The Adventures Of John Dietrich





There once lived in Rambin an honest, industrious man, named James

Dietrich. He had several children, all of a good disposition, especially

the youngest, whose name was John. John Dietrich was a handsome, smart

boy, diligent at school, and obedient at home. His great passion was for

hearing stories, and whenever he met any one who was well stored he

never let him go till he had heard them all.



When John was about eight years old he was sent to spend a summer with

his uncle, a farmer, in Rodenkirchen. Here John had to keep cows with

other boys, and they used to drive them to graze about the Nine-hills.

There was an old cowherd, one Klas Starkwolt who used frequently to join

the boys, and then they would sit down together and tell stories. Klas

abounded in these, and he became John Dietrich's dearest friend. In

particular, he knew a number of stories of the Nine-hills, and the

underground people in the old times, when the giants disappeared from

the country and the little ones came into the hills. These tales John

swallowed so eagerly that he thought of nothing else, and was for ever

talking of golden cups, and crowns, and glass shoes, and pockets full of

ducats, and gold rings, and diamond coronets, and snow-white brides, and

such like. Old Klas used often to shake his head at him, and say--



"John! John! what are you about? The spade and scythe will be your

sceptre and crown, and your bride will wear a garland of rosemary, and a

gown of striped drill."



Still John almost longed to get into the Nine-hills, for Klas told him

that every one who by luck or cunning should get a cap of the little

ones might go down with safety, and instead of their making a servant of

him, he would be their master. The person whose cap he got would be his

servant, and obey all his commands.



St. John's day, when the days were longest and the nights shortest, was

now come. Old and young kept the holiday, had all sorts of plays, and

told all kinds of stories. John could now no longer contain himself, but

the day after the festival he slipt away to the Nine-hills, and when it

grew dark laid himself down on the top of the highest of them, where

Klas had told him the underground people had their principal

dancing-place. John lay quite still from ten till twelve at night. At

last it struck twelve. Immediately there was a ringing and a singing in

the hills, and then a whispering and a lisping, and a whiz and a buzz

all about him, for the little people were now, some whirling round and

round in the dance, and others sporting and tumbling about in the

moonshine, and playing a thousand merry pranks and tricks. He felt a

secret dread come over him at this whispering and buzzing, for he could

see nothing of them, as the caps they wore made them invisible, but he

lay quite still with his face in the grass, and his eyes fast shut,

snoring a little, just as if he were asleep. Now and then he ventured to

open his eyes a little and peep out, but not the slightest trace of them

could he see, though it was bright moonlight.



It was not long before three of the underground people came jumping up

to where he was lying, but they took no heed of him, and flung their

brown caps up into the air, and caught them from one another. At length

one snatched the cap out of the hand of another and flung it away. It

flew direct, and fell upon John's head. The moment he felt it he caught

hold of it, and, standing up, bid farewell to sleep. He flung his cap

about for joy and made the little silver bell of it jingle, then set it

upon his head, and--oh wonderful! that instant he saw the countless and

merry swarm of the little people.



The three little men came slily up to him, and thought by their

nimbleness to get back the cap, but he held his prize fast, and they saw

clearly that nothing was to be done in this way with him, for in size

and strength John was a giant in comparison with these little fellows,

who hardly came up to his knee. The owner of the cap now came up very

humbly to the finder, and begged, in as supplicating a tone as if his

life depended upon it, that he would give him back his cap.



"No," said John, "you sly little rogue, you will get the cap no more.

That's not the sort of thing one gives away for buttered cake. I should

be in a nice way with you if I had not something of yours, but now you

have no power over me, but must do what I please. I will go down with

you and see how you live down below, and you shall be my servant. Nay,

no grumbling. You know you must. I know that just as well as you do, for

Klas Starkwolt told it to me often and often!"



The little man made as if he had not heard or understood one word of all

this. He began his crying and whining over again, and wept and screamed

and howled most piteously for his little cap. John, however, cut the

matter short by saying--



"Have done. You are my servant, and I intend to make a trip with you."



