Stories by Foreign Authors: Scandinavian


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Page 1



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.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sun 22nd Sep 2019, 16:33