Erick and sally, p.1
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       Erick and Sally, p.1

           Johanna Spyri
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Erick and Sally


  By the Swiss Writer


  Author of Heidi, Chel, and many other stories

  Translated by



  Affectionately dedicated to



  To our Boys and Girls:

  Years ago, in a little country called Switzerland, there lived a littlegirl who was the daughter of a doctor. This doctor sometimes had toclimb up high mountains and sometimes he had to descend slowly to thedeep valleys, always on horseback, to visit the sick people who had sentfor him. Of course there were no telephones, electric lights, steamtrains or automobiles, and so often this doctor was away from home fortwo or three days attending the people who needed his help. His tripstook him into little villages where there were only a few hundred poorpeople who made a scant living from farming and sheep raising, but heknew them so well that he became very fond of them, and he shared theirsorrows and joys. When he returned home he would tell his littledaughter, who was Johanna Spyri, about what he had seen and heard. Shebecame very much interested in the people whom her father told about,and when she grew up she visited many of the places that he had told herabout when she was a child.

  It was not until she was quite a grown woman that she wrote any books,but the children of Switzerland and Germany loved her stories so much,that we have decided to translate the story of Erick and Sally for thechildren of America. The author knew children and loved them, and wroteto them and not for them. Thus, every one who reads this story willfollow the sorrows and pleasures of Erick just as if he were a personalliving friend.

  The translator understands American boys and girls, for she has been ateacher in our schools for many years. She also has an intimateknowledge of the country described in this story for she has oftenvisited the places mentioned. Through her knowledge and love of thecountry about which Madame Spyri wrote, and speaking her language, thetranslator, Helene H. Boll, appreciates her thoughts, and has faithfullyreproduced them in this absorbing little story.



  Chapter I In the Parsonage of Upper WoodChapter II A Call in the VillageChapter III 'Lizebeth on the WarpathChapter IV The Same Night in Two HousesChapter V Disturbance in School and HomeChapter VI A Lost HymnChapter VII Erick Enlists in the Fighting ArmyChapter VIII What Happens on Organ-SundayChapter IX A Secret that is KeptChapter X Surprising Things Happen


  Portrait of Madame Spyri

  Now the lady held out her hand and said in a friendly tone, "Come here,dear child"

  Churi....unexpectedly gave him such a severe push that Erick rolleddown the rest of the mountain side

  He threw both arms around the old gentleman's neck and rejoicinglyexclaimed: "Oh, Grandfather, is it really you?"


  _In the Parsonage of Upper Wood_

  The sun was shining so brightly through the foremost windows of the oldschoolhouse in Upper Wood, that the children of the first and secondclasses appeared as if covered with gold. They looked at one another,all with beaming faces, partly because the sun made them appear so, andpartly for joy; for when the sunshine came through the last window, thenthe moment approached that the closing word would be spoken, and thechildren could rush out into the evening sunshine. The teacher was stillbusy with the illuminated heads of the second class, and indeed withsome zeal, for several sentences had still to be completed, before theschool could be closed. The teacher was standing before a boy who lookedwell-fed and quite comfortable, and who was looking up into theteacher's face with eyes as round as two little balls.

  "Well, Ritz, hurry, you surely must have thought of something by now.Now then! What can be made useful in a household? Do not forget tomention the three indispensable qualities of the object."

  Ritz, the youngest son of the minister, was usually busy thinking ofthat which had just happened to him. So just now it had come to hismind, how this very morning Auntie had arrived. She was an older sisterof his mother and had no home of her own; but made a home with herrelatives. She was a frequent visitor at the parsonage for months at atime and would help the mother in governing the household. Ritzremembered especially, that Auntie was particularly inclined to have thechildren go to bed in good time--and they had to go--and he alsoremembered that they could not get the extra ten minutes from Mother,for Auntie was always against begging Mother. In fact, Auntie talked somuch about going to bed, that Ritz felt the feared command of retiringduring the whole day. So his thoughts were occupied with theseexperiences, and he said after some thinking: "One can make use of anaunt in a household. She must--she must--she must--"

  "Well, what must she? That will be something different from a quality,"the teacher interrupted the laborious speech of the boy.

