Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (Scandinavian).djvu/96

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THE RAILROAD AND THE CHURCHYARD.

always did when entering upon a subject, using it as he would a toothpick, letting it hang loosely in one corner of his mouth, or turning it more quickly or slowly, according to the humor he was in. Canute now saw with surprise, that the straw moved very fast. He asked quickly, "Do you think we ought to agree to this?"

Lars answered dryly, "Yes, I do."

The whole assembly, feeling that Canute was of quite a different opinion, seemed struck, and looked at Lars, who said nothing further, nor was further questioned. Canute turned to another subject, as if nothing had happened, and did not again resume the question till toward the close of the meeting, when he asked with an air of indifference if they should send it back to the Foged for closer consideration, as it certainly was contrary to the mind of the people of the parish, by whom the grain-magazine was highly valued; also, if he should put upon the record, "Proposal deemed inexpedient."

"Against one vote," said Lars.

"Against two," said another instantly.

"Against three," said a third, and before the chairman had recovered from his surprise, a majority had declared in favor of the proposal.

He wrote; then read in a low tone, "Referred for acceptance, and the meeting adjourned." Canute, rising and closing the "Records," blushed deeply, but resolved to have this vote