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The Cask of Amontillado
THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

He had a weak point -- this Fortunato -- although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity, to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially; --I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

I said to him --"My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts."

"How?" said he. "Amontillado, A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!"

"I have my doubts," I replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain."

"Amontillado!"

"I have my doubts."

"Amontillado!"

"And I must satisfy them."

"Amontillado!"

"As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me --"

"Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry."

"And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.

"Come, let us go."

"Whither?"

"To your vaults."

"My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement. Luchresi--"

"I have no engagement; --come."

"My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre."

"Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchresi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado."

Thus speaking, Fortunato possessed himself of my arm; and putting on a mask of black silk and drawing a roquelaire closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo.

There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honour of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato, bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him to be cautious as he followed. We came at length to the foot of the descent, and stood together upon the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors.

The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled as he strode.

"The pipe," he said.

"It is farther on," said I; "but observe the white web-work which gleams from these cavern walls."

He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication.

"Nitre?" he asked, at length.

"Nitre," I replied. "How long have you had that cough?"

"Ugh! ugh! ugh! --ugh! ugh! ugh! --ugh! ugh! ugh! --ugh! ugh! ugh! --ugh! ugh! ugh!"

My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes.

"It is nothing," he said, at last.

"Come," I said, with decision, "we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchresi --"

"Enough," he said; "the cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough."

"True --true," I replied; "and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming you unnecessarily --but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.

Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould.

"Drink," I said, presenting him the wine.

He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me familiarly, while his bells jingled.

"I drink," he said, "to the buried that repose around us."

"And I to your long life."

He again took my arm, and we proceeded.

"These vaults," he said, "are extensive."

"The Montresors," I replied, "were a great and numerous family."

"I forget your arms."

"A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel."

"And the motto?"

"Nemo me impune lacessit."

"Good!" he said.

The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc. We had passed through long walls of piled skeletons, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.

"The nitre!" I said; "see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river's bed. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your cough --"

"It is nothing," he said; "let us go on. But first, another draught of the Medoc."

I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grave. He emptied it at a breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand.

I looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement --a grotesque one.

"You do not comprehend?" he said.

"Not I," I replied.

"Then you are not of the brotherhood."

"How?"

"You are not of the masons."

"Yes, yes," I said; "yes, yes."

"You? Impossible! A mason?"

"A mason," I replied.

"A sign," he said, "a sign."

"It is this," I answered, producing from beneath the folds of my roquelaire a trowel.

"You jest," he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. "But let us proceed to the Amontillado."

"Be it so," I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak and again offering him my arm. He leaned upon it heavily. We continued our route in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame.

At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth side the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior crypt or recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use within itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.

It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavoured to pry into the depth of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did not enable us to see.

"Proceed," I said; "herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchresi --"

"He is an ignoramus," interrupted my friend, as he stepped unsteadily forward, while I followed immediately at his heels. In an instant he had reached the extremity of the niche, and finding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered. A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stepped back from the recess.

"Pass your hand," I said, "over the wall; you cannot help feeling the nitre. Indeed, it is very damp. Once more let me implore you to return. No? Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power."

"The Amontillado!" ejaculated my friend, not yet recovered from his astonishment.

"True," I replied; "the Amontillado."

As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar. With these materials and with the aid of my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche.

I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off. The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man. There was then a long and obstinate silence. I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibrations of the chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labours and sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier. The wall was now nearly upon a level with my breast. I again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the mason-work, threw a few feeble rays upon the figure within.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated, I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed, I aided, I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.

It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had completed the eighth, the ninth and the tenth tier. I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight; I placed it partially in its destined position. But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognizing as that of the noble Fortunato. The voice said--

"Ha! ha! ha! --he! he! he! --a very good joke, indeed --an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo --he! he! he! --over our wine --he! he! he!"

"The Amontillado!" I said.

"He! he! he! --he! he! he! --yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting late? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest? Let us be gone."

"Yes," I said, "let us be gone."

"For the love of God, Montresor!"

"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!"

But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I called aloud --

"Fortunato!"

No answer. I called again --

"Fortunato!"

No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so. I hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!

