Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

The sight of Father was the worst. If Ingrid hadn’t known better she would have thought he was afraid, and he never is. Islanders are never afraid, if so they wouldn’t be able to live here, they would have to pack their goods and chattels and move and be like everyone else on the mainland, it would be a catastrophe, islanders are broody, beset not with fear but solemnity. The solemnity doesn’t disperse until the head of the family has been outside once more and returns with blood on his face, remarking with a grin: It takes a while for them to see that this is meant as a joke, and after they have wiped the blood off him and see that he has only a small cut on his chin, and after he asks for a cup of coffee and says that ‘The old rowan has started to lean eastwards,’ they realise that the wind, this time too, has turned from the terrible south-west to the west, which is the first sign that another hurricane is about to subside into an ordinary storm, and then becomes a northerly and drops to a strong breeze before finally abating enough for them to be able to carry water to the cowshed without arriving with their buckets empty. Barbro and Maria manage to get them to the animals almost half-full. ‘Lovely weather out there now.’

Hans remains in the kitchen contemplating while fiddling with the wound on his chin when he is struck by a sudden


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