HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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THE WINTER STILL CONTINUES                 277
" I have noticed a change in you in many ways, Peter. While you used to be often absent from school the whole week, — yes, several weeks together, — lately you have not stayed away a day. Who can have caused such a change for the better in you?"
"The uncle," was the reply.
With increasing astonishment the teacher looked from Peter to Heidi, and from her back again to Peter.
" We will try it once more," he then said cautiously; and Peter had to prove his knowledge with three lines more. It was a fact, he had learned to read.
As soon as school was over, the teacher hastened to the pastor's house to tell him what had happened, and what a good influence the uncle and Heidi were having in the parish.
Every evening now Peter read a hymn at home. So far he obeyed Heidi, but no farther, for he never under­took a second one ; nor did the grandmother ever ask him to do so.
His mother Brigitte wondered every day that Peter had succeeded in learning to read, and many an eve­ning when the reading was over and the reader lay in his bed, she would say again to the grandmother: —
" We can't be pleased enough that Peterli has learned to read so beautifully ; now there 's no knowing what he may become."
Then the grandmother would answer : —
" Yes, it is a good thing for him that he has learned something; but I shall be heartily glad if the dear Lord sends the spring soon, so that Heidi can come up
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