Part 5 out of 5
ground. Even the grandmamma, who had followed the children, was
astonished at the sight of them. She hardly knew what to admire
most in these ancient trees: the lofty tops rising in their full
green splendor towards the sky, or the pillar-like stems, with
their straight and gigantic boughs, that spoke of such antiquity
of age, of such long years during which they had looked down
upon the valley below, where men came and went, and all things
were continually changing, while they stood undisturbed and
Heidi had now wheeled Clara on to the goat shed, and had flung
open the door, so that Clara might have a full view of all that
was inside. There was not much to see just now as its indwellers
were absent. Clara lamented to her grandmother that they would
have to leave early before the goats came home. "I should so
like to have seen Peter and his whole flock."
"Dear child, let us enjoy all the beautiful things that we can
see, and not think about those that we cannot," grandmamma
replied as she followed the chair which Heidi was pushing
"Oh, the flowers!" exclaimed Clara. "Look at the bushes of red
flowers, and all the nodding blue bells! Oh, if I could but get
up and pick some!"
Heidi ran off at once and picked her a large nosegay of them.
"But these are nothing, Clara," she said, laying the flowers on
her lap. "If you could come up higher to where the goats are
feeding, then you would indeed see something! Bushes on bushes
of the red centaury, and ever so many more of the blue bell-
flowers; and then the bright yellow rock roses, that gleam like
pure gold, and all crowding together in the one spot. And then
there are others with the large leaves that grandfather calls
Bright Eyes, and the brown ones with little round heads that
smell so delicious. Oh, it is beautiful up there, and if you sit
down among them you never want to get up again, everything looks
and smells so lovely!"
Heidi's eyes sparkled with the remembrance of what she was
describing; she was longing herself to see it all again, and
Clara caught her enthusiasm and looked back at her with equal
longing in her soft blue eyes.
"Grandmamma, do you think I could get up there? Is it possible
for me to go?" she asked eagerly. "If only I could walk, climb
about everywhere with you, Heidi!"
"I am sure I could push you up, the chair goes so easily," said
Heidi, and in proof of her words, she sent the chair at such a
pace round the corner that it nearly went flying down the
mountain-side. Grandmamma being at hand, however, stopped it in
The grandfather, meantime, had not been idle. He had by this
time put the table and extra chairs in front of the seat, so that
they might all sit out here and eat the dinner that was preparing
inside. The milk and the cheese were soon ready, and then the
company sat down in high spirits to their mid-day meal.
Grandmamma was enchanted, as the doctor had been, with their
dining-room, whence one could see far along the valley, and far
over the mountains to the farthest stretch of blue sky. A light
wind blew refreshingly over them as they sat at table, and the
rustling of the fir trees made a festive accompaniment to the
"I never enjoyed anything as much as this. It is really superb!"
cried grandmamma two or three times over; and then suddenly in a
tone of surprise,
"Do I really see you taking a second piece of toasted cheese,
There, sure enough, was a second golden-colored slice of cheese
on Clara's plate.
"Oh, it does taste so nice, grandmamma--better than all the
dishes we have at Ragatz," replied Clara, as she continued
eating with appetite.
"That's right, eat what you can!" exclaimed Uncle. "It's the
mountain air which makes up for the deficiencies of the
And so the meal went on. Grandmamma and Alm-Uncle got on very
well together, and their conversation became more and more
lively. They were so thoroughly agreed in their opinions of men
and things and the world in general that they might have been
taken for old cronies. The time passed merrily, and then
grandmamma looked towards the west and said,--
"We must soon get ready to go, Clara, the sun is a good way
down; the men will be here directly with the horse and sedan."
Clara's face fell and she said beseechingly, "Oh, just another
hour, grandmamma, or two hours. We haven't seen inside the hut
yet, or Heidi's bed, or any of the other things. If only the day
was ten hours long!"
"Well, that is not possible," said grandmamma, but she herself
was anxious to see inside the hut, so they all rose from the
table and Uncle wheeled Clara's chair to the door. But there
they came to a standstill, for the chair was much too broad to
pass through the door. Uncle, however, soon settled the
difficulty by lifting Clara in his strong arms and carrying her
Grandmamma went all round and examined the household
arrangements, and was very much amused and pleased at their
orderliness and the cozy appearance of everything. "And this is
your bedroom up here, Heidi, is it not?" she asked, as without
trepidation she mounted the ladder to the hay loft. "Oh, it does
smell sweet, what a healthy place to sleep in." She went up to
the round window and looked out, and grandfather followed up
with Clara in his arms, Heidi springing up after them. Then they
all stood and examined Heidi's wonderful hay-bed, and grandmamma
looked thoughtfully at it and drew in from time to time fragrant
draughts of the hay-perfumed air, while Clara was charmed beyond
words with Heidi's sleeping apartment.
"It is delightful for you up here, Heidi! You can look from your
bed straight into the sky, and then such a delicious smell all
round you! and outside the fir trees waving and rustling! I have
never seen such a pleasant, cheerful bedroom before."
Uncle looked across at the grandmamma. "I have been thinking,"
he said to her, "that if you were willing to agree to it, your
little granddaughter might remain up here, and I am sure she
would grow stronger. You have brought up all kinds of shawls and
covers with you, and we could make up a soft bed out of them,
and as to the general looking after the child, you need have no
fear, for I will see to that." Clara and Heidi were as overjoyed
at these words as if they were two birds let out of their cages,
and grandmamma's face beamed with satisfaction.
"You are indeed kind, my dear Uncle," she exclaimed; "you give
words to the thought that was in my own mind. I was only asking
myself whether a stay up here might not be the very thing she
wanted. But then the trouble, the inconvenience to yourself! And
you speak of nursing and looking after her as if it was a mere
nothing! I thank you sincerely, I thank you from my whole heart,
Uncle." And she took his hand and gave it a long and grateful
shake, which he returned with a pleased expression of
Uncle immediately set to work to get things ready. He carried
Clara back to her chair outside, Heidi following, not knowing
how to jump high enough into the air to express her contentment.
Then he gathered up a whole pile of shawls and furs and said,
smiling, "It is a good thing that grandmamma came up well
provided for a winter's campaign; we shall be able to make good
use of these."
"Foresight is a virtue," responded the lady, amused, "and
prevents many misfortunes. If we have made the journey over your
mountains without meeting with storms, winds and cloud-bursts,
we can only be thankful, which we are, and my provision against
these disasters now comes in usefully, as you say."
The two had meanwhile ascended to the hay-loft and begun to
prepare a bed; there were so many articles piled one over the
other that when finished it looked like a regular little
fortress. Grandmamma passed her hand carefully over it to make
sure there were no bits of hay sticking out. "If there's a bit
that can come through it will," she said. The soft mattress,
however, was so smooth and thick that nothing could penetrate
it. Then they went down again, well satisfied, and found the
children laughing and talking together and arranging all they
were going to do from morning till evening as long as Clara
stayed. The next question was how long she was to remain, and
first grandmamma was asked, but she referred them to the
grandfather, who gave it as his opinion that she ought to make
the trial of the mountain air for at least a month. The children
clapped their hands for joy, for they had not expected to be
together for so long a time.
The bearers and the horse and guide were now seen approaching;
the former were sent back at once, and grandmamma prepared to
mount for her return journey.
"It's not saying good-bye, grandmamma," Clara called out, "for
you will come up now and then and see how we are getting on, and
we shall so look forward to your visits, shan't we, Heidi?"
Heidi, who felt that life this day had been crowded with
pleasures, could only respond to Clara with another jump of joy.
Grandmamma being now seated on her sturdy animal, Uncle took the
bridle to lead her down the steep mountain path; she begged him
not to come far with her, but he insisted on seeing her safely
as far as Dorfli, for the way was precipitous and not without
danger for the rider, he said.
Grandmamma did not care to stay alone in Dorfli, and therefore
decided to return to Ragatz, and thence to make excursions up
the mountain from time to time.
Peter came down with his goats before Uncle had returned. As
soon as the animals caught sight of Heidi they all came flocking
towards her, and she, as well as Clara on her couch, were soon
surrounded by the goats, pushing and poking their heads one over
the other, while Heidi introduced each in turn by its name to
her friend Clara.
It was not long before the latter had made the long-wished-for
acquaintance of little Snowflake, the lively Greenfinch, and the
well-behaved goats belonging to grandfather, as well as of the
many others, including the Grand Turk. Peter meanwhile stood
apart looking on, and casting somewhat unfriendly glances
When the two children called out, "Good-evening, Peter," he made
no answer, but swung up his stick angrily, as if wanting to cut
the air in two, and then ran off with his goats after him.
The climax to all the beautiful things that Clara had already
seen upon the mountain came at the close of the day.
As she lay on the large soft bed in the hay loft, with Heidi
near her, she looked out through the round open window right into
the middle of the shining clusters of stars, and she exclaimed in
"Heidi, it's just as if we were in a high carriage and were
going to drive straight into heaven."
"Yes, and do you know why the stars are so happy and look down
and nod to us like that?" asked Heidi.
"No, why is it?" Clara asked in return.
"Because they live up in heaven, and know how well God arranges
everything for us, so that we need have no more fear or trouble
and may be quite sure that all things will come right in the
end. That's why they are so happy, and they nod to us because
they want us to be happy too. But then we must never forget to
pray, and to ask God to remember us when He is arranging things,
so that we too may feel safe and have no anxiety about what is
going to happen."
The two children now sat up and said their prayers, and then
Heidi put her head down on her little round arm and fell off to
sleep at once, but Clara lay awake some time, for she could not
get over the wonder of this new experience of being in bed up
here among the stars. She had indeed seldom seen a star, for she
never went outside the house at night, and the curtains at home
were always drawn before the stars came out. Each time she
closed her eyes she felt she must open them again to see if the
two very large stars were still looking in, and nodding to her as
Heidi said they did. There they were, always in the same place,
and Clara felt she could not look long enough into their bright
sparkling faces, until at last her eyes closed of their own
accord, and it was only in her dreams that she still saw the two
large friendly stars shining down upon her.
