ses Mœurs, sa
Littérature, et sa Musique.”

[25] Presten Sundt gives the following numerals in Norwegian
gipsy:--“Jikk,” one; “dy,” two; “trin,” three; “schtar,” four; “pansch,”
five; “sink,” six; “schuh,” oftener “sytt,” seven; “okto,” eight;
“engja,” oftener “nin,” nine; “tin,” ten.

[26] Sometimes spelt Bairisk öl, the meaning being Bavarian beer.

[27] The carriole, called in Norwegian “Karjol,” is a light Norwegian
carriage, with long springy shafts, admirably adapted for travelling in
a mountainous country. A carriole will only accommodate one traveller,
whose legs can be stretched out at full length, in a horizontal
position, and a long leather apron protects them from rain. A small flat
board leaves just sufficient space for a portmanteau or trunk, which
should not exceed thirty-four inches in length, fifteen inches in
breadth, and eleven inches high, with standing-room for the “skydskarl”
(boy), who accompanies the pony during the posting-stage. Carrioles may
be hired or purchased from the Christiania Carriole Company, 17, Store
Strandgade, and, being very light, are easily taken on steamers, across
lakes and fiords, to the next posting-station, from whence the traveller
continues his land route with another pony. Carrioles are now often used
by ladies, and are more easy and convenient than the stolkjœrre, a light
cart, which, being less expensive to hire, is occasionally used by
travellers as a means of conveyance.

[28] A large hotel has since been built at Eidsvold railway station.

[29] In a mansion at Eidsvold, formerly the residence of the Anker
family, the Constitution of Norway was drawn up and signed, and the
independence and free institutions of the Norwegian people guaranteed
upon the unity of their country with Sweden, in 1814.

[30] George Parkes Bidder was born about the year 1800. So wonderful
were his mental powers for giving ready solution to the most difficult
questions in arithmetic, without the aid of pen or pencil, that he was
known in early life as the “Calculating Boy.” Among the many instances
of his ready ability, he once answered in a very short time the
following question:--“Supposing the sun be 95,000,000 of miles from the
earth, and that it were possible for an insect, whose pace should be
seven and a-half inches per minute, to travel that space, how long would
it take him to reach the sun?” Bidder became a civil engineer, and was
at one time President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

[31] A similar instance is mentioned in Laing’s “Tour in Sweden.”

[32] By an Act of Parliament, 35th and 36th Victoria, chapter 78, dated
10th August, 1872, protection is now given to a large number of wild
birds in England between the 15th March and 1st August in each year.

[33] After the foregoing pages had passed through the press, we
succeeded in obtaining from a parish in Gloucestershire the certificate
of baptism of “Zacharia;” we shall therefore in future give the name
exactly as it is spelt in the certificate of baptism.

[34] “Journal of a Residence in Norway during the years 1834, 1835,
1836.” By Samuel Laing, Esq. Published by Longman, Orme, Browne, & Co.,
in 1837.

[35] Sometimes spelt Guldbransdalen, meaning the “Golden Valley.”

[36] Norwegian gipsy mattjo, sometimes in English gipsy pronounced
matcho.

[37] Old Norway.

[38] The original document is written in the Norwegian language.

[39] To the left of our route, near Svatsum, a young English naval
gentleman, travelling in Norway in 1853, was so pleased with the scenery
of the country, that he purchased a small farm, and resided there for
five years, fishing in the Rœv Vand (Fox Lake) and other lakes, and
exploring the fjeldes with his tent and gun. To this incident the
neighbourhood of Svatsum has become associated with the author of a
small but interesting book, published in 1863, entitled, “Recollections
of a Five Years’ Residence in Norway.”

[40] The lake fishing in the fields beyond Svatsum is said to be very
good. Öret (Nor., trout) sometimes weigh 10 lbs. The Rœv Vand is
associated with a fishing adventure, an account of which we have never
met with but in “Recollections of a Five Years’ Residence in Norway,” by
Henry T. Newton Chesshyre, who gives the narrative _in extenso_. The
circumstances are, briefly, as follows:--On the 16th of August, 1715,
two brothers, who were students, on a fishing excursion, landed from
their boat upon an island of barren rock, fifteen yards wide by twenty
yards long, in the Rœv Vand. Whilst there, a strong gust of wind,
suddenly drifted the boat, to the shore of the lake. Neither of the
brothers could swim. Lightly clad, they remained nine days, in sight of
their fishing boat, and faithful dog, who had continued watching their
things, and occasionally appeared on the gunwale of the boat, and whined
piteously. They had put up a rude hovel of loose stones, which afforded
them little shelter in an exposed situation on a lake 3,000 feet above
the level of the sea. After the ninth day, they could not see their dog,
and supposed he had died of grief and starvation. The dog, it appeared
afterwards, had left, and, finding his way home, by constant howling and
importunity, gave the idea that some misfortune had happened. On the
night of the twelfth day, the two brothers embraced each other for the
last time, as they believed, and awaited death. Their only sustenance
had been about an ounce of wild sorrel each day. Suddenly, they heard
the tramp of horses and the sound of voices on the edge of the lake. One
brother had just strength enough to make himself heard, and they were
rescued. The two students, after some weeks’ illness, recovered; but
their faithful dog, Sikkert, died from the effects of his long fasting,
and found a resting-place in the students’ garden.

[41] The Australian bushman, when the water boils, takes the can off the
fire, and, lifting the lid, puts in the tea on the boiling water. The
lid is then replaced, the can is left to stand for a few minutes by the
fire, and the tea is ready for use. The tea made in this way is very
good, and a teapot is dispensed with.

