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The Bobbsey Twins at Meadow Brook by Laura Lee Hope

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"Oh, isn't it just lovely in the woods," sighed Nan, as she sat down
on a green mossy seat beneath a great oak tree. "I could live here

"So could I!" exclaimed Mabel Herold. "There is no place so lovely as
the woods."

"You--you wouldn't stay here all night, would you?" asked Freddie, as
he set down the basket of sandwiches he had been carrying, and looked
at a dark hole under some bushes.

"I wouldn't mind," sighed Nan again. "It is so lovely here."

"I used to think I liked the seashore best," said Mabel, "but now I
think the country is prettiest."

"Well, I'm not going to stay here all night," decided Freddie. "There
--there's bugs--and--and--things!"

"I thought you weren't afraid of them," spoke Nan with a smile.

"I--I meant in daytime--I'm not afraid then," declared Freddie. "But
at night, why--why, I'd rather be home in bed."

"And I guess we all would," exclaimed Nan, hugging the little fat

"Oh, there goes a rabbit!" cried Bert to Harry. "Let's see if we can
catch him!"

"Come on!" agreed the country boy.

"I'm with you!" shouted Tom Mason.

"Oh, will they hurt the little bunny?" asked Flossie, with quivering
lips, for she dearly loved all animals.

"I guess there isn't much danger of them catching the rabbit," said
Mr. Bobbsey, sitting down beside his wife in a shady green spot. "A
bunny can hop very fast."

And so it proved. The three boys raced about through the woods until
they were quite tired, and very much heated up. But the rabbit got
safely away.

"Ah, well, we didn't want him anyhow," said Harry, fanning himself
with his cap, after the chase.

"No," agreed Bert, "we just wanted to see if we could get him."

"My! It's warm!" exclaimed Tom, looking at the basket in which the
lemonade was packed in bottles. "I'm very thirsty," he said.

"You must not drink when you are too warm," advised Mr. Bobbsey. "Wait
until you cool off a bit. If you take cold water, or icy lemonade,
into your stomach after you are all heated up from running, you may be
made ill. Rest a while before you drink, is good advice."

So the boys waited, and a little later they were allowed to have some
of the cool lemonade.

"Are we going to eat our lunch here?" asked Freddie.

"No, a little farther on in the woods," said his Aunt Sarah.

So they walked on, under the shady trees, with the green carpet of
moss under foot, until they came to a little glade, where the trees
grew in a circle about a grassy space.

"It--it's just like a circus ring!" exclaimed Freddie. "Oh, couldn't
we have a circus, or a show, while we're here at the farm?" he asked.

"We'll see," half-promised his mother.

The table-cloth was spread out on the green grass, and the wooden
plates set on it. Then the lunch baskets were opened and the good
things passed around. There were sandwiches of several kinds, and cake
and cookies, as well as more lemonade.

"Isn't it nice to eat this way?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "When we have
finished, there are no dishes to wash; just the wooden plates to throw

"Yes'm," declared Dinah, with a chuckle. "I spects dish yeah would be
a good way to do back home--but it would be kinder cold, eatin' out in
de woods in de winter time."

"I wouldn't want to live here in winter," said Freddie. "There isn't
any place to hang up your stocking Christmas, and no chimney for Santa
Claus to come down!" he added.

"And that would never do!" laughed Mr. Bobbsey. "But we will enjoy
these woods all we can."

When the woodland picnic lunch was finished, the party sat about on
the grass, in the shade of the trees, and Mr. Bobbsey told stories to
the two small children. Flossie and Freddie enjoyed this very much.

Nan and Mabel went for a little walk in the woods, and Bert and Harry
said they were going to try for some fish, as they had brought hooks
and lines along, and could cut poles in the woods. This time they had
very good luck.

"I have one!" suddenly called Harry, pulling up his line. There was a
flash, as of silver, in the air, and he hauled a fish up from the
water, landing it flapping on the grass behind him.

"Oh, what a big one!" cried Bert, running over to look. "I wish I
could get one now."

"Maybe you will," said Harry, trying to catch the flopping creature.
"Put on some fresh bait." But Harry caught another fish before Bert
had even a good bite.

By this time Mr. Bobbsey had finished his story, and Flossie had taken
out her doll to pretend to get it to sleep. Freddie wandered over to
where Bert and Harry were fishing.

"Oh, I have one! I have one!" Bert suddenly shouted, and he, too,
landed a good-sized fish. It was taken off the hook, and strung on a
willow twig, and then, fastened so it could not swim away, it was put
back into the water to keep fresh until it was time to go home.

Freddie was very much interested in the captive fish. He went down to
the edge of the creek to watch them as they tried to swim away. But
they could not, for the willow twigs held them.

Suddenly one of the fish gave a big jump in the shallow pool, where
Bert had put them.

"Oh!" exclaimed Freddie, springing back. Then his foot slipped on a
wet, mossy stone, and the next moment the little fellow fell down into
the water.

"Bert!! Harry! Come and get me! I'm in!" he cried.

