|impossible, he thought. And, yet. Indeed, just as before, he heard the
rustling in the bush. The window was being opened. It was Manor again. The
sight took Har's breath away. Manor's body displayed a gaping square wound
that pierced his entire body. He lay beside Har, embraced him and began
to suck. He sucked thirstily and with a greater ardor.
However, on this night Lara awakened. She listened in fear for her life. Early that morning she entered Har's room and approached his bed.
"My poor child. It was he again," she said, "wasn't it?"
"Yes, mother," he replied, "it was."
The bed was smeared with the dead man's blood that had drained from his deep wound.
Some hours later Lara, the old wise woman and the elders of Stroemoe rowed across the strait, but without Har. They returned to the dune and reopened the grave. The square stake was still driven into the ground, but it was no longer in Manor's chest. However, he was lying beside the stake, and his knees were touching his chin. The stake prevented him from stretching out.
"He freed himself," the wise woman said, "for, the stake's the same width from top to bottom."
One of the people from Wagoe said, "He shimmied up the stake to get free."
"But that must have required inhuman strength to do," another said.
Upon the advice of the wise woman they made a sturdier stake, doubly thick at the top. Like a nail with a head. Pulling the old stake free, they pierced Manor with the new one.
"There, now he's nailed down good," the axe-man said, giving the stake one final blow on the head.
Another man from Wagoe said, "No matter what, he'll never leave his grave again."
Lara returned to Har to tell him what had happened. "It"s all over now," he thought to himself, going to his tiny bed. He lay awake as midnight approached. Everything so still. Nothing stirred the branches of the lilac bush outside his window. The fisherman, no longer frightened by a blind swimmer crossing the strait, continued to fish.
Lara said, "Now he'll leave you in peace. He used to torment you so."
"Mother, dear mother, he didn't torment me," he pined, yearning in vain. "Mother," he said, "I've nothing to live for."
"It's that you're so tired and weak, my son," she said.
He had become so emaciated that he could no longer leave his bed.
"I can hear him calling me," he whispered.
A month had passed since the shipwreck. Early one morning