Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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18

A snipe whinnied close by, a plover replied with a poignant

cry. Are you so unhappy?, he asked softly, he asked

tenderly. You need to experience happiness to understand

unhappiness, and don’t look at me like that, no one needs

to comfort me, there’s nothing to comfort, life is either

victory or defeat, not happiness or unhappiness, and I’m

going to be victorious in my own way. How can you be

victorious without happiness?, asked her captain, John

Andersen, lifting his thick hands and stroking Geirþrúður’s

eyes, stroking tenderly, stroking as a man strokes

something that matters a great deal to him, and she took

his hand, bit it lightly with her predator’s teeth, I’ll tell you

tomorrow, or whisper it to you, but now it’s getting colder.

And they both looked up at the sky, the blueness had

darkened, the storm pounding Friðrik’s house was

approaching. But if you want, she added, and if you can

manage again, I’m ready. Only if I may love you, he said.

You may; but then leave your love behind when you sail

away, leave it here between the mountains.

Love is not a thing that one lays aside.

Yes, this love is, she said, unbuttoning her blouse. She

unbuttoned her blouse and he beheld her gleaming white

breasts, those breasts that he could gaze at endlessly, that

pursued him far out to sea, all the way to England, those

breasts, that skin, that scent, those long legs that locked

around him, and the pitch-black hair that flowed like