A STORY FROM THE SAND-DUNES 725
now Jurgen was installed as heir in the little house behind the sand-hills. It was but a little house^ certainly, but still it was something, and Martin had nothing of the kind.
' You will not take sea service again, Jurgen ? ' observed one of the old fishermen. ; You will always stay with us, now.'
But this was not Jiirgen's intention, for he was just thinking of looking about him a little in the world. The eel breeder of Fjaltring had an uncle in Old Skagen, who was a fisherman, but at the same time a prosperous merchant who had ships upon the sea ; he was said to be a good old man, and it would not be amiss to enter his service. Old Skagen lies in the extreme north of Jutland, as far removed from the Husby dunes as one can travel in that country ; and this is just what pleased Jurgen, for he did not want to remain till the wedding of Martin and Elsie, which was to be celebrated in a few weeks.
The old fisherman asserted that it was foolish now to quit the neighbourhood, since Jurgen had a home, and Elsie would probably be inclined to take him rather than Martin.
Jurgen answered so much at random, that it was not easy to understand what he meant; but the old man brought Elsie to him, and she said,
4 You have a home now ; that ought to be well considered.'
And Jurgen thought of many things. The sea has heavy waves, but there are heavier waves in the human heart. Many thoughts, strong and weak, thronged through Jiirgen's brain ; and he said to Elsie,
' If Martin had a house like mine, whom would you rather have ? '
' But Martin has no house, and cannot get one.'
1 But let us suppose he had one.'
' Why, then I would certainly take Martin, for that's what my heart tells me ; but one can't live upon that.'
And Jurgen thought of these things all night through. Something was working within him, he could not understand what it was. but he had a thought that was stronger than his love for Elsie; and so he went to Martin, and what he said and did there was well considered. He let the house to Martin on the most liberal terms, saying that he wished