Bert and Harry dropped their poles and came up on the run, but there
was no danger, for the water was only a few inches deep, near shore,
and Freddie was already on his feet when they reached him.

"Oh! Oh!" sobbed the little fellow. "I--I'm all wet."

"Never mind, you have your old clothes on," said his brother. "And
I'll tell mother it was an accident."

It was a warm summer day and a little wetting would not harm Freddie.
He was taken back to a sunny place by Bert, and told to sit in the
warm spot until he had dried out. Then the two larger boys went back
to fish, but Freddie's accident must have scared all the fish away,
for Bert and Harry caught no more.

"My, but you are a sight, Freddie!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey, when she
saw the wet and muddy little twin. "But I suppose you could not help

"No, mamma," he answered. "The fish made me fall in."

It was almost time for the picnic party to start back home now. Dinah
was packing up the knives, forks, and glasses, and throwing away the
wooden plates.

As she knelt over to fold up the table-cloth, she felt something touch
her back, and the next moment something cold and wet touched her

"Go 'long wif yo' now, Bert!" she exclaimed, not turning around.
"Don't yo' put any ob dem wet slimy fish on me. Don't you do it!"

Then something almost pushed Dinah over, and again she felt the wet
object on the back of her neck.

"Stop it! Stop it!" cried the colored cook. "Don't yo' put any toad
down mah back, Bert!"

"I'm not doing anything," Bert answered, and at the sound of his voice
Dinah looked up and saw him some distance off. At the same time,
though, Bert and Harry burst into a laugh.

"Oh, look what Dinah thought was me!" cried Bert.

Dinah turned around, just as a loud "Moo!" sounded in her ear, making
her jump.

"Good land ob massy!" she cried. "It's a cow!"

And, surely enough, so it was. The cow had wandered out of the woods,
and, coming up behind Dinah, had licked her neck with a big red
tongue. Perhaps the cow thought Dinah was a lump of black salt!

"Go 'way! Go 'long outer heah! Leef me be!" screamed Dinah, and
catching up a handful of wooden plates she threw them at the cow. They
rattled on the animal's horns, and then, with another "Moo!" the
creature turned and crashed back through the bushes.

"And Dinah thought that was I, tickling her with a fish tail," said
Bert, laughing.

"Dat's what I did, honey!" the colored cook said, with a laugh. "I
s'pected yo' was up to some ob yo' all tricks!"

They all laughed at this, and amid much fun and jollity the picnic
things were packed up and the homeward walk begun.

"Oh, we have had _such_ a good time!" sighed Nan. "I am sorry it is

"Oh, we'll have more good times," said Bert, as he and Harry walked
along with the fish they had caught. Their chum, Tom Mason, had two
smaller ones.

There were days of work and play on the farm, and Harry had his share
of tasks to perform. Bert helped him all he could. One day, when the
boys and girls had counted on going out rowing on a little lake not
far from Meadow Brook, it rained. When they arose in the morning,
ready for their fun, the big drops were splashing down.

"Oh, we can't go!" sighed Freddie. "I don't like rain!"

"I thought all firemen liked water," his father said, with a laugh.

"This is too much water!" went on the little chap. "We can't have any

"Oh, yes, we can," said Harry. "We can go out in the barn and play in
the hay. The big barn is full of new hay now, and we can slide down
the mow and play hide and go seek in it."

"That will be great!" exclaimed Bert. "Come on."

Snap, the dog, must have thought he was also invited, for he ran out
barking, with the children. Umbrellas kept the rain off them until
they reached the barn, and then began a good time.

They went to the top of the big pile of fragrant hay in the mow, and
slid down it to the barn floor, where a carpet of more hay made a soft
place on which to fall. Snap slid with the rest, barking and wagging
his tail every minute.

"Now let's play hide and go seek!" suggested Harry after a bit. "I'll
'blind' and when I say 'ready or not, I'm coming,' I'm going to start
to find you."

The game began. Harry closed his eyes, so he would not see where the
others hid, and Nan, Bert and the rest of them picked out spots in the
hay, and about the barn where they thought Harry could not see them.
But Harry knew the old barn well, and he easily found Bert. Then he
spied Nan and Flossie, hiding together. A little later he discovered
where Tom Mason and Mabel Herold were.

"Now I've only to find Freddie," said the country cousin. But Freddie
was not so easy to find. Harry looked all over but could not locate

"There are so many holes in the barn," the country boy said, "and
Freddie is so small, that I guess I'd better give him up. I'll let him
come in free. Givey-up! Givey-up!" he called. "Come on in free,

But Freddie did not answer. They all kept quiet, but all they could
hear was the patter of rain drops on the barn roof.

"Freddie! Freddie! Freddie! Where are you?" cried Nan.

"Come on in free!" added Harry.

"Come on, little fat fireman," went on Bert. "Harry won't tag you, and
you can hide again."

But Freddie's childish voice did not reply. The boys and girls looked
anxiously at one another.

"Where's Freddie?" asked Flossie, and her lips began to tremble as
they did just before she started to cry.

"Oh, we'll find him," said Bert, easily.

