All behind that strange misty entering on the coach-steps is grey, empty mist-land. "It was a large, smooth-rolling coach, most like a commodious omnibus, and full of a most jovial company. I sat half-way along one of the two lengthy seats, and opposite me was a red-faced man, with large shiny eyes and greasy hair.
Failing this, it would avail her nothing that he hated and feared Olfan, and only promoted this marriage in order to bribe the king into standing his friend during the expected political convulsions. Indeed, as she guessed rightly, Nam would much better like to know her safely over the borders of the Mist-land than to be called upon to greet her as its queen.
But warning must first be given that Helen and the heroes of the Trojan war dwelt in the mist-land of legend and tradition, that cloud-realm from which history only slowly emerged. The facts with which we are here concerned are those of the poet, not those of the historian. It is far from sure that Helen ever lived. It is far from sure that there ever was a Trojan war.
To the cabin in the fir-grove came all the quaint, weird spirits, the fairies, the elves, the trolls, the pixies, the fadas, the crions, the goblins, the kobolds, the moss-people, the gnomes, the dwarfs, the water-sprites, the courils, the bogles, the brownies, the nixies, the trows, the stille-volk, all came to the cabin in the fir-grove, and capered about and sang the strange, beautiful songs of the Mist-Land.
And lo! to that place and in that hour came all the people of Mist-Land and of Dream-Land to declare allegiance to him: yes, the elves, the fairies, the pixies, all came to Claus, prepared to do his bidding. Joyously they capered about him, and merrily they sang. "Now haste ye all," cried Claus, "haste ye all to your homes and bring to my workshop the best ye have.
"Turn your eyes to the sombre mountains that guard the shadowy Mist-land from the sea," said Odin, "Now look far down into the rocky gorge in which the Fanander Cataract pours, and tell me what you see." Heimdal did as he was bidden. "I see a shape," said he, "sitting by the torrent's side. It is Loki's shape, and he seems strangely busy with strong strings and cords."
Some of the old tales of the Blackfeet, Piegans, and Chippewas, are as charming as those of La Fontaine. The Rainbow Falls are far more beautiful than those of the Black Eagle. They are some six miles from the new city of Great Falls. A long stairway of two hundred or more steps conducts the tourist into their very mist-land of rocks and surges. Here one is almost deafened by the thunder.