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

The engineer and the dwarfs

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"How absurd!" Norah exclaimed. "But what are we to do now, Karl?" she continued in a doleful voice. "I must have some money; we are still in debt for the greater part of our furniture; and the house is heavily mortgaged."

"If I could only get a good post!" said Karl sighing deeply. "I had reckoned on those dwarf chaps!"

"We shall never be able to marry," said Norah, now in the depths of despair; "our house will have to be given up, and our things sold by auction, and I, O I shall have to marry a horrid, rich old peasant who will treat me as a servant, and father will be obliged to work in the fields." With this she burst into tears.

It was quite dark now save for the new moon whose pale crescent shone in the sky. Norah observed it in spite of her tears.

"The new moon!" she exclaimed. "O do let us turn all the money that we have in our pockets. How much have you got Karl?"

"About 10 shillings," he replied.

"O you are richer than I am; I have only 8d. in my purse; nevertheless let us turn what we have, and it will be sure to bring us a fortune."

Karl laughed. "You little fairy," he said, and looked at her with admiration; then involuntarily his eyes strayed in the direction of the fir-grove. He thought he could see something moving there. Norah looked too. "Karl," she said excitedly, "I do believe it is the dwarf men after all; who else could it be?"

At the same moment they caught sight of a queer form with a turned-up nose and peaked cap clearly outlined against the sky, and recognised Mr Query.

"Hullo!" said Karl.

"[text missing in original] to you," he said in a droll manner.

"Now, Mr Dwarf," said Karl, anxious to proceed to business, "what about our little agreement as to electric light, etc.?"

"The committee has decided against it," said Mr Query emphatically. "What do we want with your new-fangled inventions; you would bring your workmen with you; they would discover our treasures, and turn the whole place into a mine, and of course we should be obliged to decamp.

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