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sibilities fell upon me if I held the reins of the post-horse, and probably heavy risks of life and limb if the post-boy held them; that the inn-keeper, station-holder, alderman, or two men chosen miscellaneously from the ranks of society, were to judge of damages that might be inflicted upon the horse; that I must register my name in a daybook, and enter formal complaints against the authorities on the way about every ten miles; that the tariff might rise and fall five hundred times during the journey, for aught I knew, according to the rise and fall of provisions or the pleasure of the Amtmand ; that conspiracies might be entered into against me to make me pay for all the lame, halt, blind, and spavined horses in the country, and my liberty restrained in some desolate region of the mountains; that I could not speak a dozen words of the language, and had no other means of personal defense against imposition than a small pen-knife and the natural ferocity of my countenance—when all these considerations occurred to me, I confess they made me hesitate a little before launching out from Lillehammer.
However, the landlord of the post, a jolly and goodnatured old gentleman, relieved my apprehensions by providing such a breakfast of coffee, eggs, beefsteak, fish, and bread, that my sunken spirits were soon thoroughly aroused, and I felt equal to any emergency. When I looked out on the bright hill-sides, and saw the sun glistening on the dewy sod, and heard the post-boys in the yard whistling merrily to the horses, I was prepared to face the great Amtmand itself. In a little while the horse and cariole designed for my use were brought up before the door, and the landlord informed me that all was “fertig.”
Now, was there ever such a vehicle for a full-grown man to travel in ? A little thing, with a body like the end of a canoe, perched up on two long shafts, with a pair of wheels in the rear; no springs, and only a few straps of leather for a harness; a board behind for the skydskaarl, or post-boy, to sit upon; and a horse not big. ger than a large mountain goat to drag me over the road! It was positively absurd. After enjoying the spectacle for a moment, and making a hurried sketch of it, wondering what manner of man had first contrived such a vehicle, I bounced in, and stretched my legs out on each side, bracing my feet against a pair of iron catches, made expressly for that purpose. Fortunately, I am a capital driver. If nature ever intended me for any one profession above all others, it must have been for a stage-driver. I have driven buggies, wagons, and carts in California hundreds of miles, and never yet killed any body. Like the Irishman, I can drive within two inches of a precipice without going over. Usually, however, I let the horse take his own way, which, after all, is the grand secret of skillful driving.
My baggage consisted of a knapsack containing two shirts and an extra pair of stockings, a sketch-book and some pencils, and such other trifling knick-knacks as a tourist usually requires in this country. I carried no more outside clothing than what common decency required: a rough hunting-coat, a pair of stout cloth pantaloons, and an old pair of boots—which is as much as any traveler needs on a Norwegian tour, though it is highly recommended by an English writer that every traveler should provide himself with two suits of clothes, a Mackintosh, a portable desk, an India-rubber pillow, a few blankets, an opera-glass, a musquito-net, a thermometer, some dried beef, and a dozen boxes of sardines, besides a stock of white bread, and two bottles of English pickles.
A NORWEGIAN GIRL. WITH a crack of the whip that must have astonished the landlord, and caused him some misgivings for the fate of bis horse and cariole, I took my departure from
Lillehammer. About half a mile beyond the town we (the skydskaarl, myself, horse, and cariole) passed the falls—a roaring torrent of water tumbling down from the mountain side on the right. Several extensive sawmills are located at this point. The piles of lumber outside, and the familiar sounds of the saws and wheels, reminded me of home. The scene was pretty and picturesque, but rather disfigured by the progress of Norwegian civilization. Passing numerous thriving farms in the full season of harvest, the road winding pleasantly along the hill-side to the right, the foaming waters of the Logen deep down in the valley to the left, we at length reached the entrance of the Gudbransdalen—that beautiful and fertile valley, which stretches all the way up the course of the Logen to the Dovre Fjeld, a distance of a hundred and sixty-eight miles from Lillehammer. It would be an endless task to undertake a description of the beauties of this valley. From station to station it is a continued panorama of dashing waterfalls, towering mountains, green slopes, pine forests overtopping the cliffs, rich and thriving farms, with innumerable log cottages perched up among the cliffs, and wild and rugged defiles through which the road passes, sometimes overbung by shrubbery for miles at a stretch. Flying along the smoothly-graded highway at a rapid rate; independent of all the world except your horse and boy; the bright sunshine glimmering through the trees; the music of the wild waters falling pleasantly on your ear; each turn of the road opening out something rich, new, and strange; the fresh mountain air invigorating every fibre of your frame; renewed youth and health beginning to glow upon your cheeks; digestion performing its functions without a pang or a hint of remonstrance; kind, genial, open-hearted people wherever you stop—is it not an episode in life worth enjoying? The valley of the Logen must surely be a paradise (in summer) for invalids.
