Part 2 out of 5
He was the old village pastor from Dorfli who had been a
neighbor of Uncle's when he lived down there, and had known him
well. He stepped inside the hut, and going up to the old man, who
was bending over his work, said, "Good-morning, neighbor."
The grandfather looked up in surprise, and then rising said,
"Good-morning" in return. He pushed his chair towards the
visitor as he continued, "If you do not mind a wooden seat there
is one for you."
The pastor sat down. "It is a long time since I have seen you,
neighbor," he said.
"Or I you," was the answer.
"I have come to-day to talk over something with you," continued
the pastor. "I think you know already what it is that has
brought me here," and as he spoke he looked towards the child who
was standing at the door, gazing with interest and surprise at
"Heidi, go off to the goats," said her grandfather. "You take
them a little salt and stay with them till I come."
Heidi vanished on the spot.
"The child ought to have been at school a year ago, and most
certainly this last winter," said the pastor. "The schoolmaster
sent you word about it, but you gave him no answer. What are you
thinking of doing with the child, neighbor?"
"I am thinking of not sending her to school," was the answer.
The visitor, surprised, looked across at the old man, who was
sitting on his bench with his arms crossed and a determined
expression about his whole person.
"How are you going to let her grow up then?" he asked.
"I am going to let her grow up and be happy among the goats and
birds; with them she is safe, and will learn nothing evil."
"But the child is not a goat or a bird, she is a human being. If
she learns no evil from these comrades of hers, she will at the
same time learn nothing; but she ought not to grow up in
ignorance, and it is time she began her lessons. I have come now
that you may have leisure to think over it, and to arrange about
it during the summer. This is the last winter that she must be
allowed to run wild; next winter she must come regularly to
school every day."
"She will do no such thing," said the old man with calm
"Do you mean that by no persuasion can you be brought to see
reason, and that you intend to stick obstinately to your
decision?" said the pastor, growing somewhat angry. "You have
been about the world, and must have seen and learnt much, and I
should have given you credit for more sense, neighbor."
"Indeed," replied the old man, and there was a tone in his voice
that betrayed a growing irritation on his part too, "and does
the worthy pastor really mean that he would wish me next winter
to send a young child like that some miles down the mountain on
ice-cold mornings through storm and snow, and let her return at
night when the wind is raging, when even one like ourselves
would run a risk of being blown down by it and buried in the
snow? And perhaps he may not have forgotten the child's mother,
Adelaide? She was a sleep-walker, and had fits. Might not the
child be attacked in the same way if obliged to over-exert
herself? And some one thinks they can come and force me to send
her? I will go before all the courts of justice in the country,
and then we shall see who will force me to do it!"
"You are quite right, neighbor," said the pastor in a friendly
tone of voice. "I see it would have been impossible to send the
child to school from here. But I perceive that the child is dear
to you; for her sake do what you ought to have done long ago:
come down into Dorfli and live again among your fellowmen. What
sort of a life is this you lead, alone, and with bitter thoughts
towards God and man! If anything were to happen to you up here
who would there be to help you? I cannot think but what you must
be half-frozen to death in this hut in the winter, and I do not
know how the child lives through it!"
"The child has young blood in her veins and a good roof over her
head, and let me further tell the pastor, that I know where wood
is to be found, and when is the proper time to fetch it; the
pastor can go and look inside my wood-shed; the fire is never
out in my hut the whole winter through. As to going to live below
that is far from my thoughts; the people despise me and I them;
it is therefore best for all of us that we live apart."
"No, no, it is not best for you; I know what it is you lack,"
said the pastor in an earnest voice. "As to the people down
there looking on you with dislike, it is not as bad as you think.
Believe me, neighbor; seek to make your peace with God, pray for
forgiveness where you need it, and then come and see how
differently people will look upon you, and how happy you may yet
The pastor had risen and stood holding out his hand to the old
man as he added with renewed earnestness, "I will wager,
neighbor, that next winter you will be down among us again, and
we shall be good neighbors as of old. I should be very grieved
if any pressure had to be put upon you; give me your hand and
promise me that you will come and live with us again and become
reconciled to God and man."
Alm-Uncle gave the pastor his hand and answered him calmly and
firmly, "You mean well by me I know, but as to that which you
wish me to do, I say now what I shall continue to say, that I
will not send the child to school nor come and live among you."
"Then God help you!" said the pastor, and he turned sadly away
and left the hut and went down the mountain.
Alm-Uncle was out of humor. When Heidi said as usual that
afternoon, "Can we go down to grandmother now?" he answered,
"Not to-day." He did not speak again the whole of that day, and
the following morning when Heidi again asked the same question,
he replied, "We will see." But before the dinner bowls had been
cleared away another visitor arrived, and this time it was
Cousin Dete. She had a fine feathered hat on her head, and a long
trailing skirt to her dress which swept the floor, and on the
floor of a goatherd's hut there are all sorts of things that do
not belong to a dress.
The grandfather looked her up and down without uttering a word.
But Dete was prepared with an exceedingly amiable speech and
began at once to praise the looks of the child. She was looking
so well she should hardly have known her again, and it was
evident that she had been happy and well-cared for with her
grandfather; but she had never lost sight of the idea of taking
the child back again, for she well understood that the little
one must be much in his way, but she had not been able to do it
at first. Day and night, however, she had thought over the means
of placing the child somewhere, and that was why she had come to-
day, for she had just heard of something that would be a lucky
chance for Heidi beyond her most ambitious hopes. Some immensely
wealthy relatives of the people she was serving, who had the
most splendid house almost in Frankfurt, had an only daughter,
young and an invalid, who was always obliged to go about in a
wheeled chair; she was therefore very much alone and had no one
to share her lessons, and so the little girl felt dull. Her
father had spoken to Dete's mistress about finding a companion
for her, and her mistress was anxious to help in the matter, as
she felt so sympathetic about it. The lady-housekeeper had
described the sort of child they wanted, simple-minded and
unspoilt, and not like most of the children that one saw now-a-
days. Dete had thought at once of Heidi and had gone off without
delay to see the lady-housekeeper, and after Dete had given her a
description of Heidi, she had immediately agreed to take her. And
no one could tell what good fortune there might not be in store
for Heidi, for if she was once with these people and they took a
fancy to her, and anything happened to their own daughter--one
could never tell, the child was so weakly--and they did not feel
they could live without a child, why then the most unheard of
"Have you nearly finished what you had to say?" broke in Alm-
Uncle, who had allowed her to talk on uninterruptedly so far.
"Ugh!" exclaimed Dete, throwing up her head in disgust, "one
would think I had been talking to you about the most ordinary
matter; why there is not one person in all Prattigau who would
not thank God if I were to bring them such a piece of news as I
am bringing you."
"You may take your news to anybody you like, I will have nothing
to do with it."
But now Dete leaped up from her seat like a rocket and cried,
"If that is all you have to say about it, why then I will give
you a bit of my mind. The child is now eight years old and knows
nothing, and you will not let her learn. You will not send her
to church or school, as I was told down in Dorfli, and she is my
own sister's child. I am responsible for what happens to her, and
when there is such a good opening for a child, as this which
offers for Heidi, only a person who cares for nobody and never
wishes good to any one would think of not jumping at it. But I
am not going to give in, and that I tell you; I have everybody in
Dorfli on my side; there is not one person there who will not
take my part against you; and I advise you to think well before
bringing it into court, if that is your intention; there are
certain things which might be brought up against you which you
would not care to hear, for when one has to do with law-courts
there is a great deal raked up that had been forgotten."
"Be silent!" thundered the Uncle, and his eyes flashed with
anger. "Go and be done with you! and never let me see you again
with your hat and feather, and such words on your tongue as you
come with today!" And with that he strode out of the hut.
"You have made grandfather angry," said Heidi, and her dark eyes
had anything but a friendly expression in them as she looked at
"He will soon be all right again; come now," said Dete
hurriedly, "and show me where your clothes are."
"I am not coming," said Heidi.
"Nonsense," continued Dete; then altering her tone to one half-
coaxing, half-cross, "Come, come, you do not understand any
better than your grandfather; you will have all sorts of good
things that you never dreamed of." Then she went to the cupboard
and taking out Heidi's things rolled them up in a bundle. "Come
along now, there's your hat; it is very shabby but will do for
the present; put it on and let us make haste off."
"I am not coming," repeated Heidi.
"Don't be so stupid and obstinate, like a goat; I suppose it's
from the goats you have learnt to be so. Listen to me: you saw
your grandfather was angry and heard what he said, that he did
not wish to see us ever again; he wants you now to go away with
me and you must not make him angrier still. You can't think how
nice it is at Frankfurt, and what a lot of things you will see,
and if you do not like it you can come back again; your
grandfather will be in a good temper again by that time."
"Can I return at once and be back home again here this evening?"
"What are you talking about, come along now! I tell you that you
can come back here when you like. To-day we shall go as far as
Mayenfeld, and early to-morrow we shall start in the train, and
that will bring you home again in no time when you wish it, for
it goes as fast as the wind."
Dete had now got the bundle under her arm and the child by the
hand, and so they went down the mountain together.
As it was still too early in the year to take his goats out,
Peter continued to go to school at Dorfli, but now and again he
stole a holiday, for he could see no use in learning to read,
while to wander about a bit and look for stout sticks which
might be wanted some day he thought a far better employment. As
Dete and Heidi neared the grandmother's hut they met Peter coming
round the corner; he had evidently been well rewarded that day
for his labors, for he was carrying an immense bundle of long
thick hazel sticks on his shoulders. He stood still and stared
at the two approaching figures; as they came up to him, he
exclaimed, "Where are you going, Heidi?"
"I am only just going over to Frankfurt for a little visit with
Dete," she replied; "but I must first run in to grandmother, she
will be expecting me."
