by Johanna Spyri
Illustrated By Jessie Willcox Smith
HEIDI Part 3
A SUMMER EVENING ON THE MOUNTAIN
Herr Sesemann, a good deal irritated and excited, went quickly
upstairs and along the passage to Fraulein Rottenmeier's room,
and there gave such an unusually loud knock at the door that the
lady awoke from sleep with a cry of alarm. She heard the master
of the house calling to her from the other side of the door,
"Please make haste and come down to me in the dining-room; we
must make ready for a journey at once." Fraulein Rottenmeier
looked at her clock: it was just half-past four; she had never
got up so early before in her life. What could have happened?
What with her curiosity and excitement she took hold of
everything the wrong way, and it was a case with her of more
haste less speed, for she kept on searching everywhere for
garments which she had already put on.
Meanwhile Herr Sesemann had gone on farther and rung the bells in
turn which communicated with the several servants' rooms, causing
frightened figures to leap out of bed, convinced that the ghost
had attacked the master and that he was calling for help. One by
one they made their appearance in the dining-room, each with a
more terrified face than the last, and were astonished to see
their master walking up and down, looking well and cheerful, and
with no appearance of having had an encounter with a ghost. John
was sent off without delay to get the horses and carriage ready;
Tinette was ordered to wake Heidi and get her dressed for a
journey; Sebastian was hurried off to the house where Dete was in
service to bring the latter round. Then Fraulein Rottenmeier,
having at last accomplished her toilet, came down, with
everything well adjusted about her except her cap, which was put
on hind side before. Herr Sesemann put down her flurried
appearance to the early awakening he had caused her, and began
without delay to give her directions. She was to get out a trunk
at once and pack up all the things belonging to the Swiss
child--for so he usually spoke of Heidi, being unaccustomed to
her name--and a good part of Clara's clothes as well, so that the
child might take home proper apparel; but everything was to be
done immediately, as there was no time for consideration.
Fraulein Rottenmeier stood as if rooted to the spot and stared in
astonishment at Herr Sesemann. She had quite expected a long and
private account of some terrible ghostly experience of his during
the night, which she would have enjoyed hearing about in the
broad daylight. Instead of this there were these prosaic and
troublesome directions, which were so unexpected that she took
some time to get over her surprise and disappointment, and
continued standing awaiting further explanation.
But Herr Sesemann had no thought or time for explanations and
left her standing there while he went to speak to Clara. As he
anticipated, the unusual commotion in the house had disturbed
her, and she was lying and listening and wondering what had
happened. So he sat down and told her everything that had
occurred during the past night, and explained that the doctor had
given his verdict and pronounced Heidi to be in a very highly
strung state, so that her nightly wanderings might gradually lead
her farther and farther, perhaps even on to the roof, which of
course would be very dangerous for her. And so they had decided
to send her home at once, as he did not like to take the
responsibility of her remaining, and Clara would see for herself
that it was the only thing to do. Clara was very much distressed,
and at first made all kinds of suggestions for keeping Heidi with
her; but her father was firm, and promised her, if she would be
reasonable and make no further fuss, that he would take her to
Switzerland next summer. So Clara gave in to the inevitable, only
stipulating that the box might be brought into her room to be
packed, so that she might add whatever she liked, and her father
was only too pleased to let her provide a nice outfit for the
child. Meanwhile Dete had arrived and was waiting in the hall,
wondering what extraordinary event had come to pass for her to be
sent for at such an unusual hour. Herr Sesemann informed her of
the state Heidi was in, and that he wished her that very day to
take her home. Dete was greatly disappointed, for she had not
expected such a piece of news. She remembered Uncle's last words,
that he never wished to set eyes on her again, and it seemed to
her that to take back the child to him, after having left it with
him once and then taken it away again, was not a safe or wise
thing for her to do. So she excused herself to Herr Sesemann with
her usual flow of words; to-day and to-morrow it would be quite
impossible for her to take the journey, and there was so much to
do that she doubted if she could get off on any of the following
days. Herr Sesemann understood that she was unwilling to go at
all, and so dismissed her. Then he sent for Sebastian and told
him to make ready to start: he was to travel with the child as
far as Basle that day, and the next day take her home. He would
give him a letter to carry to the grandfather, which would
explain everything, and he himself could come back by return.
"But there is one thing in particular which I wish you to look
after," said Herr Sesemann in conclusion, "and be sure you attend
to what I say. I know the people of this hotel in Basle, the name
of which I give you on this card. They will see to providing
rooms for the child and you. When there, go at once into the
child's room and see that the windows are all firmly fastened so
that they cannot be easily opened. After the child is in bed,
lock the door of her room on the outside, for the child walks in
her sleep and might run into danger in a strange house if she
went wandering downstairs and tried to open the front door; so
"Oh! then that was it?" exclaimed Sebastian, for now a light was
thrown on the ghostly visitations.
"Yes, that was it! and you are a coward, and you may tell John he
is the same, and the whole household a pack of idiots." And with
this Herr Sesemann went off to his study to write a letter to
Alm-Uncle. Sebastian remained standing, feeling rather foolish.
If only I had not let that fool of a John drag me back into the
room, and had gone after the little white figure, which I should
do certainly if I saw it now!" he kept on saying to himself; but
just now every corner of the room was clearly visible in the
Meanwhile Heidi was standing expectantly dressed in her Sunday
frock waiting to see what would happen next, for Tinette had only
woke her up with a shake and put on her clothes without a word of
explanation. The little uneducated child was far too much beneath
her for Tinette to speak to.
Herr Sesemann went back to the dining-room with the letter;
breakfast was now ready, and he asked, "Where is the child?"
Heidi was fetched, and as she walked up to him to say
"Good-morning," he looked inquiringly into her face and said,
"Well, what do you say to this, little one?"
Heidi looked at him in perplexity.
"Why, you don't know anything about it, I see," laughed Herr
Sesemann. "You are going home today, going at once."
"Home," murmured Heidi in a low voice, turning pale; she was so
overcome that for a moment or two she could hardly breathe.
"Don't you want to hear more about it?"
"Oh, yes, yes!" exclaimed Heidi, her face now rosy with delight.
"All right, then," said Herr Sesemann as he sat down and made her
a sign to do the same, "but now make a good breakfast, and then
off you go in the carriage."
But Heidi could not swallow a morsel though she tried to do what
she was told; she was in such a state of excitement that she
hardly knew if she was awake or dreaming, or if she would again
open her eyes to find herself in her nightgown at the front door.
"Tell Sebastian to take plenty of provisions with him," Herr
Sesemann called out to Fraulein Rottenmeier, who just then came
into the room; "the child can't eat anything now, which is quite
natural. Now run up to Clara and stay with her till the carriage
comes round," he added kindly, turning to Heidi.
Heidi had been longing for this, and ran quickly upstairs. An
immense trunk was standing open in the middle of the room.
"Come along, Heidi," cried Clara, as she entered; "see all the
things I have had put in for you--aren't you pleased?"
And she ran over a list of things, dresses and aprons and
handkerchiefs, and all kinds of working materials. "And look
here," she added, as she triumphantly held up a basket. Heidi
peeped in and jumped for joy, for inside it were twelve beautiful
round white rolls, all for grandmother. In their delight the
children forgot that the time had come for them to separate, and
when some one called out, "The carriage is here," there was no
time for grieving.
Heidi ran to her room to fetch her darling book; she knew no one
could have packed that, as it lay under her pillow, for Heidi had
kept it by her night and day. This was put in the basket with the
rolls. Then she opened her wardrobe to look for another treasure,
which perhaps no one would have thought of packing--and she was
right--the old red shawl had been left behind, Fraulein.
Rottenmeier not considering it worth putting in with the other
things. Heidi wrapped it round something else which she laid on
the top of the basket, so that the red package was quite
conspicuous. Then she put on her pretty hat and left the room.
The children could not spend much time over their farewells, for
Herr Sesemann was waiting to put Heidi in the carriage. Fraulein
Rottenmeier was waiting at the top of the stairs to say good-bye
to her. When she caught sight of the strange little red bundle,
she took it out of the basket and threw it on the ground. "No,
no, Adelaide," she exclaimed, "you cannot leave the house with
that thing. What can you possibly want with it!" And then she
said good-bye to the child. Heidi did not dare take up her little
bundle, but she gave the master of the house an imploring look,
as if her greatest treasure had been taken from her.
"No, no," said Herr Sesemann in a very decided voice, "the child
shall take home with her whatever she likes, kittens and
tortoises, if it pleases her; we need not put ourselves out about
that, Fraulein Rottenmeier."
Heidi quickly picked up her bundle, with a look of joy and
gratitude. As she stood by the carriage door, Herr Sesemann gave
her his hand and said he hoped she would remember him and Clara.
He wished her a happy journey, and Heidi thanked him for all his
kindness, and added, "And please say good-bye to the doctor for
me and give him many, many thanks." For she had not forgotten
that he had said to her the night before, 'It will be all right
to-morrow,' and she rightly divined that he had helped to make it
so for her. Heidi was now lifted into the carriage, and then the
basket and the provisions were put in, and finally Sebastian took
his place. Then Herr Sesemann called out once more, "A pleasant
journey to you," and the carriage rolled away.
Heidi was soon sitting in the railway carriage, holding her
basket tightly on her lap; she would not let it out of her hands
for a moment, for it contained the delicious rolls for
grandmother; so she must keep it carefully, and even peep inside
it from time to time to enjoy the sight of them. For many hours
she sat as still as a mouse; only now was she beginning to
realize that she was going home to the grandfather, the mountain,
the grandmother, and Peter, and pictures of all she was going to
see again rose one by one before her eyes; she thought of how
everything would look at home, but this brought other thoughts to
her mind, and all of a sudden she said anxiously, "Sebastian, are
you sure that grandmother on the mountain is not dead?"
"No, no," said Sebastian, wishing to soothe her, "we will hope
not; she is sure to be alive still."
Then Heidi fell back on her own thoughts again. Now and then she
looked inside the basket, for the thing she looked forward to
most was laying all the rolls out on grandmother's table. After a
long silence she spoke again, "If only we could know for certain
that grandmother is alive!"
"Yes, yes," said Sebastian, half asleep; "she is sure to be
alive, there is no reason why she should be dead."
After a while sleep fell on Heidi too, and after her disturbed
night and early rising she slept so soundly that she did not wake
till Sebastian shook her by the arm and called to her, "Wake up,
wake up! we shall have to get out directly; we are just in
There was a further railway journey of many hours the next day.
Heidi again sat with her basket on her knee, for she would not
have given it up to Sebastian on any consideration; to-day she
never even opened her mouth, for her excitement, which increased
with every mile of the journey, kept her speechless. All of a
sudden, before Heidi expected it, a voice called out,
"Mayenfeld." She and Sebastian both jumped up, the latter also
taken by surprise. In another minute they were both standing on
the platform with Heidi's trunk, and the train was steaming away
down the valley. Sebastian looked after it regretfully, for he
preferred the easier mode of travelling to a wearisome climb on
foot, especially as there was danger no doubt as well as fatigue
in a country like this, where, according to Sebastian's idea,
everything and everybody were half savage. He therefore looked
cautiously to either side to see who was a likely person to ask
the safest way to Dorfli.
Just outside the station he saw a shabby-looking little cart and
horse which a broad-shouldered man was loading with heavy sacks
that had been brought by the train, so he went up to him and
asked which was the safest way to get to Dorfli.
"All the roads about here are safe," was the curt reply.
So Sebastian altered his question and asked which was the best
way to avoid falling over the precipice, and also how a box could
be conveyed to Dorfli. The man looked at the box, weighing it
with his eye, and then volunteered if it was not too heavy to
take it on his own cart, as he was driving to Dorfli. After some
little interchange of words it was finally agreed that the man
should take both the child and the box to Dorfli, and there find
some one who could be sent on with Heidi up the mountain.
"I can go by myself, I know the way well from Dorfli," put in
Heidi, who had been listening attentively to the conversation.
