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Main > German folktales > Fairy tale "The engineer and the dwarfs"

The engineer and the dwarfs

"Do you know where our hotel is?" said Norah. "It is at the other end of the village; we will go round through the fields; the village folk stare so; they are up at five o'clock to do their field-work.

"There it is!" she called out proudly, pointing to a large white house with green shutters on which the words "Hôtel Fancy" were written in large gold letters.

"What a queer name for an hotel!" said Karl.

"Yes, don't you think it is original and attractive?" said Norah. "There are so many hotels called Hôtel Hohenzollern'—or 'The German Emperor' and so I thought we would have a change."

"It is a splendid idea," said Karl, who was over head and ears in love with Norah by this time and thought that everything she did and said, was perfect. Still, like a prudent German, he wondered to himself if she would make a good housewife. He knew she must be good at cleaning or the dwarfs would hardly have employed her, but her dainty little hands did not look like cooking.

"What would it matter, if the dinner were burnt sometimes," he thought, "if I could have such a pretty, fascinating little girl to marry me?"

"Will you come in and have some breakfast?" said Norah as they approached Hôtel Fancy.

"Rather," he said, "I must own that I am famished. I only had a dry bit of bread and cheese for supper, and that is a long while ago."

It was early still, Norah's father was not yet up; so she set to work and lit the fire, and soon had the water boiling for coffee. She set a fine breakfast before him, ham and eggs and sausage and rolls. I am bound in strict veracity to say that love did not prevent his consuming a large amount. He changed his mind about her cooking, and thought that she could do everything well and was a model of perfection.

"Do have some, too, yourself," he said, and Norah soon joined him with a hearty appetite.

Mr O'Brian, for that was the name of Norah's father, was astonished to find them at breakfast when he entered the comfortably furnished parlour.

"An early guest, father," said Norah.

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