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sieging Iceland's northern coasts, and ing ship at sea. Torrents of icy rain and causing ice-fogs that check and blast masses of sea-water carried horizonvegetation in these islands. Those peas tally through the air bombarded the and parsnips, cauliflower and oyster- house, and on the northern side forced plant seedlings, one by one, went by the their way through every crevice and board, until only potatoes and turnips joist and crack. Under the eaves, in the were left. Then blight attacked the po- sloping closets, Josefine and I crawled tatoes, dry rot and horrid white worms on all fours, with lanterns, exhuming the turnips, and a coast-wind tore my the contents, while Omma brought rhubarb to bits. I have two pea-plants sacks and mops, buckets and tubs. In that are doing well, but they are in a Kvisten, with its thin roof of zinc, its pot in Kvisten. Amalya has seen dried walls of two layers of planks, the up. peas, and she always thought they were roar was so great that we had to shout dug from the ground, like potatoes. to be heard. Yet above it all sounded
We have all felt the need of a peat that high shrill crying — the vox hufire in the haugi - the wild out-fields.
mana of a hurricane. There is nothing like it as a restorer of During the worst gusts there was a cheerfulness. And on one of our few curious lifting sensation, as if someclear days, we went to a lake among the thing had gone wrong with the attrachills, five hundred feet above the sea. tion of gravity. It was singularly disIt was the coldest picnic I have ever concerting to lose all sense of weight attended, but with many attractions - and stability, and feel that Kvisten kittiwakes taking fresh-water baths in might whirl away like a pack of cards. the lake, black-backed gulls barking What a night that was, we thinking among the cliffs, and curlew chortling that the roof would go, the house be over the grassy slopes. Omma (which carried from its foundations, and then means grandmother) and I tended the what would Amalya do? For in that peat-fire and made large quantities of time of fear Amalya's little son was tea to restore the circulation of those born. I had him in my charge, five who fished for trout, from boats, and minutes old, so blue and cold he was, we returned home at half-past nine, - and held him close in the skirts of when the sun was still shining on the my red wrapper, while the windowfjelds. Not that we wanted to, but we frames sucked out and in, and the curwere so very cold!
tains blew in the icy drafts. Oh, poor January 30, 1916.
to come into the world on DEAR HELEN, —
such a night! In a letter received from America the I make from time to time tentative writer
she thinks of me as 'dream- efforts to secure a passport, but they ing away the peaceful days far from come to naught. I am in the diploturmoil and agitation. I will now tell matic jurisdiction of Copenhagen; but you of one of my 'peaceful days.'
. with this troublesome heart the long and We knew by noon that a storm was very dangerous journey to Denmark is brewing, for the sea was restless, the impossible. I would venture the shorter reefs moaning, and the rising wind one to Scotland, if I could get a passhooted in a way that meant trouble to port. I wrote explaining fully how I come. Darkness closed in early, and by was situated, that a 'personal applicafour o'clock we were in the grip of a hur- tion' could not be made, and giving the ricane from the north. The house shook best of credentials. Such a trusting, and groaned and strained like a labor- naïve letter it was so sure that there
would be some accommodation in the before a large dish of delicately browned law for one of Uncle Sam's family, curly bacon, when suddenly it vanishstranded in a far-away land. A few es away. Distractedly I search everywords, in reply, from a secretary, merely where, mopping away my tears, see it say that passports are issued on 'per- in the distance, pursue it, and it again sonal application.' So I remain in my eludes me. My grief wakes me, and I island attic.
find that real tears have made me un
June 15, 1916. comfortably damp. We have had an anxious week. First, Next week our rationing will begin, a rumor of the great sea-fight off Jut- and on Monday there will be a houseland, and then the death of Lord Kitch- to-house inspection. Private supplies ener. Faroe folk, before the war, have must be declared and attestations made. known little and cared less about the The whole matter is rather complicated, great ones of the outer world. But they and the Thorshavn powers that be have knew about Lord Kitchener, and his kindly tried to explain, in technical landeath seems to them a personal loss, as guage, in many columns of the little if one more safeguard between their semi-weekly paper. We get on fairly homes and the enemy had been broken well in everyday Danish, but these exdown. And now, in another sense, they planations have made trouble. And are comrades of the sea, for he has died now I see groups of excited men, wavthe death that some of them will die. ing ragged copies of Dimmalætting, and When the news came, I took a Kitch- hear such comments, in Faroe speech, ener photograph with me down to the as, 'Fool thou! I say thou canst not Kruse Store, where there is always a have sago!' 'Death and torment! group of fishermen gossiping and smok- You've got it wrong!' 'S death! Oat. ing. They crowded around me eagerly, meal is rationed!' 'Out with thee! to see it, and I saw tears in the eyes of Thou ’lt have to swear on truth and some of the older men. ‘A brave man, honor how many potatoes thou hast!' a good man,' they said softly.