[42] Three excellent sermons referring to marriage, entitled “A Good
Wife God’s Gift,” “A Wife Indeed,” and “Marriage Duties,” were published
in the “Spiritual Watch” in 1622, by the eminent theologian, Thomas
Gataker, B.D. He was the author of many learned works, and his
annotations on “Marcus Antoninus” are well known to scholars. Thomas
Gataker was born in 1574, of a very old and ancient family, still
retaining their ancestral heritage of Gatacre, in Shropshire. The former
Hall of Gatacre was built of stone, three sides of the exterior of the
mansion being entirely covered with a glaze of greenish glass. It has
puzzled many to account for the method by which the walls received their
vitreous coating, effectually preserving the stone from the action of
the weather. The foundation of a building on the estate, where the glass
is supposed to have been made, still retains the name of the “Glass
House.” We have in our possession some of the stone, with its covering
of glass, given to us by one of the family. The roof of the mansion is
said to have been supported by an enormous oak tree, turned upside down.
This interesting relic of former ages was pulled down during the last
century, and replaced by the present large and spacious brick-built Hall
of the Gatacres of Gatacre.

[43] On the left of our road, by Brandvold and Söthorp, are the Espedal
Nikel Works, on the Espedal Vand, which belonged in 1853 to an English
company, who were said to employ as many as 500 hands, under the
management of Mr. Forbes, by whose energy the nikel mines were first
developed. The mines had many years previously been worked for copper.
The nikel ore falling in value, the Espedal Works were sold to a
Norwegian company. The scenery of the Espedal is wild and beautiful, and
the lake is well stocked with trout.

[44] To the gentlemen with three donkeys.

[45] Patron, Sundt’s Norwegian gipsy, signifying a leaf, a signal;
Patrin, Paspati’s Turkish gipsy, a leaf; Patrin, in the “Italien Lingua
Zingaresca” of Francesco Predari; Patrin, in Hoyland’s “English Gipsy;”
Patrin in Bischoff’s “Deutsch-Zigeunerisches;” Patrin, in the “German
Gipsy Vocabulary” of Dr. Liebich. Patrin is also given as German gipsy
by Grellmann. The word is used by gipsies, signifying a signal or sign
on the gipsy trail to indicate to other gipsies, who understand this
silent language, the route they have taken. The word is pronounced
occasionally with some slight variation, as patteran, patrin. Borrow, in
his admirable work, “The Zincali; or An Account of the Gipsies in
Spain,” vol. i., p. 37, uses “Patteran.” We have spelt the word as
nearly as possible as pronounced by the gipsies of our party. Patrins of
chor (gip. grass) are commonly put by gipsies. Some gipsies we have met
with used to put patrins for their favourite blind dog, “Spot,” when he
had strayed or lingered far behind. A few blades of grass or leaves
crushed in the gipsy female’s hand, and cast on the road, were scented
out by the blind animal, who ultimately reached the encampment. Spot
would occasionally remain all day in charge of the tents, and would
never steal a morsel of the hobben (food), though he were famishing;
“but,” said the gipsy female, “dogs brought up in the tents are like
nobody else’s dogs, and they know our language as well as we do
ourselves.” Poor Spot strayed one day, and, losing the trail, they never
saw him again.

[46] The gipsy word “chor,” signifying grass, is sometimes pronounced by
English gipsies like “chaw,” without the “r” being sounded. The
Norwegian gipsies use “Tjar”; the German gipsies, “Tschar.” Borrow gives
“chur’” as the Spanish gipsy for grass. The Italian gipsies use “char”
and “Tschar.”

[47] Gorgio--any person not a gipsy.

[48] Here was buried George Sinclair, the leader of the Scotch, after
having fallen at Kringelen, on the 26th August, 1812.

[49] A general shop.

[50] A work was published by Baxter, entitled, “The Certainty of the
Worlds of Spirits, fully evinced by Unquestionable Histories of
Apparitions and Witchcraft, Operations, Voices, etc. Written for the
conviction of Sadducees and Infidels, by Richard Baxter. London: Printed
for T. Parkhurst, at the ‘Bible and Three Crowns,’ Cheapside; and by J.
Sainsbury, at the ‘Rising Sun,’ over against the Royal Exchange. 1691.”
An ancient timbered house, the early residence of Richard Baxter, may
still be seen at Eaton Constantine, in Shropshire. Richard Baxter was
born at Rowton, in the parish of High Ercall, in the county of
Shropshire, 12th November, 1615, and received part of his education at
Donnington Grammar School, in the same county, where several
distinguished scholars, including the staunch Royalist, Dr. Allestree,
afterwards Provost of Eaton, were also educated. Baxter ministered
successively at Bridgnorth, Kidderminster, and other places. His mental
activity for literary production was extraordinary. Twenty thousand
copies of his “Call to the Unconverted” were sold in one year. Baxter
died 8th December, 1691, and was buried in Christ Church. “Baxter’s
House” (and about 100 acres of land) was purchased some years since by
William Hancocks, Esq., of Blake’s Hall, near Kidderminster, a
magistrate for the county of Salop.

[51] Bayard Taylor, in his work called “Northern Travel,” published in
1858, says: “Beyond Laurgaard, Gudbrandsdal contracts to a narrow gorge,
down which the Logan roars in perpetual foam. This pass is called
Rusten; and the road here is excessively steep and difficult.”

[52] Captain Campbell, in his useful work, “How to See Norway,” mentions
that a society is now formed at Christiania for the prevention of
cruelty to animals, called “Foreningen til Dyrenes Beskyttelse.”

[53] Gip. housekeeper.

[54] The expression “Gamle Norge” (Old Norway) is used in the same sense
as the saying “Old England.”

[55] Séñor Juan de Vega is the name assumed by a young English gentleman
of noble family, who wandered through England, Wales, Ireland, and
Scotland with his guitar, in the character of a Spanish minstrel, and
who not only entirely supported himself during his wanderings, by his
minstrelsy, but realised a surplus of £58, which he charitably presented
to the committee of Spanish officers, for the relief of the refugees,
then lately arrived from Portugal. His work, entitled the “Spanish
Minstrel’s Sketch Book,” in two volumes, containing a record of his
minstrel wanderings, was published for the author by Simkins and
Marshall, 1832.

[56] In French gipsy pronounced “Mutramangri.”

[57] Nor., play.

[58] Sometimes spelt Hoset and Holseth.

[59] We believe this is the same mountain called in the Guide Book
“Storhœtten.”

[60] Sometimes pronounced “Rinkenno.”

[61] 17th July.

