UP THE ALM ON A SUMMER EVENING 175
Meanwhile Aunt Dete arrived and stood with great expectation in the vestibule; for to be summoned at this unusual time must mean something extraordinary. Herr Sesemann went out to her and told her how it was with Heidi, and that he wished she would take the child home at once, that very day. The aunt looked very much disappointed. She had not expected such news. She still remembered very distinctly the parting words the uncle had spoken to her: never to come before his eyes again; and having taken the child to him, and then brought her away, it did not seem advisable to take her back again. So she did not consider the matter long, but said, with great earnestness, that unfortunately it would be quite impossible for her to take the journey that day, and the next day she could think of it still less, and the day after that it would be utterly impossible on account of the work to be done then, and after that she would be no better able to go.
Herr Sesemann understood the aunt's excuses and dismissed her without saying anything further. He then summoned Sebastian and told him that he was to prepare immediately to take a journey; he was to go that very day with the child as far as Basle, and the next day to take her home. Then he could at once return; he would have no statement to make, for a letter to the grandfather would explain everything to him.
"There is one thing more of great importance, Sebastian," said Herr Sesemann in conclusion, " and I want you to look out for it carefully. I am acquainted