OLE LUK-OIE 211
he has on his coat; that is a splendid hussar's uniform ; a mantle of black velvet flies behind Mm over the horse. See how he gallops along ! '
And Hjalmar saw how this Ole Luk-Oie rode away, and took young people as well as old upon his horse. Some of them he put before him, and some behind ; but he always asked first, ' How stands it with the mark-book ? ' ' Well,' they all replied. ' Yes, let me see it myself,' he said. And then each one had to show him the book ; and those who had ' very well' and ' remarkably well' written in their books, were placed in front of his horse, and a lovely story was told to them ; while those who had ' middling ' or ' tolerably well,' had to sit up behind, and hear a very terrible story indeed. They trembled and wept, and wanted to jump off the horse, but this they could not do, for they had all, as it were, grown fast to it.
' But Death is a most splendid Ole Luk-Oie,' said Hjalmar. ' I am not afraid of him ! '
' Nor need you be,' replied Ole Luk-Oie ; ' but see that you have a good mark-book ! '
' Yes, that is instructive ! ' muttered the great-grandfather's Picture. ' It is of some use after all giving one's opinion.' And now he was satisfied.
You see, that is the story of Ole Luk-Oie ; and now he may tell you more himself, this evening !