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Our Little Swiss Cousin by Wade

Many were found right here in Lake Zurich


But

best of all was the precious image of the Divine Child and His mother. It was only a clumsy-looking little wooden figure, and was black with age, but it was adorned with precious stones that sparkled brilliantly.

Before Carl entered the sacred building, he first stopped at the fountain, and drank from each one of the fourteen spouts. This alone would make his life better, he thought. But after he had received a blessing from the priest within the church, and had touched the marble on which the image of Jesus rested, he could go away perfectly happy.

There were many small inns in the village, and you may be sure that they were well filled at this time. Carl's family were together with their friends at one of them, and they had a merry time. When they were well rested, however, Carl's father said to the boy:

"We will take a trip to Zurich before going home. It is only a few miles away, and I promised to show you the stone ravens, you know. An old friend of mine lives right on the shore of the lake, and he will be glad to have us lodge with him."

[Illustration: ON THE LAKE.]

What a lively place Zurich seemed to the little country boy. Every one was so busy, and there was so much going on all the time.

"Why is it such a busy place, father?" asked Carl.

justify;">"It is largely because of the business in silk, Carl. We do not raise silk in Switzerland; it is too cold. But the cocoons are brought here from Italy, and thousands of people are kept busy in spinning, weaving and dyeing the precious stuff.

"The wife of my good friend is at her loom every moment she can spare from the work of her house. But she tells me the pay is very poor, yet the rich man who gives her the work sells the silk for great prices. Ah! it is hard to be poor."

Yes, it was true. Nearly every little home around the lake had its loom, and one could hear the whirr and the click in the houses as he passed along.

Carl took trips on the pretty steamboats on the lake. They had been built in the city and Rudolf took the boy to the shipyard where others were being made.

"All the iron steamers of Switzerland are built here," he said, "besides others which are sent to Italy and Austria. Yes, it is a great and busy place."

"Our schoolmaster told us once that people call these lakes of ours 'the eyes of the earth.' Don't you think that is a pretty idea, father? They are very bright and clear, as they lie walled in between the mountains.

"And, father, he says that there were people living on these lakes ages and ages ago. It was before any history was written, even."

"Then how do they know that such people lived on the lakes?" asked Rudolf.

"Whole rows of piles have been discovered under the water. Many were found right here in Lake Zurich. They must once have reached up much higher, but have rotted away!"

"Is that the only proof that people built their houses out over the water, Carl?"

"O, no, the schoolmaster says that many tools have been found in the beds of earth between the piles. They were almost all of stone. Besides these, there were things to use in housekeeping, and nets for fishing, and cloth, and even embroidery."


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