CHAPTER XXI. HOW LIFE WENT ON AT GRANDFATHER'S
The sun had just risen above the mountains and was shedding its
first golden rays over the hut and the valley below. Alm-Uncle,
as was his custom, had been standing in a quiet and, devout
attitude for some little while, watching the light mists
gradually lifting, and the heights and valley emerging from
their twilight shadows and awakening to another day.
The light morning clouds overhead grew brighter and brighter,
till at last the sun shone out in its full glory, and rock and
wood and hill lay bathed in golden light.
Uncle now stepped back into the hut and went softly up the
ladder. Clara had just opened her eyes and was looking with
wonder at the bright sunlight that shone through the round
window and danced and sparkled about her bed. She could not at
first think what she was looking at or where she was. Then she
caught sight of Heidi sleeping beside her, and now she heard the
grandfather's cheery voice asking her if she had slept well and
was feeling rested. She assured him she was not tired, and that
when she had once fallen asleep she had not opened her eyes
again all night. The grandfather was satisfied at this and
immediately began to attend upon her with so much gentleness and
understanding that it seemed as if his chief calling had been to
look after sick children.
Heidi now awoke and was surprised to see Clara dressed, and
already in the grandfather's arms ready to be carried down. She
must be up too, and she went through her toilette with lightning-
like speed. She ran down the ladder and out of the hut, and there
further astonishment awaited her, for grandfather had been busy
the night before after they were in bed. Seeing that it was
impossible to get Clara's chair through the hut-door, he had
taken down two of the boards at the side of the shed and made an
opening large enough to admit the chair; these he left loose so
that they could be taken away and put up at pleasure. He was at
this moment wheeling Clara out into the sun; he left her in
front of the hut while he went to look after the goats, and Heidi
ran up to her friend.
The fresh morning breeze blew round the children's faces, and
every fresh puff brought a waft of fragrance from the fir trees.
Clara drew it in with delight and lay back in her chair with an
unaccustomed feeling of health and comfort.
It was the first time in her life that she had been out in the
open country at this early hour and felt the fresh morning
breeze, and the pure mountain air was so cool and refreshing
that every breath she drew was a pleasure. And then the bright
sweet sun, which was not hot and sultry up here, but lay soft and
warm on her hands and on the grass at her feet. Clara had not
imagined that it would be like this on the mountain.
"O Heidi, if only I could stay up here for ever with you," she
exclaimed happily, turning in her chair from side to side that
she might drink in the air and sun from all quarters.
"Now you see that it is just what I told you," replied Heidi
delighted; "that it is the most beautiful thing in the world to
be up here with grandfather."
The latter at that moment appeared coming from the goat shed and
bringing two small foaming bowls of snow-white milk--one for
Clara and one for Heidi.
"That will do the little daughter good," he said, nodding to
Clara; "it is from Little Swan and will make her strong. To your
health, child! drink it up."
Clara had never tasted goat's milk before; she hesitated and
smelt it before putting it to her lips, but seeing how Heidi
drank hers up without hesitating, and how much she seemed to like
it, Clara did the same, and drank till there was not a drop left,
for she too found it delicious, tasting just as if sugar and
cinnamon had been mixed with it.
"To-morrow we will drink two," said the grandfather, who had
looked on with satisfaction at seeing her follow Heidi's
Peter now arrived with the goats, and while Heidi was receiving
her usual crowded morning greetings, Uncle drew Peter aside to
speak to him, for the goats, bleated so loudly and continuously
in their wish to express their joy and affection that no one
could be heard near them.
"Attend to what I have to say," he said. "From to-day be sure you
let Little Swan go where she likes. She has an instinct where to
find the best food for herself, and so if she wants to climb
higher, you follow her, and it will do the others no harm if they
go too; on no account bring her back. A little more climbing
won't hurt you, and in this matter she probably knows better than
you what is good for her; I want her to give as fine milk as
possible. Why are you looking over there as if you wanted to eat
somebody? Nobody will interfere with you. So now be off and
remember what I say."
Peter was accustomed to give immediate obedience to Uncle, and
he marched off with his goats, but with a turn of the head and
roll of the eye that showed he had some thought in reserve. The
goats carried Heidi along with them a little way, which was what
Peter wanted. "You will have to come with them," he called to
her, "for I shall be obliged to follow Little Swan."
"I cannot," Heidi called back from the midst of her friends,
"and I shall not be able to come for a long, long time--not as
long as Clara is with me. Grandfather, however, has promised to
go up the mountain with both of us one day."
Heidi had now extricated herself from the goats and she ran back
to Clara. Peter doubled his fists and made threatening gestures
towards the invalid on her couch, and then climbed up some
distance without pause until he was out of sight, for he was
afraid Uncle might have seen him, and he did not care to know
what Uncle might have thought of the fists.
Clara and Heidi had made so many plans for themselves that they
hardly knew where to begin. Heidi suggested that they should
first write to grandmamma, to whom they had promised to send word
every day, for grandmamma had not felt sure whether it would in
the long run suit Clara's health to remain up the mountain, or if
she would continue to enjoy herself there. With daily news of her
granddaughter she could stay on without anxiety at Ragatz, and be
ready to go to Clara at a moment's notice.
"Must we go indoors to write?" asked Clara, who agreed to Heidi's
proposal but did not want to move from where she was, as it was
so much nicer outside. Heidi was prepared to arrange everything.
She ran in and brought out her school-book and writing things and
her own little stool. She put her reading book and copy book on
Clara's knees, to make a desk for her to write upon, and she
herself took her seat on the stool and sat to the bench, and then
they both began writing to grandmamma. But Clara paused after
every sentence to look about her; it was too beautiful for much
letter writing. The breeze had sunk a little, and now only gently
fanned her face and whispered lightly through the fir trees.
Little winged insects hummed and danced around her in the clear
air, and a great stillness lay over the far, wide, sunny pasture
lands. Lofty and silent rose the high mountain peaks above her,
and below lay the whole broad valley full of quiet peace. Only
now and again the call of some shepherd-boy rang out through the
air, and echo answered softly from the rocks. The morning passed,
the children hardly knew how, and now grandfather came with the
mid-day bowls of steaming milk, for the little daughter, he said,
was to remain out as long as there was a gleam of sun in the sky.
The mid-day meal was set out and eaten as yesterday in the open
air. Then Heidi pushed Clara's chair under the fir trees, for
they had agreed to spend the afternoon under their shade and
there tell each other all that had happened since Heidi left
Frankfurt. If everything had gone on there as usual in a general
way, there were still all kinds of particular things to tell
Heidi about the various people who composed the Sesemann
household, and who were all so well known to Heidi.
So they sat and chatted under the trees, and the more lively
grew their conversation, the more loudly sang the birds overhead,
as if wishing to take part in the children's gossip, which
evidently pleased them. So the hours flew by and all at once, as
it seemed, the evening had come with the returning Peter, who
still scowled and looked angry.
"Good-night, Peter," called out Heidi, as she saw he had no
intention of stopping to speak.
"Good-night, Peter," called out Clara in a friendly voice. Peter
took no notice and went surlily on with his goats.
As Clara saw the grandfather leading away Little Swan to milk
her, she was suddenly taken with a longing for another bowlful
of the fragrant milk, and waited impatiently for it.
"Isn't it curious, Heidi," she said, astonished at herself, "as
long as I can remember I have only eaten because I was obliged
to, and everything used to seem to taste of cod liver oil, and I
was always wishing there was no need to eat or drink; and now I
am longing for grandfather to bring me the milk."
"Yes, I know what it feels like," replied Heidi, who remembered
the many days in Frankfurt when all her food used to seem to
stick in her throat. Clara, however, could not understand it;
the fact was that she had never in her life before spent a whole
day in the open air, much less in such high, life-giving mountain
air. When grandfather at last brought her the evening milk, she
drank it up so quickly that she had emptied her bowl before
Heidi, and then she asked for a little more. The grandfather
went inside with both the children's bowls, and when he brought
them out again full he had something else to add to their supper.
He had walked over that afternoon to a herdsman's house where the
sweetly-tasting butter was made, and had brought home a large
pat, some of which he had now spread thickly on two good slices
of bread. He stood and watched with pleasure while Clara and
Heidi ate their appetising meal with childish hunger and
That night, when Clara lay down in her bed and prepared to watch
the stars, her eyes would not keep open, and she fell asleep as
soon as Heidi and slept soundly all night--a thing she never
remembered having done before. The following day and the day
after passed in the same pleasant fashion, and the third day
there came a surprise for the children. Two stout porters came
up the mountain, each carrying a bed on his shoulders with
bedding of all kinds and two beautiful new white coverlids. The
men also had a letter with them from grandmamma, in which she
said that these were for Clara and Heidi, and that Heidi in
future was always to sleep in a proper bed, and when she went
down to Dorfli in the winter she was to take one with her and
leave the other at the hut, so that Clara might always know there
was a bed ready for her when she paid a visit to the mountain.
She went on to thank the children for their long letters and
encouraged them to continue writing daily, so that she might be
able to picture all they were doing.
So the grandfather went up and threw back the hay from Heidi's
bed on to the great heap, and then with his help the beds were
transported to the loft. He put them close to one another so
that the children might still be able to see out of the window,
for he knew what pleasure they had in the light from the sun and
Meanwhile grandmamma down at Ragatz was rejoicing at the
excellent news of the invalid which reached her daily from the
mountain. Clara found the life more charming each day and could
not say enough of the kindness and care which the grandfather
lavished upon her, nor of Heidi's lively and amusing
companionship, for the latter was more entertaining even than
when in Frankfurt with her, and Clara's first thought when she
woke each morning was, "Oh, how glad I am to be here still."
Having such fresh assurances each day that all was going well
with Clara, grandmamma thought she might put off her visit to
the children a little longer, for the steep ride up and down was
somewhat of a fatigue to her.
