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

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

The sun already stood high when he approached the narrow entrance to Nissum Bay. He logked back, and saw a couple of horsemen gallopping a long distance behind him, and they were accompanied by other people. But this concerned him nothing.
The ferry was on the opposite side of the bay. Jiirgen called to the ferryman, and when the latter came over with the boat, Jiirgen stepped in ; but before they had gone half-way across, the men whom he had seen riding so hastily behind him hailed the ferryman and summoned him to return in the name of the law. Jiirgen did not understand the reason of this, but he thought it would be best to turn back, and therefore himself took an oar and returned. The moment the boat touched the shore, the men sprang on board, and, before he was aware, they had bound his hands with a rope.
' Thy wicked deed will cost thee thy life,' they said. 1 It is well that we caught thee.'
He was accused of nothing less than murder ! Martin had been found dead, with a knife thrust through his neck. One of the fishermen had (late on the previous evening) met Jiirgen going towards Martin's house ; and this was not the first time Jiirgen had raised his knife against Martin, they knew ; so he must be the murderer, and it was necessary to get him into safe custody. The town in which the prison was built was a long way off, and the wind was contrary for going there ; but not half an hour would be required to get across the bay, and a quarter of an hour would bring them from thence to Norre Vosborg, a great building with walls and ditches. One of Jiirgen's captors was a fisherman, a brother of the keeper of the castle, and he declared it might be managed that Jiirgen should for the present be put into the dungeon at Vosborg, where Long Margaret the gipsy had been shut up till her execution.
No attention was paid to the defence made by Jiirgen ; the few drops of blood upon his shirt-sleeve bore heavy witness against him. But Jiirgen was conscious of his innocence, and as there was no chance of immediately righting himself, he submitted to his fate.
The party landed just at the spot where Sir Bugge's