Sebastian was greatly relieved at not having to do any mountain
climbing. He drew Heidi aside and gave her a thick rolled parcel,
and a letter for her grandfather; the parcel, he told her, was a
present from Herr Sesemann, and she must put it at the bottom of
her basket under the rolls and be very careful not to lose it, as
Herr Sesemann would be very vexed if she did, and never be the
same to her again; so little miss was to think well of what he
"I shall be sure not to lose it," said Heidi confidently, and she
at once put the roll and the letter at the bottom of her basket.
The trunk meanwhile had been hoisted into the cart, and now
Sebastian lifted Heidi and her basket on to the high seat and
shook hands with her; he then made signs to her to keep her eye
on the basket, for the driver was standing near and Sebastian
thought it better to be careful, especially as he knew that he
ought himself to have seen the child safely to her journey's end.
The driver now swung himself up beside Heidi, and the cart rolled
away in the direction of the mountains, while Sebastian, glad of
having no tiring and dangerous journey on foot before him, sat
down in the station and awaited the return train.
The driver of the car was the miller at Dorfli and was taking
home his sacks of flour. He had never seen Heidi, but like
everybody in Dorfli knew all about her. He had known her parents,
and felt sure at once that this was the child of whom he had
heard so much. He began to wonder why she had come back, and as
they drove along he entered into conversation with her. "You are
the child who lived with your grandfather, Alm-Uncle, are you
"Didn't they treat you well down there that you have come back so
"Yes, it was not that; everything in Frankfurt is as nice as it
"Then why are you running home again?"
"Only because Herr Sesemann gave me leave, or else I should not
"If they were willing to let you stay, why did you not remain
where you were better off than at home?"
"Because I would a thousand times rather be with grandfather on
the mountain than anywhere else in the world."
"You will think differently perhaps when you get back there,"
grumbled the miller; and then to himself, "It's strange of her,
for she must know what it's like."
He began whistling and said no more, while Heidi looked around
her and began to tremble with excitement, for she knew every tree
along the way, and there overhead were the high jagged peaks of
the mountain looking down on her like old friends. And Heidi
nodded back to them, and grew every moment more wild with her joy
and longing, feeling as if she must jump down from the cart and
run with all her might till she reached the top. But she sat
quite still and did not move, although inwardly in such
agitation. The clock was striking five as they drove into Dorfli.
A crowd of women and children immediately surrounded the cart,
for the box and the child arriving with the miller had excited
the curiosity of everybody in the neighborhood, inquisitive to
know whence they came and whither they were going and to whom
they belonged. As the miller lifted Heidi down, she said hastily,
"Thank you, grandfather will send for the trunk," and was just
going to run off, when first one and then another of the
bystanders caught hold of her, each one having a different
question to put to her. But Heidi pushed her way through them
with such an expression of distress on her face that they were
forced to let her go. "You see," they said to one another, "how
frightened she is, and no wonder," and then they went on to talk
of Alm-Uncle, how much worse he had grown that last year, never
speaking a word and looking as if he would like to kill everybody
he met, and if the child had anywhere else to go to she certainly
would not run back to the old dragon's den. But here the miller
interrupted them, saying he knew more about it than they did, and
began telling them how a kind gentleman had brought her to
Mayenfeld and seen her off, and had given him his fare without
any bargaining, and extra money for himself; what was more, the
child had assured him that she had had everything she wanted
where she had been, and that it was her own wish to return to her
grandfather. This information caused great surprise and was soon
repeated all over Dorfli, and that evening there was not a house
in the place in which the astounding news was not discussed, of
how Heidi had of her own accord given up a luxurious home to
return to her grandfather.
Heidi climbed up the steep path from Dorfli as quickly as she
could; she was obliged, however, to pause now and again to take
breath, for the basket she carried was rather heavy, and the way
got steeper as she drew nearer the top. One thought alone filled
Heidi's mind, "Would she find the grandmother sitting in her
usual corner by the spinning-wheel, was she still alive?" At last
Heidi caught sight of the grandmother's house in the hollow of
the mountain and her heart began to beat; she ran faster and
faster and her heart beat louder and louder--and now she had
reached the house, but she trembled so she could hardly open the
door--and then she was standing inside, unable in her
breathlessness to utter a sound.
"Ah, my God!" cried a voice from the corner, "that was how Heidi
used to run in; if only I could have her with me once again! Who
"It's I, I, grandmother," cried Heidi as she ran and flung
herself on her knees beside the old woman, and seizing her hands,
clung to her, unable to speak for joy. And the grandmother
herself could not say a word for some time, so unexpected was
this happiness; but at last she put out her hand and stroked
Heidi's curly hair, and said, "Yes, yes, that is her hair, and
her voice; thank God that He has granted my prayer!" And tears of
joy fell from the blind eyes on to Heidi's hand. "Is it really
you, Heidi; have you really come back to me?"
"Yes, grandmother, I am really here," answered Heidi in a
reassuring voice. "Do not cry, for I have really come back and I
am never going away again, and I shall come every day to see you,
and you won't have any more hard bread to eat for some days, for
And Heidi took the rolls from the basket and piled the whole
twelve up on grandmother's lap.
"Ah, child! child! what a blessing you bring with you!" the old
woman exclaimed, as she felt and seemed never to come to the end
of the rolls. "But you yourself are the greatest blessing,
Heidi," and again she touched the child's hair and passed her
hand over her hot cheeks, and said, "Say something, child, that I
may hear your voice."
Then Heidi told her how unhappy she had been, thinking that the
grandmother might die while she was away and would never have her
white rolls, and that then she would never, never see her again.
Peter's mother now came in and stood for a moment overcome with
astonishment. "Why, it's Heidi," she exclaimed, "and yet can it
Heidi stood up, and Brigitta now could not say enough in her
admiration of the child's dress and appearance; she walked round
her, exclaiming all the while, "Grandmother, if you could only
see her, and see what a pretty frock she has on; you would hardly
know her again. And the hat with the feather in it is yours too,
I suppose? Put it on that I may see how you look in it?"
"No, I would rather not," replied Heidi firmly. "You can have it
if you like; I do not want it; I have my own still." And Heidi so
saying undid her red bundle and took out her own old hat, which
had become a little more battered still during the journey. But
this was no trouble to Heidi; she had not forgotten how her
grandfather had called out to Dete that he never wished to see
her and her hat and feathers again, and this was the reason she
had so anxiously preserved her old hat, for she had never ceased
to think about going home to her grandfather. But Brigitta told
her not to be so foolish as to give it away; she would not think
of taking such a beautiful hat; if Heidi did not want to wear it
she might sell it to the schoolmaster's daughter in Dorfli and
get a good deal of money for it. But Heidi stuck to her intention
and hid the hat quietly in a corner behind the grandmother's
chair. Then she took off her pretty dress and put her red shawl
on over her under-petticoat, which left her arms bare; and now
she clasped the old woman's hand. "I must go home to
grandfather," she said, "but to-morrow I shall come again.
"Yes, come again, be sure you come again tomorrow," begged the
grandmother, as she pressed Heidi's hands in hers, unwilling to
let her go.
"Why have you taken off that pretty dress?" asked Brigitta.
"Because I would rather go home to grandfather as I am or else
perhaps he would not know me; you hardly did at first."
Brigitta went with her to the door, and there said in rather a
mysterious voice, "You might have kept on your dress, he would
have known you all right; but you must be careful, for Peter
tells me that Alm-Uncle is always now in a bad temper and never
Heidi bid her good-night and continued her way up the mountain,
her basket on her arm. All around her the steep green slopes
shone bright in the evening sun, and soon the great gleaming
snow-field up above came in sight. Heidi was obliged to keep on
pausing to look behind her, for the higher peaks were behind her
as she climbed. Suddenly a warm red glow fell on the grass at her
feet; she looked back again--she had not remembered how splendid
it was, nor seen anything to compare to it in her dreams--for
there the two high mountain peeks rose into the air like two
great flames, the whole snow-field had turned crimson, and
rosy-colored clouds floated in the sky above. The grass upon the
mountain sides had turned to gold, the rocks were all aglow, and
the whole valley was bathed in golden mist. And as Heidi stood
gazing around her at all this splendor the tears ran down her
cheeks for very delight and happiness, and impulsively she put
her hands together, and lifting her eyes to heaven, thanked God
aloud for having brought her home, thanked Him that everything
was as beautiful as ever, more beautiful even than she had
thought, and that it was all hers again once more." And she was
so overflowing with joy and thankfulness that she could not find
words to thank Him enough. Not until the glory began to fade
could she tear herself away. Then she ran on so quickly that in a
very little while she caught sight of the tops of the fir trees
above the hut roof, then the roof itself, and at last the whole
hut, and there was grandfather sitting as in old days smoking his
pipe, and she could see the fir trees waving in the wind. Quicker
and quicker went her little feet, and before Alm-Uncle had time
to see who was coming, Heidi had rushed up to him, thrown down
her basket and flung her arms round his neck, unable in the
excitement of seeing him again to say more than "Grandfather!
grandfather! grandfather!" over and over again.
And the old man himself said nothing. For the first time for many
years his eyes were wet, and he had to pass his hand across them.
Then he unloosed Heidi's arms, put her on his knee, and after
looking at her for a moment, "So you have come back to me,
Heidi," he said, "how is that? You don't look much of a grand
lady. Did they send you away?"
"Oh, no, grandfather," said Heidi eagerly, "you must not think
that; they were all so kind--Clara, and grandmamma, and Herr
Sesemann. But you see, grandfather, I did not know how to bear
myself till I got home again to you. I used to think I should
die, for I felt as if I could not breathe; but I never said
anything because it would have been ungrateful. And then suddenly
one morning quite early Herr Sesemann said to me--but I think it
was partly the doctor's doing--but perhaps it's all in the
letter--" and Heidi jumped down and fetched the roll and the
letter and handed them both to her grandfather.
"That belongs to you," said the latter, laying the roll down on
the bench beside him. Then he opened the letter, read it through
and without a word put it in his pocket.
"Do you think you can still drink milk with me, Heidi?" he asked,
taking the child by the hand to go into the hut. "But bring your
money with you; you can buy a bed and bedclothes and dresses for
a couple of years with it."
"I am sure I do not want it," replied Heidi. "I have got a bed
already, and Clara has put such a lot of clothes in my box that I
shall never want any more."
"Take it and put it in the cupboard; you will want it some day I
have no doubt."
Heidi obeyed and skipped happily after her grandfather into the
house; she ran into all the corners, delighted to see everything
again, and then went up the ladder--but there she came to a pause
and called down in a tone of surprise and distress, "Oh,
grandfather, my bed's gone."
"We can soon make it up again," he answered her from below. "I
did not know that you were coming back; come along now and have
Heidi came down, sat herself on her high stool in the old place,
and then taking up her bowl drank her milk eagerly, as if she had
never come across anything so delicious, and as she put down her
bowl, she exclaimed, "Our milk tastes nicer than anything else in
the world, grandfather."
A shrill whistle was heard outside. Heidi darted out like a flash
of lightning. There were the goats leaping and springing among
the rocks, with Peter in their midst. When he caught sight of
Heidi he stood still with astonishment and gazed speechlessly at
her. Heidi called out, "Good-evening, Peter," and then ran in
among the goats. "Little Swan! Little Bear! do you know me
again?" And the animals evidently recognized her voice at once,
for they began rubbing their heads against her and bleating
loudly as if for joy, and as she called the other goats by name
one after the other, they all came scampering towards her
helter-skelter and crowding round her. The impatient Greenfinch
sprang into the air and over two of her companions in order to
get nearer, and even the shy little Snowflake butted the Great
Turk out of her way in quite a determined manner, which left him
standing taken aback by her boldness, and lifting his beard in
the air as much as to say, You see who I am.
Heidi was out of her mind with delight at being among all her old
friends again; she flung her arms round the pretty little
Snowflake, stroked the obstreperous Greenfinch, while she herself
was thrust at from all sides by the affectionate and confiding
goats; and so at last she got near to where Peter was still
standing, not having yet got over his surprise.
"Come down, Peter," cried Heidi, "and say good-evening to me."
