HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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78
HEIDI
obliged to hasten to please the child. So she merely replied to those who questioned and called to her from every door and window : —
" You see I can't stop now, for the child is in a hurry, and we have still far to go."
"Are you taking her away? Is she running away from the Aim-Uncle ? It's only a wonder that she is still alive ! And yet what rosy cheeks she has ! "
Such remarks as these came from every side; and Dete was glad that she came through the place without delay and without being obliged to make any explana­tion, and also that Heidi said never a word, but only pushed on in the greatest haste.
From that day on the Aim-Uncle looked more ill-natured than ever when he came down and passed through Dorfli. He spoke to no one; and with his cheese basket on his back, his enormous staff in his hand, and his thick, contracted brows, he looked so menacing that the women said to the little children:—
" Take care ! Get out of the Aim-Uncle's way or he may hurt you ! "
The old man had nothing to do with any one in Dorfli, but went through there far down into the valley, where he sold his cheeses and procured his supply of bread and meat. When he passed along through Dorfli the people all stood in groups behind him, and every one knew some strange thing about the Aim-Uncle; how he grew more wild-looking, and no longer even so much as greeted any one. All were agreed that it was fortunate that the child was able to escape; for they
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