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Uncle went out early the next morning to see what kind of a day

it was going to be. There was a reddish gold light over the

higher peaks; a light breeze springing up and the branches of the

fir trees moved gently to and fro the sun was on its way.

The old man stood and watched the green slopes under the higher

peaks gradually growing brighter with the coming day and the dark

shadows lifting from the valley, until at first a rosy light

filled its hollows, and then the morning gold flooded every

height and depth--the sun had risen.

Uncle wheeled the chair out of the shed ready for the coming

journey, and then went in to call the children and tell them what

a lovely sunrise it was.

Peter came up at this moment. The goats did not gather round him

so trustfully as usual, but seemed to avoid him timidly, for

Peter had reached a high pitch of anger and bitterness, and was

laying about him with his stick very unnecessarily, and where it

fell the blow was no light one. For weeks now he had not had

Heidi all to himself as formerly. When he came up in the morning

the invalid child was always already in her chair and Heidi fully

occupied with her. And it was the same thing over again when he

came down in the evening. She had not come out with the goats

once this summer, and now to-day she was only coming in company

with her friend and the chair, and would stick by the latter's

side the whole time. It was the thought of this which was making

him particularly cross this morning. There stood the chair on its

high wheels; Peter seemed to see something proud and distainful

about it, and he glared at it as at an enemy that had done him

harm and was likely to do him more still to-day. He glanced

round--there was no sound anywhere, no one to see him. He sprang

forward like a wild creature, caught hold of it, and gave it a

violent and angry push in the direction of the slope. The chair

rolled swiftly forward and in another minute had disappeared.

Peter now sped up the mountain as if on wings, not pausing till

he was well in shelter of a large blackberrybush, for he had no

wish to be seen by Uncle. But he was anxious to see what had

become of the chair, and his bush was well placed for that.

Himself hidden, he could watch what happened below and see what

Uncle did without being discovered himself. So he looked, and

there he saw his enemy running faster and faster down hill, then

it turned head over heels several times, and finally, after one

great bound, rolled over and over to its complete destruction.

The pieces flew in every direction--feet, arms, and torn

fragments of the padded seat and bolster--and Peter experienced a

feeling of such unbounded delight at the sight that he leapt in

the air, laughing aloud and stamping for joy; then he took a run

round, jumping over bushes on the way, only to return to the same

spot and fall into fresh fits of laughter. He was beside himself

with satisfaction, for he could see only good results for himself

in this disaster to his enemy. Now Heidi's friend would be

obliged to go away, for she would have no means of going about,

and when Heidi was alone again she would come out with him as in

the old days, and everything would go on in the proper way again.

But Peter did not consider, or did not know, that when we do a

wrong thing trouble is sure to follow.

Heidi now came running out of the hut and round to the shed.

Grandfather was behind with Clara in his arms. The shed stood

wide open, the two loose planks having been taken down, and it

was quite light inside. Heidi looked into every corner and ran

from one end to the other, and then stood still wondering what

could have happened to the chair. Grandfather now came. up.

"How is this, have you wheeled the chair away, Heidi?"

"I have been looking everywhere for it, grandfather; you said it

was standing ready outside," and she again searched each corner

of the shed with her eyes.

At that moment the wind, which had risen suddenly, blew open the

shed door and sent it banging back against the wall.

"It must have been the wind, grandfather," exclaimed Heidi, and

her eyes grew anxious at this sudden discovery. "Oh! if it has

blown the chair all the way down to Dorfli we shall not get it

back in time, and shall not be able to go."

"If it has rolled as far as that it will never come back, for it

is in a hundred pieces by now," said the grandfather, going round

the corner and looking down. "But it's a curious thing to have

happened!" he added as he thought over the matter, for the chair

would have had to turn a corner before starting down hill.

"Oh, I am sorry," lamented Clara, "for we shall not be able to go

to-day, or perhaps any other day. I shall have to go home, I

suppose, if I have no chair. Oh, I am so sorry, I am so sorry!"

But Heidi looked towards her grandfather with her usual

expression of confidence.

"Grandfather, you will be able to do something, won't you, so

that it need not be as Clara says, and so that she is not obliged

to go home?"

"Well, for the present we will go up the mountain as we had

arranged, and then later on we will see what can be done," he

answered, much to the children's delight.

He went indoors, fetched out a pile of shawls, and laying them on

the sunniest spot he could find set Clara down upon them. Then he

fetched the children's morning milk and had out his two goats.

"Why is Peter not here yet?" thought Uncle to himself, for

Peter's whistle had not been sounded that morning. The

grandfather now took Clara up on one arm, and the shawls on the other.

