AT THE GRANDMOTHER'S 51
"Well, general, now you have been under fire and need strengthening. Come, stay to supper with us! "
Whereupon the grandfather rose and brought the evening meal from the cupboard, and Heidi pushed the stools to the table. Next the wall there was still another seat, which the grandfather had made and fastened there. Now that he was no longer alone, he had fashioned here and there all sorts of seats for two; for Heidi had a way of always keeping near him wherever he went. So they all three had good seats; and Peter opened his round eyes very wide when he saw what a big piece of the fine dried meat the Aim-Uncle laid on his thick slice of bread. Peter had not had anything so good for a long time. When the pleasant meal was over, it began to grow dark, and Peter started for home. When he had said " good-night " and " God bless you" and was already in the doorway, he turned round once more and said : —
" Next Sunday I will come again — a week from to-day; and you must come to my grandmother's sometime ; she said so."
It was a new idea to Heidi that she should go to visit some one, but it took root on the spot, and on the following morning Heidi's first words were : —
" Grandfather, now I must really go down to the grandmother's ; she expects me."
"There is too much snow," replied the grandfather, putting her off. But the purpose was deeply seated in Heidi's mind. After that not a day passed when Heidi did not say five or six times: —