THE A LM- UNCLE 17
Dete did not need to be told twice.
" Good-bye, then; and good-bye to you too, Heidi," she said quickly and hurried down the mountain to Dorfli, as fast as she could go, for her anxiety impelled her onward, as if she were a powerful steam engine. In Dorfli many more asked her about Heidi; they all knew Dete well and whose child she was, and all that had taken place. When from every door and window came the question, " Where is the child ? Dete, where have you left the child?" she called back with more and more irritation : —
" Up with the Aim-Uncle! Up with the Aim-Uncle, I tell you ! "
She was disgusted because the women everywhere exclaimed: "How could you do so!" and "The poor little soul!" and "Such a little helpless thing left up there!" and then again and again: "The poor little soul!"
Dete pushed on as fast as she could, and was glad when she was out of their hearing; she did not feel quite easy about the matter, for the dying mother had given the child to her. But she quieted her misgivings by saying to herself that it would not be long before she could do something again for her, since she would be earning a good deal of money ; so she felt very glad that she would soon be in a fine situation, and far away from all the people who would speak to her about the matter.