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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with Rudy's whole heart; yet he was, we must confess, her happiness, her whole life, her constant thought, the best and most precious possession she had on earth; but, for all that, the darker his glance became, the more did her eyes laugh, and she would have liked to kiss the fair Englishman with the yellow beard, if her doing this would have made Rudy wild and sent him raging away ; for that would show how much he loved her. Now, this was not right of Babette ; but she was only nineteen years old. She did not think much, and least of all did she think that her conduct might be misinterpreted by the young English­man into something very unworthy of the respectable affianced miller's daughter.
The mill stood just where the high road from Bex leads down under the snow-covered mountain height, which in the language of the country is called ' Diablerets '. It was not far from a rushing mountain stream, whose waters were whitish-grey, like foaming soapsuds : it was not this stream that worked the mill ; a smaller stream drove round the great wheel—one which fell from the rock some way beyond the main river, and whose power and fall were increased by a stone dam, and by a long wooden trough, which carried it over the level of the great stream. This trough was so full that the water poured over its margin ; this wooden margin offered a narrow slippery path for those who chose to walk along it, that they might get to the mill by the shortest cut; and to whom, of all people, should the idea of reaching the mill by this road occur, but to the young Englishman ! Dressed in white, like a miller's man, he climbed over at night, guided by the light that shone from Babette's chamber window ; but he had not learned how to climb like Rudy, and consequently was near upon falling headlong into the stream below, but he escaped with a pair of wet coat-sleeves and soiled trousers ; and thus, wet and bespattered with mud, he came below Babette's window. Here he climbed into the old elm tree, and began to imitate the voice of the owl, the only bird whose cry he could manage. Babette heard the noise, and looked out of her window through the thin curtain; but when she saw the white form, and conjectured who it was, her heart beat with fear and with anger also. She