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Gritli's Children   By: (1827-1901)

Gritli's Children by Johanna Spyri

First Page:

GRITLI'S CHILDREN

by

JOHANNA SPYRI Author of "Heidi" & "Cornelli"

Translated by LOUISE BROOKS

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers New York

[Illustration: Gritli's Children]

CONTENTS

VOLUME I

CHAPTER

I. AT THE COUNTRY HOUSE ON THE RHINE

II. IN THE DOCTOR'S HOUSE AT BUCHBERG

III. IN THE VILLAGE AND IN THE SCHOOL

IV. FARTHER PROCEEDINGS AT BUCHBERG

V. ON OAK RIDGE

VI. AUNTY IS IN DEMAND AGAIN

VII. WHAT OSCAR FOUNDED AND WHAT EMMA PLANNED

VIII. AT SUNSET

IX. A LAST JOURNEY AND A FIRST

VOLUME II

I. THE NEW HOME

II. A JOURNEY

III. ON THE BEAUTIFUL RHINE

IV. IN THE FISHERMAN'S HUT

V. GREAT PREPARATIONS

VI. ANXIETY AT ROSEMOUNT

VII. AN UNEXPECTED TERMINATION

VIII. THE HAPPY END

VOLUME ONE

CHAPTER I.

AT THE COUNTRY HOUSE ON THE RHINE.

The golden sunshine of a glorious June morning flooded the roses of the beautiful garden that surrounded a handsome stone villa on the banks of the Rhine. A thousand sweet perfumes borne upon the gentle breeze mounted like incense to the open windows, and sought entrance there. From a great basin in the middle of the garden, a slender shaft of water rose straight up into the blue sky, and then fell plashing back, sprinkling the flowers and the grass with sparkling moisture. Gay butterflies fluttered hither and thither, sipping sweets from the honey laden flowers. Under the trees stood marble statues gleaming white through the shadows; and seats in sheltered nooks invited the loiterer to rest and listen to the concert of the myriad birds that made their happy homes in this paradise of summer beauty.

At the closed window of one of the upper rooms of this delightful house sat a little maiden, pressing her pale face against the wide, clear glass, as she peered out with longing eyes over the roses, toward the wavering fountain, and into the depths of the trees, whose graceful branches stirred in the light breeze. Her gaze passed over the shining flowers and the green terraces of the sunny garden, and rested far away on the glistening waves of the fast flowing Rhine, that ran past the foot of the garden, bathing caressingly the long over hanging branches of the old linden trees as it passed along. The rich foliage of the trees by the river side was visible from the windows of the house; but not the stone bench which stood in the cool shade, so close to the water that one could look from it directly down into the eddying waves, and watch the drooping branches dip and rise again and again, as if in pure delight. What a spot for summer dreaming and castle building! The pale child at the window knew the place well; and as her eyes turned in that direction, the expression of longing grew more and more painful as she gazed.

"Oh, mamma!" she cried presently, with tears in her voice, "may I not go out soon into the garden, and down to the seat under the lindens by the river?"

An hour before, the mother had brought her suffering little girl into this room, and placed her in her favorite resting place in the window seat, and her anxious gaze had scarcely left the pale little face, with its big eyes full of pain, that looked so longingly into the beautiful garden, which the poor child could not enjoy in any other way.

"Dear child," she said now, in a voice which trembled with anxiety and affection, "you know that you are too tired to go out in the morning; but this afternoon, perhaps, we will go down to the river. Will not that be better, my darling?"

"Oh, yes, I suppose so," sighed the child; but though she said no more, she did not turn her eyes away from the blooming roses and the waving leaves below her.

"Oh, it is so beautiful down there! Do let me go out, mamma!" she exclaimed again a little while afterwards. "Do let me go!" and her mother could not resist the beseeching tones. She arose, and at that moment an elderly woman entered the room a woman who looked so exquisitely neat that one would have thought that she had no other business in life than that of keeping in perfect order her gray hair, with its snow white cap, and her simple, spotless dress; but, on the contrary, she was the house keeper, and had the whole charge of the big house, with all its complicated domestic arrangements... Continue reading book >>




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