PARTING TO MEET AGAIN 339
was a long time before the children finished their story, for every little while the grandmamma had to break forth in amazement and in praise and thankfulness, and exclaimed again and again : —
" Is it really possible ? Is it then really no dream ? Are we all awake and sitting here in front of the Aim hut, and is the little girl before me, with the round, fresh face, my old, pale, weak Klarchen ? "
Klara and Heidi were in a constant state of delight because their beautifully planned surprise had succeeded so well with the grandmamma.
Meanwhile Herr Sesemann had finished his business in Paris and had also been preparing a surprise. Without writing a word to his mother, he took the train one sunny summer morning and went directly through to Basle, leaving there early the following day, for he was seized with a great longing to see his little daughter again, having been separated from her the whole summer long. He reached Ragatz a few hours after his mother had left there.
He found that she had that very day started to go up the mountain. So he immediately took a carriage and drove to Mayenfeld. When he learned there that he could drive on to Dorfli he did so, for he thought it would be far enough to have to walk up the mountain.
Herr Sesemann was not mistaken ; the uninterrupted climbing up the mountain was very tiresome and hard for him. No hut appeared in sight, and he knew that he ought to come to goatherd Peter's dwelling halfway up, for he had often heard about this journey.