A hundred years ago today, Oscar Mathisen and his teammates were on their way home through Germany. Compared to the excitement of the weekend, they found little thrill in the low, industrial country they were passing through. They passed the time with small-talk and stories, and when they ran out of topics, they turned to the cards. Still the hours went slowly. But boredom aside, the atmosphere in their compartment had changed completely since they were on their way down. This may be related, as Oscar surmises, to the manner in which they had solved their task and fulfilled the hopes that had been invested in them. Hunger and sleeplessness seemed to have lost their sting altogether.
Well, perhaps not altogether, because as the day wore on and these three energetic young men hadn’t had a thing to eat since they left Davos the day before, it became increasingly clear that some form of sustainment had to be had. Thus, when the train arrived at Berlin in the evening, they turned their pockets inside-out and took account of what they had to spend. As it turned out, Martin and Sigurd together could provide the equivalent of exactly one NOK. Oscar, however, thanks to his exemplary prudence on the way down, could provide nearly 20 NOK.
So they left their suitcases at the station and went out to buy two loaves of white bread, a “mark” of butter (about ¼ of a kilogram), and a huge “sveitserpølse” (literally “Swiss sausage”—not sure what to make of that). With all these delights in their pockets they found their way into the restaurant at Stettiner Bahnhof, located the darkest and remotest corner they could find and ordered drei kleine Bier. The walls of the restaurant were pasted over at highly regular intervals with vivid blackletter signs saying that it was strictly verboten to eat food acquired elsewhere than in the restaurant, but the skaters were far too hungry to worry about such formalities. They went ahead, cutting and spreading under the table and keeping a keen eye on the waiter lest he were to discover their crimes. Whenever he happened to look in their direction they stopped chewing simultaneously like a well-drilled troop and just sat there gazing at nothing with innocent looks on their faces and mouths full of bread and Schweizerwurst until he turned away again.
Well-glutted and happy they located their next train and sat down to ride on the rails into the moonlit night for home.
Distance statistics before and after Davos 1908:
500 m: 1.Rudolf Gundersen 44,8 06 1.Johan Vikander 44,4 08 1.Mauritz Öholm 44,8 07 1.Sigurd Mathisen 44,4 08 3.Peder Østlund 45,2 00 3.Rudolf Gundersen 44,8 06 4.Sigurd Mathisen 46,0 08 3.Mauritz Öholm 44,8 07 5.Julius Seyler 46,2 98 5.Peder Østlund 45,2 00 5.Franz F Wathén 46,2 03 6.Oscar Mathisen 45,8 08 5.Peter Sinnerud 46,2 04 7.Julius Seyler 46,2 98 5.Martin Sæterhaug 46,2 08 7.Franz F Wathén 46,2 03 9.Johan Schwartz 46,6 02 7.Peter Sinnerud 46,2 04 10.Wilhelm Mauseth 46,8 95 7.Martin Sæterhaug 46,2 08 10.Alfred Næss 46,8 96 7.Thomas Bohrer 46,2 08 10.Asbjørn Bye 46,8 02 12.Arne Schrey 46,4 08 10.Gunnar Strömstén 46,8 06 13.Johan Schwartz 46,6 02 14.Einar Halvorsen 47,0 94 14.Wilhelm Mauseth 46,8 95 14.Oluf Steen 47,0 07 14.Alfred Næss 46,8 96 16.Martinus Lørdahl 47,2 96 14.Asbjørn Bye 46,8 02 16.Johan Vikander 47,2 07 14.Gunnar Strömstén 46,8 06 16.Oscar Mathisen 47,2 08 18.Einar Halvorsen 47,0 94 16.Thomas Bohrer 47,2 08 18.Oluf Steen 47,0 07 20.Gösta Spennert 47,3 06 20.Martinus Lørdahl 47,2 96 21.Oscar Fredriksen 47,4 98 21.Gösta Spennert 47,3 06 21.Edvard Engelsaas 47,4 00 22.Oscar Fredriksen 47,4 98 21.Rudolf Røhne 47,4 02 22.Edvard Engelsaas 47,4 00 21.Harald Bredstue 47,4 04 22.Rudolf Røhne 47,4 02 21.Herman Söderbäck 47,4 07 22.Harald Bredstue 47,4 04 26.Gustaf Estlander 47,6 98 22.Herman Söderbäck 47,4 07 26.Toivo Tillander 47,6 03 22.Antti Wiklund 47,4 08 26.David Jahrl 47,6 03 28.Gustaf Estlander 47,6 98 26.Miltiadesz Manno 47,6 08 28.Toivo Tillander 47,6 03 30.Carsten Carlsen 47,7 08 28.David Jahrl 47,6 03 28.Miltiadesz Manno 47,6 08