HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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THE WINTER IN DORFLI
253
do was to open the window, crawl through and get out on the smooth surface of the firm snow field. Then his mother would push his little sled through the window after him, and Peter had only to seat himself on it and slide wherever he liked ; in any case he went down, for the whole Aim all about was one great unbroken slope.
The uncle was not on the Aim that winter; he had kept his word. As soon as the first snow fell he had shut up the hut and shed and had gone down to Dorfli with Heidi and the goats. Near the church and the parsonage stood a spacious building, which in old times had been a great mansion. This could still be seen in many places, although now the building was more or less in ruins. A brave warrior had once lived in it; he had gone to the Spanish wars and had performed many brave deeds and gained great wealth. Then he had come home to Dorfli, and with his gains built a splendid house in which he intended to live. But he did not stay long, it was so tedious to him, for he had lived too much in the noisy world to be able to endure the quiet Dorfli. He went away again and never came back. After many, many years when it was known that he was really dead, a distant relative down in the valley took the house, but it was already tumbling to pieces, and the new owner did not care to build it up again. So poor people who had to pay little for it came into the house, and if a part of the building fell, they let it lie.
Since that time many years had passed by. When the
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