The grandfather seemed to feel an especial sympathy for this
little invalid charge, for he tried to think of something fresh
every day to help forward her recovery. He climbed up the
mountain every afternoon, higher and higher each day, and came
home in the evening with a large bunch of leaves which scented
the air with a mingled fragrance as of carnations and thyme,
even from afar. He hung it up in the goat shed, and the goats on
their return were wild to get at it, for they recognised the
smell. But Uncle did not go climbing after rare plants to give
the goats the pleasure of eating them without any trouble of
finding them; what he gathered was for Little Swan alone, that
she might give extra fine milk, and the effect of the extra
feeding was shown in the way she flung her head in the air with
ever-increasing frolicsomeness, and in the bright glow of her
Clara had now been on the mountain for three weeks. For some
days past the grandfather, each morning after carrying her down,
had said, "Won't the little daughter try if she can stand for a
minute or two?" And Clara had made the effort in order to please
him, but had clung to him as soon as her feet touched the
ground, exclaiming that it hurt her so. He let her try a little
longer, however, each day.
It was many years since they had had such a splendid summer
among the mountains. Day after day there were the same cloudless
sky and brilliant sun; the flowers opened wide their fragrant
blossoms, and everywhere the eye was greeted with a glow of
color; and when the evening came the crimson light fell on
mountain peaks and on the great snow-field, till at last the sun
sank in a sea of golden flame.
And Heidi never tired of telling Clara of all this, for only
higher up could the full glory of the colors be rightly seen;
and more particularly did she dwell on the beauty of the spot on
the higher slope of the mountain, where the bright golden rock-
roses grew in masses, and the blue flowers were in such numbers
that the very grass seemed to have turned blue, while near these
were whole bushes of the brown blossoms, with their delicious
scent, so that you never wanted to move again when you once sat
down among them.
She had just been expatiating on the flowers as she sat with
Clara under the fir trees one evening, and had been telling her
again of the wonderful light from the evening sun, when such an
irrepressible longing came over her to see it all once more that
she jumped up and ran to her grandfather, who was in the shed,
calling out almost before she was inside,--
"Grandfather, will you take us out with the goats to-morrow? Oh,
it is so lovely up there now!"
"Very well," he answered, "but if I do, the little daughter must
do something to please me: she must try her best again this
evening to stand on her feet."
Heidi ran back with the good news to Clara, and the latter
promised to try her very best as the grandfather wished, for she
looked forward immensely to the next day's excursion. Heidi was
so pleased and excited that she called out to Peter as soon as
she caught sight of him that evening,--
"Peter, Peter, we are all coming out with you to-morrow and are
going to stay up there the whole day."
Peter, cross as a bear, grumbled some reply, and lifted his
stick to give Greenfinch a blow for no reason in particular, but
Greenfinch saw the movement, and with a leap over Snowflake's
back she got out of the way, and the stick only hit the air.
Clara and Heidi got into their two fine beds that night full of
delightful anticipation of the morrow; they were so full of
their plans that they agreed to keep awake all night and talk
over them until they might venture to get up. But their heads had
no sooner touched their soft pillows than the conversation
suddenly ceased, and Clara fell into a dream of an immense field,
which looked the color of the sky, so thickly inlaid was it with
blue bell-shaped flowers; and Heidi heard the great bird of prey
calling to her from the heights above, "Come! come! come!"
CHAPTER XXII. SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS
Uncle went out early the next morning to see what kind of a day
it was going to be. There was a reddish gold light over the
higher peaks; a light breeze springing up and the branches of the
fir trees moved gently to and fro the sun was on its way.
The old man stood and watched the green slopes under the higher
peaks gradually growing brighter with the coming day and the dark
shadows lifting from the valley, until at first a rosy light
filled its hollows, and then the morning gold flooded every
height and depth--the sun had risen.
Uncle wheeled the chair out of the shed ready for the coming
journey, and then went in to call the children and tell them what
a lovely sunrise it was.
Peter came up at this moment. The goats did not gather round him
so trustfully as usual, but seemed to avoid him timidly, for
Peter had reached a high pitch of anger and bitterness, and was
laying about him with his stick very unnecessarily, and where it
fell the blow was no light one. For weeks now he had not had
Heidi all to himself as formerly. When he came up in the morning
the invalid child was always already in her chair and Heidi fully
occupied with her. And it was the same thing over again when he
came down in the evening. She had not come out with the goats
once this summer, and now to-day she was only coming in company
with her friend and the chair, and would stick by the latter's
side the whole time. It was the thought of this which was making
him particularly cross this morning. There stood the chair on its
high wheels; Peter seemed to see something proud and disdainful
about it, and he glared at it as at an enemy that had done him
harm and was likely to do him more still to-day. He glanced
round--there was no sound anywhere, no one to see him. He sprang
forward like a wild creature, caught hold of it, and gave it a
violent and angry push in the direction of the slope. The chair
rolled swiftly forward and in another minute had disappeared.
Peter now sped up the mountain as if on wings, not pausing till
he was well in shelter of a large blackberry bush, for he had no
wish to be seen by Uncle. But he was anxious to see what had
become of the chair, and his bush was well placed for that.
Himself hidden, he could watch what happened below and see what
Uncle did without being discovered himself. So he looked, and
there he saw his enemy running faster and faster down hill, then
it turned head over heels several times, and finally, after one
great bound, rolled over and over to its complete destruction.
The pieces flew in every direction--feet, arms, and torn
fragments of the padded seat and bolster--and Peter experienced a
feeling of such unbounded delight at the sight that he leapt in
the air, laughing aloud and stamping for joy; then he took a run
round, jumping over bushes on the way, only to return to the same
spot and fall into fresh fits of laughter. He was beside himself
with satisfaction, for he could see only good results for himself
in this disaster to his enemy. Now Heidi's friend would be
obliged to go away, for she would have no means of going about,
and when Heidi was alone again she would come out with him as in
the old days, and everything would go on in the proper way again.
But Peter did not consider, or did not know, that when we do a
wrong thing trouble is sure to follow.
Heidi now came running out of the hut and round to the shed.
Grandfather was behind with Clara in his arms. The shed stood
wide open, the two loose planks having been taken down, and it
was quite light inside. Heidi looked into every corner and ran
from one end to the other, and then stood still wondering what
could have happened to the chair. Grandfather now came up.
"How is this, have you wheeled the chair away, Heidi?"
"I have been looking everywhere for it, grandfather; you said it
was standing ready outside," and she again searched each corner
of the shed with her eyes.
At that moment the wind, which had risen suddenly, blew open the
shed door and sent it banging back against the wall.
"It must have been the wind, grandfather," exclaimed Heidi, and
her eyes grew anxious at this sudden discovery. "Oh! if it has
blown the chair all the way down to Dorfli we shall not get it
back in time, and shall not be able to go."
"If it has rolled as far as that it will never come back, for it
is in a hundred pieces by now," said the grandfather, going
round the corner and looking down. "But it's a curious thing to
have happened!" he added as he thought over the matter, for the
chair would have had to turn a corner before starting down hill.
"Oh, I am sorry," lamented Clara, "for we shall not be able to
go to-day, or perhaps any other day. I shall have to go home, I
suppose, if I have no chair. Oh, I am so sorry, I am so sorry!"
But Heidi looked towards her grandfather with her usual
expression of confidence.
"Grandfather, you will be able to do something, won't you, so
that it need not be as Clara says, and so that she is not
obliged to go home?"
"Well, for the present we will go up the mountain as we had
arranged, and then later on we will see what can be done," he
answered, much to the children's delight.
He went indoors, fetched out a pile of shawls, and laying them
on the sunniest spot he could find set Clara down upon them. Then
he fetched the children's morning milk and had out his two goats.
"Why is Peter not here yet?" thought Uncle to himself, for
Peter's whistle had not been sounded that morning. The
grandfather now took Clara up on one arm, and the shawls on the
"Now then we will start," he said; "the goats can come with us."
Heidi was pleased at this and walked on after her grandfather
with an arm over either of the goats' necks, and the animals were
so overjoyed to have her again that they nearly squeezed her flat
between them out of sheer affection. When they reached the spot
where the goats usually pastured they were surprised to find them
already feeding there, climbing about the rocks, and Peter with
them, lying his full length on the ground.
"I'll teach you another time to go by like that, you lazy
rascal! What do you mean by it?" Uncle called to him.
Peter, recognising the voice, jumped up like a shot. "No one was
up," he answered.
"Have you seen anything of the chair?" asked the grandfather.
"Of what chair?" called Peter back in answer in a morose tone of
Uncle said no more. He spread the shawls on the sunny slope, and
setting Clara upon them asked if she was comfortable.
"As comfortable as in my chair," she said, thanking him, "and
this seems the most beautiful spot. O Heidi, it is lovely, it is
lovely!" she cried, looking round her with delight.
The grandfather prepared to leave them. They would now be safe
and happy together, he said, and when it was time for dinner
Heidi was to go and fetch the bag from the shady hollow where he
had put it; Peter was to bring them as much milk as they wanted,
but Heidi was to see that it was Little Swan's milk. He would
come and fetch them towards evening; he must now be off to see
after the chair and ascertain what had become of it.
The sky was dark blue, and not a single cloud was to be seen
from one horizon to the other. The great snow-field overhead
sparkled as if set with thousands and thousands of gold and
silver stars. The two grey mountains peaks lifted their lofty
heads against the sky and looked solemnly down upon the valley as
of old; the great bird was poised aloft in the clear blue air,
and the mountain wind came over the heights and blew refreshingly
around the children as they sat on the sunlit slope. It was all
indescribably enjoyable to Clara and Heidi. Now and again a
young goat came and lay down beside them; Snowflake came
oftenest, putting her little head down near Heidi, and only
moving because another goat came and drove her away. Clara had
learned to know them all so well that she never mistook one for
the other now, for each had an expression and ways of its own.
And the goats had also grown familiar with Clara and would rub
their heads against her shoulder, which was always a sign of
acquaintanceship and goodwill.