[62] This large isolated mass of rock or stone, pitched on end, near the
roadway and river, a few yards from our camp, was sometimes called by us
the “Hanging Rock,” sometimes the “Hanging Stone,” and very often the
“Leaning Stone.” In future mention in these pages we shall call it the
“Leaning Stone.” This large stone was so overhanging on the side towards
Ormein, that it formed an excellent shelter for the traveller to rest
and light his bivouac fire. Occasionally the “Leaning Stone” brought to
mind the “Druids’ Stone” we once sketched, at Stanton, near Monmouth;
sometimes it reminds us of the famous “Boulder, or Bowder Stone,” in the
romantic gorge of Borrowdale, near “Castle Crag” and Derwent Water, in
Cumberland; but the “Bowder Stone” has this difference, that it
overhangs on both sides, and has a narrow aperture underneath, through
which two persons or lovers, joining hands, it is said, will have their
secret wish. Perhaps the Leaning Stone of the beautiful valley of the
Sjiriaglns has some such mystic power--who knows? We leave it to some
other wanderer over fjeld and fjord to discover.

[63] Alnus glutinosa.--This tree is often met with on the banks of the
rivers of England and Wales, as in Norway. Occasionally we have met, in
a secluded valley in Wales, a party of “cloggers,” who have bought a
quantity of this wood, and are converting it on the spot into clogs.
They are cloggers out for the summer. The alder wood is being worked up
under a light awning, or half-tent sort of abri, from the rain and sun.
The cloggers generally sleep at some house until the stock of wood is
converted into men’s, women’s, and children’s clogs, which are consigned
from time to time, by the nearest railway, to Lancashire. The alder wood
is valuable for piles for bridges, as it lasts long under water. The
Rialto at Venice is built on alder piles. The bark and leaves are useful
for dyeing and tanning leather, and in staining sabots in France, which
are also made of this wood. Alder wood is light in weight, and easily
worked. The dark bark and foliage of the spreading branches of the tree,
which overhangs the river’s edge, gives picturesque effect to many a
Norwegian river scene.

[64] What is meant by a czardas, or csárdás, as it is usually spelt in
the Hungarian language? It is a celebrated Hungarian dance. The Magyar
peasant seldom dances anything else. The csárdás is a national dance of
Hungary, as much as the sailors’ hornpipe is of England. We give the
following description of the csárdás, from the interesting work of
Arthur J. Patterson, “The Magyars; their Country and Institutions,” vol.
i., p. 194, published by Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. in 1859:--“Its name
is the adjective form from “csárdá,” which designates a solitary public
house; an institution which plays a considerable part in all romantic
poems or romantic novels whose scene is laid in Hungary, as a fitting
haunt for brigands, horse-thieves, gipsies, Jews, political refugees,
strolling players, vagabond poets, and other melodramatic personages.
The music of the csárdás is at first slow, solemn, and, I may say,
melancholy. After a few bars, it becomes livelier, which character it
then keeps up, occasionally becoming very fast indeed, and at last ends
in a delirious whirl of confusion. The movements, of course, correspond.
The dance opens with a stately promenade; then, as the music quickens,
each couple take a twirl or two, and breaking away brusquely from one
another, continue a series of pantomimic movements, now approaching
coquettishly like parted lovers desiring reconciliation; then, as if the
lady thought she had given sufficient encouragement, she retreats with
rapid but measured steps, while her partner pursues, and, gradually
gaining on her, again seizes her waist; they whirl swiftly round two or
three times, and then, breaking away, continue the pantomime as before.
What makes the csárdás unrivalled is its variety. One seldom sees the
couples perform exactly the same figure at the same time.”

[65] The splendid vestiges of the Roman baths, called “thermæ,”
“banios,” or hot baths, at Rome, attest their former extent and
magnificence. The Romans began their bathing with hot water, and ended
with cold--the hot, “caldarium;” the tepid, “tepidarium;” the cold,
“frigidarium.” Vast numbers of magnificent baths were erected by the
Roman emperors. They had spacious porticos, rooms for athletic
exercises, halls for the declamation of poets and the lectures of
philosophers. Perhaps the most interesting remains of Roman baths in
England are those discovered in the buried city of Uriconium, or
Wroxeter, on the banks of the river Severn, about six miles from
Shrewsbury, in Shropshire. For an admirable account of this city,
supposed to have been taken by force, with much carnage, plundered, and
burnt, between about the year 420 and the middle of the fifth century,
we refer our readers to a work of great antiquarian research, published
in 1872, entitled, “Uriconium: A Historical Account of the Ancient Roman
City,” by Thomas Wright, M.A., F.S.A., &c., and also to the concise and
useful work, “The Roman City of Uriconium,” by J. Corbet Anderson. We
believe that the private subscriptions, although considerable, which
have been collected for excavation, are now all exhausted; and, unless
Government aid is given, it is improbable that the excavations, however
interesting, can be resumed. The number of relics of the buried city, a
very small portion of which has been explored, show the antiquarian, we
may say, historical importance of further research. Randall, in his
interesting and beautifully illustrated work, the “Severn Valley,”
published (1862) by Virtue, says--“As excavations proceed, the plan of
the city unfolds itself.... The forum, the baths, the market-place, and
the sites of public and private buildings become clear;” and again the
author says, “but with ruins, three miles in circumference, much remains
to be explored.

    “All desolate lies Uriconium now,
     The dust of ages piled upon his brow.”


[66] There is a favourite Hungarian melody, called by the Magyars the
“Rákótzy,” of which Paget, in his comprehensive work, in 2 vols.,
“Hungary and Transylvania,” published in 1855, says--“I am now more than
ever convinced that none but a gipsy band can do it full justice. The
effect of the melancholy, plaintive sounds with which it begins,
increased by the final discords which the gipsies introduce, and of the
wild burst of passion which closes it, must depend as much on the manner
of its execution as on the mere composition.”

[67] Fjord is pronounced Fee-or.

[68] Beautiful examples of the sidilia and piscina may be seen in
Dorchester Abbey Church, Oxfordshire. The small openings or windows at
the back of the niches are remarkable. Another interesting example of
the sedilia and piscina may be seen at Grafton Underwood,
Northamptonshire, where the niches have ogee heads, cinque-foiled.