So he gave up, especially as the others told him there was no remedy.



John now flung away his old hat, and put on the cap, and set it firm on

his head lest it should slip off or fly away, for all his power lay in

the cap. He lost no time in trying its virtues, and commanded his new

servant to fetch him food and drink. The servant ran away like the wind,

and in a second was there again with bottles of wine, and bread, and

rich fruits. So John ate and drank, and looked at the sports and dancing

of the little ones, and it pleased him right well, and he behaved

himself stoutly and wisely, as if he had been a born master.



When the cock had now crowed for the third time, and the little larks

had made their first twirl in the sky, and the infant light appeared in

solitary white streaks in the east, then it went hush, hush, hush,

through the bushes and flowers and stalks, and the hills rent again, and

opened up, and the little men went down. John gave close attention to

everything, and found that it was exactly as he had been told, and,

behold! on the top of the hill, where they had just been dancing, and

where all was full of grass and flowers, as people see it by day, there

rose of a sudden, when the retreat was sounded, a bright glass point.

Whoever wanted to go in stepped upon this. It opened, and he glided

gently in, the grass closing again after him; and when they had all

entered it vanished, and there was no further trace of it to be seen.

Those who descended through the glass point sank quite gently into a

wide silver tun, which held them all, and could have easily harboured a

thousand such little people. John and his man went down into such a one

along with several others, all of whom screamed out, and prayed him not

to tread on them, for if his weight came on them they were dead men. He

was, however, careful, and acted in a very friendly way towards them.

Several tuns of this kind went up and down after each other, until all

were in. They hung by long silver chains, which were drawn and hung

without.



In his descent John was amazed at the brilliancy of the walls between

which the tun glided down. They were all, as it were, beset with pearls

and diamonds, glittering and sparkling brightly, and below him he heard

the most beautiful music tinkling at a distance, so that he did not know

what was become of him, and from excess of pleasure he fell fast asleep.



He slept a long time, and when he awoke he found himself in the most

beautiful bed that could be, such as he had never seen the like of in

his father's house, and it was in the prettiest chamber in the world,

and his servant was beside him with a fan to keep away the flies and

gnats. He had hardly opened his eyes when his little servant brought him

a basin and towel, and held him the nicest new clothes of brown silk to

put on, most beautifully made. With these was a pair of new black shoes

with red ribbons, such as John had never beheld in Rambin or in

Rodinkirchen either. There were also there several pairs of beautiful

shining glass shoes, such as are only used on great occasions. John was,

as we may well suppose, delighted to have such clothes to wear, and he

put them upon him joyfully. His servant then flew like lightning, and

returned with a breakfast of wine and milk, and beautiful white bread

and fruits, and such other things as boys are fond of. He now perceived

every moment more and more, that Klas Starkwolt, the old cowherd, knew

what he was talking about, for the splendour and magnificence he saw

here surpassed anything he had ever dreamt of. His servant, too, was the

most obedient one possible, a nod or a sign was enough for him, for he

was as wise as a bee, as all these little people are by nature John's

bedchamber was all covered with emeralds and other precious stones, and

in the ceiling was a diamond as big as a nine-pin bowl, that gave light

to the whole chamber. In this place they have neither sun nor moon nor

stars to give them light, neither do they use lamps or candlesticks of

any kind, but they live in the midst of precious stones, and have the

purest of gold and silver in abundance, and the skill to make it light

both by day and night, though indeed, properly speaking, as there is no

sun there, there is no distinction between day and night, and they

reckon only by weeks. They set the brightest and clearest precious

stones in their dwellings, and in the ways and passages leading

underground, and in the places where they had their large halls, and

their dances and their feasts, where they sparkled so as to make it

eternal day.



When John had finished breakfast, his servant opened a little door in

the wall, where was a closet with the most beautiful silver and gold

cups and dishes and other vessels and baskets filled with ducats and

boxes of jewels and precious stones. There were also charming pictures,

and the most delightful books he had seen in the whole course of his

life.