The Unicorn in the garden
Fables For Our Time
Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a golden horn quietly cropping the roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his wife was still asleep and woke her. "There's a unicorn in the garden," he said. "Eating roses." She opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him.
"The unicorn is a mythical beast," she said, and turned her back on him. The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden. The unicorn was still there; now he was browsing among the tulips. "Here, unicorn," said the man, and he pulled up a lily and gave it to him. The unicorn ate it gravely. With a high heart, because there was a unicorn in his garden, the man went upstairs and roused his wife again. "The unicorn," he said,"ate a lily." His wife sat up in bed and looked at him coldly. "You are a booby," she said, "and I am going to have you put in the booby-hatch."
The man, who had never liked the words "booby" and "booby-hatch," and who liked them even less on a shining morning when there was a unicorn in the garden, thought for a moment. "We'll see about that," he said. He walked over to the door. "He has a golden horn in the middle of his forehead," he told her. Then he went back to the garden to watch the unicorn; but the unicorn had gone away. The man sat down among the roses and went to sleep.
As soon as the husband had gone out of the house, the wife got up and dressed as fast as she could. She was very excited and there was a gloat in her eye. She telephoned the police and she telephoned a psychiatrist; she told them to hurry to her house and bring a strait-jacket. When the police and the psychiatrist arrived they sat down in chairs and looked at her, with great interest.
"My husband," she said, "saw a unicorn this morning." The police looked at the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist looked at the police. "He told me it ate a lilly," she said. The psychiatrist looked at the police and the police looked at the psychiatrist. "He told me it had a golden horn in the middle of its forehead," she said. At a solemn signal from the psychiatrist, the police leaped from their chairs and seized the wife. They had a hard time subduing her, for she put up a terrific struggle, but they finally subdued her. Just as they got her into the strait-jacket, the husband came back into the house.
"Did you tell your wife you saw a unicorn?" asked the police. "Of course not," said the husband. "The unicorn is a mythical beast." "That's all I wanted to know," said the psychiatrist. "Take her away. I'm sorry, sir, but your wife is as crazy as a jaybird."
So they took her away, cursing and screaming, and shut her up in an institution. The husband lived happily ever after.
Moral: Don't count your boobies until they are hatched.
GLOSSARY
* booby: in this context, a crazy person (probably from the name of a stupid extinct bird). * booby-hatch: a mental institution, a place where the insane are kept. * breakfast nook: a little side room for eating breakfast. * browsing: sampling or tasting here and there. * "crazy as a jaybird": extremely crazy or hopelessly insane * cropping: clipping or cutting close to the root. * cursing: using dirty or obscene speech. * "Don't count your boobies until they are hatched": from the American expression "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched", meaning "Don't count on things to turn out exactly as you planned them." * gloat: a look of malice or greed. * institution: a mental institution, an insane asylum. * moral: in this context, the "lesson" of the story. * mythical: relating to a myth, hence not real. * psychiatrist: a mental doctor * solemn: grave or serious * strait-jacket: an armless belted jacket used to confine the violently insane * subdue, subduing: capturing, seizing * unicorn: a mythical beast which looks like a horse with a horn in the center of the head. * An Analysis of James Thurber's 'The Unicorn in the Garden' * James Thurber's 'The Unicorn in the Garden'
Commentary by Karen Bernardo * The plot of Thurber's fable 'The Unicorn in the Garden' can be summarized in only a few paragraphs. A man wakes his wife to tell her there is a unicorn in the garden, eating the flowers. Without getting up to look out the window, she tells him there can't be: 'A unicorn is a mythical beast.' He goes back into the garden, returns again to the bedroom, and repeats his assertion. His wife, still not getting up to look out the window, warns him that 'You're a booby . . . and I'm going to have to put you in the booby hatch.' * After the man returns to the garden, the wife -- with 'a gloat in her eye' -- calls the police and a psychiatrist. When they arrive, she tells them what her husband said to her, assuming that they will lock him up (which is clearly what she wants). The police and the psychiatrist ask her husband whether there is, in fact, a unicorn in the garden, and he says 'Of course not. The unicorn is a mythical beast.' * Consequently, they lock up the wife -- which is clearly what the husband wants. Thurber even attaches a moral -- 'Don't count your boobies until they are hatched.' * The woman in Thurber's story does not know whether there's a unicorn in the garden, and she doesn't care; she immediately sees how her husband's assertion can be used to get rid of him. In other words, she isn't interested in getting inside his head; she isn't interested in sharing his vision of life; she's only interested in pursuing her own agenda, which doesn't include her husband. * Until the last two paragraphs, however, we have no indication that the husband feels the same way. Thurber still does not give us any indication whether the husband has planned this outcome all along; in other words, he leaves completely open the question of whether there was ever a unicorn in the garden at all. However, Thurber does tell us that after the wife was committed to a mental institution, 'the husband lived happily ever after,' so we can see that up till then, this couple essentially lived two separate lives in the same house. * Anticipating the current 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, ' argument, Thurber's story is grounded in his apparent belief that his characters' lack of intellectual and emotional intimacy is gender-based and thus inevitable. Even though in the context of comedy this seems amusing, in real life it is not. * Would you like to read 'The Unicorn in the Garden'? Click here!

