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Page 109





Author of "In the Days oj the Guild ',''
"Masters oj the Guild, " etc.



. .
, ' > .




E N 1 .



Copyright, 1921, by

All rights reserved, including that of translation
into foreign languages



Made in the United States of America


Upon the road to Faerie,
O there are many sights to see,
Small woodland folk may one discern
Housekeeping under leaf and fern,
And little tunnels in the grass
Where caravans of goblins pass,
And airy corsair-craft that rloat
On wings transparent as a mote,
All sorts of curious things can be
Upon the road to Faerie!

Along the wharves of Faerie

There all the winds of Christendie

Are musical with hawk-bell chimes,

Carillons rung to minstrels' rimes,

And silver trumpets bravely blown

From argosies of lands unknown,

And the great war-drum's wakening roll

The reveille of heart and soul

For news of all the ageless sea

Comes to the quays of Faerie!

Across the fields to Faerie

There is no iark cf company,

The world is r eal, the world is wide,

But there be ninny things beside.

Who once has know r n that crystal spring

Siiall no-: lose heart for anything.

The blessing of a faery wife

Is love to sweeten all your life.

To find the truth whate'er it be

That is the luck of Faerie!

Above the gates of Faerie

There bends a wild witch-hazel tree.

The fairies know its elfin powers.

They ivove a garland of the flowers,

And on a misty autumn day

They crowned their queen and ran away!

And by that gift they made you free

Of all the roads of Faerie!

. I f





To Foresta v



The Viking's Secret . . 17


The Navigators (1415-1460) 34



Sunset Song 4


PEDRO AND His ADMIRAL (1492) .... 50

The Queen's Prayer ... 65


THE MAN WHO COULD NOT DIE (1493-1494) . . 66
The Escape .80



Gray Sails 93


LITTLE VENICE (1500) -94

The Gold Road 104


THE Doc WITH Two MASTERS (1512) 105

Cold o' the Moon (1519) 1 17



WAMPUM TOWN (1508-1524) -
The Drum .... ..... I3 3


THE GODS OF TAXMAR (1512-1519) I3

The Legend of Malinche . .140


THE THUNDER BIRDS (1519-1520) . - i5o

Moccasin Flower ......


GIFTS FROM NORUMBEGA (i533- J 535) ..... ! ^7
The Mustangs .181


THE WHITE MEDICINE MAN (1528-1536) . . .182
Lone Bayou (1542) I 95


THE FACE OF THE TERROR (1564) . . 197
The Destroyers 214


THE FLEECE OF GOLD (1561-1577) ... . . 215
A Watch-dog of England (1583) 237



The Changelings 250


THE GARDENS OF HELENE (1607-1609) 252

The Wooden Shoe 269



Imperialism 282


ADMIRAL OF NEW ENGLAND (1600-1614) 284

The Discoverers 299



" 'I will tell you where there is plenty of it' ' (in color)



" 'And Freya came from Asgard in her chariot drawn by

two cats' ' (in color) 4

"Nils marked out an inscription in Runic letters" ... 30

"The miniature globe took form as the children watched,

fascinated" 44

"He proposed that Caonaba should put on the gift the

Spanish captain had brought" 78

"A sapling, bent down,. was attached to a noose ingeniously

hidden" 86

"The natives seemed prepared to traffic in all peace and

friendliness" (in color) 132

"Cortes flung about his shoulders his own cloak" . . .146
"Moteczuma awaited them in the courtyard" (in color) . 162
"Cartier read from his service-book" 176

"The creatures darkened the plain almost as far as the eye

could see" 190

'Gentlemen, whence does this fleet come?' .... 204
"Drake was silent, fingering the slender Milanese poniard" 226

"If he had to wear her fetters, they should at least be

golden" 244

"The Grand Master of the day entered the dining hall" . 266





A RED fox ran into the empty church. In the
middle of the floor he sat up and looked
around. Nothing stirred not the painted figures on
the wooden walls, nor the boy who now stood in the
doorway. This boy was gray-eyed and flaxen-haired,
and might have been eleven or twelve years old. He
was looking for the good old priest, Father Ansgar,
and the wild shy animal eyeing him from the foot of
the altar made it only too clear that the church, like
the village, was deserted.

