Liljencrantz, Ottilie A. Ottilia Adelina , Published Chicago : A. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 4 of 4. Author Liljencrantz, Ottilie A. Physical Description p. Subjects Northmen -- Fiction. Vikings -- Fiction. Discoveries in geography -- Fiction.
America -- Discovery and exploration -- Fiction. Notes Title within ornamental border.
Cited In Reginald, R. View online Borrow Buy.
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None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait Alwin answered with an odd smile. His eyes gazed into his friend's eyes with sombre meaning. A note of impatience sharpened the other's voice. Certainly you must have heard Leif say, last night, that a hundred words more would end the work. And it was your own judgment that Kark would wait no longer than its completion-". Rolf struck the tree they leaned against, with sudden vehemence.
Yet, how could I believe that a man of your wit would allow such a thing to come to pass? With a mouthful of words you could have persuaded Leif that there was a host of things which he had forgotten.
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You could have prolonged the task-". Such a smothering fog has it become around me, that I can neither see nor breathe through its choking folds But let us leave off this talk. Since it is likely that my limbs will have a long rest after to-night, let us spend to-day roving about in search of what sport we can find. If I may not pass my last day with the man and woman that I hold dearest, still you are next in my love; you will accompany me, will you not?
They set forth as silently as on that spring morning, two years before, when they had set out from the Norwegian camp to witness Thorgrim Svensson's horse-fight. Now, as then, the air was golden with spring sunshine, and the whole world seemed a-throb with the pure joy of living. There was gladness in the chirp of the birds, and content in the drone of the insects; and all the squirrels in the place seemed to be gadding on joyful errands, for one could not turn a corner that a group of them did not scatter from before his feet. So common a thing as a dewdrop caught in a cobweb became more beautiful than jewel-spangled lace.
The rustling of the quail in the brush, even the glimpse of a coiled snake basking on a sunny spot of earth, was fraught with interest because it spoke of life, glad and fearless and free. They visited the nook on the bluff, screened once more in fragrant, rustling greenness; then descended to the river and walked along its bank, mile after mile.
Here and there, they turned aside and threaded their way through the thicket to take a last look at the scene of some fondly recollected hunt, or to inspect some of the traps which they remembered to be there. But when in one snare they found a wretched little rabbit, still alive but frantic with terror, Alwin laid a detaining hand on Rolf's knife. Let him keep it,-for my sake.
He did not stay to watch the white dot of a tall go bobbing away over the ferns. He hurried on rather shamefaced; and when Rolf overtook him, they walked another mile without speaking. Along in the middle of the forenoon they reached a point on the river where the banks no longer rose in bluffs but lay in grassy slopes, fringed with drooping trees. The sun was hot overhead, and their clothes were heavy upon their backs.
Rolf suggested that they stop long enough for a swim. But when the delicious coolness of the water had closed about him, and he felt its velvet softness on his dusty skin, he decided that it was the best thing they could have done. The lounge upon the grassy bank, while they dried themselves in the sun, was dreamily pleasant. Even after he had gathered sufficient energy to get into his clothes again, Alwin lingered lazily, waiting for his companion to make the first move toward departure.
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From the ant-hill which he was idly spearing with grass-blades, Rolf looked up to smile. Even that lazy hound of a thrall comes here almost daily to look at the quail-traps in yonder thicket, that being the one food which he likes well enough to make an exertion for. Would that he would visit them to-day! Alwin did not seem to hear him. His eyes were still intent on the swaying tree-tops.clerovcorpoly.tk
The thrall of Leif the Lucky, a story of Viking days
Does it not seem to you that if my spirit comes out of its grave at night and finds none but wolves and bears to call to, it will experience a loneliness far worse than the pangs of death? Think of it! In this whole land, not one human spirit! To wander through the grove and the camp, and find only emptiness and silence forever!
