A Railway Station.
I never think of Trondhjem without recalling, also, an experience in a Norwegian barber-shop. I knew that it was tempting Providence to enter it, for shaving in Norway is still a kind of surgical operation. But for some time a coldness had existed between my razors and myself. The edge of our friendship had become dulled. Accordingly, I made the venture. Before me, as I entered, stood a man with a head of hair like Rubenstein's, and a mouth like a miniature fjord.
A Norwegian Harbor.
Touring On Foot.
"Do you speak English?" I began.
"Sprechen sie Deutsch?"
"Well, one thing is sure, then," I said; "you will not talk me to death, anyway!"
Having made the most graceful gestures of which I was capable to indicate what I wanted, I settled myself in a hard chair and laid my head against a rest resembling the vise furnished by a photographer when he asks you "to look pleasant." The preliminaries being over, the Norwegian Figaro took his razor and made one awful never - to - be - forgotten swoop at my cheek as if he were mowing grain with a scythe! I gave a roar like a Norwegian waterfall and bounded from the chair in agony! When I had fully wiped away my blood and tears, I asked him faintly:
"Have you any ether?"
"Well, then," I exclaimed, "will you please go over there and 'nay' by yourself while I finish this operation with my own hands?"
A Village Maiden.
He seemed to understand me, and retreated to a corner. When all was over, he pointed to a bowl at which I saw my friend gazing with that peculiarly sad expression which he invariably assumed when thinking of his family. I soon discovered the cause, for from the centre of this wash-bowl rose a little fountain about a foot in height, which seemed to him a facsimile of the one on Boston Common. I comprehended that I was to wash in this fountain; but how to do it was a mystery. At last I cautiously thrust one side of my face into it, and instantly the water shot up over my ear and fell upon the other side. I turned my face, and the ascending current carromed on my nose, ran down my neck, and made a change of toilet absolutely necessary. When, therefore, my friend had called a cab to take me home, I asked the barber what I should pay him. By gestures he expressed to me the sum equivalent to three cents.
Entrance To A Fjord.
"What," I exclaimed, "nothing extra for the court-plaster?"
"And nothing for the privilege of shaving myself?"
"And you don't charge for the fountain, either?"
"Well," I exclaimed as I rode away, "I can truly say that never before have I received so much for my money".
This city of the north has one extremely interesting building - its cathedral. As a rule, Scandinavian churches are not worth a visit; but this is a notable exception. More than three hundred years before Columbus landed on San Salvador this building held a proud position. Its finest carving dates from the eleventh century. At one time pilgrims came here from all northern Europe, and laid their gold and jewels on its shrines. But at the period of the Reformation all this was changed. Iconoclasts defaced its carving, cast down its statues, sacked the church, and packed its treasures in a ship, which, as if cursed by an offended Deity, foundered at sea.
On entering the ancient edifice, we were delighted with its delicate stone-tracing. The material is a bluish slate, which gives to the whole church a softness and a beauty difficult to equal, and blends most admirably with its columns of white marble. A part of the cathedral was, however, closed to us, for all the ruin once wrought here is being carefully effaced by systematic restoration. The government contributes for this purpose a certain sum every year, and private individuals help on the work from genuine love of art, as well as from patriotic motives. The old designs are being followed, and hence, in time, this old cathedral will in every feature come to be a reproduction of the original structure.