Father Ansgar was dead of the strange swift
pestilence that was called in 1348 the Black Death.
So also were the sexton, the cooper, the shoemaker,
and almost all the people of the valley. A ship had
come into Bergen with the plague on board, and it
spread through Norway like a grass-fire. Only last
week Thorolf Erlandsson l had had a father and
mother, a grandmother, two younger sisters and a
brother. Now he was alone. In the night the dairy
woman and the plowmen at Ormgard farm had run
away. Other farms and houses were already closed
and silent, or plundered and burned. Ormgard being
remote had at first escaped the sickness.

Thorolf turned away from the church door and

began to climb the mountain. At the lane leading to



his home he did not stop, but kept on into the woods.
It was not so lonely there.

Up and up he climbed, the thrilling scent of fir-
balsam in his nostrils, the small friendly noises of the
forest all about him. Only a few months ago he had
come down this very road with his father, driving the
cattle and goats home from the summer pasture. All
the other farmers were doing the same, and the clear
notes of the lure, the long curving horn, used for calling
the cattle and signaling across valleys, soared from
slope to slope. There was laughter and shouting and
joking all the way down. Now the only persons
abroad seemed to be thieving ruffians whose greed for
plunder was more than their fear of the plague.

A thought came to the boy. How could he leave
his father's cattle unfed and uncared for? What if
he were to drive the cows himself to the saeter and
tend them through the summer? He faced about,
resolutely, and began to descend the hill.

Within sight of the familiar roofs he heard some
one coming from the village, on horseback. It proved
to be Nils the son of Magnus the son of Nils who was
called the Bear-Slayer, with a sack of grain and a pair
of saddlebags on a sedate brown pony. Nils was lame
of one foot and no taller than a boy of nine, although
he was thirteen this month and his head was nearly as
large as a man's. He had been an orphan from baby-
hood, and for the last three years had lived in the
priest's house learning to be a clerk.

1 Hoh ! " called Nils, " where are you going? "
To the farm to get our cattle and take them to
the saeter. There is no one left to do it but me."

" Cattle? " queried the other interestedly, " She will
be glad of that."


"She!" said Thorolf, "who?"

" The Wind-wife 2 Mother Elle, who used to sell
wind to the sailors the Finnish woman from Stav-
anger. She has gathered up a lot of children who have
no one to look after them and is leading them into the
mountains. She has Nikolina Sven's daughter Lars-
son, and Olof and Anders Amundson, and half a score
of younger ones from different villages. She says that
if it is God 's will for the plague to come to the saeter
it will come, but it is not there now, and it is in the
valleys and the towns. She has gone on with the small
ones who cannot walk fast, and left Olof and Anders
and me to bring along the ponies with the loads. I'll
help you drive your beasts."

Without trouble the lads got the animals out of the
byres and headed them up the road. Norway is so
sharply divided by precipitous mountain ranges and
deeply-penetrating fiords, that it may be but a few miles
from a farm near sea level to the high grassy pastures
three or four thousand feet above it where the cattle
are pastured in summer. The saeter maidens live
there in their cottages from June to September, making
butter and cheese, tending the herds and doing such
other work as they can. The saeter belonging to
Ormgard and its neighbors was the one chosen by
Mother Elle as a refuge for her flock.

The forest of magnificent firs through which the road
passed presently grew less somber, beginning to be
streaked with white birches whose bright leaves
twinkled in the sun. Then it reached the height at
which evergreens cease to grow. The birches were
shorter and sparser, and through the thinning wood-
land appeared glimpses of a treeless pasture dotted
with scrubby low bushes and clumps of rushes. A glint


of clear green water betrayed a small lake in a dip of
the hills. And now were heard sounds most unusual
in that lonely place, the high sweet voices of children.

Birch trees, little trees, dwarfed by sharp winds and
poor soil, encircled a level space perhaps ten feet
across, carpeted with new soft grass, reindeer moss
and cupped lichens. Here sat seven or eight children
eagerly listening to a story told by an older child as she
divided the ration of fladbrod, 3 wild strawberries
from a small basket of birchbark, and brown goat's-
milk cheese.