John spent the morning looking at these things, and when it was midday a

bell rang, and his servant said--



"Will you dine alone, sir, or with the large company?"



"With the large company, to be sure," replied John. So his servant led

him out. John, however, saw nothing but solitary halls lighted up with

precious stones, and here and there little men and women, who appeared

to him to glide in and out of the clefts and fissures of the rocks.

Wondering what it was the bells rang for, he said to his servant--



"But where is the company?"



Scarcely had he spoken when the hall they were in opened out to a great

extent, and a canopy set with diamonds and precious stones was drawn

over it. At the same moment he saw an immense throng of nicely dressed

little men and women pouring in through several open doors. The floor

opened in several places, and tables, covered with the most beautiful

ware, and the most luscious meats and fruits and wines, placed

themselves beside each other, and the chairs arranged themselves along

the tables, and then the men and women took their seats.



The principal persons now came forward and bowed to John, and led him to

their table, where they placed him among their most beautiful maidens, a

distinction which pleased John well. The party, too, was very merry, for

the underground people are extremely lively and cheerful, and can never

stay long quiet. Then the most charming music sounded over their heads,

and beautiful birds, flying about, sang most sweetly, and these were not

real birds but artificial ones which the little men make so ingeniously

that they can fly about and sing like natural ones.



The servants of both sexes who waited at table and handed about the

golden cups, and the silver and crystal baskets with fruit, were

children belonging to this world, whom some casualty or other had thrown

among the underground people, and who, having come down without securing

any pledge, were fallen into the power of the little ones. These were

differently clad. The boys and girls were dressed in short white coats

and jackets, and wore glass shoes so fine that their step could never be

heard, with blue caps on their heads, and silver belts round their

waists.



John at first pitied them, seeing how they were forced to run about and

wait on the little people, but as they looked cheerful and happy, and

were handsomely dressed, and had such rosy cheeks, he said to

himself--"After all, they are not so badly off, and I was myself much

worse when I had to be running after the cows and bullocks. To be sure I

am now a master here, and they are servants, but there is no help for

it. Why were they so foolish as to let themselves be taken and not get

some pledge beforehand? At any rate the time must come when they will be

set at liberty, and they will certainly not be longer than fifty years

here."



With these thoughts he consoled himself, and sported and played away

with his little play-fellows, and ate, and drank, and made his servant

tell him stories, for he would know everything exactly.



They sat at table about two hours. The principal person then rang a

bell, and the tables and chairs all vanished in a whiff, leaving all the

company on their feet. The birds now struck up a most lively air, and

the little people danced their rounds most merrily. When they were done,

the joyous sets jumped and leaped, and whirled themselves round and

round, as if the world was grown dizzy. The pretty girls who sat next

John caught hold of him and whirled him about, and, without making any

resistance, he danced round and round with them for two good hours.

Every afternoon while he remained there he used to dance thus merrily

with them, and, to the last hour of his life, he used to speak of it

with the greatest glee. His language was--that the joys of heaven and

the songs and music of the angels, which the righteous hope to enjoy

there, might be excessively beautiful, but that he could conceive

nothing to surpass the music and the dancing under the earth, the

beautiful and lively little men, the wonderful birds in the branches,

and the tinkling silver bells in their caps.



"No one," said he, "who has not seen and heard it, can form any idea

whatever of it."



When the music and dancing were over it might be about four o'clock. The

little people then disappeared, and went each about his own business or

pleasure. After supper they sported and danced in the same way, and at

midnight, especially on star-light nights, they slipped out of their

hills to dance in the open air. John used then to say his prayers, a

duty he never neglected either in the evening or in the morning, and go

to sleep.