From "The Bridal March." Translated by Prof. R. B. Anderson.

THE FATHER BY ;BJORNSTJERNE BJORNSON

The man whose story is here to be told was the wealthiest and most influential person in his parish; his name was Thord Overaas. He appeared in the priest's study one day, tall and earnest.

"I have gotten a son," said he, "and I wish to present him for baptism." "What shall his name be?"

"Finn,--after my father."

"And the sponsors?"

They were mentioned, and proved to be the best men and women of
Thord's relations in the parish.

"Is there anything else?" inquired the priest, and looked up.

The peasant hesitated a little.

"I should like very much to have him baptized by himself," said he, finally.

"That is to say on a week-day?"

"Next Saturday, at twelve o'clock noon."

"Is there anything else?" inquired the priest.

"There is nothing else;" and the peasant twirled his cap, as though he were about to go.

Then the priest rose. "There is yet this, however," said he, and walking toward Thord, he took him by the hand and looked gravely into his eyes: "God grant that the child may become a blessing to you!" One day sixteen years later, Thord stood once more in the priest's study. "Really, you carry your age astonishingly well, Thord," said the priest; for he saw no change whatever in the man.

"That is because I have no troubles," replied Thord.

To this the priest said nothing, but after a while he asked: "What is your pleasure this evening?"

"I have come this evening about that son of mine who is to be confirmed to-morrow."

"He is a bright boy."

"I did not wish to pay the priest until I heard what number the boy would have when he takes his place in church to-morrow."

"He will stand number one."

"So I have heard; and here are ten dollars for the priest."

"Is there anything else I can do for you?" inquired the priest, fixing his eyes on Thord.

"There is nothing else."

Thord went out.

Eight years more rolled by, and then one day a noise was heard outside of the priest's study, for many men were approaching, and at their head was Thord, who entered first.
The priest looked up and recognized him.

"You come well attended this evening, Thord," said he.

"I am here to request that the banns may be published for my son; he is about to marry Karen Storliden, daughter of Gudmund, who stands here beside me."

"Why, that is the richest girl in the parish."

"So they say," replied the peasant, stroking back his hair with one hand.

The priest sat a while as if in deep thought, then entered the names in his book, without making any comments, and the men wrote their signatures underneath. Thord laid three dollars on the table. "One is all I am to have," said the priest.

"I know that very well; but he is my only child, I want to do it handsomely." The priest took the money.

"This is now the third time, Thord, that you have come here on your son's account."

"But now I am through with him," said Thord, and folding up his pocket-book he said farewell and walked away.

The men slowly followed him.

A fortnight later, the father and son were rowing across the lake, one calm, still day, to Storliden to make arrangements for the wedding. "This thwart is not secure," said the son, and stood up to straighten the seat on which he was sitting.

At the same moment the board he was standing on slipped from under him; he threw out his arms, uttered a shriek, and fell overboard.

"Take hold of the oar!" shouted the father, springing to his feet and holding out the oar.

But when the son had made a couple of efforts he grew stiff.

"Wait a moment!" cried the father, and began to row toward his son. Then the son rolled over on his back, gave his father one long look, and sank.

