TWO VISITS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES 73
there was no knowing, she was so sickly — and if the people should not care to be left without any child, the most unheard-of good luck might " —
"Will you ever finish?" interrupted the uncle, who had not said a word all this time.
" Bah," retorted Dete, tossing her head. " You act exactly as if I had told you the most ordinary thing in the world, and there is n't a single person throughout all Prattigau who would n't thank God in Heaven if I brought such news to them as I have brought to you."
" Take it to any one you like; I will have none of it," said the uncle bluntly.
Dete went off like a rocket and said: —
"Well, if that is what you think about it, uncle, I will tell you what I think ; the child is now eight years old and can do nothing and knows nothing, and you will not let her learn anything. You will not send her to school nor to church; that they told me down in Dorfli; and she is my own sister's child. I have to answer for what happens to her; and when a child can have such good fortune as Heidi, there can only be one person to prevent, and that one who cares for nobody and wishes nobody any good. But I won't give in ; that I can tell you ; and the people are all in my favor; there is n't a single person down in Dorfli who will not help me, and is not against you ; so take heed if you don't care to be brought before the court, uncle; there are things that might be brought up which you would not like to hear, for when a man once gets into court many things are hunted up that he has forgotten all about."