For the first week John was in the glass hill, he only went from his

chamber to the great hall and back again. After the first week, however,

he began to walk about, making his servant show and explain everything

to him. He found that there were in that place the most beautiful walks

in which he might ramble about for miles, in all directions, without

ever finding an end to them, so immensely large was the hill in which

the little people lived, and yet outwardly it seemed but a little place,

with a few bushes and trees growing on it.



It was extraordinary that, between the meads and fields, which were

thick sown with hills and lakes and islands, and ornamented with trees

and flowers in great variety, there ran, as it were, small lanes,

through which, as through crystal rocks, one was obliged to pass to come

to any new place; and the single meads and fields were often a mile

long, and the flowers were so brilliant and so fragrant, and the songs

of the numerous birds so sweet, that John had never seen anything on

earth like it. There was a breeze, and yet one did not feel the wind. It

was quite clear and bright, and yet there was no heat. The waves were

dashing, still there was no danger, and the most beautiful little barks

and canoes came, like white swans, when one wanted to cross the water,

and went backwards and forwards of themselves. Whence all this came no

one knew, nor could John's servant tell anything about it, but one thing

John saw plainly, which was, that the large carbuncles and diamonds that

were set in the roof and walls gave light instead of the sun, moon, and

stars.



These lovely meads and plains were, for the most part, all lonesome. Few

of the underground people were to be seen upon them, and those that were

just glided across them as if in the greatest hurry. It very rarely

happened that any of them danced out there in the open air. Sometimes

about three of them did so, or, at the most, half a dozen. John never

saw a greater number together. The meads were never cheerful except when

the servants, of whom there might be some hundreds, were let out to

walk. This, however, happened but twice a week, for they were mostly

kept employed in the great hall and adjoining apartments or at school.



For John soon found they had schools there also. He had been there about

ten months when one day he saw something snow-white gliding into a rock

and disappearing.



"What!" said he to his servant, "are there some of you that wear white

like the servants?"



He was informed that there were, but they were few in number, and never

appeared at the large tables or the dances, except once a year, on the

birthday of the great Hill-king, who dwelt many thousand miles below in

the great deep. These were the oldest among them, some of them many

thousand years old, who knew all things and could tell of the beginning

of the world, and were called the Wise. They lived all alone, and only

left their chambers to instruct the underground children and the

attendants of both sexes, for whom there was a great school.



John was much pleased with this intelligence, and he determined to take

advantage of it; so next morning he made his servant conduct him to the

school, and was so well pleased with it that he never missed a day going

there. They were there taught reading, writing, and accounts, to compose

and relate histories, stories, and many elegant kinds of work, so that

many came out of the hills, both men and women, very prudent and knowing

people in consequence of what they were taught there. The biggest, and

those of best capacity, received instruction in natural science and

astronomy, and in poetry and in riddle-making, arts highly esteemed

among the little people. John was very diligent, and soon became a most

clever painter and drawer. He wrought, too, most ingeniously in gold and

silver and stones, and in verse and riddle-making he had no fellow.



John had spent many a happy year here without ever thinking of the upper

world, or of those he had left behind, so pleasantly passed the time--so

many agreeable companions had he.



Of all of them there was none of whom he was so fond as of a fair-haired

girl named Elizabeth Krabbe. She was from his own village, and was the

daughter of Frederick Krabbe, the minister of Rambin. She was but four

years old when she was taken away, and John had often heard tell of her.

She was not, however, stolen by the little people, but had come into

their power in this manner. One day in summer she and other children ran

out into the fields. In their rambles they went to the Nine-hills, where

little Elizabeth fell asleep, and was forgotten by the rest. At night

when she awoke, she found herself under the ground among the little

people. It was not merely because she was from his own village that John

was so fond of Elizabeth, but she was very beautiful, with clear blue

eyes and ringlets of fair hair, and a most angelic smile. Time flew away

unperceived. John was now eighteen, and Elizabeth sixteen. Their

childish fondness was now become love, and the little people were

pleased to see it, thinking that by means of her they might get John to

renounce his power, and become their servant, for they were fond of him,

and would willingly have had him to wait upon them, for the love of

dominion is their vice. They were, however, mistaken. John had learned

too much from his servant to be caught in that way.