. At each station the traveler is furnished with a stunted little boy called the skydskaarl, usually clothed in the cast-off rags of his great-grandfather; bis head ornamented by a flaming red night-cap, and his feet either bare or the next thing to it; his hair standing out in every direction like a mop dyed in whitewash and yellow ochre, and his face and hands freckled and sunburned, and not very clean, while his manners are any thing but cultivated. This remarkable boy sits on a board behind the cariole, and drives it back to the station from which it starts. He is regarded somewhat in the light of a high public functionary by his contemporary ragamuffins, having been promoted from the fields or the barn-yard to the honorable position of skydskaarl. His countenance is marked by the lines of premature care and responsibility, but varies in expression according to circumstances. The sum of four cents at the end of an hour's journey gives it an extremely amiable and intelligent cast. Some boys are constitutionally knowing, and have a quick, sharp look; others again are dull and stolid, as naturally happens wherever there is a variety of boys born of different parents. For the most part, they are exceedingly bright and lively little fellows. Mounted on their seat of honor at the back of the cariole, they greatly enliven the way by whistling and singing, and asking questions in their native tongue, which it is sometimes very difficult to answer when one is not familiar with the language.
I had at Moshuus a communicative little boy, who talked to me incessantly all the way to Holmen without ever discovering, so far as I could perceive, that I did not understand a single word he said. Another, after repeated efforts to draw me out, fell into a fit of moody silence, and from that into a profound slumber, which was only broken off toward the end of our journey by an accident. The cariole struck against a stone and tilted him out on the road. He was a good deal surprised, but said nothing.
Another little fellow, not more than six or seven years of age—a pretty fair-haired child—was sent with me over a very wild and broken stage of the journey. He was newly dressed in a suit of gray frieze with brass buttons, and was evidently a shining light at home. On the road a dog ran out from the bushes and barked at us. The poor little skydskaarl was frantic with terror, and cried so lustily that I had to take him into the cariole, and put him under my legs to keep him from going into fits. He bellowed all the way to the next station, where I endeavored to make the inn-keeper understand that it was cruel to send so small a boy on such a hazardous journey. The man laughed and said “Ja! he is too little !” which was all I could get out of him. I felt unhappy about this poor child all day.
On another occasion I had a bright, lively little fellow about twelve years of age, who was so pleased to find that I was an American that he stopped every body on the road to tell them this important piece of news, so that it took me about three hours to go a distance of seven or eight miles. There was a light of intelligence in the boy's face that enabled me to comprehend him almost by instinct, and the quickness with which he caught at my half-formed words, and gathered my meaning when I told him of the wonders of California, were really surprising. This boy was a natural genius. He will leave his mountain home some day or other and make a leading citizen of the United States. Already he was eager to dash out upon the world and see some of its novelties and wonders.
At Laurgaard I was favored with a small urchin who must have been modeled upon one of Hogarth's pictures. He was a fixed laugh all over. His mouth, nose, ears, eyes, hair, and chin were all turned up in a broad griu. Even the elbows of his coat and the knees of his trowsers were wide open with ill-concealed laughter. He laughed when he saw me, and laughed more than ever when he heard me “tale Norsk.” There was something uncommonly amusing to this little shaver in the cut of a man's jib who could not speak good Norwegian. All the way