[69] The largest number of chained Bibles we have seen are in the old
library of Wimborne Minster, in Dorsetshire. The library is also
interesting as associated with Matthew Prior, the poet.

[70] An eider-down quilt in London costs sometimes as much as five to
seven guineas.

[71] “A Summer and Winter in Norway,” by Lady Di Beauclerk, published by
Murray, 1868.

[72] A fifth edition of “The Gipsies: Their Origin, Continuation, and
Destination; or, the Sealed Book Opened,” by Samuel Roberts, was
published by Messrs. Longman, 1842.

[73] A comparison of many words of the Norwegian and English gipsy
languages, showing their similarity, is given in the appendix to this
book.

[74] Published Londres et Edinbourg: Williams and Norgate. 1857.

[75] Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellman is the author of a standard work,
written in German, entitled, “A Dissertation on Gipsies.” A translation,
by Matthew Roper, Esq., F.R.S. and A.S., was published in 1787.

[76] Captain Campbell, author of the excellent and useful work on
Norway, published soon afterwards, entitled “How to See Norway.”

[77] The engraving of the valley of the Sjiriaglns Fjeld represents our
camp, near the “Leaning Stone.”

[78] So spelt in the Kristians Amt map; occasionally spelt Ormen.

[79] Piro is used in the Norwegian, German, French, Italian, Spanish,
and Turkish gipsy language to signify foot. In the Turkish gipsy, pinro,
pirno, and pindo are also used.

[80] Sœter is pronounced “saiter,” and, like the châlet in Switzerland,
affords rough accommodation on the cattle run, in the mountains, often
at a long distance from the valley farm to which it belongs. The cattle
are driven up from the valley, at the beginning of the summer, for
pasture, and the butter and cheese are made at the sœter. At the end of
the summer, the cattle are driven back to the valley farms, and housed
for the winter.

[81] We were more fortunate than Williams, who, during his knapsack
tour, lost his way when crossing over the Kjölen Fjeldene to Skeaker,
and was alone, without food or rest, for nearly twenty-four hours--page
202 of “Through Norway with a Knapsack.”

[82] Grona elv, green river.

[83] Reindeer pits, formed in the fjelds, for taking reindeer.

[84] New sœter.

[85] Of the Norwegian winged game, the “capercailzie,” or, as the male
bird is called in Norsk, “tiur,” is, perhaps the finest, varying from
nine to sixteen pounds in weight. They feed much on the cranberry, red
whortleberry, bilberry or bleaberry, wild strawberry, raspberry, and on
juniper berries, insects, and also on leaves of the Scotch fir and
spruce pine. Then there are the ptarmigan of two kinds--the “fjeld
rype,” mountain ptarmigan, and the “skov rype,” or wood ptarmigan; also
the “hjerpe,” hazle hen, hazle grouse--the handsomest of the grouse
species--the “aarfugl,” black cock or black grouse; also “raphöne,”
partridges; “vagtel,” quail; and “rugde,” woodcock. Partridges and
quails are not numerous. We refer those who wish to know more about the
game birds of Norway to a most complete and beautifully illustrated
work, “Game Birds and Wild Fowl of Sweden and Norway,” by L. Lloyd,
author of “Field Sports of Northern Europe,” published by Day & Son,
1867. Many of the beautiful illustrations of this work are by the
celebrated Swedish artist, the late M. Körner. Several excellent
woodcuts are by Wolf.

[86] “Rankny rackly,” pretty girl; sometimes pronounced “rinkenno” and
“rankno,” pretty. In the Italian gipsy, it is pronounced “rincano,”
bello.

[87] The following description is given of Lom Church in “Wild Life in
the Fjelds of Norway,” by Francis M. Wyndham, published by Longmans,
1861:--“The church is a very picturesque building, made entirely of
wood, even to the roof, which is composed of small pieces of wood,
shaped and laid on like tiles. A beautiful tapering spire rises from the
centre of the building, and forms no insignificant object in the view of
Lom.”

[88] In a recent guide book we notice that Prœsten Hallen is now
entitled Provsten Hallen.

[89] Beaver stream.

[90] Our guide, Ole, was commonly called “Ole Rödsheim,” from the name
of his farm and station; but his right name is Ole Halvorsen. Ole is
spoken of in Mr. Bennett’s Guide Book as a thoroughly honest,
trustworthy man. The author of “How to See Norway” says--“Ole Rödsheim
of Rödsheim is a justly celebrated guide.” The author of “Wild Life in
the Fjelds of Norway,” speaking of the station of Rödsheim,
says:--“Fortunately, however, in compensation for the delay, the station
was very clean and comfortable, and a _bonâ fide_ bed was not
unwelcome.”

[91] The mountain is said to be named after a farm at its base.--“How to
See Norway,” p. 48.

[92] This mountain was ascended for the first time on the 27th August,
1870, by Messrs. Browne and Saunders. An interesting account is given by
T. L. Murray Browne, in the “Alpine Club Journal” for February, 1871.

[93] An additional reason quite accounts for the rapid flight of the
night visitors. Esmeralda, who was with her brother, suddenly shouted
when she saw them, “Halloo! What are you doing there?” and preceded her
brother in the pursuit, which must have had a still more startling
effect on the exaggerated fancies of the fugitives.

[94] The “myse ost” is a cheese, shaped like a brick, yellowish brown in
colour, and very hard, with a peculiar flavour much relished. Small,
thin shavings are sliced off the cheese on to fladbröd and butter, and
so it is generally eaten. Occasionally the thin shavings of cheese are
eaten with gröd.

[95] Kop is the Norwegian for cup. Milk is often sold in Norway by the
kop.

[96] This immense glacier is also called “Smörstabben.”