Thord could scarcely believe it; he held the boat still, and stared at the spot where his son had gone down, as though he must surely come to the surface again. There rose some bubbles, then some more, and finally one large one that burst; and the lake lay there as smooth and bright as a mirror again.

For three days and three nights people saw the father rowing round and round the spot, without taking either food or sleep; he was dragging the lake for the body of his son. And toward morning of the third day he found it, and carried it in his arms up over the hills to his gard.

It might have been about a year from that day, when the priest, late one autumn evening, heard some one in the passage outside of the door, carefully trying to find the latch. The priest opened the door, and in walked a tall, thin man, with bowed form and white hair. The priest looked long at him before he recognized him. It was Thord.

"Are you out walking so late?" said the priest, and stood still in front of him.

"Ah, yes! it is late," said Thord, and took a seat.

The priest sat down also, as though waiting. A long, long silence followed. At last Thord said:

"I have something with me that I should like to give to the poor;
I want it to be invested as a legacy in my son's name."

He rose, laid some money on the table, and sat down again. The priest counted it.

"It is a great deal of money," said he.

"It is half the price of my gard. I sold it today."

The priest sat long in silence. At last he asked, but gently:

"What do you propose to do now, Thord?"

"Something better."

They sat there for a while, Thord with downcast eyes, the priest with his eyes fixed on Thord. Presently the priest said, slowly and softly:

"I think your son has at last brought you a true blessing."

"Yes, I think so myself," said Thord, looking up, while two big tears coursed slowly down his cheeks.
WHEN FATHER BROUGHT HOME THE LAMP

BY

JUHANI AHO

In spite of ethnological and philological distinctions, geographical association makes it more natural to include a
Finnish tale in the volume with Scandinavian stories than in any other volume of this collection.

From "Squire Hellman." Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. Published by the Cassell Publishing Co.

WHEN FATHER BROUGHT HOME THE LAMP

BY

JUHANI AHO

When father bought the lamp, or a little before that, he said to mother: "Hark ye, mother--oughtn't we to buy us a lamp?"

"A lamp? What sort of a lamp?"

"What! Don't you know that the storekeeper who lives in the market town has brought from St. Petersburg lamps that actually burn better than ten PAREA? [Footnote: A pare (pr. payray; Swed., perta; Ger., pergei) is a resinous pine chip, or splinter, used instead of torch or candle to light the poorer houses in Finland.] They've already got a lamp of the sort at the parsonage."

"Oh, yes! Isn't it one of those things which shines in the middle of the room so that we can see to read in every corner, just as if it was broad daylight?"

"That's just it. There's oil that burns in it, and you only have to light it of an evening, and it burns on without going out till the next morning."

"But how can the wet oil burn?"

"You might as well ask--how can brandy burn?"

"But it might set the whole place on fire. When brandy begins to burn you can't put it out, even with water." "How can the place be set on fire when the oil is shut up in a glass, and the fire as well?"

"In a glass? How can fire burn in a glass--won't it burst?"

"Won't what burst?"

"The glass."

"Burst! No, it never bursts. It might burst, I grant you, if you screwed the fire up too high, but you're not obliged to do that."

"Screw up the fire? Nay, dear, you're joking--how CAN you screw up fire?" "Listen, now! When you turn the screw to the right, the wick mounts--the lamp, you know, has a wick, like any common candle, and a flame too--but if you turn the screw to the left, the flame gets smaller, and then, when you blow it, it goes out."

"It goes out! Of course! I But I don't understand it a bit yet, however much you may explain--some sort of new-fangled gentlefolk arrangement, I suppose."

"You'll understand it right enough when I've bought one."

"How much does it cost?"

"Seven and a half marks, and the oil separate at one mark the can." "Seven and a half marks and the oil as well! Why, for that you might buy parea for many a long day--that is, of course, if you were inclined to waste money on such things at all, but when Pekka splits them not a penny is lost."

"And you'll lose nothing by the lamp, either! Pare wood costs money too, and you can't find it everywhere on our land now as you used to. You have to get leave to look for such wood, and drag it hither to the bog from the most out-of-the-way places--and it's soon used up, too."