"Now then we will start," he said; "the goats can come with us."

Heidi was pleased at this and walked on after her grandfather

with an arm over either of the goats' necks, and the animals were

so overjoyed to have her again that they nearly squeezed her flat

between them out of sheer affection. When they reached the spot

where the goats usually pastured they were surprised to find them

already feeding there, climbing about the rocks, and Peter with

them, lying his full length on the ground.

"I'll teach you another time to go by like that, you lazy rascal!

What do you mean by it?" Uncle called to him.

Peter, recognising the voice, jumped up like a shot. "No one was

up," he answered.

"Have you seen anything of the chair?" asked the grandfather.

"Of what chair?" called Peter back in answer in a morose tone of voice.

Uncle said no more. He spread the shawls on the sunny slope, and

setting Clara upon them asked if she was comfortable.

"As comfortable as in my chair," she said, thanking him, "and

this seems the most beautiful spot. O Heidi, it is lovely, it is

lovely!" she cried, looking round her with delight.

The grandfather prepared to leave them. They would now be safe

and happy together, he said, and when it was time for dinner

Heidi was to go and fetch the bag from the shady hollow where he

had put it; Peter was to bring them as much milk as they wanted,

but Heidi was to see that it was Little Swan's milk. He would

come and fetch them towards evening; he must now be off to see

after the chair and ascertain what had become of it.

The sky was dark blue, and not a single cloud was to be seen from

one horizon to the other. The great snow-field overhead sparkled

as if set with thousands and thousands of gold and silver stars.

The two grey mountains peaks lifted their lofty heads against the

sky and looked solemnly down upon the valley as of old; the great

bird was poised aloft in the clear blue air, and the mountain

wind came over the heights and blew refreshingly around the

children as they sat on the sunlit slope. It was all

indescribably enjoyable to Clara and Heidi. Now and again a young

goat came and lay down beside them; Snowflake came oftenest,

putting her little head down near Heidi, and only moving because

another goat came and drove her away. Clara had learned to know

them all so well that she never mistook one for the other now,

for each had an expression and ways of its own. And the goats had

also grown familiar with Clara and would rub their heads against

her shoulder, which was always a sign of acquaintanceship and goodwill.

Some hours went by, and Heidi began to think that she might just

go over to the spot where all the flowers grew to see if they

were fully blown and looking as lovely as the year before. Clara

could not go until grandfather came back that evening, when the

flowers probably would be already closed. The longing to go

became stronger and stronger, till she felt she could not resist it.

"Would you think me unkind, Clara," she said rather hesitatingly,

"if I left you for a few minutes? I should run there and back

very quickly. I want so to see how the flowers are looking--but

wait--" for an idea had come into Heidi's head. She ran and

picked a bunch or two of green leaves, and then took hold of

Snowflake and led her up to Clara.

"There, now you will not be alone," said Heidi, giving the goat a

little push to show her she was to lie down near Clara, which the

animal quite understood. Heidi threw the leaves into Clara's lap,

and the latter told her friend to go at once to look at the

flowers as she was quite happy to be left with the goat; she

liked this new experience. Heidi ran off, and Clara began to hold

out the leaves one by one to Snowflake, who snoozled up to her

new friend in a confiding manner and slowly ate the leaves from

her hand. It was easy to see that Snowflake enjoyed this peaceful

and sheltered way of feeding, for when with the other goats she

had much persecution to endure from the larger and stronger ones

of the flock. And Clara found a strange new pleasure in sitting

all alone like this on the mountain side, her only companion a

little goat that looked to her for protection. She suddenly felt

a great desire to be her own mistress and to be able to help

others, instead of herself being always dependent as she was now.

Many thoughts, unknown to her before, came crowding into her

mind, and a longing to go on living in the sunshine, and to be

doing something that would bring happiness to another, as now she

was helping to make the goat happy. An unaccustomed feeling of

joy took possession of her, as if everything she had ever known

or felt became all at once more beautiful, and she seemed to see

all things in a new light, and so strong was the sense of this

new beauty and happiness that she threw her arms round the little

goat's neck, and exclaimed, "O Snowflake, how delightful it is up

here! if only I could stay on for ever with you beside me!"

