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Frigga took an oath of fire, water, iron, and all other metals, stones, earth, trees, sicknesses, beasts, birds, poisons, and worms, that these would none of them hurt Baldur.

"He looks like Baldur, the god of the sun," Karen whispered in reply; and then forgot everything else in watching the gay company. "I have never seen so many people having such a good time before," she explained to Fru Ekman after a little while. "At the Sea-gull Light there was never anything like this. It is more like the stories of the gathering of the gods, than just plain Sweden.

Loki, Loki!" they went on saying; but it was of no use to repeat the name of Loki over and over again when there was another name they were too sad to utter but which filled all their hearts Baldur. Frigga said it first, and then they all went to look at him lying down so peacefully on the grass dead, dead.

Some of them, by some ancient biochemical quirk, were intensely thermofluorescent; worn as gems, they glowed from the wearer's body heat. On Terra or Baldur or Freya or Ishtar, a single cut of polished sunstone was worth a small fortune. Even here, they brought respectable prices from the Zarathustra Company's gem buyers.

Then Odin covered his face with his hands and looked into darkness. "Do go away," said the Vala, "I'm so sleepy; I cannot keep my eyes open any longer." But Odin raised his head and said again: "Only tell me this one thing. Just now, as I looked into darkness, it seemed to me as if I saw one on earth who would not weep for Baldur. Who was it?"

"That I have, indeed," answered Loki in a tremulous, squeaking voice. "And did you happen to see anything of the gods," asked Frigga, "as you came?" "Just now I passed by the Peacestead and saw them at play." "What were they doing?" "Shooting at Baldur." Then Frigga bent over her work with a pleased smile on her face. "And nothing hurt him?" "Nothing," answered Loki, looking keenly at her.

But as Loki still looked, he became even more surprised, for the sport went on, and Baldur was not hurt. Arrows aimed at his very heart glanced back again untinged with blood. The stones fell down from his broad, bright brow, and left no bruises there. Swords clave, but did not wound him; Mioelnir struck him, and he was not crushed. At this Loki grew perfectly furious with envy and hatred.

The Viking's wife considered him as beautiful as Baldur, and his distress raised her pity; but Helga said he ought to have ropes fastened to his heels, and be tied to the tails of wild animals. "I would let the dogs loose after him" she said; "over the moor and across the heath. Hurrah! that would be a spectacle for the gods, and better still to follow in its course."

Let everything on earth, living or dead, weep for Baldur, and he shall go home again; but if one thing only refuse to weep, then let Helheim hold its own; he shall not go." "Every one will weep willingly," said Hermod, as he mounted Sleipnir and rode towards the entrance of the city.

The gods upon this despatched messengers throughout the world to beg everything to weep in order that Baldur might be delivered from Hel. All things very willingly complied with this request, both men and every other living being, as well as earths, and stones, and trees, and metals, just as we have all seen these things weep when they are brought from a cold place into a hot one.