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A String of Pearls

We reached it toward evening; but the little sailing vessel had to wait for the mail, which didn't arrive until night. Then we got on board, and as far as we could see the wide, smooth waters lay before us. We lay down and went to sleep in our clothes. When I awoke and came on deck next morning, I could see nothing at all; a heavy fog covered everything. When I heard the cocks crowing, I knew it must be sunrise; bells were ringing, but I didn't know where; then the mist lifted, and we found we were still lying very close to Nyborg. Later in the day a wind came up, but it was against us; we tacked back and forth, and at last were lucky enough to reach Korsör by a little past eleven that night, having spent twenty-two hours to go sixteen miles!

It was good to get ashore, but it was dark; the lamps were weak, and it all seemed very strange to me, who had never been in any other town but Odense.

" 'Look!' said my father. 'Baggesen was born there! And Birckner lived in that house!' When I heard that, somehow the dark old town with its narrow little streets seemed to grow larger and brighter. And we were so glad to feel solid earth under our feet! There was no sleep for me that night, for I was so excited over all that I had seen and heard since I had left home the day before.

"Next morning we had to leave early; there was a terrible road ahead of us, with great bumps and holes as far as Slagelse, and not much better from there on, and we wanted to get to the Crab Inn early, so that on the same day we could reach Sorö and visit the Möllers' Emil, as we called him then; yes, he was your grandfather, my late husband, the dean. He was a student at Sorö then, and had just passed his second examination.

"That afternoon we reached the Crab Inn, which was a gallant place at that time, the very best inn on the whole trip, with the prettiest country around it. Yes, but you must all admit that it still is. Madame Plambek was an industrious hostess, and everything in her house was as smoothly scoured as a larding board.

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