" And Freya came from Asgard in her chariot drawn
by two cats '

Nikolina the daughter of Sven Larsson of the
Trolle farm was known through all the valley, not only
as the sole child of its richest farmer, but for the bright
blonde hair that covered her shoulders with its soft
abundance and hung to her waist. Her father would
not have it cut or braided or even covered save by such
a little embroidered cap as she wore now. Her scarlet
bodice, and blue-black skirt bordered with bright woven
bands, were of the finest wool; the full-sleeved white
linen under-dress had been spun and woven and em-
broidered by skilful and loving fingers. Nikolina had
lost the roof from over her head, and a great deal
more than that. Now she was giving her whole mind
to the little ones of all ages from four to eight, crowd-
ing close about her.

" Hi! " called Nils, " where is Mother Elle? See
what Thorolf and I have got ! '

The children scrambled to their feet and gazed with
round eyes, their small hungry teeth munching their
morsels of hard bread. Nikolina plucked a bunch of


CATS.' "

Page 4


grass for Snow, the foremost cow, and patted her as
she ate it.

The little ones were so tired and hungry," she said,
" that Mother Elle said they might have their supper
now, while she and Olof and Anders went on to the
saeter. This is wonderful ! She was saying only this
morning that she feared all the cattle were dead or

Within an hour they came in sight of the log huts
with turf-covered roofs that sloped almost to the
ground in the rear. A broad plain stretched away be-
yond, and the new grass was of that vivid green to be
found in places which deep snow makes pure. Hills
enclosed it, and beyond, a gleaming network of lake
and stream ended in range above range of blue and
silver peaks. The clear invigorating air was like some
unearthly wine. The cows at the scent of fresh pasture
moved more briskly; the pony tossed his head and
whinnied. Not far from the cottages there came to
meet them a little old woman, dark and wiry, with
bright searching eyes. Her face was wrinkled all over
in fine soft lines, but her hair was hardly gray at all.
She wore a pointed hood and girdled tunic of tanned
reindeer hide, with leggings and shoes of the same. A
blanket about her shoulders was draped into a kind of
pouch, in which she carried on her back a tow-headed,
solemn-eyed baby.

" Welcome to you, Thorolf Erlandsson," she said,
just as if she had been expecting him. " With this
good milk we shall fare like the King."

No king, truly, could have supped on food more de-
licious than that enjoyed by Nils and Thorolf on this
first night in the saeter. It is strange but true that


the most exquisite delights are those that money can-
not buy. No man can taste cold spring water and
barley bread in absolute perfection who has not paid
the poor man's price hard work and keen hunger.

When Nikolina, Karen and Lovisa came up with the
smaller children the place had already an inhabited,
homelike look. There was even a wise old raven, al-
most as large as a gander, whom Nils had christened
Munin, after Odin's bird. The little ones had all the
new milk they could drink from their wooden bowls,
and were put to bed in the movable wooden bed-places,
on beds of hay covered with sheepskins and blankets.
All were asleep before dark, for at that season the night
lasted only two or three hours. The last thing that
Thorolf heard was a happy little pipe from the five-
year-old Ellida,

" Now we shall live in Asgard forever and ever."

For all it had to do with the experience of many of
the children the saeter might really have been Asgard,
the Norse paradise. The youngest had never before
been outside the narrow valley where they were born.
Ellida and Margit, Didrik and little Peder, could not
be convinced that they were anywhere but in Asgard
the Blest.

Norway had long since become Christian, but the
old faith was not forgotten. The legends, songs and
customs of the people were full of it. In the sagas
Asgard was described as being on a mountain at the
top of the world. Around the base of this mountain
lay Midgard, the abode of mankind. Beyond the
great seas, in Utgard, the giants lived. Hel was the
under-world, the home of evil ghosts and spirits.
Tales were told in the long winter evenings, of Baldur
the god of spring, Loki the crafty, Odin the old one-


eyed beggar in a hooded cloak, with his two ravens and
his two tame wolves, Freya the lovely lady of flowers,
Elle-folk dancing in the moonlight, and little rascally

The songs and legends repeated by the old people
or chanted by minstrels or skalds were more than idle
stories they were the history of a race. Children
heard over and over again the family records telling
in rude rhyme the story of centuries. In distant Ice-
land, Greenland, the Shetlands, the Faroes or the Ork-
neys, a Norseman could tell exactly what might be his
udall right, or right of inheritance, in the land of his

On Nils andThorolf, Anders, Olof, Nikolina,' Karen
and Lovisa; who were all over ten years old, rested
great responsibility. Mother Elle always managed to
solve her own problems and expected them to attend
to theirs without constant direction from her. She
told them what there was to be done and left them to
attend to it.

