Falcon part 6

He lay thus, while the herald read aloud the law, “twelve sols in silver—six ounces of flesh from near the heart—thus Sir Enguerrand protects the pleasures of the nobles.” He did not look up, when his skin was cut open, so that the smell of blood should attract the falcon, and when it plunged its beak in his breast, he did not utter a cry, merely quivered, so that the bird’s eyes flashed angrily, and it stretched out its wings as if about to flap them.

The seneschal’s daughters leaned their heads forward with a gleam of interest in their strangely dreamy eyes, but they did not raise their hands from their laps, and their robes lay as before in unruffled folds. The horses snorted at the smell of blood and stamped on the frosty ground, so that the red cloths fluttered in the blue pallor of the morning air; but Renaud lay silent, and the huntsmen stood in vain with distended cheeks and their horns at their lips, ready to drown his cry of pain.

Renaud dr

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Falcon part 5

They formed a semi-circle, plume by plume, shoulder by shoulder, round a bush where the prisoner was tied. As the horse-cloths fluttered in the wind, red penetrated deep into the shadow, gloomy like hopeless longing, and red burned in the sunshine, light as victorious jubilation. The noble ladies’ supple necks leaned forward out of the carriage, and their conical hoods formed one line with the sloping contours of their shoulders.

They were like herons, Renaud thought, and he almost expected them to utter shrill cries when the notes of the horns fell far away like projected stones, and all grew silent. But when he saw them more clearly, with their thin, straight lips and strangely dreamy eyes, which were always directed in cold ecstasy toward something infinitely distant, and the indolent white hands in their laps and the long folds of their robes, then they seemed to him wondrously beautiful like the richest images of saints with dimly burning candle flames at their fee

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Falcon part 4

Wandering boys soon caught sight of Sir Enguerrand’s bird in Rengud’s hand; the knight’s menials seized him and led him to the castle, and he shivered when the falcon was taken from him, motionless and proud as always, without turning his bent neck, without a glance from his cold, calm eyes. The bird was taken to his master, but he had not even a caress for the favorite he had missed, for he had allowed himself to be touched by ignoble hands. Sir Enguerrand gazed down in silence at Renaud, and in his mind there settled more and more distinctly the memory of an old game-law of the days when the noble’s foot lay steel-shod on the neck of the people, and pleasures fluttered inviolable about his shoulders—and his eyebrows closed about the certainty that the old law had never been repealed. The law provided that he who stole a falcon with the mark of a knight on its foot should pay twelve sols of silver or six ounces of flesh from his ribs under the beak of a famished bird of p

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Falcon part 3

Afterwards he did not fly again that day; when Renaud threw him aloft and ran with an enticing call, he beat his wings a few times and settled on his shoulder again in proud coldness against the laughing face of the boy. He seemed to despise all trifling, and Renaud soon ceased, while his look acquired the far-gazing seriousness of the falcon’s. He became more devoted to him than to anything he had possessed. It seemed to him that the falcon was his own soul, his longing with broad wings and victorious glance.

But there was pain in his love, gloomy foreboding of misfortune, and at times he feared lest the bird should fly from him in indifference, disappear with a mocking sound of bells, and it would be like death, so void. Or it seemed to him that the falcon was honor, resplendent with sunshine in the azure air, which now rested on his shoulder for fresh journeys. In the midst of his joy he was oppressed by his insignificance; he scarcely dared to look at the bird, and

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Falcon part 2

And the falcon became his. He bent his head forward to listen, his eyes calm and watchful, when the frosty twigs cracked under Renaud’s step in the silence of the morning. He sprang lightly down from his cage and stretched himself toward his hand and flapped his wings as if to fly—this was merely a reminder—and so they hastened out to the expanses of the moors, which were gradually becoming light.

Their eyes gazed sharply at the dark red sky. Black lay the hills and the sparse thickets, and the trees slept on, their boughs heavy with silent birds. But the sky became brighter, flaming with gold and red, and the lines of the fields became blue, and the owl flew low over the ground seeking her hiding-place, and the day-birds stretched their wings and chirped gently on account of the cold, and their flight stood black against the glimmering air. But Reriaud and his falcon hastened past, for these were sparrows and thrushes—no prey for them.

Grew smaller aga

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Falcon part 1

Per Hallstrom (1866—1960)

Per Hallstrom travelled widely. He was for some time an ana-lytical chemist in Chicago, and his work shows traces of foreign influence. He brought the art of writing stories to a high point of perfection and is one of the few Scandinavian masters of that form.

The Falcon is translated by Herbert G. Wright. It first appeared in the American-Scandinavian Review, October, 1920, and is reprinted by permission of the editor.

The Falcon

Sir Enguerrand rode out hunting every day, and generally with his red, gold-embroidered glove on, for only the( flight of the Iceland falcon with his tinkling bells could awaken music within him and make him breathe the keen, light morning air with joy, as he were drinking an animating wine. One day the falcon had driven a heron bleeding into a marsh behind a copse, where the huntsman found it and broke its neck, but the falcon himself was gone.

Whether he had been attracted

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