"You mustn't be frightened, Peter; just come to me every afternoon, and if you learn as well as you have to-day, you will know all the letters after a while, and then nothing will happen to you. But you must come every day, and not the way you go to school. If it snows it won't do you any harm."
Peter promised to do so, for fear had made him quite docile and obedient. Then he started home.
Peter followed Heidi's orders strictly, and every afternoon studied the other letters eagerly and learned the rhymes by heart.
The grandfather often sat in the room and listened to the exercise, while he smoked his pipe contentedly, and every little while the corners of his mouth twitched, as if he could hardly keep from laughing.
After the great struggle Peter was usually invited to remain and take supper with them ; and this at once richly rewarded him for the anguish that day's verse had caused him to endure.
Thus the winter days passed away. Peter was regular and really made progress with his letters.
But he had to wrestle every day with the verses.
They had gone as far as U. When Heidi read the couplet, —
Peter growled : —
" Yes, see if I will! "
But he learned them thoroughly, as if he was under the impression that some one might take him secretly