All were hardy, active youngsters who took to fend-
ing for themselves as naturally as a day-old chick takes
to scratching. In ordinary seasons the work at the
saeter was heavy, for the maidens must not only follow
the herds over miles of pasture land, but make butter
and cheese for the winter from their milking. The
few cows that were here now could be tethered near by;
the milk, when the children had had all they wanted,
was mostly used in soups, pudding or grot (porridge).
A net or weir stretched across the outlet of the lake
would fill with fish overnight. The streams were full
of trout. Mother Elle knew how to make fish-hooks
of bone, bows and arrows, ropes, and baskets of bark,
how to weave osiers, how to cure bruises and cuts, how


to trap the wild hares, grouse and plover and cook
them over an open fire. The children found plover's
eggs and the eggs of other wild fowl. They raised
pulse, leeks, onions and turnips in a little garden patch.
They gathered strawberries, cranberries, crowberries,
wild currants, black and red, the cloudberry and the
delicious arctic raspberry which tastes of pineapple.
Some stores of salt and grain were already at the saeter
and the grain-fields had been sowed, before the pesti-
lence appeared in the valley.

In the long summer days of these northern moun-
tains, one has the feeling that they will never end,
that life must go on in an infinite succession of still,
sunshiny, fragrant hours, filled with the songs of birds,
the chirr of insects and the distant lowing of cattle.
There is time for everything. At night comes dream-
less slumber, and the morning is like a birth into new

There was a great deal of singing and story-telling
at odd times. A group of children making mats or
baskets, gathering pease or going after berries would
beg Nils or Nikolina to tell a story, or Karen would
lead them in some old song with a familiar refrain.
But some of the songs the Wind-wife crooned to the
baby were not like any the children had heard. They
were not even in Norwegian.

Thorolf was a silent lad, who would rather listen
than talk, and hated asking questions. But one day,
when he and Nikolina were hunting wild raspberries,
he asked her if she thought Mother Elle meant to
stay in the mountains through the winter. Nikolina
did not know.

'Tis well to be wise but not too wise,


'Tis well that to-morrow is hid from our eyes,
For in forward-looking forebodings rise,"

she added quaintly. " I have heard her say that it is
colder in Greenland than it is here."
'Has she been in Greenland?'
' Her father and mother were on the way there
when she was little, and the ship was wrecked some-
where on the coast. The Skroelings found her and
took her to live in their country. That is how she
learned so much about trees and herbs, and how to
make bows and arrows and moccasins."

" Moccasins? "

" The little shoes she made for Ellida. And she
made a little boat for Peder, like their skiffs."

This was interesting. For a private reason, Thor-
olf held Greenland to be the most fascinating of all

u Can she speak their language? '

" Of course. I asked her to teach me, and she said
that perhaps she would some day. The songs that
she sings to the little ones are some that the Skroeling
woman who adopted her used to sing to her when she
cried for her own mother. One of them begins like

' ' Piche Klooskap pechian
Machieswi menikok.'

"What does it mean? "

' ' Long ago Klooskap came to the island of the
partridges.' Klooskap was like Odin, or Thor. The
priests in Greenland told her he was a devil and
wouldn't let her talk about him, but the Skroelings had


runes for everything just like the people in the sagas,
runes for war, and healing, and the sea."

' How did she ever get away? '

' Some men came from Westbyrg to cut wood in
the forest, and when they saw that she was not really
a Skroelmg they bought her for an iron pot and one
of them married her. But he was drowned a long
time ago."

' I wish I knew the Skroelings' language. Some
day I mean to go to Greenland."

