Preface
 

To our Boys and Girls:

Years ago, in a little country called Switzerland, there lived a little girl who was the daughter of a doctor. This doctor sometimes had to climb up high mountains and sometimes he had to descend slowly to the deep valleys, always on horseback, to visit the sick people who had sent for him. Of course there were no telephones, electric lights, steam trains or automobiles, and so often this doctor was away from home for two or three days attending the people who needed his help. His trips took him into little villages where there were only a few hundred poor people who made a scant living from farming and sheep raising, but he knew them so well that he became very fond of them, and he shared their sorrows and joys. When he returned home he would tell his little daughter, who was Johanna Spyri, about what he had seen and heard. She became very much interested in the people whom her father told about, and when she grew up she visited many of the places that he had told her about when she was a child.

It was not until she was quite a grown woman that she wrote any books, but the children of Switzerland and Germany loved her stories so much, that we have decided to translate the story of Erick and Sally for the children of America. The author knew children and loved them, and wrote to them and not for them. Thus, every one who reads this story will follow the sorrows and pleasures of Erick just as if he were a personal living friend.

The translator understands American boys and girls, for she has been a teacher in our schools for many years. She also has an intimate knowledge of the country described in this story for she has often visited the places mentioned. Through her knowledge and love of the country about which Madame Spyri wrote, and speaking her language, the translator, Helene H. Boll, appreciates her thoughts, and has faithfully reproduced them in this absorbing little story.

THE PUBLISHERS.