  "She must not always be reminding that it is time to go to bed," it nowcame out.

  "Ritz," the teacher said now in a severe tone, "is the school the placeto joke?"

  But Ritz looked at the teacher with such unmistakable fright andastonishment, that the latter saw that it was an honest opinion whichRitz had made use of in his sentence. He therefore changed his mind andsaid more gently: "Your sentence is unfitting and incorrect, for yourthree qualities are not there. Do you understand that, Ritz? You willhave to make three sentences at home, all alike; but do not forget thedifferent qualities. Have you understood me?"

  "Yes, teacher," answered Ritz in deepest dejection, for he already sawhimself sitting alone in the evening thinking and thinking and gnawingon his slate pencil, while Sally and Edi could pursue their merryentertainments.

  Now the end of school was announced. In a short time the door wasopened, and the boys and girls hastened out toward the open place beforethe schoolhouse, where suddenly all were crowded together like a hugeball, from the midst of which came a tremendous noise and confusedshoutings. Something out of the common must have happened.

  "In the house of old Marianne"--"a tremendously rich lady"--"a piano,four men could not get it in, the door is too narrow"--"a smallboy"--"before we went to school"--It was so confused, nothing couldreally be understood. Then a voice shouted: "All come along! Perhapsthey are not through with it, come, all of you to the Middle Lot!" Andsuddenly the whole ball separated, and almost the whole crowd ran in thesame direction.

  Only two boys remained on the playground and looked at each other, quiteperplexed. The one was stout little Ritz, who long since had forgottenhis great trouble and had listened intently to the exciting, althoughincomprehensible story. The other was his brother Edi, a slender, tallfellow with a high forehead and serious grey eyes beneath. He was hardlytwo years older than his brother; but for his not quite nine years, hewas tall, and appeared much older than the seven-year-old Ritz.

  "We must run home quickly and ask whether we too may go; we must seethat, Ritz, so hurry up!" With these words Edi pulled his brother along,and soon they turned round the corner and also disappeared.

  Behind the schoolhouse, near the hawthorn hedge, stood the last of thecrowd in animated conversation. It was Sally, the ten-year-old sister ofthe two boys, with her friend Kaetheli, who with great excitement seemedto describe an occurrence.

  "But Kaetheli, I do not know the beginning," said Sally. "Just you beginat the beginning, from where you saw everything with your own eyes, willyou?"

  "Very well, I will, but this time you must pay close attention," saidKaetheli. "You know that the old blind straw-plaiter lived with thelittle girl Meili at old Marianne's? Well, Meili went to school at LowerWood. Two weeks ago her father died and Meili had to go to Lower Wood toher uncle. Then Marianne cleaned the bedroom and the sitting-roo
mterribly clean, opened all the windows, and afterwards closed them allagain and put on the shutters. She herself lives in the little roomabove. But this morning everything was open, and yet Marianne had saidnothing about it to anyone and all people in Middle Lot were surprisedat that. At half-past eleven, just when we were coming out of school, wesaw a wagon coming up the hill from Lower Wood, and the horse couldhardly pull the load, for there was a large piano on the wagon, a bed,and lots of other things, a table and a little box, and I think that wasall. Now the wagon stopped at old Marianne's cottage, and all at oncethere came out of the cottage old Marianne and a woman, who was quitewhite in the face, and behind them came a little boy, and no one hadseen them come up. Then four men of Middle Lot wanted to carry the pianointo the cottage but it would not go through the door because the doorwas too narrow and the piano too wide. And all who stood around to looksaid she must be a very rich woman, because she had such a large piano.But no one knew from where she came, and when anyone asked old Marianneshe snarled and said: 'I haven't any time.'

