Page:Hans of Iceland (1891).djvu/218

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The young miner laughed.

"Nearly, Kenuybol? For my part, I think that the mandrake's shriek produced its full effect upon your feeble brains."

"Feeble brains yourself!" said the vexed mountaineer; "just see, Jonas, he jests at mandrake. He laughs like a lunatic playing with a death's-head."

"Hum!" answered Jonas." Let him go to "Vulderhog cave, where the heads of those whom Hans, the foul fiend of Iceland, has murdered, come back every night to dance about his bed of withered leaves, and gnash their teeth to lull him to sleep."

" That's so, said the mountaineer.

" But," rejoined the young man, " did not Mr. Hacket, for whom we are waiting, promise us that Hans of Iceland would take the lead in our rebellion ? "

" He did," replied Kennybol;" and with the help of that demon we are sure to conquer the green jackets of Throndhjem and Copenhagen."

"So much the better!" cried the old miner. " But I'm not the man to stand guard beside him at night."

At this moment the rustle of dead leaves beneath the tread of a man drew the attention of the speakers; they turned, and the firelight gleamed on the new-comer's face.

" It is he! it is Mr. Hacket! Welcome, Mr. Hacket; you have kept us waiting. We have been here this three quarters of an hour."

"Mr. Hacket " was a short, fat man, dressed in black, and his jovial countenance wore a forbidding expression.

"Well, friends," said he, "I was delayed by my igno-