decide the nation's fate, the earnest thinkers indoors, or the ox-like
sleeper without? Which seemed more vital to Israel, the bearded council
in King Saul's tent, or the light-hearted shepherd-boy hurling stones
across the brook at Bethlehem? At Laersdalsoren it was as before:
deluded by Borgrevinck's eloquent plausibility, all put their heads in
the noose, their lives and country in his hands, seeing in this
treacherous monster a very angel of self-sacrificing patriotism. All?
No, not all. Old Sveggum was there. He could neither read nor write.
That was his excuse for not signing. He could not read a letter in a
book, but he could read something of the hearts of men. As the meeting
broke up he whispered to Axel Tanberg: "Is his own name on that paper?"
And Axel, starting at the thought, said: "No." Then said Sveggum: "I
don't trust that man. They ought to know of this at Nystuen." For there
was to be the really impor