"So you are back again?" he found words to say at last, and now
ran down and took Heidi's hand which she was holding out in
greeting, and immediately put the same question to her which he
had been in the habit of doing in the old days when they returned
home in the evening, "Will you come out with me again to-morrow?"
"Not to-morrow, but the day after perhaps, for to-morrow I must
go down to grandmother."
"I am glad you are back," said Peter, while his whole face beamed
with pleasure, and then he prepared to go on with his goats; but
he never had had so much trouble with them before, for when at
last, by coaxing and threats, he had got them all together, and
Heidi had gone off with an arm over either head of her
grandfather's two, the whole flock suddenly turned and ran after
her. Heidi had to go inside the stall with her two and shut the
door, or Peter would never have got home that night. When Heidi
went indoors after this she found her bed already made up for
her; the hay had been piled high for it and smelt deliciously,
for it had only just been got in, and the grandfather had
carefully spread and tucked in the clean sheets. It was with a
happy heart that Heidi lay down in it that night, and her sleep
was sounder than it had been for a whole year past. The
grandfather got up at least ten times during the night and
mounted the ladder to see if Heidi was all right and showing no
signs of restlessness, and to feel that the hay he had stuffed
into the round window was keeping the moon from shining too
brightly upon her. But Heidi did not stir; she had no need now to
wander about, for the great burning longing of her heart was
satisfied; she had seen the high mountains and rocks alight in
the evening glow, she had heard the wind in the fir trees, she
was at home again on the mountain.
Heidi was standing under the waving fir trees waiting for her
grandfather, who was going down with her to grandmother's, and
then on to Dorfli to fetch her box. She was longing to know how
grandmother had enjoyed her white bread and impatient to see and
hear her again; but no time seemed weary to her now, for she
could not listen long enough to the familiar voice of the trees,
or drink in too much of the fragrance wafted to her from the
green pastures where the golden-headed flowers were glowing in
the sun, a very feast to her eyes. The grandfather came out, gave
a look round, and then called to her in a cheerful voice, "Well,
now we can be off."
It was Saturday, a day when Alm-Uncle made everything clean and
tidy inside and outside the house; he had devoted his morning to
this work so as to be able to accompany Heidi in the afternoon,
and the whole place was now as spick and span as he liked to see
it. They parted at the grandmother's cottage and Heidi ran in.
The grandmother had heard her steps approaching and greeted her
as she crossed the threshold, "Is it you, child? Have you come
Then she took hold of Heidi's hand and held it fast in her own,
for she still seemed to fear that the child might be torn from
her again. And now she had to tell Heidi how much she had enjoyed
the white bread, and how much stronger she felt already for
having been able to eat it, and then Peter's mother went on and
said she was sure that if her mother could eat like that for a
week she would get back some of her strength, but she was so
afraid of coming to the end of the rolls, that she had only eaten
one as yet. Heidi listened to all Brigitta said, and sat thinking
for a while. Then she suddenly thought of a way.
"I know, grandmother, what I will do," she said eagerly, "I will
write to Clara, and she will send me as many rolls again, if not
twice as many as you have already, for I had ever such a large
heap in the wardrobe, and when they were all taken away she
promised to give me as many back, and she would do so I am sure."
"That is a good idea," said Brigitta; "but then, they would get
hard and stale. The baker in Dorfli makes the white rolls, and if
we could get some of those he has over now and then--but I can
only just manage to pay for the black bread."
A further bright thought came to Heidi, and with a look of joy,
"Oh, I have lots of money, grandmother," she cried gleefully,
skipping about the room in her delight, "and I know now what I
will do with it. You must have a fresh white roll every day, and
two on Sunday, and Peter can bring them up from Dorfli."
"No, no, child!" answered the grandmother, "I cannot let you do
that; the money was not given to you for that purpose; you must
give it to your grandfather, and he will tell you how you are to
But Heidi was not to be hindered in her kind intentions, and she
continued to jump about, saying over and over again in a tone of
exultation, "Now, grandmother can have a roll every day and will
grow quite strong again--and, Oh, grandmother," she suddenly
exclaimed with an increase of jubilation in her voice, "if you
get strong everything will grow light again for you; perhaps it's
only because you are weak that it is dark." The grandmother said
nothing, she did not wish to spoil the child's pleasure. As she
went jumping about Heidi suddenly caught sight of the
grandmother's song book, and another happy idea struck her,
"Grandmother, I can also read now, would you like me to read you
one of your hymns from your old book?"
"Oh, yes," said the grandmother, surprised and delighted; "but
can you really read, child, really?"
Heidi had climbed on to a chair and had already lifted down the
book, bringing a cloud of dust with it, for it had lain untouched
on the shelf for a long time. Heidi wiped it, sat herself down on
a stool beside the old woman, and asked her which hymn she should
"What you like, child, what you like," and the grandmother pushed
her spinning-wheel aside and sat in eager expectation waiting for
Heidi to begin. Heidi turned over the leaves and read a line out
softly to herself here and there. At last she said,
"Here is one about the sun, grandmother, I will read you that."
And Heidi began, reading with more and more warmth of expression
as she went on,--
The morning breaks,
And warm and bright
The earth lies still
In the golden light--
For Dawn has scattered the clouds of night.
Is seen around,
Things great and small
To His praise abound--
Where are the signs of His love not found?
All things must pass,
But God shall still
With steadfast power
His will fulfil--
Sure and unshaken is His will.
His saving grace
Will never fail,
Though grief and fear
The heart assail--
O'er life's wild seas He will prevail.
Joy shall be ours
In that garden blest,
Where after storm
We find our rest--
I wait in peace--God's time is best.
The grandmother sat with folded hands and a look of indescribable
joy on her face, such as Heidi had never seen there before,
although at the same time the tears were running down her cheeks.
As Heidi finished, she implored her, saying, "Read it once again,
child, just once again."
And the child began again, with as much pleasure in the verses as
Joy shall be ours
In that garden blest,
Where after storm
We find our rest--
I wait in peace--God's time is best.
"Ah, Heidi, that brings light to the heart! What comfort you have
And the old woman kept on repeating the glad words, while Heidi
beamed with happiness, and she could not take her eyes away from
the grandmother's face, which had never looked like that before.
It had no longer the old troubled expression, but was alight with
peace and joy as if she were already looking with clear new eyes
into the garden or Paradise.
Some one now knocked at the window and Heidi looked up and saw
her grandfather beckoning her to come home with him. She promised
the grandmother before leaving her that she would be with her the
next day, and even if she went out with Peter she would only
spend half the day with him, for the thought that she might make
it light and happy again for the grandmother gave her the
greatest pleasure, greater even than being out on the sunny
mountain with the flowers and goats. As she was going out
Brigitta ran to her with the frock and hat she had left. Heidi
put the dress over her arm, for, as she thought to herself, the
grandfather had seen that before, but she obstinately refused to
take back the hat; Brigitta could keep it, for she should never
put it on her head again. Heidi was so full of her morning's
doings that she began at once to tell her grandfather all about
them: how the white bread could be fetched every day from Dorfli
if there was money for it, and how the grandmother had all at
once grown stronger and happier, and light had come to her. Then
she returned to the subject of the rolls. "If the grandmother
won't take the money, grandfather, will you give it all to me,
and I can then give Peter enough every day to buy a roll and two
"But how about the bed?" said her grandfather. "It would be nice
for you to have a proper bed, and there would then be plenty for
But Heidi gave her grandfather no peace till he consented to do
what she wanted; she slept a great deal better, she said, on her
bed of hay than on her fine pillowed bed in Frankfurt. So at last
he said, "The money is yours, do what you like with it; you can
buy bread for grandmother for years to come with it."
Heidi shouted for joy at the thought that grandmother would never
need any more to eat hard black bread, and "Oh, grandfather!" she
said, "everything is happier now than it has ever been in our
lives before!" and she sang and skipped along, holding her
grandfather's hand as light-hearted as a bird. But all at once
she grew quiet and said, "If God had let me come at once, as I
prayed, then everything would have been different, I should only
have had a little bread to bring to grandmother, and I should not
have been able to read, which is such a comfort to her; but God
has arranged it all so much better than I knew how to; everything
has happened just as the other grandmother said it would. Oh, how
glad I am that God did not let me have at once all I prayed and
wept for! And now I shall always pray to God as she told me, and
always thank Him, and when He does not do anything I ask for I
shall think to myself, It's just like it was in Frankfurt: God, I
am sure, is going to do something better still. So we will pray
every day, won't we, grandfather, and never forget Him again, or
else He may forget us."
"And supposing one does forget Him?" said the grandfather in a
"Then everything goes wrong, for God lets us then go where we
like, and when we get poor and miserable and begin to cry about
it no one pities us, but they say, You ran away from God, and so
God, who could have helped you, left you to yourself."
"That is true, Heidi; where did you learn that?"
"From grandmamma; she explained it all to me."
The grandfather walked on for a little while without speaking,
then he said, as if following his own train of thought: "And if
it once is so, it is so always; no one can go back, and he whom
God has, forgotten, is forgotten for ever."
"Oh, no, grandfather, we can go back, for grandmamma told me so,
and so it was in the beautiful tale in my book--but you have not
heard that yet; but we shall be home directly now, and then I
will read it you, and you will see how beautiful it is." And in
her eagerness Heidi struggled faster and faster up the steep
ascent, and they were no sooner at the top than she let go her
grandfather's hand and ran into the hut. The grandfather slung
the basket off his shoulders in which he had brought up a part of
the contents of the trunk which was too heavy to carry up as it
was. Then he sat down on his seat and began thinking.
Heidi soon came running out with her book under her arm. "That's
right, grandfather," she exclaimed as she saw he had already
taken his seat, and in a second she was beside him and had her
book open at the particular tale, for she had read it so often
that the leaves fell open at it of their own accord. And now in a
sympathetic voice Heidi began to read of the son when he was
happily at home, and went out into the fields with his father's
flocks, and was dressed in a fine cloak, and stood leaning on his
shepherd's staff watching as the sun went down, just as he was to
be seen in the picture. But then all at once he wanted to have
his own goods and money and to be his own master, and so he asked
his father to give him his portion, and he left his home and went
and wasted all his substance. And when he had nothing left he
hired himself out to a master who had no flocks and fields like
his father, but only swine to keep; and so he was obliged to
watch these, and he only had rags to wear and a few husks to eat
such as the swine fed upon. And then he thought of his old happy
life at home and of how kindly his father had treated him and how
ungrateful he had been, and he wept for sorrow and longing. And
he thought to himself, "I will arise and go to my father, and
will say to him, 'Father, I am not worthy to be called thy son;
make me as one of thy hired servants.' " And when he was yet a
great way off his father saw him . . . Here Heidi paused in her
reading. "What do you think happens now, grandfather?" she said.
"Do you think the father is still angry and will say to him, 'I
told you so!' Well, listen now to what comes next." His father
saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and
kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned
against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be
called thy son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring
forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his
hand and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf and
kill it; and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead
and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to
"Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the
latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected
him to express pleasure and astonishment.
"You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but
he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself
and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her
book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is
there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the
returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh
raiment as one of his own sons again.
A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the
grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed
so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were
still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an
expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and
something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood
a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too
folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice,
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not
worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the
old man's cheeks.
Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed
quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain
and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the
valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir
trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along,
Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to
Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons
from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her
smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her
grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why,
grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that
before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look
nice in your Sunday coat!"
The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He
took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the
mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now,
sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi
listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's
like a great festival!"
The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun
when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and
sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was
nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in
Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and
the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their
place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when
the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and
thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as
if some great joy had come to them all. At the close of the
service Alm-Uncle took Heidi by the hand, and on leaving the
church made his way towards the pastor's house; the rest of the
congregation looked curiously after him, some even following to
see whether he went inside the pastor's house, which he did. Then
they collected in groups and talked over this strange event,
keeping their eyes on the pastor's door, watching to see whether
Alm-Uncle came out looking angry and quarrelsome, or as if the
interview had been a peaceful one, for they could not imagine
what had brought the old man down, and what it all meant. Some,
however, adopted a new tone and expressed their opinion that
Alm-Uncle was not so bad after all as they thought, "for see how
carefully he took the little one by the hand." And others
responded and said they had always thought people had exaggerated
about him, that if he was so downright bad he would be afraid to
go inside the pastor's house. Then the miller put in his word,
"Did I not tell you so from the first? What child is there who
would run away from where she had plenty to eat and drink and
everything of the best, home to a grandfather who was cruel and
unkind, and of whom she was afraid?"
