HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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16
HEIDI
"Well, what can the child do here with me?" asked the old man curtly ; " and you there," he called out to Peter, "you can go along with your goats. You are none too early. Take mine too ! "
Peter obeyed without delay and disappeared, for the uncle had made it plain that he was not wanted.
" She must stay with you, uncle," said Dete in reply to his question. " I am sure I have done my duty by her these four years, and now it is your turn to do what you can for her."
"Indeed?" said the old man; and his eyes flashed at Dete. " Suppose the child begins to fret and whine for you, as is usually the case with the unreasonable little things, what shall I do with her ?"
"That is your business," retorted Dete; "I am sure no one told me what to do with the little one when it was given into my hands, only a year old, and I already had enough to do to take care of myself and mother. Now I must look out for myself, and you are next of kin to the child. If you can't have her, do what you please with her; you will have to answer for her, if she comes to any harm. You don't want to have anything more laid to your charge."
Dete's conscience was not quite easy; she became excited and said more than she had intended. The uncle rose at her last words; he gave her such a look that she took several steps backward ; then he stretched out his arm and said imperatively:
" Get you gone down where you came from, and don't show yourself here again very soon!"
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