  "All the people around are surprised that a rich lady should come to oldMarianne in the wooden cottage; my father has said long since that thecottage would tumble over one of these days. And Sally! I wish you couldsee the woman, you too would be surprised that she should make her homethere. Just think, she wears a black silk skirt on week-days!"

  "And what about the boy, how does he look?" asked Sally, who hadfollowed her friend's story with close attention.

  "I had almost forgotten him," continued Kaetheli. "Just think, he wearsvelvet pants, quite short black velvet pants and a velvet jacket and acap to match. Just imagine a boy with velvet pants!"

  "I should think that would be quite pretty," observed Sally, "but whatdoes he look like otherwise?"

  "I have forgotten that, I had to watch the moving of the piano. He isnothing particular to look at."

  "Kaetheli, do you know what?" Sally said, "you go home with me. I wantto ask whether I may go home with you for a little while. I should liketo see that too, and then afterwards we will both go to old Marianne'sto call, will you?"

  Kaetheli was ready at once to carry out the plan, and the children rantogether toward the parsonage.

  It was only a little while before, that Edi and Ritz had arrived homepanting for breath. In the garden on the bench under the largeapple-tree, Mother and Auntie were sitting mending and conversing overthe bringing-up of the children; for Auntie knew many a good advice,quite new and not worn out. Now they heard hasty running, and Edi andRitz came rushing along.

  "May we--in the Middle Lot--to the Middle Lot--people have arrived--awagon and a piano--a terribly rich woman and a--"

  Both shouted in confusion, breathlessly and incomprehensibly.

  "Now," the aunt cried into the noise, "if you behave like two canarybirds who suddenly have become crazy, no human being can understand aword. One is to be silent and the other may talk, or still better bothbe silent."

  But Ritz and Edi could do neither. If Edi began to report, then Ritz hadto follow. It always had been so, and to be silent at this moment ofexcitement, that could not be expected; therefore both began afresh andwould no doubt have continued thus for some time if Sally and Kaethelihad not arrived on the scene. They made everything clear in a shorttime.

  But the mother did not like to have her children run to the Middle Lotfor the sake of staring at strange people who had arrived there, and toincrease the gaping crowd who, no doubt, were standing in front ofMarianne's cottage. She did not give the longed-for permission, but sheinvited Kaetheli to stay at the parsonage and take afternoon coffee withthe children and afterwards play in the garden.

  That was at least something; Sally and Ritz were satisfied, and they ranat once with Kaetheli into the house. But Edi showed a dissatisfiedface, for wherever something strange could be seen or found, he had tobe there.

  He stood there without saying a word. He was thinking whether he daredto work on his mother to get the desired permission. He feared, however,the auxiliary troops which his aunt would lead into battle to help hismother. But before he had weighed all sides his aunt said: "Well, Edi,have you not yet swallowed the defeat? Isn't there some old Roman, orEgyptian, who also could not always do what he wanted? Just you thinkthat over and you will see that it will help you."

  That helped, indeed, for Edi was a great searcher in history, and whenhe happened in that field, then all other interests were pushed into thebackground. He at once remembered that he had not finished reading abouthis old Egyptian, and with a smoothed brow he ran into the house.

  The sun had set and it was growing dark among the bushes in the garden,where the children, with red cheeks, were seeking each other and hidingagain. All of a sudden there came a loud, penetrating call: "To bed, tobed!" Ritz had just found a fine hiding-place in the henhouse, where hehad comfortably settled, secure from being discovered, when thisterrible call reached him. It struck him like a thunderbolt. Yes, ittook his breath away so that he turned white and hadn't the strength torise; for, with the call came the remembrance of the three sentenceswhich he had to write: three whole sentences and nine differentqualities, and he had forgotten everything, and now all the time hadgone and he had to go to bed.

  "Where are you, Ritz?" It sounded into his hiding-place. "Come, crawlout. I know you are in there and will be covered with feathers from headto foot."

  The aunt stood before the henhouse, and Sally and Kaetheli beside herfull of expectation, for they had sought Ritz for a long time in vain.But Auntie had experience in such things. Ritz actually came crawlingout of the henhouse and stood now in a lamentable condition before hisaunt.

