Page:Fairy tales and other stories (Andersen, Craigie).djvu/30

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GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS

had done, and what a bad man he was, and that he must be punished. And Great Claus was so frightened that he jumped out of the surgery straight into his carriage, and whipped the horses, and drove home. But the apothecary and all the people thought him mad, and so they let him drive whither he would.

'You shall pay for this!' said Great Claus, when he was out upon the high road: 'yes, you shall pay me for this. Little Claus!' And directly he got home he took the biggest sack he could find, and went over to Little Claus and said, 'Now, you've tricked me again! First I killed my horses, and then my old grandmother! That's all your fault; but you shall never trick me any more.' And he seized Little Claus round the body, and thrust him into the sack, and took him upon his back, and called out to him, 'Now I shall go off with you and drown you.'

It was a long way that he had to travel before he came to the river, and Little Claus was not too light to carry. The road led him close to a church: the organ was playing, and the people were singing so beautifully! Then Great Claus put down his sack, with Little Claus in it, close to the church door, and thought it would be a very good thing to go in and hear a psalm before he went farther; for Little Claus could not get out, and all the people were in church; and so he went in.

'Oh, dear! Oh, dear!' sighed Little Claus in the sack. And he turned and twisted, but he found it impossible to loosen the cord. Then there came by an old drover with snow-white hair, and a great staff in his hand: he was driving a whole herd of cows and oxen before him, and they stumbled against the sack in which Little Claus was confined, so that it was overthrown.

'Oh, dear!' sighed Little Claus, 'I'm so young yet, and am to go to heaven directly!'

'And I, poor fellow,' said the drover, 'am so old already. and can't get there yet!'

'Open the sack,' cried Little Claus; 'creep into it instead of me, and you will get to heaven directly.'

'With all my heart,' replied the drover; and he untied the sack, out of which Little Claus crept forth immediately.

'But will you look after the cattle?' said the old man;