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She starts crying, and it is a while before Maria realises that

it is not the storm but her own words that have upset

Ingrid, there is no real substance to them, they are only

sound and fury. But she can’t bring herself to say it, that of

course they are never going to leave Barrøy, it is an

impossible idea, especially now that the First Winter Storm

is in its death throes beyond the creaking walls, at these

times people become unbalanced and cannot see that once

you settle on an island you never leave, an island retains

what it has with all its might and main.

Lars didn’t become ill. After the weather had settled he

went out and found that he couldn’t budge the snowed-up

færing. He fetched Barbro. They managed to turn it over

and manoeuvre it onto two trestles so that he could

examine the hole in the hull from both sides. It was bigger

than he had imagined, one of the ribs was broken. Barbro

shook her head. Lars asked whether Felix was going to die.

Barbro said no, so now he’ll wish he’d paid more attention

to Hans when he was repairing boats.

‘How do you know?’ Lars said.

‘It takes two,’ Barbro said pointedly, and walked back

towards the house, but turned and shouted to them that

she could help him to hammer in the rivets, the rest he

would have to do himself.