“Ah! that is so. You have never told me how you got rid of Jon Hatlen.”
“Laughed. Do not you know what it is to laugh?”
“Yes; I can laugh.”
“Let me see!”
“Whoever beard of such a thing! Surely, I must have something to laugh at.”
“I do not need that when I am happy.”
“Are you happy now, Marit?”
“Pray, am I laughing now?”
“Yes; you are, indeed.”
He took both her hands in his and clapped them together over and over again, gazing into her face. Here the dog began to growl, then his hair bristled and he fell to barking at something below, growing more and more savage, and finally quite furious. Marit sprang back in alarm; but Oyvind went forward and looked down. It was his father the dog was barking at. He was standing at the foot of the cliff with both hands in his pockets, gazing at the dog.
“Are you there, you two? What mad dog is that you have up there?”
“It is the dog from the Heidegards,” answered Oyvind, somewhat embarrassed.
“How the deuce did it get up there?”
Now the mother had put her head out of the kitchen door, for she had heard the dreadful noise, and at once knew what it meant; and laughing, she said,—
“That dog is roaming about there every day, so there is nothing remarkable in it.”
“Well, I must say it is a fierce dog.”
“It will behave better if I stroke it,” thought Oyvind, and he did so.
The dog stopped barking, but growled. The father walked away as though he knew nothing, and the two on the cliff were saved from discovery.
“It was all right this time,” said Marit, as they drew near to each other again.
“Do you expect it to be worse hereafter?”
“I know one who will keep a close watch on us—that I do.”
“But he shall do us no harm.”
“Not the least.”
“And you promise that?”
“Yes, I promise it, Oyvind.”
“How beautiful you are, Marit!”
“So the fox said to the raven and got the cheese.”
“I mean to have the cheese, too, I can assure you.”
“You shall not have it.”
“But I will take it.”
She turned her head, but he did not take it.
“I can tell you one thing, Oyvind, though.” She looked up sideways as she spoke.
“How homely you have grown!”
“Ah! you are going to give me the cheese, anyway; are you?”
“No, I am not,” and she turned away again.
“Now I must go, Oyvind.”
“I will go with you.”
“But not beyond the woods; grandfather might see you.”
“No, not beyond the woods. Dear me! are you running?”
“Why, we cannot walk side by side here.”