John's chief delight was walking about with Elizabeth, for he now knew

every place so well that he could dispense with the attendance of his

servant. In these rambles he was always gay and lively, but his

companion was frequently sad and melancholy, thinking on the land above,

where men live, and where the sun, moon, and stars shine. Now it

happened in one of their walks, as they talked of their love, and it was

after midnight, they passed under the place where the tops of the glass

hills used to open and let the underground people in and out. As they

went along, they heard of a sudden the crowing of several cocks above.

At this sound, which she had not heard for several years, Elizabeth felt

her heart so affected that she could contain herself no longer, but

throwing her arms about John's neck, she bathed his cheek with her

tears. At length she said--



"Dearest John, everything down here is very beautiful, and the little

people are kind and do nothing to injure me, but still I have been

always uneasy, nor ever felt any pleasure till I began to love you; and

yet that is not pure pleasure, for this is not a right way of living,

such as is fit for human beings. Every night I dream of my father and

mother, and of our churchyard where the people stand so pious at the

church door waiting for my father, and I could weep tears of blood that

I cannot go into the church with them and worship God as a human being

should, for this is no Christian life we lead down here, but a delusive

half-heathen one. And only think, dear John, that we can never marry, as

there is no priest to join us. Do, then, plan some way for us to leave

this place, for I cannot tell you how I long to get once more to my

father, and among pious Christians."



John, too, had not been unaffected by the crowing of the cocks, and he

felt what he had never felt there before, a longing after the land where

the sun shines.



"Dear Elizabeth," said he, "all you say is true, and I now feel it is a

sin for Christians to stay here, and it seems to me as if our Lord said

to us in that cry of the cocks, 'Come up, ye Christian children, out of

those abodes of illusion and magic. Come to the light of the stars, and

act as children of the light.' I now feel that it was a great sin for me

to come down here, but I trust I shall be forgiven on account of my

youth, for I was only a boy, and knew not what I did. But now I will not

stay a day longer. They cannot keep me here."



At these last words Elizabeth turned pale, for she recollected that she

was a servant, and must serve her fifty years.



"And what will it avail me," cried she, "that I shall continue young,

and be but as of twenty years when I go out, for my father and mother

will be dead, and all my companions old and grey; and you, dearest John,

will be old and grey also," cried she, throwing herself on his bosom.



John was thunderstruck at this, for it had never before occurred to him.

He, however, comforted her as well as he could, and declared he would

never leave the place without her. He spent the whole night in forming

various plans. At last he fixed on one, and in the morning he despatched

his servant to summon to his apartment six of the principal of the

little people. When they came, John thus mildly addressed them--



"My friends, you know how I came here, not as a prisoner or servant, but

as a lord and master over one of you, and of consequence over all. You

have now for the ten years I have been with you treated me with respect

and attention, and for that I am your debtor. But you are still more my

debtors, for I might have given you every sort of vexation and

annoyance, and you must have submitted to it. I have, however, not done

so, but have behaved as your equal, and have sported and played with you

rather than ruled over you. I have now one request to make. There is a

girl among your servants whom I love, Elizabeth Krabbe, of Rambin, where

I was born. Give her to me and let us depart, for I will return to where

the sun shines and the plough goes through the land. I ask to take

nothing with me but her and the ornaments and furniture of my chamber."



He spoke in a determined tone, and they hesitated and cast their eyes

upon the ground. At last the oldest of them replied--



"Sir, you ask what we cannot grant. It is a fixed law that no servant

can leave this place before the appointed time. Were we to break through

this law our whole subterranean empire would fall. Anything else you

desire, for we love and respect you, but we cannot give up Elizabeth."



"You can, and you shall, give her up!" cried John in a rage. "Go, think

of it till to-morrow. Return then at this hour. I will show you whether

or not I can triumph over your hypocritical and cunning stratagems."



