THE WINTER IN DORFLI 263
spend the day in bed, as it was too cold for her, and besides she was not quite well. This was something new to Heidi; the grandmother had always before been sitting in her place in the corner. She ran straight to her in her room. She was lying entirely wrapped up in the gray shawl in her narrow bed with the thin covering.
" God be praised and thanked ! " said the grandmother as soon as she heard Heidi running in. All the autumn long she had had a secret anxiety in her heart, and it still pursued her, especially if Heidi did not come to see her for a long time. Peter had reported how a strange gentleman from Frankfurt had been there and always went up to the pasture with them and talked with Heidi, and the grandmother believed nothing else than that the gentleman had come to take Heidi away again. After he finally went off alone, her anxiety returned lest some person should be sent from Frankfurt to take the child back. Heidi ran to her bedside and asked with concern : —
" Are you very ill, grandmother ? "
"No, no, child," said the old dame soothingly, while she stroked the child's face affectionately; " the cold weather has got into my limbs a little."
" Will you be well right away, as soon as it is warm again ? " asked Heidi eagerly.
" Yes, yes, God willing, even before that, so that I can get to my spinning-wheel. I even thought to-day that I would try it; to-morrow it will surely be going again," said the grandmother, for she had already noticed that the child was alarmed.