But as he went down, he still saw Veyergang's insolent, half-closed eyes, and the curl coming out beneath his hat, and he could not help it he felt as if it were twined round his finger!
It was a matter of course that the warning was given in the most appreciative and considerate, although firmly decisive manner. The whole circle of Mrs. Veyergang's acquaintance agreed that they had all expected that the Veyergangs would really one day part with that pampered creature!
Now he caught a glimpse of a sloping shoulder and half a back in an overcoat, with a cane sticking out of the owner's pocket and part of a fashionable hat-brim. The figure was smoking a cigar and bending down as if to talk. To whom? To whom? For it was Ludvig Veyergang's, that narrow, straight back, that seemed in its pride as if it could not bend above the hips.
He swung the bundle, with the box in it, about him so that nobody could come near him, and darted like a flash of lightning upon Veyergang, exclaiming between his teeth: "It's the last time in your life that you'll say that!" One hand fumbled with Veyergang's coat, and the other dealt him a blow with the full weight of the box, so that he fell backwards on to the snow.
Nikolai had struck his fist into Veyergang's chest so that the buttons of his coat were torn open, when he was surrounded by three policemen. A young girl suddenly rushed wildly in among them. Spectators collected in greater numbers around. This was a fair-fight of the first sort; and that tall, dark girl too! "A mad bull-dog of a smith!
There came Veyergang's shadow, with stick and hat again, and lower down the crooked outline of a woman's head in lively gesticulation. Again the figure with the stick disappeared, and Nikolai prepared to watch for it. A drop just wept a smooth streak down the pane, and the next moment he caught a glimpse of a dancing figure only a bent head and a half-hidden face.
The renovation of blood and nerves must be artificially conveyed from that class of society which stands nearer to Nature." And now the thing was to find an extra-healthy, thoroughly strong nurse for Consul-General Veyergang's two delicate, newly-arrived, little ones. Dr. Schneibel had very thoughtfully kept a nurse in reserve for Mrs.
The hammer went on again. One man stretched himself and yawned with the whole Midsummer holiday in his jaws. "Up on Grefsen ridge, cold punch had flowed down the hill as good as free. Veyergang's son had given the girls at the factory an old boat from Maridal Lake and half a barrel of pitch; heard the cuckoo and had larks all night came down again when it was nearly eight o'clock."
The next morning a bit of a dress was seen sticking up out of the loose snow in the dam. Her skull had been broken in the high fall from the bridge against the edge of the ice. It was proved that young Veyergang's death had been caused directly by the blow that had been dealt him which had penetrated to the brain. And the impression was not to be softened by Nikolai's behaviour before the court.
This visit of Veyergang's! He had enough noise and worry just now down at the smithy. It was just a question whether he should not be made a foreman. Old Mrs. Ellingsen had sent for him several times on this account, and it looked as if it were almost settled.