Skogsholmen to see whether he could find something to
make the new rib with. Felix nodded. It should really be
pine, Lars said, but juniper would do. Felix looked over to
the window where snow lay on the bars and asked what the
weather was like. Lars said it was good. Felix blinked. Lars
went down to the boathouse and rowed off in the old
færing. It was still leaking, so he had to take breaks and
bale out, but in an inlet he found the cleft in the rock and
moored the boat to the bolt Hans had fixed there, climbed
the rock armed with an axe and saw and began searching.
By then day was breaking.
He searched until it was light.
Then it turned dark again as a snow shower passed
overhead. It was soundless and heavy. The sea still looked
like tar. When it got light again he found an old, crooked
juniper tree, used the axe to expose the biggest roots in the
frozen slope, cursing as he blunted the blade, chopped the
roots off one by one and sawed off the trunk roughly a
metre above the roots, it was as thick as an arm, a young
He walked back to the boat, baled out and rowed home. As
he rounded the island of Moltholmen he saw Barbro
waiting. Lars asked what she was doing there. She asked if
he had been fishing. He said no and enquired after Felix.
‘Very well,’ Barbro said.