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We talked while he ate; he laughed readily and was in a cheerful mood, and since his face was beardless and hard, it looked like a laughing iron mask. But he was sensible and pleasant. There was only one thing: I had been silent for so long that I talked now perhaps too readily; and if it happened that both this boy Solem and I spoke at once, he would stop immediately to let me have my say.

He stayed that night and next day, and found a means of repaying me by washing some of my clothes and making himself useful in other ways. There was a large tub outside the hut had been since the Lapps lived there which was cracked and leaked abundantly, but Solem stopped the cracks with bacon fat and boiled my clothes in it.

Besides, the other ladies were on his side; the mighty Mrs. Brede alone could save him by a word. She held the Tore Peak resort in the palm of her hand. Solem was not discharged; but he held himself in check and became a little more civil. He seemed to suffer as much as ever. Once at midday, as he was standing in the woodshed, I saw him make a scratch with the ax across the nail of his thumb.

It was easy to see that he did everything on the farm; he was, hand and brain, indispensable. He laid the hen on a block and took aim, but it was not easy, for she twisted her head like a snake and would not lie still. She had stopped cackling now. "I can feel her heart jumping inside her," said Solem. Suddenly he saw his chance and struck.

That may be; but in this superiority there is some infirmity. One may be immortal and yet limp: witness Vulcan. One may be more than man and less than man. There is incomplete immensity in nature. Who knows whether the sun is not a blind man? But then, what? In whom can we trust? Solem quis dicere falsum audeat? Who shall dare to say that the sun is false?

And Solem was so strangely clumsy as he rose that his long arms and legs brought down a third couple. In a few minutes there was a squirming heap on the floor; screams and oaths were heard, people grew angry and kicked one another, while Solem skillfully directed the disaster with sincere and wholehearted malevolence. Couple after couple met their Waterloo over those already fallen.

It was late in the evening, and the lady seemed to have been in bed already, and to have risen again. Solem did not appear very willing. Suddenly their eyes met, and clung for a moment. Yes, certainly, of course he would come.... What an iron face he had, and what a rogue he was! Mrs. Brede departed. But a moment later she returned to say that she had changed her mind.

We are alone together in the woodshed. Why had he lied and said the Dane wanted to climb the Blue Peak that unfortunate Sunday morning? Solem looked at me, pretending not to understand. I repeated my question. Solem denied he had said any such thing. "I heard you," I said. "No, you didn't," he said. A pause.

Francis Xavier, in his greatest of all hymns, has stated once for all the essence of the Christian motive and the religious attitude: "O Deus, ego amo te Nec amo te ut salves me Aut quia non amantes te Aeternis punis igne. "Nee praemii illius spe Sed sicut tu amasti me Sic amo et amabo te Solem, quia Rex meus est." What, then, has been the final effect of humanism upon preaching?

The organ pealed out in loud flute tones that mounted like a lark, higher, higher, higher, winging its way in the clear morning air. It was the chant of a returning angel scaling heaven. Then came the long sweeps of a more solem harmony. Peace, peace! And rest! And rest!