Some hours went by, and Heidi began to think that she might just
go over to the spot where all the flowers grew to see if they
were fully blown and looking as lovely as the year before. Clara
could not go until grandfather came back that evening, when the
flowers probably would be already closed. The longing to go
became stronger and stronger, till she felt she could not resist
"Would you think me unkind, Clara," she said rather
hesitatingly, "if I left you for a few minutes? I should run
there and back very quickly. I want so to see how the flowers are
looking--but wait--" for an idea had come into Heidi's head. She
ran and picked a bunch or two of green leaves, and then took hold
of Snowflake and led her up to Clara.
"There, now you will not be alone," said Heidi, giving the goat
a little push to show her she was to lie down near Clara, which
the animal quite understood. Heidi threw the leaves into Clara's
lap, and the latter told her friend to go at once to look at the
flowers as she was quite happy to be left with the goat; she
liked this new experience. Heidi ran off, and Clara began to
hold out the leaves one by one to Snowflake, who snoozled up to
her new friend in a confiding manner and slowly ate the leaves
from her hand. It was easy to see that Snowflake enjoyed this
peaceful and sheltered way of feeding, for when with the other
goats she had much persecution to endure from the larger and
stronger ones of the flock. And Clara found a strange new
pleasure in sitting all alone like this on the mountain side, her
only companion a little goat that looked to her for protection.
She suddenly felt a great desire to be her own mistress and to be
able to help others, instead of herself being always dependent as
she was now. Many thoughts, unknown to her before, came crowding
into her mind, and a longing to go on living in the sunshine, and
to be doing something that would bring happiness to another, as
now she was helping to make the goat happy. An unaccustomed
feeling of joy took possession of her, as if everything she had
ever known or felt became all at once more beautiful, and she
seemed to see all things in a new light, and so strong was the
sense of this new beauty and happiness that she threw her arms
round the little goat's neck, and exclaimed, "O Snowflake, how
delightful it is up here! if only I could stay on for ever with
you beside me!"
Heidi had meanwhile reached her field of flowers, and as she
caught sight of it she uttered a cry of joy. The whole ground in
front of her was a mass of shimmering gold, where the cistus
flowers spread their yellow blossoms. Above them waved whole
bushes of the deep blue bell-flowers; while the fragrance that
arose from the whole sunlit expanse was as if the rarest balsam
had been flung over it. The scent, however, came from the small
brown flowers, the little round heads of which rose modestly
here and there among the yellow blossoms. Heidi stood and gazed
and drew in the delicious air. Suddenly she turned round and
reached Clara's side out of breath with running and excitement.
"Oh, you must come," she called out as soon as she came in sight,
"it is more beautiful than you can imagine, and perhaps this
evening it may not be so lovely. I believe I could carry you,
don't you think I could?" Clara looked at her and shook her head.
"Why, Heidi, what can you be thinking of! you are smaller than I
am. Oh, if only I could walk!"
Heidi looked round as if in search of something, some new idea
had evidently come into her head. Peter was sitting up above
looking down on the two children. He had been sitting and
staring before him in the same way for hours, as if he could not
make out what he saw. He had destroyed the chair so that the
friend might not be able to move anywhere and that her visit
might come to an end, and then a little while after she had
appeared right up here under his very nose with Heidi beside her.
He thought his eyes must deceive him, and yet there she was and
no mistake about it.
Heidi now looked up to where he was sitting and called out in a
peremptory voice, "Peter, come down here!"
"I don't wish to come," he called in reply.
"But you are to, you must; I cannot do it alone, and you must
come here and help me; make haste and come down," she called
again in an urgent voice.
"I shall do nothing of the kind," was the answer.
Heidi ran some way up the slope towards him, and then pausing
called again, her eyes ablaze with anger, "If you don't come at
once, Peter, I will do something to you that you won't like; I
mean what I say."
Peter felt an inward throe at these words, and a great fear
seized him. He had done something wicked which he wanted no one
to know about, and so far he had thought himself safe. But now
Heidi spoke exactly as if she knew everything, and whatever she
did know she would tell her grandfather, and there was no one he
feared so much as this latter person. Supposing he were to
suspect what had happened about the chair! Peter's anguish of
mind grew more acute. He stood up and went down to where Heidi
was awaiting him.
"I am coming and you won't do what you said."
Peter appeared now so submissive with fear that Heidi felt quite
sorry for him and answered assuringly, "No, no, of course not;
come along with me, there is nothing to be afraid of in what I
want you to do."
As soon as they got to Clara, Heidi gave her orders: Peter was
to take hold of her under the arms on one side and she on the
other, and together they were to lift her up. This first movement
was successfully carried through, but then came the difficulty.
As Clara could not even stand, how were they to support her and
get her along? Heidi was too small for her arm to serve Clara to
"You must put one arm well around my neck so, and put the other
through Peter's and lean firmly upon it, then we shall be able
to carry you."
Peter, however, had never given his arm to any one in his life.
Clara put hers in his, but he kept his own hanging down straight
beside him like a stick.
"That's not the way, Peter," said Heidi in an authoritative
voice. "You must put your arm out in the shape of a ring, and
Clara must put hers through it and lean her weight upon you, and
whatever you do, don't let your arm give way; like that. I am
sure we shall be able to manage."
Peter did as he was told, but still they did not get on very
well. Clara was not such a light weight, and the team did not
match very well in size; it was up one side and down the other,
so that the supports were rather wobbly.
Clara tried to use her own feet a little, but each time drew
them quickly back.
"Put your foot down firmly once," suggested Heidi, "I am sure it
will hurt you less after that."
"Do you think so?" said Clara hesitatingly, but she followed
Heidi's advice and ventured one firm step on the ground and then
another; she called out a little as she did it; then she lifted
her foot again and went on, "Oh, that was less painful already,"
she exclaimed joyfully.
"Try again," said Heidi encouragingly.
And Clara went on putting one foot out after another until all
at once she called out, "I can do it, Heidi! look! look! I can
make proper steps!" And Heidi cried out with even greater
delight, "Can you really make steps, can you really walk? really
walk by yourself? Oh, if only grandfather were here!" and she
continued gleefully to exclaim, "You can walk now, Clara, you can
Clara still held on firmly to her supports, but with every step
she felt safer on her feet, as all three became aware, and Heidi
was beside herself with joy.
"Now we shall be able to come up here together every day, and go
just where we like; and you will be able all your life to walk
about as I do, and not have to be pushed in a chair, and you
will get quite strong and well. It is the greatest happiness we
could have had!"
And Clara heartily agreed, for she could think of no greater joy
in the world than to be strong and able to go about like other
people, and no longer to have to lie from day to day in her
They had not far to go to reach the field of flowers, and could
already catch sight of the cistus flowers glowing gold in the
sun. As they came to the bushes of the blue bell flowers, with
sunny, inviting patches of warm ground between them, Clara said,
"Mightn't we sit down here for a while?"
This was just what Heidi enjoyed, and so the children sat down
in the midst of the flowers, Clara for the first time on the dry,
warm mountain grass, and she found it indescribably delightful.
Around her were the blue flowers softly waving to and fro, and
beyond the gleaming patches of the cistus flowers and the red
centaury, while the sweet scent of the brown blossoms and of the
fragrant prunella enveloped her as she sat. Everything was so
lovely! so lovely! And Heidi, who was beside her, thought she
had never seen it so perfectly beautiful up here before, and she
did not know herself why she felt so glad at heart that she
longed to shout for joy. Then she suddenly remembered that Clara
was cured; that was the crowning delight of all that made life so
delightful in the midst of all this surrounding beauty. Clara sat
silent, overcome with the enchantment of all that her eye rested
upon, and with the anticipation of all the happiness that was now
before her. There seemed hardly room in her heart for all her
joyful emotions, and these and the ecstasy aroused by the
sunlight and the scent of the flowers, held her dumb.
Peter also lay among the flowers without moving or speaking, for
he was fast asleep. The breeze came blowing softly and
caressingly from behind the sheltering rocks, and passed
whisperingly through the bushes overhead. Heidi got up now and
then to run about, for the flowers waving in the warm wind
seemed to smell sweeter and to grow more thickly whichever way
she went, and she felt she must sit down at each fresh spot to
enjoy the sight and scent. So the hours went by.
It was long past noon when a small troop of goats advanced
solemnly towards the plain of flowers. It was not a feeding
place of theirs, for they did not care to graze on flowers. They
looked like an embassy arriving, with Greenfinch as their leader.
They had evidently come in search of their companions who had
left them in the lurch, and who had, contrary to all custom,
remained away so long, for the goats could tell the time without
mistake. As soon as Greenfinch caught sight of the three missing
friends amid the flowers she set up an extra loud bleat,
whereupon all the others joined in a chorus of bleats, and the
whole company came trotting towards the children. Peter woke up,
rubbing his eyes, for he had been dreaming that he saw the chair
again with its beautiful red padding standing whole and uninjured
before the grandfather's door, and indeed just as he awoke he
thought he was looking at the brass-headed nails that studded it
all round, but it was only the bright yellow flowers beside him.
He experienced again a dreadful fear of mind that he had lost in
this dream of the uninjured chair. Even though Heidi had promised
not to do anything, there still remained the lively dread that
his deed might be found out in some other way. He allowed Heidi
to do what she liked with him, for he was reduced to such a state
of low spirits and meekness that he was ready to give his help to
Clara without murmur or resistance.
When all three had got back to their old quarters Heidi ran and
brought forward the bag, and proceeded to fulfil her promise,
for her threat of the morning had been concerned with Peter's
dinner. She had seen her grandfather putting in all sorts of good
things, and had been pleased to think of Peter having a large
share of them, and she had meant him to understand when he
refused at first to help her that he would get nothing for his
dinner, but Peter's conscience had put another interpretation
upon her words. Heidi took the food out of the bag and divided it
into three portions, and each was of such a goodly size that she
thought to herself, "There will be plenty of ours left for him to
have more still."
She gave the other two their dinners and sat down with her own
beside Clara, and they all three ate with a good appetite after
their great exertions.
