UP THE ALM ON A SUMMER EVENING 185
" Thank you, my grandfather will come for my trunk " ; and she would have run away, but she was held fast on every side, and there was a tumult of voices, each asking something different. Heidi pressed through the crowd with such anxiety on her face that they reluctantly made room for her and let her pass, and one said to another : " You see how frightened she is; she has every reason to be."
Then they began to tell one another how the Aim-Uncle for a year past had been worse than ever, and would not speak a word to any one, and when any one came in his way he made up a face, as if he would like to kill him ; and if the child knew anything in the world about it, she would not run to the old dragon's nest. But here the baker interrupted their remarks by saying he knew more about it than all the rest, and then told them, with an air of mystery, how a gentleman had brought the child as far as Mayenfeld, parted from her in a very friendly way, and had at once, without any bargaining, paid the fare he asked, besides adding a fee; and, more than all, he could say surely that the child had been well off where she was, and that she was anxious to come back to her grandfather. This news caused great surprise and was immediately spread through all Dorfli, so that there was not a house that evening where it was not repeated that Heidi had been anxious to come back from a life of luxury to her grandfather.
Heidi ran up the mountain from Dorfli as fast as she could; but now and then she would suddenly stand