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Durrien declared positively that it would be impossible for her ever to
part with her.

Erik undertook to arrange with Mr. Hersebom and Dame Katrina that they
should leave Vanda behind them, with the express condition that he would
bring her himself every year to see them. He had tried to keep all his
adopted family with him, even offering to transport from Noroe the house
with all its furniture where he had passed his infancy. But this project
of emigration was generally regarded as impracticable. Mr. Hersebom and
Katrina were too old to change their habits. They would not have been
perfectly happy in a country of whose language and habits they were
ignorant. He was obliged, therefore, to permit them to depart, but not
before making such provision for them as would enable them to spend the
remainder of their days in ease and comfort, which, notwithstanding
their honest, laborious lives, they had been unable to accomplish.

Erik would have liked to have kept Otto at least, but he preferred his
fiord, and thought that there was no life preferable to that of a
fisherman. It must also be confessed that the golden-haired and
blue-eyed daughter of the overseer of the oil-works had something to do
with the attractions which Noroe had for him. At least we must conclude
so, since it was soon made known that he expected to marry her at the
next "Yule," or Christmas.

Mr. Malarius counted upon educating their children as he had educated
Erik and Vanda. He modestly resumed his position in the village school,
after sharing in the honor of the decorations bestowed by the
Geographical Society of France upon the captain of the "Alaska." He was
also busily occupied in correcting the proofs of his magnificent work on
the "Flora of the Arctic Regions." As for Dr. Schwaryencrona, he has not
quite finished his "Treatise on Iconography," which will transmit his
name to posterity.

The latest legal business of Mr. Bredejord has been to establish Erik's
claim as sole proprietor of the Vandalia mine. He gained his case in the
first instance, and also on appeal, which was no small success.

Erik took advantage of this, and of the enormous fortune thus accruing
to him, to purchase the "Alaska," which he converted into a pleasure
yacht. He uses it every year to go to Noroe in company with Mme. Durrien
and Vanda, to visit his adopted family. Although his civil rights have
been accorded to him, and his legal name is Emile Durrien, he has added
that of Hersebom, and among his relatives he is still called only Erik.

The secret desire of his mother is to see him some day married to Vanda,
whom she already loves as a daughter, and, as Erik evidently shares this
desire, we may suppose that it will be realized one of these days.

Kajsa still remains single, with the knowledge that she has lost her
opportunity.

Dr. Schwaryencrona, Mr. Bredejord, and Professor Hochstedt still play
innumerable games of whist.

One evening the doctor, having played worse than usual, Mr. Bredejord,
as he tapped his snuff-box, had the pleasure of recalling to his mind a
circumstance which had too long been forgotten.

"When do you intend to send me your Pliny?" he asked, with a wicked
gleam in his eye. "Certainly you can no longer think that Erik is of
Irish origin?"

The doctor was thunder-struck for a moment by this speech, but he soon
recovered himself.

"Bah! an ex-president of the French Republic was a direct descendant of
one of the Irish kings," he said, seriously. "I should not be at all
surprised if Mr. Durrien belongs to the same family!"

"Evidently," replied Mr. Bredejord. "In fact it is so extremely probable
that out of sport I will send you my Quintilian!"


THE END.







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Online LibraryAndré LaurieThe Waif of the Cynthia → online text (page 17 of 17)