"No, no, you must not stop to talk; it is already too late,"
said Dete, holding Heidi, who was struggling to get away, fast by
the hand. "You can go in when you come back, you must come along
now," and she pulled the child on with her, fearing that if she
let her go in Heidi might take it into her head again that she
did not wish to come, and that the grandmother might stand by
her. Peter ran into the hut and banged against the table with
his bundle of sticks with such violence that everything in the
room shook, and his grandmother leaped up with a cry of alarm
from her spinning-wheel. Peter had felt that he must give vent to
his feelings somehow.
"What is the matter? What is the matter?" cried the frightened
old woman, while his mother, who had also started up from her
seat at the shock, said in her usual patient manner, "What is
it, Peter? why do you behave so roughly?"
"Because she is taking Heidi away," explained Peter.
"Who? who? where to, Peter, where to?" asked the grandmother,
growing still more agitated; but even as she spoke she guessed
what had happened, for Brigitta had told her shortly before that
she had seen Dete going up to Alm-Uncle. The old woman rose
hastily and with trembling hands opened the window and called
out beseechingly, "Dete, Dete, do not take the child away from
us! do not take her away!"
The two who were hastening down the mountain heard her voice,
and Dete evidently caught the words, for she grasped Heidi's hand
more firmly. Heidi struggled to get free, crying, "Grandmother
is calling, I must go to her."
But Dete had no intention of letting the child go, and quieted
her as best she could; they must make haste now, she said, or
they would be too late and not able to go on the next day to
Frankfurt, and there the child would see how delightful it was,
and Dete was sure would not wish to go back when she was once
there. But if Heidi wanted to return home she could do so at
once, and then she could take something she liked back to
grandmother. This was a new idea to Heidi, and it pleased her so
much that Dete had no longer any difficulty in getting her
After a few minutes' silence, Heidi asked, "What could I take
back to her?"
"We must think of something nice," answered Dete; "a soft roll
of white bread; she would enjoy that, for now she is old she can
hardly eat the hard, black bread."
"No, she always gives it back to Peter, telling him it is too
hard, for I have seen her do it myself," affirmed Heidi. "Do let
us make haste, for then perhaps we can get back soon from
Frankfurt, and I shall be able to give her the white bread to-
day." And Heidi started off running so fast that Dete with the
bundle under her arm could scarcely keep up with her. But she
was glad, nevertheless, to get along so quickly, for they were
nearing Dorfli, where her friends would probably talk and
question in a way that might put other ideas into Heidi's head.
So she went on straight ahead through the village, holding Heidi
tightly by the hand, so that they might all see that it was on
the child's account she was hurrying along at such a rate. To
all their questions and remarks she made answer as she passed "I
can't stop now, as you see, I must make haste with the child as
we have yet some way to go."
"Are you taking her away?" "Is she running away from Alm-Uncle?"
"It's a wonder she is still alive!" "But what rosy cheeks she
has!" Such were the words which rang out on all sides, and Dete
was thankful that she had not to stop and give any distinct
answers to them, while Heidi hurried eagerly forward without
saying a word.
From that day forward Alm-Uncle looked fiercer and more
forbidding than ever when he came down and passed through
Dorfli. He spoke to no one, and looked such an ogre as he came
along with his pack of cheeses on his back, his immense stick in
his hand, and his thick, frowning eyebrows, that the women would
call to their little ones, "Take care! get out of Alm-Uncle's way
or he may hurt you!"
The old man took no notice of anybody as he strode through the
village on his way to the valley below, where he sold his
cheeses and bought what bread and meat he wanted for himself.
After he had passed the villagers all crowded together looking
after him, and each had something to say about him; how much
wilder he looked than usual, how now he would not even respond to
anybody's greeting, while they all agreed that it was a great
mercy the child had got away from him, and had they not all
noticed how the child had hurried along as if afraid that her
grandfather might be following to take her back? Only the blind
grandmother would have nothing to say against him, and told those
who came to her to bring her work, or take away what she had
spun, how kind and thoughtful he had been with the child, how
good to her and her daughter, and how many afternoons he had
spent mending the house which, but for his help, would certainly
by this time have fallen down over their heads. And all this was
repeated down in Dorfli; but most of the people who heard it said
that grandmother was too old to understand, and very likely had
not heard rightly what was said; as she was blind she was
probably also deaf.
Alm-Uncle went no more now to the grandmother's house, and it
was well that he had made it so safe, for it was not touched
again for a long time. The days were sad again now for the old
blind woman, and not one passed but what she would murmur
complainingly, "Alas! all our happiness and pleasure have gone
with the child, and now the days are so long and dreary! Pray
God, I see Heidi again once more before I die!"
CHAPTER VI. A NEW CHAPTER ABOUT NEW THINGS
In her home at Frankfurt, Clara, the little daughter of Herr
Sesemann, was lying on the invalid couch on which she spent her
whole day, being wheeled in it from room to room. Just now she
was in what was known as the study, where, to judge by the
various things standing and lying about, which added to the cosy
appearance of the room, the family was fond of sitting. A
handsome bookcase with glass doors explained why it was called
the study, and here evidently the little girl was accustomed to
have her lessons.
Clara's little face was thin and pale, and at this moment her
two soft blue eyes were fixed on the clock, which seemed to her
to go very slowly this day, and with a slight accent of
impatience, which was very rare with her, she asked, "Isn't it
time yet, Fraulein Rottenmeier?"
This lady was sitting very upright at a small work-table, busy
with her embroidery. She had on a mysterious-looking loose
garment, a large collar or shoulder-cape that gave a certain
solemnity to her appearance, which was enhanced by a very lofty
dome-shaped head dress. For many years past, since the mistress
of the house had died, the housekeeping and the superintendence
of the servants had been entrusted by Herr Sesemann to Fraulein
Rottenmeier. He himself was often away from home, and he left
her in sole charge, with the condition only that his little
daughter should have a voice in all matters, and that nothing
should be done against her wish.
As Clara was putting her impatient question for the second time,
Dete and Heidi arrived at the front door, and the former
inquired of the coachman, who had just got down from his box, if
it was too late to see Fraulein Rottenmeier.
"That's not my business," grumbled the coachman; "ring the bell
in the hall for Sebastian."
Dete did so, and Sebastian came downstairs; he looked astonished
when he saw her, opening his eyes till they were nearly as big
as the large round buttons on his coat.
"Is it too late for me to see Fraulein Rottenmeier?" Dete asked
"That's not my business," answered the man; "ring that other
bell for the maid Tinette," and without troubling himself any
farther Sebastian disappeared.
Dete rang again. This time Tinette appeared with a spotless
white cap perched on the top of her head and a mocking expression
"What is it?" she called from the top of the stairs. Dete
repeated her question. Tinette disappeared, but soon came back
and called down again to Dete, "Come up, she is expecting you."
Dete and Heidi went upstairs and into the study, Tinette
following. Dete remained standing politely near the door, still
holding Heidi tightly by the hand, for she did not know what the
child might take it into her head to do amid these new
Fraulein Rottenmeier rose slowly and went up to the little new
companion for the daughter of the house, to see what she was
like. She did not seem very pleased with her appearance. Heidi
was dressed in her plain little woollen frock, and her hat was
an old straw one bent out of shape. The child looked innocently
out from beneath it, gazing with unconcealed astonishment at the
lady's towering head dress.
"What is your name?" asked Fraulein Rottenmeier, after
scrutinisingly examining the child for some minutes, while Heidi
in return kept her eyes steadily fixed upon the lady.
"Heidi," she answered in a clear, ringing voice.
"What? what? that's no Christian name for a child; you were not
christened that. What name did they give you when you were
baptized?" continued Fraulein Rottenmeier.
"I do not remember," replied Heidi.
"What a way to answer!" said the lady, shaking her head. "Dete,
is the child a simpleton or only saucy?"
"If the lady will allow me, I will speak for the child, for she
is very unaccustomed to strangers," said Dete, who had given
Heidi a silent poke for making such an unsuitable answer. "She
is certainly not stupid nor yet saucy, she does not know what it
means even; she speaks exactly as she thinks. To-day she is for
the first time in a gentleman's house and she does not know good
manners; but she is docile and very willing to learn, if the
lady will kindly make excuses for her. She was christened
Adelaide, after her mother, my sister, who is now dead."
"Well, that's a name that one can pronounce," remarked Fraulein
Rottenmeier. "But I must tell you, Dete, that I am astonished to
see so young a child. I told you that I wanted a companion of
the same age as the young lady of the house, one who could share
her lessons, and all her other occupations. Fraulein Clara is now
over twelve; what age is this child?"
"If the lady will allow me," began Dete again, in her usual
fluent manner, "I myself had lost count of her exact age; she is
certainly a little younger, but not much; I cannot say
precisely, but I think she is ten, or thereabouts."
"Grandfather told me I was eight," put in Heidi. Dete gave her
another poke, but as the child had not the least idea why she
did so she was not at all confused.
"What--only eight!" cried Fraulein Rottenmeier angrily. "Four
years too young! Of what use is such a child! And what have you
learnt? What books did you have to learn from?"
"None," said Heidi.
"How? what? How then did you learn to read?" continued the lady.
"I have never learnt to read, or Peter either," Heidi informed
"Mercy upon us! you do not know how to read! Is it really so?"
exclaimed Fraulein Rottenmeier, greatly horrified. "Is it
possible--not able to read? What have you learnt then?"
"Nothing," said Heidi with unflinching truthfulness.
"Young woman," said the lady to Dete, after having paused for a
minute or two to recover from her shock, "this is not at all the
sort of companion you led me to suppose; how could you think of
bringing me a child like this?"