[97] “Scenes from the Snow Fields, or the Upper Ice World of Mont
Blanc,” by Edmund T. Coleman, was published, at the cost of three
guineas each copy, by Messrs. Longman, in 1859. Mr. Coleman, who is
still a member of the English Alpine Club, has since extended his
travels to British Columbia and California. In 1868, in company with
Messrs. Ogilvy, Stratton, and Tennent, he finally succeeded in making
the first ascent of Mount Baker, and planting the American flag on its
highest peak, which he named “Grant’s Peak,” in honour of the President
of the United States. Mount Baker is 10,613 feet above the level of the
sea, and is the most northerly of the great cones of the Cascade range,
being only fourteen miles from the boundary line dividing America from
English possessions. Like another “snowy Olympus,” it towers above the
rest, as the sentinel of a solitary land. The justly celebrated and
successful American serial, “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine,” of
November, 1869, page 793, contains a most interesting article, entitled
“Mountaineering on the Pacific,” by Mr. Coleman, with numerous
engravings from Mr. Coleman’s drawings, descriptive of his successful
ascent. Illustrations and a paragraph referring to the ascent also
appeared 29th June, 1872, in a number of the _Illustrated London News_.

[98] So singular was the appearance of the ice cliff, rising on the
glacier and towering above us in the waning light of a Norwegian
summer’s eve, that after describing it to an Alpine traveller of much
experience, we wrote to our guide, and the following extract from Ole’s
letter, dated 12th April, 1872, may be interesting:--“I am apt to think
that the _Ice Cliff_, which I perfectly well remember, consists of rock
on the side we did not see. I can hardly believe it to be entirely of
ice. It certainly seemed so to us from the view we had at it; but there
must be rock on the other side, I should think.”

[99] Exposed to the heavy snows of winter and the storms of each
changing season, some of the frail bridges which span the mountain
torrent of many a deep and narrow gorge are very insecure. Many
districts are remote, and the bridges seldom used. This danger to
travellers has not escaped the attention of the Norske Turistforening. A
melancholy accident occurred, just before we left Norway, to a young
gentleman named Wright, travelling with his party in the north-west of
Norway. All had safely passed across a wooden bridge but his sister. She
was afraid to venture. Her brother was testing the stability of the
bridge to remove her fears, when a portion gave way. The tourist fell
with it into the torrent below, and lost his life. We were told he was
afterwards buried at Bergen.

[100] The Norwegian word “Elv” signifies a river; and “Aa” means a
rivulet.

[101] The “Alpine Club Journal,” February, 1871.

[102] Sometimes spelt “Uradal.”

[103] A description of this fall, with engraving, is also given in
Captain Campbell’s concise and useful work, “How to see Norway,”
published by Messrs. Longman and Co.

[104] When we visited the Rjukan fos some years since we were certainly
under the impression that the name applied to a rock on the face of the
precipice above the fall, where the lover slipped at the first meeting
after a long absence, and was lost in the abyss below. The name may
probably be derived from the footpath, which at that time was very
similar to a ladder, and Williams, in his work “Through Norway with a
Knapsack,” calls it “Marie Stige,” saying in a note, “stige” is the
Dansk and Norsk for ladder; and placing the article “en” at the end of
the word, as is usual, it becomes stigen, the ladder, hence the local
name, “Marie Stigen,” the Mary’s Ladder, which most English writers have
misunderstood or Germanized into “Marie Stein,” or Mary’s Rock; others
spell it “Marie Stegen,” which, translated, signifies Mary’s fry, Mary’s
roast meat. In Murray it is called Mari Stien. The legend has associated
a romantic interest with the Rjukan fos.

[105] It may be well to note that the Utladal Elv and the Aardal Elv are
the same river; and the Mörkfos is sometimes called the Vetje fos.

[106] Vand is the Norwegian for water in its general signification,
though it is often used as a term for lake, in the same way that the
English word “Water” is often used in Cumberland and Westmoreland
instead of Lake. Thus we have Wastwater, Ulleswater, Derwentwater,
Lowwater, Brotherswater, Devokewater, Crummockwater, Elterwater,
Leverswater, Smallwater, and Rydalwater. The Norwegian word for lake is
“söe” and “indsöe;” but “vand” (water) is most commonly used instead of
lake, as Losna Vand, Lejevœrks Vand, Otta Vand, Leir Vand, Melkedals
Vand, Tyen Vand, Rus Vand, Heimdals Vand, Vinster Vand, Espedals Vand,
Rœv Vand, and many other instances too numerous to enumerate.

[107] The Melkedals Brœen.

[108] The poet’s pantebrev, or mortgage, with a translation, is given in
the appendix.

[109] Before we left the Bygdin Lake, a rumour reached us, that the poet
Vinje was dead. His spirit had departed to some far-distant world. It
was quite true: Aasmund Olafsen Vinje died 30th July, 1870, at Sjo, in
the parish of Gran, Hadeland. He was born of poor parents, in the parish
of Vinje, in Thelemarken, about 1818. The exact year of his birth
appears to be doubtful. A soft and melancholy stillness seemed to
pervade the air, as if the departed spirit of the poet lingered near his
once favourite haunt. It glided silently over the Sletmarkhö, and was
for ever gone.

[110] This extensive mountain region, with its wild wilderness of peaks,
rising in fantastic form and sharp outline, especially the
Koldedalstind, Stölsnaastinder, Dryhaugtinden, Skagastölstinden, and
Styggedalstinder of Horungerne and Fleskenaastind, and Melkedalstind,
and others too numerous to mention, present a wide field of interest,
and at present are little known and seldom explored by the Norwegian
tourist.

[111] Don’t buy the fiddle, sir, if he does not take three dollars.

[112] Meaning in Romany a large fish. “Borrieck” is evidently derived
from “boro,” great. It is spelt “baro” in the Turkish gipsy. The word
“borrieck,” as used by our gipsies, meaning great, we have never met
with before.

[113] This author, by many ranked second to Shakspeare, was born 1574,
and rising by his own perseverance, and energy of mind, became, in 1619,
Poet Laureate. Many of the dramatic pieces of Jonson were masques
performed before the King and Court. Jonson, when he was appointed Poet
Laureate, made a journey on foot from London to Scotland. When met, it
is said, by Drummond of Hawthornden (to whom, amongst other friends, he
paid a visit), Drummond said, “Welcome, welcome, royal Ben!” to which
Jonson aptly replied, “Thank you! thank you, Hawthornden!” “The Masque
of Metamorphosed Gypsies” was presented to King James at “Burleigh,”
“Belvoir,” and Windsor. A printed copy we have is dated 1621. Jonson
wrote to the last; but, after some years of great literary success, and
prosperity, he died, 1637, in needy circumstances, and was buried in
Westminster Abbey, the only inscription on the poet’s tomb being “O rare
Ben Jonson!”

