Page:Tales of two countries.djvu/76
TALES OF TWO COUNTRIES.
opinion was more than usually divided as to its merits. By three persons in the world his executionwas admired as something incomparable. These three persons were, first, Cousin Ola, then Aunt Maren, and lastly Cousin Hans himself. Then there was a large party which thought it great fun to hear Cousin Hans sing. "He always makes something out of it." But lastly there came a few evil-disposed people who asserted that he could neither sing nor play.
It was with respect to the latter point, the accompaniment, that Cousin Ola always cherished a secret reproach against his brother—the only shadow upon his admiration for him.
He knew how much labour it had cost both Hans himself and his sisters to get him drilled in these accompaniments, especially in the three minor chords with which he always finished up, and which he practised beforehand every time he went to a party.
So, when he saw his brother seated at the piano, letting his fingers run lightly and carelessly over the key-board, and then looking up to the ceiling and muttering, "What key is it in again?" as if he were searching for the right one, a shiver always ran through Cousin Ola. For he knew that Hans had mastered three accompaniments, and no more — one minor and two major.
And when the singer, before rising from the piano, threw in these three carefully-practised minor chords so lightly, and with such an im-