When they came back to Oakenham, there they met Gandolf, Baron of Brimside, now whole of his hurts, and the King greeted him kindly, and did well to him all his life; and found him ever a true man.
Good thenceforward was the life of Child Christopher and Goldilind: whiles indeed they happed on unpeace or other trouble; but never did fair love and good worship depart from them, either of each unto each, or of the whole folk unto them twain.
To no man did Christopher mete out worse than his deserts, nay, to most far better he meted: no man he feared, nor hated any save the tormentors of poor folk; and but a little while abided his hatred of those, for it cut short their lives, so that they were speedily done with and forgotten. And when he died a very old man but one year after Goldilind his dear, no king that ever lived was so bewailed by his folk as was Child Christopher.
On the 12th of August, 18-- (just three days after my tenth birthday, when I had been given such wonderful presents), I was awakened at seven o'clock in the morning by Karl Ivanitch slapping the wall close to my head with a fly-flap made of sugar paper and a stick. He did this so roughly that he hit the image of my patron saint suspended to the oaken back of my bed, and the dead fly fell down on my curls. I peeped out from under the coverlet, steadied the still shaking image with my hand, flicked the dead fly on to the floor, and gazed at Karl Ivanitch with sleepy, wrathful eyes. He, in a parti-coloured wadded dressing- gown fastened about the waist with a wide belt of the same material, a red knitted cap adorned with a tassel, and soft slippers of goat skin, went on walking round the walls and taking aim at, and slapping, flies.
"Suppose," I thought to myself," that I am only a small boy, yet why should he disturb me? Why does he not go killing flies around Woloda's bed? No; Woloda is older than I, and I am the youngest of the family, so he torments me. That is what he thinks of all day long--how to tease me. He knows very well that he has woken me up and frightened me, but he pretends not to notice it. Disgusting brute! And his dressing-gown and cap and tassel too-- they are all of them disgusting."
While I was thus inwardly venting my wrath upon Karl Ivanitch, he had passed to his own bedstead, looked at his watch (which hung suspended in a little shoe sewn with bugles), and deposited the fly-flap on a nail, then, evidently in the most cheerful mood possible, he turned round to us.
"Get up, children! It is quite time, and your mother is already in the drawing-room," he exclaimed in his strong German accent. Then he crossed over to me, sat down at my feet, and took his snuff-box out of his pocket. I pretended to be asleep. Karl Ivanitch sneezed, wiped his nose, flicked his fingers, and began amusing himself by teasing me and tickling my toes as he said with a smile, "Well, well, little lazy one!"
For all my dread of being tickled, I determined not to get out of bed or to answer him,. but hid my head deeper in the pillow, kicked out with all my strength, and strained every nerve to keep from laughing.