But Dete was not to be put down so easily, and answered warmly,
"If the lady will allow me, the child is exactly what I thought
she required; the lady described what she wished for, a child
unlike all other children, and I could find no other to suit,
for the greater number I know are not peculiar, but one very much
the same as the other, and I thought this child seemed as if made
for the place. But I must go now, for my mistress will be waiting
for me; if the lady will permit I will come again soon and see
how she is getting on." And with a bow Dete quickly left the room
and ran downstairs. Fraulein Rottenmeier stood for a moment taken
aback and then ran after Dete. If the child was to stop she had
many things yet to say and ask about her, and there the child
was, and what was more, Dete, as she plainly saw, meant to leave
Heidi remained by the door where she had been standing since she
first came in. Clara had looked on during the interview without
speaking; now she beckoned to Heidi and said, "Come here!"
Heidi went up to her.
"Would you rather be called Heidi or Adelaide?" asked Clara.
"I am never called anything but Heidi," was the child's prompt
"Then I shall always call you by that name," said Clara, "it
suits you. I have never heard it before, but neither have I ever
seen a child like you before. Have you always had that short
"Yes, I think so," said Heidi.
"Are you pleased to come to Frankfurt?" went on Clara.
"No, but I shall go home to-morrow and take grandmother a white
loaf," explained Heidi.
"Well, you are a funny child!" exclaimed Clara. "You were
expressly sent for to come here and to remain with me and share
my lessons; there will be some fun about them now as you cannot
read, something new to do, for often they are dreadfully dull,
and I think the morning will never pass away. You know my tutor
comes every morning at about ten o'clock, and then we go on with
lessons till two, and it does seem such a long time. Sometimes
he takes up the book and holds it close up to his face, as if he
was very short-sighted, but I know it's only because he wants so
dreadfully to gape, and Fraulein Rottenmeier takes her large
handkerchief out also now and then and covers her face with it,
as if she was moved by what we had been reading, but that is
only because she is longing to gape too. And I myself often want
to gape, but I am obliged to stop myself, for if Fraulein
Rottenmeier sees me gaping she runs off at once and fetches the
cod-liver oil and says I must have a dose, as I am getting weak
again, and the cod-liver oil is horrible, so I do my best not to
gape. But now it will be much more amusing, for I shall be able
to lie and listen while you learn to read."
Heidi shook her head doubtfully when she heard of learning to
"Oh, nonsense, Heidi, of course you must learn to read,
everybody must, and my tutor is very kind, and never cross, and
he will explain everything to you. But mind, when he explains
anything to you, you won't be able to understand; but don't ask
any questions, or else he will go on explaining and you will
understand less than ever. Later when you have learnt more and
know about things yourself, then you will begin to understand
what he meant."
Fraulein Rottenmeier now came back into the room; she had not
been able to overtake Dete, and was evidently very much put out;
for she had wanted to go into more details concerning the child,
and to convince Dete how misleading she had been, and how unfit
Heidi was as a companion for Clara; she really did not know what
to be about, or how to undo the mischief, and it made her all
the more angry that she herself was responsible for it, having
consented to Heidi being fetched. She ran backwards and forwards
in a state of agitation between the study and the dining-room,
and then began scolding Sebastian, who was standing looking at
the table he had just finished laying to see that nothing was
"You can finish your thoughts to-morrow morning; make haste, or
we shall get no dinner to-day at all."
Then hurrying out she called Tinette, but in such an ill-
tempered voice that the maid came tripping forward with even more
mincing steps than usual, but she looked so pert that even
Fraulein Rottenmeier did not venture to scold her, which only
made her suppressed anger the greater.
"See that the room is prepared for the little girl who has just
arrived," said the lady, with a violent effort at self-control.
"Everything is ready; it only wants dusting."
"It's worth my troubling about," said Tinette mockingly as she
Meanwhile Sebastian had flung open the folding doors leading
into the dining-room with rather more noise than he need, for he
was feeling furious, although he did not dare answer back when
Fraulein Rottenmeier spoke to him; he then went up to Clara's
chair to wheel her into the next room. As he was arranging the
handle at the back preparatory to doing so, Heidi went near and
stood staring at him. Seeing her eyes fixed upon him, he
suddenly growled out, "Well, what is there in me to stare at like
that?" which he would certainly not have done if he had been
aware that Fraulein Rottenmeier was just then entering the room.
"You look so like Peter," answered Heidi. The lady-housekeeper
clasped her hands in horror. "Is it possible!" she stammered half-
aloud, "she is now addressing the servant as if he were a friend!
I never could have imagined such a child!"
Sebastian wheeled the couch into the dining-room and helped
Clara on to her chair. Fraulein Rottenmeier took the seat beside
her and made a sign to Heidi to take the one opposite. They were
the only three at table, and as they sat far apart there was
plenty of room for Sebastian to hand his dishes. Beside Heidi's
plate lay a nice white roll, and her eyes lighted up with
pleasure as she saw it. The resemblance which Heidi had noticed
had evidently awakened in her a feeling of confidence towards
Sebastian, for she sat as still as a mouse and without moving
until he came up to her side and handed her the dish of fish;
then she looked at the roll and asked, "Can I have it?" Sebastian
nodded, throwing a side glance at Fraulein Rottenmeier to see
what effect this request would have upon her. Heidi immediately
seized the roll and put it in her pocket. Sebastian's face became
convulsed, he was overcome with inward laughter but knew his
place too well to laugh aloud. Mute and motionless he still
remained standing beside Heidi; it was not his duty to speak, nor
to move away until she had helped herself. Heidi looked
wonderingly at him for a minute or two, and then said, "Am I to
eat some of that too?" Sebastian nodded again. "Give me some
then," she said, looking calmly at her plate. At this Sebastian's
command of his countenance became doubtful, and the dish began to
tremble suspiciously in his hands.
"You can put the dish on the table and come back presently,"
said Fraulein Rottenmeier with a severe expression of face.
Sebastian disappeared on the spot. "As for you, Adelaide, I see I
shall have to teach you the first rules of behavior," continued
the lady-housekeeper with a sigh. "I will begin by explaining to
you how you are to conduct yourself at table," and she went on to
give Heidi minute instructions as to all she was to do. "And
now," she continued, "I must make you particularly understand
that you are not to speak to Sebastian at table, or at any other
time, unless you have an order to give him, or a necessary
question to put to him; and then you are not to address him as
if he was some one belonging to you. Never let me hear you speak
to him in that way again! It is the same with Tinette, and for
myself you are to address me as you hear others doing. Clara
must herself decide what you are to call her."
"Why, Clara, of course," put the latter. Then followed a long
list of rules as to general behavior, getting up and going to
bed, going in and out of the room, shutting the doors, keeping
everything tidy, during the course of which Heidi's eyes
gradually closed, for she had been up before five o'clock that
morning and had had a long journey. She leant back in her chair
and fell fast asleep. Fraulein Rottenmeier having at last come
to the end of her sermonizing said, "Now remember what I have
said, Adelaide! Have you understood it all?"
"Heidi has been asleep for ever so long," said Clara, her face
rippling all over with amusement, for she had not had such an
entertaining dinner for a long time.
"It is really insupportable what one has to go through with this
child," exclaimed Fraulein Rottenmeier, in great indignation,
and she rang the bell so violently that Tinette and Sebastian
both came running in and nearly tumbling over one another; but no
noise was sufficient to wake Heidi, and it was with difficulty
they could rouse her sufficiently to get her along to her
bedroom, to reach which she had to pass first through the study,
then through Clara's bedroom, then through Fraulein Rottenmeier's
sitting-room, till she came to the corner room that had been set
apart for her.
CHAPTER VII. FRAULEIN ROTTENMEIER SPENDS AN UNCOMFORTABLE DAY
When Heidi opened her eyes on her first morning in Frankfurt she
could not think where she was. Then she rubbed them and looked
about her. She was sitting up in a high white bed, on one side
of a large, wide room, into which the light was falling through
very, very long white curtains; near the window stood two chairs
covered with large flowers, and then came a sofa with the same
flowers, in front of which was a round table; in the corner was
a washstand, with things upon it that Heidi had never seen in her
life before. But now all at once she remembered that she was in
Frankfurt; everything that had happened the day before came back
to her, and finally she recalled clearly the instructions that
had been given her by the lady-housekeeper, as far as she had
heard them. Heidi jumped out of bed and dressed herself; then
she ran first to one window and then another; she wanted to see
the sky and country outside; she felt like a bird in a cage
behind those great curtains. But they were too heavy for her to
put aside, so she crept underneath them to get to the window. But
these again were so high that she could only just get her head
above the sill to peer out. Even then she could not see what she
longed for. In vain she went first to one and then the other of
the windows--she could see nothing but walls and windows and
again walls and windows. Heidi felt quite frightened. It was
still early, for Heidi was accustomed to get up early and run
out at once to see how everything was looking, if the sky was
blue and if the sun was already above the mountains, or if the
fir trees were waving and the flowers had opened their eyes. As a
bird, when it first finds itself in its bright new cage, darts
hither and thither, trying the bars in turn to see if it cannot
get through them and fly again into the open, so Heidi continued
to run backwards and forwards, trying to open first one and then
the other of the windows, for she felt she could not bear to see
nothing but walls and windows, and somewhere outside there must
be the green grass, and the last unmelted snows on the mountain
slopes, which Heidi so longed to see. But the windows remained
immovable, try what Heidi would to open them, even endeavoring
to push her little fingers under them to lift them up; but it was
all no use. When after a while Heidi saw that her efforts were
fruitless, she gave up trying, and began to think whether she
would not go out and round the house till she came to the grass,
but then she remembered that the night before she had only seen
stones in front of the house. At that moment a knock came to the
door, and immediately after Tinette put her head inside and
said, "Breakfast is ready." Heidi had no idea what an invitation
so worded meant, and Tinette's face did not encourage any
questioning on Heidi's part, but rather the reverse. Heidi was
sharp enough to read its expression, and acted accordingly. So
she drew the little stool out from under the table, put it in
the corner and sat down upon it, and there silently awaited what
would happen next. Shortly after, with a good deal of rustling
and bustling Fraulein Rottenmeier appeared, who again seemed
very much put out and called to Heidi, "What is the matter with
you, Adelheid? Don't you understand what breakfast is? Come along
Heidi had no difficulty in understanding now and followed at
once. Clara had been some time at the breakfast table and she
gave Heidi a kindly greeting, her face looking considerably more
cheerful than usual, for she looked forward to all kinds of new
things happening again that day. Breakfast passed off quietly;
Heidi ate her bread and butter in a perfectly correct manner,
and when the meal was over and Clara wheeled back into the study,
Fraulein Rottenmeier told her to follow and remain with Clara
until the tutor should arrive and lessons begin.