Heidi had meanwhile reached her field of flowers, and as she

caught sight of it she uttered a cry of joy. The whole ground in

front of her was a mass of shimmering gold, where the cistus

flowers spread their yellow blossoms. Above them waved whole

bushes of the deep blue bell-flowers; while the fragrance that

arose from the whole sunlit expanse was as if the rarest balsam

had been flung over it. The scent, however, came from the small

brown flowers, the little round heads of which rose modestly here

and there among the yellow blossoms. Heidi stood and gazed and

drew in the delicious air. Suddenly she turned round and reached

Clara's side out of breath with running and excitement. "Oh, you

must come," she called out as soon as she came in sight, "it is

more beautiful than you can imagine, and perhaps this evening it

may not be so lovely. I believe I could carry you, don't you

think I could?" Clara looked at her and shook her head. "Why,

Heidi, what can you be thinking of! you are smaller than I am.

Oh, if only I could walk!"

Heidi looked round as if in search of something, some new idea

had evidently come into her head. Peter was sitting up above

looking down on the two children. He had been sitting and staring

before him in the same way for hours, as if he could not make out

what he saw. He had destroyed the chair so that the friend might

not be able to move anywhere and that her visit might come to an

end, and then a little while after she had appeared right up here

under his very nose with Heidi beside her. He thought his eyes

must deceive him, and yet there she was and no mistake about it.

Heidi now looked up to where he was sitting and called out in a

peremptory voice, "Peter, come down here!"

"I don't wish to come," he called in reply.

"But you are to, you must; I cannot do it alone, and you must

come here and help me; make haste and come down," she called

again in an urgent voice,

"I shall do nothing of the kind," was the answer.

Heidi ran some way up the slope towards him, and then pausing

called again, her eyes ablaze with anger, "If you don't come at

once, Peter, I will do something to you that you won't like; I

mean what I say."

Peter felt an inward throe at these words, and a great fear

seized him. He had done something wicked which he wanted no one

to know about, and so far he had thought himself safe. But now

Heidi spoke exactly as if she knew everything, and whatever she

did know she would tell her grandfather, and there was no one he

feared so much as this latter person. Supposing he were to

suspect what had happened about the chair! Peter's anguish of

mind grew more acute. He stood up and went down to where Heidi

was awaiting him.

"I am coming and you won't do what you said."

Peter appeared now so submissive with fear that Heidi felt quite

sorry for him and answered assuringly, "No, no, of course not;

come along with me, there is nothing to be afraid of in what I

want you to do."

As soon as they got to Clara, Heidi gave her orders: Peter was to

take hold of her under the arms on one side and she on the other,

and together they were to lift her up. This first movement was

successfully carried through, but then came the difficulty. As

Clara could not even stand, how were they to support her and get

her along? Heidi was too small for her arm to serve Clara to lean upon.

"You must put one arm well around my neck so, and put the other

through Peter's and lean firmly upon it, then we shall be able to carry you."

Peter, however, had never given his arm to any one in his life.

Clara put hers in his, but he kept his own hanging down straight

beside him like a stick.

"That's not the way, Peter," said Heidi in an authoritative

voice. "You must put your arm out in the shape of a ring, and

Clara must put hers through it and lean her weight upon you, and

whatever you do, don't let your arm give way; like that. I am

sure we shall be able to manage."

Peter did as he was told, but still they did not get on very

well. Clara was not such a light weight, and the team did not

match very well in size; it was up one side and down the other,

so that the supports were rather wobbly.

Clara tried to use her own feet a little, but each time drew them

quickly back.

"Put your foot down firmly once," suggested Heidi, "I am sure it

will hurt you less after that."

"Do you think so?" said Clara hesitatingly, but she followed

Heidi's advice and ventured one firm step on the ground and then

another; she called out a little as she did it; then she lifted

her foot again and went on, "Oh, that was less painful already,"

she exclaimed joyfully.

"Try again," said Heidi encouragingly.

And Clara went on putting one foot out after another until all at

once she called out, "I can do it, Heidi! look! look! I can make

proper steps!" And Heidi cried out with even greater delight,

"Can you really make steps, can you really walk? really walk by

yourself? Oh, if only grandfather were here!" and she continued

gleefully to exclaim, "You can walk now, Clara, you can walk!"

Clara still held on firmly to her supports, but with every step

she felt safer on her feet, as all three became aware, and Heidi

was beside herself with joy.

"Now we shall be able to come up here together every day, and go

just where we like; and you will be able all your life to walk

about as I do, and not have to be pushed in a chair, and you will

get quite strong and well. It is the greatest happiness we could have had!"

And Clara heartily agreed, for she could think of no greater joy

in the world than to be strong and able to go about like other

people, and no longer to have to lie from day to day in her invalid chair.

They had not far to go to reach the field of flowers, and could

already catch sight of the cistus flowers glowing gold in the

sun. As they came to the bushes of the blue bell flowers, with

sunny, inviting patches of warm ground between them, Clara said,

"Mightn't we sit down here for a while?"

