470 UNDER THE WILLOW TREE
a cup with her own hands ; and afterwards she took a book and read aloud to them, and it seemed to Knud that what she read was all about himself and his love, for it matched so well with his thoughts ; and then she sang a simple song, but through her singing, it became like a history, and seemed to be the outpouring of her very heart. Yes, certainly she was fond of Knud. The tears coursed down his cheeks—he could not restrain them, nor could he speak a single word : he thought himself very stupid ; and yet she pressed his hand, and said.
: You have a good heart, Knud—remain always as you are now.'
That was an evening of matchless delight to Knud; to sleep after it was impossible, and accordingly Knud did not sleep.
At parting, Joanna's father had said, ' Now, you won't forget us altogether ! Don't let the whole winter go by without once coming to see us again;' and therefore he could very well go again the next Sunday, and resolved to do so. But every evening when working hours were over—and they worked by candle-light there—Knud went out through the town : he went into the street in which Joanna lived, and looked up at her window ; it was almost always lit up, and one evening he could see the shadow of her face quite plainly on the curtain—and that was a grand evening for him. His master's wife did not like his gallivanting abroad every evening, as she expressed it, and she shook her head ; but the master only smiled.
' He is only a young fellow,' he said.
But Knud thought to himself : ' On Sunday I shall see her, and I shall tell her how completely she reigns in my thoughts, and that she must be my little wife. I know I am only a poor journeyman shoemaker, but I shall work and strive—yes, I shall tell her so. Nothing comes of silent love : I have learned that from the cakes/
And Sunday came round, and Knud sallied forth ; but, unluckily, they were all going out, and were obliged to tell him so. Joanna pressed his hand, and said,
* Have you ever been to the theatre ? You must go once. I shall sing on Wednesday, and if you have time on that evening, I will send you a ticket; my father knows where your master lives.'