As soon as the children were alone again, Heidi asked, "How can
one see out from here, and look right down on to the ground?"
"You must open the window and look out," replied Clara amused.
"But the windows won't open," responded Heidi sadly.
"Yes, they will," Clara assured her. "You cannot open them, nor
I either, but when you see Sebastian you can ask him to open
It was a great relief to Heidi to know that the windows could be
opened and that one could look out, for she still felt as if she
was shut up in prison. Clara now began to ask her questions
about her home, and Heidi was delighted to tell her all about the
mountain and the goats, and the flowery meadows which were so
dear to her.
Meanwhile her tutor had arrived; Fraulein Rottenmeier, however,
did not bring him straight into the study but drew him first
aside into the dining-room, where she poured forth her troubles
and explained to him the awkward position in which she was
placed, and how it had all come about. It appeared that she had
written some time back to Herr Sesemann to tell him that his
daughter very much wished to have a companion, and had added how
desirable she thought it herself, as it would be a spur to Clara
at her lessons and an amusement for her in her playtime.
Fraulein Rottenmeier had privately wished for this arrangement on
her own behalf, as it would relieve her from having always to
entertain the sick girl herself, which she felt at times was too
much for her. The father had answered that he was quite willing
to let his daughter have a companion, provided she was treated in
every way like his own child, as he would not have any child
tormented or put upon, "which was a very unnecessary remark," put
in Fraulein Rottenmeier, "for who wants to torment children!" But
now she went on to explain how dreadfully she had been taken in
about the child, and related all the unimaginable things of which
she had already been guilty, so that not only would he have to
begin with teaching her the A B C, but would have to start with
the most rudimentary instruction as regarded everything to do
with daily life. She could see only one way out of this
disastrous state of affairs, and that was for the tutor to
declare that it was impossible for the two to learn together
without detriment to Clara, who was so far ahead of the other;
that would be a valid excuse for getting rid of the child, and
Herr Sesemann would be sure to agree to the child being sent home
again, but she dared not do this without his order, since he was
aware that by this time the companion had arrived. But the tutor
was a cautious man and not inclined to take a partial view of
matters. He tried to calm Fraulein Rottenmeier, and gave it as
his opinion that if the little girl was backward in some things
she was probably advanced in others, and a little regular
teaching would soon set the balance right. When Fraulein
Rottenmeier saw that he was not ready to support her, and
evidently quite ready to undertake teaching the alphabet, she
opened the study door, which she quickly shut again as soon as he
had gone through, remaining on the other side herself, for she
had a perfect horror of the A B C. She walked up and down the
dining-room, thinking over in her own mind how the servants were
to be told to address Adelaide. The father had written that she
was to be treated exactly like his own daughter, and this would
especially refer, she imagined, to the servants. She was not
allowed, however, a very long interval of time for consideration,
for suddenly the sound of a frightful crash was heard in the
study, followed by frantic cries for Sebastian. She rushed into
the room. There on the floor lay in a confused heap, books,
exercise-books, inkstand, and other articles with the table-cloth
on the top, while from beneath them a dark stream of ink was
flowing all across the floor. Heidi had disappeared.
"Here's a state of things!" exclaimed Fraulein Rottenmeier,
wringing her hands. "Table-cloth, books, work-basket, everything
lying in the ink! It was that unfortunate child, I suppose!"
The tutor was standing looking down at the havoc in distress;
there was certainly only one view to be taken of such a matter
as this and that an unfavorable one. Clara meanwhile appeared to
find pleasure in such an unusual event and in watching the
results. "Yes, Heidi did it," she explained, "but quite by
accident; she must on no account be punished; she jumped up in
such violent haste to get away that she dragged the tablecloth
along with her, and so everything went over. There were a number
of vehicles passing, that is why she rushed off like that;
perhaps she has never seen a carriage."
"Is it not as I said? She has not the smallest notion about
anything! not the slightest idea that she ought to sit still and
listen while her lessons are going on. But where is the child
who has caused all this trouble? Surely she has not run away!
What would Herr Sesemann say to me?" She ran out of the room and
down the stairs. There, at the bottom, standing in the open door-
way, was Heidi, looking in amazement up and down the street.
"What are you doing? What are you thinking of to run away like
that?" called Fraulein Rottenmeier.
"I heard the sound of the fir trees, but I cannot see where they
are, and now I cannot hear them any more," answered Heidi,
looking disappointedly in the direction whence the noise of the
passing carriages had reached her, and which to Heidi had seemed
like the blowing of the south wind in the trees, so that in
great joy of heart she had rushed out to look at them.
"Fir trees! do you suppose we are in a wood? What ridiculous
ideas are these? Come upstairs and see the mischief you have
Heidi turned and followed Fraulein Rottenmeier upstairs; she was
quite astonished to see the disaster she had caused, for in her
joy and haste to get to the fir trees she had been unaware of
having dragged everything after her.
"I excuse you doing this as it is the first time, but do not let
me know you doing it a second time," said Fraulein Rottenmeier,
pointing to the floor. "During your lesson time you are to sit
still and attend. If you cannot do this I shall have to tie you
to your chair. Do you understand?"
"Yes," replied Heidi, "but I will certainly not move again," for
now she understood that it was a rule to sit still while she was
Sebastian and Tinette were now sent for to clear up the broken
articles and put things in order again; the tutor said good-
morning and left, as it was impossible to do any more lessons
that day; there had been certainly no time for gaping this
Clara had to rest for a certain time during the afternoon, and
during this interval, as Fraulein Rottenmeier informed Heidi,
the latter might amuse herself as she liked. When Clara had been
placed on her couch after dinner, and the lady-housekeeper had
retired to her room, Heidi knew that her time had come to choose
her own occupation. It was just what she was longing for, as
there was something she had made up her mind to do; but she
would require some help for its accomplishment, and in view of
this she took her stand in the hall in front of the dining-room
door in order to intercept the person she wanted. In a few
minutes up came Sebastian from the kitchen with a tray of silver
tea-things, which he had to put away in the dining-room cupboard.
As he reached the top stairs Heidi went up to him and addressed
him in the formal manner she had been ordered to use by Fraulein
Sebastian looked surprised and said somewhat curtly, "What is it
you want, miss?"
"I only wished to ask you something, but it is nothing bad like
this morning," said Heidi, anxious to conciliate him, for she
saw that Sebastian was rather in a cross temper, and quite
thought that it was on account of the ink she had spilt on the
"Indeed, and why, I should first like to know, do you address me
like that?" replied Sebastian, evidently still put out.
"Fraulein Rottenmeier told me always to speak to you like that,"
Then Sebastian laughed, which very much astonished Heidi, who
had seen nothing amusing in the conversation, but Sebastian, now
he understood that the child was only obeying orders, added in a
friendly voice, "What is it then that miss wants?"
It was now Heidi's turn to be a little put out, and she said,
"My name is not miss, it is Heidi."
"Quite so, but the same lady has ordered me to call you miss,"
"Has she? oh, then I must be called so," said Heidi
submissively, for she had already noticed that whatever Fraulein
Rottenmeier said was law. "Then now I have three names," she
added with a sigh.
"What was it little miss wished to ask?" said Sebastian as he
went on into the dining-room to put away his silver.
"How can a window be opened?"
"Why, like that!" and Sebastian flung up one of the large
Heidi ran to it, but she was not tall enough to see out, for her
head only reached the sill.
"There, now miss can look out and see what is going on below,"
said Sebastian as he brought her a high wooden stool to stand
Heidi climbed up, and at last, as she thought, was going to see
what she had been longing for. But she drew back her head with a
look of great disappointment on her face.
"Why, there is nothing outside but the stony streets," she said
mournfully; "but if I went right round to the other side of the
house what should I see there, Sebastian?"
"Nothing but what you see here," he told her.
"Then where can I go to see right away over the whole valley?"
"You would have to climb to the top of a high tower, a church
tower, like that one over there with the gold ball above it.
From there you can see right away ever so far."
Heidi climbed down quickly from her stool, ran to the door, down
the steps and out into the street. Things were not, however,
quite so easy as she thought. Looking from the window the tower
had appeared so close that she imagined she had only to run over
the road to reach it. But now, although she ran along the whole
length of the street, she still did not get any nearer to it,
and indeed soon lost sight of it altogether; she turned down
another street, and went on and on, but still no tower. She
passed a great many people, but they all seemed in such a hurry
that Heidi thought they had not time to tell her which way to go.
Then suddenly at one of the street corners she saw a boy
standing, carrying a hand-organ on his back and a funny-looking
animal on his arm. Heidi ran up to him and said, "Where is the
tower with the gold ball on the top?"
"I don't know," was the answer.
"Who can I ask to show me?" she asked again.
"I don't know."
"Do you know any other church with a high tower?"
"Yes, I know one."
"Come then and show it me."
"Show me first what you will give me for it," and the boy held
out his hand as he spoke. Heidi searched about in her pockets
and presently drew out a card on which was painted a garland of
beautiful red roses; she looked at it first for a moment or two,
for she felt rather sorry to part with it; Clara had only that
morning made her a present of it--but then, to look down into
the valley and see all the lovely green slopes! "There," said
Heidi, holding out the card, "would you like to have that?"