"Yes, he's probably hiding so far off he can't hear us," went on

"Maybe he's lost under the hay," suggested Tom. "I read of a boy
getting caught under a pile of hay once, and they didn't get him out
for a long time."

"Oh, Freddie's lost! Freddie's lost!" cried Flossie, bursting into



"Hush, Flossie, don't cry, dear!" begged Nan, putting her arms around
her little sister.

"But--but I--I can't help it," stammered Flossie. "Freddie's losted!"

"We'll find him!" said Bert. "He's somewhere inside the barn, that is
sure. He'd never go out in all this rain," for the big drops were now
coming down thick and fast.

"Freddie isn't afraid of water--he's a fireman--papa's little fat
fireman, and I'm papa's little fat fairy, and Freddie's losted--and--
and--oh, dear!" sobbed Flossie, as she thought of her missing brother.

"Come on, let's start in all together and find him," suggested Harry.
"He must be hid somewhere around here."

"Away down under the hay," suggested Tom Mason.

"Hush! Don't say that," spoke Bert in a low tone. "You'll scare the

"Maybe we'd better go tell papa and mamma," said Nan.

"Let's try by ourselves, first," suggested her brother. "We'll find
Freddie, never fear."

The children began a search of the barn, now almost filled with sweet-
smelling hay. Up and down in the mow they looked to find where Freddie
might have hidden himself away. They called and shouted to him, but no
answer came.

"I don't see why he doesn't reply to us," said Nan to Bert. "He
wouldn't keep quiet when we've told him he could come in free. Freddie
is too fond of playing hide and go seek to stay away, unless he had
to. I am afraid something has happened to him, Bert."

"What could happen to him?" he asked.

"Oh, I don't know, but--" and Nan hesitated and looked worried.

Where could Freddie have hidden himself away in the hay, and stranger,
still, why did he not answer the many calls made for him? For the
children kept shouting as they searched.

Bert had made up his mind, after looking about for some time, that
perhaps, after all, he had better go into the house and tell his
father what had happened. Just then Tom Mason slid down from a high
part of the haymow to a little hollowed-out place. As he landed, a
crackling sound was heard, and then Tom cried:

"Oh, my! Now I have done it! Oh, dear! What a mess! Oh! Oh!"

"Have you found him? Is Freddie there?" asked Flossie from where she
stood in the middle of the barn floor.

"No, but I slid right into a hen's nest, and I've broken all the
eggs!" cried Tom. "Oh, me! Oh, my!"

He managed to get to his feet, and there he stood, his hands held out
in front of him, for they were dripping with the whites and yolks of
the broken eggs. Tom's clothes were pretty well splashed up.

"What a sight I am!" he murmured. "And I've broken all the eggs!"

"Never mind! You couldn't help it," said Harry kindly. "The old hen
oughtn't to have laid her eggs in here, and they wouldn't have been
smashed. Hens like to steal away, and lay their eggs in hay."

"Oh, but you do look _so_ funny!" cried Nan, then she laughed in spite
of her worry about lost Freddie.

"He--he looks like a cake before it's baked!" giggled Mabel.

They all laughed heartily at Tom's sorry plight.

"Please lend me a handkerchief, somebody," he begged. "I can't reach
in my pocket to get mine, and there's some egg running in my eye."

"I'll wipe it for you," offered Bert, laughing so heartily that he
could hardly stand up.

"Hark! What's that?" suddenly asked Nan.

They all stopped laughing at once. From somewhere down in the hay,
near the smashed nest of eggs, came a voice, asking:

"What's the matter? Isn't anybody going to find me?"

"It's Freddie!" cried Nan.

"Freddie!" shouted Bert. "Where are you?"

"Oh, Freddie is found! Freddie isn't lost any more!" exclaimed
Flossie, jumping up and down in delight.

And then, from a little nest in the hay, crawled Freddie himself,
rubbing his eyes, and pulling wisps from his tousled hair.

"Have you been there all the while?" asked Harry.

"I--I guess so," answered Freddie, as if he hardly knew himself.

"Well, then, why didn't you answer us?" asked Nan. "We were so
frightened about you, Freddie. Why didn't you answer when we called?"

"I--I guess I was asleep," he said. "I didn't hear you until you all
began to laugh. Then I woke up."

And that was what had happened. Freddie had found a good hiding place
in a hole in the hay, and, while waiting for Harry to come and look
for him, the little chap had dozed off, it was so warm and cozy in his
hay-nest. And he had slept all through the search made for him, not
hearing the calls. But when Tom rolled into the hen's nest, and the
others laughed so heartily at him, that awakened the sleeping "little
fat fireman."

"My! But you gave us a fright!" said Nan. "But it's all right now,
dear," and she helped Freddie pull the hay out of his hair.

"I guess we've had enough of this game," suggested Harry. "Let's do
something else."

"I'm hungry," announced Freddie. "Can't we play an eating game?"

"I think so," said Bert. "Dinah and Martha were starting to bake
cookies before we came out to the barn, and they ought to be done now.
Let's go in."

