Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (Scandinavian).djvu/99

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91
THE RAILROAD AND THE CHURCHYARD.

heard in these meetings. In concluding, he said:

"Of what importance is it that the proposal is from the Foged?—none,—or who it was that erected the house, or in what way it became the public property?"

Canute, who blushed easily, turned very red, and moved nervously as usual when he was impatient; but notwithstanding, he answered in a low, careful tone, that there were savings banks enough in the country, he thought, quite near, and almost too near. But if one was to be instituted, there were other ways of attaining this end, than by trampling upon the gifts of the dead, and the love of the living. His voice was a little unsteady when he said this, but recovered its composure, when he began to speak of the grain magazine as such, and reason concerning its utility.

Lars answered him ably on this last, adding: "Besides, for many reasons I would be led to doubt whether the affairs of this parish are to be conducted for the best interests of the living, or for the memory of the dead; or further, whether it is the love and hate of a single family which rules, rather than the welfare of the whole."

Canute answered quickly: "I don't know whether the last speaker has been the one least benefited not only by the dead of this family, but also by its still living representative."