This was just what Heidi enjoyed, and so the children sat down in

the midst of the flowers, Clara for the first time on the dry,

warm mountain grass, and she found it indescribably delightful.

Around her were the blue flowers softly waving to and fro, and

beyond the gleaming patches of the cistus flowers and the red

centaury, while the sweet scent of the brown blossoms and of the

fragrant prunella enveloped her as she sat. Everything was so

lovely! so lovely! And Heidi, who was beside her, thought she had

never seen it so perfectly beautiful up here before, and she did

not know herself why she felt so glad at heart that she longed to

shout for joy. Then she suddenly remembered that Clara was cured;

that was the crowning delight of all that made life so delightful

in the midst of all this surrounding beauty. Clara sat silent,

overcome with the enchantment of all that her eye rested upon,

and with the anticipation of all the happiness that was now

before her. There seemed hardly room in her heart for all her

joyful emotions, and these and the ecstasy aroused by the

sunlight and the scent of the flowers, held her dumb.

Peter also lay among the flowers without moving or speaking, for

he was fast asleep. The breeze came blowing softly and

caressingly from behind the sheltering rocks, and passed

whisperingly through the bushes overhead. Heidi got up now and

then to run about, for the flowers waving in the warm wind seemed

to smell sweeter and to grow more thickly whichever way she went,

and she felt she must sit down at each fresh spot to enjoy the

sight and scent. So the hours went by.

It was long past noon when a small troop of goats advanced

solemnly towards the plain of flowers. it was not a feeding place

of theirs, for they did not care to graze on flowers. They looked

like an embassy arriving, with Greenfinch as their leader. They

had evidently come in search of their companions who had left

them in the lurch, and who had, contrary to all custom, remained

away so long, for the goats could tell the time without mistake.

As soon as Greenfinch caught sight of the three missing friends

amid the flowers she set up an extra loud bleat, whereupon all

the others joined in a chorus of bleats, and the whole company

came trotting towards the children. Peter woke up, rubbing his

eyes, for he had been dreaming that he saw the chair again with

its beautiful red padding standing whole and uninjured before the

grandfather's door, and indeed just as he awoke he thought he was

looking at the brass-headed nails that studded it all round, but

it was only the bright yellow flowers beside him. He experienced

again a dreadful fear of mind that he had lost in this dream of

the uninjured chair. Even though Heidi had promised not to do

anything, there still remained the lively dread that his deed

might be found out in some other way. He allowed Heidi to do what

she liked with him, for he was reduced to such a state of low

spirits and meekness that he was ready to give his help to Clara

without murmur or resistance.

When all three had got back to their old quarters Heidi ran and

brought forward the bag, and proceeded to fulfil her promise, for

her threat of the morning had been concerned with Peter's dinner.

She had seen her grandfather putting in all sorts of good things,

and had been pleased to think of Peter having a large share of

them, and she had meant him to understand when he refused at

first to help her that he would get nothing for his dinner, but

Peter's conscience had put another interpretation upon her words.

Heidi took the food out of the bag and divided it into three

portions, and each was of such a goodly size that she thought to

herself, "There will be plenty of ours left for him to have more still."

She gave the other two their dinners and sat down with her own

beside Clara, and they all three ate with a good appetite after

their great exertions.

It ended as Heidi had expected, and Peter got as much food again

as his own share with what Clara and Heidi had over from theirs

after they had both eaten as much as they wanted. Peter ate up

every bit of food to the last crumb, but there was something

wanting to his usual enjoyment of a good dinner, for every

mouthful he swallowed seemed to choke him, and he felt something

gnawing inside him.

They were so late at their dinner that they had not long to wait

after they had finished before grandfather came up to fetch them.

Heidi rushed forward to meet him as soon as he appeared, as she

wanted to be the first to tell him the good news. She was so

excited that she could hardly get her words out when she did get

up to him, but he soon understood, and a look of extreme pleasure

came into his face. He hastened up to where Clara was sitting and

said with a cheerful smile, "So we've made the effort, have we,

and won the day!"

Then he lifted her up, and putting his left arm behind her and

giving her his right to lean upon, made her walk a little way,

which she did with less trembling and hesitation than before now

that she had such a strong arm round her.

Heidi skipped along beside her in triumphant glee, and the

grandfather looked too as, if some happiness had befallen him.

But now he took Clara up in his arms. "We must not overdo it," he

said, "and it is high time we went home," and he started off down

the mountain path, for he was anxious to get her indoors that she

might rest after her unusual fatigue.

