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very calmly under a burning sun; the wet, cold weather had given way, as it generally does when I am en route; the water was clear and very shallow, the bottom being quite visible, and the surface covered over with cockchafers; a whole flotilla upset, and moving, convulsively, poor things, on their shelly backs, up and down the smooth water, which our keel broke into hills and vallies for them; tempted from their dear beech woods, to try the effects of an excursion at sea, their fate is a warning to wanderers.
Never was anything in the way of cockchafers seen like the cockchafers of Denmark! Crawling and sprawling, here, there, and everywhere, the cruel boys of England would be tired of making them sing. Even at Kiel, that out-lying town of the kingdom, I was obliged to abandon the labour of setting them up again on their legs; they come plump into your face; they fall at your feet; they lie everywhere, kicking hopelessly on their backs. There is a cockchafer plague here. On board our steamer was the fattest and most joyous little wife that ever civil engineer boasted. She was returning to England from a visit to Norway; and the relation of her travels there would be as interesting and amusing as that of a yachting excursion, occupying a goodly tome, with a description of shooting at soda-water bottles, and catching a salmon. The dear lady had had such honours paid her as would have turned the head of any woman who was not the wife of a civil engineer. How could it be otherwise, when there was going to be a railroad in Norway? She had an artillery-man, she assured me, quite at her service, who attended her everywhere. "And did she go everywhere?" was my inquiry. "Yes, everywhere where it was possible to go in Norway. She rode to the top of Eingerige; but, then, her artillery-man walked beside her pony."
"Well! I will go to the top of Eingerige," said I to myself—" if I can find an artillery-man.''
But we are off the island of Moen; I am put into a boat, and waving my hand to the civil cngineeress, I am rowed to land. Steege, with its droll name (pronounced Steegay), was my point of attainment, for, said Mr. Murray's Hand-book, "to reach the highest and most picturesque cliffs, the traveller should proceed to Steege." So, as I always try to do what Mr. Murray tells me, to Steege I must go. "Would I take a post-carriage thither?" I was asked. "Yes, and without delay." About an hour elapsed, and then my post-carriage was ready; and I was asked if I would object to another traveller sharing it. "No, if he would not smoke." The matter was arranged. We set off. I thought my fellow-traveller was to pay his share of the carriage as well as to take his share in the conveyance. But I have since that thought that I travelled in the regular post-cart which runs from Steege. My fellow-traveller was loaded with divers small boxes; they were put in the long vacant space left at the back of our open seat for the purpose of carrying luggage. When he was to descend the boxes were found broken to pieces, and the contents, viz., a number of small oranges, were rolling about. Great were the lamentations—oranges being a rarity, evidently, in Moen. So the owner picked each up separately, and placed it with care in the charge of his wife. The stoppage called for patience on the part of a traveller hastening to Steege by a post-carriage.
At length we came to the inn, but it was no longer Tidemann's; the inn was there, but Tidemann was not. I made myself sure, however, that it had been Tidemann's, and then I entered; and recollecting that not one moment ought I to be detained from the lovely scenery surrounding I
Steege, I asked for the present master of the Inn that had been Tidemann's.
"He sleeps," was the grave reply of the gravelooking chambermaid. I looked at my watch, and finding it was nearly one o'clock, I saw that dinner had been eaten and repose was following. I waited for half-an-hour, then called again, and asked for the master. "He sleeps," was the still profound reply; and I was not to be detained one moment! already 30 minutes are gone, and yet, I fear, thirty are to go.
Well, the other thirty did go, and then having still heard—"He sleeps," articulated, I resolved to break his slumbers. I found a big woman with an uncouth child in her arms, and being convinced that they were attached to the wonderful "He" who was sleeping, I managed to torment one and the other to such a degree, that, as a relief, the big, quiet woman went herself to call up the sleeper.
Not so quickly, however, did he make his appearance: at last through the open door of the two apartments, I saw him enter his own—what shall I call it ?—not sleeping-room—but that in which he spent his few, brief, hours of waking bliss. I saw a figure in shirt-sleeves come in, and in a state of lethargic happiness, salute the big woman affectionately—it is so pleasant to bid good-morrow two or three times a day,—kiss the uncouth baby, leisurely drink a cup of coffee, talk to the big woman, pinch the uncouth baby's cheek, stretch the arms high up over the head, reach a hand towards the coat that hung on a peg, shuffle into it, yawn, stretch the arms again, and finally turn round and see me—his guest.
My errand was explained; I wanted to see the beauties of Moen. "I must then go to Klinten, or the Cliffs," was his rejoinder.
"Yes; could I get a carriage?"
"Certainly ; yes, a post-wagon."
A -post-carriage, I interpreted the word ; a postchaise, as we used to call it in the dear old times of English posting.
The post-master was sent for, and came; he was not sleeping; a little old man, with a mild, benevolent face. - This was Tidemann! actually the real Tidemann that Murray's Hand-Book referred to! He had turned into the post-master, instead of the innkeeper. The innkeeper told the postmaster that he had got him a customer, and that he was to give me a carriage to go to the Cliffs. All that passed between them I knew not, but
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