" Perhaps Mother Elle will teach you. I'll ask

The Wind-wife was rather chary of information
about the country of the Skroelings until Nikolina's
coaxing and Thorolf's silent but intense interest had
taken effect. The country, she said, was rather like
Norway, with mountains and great forests, lakes and
streams, but far colder. There were no fiords, and
no cities. The people lived in tents made of poles
covered with bark, or hides. They dressed in the
hides of wild animals and lived by hunting and fishing.
They had no reindeer, horses, cattle, sheep or goats,
no fowls, no pigs. They could not work iron, nor did
they spin or weave. The man and woman who had
adopted her treated her just like their own child.

The stories she had learned from these people were
intensely interesting to her listeners. There was one
about a battle between the wasps and the squirrels,
and another about the beaver who wanted wings. One
was about a girl who was married to the Spirit of the
Mountain and had a son beautiful and straight and like
any other boy except that he had stone eyebrows.
Then there was the tale about Klooskap tying up the
White Eagle of the Wind so that he could not flap


his wings. After a short time everything was so dirty
and ill-smelling and unhealthy that Klooskap had to
go back and untie one wing, and let the wind blow to
clear the air and make the earth once more wholesome.

Wild apples fell, grain ripened, nights lengthened.
Long ago the twin-flower, violet, wild pansy, forget-
me-not and yellow anemone had left their fairy haunts,
and there remained only the curving fantastic fronds
of the fern, - - the dragon-grass. Then had come
brilliant spots and splashes of color on the summer
slopes purple butterwort, golden ragweed, ac'o-
nite, buttercup, deep crimson mossy patches of saxi-
frage, rosy heather, catchfly, wild geranium, cinna-
mon rose. These also finished their triumphal pro-
cession and went to their Valhalla. Then one Sep-
tember morning the children woke to hear the wind
screaming as if the White Eagle had escaped his
prison, and the rain pelting the world.

All summer they had been out, rain or shine, like
water-ouzels, but now they were glad to sit about the
fire with the shutters all closed, and the smoke now and
then driven down into the room by the storm. Before
evening the little ones were begging for stories.

" I wish I could remember a saga I heard last Yule,"
Nikolina said at last. " It was about a voyage the
Vikings made to a country where the people had never
seen cattle. When they heard the cattle bellowing they
all ran away and left the furs they had come to sell."

" Tell all you remember and make up the rest," sug-
gested Karen, but Nikolina shook her head.
One should never do that with a saga."
I know that tale," spoke up Thorolf suddenly, al-
though he had never in his life repeated a saga.
kl Grandmother used to tell it. In the beginning Bjarni




Heriulfson the sea-rover, after many years came home
to Iceland to drink wassail in his father's house. But
strangers dwelt there and told him that his father was
gone to Greenland, and he set sail for that land. Soon
was the ship swallowed up in a gray mist in which were
neither sun nor stars. They sailed many days they
knew not where, but suddenly the fog lifted and the
sun revealed to them a coast of low hills covered with
forest. By this Bjarni thought that it was not Green-
land but some southerly coast. Therefore turned he
northward and sailed many days before he sighted the
mountains of Greenland and his father's house.

" Years afterward returned Bjarni to Iceland, and
in his telling of that voyage it came to the ears of Leif
Ericsson, who asked him many questions about the land
he had seen. There grew no trees in Iceland or Green-
land, fit for house-timber, and Leif was minded to find
out this place of great forests. Thus it came that Leif
sailed from Brattahlid in Greenland with five and thirty
men in a long ship upon a journey of discovery.

' First came they to a barren land covered with big
flat stones, and this Leif named Helluland, the slate
land. Southward sailed he for many days until he
saw a coast covered with wooded hills, and there he
landed, calling it Markland, the land of woods. Then
southward again they bore and came to a place where
a river flowed out of a lake and fell into the sea. The
country was pleasant, with good fishing. Leif said
that they would spend the winter there, and they built
wooden cabins well-made and warm.

Then at the season when the leaves are blood-red
and bright gold came in from the woods Thorkel the
German, smacking his lips and making strange faces
and jabbering in his own language. When they asked


what ailed him he said that he had found vines loaded
with grapes, and having seen none since he left his
own country, which was a land of vineyards, he was
out of his senses with delight. Therefore was that
country named Vinland the Fair. In the spring went
Leif home, well pleased, with a cargo of timber, but

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