And I know that Eide's men-folk are
earnestly striving for comprehension
March 18, 1917. before the ordeal on Monday. The Thorshavn authorities announce that there is a three-months' supply of
15 May, 1917. grain and flour on hand, but future sup- Some supplies have come, enough to plies are uncertain, and we are enjoined carry us through the next few weeks. to use as little as possible, and to bear In Thorshavn some employment is our coming troubles 'with calm and given on public works, and throughout dignity.' Now we have used a seven- the islands land-owning peasants have weeks' portion, and in all that time not more food, some milk and fats, and one pound of food has come to the dried mutton. But in poor fishing vilislands. I cut down on light, fuel, and lages there is much undernourishment. food, and could have eaten less and yet There is an old saying, “When Eide's carried on as usual. I will not say that fishing-lines are dry, Eide hungers.' I did not want to eat more. Queerly Yesterday four 'six-man boats' (boats enough, I was more hungry in my rowed by six men) were out, and a few dreams than in my waking hours. I small fish were the only returns for the gave little thought to bacon in pre-war hard day's work of twenty-four men. days, but now, about once a week, I Many people have only their ration of dream about it. I sit down, with joy, coarse rye-meal, weak tea and coffee,
and wind-dried codlings. I can tell and pearl, and there was no land bewhen a mother has been giving part of tween us and the North Pole. Puffins her scanty allowance to children or hus- darted to and fro like little shuttles beband. There is a certain over-bright low us. Gulls circled with no perceptieye, an exalted expression, a strained, ble motion of their wings. A long, lean white look of the skin over the nose and freighter passed, probably bound for around the mouth.
Archangel. Then, from the east, came A well-to-do friend in Glasgow offered two pretty sister ships, shining in new help, and I wrote asking for a little fine white paint. They kept close together, barley-meal and patent health-foods and seemed like two little children for the mothers of new-born babies and abroad on some brave adventure. Once for sick children. She wisely sent my they checked, almost stopped, and letter on to London, with her applica- Olivina clutched my arm. 'Undervands tion for a permit. It showed that I baaden!' she quavered. But no, it was asked only for those in real need. no submarine that had stopped them,
Eight Faroe cutters have been sunk only the fierce race, or current, sweeping on the Faroe Banks. The men could eastward, and strongest at this phase of not believe that Germany would harm
the moon. peaceful fishermen of a neutral land, on
12 July, 1917. the grounds where their forbears had Yesterday I was startled by the sight fished for a thousand years. This is a of seven large trawlers, all armed, hard blow. The cutters soon would swinging in from the open sea. Eide is have gone to the Iceland summer fish- a lonely place. I had not seen a trawler, ery, and on that the people rely for help except far away, for more than two through the winter.
years. Amalya was calling to me to June 20, 1917.
hurry -- that probably torpedoed crews After a cold, dark spring and early were being brought to land. I found summer, we have had a week of real that only a slight accident to machinery sunshine, such as we seldom see, and had brought them in. But I could help we have basked in it and become dry about sending a telephone message, and and warm and sunburned, and the days soon a burly skipper and I were having have been all too long and too light for a chat while awaiting an answer. He one's strength. It is the time of peat- looked at me in amazement when he work, and a friend, Olivina, and I have heard I was an American and had been had a private picnic on a promontory in Eide almost three years. “Good where she owns a peat-field. She was to Lord!' he exclaimed, smiting his thigh 'set up' peats, and I to sketch and col- in emphasis. 'How have you held out lect plants. So it was supposed, but the in this hole?' truth is, we had saved
flour from our I replied, with spirit, that it was n't a ration, and in all secrecy we took the hole: there were many beautiful places frying-pan with us and made pancakes near; I liked the people and was glad to on the heights, and the full quota be here. But later, looking about me, work was not done that day. After the I admitted that Eide in the fog was pancakes - on a day so rare - it not looking its best that day, all dank seemed advisable to let work go, and and dripping, and the cods' heads and climb to the top of the headland. There, refuse too much in evidence. twelve hundred feet above the sea, we Later, I met the young lieutenant in looked across perhaps twenty miles of charge of the defenses. So trim and fit shimmering sea-levels, - blue and pink and lean he was, with clear, steady
eyes. It was a credit to his discernment tle moment, the way
before easier to that he understood that this shabby old follow. party who appeared out of the fog had Four out of five salt ships from the a message that he must hear. To trawl Mediterranean, which had permission er captains I could not give it. No cen- to come to the Faroes outside the ‘dansor would pass it in the post. I looked ger zone,' have been forced by the into the eyes of that young man, and cruisers to turn back into it for examinaconstrained him to listen; and as, for tion at Kirkwall, and as they came out the time being, I had much dynamic they were torpedoed. So good ships and force in me, he did listen, bless him,
men are lost to England, and food that murmuring at intervals, “That is inter- the salt would have cured; and much esting': 'I did n't know that'; 'I'll re- hardship is brought on the Faroes. For, member that'; 'I'll do my best.' with no salt to cure the fish, there can be
And then they sailed away, and I no fishing. The Germans are greatly wandered about in much distress of pleased to have their game hunted in mind. I was in the grip of nostalgia. for them. . . . (The Censor suppressed The refined, clean-cut speech of the this last paragraph. I thought he young officer, the first I had heard would, but I could n't refrain.) since April, 1914, brought to mind all I On Sudero is the last port from which had lost, was losing, in this exile. Out ships sail for lands down below.' in the world the current of life was There bands of British trawlers, homesweeping onward, full and strong, and ward bound from Iceland, drop anchor, I- what was I doing in this backwater, and signal to the port officials, We have this futile eddy?
