AN UNCOMFORTABLE DAY
Heidi had noticed a bell in the wall and now pulled it with all her might.
" If I go up there you must wait down here, for I don't know the way back, and you must show me."
" What will you give me if I do?"
" What shall I have to give you, then?"
" Twenty pfennigs more."
A key was turned in the old lock on the inside, and the creaking door opened; an old man stepped out and looked at first surprised and then rather angrily at the children and said : —
" How did you dare to ring for me to come down ? Can't you read what it says under the bell? 'For those who wish to ascend the tower.'"
The boy pointed to Heidi and said not a word.
Heidi replied: " I want to go up into the tower."
"What do you want to do up there?" asked the tower-keeper. "Did some one send you here?"
" No," answered Heidi. " I only want to go up so that I can look down."
" Go home, and don't play any more tricks on me, or you won't get off so easily another time !" Whereupon the tower-keeper turned round and was about to shut the door, but Heidi held him by the coat-tail and said pleadingly: —
" Only just this once ! "
He looked around, and Heidi's eyes gazed up at him so beseechingly that he quite changed his mind; he took hold of the child's hand and said in a kindly tone: —