The Rune Stone
" Let Us Return To The Site ! "
Professor Terje Lie was examining the Stenkvista rune stone with a scowl upon his face. As he stood just outside the stonewall, that separated the church at Stenkvista from the stone, he tried to ignore the never ending series of questions and observations coming from the chatty student he had been saddled with on this expedition by the Royal Frederick University. Every year the professor had to take at least one student into the field with him, and this year Terje was happy that only one student was assigned to him !
Bente Hassel was irritating to the ears, but Terje had to admit that she was more than pleasing to the eyes. Being a student she was of course young enough to be his daughter, but it was not her age that attracted the professor. It was her rare beauty that struck his senses. Bente had beautiful blonde, almost golden, hair that flowed off of her head like water flowing over a waterfalls. Her face was heart shaped, her eyes as blue as the sky, and her lips were red, full and voluptuous !
" And the rest of her isn't bad either ! " Terje often whispered to himself.
Despite Bente obviously being a very bright student, to the dismay of Terje, she veered away from scientific principles more often than he cared for, and spoke of the old Viking Gods as if they were more than myths from the distant past. As an atheist himself, he found it almost offensive the way she intermixed the reality of scientific fact with the fantasy of mythology. And the way that she was now carrying on about the Thor's Hammer that was engraved upon the Stenkvista rune stone was most annoying.
" Yes ! Yes !! And many of the rune stones have the cross of Christ carved onto them ! What difference does it make? ! We will learn more about those who carved these memorial stones by correctly deciphering the runes than admiring the religious symbols ! " he said admonishing his talkative student.
She replied cheerfully to his statement with a smile that melted his heart.
" But how can we judge what they have written if we do not know what faith is in their hearts ? " she asked.
It was just then that a messenger rode up on a bicycle.
" Are you,....", the messenger paused to read the name on the telegram once again, ..." Terje Lie ? " he asked.
The professor nodded.
" Yes, I am Terje Lie." he responded.
" Then, if you will please sign here sir, I have a telegram for you. " he explained pointing to the spot on the paper where he needed to sign.
After scribbling his name down, and before opening the telegram, he tipped the boy 25 öre coin. As Terje read the letter he became aware that a shadow had fallen on the letter, and it made him rather annoyed.
" Do you mind ?! I believe the messenger said that this telegram was for Terje Lie, and not for Bente Hassel ! " he told her angrily.
Bente gave her professor a strange grin before replying :
" I just thought it might have something to do with our studies. " she told him.
After finishing the letter Terje folded it back up and placed it into the envelope.
" It so happens that it does concern our field studies. We, or I should say " I ", have been asked to travel back to Bergen to study the Eggja stone that is housed in the Bergen Museum. " he informed his student.
Bente smiled from ear to ear, which made Terje exhale with disgust.
" Yes, I suppose that means you will have to come with me as part of your field work studies. " he told her with a hint of disappointment.
When Terje and Bente arrived at the Bergen Museum there were a number of archaeologists, linguists, and runologists already there studying the Eggja rune stone. Terje, unlike Bente, did not like crowds, and when the newspaper reporters began to arrive as well he regretted coming.
Bente could see in her professor's eyes the discomfort he was feeling over all the fuss that was being made, and decided to make a suggestion.
" Maybe,.... we should go out to the site where the stone was discovered. Possibly there is more to be found there ! " she told her professor.
Terje, who never liked anything that Bente said, had to admit that under the present circumstances it might be a very good idea to go out to the Eggum Farm and poke around.
" Yes ! I agree ! Let us return to the site and do a little research there ! " he told his student.
- End Chapter 5
- Next : Chapter 6 : A Second Stone !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.