DISTANT FRIENDS HEARD FROM 283
he often said : ' Everybody ought to get well up there.' He himself is so different from what he had been for a long time, and looks quite young and happy again. Oh, how glad I shall be to see it all and be with you on the mountain, and learn to know Peter and the goats! But first I have to take the cure in Ragatz for about six weeks ; the doctor has ordered it. Afterwards we shall stay in Dtirfii, and I shall be carried up on the mountain in my chair, in fine weather, to spend the day with you.
" Grandmamma is coming too and will stay with me ; she also will enjoy going up to see you. But think of it, Fraulein Rotten-meier will not come with us. Almost every day grandmamma says to her: —
" ' How is it about the journey to Switzerland, worthy Rotten-meier? If you would like to come with us, you can do so.'
" But she always thanks her very politely and says she would n't be so presuming. But I know what she is thinking about: Sebastian gave such a frightful description of the mountains, when he came back from going with you, — what terrible overhanging crags there were, and what danger there was everywhere of falling down into the chasms and ravines, that it was so steep climbing up that there was risk at every step of falling down backwards, and that goats might be able to climb up there, but no human being could do so without peril to his life, — that she shuddered at it, and since then has not been enthusiastic about traveling in Switzerland, as she was before. Tinette too has become frightened and will not come with us. So we are coming alone, grandmamma and I ; Sebastian will come with us as far as Ragatz, then he can go back home.
" I can hardly wait to come to you.
" Good-bye, dear Heidi. Grandmamma sends you a thousand
greetings. - Your true friend,
When Peter heard these words he ran away from the door post and struck out right and left so recklessly