98 THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE
seemed to melt together in the darkness. At the next corner a lamp hung before a picture of the Madonna, but the light it gave was as good as none ; he only noticed it when he stood just under it, and his eyes fell upon the painted figure of the mother and child.
c That is probably a museum of art,' he thought, ' where they have forgotten to take down the sign.'
A couple of men in the costume of those past days went by him.
1 How they look ! ' he said. ' They must come from a masquerade.'
Suddenly there was a sound of drums and fifes, and torches gleamed brightly. The councillor started. And now he saw a strange procession go past. First came a whole troop of drummers, beating their instruments very dexterously ; they were followed by men-at-arms, with longbows and crossbows. The chief man in the procession was a clerical lord. The astonished councillor asked what was the meaning of this, and who the man might be.
' That is the Bishop of Zealand.'
1 What in the world has come to the bishop ? ' said the councillor, with a sigh, shaking his head. ' This could not possibly be the bishop ! '
Ruminating on this, and without looking to the right or to the left, the councillor went through the East Street, and over the Highbridge Place. The bridge which led to the Palace Square was not to be found ; he perceived the shore of a shallow water, and at length encountered two people, who sat in a boat.
1 Do you wish to be ferried over to the Holm, sir ? ' they asked.
1 To the Holm ! ' repeated the councillor, who did not know, you see, in what period he was. ' I want to go to Christian's Haven and to Little Turf Street.'
The men stared at him.
1 Pray tell me where the bridge is ? ' said he. 'It is shameful that no lanterns are lighted here ; and it is as muddy, too, as if one were walking in a marsh.' But the longer he talked with the boatmen the less could he understand them. * I don't understand your Bornholm talk/ he at last cried, angrily, and turned his back upon them.