HOW CASTLE ROSSBERG WAS TAKEN
 Day after day passed, and at last New Year's Eve arrived.
Everything was arranged, every one was ready. The Swiss
knew that if they were to succeed, they must get
possession of all the castles which were in the hands
of the Austrians. So their first plans were for the
taking of these.
In Unterwalden there was a castle called Rossberg. The
walls were thick and high, the gates heavy and strong.
To take it by force seemed impossible.
Among the servants of the castle was a pretty girl
called Anneli. She had laughing blue eyes, and golden
hair which fell far
 below her waist in two long plaits. In spite of the sad
times, she always seemed merry and smiling as a
sunbeam. Many people loved Anneli, but the person she
loved best was a shepherd called Joggeli, and she had
promised to marry him.
Joggeli was one of those who had
met upon the Rütli and sworn to free Switzerland from
the Austrians. He often came to see Anneli at the
castle, and because he knew that she too loved her
country he often talked to her of how they hoped to
overthrow the tyrants. Then Anneli's blue eyes would
flash, and she would say, "Oh, if I were only a man, I
would fight too. Joggeli, you don't know how I hate
Then one night as they talked together Joggeli said,
"You can help, Anneli, if you will."
"Oh, how? Tell me how," cried Anneli, her
 eyes dancing with delight. Joggeli bent and whispered
to her, and as Anneli listened her eyes sparkled and
her cheeks grew red. "O Joggeli," she cried, "then I
can really help?"
"Yes, you can help very much," he replied, "in fact, we
could not do without you. You will be brave? You are
"No," said Anneli, "I am not afraid. I am very proud
that you should trust me."
After that day Anneli's eyes seemed merrier than ever,
and she sang all day long, for was she not going to
help to free her country?
One evening, when Joggeli came to the castle, he
brought a long coil of rope hidden under his cloak.
Anneli took it and hid it away carefully. Again and
again Joggeli brought coils of rope, and Anneli knotted
all the pieces together and hid them in a safe place.
 On New Year's Eve Anneli sat alone in her little room
overlooking the castle wall, waiting and listening. She
had no light. Everything in the little room was very
still and quiet. One by one all the sounds in the
castle ceased. Soon every one was fast asleep. Only
Anneli and the sleepy sentinels who guarded the great
gate were awake. Twelve o'clock struck. As the last
stroke died away Anneli crept softly across the room
and opened the window. She brought the heavy rope from
its hiding-place, and with her strong little hands
knotted one end firmly round the iron bar which divided
the window in two. Then she waited and listened. At
last she heard a faint sound from down below.
"Joggeli," she whispered.
"Anneli," came back the answer. "All is clear."
She lifted the rope then and let it drop gently over
the castle wall.
Little Anneli was very brave, but she grew
 pale and trembled as she leaned against the
window-sill, waiting. What if the rope broke? What if
the iron bar gave way? she was asking herself.
But in a minute or two Joggeli's head appeared at the
window; he put his hands on the ledge and leaped into
the room. "Brave little girl!" he said, feeling in the
darkness for Anneli's hand. Then he turned again to the
window, and in another minute a second man appeared,
then another and another, till twenty men had climbed
up the rope and were standing safely within the castle
In a minute or two Joggeli's head appeared at the window
"Are you ready, men?" asked Joggeli in a low voice.
"Yes," they whispered.
Then, at a sign from Joggeli, Anneli opened the door
and ran down the long passage, followed by the twenty
men. She led them straight to the great door which was
guarded within by two sleepy Austrian soldiers.
 The Swiss threw themselves upon the sentinels and bound
and gagged them before they could utter a word.
Leaving one or two men to guard the door, they next
went, guided by Anneli, to the room where the captain
slept. Him, too, they seized and bound, and in a very
short time, without even having drawn their swords, the
castle was theirs.
The dark dungeons were unlocked and the prisoners set
free. But the dungeons were not long left empty, for
they were soon filled with the proud Austrian soldiers.
The Swiss guarded the castle well, so that no Austrian,
man or woman, could escape and carry the news to their
friends and bring back help. But, upon the topmost
tower, the Swiss lit a beacon fire which, seen far and
wide, carried the news to Schwyzt and Uri that the
castle Rossberg was taken.