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Hans Christian Andersen

turned round in the gateway, but what was the good of that? noth- ing could make their luck turn. She looked at the red stones of what had once been Marsk Stig's Castle. Was she thinking of his daugh- ters?

'"The elder took the younger by the hand, And out they roamed to a far-off land."

Was she thinking of that song? Here there were three and their father was with them. They walked along the road where once they used to ride in their chariot. They trod it now as vagrants, on their way to a plastered cottage on Smidstrup Heath, which was rented at ten marks yearly. This was their new country seat with its empty walls and its empty vessels. The crows and the magpies wheeled screaming over their heads with their mocking "Caw, caw! Out of the nest, Caw, caw!" just as they screamed in Borreby Forest when the trees were felled.

'Herr Daa and his daughters must have noticed it. I blew into their ears to try and deaden the cries, which after all were not worth listening to.

'So they took up their abode in the plastered cottage on Smidstrup Heath, and I tore off over marshes and meadows, through naked hedges and bare woods, to the open seas and other lands. Whew! whew! away, away! and that for many years.'

What happened to Waldemar Daa? What happened to his daugh- ters? This is what the wind relates.

'The last of them I saw, yes, for the last time, was Anna Dorothea, the pale hyacinth. She was old and bent now; it was half a century later. She lived the longest, she had gone through everything.

'Across the heath, near the town of Viborg, stood the Dean's new, handsome mansion, built of red stone with toothed gables. The smoke curled thickly out of the chimneys. The gentle lady and her fair daughters sat in the bay window looking into the garden at the drooping thorns and out to the brown heath beyond. What were they looking at there?They were looking at a stork's nest on a tumble- down cottage; the roof was covered, as far as there was any roof to cover, with moss and house-leek; but the stork's nest made the best


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