The boy drew back his hand and shook his head.
"What would you like then?" asked Heidi, not sorry to put the
card back in her pocket.
"I have none, but Clara has; I am sure she will give me some;
how much do you want?"
"Come along then."
They started off together along the street, and on the way Heidi
asked her companion what he was carrying on his back; it was a
hand-organ, he told her, which played beautiful music when he
turned the handle. All at once they found themselves in front of
an old church with a high tower; the boy stood still, and said,
"There it is."
"But how shall I get inside?" asked Heidi, looking at the fast
"I don't know," was the answer.
"Do you think that I can ring as they do for Sebastian?"
"I don't know."
Heidi had by this time caught sight of a bell in the wall which
she now pulled with all her might. "If I go up you must stay
down here, for I do not know the way back, and you will have to
"What will you give me then for that?"
"What do you want me to give you?"
They heard the key turning inside, and then some one pulled open
the heavy creaking door; an old man came out and at first looked
with surprise and then in anger at the children, as he began
scolding them: "What do you mean by ringing me down like this?
Can't you read what is written over the bell, 'For those who
wish to go up the tower'?"
The boy said nothing but pointed his finger at Heidi. The latter
answered, "But I do want to go up the tower."
"What do you want up there?" said the old man. "Has somebody
"No," replied Heidi, "I only wanted to go up that I might look
"Get along home with you and don't try this trick on me again,
or you may not come off so easily a second time," and with that
he turned and was about to shut the door. But Heidi took hold of
his coat and said beseechingly, "Let me go up, just once."
He looked around, and his mood changed as he saw her pleading
eyes; he took hold of her hand and said kindly, "Well, if you
really wish it so much, I will take you."
The boy sat down on the church steps to show that he was content
to wait where he was.
Hand in hand with the old man Heidi went up the many steps of
the tower; they became smaller and smaller as they neared the
top, and at last came one very narrow one, and there they were at
the end of their climb. The old man lifted Heidi up that she
might look out of the open window.
"There, now you can look down," he said.
Heidi saw beneath her a sea of roofs, towers, and chimney-pots;
she quickly drew back her head and said in a sad, disappointed
voice, "It is not at all what I thought."
"You see now, a child like you does not understand anything
about a view! Come along down and don't go ringing at my bell
He lifted her down and went on before her down the narrow
stairway. To the left of the turn where it grew wider stood the
door of the tower-keeper's room, and the landing ran out beside
it to the edge of the steep slanting roof. At the far end of
this was a large basket, in front of which sat a big grey cat,
that snarled as it saw them, for she wished to warn the passers-
by that they were not to meddle with her family. Heidi stood
still and looked at her in astonishment, for she had never seen
such a monster cat before; there were whole armies of mice,
however, in the old tower, so the cat had no difficulty in
catching half a dozen for her dinner every day. The old man
seeing Heidi so struck with admiration said, "She will not hurt
you while I am near; come, you can have a peep at the kittens."
Heidi went up to the basket and broke out into expressions of
"Oh, the sweet little things! the darling kittens," she kept on
saying, as she jumped from side to side of the basket so as, not
to lose any of the droll gambols of the seven or eight little
kittens that were scrambling and rolling and falling over one
"Would you like to have one?" said the old man, who enjoyed
watching the child's pleasure.
"For myself to keep?" said Heidi excitedly, who could hardly
believe such happiness was to be hers.
"Yes, of course, more than one if you like--in short, you can
take away the whole lot if you have room for them," for the old
man was only too glad to think he could get rid of his kittens
without more trouble.
Heidi could hardly contain herself for joy. There would be
plenty of room for them in the large house, and then how
astonished and delighted Clara would be when she saw the sweet
"But how can I take them with me?" asked Heidi, and was going
quickly to see how many she could carry away in her hands, when
the old cat sprang at her so fiercely that she shrank back in
"I will take them for you if you will tell me where," said the
old man, stroking the cat to quiet her, for she was an old
friend of his that had lived with him in the tower for many
"To Herr Sesemann's, the big house where there is a gold dog's
head on the door, with a ring in its mouth," explained Heidi.
Such full directions as these were not really needed by the old
man, who had had charge of the tower for many a long year and
knew every house far and near, and moreover Sebastian was an
acquaintance of his.
"I know the house," he said, "but when shall I bring them, and
who shall I ask for?--you are not one of the family, I am sure."
"No, but Clara will be so delighted when I take her the
The old man wished now to go downstairs, but Heidi did not know
how to tear herself away from the amusing spectacle.
"If I could just take one or two away with me! one for myself
and one for Clara, may I?"
"Well, wait a moment," said the man, and he drew the cat
cautiously away into his room, and leaving her by a bowl of food
came out again and shut the door. "Now take two of them."
Heidi's eyes shone with delight. She picked up a white kitten
and another striped white and yellow, and put one in the right,
the other in the left pocket. Then she went downstairs. The boy
was still sitting outside on the steps, and as the old man shut
the door of the church behind them, she said, "Which is our way
to Herr Sesemann's house?"
"I don't know," was the answer.
Heidi began a description of the front door and the steps and
the windows, but the boy only shook his head, and was not any the
"Well, look here," continued Heidi, "from one window you can see
a very, very large grey house, and the roof runs like this--"
and Heidi drew a zigzag line in the air with her forefinger.
With this the boy jumped up, he was evidently in the habit of
guiding himself by similar landmarks. He ran straight off with
Heidi after him, and in a very short time they had reached the
door with the large dog's head for the knocker. Heidi rang the
bell. Sebastian opened it quickly, and when he saw it was Heidi,
"Make haste! make haste," he cried in a hurried voice.
Heidi sprang hastily in and Sebastian shut the door after her,
leaving the boy, whom he had not noticed, standing in wonder on
"Make haste, little miss," said Sebastian again; "go straight
into the dining-room, they are already at table; Fraulein
Rottenmeier looks like a loaded cannon. What could make the
little miss run off like that?"
Heidi walked into the room. The lady housekeeper did not look
up, Clara did not speak; there was an uncomfortable silence.
Sebastian pushed her chair up for her, and when she was seated
Fraulein Rottenmeier, with a severe countenance, sternly and
solemnly addressed her: "I will speak with you afterwards,
Adelheid, only this much will I now say, that you behaved in a
most unmannerly and reprehensible way by running out of the
house as you did, without asking permission, without any one
knowing a word about it; and then to go wandering about till this
hour; I never heard of such behavior before."
"Miau!" came the answer back.
This was too much for the lady's temper; with raised voice she
exclaimed, "You dare, Adelheid, after your bad behavior, to
answer me as if it were a joke?"
"I did not--" began Heidi--"Miau! miau!"
Sebastian almost dropped his dish and rushed out of the room.
"That will do," Fraulein Rottenmeier tried to say, but her voice
was almost stifled with anger. "Get up and leave the room."
Heidi stood up frightened, and again made an attempt to explain.
"I really did not--" "Miau! miau! miau!"
"But, Heidi," now put in Clara, "when you see that it makes
Fraulein Rottenmeier angry, why do you keep on saying miau?"
"It isn't I, it's the kittens," Heidi was at last given time to
"How! what! kittens!" shrieked Fraulein Rottenmeier. "Sebastian!
Tinette! Find the horrid little things! take them away!" And she
rose and fled into the study and locked the door, so as to make
sure that she was safe from the kittens, which to her were the
most horrible things in creation.
Sebastian was obliged to wait a few minutes outside the door to
get over his laughter before he went into the room again. He
had, while serving Heidi, caught sight of a little kitten's head
peeping out of her pocket, and guessing the scene that would
follow, had been so overcome with amusement at the first miaus
that he had hardly been able to finish handing the dishes. The
lady's distressed cries for help had ceased before he had
sufficiently regained his composure to go back into the dining-
room. It was all peace and quietness there now, Clara had the
kittens on her lap, and Heidi was kneeling beside her, both
laughing and playing with the tiny, graceful little animals.
"Sebastian," exclaimed Clara as he came in, "you must help us;
you must find a bed for the kittens where Fraulein Rottenmeier
will not spy them out, for she is so afraid of them that she
will send them away at once; but we want to keep them, and have
them out whenever we are alone. Where can you put them?"
"I will see to that," answered Sebastian willingly. "I will make
a bed in a basket and put it in some place where the lady is not
likely to go; you leave it to me." He set about the work at
once, sniggling to himself the while, for he guessed there would
be a further rumpus about this some day, and Sebastian was not
without a certain pleasure in the thought of Fraulein Rottenmeier
being a little disturbed.
Not until some time had elapsed, and it was nearing the hour for
going to bed, did Fraulein Rottenmeier venture to open the door
a crack and call through, "Have you taken those dreadful little
animals away, Sebastian?"
He assured her twice that he had done so; he had been hanging
about the room in anticipation of this question, and now quickly
and quietly caught up the kittens from Clara's lap and
disappeared with them.
The castigatory sermon which Fraulein Rottenmeier had held in
reserve for Heidi was put off till the following day, as she
felt too exhausted now after all the emotions she had gone
through of irritation, anger, and fright, of which Heidi had
unconsciously been the cause. She retired without speaking, Clara
and Heidi following, happy in their minds at knowing that the
kittens were lying in a comfortable bed.
CHAPTER VIII. THERE IS GREAT COMMOTION IN THE LARGE HOUSE
Sebastian had just shown the tutor into the study on the
following morning when there came another and very loud ring at
the bell, which Sebastian ran quickly to answer. "Only Herr
Sesemann rings like that," he said to himself; "he must have
returned home unexpectedly." He pulled open the door, and there
in front of him he saw a ragged little boy carrying a hand-organ
on his back.
"What's the meaning of this?" said Sebastian angrily. "I'll
teach you to ring bells like that! What do you want here?"
