New Year’s Day came at last. It was bright and cold, and the mother went early to church; that she never neglected. Then she hastened back to dress the patiently waiting children as warmly as possible.
Barty ran bravely through the high snow. Franzelie she helped over the hard places. When they reached Altdorf, they found many children singing carols before the houses, so they went on till they came to the great inn, near an old tower. The mother stationed the children by the door while she stood behind the tower.
Soon the door opened and the children were called into the large guest-room. The people praised the song, and many pieces of bread and cheese and small coins found their way into the basket Barty carried on his arm. The landlady put in some nuts, saying, “One must have something besides bread on New Year’s Day.”
The children heartily thanked their kind friends, then ran joyfully to their mother. On they went to other houses. Before some of them so many children were singing their different songs that the mistress of the house said she would rather give bread than have such a disturbance. Some received them kindly; others sent them empty away. M
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ore than one called to Franzelie: “Here, little one, is something for you. Come in and get warm and then hurry home, you are shivering with cold.” And the mother said they could no longer stand in the keen air. When they were once more by the warm fire in their little cottage, they opened the heavy basket. In it were many nice pieces of bread and cheese and nuts, and all were joyful, and the mother deeply thankful that she would be spared many anxious fears.