It ended as Heidi had expected, and Peter got as much food again
as his own share with what Clara and Heidi had over from theirs
after they had both eaten as much as they wanted. Peter ate up
every bit of food to the last crumb, but there was something
wanting to his usual enjoyment of a good dinner, for every
mouthful he swallowed seemed to choke him, and he felt something
gnawing inside him.
They were so late at their dinner that they had not long to wait
after they had finished before grandfather came up to fetch them.
Heidi rushed forward to meet him as soon as he appeared, as she
wanted to be the first to tell him the good news. She was so
excited that she could hardly get her words out when she did get
up to him, but he soon understood, and a look of extreme pleasure
came into his face. He hastened up to where Clara was sitting and
said with a cheerful smile, "So we've made the effort, have we,
and won the day!"
Then he lifted her up, and putting his left arm behind her and
giving her his right to lean upon, made her walk a little way,
which she did with less trembling and hesitation than before now
that she had such a strong arm round her.
Heidi skipped along beside her in triumphant glee, and the
grandfather looked too as if some happiness had befallen him.
But now he took Clara up in his arms. "We must not overdo it,"
he said, "and it is high time we went home," and he started off
down the mountain path, for he was anxious to get her indoors
that she might rest after her unusual fatigue.
When Peter got to Dorfli that evening he found a large group of
people collected round a certain spot, pushing one another and
looking over each other's shoulders in their eagerness to catch
sight of something lying on the ground. Peter thought he should
like to see too, and poked and elbowed till he made his way
There it lay, the thing he had wanted to see. Scattered about
the grass were the remains of Clara's chair; part of the back and
the middle bit, and enough of the red padding and the bright
nails to show how magnificent the chair had been when it was
"I was here when the men passed carrying it up," said the baker
who was standing near Peter. "I'll bet any one that it was worth
twenty-five pounds at least. I cannot think how such an accident
could have happened."
"Uncle said the wind might perhaps have done it," remarked one
of the women, who could not sufficiently admire the red
"It's a good job that no one but the wind did it," said the
baker again, "or he might smart for it! No doubt the gentleman in
Frankfurt when he hears what has happened will make all
inquiries about it. I am glad for myself that I have not been
seen up the mountain for a good two years, as suspicion is likely
to fall on any one who was about up there at the time."
Many more opinions were passed on the matter, but Peter had
heard enough. He crept quietly away out of the crowd and then
took to his heels and ran up home as fast as he could, as if he
thought some one was after him. The baker's words had filled him
with fear and trembling. He was sure now that any day a constable
might come over from Frankfurt and inquire about the destruction
of the chair, and then everything would come out, and he would
be seized and carried off to Frankfurt and there put in prison.
The whole picture of what was coming was clear before him, and
his hair stood on end with terror.
He reached home in this disturbed state of mind. He would not
open his mouth in reply to anything that was said to him; he
would not eat his potatoes; all he did was to creep off to bed
as quickly as possible and hide under the bedclothes and groan.
"Peter has been eating sorrel again, and is evidently in pain by
the way he is groaning," said Brigitta.
"You must give him a little more bread to take with him; give
him a bit of mine to-morrow," said the grandmother sympathisingly.
As the children lay that night in bed looking out at the stars
Heidi said, "I have been thinking all day what a happy thing it
is that God does not give us what we ask for, even when we pray
and pray and pray, if He knows there is something better for us;
have you felt like that?"
"Why do you ask me that to-night all of a sudden?" asked Clara.
"Because I prayed so hard when I was in Frankfurt that I might
go home at once, and because I was not allowed to I thought God
had forgotten me. And now you see, if I had come away at first
when I wanted to, you would never have come here, and would never
have got well."
Clara had in her turn become thoughtful. "But, Heidi," she began
again, "in that case we ought never to pray for anything, as God
always intends something better for us than we know or wish
"You must not think it is like that, Clara," replied Heidi
eagerly. "We must go on praying for everything, for everything,
so that God may know we do not forget that it all comes from
Him. If we forget God, then He lets us go our own way and we get
into trouble; grandmamma told me so. And if He does not give us
what we ask for we must not think that He has not heard us and
leave off praying, but we must still pray and say, I am sure,
dear God, that Thou art keeping something better for me, and I
will not be unhappy, for I know that Thou wilt make everything
right in the end."
"How did you learn all that?" asked Clara.
"Grandmamma explained it to me first of all, and then when it
all happened just as she said, I knew it myself, and I think,
Clara," she went on, as she sat up in bed, "we ought certainly to
thank God to-night that you can walk now, and that He has made us
"Yes, Heidi, I am sure you are right, and I am glad you reminded
me; I almost forgot my prayers for very joy."
Both children said their prayers, and each thanked God in her
own way for the blessing He had bestowed on Clara, who had for so
long lain weak and ill.
The next morning the grandfather suggested that they should now
write to the grandmamma and ask her if she would not come and
pay them a visit, as they had something new to show her. But the
children had another plan in their heads, for they wanted to
prepare a great surprise for grandmamma. Clara was first to have
more practice in walking so that she might be able to go a
little way by herself; above all things grandmamma was not to
have a hint of it. They asked the grandfather how long he thought
this would take, and when he told them about a week or less, they
immediately sat down and wrote a pressing invitation to
grandmamma, asking her to come soon, but no word was said about
there being anything new to see.
The following days were some of the most joyous that Clara had
spent on the mountain. She awoke each morning with a happy voice
within her crying, "I am well now! I am well now! I shan't have
to go about in a chair, I can walk by myself like other people."
Then came the walking, and every day she found it easier and was
able to go a longer distance. The movement gave her such an
appetite that the grandfather cut his bread and butter a little
thicker each day, and was well pleased to see it disappear. He
now brought out with it a large jugful of the foaming milk and
filled her little bowl over and over again. And so another week
went by and the day came which was to bring grandmamma up the
mountain for her second visit.
CHAPTER XXIII. "GOOD-BYE TILL WE MEET AGAIN"
Grandmamma wrote the day before her arrival to let the children
know that they might expect her without fail. Peter brought up
the letter early the following morning. Grandfather and the
children were already outside and the goats were awaiting him,
shaking their heads frolicsomely in the fresh morning air, while
the children stroked them and wished them a pleasant journey up
the mountain. Uncle stood near, looking now at the fresh faces
of the children, now at his well-kept goats, with a smile on his
face, evidently well pleased with the sight of both.
As Peter neared the group his steps slackened, and the instant
he had handed the letter to Uncle he turned quickly away as if
frightened, and as he went he gave a hasty glance behind him, as
if the thing he feared was pursuing him, and then he gave a leap
and ran off up the mountain.
"Grandfather," said Heidi, who had been watching him with
astonished eyes, "why does Peter always behave now like the
Great Turk when he thinks somebody is after him with a stick; he
turns and shakes his head and goes off with a bound just like
"Perhaps Peter fancies he sees the stick which he so well
deserves coming after him," answered grandfather.
Peter ran up the first slope without a pause; when he was well
out of sight, however, he stood still and looked suspiciously
about him. Suddenly he gave a jump and looked behind him with a
terrified expression, as if some one had caught hold of him by
the nape of the neck; for Peter expected every minute that the
police-constable from Frankfurt would leap out upon him from
behind some bush or hedge. The longer his suspense lasted, the
more frightened and miserable he became; he did not know a
Heidi now set about tidying the hut, as grandmamma must find
everything clean and in good order when she arrived.
Clara looked on amused and interested to watch the busy Heidi at
So the morning soon went by, and grandmamma might now be
expected at any minute. The children dressed themselves and went
and sat together outside on the seat ready to receive her.
Grandfather joined them, that they might see the splendid bunch
of blue gentians which he had been up the mountain to gather,
and the children exclaimed with delight at the beauty of the
flowers as they shone in the morning sun. The grandfather then
carried them indoors. Heidi jumped up from time to time to see if
there was any sign of grandmamma's approach.
At last she saw the procession winding up the mountain just in
the order she had expected. First there was the guide, then the
white horse with grandmamma mounted upon it, and last of all the
porter with a heavy bundle on his back, for grandmamma would not
think of going up the mountain without a full supply of wraps
Nearer and nearer wound the procession; at last it reached the
top and grandmamma was there looking down on the children from
her horse. She no sooner saw them, however, sitting side by
side, than she began quickly dismounting, as she cried out in a
shocked tone of voice, "Why is this? why are you not lying in
your chair, Clara? What are you all thinking about?" But even
before she had got close to them she threw up her hands in
astonishment, exclaiming further, "Is it really you, dear child?
Why, your cheeks have grown quite round and rosy! I should hardly
have known you again!" And she was hastening forward to embrace
her, when Heidi slipped down from the seat, and Clara leaning on
her shoulder, the two children began walking along quite coolly
and naturally. Then indeed grandmamma was surprised, or rather
alarmed, for she thought at first that it must be some unheard-
of proceeding of Heidi's devising.
But no--Clara was actually walking steadily and uprightly beside
Heidi--and now the two children turned and came towards her with
beaming faces and rosy cheeks. Laughing and crying she ran to
them and embraced first Clara and then Heidi, and then Clara
again, unable to speak for joy. All at once she caught sight of
Uncle standing by the seat and looking on smiling at the
meeting. She took Clara's arm in hers, and with continual
expressions of delight at the fact that the child could now
really walk about with her, she went up to the old man, and then
letting go Clara's arm she seized his hands.
"My dear Uncle! my dear Uncle! how much we have to thank you
for! It is all your doing! it is your caring and nursing----"
"And God's good sun and mountain air," he interrupted her,
"Yes, and don't forget the beautiful milk I have," put in Clara.
"Grandmamma, you can't think what a quantity of goat's milk I
drink, and how nice it is!"
"I can see that by your cheeks, child," answered grandmamma. "I
really should not have known you; you have grown quite strong
and plump, and taller too; I never hoped or expected to see you
look like that. I cannot take my eyes off you, for I can hardly
yet believe it. But now I must telegraph without delay to my son
in Paris, and tell him he must come here at once. I shall not say
why; it will be the greatest happiness he has ever known. My
dear Uncle, how can I send a telegram; have you dismissed the men
"They have gone," he answered, "but if you are in a hurry I will
fetch Peter, and he can take it for you."
