« PoprzedniaDalej »
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 pow 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 busband 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
to be on your guard against him, Oswald, for I think he will bear you a grudge for a long time, for having disappointed
2." But Oswald only laughed, and said, “ that if 2 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 pre
he 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 1 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 vis, 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 ze due celebration of her son's nuptials. All was n readiness for the happy day, and all Störvis had nvited 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 gain into the valley, to finish his purchases, and to home his sister, and the knight Vas Moos's
dawn of the last morning of lem 728 je ng to glimmer, as Oswald luss Es
window, and called out to bid her farewell.
"* Alas! 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 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, Ely; but I will make all the haste I can, and before the vesper bell you 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 if
you would never come back.” “My dearest girl," cried Oswald, “ do not make yourself unhappy, without
promise, by all that is sacred, that by the close of evening I will be at home again.” Elly went with himn out of the village, and stood gazing at him after they had parted, till the forest hid him from her
a cause ;
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.
sight. He waded on gallantly through the snow, leaning on his trusty staff, and with his empty pannier at liis back. The descent, however, was more difficult than he had ever found it before, as the narrow foot-path was now scarcely to be distinguished ; and fearing it might be still worse at his return, he made deep marks in the snow, at all the most dangerous passes, to help him to find his way back again. The clock was striking twelve as he entered Mayenfeld, and on repairing first of all to his sister's, he found his brother-in-law lying ill of a fever, and Verena told him, in a sorrowful voice, that she must give up all idea of coming to the wedding, for the doctor seemed to think her husband's illness so serious, that she could not venture to leave him. This was a sad piece of news for Oswald ; but he was obliged to hurry away, and finish buying the things which he wanted. By way of making doubly sure, he called again on the chaplain, to remind him of his appointment, and to his great dismay, found that he had begun to repent of his promise, and had taken alarm at the terrible cold, the deep snow, and the storm which seemed to be lowering. For at least an hour, all Oswald's entreaties were unavailing, and not till he had promised to supply the good man's kitchen with a chamois every St. Bridget's day to the end of his life, could he extort from him a reluctant consent to the fulfilment of his engagement. Provoked at the loss of so much precious time, Oswald returned to take some refreshment at his sister's, and then went