GODFATHER'S PICTURE-BOOK 957
through them ; they flashed in the water as if there was lightning down there, they shone in the depths like the Northern Lights. The Sound had wealth of fish, and so houses were built on the coast of Zealand ; the walls were of oak and the roofs of bark ; there were trees enough for the purpose. Ships came into the harbour ; the oil-lantern hung from the swaying ropes ; the north-east wind blew and sangó" U-hu-u." If a lantern shone on the island, it was a thieves' lantern. Smugglers and thieves exercised their trade on " Thieves' Island ".
' " I believe that all the evil that I wished will grow," said the north-east wind. " Soon will come the tree, of which I can shake the fruit."
1 And here stands the tree,' said Godfather. ' Do you see the gallows on Thieves' Island ? Robbers and murderers hang there in iron chains, exactly as they hung at that time. The wind blew so that the long skeletons rattled, but the moon shone down on them very serenely, as it now shines on a rustic dance. The sun also shone down serenely, crumbling away the dangling skeletons, and from the sunbeams the children of light sang ; " We know it! we know it! it shall yet be beautiful here in the time to come ! Here it will be good and splendid ! "
' " Cackle ! cackle ! " said the north-east wind.
' Now we turn over the page !' said Godfather.
' The bells were ringing in the town of Roskilde, where Bishop Absalon lived ; he could both read his Bible and swing his sword ; he had power and will ; the busy fisher≠men at the harbour whose town was growing and was now a market-place, Absalon wished to protect these from assault. He sprinkled the unhallowed ground with holy water ; Thieves' Island got a mark of honour. Masons and carpenters set to work on it ; a building grew up at the Bishop's command. The sunbeams kissed the red walls as they rose. There stood Axel's house :
The castle with its towers high in air, Its balconies and many a noble stair.
Boo! hoo! The north-east wind in fury blew. But the stronghold stood unyielding all the same.