Into the house, through the rain, tramped the children, and soon,
eating cookies, they were telling about Freddie going to sleep in the
hay, and Tom trying to make an omelet of himself in the hen's nest.

"Well, this certainly was a nice day, even if it did rain," said Nan,
as they were ready to go to bed that night. "I wonder what we can do

"I know," answered Bert. "Harry and I have a fine plan."

"Oh, tell me what it is," begged his sister.

"It's a secret," he laughed as he went upstairs.

After breakfast next morning Nan, who did not get up very early,
looked for Harry and her brother.

"Where are the boys?" she asked her mother.

"Out in the barn," was the answer. "They took some big sheets of paper
with them."

"They must be going to make kites," Nan said.

But when she saw what Bert and Harry were doing, she knew it was not a
kite game they were planning. For in letters, made with a black stick
on the sheets of paper, Nan read the words:


"Oh, what is it?" she cried. "Please tell me, Bert!"

"We're going to have a show," said Harry, "and we're going to charge
five pins to come in."

"Oh, may I be in it?" asked Nan. "I'll do anything you want me to.
Mayn't I be in it?"

"Shall we let her?" asked Bert of his country cousin.

"Sure," said Harry kindly. "We boys won't be enough. We'll have to
have the girls."

"Where's it going to be?" asked Nan.

"Here in the barn," her brother said. "We're going to make a cage for
Snap--he's going to be the lion."

"Can Snoop be one of the animals, too?" she inquired.

"Yes, Snoop will be the black tiger," decided Harry. "I only hope he
keeps awake, and growls now and then. That will make it seem real."

"Snoop sometimes growls when he gets a piece of meat," suggested Nan.

"Then we'll give him meat in the show," decided Bert.

He and Harry finished making the show bills, and then began to get
ready for the performance. With some old sheets they made a curtain
across one corner of the barn, in front of the haymow. Nan helped with
this, as she could use a needle, thread and thimble better than could
the boys.

Then Tom Mason, Mabel Herold and some other of the country boys and
girls came over, and they were allowed to be in the show. Bert was to
be a clown, and he put on an old suit, turned inside out, and whitened
his face with starch, which he begged from Martha.

Harry was to be the wild animal trainer, and show off the black tiger,
which was Snoop, and the fierce lion in a cage, which lion was only
Snap, the dog.

The show was not to take place until the next day, as Bert said the
performers needed time for practice. But some of the "show bills" were
fastened up about the village streets, and many boys and girls said
they would come if they could get the five pins.

Finally all was ready for the little play. Flossie was made door-
keeper and took up the admission pins. Freddie wanted to be a fireman
in the show, so they let him do this. His mother made a little red
coat for him, and he had his toy fire engine that pumped real water.

"But you mustn't squirt it on anyone in the audience," cautioned Bert.

"No, I'll just squirt it on the wild animals if they get bad," said
the little fellow.

Nan was to be a bare-back rider, and Harry had made her a wooden steed
from a saw-horse, with rope for reins. Nan perched herself up on the
saw-horse, and pretended she was galloping about the ring.

A number of boys and girls came to the show, each one bringing the
five pins, so that Flossie had many of them to stick on the cushion
which was her cash-box.

Bert was very funny as a clown, and he turned somersaults in the hay.
Once he landed on a hard place on the barn floor, and cried:


Everyone laughed at that, and they laughed harder when Bert made a
funny face as he rubbed his sore elbow.

Harry exhibited Snoop and Snap as the wild animals, but Snoop rather
spoiled the performance by not growling as a black tiger should.

"This tiger used to be very wild, ladies and gentlemen," said Harry,
"and no keeper dared go in the cage with him. But he is a good tiger
now, and loves his keeper," and Harry put his hand in, and stroked
Snoop, who purred happily.

"Oh, I think this is a lovely show!" exclaimed Nellie Johnson. "I'm
coming every day."

A little later, near the box which had been made into a cage for
Snoop, there came a loud noise. Snoop meowed very hard, and hissed as
he used to do when he saw a strange dog. At the same time something

"Gobble-obblcobble!" Then came a great crash, more cries from Snoop
and out into the middle of the barn floor dashed the black cat with a
big, long-legged, feathered creature clinging to poor Snoop's tail.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" cried Flossie. "The wild animals are loose!"



For a few moments there was wild confusion in that part of the barn
where the "show" was going on. Nan gave one look at the strange
mixture of the howling Snoop and the gobbling bird in the centre of
the floor, and then, catching Flossie up in her arms, Nan made a
spring for the haymow.

"Wait! Wait!" cried Flossie. "I'm losing all the pins! I've dropped
the pin cushion!"

That was her cash-box--the pins she had taken in as admission to the
little play.

"We can't stop for it now!" cried Nan. "We must get out of the way."

"The cat has a fit!" cried Tom Mason.

"Oh, poor Snoop!" wailed Flossie.

"Grab him, somebody!" shouted Harry.

"No, let Snoop alone!" advised Bert. "He might bite, if you touched
him now, though he wouldn't mean to."