  "How you do look! You ought to have been in bed an hour ago, you haven'ta drop of blood in your cheeks," the aunt exclaimed. "What is the matterwith you, Ritz?"

  "Where is Mamma?" asked Ritz in his fright.

  "She is upstairs; come, she will put you to bed at once when I have gotyou finally together. Come, Sally, and you, Kaetheli, go home now."

  With these words she took Ritz by the hand, and drew him up the stonesteps into the house, and wanted to bring him up the stairs to thebedroom. Then everything was over and no rescue from going to bed atonce. Now Ritz stopped his aunt and groaned: "I must--I must--I have towrite three sentences for punishment."

  "There we have it." But Ritz looked so miserable that Auntie felt greatpity for him. "Come in here," she said, and shoved him into theliving-room, "and take out your things."

  Now she sat down beside him and the whole affair proceeded finely. Notthat Auntie formed the sentences, no indeed, she was not going to cheatthe teacher; but she knew well what was needed to form a sentence andshe pushed and spurred Ritz and brought so many things before him, andreminded him how they looked, that he had his three sentences and hisnine qualities together in no time. Now there came a feeling to Ritzthat he had not acted right, when he said that an aunt must not alwaysbe reminding people, and when now Auntie asked: "Ritz, why had you towrite the sentences?" then the feeling grew stronger in him, for he feltthat he could not tell the cause of his punishment without making hisaunt angry. He stuttered, "I have--I have--the teacher has said, that Imade an unfitting sentence."

  "Yes, I can imagine that," said Auntie. "Now quickly to bed."

  Edi and Ritz slept in the same room and that was the place where the twoboys, every evening after the mother had said evening prayer with them,and they were alone, exchanged their deepest thoughts and experienceswith one another and talked them over. Ritz had the greatest respect forEdi, for although the latter was only a little older, yet he was alreadyin the fourth class, and he himself was only in the second, and inhistory Edi knew more than the scholars in the fifth and some in thesixth class. When now the two were well tucked in their beds, Ritz said:"Edi, was it a sin that I said Auntie must not always remind?" Edithought a bit, such a case had never come to him. After a while he said:"You see, Ritz, it goes thus: if you have done something that is a sin,then you must go at once to Daddy an
d confess, there is no help for it;but if you do that, then everything comes again in order and you feelhappy again, and afterwards you look out not to do the sinful thingagain. I can tell you that, Ritz. But if you do not confess, then youare always full of fear when a door is slammed or a letter-carrierunexpectedly brings a letter, then you think at once: 'There now,everything will come out.' And so you are never sure nor safe and youfeel a pressure in the chest. But there is another thing that presses sohard that you can think of nothing else, for example, if you have givenaway a rabbit, you regret it afterwards. But there is a remedy and Ihave tried it many a time, and it helps. You must think of somethingdreadful, like a large fire, when everything is burnt up, the fortressand the soldiers in it and all historical books, and--all at once youthink everything backwards and you have everything; then you are so gladthat you think: what difference does a rabbit make? You still haveeverything else. Now Ritz, try that and see if it helps you, then youcan find out whether everything passes away or whether you have to tellDaddy tomorrow."

  "Yes, I will try it," said Ritz somewhat indistinctly, and soon after hetook such deep breaths that Edi knew what was going on. He heaved a sighand said: "Oh, Ritz, you are asleep and I wanted to tell you so muchabout the old Egyptian."

  A little while afterwards the whole peaceful parsonage of Upper Wood layin deep sleep; only old 'Lizebeth went about the passage calling: "Bs,bs, bs." She wanted to get the old grey cat into the kitchen to catchthe mice during the night. 'Lizebeth had been in the parsonage of UpperWood as long as one could remember, for there had always been a son, andwhen the time had come, then he had become parson in Upper Wood. First'Lizebeth had served the grandfather, then the father and now the son,and she had long since elected Edi as the future minister, and intendedto look after his house when he should be the master here.

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