Harper's Young People, November 4, 1879 An Illustrated Weekly

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Excerpt The first beams of the morning sun were tipping with fire the jagged and icy peaks of the Wellhorn and Matterhorn, those gigantic monarchs of the Bernese Oberland, when a slender youth came out to the door of a small herdsman's cottage near Meyringen, and looked up at the sky to note the weather. "We shall have a splendid day, father," said he, after glancing all around for a few minutes. "There isn't a cloud to be seen, and the fir-trees sparkle like silver in the morning air." "I am glad to hear it, Walter," replied a powerful voice from inside the cottage, "for I must cross the hill to Grindelwald to-day to see my cousin. It is a long journey, and much pleasanter in fine weather than in rain and fog. You can let out the goats, and look after the cow, for we must milk them before I go." "Oh, Liesli is not far off," was the rejoinder; "I see her coming along; she is passing Frieshardt's house now. She is a good cow, and always knows when it's milking-time. But what is that?" he exclaimed, after a short pause. "Frieshardt is driving her into his yard!—Hi, neighbor! what are you doing? Don't you know whom that cow belongs to?" "Yes, of course I do," replied the farmer, roughly. "But I've taken a fancy to the cow, and mean to keep her. You can tell your father that, if you like, and say that if he wants her he can come and fetch her." "Father! father!" cried the boy, turning round, "Neighbor Frieshardt has taken our cow away. Come and get her back." Obeying his son's call, Toni Hirzel hastened out of the cottage just in time to see his neighbor locking the byre upon Liesli, the only cow he possessed. "Oho, my friend," he exclaimed, "what is the meaning of this?" "Don't you understand, Hirzel?" replied his neighbor, in a mocking and sarcastic tone. "Recollect what you promised me the other day. You have been owing me forty francs since last winter, and said you would pay me yesterday. But as you have forgotten it, I have taken your cow, and mean to keep her till I get the money back." Toni Hirzel frowned and bit his lips. "You know very well," said he, "that I have not been able to pay my small debt. My poor wife's illness and funeral cost me a great deal of money; but you know quite well that I am an honest man, and that there is no need for you to behave in such an unkind and unfriendly way toward me. It is not neighborly, Frieshardt." "Neighborly nonsense!" replied the farmer. "The cow belongs to me until you pay the money." With these words he turned on his heel and went into his house, the size and general appearance of which bespoke the comfort, if not the luxury, of its owner. With a sad and anxious expression Toni Hirzel followed him with his eye. "But, father," said the youth, in surprise and anger, "do you mean quietly to put up with that? I wouldn't suffer it, if I were you." "Hush, hush, my boy!" replied his father quietly. "It is certainly not very kind of Frieshardt to treat a poor neighbor in such a harsh way; but he has the law on his side, for I can't deny that I owe him the money. I should have paid him long ago if it had been possible, but your poor mother's illness and death prevented me. We must have patience. I dare say my cousin will lend me the forty francs if I ask him, and then we shall get our cow back again. Don't be afraid, Watty....
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