A Happy Boy
One Saturday, in midsummer, Thore Pladsen rowed across the lake to meet his
son, who was expected to arrive that afternoon from the agricultural school,
where he had finished his course. The mother had hired women several days
beforehand, and everything was scoured and clean. The bedroom had been put
in order some time before, a stove had been set up, and there Oyvind was to be.
To-day the mother carried in fresh greens, laid out clean linen, made up the bed,
and all the while kept looking out to see if, perchance, any boat were coming
across the lake. A plentiful table was spread in the house, and there was always
something wanting, or flies to chase away, and the bedroom was dusty,--
continually dusty. Still no boat came. The mother leaned against the window and
looked across the waters; then she heard a step near at hand on the road, and
turned her head. It was the school- master, who was coming slowly down the hill,
supporting himself on a staff, for his hip troubled him. His intelligent eyes looked
calm. He paused to rest, and nodded to her:--
"Not come yet?"
"No; I expect them every moment."
"Fine weather for haymaking, to-day."
"But warm for old folks to be walking."
The school-master looked at her, smiling,--
"Have any young folks been out to-day?"
"Yes; but are gone again."
"Yes, yes, to be sure; there will most likely be a meeting somewhere this
"I presume there will be. Thore says they shall not meet in his house until they
have the old man's consent."
"Right, quite right."
Presently the mother cried,--
"There! I think they are coming."
The school-master looked long in the distance.