OLE LUK-OIE 207
—'* we would really be glad to pay for it. Good night, Ole ; the money lies on the window sill." "-•But I do nothing for money,' says Ole Luk-Oie.'
' What shall we do this evening ? ' asked Hjalmar.
' I don't know if you care to go to another wedding to-night. It is of a different kind from that of yesterday. Your sister's great doll, that looks like a man, and is called Hermann, is going to marry the doll Bertha. Moreover, it is the doll's birthday, and therefore they will receive very many presents.'
' Yes, I know that,' replied Hjalmar. ' Whenever the dolls want new clothes my sister lets them either keep their birthday or celebrate a wedding; that has certainly happened a hundred times already.'
' Yes, but to-night is the hundred and first wedding ; and when number one hundred and one is past, it is all over ; and that is why it will be so splendid. Only look ! '
And Hjalmar looked at the table. . There stood the little cardboard house with the windows illuminated, and in front of it all the tin soldiers were presenting arms. The bride and bridegroom sat quite thoughtful, and with good reason, on the floor, leaning against a leg of the table. And Ole Luk-Oie, dressed up in the grandmother's black gown, married them to each other. When the ceremony was over, all the pieces of furniture struck up the following beautiful song, which the pencil had written for them. It was sung to the melody of the soldiers' tattoo.
Let the song swell like the rushing wind, In honour of those who this day are joined, Although they stand here so stiff and blind, Because they are both of a leathery kind. Hurrah ! hurrah ! though they're deaf and blind, Let the song swell like the rushing wind.
And now they received presents—but they had declined to accept provisions of any kind, for they intended to live on love.
' Shall we now go into a summer lodging, or start on a journey ? ' asked the bridegroom.
And the Swallow, who was a great traveller, and the old yard Hen, who had brought up five broods of chickens, were consulted on the subject. And the Swallow told of