A few days later Ole went over to Tidemand's office and said: "I don't suppose you would take two thousand for the yacht?" "Have you got the money with you?" "Yes; it just happens that I have." "All right," said Tidemand. And the yacht was Ole's once more.... Tidemand had called on Ole now in order to pass away an hour or so.
Ole Henriksen looked a little overworked. He had not sufficient help; when he went to England that autumn he would have to give his head assistant power of attorney and leave everything to him. Since Aagot came Ole's work had been only fun; but now she was a little indisposed and had kept up-stairs for a couple of days. Ole missed her.
"Do you really desire it, Monsieur Sylvius?" asked the young girl. "It is not I, my dear Hulda, but Ole who desires it, and Ole's wishes must be respected." "Monsieur Sylvius is right, sister," replied Joel. "Yes; you must go. When do you intend to start, Monsieur Sylvius?" "To-morrow, at day-break, and may Saint Olaf protect us!"
Three days after the arrival of Ole's last letter, as Dame Hansen was returning alone from the saw-mill, to which place she had gone to order a bag of shavings from the foreman, Lengling, she was accosted near her own door by a man who was a stranger in that part of the country. "This is Dame Hansen, is it not?" he inquired. "Yes; but I do not know you," was the reply.
Besides, it is very possible that the 'Viking' is an old vessel, and a slow sailer, like most Newfoundland ships, especially when heavily laden. On the other hand, we have had a great deal of bad weather during the past few weeks, and very possibly the vessel did not sail at the date indicated in Ole's letter.
They took their lunch bags from their backs and sat down on the big, thick stone table, while the animals lay around them chewing the cud. When the bags were opened many good things came out. There was butter, and pork, and pease bread, and, in Lisbeth's, cream waffles besides. In each bag there was also a bottle of milk, except in Ole's he had forgotten his.
By the light of his candle, Sylvius Hogg carefully reread the lines written upon the back of the ticket, as if with the hope of discovering some hidden meaning. The lines had been written with ink, and it was evident that Ole's hand had not trembled while tracing them.
"In that case, Ole would have written," replied Hulda, who could not even be cheered by this hope. "What is there to prove that he did not write?" retorted the professor. "If he did, it is not the 'Viking' that is behind time, but the American mail. Suppose, for instance, that Ole's ship touched at some port in the United States, that would explain why none of his letters have yet reached Europe."
Then the mysterious driver, swinging himself lightly off his horse, and doffing his fur cap, showing them a face not only handsome, but perfectly familiar to them, exclaimed: "You see, my dear friends, that it was neither a bandit nor His Satanic Majesty who drove you by the nearest road to a robber's castle or the lower regions, but your very good neighbor, Fritz Von Eisenfeldt, who has had at once the pleasure and amusement of taking you safe and sound to Olè's, after all!"
He was the wonder fullback of those times, and at the end of three years there wasn't a college anywhere that didn't have Ole's hoofmarks all over its pride. Oh, he was a darling.