The grandmother raised her head and sought for the hand held out to her. When she found it, she felt of it for some time thoughtfully ; then she said : —
"Are you the child staying up with the Aim-Uncle ? Are you Heidi ? "
"Yes, yes," replied the child; "I have just come down with my grandfather on the sled."
" Is that possible! Your hand is so warm ! Say, Brigitte, did the Aim-Uncle himself come down with the child?"
Peter's mother, Brigitte, who was mending by the table, had risen and was now examining the child with curiosity from head to foot; then she said : —
" I don't know, mother, whether the uncle himself came with her or not; it is not likely; the child may be mistaken."
But Heidi looked straight at the woman and said sturdily : —
" I know very well who wrapped me up in the coverlet and brought me down on the sled. It was my grandfather."
"Then there must be something in what Peter said last summer about the Aim-Uncle, although we thought he was not right," said the grandmother. "Who could really have believed that such a thing was possible ? I thought the child would n't live three weeks up there! How does she look, Brigitte ? "
Brigitte had studied her so thoroughly in the mean time that she could well describe her appearance.
" She has a delicate form like Adelheid," she replied;