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194

(1921) Author: Sigrid Undset
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“Which way are you going? Where do you live?”

“In Voldgata.”

“Did you come on an errand all the way here, such a little
boy? — it was very brave of you.”

“We deal with Aases in this street because father knows
him,” was the boy’s answer. “This basket is so heavy.”

Jenny looked about her; the street was nearly empty:

“Give it to me. I will carry it for you a bit of the way.”

The boy gave her the basket reluctantly.

“Take my hand till we have got past those dogs. How cold
your hands are! Have you no gloves?”

The boy shook his head.

“Put your other hand in my muff. You won’t? You think
it a silly thing for a boy to carry a muff — is that it?”

She remembered Nils when he was small; she had often
longed for him. He was big now and had many friends; he
was at an age when it was no fun to walk about with an elder
sister. He came seldom to her studio now. The year she had
been abroad and the months she had spent with Helge had
changed their relations; perhaps when he got older they would
be friends again as before. They probably would, for they
were fond of each other, but just now he was happy without
her. She wished he were a small boy now, so that she could
take him on her lap and tell him stories full of adventures while
she washed and undressed him and kissed him — or a little
bigger, as in the time when they went out together for excursions
in Nordmarken, and the road to the butcher’s was long and
full of remarkable happenings.

“What is your name, little boy?”

“Ausjen Torstein Mo.”

“How old are you?”

“Six.”

“I suppose you don’t go to school yet?”

“No, but I shall in April.”

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