Twenty-third Evening

“I looked down on Tyrol,” said the Moon, “and my rays caused the dark pine trees to cast heavy shadows across the rocks. I looked at the figures of St. Christopher, with the infant Jesus on his shoulder, that are painted on the walls of the houses, enormous figures that extend from the ground to the gables, pictures of St. Florian pouring water on the burning house, and of Christ on the great roadside crosses. To the present generation they are very old pictures, whereas I saw them being put up, one after the other.

“High up, on the slope of the mountain, is a lonely nunnery, wedged in between the rocks like a swallow’s nest. Two of the sisters were in the tower above, tolling the bell; they were both young, and therefore they looked out over the mountains into the wide world beyond. A traveling coach rolled by on the highway below, and the postilion’s horn sounded. As the poor nuns looked their glances, and a tear gleamed in the eye of the younger one. The horn sounded more and more faintly, until at last the convent bell silenced its dying sound.”



Original Danish title: “Tre og tyvende Aften” translated by Jean Hersholt.