When Peter got to Dorfli that evening he found a large group of

people collected round a certain spot, pushing one another and

looking over each other's shoulders in their eagerness to catch

sight of something lying on the ground. Peter thought he should

like to see too, and poked and elbowed till he made his way through.

There it lay, the thing he had wanted to see. Scattered about the

grass were the remains of Clara's chair; part of the back and the

middle bit, and enough of the red padding and the bright nails to

show how magnificent the chair had been when it was entire.

"I was here when the men passed carrying it up," said the baker

who was standing near Peter. "I'll bet any one that it was worth

twenty-five pounds at least. I cannot think how such an accident

could have happened."

"Uncle said the wind might perhaps have done it," remarked one of

the women, who could not sufficiently admire the red upholstery.

"It's a good job that no one but the wind did it," said the baker

again, "or he might smart for it! No doubt the gentleman in

Frankfurt when he hears what has happened will make all inquiries

about it. I am glad for myself that I have not been seen up the

mountain for a good two years, as suspicion is likely to fall on

any one who was about up there at the time."

Many more opinions were passed on the matter, but Peter had heard

enough. He crept quietly away out of the crowd and then took to

his heels and ran up home as fast as he could, as if he thought

some one was after him. The baker's words had filled him with

fear and trembling. He was sure now that any day a constable

might come over from Frankfurt and inquire about the destruction

of the chair, and then everything would come out, and he would be

seized and carried off to Frankfurt and there put in prison. The

whole picture of what was coming was clear before him, and his

hair stood on end with terror.

He reached home in this disturbed state of mind. He would not

open his mouth in reply to anything that was said to him; he

would not eat his potatoes; all he did was to creep off to bed as

quickly as possible and hide under the bedclothes and groan.

"Peter has been eating sorrel again, and is evidently in pain by

the way he is groaning," said Brigitta.

"You must give him a little more bread to take with him; give him

a bit of mine to-morrow," said the grandmother sympathisingly.

As the children lay that night in bed looking out at the stars

Heidi said, "I have been thinking all day what a happy thing it

is that God does not give us what we ask for, even when we pray

and pray and pray, if He knows there is something better for us;

have you felt like that?"

"Why do you ask me that to-night all of a sudden?" asked Clara.

"Because I prayed so hard when I was in Frankfurt that I might go

home at once, and because I was not allowed to I thought God had

forgotten me. And now you see, if I had come away at first when I

wanted to, you would never have come here, and would never have

got well."

Clara had in her turn become thoughtful. "But, Heidi," she began

again, "in that case we ought never to pray for anything, as God

always intends something better for us than we know or wish for."

"You must not think it is like that, Clara," replied Heidi

eagerly. "We must go on praying for everything, for everything,

so that God may know we do not forget that it all comes from Him.

If we forget God, then He lets us go our own way and we get into

trouble; grandmamma told me so. And if He does not give us what

we ask for we must not think that He has not heard us and leave

off praying, but we must still pray and say, I am sure, dear God,

that Thou art keeping something better for me, and I will not be

unhappy, for I know that Thou wilt make everything right in the end."

"How did you learn all that?" asked Clara.

"Grandmamma explained it to me first of all, and then when it all

happened just as she said, I knew it myself, and I think, Clara,"

she went on, as she sat up in bed, "we ought certainly to thank

God to-night that you can walk now, and that He has made us so happy."

"Yes, Heidi, I am sure you are right, and I am glad you reminded

me; I almost forgot my prayers for very joy."

Both children said their prayers, and each thanked God in her own

way for the blessing He had bestowed on Clara, who had for so

long lain weak and ill.

The next morning the grandfather suggested that they should now

write to the grandmamma and ask her if she would not come and pay

them a visit, as they had something new to show her. But the

children had another plan in their heads, for they wanted to

prepare a great surprise for grandmamma. Clara was first to have

more practice in walking so that she might be able to go a little

way by herself; above all things grandmamma was not to have a

hint of it. They asked the grandfather how long he thought this

would take, and when he told them about a week or less, they

immediately sat down and wrote a pressing invitation to

grandmamma, asking her to come soon, but no word was said about

there being anything new to see.

The following days were some of the most joyous that Clara had

spent on the mountain. She awoke each morning with a happy voice

within her crying, "I am well now! I am well now! I shan't have

to go about in a chair, I can walk by myself like other people."

Then came the walking, and every day she found it easier and was

able to go a longer distance. The movement gave her such an

appetite that the grandfather cut his bread and butter a little

thicker each day, and was well pleased to see it disappear. He

now brought out with it a large jugful of the foaming milk and

filled her little bowl over and over again. And so another week

went by and the day came which was to bring grandmamma up the

mountain for her second visit.



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