The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and
fuller as they neared the valley
And so everybody began to feel quite friendly towards Alm-Uncle,
and the women now came up and related all they had been told by
Peter and his grandmother, and finally they all stood there like
people waiting for an old friend whom they had long missed from
among their number.
Meanwhile Alm-Uncle had gone into the pastor's house and knocked
at the study door. The latter came out and greeted him, not as if
he was surprised to see him, but as if he had quite expected to
see him there; he probably had caught sight of the old man in
church. He shook hands warmly with him, and Alm-Uncle was unable
at first to speak, for he had not expected such a friendly
reception. At last he collected himself and said, "I have come to
ask you, pastor, to forget the words I spoke to you when you
called on me, and to beg you not to owe me ill-will for having
been so obstinately set against your well-meant advice. You were
right, and I was wrong, but I have now made up my mind to follow
your advice and to find a place for myself at Dorfli for the
winter, for the child is not strong enough to stand the bitter
cold up on the mountain. And if the people down here look askance
at me, as at a person not to be trusted, I know it is my own
fault, and you will, I am sure, not do so."
The pastor's kindly eyes shone with pleasure. He pressed the old
man's hand in his, and said with emotion, "Neighbor, you went
into the right church before you came to mine; I am greatly
rejoiced. You will not repent coming to live with us again; as
for myself you will always be welcome as a dear friend and
neighbor, and I look forward to our spending many a pleasant
winter evening together, for I shall prize your companionship,
and we will find some, nice friends too for the little one." And
the pastor laid his hand kindly on the child's curly head and
took her by the hand as he walked to the door with the old man.
He did not say good-bye to him till they were standing outside,
so that all the people standing about saw him shake hands as if
parting reluctantly from his best friend. The door had hardly
shut behind him before the whole congregation now came forward to
greet Alm-Uncle, every one striving to be the first to shake
hands with him, and so many were held out that Alm-Uncle did not
know with which to begin; and some said, "We are so pleased to
see you among us again," and another, "I have long been wishing
we could have a talk together again," and greetings of all kinds
echoed from every side, and when Alm-Uncle told them he was
thinking of returning to his old quarters in Dorfli for the
winter, there was such a general chorus of pleasure that any one
would have thought he was the most beloved person in all Dorfli,
and that they had hardly known how to live without him. Most of
his friends accompanied him and Heidi some way up the mountain,
and each as they bid him good-bye made him promise that when he
next came down he would without fail come and call. As the old
man at last stood alone with the child, watching their retreating
figures, there was a light upon his face as if reflected from
some inner sunshine of heart. Heidi, looking up at him with her
clear steady eyes, said, "Grandfather, you look nicer and nicer
to-day, I never saw you quite like that before."
"Do you think so?" he answered with a smile. "Well, yes, Heidi, I
am happier to-day than I deserve, happier than I had thought
possible; it is good to be at peace with God and man! God was
good to me when He sent you to my hut."
When they reached Peter's home the grandfather opened the door
and walked straight in. "Good-morning, grandmother," he said. "I
think we shall have to do some more patching, up before the
autumn winds come."
"Dear God, if it is not Uncle!" cried the grandmother in pleased
surprise. "That I should live to see such a thing! and now I can
thank you for all that you have done for me. May God reward you!
may God reward you!" She stretched out a trembling hand to him,
and when the grandfather shook it warmly, she went on, still
holding his, "And I have something on my heart I want to say, a
prayer to make to you! If I have injured you in any way, do not
punish me by sending the child away again before I lie under the
grass. Oh, you do not know what that child is to me!" and she
clasped the child to her, for Heidi had already taken her usual
stand close to the grandmother.
"Have no fear, grandmother," said Uncle in a reassuring voice, "I
shall not punish either you or myself by doing so. We are all
together now, and pray God we may continue so for long."
Brigitta now drew the Uncle aside towards a corner of the room
and showed him the hat with the feathers, explaining to him how
it came there, and adding that of course she could not take such
a thing from a child.
But the grandfather looked towards Heidi without any displeasure
of countenance and said, "The hat is hers, and if she does not
wish to wear it any more she has a right to say so and to give it
to you, so take it, pray."
Brigitta was highly delighted at this. "It is well worth more
than ten shillings!" she said as she held it up for further
admiration. "And what a blessing Heidi has brought home with her
from Frankfurt! I have thought sometimes that it might be good to
send Peter there for a little while; what do you think, Uncle?"
A merry look came into the grandfather's eye. He thought it would
do Peter no harm, but he had better wait for a good opportunity
before starting. At this moment the subject of their conversation
himself rushed in, evidently in a great hurry, knocking his head
violently against the door in his haste, so that everything in
the room rattled. Gasping and breathless he stood still after
this and held out a letter. This was another great event, for
such a thing had never happened before; the letter was addressed
to Heidi and had been delivered at the post-office in Dorfli.
They all sat down round the table to hear what was in it, for
Heidi opened it at once and read it without hesitation. The
letter was from Clara. The latter wrote that the house had been
so dull since Heidi left that she did not know how to bear
herself, and she had at last persuaded her father to take her to
the baths at Ragatz in the coming autumn; grandmamma had arranged
to join them there, and they both were looking forward to paying
her and her grandfather a visit. And grandmamma sent a further
message to Heidi which was that the latter had done quite right
to take the rolls to the grandmother, and so that she might not
have to eat them dry, she was sending some coffee, which was
already on its way, and grandmamma hoped when she came to the Alm
in the autumn that Heidi would take her to see her old friend.
There were exclamations of pleasure and astonishment on hearing
all this news, and so much to talk and ask about that even the
grandfather did not notice how the time was passing; there was
general delight at the thought of the coming days, and even more
at the meeting which had taken place on this one, and the
grandmother spoke and said, "The happiest of all things is when
an old friend comes and greets us as in former times; the heart
is comforted with the assurance that some day everything that we
have loved will be given back to us.--You will come soon again,
uncle, and you child, to-morrow?"
The old man and Heidi promised her faithfully to do so; then it
was time to break up the party, and these two went back up the
mountain. As they had been greeted with bells when they made
their journey down in the morning, so now they were accompanied
by the peaceful evening chimes as they climbed to the hut, which
had quite a Sunday-like appearance as it stood bathed in the
light of the low evening sun.
But when grandmamma comes next autumn there will be many fresh
joys and surprises both for Heidi and grandmother; without doubt
a proper bed will be put up in the hay-loft, for wherever
grandmamma steps in, there everything is soon in right order,
outside and in.
PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY
The kind doctor who had given the order that Heidi was to be sent
home was walking along one of the broad streets towards Herr
Sesemann's house. It was a sunny September morning, so full of
light and sweetness that it seemed as if everybody must rejoice.
But the doctor walked with his eyes fastened to the ground and
did not once lift them to the blue sky above him. There was an
expression of sadness on his face, formerly so cheerful, and his
hair had grown greyer since the spring. The doctor had had an
only daughter, who, after his wife's death, had been his sole and
constant companion, but only a few months previously death had
deprived him of his dear child, and he had never been the same
bright and cheery man since.
Sebastian opened the door to him, greeting him with every mark of
respectful civility, for the doctor was not only the most
cherished friend of the master and his daughter, but had by his
kindness won the hearts of the whole household.
"Everything as usual, Sebastian?" asked the doctor in his
pleasant voice as he preceded Sebastian up the stairs.
"I am glad you have come, doctor," exclaimed Herr Sesemann as the
latter entered. "We must really have another talk over this Swiss
journey; do you still adhere to your decision, even though Clara
is decidedly improving in health?"
"My dear Sesemann, I never knew such a man as you!" said the
doctor as he sat down beside his friend. "I really wish your
mother was here; everything would be clear and straightforward
then and she would soon put things in right train. You sent for
me three times yesterday only to ask me the same question, though
you know what I think."
"Yes, I know, it's enough to make you out of patience with me;
but you must understand, dear friend"--and Herr Sesemann laid his
hand imploringly on the doctor's shoulder--"that I feel I have
not the courage to refuse the child what I have been promising
her all along, and for months now she has been living on the
thought of it day and night. She bore this last bad attack so
patiently because she was buoyed up with the hope that she should
soon start on her Swiss journey, and see her friend Heidi again;
and now must I tell the poor child, who has to give up so many
pleasures, that this visit she has so long looked forward to must
also be cancelled? I really have not the courage to do it."
"You must make up your mind to it, Sesemann," said the doctor
with authority, and as his friend continued silent and dejected
he went on after a pause, "Consider yourself how the matter
stands. Clara has not had such a bad summer as this last one for
years. Only the worst results would follow from the fatigue of
such a journey, and it is out of the question for her. And then
we are already in September, and although it may still be warm
and fine up there, it may just as likely be already very cold.
The days too are growing short, and as Clara cannot spend the
night up there she would only have a two hours' visit at the
outside. The journey from Ragatz would take hours, for she would
have to be carried up the mountain in a chair. In short,
Sesemann, it is impossible. But I will go in with you and talk to
Clara; she is a reasonable child, and I will tell her what my
plans are. Next May she shall be taken to the baths and stay
there for the cure until it is quite hot weather. Then she can be
carried up the mountain from time to time, and when she is
stronger she will enjoy these excursions far more than she would
now. Understand, Sesemann, that if we want to give the child a
chance of recovery we must use the utmost care and watchfulness."
Herr Sesemann, who had listened to the doctor in sad and
submissive silence, now suddenly jumped up. "Doctor," he said,
"tell me truly: have you really any hope of her final recovery?"
The doctor shrugged his shoulders. "Very little," he replied
quietly. "But, friend, think of my trouble. You have still a
beloved child to look for you and greet you on your return home.
You do not come back to an empty house and sit down to a solitary
meal. And the child is happy and comfortable at home too. If
there is much that she has to give up, she has on the other hand
many advantages. No, Sesemann, you are not so greatly to be
pitied--you have still the happiness of being together. Think of
my lonely house!"
Herr Sesemann was now striding up and down the room as was his
habit when deeply engaged in thought. Suddenly he came to a pause
beside his friend and laid his hand on his shoulder. "Doctor, I
have an idea; I cannot bear to see you look as you do; you are no
longer the same man. You must be taken out of yourself for a
while, and what do you think I propose? That you shall take the
journey and go and pay Heidi a visit in our name."
The doctor was taken aback at this sudden proposal and wanted to
make objections, but his friend gave him no time to say anything.
He was so delighted with his idea, that he seized the doctor by
the arm and drew him into Clara's room. The kind doctor was
always a welcome visitor to Clara, for he generally had something
amusing to tell her. Lately, it is true, he had been graver, but
Clara knew the reason why and would have given much to see him
his old lively self again. She held out her hand to him as he
came up to her; he took a seat beside her, and her father also
drew up his chair, and taking Clara's hand in his began to talk
to her of the Swiss journey and how he himself had looked forward
to it. He passed as quickly as he could over the main point that
it was now impossible for her to undertake it, for he dreaded the
tears that would follow; but he went on without pause to tell her
of his new plan, and dwelt on the great benefit it would be to
his friend if he could be persuaded to take this holiday.
The tears were indeed swimming in the blue eyes, although Clara
struggled to keep them down for her father's sake, but it was a
bitter disappointment to give up the journey, the thought of
which had been her only joy and solace during the lonely hours of
her long illness. She knew, however, that her father would never
refuse her a thing unless he was certain that it would be harmful
for her. So she swallowed her tears as well as she could and
turned her thoughts to the one hope still left her. Taking the
doctor's hand and stroking it, she said pleadingly,--
"Dear doctor, you will go and see Heidi, won't you? and then you
can come and tell me all about it, what it is like up there, and
what Heidi and the grandfather, and Peter and the goats do all
day. I know them all so well! And then you can take what I want
to send to Heidi; I have thought about it all, and also something
for the grandmother. Do pray go, dear doctor, and I will take as
much cod liver oil as you like."
