Veronica And Other Friends eBook

Johanna Spyri
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Veronica And Other Friends.

“Oh, I don’t think you need be afraid of that, Gertrude; work never yet hurt any one, least of all the young folks.  Let her work away.  But I don’t see the need of her scowling so all the time.  She looks for all the world as if she were fighting and struggling against enemies and difficulties of all sorts.  I like better Dietrich’s laughing eyes; they are so full of fun.  When he goes down the street singing—­

    ’Gladly and merrily
     Live to-day cheerily,
     Black care and sorrow
     Leave till to-morrow,’

it goes right to my heart, and I could sing too for very joy.  No one can help loving him.”

Gertrude listened with sunshine in her face to these words of praise, but a little cloud of anxiety shadowed her eyes as she said,

“Yes, God be praised, he is a good boy and means well, but I do wish that he had a little of Veronica’s firmness of purpose.  It is very pleasant to have every one like him, but too great popularity is not always a good thing.  And those two companions that are always hanging about him, are not such as I myself would choose for his friends.”

“If they could all be put to some steady work it would be the best thing for them,” said Judith.  “Idleness is the mother of mischief.  Blasi is not an ill-meaning fellow, but he is lazy, greatly to his own injury.  Long Jost is the worst of the two; a sly-boots, and a rare one too.  It is to be hoped that he will break his own leg, when he’s trying to trip some one else up with it.”

“No, no, Judith, on this holy Easter day, we will not have such unkind hopes as that.  I hope and believe that the good God holds the children in his protecting hand.  We have given them to him; that is my comfort and support Good-bye, Judith; come often to see us; we are always glad of your company.”

On the evening of this sunny Easter day, while rosy clouds moved slowly across the clear sky, and the golden glow faded in the far west behind the wooded heights, Gertrude came back from a long walk in the fields and woods.  On one side of her strode Dietrich, talking rapidly and earnestly:  the fresh joy of youth was written in every movement of his little figure, and laughed from the depths of his clear eyes.  On the other side Veronica walked, listening in silence.  Her noble features, above which her black hair fell in shining waves, had a serious, thoughtful expression, but every now and then, when Dietrich let fall some particularly apt expression, a look would cross her face that irradiated it like a sunbeam crossing a shadowed plain.  Mother Gertrude looked now proudly at her radiant son, now approvingly at her stately daughter, and again she lifted grateful glances towards the glowing heavens where she saw promise of another brilliant day to come.  Far and wide, in all Tannenegg, was not to be found that day, such another happy mother as Gertrude.

When they reached the crossways where the footpath led up by the tavern of the Rehbock, Dietrich turned into it, and his mother was about to follow him, but Veronica drew her back, saying anxiously,

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Veronica And Other Friends from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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