Uncle stood in silence, and at first could not say a word, for he was not prepared for such a warm greeting. Then he collected himself and said : —
" I have come to ask the pastor to forget the words I said to him on the Aim, and that he will not bear me ill will for being obstinate toward his well-meant advice. The pastor was right in all that he said, and I was wrong; but I will now follow his advice, and next winter take up quarters in Dorfli, for the severe weather up yonder is not good for the child ; she is too delicate. And even if the people down here look at me askance, as one who is not to be trusted, I deserve nothing better, and certainly the pastor will not do so."
The pastor's friendly eyes beamed with delight. He took the old man's hand once more and pressed it in his, and said with emotion : —
" Neighbor, you went to the right church before you came down to mine ; this delights me! You shall not regret your willingness to come down and live among us again ; you will always be welcome in my house as a dear friend and neighbor, and I expect to spend many a pleasant hour of a winter evening with you, for I find your company agreeable and profitable, and we shall find good friends also for the little girl."
And the pastor laid his hand very kindly on Heidi's curly head, and took her by the hand and led her out, as he accompanied the grandfather, and when they were outside the door he bade them farewell.
All the people standing round could see how the pastor shook hands with the Aim-Uncle, as if he were