[114] Not unlike coarse rye bread, we have eaten in Germany, called
“Pumpernickel,” but whence the derivation of the name, we could never
ascertain.

[115] Bernadotte ascended the throne of Norway in 1818, as Carl John
XIV.; died 8th of March, 1844; was succeeded by his son, Oscar I., who
died 1859. His son ascended the throne as King Carl XV., who died 18th
September, 1872, and was succeeded by his brother, Oscar II., the
present king of Norway.

[116] Little Bang.

[117] Some gipsies have an idea that if they have their likenesses
taken, it does them an injury. We have known one gipsy who would not be
taken. On one occasion, when a gipsy had allowed his photograph to be
taken to oblige us, he said, “Well, sir, don’t you lose something from
you, and are never so well afterwards?”

[118] We were informed that the Remington rifle was generally used in
Norway.

[119] Shelley, the poet, during his tour in 1814, being at Paris,
purchased a donkey to carry his baggage, and, by turns, his two
_companions de voyage_, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and her relation, a
lady friend. They all proceeded towards Charenton, when Shelley, who
had, probably, made an indifferent purchase, discarded the donkey, and
bought a mule for ten napoleons. With many adventures, the party at
length reached Troyes, and Shelley, having sprained his ancle, the party
accomplished the rest of the journey in an open carriage.--“Shelley and
his Writings,” by Middleton. 1858. Shelley was born 1792, and was
drowned, 8th July, 1823.

[120] Spelt Bœgna Elv in the Kristians ampt map. Much difficulty occurs
with regard to the orthography of Norwegian names, which are very often
spelt differently, according to the map or guide-book in which they
appear.

[121] The tea-pot and kettle are both called by our gipsies “piri;” and
it is interesting to note that the Norwegian gipsies, according to
Prœsten Sundt, use piri to mean pot, and the Turkish gipsies also use
the same word piri, with the same signification.

[122] “Let us go to bed.” The French gipsies use “Wuddress,” bed.

[123] Good-night. “Cooshko,” “Cooshto” “Kosko” also used by the English
gipsies. “Cushty” is not used by the gipsies of some countries to
signify good; for instance, the French gipsies use “ladscho” and
“mischdo.” The Turkish gipsies use “latcho,” good, and the Norwegian
gipsies “lattjo,” good. Borrow, in his work, “The Zincali; or, an
Account of the Gypsies of Spain,” gives “kosko” as the English gipsy for
“good.” Colonel Harriot has given “kashto” and “kashko”; and for
“good-night,” “kashko rati,” as used by the gipsies of North Hampshire.

[124] The Norwegian gipsies use nearly the same word for soup, namely
“summin.”

[125] Vernon is a tall, powerful gipsy, in the prime of life, six feet
two inches high, who travels England and Wales with his tent. His name
was generally pronounced “Varnon” by our gipsy, Noah.

[126] In 1873, tall Noah had never heard of the name of Disraeli, the
author and the statesman. Noah thought he had heard of the name of
Gladstone, but did not know who he was. He had heard of Dickens; for he
kept a post-office in a country village, near which they sometimes
camped. We did not pursue our interrogatories any further!!

[127] Besides the Norwegian cheese, called “Myse Ost,” before described,
they have a very old, decayed kind of cheese, called “Gammel Ost,” which
is much esteemed in Norway.

[128] Where do you travel from?

[129] King’s View.

[130] Queen’s View.

[131] In a work, entitled “The Black Death in the Fourteenth Century,”
translated by Dr. Babbington from the German of Dr. Hecker, published in
1833 by A. Schloss, 109, Strand, London, it is stated that the contagion
was carried from England to Bergen, where the plague broke out in the
most frightful form, and throughout the country, not more than a third
of the inhabitants being spared. The sailors found no refuge in their
ships, and vessels were often seen, driven about, on the ocean, and
drifting on shore, whose crews had perished to the last man. This
reminds us of the skeleton crew of the “Glenalvon,” bound from
Charleston to Sydney, met with by Captain Martin, of the “Lancaster,” an
account of which appeared in the newspapers of last October. Such tales
of the sea, dreadful in their reality, are closely associated with the
Phantom ship said to sail the stormy seas near the Cape of Good Hope,
which has often furnished an interesting subject for the sailors’
night-watch yarns of spectral fancy.

[132] Mandy--me, myself.

[133] “Through Spain to the Sahara,” by Matilda Betham Edwards (the
authoress of “A Winter with the Swallows”), published 1868.

[134] Lieutenant Breton, R.N., in his “Scandinavian Sketches; or, A Tour
in Norway,” published, 1835, by J. Bohn, King William Street, Strand,
says, at page 50, with reference to Christiania, “Fifty-six English
visited the city last year.” The annual number of tourists since that
period have wonderfully increased.

[135] Pronounced “Teena,” a small wooden box, often used in Norway to
carry provisions.

[136] We have since been informed that, with the joint assistance of
some of the passengers, he was actually lifted upon one of the donkeys,
and left to enjoy a solitary steeplechase in the darkness of the smoking
saloon. It is also told that on this occasion John Smith, for once in
his life, lost his temper; but this seems so impossible, the statement
must be received with considerable doubt.

[137] Some interest may be felt in the fate of our gallant and beautiful
Puru Rawnee. She has since died in one of the green lanes of England.
She was in foal. Our gipsies did all they could to save her. A
neighbouring farmer permitted the gipsies to bury her in a quiet corner
of a field on his farm. She is now no more.

[138] Horungerne.--In the Norwegian language “er,” placed at the end of
of a word, makes the plural, and the further addition of “ne” gives the
article “the.” We have used the article “the” before Horungerne, though
not necessary, because, to English readers, the sound is better.