"But what is it? What gave him the fit?" asked Mabel Herold.

"Our old turkey gobbler," answered Harry. "The gobbler has caught
Snoop by the tail. It's enough to give any cat a fit."

"I should say so!" cried Bert. "Look out! They're coming over this
way! Look out!"

The children scrambled to one side, for Snoop and the big turkey
gobbler were sliding, rolling and tumbling over the barn floor toward
the board seats where the show audience, but a little while before,
were enjoying the performance.

The girls had followed Nan and Flossie up to a low part of the haymow,
and were out of the way. But the boys wanted to be nearer where they
could see what was going on.

The noise and the excitement had roused Snap, the dog, who had curled
up in his cage and was sleeping, after having been exhibited as a
raging and roaring lion, and now Snap was barking and growling, trying
to understand what was going on. Perhaps he wanted to join in the fun,
for it was fun for the turkey gobbler, if it was not for poor Snoop.

"Look out the way! Clear the track! Toot! Toot!" came a sudden cry and
little Freddie came running toward the gobbler and cat, dragging after
him his much-prized toy fire engine.

"Get back out of the way, Freddie!" ordered Bert. "Snoop may scratch
or bite you, or the gobbler may pick you. Get out of the way!"

"I'm a fireman!" cried the fat little fellow. "Firemans never get out
of the way! Toot! Toot! Clear the track! Chuu! Chuu! Chuu!" and he
puffed out his cheeks, making a noise like an engine.

"You must come here!" insisted Bert, making a spring toward his little

"I can't come back! Firemans never come back!" half screamed Freddie.
"I'm going to squirt water on the bad gobble-obble bird that's biting
my Snoop!"

And then, before anyone could stop him, Freddie unreeled the little
rubber hose of his fire engine, and pointed the nozzle at the
struggling gobbler and cat in the middle of the barn floor.

I have told you, I think, that Freddie's engine held real water, and,
by winding up a spring a little pump could be started, squirting a
stream of water for some distance.

"Whoop! Here comes the water!" cried Freddie, as he started the pump

Then a stream shot out, right toward the cat and turkey. It was the
best plan that could have been tried for separating them.

With a howl and a yowl Snoop pulled his claws loose from where they
were tangled up in the turkey's feathers. With a final gobble, the
turkey let go of Snoop's tail. The water spurted out in a spraying
stream, Freddie's engine being a strong one, for a toy.

"That's the way I do it!" cried Freddie, just like Mr. Punch. "That's
the way I do it! Look, I made them stop!"

"Why--why, I believe you did!" exclaimed Bert, with a laugh.

The gobbler ran out through the open barn door, his feathers wet and
bedraggled. He must have thought he had been caught in a rainstorm.
And poor Snoop was glad enough to crawl away in a dark corner, to lick
himself dry with his red tongue.

"Poor Snoop!" said Freddie, as he stopped his engine from pumping any
more water. "I'm sorry I got you wet, Snoop, but I couldn't help it. I
only meant to sprinkle the gobbler."

He patted Snoop, who began purring.

"Well, I guess that ends the show," said Bert, who looked funnier than
ever now, as a clown, for the white on his face was streaked in many
ways with the water, some of which had sprayed on him.

"Yes, the performance is over," announced Harry.

"Oh, but it was lovely!" said Nan, as she slid down the hay with
Flossie. "I don't see how you boys ever got it up."

"Oh, we're smart boys!" laughed Harry.

"But I lost all the pins!" wailed Flossie. "Nan wouldn't let me stop
to pick them up!"

"I should say not! With that queer wild animal bursting in on us!"
exclaimed Mabel. "Oh, but I was so frightened!"

"Pooh! I wasn't!" boasted Freddie. "I knew my fire engine would scare

"Well, it did all right," announced Bert "I guess we'd better let Snap
out now," he said, for the dog was barking loudly, and trying to break
out of the packing box of which his cage was made.

Snoop's cage was broken, where the black cat had forced his way out.

"His tail must have been hanging down through the bars," explained
Bert, "and the gobbler came along and nipped it. That made Snoop mad,
and he got out and clawed the turkey."

"I guess that was it," agreed Harry. "Well, we had fun anyhow, if
Snoop and the turkey did have a hard time."

Snoop was soon dry again, and not much the worse for what had happened
to him. The gobbler, except for the loss of a few feathers, was not
hurt. But after that the turkey and cat kept well out of each other's

Everyone voted the show a great success, and the children planned to
have another one before they left Meadow Brook farm. But the Bobbsey
twins did not know all that was in store for them before they went
back to the city.

One day, when they were all seated at dinner in the pleasant Bobbsey
farmhouse, Uncle Daniel paused, with a piece of pie half raised on his
fork, and said:


"What's the matter?" asked Aunt Sarah. "Did you think you heard the
old ram coming again?"

"No, but it sounded like thunder," replied her husband, "and if it's
going to rain I must hurry, and get those tomatoes picked."

"I heard something, too," said Mr. Bobbsey.

"So did I," spoke up Freddie. "Maybe it's the old black bull down in
the pasture."

