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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Ice-maiden - XIII. IN THE MILLER'S HOUSE
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The Ice-maiden - XIII. IN THE MILLER'S HOUSE Post by :rsienko Category :Long Stories Author :Hans Christian Andersen Date :April 2012 Read :1722

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The Ice-maiden - XIII. IN THE MILLER'S HOUSE

XIII. IN THE MILLER'S HOUSE

"What confusion!" said the parlour-cat to the kitchen-cat.

"Now all is wrong between Rudy and Babette. She sits and weeps and he thinks no longer on her, I suppose.

"I cannot bear it!" said the kitchen-cat.

"Nor I," said the parlour-cat, "but I shall not worry myself any longer about it! Babette can take the red-whiskered one for a dear one, but he has not been here either, since he tried to get on the roof!"

Within and without, the evil powers ruled, and Rudy knew this, and reflected upon what had taken place both around and within him, whilst upon the mountain. Were those faces, or was all a feverish dream? He had never known fever or sickness before. Whilst he condemned Babette, he also condemned himself. He thought of the wild, wicked feelings which had lately possessed him. Could he confess everything to Babette? Every thought, which in the hour of temptation might have become a reality? He had lost her ring and by this loss had she won him back. Could she confess to him? It seemed as if his heart would break when he thought of her; so many recollections passed through his soul. He saw her a lively, laughing, petulant child; many a loving word, which she had said to him in the fullness of her heart, shot like a sunbeam through his breast and soon all there was sunshine for Babette.

She must be able to confess to him and she should do so.

He came to the mill, he came to confession; and this commenced with a kiss, and ended with the fact that Rudy was the sinner; his great fault was, that he had doubted Babette's fidelity; yes, that was indeed atrocious in him! Such mistrust, such violence could bring them both into misfortune! Yes, most surely! Thereupon Babette preached him a little sermon, which much diverted her and became her charmingly; in one article Rudy was quite right; the god-mother's relation was a jackanapes! She should burn the book that he had given her, and not possess the slightest object which could remind her of him.

"Now it is all arranged," said the parlour-cat, "Rudy is here again, they understand each other and that is a great happiness!"

"Last night," said the kitchen-cat, "I heard the rats say that the greatest happiness was to eat tallow candles, and to have abundance of tainted meat. Now who must one believe, the rats or the lovers?"

"Neither of them," said the parlour-cat, "that is the surest way!"

The greatest happiness for Rudy and Babette was drawing near; they were awaiting, so they said, their happiest day, their wedding day.

But the wedding was not to be in the church of Bex, nor in the miller's house; the god-mother wished it to be solemnized near her, and the marriage ceremony was to take place in the beautiful little church of Montreux. The miller insisted that her desire should be fulfilled; he alone knew what the god-mother intended for the young couple; they were to receive a bridal present from her, which was well worth so slight a concession. The day was appointed. They were to leave for Villeneuve, in time to arrive at Montreux early in the morning, and so enable the god-mother's daughters to dress the bride.

"Then I suppose there will be a wedding here in the house, on the following day," said the parlour-cat, "otherwise, I would not give a single mew for the whole thing!"

"There will be a feast here," said the kitchen-cat, "the ducks are slain, the pigeons necks wrung, and a whole deer hangs on the wall. My teeth itch just with looking on! To-morrow the journey commences!"

Yes, to-morrow! Rudy and Babette sat together for the last time in the mill.

Without was the alpine glow; the evening bells pealed; the daughters of the Sun sang: "What is for the best will take place!"

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