“I’ll look out, too, now if I can hear the voice,” was Maezli’s resolution.
“The chief thing is to follow the voice, Maezli,” said the mother. “But we must be quiet now. Say your prayers, darling, then you will soon go to sleep.”
Maezli said her little prayer very devoutly. As there was nothing more to trouble her, she lay down and was half asleep as soon as her mother closed the door behind her.
She was still expected at four other little beds. Every one of the children had a problem to bring to her, but there was so little time left to-day that they had to be put off till to-morrow. In fact, they were all glad to make a little sacrifice for their beloved uncle. When she came back into the room, she found him hurrying impatiently up and down. He could hardly wait to make his sister the announcement to which he had already referred several times.
“Are you coming at last?” he called to her. “Are you not a bit curious what present I have brought you?”
“Oh, Philip, I am sure it can only be a joke,” Mrs. Maxa replied. “I should love to know what you meant when you spoke of the children of Wallerstaetten.”
“It happens to be one and the same thing,” the brother replied. “Come here now and sit down beside me and get your mending-basket right away so that you won’t have to jump up again. I know you. You will probably run off two or three times to the children.”
“No, Philip, to-day is Sunday and I won’t mend. The children are all sleeping peacefully, so please tell me about it.”
Uncle Philip sat down quietly beside his sister and began: “As surely as I am now sitting here beside you, Maxa, so surely young Leonore of Wallerstaetten was sitting beside me three days ago. I am really as sure as anything that it was Leonore’s child. She is only an hour’s distance away from you and is probably going to stay in this neighborhood for a few weeks. I wanted to bring you this news as a present.”
Mrs. Maxa first could not say a word from astonishment.
“Are you quite sure, Philip?” she asked, wishing for an affirmation. “How could you become so sure that the child you saw was Leonore’s little daughter?”
“First of all, because nobody who has known Leonore can ever forget what she looked like. The child is exactly like her and looks at one just the way Leonore used to do. Secondly, the child’s name was Leonore, too. Thirdly, she had the same brown curls rippling down her shoulders that her mother had, and she spoke with a voice as soft and charming. For the fifth and sixth reasons, because only Leonore could have such a child, for there could not be two people like her in the whole world.” Uncle Philip had grown very warm during these ardent proofs.
“Please tell me exactly where and how you saw the child,” the sister urged.