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Goutta, bewildered with astonishment, and to whom the whole appeared an enigma, now began to inquire into particulars; and Oswald, with hasty eloquence, related all that had passed, and all that he had heard from the knight and from his father, at Mayenfeld; not forgetting to add, that the wedding was to be solemnized on St. Bridget's day, which was then very near at hand. "And now, come with me directly," cried he, impatiently,--" come both of you, for my father and mother are waiting for us. My mother, you know, always loved you, Goutta, and after we are married, my father has promised me that you are to live with us.' "And so," whispered Elly, " 'you had really run away from me, and were going to the wars? Cruel Oswald ! and were you not sure that I should have died of grief? But mind, now, I shall never let you go any where alone again and never, never, into the Flescherthal." "What! have you not forgot your dream yet?" said Oswald, laughing; "but you know that to dream of a corpse is a sure sign of a wedding."
They now, all three, hastened to Bathönier's house, where they were welcomed in the most friendly manner, by old Peter and Catherine, who bestowed their blessing upon the blushing Elly. Until a late hour, they sat together in social converse, discoursing of the future and of the past-of the brave Uli, and of his death at Luciensteig. Poor Goutta shed many a tear in the midst of her joy, for she had never before heard any
details of the last moments of her husband; and her only consolation for his loss, was in the idea that the noble deed of her dead hero would now be requited to his child.
Oswald was a restless lover; and, devoted as he was to his Elly, he could never remain half an hour quiet at her side, as she sat at her spinning, but was always bustling about, now here and now there, making some preparations or other for the wedding. First, he would be cutting and carrying wood, then getting together all his father's sheep and calves, to choose out the best for fattening; and for several days successively, in spite of Elly's entreaties, that he would not expose himself to such danger, he would climb with his gun the steepest summits of the Falknis, and follow the wild chamois, till at last he succeeded in killing three of the finest that could be seen. One of these, with the addition of two capital cheeses, he laid in his pannier, and then set off for Mayenfeld, through all the ice and snow, to carry his present to the chaplain, and engage him to come and perform the ceremony on the day appointed. Besides this; he had to invite his sister and her husband to the wedding, and to fetch home his father's halberd. Not without a thousand fears did Elly see him about to tread this dangerous path; but Oswald begged her not to be uneasy. "I leave you now,” said he, “that we may the sooner be joined together; and you need not be the least afraid of anything happening to me, for the chamois
hunter treads firmly on his crampons, and is in no danger of falling."
The chaplain was a long time before he could make up his mind to the idea of venturing up the mountain again at such an inclement season; for he still thought, with fear and trembling, of his escape at Christmas, and with his own good will he would not have undertaken the journey again before Easter; but the description of the feasting that was to be held on the occasion, at length brought him round, and as he contemplated the rich cheeses, and, above all, the fine large chamois, while Oswald assured him these were nothing to the presents he would receive after the wedding, he at length promised to prevail on a friend to accompany him to Stürvis, and to be there by eleven o'clock on St. Bridget's day. Much more readily did Verena and her husband accept the offered invitation; and it was settled that on the day before the wedding, Oswald, who would have to buy a good many things in Mayenfeld, should come and fetch his sister to their father's house. He found the halberd ready for him, at the knight Von Moos's, who told him, however, that he had had great difficulty in persuading Balz to give it up to him, and to take back the earnest-money. "The rude fellow began to be so loud and violent," said the knight,
that it required all
my authority to silence him. I would have you to be on your guard against him, Oswald, for I think he will bear you a grudge for a long time, for having disappointed
1." But Oswald only laughed, and said, "that if z wanted to bring him to account, he thought he ld soon settle him." The knight having business to nd to, and hearing that Oswald would be in the town in before his marriage, now dismissed him, with an nction not to forget to call the next time for the prehe had already told him of. Equipped as if for le, with his halberd on his shoulder, the gallant h pressed onwards, heedless of the dangerous path, his heart glowing with hope and joy. A mild wind the south having melted the snow in that direction, urmounted the difficulties of the way, with less toil usual; and near the forest, at a good distance from is, he was met by Elly, who had come out to meet and was impatiently looking for his return. eanwhile, the good mother Catherine had been indeable in her exertions that nothing might be wanting he due celebration of her son's nuptials. All was in readiness for the happy day, and all Stürvis had invited to the bridal-feast. But since Oswald's urney to Mayenfeld, it had snowed a great deal ; ld was become intense, and the skies were loaded hreatening clouds; yet the bridegroom had to go again into the valley, to finish his purchases, and to home his sister, and the knight Vou Moos's
dawn of the last morning of Jary was just ing to glimmer, as Oswald Lorked at Ely's
"Alas! window, and called out to bid her farewell. and must you really go down?" asked the timid girl. "Yes, that I must," replied he; "my mother wants almonds and raisins for the pudding, and there are the cakes would have been good for nothing, if I had ordered them Then there is the piece of fine linen, all any sooner. embroidered with flowers and spangles, which you are to fasten to the chaplain's cowl, before he marries us ; * and I must bring you, too, a branch of green myrtle, to twine in your chaplet †, and who knows what fine things. the knight, my godfather, has got for us. It is a joyful journey, that I am going to take now, Elly; but I will bell you make all the haste I can, and before the vesper may be sure I shall be with you again," But Elly wept, and answered, "I cannot tell why my heart is all at once grown so heavy, but last night I had terrible dreams again. Oswald, something comes over me as 'My dearest girl," if you would never come back." cried Oswald," do not make yourself unhappy, without a cause; I promise, by all that is sacred, that by the close of evening I will be at home again." Elly went with him out of the village, and stood gazing at him after they had parted, till the forest hid him from her
*An ancient custom in the Grisons, which is still occasionally practised at weddings.
+ These chaplets, or crowns, made of gold or silver leaf, and amongst the higher orders, adorned with pearls and jewels, are worn by young maidens at weddings, christenings, and the like joyful occasions.