[139] Monsieur Bataillard, at the conclusion of his clever work,
“Nouvelles Recherches sur l’Apparition et la Dispersion des Bohémiens en
Europe,” inclines to the belief, that, for the complete solution of the
question of the origin of the gipsies, it is necessary to extend
investigations to Africa.

[140] Nearly 2,000 miles.

[141] “Yog,” the English gipsy word for fire; the Norwegian gipsy being
“jag.”

[142] “An account of the Gipsies of Norway,” both editions, of 1850 and
1852, are exactly the same in title, number of pages, and contents. We
had not seen the first edition of 1850 until after page 13 of this work
was printed.

[143] We have been told that the Norwegian gipsy is sometimes called an
“earth-digger.” Possibly at times, in winter, they may shelter
themselves in holes as some of the gipsies do in Transylvania. We have
only been able to ascertain one instance of “gipsy earth dwellings” in
England. Our informant, now advanced in life, remembers, when shooting
in the winter, about the year 1818, on Finchley common, near London, to
have seen excavations in the common used as dwellings by gipsies. One
kind of earth-dwelling, he remembers, was formed by sinking a deep hole,
from the bottom of which an excavation made at right angles served the
gipsies for sleeping purposes. Another kind of earth-dwelling he then
remembers was an oblong excavation, at no very great depth, below the
surface of the soil, having an arched covering above ground formed with
branches cut from the pollard oaks near, and covered with turf. In a
paper read before the Anthropological Society of London, by Dr. R. S.
Charnock, F.S.A., F.R.G.S., on the 4th May, 1866, entitled “The peoples
of Transylvania,” an interesting account is given of the gipsies
inhabiting that country. Dr. Charnock says that the gipsies of
Transylvania ordinarily dwell in tents in the summer, and their winter
habitation are holes in the earth which they excavate for the purpose.
The holes are usually from eight to twelve feet deep. Dr. Charnock also
says that many of the gipsies have fixed habitations in Transylvania,
and keep wine shops and public-houses. The dwellings are usually situate
on the outskirts of a town or village. Some dwell in the suburb of the
capital of Vásárhely. A little hill outside the town of Klausenberg is
covered with gipsy dwellings. The located gipsies are generally honest,
and their females virtuous. Many of the located gipsies are skilled in
music. Dr. Charnock states that the number of gipsies in Transylvania is
variously estimated at 78,923 and 60,000.

[144] Our enquiries incline us to believe that in England gipsies
usually seek the baptismal rite for their children, and that their dead
are generally buried in consecrated ground. On some occasions the
attendance at a funeral has been large, and a tomb or grave-stone
erected to the memory of the gipsy who sometimes was said to be a gipsy
king, as, for instance, James Boswell, buried at Rossington, near
Doncaster, 1708-9; also the instance of a gipsy said to be a gipsy king
mentioned in “Notes and Queries” as having been buried at West Winch,
Norfolk. In the “Gentleman’s Magazine” mention is made of Henry Boswell,
said to be a gipsy king, who died in affluent circumstances, and was
buried in 1687, at the parish of Wittering. We are also informed that a
grave-stone marks the grave of a gipsy in the churchyard of Winchcombe,
Gloucestershire. In the churchyard of Calne, Wiltshire, a handsome tomb
was erected to the memory of Inverto Boswell, said to have been the son
of a gipsy king, who was buried there, 1774. In “Notes and Queries,”
series 4, vol. 4, page 206, it is stated that a grave-stone erected on
the grave of a gipsy buried in the churchyard of Coggeshall, Essex, has
the following inscription:--

                      “In
                    Memory of
                CASSELLO CHILCOTT,
              Who died in this Parish,
                   Sept. 29, 1842,
                  Aged 28 Years.
    Cassello Chilcott truly was my name,
    I never brought my friends to grief or shame;
    Yet I have left them to lament. But why
    Lament for death? ’Tis gain in Christ to die!”

We could cite many other instances, if space permitted; and we believe
that the non-burial of their dead in consecrated ground in England has
occurred only under very exceptional circumstances.

[145] Gipsies have occasionally attained to a very advanced period of
life. Margaret Finch, who, during the greater part of her life, wandered
over England, at length settled at Norwood, and died at the age of 109.
Her fame as a fortune-teller brought many visitors to her camp to
consult her, and she had the title of queen of the gipsies. She was
buried at the parish of Beckenham, in Kent, on the 24 Oct., 1740. Her
funeral was said to be attended by two mourning coaches, a funeral
sermon was preached on the occasion, and a great concourse of people
attended her funeral. It is stated in “Dugdale’s England and Wales,”
that, from the habit of sitting on the ground with her chin resting on
her knees, her sinews at length became so contracted, she could not rise
from that posture, and after her death they were obliged to enclose her
body in a deep square box. At an inn called the “Gipsy House,” at
Norwood, her picture adorned the sign-post. Another instance is that of
“Liddy the Gipsy,” who not many years since wandered through Radnorshire
and the adjoining counties. She is said to have danced at a wedding at
the age of 100. Towards the close of her life, she travelled with a
knife-grinder, sleeping at the towns on her route. She was of active,
restless, blithesome temperament, and was lost in a snow drift whilst
crossing through Radnor Forest, at the age, it was said, of 104. We
afterwards questioned one of her people, and he said she was only 102.

[146] A dot over the n denotes a nasal, as in French, mon, bon.

[147] This government proclamation is noticed by the Rev. Frederick
Medcalfe in “The Oxonian in Thelemarken,” vol. 1, page 160, who says--“I
make a point in all these spots of examining any printed notice that I
may come across as being likely to throw light on the country and its
institutions. Here, for instance, is a government ordinance of 1855
about the Fantefolk, otherwise Tatare or gipsies. From this I learn that
some fifteen hundred of these Bedouins are moving about the kingdom,
with children, who, like themselves, have never had Christian baptism or
Christian instruction. They are herewith invited to settle down, and the
government promises to afford them help for this purpose; otherwise,
they will still be called ‘gipsies,’ and be persecuted in various ways.”

[148] A dot over the _n_ denotes a nasal, as in French, _mon_, _bon_.

