PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY
The kind doctor, who had decided that the child Heidi must be taken back to her mountain home, was just passing along the broad street toward the Sese-mann house. It was a sunny September morning, so bright and lovely that it might be supposed that every one must delight in it. But the doctor was gazing at the white stones at his feet, and did not notice the blue sky above him. In his face there was a sadness which had never appeared there before, and his hair had grown much grayer since the spring.
The doctor's only daughter, after his wife's death, had been very near to him and the joy of his life. Some months before, the blooming maiden had been taken away from him by death. Since then the doctor had never seemed so jovial as before.
In answer to the bell Sebastian opened the door with great civility, and, when he saw who it was, gave every sign of being a most devoted servant; for not only was the doctor the best friend of his master and his little daughter, but by his kindness, here as everywhere, he had also won the good will of the entire household.
" Is everything as usual, Sebastian ? " asked the doctor in his customary friendly voice, and went up