The landlord began to look uneasy, but Hans, not noticing, continued: "I
heard a voice saying, `The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' Then I
"Sir, those solemn words were spoken so plainly, I have not since
been able to forget them. I feel I ought to tell you. Perhaps it is a
The landlord's face turned pale, but he tried to hide the fears that
rushed in upon him. "Nonsense!" he cried. "You may believe in
dreams, but I do not. Good-by."
He galloped away in great haste. Old Hans, looking after him, prayed,
"O Lord, have mercy on his soul, if he is to die so soon."
A couple of hours later the farmer arrived home. Hurrying into the
parlor, lie threw himself down on the sofa, feeling quite exhausted.
"What a fool I am for letting the silly talk of an ignorant old man
disturb me! The richest man in the valley! Of course that is myself. But the
idea of my dying tonight! I never have been so well in my life. At least,
this morning I felt fine; but right now I do have a peculiar headache, and
my heart does not seem to beat normally. Perhaps I should send for the