Whether this promise finally decided the doctor it is impossible
to say, but it is certain that he smiled and said,--
"Then I must certainly go, Clara, for you will then get as plump
and strong as your father and I wish to see you. And have you
decided when I am to start?"
"To-morrow morning--early if possible," replied Clara.
"Yes, she is right," put in Herr Sesemann; "the sun is shining
and the sky is blue, and there is no time to be lost; it is a
pity to miss a single one of these days on the mountain."
The doctor could not help laughing. "You will be reproaching me
next for not being there already; well, I must go and make
arrangements for getting off."
But Clara would not let him go until she had given him endless
messages for Heidi, and had explained all he was to look at so as
to give her an exact description on his return. Her presents she
would send round later, as Fraulein Rottenmeier must first help
her to pack them up; at that moment she was out on one of her
excursions into the town which always kept her engaged for some
time. The doctor promised to obey Clara's directions in every
particular; he would start some time during the following day if
not the first thing in the morning, and would bring back a
faithful account of his experiences and of all he saw and heard.
The servants of a household have a curious faculty of divining
what is going on before they are actually told about anything.
Sebastian and Tinette must have possessed this faculty in a high
degree, for even as the doctor was going downstairs, Tinette, who
had been rung for, entered Clara's room.
"Take that box and bring it back filled with the soft cakes which
we have with coffee," said Clara, pointing to a box which had
been brought long before in preparation for this. Tinette took it
up, and carried it out, dangling it contemptuously in her hand.
"Hardly worth the trouble I should have thought," she said pertly
as she left the room.
As Sebastian opened the door for the doctor he said with a bow,
"Will the Herr Doctor be so kind as to give the little miss my
"I see," said the doctor, "you know then already that I am off on
Sebastian hesitated and gave an awkward little cough. "I am--I
have--I hardly know myself O yes, I remember; I happened to pass
through the dining-room and caught little miss's name, and I put
two and two together--and so I thought--"
"I see, I see," smiled the doctor, "one can find out a great many
thinks by thinking. Good-bye till I see you again, Sebastian, I
will be sure and give your message."
The doctor was hastening off when he met with a sudden obstacle;
the violent wind had prevented Fraulein Rottenmeier prosecuting
her walk any farther, and she was just returning and had reached
the door as he was coming out. The white shawl she wore was so
blown out by the wind that she looked like a ship in full sail.
The doctor drew back, but Fraulein Rottenmeier had always evinced
peculiar appreciation and respect for this man, and she also drew
back with exaggerated politeness to let him pass. The two stood
for a few seconds, each anxious to make way for the other, but a
sudden gust of wind sent Fraulein Rottenmeier flying with all her
sails almost into the doctor's arms, and she had to pause and
recover herself before she could shake hands with the doctor with
becoming decorum. She was put out at having been forced to enter
in so undignified a manner, but the doctor had a way of smoothing
people's ruffled feathers, and she was soon listening with her
usual composure while he informed her of his intended journey,
begging her in his most conciliatory voice to pack up the parcels
for Heidi as she alone knew how to pack. And then he took his
Clara quite expected to have a long tussle with Fraulein
Rottenmeier before she would get the latter to consent to sending
all the things that she had collected as presents for Heidi. But
this time she was mistaken, for Fraulein Rottenmeier was in a
more than usually good temper. She cleared the large table so
that all the things for Heidi could be spread out upon it and
packed under Clara's own eyes. It was no light job, for the
presents were of all shapes and sizes. First there was the little
warm cloak with a hood, which had been designed by Clara herself,
in order that Heidi during the coming winter might be able to go
and see grandmother when she liked, and not have to wait till her
grandfather could take her wrapped up in a sack to keep her from
freezing. Then came a thick warm shawl for the grandmother, in
which she could wrap herself well up and not feel the cold when
the wind came sweeping in such terrible gusts round the house.
The next object was the large box full of cakes; these were also
for the grandmother, that she might have something to eat with
her coffee besides bread. An immense sausage was the next
article; this had been originally intended for Peter, who never
had anything but bread and cheese, but Clara had altered her
mind, fearing that in his delight he might eat it all up at once
and make himself ill. So she arranged to send it to Brigitta, who
could take some for herself and the grandmother and give Peter
his portion out by degrees. A packet of tobacco was a present for
grandfather, who was fond of his pipe as he sat resting in the
evening. Finally there was a whole lot of mysterious little bags,
and parcels, and boxes, which Clara had had especial pleasure in
collecting, as each was to be a joyful surprise for Heidi as she
opened it. The work came to an end at last, and an
imposing-looking package lay on the floor ready for transport.
Fraulein Rottenmeier looked at it with satisfaction, lost in the
consideration of the art of packing. Clara eyed it too with
pleasure, picturing Heidi's exclamations and jumps of joy and
surprise when the huge parcel arrived at the hut.
And now Sebastian came in, and lifting the package on to his
shoulder, carried it off to be forwarded at once to the doctor's
The early light of morning lay rosy red upon the mountains, and a
fresh breeze rustled through the fir trees and set their ancient
branches waving to and fro. The sound awoke Heidi and she opened
her eyes. The roaring in the trees always stirred a strong
emotion within her and seemed to drew her irresistibly to them.
So she jumped out of bed and dressed herself as quickly as she
could, but it took her some time even then, for she was careful
now to be always clean and tidy.
When she went down her ladder she found her grandfather had
already left the hut. He was standing outside looking at the sky
and examining the landscape as he did every morning, to see what
sort of weather it was going to be.
Little pink clouds were floating over the sky, that was growing
brighter and bluer with every minute, while the heights and the
meadow lands were turning gold under the rising sun, which was
just appearing above the topmost peaks.
"O how beautiful! how beautiful! Good-morning, grandfather!"
cried Heidi, running out.
"What, you are awake already, are you?" he answered, giving her a
Then Heidi ran round to the fir trees to enjoy the sound she
loved so well, and with every fresh gust of wind which came
roaring through their branches she gave a fresh jump and cry of
Meanwhile the grandfather had gone to milk the goats; this done
he brushed and washed them, ready for their mountain excursion,
and brought them out of their shed. As soon as Heidi caught sight
of her two friends she ran and embraced them, and they bleated in
return, while they vied with each other in showing their
affection by poking their heads against her and trying which
could get nearest her, so that she was almost crushed between
them. But Heidi was not afraid of them, and when the lively
Little Bear gave rather too violent a thrust, she only said, "No,
Little Bear, you are pushing like the Great Turk," and Little
Bear immediately drew back his head and left off his rough
attentions, while Little Swan lifted her head and put on an
expression as much as to say, "No one shall ever accuse me of
behaving like the Great Turk." For White Swan was a rather more
distinguished person than Brown Bear.
And now Peter's whistle was heard and all the goats came along,
leaping and springing, and Heidi soon found herself surrounded by
the whole flock, pushed this way and that by their obstreperous
greetings, but at last she managed to get through them to where
Snowflake was standing, for the young goat had in vain striven to
Peter now gave a last tremendous whistle, in order to startle the
goats and drive them off, for he wanted to get near himself to
say something to Heidi. The goats sprang aside and he came up to
"Can you come out with me to-day?" he asked, evidently unwilling
to hear her refuse.
"I am afraid I cannot, Peter," she answered. "I am expecting them
every minute from Frankfurt, and I must be at home when they
"You have said the same thing for days now," grumbled Peter.
"I must continue to say it till they come," replied Heidi. "How
can you think, Peter, that I would be away when they came? As if
I could do such a thing?"
"They would find Uncle at home," he answered with a snarling
But at this moment the grandfather's stentorian voice was heard.
"Why is the army not marching forward? Is it the field-marshal
who is missing or some of the troops?"
Whereupon Peter turned and went off, swinging his stick round so
that it whistled through the air, and the goats, who understood
the signal, started at full trot for their mountain pasture,
Peter following in their wake.
Since Heidi had been back with her grandfather things came now
and then into her mind of which she had never thought in former
days. So now, with great exertion, she put her bed in order every
morning, patting and stroking it till she had got it perfectly
smooth and flat. Then she went about the room downstairs, put
each chair back in its place, and if she found anything lying
about she put it in the cupboard. After that she fetched a
duster, climbed on a chair, and rubbed the table till it shone
again. When the grandfather came in later he would look round
well pleased and say to himself, "We look like Sunday every day
now; Heidi did not go abroad for nothing."
After Peter had departed and she and her grandfather had
breakfasted, Heidi began her daily work as usual, but she did not
get on with it very fast. It was so lovely out of doors to-day,
and every minute something happened to interrupt her in her work.
Now it was a bright beam of sun shining cheerfully through the
open window, and seeming to say, "Come out, Heidi, come out!"
Heidi felt she could not stay indoors, and she ran out in answer
to the call. The sunlight lay sparkling on everything around the
hut and on all the mountains and far away along the valley, and
the grass slope looked so golden and inviting that she was
obliged to sit down for a few minutes and look about her. Then
she suddenly remembered that her stool was left standing in the
middle of the floor and that the table had not been rubbed, and
she jumped up and ran inside again. But it was not long before
the fir trees began their old song; Heidi felt it in all her
limbs, and again the desire to run outside was irresistible, and
she was off to play and leap to the tune of the waving branches.
The grandfather, who was busy in his work-shed, stepped out from
time to time smiling to watch her at her gambols. He had just
gone back to his work on one of these occasions when Heidi called
out, "Grandfather! grandfather! Come, come!"
He stepped quickly out, almost afraid something had happened to
the child, but he saw her running towards where the mountain path
descended, crying, "They are coming! they are coming! and the
doctor is in front of them!"
Heidi rushed forward to welcome her old friend, who held out his
hands in greeting to her. When she came up to him she clung to
his outstretched arm, and exclaimed in the joy of her heart,
"Good-morning, doctor, and thank you ever so many times."
"God bless you, child! what have you got to thank me for?" asked
the doctor, smiling.
"For being at home again with grandfather," the child explained.
The doctor's face brightened as if a sudden ray of sunshine had
passed across it; he had not expected such a reception as this.
Lost in the sense of his loneliness he had climbed the mountain
without heeding how beautiful it was on every side, and how more
and more beautiful it became the higher he got. He had quite
thought that Heidi would have forgotten him; she had seen so
little of him, and he had felt rather like one bearing a message
of disappointment, anticipating no great show of favor, coming as
he did without the expected friends. But instead, here was Heidi,
her eyes dancing for joy, and full of gratitude and affection,
clinging to the arm of her kind friend.
He took her by the hand with fatherly tenderness.
"Take me now to your grandfather, Heidi, and show me where you
But Heidi still remained standing, looking down the path with a
questioning gaze. "Where are Clara and grandmother?" she asked.
"Ah, now I have to tell you something which you will be as sorry
about as I am," answered the doctor. "You see, Heidi, I have come
alone. Clara was very ill and could not travel, and so the
grandmother stayed behind too. But next spring, when the days
grow warm and long again, they are coming here for certain."
Heidi was greatly concerned; she could not at first bring herself
to believe that what she had for so long been picturing to
herself was not going to happen after all. She stood motionless
for a second or two, overcome by the unexpected disappointment.
The doctor said nothing further; all around lay the silence, only
the sighing of the fir trees could be heard from where they
stood. Then Heidi suddenly remembered why she had run down there,
and that the doctor had really come. She lifted her eyes and saw
the sad expression in his as he looked down at her; she had never
seen him with that look on his face when she was in Frankfurt. It
went to Heidi's heart; she could not bear to see anybody unhappy,
especially her dear doctor. No doubt it was because Clara and
grandmother could not come, and so she began to think how best
she might console him.
"Oh, it won't be very long to wait for spring, and then they will
be sure to come," she said in a reassuring voice. "Time passes
very quickly with us, and then they will be able to stay longer
when they are here, and Clara will be pleased at that. Now let us
go and find grandfather."
