Sigismund, Wanda, Bergen
Some time ago, before quite so many people had died passing though this valley, a boy met a girl, and he - at least - fell in love. He lingered out of desire for her, staying at a small, nameless way house, hoping that she should turn her eye toward him. It was his tarrying that eventually doomed him, and his love that led to his death.
But this is before those events, and he yet breathes, drawing the unfavorable attention of the girl's father ...
The trapper's cottage is a rude affair of mud, straw, and felled trees, the inside filled with furs of the finest quality, some prepared for sale, others serving as rugs, as partitions, as wall-hangings to keep out the drafts. It smells of animal, like a great bear keeps its den there, warm and musky and not-altogether-unpleasant.
Here, one morning, as the early light begins to cut in through the chinks in the walls, Wanda squats before the fire, preparing a simple breakfast as her father checks on the skins outside, stretched for curing. The old man returns and sits, watching his daughter work, himself more than characteristically silent. He remembers his wife, noting how his daughter is - despite the rigors of her life - coming more and more to match her mother in beauty. It concerns him.
After a time, as they share their morning meal, he broaches the matter that has been weighing on his mind, clumsy in his words:
"That man who's been about, staying at the inn. It's not right that you let him follow you as he do, daughter. Men like that, they'll be good enough, but only until they've had what they want. Then he'll be off again, right enough, and that'll be that. Tell him off, and forget him ... it'd be for the best."