674 ANNE LISBETH
sure the countess would let them know it, and her darling boy too. How she longed to see him !
Now Anne Lisbeth was at her journey's end. She was kept waiting a considerable time, and for those who wait time passes slowly. But before the great people went to table she was called in, and accosted very graciously. She was to see her sweet boy after dinner, and then she was to be called in again.
How tall and slenaer and thin he had grown ! But he had still his beautiful eyes and the angel-sweet mouth ! He looked at her, but he said not a word : certainly he did not know her. He turned round, and was about to go away, but she seized his hand and pressed it to her mouth.
' Good, good !' said he ; and with that he went out of the room—he who filled her every thought—he whom she had loved best, and who was her whole earthly pride.
Anne Lisbeth went out of the castle into the open highway, and she felt very mournful: he had been so cold and strange to her, had not a word nor a thought for her, he whom she had once carried day and night, and whom she still carried in her dreams.
A great black raven shot down in front of her on to the high road, and croaked and croaked again.
* Ha !' she said, ' what bird of ill omen art thou ? ' She came past the hut of the labourer; the wife stood
at the door, and the two women spoke to one another.
' You look well,' said the woman. ' You are plump and fat; you're well off.'
' Oh, yes,' answered Anne Lisbeth.
• The boat went down with them,' continued the woman. ' The skipper and the boy were both drowned. There 's an end of them. I always thought the boy would be able to help me out with a few dollars He'll never cost you anything more, Anne Lisbeth.'
' So they were drowned ? ' Anne Lisbeth repeated ; and then nothing more was said on the subject.
Anne Lisbeth was very low-spirited because her count-child had shown no disposition to talk with her who loved him so well, and who had journeyed all that way to get a sight of him ; and the journey had cost money too, though the pleasure she had derived from it was not great.