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Our Little Swiss Cousin by Wade

Carl hastily picked a bunch of Alpine roses


"I

shall not forget you, Carl," said the little girl. "I shall often think of this little cottage up on the mountain, with the pretty flowers growing around it and the cows feeding near by."

After they had gone, Carl hastily picked a bunch of Alpine roses.

"She thought they were beautiful," he said to himself. "Perhaps she will press one of them, and keep it to remember me by."

Then with strong bounds and leaps the little boy overtook the party before they had gone very far. When he reached them, however, he was suddenly overcome with shyness. He hastily put the flowers into the hands of Ruth's mother, and was far away again before she could thank him.

"He is a dear little fellow," said the lady. "He will make a strong man, and a good one, too, I believe. We will always keep these beautiful flowers. Perhaps we may come here again in a year or two, Ruth. Then we can tell Carl how much we thought of his little gift."

CHAPTER III.

THE SCHOOLMASTER'S VISIT

"GOOD news! good news!" cried Carl, as he came running into the house, quite out of breath.

"The schoolmaster is coming, mother. I know it must be he. Come, Franz, let's go to meet him."

The

sun was just hiding his head behind the mountain-tops, and the little family were about to sit down to their evening meal.

"Do go at once, my dear boys," said Carl's mother. "Tell the good teacher how glad we are at his coming."

It was not a complete surprise, for the schoolmaster had promised Carl to spend a week with him on the mountain pastures, if it were possible.

Another place was quickly set at the table. In a few minutes the boys returned, and with them was a man with a kind face and a hearty voice.

"Welcome, welcome! my friend," said Rudolf. "It is indeed a pleasure to see you here. What news is there from the good folks of our village?"

"They are all well, and send greetings. Even poor little Gretel, the cretin, seemed to understand where I was coming, and she sent you her love."

What is a cretin, you wonder? A person of weak mind is so called in Switzerland. You often find such people who are not as bright as they should be. The mind is dull and dark, it cannot see and understand like others.

Why is it that cretins are often found in the homes of the poor? Some think it is because the Swiss are such hard workers, and yet do not have the nourishing food they should.

"Have you been at home all summer?" asked Rudolf.

"No, I had business that took me over the St. Bernard Pass. It was a hard journey, even in this summer-time, for I travelled most of the way on foot."


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