STRANGE DOINGS 127
"And Heidi has never tried to quarrel, papa," quickly added Klara.
"That's good; I am glad to hear that," said her papa as he rose. " But now you must allow me, Klar-chen, to get some luncheon, for I have had nothing to eat to-day. Later I will come back to you, and you shall see what I have brought home."
Herr Sesemann went into the dining-room, where Fraulein Rottenmeier was overseeing the table laid for his midday meal. After Herr Sesemann had sat down, and the lady, looking like a living picture of gloom, had taken a seat opposite him, the master of the house said to her:—
"Fraulein Rottenmeier, what am I to think? You have put on a truly alarming face at my return. What is the matter? Klara is very lively."
"Herr Sesemann," began the lady with impressive earnestness, " Klara is also concerned; we have been frightfully deceived."
"How so?" asked Herr Sesemann, calmly sipping his coffee.
" We had decided, as you know, Herr Sesemann, to have a companion for Klara in the house, and as I knew very well how particular you were to have only good and noble associates for your daughter, I fixed my mind on a young Swiss girl, expecting to see such a person appear as I had often read about — one who sprung up in the pure mountain air, so to speak ; goes through life without touching the earth."
"I think," remarked Herr Sesemann, "that Swiss