HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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82                                               HEIDI
"You are expected."
Dete, with Heidi, then went up the stairs and, follow­ing Tinette, entered the library. Here Dete remained politely standing by the door; she still held Heidi fast by the hand, for she was not quite sure what the child might take it into her head to do in this strange place.
Fraulein Rottenmeier slowly rose from her seat and came nearer, in order to scrutinize the newly arrived companion for the daughter of the house. Her appear­ance did not seem to please her. Heidi had on her plain cotton dress and her old crushed straw hat. Her eyes peered forth very innocently from under it and looked with unconcealed amazement at the construction on the lady's head.
"What is your name ? " asked Fraulein Rottenmeier, after having looked searchingly for some minutes at the child, who never took her eyes away from her.
" Heidi," she replied distinctly, in a ringing voice.
" What ? what ? That can surely be no Christian name. Then you can't have been baptized. What name was given you in baptism ?" asked Fraulein Rottenmeier further.
"That I do not know," replied Heidi.
"What an answer! " exclaimed the lady, shaking her head. " Dete, is the child foolish or pert ? "
"If the lady will allow me, I will speak for the child, for she is very inexperienced," said Dete, after she had given Heidi a little nudge on the sly for her unbecoming answer. " She is neither foolish nor pert, for she knows nothing about it; she means just what she says. But
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