Grandmamma thanked him, for she was anxious that the good news
should not be kept from her son a day longer than was possible.
So Uncle went aside a little way and blew such a resounding
whistle through his fingers that he awoke a responsive echo
among the rocks far overhead. He had not to wait many minutes
before Peter came running down in answer, for he knew the sound
of Uncle's whistle. Peter arrived, looking as white as a ghost,
for he quite thought Uncle was sending for him to give him up.
But as it was he only had a written paper given him with
instructions to take it down at once to the post-office at
Dorfli; Uncle would settle for the payment later, as it was not
safe to give Peter too much to look after.
Peter went off with the paper in his hand, feeling some relief
of mind for the present, for as Uncle had not whistled for him in
order to give him up it was evident that no policeman had yet
So now they could all sit down in peace to their dinner round
the table in front of the hut, and grandmamma was given a
detailed account of all that had taken place. How grandfather had
made Clara try first to stand and then to move her feet a little
every day, and how they had settled for the day's excursion up
the mountain and the chair had been blown away. How Clara's
desire to see the flowers had induced her to take the first walk,
and so by degrees one thing had led to another. The recital took
some time, for grandmamma continually interrupted it with fresh
exclamations of surprise and thankfulness: "It hardly seems
possible! I can scarcely believe it is not all a dream! Are we
really awake, and are all sitting here by the mountain hut, and
is that round-faced, healthy-looking child my poor little, white,
And Clara and Heidi could not get over their delight at the
success of the surprise they had so carefully arranged for
grandmamma and at the latter's continued astonishment.
Meanwhile Herr Sesemann, who had finished his business in Paris,
had also been preparing a surprise. Without saying a word to his
mother he got into the train one sunny morning and travelled
that day to Basle; the next morning he continued his journey, for
a great longing had seized him to see his little daughter from
whom he had been separated the whole summer. He arrived at Ragatz
a few hours after his mother had left. When he heard that she had
that very day started for the mountain, he immediately hired a
carriage and drove off to Mayenfeld; here he found that he could
if he liked drive on as far as Dorfli, which he did, as he
thought the walk up from that place would be as long as he cared
Herr Sesemann found he was right, for the climb up the mountain,
as it was, proved long and fatiguing to him. He went on and on,
but still no hut came in sight, and yet he knew there was one
where Peter lived half way up, for the path had been described
to him over and over again.
There were traces of climbers to be seen on all sides; the
narrow footpaths seemed to run in every direction, and Herr
Sesemann began to wonder if he was on the right one, and whether
the hut lay perhaps on the other side of the mountain. He looked
round to see if any one was in sight of whom he could ask the
way; but far and wide there was not a soul to be seen or a sound
to be heard. Only at moments the mountain wind whistled through
the air, and the insects hummed in the sunshine or a happy bird
sang out from the branches of a solitary larch tree. Herr
Sesemann stood still for a while to let the cool Alpine wind blow
on his hot face. But now some one came running down the mountain-
side--it was Peter with the telegram in his hand. He ran straight
down the steep slope, not following the path on which Herr
Sesemann was standing. As soon as the latter caught sight of him
he beckoned to him to come. Peter advanced towards him slowly and
timidly, with a sort of sidelong movement, as if he could only
move one leg properly and had to drag the other after him. "Hurry
up, lad," called Herr Sesemann, and when Peter was near enough,
"Tell me," he said, "is this the way to the hut where the old man
and the child Heidi live, and where the visitors from Frankfurt
A low sound of fear was the only answer he received, as Peter
turned to run away in such precipitous haste that he fell head
over heels several times, and went rolling and bumping down the
slope in involuntary bounds, just in the same way as the chair,
only that Peter fortunately did not fall to pieces as that had
done. Only the telegram came to grief, and that was torn into
fragments and flew away.
"How extraordinarily timid these mountain dwellers are!" thought
Herr Sesemann to himself, for he quite believed that it was the
sight of a stranger that had made such an impression on this
unsophisticated child of the mountains.
After watching Peter's violent descent towards the valley for a
few minutes he continued his journey.
Peter, meanwhile, with all his efforts, could not stop himself,
but went rolling on, and still tumbling head over heels at
intervals in a most remarkable manner.
But this was not the most terrible part of his sufferings at the
moment, for far worse was the fear and horror that possessed
him, feeling sure, as he did now, that the policeman had really
come over for him from Frankfurt. He had no doubt at all that the
stranger who had asked him the way was the very man himself.
Just as he had rolled to the edge of that last high slope above
Dorfli he was caught in a bush, and at last able to keep himself
from falling any farther. He lay still for a second or two to
recover himself, and to think over matters.
"Well done! another of you come bumping along like this!" said a
voice close to Peter, "and which of you to-morrow is the wind
going to send rolling down like a badly-sewn sack of potatoes?"
It was the baker, who stood there laughing. He had been
strolling out to refresh himself after his hot day's work, and
had watched with amusement as he saw Peter come rolling over and
over in much the same way as the chair.
Peter was on his feet in a moment. He had received a fresh
shock. Without once looking behind him he began hurrying up the
slope again. He would have liked best to go home and creep into
bed, so as to hide himself, for he felt safest when there. But he
had left the goats up above, and Uncle had given him strict
injunctions to make haste back so that they might not be left
too long alone. And he stood more in awe of Uncle than any one,
and would not have dared to disobey him on any account. There was
no help for it, he had to go back, and Peter went on groaning and
limping. He could run no more, for the anguish of mind he had
been through, and the bumping and shaking he had received, were
beginning to tell upon him. And so with lagging steps and groans
he slowly made his way up the mountain.
Shortly after meeting Peter, Herr Sesemann passed the first hut,
and so was satisfied that he was on the right path. He continued
his climb with renewed courage, and at last, after a long and
exhausting walk, he came in sight of his goal. There, only a
little distance farther up, stood the grandfather's home, with
the dark tops of the fir trees waving above its roof.
Herr Sesemann was delighted to have come to the last steep bit
of his journey, in another minute or two he would be with his
little daughter, and he pleased himself with the thought of her
surprise. But the company above had seen his approaching figure
and recognized who it was, and they were preparing something he
little expected as a surprise on their part.
As he stepped on to the space in front of the hut two figures
came towards him. One a tall girl with fair hair and pink cheeks,
leaning on Heidi, whose dark eyes were dancing with joy. Herr
Sesemann suddenly stopped, staring at the two children, and all
at once the tears started to his eyes. What memories arose in his
heart! Just so had Clara's mother looked, the fair-haired girl
with the delicate pink-and-white complexion. Herr Sesemann did
not know if he was awake or dreaming.
"Don't you know me, papa?" called Clara to him, her face beaming
with happiness. "Am I so altered since you saw me?"
Then Herr Sesemann ran to his child and clasped her in his arms.
"Yes, you are indeed altered! How is it possible? Is it true
what I see?" And the delighted father stepped back to look full
at her again, and to make sure that the picture would not vanish
before his eyes.
"Are you my little Clara, really my little Clara?" he kept on
saying, then he clasped her in his arms again, and again put her
away from him that he might look and make sure it was she who
stood before him.
And now grandmamma came up, anxious for a sight of her son's
"Well, what do you say now, dear son?" she exclaimed. "You have
given us a pleasant surprise, but it is nothing in comparison to
what we have prepared for you, you must confess," and she gave
her son an affectionate kiss as she spoke. "But now," she went
on, "you must come and pay your respects to Uncle, who is our
"Yes, indeed, and with the little inmate of our own house, our
little Heidi, too," said Herr Sesemann, shaking Heidi by the
hand. "Well? are you still well and happy in your mountain home?
but I need not ask, no Alpine rose could look more blooming. I
am glad, child, it is a pleasure to me to see you so."
And Heidi looked up with equal pleasure into Herr Sesemann's
kind face. How good he had always been to her! And that he should
find such happiness awaiting him up here on the mountain made her
heart beat with gladness.
Grandmamma now led her son to introduce him to Uncle, and while
the two men were shaking hands and Herr Sesemann was expressing
his heartfelt thanks and boundless astonishment to the old man,
grandmamma wandered round to the back to see the old fir trees
Here another unexpected sight met her gaze, for there, under the
trees where the long branches had left a clear space on the
ground, stood a great bush of the most wonderful dark blue
gentians, as fresh and shining as if they were growing on the
spot. She clasped her hands, enraptured with their beauty.
"How exquisite! what a lovely sight!" she exclaimed. "Heidi,
dearest child, come here! Is it you who have prepared this
pleasure for me? It is perfectly wonderful!"
The children ran up.
"No, no, I did not put them there," said Heidi, "but I know who
"They grow just like that on the mountain, grandmamma, only if
anything they look more beautiful still," Clara put in; "but
guess who brought those down to-day," and as she spoke she gave
such a pleased smile that the grandmother thought for a moment
the child herself must have gathered them. But that was hardly
At this moment a slight rustling was heard behind the fir trees.
It was Peter, who had just arrived. He had made a long round,
having seen from the distance who it was standing beside Uncle
in front of the hut, and he was trying to slip by unobserved. But
grandmamma had seen and recognized him, and suddenly the thought
struck her that it might be Peter who had brought the flowers
and that he was now trying to get away unseen, feeling shy about
it; but she could not let him go off like that, he must have some
"Come along, boy; come here, do not be afraid," she called to
Peter stood still, petrified with fear. After all he had gone
through that day he felt he had no longer any power of
resistance left. All he could think was, "It's all up with me
now." Every hair of his head stood on end, and he stepped forth
from behind the fir trees, his face pale and distorted with
"Courage, boy," said grandmamma in her effort to dispel his
shyness, "tell me now straight out without hesitation, was it
you who did it?"