"I want to see Clara," the boy answered.
"You dirty, good-for-nothing little rascal, can't you be polite
enough to say 'Miss Clara'? What do you want with her?"
continued Sebastian roughly. "She owes me fourpence," explained
"You must be out of your mind! And how do you know that any
young lady of that name lives here?"
"She owes me twopence for showing her the way there, and
twopence for showing her the way back."
"See what a pack of lies you are telling! The young lady never
goes out, cannot even walk; be off and get back to where you
came from, before I have to help you along."
But the boy was not to be frightened away; he remained standing,
and said in a determined voice, "But I saw her in the street,
and can describe her to you; she has short, curly black hair, and
black eyes, and wears a brown dress, and does not talk quite
like we do."
"Oho!" thought Sebastian, laughing to himself, "the little miss
has evidently been up to more mischief." Then, drawing the boy
inside he said aloud, "I understand now, come with me and wait
outside the door till I tell you to go in. Be sure you begin
playing your organ the instant you get inside the room; the lady
is very fond of music."
Sebastian knocked at the study door, and a voice said, "Come
"There is a boy outside who says he must speak to Miss Clara
herself," Sebastian announced.
Clara was delighted at such an extraordinary and unexpected
"Let him come in at once," replied Clara; "he must come in, must
he not," she added, turning to her tutor, "if he wishes so
particularly to see me?"
The boy was already inside the room, and according to
Sebastian's directions immediately began to play his organ.
Fraulein Rottenmeier, wishing to escape the A B C, had retired
with her work to the dining-room. All at once she stopped and
listened. Did those sounds come up from the street? And yet they
seemed so near! But how could there be an organ playing in the
study? And yet--it surely was so. She rushed to the other end of
the long dining-room and tore open the door. She could hardly
believe her eyes. There, in the middle of the study, stood a
ragged boy turning away at his organ in the most energetic
manner. The tutor appeared to be making efforts to speak, but his
voice could not be heard. Both children were listening
delightedly to the music.
"Leave off! leave off at once!" screamed Fraulein Rottenmeier.
But her voice was drowned by the music. She was making a dash
for the boy, when she saw something on the ground crawling
towards her feet--a dreadful dark object--a tortoise. At this
sight she jumped higher than she had for many long years before,
shrieking with all her might, "Sebastian! Sebastian!"
The organ-player suddenly stopped, for this time her voice had
risen louder than the music. Sebastian was standing outside bent
double with laughter, for he had been peeping to see what was
going on. By the time he entered the room Fraulein Rottenmeier
had sunk into a chair.
"Take them all out, boy and animal! Get them away at once!" she
Sebastian pulled the boy away, the latter having quickly caught
up the tortoise, and when he had got him outside he put
something into his hand. "There is the fourpence from Miss Clara,
and another fourpence for the music. You did it all quite right!"
and with that he shut the front door upon him.
Quietness reigned again in the study, and lessons began once
more; Fraulein Rottenmeier now took up her station in the study
in order by her presence to prevent any further dreadful goings-
But soon another knock came to the door, and Sebastian again
stepped in, this time to say that some one had brought a large
basket with orders that it was to be given at once to Miss
"For me?" said Clara in astonishment, her curiosity very much
excited, "bring it in at once that I may see what it is like."
Sebastian carried in a large covered basket and retired.
"I think the lessons had better be finished first before the
basket is unpacked," said Fraulein Rottenmeier.
Clara could not conceive what was in it, and cast longing
glances towards it. In the middle of one of her declensions she
suddenly broke off and said to the tutor, "Mayn't I just give one
peep inside to see what is in it before I go on?"
"On some considerations I am for it, on others against it," he
began in answer; "for it, on the ground that if your whole
attention is directed to the basket--" but the speech remained
unfinished. The cover of the basket was loose, and at this
moment one, two, three, and then two more, and again more kittens
came suddenly tumbling on to the floor and racing about the room
in every direction, and with such indescribable rapidity that it
seemed as if the whole room was full of them. They jumped over
the tutor's boots, bit at his trousers, climbed up Fraulein
Rottenmeier's dress, rolled about her feet, sprang up on to
Clara's couch, scratching, scrambling, and mewing: it was a sad
scene of confusion. Clara, meanwhile, pleased with their
gambols, kept on exclaiming, "Oh, the dear little things! how
pretty they are! Look, Heidi, at this one; look, look, at that
one over there!" And Heidi in her delight kept running after them
first into one corner and then into the other. The tutor stood up
by the table not knowing what to do, lifting first his right foot
and then his left to get it away from the scrambling, scratching
kittens. Fraulein Rottenmeier was unable at first to speak at
all, so overcome was she with horror, and she did not dare rise
from her chair for fear that all the dreadful little animals
should jump upon her at once. At last she found voice to call
loudly, "Tinette! Tinette! Sebastian! Sebastian!"
They came in answer to her summons and gathered up the kittens,
by degrees they got them all inside the basket again and then
carried them off to put with the other two.
To-day again there had been no opportunity for gaping. Late that
evening, when Fraulein Rottenmeier had somewhat recovered from
the excitement of the morning, she sent for the two servants,
and examined them closely concerning the events of the morning.
And then it came out that Heidi was at the bottom of them,
everything being the result of her excursion of the day before.
Fraulein Rottenmeier sat pale with indignation and did not know
at first how to express her anger. Then she made a sign to
Tinette and Sebastian to withdraw, and turning to Heidi, who was
standing by Clara's couch, quite unable to understand of what sin
she had been guilty, began in a severe voice,--
"Adelaide, I know of only one punishment which will perhaps make
you alive to your ill conduct, for you are an utter little
barbarian, but we will see if we cannot tame you so that you
shall not be guilty of such deeds again, by putting you in a
dark cellar with the rats and black beetles."
Heidi listened in silence and surprise to her sentence, for she
had never seen a cellar such as was now described; the place
known at her grandfather's as the cellar, where the fresh made
cheeses and the new milk were kept, was a pleasant and inviting
place; neither did she know at all what rats and black beetles
But now Clara interrupted in great distress. "No, no, Fraulein
Rottenmeier, you must wait till papa comes; he has written to
say that he will soon be home, and then I will tell him
everything, and he will say what is to be done with Heidi."
Fraulein Rottenmeier could not do anything against this superior
authority, especially as the father was really expected very
shortly. She rose and said with some displeasure, "As you will,
Clara, but I too shall have something to say to Herr Sesemann."
And with that she left the room.
Two days now went by without further disturbance. Fraulein
Rottenmeier, however, could not recover her equanimity; she was
perpetually reminded by Heidi's presence of the deception that
had been played upon her, and it seemed to her that ever since
the child had come into the house everything had been topsy-
turvy, and she could not bring things into proper order again.
Clara had grown much more cheerful; she no longer found time hang
heavy during the lesson hours, for Heidi was continually making a
diversion of some kind or other. She jumbled all her letters up
together and seemed quite unable to learn them, and when the
tutor tried to draw her attention to their different shapes, and
to help her by showing her that this was like a little horn, or
that like a bird's bill, she would suddenly exclaim in a joyful
voice, "That is a goat!" "That is a bird of prey!" For the
tutor's descriptions suggested all kinds of pictures to her mind,
but left her still incapable of the alphabet. In the later
afternoons Heidi always sat with Clara, and then she would give
the latter many and long descriptions of the mountain and of her
life upon it, and the burning longing to return would become so
overpowering that she always finished with the words, "Now I must
go home! to-morrow I must really go!" But Clara would try to
quiet her, and tell Heidi that she must wait till her father
returned, and then they would see what was to be done. And if
Heidi gave in each time and seemed quickly to regain her good
spirits, it was because of a secret delight she had in the
thought that every day added two more white rolls to the number
she was collecting for grandmother; for she always pocketed the
roll placed beside her plate at dinner and supper, feeling that
she could not bear to eat them, knowing that grandmother had no
white bread and could hardly eat the black bread which was so
hard. After dinner Heidi had to sit alone in her room for a
couple of hours, for she understood now that she might not run
about outside at Frankfurt as she did on the mountain, and so she
did not attempt it. Any conversation with Sebastian in the dining-
room was also forbidden her, and as to Tinette, she kept out of
her way, and never thought of speaking to her, for Heidi was
quite aware that the maid looked scornfully at her and always
spoke to her in a mocking voice. So Heidi had plenty of time from
day to day to sit and picture how everything at home was now
turning green, and how the yellow flowers were shining in the
sun, and how all around lay bright in the warm sunshine, the snow
and the rocks, and the whole wide valley, and Heidi at times
could hardly contain herself for the longing to be back home
again. And Dete had told her that she could go home whenever she
liked. So it came about one day that Heidi felt she could not
bear it any longer, and in haste she tied all the rolls up in her
red shawl, put on her straw hat, and went downstairs. But just as
she reached the hall-door she met Fraulein Rottenmeier herself,
just returning from a walk, which put a stop to Heidi's journey.
Fraulein Rottenmeier stood still a moment, looking at her from
top to toe in blank astonishment, her eye resting particularly
on the red bundle. Then she broke out,--
"What have you dressed yourself like that for? What do you mean
by this? Have I not strictly forbidden you to go running about
in the streets? And here you are ready to start off again, and
going out looking like a beggar."
"I was not going to run about, I was going home," said Heidi,
"What are you talking about! Going home! You want to go home?"
exclaimed Fraulein Rottenmeier, her anger rising. "To run away
like that! What would Herr Sesemann say if he knew! Take care
that he never hears of this! And what is the matter with his
house, I should like to know! Have you not been better treated
than you deserved? Have you wanted for a thing? Have you ever in
your life before had such a house to live in, such a table, or
so many to wait upon you? Have you?"
"No," replied Heidi.
"I should think not indeed!" continued the exasperated lady.
