THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AND HIS KINSMEN 879
now that the bishop is to be summoned before the judgement seat of the Highest.
The church is the judgement hall ; the altar is the council table. The lights burn clear in the heavy brass candelabra. The storm reads out the accusation and the sentence, resounding in the air over moor and he^th, and over the rolling waters. No ferry-boat can sail over the bay in such weather as this.
Olaf Hase makes halt at Ottesund. There he dismisses his warriors, presents them with their horses and harness, and gives them leave to ride home and greet his wife. He intends to risk his life alone in the roaring waters ; but they are to bear witness for him that it is not his fault if Jens Glob stands without reinforcement in the church at Wid-berg. The faithful warriors will not leave him, but follow him out into the deep waters. Ten of them are carried away ; but Olaf Hase and two of the youngest men reach the farther side. They have still four miles to ride.
It is past midnight. It is Christmas. The wind has abated. The church is lighted up ; the gleaming radiance shines through the window-panes, and pours out over meadow and heath. The mass has long been finished, silence reigns in the church, and the wax is heard dropping from the candles to the stone pavement. And now Olaf Hase arrives.
In the forecourt Jens Glob greets him kindly, and says,
11 have just made an agreement with the bishop.'
* Say est thou so ? ' replied Olaf Hase. ' Then neither thou nor the bishop shall quit this church alive.'
And the sword leaps from the scabbard, and Olaf Hase deals a blow that makes the panel of the church door, which Jens Glob hastily closes between them, fly in fragments.
' Hold, brother ! First hear what the agreement was that I made. I have slain the bishop and his warriors and priests. They will have no word more to say in the matter, nor will I speak again of all the wrong that my mother has endured.'
The long wicks of the altar lights glimmer red ; but there is a redder gleam upon the pavement, where the bishop lies with cloven skull, and his dead warriors around him. in the quiet of the holy Christmas night.