Peter did not lift his eyes and therefore did not see at what
grandmamma was pointing. But he knew that Uncle was standing at
the corner of the hut, fixing him with his grey eyes, while
beside him stood the most terrible person that Peter could
conceive--the police-constable from Frankfurt. Quaking in every
limb, and with trembling lips he muttered a low, "Yes."
"Well, and what is there dreadful about that?" said grandmamma.
"Because--because--it is all broken to pieces and no one can put
it together again." Peter brought out his words with difficulty,
and his knees knocked together so that he could hardly stand.
Grandmamma went up to Uncle. "Is that poor boy a little out of
his mind?" she asked sympathisingly.
"Not in the least," Uncle assured her, "it is only that he was
the wind that sent the chair rolling down the slope, and he is
expecting his well-deserved punishment."
Grandmamma found this hard to believe, for in her opinion Peter
did not look an entirely bad boy, nor could he have any reason
for destroying such a necessary thing as the chair. But Uncle
had only given expression to the suspicion that he had from the
moment the accident happened. The angry looks which Peter had
from the beginning cast at Clara, and the other signs of his
dislike to what had been taking place on the mountain, had not
escaped Uncle's eye. Putting two and two together he had come to
the right conclusion as to the cause of the disaster, and he
therefore spoke without hesitation when he accused Peter. The
lady broke into lively expostulations on hearing this.
"No, no, dear Uncle, we will not punish the poor boy any
further. One must be fair to him. Here are all these strangers
from Frankfurt who come and carry away Heidi, his one sole
possession, and a possession well worth having too, and he is
left to sit alone day after day for weeks, with nothing to do but
brood over his wrongs. No, no, let us be fair to him; his anger
got the upper hand and drove him an act of revenge--a foolish
one, I own, but then we all behave foolishly when we are angry."
And saying this she went back to Peter, who still stood
frightened and trembling. She sat down on the seat under the fir
trees and called him to her kindly,--
"Come here, boy, and stand in front of me, for I have something
to say to you. Leave off shaking and trembling, for I want you
to listen to me. You sent the chair rolling down the mountain so
that it was broken to pieces. That was a very wrong thing to do,
as you yourself knew very well at the time, and you also knew
that you deserved to be punished for it, and in order to escape
this you have been doing all you can to hide the truth from
everybody. But be sure of this, Peter: that those who do wrong
make a mistake when they think no one knows anything about it.
For God sees and hears everything, and when the wicked doer
tries to hide what he has done, then God wakes up a little
watchman that He places inside us all when we are born and who
sleeps on quietly till we do something wrong. And the little
watchman has a small goad in his hand, And when he wakes up he
keeps on pricking us with it, so that we have not a moment's
peace. And the watchman torments us still further, for he keeps
on calling out, 'Now you will be found out! Now they will drag
you off to punishment!' And so we pass our life in fear and
trouble, and never know a moment's happiness or peace. Have you
not felt something like that lately, Peter?"
Peter gave a contrite nod of the head, as one who knew all about
it, for grandmamma had described his own feelings exactly.
"And you calculated wrongly also in another way," continued
grandmamma, "for you see the harm you intended has turned out
for the best for those you wished to hurt. As Clara had no chair
to go in and yet wanted so much to see the flowers, she made the
effort to walk, and every day since she has been walking better
and better, and if she remains up here she will in time be able
to go up the mountain every day, much oftener than she would
have done in her chair. So you see, Peter, God is able to bring
good out of evil for those whom you meant to injure, and you who
did the evil were left to suffer the unhappy consequences of it.
Do you thoroughly understand all I have said to you, Peter? If
so, do not forget my words, and whenever you feel inclined to do
anything wrong, think of the little watchman inside you with his
goad and his disagreeable voice. Will you remember all this?"
"Yes, I will," answered Peter, still very subdued, for he did
not yet know how the matter was going to end, as the police
constable was still standing with the Uncle.
"That's right, and now the thing is over and done for," said
grandmamma. "But I should like you to have something for a
pleasant reminder of the visitors from Frankfurt. Can you tell
me anything that you have wished very much to have? What would
you like best as a present?"
Peter lifted his head at this, and stared open-eyed at
grandmamma. Up to the last minute he had been expecting
something dreadful to happen, and now he might have anything that
he wanted. His mind seemed all of a whirl.
"I mean what I say," went on grandmamma. "You shall choose what
you would like to have as a remembrance from the Frankfurt
visitors, and as a token that they will not think any more of
the wrong thing you did. Now do you understand me, boy?"
The fact began at last to dawn upon Peter's mind that he had no
further punishment to fear, and that the kind lady sitting in
front of him had delivered him from the police constable. He
suddenly felt as if the weight of a mountain had fallen off him.
He had also by this time awakened to the further conviction that
it was better to make a full confession at once of anything he
had done wrong or had left undone, and so he said, "And I lost
the paper, too."
Grandmamma had to consider a moment what he meant, but soon
recalled his connection with her telegram, and answered kindly,--
"You are a good boy to tell me! Never conceal anything you have
done wrong, and then all will come right again. And now what
would you like me to give you?"
Peter grew almost giddy with the thought that he could have
anything in the world that he wished for. He had a vision of the
yearly fair at Mayenfeld with the glittering stalls and all the
lovely things that he had stood gazing at for hours, without a
hope of ever possessing one of them, for Peter's purse never
held more than a halfpenny, and all these fascinating objects
cost double that amount. There were the pretty little red
whistles that he could use to call his goats, and the splendid
knives with rounded handles, known as toad-strikers, with which
one could do such famous work among the hazel bushes.
Peter remained pondering; he was trying to think which of these
two desirable objects he should best like to have, and he found
it difficult to decide. Then a bright thought occurred to him;
he would then be able to think over the matter between now and
next year's fair.
"A penny," answered Peter, who was no longer in doubt.
Grandmamma could not help laughing. "That is not an extravagant
request. Come here then!" and she pulled out her purse and put
four bright round shillings in his hand and, then laid some
pennies on top of it. "We will settle our accounts at once," she
continued, "and I will explain them to you. I have given you as
many pennies as there are weeks in the year, and so every Sunday
throughout the year you can take out a penny to spend."
"As long as I live?" said Peter quite innocently.
Grandmamma laughed more still at this, and the men hearing her,
paused in their talk to listen to what was going on.
"Yes, boy, you shall have it all your life--I will put it down
in my will. Do you hear, my son? and you are to put it down in
yours as well: a penny a week to Peter as long as he lives."
Herr Sesemann nodded his assent and joined in the laughter.
Peter looked again at the present in his hand to make sure he
was not dreaming, and then said, "Thank God!"
And he went off running and leaping with more even than his
usual agility, and this time managed to keep his feet, for it was
not fear, but joy such as he had never known before in his life,
that now sent him flying up the mountain. All trouble and
trembling had disappeared, and he was to have a penny every week
As later, after dinner, the party were sitting together
chatting, Clara drew her father a little aside, and said with an
eagerness that had been unknown to the little tired invalid,--
"O papa, if you only knew all that grandfather has done for me
from day to day! I cannot reckon his kindnesses, but I shall
never forget them as long as I live! And I keep on thinking what
I could do for him, or what present I could make him that would
give him half as much pleasure as he has given me."
"That is just what I wish most myself, Clara," replied her
father, whose face grew happier each time he looked at his
little daughter. "I have been also thinking how we can best show
our gratitude to our good benefactor."
Herr Sesemann now went over to where Uncle and grandmamma were
engaged in lively conversation. Uncle stood up as he approached,
and Herr Sesemann, taking him by the hand said,--
"Dear friend, let us exchange a few words with one another. You
will believe me when I tell you that I have known no real
happiness for years past. What worth to me were money and
property when they were unable to make my poor child well and
happy? With the help of God you have made her whole and strong,
and you have given new life not only to her but to me. Tell me
now, in what way can I show my gratitude to you? I can never
repay all you have done, but whatever is in my power to do is at
your service. Speak, friend, and tell me what I can do?"
Uncle had listened to him quietly, with a smile of pleasure on
his face as he looked at the happy father.
"Herr Sesemann," he replied in his dignified way, "believe me
that I too have my share in the joy of your daughter's recovery,
and my trouble is well repaid by it. I thank you heartily for
all you have said, but I have need of nothing; I have enough for
myself and the child as long as I live. One wish alone I have,
and if that could be satisfied I should have no further care in
"Speak, dear friend, and tell me what it is," said Herr Sesemann
"I am growing old," Uncle went on, "and shall not be here much
longer. I have nothing to leave the child when I die, and she
has no relations, except one person who will always like to make
what profit out of her she can. If you could promise me that
Heidi shall never have to go and earn her living among strangers,
then you would richly reward me for all I have done for your
"There could never be any question of such a thing as that, my
dear friend," said Herr Sesemann quickly. "I look upon the child
as our own. Ask my mother, my daughter; you may be sure that
they will never allow the child to be left in any one else's
care! But if it will make you happier I give you here my hand
upon it. I promise you: Heidi shall never have to go and earn her
living among strangers; I will make provision against this both
during my life and after. But now I have something else to say.
Independent of her circumstances, the child is totally unfitted
to live a life away from home; we found out that when she was
with us. But she has made friends, and among them I know one who
is at this moment in Frankfurt; he is winding up his affairs
there, that he may be free to go where he likes and take his
rest. I am speaking of my friend, the doctor, who came over here
in the autumn and who, having well considered your advice,
intends to settle in this neighborhood, for he has never felt so
well and happy anywhere as in the company of you and Heidi. So
you see the child will henceforth have two protectors near her--
and may they both live long to share the task!"
"God grant it indeed may be so!" added grandmamma, shaking
Uncle's hand warmly as she spoke, to show how sincerely she
echoed her son's wish. Then putting her arm round Heidi, who was
standing near, she drew the child to her.
"And I have a question to ask you too, dear Heidi. Tell me if
there is anything you particularly wish for."
"Yes, there is," answered Heidi promptly, looking up delightedly
"Then tell me at once, dear, what it is."