"No. There it goes again!" said Uncle Daniel. "It must be thunder!"

There sounded a dull distant booming noise, that was repeated several

Uncle Daniel got up hastily from the table and went to the door.

"Not a cloud in the sky," he remarked, "and yet that noise is growing

It was, indeed, as they all could hear.

"It's guns, that's what it is," declared Bert "It sounds like Fourth
of July."

"That's what it does," agreed his cousin Harry. "It's back of those
hills. I'm going to see what it is."

"So am I!" cried Bert. The boys had finished their dinners, and now
started off on a run in the direction of the booming sounds.

"Come along," said Uncle Daniel to Mr. Bobbsey. "We may as well go

"I want to come!" cried Freddie.

"Not now," said his mother. "Wait until papa comes back."

Mr. Bobbsey, with his brother and the two boys, soon reached the top
of the hill. All the while the sound like thunder was growing louder.
Then puffs of smoke could be seen rising in the air.

"What can it be?" asked Bert.

"I can't imagine," answered Harry.

They saw, in another minute, what it was.

Down in a valley below them was a crowd of soldiers, with cannon and
guns, firing at one another. The soldiers were divided into two
parties. First one party would run forward, and then the other, both
sides firing as fast as they could.

"It's a war!" cried Bert. "It's a battle!"

"It's only a sham battle!" said Mr. Bobbsey. "No one is being hurt,
for they are using blank cartridges. It must be that the soldiers are
practicing so as to know how to fight if a real war comes. It is only
a sham battle."

The cannons roared, the rifles rattled and flashes of fire and puffs
of smoke were on all sides.

"Oh, look at the horses--the cavalry!" cried Harry, as a company of
men, mounted on horses, galloped toward some of the soldiers, who
turned their rifles on them.

Then one man, on a big black horse, left the main body and came
straight on toward Mr. Bobbsey, Uncle Daniel, and the two boys.

"We'd better look out!" cried Bert "Maybe he wants to capture us!"



The man on the black horse continued to ride toward the two boys,
Uncle Daniel and Mr. Bobbsey. Behind him more men on horses rushed
forward, but they were going toward some soldiers on foot, who were
firing their rifles at the "cavalry," as Harry called them, that being
the name for horse-soldiers.

"Oh, look, some of the men are falling off their horses!" cried Bert

"Maybe they are hurt," Harry said.

"No, I guess it's only making believe, if this is a sham battle," went
on Bert.

By this time the man on the black horse was near Mr. Bobbsey.

"You had better stand farther back, if you don't mind," he said.

"Why, are we in danger here?" asked Uncle Daniel.

"Well, not exactly danger, for we are using only blank cartridges. But
you are too near the camera. You'll have your pictures taken if you
don't look out," and he smiled, while his horse pawed the ground,
making the soldier's sword rattle against his spurs.

"Camera!" exclaimed Mr. Bobbsey. "Is someone taking pictures of this
sham battle?"

"Yes, we are taking moving pictures," replied the soldier. "The man
with the camera is right over there," and he pointed to a little hill,
on top of which stood a man with what looked like a little box on
three legs. The man was turning a crank.

"Moving pictures!" repeated Uncle Daniel, looking in the direction

"That's what this sham battle is for," went on the soldier who sat
astride the black horse. "We are pretending to have a hard battle, to
make an exciting picture. Soon the camera will be pointed over this
way, and as it wouldn't look well to have you gentlemen and boys in
the picture, I'll be obliged to you if you'll move back a little."

"Of course we will," agreed Mr. Bobbsey.

"Especially as it looks as though the soldiers were coming our way."

"Yes, part of the sham battle will soon take place here," the
cavalryman went on.

"Come on back, boys!" cried Uncle Daniel, "We can watch just as well
behind those trees, and we won't be in the way, and have our pictures
taken without knowing it"

"Yes, and we won't be in any danger of having some of the paper
wadding from a blank cartridge blown into our eyes," added Mr.

"Say, this is great!" cried Harry. "I'm glad we came."

"So am I," said Bert

The boys looked on eagerly while the battle kept up. They saw the
soldiers charge back and forth. The cannon shot out puffs of white
smoke, but no cannon balls, of course, for no one wanted to be hurt.
Back and forth rushed the soldiers on horses, and others on foot,
firing with their rifles.

Of course they were not real soldiers, but were dressed in soldiers'
uniforms to make the picture seem real. I suppose you have often seen
in moving picture theatres pictures of a battle.

It was well that Mr. Bobbsey and the others had gotten out of the way,
for shortly afterward the men rushed right across the spot where Bert
and Harry had been standing.

"If we were there, then we'd have been walked on," said Bert.

"Yes, and we'd have had our pictures taken, too," said Harry, pointing
to the man with the camera who had taken a new position.

"I wouldn't mind that, would you?" asked Bert.

"No, I don't know as I would," replied the country cousin. "It would
be fun to see yourself in moving pictures, I think. Oh, look! That
horse went down, and the soldier shot right over his head."