[149] The poet’s right name is Aasmund Olafsen Vinge. The poet has
signed “Olsen” instead of “Olafsen,” probably because the name would not
scan otherwise in the last line. The poet is said to have been born, 6
April, 1818, in a poor cottage (huusmands plads) in the parish of Vinge
Thelemarken.

In his early youth his library consisted of his Bible, some of Holberg’s
works, and a few religious books. Most of his early days were spent in
tending goats and cattle in the woods, where he received those strong
impressions of the wonders of nature and the beauties of mountain
scenery which formed the poet of after-years. When he was grown up, he
received sufficient instruction to become a teacher at Mandal, where he
studied navigation and commerce.

At a comparatively late period of life, in 1850, when he was 32 years of
age, he entered as a student of the university of Christiania, and,
taking his degree in law, commenced practice as a solicitor.

The poet, as might be expected, was little suited to the practical
requirements of the profession, and his peculiar views placed him in
antagonism with the state of literature, religion, and politics of the
time. The Danish book-language spoken by the educated classes, and now
used as the language of literature, did not please him; and he
strenuously advocated a return to the old Norsk or Icelandic language.
Through the interest of friends, Vinge had obtained an appointment in a
government office, which gave him the absolute necessities of life; but
this he lost in consequence of his persistent attacks upon the unity of
Norway and Sweden under one king, forgetting that the union of the two
countries gives them an additional element of power in the north.

In 1858 Vinge published a weekly periodical, the “Dolen,” which, with
occasional interruptions, he continued for eight years, contributing
articles on various subjects, almost entirely written in the ancient
Norsk. In this periodical most of his poetry was first published.

As a poet, he is said to excel more particularly in idylls; and as a
prose author, by his genial humour. During a residence in Scotland and
England in 1862 and 1863, he wrote in English “A Norseman’s View of
Britain and the British,” published 1863. With much originality of
thought, it is encumbered with false conclusions and extreme views. The
work consists of a series of sixteen letters, and is most interesting as
an analysis of the poet’s mind, who might have cast his fate on more
peaceful waters. They are in striking contrast with “De l’Avenir
politique de l’Angleterre (England’s political future) par le Comte de
Montalembert,” published 1856. Yet, withal, there is a freshness in the
northern poet’s views. They are the real emanations of real and earnest
thought, and so command respect, attention, and consideration. Of the
society of England, we are sorry to say, Vinge took a desponding view,
forgetting, as the lofty mind of Milton speaks--

    “Orders and degrees jar not with liberty,
     But well consist.”--

In his letters on England, Vinge, in order to give a melancholy
illustration of the state of society, alludes to the true but romantic
marriage of the Lord Burghley, who, staying at a country village in
Shropshire as a landscape painter, under the assumed name of Jones,
married, in 1791, being then about the age of 37, a country maiden named
Sarah Hoggins. After their marriage, Lord Burghley becomes Marquess of
Exeter in 1793, and takes his wife, to her surprise, to his magnificent
mansion of Burghley House, near Stamford Town, where she afterwards dies
in 1797. The incident is described in one of the most beautiful poems
Tennyson has ever written. Vinge, whilst he admires the poem, sees much
to deplore in the fact that such a state of society should exist, in
which a village maid, when she married a nobleman, should feel
oppressed, to use the words of Tennyson,

    “With the burthen of an honour
     Unto which she was not born.”

Vinge forgets that the village maiden may have done worse in her own
position of life. It was quite within the range of possibility for her
to have a husband, who, when occasionally inebriated, might sometimes
give her a good beating, or indulge in language not suited to the poetry
of Vinge. The poet also overlooks the fact that Lord Burghley gave an
honourable love to the village maid. He did not deceive her, but, as
Tennyson beautifully describes--

    “An’ a gentle consort made he;
       And her gentle mind was such,
     That she grew a noble lady,
       And the people loved her much.”

Nor did the Lord Burghley forget the maiden’s relatives and friends; but
made a most ample provision for them. One feels some pride that in
England a respectable village girl, whose countenance is said to have
expressed sensibility, purity, and happiness, should have had that
respect due to her change of rank, and be received at court, where her
quiet, unassuming manners are said to have been much admired by her
Majesty Queen Charlotte. “But,” says Vinge, “she was not born to honour.
There is the deep cause of all the mischief, and it is no burlesque; on
the contrary, it is very pathetic.”

Still we do not see any reason for the poet’s complaint; and though the
Lady of Burghley died early, the Marquess did not long survive her, for
he died in 1804, and society could not have had anything to do with his
death. The present Marquess and Earl of Exeter is their grandson. In
allusion to the death of the Lady of Burghley, the poet laureate
concludes:--

    “So she droop’d and droop’d before him,
       Fading slowly by his side;
     Three fair children first she bore him,
       Then before her time she died.

     Weeping, weeping late and early,
       Walking up and pacing down,
     Deeply mourned the Lord of Burghley,
       Burghley House by Stamford Town.

     And he came to look upon her,
       And he looked at her and said--
     ‘Bring the dress, and put it on her,
       That she wore when she was wed.’

     Then the people, softly treading,
       Bore to earth her body, drest
     In the dress that she was wed in,
       That her spirit might have rest.”

Vinge has also published a collection of poems, sketches of travels,
scraps of poetry and prose, and a long epic poem called “Store Gut” (the
big boy). Lastly he published “Vaar Politik” and “Om Professor
Schweigaard.” The last named work he had just published when he died, 30
July, 1870. Vinge was one of those visionary poets who would take
society up by the roots and plant it branches downwards, expecting it to
thrive and flourish. It seldom answers in nature; but then poets cannot
be judged by the standard of ordinary men. Shelley and Vinge were of
such. His life was an unbroken struggle. He was a highly intellectual
and most interesting man. In Gran churchyard, Hadeland, rest the remains
of Aasmund Olafsen Vinge.

[150] Home of the giants.

[151] “Livet i Felten. Uddrag af en Loeges Dagbog i Sommern 1848.”
Published at Copenhagen. 1849.

[152] Probably misprint for Marschen.


[Transcriber’s Note:

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tent life with English Gipsies in Norway" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home