The six retired. Next morning, on their return, John addressed them in

the kindest manner, but to no purpose. They persisted in their refusal.

He gave them till the next day, threatening them severely in case they

still proved refractory.



Next day, when the six little people appeared before him, John looked at

them sternly, and made no return to their salutations, but said to them

shortly--



"Yes, or No?"



They answered, with one voice, "No." He then ordered his servant to

summon twenty-four more of the principal persons, with their wives and

children. When they came they were in all five hundred men, women, and

children. John ordered them forthwith to go and fetch pick-axes, spades,

and bars, which they did in a second.



He now led them out to a rock in one of the fields, and ordered them to

fall to work at blasting, hewing, and dragging stones. They toiled

patiently, and made as if it were only sport to them.



From morning till night their task-master made them labour without

ceasing, standing over them constantly to prevent them resting. Still

their obstinacy was inflexible, and at the end of some weeks his pity

for them was so great that he was obliged to give over.



He now thought of a new species of punishment for them. He ordered them

to appear before him next morning, each provided with a new whip. They

obeyed, and John commanded them to lash one another, and he stood

looking on while they did it, as grim and cruel as an Eastern tyrant.

Still the little people cut and slashed themselves and mocked at John,

and refused to comply with his wishes. This he did for three or four

days.



Several other courses did he try, but all in vain. His temper was too

gentle to struggle with their obstinacy, and he commenced to despair of

ever accomplishing his dearest wish. He began now to hate the little

people of whom he had before been so fond. He kept away from their

banquets and dances, and associated with none but Elizabeth, and ate and

drank quite solitary in his chamber. In short, he became almost a

hermit, and sank into moodiness and melancholy.



While in this temper, as he was taking a solitary walk in the evening,

and, to divert his melancholy, was flinging the stones that lay in his

path against each other, he happened to break a tolerably large one, and

out of it jumped a toad. The moment John saw the ugly animal he caught

him up in ecstasy, and put him in his pocket and ran home, crying--



"Now I have her! I have my Elizabeth! Now you shall get it, you little

mischievous rascals!"



On getting home he put the toad into a costly silver casket, as if it

was the greatest treasure.



To account for John's joy, you must know that Klas Starkwolt had often

told him that the underground people could not endure any ill smell, and

that the sight, or even the smell, of a toad made them faint, and suffer

the most dreadful tortures, and that by means of one of those odious

animals one could compel them to do anything. Hence there are no bad

smells to be found in the whole glass empire, and a toad is a thing

unheard of there. This toad must certainly have been enclosed in the

stone from the creation, as it were, for the sake of John and Elizabeth.



Resolved to try the effect of his toad, John took the casket under his

arm and went out, and on the way he met two of the little people in a

lonesome place. The moment he approached they fell to the ground, and

whimpered and howled most lamentably as long as he was near them.



Satisfied now of his power, he, the next morning, summoned the fifty

principal persons, with their wives and children, to his apartment. When

they came he addressed them, reminding them once again of his kindness

and gentleness towards them, and of the good terms on which they had

hitherto lived. He reproached them with their ingratitude in refusing

him the only favour he had ever asked of them, but firmly declared that

he would not give way to their obstinacy.



"Therefore," said he, "for the last time, think for a minute, and if you

then say 'No,' you shall feel that pain which is to you and your

children the most terrible of all pains."



They did not take long to deliberate, but unanimously replied "No"; and

they thought to themselves, "What new scheme has the youth hit on with

which he thinks to frighten wise ones like us?" and they smiled as they

said "No." Their smiling enraged John above all, and he ran back a few

hundred paces to where he had laid the casket with the toad under a

bush.



He was hardly come within a few hundred paces of them when they all fell

to the ground as if struck with a thunderbolt, and began to howl and

whimper, and to writhe, as if suffering the most excruciating pain. They

stretched out their hands, and cried--



"Have mercy, have mercy! We feel you have a toad, and there is no escape

for us. Take the odious beast away, and we will do all you require."



