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Hong, Edna Hatlestad, 1913- / Muskego boy
(1943)

Chapter 4: Two months on a sailboat,   pp. [23]-30


Page 30

grabbed his hands and whirled him around so fast his pointed red cap flew
over the railing into the ocean. 
"Per! Per!" screamed Mikkel. "Look! A fish is going after
your cap!" 
Sure enough, a great fish shot straight for Per's red cap, but when it saw
it wasn't meat scraps from the cook's kitchen, it turned up its nose and
swam 
lazily away. 
June went, and July came-and still Bestemor would not get up. 
"Do come on deck today," Far said time and time again. "The
sea is like 
glass, and you need fresh air. Come for an hour, at least, and get away from
the smell of rotting cheese down here." 
But Bestemor would not come. Even when Mikkel rushed down to tell 
her they were in sight of Newfoundland she would not come. It wasn't 
until the day before they landed, exactly two months after they set sail
from 
Drammen, that Mikkel heard something which he thought would really 
make Bestemor happy. He heard two men talking about it on deck, and it 
was such good news he was sure Bestemor would get right up and come see 
this beautiful America. 
"Bestemor ! Bestemor !" he cried, crawling into the bunk and shaking
her 
thin shoulder. "Bestemor, we won't be heathen after all! Herr Clausen,
the 
schoolmaster from Denmark, maybe will come along and teach the Norwe- 
gian boys and girls in America the catechism. Did you hear, Bestenror? 
Aren't you glad, Bestemor? Won't you get up now?" 
Bestemor reached out a weak, trembling hand and stroked Mikkel's 
rosy cheek. 
"Mikkel! Mikkel !" she whispered, "you are a good boy. I know
there are 
many who will forget God in America, but not you, Mikkel. Not you !"


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