Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

who should be writing him a letter, his mother sent him eleven letters, he has all of them, the twelfth never came. It might be from Reverend Kjartan, he said nonchalantly, and absurdly, of course; why should Reverend Kjartan send him a letter, why should such an educated, intelligent man, the owner of large numbers of books, show such an interest in his existence? Might be from Reverend Kjartan, he said, having just come into the café after an English lesson with Hulda, two English lessons behind him, singular, plural, the definite and indefinite articles, a table, tables, an apple, apples. Have you tasted an apple?, asked the boy as he wrote down the word for this spherical, exotic fruit, as far from our everyday existence as Jupiter. No, said Hulda curtly, telling a lie. Teitur sometimes gets apples from foreign sailors who’ve come here often and might be called acquaintances of his, but it’s easier to say no; it’s safer, no is a fort protecting her. No, she says, and you can’t get any closer. No, said Hulda, glancing at the boy through the battlements, and he said, unable to refrain from doing so, is there a plural form of love in every language? A love, she said, loves. With a “v”? Yes, “v,” but you shouldn’t write it down, it’s not in the curriculum. Love isn’t in the curriculum? No, just apples, she replied, glancing down to hide her smile. Reverend Kjartan?, asked Andrea. He’s in Vík, remember, Jens and I stayed there our second night, his wife’s name is Anna, and she’s nearly blind. Yes, no, the letter’s hardly from him, it’s from a woman, or at least a woman has


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