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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about The Wonderful Adventures of Nils.

THE CABIN

Thursday, April fourteenth.

The following morning when the boy awoke, he lay in a bed.  When he saw that he was in a house with four walls around him, and a roof over him, he thought that he was at home.  “I wonder if mother will come soon with some coffee,” he muttered to himself where he lay half-awake.  Then he remembered that he was in a deserted cabin on the crow-ridge, and that Fumle-Drumle with the white feather had borne him there the night before.

The boy was sore all over after the journey he had made the day before, and he thought it was lovely to lie still while he waited for Fumle-Drumle who had promised to come and fetch him.

Curtains of checked cotton hung before the bed, and he drew them aside to look out into the cabin.  It dawned upon him instantly that he had never seen the mate to a cabin like this.  The walls consisted of nothing but a couple of rows of logs; then the roof began.  There was no interior ceiling, so he could look clear up to the roof-tree.  The cabin was so small that it appeared to have been built rather for such as he than for real people.  However, the fireplace and chimney were so large, he thought that he had never seen larger.  The entrance door was in a gable-wall at the side of the fireplace, and was so narrow that it was more like a wicket than a door.  In the other gable-wall he saw a low and broad window with many panes.  There was scarcely any movable furniture in the cabin.  The bench on one side, and the table under the window, were also stationary—­also the big bed where he lay, and the many-coloured cupboard.

The boy could not help wondering who owned the cabin, and why it was deserted.  It certainly looked as though the people who had lived there expected to return.  The coffee-urn and the gruel-pot stood on the hearth, and there was some wood in the fireplace; the oven-rake and baker’s peel stood in a corner; the spinning wheel was raised on a bench; on the shelf over the window lay oakum and flax, a couple of skeins of yarn, a candle, and a bunch of matches.

Yes, it surely looked as if those who had lived there had intended to come back.  There were bed-clothes on the bed; and on the walls there still hung long strips of cloth, upon which three riders named Kasper, Melchior, and Baltasar were painted.  The same horses and riders were pictured many times.  They rode around the whole cabin, and continued their ride even up toward the joists.

But in the roof the boy saw something which brought him to his senses in a jiffy.  It was a couple of loaves of big bread-cakes that hung there upon a spit.  They looked old and mouldy, but it was bread all the same.  He gave them a knock with the oven-rake and one piece fell to the floor.  He ate, and stuffed his bag full.  It was incredible how good bread was, anyway.

He looked around the cabin once more, to try and discover if there was anything else which he might find useful to take along.  “I may as well take what I need, since no one else cares about it,” thought he.  But most of the things were too big and heavy.  The only things that he could carry might be a few matches perhaps.

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