The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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388                          THE OLD HOUSE
and brother Tin Soldier ? Yes, he must be very happy, I can't stand it !'
You have been given away,' said the little boy. ' You must stay where you are. Don't you see that ? '
And the old man came with a box in which many things were to be seen : little rouge-pots and scent-boxes ; and old cards, larger and more richly gilt than one ever sees them in these days ; and many large drawers were opened, like­wise the piano ; and in this were painted landscapes, inside the lid. But the piano was quite hoarse when the old man played upon it, and then he hummed a song. ' Yes, she could sing that,' he said, and then he nodded to the picture that he had bought at the dealer's, and the old man's eyes shone quite brightly.
' I'll go to the war ! I'll go to the war ! ' cried the Tin Soldier, as loud as he could; and he threw himself down on the floor.
Where had he gone ? The old man searched, the little boy searched, but he was gone, and could not be found.
' I shall find him,' said the old man.
But he never found him : the flooring was so open and full of holes, that the Tin Soldier had fallen through a crack, and there he lay as in an open grave.
And the day passed away, and the little boy went home ; and the week passed by, and many weeks passed by. The windows were quite frozen up, and the little boy had to sit and breathe upon the panes, to make a peep-hole to look at the old house ; and snow had blown among all the carving and the inscriptions, and covered the whole stair­case, as if no one were in the house at all. And, indeed, there was no one in the house, for the old man had died !
In the evening a carriage stopped at the door, and in that he was laid, in his coffin ; he was to rest in a family vault in the country. So he was carried away; but no one followed him on his last journej^, for all his friends were dead. And the little boy kissed his hand after the coffin as it rolled away.
A few days later, and there was an auction in the old house ; and the little boy saw from his window how the old knights and ladies, the flower-pots with the long ears, the chairs and the cupboards, were carried awav,. One was