"You have everything you can possibly want here, and you are an
ungrateful little thing; it's because you are too well off and
comfortable that you have nothing to do but think what naughty
thing you can do next!"
Then Heidi's feelings got the better of her, and she poured
forth her trouble. "Indeed I only want to go home, for if I stay
so long away Snowflake will begin crying again, and grandmother
is waiting for me, and Greenfinch will get beaten, because I am
not there to give Peter any cheese, and I can never see how the
sun says good-night to the mountains; and if the great bird were
to fly over Frankfurt he would croak louder than ever about
people huddling all together and teaching each other bad things,
and not going to live up on the rocks, where it is so much
"Heaven have mercy on us, the child is out of her mind!" cried
Fraulein Rottenmeier, and she turned in terror and went quickly
up the steps, running violently against Sebastian in her hurry.
"Go and bring that unhappy little creature in at once," she
ordered him, putting her hand to her forehead which she had
bumped against his.
Sebastian did as he was told, rubbing his own head as he went,
for he had received a still harder blow.
Heidi had not moved, she stood with her eyes aflame and
trembling all over with inward agitation.
"What, got into trouble again?" said Sebastian in a cheerful
voice; but when he looked more closely at Heidi and saw that she
did not move, he put his hand kindly on her shoulder, and said,
trying to comfort her, "There, there, don't take it to heart so
much; keep up your spirits, that is the great thing! She has
nearly made a hole in my head, but don't you let her bully you."
Then seeing that Heidi still did not stir, "We must go; she
ordered me to take you in."
Heidi now began mounting the stairs, but with a slow, crawling
step, very unlike her usual manner. Sebastian felt quite sad as
he watched her, and as he followed her up he kept trying to
encourage her. "Don't you give in! don't let her make you
unhappy! You keep up your courage! Why we've got such a sensible
little miss that she has never cried once since she was here;
many at that age cry a good dozen times a day. The kittens are
enjoying themselves very much up in their home; they jump about
all over the place and behave as if they were little mad things.
Later we will go up and see them, when Fraulein is out of the
way, shall we?"
Heidi gave a little nod of assent, but in such a joyless manner
that it went to Sebastian's heart, and he followed her with
sympathetic eyes as she crept away to her room.
At supper that evening Fraulein Rottenmeier did not speak, but
she cast watchful looks towards Heidi as if expecting her at any
minute to break out in some extraordinary way; but Heidi sat
without moving or eating; all that she did was to hastily hide
her roll in her pocket.
When the tutor arrived next morning, Fraulein Rottenmeier drew
him privately aside, and confided her fear to him that the
change of air and the new mode of life and unaccustomed
surroundings had turned Heidi's head; then she told him of the
incident of the day before, and of Heidi's strange speech. But
the tutor assured her she need not be in alarm; he had already
become aware that the child was somewhat eccentric, but otherwise
quite right in her mind, and he was sure that, with careful
treatment and education, the right balance would be restored, and
it was this he was striving after. He was the more convinced of
this by what he now heard, and by the fact that he had so far
failed to teach her the alphabet, Heidi seeming unable to
understand the letters.
Fraulein Rottenmeier was considerably relieved by his words, and
released the tutor to his work. In the course of the afternoon
the remembrance of Heidi's appearance the day before, as she was
starting out on her travels, suddenly returned to the lady, and
she made up her mind that she would supplement the child's
clothing with various garments from Clara's wardrobe, so as to
give her a decent appearance when Herr Sesemann returned. She
confided her intention to Clara, who was quite willing to make
over any number of dresses and hats to Heidi; so the lady went
upstairs to overhaul the child's belongings and see what was to
be kept and what thrown away. She returned, however, in the
course of a few minutes with an expression of horror upon her
"What is this, Adelaide, that I find in your wardrobe!" she
exclaimed. "I never heard of any one doing such a thing before!
In a cupboard meant for clothes, Adelaide, what do I see at the
bottom but a heap of rolls! Will you believe it, Clara, bread in
a wardrobe! a whole pile of bread! Tinette," she called to that
young woman, who was in the dining-room, "go upstairs and take
away all those rolls out of Adelaide's cupboard and the old
straw hat on the table."
"No! no!" screamed Heidi. "I must keep the hat, and the rolls
are for grandmother," and she was rushing to stop Tinette when
Fraulein Rottenmeier took hold of her. "You will stop here, and
all that bread and rubbish shall be taken to the place they
belong to," she said in a determined tone as she kept her hand
on the child to prevent her running forward.
Then Heidi in despair flung herself down on Clara's couch and
broke into a wild fit of weeping, her crying becoming louder and
more full of distress, every minute, while she kept on sobbing
out at intervals, "Now grandmother's' bread is all gone! They
were all for grandmother, and now they are taken away, and
grandmother won't have one," and she wept as if her heart would
break. Fraulein Rottenmeier ran out of the room. Clara was
distressed and alarmed at the child's crying. "Heidi, Heidi,"
she said imploringly, "pray do not cry so! listen to me; don't be
so unhappy; look now, I promise you that you shall have just as
many rolls, or more, all fresh and new to take to grandmother
when you go home; yours would have been hard and stale by then.
Come, Heidi, do not cry any more!"
Heidi could not get over her sobs for a long time; she would
never have been able to leave off crying at all if it had not
been for Clara's promise, which comforted her. But to make sure
that she could depend upon it she kept on saying to Clara, her
voice broken with her gradually subsiding sobs, "Will you give
me as many, quite as many, as I had, for grandmother?" And Clara
assured her each time that she would give her as many, "or
more," she added, "only be happy again."
Heidi appeared at supper with her eyes red with weeping, and
when she saw her roll she could not suppress a sob. But she made
an effort to control herself, for she knew she must sit quietly
at table. Whenever Sebastian could catch her eye this evening he
made all sorts of strange signs, pointing to his own head and
then to hers, and giving little nods as much as to say, "Don't
you be unhappy! I have got it all safe for you."
When Heidi was going to get into bed that night she found her
old straw hat lying under the counterpane. She snatched it up
with delight, made it more out of shape still in her joy, and
then, after wrapping a handkerchief round it, she stuck it in a
corner of the cupboard as far back as she could.
It was Sebastian who had hidden it there for her; he had been in
the dining-room when Tinette was called, and had heard all that
went on with the child and the latter's loud weeping. So he
followed Tinette, and when she came out of Heidi's room carrying
the rolls and the hat, he caught up the hat and said, "I will
see to this old thing." He was genuinely glad to have been able
to save it for Heidi, and that was the meaning of his encouraging
signs to her at supper.
CHAPTER IX. HERR SESEMANN HEARS OF THINGS WHICH ARE NEW TO HIM
A few days after these events there was great commotion and much
running up and down stairs in Herr Sesemann's house. The master
had just returned, and Sebastian and Tinette were busy carrying
up one package after another from the carriage, for Herr
Sesemann always brought back a lot of pretty things for his home.
He himself had not waited to do anything before going in to see
his daughter. Heidi was sitting beside her, for it was late
afternoon, when the two were always together. Father and
daughter greeted each other with warm affection, for they were
deeply attached to one another. Then he held out his hand to
Heidi, who had stolen away into the corner, and said kindly to
her, "And this is our little Swiss girl; come and shake hands
with me! That's right! Now, tell me, are Clara and you good
friends with one another, or do you get angry and quarrel, and
then cry and make it up, and then start quarreling again on the
"No, Clara is always kind to me," answered Heidi.
"And Heidi," put in Clara quickly, "has not once tried to
"That's all right, I am glad to hear it," said her father, as he
rose from his chair. "But you must excuse me, Clara, for I want
my dinner; I have had nothing to eat all day. Afterwards I will
show you all the things I have brought home with me."
He found Fraulein Rottenmeier in the dining-room superintending
the preparation for his meal, and when he had taken his place
she sat down opposite to him, looking the every embodiment of bad
news, so that he turned to her and said, "What am I to expect,
Fraulein Rottenmeier? You greet me with an expression of
countenance that quite frightens me. What is the matter? Clara
seems cheerful enough."
"Herr Sesemann," began the lady in a solemn voice, "it is a
matter which concerns Clara; we have been frightfully imposed
"Indeed, in what way?" asked Herr Sesemann as he went on calmly
drinking his wine.
"We had decided, as you remember, to get a companion for Clara,
and as I knew how anxious you were to have only those who were
well-behaved and nicely brought up about her, I thought I would
look for a little Swiss girl, as I hoped to find such a one as I
have often read about, who, born as it were of the mountain air,
lives and moves without touching the earth."
"Still I think even a Swiss child would have to touch the earth
if she wanted to go anywhere," remarked Herr Sesemann,
"otherwise they would have been given wings instead of feet."
"Ah, Herr Sesemann, you know what I mean," continued Fraulein
Rottenmeier. "I mean one so at home among the living creatures
of the high, pure mountain regions, that she would be like some
idealistic being from another world among us."
"And what could Clara do with such an idealistic being as you
describe, Fraulein Rottenmeier."
"I am not joking, Herr Sesemann, the matter is a more serious
one than you think; I have been shockingly, disgracefully imposed
"But how? what is there shocking and disgraceful? I see nothing
shocking in the child," remarked Herr Sesemann quietly.
"If you only knew of one thing she has done, if you only knew of
the kind of people and animals she has brought into the house
during your absence! The tutor can tell you more about that."
"Animals? what am I to understand by animals, Fraulein
"It is past understanding; the whole behavior of the child would
be past understanding, if it were not that at times she is
evidently not in her right mind."
Herr Sesemann had attached very little importance to what was
told him up till now--but not in her right mind! that was more
serious and might be prejudicial to his own child. Herr Sesemann
looked very narrowly at the lady opposite to assure himself that
the mental aberration was not on her side. At that moment the
door opened and the tutor was announced.
