free ebooks

Our Little Swiss Cousin by Wade

He could never again harm Switzerland or the Swiss


"But

this was not God's will. A sudden storm arose before the party had gone very far. The wind blew fearfully, and the little boat was tossed about on the waves as though it were a feather. The rowers could not keep the boat in her course. It seemed as though, every moment, she would be dashed against the rocks and destroyed. Then it was that Gessler remembered that Tell was as skilful with a boat as he was with a bow and arrow.

"'Take off the peasant's chains,' he cried. 'Let him guide us to a safe landing-place. It is our only chance of being saved.'

"Tell was made free. His quick mind told him what to do. He seized the oars, and with strong strokes soon brought the boat close to the shore. Then, springing out, he pushed the boat off into the water.

"Would Gessler be saved? Tell wondered if it were possible. Then he said to himself, 'If the tyrant is not destroyed, he must go home through the pass in the mountains.'

"With this thought, he hurried up over the crags, and hid himself behind a great rock. He waited patiently. At last he heard footsteps and voices. His enemy was drawing near. He stood ready with bent bow. As Gessler came into view, whizz! flew the arrow straight into the tyrant's heart! He could never again harm Switzerland or the Swiss."

"Brave Tell! Brave Tell!" shouted Carl. "Dear master, have

you ever visited the chapel which stands to-day in honour of this great countryman of ours?"

"Yes, Carl, and when you come back to the lowlands in the fall, you shall visit it with me. You and Franz must also go to look at the stone on which Tell stepped as he sprang from Gessler's boat. Even now, we can seem to feel Tell's joy when he wandered among the mountains, and thought of plans by which he could help his country. For after Gessler was killed, there was the whole army of Austria to be driven out."

"People needn't tell me that the story of William Tell and the apple is only a legend," exclaimed Franz. "I believe every word of it, don't you, Carl?"

"Indeed I do. Won't you tell us another story? Look! the sun is still high in the sky. We need not go home for an hour yet."

"Let me see, boys. Shall it be a tale of old Switzerland and of her struggles with her enemies?"

"Yes, yes," cried both boys. "We are never tired of hearing of the lives of our great men."

"Very well, then, you shall listen to the story of Arnold of Winkelried.

"It was a time of great danger. The Austrians were pouring into our country. Their soldiers, protected by the strongest steel armour, bore fearful weapons. Our people were poor, and had only slings or bows and arrows with which to defend themselves. What should be done? There was the Austrian army, closely drawn up, with shields glistening in the sunlight,--here were the Swiss, few and unprotected, but burning with love for their country.

"It seemed as though all chance of saving Switzerland was hopeless. Then the brave Arnold spoke.

"'Friends,' said he, 'I am ready to give my life for my country. I will rush into the ranks of our enemies and make an entrance for you. Be ready; follow with all your might, and you may throw them into confusion. You who live after me must take care of my wife and children when I am gone.'


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us