A horse had stumbled and fallen, bringing down the rider with him. But
whether this was an accident, or whether it was done on purpose, to
make the moving picture look more natural, the boys could not tell.

The firing was now louder than ever. A number of cannon were being
used, horses drawing them up with loud rumblings, while the men
wheeled the guns into place, loaded and fired them.

On all sides men were falling down, pretending to be shot, for those
who took the moving pictures wanted them to seem as nearly like real
war as possible.

"Oh, here they are!" suddenly exclaimed a voice back of Mr. Bobbsey
and the others.

Turning, Bert saw his mother, with Aunt Sarah, Flossie, Freddie and
Nan. They had come up the hill to look down into the valley and see
what all the excitement was about.

"Yes, here we are!" cried Mr. Bobbsey. "Isn't this great? It's a sham

"What for?" asked his wife, and she had to speak loudly to be heard
above the rattle and bang of the guns.

"For moving pictures," answered Mr. Bobbsey, pointing to the men with
the cameras, for now three or four of them were at work, taking views
of the "fight" from different places.

"Mercy! What a racket!" exclaimed Aunt Sarah.

"Oh, I don't like it!" cried Flossie, covering her ears with her
chubby hands. "Take me away, mamma; I'm afraid of the guns!"

"Pooh! There's nothing to be scared of!" exclaimed Freddie. "I'm going
to be a soldier when I grow up, and shoot a gun."

"You can't play with me if you do," declared Flossie, when the bang of
the cannon stopped for a moment, leaving the air quiet.

"I don't want to play with girls--I'm going to be a fighting soldier!"
declared Freddie. "Hi! Hark to the guns! Boom! Boom!" and he jumped up
and down as the cannon thundered again.

"Oh, I don't like it! I want to go home and play with my doll!" half-
sobbed Flossie. "I don't like fighting."

"And I don't, either," said Nan, though she was not afraid. It was the
noise for which she did not care.

"Hi! That was a fine one!" cried Freddie, as one of the largest cannon
fired a blank shot at a group of horse soldiers.

"Please take me home!" sobbed Flossie, and there were tears in her
blue eyes now.

"Yes, we'll go home," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"You can play you are a nurse, Flossie, and take care of your doll.
We'll leave the battle to the boys and men."

"I can stay, can't I?" asked Freddie, who was delighted at the lively
scene down below, and he jumped about in delight as cannon after
cannon went off.

"Yes, you may stay," said his father.

"We'll look after him," he added to his wife.

Freddie crowded up to where Bert and Harry were eagerly watching the
sham battle, and stood between his brother and cousin.

"Boom! Boom!" he cried. "I like this!"

But little Flossie covered her ears with her hands and went on down
the hill, toward the farmhouse, with her mother and aunt. Nan went
with them also, as she said the firing made her head ache.



"Well, I guess the battle is over now," said Bert, after a while. The
cannon had stopped firing, and the "soldiers" no longer "shot" at each
other with their rifles.

"See, the men on horses have captured the other men," spoke Harry. And
he pointed to where the cavalry had surrounded a number of the foot
soldiers, or infantry, as they are called, and were driving them over
the fields toward some log cabins.

"They must have built those log houses on purposes for the moving
picture play," said Uncle Daniel. "For they weren't here the other
day, when I was over in this valley."

"Very likely they did," agreed Mr. Bobbsey. "It takes a great deal of
work to make a moving picture play now-a-days, and often a company
will build a whole house, only to set fire to it, or tear it down to
make a good picture."

"If they set a house on fire," broke in Freddie, "I could put it out
with my fire engine, and I'd be in the movies then."

"Oh, you and your fire engine!" laughed Bert, ruffling up his little
brother's hair. "You think you can do anything with it."

"Well, I stopped the turkey gobbler from eating up Snoop," Freddie
cried. "Didn't I?"

"So you did!" exclaimed Harry. "You and your fire engine are all
right, Freddie."

The soldiers who had fallen off their horses, or who had toppled over
in the grass, to pretend that they were shot in battle, now got up--
"coming to life," Bert called it.

The battle scene was over, but the men were not yet done using the
cameras, for they took them farther down the valley toward the log
cabins. The soldiers were now grouped around these buildings, and Bert
and Harry could see several ladies, in brightly colored dresses,
mingled with the soldiers in uniform.

"I wonder what they are doing now?" asked Bert.

"Oh, taking a more peaceful scene for the movies," answered his
father. "They have had enough of war, I guess."

"That would suit Flossie," remarked Uncle Daniel with a laugh.

The valley was now quiet, but over it hung a cloud of smoke from the
cannon. The wind was, however, blowing the smoke away.

"Can we go up to the log cabins and watch them make more pictures,
father?" asked Bert.

"Well, yes, I guess so; if you don't get in the way of the cameras. Do
you want to come?" asked Mr. Bobbsey of Uncle Daniel. "You don't often
get a chance to see moving pictures out here, I guess. Better come."

