“Sure thing,” Nils answered.
There were not many days that the corporal and the priest
did not cross paths, and one day hr. Hans asked why Nils
was so infatuated with the Muslim faith.
Nils responded that faith in general did not really interest
him. Neither the Muslim nor the Christian faith, nor
Judaism for that matter. But last year a man had died whom
he had greatly respected, the editor Henrik Wergeland. Nils
said that he had not read his poetry, but the things he had
written about religious freedom – those were manly words
indeed. It was Wergeland who had opened his eyes to
Muhammed, or the great Desert Captain, as Nils tended to
call him. Since then he had tried as much as possible to
follow the Muslim way of life. He knew that the Muslim
people lived next to the high mountain where Noah’s ark
was stranded, and that their cities spread all the way down
to the Persian Gulf. There were also Muslims along the
entire North African coast. They were not so close-fisted as
to refuse charity to the poor, but they were also fearless
It was the general state of emergency that prompted hr.
Hans to make an unusual decision. Since the church only
had room for the dead, he decided to bring hymns and
prayers out to his fellow townsfolk.