Now, if you will stay and watch it day after day, you will see what good result will come from this waiting; for every hour more and more water is running to its aid, and, as its forces increase, we begin to feel sure, that, although it can neither pass over nor under, it will some day be strong enough to break through the Frost Giants’ dam. And the day comes at last, when, summoning all its waters to the attack, it makes a breach in the great earth wall, and in a strong, grand column, as high as this room, marches away towards the sea.
As we have the wings of thought to travel with, let us hurry back to the settlement, and see where Nannie is now, and tell the people, if we only can, what a wall of water is marching down upon them; for you see the little channel that used to hold Nannie’s Run is not a quarter large enough for this torrent, that has gathered so long behind the dam.
Peep in at the window, and see how Nannie stands at the kitchen table, cutting out little cakes from a bit of dough that her mother has given her; she is all absorbed in her play, and her mother has gone to look into the oven at the nicely browning loaves.
Oh, don’t we wish the house had been built up on the cliff among the fir-trees, safe above the reach of the water! But, alas! here it stands, just in the path that the torrent will take, and we have no power to tell of the danger that is approaching.
Mrs. Dwight turns from the oven, and, passing the window on her way to the table, suddenly sees the great wall of water only a few rods from her house. With one step she reaches the bedroom, seizes the blankets from the bed, wraps Nannie in them, and with the little girl on one arm, grasps Frankie’s hand, and, telling Harry to run beside her, opens the door nearest the cliff, and almost flies up its steep side.
Five minutes afterwards, sitting breathless on the roots of an old tree, with her children safe beside her, she sees the whole shore covered with surging water, and the houses swept into the bay, tossing and drifting there like boats in a stormy sea. And this is what the Frost Giants did to Nannie’s Run.
What will Nannie do now? Here in our New-England towns it would seem hard enough to have one’s house swept away before one’s eyes; but then you know you could take the next train of cars, and go to your aunt in Boston, or your uncle in New York, to stay until a new house could be prepared for you. But here is Nannie hundreds and thousands of miles away from any such help; for there are not only no railroads to travel upon, but not even common roads nor horses nor wagons; nevertheless, there are neighbors who will bring help.