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Our Little Swiss Cousin by Wade

As Carl drew nearer and nearer


"Now,

it was the custom of the good Bishop Conrad to pray at midnight. On the night before the great day of consecration, he arose for his usual prayer, and, as he did so, was surprised to hear beautiful music in the air around him. He listened closely. Behold! it was the chorus of angels; they were consecrating the chapel. He bowed his head in wonder and awe.

"The next morning, when the people had come together for the sacred service, the bishop waited in silence till nearly noon, and then he told the crowd of listeners what had happened during the night. There was nothing for him to do now; the angels had already made this a holy place.

"But the people would not, could not, believe it. They still pressed the bishop to go on with the service. At last, he felt that he could not satisfy them in any other way, so had already begun, when a clear voice was heard to say, 'Brother, do not go on; for see, it is already consecrated.'

"Then the people were able to understand that the bishop had spoken truly, and the place was indeed a holy one now. Ever since that time good Catholics of France and Germany, as well as from our own country, make pilgrimages to the abbey of Einsiedeln. It is now a very grand building. Thousands and thousands of dollars have been spent to make it beautiful.

"And Carl, dear, you shall see there the very image of Jesus and Mary

which the good priest Meinrad brought to the place when he first sought his home there. Better still, my boy, you shall drink from the fountain from which Jesus himself once drank, as I have been told."

Carl listened closely to his father's words. Others might tell him afterward that this was only a legend, but he was an earnest little Catholic, and believed that every word of it was true.

The moment of starting came at last. Rudolf, with his wife and Carl, was joined by several others of the village people. Franz was among them, together with his parents. There were many, many miles to walk, and several days must be spent upon the way. The nights were passed at taverns along the roadside. As our friends journeyed onward, they were joined by other parties, all going in the same direction,--to the abbey blessed by the angels.

In one party there was a blind man, who hoped to see again after he had drunk from the wonderful fountain. In another, there was a person who was lame, and who moved painfully along on crutches. He believed he would be able to leave these crutches behind him if he could once reach the abbey.

As Carl drew nearer and nearer, he could see that thousands and thousands of people were all going the same way. And now as they began to climb the mountainside, there were crosses at every turn in the road. He never passed them by without stopping to kneel and pray.

He was a stout little fellow, as we know, but he was growing very tired now. His feet were quite sore, and there were deep cuts in the soles. This showed that he had walked very many miles over the hard roads. But there were many others like him who had never travelled so far from home before; and some of them were old and feeble, too. He would not let his mother think he was tired. Oh, no, not for the world.

Ah! the spires were at last in sight, and every one hurried forward.

It was very, very beautiful, Carl thought, when he had passed through the great doorway, and looked upon the wonderful sight within. He had never before seen anything half so grand. The walls and ceilings were richly gilded, and there were many statues in the nooks and corners.


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