Hand in hand with her friend she climbed up to the hut. She was
so anxious to make the doctor happy again that she began once
more assuring him that the winter passed so quickly on the
mountain that it was hardly to be taken account of, and that
summer would be back again before they knew it, and she became so
convinced of the truth of her own words that she called out quite
cheerfully to her grandfather as they approached, "They have not
come to-day, but they will be here in a very short time."
The doctor was no stranger to the grandfather, for the child had
talked to him so much about her friend. The old man held out his
hand to his guest in friendly greeting. Then the two men sat down
in front of the hut, and Heidi had her little place too, for the
doctor beckoned her to come and sit beside him. The doctor told
Uncle how Herr Sesemann had insisted on his taking this journey,
and he felt himself it would do him good as he had not been quite
the thing for a long time. Then he whispered to Heidi that there
was something being brought up the mountain which had travelled
with him from Frankfurt, and which would give her even more
pleasure than seeing the old doctor. Heidi got into a great state
of excitement on hearing this, wondering what it could be, The
old man urged the doctor to spend as many of the beautiful autumn
days on the mountain as he could, and at least to come up
whenever it was fine; lie could not offer him a lodging, as he
had no place to put him; he advised the doctor, however, not to
go back to Ragatz, but to stay at Dorfli, where there was a clean
tidy little inn. Then the doctor could come up every morning,
which would do him no end of good, and if he liked, he, the
grandfather, would act as his guide to any part of the mountains
he would like to see. The doctor was delighted with this
proposal, and it was settled that it should be as the grandfather
Meanwhile the sun had been climbing up the sky, and it was now
noon. The wind had sunk and the fir trees stood motionless. The
air was still wonderfully warm and mild for that height, while a
delicious freshness was mingled with the warmth of the sun.
Alm-Uncle now rose and went indoors, returning in a few minutes
with a table which he placed in front of the seat.
"There, Heidi, now run in and bring us what we want for the
table," he said. "The doctor must take us as he finds us; if the
food is plain, he will acknowledge that the dining-room is
"I should think so indeed," replied the doctor as he looked down
over the sun-lit valley, "and I accept the kind invitation;
everything must taste good up here."
Heidi ran backwards and forwards as busy as a bee and brought out
everything she could find in the cupboard, for she did not know
how to be pleased enough that she could help to entertain the
doctor. The grandfather meanwhile had been preparing the meal,
and now appeared with a steaming jug of milk and golden-brown
toasted cheese. Then he cut some thin slices from the meat he had
cured himself in the pure air, and the doctor enjoyed his dinner
better than he had for a whole year past.
"Our Clara must certainly come up here," he said, "it would make
her quite a different person, and if she ate for any length of
time as I have to-day, she would grow plumper than any one has
ever known her before."
As he spoke a man was seen coming up the path carrying a large
package on his back. When he reached the hut tie threw it on the
ground and drew in two or three good breaths of the mountain air.
"Ah, here's what travelled with me from Frankfurt," said the
doctor, rising, and he went up to the package and began undoing
it, Heidi looking on in great expectation. After he had released
it from its heavy outer covering, "There, child," he said, "now
you can go on unpacking your treasures yourself."
Heidi undid her presents one by one until they were all
displayed; she could not speak the while for wonder and delight.
Not till the doctor went up to her again and opened the large box
to show Heidi the cakes that were for the grandmother to eat with
her coffee, did she at last give a cry of joy, exclaiming, "Now
grandmother will have nice things to eat," and she wanted to pack
everything up again and start at once to give them to her. But
the grandfather said he should walk down with the doctor that
evening and she could go with them and take the things. Heidi now
found the packet of tobacco which she ran and gave to her
grandfather; he was so pleased with it that he immediately filled
his pipe with some, and the two men then sat down together again,
the smoke curling up from their pipes as they talked of all kinds
of things, while Heidi continued to examine first one and then
another of her presents. Suddenly she ran up to them, and
standing in front of the doctor waited till there was a pause in
the conversation, and then said, "No, the other thing has not
given me more pleasure than seeing you, doctor."
The two men could not help laughing, and the doctor answered that
he should never have thought it.
As the sun began to sink behind the mountains the doctor rose,
thinking it was time to return to Dorfli and seek for quarters.
The grandfather carried the cakes and the shawl and the large
sausage, and the doctor took Heidi's hand, so they all three
started down the mountain. Arrived at Peter's home Heidi bid the
others good-bye; she was to wait at grandmother's till her
grandfather, who was going on to Dorfli with his guest, returned
to fetch her. As the doctor shook hands with her she asked,
"Would you like to come out with the goats to-morrow morning?"
for she could think of no greater treat to offer him.
"Agreed!" answered the doctor, "we will go together,"
Heidi now ran in to the grandmother; she first, with some effort,
managed to carry in the box of cakes; then she ran out again and
brought in the sausage--for her grandfather had put the presents
down by the door--and then a third time for the shawl. She had
placed them as close as she could to the grandmother, so that the
latter might be able to feel them and understand what was there.
The shawl she laid over the old woman's knees.
"They are all from Frankfurt, from Clara and grandmamma," she
explained to the astonished grandmother and Brigitta, the latter
having watched her dragging in all the heavy things, unable to
imagine what was happening.
"And you are very pleased with the cakes, aren't you,
grandmother? taste how soft they are!" said Heidi over and over
again, to which the grandmother continued to answer, "Yes, yes,
Heidi, I should think so! what kind people they must be!" And
then she would pass her hand over the warm thick shawl and add,
"This will be beautiful for the cold winter! I never thought I
should ever have such a splendid thing as this to put on."
Heidi could not help feeling some surprise at the grandmother
seeming to take more pleasure in the shawl than the cakes.
Meanwhile Brigitta stood gazing at the sausage with almost an
expression of awe. She had hardly in her life seen such a monster
sausage, much less owned one, and she could scarcely believe her
eyes. She shook her head and said doubtfully, "I must ask Uncle
what it is meant for."
But Heidi answered without hesitation, "It is meant for eating,
not for anything else."
Peter came tumbling in at this minute. "Uncle is just behind me,
he is coming--" he began, and then stopped short, for his eye had
caught sight of the sausage, and he was too much taken aback to
say more. But Heidi understood that her grandfather was near and
so said good-bye to grandmother. The old man now never passed the
door without going in to wish the old woman good-day, and she
liked to hear his footstep approaching, for he always had a
cheery word for her. But to-day it was growing late for Heidi,
who was always up with the lark, and the grandfather would never
let her go to bed after hours; so this evening he only called
good-night through the open door and started home at once with
the child, and the two climbed under the starlit sky back to
their peaceful dwelling.
The next morning the doctor climbed up from Dorfli with Peter and
the goats. The kindly gentleman tried now and then to enter into
conversation with the boy, but his attempts failed, for he could
hardly get a word out of Peter in answer to his questions. Peter
was not easily persuaded to talk. So the party silently made
their way up to the hut, where they found Heidi awaiting them
with her two goats, all three as fresh and lively as the morning
sun among the mountains.
"Are you coming to-day?" said Peter, repeating the words with
which he daily greeted her, either in question or in summons.
"Of course I am, if the doctor is coming too," replied Heidi.
Peter cast a sidelong glance at the doctor. The grandfather now
came out with the dinner bag, and after bidding good-day to the
doctor he went up to Peter and slung it over his neck. It was
heavier than usual, for Alm-Uncle had added some meat to-day, as
he thought the doctor might like to have his lunch out and eat it
when the children did. Peter gave a grin, for he felt sure there
was something more than ordinary in it.
And so the ascent began. The goats as usual came thronging around
Heidi, each trying to be nearest her, until at last she stood
still and said, "Now you must go on in front and behave properly,
and not keep on turning back and pushing and poking me, for I
want to talk to the doctor," and she gave Snowflake a little pat
on the back and told her to be good and obedient. By degrees she
managed to make her way out from among them and joined the
doctor, who took her by the hand. He had no difficulty now in
conversing with his companion, for Heidi had a great deal to say
about the goats and their peculiarities, and about the flowers
and the rocks and the birds, and so they clambered on and reached
their resting-place before they were aware. Peter had sent a good
many unfriendly glances towards the doctor on the way up, which
might have quite alarmed the latter if he had happened to notice
them, which, fortunately, he did not.
Heidi now led her friend to her favorite spot where she was
accustomed to sit and enjoy the beauty around her; the doctor
followed her example and took his seat beside her on the warm
grass. Over the heights and over the far green valley hung the
golden glory of the autumn day. The great snow-field sparkled in
the bright sunlight, and the two grey rocky peaks rose in their
ancient majesty against the dark blue sky. A soft, light morning
breeze blew deliciously across the mountain, gently stirring the
bluebells that still remained of the summer's wealth of flowers,
their slender heads nodding cheerfully in the sunshine. Overhead
the great bird was flying round and round in wide circles, but
to-day he made no sound; poised on his large wings he floated
contentedly in the blue ether. Heidi looked about her first at
one thing and then at another. The waving flowers, the blue sky,
the bright sunshine, the happy bird--everything was so beautiful!
so beautiful! Her eyes were alight with joy. And now she turned
to her friend to see if he too were enjoying the beauty. The
doctor had been sitting thoughtfully gazing around him. As he met
her glad bright eyes, "Yes, Heidi," he responded, "I see how
lovely it all is, but tell me--if one brings a sad heart up here,
how may it be healed so that it can rejoice in all this beauty?"
"Oh, but," exclaimed Heidi, "no one is sad up here, only in
The doctor smiled and then growing serious again he continued,
"But supposing one is not able to leave all the sadness behind at
Frankfurt; can you tell me anything that will help then?"
"When you do not know what more to do you must go and tell
everything to God," answered Heidi with decision.
"Ah, that is a good thought of yours, Heidi," said the doctor.
"But if it is God Himself who has sent the trouble, what can we
say to Him then?"
Heidi sat pondering for a while; she was sure in her heart that
God could help out of every trouble. She thought over her own
experiences and then found her answer.
"Then you must wait," she said, "and keep on saying to yourself:
God certainly knows of some happiness for us which He is going to
bring out of the trouble, only we must have patience and not run
away. And then all at once something happens and we see clearly
ourselves that God has had some good thought in His mind all
along; but because we cannot see things beforehand, and only know
how dreadfully miserable we are, we think it is always going to
"That is a beautiful faith, child, and be sure you hold it fast,"
replied the doctor. Then he sat on a while in silence, looking at
the great overshadowing mountains and the green, sunlit valley
below before he spoke again,--
"Can you understand, Heidi, that a man may sit here with such a
shadow over his eyes that he cannot feel and enjoy the beauty
around him, while the heart grows doubly sad knowing how
beautiful it could be? Can you understand that?"
A pain shot through the child's young happy heart. The shadow
over the eyes brought to her remembrance the grandmother, who
would never again be able to see the sunlight and the beauty up
here. This was Heidi's great sorrow, which re-awoke each time she
thought about the darkness. She did not speak for a few minutes,
for her happiness was interrupted by this sudden pang. Then in a
grave voice she said,--
"Yes, I can understand it. And I know this, that then one must
say one of grandmother's hymns, which bring the light back a
little, and often make it so bright for her that she is quite
happy again. Grandmother herself told me this."
"Which hymns are they, Heidi?" asked the doctor.
"I only know the one about the sun and the beautiful garden, and
some of the verses of the long one, which are favorites with her,
and she always likes me to read them to her two or three times
over," replied Heidi.
"Well, say the verses to me then, I should like to hear them
too," and the doctor sat up in order to listen better.
Heidi put her hands together and sat collecting her thoughts for
a second or two: "Shall I begin at the verse that grandmother
says gives her a feeling of hope and confidence?"
The doctor nodded his assent, and Heidi began,--
Let not your heart be troubled
Nor fear your soul dismay,
There is a wise Defender
And He will be your stay.
Where you have failed, He conquers,
See, how the foeman flies!
And all your tribulation
Is turned to glad surprise.
If for a while it seemeth
His mercy is withdrawn,
That He no longer careth
For His wandering child forlorn,
Doubt not His great compassion,
His love can never tire,
To those who wait in patience
He gives their heart's desire.
