quickly and carry this little girl to the Snow-queen's palace, where her playfellow is. You must have heard all that she told about it, for she spoke loud enough!'
The reindeer sprang high for joy. The robber-girl lifted little Gerda up, and had the foresight to tie her on firmly, and even gave her a little pillow for a saddle. ' You must have your fur boots,' she said, ' for it will be cold; but I shall keep your muff, for it is so cosy ! But, so that you may not freeze, here are my mother's great fur gloves; they will come up to your elbows. Creep into them!'
And Gerda cried for joy.
'Don't make such faces!' said the little robber-oirl. ' You must look very happy. And here are two loaves and a sausage; now you won't be hungry ! '
They were tied to the reindeer, the little robber-girl opened the door, made all the big dogs come away, cut through the halter with her sharp knife, and said to the reindeer, ' Run now! But take great care of the little girl.'
And Gerda stretched out her hands with the large fur gloves towards the little robber-girl and said, ' Good-bye ! '
Then the reindeer flew over the ground, through the great forest, as fast as he could.
The wolves howled, the ravens screamed, the sky seemed on fire.
' Those are my dear old Northern lights,' said the reindeer; ' see how they shine !'
And then he ran faster still, day and night.
The loaves were eaten, and the sausage also, and then they came to Lapland.
They stopped by a wretched little house; the roof almost touched the ground, and the door was so low that you had to creep in and out.
There was no one in the house except an old Lapland woman who was cooking fish over an oil-lamp. The reindeer told Gerda's whole history, but first he told hi§