Chapter V. Moni Sings Again
 

Paula had given orders to be wakened early the next morning, for she wanted to be on the spot when the goat-boy came. She was anxious to deal with him herself. That evening she had held a long conversation with the landlord, and had then come out of his room quite happy; so she must have planned something delightful with him.

When the goat-boy came along with his flock in the morning, Paula was already standing in front of the house, and she called out:

"Moni, can't you sing even now?"

He shook his head. "No, I can't. I am always wondering how much longer Maggerli will go with me. I never can sing any more as long as I live, and here is the cross." Whereupon he handed her a little package, for the grandmother had wrapped it carefully for him in three or four papers.

Paula took out the cross from the wrappings and examined it closely. It really was her beautiful cross with the sparkling stones, and quite unharmed. "Well, Moni," she said now very kindly, "you have given me a great pleasure, for if it had not been for you, I might never have seen my cross again. Now, I am going to give you a pleasure. Go take Maggerli there out of the shed, she belongs to you now!"

Moni stared at the young lady in astonishment, as if it were impossible to understand her words. At last he stammered: "But how--how can Maggerli be mine?"

"How?" replied Paula, smiling. "See, last evening I bought her from the landlord and this morning I give her to you. Now can't you sing once more?"

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" exclaimed Moni and ran like mad to the shed, led the little goat out, and took it in his arms. Then he leaped back and held out his hand to Paula and said over and over again:

"I thank you a thousand, thousand times! May God reward you! If I could do something nice for you!"

"Well, then try once more and let us see if you can sing again!" said Paula.

Then Moni sang his song and went on up the mountain with the goats, and his jubilant tones rang down into the valley, so that there was no one in the whole Bath House who did not hear it and many an one turned over in his bed and said: "The goat-boy has good weather once more."

All were glad to hear him sing again, for all had depended on the merry alarm, some in order to get up, others to sleep a while longer.

When Moni, from the first summit, saw Paula still standing below in front of the house, he stepped as far out as possible and sang down at the top of his voice:

  "And so blue is the sky there
  My joy can't be told."

The whole day long Moni shouted for joy, and all the goats caught his spirit and jumped and sprang around as if it were a great festival. The sun shone cheerfully down out of the blue sky, and after the great rain, all the little plants were so fresh, and the yellow and red flowers so bright, it seemed to Moni as if he had never seen the mountains and the valley and the whole world so beautiful before. He didn't let the little kid leave him the whole day; he pulled up the best plants for it and fed it, and said over and over again:

"Maggerli, you dear Maggerli, you do not have to die. You are now mine and will come up to the pasture with me as long as we live." And with resounding singing and yodeling Moni came down again at evening and after he had led the black goat to her shed, he took the little kid in his arms, for it was now coming home with him. Maggerli did not look as if it would rather stay there, but pressed close to Moni and felt that it was under the best protection, for Moni had for a long time treated it better and more kindly than its own mother.

But when Moni came near his grandmother's with Maggerli on his shoulders, she didn't know at all what to make of it, and although Moni called from a distance:

"She belongs to me, Grandmother, she belongs to me!" she didn't understand for some time what he meant. But Moni couldn't explain to her yet; he ran to the shed, and there right next to Brownie, so that it wouldn't be afraid, he made Maggerli a fine, soft bed of fresh straw, and laid it down, saying:

"There, Maggerli, now sleep well in your new home! You must always have this; every day I will make you a new bed!"

Then Moni came back directly to his wondering grandmother, and while they sat together at their supper, he told her the whole story from the very beginning about his three days so full of trouble, and the happy ending to-day.

The grandmother listened very quietly and attentively and when he came to the end, she said earnestly:

"Moni, you must remember what has happened to you now, as long as you live! While you were having so great trouble with wrong-doing in order to help the little creature, the dear Lord had already found a way to help it and make you happy as soon as you would do what was right in His sight. If you had done right at once, and trusted in God, all would have gone well at first. Now the dear Lord has helped you beyond all you deserved, so that you will not forget it your whole life long."

"No, I will surely never forget it," said Moni, eagerly assenting, "and will always truly think, the first thing: I must only do what is right before the dear Lord. He will take care of all the rest."

But before Moni could lie down to sleep, he had to look into the shed once more, to see if it were really possible that the little kid was lying out there and belonged to him.

Jorgli received the ten francs according to the agreement, but he was not allowed to escape from the affair so easily as that. When he returned to the Bath House, he was brought to the landlord who took the boy by the collar, gave him a good shaking, and said threateningly:

"Jorgli! Jorgli! Don't you try a second time to bring my whole house into bad repute! If anything like this happens a single time again, you will come out of my house in a way that will not please you! See, up there hangs a very sharp willow rod for such cases. Now go and think this over."

Moreover, the event had other consequences for the boy. From this time on, if anything was lost anywhere in the Bath House, all the servants immediately exclaimed: "Jorgli from Kublis has it!" and if he came afterwards into the house they all pounced on him together and cried: "Give it here, Jorgli! Out with it!" And if he assured them he had nothing and knew nothing about it, they would all exclaim: "We know you already!" and "You can't fool us!"

So Jorgli had to endure the most menacing attacks continually, and had hardly a moment's peace any more, for if he saw any one approaching him, he at once thought he was coming to ask if he had found this or that. So Jorgli was not at all happy; and a hundred times he thought: "If only I had given back that cross immediately! I will never in my whole life keep anything else that doesn't belong to me."

But Moni never ceased singing and yodeling, the whole summer long, for there was hardly another human being in the world as happy as he was up there with his goats. Often, however, when he lay stretched out in his contentment on the Pulpit-rock, and gazed down into the sunny valley below, he had to think how he had sat that time with the heavy burden on his heart, under the Rain-rock, and all happiness was gone; and he would say again and again in his heart: "I know now what I will do, so that it will never happen again: I will do nothing that will prevent me from looking up gladly to heaven, because this is right to the dear Lord."

But if it chanced that Moni became too long absorbed in his meditation, one or another of the goats would come along, gaze wonderingly at him and try to attract his attention by bleating, which oftentimes he did not hear for quite a while. Only when Maggerli came and called after him longingly, then he heard at once and came leaping to it immediately, for his affectionate little kid always remained Moni's dearest possession.