The eagle flapped his wings again, and went over to Aln Island, which lies opposite Sundsvall. The boy was greatly surprised to see all the sawmills that decked the shores. On Aln Island they stood, one next another, and on the mainland opposite were mill upon mill, lumber yard upon lumber yard. He counted forty, at least, but believed there were many more.
“How wonderful it all looks from up here!” he marvelled. “So much life and activity I have not seen in any place save this on the whole trip. It is a great country that we have! Wherever I go, there is always something new for people to live upon.”
A MORNING IN ANGERMANLAND
Saturday, June eighteenth.
Next morning, when the eagle had flown some distance into Angermanland, he remarked that to-day he was the one who was hungry, and must find something to eat! He set the boy down in an enormous pine on a high mountain ridge, and away he flew.
The boy found a comfortable seat in a cleft branch from which he could look down over Angermanland. It was a glorious morning! The sunshine gilded the treetops; a soft breeze played in the pine needles; the sweetest fragrance was wafted through the forest; a beautiful landscape spread before him; and the boy himself was happy and care-free. He felt that no one could be better off.
He had a perfect outlook in every direction. The country west of him was all peaks and table-land, and the farther away they were, the higher and wilder they looked. To the east there were also many peaks, but these sank lower and lower toward the sea, where the land became perfectly flat. Everywhere he saw shining rivers and brooks which were having a troublesome journey with rapids and falls so long as they ran between mountains, but spread out clear and broad as they neared the shore of the coast. Bothnia Bay was dotted with islands and notched with points, but farther out was open, blue water, like a summer sky.
When the boy had had enough of the landscape he unloosed his knapsack, took out a morsel of fine white bread, and began to eat.
“I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such good bread,” said he. “And how much I have left! There’s enough to last me for a couple of days.” As he munched he thought of how he had come by the bread.
“It must be because I got it in such a nice way that it tastes so good to me,” he said.
The golden eagle had left Medelpad the evening before. He had hardly crossed the border into Angermanland when the boy caught a glimpse of a fertile valley and a river, which surpassed anything of the kind he had seen before.
As the boy glanced down at the rich valley, he complained of feeling hungry. He had had no food for two whole days, he said, and now he was famished. Gorgo did not wish to have it said that the boy had fared worse in his company than when he travelled with the wild geese, so he slackened his speed.