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Halla. He is no more thief than you are. Should you be a thief, because I said' so? (To the people.) He is only too glad to get out of the glima. He is a coward! He is a coward! (Loud or suppressed laughter all around.)
Bjørn. Never before has Bjørn Bergsteinsson been called a coward. (Takes off his coat.) (Kari throws off his coat. The crowd draws back, leaving an open space. The “glima” begins. Bjørn pushes Kari out to the back, and the people follow. The heads of the wrestlers are seen; then they disappear to the left. A moment of silence, then a sudden outcry.)
All. Kari has won! Kari has won! (Silence again.) Bjørn is hurt!
[Exeunt some of the crowd. Kari. I think he has had enough. (Goes to Halla.) A Peasant. Bjørn had his leg broken. We must help him. Jon. I told them to look out for the rocks. Halla. It was the bailiff who drew Kari out on the rocks.
[Exeunt the rest of the peasants. Bjørn's voice is heard, threatening. You shall pay me back for this, Halla!
Arnes. I am glad he got it.
Arngrim. “Hard upon hard,” said the old woman; she sat down on a stone.
The Boy (goes to Kari, almost weeping). You are not a thief!
Kari (patting him on the head). No, no!
Halla (to Arnes). Will you do me the favor to see that my sheep are driven home to-night? I don't want Kari to stay here any longer.
Arnes. I will do it gladly. (To Kari.) I meant to warn you against what has overtaken you now.
Kari. I know it. You meant well.
Halla. No, you must stay here and help Arnes. I will go home with Kari myself. (Laughs.) You know I must watch my prisoner. You may bring the horses, the black and the sorrel.
[Exit the Boy. Gudfinna. Why all this hurry?
Halla (goes to her). You always had a liking for the little box where my husband kept his money. When we get home, I want you to have that box and all that is in it.
Gudfinna. But you keep your own money there!
Halla. Not all. I meant to buy quite a number of sheep here to-day.
Gudfinna (on her way out). I must be getting old. I don't understand anything any more.
Halla. You need not tell them up at the folds that I am going home.
Gudfinna(taking Halla's hand). God bless you!(Her voice breaks.)
: [Exit. Arnes (to Arngrim). We had better be off, too.
Arngrim (goes to Kari). If you should happen to ride astray, take care you don't lose her in the mist.
[Exeunt. Kari (to Halla). What do you mean by riding home now?
Halla. Thank God, we have good horses! The folks won't get home with the sheep before nightfall, and they will not begin to look for us until to-morrow. By that time we shall have a good start.
Kari. You must not fee with me, Halla. You don't know the life you are going to.
Halla. You are a great child. Don't you think that I
have weighed it all? (Smiles.) If you won't let me come and live with you, I will marry the bailiff.
Kari (kneeling before her). Halla!
Halla (stands for a moment in silence; takes a long breath). To-night we two shall ride alone in the hills!
A small grass-grown plot. In the foreground, to the right, a fantastic lava formation, a hollow cone five yards in height and three yards in circumference,once an enormous lava bubble produced by gases in the liquid lava, In course of time, the roof has crumbled, also the nearest wall. The farther wall is still standing, but there is a hole in it, through which the sky can be seen. Farther back and somewhat to the left, the wall of a small hut is seen, though partly hidden by the lava formation. The hut is built of stone, the walls of small stones chinked with sod, the roof of large lava slabs. To the left, a deep gorge, the farther wall of which is so much higher than the one near by that it completely shuts off the view to the left. At the bottom of the gorge, a stream. Farther up, the gorge makes a turn to the left, and here the upper part of a waterfall is seen. Behind this, the glacier. On the grass plot is a hearth with a smouldering fire. Some rocks covered with skins serve as seats. From the gorge comes the murmuring sound of the waterfall.
The stage is empty. A horn is heard, first a short call, then a longer. Enter Kari and Arnes. They are weather-beaten, bareheaded, dressed in knitted jerkins and knitted knee-breeches. Their feet are bare in their shoes. Both have ram's horns hanging at their side. Kari carries a swan, Arnes a bunch of ptarmigans, some faggots, and a few tufts of bearberry. Kari (looking into the hut). Halla! No, she is not here.
Arnes. She may have gone for water.
Arnes. You might have let me carry it. I had not tired myself with running.
Kari. As I had caught it, I wanted to carry it. (Smiles.) The old pride, you see.
Arnes. The honor would have been yours just the same.
Kari. This is the first swan this fall. (Stroking it fondly.) I am glad the feathers did n't get blood-stained.
Arnes. It would be lonesome up here if we were only two.
Kari. Indeed it would, but you have tried the loneliness before. Was it not two years you had been alone before you met us?
Arnes. Two and a half.
Halla (is heard answering). Hello!
Kari. Yes, I am happy, and it is good to be here. We are free. We have enough to eat. We have sunshine, water, and shelter. What more do you want? ( Arnes is silent.) I know you are brooding over something you don't want to tell me. You seem more gloomy every day. Are you longing to get away from here?
Arnes. Don't let us talk about such things to-day.
Kari. Perhaps it would do you good to unburden yourself to me or, better still, to Halla. She is wiser than I am, and she cares a good deal for you, I tell you.
Arnes. There are not many like Halla.
Kari (hastily). We won't tell Halla about the mist. It might frighten her.
Arnes. I'll hold my peace.