PARTING TO MEET AGAIN 347
and that his penetrating gray eyes were fastened on him, and that next the uncle stood the most terrible person Peter knew, the policeman from Frankfurt. Trembling in every limb, Peter stammered forth one single sound; it was a " Yes."
"There now," said the grandmamma, "what is there to be frightened about ? "
" Because — because — because it is broken to pieces and can never be made whole again." Peter brought these words out with difficulty; and his knees shook so that he could hardly stand. The grandmamma went along to the corner of the hut.
" My dear uncle, is the poor boy really out of his mind ? " she asked sympathetically.
" Not in the least, not in the least," asserted the uncle; "the boy is the wind that blew away the wheel chair, and now he is expecting the punishment, which he well deserves."
The grandmamma could not believe this, for she did not think Peter looked in the very least wicked, and besides he had no reason to destroy the wheel chair, which was so much needed. But this confession only confirmed the uncle in a suspicion which had been aroused in him immediately after the occurrence.
The angry looks which Peter had cast at Klara from the very first, and other signs of a bitter feeling toward the newcomer on the mountain had not escaped the uncle. He had put one thought with another, and so he had felt sure enough of the way things had gone and explained it all very clearly now to the grandmamma.