Bertha - Our Little German Cousin
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Bertha - Our Little German Cousin


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Bertha, by Mary Hazelton WadeThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: BerthaAuthor: Mary Hazelton WadeRelease Date: September 15, 2004 [eBook #13470]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BERTHA***E-text prepared by Al HainesBERTHAOur Little German CousinByMARY HAZELTON WADEIllustrated by L. J. BridgmanBoston1904THE LITTLE COUSIN SERIESPrefaceWhen the word Germany comes to our minds, we think at once of ruined castles, fairies, music, and soldiers. Why is it?First, as to the castles. Here and there along the banks of the River Rhine, as well as elsewhere throughout the country,the traveller is constantly finding himself near some massive stone ruin. It seems ever ready to tell stories of long ago,—of brave knights who defended its walls, of beautiful princesses saved from harm, of sturdy boys and sweet-faced girlswho once played in its gardens. For Germany is the home of an ancient and brave people, who have often been calledupon to face powerful enemies.Next, as to the fairies. It seems as though the dark forests of Germany, the quiet valleys, and the banks of the beautifulrivers, were the natural homes of the fairy-folk, the gnomes and the ...



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Published 08 December 2010
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E-text prepared by Al Haines
BERTHA Our Little German Cousin By MARY HAZELTON WADE Illustrated by L. J. Bridgman Boston 1904
Title: Bertha Author: Mary Hazelton Wade Release Date: September 15, 2004 [eBook #13470] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
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List of Illustrations
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CHAPTER I. CHRISTMAS "Don't look! There, now it's done!" cried Bertha. It was two nights before Christmas. Bertha was in the big living-room with her mother and older sister. Each sat as close as possible to the candle-light, and was busily working on something in her lap. But, strange to say, they did not face each other. They were sitting back to back. "What an unsociable way to work," we think. "Is that the way Germans spend the evenings together?" No, indeed. But Christmas was near at hand, and the air was brimful of secrets. Bertha would not let her mother discover what she was working for her, for all the world. And the little girl's mother was preparing surprises for each of the children. All together, the greatest fun of the year was getting ready for Christmas. "Mother, you will make some of those lovely cakes this year, won't you?" asked Bertha's sister Gretchen. "Certainly, my child. It would not be Christmas without them. Early to-morrow morning, you and Bertha must shell and chop the nuts. I will use the freshest eggs and will beat the dough as long as my arms will let me." "Did you always know how to make those cakes, mamma?" asked Bertha. "My good mother taught me when I was about your age, my dear. You may watch me to-morrow, and perhaps you will learn how to make them. It is never too early to begin to learn to cook." "When the city girls get through school, they go away from home and study housekeeping, don't they?" asked Gretchen. "Yes, and many girls who don't live in cities. But I hardly think you will ever be sent away. We are busy people here in our little village, and you will have to be contented with learning what your mother can teach you." "I shall be satisfied with that, I know. But listen! I can hear father and Hans coming." "Then put up your work, children, and set the supper-table." The girls jumped up and hurriedly put the presents away. It did not take long to set the supper-table, for the meals in this little home were very simple, and supper was the simplest of all. A large plate of black bread and a pitcher of sour milk were brought by the mother, and the family gathered around the table. The bread wasn't really black, of course. It was dark brown and very coarse. It was made of rye meal. Bertha and Gretchen had never seen any white bread in their lives, for they had never yet been far away from their own little village. Neither had their brother Hans. They were happy, healthy children. They all had blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and fair hair, like their father and mother. "You don't know what I've got for you, Hans," said Bertha, laughing and showing a sweet little dimple in her chin. Hans bent down and kissed her. He never could resist that dimple, and Bertha was his favourite sister. "I don't know what it is, but I do know that it must be something nice," said her brother. When the supper-table had been cleared, the mother and girls took out their sewing again, while Hans worked at some wood-carving. The father took an old violin from its case and began to play some of the beautiful airs of Germany. When he came to the "Watch on the Rhine," the mother's work dropped from her hands as she and the children joined in the song that stirs every German heart. "Oh, dear! it seems as though Christmas Eve never would come," sighed Bertha, as she settled herself for sleep beside her sister. It was quite a cold night, but they were cosy and warm. Why shouldn't they be? They were covered with a down feather bed. Their mother had the same kind of cover on her own bed, and so had Hans. But Christmas Eve did come at last, although it seemed so far off to Bertha the night before. Hans and his father brought in the bough of a yew-tree, and it was set up in the living-room. The decorating came next. Tiny candles were fastened on all the twigs. Sweetmeats and nuts were hung from the branches. "How beautiful! How beautiful!" exclaimed the children when it was all trimmed, and they walked around it with admiring
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