own, for that seemed to him much more important, and Gerda was so cold that she could not speak.
' Ah, you poor creatures!' said the Lapland woman; ' you have still further to go! You must go over a hundred miles into Finland, for there the Snow-queen lives, and every night she burns Bengal lights. I will write some words on a dried stock-fish, for I have no paper, and you must give it to the Finland woman, for she can give you better advice than I can.'
And when Gerda was warmed and had had something to eat and drink, the Lapland woman wrote on a dried stock-fish, and begged Gerda to take care of it, tied Gerda securely on the reindeer's back, and away they went again.
The whole night was ablaze with Northern lights, and then they came to Finland and knocked at the Finland woman's chimney, for door she had none.
Inside it was so hot that the Finland woman wore very few clothes; she loosened Gerda's clothes and drew off her fur gloves and boots. She laid a piece of ice on the reindeer's head, and then read what was written on the stock-fish. She read it over three times till she knew it by heart, and then put the fish in the saucepan, for she never wasted anything.
Then the reindeer told his story, and afterwards little Gerda's, and the Finland woman blinked her eyes but said nothing.
'You are very clever,' said the reindeer, 'I know. Cannot you give the little girl a drink so that she may have the strength of twelve men and overcome the Snow-queen? '
' The strength of twelve men! ' said the Finland woman ; ' that would not help much. Little Kay is with the Snow-queen, and he likes everything there very much and thinks it the best place in the world. But that is because he has a splinter of glass in his heart and a bit in his eye. If these do not come out, he will never be