Heidi suddenly paused; she was not sure if the doctor was still
listening. He was sitting motionless with his hand before his
eyes. She thought he had fallen asleep; when he awoke, if he
wanted to hear more verses, she would go on. There was no sound
anywhere. The doctor sat in silence, but he was certainly not
asleep. His thoughts had carried him back to a long past time: he
saw himself as a little boy standing by his dear mother's chair;
she had her arm round his neck and was saying the very verses to
him that Heidi had just recited--words which he had not heard now
for years. He could hear his mother's voice and see her loving
eyes resting upon him, and as Heidi ceased the old dear voice
seemed to be saying other things to him; and the words he heard
again must have carried him far, far away, for it was a long time
before he stirred or took his hand from his eyes. When at last he
roused himself he met Heidi's eyes looking wonderingly at him.
"Heidi," he said, taking the child's hand in his, "that was a
beautiful hymn of yours," and there was a happier ring in his
voice as he spoke. "We will come out here together another day,
and you will let me hear it again."
Peter meanwhile had had enough to do in giving vent to his anger.
It was now some days since Heidi had been out with him, and when
at last she did come, there she sat the whole time beside the old
gentleman, and Peter could not get a word with her. He got into a
terrible temper, and at last went and stood some way back behind
the doctor, where the latter could not see him, and doubling his
fist made imaginary hits at the enemy. Presently he doubled both
fists, and the longer Heidi stayed beside the gentleman, the more
fiercely did he threaten with them.
Meanwhile the sun had risen to the height which Peter knew
pointed to the dinner hour. All of a sudden he called at the top
of his voice, "It's dinner time."
Heidi was rising to fetch the dinner bag so that the doctor might
eat his where he sat. But he stopped her, telling her he was not
hungry at all, and only cared for a glass of milk, as he wanted
to climb up a little higher. Then Heidi found that she also was
not hungry and only wanted milk, and she should like, she said,
to take the doctor up to the large moss-covered rock where
Greenfinch had nearly jumped down and killed herself. So she ran
and explained matters to Peter, telling him to go and get milk
for the two. Peter seemed hardly to understand. "Who is going to
eat what is in the bag then?" he asked.
"You can have it," she answered, "only first make haste and get
Peter had seldom performed any task more promptly, for he thought
of the bag and its contents, which now belonged to him. As soon
as the other two were sitting quietly drinking their milk, he
opened it, and quite trembled for joy at the sight of the meat,
and he was just putting his hand in to draw it out when something
seemed to hold him back. His conscience smote him at the
remembrance of how he had stood with his doubled fists behind the
doctor, who was now giving up to him his whole good dinner. He
felt as if he could not now enjoy it. But all at once he jumped
up and ran back to the spot where he had stood before, and there
held up his open hands as a sign that he had no longer any wish
to use them as fists, and kept them up until he felt he had made
amends for his past conduct. Then he rushed back and sat down to
the double enjoyment of a clear conscience and an unusually
Heidi and the doctor climbed and talked for a long while, until
the latter said it was time for him to be going back, and no
doubt Heidi would like to go and be with her goats. But Heidi
would not hear of this, as then the doctor would have to go the
whole way down the mountain alone. She insisted on accompanying
him as far as the grandfather's hut, or even a little further.
She kept hold of her friend's hand all the time, and the whole
way she entertained him with accounts of this thing and that,
showing him the spots where the goats loved best to feed, and
others where in summer the flowers of all colors grew in greatest
abundance. She could give them all their right names, for her
grandfather had taught her these during the summer months. But at
last the doctor insisted on her going back; so they bid each
other good-night and the doctor continued his descent, turning
now and again to look back, and each time he saw Heidi standing
on the same spot and waving her hand to him. Even so in the old
days had his own dear little daughter watched him when he went
It was a bright sunny autumn month. The doctor came up to the hut
every morning, and thence made excursions over the mountain.
Alm-Uncle accompanied him on some of his higher ascents, when
they climbed up to the ancient storm-beaten fir trees and often
disturbed the great bird which rose startled from its nest, with
the whirl of wings and croakings, very near their heads. The
doctor found great pleasure in his companion's conversation, and
was astonished at his knowledge of the plants that grew on the
mountain: he knew the uses of them all, from the aromatic fir
trees and the dark pines with their scented needles, to the curly
moss that sprang up everywhere about the roots of the trees and
the smallest plant and tiniest flower. He was as well versed also
in the ways of the animals, great and small, and had many amusing
anecdotes to tell of these dwellers in caves and holes and in the
tops of the fir trees. And so the time passed pleasantly and
quickly for the doctor, who seldom said good-bye to the old man
at the end of the day without adding, "I never leave you, friend,
without having learnt something new from you."
On some of the very finest days, however, the doctor would wander
out again with Heidi, and then the two would sit together as on
the first day, and the child would repeat her hymns and tell the
doctor things which she alone knew. Peter sat at a little
distance from them, but he was now quite reconciled in spirit and
gave vent to no angry pantomime.
September had drawn to its close, and now one morning the doctor
appeared looking less cheerful than usual. It was his last day,
he said, as he must return to Frankfurt, but he was grieved at
having to say good-bye to the mountain, which he had begun to
feel quite like home. Alm-Uncle, on his side, greatly regretted
the departure of his guest, and Heidi had been now accustomed for
so long to see her good friend every day that she could hardly
believe the time had suddenly come to separate. She looked up at
him in doubt, taken by surprise, but there was no help, he must
go. So he bid farewell to the old man and asked that Heidi might
go with him part of the return way, and Heidi took his hand and
went down the mountain with him, still unable to grasp the idea
that he was going for good. After some distance the doctor stood
still, and passing his hand over the child's curly head said,
"Now, Heidi, you must go back, and I must say good-bye! If only I
could take you with me to Frankfurt and keep you there!"
The picture of Frankfurt rose before the child's eyes, its rows
of endless houses, its hard streets, and even the vision of
Fraulein Rottenmeier and Tinette, and she answered hesitatingly,
"I would rather that you came back to us."
"Yes, you are right, that would be better. But now good-bye,
Heidi." The child put her hand in his and looked up at him; the
kind eyes looking down on her had tears in them. Then the doctor
tore himself away and quickly continued his descent.
Heidi remained standing without moving. The friendly eyes with
the tears in them had gone to her heart. All at once she burst
into tears and started running as fast as she could after the
departing figure, calling out in broken tones: "Doctor! doctor!"
He turned round and waited till the child reached him. The tears
were streaming down her face and she sobbed out: "I will come to
Frankfurt with you, now at once, and I will stay with you as long
as you like, only I must just run back and tell grandfather."
The doctor laid his hand on her and tried to calm her excitement.
"No, no, dear child," he said kindly, "not now; you must stay for
the present under the fir trees, or I should have you ill again.
But hear now what I have to ask you. If I am ever ill and alone,
will you come then and stay with me? May I know that there would
then be some one to look after me and care for me?"
"Yes, yes, I will come the very day you send for me, and I love
you nearly as much as grandfather," replied Heidi, who had not
yet got over her distress.
And so the doctor again bid her good-bye and started on his way,
while Heidi remained looking after him and waving her hand as
long as a speck of him could be seen. As the doctor turned for
the last time and looked back at the waving Heidi and the sunny
mountain, he said to himself, "It is good to be up there, good
for body and soul, and a man might learn how to be happy once
WINTER IN DORFLI
The snow was lying so high around the hut that the windows looked
level with the ground, and the door had entirely disappeared from
view. If Alm-Uncle had been up there he would have had to do what
Peter did daily, for fresh snow fell every night. Peter had to
get out of the window of the sitting-room every morning, and if
the frost had not been very hard during the night, he immediately
sank up to his shoulders almost in the snow and had to struggle
with hands, feet, and head to extricate himself. Then his mother
handed him the large broom, and with this he worked hard to make
a way to the door. He had to be careful to dig the snow well
away, or else as soon as the door was opened the whole soft mass
would fall inside, or, if the frost was severe enough, it would
have made such a wall of ice in front of the house that no one
could have gone in or out, for the window was only big enough for
Peter to creep through. The fresh snow froze like this in the
night sometimes, and this was an enjoyable time for Peter, for he
would get through the window on to the hard, smooth, frozen
ground, and his mother would hand him out the little sleigh, and
he could then make his descent to Dorfli along any route he
chose, for the whole mountain was nothing but one wide, unbroken
Alm-Uncle had kept his word and was not spending the winter in
his old home. As soon as the first snow began to fall, he had
shut up the hut and the outside buildings and gone down to Dorfli
with Heidi and the goats. Near the church was a straggling
half-ruined building, which had once been the house of a person
of consequence. A distinguished soldier had lived there at one
time; he had taken service in Spain and had there performed many
brave deeds and gathered much treasure. When he returned home to
Dorfli he spent part of his booty in building a fine house, with
the intention of living in it. But he had been too long
accustomed to the noise and bustle of arms and the world to care
for a quiet country life, and he soon went off again, and this
time did not return. When after many long years it seemed certain
that he was dead, a distant relative took possession of the
house, but it had already fallen into disrepair, and he had no
wish to rebuild it. So it was let to poor people, who paid but a
small rent, and when any part of the building fell it was allowed
to remain. This had now gone on for many years. As long ago as
when his son Tobias was a child Alm-Uncle had rented the tumble-
down old place. Since then it had stood empty, for no one could
stay in it who had not some idea of how to stop up the holes and
gaps and make it habitable. Otherwise the wind and rain and snow
blew into the rooms, so that it was impossible even to keep a
candle alight, and the indwellers would have been frozen to death
during the long cold winters. Alm-Uncle, however, knew how to
mend matters. As soon as he made up his mind to spend the winter
in Dorfli, he rented the old place and worked during the autumn
to get it sound and tight. In the middle of October he and Heidi
took up their residence there.
On approaching the house from the back one came first into an
open space with a wall on either side, of which one was half in
ruins. Above this rose the arch of an old window thickly
overgrown with ivy, which spread over the remains of a domed roof
that had evidently been part of a chapel. A large hall came next,
which lay open, without doors, to the square outside. Here also
walls and roof only partially remained, and indeed what was left
of the roof looked as if it might fall at any minute had it not
been for two stout pillars that supported it. Alm-Uncle had here
put up a wooden partition and covered the floor with straw, for
this was to be the goats' house. Endless passages led from this,
through the rents of which the sky as well as the fields and the
road outside could be seen at intervals; but at last one came to
a stout oak door that led into a room that still stood intact.
Here the walls and the dark wainscoting remained as good as ever,
and in the corner was an immense stove reaching nearly to the
ceiling, on the white tiles of which were painted large pictures
in blue. These represented old castles surrounded with trees, and
huntsmen riding out with their hounds; or else a quiet lake
scene, with broad oak trees and a man fishing. A seat ran all
round the stove so that one could sit at one's ease and study the
pictures. These attracted Heidi's attention at once, and she had
no sooner arrived with her grandfather than she ran and seated
herself and began to examine them. But when she had gradually
worked herself round to the back, something else diverted her
attention. In the large space between the stove and the wall four
planks had been put together as if to make a large receptacle for
apples; there were no apples, however, inside, but something
Heidi had no difficulty in recognising, for it was her very own
bed, with its hay mattress and sheets, and sack for a coverlid,
just as she had it up at the hut. Heidi clapped her hands for joy
and exclaimed, "O grandfather, this is my room, how nice! But
where are you going to sleep?"
"Your room must be near the stove or you will freeze," he
replied, "but you can come and see mine too."
Heidi got down and skipped across the large room after her
grandfather, who opened a door at the farther end leading into a
smaller one which was to be his bedroom. Then came another door.
Heidi pushed it open and stood amazed, for here was an immense
room like a kitchen, larger than anything of the kind that Heidi
had seen before. There was still plenty of work for the
grandfather before this room could be finished, for there were
holes and cracks in the walls through which the wind whistled,
and yet he had already nailed up so many new planks that it
looked as if a lot of small cupboards had been set up round the
room. He had, however, made the large old door safe with many
screws and nails, as a protection against the outside air, and
this was very necessary, for just beyond was a mass of ruined
buildings overgrown with tall weeds, which made a dwelling-place
for endless beetles and lizards.
