Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (German II).djvu/36

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34
CHRISTIAN GELLERT'S LAST CHRISTMAS.

himself, when it had finished striking, "You're wrong; it is nine, not ten." He turned round that he might not see the dial, and thus he stood for some time, with his hands upon the wagon-rack, gazing at the wood. He knew not how long he had been thus standing, when some one tapped him on the shoulder, and said, "How much for the load of wood?"

Christopher turned round: there was an odd look of irresolution in his eyes as he said: "Eh? eh? what time is it?"

"Half-past ten."

"Then the wood is now no longer mine—at least to sell:" and, collecting himself, he became suddenly warm, and with firm hand turned his horses round, and begged the woodmen who accompanied him to point him out the way to the house with the "Schwarz Brett," Dr. Junius's. There he delivered a full load: at each log he took out of the wagon he smiled oddly. The wood-measurer measured the wood carefully, turning each log and placing it exactly, that there might not be a crevice anywhere.

"Why are you so over-particular to-day, pray?" asked Christopher, and he received for answer:

"Professor Gellert must have a fair load; every shaving kept back from him were a sin."

Christopher laughed aloud, and the wood-measurer looked at him with amazement; for such particularity generally provoked a quarrel.