“Don’t you see how high the sea is running?” he said, and tried to persuade her that the boat would be dashed to pieces on the rocks. But she saw that it wasn’t true, and went up with a little toss of her head alone. He followed her.
She must have learned all this in Arendal, where in the course of the autumn she had been confirmed, and where she had lived with her aunt. But she had grown marvellously handsome in that time—so much so, indeed, that Salve was almost taken aback when he saw her; and when they said good-bye, it was no longer in the old laughing tones, but with some slight embarrassment on his side—he didn’t seem to know exactly how matters lay between them.
After that she filled his head so completely that he had not a thought for anything else.
The old Juno, to which Salve belonged, was lying at that time at Sandvigen, and was only waiting for a north-east wind to come out. She was a square-rigged vessel, with a crew of nineteen hands all told, which had plied for many years in American waters, and off and on in the North Sea, and was reckoned at the time one of Arendal’s largest craft. Her arrival or departure was quite an event for the town and neighbourhood; and to have a berth in her was considered among the sailors of the district a very high honour indeed—the more so that her master and principal owner, Captain Beck, was a particularly good chief to serve under, and a lucky one to boot.
When at last, between ten and eleven o’clock one morning, she weighed anchor, and before a light north-westerly breeze, with her small sails set, glided out to sea, the quays were crowded with spectators, the majority of the crew belonging to the place, and it being generally known that they were bound on a longer voyage than usual. On board she had with her still the captain’s son, Carl Beck, a smart young naval officer, with his sister and a small party of their friends, who meant to land out on the Torungens in the sailing-boat they had in tow. They wished to remain with her as long as possible, and for the purpose had made up a party to the islands, where the gentlemen proposed to shoot some of the sea-fowl, which are to be found out there on the rocks in swarms at the spring season of the year on their passage north along the coast.
It was about four o’clock when they passed Little Torungen; and as there were swells then bursting in white jets upon the reefs, and a line of dark fire-fringed clouds about the sunset, which looked like heavy weather coming up, the pleasure party determined to leave the vessel here, instead of going on, as they had intended, to the larger of the two islands.
As they went over the side Salve Kristiansen was standing out on the forecastle gazing eagerly over to where the barren mass of rock lay like a dipping hull in the distance, bathed in the evening sun, and with a fringe of foam round its base; and he could see old Jacob’s granddaughter standing by the wall of the house with the glass. He had chosen on purpose a conspicuous place, and stood with his back against the stay, so heavy of heart and sad at having to go away, that it would have taken very little to make him burst into tears. It seemed to have dawned upon him all of a sudden that he was in love.