"I want to have the bed I slept in at Frankfurt with the high
pillows and the thick coverlid, and then grandmother will not
have to lie with her head down hill and hardly able to breathe,
and she will be warm enough under the coverlid not to have to
wear her shawl in bed to prevent her freezing to death."
In her eagerness to obtain what she had set her heart upon Heidi
hardly gave herself time to get out all she had to say, and did
not pause for breath till she reached the end of her sentence.
"Dearest child," answered grandmamma, moved by Heidi's speech,
"what is this you tell me of grandmother! You are right to
remind me. In the midst of our own happiness we forget too often
that which we ought to remember before all things. When God has
shown us some special mercy we should think at once of those who
are denied so many things. I will telegraph to Frankfurt at once!
Fraulein Rottenmeier shall pack up the bed this very day, and it
will be here in two days' time. God willing, grandmother shall
soon be sleeping comfortably upon it."
Heidi skipped round grandmamma in her glee, and then stopping
all of a sudden, said quickly, "I must make haste down and tell
grandmother, and she will be in trouble too at my not having
been to see her for such a long time." For she felt she could not
wait another moment before carrying the good news down to
grandmother, and, moreover, the recollection came to her of the
distress the old woman was in when she last saw her.
"No, no, Heidi, what can you be thinking of," said her
grandfather reprovingly. "You can't be running backwards and
forwards like that when you have visitors."
But grandmamma interfered on Heidi's behalf. "The child is not
so far wrong, Uncle," she said, "and poor grandmother has too
long been deprived of Heidi for our sakes. Let us all go down to
her together. I believe my horse is waiting for me and I can ride
down from there, and as soon as I get to Dorfli the message
shall be sent off. What do you think of my plan, son?"
Herr Sesemann had not yet had time to speak of his travelling
plans, so he begged his mother to wait a few moments that he
might tell her what he proposed doing.
Herr Sesemann had been arranging that he and his mother should
make a little tour in Switzerland, first ascertaining if Clara
was in a fit state to go some part of the way with them. But now
he would have the full enjoyment of his daughter's company, and
that being so he did not want to miss any of these beautiful
days of later summer, but to start at once on the journey that he
now looked forward to with such additional pleasure. And so he
proposed that they should spend the night in Dorfli and that
next day he should come and fetch Clara, then they would all
three go down to Ragatz and make that their starting point.
Clara was rather upset at first at the thought of saying good-
bye like this to the mountain; she could not help being pleased,
however, at the prospect of the journey, and no time was allowed
her to give way to lamentation.
Grandmamma had already taken Heidi by the hand, preparatory to
leading the way, when she suddenly turned. "But what is to
become of Clara?" she asked, remembering all at once that the
child could not yet take so long a walk. She gave a nod of
satisfaction as she saw that Uncle had already taken Clara up in
his arms and was following her with sturdy strides. Herr Sesemann
brought up the rear, and so they all started down the mountain.
Heidi kept jumping for joy as she and grandmamma walked along
side by side, and grandmamma asked all about grandmother, how
she lived, and what she did, especially in the winter when it was
so cold. And Heidi gave her a minute account of everything, for
she knew all that went on at grandmother's, and told her how
grandmother sat crouching in her corner and trembling with cold.
She was able to give her exact particulars of what grandmother
had and had not to eat. Grandmamma listened with interest and
sympathy until they came to Grandmother's. Brigitta was just
hanging out Peter's second shirt in the sun, so that he might
have it ready to put on when he had worn the other long enough.
As soon as she saw the company approaching she rushed indoors.
"The whole party of them are just going past, mother, evidently
all returning home again," she informed the old woman. "Uncle is
with them, carrying the sick child."
"Alas, is it really to be so then?" sighed the grandmother. "And
you saw Heidi with them? Then they are taking her away. If only
she could come and put her hand in mine again! If I could but
hear her voice once more!"
At this moment the door flew open and Heidi sprang across to the
corner and threw her arms round grandmother.
"Grandmother! grandmother! my bed is to be sent from Frankfurt
with all the three pillows and the thick coverlid; grandmamma
says it will be here in two days." Heidi could not get out her
words quickly enough, for she was impatient to see grandmother's
great joy at the news. The latter smiled, but said a little
"She must indeed be a good kind lady, and I ought to be glad to
think she is taking you with her, but I shall not outlive it
"What is this I hear? Who has been telling my good grandmother
such tales?" exclaimed a kindly voice, and grandmother felt her
hand taken and warmly pressed, for grandmamma had followed Heidi
in and heard all that was said. "No, no, there is no thought of
such a thing! Heidi is going to stay with you and make you
happy. We want to see her again, but we shall come to her. We
hope to pay a visit to the Alm every year, for we have good cause
to offer up especial thanks to God upon this spot where so great
a miracle has been wrought upon our child."
And now grandmother's face was lighted up with genuine
happiness, and she pressed Frau Sesemann's hand over and over
again, unable to speak her thanks, while two large tears of joy
rolled down her aged cheeks. And Heidi saw the glad change come
over grandmother's face, and she too now was entirely happy.
She clung to the old woman, saying, "Hasn't it all come about,
grandmother, just like the hymn I read to you last time? Isn't
the bed from Frankfurt sent to make you well?"
"Yes, Heidi, and many, many other good things too, which God has
sent me," said the grandmother, deeply moved. "I did not think
it possible that there were so many kind people, ready to trouble
themselves about a poor old woman and to do so much for her.
Nothing strengthens our belief in a kind heavenly Father who
never forgets even the least of His creatures so much as to know
that there are such people, full of goodness and pity for a poor
useless creature such as I am."
"My good grandmother," said Frau Sesemann, interrupting her, "we
are all equally poor and helpless in the eyes of God, and all
have equal need that He should not forget us. But now we must
say good-bye, but only till we meet again, for when we pay our
next year's visit to the Alm you will be the first person we
shall come and see; meanwhile we shall not forget you." And Frau
Sesemann took grandmother's hand again and shook it in farewell.
But grandmother would not let her off even then without more
words of gratitude, and without calling down on her benefactress
and all belonging to her every blessing that God had to bestow.
At last Herr Sesemann and his mother were able to continue their
journey downwards, while Uncle carried Clara back home, with
Heidi beside him, so full of joy of what was coming for
grandmother that every step was a jump.
But there were many tears shed the following morning by the
departing Clara, who wept to say good-bye to the beautiful
mountain home where she had been happier than ever in her life
before. Heidi did her best to comfort her. "Summer will be here
again in no time," she said, "and then you will come again, and
it will be nicer still, for you will be able to walk about from
the beginning. We can then go out every day with the goats up to
where the flowers grow, and enjoy ourselves from the moment you
Herr Sesemann had come as arranged to fetch his little daughter
away, and was just now standing and talking with Uncle, for they
had much to say to one another. Clara felt somewhat consoled by
Heidi's words, and wiped away her tears.
"Be sure you say good-bye for me to Peter and the goats, and
especially to Little Swan. I wish I could give Little Swan a
present, for she has helped so much to make me strong."
"Well, you can if you like," replied Heidi, "send her a little
salt; you know how she likes to lick some out of grandfather's
hand when she comes home at night."
Clara was delighted at this idea. "Oh, then I shall send a
hundred pounds of salt from Frankfurt, for I want her to have
something as a remembrance of me."
Herr Sesemann now beckoned to the children as it was time to be
off. Grandmamma's white horse had been brought up for Clara, as
she was no longer obliged to be carried in a chair.
Heidi ran to the far edge of the slope and continued to wave her
hand to Clara until the last glimpse of horse and rider had
And now the bed has arrived, and grandmother is sleeping so
soundly all night that she is sure to grow stronger.
Grandmamma, moreover, has not forgotten how cold the winter is
on the mountain. She has sent a large parcel of warm clothing of
every description, so that grandmother can wrap herself round
and round, and will certainly not tremble with cold now as she
sits in her corner.
There is a great deal of building going on at Dorfli. The doctor
has arrived, and, for the present, is occupying his old
quarters. His friends have advised him to buy the old house that
Uncle and Heidi live in during the winter, which had evidently,
judging from the height of the rooms and the magnificent stove
with its artistically-painted tiles, been a fine gentleman's
place at one time. The doctor is having this part of the old
house rebuilt for himself, the other part being repaired for
Uncle and Heidi, for the doctor is aware that Uncle is a man of
independent spirit, who likes to have a house to himself. Quite
at the back a warm and well-walled stall is being put up for the
two goats, and there they will pass their winter in comfort.
The doctor and Uncle are becoming better friends every day, and
as they walk about the new buildings to see how they are getting
on, their thoughts continually turn to Heidi, for the chief
pleasure to each in connection with the house is that they will
have the light-hearted little child with them there.
"Dear friend," said the doctor on one of these occasions as they
were standing together, "you will see this matter in the same
light as I do, I am sure. I share your happiness in the child as
if, next to you, I was the one to whom she most closely
belonged, but I wish also to share all responsibilities,
concerning her and to do my best for the child. I shall then feel
I have my rights in her, and shall look forward to her being with
me and caring for me in my old age, which is the one great wish
of my heart. She will have the same claims upon me as if she were
my own child, and I shall provide for her as such, and so we
shall be able to leave her without anxiety when the day comes
that you and I must go."
Uncle did not speak, but he clasped the doctor's hand in his,
and his good friend could read in the old man's eyes how greatly
moved he was and how glad and grateful he felt.
Heidi and Peter were at this moment sitting with grandmother,
and the one had so much to relate, and the others to listen to,
that they all three got closer and closer to one another, hardly
able to breathe in their eagerness not to miss a word.
And how much there was to tell of all the events that had taken
place that last summer, for they had not had many opportunities
of meeting since then.
And it was difficult to say which of the three looked the
happiest at being together again, and at the recollection of all
the wonderful things that had happened. Mother Brigitta's face
was perhaps the happiest of all, as now, with the help of
explanation she was able to understand for the first time the
history of Peter's weekly penny for life.
Then at last the grandmother spoke, "Heidi, read me one of the
hymns! I can feel I can do nothing for the remainder of my life
but thank the Father in Heaven for all the mercies he has shown