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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lain in one of these deep, cold-breathing fissures ; but soon all such thoughts vanished from him, and the tale seemed to him only like many others of the same kind which he had heard. Now and then, when the men thought the way too toilsome for the little lad, they would reach him a hand ; but he did not grow tired, and stood on the smooth ice as safely as a chamois. Now they stepped on the face of the rock, and strode on among the rugged stones ; sometimes, again, they marched among the pine trees, and then over the pasture grounds, ever seeing new and changing landscapes. Around them rose snow-clad mountains, whose names the ' Jungfrau ', the ' Monch ', the ' Eiger ', were known to every child, and consequently to Rudy too. Rudy had never yet been so high ; he had never yet stepped on the outspread sea of snow : here it lay with its motionless snowy billows, from which the wind every now and then blew off a flake, as it blows the foam from the waves of the sea. The glaciers stand here, so to speak hand in hand ; each one is a glass palace for the Ice Maiden, whose might and whose desire it is to catch and to bury. The sun shone warm, the snow was dazzlingly white and seemed strewn with bluish sparkling diamonds. Numberless insects, especially butterflies and bees, lay dead upon the snow ; they had ventured too high, or the wind had carried them up until they perished in the frosty air. Above the Wetterhorn hung, like a bundle of fine black wool, a threatening cloud ; it bowed down, teeming with the weight it bore, the weight of a whirlwind, irresistible when once it bursts forth. The impressions of this whole journey—the night encampment in these lofty regions, the further walk, the deep rocky chasms, where the water has pierced through the blocks of stone by a labour, at the thought of whose duration the mind stands still—all this was indelibly impressed upon Rudy's recollection.
A deserted stone building beyond the snow sea offered them a shelter for the night. Here they found fuel and pine branches, and soon a fire was kindled, and the bed arranged for the night as comfortably as possible. Then the men seated themselves round the fire, smoked their pipes, and drank the warm refreshing drink they had prepared for themselves. Rudy received his share of the