He let them kick a few seconds longer, and then took the toad away. They

then stood up and felt no more pain. John let all depart but the six

chief persons, to whom he said--



"This night, between twelve and one, Elizabeth and I will depart. Load

then for me three waggons with gold and silver and precious stones. I

might, you know, take all that is in the hill, and you deserve it; but I

will be merciful. Further, you must put all the furniture of my chamber

in two waggons, and get ready for me the handsomest travelling carriage

that is in the hill, with six black horses. Moreover, you must set at

liberty all the servants who have been so long here that on earth they

would be twenty years old and upwards; and you must give them as much

silver and gold as will make them rich for life, and make a law that no

one shall be detained here longer than his twentieth year."



The six took the oath, and went away quite melancholy; and John buried

his toad deep in the ground. The little people laboured hard, and

prepared everything. At midnight everything was out of the hill; and

John and Elizabeth got into the silver tun, and were drawn up.



It was then one o'clock, and it was midsummer, the very time that,

twelve years before, John had gone down into the hill. Music sounded

around them, and they saw the glass hill open, and the rays of the light

of heaven shine on them after so many years. And when they got out, they

saw the first streaks of dawn already in the east. Crowds of the

underground people were around them, busied about the waggons. John bid

them a last farewell, waved his brown cap three times in the air, and

then flung it among them. At the same moment he ceased to see them. He

beheld nothing but a green hill, and the well-known bushes and fields,

and heard the town-clock of Rambin strike two. When all was still, save

a few larks, who were tuning their morning songs, they all fell on their

knees and worshipped God, resolving henceforth to live a pious and a

Christian life.



When the sun rose, John arranged the procession, and they set out for

Rambin. Every well-known object that they saw awoke pleasing

recollections in the bosom of John and his bride; and as they passed by

Rodenkirchen, John recognised, among the people that gazed at and

followed them, his old friend Klas Starkwolt, the cowherd, and his dog

Speed. It was about four in the morning when they entered Rambin, and

they halted in the middle of the village, about twenty paces from the

house where John was born. The whole village poured out to gaze on these

Asiatic princes, for such the old sexton, who had in his youth been at

Constantinople and at Moscow, said they were. There John saw his father

and mother, and his brother Andrew, and his sister Trine. The old

minister Krabbe stood there too, in his black slippers and white

nightcap, gaping and staring with the rest.



John discovered himself to his parents, and Elizabeth to hers; and the

wedding-day was soon fixed. And such a wedding was never seen before or

since in the island of Ruegen, for John sent to Stralsund and Greifswald

for whole boat-loads of wine and sugar and coffee; and whole herds of

oxen, sheep, and pigs were driven to the feast. The quantity of harts

and roes and hares that were shot upon the occasion it were vain to

attempt to tell, or to count the fish that was caught. There was not a

musician in Ruegen or in Pomerania that was not engaged, for John was

immensely rich, and he wished to display his wealth.



John did not neglect his old friend Klas Starkwolt, the cowherd. He gave

him enough to make him comfortable for the rest of his days, and

insisted on his coming and staying with him as often and as long as he

wished.



After his marriage John made a progress through the country with his

wife; and he purchased towns and villages and lands until he became

master of nearly half Ruegen and a very considerable Count in the

country. His father, old James Dietrich, was made a nobleman, and his

brothers and sisters gentlemen and ladies--for what cannot money do?

John and his wife spent their days in doing acts of piety and charity.

They built several churches, and had the blessing of every one that knew

them, and died universally lamented. It was Count John Dietrich that

built and richly endowed the present church of Rambin. He built it on

the site of his father's house, and presented to it several of the cups

and plates made by the underground people, and his own and Elizabeth's

glass-shoes, in memory of what had befallen them in their youth. But

they were taken away in the time of the great Charles the Twelfth of

Sweden, when the Russians came on the island and the Cossacks plundered

even the churches, and took away everything.





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