The Gate Key
It has never occurred to me before," said Lotte-Lene, "how wonderful nature is!"
And the Councilor let her look at his "key book, " in which were written strange things the key had said - even about the half of an apple cake that had disappeared from the cupboard on the very evening that the servant girl had had her sweetheart there for a visit. The Councilor had asked his key. "Who has eaten the apple cake, the cat or the sweetheart?" and the key had replied, "The sweetheart." The Councilor had already thought so before asking the key; and the servant girl had confessed, "That cursed key knows everything!"
"Yes, isn't it strange!" said the Councilor. "That key, that key! And about Lotte-Lene it has said, 'Victory and luck.' That we shall see! I swear to it."
"That's wonderful" said Lotte-Lene.
The Councilor's wife was not so confident, but she did not express her doubts when her husband was within hearing distance. She later told Lotte-Lene in confidence that the Councilor, when a young man, had been quite taken with the theater. Had someone pushed him a little in that direction, he surely would have become an actor; his family, however, had pushed him in the opposite direction. But, he had still aspired to the stage, and to further that ambition he had written a play.
"This is a great secret that I am entrusting you with, little Lotte-Lene. The play was not bad; it was accepted at the Royal Theater, and then hissed out, and no one has since heard of it, for which I am glad. I am his wife and know him. Now you want such a career, too. I wish you all that is good, but I don't think that things will work out as predicted; I don't believe in the gate key."
Lotte-Lene believed in it, and in that belief she was united with the Councilor. Within their hearts they had a mutual understanding, in all honor and chastity.
The girl had many qualifications that the Councilor's wife valued. Lotte-Lene knew how to make starch from potatoes, make silk gloves from old silk stockings, and recover her silk dancing shoes, although she could afford to buy all her clothes new.