|Newspaper Title||Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||Thor's Journey to Jotunhem|
THOR'S JOURNEY TO JOTUNHEN.
By James Baldwin.
[From Uarpei's Yvung People.]
tor a wnoie day llior and bis two young companions wandered in the forest, and yet they met not a single person, nor saw, indeed,
a single living creature. At night, foot-sore and hungry, they sought some place where they might lie down and rest, for the dinner bag which Thialfe carried was empty, and they must needs go supperless to bed. Just as they were about to give up all hopes of finding shelter, they spied what seemed to be a large brown house without a single window, and with but one great door as wide as the building itself. As they proceeded it seemed to be entirely empty, and when they entered they found no chairs nor beds, nor, indeed, any furniture at all. On their left was a great round empty room, upon the floor of which they lay down ; and as they were very tired, they soon fell asleep.
flow long they slept they did not know,
but they were awakened by an earthquake . which shook the forest, and threatened to tumble the honse down upon their heads. When the earthquake was over, a large and harsh rumbling and roaring continued to be
heard, and this was kept up until the dawn
As soon as it was light enough to see, Thor went ont and looked around. Under a great oak-tree he saw a giant lying asleep; and he knew then that the noise that they had heard in the night was hut -the snoring of thiB hnge monster. While Xhor stood gazing at him in wonderment the giant awoke, ana rubbed his eyes, and lazily arose. Then Thor was mightily amazed, for of all the giants he had ever seen this one surpassed them alL Far up to the tree tops, whose branches were among the clouds, the giant towered, and puny Thor could scarcely reach as high as his ankle. Yet the Thunderer was, not afraid. He looked up at the great giant, whose face was hidden in the mists of the morning, and called out,
" Good giant, tell me thy name, I pray.
The giant answered in hoarsest thunder
" My name is Skrymer; but I know who thou iart without asking thee. Thou art Thor: for nobody else would dare to come unbidden into the giant's country. Bv-the wav, I see before you one of my mittens which I lost last evening." ,,
And he reached down with his great hand and took up the house in which Thor and his comrades had passed the night; for it was indeed nothing but the giant's mitten, and the chamber where they had slept was hut the thumb'of the mitten.
" Where is little Asa-Thov going with his two little servants?" asked Skrymer, in tones of mock gentlenesB.
" I afh going to the castle of Utgard-Loke, the King of Jotunbem," answered Thor.
"How would you like for me to go with yon and show you the way?" asked the
Thor readily accepted the giant's offer, fcr he bad not the remotest idea where the great castle of Utgard-Loke was, nor in what direc tion he shoiud go to find it. . , ,
Skrymer kindly shared his food with the three travellers, and after they had eaten a hearty breakfast they set out on their journey. All day long they jogged onward through the forcBt, the giaut striding before, and never making the slightest pause. At sunset they halted tinder a wide-spreading oak, and Skrymer at once lay down to sleep,
saving to-Thor, •
"Take the bag that,holds my food, and when you have opened it, help yourselves to what you find in it. I want no supper for
Thor took the bag, and they went to, a neighbouring grove, where they tried with all their patience and skill to open it. But the more they pulled at the strings the tighter they became, nor could they unloose a single knot. For a whole hour Thor worked with the stubborn bag. At last his good nature as well as his patience entirely gave out. He dropped the bag upon the ground, and seized his hammer in both hands, and in a very angry mood walked over to the place where the giant Skrymer was sleeping 'J hor raised his hammer high in air, and then struck him upon the head with all his
'flie giant yawned and opened his eyes, and when he saw Thor standing near him he said,
"Mv dear little Asa-Thor, are you still up? Why don't you find a soft quiet place and lie down to sleep ? I have been having a very pleasant nan; but just now something fell upon my head and waked me. I think it must havebeen a leaf from the branches of this old tree." I am just making ready to
go to sleep, answered Thor, and he tried to
hide his hammer under his cloak.
Thor went back to the grove where he had left Thialfe and Roska, and as they could not get at the food in the bag, they made up their minds that they must go to bed supper less again. But Skrymer snored so loudly that not one of tlicm could sleep, At about midnight Thor's wrath waxed so great that he could hear it no longer. He seized bis hammer again, and running quickly to the giant, struck him a most fearful blow upon the top of the head, so that the hammer sauk into his skull clear up to the handle.
Skrymer jumped up quickly and scratched
his head, and cried out,
" What is the matter now ? it is very strange that I cannot be allowed to sleep. The acorns keep falling from this tree, and just now one struck me square upon the head. How goes it with you, Asa-Thor? Have you been asleep?"
"I have been sleeping as soundly as X could," answered Thor; " but hearing you complain and fearing that something might ail you, I came over to ask how you were resting. Now I will go back. Good-night!
" Good-night!" said the giant.
Thor went back to his place, but he still felt very angry with Skrymer, and he thought that if'he could but strike the giaut again he would put an eud to him. but Skrymer seemed to bo wakeful; aud it was not until the red streaks of dawn were seen in the east that lie settled himself and recommenced snoring.. Then Thor crept slyly up to him, and swung his hammer with all his might, and struck him full upon the temples, and the heavy steel sank out of sight in the giant's
Skrymer sat up and stroked his long beard, and said, ,
" How short the lueht nas been! , Here it is already daylight, and it seems as if I had hardly slept at all. There must be birds flying through the tree-tops., for I was wakened by a piece of bark tailing upon my head. How did you rest last night, good Asa-Thor?" . ,, . , .
"Not so well as one might wish, kind giant," answered Thor; "yet as soon as I awoke I hurried over to ask about yourself: for I heard you groaning in the mglit, and feared that you were sick." .
"I am not so well as I might be, said Skrymer." But I am still able to travel. I think it is about time that you were making ready to start, for the road to U tgard s castle is long and rough. I shall be obliged to leave you here, for the castle is east of us, and I must eo on toward the north. But before we part let me tell you something. When you come before Utgard-Loke dont boast about what you can do, for there are many biff men there. Y011 think that I om tail# but I air. a mere child by the aide of some of .the Utgard folk. They will not tlunk much of such little fellows as you. So, above all, beware of bragging."
Having said these words, Skrymer slune his dinner hag over his shoulder and set put with long strides toward the north. Thor knew that this must be the palace of utara Loke, the Giant-King of Jotunbem. He no w pushed rapidly forward; hut although the castle seemed quite near, it was late in the afternoc- before the walls of the huge fortress were reached. The wide moat was full of water, and the single drawbridge was down. But when they had crossed the
I bridge and come to the great gate they found
it shut and locked.
For a long time Thor beat lustily upon the gate ; and they all cried out as loud as they coula for the porter to open and let them in. But no one seemed to hear or heed them. At last, when the sun was almost down, they became so impatient that they could wait no longer; and tncy climbed up to the key
bole and crept through it, and, one by one,, dropped quietly into the court-yard below.. The gatekeeper, who was a very large giant,
sat on hiB bench fast asleep, and they hurried? past him without being heard or seen.
(To be continued.,/