Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
there, like a flower, like music, like a dagger, like sleet, an abyss, healing light. But whatever life is, extraordinary or commonplace, it was urgent that Andersen’s ship, the St. Louise, be undocked. Saint Louise. We don’t know why she was made a saint, this Louise whom the ship is named after, why she deserved it, what torments she had to suffer, does a person have to suffer torments to deserve the name of saint; can’t she be happy, isn’t it difficult enough in this world, beautiful enough, noble enough? But it was urgent that Saint Louise be moved from the pier, another ship was waiting on the Lagoon, heavy with salt, salt is needed to cure the fish, and Louise needed to be unloaded in haste, yes, now the men had an opportunity to show what they were made of, work like devils and never quit; if their hands dropped off them with fatigue, they should just screw them back on. The foreman, Kjartan, was in his element, he’s a great shouter, great at goading men, sometimes they work at night, even until morning, and if someone grumbles, wants to go home, it’s very well, do as you please, but you won’t be needing to return anytime soon. Skúli has written pointed articles in opposition to this labour-fervency, an energetic man, that Skúli, not quite an adept in style, his sentences aren’t daggers, but rather, hefty cudgels. It’s amusing that Skúli should stand up to these devils, but it’s not a whit amusing to lose one’s job, to fall out of favour; then it’s a struggle to survive— are you supposed to watch your children starve in the summer, drop dead from cold in the winter; no?, then, unfortunately, it’s better to swallow it all and work, labour on as you’re ordered. And the St.
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