Duller eyes than his would have discerned two slight figures moving near the doorway.
That gray well-patched jacket and the dull blue skirt covered with an apron of still duller blue, that faded close-fitting cap, and those quick little feet in their great boatlike shoes, they were Gretel's of course. He would have known them anywhere.
That bright coquettish red jacket, with its pretty skirt, bordered with black, that graceful cap bobbing over the gold earrings, that dainty apron, and those snug leather shoes that seemed to have grown with the feet--why if the Pope of Rome had sent them to him by express, Hans could have sworn they were Annie's.
The two girls were slowly pacing up and down in front of the cottage. Their arms were entwined, of course, and their heads were nodding and shaking as emphatically as if all the affairs of the kingdom were under discussion.
With a joyous shout Hans hastened toward them.
"Huzza, girls, I've found work!"
This brought his mother to the cottage door.
She, too, had pleasant tidings. The father was still improving. He had been sitting up nearly all day and was now sleeping as Dame Brinker declared, "Just as quiet as a lamb."