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Enter Sveinungi from the house with a flask and a glass, which he fills.

Sveinungi. Here, this is for you.
Jon (drinks). Thanks.

Sveinungi ( fills the glass again for Indridi and Helgi).Won't you take a drop too, Einar?

Einar appears in the doorway of the smithy. Einar. Thank you. (Drinks.)

Sveinungi (sees the Shepherd Boy). Are you here? Why, the girls are all through milking. Do you suppose you can keep the sheep standing in the fold all day? (The Shepherd Boy is about to go.) Wait a minute! I have a little thing here that I bought for you yesterday. (Takes a knife from his vest pocket.) I think the blade is good iron, and that is the main thing. (Gives him the knife. The Shepherd Boy kisses him.) It is not much. You are welcome to it.

The Shepherd Boy (opens the knife). Look, Einar, it's a regular hunting-knife. (Closes it, runs to the left, calling.) Snati! Pila! Snati!

Rannveig. You need n't call the dogs. They are up at the fold.

. [Exit the Shepherd Boy. Sveinungi. That boy will amount to something in time. It's well done for one so young to tend more than fourscore sheep, and he has n’t lost one yet.

[Takes the flask back to the house. Jon. He's in mighty good humor to-day, the old man. Bjørg. I should say so. Indridi. Why, he got the highest price for his wool. Jon. And a sorry day it would be when we did n’t get that!

Indridi. What do you think Jakobina had in mind when she asked about the birds ?

Jon. It's hard to tell! She has her mind on so many things.

Enter Sveinungi and Jorunn from the house. Sveinungi (in the door, laughing and talking). I believe the girls have their eye on the green chests. Indridi, will you carry them in? [Indridi goes with one of the chests.

Forunn. You can put them in the little room.

Sveinungi. Rannveig, will you bring me the key to the drying-shed? You know where it hangs. (Rannveig runs in.) You boys will have to carry the breadstuffs up into the loft of the storehouse, and the coffee and sugar too, and while I think of it, you had better take one sack out to the mill, Helgi.

Helgi. I will.

Sveinungi (opening a bag). Here, Einar, you 'll find iron and nails and brazil-wood, and here's something for yourself. (Hands him a plug of tobacco.) See if you can be a bit saving of it. Einar (pats him on the shoulder). God bless you!

[Goes into the smithy. Rannveig (comes out). Here is the key.

Sveinungi (unlocks the door to the drying-shed). You can stack the timber on top of the old pile. After you have had your breakfast, you, Jon, and Indridi had better go and lie down. You must be tired.

Jon. I am sure I could keep on working all day if need be, and just as hard as those who have had their sleep. (Indridi comes for the other chest.)

Sveinungi (laughs). There are not many like you.
Jorunn. Where is Ljot? I thought she was here.

Helgi. I saw her walking in the yard. I have not seen her come back.

Sveinungi (goes to the picket fence; calls). Ljot!
Ljot (is heard answering). Yes!
Sveinungi. Are you there? Aren't you coming home?
Ljot (is heard answering). I am coming.
Jorunn. Have you set the milk?
Rannveig. Yes.

Jorunn. Then come in, if you want to see what I have bought.

Einar (steps out into the door of the smithy. He holds a snuffbox in his hand, and is rolling up a long plug of tobacco, which he puts into the box). This tastes better; the old stuff was getting as dry as hay. (Spits.) Oh, well, there was a time, but that's so long ago.

Helgi. What are you talking about?

Einar. It was a winter night, and I was lying in wait for the fox. Well, what happened was neither more nor less than this, that when I wanted to take a chew of tobacco, I found I'd left the box at home. I can stand it for one night, I thought, but it was cold where I was lying, and the fox made himself scarce. Let me tell you, when I had been waiting till nearly dawn, I'd gladly have given my soul for a good honest chew. (Ljot passes through from the right, carrying some freshly gathered flowers in her hand. Goes into the house.)

Helgi. And did you get the fox ?
Einar. I did. It came just as I was about to go home.

Enter Indridi from the house. Fon. When you got home, I'm sure you went straight for a good big plug of tobacco.

Einar. Maybe I did! It was the finest blue fox I've ever shot.

Enter Frida from the left. She is warm from running.

Frida. Now I've turned the horses out on the grass. (Wipes her forehead.) Do you want me to pull the bellows for you?

Einar. You'd better go in and see if Jorunn should happen to have something for you. Then you can come back here.

[Frida runs in. Enter Bjørg and Rannveig from the house. Bjørg. See what the mistress has brought for me! (Holding up a piece of cloth.) It will be fun to make that into an apron.

Rannveig. I got a head-kerchief with red flowers (holds it up) and a piece of soap. (Smells it.)

yon. May I? (Smells it.) You'll be good to kiss, when you have washed with that soap.

Rannveig. Only I won't let you.

Thora (in the doorway). I must show you what I got, too. Enter Sølvi from the left, carrying a gun over his shoulder and a small knapsack on his back.

Sølvi. Good day to you!
The Servants. Good day!
Indridi. We did not see you coming.

Sølvi. I took the short cut. May I have something to drink? I am thirsty.

Rannveig. I'll get it for you.

Sølvi (lowering his voice). And may I see Ljot for a moment? I have something for her.

Rannveig. I'll tell her.
Indridi. Have you any news?
Sølvi. No.
· Indridi. You are still at Hol?

[Exeunt Girls.

Sølvi. Yes.
Indridi. Have they begun to cut the hay?
Sølvi. Not yet.

Indridi. They generally start before any of the other farms. Sølvi. They need to. They don't keep much help.

Enter Rannveig with the milk.
Rannveig. Here it is, and you are welcome to it.
Sølvi (drinks). Thanks...
Rannveig. I have told Ljot.

[Goes in. Helgi. Here, give me a hand! (Indridi lifts the sack to Helgi's back; Helgi carries it out to the left.)

Jon (coiling the last ropes). We can start carrying the lumber into the shed.

Enter Ljot from the house.
Sølvi. Good day to you, Ljot!
Ljot. Good day! You wished to see me?

Sølvi. You won't be angry with me?-I thought perhaps you would like this. (Takes the skin of a duck from his knapsack.) I shot it on the creek the other day, and I thought it was so pretty that I took off the skin and dried it. Do you think you could make use of it—say for a riding-cap?

Ljot. It is beautiful.

Sølvi. When you hold the wing this way the spot is blue, and when you hold it so it is green; it's the way the light falls.

Ljot. I doubt if I dare take it. I scarcely know you. · Sølvi. You would make me very happy if you would take it.

Ljot. Then I will, and thank you. (Gives him her hand.) How lovely it is!

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