Mother knew well enough that pare wood is not so quickly used up as all that, as nothing had been said about it up to now, and that it was only an excuse to go away and buy this lamp. But she wisely held her tongue so as not to vex father, for then the lamp and all would have been unbought and unseen. Or else some one else might manage to get a lamp first for his farm, and then the whole parish would begin talking about the farm that had been the FIRST, after the parsonage, to use a lighted lamp. So mother thought the matter over, and then she said to father:

"Buy it, if you like; it is all the same to me if it is a pare that burns, or any other sort of oil, if only I can see to spin.
When, pray, do you think of buying it?"

"I thought of setting off to-morrow--I have some other little business with the storekeeper as well."

It was now the middle of the week, and mother knew very well that the other business could very well wait till Saturday, but she did not say anything now either, but, "the sooner the better," thought she. And that same evening father brought in from the storehouse the big travelling chest in which grandfather, in his time, had stowed his provisions when he came from Uleaborg, and bade mother fill it with hay and lay a little cotton-wool in the middle of it. We children asked why they put nothing in the box but hay and a little wool in the middle, but she bade us hold our tongues, the whole lot of us. Father was in a better humor, and explained that he was going to bring a lamp from the storekeeper, and that it was of glass, and might be broken to bits if he stumbled or if the sledge bumped too much.

That evening we children lay awake a long time and thought of the new lamp; but old scullery-Pekka, the man who used to split up all the parea, began to snore as soon as ever the evening pare was put out. And he didn't once ask what sort of a thing the lamp was, although we talked about it ever so much.
The journey took father all day, and a very long time it seemed to us all. We didn't even relish our food that day, although we had milk soup for dinner. But scullery-Pekka gobbled and guzzled as much as all of us put together, and spent the day in splitting parea till he had filled the outhouse full. Mother, too, didn't spin much flax that day either, for she kept on going to the window and peeping out, over the ice, after father. She said to
Pekka, now and then, that perhaps we shouldn't want all those parea any more, but Pekka couldn't have laid it very much to heart, for he didn't so much as ask the reason why.

It was not till supper time that we heard the horses' bells in the courtyard. With the bread crumbs in our mouths, we children rushed out, but father drove us in again and bade scullery-Pekka come and help with the chest. Pekka, who had already been dozing away on the bench by the stove, was so awkward as to knock the chest against the threshold as he was helping father to carry it into the room, and he would most certainly have got a sound drubbing for it from father if only he had been younger, but he was an old fellow now, and father had never in his life struck a man older than himself.
Nevertheless, Pekka would have heard a thing or two from father if the lamp HAD gone to pieces, but fortunately no damage had been done. "Get up on the stove, you lout!" roared father at Pekka, and up on the stove Pekka crept.

But father had already taken the lamp out of the chest, and now let it hang down from one hand.

"Look! there it is now! How do you think it looks? You pour the oil into this glass, and that stump of ribbon inside is the wick-- hold that pare a little further off, will you!"

"Shall we light it?" said mother, as she drew back.

"Are you mad? How can it be lighted when there's no oil in it?"

"Well, but can't you pour some in, then?"

"Pour in oil? A likely tale! Yes, that's just the way when people don't understand these things; but the storekeeper warned me again and again never to pour the oil in by firelight, as it might catch fire and burn the whole house down."

"Then when will you pour the oil into it!"

"In the daytime--daytime, d'ye hear? Can't you wait till day? It isn't such a great marvel as all that." "Have you SEEN it burn, then?" "Of course I have. What a question! I've seen it burn many a time, both at the parsonage and when we tried this one here at the storekeeper's." "And it burned, did it?"

"Burned? Of course it did, and when we put up the shutters of the shop, you could have seen a needle on the floor. Look here, now!
Here's a sort of capsule, and when the fire is burning in this fixed glass here, the light cannot creep up to the top, where it isn't wanted either, but spreads out downward, so that you could find a needle an the floor."

Now we should have all very much liked to try if we could find a needle on the floor, but father rang up the lamp to the roof and began to eat his supper.

"This evening we must be content, once more, with a pare," said father, as he ate; "but to-morrow the lamp shall burn in this very house." "Look, father! Pekka has been splitting parea all day, and filled the outhouse with them."

"That's all right. We've fuel now, at any rate, to last us all the winter, for we sha'n't want them for anything else."

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