Pal-ul-don specimens of antelope, all species of which
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"How? what? How then did you learn to read?" continued the lady.
"I have never learnt to read, or Peter either," Heidi informed her.
"Mercy upon us! you do not know how to read! Is it really so?" exclaimed Fraulein Rottenmeier, greatly horrified. "Is it possible--not able to read? What have you learnt then?"
"Nothing," said Heidi with unflinching truthfulness.
"Young woman," said the lady to Dete, after having paused for a minute or two to recover from her shock, "this is not at all the sort of companion you led me to suppose; how could you think of bringing me a child like this?"
But Dete was not to be put down so easily, and answered warmly, "If the lady will allow me, the child is exactly what I thought she required; the lady described what she wished for, a child unlike all other children, and I could find no other to suit, for the greater number I know are not peculiar, but one very much the same as the other, and I thought this child seemed as if made for the place. But I must go now, for my mistress will be waiting for me; if the lady will permit I will come again soon and see how she is getting on." And with a bow Dete quickly left the room and ran downstairs. Fraulein Rottenmeier stood for a moment taken aback and then ran after Dete. If the child was to stop she had many things yet to say and ask about her, and there the child was, and what was more, Dete, as she plainly saw, meant to leave her there.
Heidi remained by the door where she had been standing since she first came in. Clara had looked on during the interview without speaking; now she beckoned to Heidi and said, "Come here!"
"Would you rather be called Heidi or Adelaide? asked Clara.