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nished the means of a terrible revenge for the ravages committed by the Scotch on their march from Romsdalen. The road winds around the foot of this mountain, making a narrow pass, hemmed in by the roaring torrents of the Logen on the one side and abrupt cliffs on the other. Across the river, which here dashes with frightful rapidity through the narrow gorge of the mountains, the country wears an exceedingly weird and desolate aspect; the ravines and summits of the mountains are darkened by gloomy forests of pine, relieved only by hoary and moss-covered cliffs overhanging the rushing waters of the Logen. On the precipitous slopes of the pass, hundreds of feet above the road, the peasants gathered enormous masses of rock, logs of wood, and even trunks of trees, which they fixed in such a way that, at a moment's notice, they could precipitate the whole terrible avalanche upon the heads of the enemy.
Such was the secrecy with which the peasants managed the whole affair, that the Scotch, ignorant even of the existence of a foe, marched along in imaginary security till they reached the middle of the narrrow pass, when they were suddenly overwhelmed and crushed beneath the masses of rocks and loose timbers launched upon them by the Norwegians. Rushing from their ambush, the infuriated peasants soon slaughtered the maimed and wounded, leaving, according to some anthorities, only two of the enemy to tell the tale. Others, however, say that as many as sixty escaped, but were afterward caught and massacred. Attached to this fearful story of retribution, Laing mentions a romantic incident, which is still currently told in the neighborhood. A young peasant was prevented from joining in the attack by his sweetheart, to whom he was to be married the next day. She, learning that the wife of Colonel Sinclair was among the party, sent her lover to offer his assistance; but the Scotch lady, mistaking his purpose, shot him dead. Such is the tragic history that casts over this wild region a mingled interest of horror and romance.
The road from Laurgaard beyond the pass of the Kringelen ascends a high mountain. On the right is a series of foaming cataracts, and nothing can surpass the rugged grandeur of the view as you reach the highest eminence before descending toward Braendhagen. Here the country is one vast wilderness of pine-clad mountains, green winding valleys, and raging torrents of water dashing down over the jagged rocks thousands of feet below. It was nearly night when I reached Dombaas, the last station before ascending the Dovre Fjeld.
A telegraphic station at Dombaas gives something of a civilized aspect to this stopping-place, otherwise rather a primitive-looking establishment. The people, however, are very kind and hospitable, and somewhat noted for their skill in carving bone and wooden knife-bandles. I should have mentioned that, wild as this part of the country is, the traveler is constantly reminded by the telegraphic poles all along the route that he is never quite beyond the limits of civilization. Such is the force of habit that I was strongly tempted to send a message to somebody from Dombaas; but, upon turning the matter over in my mind, could think of nobody within the limits of Norway who felt sufficient interest in my explorations to be likely to derive much satisfaction from the announcement that I had reached the edge of the Dovre Fjeld in safety. The name of a waiter who was good enough to black my boots at the Victoria Hotel occurred to me, but it was hardly possible he would appreciate a telegraphic dispatch from one who had no more pressing claims to his attention. I thought of sending a few lines of remembrance to the Wild Girl who had come so near breaking my neck. This notion, however, I gave over upon reflecting that she might attach undue weight to my expressions of friendship, and possibly take it into her head that I was making love to her —than which nothing could be farther from my intention. I had a social chat with the telegraph-man, however-a very respectable and intelligent person—wlio
gave me the latest news; and with this, and a good supper and bed, I was obliged to rest content.
JOHN BULL ABROAD. LEAVING Dombaas at an early hour, I soon began to ascend a long slope, reaching, by a gradual elevation, to the Dovre Fjeld. The vegetation began to grow more and more scanty on the wayside, consisting mostly of lichens and reindeer moss. I passed through some stunted groves of pine, which, however, were bleached and almost destitute of foliage. The ground on either side of the road was soft, black, and boggy, abounding in springs and scarcely susceptible of cultivation. At this elevation grain is rarely planted, though I was told potatoes and other esculents are not difficult to raise. On the left of the road, approaching the summit, lies a range of snow-capped mountains between the Dovre Fjeld and Molde; on the right a series of rocky and barren hills of sweeping outline, presenting an exceedingly desolate aspect. In the course of an hour after leaving Dombaas, having walked most of the way, I fairly reached the grand plateau of the Dovre Fjeld. The scene at this point of the journey is inexpressibly desolate.
Bare, whitish-colored hills bound the horizon on the right; in front is a dreary waste, through which the road winds like a thread till lost in the dim haze of the distance; and to the left the everlasting snows of Snaebatten. A few wretched cabins are scattered at remote intervals over the desert plains, in which the shepherds seek shelter from the inclemency of the weather, which even in midsummer is often piercingly raw. Herds of cattle, sheep, and goats were grazing over the rocky wastes of the Fjeld. Reindeer are sometimes seen in this vicinity, but not often within sight of the road. The only vegetation produced here is reindeer moss, and a
coarse sort of grass growing in bunches over the plain. I met several shepherds on the way dressed in something like a characteristic costume-frieze jackets with brass buttons, black knee-breeches, a red night-cap, and armed with the usual staff or shepherd's crook, represented in pictures, and much discoursed of by poets:
“Methinks it were a happy life
To be no better than a homely swain;" but not on the Dovre Fjelds of Norway. It must be rather a dull business in that region, taking into consideration the barren plains, the bleak winds, and desolate aspect of the country. No sweet hawthorn bushes are there, beneath which these rustic philosophers can sit,
“Looking on their silly sheep.” Shepherd life must be a very dismal reality indeed. And yet there is no accounting for tastes. At one point of the road, beyond Folkstuen, where a sluggish lagoon mingles its waters with the barren slopes of the Fjeld, I saw an Englishman standing up to his knees in a dismal marsh fishing for trout.
The weather was cold enough to strike a chill into one's very marrow; yet this indefatigable sportsman had come more than a thousand miles from his native country to enjoy himself in this way. He was a genuine specimen of an English snob-self-sufficient, conceited, and unsociable; looking neither to the right nor the left, and terribly determined not to commit himself by making acquaintance with casual travelers speaking the English tongue. I stopped my cariole within a few paces and asked him “ what luck?” One would think the sound of his native tongue would have been refreshing to him in this dreary wilderness; but, without deigning to raise his head, he merely answered in a gruff tone, “Don't know, sir—don't know !" I certainly did not suspect him of knowing much, but thought that question at least would not be beyond the limits of his intelligence. Finding him insensible to the approaches of humanity, I revenged myself for his rudeness by making a sketch