come in to sleep.' Close together the Then the fog lifted from the fields. ships lie, a little flock of hunted creaBetween two peaks the moon was ris- tures, and for seven hours all is quiet ing. No stars are seen on a Faroe sum- on board. Then out they go, no rest for mer night. The pale moon casts no them till they reach a Scottish haven. shadows. But a silvery radiance min- Much suffering and many lives and gles with the daylight and the last ships have been spared to Britain by glow of the sunset colors. Nothing is this little neutral group, in a waste of hidden, nothing obscured. The faint waters where ships can take shelter, and far fjelds show lovely tones of blue torpedoed crews and wounded men find and violet. I could see the shining of help and nursing. Money cannot pay the little streams as they slipped over for these things, but the British Govthe basalt ledges, the vivid green of ernment might let us have some petheir mosses, and the rich purples and troleum, and allow a ship with supplies reds reflected from the cliffs in the sea from America to be examined at Halibelow.
fax instead of at Kirkwall, in the danger It was so still that not the least line of white showed along the coast; but, as
15 August, 1917. I looked, the whole surface of the sea We think with dread of the coming rose, swelled upward and forward, and darkness. No petroleum on sale, of with a muffled roar, a great white surge course no gas or electric light, no coal, flung itself along the cliffs' base and no candles, and only a scanty supply of over the dark reefs. It swept backward, peat. America, as well as England, reand all again was still.
fuses us petroleum. (I wish I could So beautiful it was, Helen, so peace- have Mr. Hoover here on a December ful, that my own troubles seemed of lit- night, in one of our worst gales!) A new
odor has been added to Eide's general We have had heavy rains and a low fishiness. House-fathers and mothers temperature since the middle of July. are trying out highly unpleasant fish- Even now, between snow-squalls, haylivers. Small boys are fishing for cod- making is going on. Many are bearing lings. The old folks are praying that home the half-dry hay, to spread it out the Lord will send a flock of driving in their little cellars. Wretched food it whales, to give food and light for the will be for the poor cows; but there is coming winter. And the smiths have nothing else to give them. gathered in all the old cans and every scrap of tin and brass, and are experi
30 January, 1918. menting on little fish-oil lamps. They Eide had a ‘dry Christmas' (no spirrequire a reservoir above the burner, a its for sale), and so, for many women pressure to force the oil up to the wick. and children, a happier Christmas than
The truth is, petroleum, postal rights, usual. We made a quite charming little and other desiderata, are denied us be- tree from a piece of spar, with sticks incause the British Government is afraid serted here and there for branches, and that the Faroes will be used as a supply covered with heather and crowberry. . station for German submarines.
Amalya fished out some decorations It is surprising what can be done in from her childhood days; there were contriving ways and means. The soles some little toys sent in August from a of my felt shoes are quite worn out, and Scottish friend. I made cornucopias I have re-covered them with a piece of a with the colored illustrations of a Libneighboring fisherman's discarded trou- erty rug-and-carpet catalogue (and sers, giving in return a little flour. Anna very pretty they were), and from beeshas made a fine pair of shoes for her lit- wax cast ashore from a torpedoed vessel tle girl from a fifteen-year-old felt hat. we had little brown candles, which I bartered three envelopes the other spluttered briskly as they burned, from day for a lamp-chimney with a broken the sea-salt in them. We had long been top, a handkerchief for a small cod, and saving from our flour-and sugar-rations, I have known a large spoonful of soft and by an elaborate system of barter soap to be 'swapped' for three hairpins. and by mutual gifts in the Kruse clan, ,
we managed to have some good Christ
20 October, 1917. mas food, and sugar-candies and gingerWe have a new baby, a frail little nuts for the tree. It was really somecreature, unfit to bear the coming win- thing like a Danish Christmas, with the ter. She is not six weeks old, an age singing of the Christmas songs, 'Still when the normal child is a little pig, Night, Holy Night,' and 'A Child is with unawakened intelligence. This born in Bethlehem.' dear baby looks from one to another We are having a terrible winter. with bright, questioning eyes, earnestly, Such cold has never before been resadly, and yet with a sweet composure corded in the Faroes. This long siege that seems strange in such a helpless began on December first. I was at the mite. We laugh at her, and tell her that window after dinner, wondering at the she need n't put on such dignified airs, strange ashy-red color on the fjelds, that we mean well, even if our manners when, with a noise like thunder on are not as fine as hers. I suppose she Kvisten's roof, all was blotted out, as if seems older because there is no baby a gray blanket had been thrown across fat to hide the pure oval of her face and the window. The gale raged with hurthe fine lines of neck and shoulders. ricane force until the next morning. VOL. 188-NO.