As an humble gray hut, when ablaze, gives out light and brilliancy, thus did this humble Swedish landscape flame into a marvel of splendour. Everything was so wondrously golden, exactly as one might imagine that a landscape on the surface of the sun would look.
Hellgum was thinking, as he viewed this scene, that a time was coming when God would let the land reflect the brightness of His Glory, and when the seeds of Truth which had been sawn during the summer would yield golden harvests of righteousness.
Then, to and behold, one evening Tims Halvor came over to the croft and invited Hellgum and his wife to come with him to the Ingmar Farm!
On arriving they found everything in holiday order; around the house all the old dry birch leaves had been cleared away; farm implements and carts, which at other times were scattered about the yard, had now been put out of sight.
“They must be having a number of visitors here,” thought Anna Lisa. Just then Halvor opened the front door, and they stepped inside.
The living-room was full of people who were seated upon benches all along the walls, solemnly expectant. Hellgum noticed that they were the leading people of the parish. The first persons he recognized were Ljung Bjoern Olofsson and his wife, Martha Ingmarsson; also Bullet Gunner and his wife. Then he saw Krister Larsson and Israel Tomasson with their wives, all of whom were members of the Ingmar family. Presently he saw Hoek Matts Ericsson and his son Gabriel, the councillor’s daughter Gunhild, and several persons besides. Altogether there were about twenty people present.
When Hellgum and Anna Lisa had gone round and shaken hands with every one, Tims Halvor said:
“We who are assembled here have been thinking over the things Hellgum has said to us during the summer. Most of us belong to an old family whose wish it has ever been to walk in the ways of God. If Hellgum can help us do this, we are ready to follow him.”
The next day the news spread like wildfire throughout the parish that a new religious sect had sprung up on the Ingmar Farm, which was supposed to embody the only correct and true principles of Christianity.
THE NEW WAY
In the spring, soon after the snow had disappeared, young Ingmar and Strong Ingmar returned to the village to start the sawmill. They had been up in the forest the whole winter cutting timber and making charcoal. And when Ingmar got back to the lowlands he fell like a bear that had just crawled out from its lair. He could hardly accustom himself to the glaring sunlight of an open sky, and blinked as if the light hurt him. The roaring of the rapids and the sound of human voices seemed almost intolerable to him, and all the noises on the farm were a veritable torture to his ears. At the same time he was glad; heaven knows he did not show it, either in speech or manner, but that spring he felt as young as the fresh shoots on the birches.