Heidi was very delighted with her new home, and by the morning
after their arrival she knew every nook and corner so thoroughly
that she could take Peter over it and show him all that was to be
seen; indeed she would not let him go till he had examined every
single wonderful thing contained in it.
Heidi slept soundly in her corner by the stove; but every morning
when she first awoke she still thought she was on the mountain,
and that she must run outside at once to see if the fir trees
were so quiet because their branches were weighed down with the
thick snow. She had to look about her for some minutes before she
felt quite sure where she was, and a certain sensation of trouble
and oppression would come over her as she grew aware that she was
not at home in the hut. But then she would hear her grandfather's
voice outside, attending to the goats, and these would give one
or two loud bleats, as if calling to her to make haste and go to
them, and then Heidi was happy again, for she knew she was still
at home, and she would jump gladly out of bed and run out to the
animals as quickly as she could. On the fourth morning, as soon
as she saw her grandfather, she said, "I must go up to see
grandmother to-day; she ought not to be alone so long."
But the grandfather would not agree to this. "Neither to-day nor
to-morrow can you go," he said; "the mountain is covered
fathom-deep in snow, and the snow is still falling; the sturdy
Peter can hardly get along. A little creature like you would soon
be smothered by it, and we should not be able to find you again.
Wait a bit till it freezes, then you will be able to walk over
the hard snow."
Heidi did not like the thought of having to wait, but the days
were so busy that she hardly knew how they went by.
Heidi now went to school in Dorfli every morning and afternoon,
and eagerly set to work to learn all that was taught her. She
hardly ever saw Peter there, for as a rule he was absent. The
teacher was an easy-going man who merely remarked now and then,
"Peter is not turning up to-day again, it seems, but there is a
lot of snow up on the mountain and I daresay he cannot get
along." Peter, however, always seemed able to make his way
through the snow in the evening when school was over, and he then
generally paid Heidi a visit.
At last, after some days, the sun again appeared and shone
brightly over the white ground, but he went to bed again behind
the mountains at a very early hour, as if he did not find such
pleasure in looking down on the earth as when everything was
green and flowery. But then the moon came out clear and large and
lit up the great white snowfield all through the night, and the
next morning the whole mountain glistened and sparkled like a
huge crystal. When Peter got out of his window as usual, he was
taken by surprise, for instead of sinking into the soft snow he
fell on the hard ground and went sliding some way down the
mountain side like a sleigh before he could stop himself. He
picked himself up and tested the hardness of the ground by
stamping on it and trying with all his might to dig his heels
into it, but even then he could not break off a single little
splinter of ice; the Alm was frozen hard as iron. This was just
what Peter had been hoping for, as he knew now that Heidi would
be able to come up to them. He quickly got back into the house,
swallowed the milk which his mother had put ready for him, thrust
a piece of bread in his pocket, and said, "I must be off to
school." "That's right, go and learn all you can," said the
grandmother encouragingly. Peter crept through the window
again--the door was quite blocked by the frozen snow
outside--pulling his little sleigh after him, and in another
minute was shooting down the mountain.
He went like lightning, and when he reached Dorfli, which stood
on the direct road to Mayenfeld, he made up his mind to go on
further, for he was sure he could not stop his rapid descent
without hurting himself and the sleigh too. So down he still went
till he reached the level ground, where the sleigh came to a
pause of its own accord. Then he got out and looked round. The
impetus with which he had made his journey down had carried him
some little way beyond Mayenfeld. He bethought himself that it
was too late to get to school now, as lessons would already have
begun, and it would take him a good hour to walk back to Dorfli.
So he might take his time about returning, which he did, and
reached Dorfli just as Heidi had got home from school and was
sitting at dinner with her grandfather. Peter walked in, and as
on this occasion he had something particular to communicate, he
began without a pause, exclaiming as he stood still in the middle
of the room, "She's got it now."
"Got it? what?" asked the Uncle. "Your words sound quite warlike,
"The frost," explained Peter.
"Oh! then now I can go and see grandmother!" said Heidi joyfully,
for she had understood Peter's words at once. "But why were you
not at school then? You could have come down in the sleigh," she
added reproachfully, for it did not agree with Heidi's ideas of
good behavior to stay away when it was possible to be there.
"It carried me on too far and I was too late," Peter replied.
"I call that being a deserter," said the Uncle, "and deserters
get their ears pulled, as you know."
Peter gave a tug to his cap in alarm, for there was no one of
whom he stood in so much awe as Alm-Uncle.
"And an army leader like yourself ought to be doubly ashamed of
running away," continued Alm-Uncle. "What would you think of your
goats if one went off this way and another that, and refused to
follow and do what was good for them? What would you do then?"
"I should beat them," said Peter promptly.
"And if a boy behaved like these unruly goats, and he got a
beating for it, what would you say then?"
"Serve him right," was the answer.
"Good, then understand this: next time you let your sleigh carry
you past the school when you ought to be inside at your lessons,
come on to me afterwards and receive what you deserve."
Peter now understood the drift of the old man's questions and
that he was the boy who behaved like the unruly goats, and he
looked somewhat fearfully towards the corner to see if anything
happened to be there such as he used himself on such occasions
for the punishment of his animals.
But now the grandfather suddenly said in a cheerful voice, "Come
and sit down and have something, and afterwards Heidi shall go
with you. Bring her back this evening and you will find supper
waiting for you here."
This unexpected turn of conversation set Peter grinning all over
with delight. He obeyed without hesitation and took his seat
beside Heidi. But the child could not eat any more in her
excitement at the thought of going to see grandmother. She pushed
the potatoes and toasted cheese which still stood on her plate
towards him while Uncle was filling his plate from the other
side, so that he had quite a pile of food in front of him, but he
attacked it without any lack of courage. Heidi ran to the
cupboard and brought out the warm cloak Clara had sent her; with
this on and the hood drawn over her head, she was all ready for
her journey. She stood waiting beside Peter, and as soon as his
last mouthful had disappeared she said, "Come along now." As the
two walked together Heidi had much to tell Peter of her two goats
that had been so unhappy the first day in their new stall that
they would not eat anything, but stood hanging their heads, not
even rousing themselves to bleat. And when she asked her
grandfather the reason of this, he told her it was with them as
with her in Frankfurt, for it was the first time in their lives
they had come down from the mountain. "And you don't know what
that is, Peter, unless you have felt it yourself," added Heidi.
The children had nearly reached their destination before Peter
opened his mouth; he appeared to be so sunk in thought that he
hardly heard what was said to him. As they neared home, however,
he stood still and said in a somewhat sullen voice, "I had rather
go to school even than get what Uncle threatened."
Heidi was of the same mind, and encouraged him in his good
intention. They found Brigitta sitting alone knitting, for the
grandmother was not very well and had to stay the day in bed on
account of the cold. Heidi had never before missed the old figure
in her place in the corner, and she ran quickly into the next
room. There lay grandmother on her little poorly covered bed,
wrapped up in her warm grey shawl.
"Thank God," she exclaimed as Heidi came running in; the poor old
woman had had a secret fear at heart all through the autumn,
especially if Heidi was absent for any length of time, for Peter
had told her of a strange gentleman who had come from Frankfurt,
and who had gone out with them and always talked to Heidi, and
she had felt sure he had come to take her away again. Even when
she heard he had gone off alone, she still had an idea that a
messenger would be sent over from Frankfurt to fetch the child.
Heidi went up to the side of the bed and said, "Are you very ill,
"No, no, child," answered the old woman reassuringly, passing her
hand lovingly over the child's head, "It's only the frost that
has got into my bones a bit."
"Shall you be quite well then directly it turns warm again?"
"Yes, God willing, or even before that, for I want to get back to
my spinning; I thought perhaps I should do a little to-day, but
to-morrow I am sure to be all right again." The old woman had
detected that Heidi was frightened and was anxious to set her
mind at ease.
Her words comforted Heidi, who had in truth been greatly
distressed, for she had never before seen the grandmother ill in
bed. She now looked at the old woman seriously for a minute or
two, and then said, "In Frankfurt everybody puts on a shawl to go
out walking; did you think it was to be worn in bed,
"I put it on, dear child, to keep myself from freezing, and I am
so pleased with it, for my bedclothes are not very thick," she
"But, grandmother," continued Heidi, "your bed is not right,
because it goes downhill at your head instead of uphill."
"I know it, child, I can feel it," and the grandmother put up her
hand to the thin flat pillow, which was little more than a board
under her head, to make herself more comfortable; "the pillow was
never very thick, and I have lain on it now for so many years
that it has grown quite flat."
"Oh, if only I had asked Clara to let me take away my Frankfurt
bed," said Heidi. "I had three large pillows, one above the
other, so that I could hardly sleep, and I used to slip down to
try and find a flat place, and then I had to pull myself up
again, because it was proper to sleep there like that. Could you
sleep like that, grandmother?"
"Oh, yes! the pillows keep one warm, and it is easier to breathe
when the head is high," answered the grandmother, wearily raising
her head as she spoke as if trying to find a higher
resting-place. "But we will not talk about that, for I have so
much that other old sick people are without for which I thank
God; there is the nice bread I get every day, and this warm wrap,
and your visits, Heidi. Will you read me something to-day?"
Heidi ran into the next room to fetch the hymn book. Then she
picked out the favorite hymns one after another, for she knew
them all by heart now, as pleased as the grandmother to hear them
again after so many days. The grandmother lay with folded hands,
while a smile of peace stole over the worn, troubled face, like
one to whom good news has been brought.
Suddenly Heidi paused. "Grandmother, are you feeling quite well
"Yes, child, I have grown better while listening to you; read it
to the end."
The child read on, and when she came to the last words:--
As the eyes grow dim, and darkness
Closes round, the soul grows clearer,
Sees the goal to which it travels,
Gladly feels its home is nearer."
the grandmother repeated them once or twice to herself, with a
look of happy expectation on her face. And Heidi took equal
pleasure in them, for the picture of the beautiful sunny day of
her return home rose before her eyes, and she exclaimed joyfully,
"Grandmother, I know exactly what it is like to go home." The old
woman did not answer, but she had heard Heidi's words, and the
expression that had made the child think she was better remained
on her face.
A little later Heidi said, "It is growing dark and I must go
home; I am glad to think, that you are quite well again."
The grandmother took the child's hand in hers and held it
closely. "Yes," she said, "I feel quite happy again; even if I
have to go on lying here, I am content. No one knows what it is
to lie here alone day after day, in silence and darkness, without
hearing a voice or seeing a ray of light. Sad thoughts come over
me, and I do not feel sometimes as if I could bear it any longer
or as if it could ever be light again. But when you come and read
those words to me, then I am comforted and my heart rejoices once
Then she let the child go, and Heidi ran into the next room, and
bid Peter come quickly, for it had now grown quite dark. But when
they got outside they found the moon shining down on the white
snow and everything as clear as in the daylight. Peter got his
sleigh, put Heidi at the back, he himself sitting in front to
guide, and down the mountain they shot like two birds darting
through the air.
Down the mountain they shot like two birds
darting through the air
When Heidi was lying that night on her high bed of hay she
thought of the grandmother on her low pillow, and of all she had
said about the light and comfort that awoke in her when she heard
the hymns, and she thought: if I could read to her every day,
then I should go on making her better. But she knew that it would
be a week, if not two, before she would be able to go up the
mountain again. This was a thought of great trouble to Heidi, and
she tried hard to think of some way which would enable the
grandmother to hear the words she loved every day. Suddenly an
idea struck her, and she was so delighted with it that she could
hardly bear to wait for morning, so eager was she to begin
carrying out her plan. All at once she sat upright in her bed,
for she had been so busy with her thoughts that she had forgotten
to say her prayers, and she never now finished her day without
When she had prayed with all her heart for herself, her
grandfather and grandmother, she lay back again on the warm soft
hay and slept soundly and peacefully till morning broke.