THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AND HIS KINSMEN 877
1 What will not bend must break,' said the Bishop of Borglum.
And all forsake the widow ; but she holds fast to her God. He is her helper and defender.
One servant only—an old maid—remained faithful to her ; and, with the old servant, the widow herself followed the plough ; and the crop grew, although the land had been cursed by the Pope and by the bishop.
' Thou child of perdition, I will yet carry out my purpose ! ' cried the Bishop of Borglum. ' Now will I lay the hand of the Pope upon thee, to summon thee before the tribunal that shall condemn thee ! '
Then did the widow yoke the two last oxen that remained to her to a wagon, and mounted up on the wagon, with her old servant, and travelled away across the heath out of the Danish land. As a stranger she came into a foreign country, where a strange tongue was spoken and where new customs prevailed. Farther and farther she journeyed, to where green hills rise into mountains, and the vine clothes their sides. Strange merchants drive by her, and they look anxiously after their wagons laden with merchandise. They fear an attack from the armed followers of the robber-knights. The two poor women, in their humble vehicle drawn by two black oxen, travel fearlessly through the dangerous sunken road and through the darksome forest. And now they were in France. And there met them a stalwart knight, with a train of twelve armed followers. He paused, gazed at the strange vehicle, and questioned the women as to the goal of their journey and the place whence they came. Then one of them mentioned Thyland in Denmark, and spoke of her sorrows—of her woes—which were soon to cease, for so Divine Providence had willed it. For the stranger knight is the widow's son ! He seized her hand, he embraced her, and the mother wept. For years she had not been able to weep, but had only bitten her lips till the blood started.
It is the time of falling leaves and of stranded ships.
The sea rolled wine-casks to the shore for the bishop's cellar. In the kitchen the deer roasted on the spit before the fire. At Borglum it was warm and cheerful in the