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It was the gravestone of Askild Cato Rud. Also known as Askild Øregod. From time immemorial the rule had been that the lease of graves expired after a generation, unless an extension was paid for a privilege reserved for the rich. But for reasons unknown the grave of the poverty-stricken Askild Cato Rud had been preserved. And once it was really old, it had been protected. Perhaps there had been an optimistic hope that it could become a site of special interest: a gravestone from Oslo Easts poorest district where the unfortunates relatives were able to afford only a small stone and since the stonemason was paid per letter only the initials before the surname and the dates, no text beneath. One authority had even insisted the correct surname was Ruud, and they had saved themselves a mite there as well. So there was this myth that Askild Øregod still walked abroad. But it had never had much wind in its sails. Askild Øregod had been forgotten and left quite literally to rest in peace.

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