Full text: The little review (8 (1922), 2)

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23 
KAREN 
A NOVEL 
T HIS woman Karen was a norwegian. She was 
dressed in heavy men’s clothes, the trousers put down 
into boottops. She was not old, she was not ugly, she 
was workworn. 
She stood looking through a crack in the barn 
door up at the farmhouse on the hill. Dorothea was dead... 
Dorothea. The daughters would be coming up to the funeral 
tomorrow. Dorothea had slipped and fallen on the icy ground. 
Karen had heard the doctor telling the neighbours at church; 
but no daughters had come to take care of her. All the week 
before Dorothea died Karen was tortured with a longing to 
do something for her. She wished she had the courage to go 
to her, to offer to serve her, to die for her. But they were fine 
people, they had not come from her part of the country, there 
was something about her that made people shun her. 
Early in the morning she had begun watching the house up 
the road. Hours and hours passed and she did not move. A 
harsh low day outside. Inside the sound of cattle chewing, 
blowing, sleeping, the smell of hay, wet bran and strong manure. 
Throughts scratched across Karen’s brain like long thorns or 
spread out thin and were nothing when she tried to hold them. 
Only pictures and feelings turned and turned in her mind 
today. She pictured Dorothea in church...the pastor saying 
her name twice when he spoke to her., .calling her Fru. A 
little flat white lacepiece on black black hair, thin slant eyes, dark 
skin, cheekbones, lappblood...reindeer lapp. Jewelry: a 
carved silver scentbottle, heartshaped with a crown on the top, 
chain and rings. Long hands folded on the black dress.. .not 
listening to the pastor.. .Dorothea brooding for the old coun 
try, filling the church with quiet brooding. She sat beside 
arrogant redhaired Andreas. Karen did not listen to the pas 
tor either. It was not like church since he .had taken off his 
collar.. .everything in this new country was the same. She 
watched Dorothea, she could not take her eyes away. Doro 
thea always nodded goodday to her. Karen knew that it was
	        

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