"Ah! here is some one," exclaimed Herr Sesemann, "who will help
to clear up matters for me. Take a seat," he continued, as he
held out his hand to the tutor. "You will drink a cup of coffee
with me--no ceremony, I pray! And now tell me, what is the
matter with this child that has come to be a companion to my
daughter? What is this strange thing I hear about her bringing
animals into the house, and is she in her right senses?"
The tutor felt he must begin with expressing his pleasure at
Herr Sesemann's return, and with explaining that he had come in
on purpose to give him welcome, but Herr Sesemann begged him to
explain without delay the meaning of all he had heard about
Heidi. The tutor started in his usual style. "If I must give my
opinion about this little girl, I should like first to state
that, if on one side, there is a lack of development which has
been caused by the more or less careless way in which she has
been brought up, or rather, by the neglect of her education,
when young, and by the solitary life she has led on the mountain,
which is not wholly to be condemned; on the contrary, such a
life has undoubtedly some advantages in it, if not allowed to
overstep a certain limit of time--"
"My good friend," interrupted Herr Sesemann, "you are giving
yourself more trouble than you need. I only want to know if the
child has caused you alarm by any animals she has brought into
the house, and what your opinion is altogether as to her being a
fit companion or not for my daughter?"
"I should not like in any way to prejudice you against her,"
began the tutor once more; "for if on the one hand there is a
certain inexperience of the ways of society, owing to the
uncivilised life she led up to the time of her removal to
Frankfurt, on the other hand she is endowed with certain good
qualities, and, taken on the whole--"
"Excuse me, my dear sir, do not disturb yourself, but I must--I
think my daughter will be wanting me," and with that Herr
Sesemann quickly left the room and took care not to return. He
sat himself down beside his daughter in the study, and then
turning to Heidi, who had risen, "Little one, will you fetch
me," he began, and then paused, for he could not think what to
ask for, but he wanted to get the child out of the room for a
little while, "fetch me a glass of water."
"Fresh water?" asked Heidi.
"Yes--Yes--as fresh as you can get it," he answered. Heidi
disappeared on the spot.
"And now, my dear little Clara," he said, drawing his chair
nearer and laying her hand in his, "answer my questions clearly
and intelligibly: what kind of animals has your little companion
brought into the house, and why does Fraulein Rottenmeier think
that she is not always in her right mind?"
Clara had no difficulty in answering. The alarmed lady had
spoken to her also about Heidi's wild manner of talking, but
Clara had not been able to put a meaning to it. She told her
father everything about the tortoise and the kittens, and
explained to him what Heidi had said the day Fraulein Rottenmeier
had been put in such a fright. Herr Sesemann laughed heartily at
her recital. "So you do not want me to send the child home
again," he asked, "you are not tired of having her here?"
"Oh, no, no," Clara exclaimed, "please do not send her away.
Time has passed much more quickly since Heidi was here, for
something fresh happens every day, and it used to be so dull, and
she has always so much to tell me."
"That's all right then--and here comes your little friend. Have
you brought me some nice fresh water?" he asked as Heidi handed
him a glass.
"Yes, fresh from the pump," answered Heidi.
"You did not go yourself to the pump?" said Clara.
"Yes I did; it is quite fresh. I had to go a long way, for there
were such a lot of people at the first pump; so I went further
down the street, but there were just as many at the second pump,
but I was able to get some water at the one in the next street,
and the gentleman with the white hair asked me to give his kind
regards to Herr Sesemann."
"You have had quite a successful expedition," said Herr Sesemann
laughing, "and who was the gentleman?"
"He was passing, and when he saw me he stood still and said, 'As
you have a glass will you give me a drink; to whom are you
taking the water?' and when I said, 'To Herr Sesemann,' he
laughed very much, and then he gave me that message for you, and
also said he hoped you would enjoy the water."
"Oh, and who was it, I wonder, who sent me such good wishes--
tell me what he was like," said Herr Sesemann.
"He was kind and laughed, and he had a thick gold chain and a
gold thing hanging from it with a large red stone, and a horse's
head at the top of his stick."
"It's the doctor--my old friend the doctor," exclaimed Clara and
her father at the same moment, and Herr Sesemann smiled to
himself at the thought of what his friend's opinion must have
been of this new way of satisfying his thirst for water.
That evening when Herr Sesemann and Fraulein Rottenmeier were
alone, settling the household affairs, he informed her that he
intended to keep Heidi; he found the child in a perfectly right
state of mind, and his daughter liked her as a companion. "I
desire, therefore," he continued, laying stress upon his words,
"that the child shall be in every way kindly treated, and that
her peculiarities shall not be looked upon as crimes. If you
find her too much for you alone, I can hold out a prospect of
help, for I am shortly expecting my mother here on a long visit,
and she, as you know, can get on with anybody, whatever they may
"O yes, I know," replied Fraulein Rottenmeier, but there was no
tone of relief in her voice as she thought of the coming help.
Herr Sesemann was only home for a short time; he left for Paris
again before the fortnight was over, comforting Clara, who could
not bear that he should go from her again so soon, with the
prospect of her grandmother's arrival, which was to take place
in a few days' time. Herr Sesemann had indeed only just gone when
a letter came from Frau Sesemann, announcing her arrival on the
following day, and stating the hour when she might be expected,
in order that a carriage should be sent to meet her at the
station. Clara was overjoyed, and talked so much about her
grandmother that evening, that Heidi began also to call her
"grandmamma," which brought down on her a look of displeasure
from Fraulein Rottenmeier; this, however, had no particular
effect on Heidi, for she was accustomed now to being continually
in that lady's black books. But as she was going to her room
that night, Fraulein Rottenmeier waylaid her, and drawing her
into her own, gave her strict injunctions as to how she was to
address Frau Sesemann when she arrived; on no account was she to
call her "grandmamma," but always to say "madam" to her. "Do you
understand?" said the lady, as she saw a perplexed expression on
Heidi's face. The latter had not understood, but seeing the
severe expression of the lady's face she did not ask for more
CHAPTER X. ANOTHER GRANDMOTHER
There was much expectation and preparation about the house on
the following evening, and it was easy to see that the lady who
was coming was one whose opinion was highly thought of, and for
whom everybody had a great respect. Tinette had a new white cap
on her head, and Sebastian collected all the footstools he could
find and placed them in convenient spots, so that the lady might
find one ready to her feet whenever she chose to sit. Fraulein
Rottenmeier went about surveying everything, very upright and
dignified, as if to show that though a rival power was expected,
her own authority was not going to be extinguished.
And now the carriage came driving up to the door, and Tinette
and Sebastian ran down the steps, followed with a slower and more
stately step by the lady, who advanced to greet the guest. Heidi
had been sent up to her room and ordered to remain there until
called down, as the grandmother would certainly like to see
Clara alone first. Heidi sat herself down in a corner and
repeated her instructions over to herself. She had not to wait
long before Tinette put her head in and said abruptly, "Go
downstairs into the study."
Heidi had not dared to ask Fraulein Rottenmeier again how she
was to address the grandmother: she thought the lady had perhaps
made a mistake, for she had never heard any one called by other
than their right name. As she opened the study door she heard a
kind voice say, "Ah, here comes the child! Come along in and let
me have a good look at you."
Heidi walked up to her and said very distinctly in her clear
voice, "Good-evening," and then wishing to follow her
instructions called her what would be in English "Mrs. Madam."
"Well!" said the grandmother, laughing, "is that how they
address people in your home on the mountain?"
"No," replied Heidi gravely, "I never knew any one with that
"Nor I either," laughed the grandmother again as she patted
Heidi's cheek. "Never mind! when I am with the children I am
always grandmamma; you won't forget that name, will you?"
"No, no," Heidi assured her, "I often used to say it at home."
"I understand," said the grandmother, with a cheerful little nod
of the head. Then she looked more closely at Heidi, giving
another nod from time to time, and the child looked back at her
with steady, serious eyes, for there was something kind and warm-
hearted about this new-comer that pleased Heidi, and indeed
everything to do with the grandmother attracted her, so that she
could not turn her eyes away. She had such beautiful white hair,
and two long lace ends hung down from the cap on her head and
waved gently about her face every time she moved, as if a soft
breeze were blowing round her, which gave Heidi a peculiar
feeling of pleasure.
"And what is your name, child?" the grandmother now asked.
"I am always called Heidi; but as I am now to be called
Adelaide, I will try and take care--" Heidi stopped short, for
she felt a little guilty; she had not yet grown accustomed to
this name; she continued not to respond when Fraulein Rottenmeier
suddenly addressed her by it, and the lady was at this moment
entering the room.
"Frau Sesemann will no doubt agree with me," she interrupted,
"that it was necessary to choose a name that could be pronounced
easily, if only for the sake of the servants."
"My worthy Rottenmeier," replied Frau Sesemann, "if a person is
called 'Heidi' and has grown accustomed to that name, I call her
by the same, and so let it be."
Fraulein Rottenmeier was always very much annoyed that the old
lady continually addressed her by her surname only; but it was
no use minding, for the grandmother always went her own way, and
so there was no help for it. Moreover the grandmother was a keen
old lady, and had all her five wits about her, and she knew what
was going on in the house as soon as she entered it.
When on the following day Clara lay down as usual on her couch
after dinner, the grandmother sat down beside her for a few
minutes and closed her eyes, then she got up again as lively as
ever, and trotted off into the dining-room. No one was there.
"She is asleep, I suppose," she said to herself, and then going
up to Fraulein Rottenmeier's room she gave a loud knock at the
door. She waited a few minutes and then Fraulein Rottenmeier
opened the door and drew back in surprise at this unexpected
"Where is the child, and what is she doing all this time? That
is what I came to ask," said Frau Sesemann.
"She is sitting in her room, where she could well employ herself
if she had the least idea of making herself useful; but you have
no idea, Frau Sesemann, of the out-of-the-way things this child
imagines and does, things which I could hardly repeat in good