His body stiffened suddenly, and he flung his arms high above his head and clenched his hands in agony. Why could I not have died when Leif cut me down? Why could I not have been buried where human feet would pass over me, and human voices fall on my ear at night? Rolf laid a hand on his comrade's shoulder, and for once his voice was honestly kind.
You who have borne trials so manfully have a right to a better fate. There is only one thing which I can offer you: choose what man you will-so long as he be no one with whom I have sworn friendship-and I promise you that before we sail to-morrow, I will pick a quarrel with him and slay him; so that, if worst comes, your spirit shall have at least one ghost for company. He did not finish his sentence. Suddenly his touch upon Alwin's arm became an iron grip, that dragged the Saxon to his feet.
Are those ghosts, or devils? Half-dazed, Alwin could do no more than stare along the pointing finger. On the opposite bank, some hundred yards below their point of observation, stood two long-haired, skin-clad men. Another pair had already plunged into the river and were nearly half-way across. And as the white men gazed, four more beings crashed out of the underbrush and joined their companions. And make no rustling about it either.
With the agility of cats they went up the great bole, and the kind leaves closed behind them. As he spoke, the two shaggy swimmers clambered out of the water, like dripping spaniels, on the very spot that the white men's bodies had pressed less than an hour before. And Rolf ejaculated under his breath, "Now it is certain that I would rather be the only human being in the land than be in company with such as these, granting them to be human. For by Thor's hammer, they have more the appearance of dwarfs than of men!
They were not imposing, certainly, from all that could be seen of them through the leaves. Two of their lean arms would not have made one of the Wrestler's magnificent white limbs, and the tallest among them coul. With the original intention to protect his beautiful boss, he accidentally gets involved in dangerous adventures and trouble. Skins were their only coverings; and the coarseness of their bristling black locks could have been equalled only in the mane of a wild horse.
Though two of the eight were furnished with bows and arrows, the rest carried only rudely-shaped stone hatchets, stuck in their belts. When they began talking together, it was in a succession of grunts and growls and guttural sounds that bore more resemblance to animal noises than to human speech.
Rolf sniffed with contempt. I think we could put the whole swarm to flight only by drawing our knives. But at that moment one of the number below raised his face so that Alwin caught a glimpse of the fierce beast-mouth and the small tricky eyes in the great sockets.
The Saxon lifted his eyebrows dubiously. The men of the stone hatchets had indeed settled themselves with every look of remaining. Though one of the bowmen continued to pace the bank like a sentinel, his fellows sprawled themselves upon the turf in comfortable attitudes, carrying on their uncouth conversation with deep earnestness.
Catalog Record: The thrall of Leif the Lucky : a story of | HathiTrust Digital Library
Alwin did not answer, for at that moment the harsh voices below ceased abruptly, and there ensued a hush of listening silence. Up in the tree, Saxon gray eyes and Norse blue ones asked each other an anxious question; then answered it with decided head-shakes. It was impossible that their whispers could have carried so far, or have penetrated the growl of those voices.
It must have been some noise from beyond. They strained their ears, anxiously intent. There was no trouble in hearing it this time; it rose shrill and piercing on the drowsy noon air, a man's whistle, rapidly approaching from the direction of the Norse camp. Almost without breathing they lay peering out between the leaves. At the first sound, the men below had leaped to their feet and grasped their weapons. Now, after a muttered word together, they drew apart noiselessly as shadows and vanished among the bushes, without so much as the snapping of a twig.
Smiling innocently in the sunlight, the little nook lay as peaceful and empty as before.
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Nearer and nearer came the whistler; until the crunching of his feet could be heard upon the dead leaves. Rolf pushed the hair out of his eyes, and settled himself to watch with a sigh of almost child-like pleasure. Here is a chess game where the pieces are not of ivory.
I would not have missed this for a gold chain! So intent is his mind upon your death, that he could walk into a pit with open eyes. You can never be sufficiently thankful, Alwin of England, that the Fate which destroys your enemy, gives you also the privilege of sitting by and watching the fun.