Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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70

enjoyed a good reputation in his years as a shoemaker, but

as a carpenter he was not worth much. As a result,

Martimann got out of bed; progress was made with every

board he nailed fast. He saved the widest boards for the

area around the door; they were up to eleven inches in

length. The floor had been sawed from a piece of driftwood

his father had given him, and on a nice day last summer

they had dragged the tree stem to Tórshavn and got it up

into the boathouse’s loft to dry.

It was the short trip down to the boathouse to retrieve the

boards that proved too much. Martimann became damp

and cold, and when he lay back down on his bunk he fell

victim to all the complications Old Tóvó had constantly

warned him against, and which strong Martimann simply

could not have imagined.

His intestines felt like they had come to life and were

writhing like worms in his gut. Sometimes they squirmed

up into his throat and made him vomit, or retreated down

into his rectum, spraying filth onto the blanket Old Tóvó

had placed beneath him.

Old Tóvó tried to coax him to eat; boiled milk was

somewhat satisfying and was also good at providing

blockage. However, the mites that lived on

skerpikjøt

4

were

4

A well-aged, wind-dried mutton that is a specialty of the Faroe Islands.