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A Norwegian Honeymoon Henry van Dyke

Section III.

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Table Of Contents: Fisherman's Luck

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In the evening, when the saffron light is beginning to fade, we go out and walk in the road before the house, looking down the long mystical vale of the Rauma, or up to the purple western hills from which the clear streams of the Ulvaa flow to meet us.

Above Stuefloten the Rauma lingers and meanders through a smoother and more open valley, with broad beds of gravel and flowery meadows. Here the trout and grayling grow fat and lusty, and here we angle for them, day after day, in water so crystalline that when one steps into the stream one hardly knows whether to expect a depth of six inches or six feet.

Tiny English flies and leaders of gossamer are the tackle for such water in midsummer. With this delicate outfit, and with a light hand and a long line, one may easily outfish the native angler, and fill a twelve-pound basket every fair day. I remember an old Norwegian, an inveterate fisherman, whose footmarks we saw ahead of us on the stream all through an afternoon. Footmarks I call them; and so they were, literally, for there were only the prints of a single foot to be seen on the banks of sand, and between them, a series of small, round, deep holes.

"What kind of a bird made those marks, Frederik?" I asked my faithful guide.

"That is old Pedersen," he said, "with his wooden leg. He makes a dot after every step. We shall catch him in a little while."

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Sure enough, about six o'clock we saw him standing on a grassy point, hurling his line, with a fat worm on the end of it, far across the stream, and letting it drift down with the current. But the water was too fine for that style of fishing, and the poor old fellow had but a half dozen little fish. My creel was already overflowing, so I emptied out all of the grayling into his bag, and went on up the river to complete my tale of trout before dark.

And when the fishing is over, there is Graygown with the wagon, waiting at the appointed place under the trees, beside the road. The sturdy white pony trots gayly homeward. The pale yellow stars blossom out above the hills again, as they did on that first night when we were driving down into the Valders. Frederik leans over the back of the seat, telling us marvellous tales, in his broken English, of the fishing in a certain lake among the mountains, and of the reindeer-shooting on the fjeld beyond it.

"It is sad that you go to-morrow," says he "but you come back another year, I think, to fish in that lake, and to shoot those reindeer."

Yes, Frederik, we are coming back to Norway some day, perhaps,--who can tell? It is one of the hundred places that we are vaguely planning to revisit. For, though we did not see the midnight sun there, we saw the honeymoon most distinctly. And it was bright enough to take pictures by its light.

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Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

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