"No, not now, thank you," was the answer, "I must get back and look
after my tomatoes. They need to be picked. But you can go on with the

So Mr. Bobbsey took Bert and Harry up to where other moving pictures
were being made. The boys did not understand all that was being done,
but they watched eagerly just the same.

They saw men and soldiers talking to the ladies, who were members of
the moving picture company. Then they saw soldiers, who pretended to
have been hurt in the sham-battle, being put on cots, and bandaged up.

"This is a make-believe hospital," Mr. Bobbsey explained to the boys."
They want it to look as natural as possible, you see."

The boys watched while "doctors" went among the "wounded," giving them
"medicine," all make-believe, of course. Then one of the ladies,
dressed as a nurse, came through the rows of cots which were placed in
the open air, under some trees.

"How do you like it?" asked one of the moving picture men of Mr.
Bobbsey, coming over to where Bert's father was standing. The man had
been turning the crank of one of the cameras, but, just then, he had
nothing to do.

"It is very interesting," said Mr. Bobbsey. "We heard your firing and
came over to look on. Are you going to be here long?"

"Only a few days. But there will be no more battle pictures. They cost
too much money to make. The rest of the scenes will be more peaceful."

"That would suit my little girl," said Mr. Bobbsey, with a laugh. "She
didn't like the cannon and guns."

"Oh, have you a little girl?" asked the moving picture man, who seemed
to be one of those in charge of the actors and actresses.

"Yes, I have a little girl," Mr. Bobbsey replied.

"And these two boys?" asked the camera man.

"No, only one of the boys is mine," and Bert's father nodded at his
son. "The other is my nephew."

"Do you live around here?" the man went on. "Excuse my asking you so
many questions," he continued. "My name is Weston, and I have charge
of making these moving pictures. We need some children to take small
parts in one of the scenes, and, as we have no little ones in our
company, I was wondering whether we could not get some country boys
and girls to pose for us, or, rather, act for us, for we want them to
move, not to just stand still. And I thought if you lived around
here," he said to Mr. Bobbsey, "you might know where we could borrow a
dozen children for an hour or so."

"I don't live here," Mr. Bobbsey replied, "but I am staying on my
brother's farm. What sort of acting do you want the children to do for
the moving pictures?"

"Oh, something very simple. You see, one of the ladies in our company
is supposed to be a school teacher before the war breaks out. We have
taken the war scenes already--that sham battle you looked at was all
we need of that.

"The school teacher goes to the front as a nurse, but before she goes,
we want a scene showing her in front of the school surrounded by her

"I see," said Mr. Bobbsey.

"Now we have the schoolhouse," said Mr. Weston, "or, rather, there is
an old schoolhouse down the road that will do very nicely to
photograph. We have permission to use it, as this is vacation time. We
also have the lady who will act as the teacher, and, later as the Red
Cross nurse. But we need children to act as school pupils.

"I thought perhaps you might know of some children who would like to
act for the movies," the man went on. "It will take only a little
time, and it will not be at all unpleasant. They will just have to act
naturally, as any school children would do."

"Well, I have four children of my own," said Mr. Bobbsey, as he
thought of his two sets of twins, "and my brother has a boy. There are
also several children in the village. Perhaps it could be arranged to
have their pictures taken."

"I hope it can!" exclaimed Mr. Weston. "I'll talk to you about it in a
few minutes. I must go see about this hospital scene now."

He hurried away, while Bert and Harry looked at one another.

"Do you want to be in the movies?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"I don't mind," spoke Harry, smiling.

"Neither do I," added Bert. "Freddie would like it, too, but Flossie
wouldn't come if they shot any guns."

"They wouldn't shoot guns where children were," said Mr. Bobbsey.
"I'll see what your mother, and Uncle Daniel and Aunt Sarah say."

Later that day the moving picture man explained just what was wanted,
and as Mrs.

Bobbsey and Aunt Sarah had no objections, it was decided to let the
Bobbsey twins, as well as Harry, take part in the moving pictures. Tom
Mason, Mabel Herold and some others of the country village were also
to be in the scene.

It was taken, or "filmed," as the moving picture people say, the next
morning. Down to the old schoolhouse, on the country road, went the
children, laughing and talking, a little bit shy, some of them.

But the actress who was to pretend to be a school teacher was so nice
that she soon made the little children feel at ease. Flossie and
Freddie loved her from the first, and each insisted upon walking along
with her, hand in hand.

"That will make a pretty picture," said the moving picture man. "Just
walk along the road, Miss Burns," he said to the actress, "with
Flossie on one side, and Freddie on the other. I'll take your pictures
as if you were going to school."

This was done. Flossie and Freddie soon forgot that they were really
"acting" for the movies, and were as natural as could be wished.

"I--I've got a fire engine!" said Freddie, as he trudged along with
the actress-teacher.

"Have you, indeed?" she asked pleasantly. "Don't look at the camera,"
she cautioned Flossie. "Just pretend it isn't there."

"And I've got a doll!" Flossie said, not to let Freddie get the best
of her.

"And my fire engine pumps real water," Freddie went on, "and I
squirted it on our cat and on the old turkey gobbler."

"Oh, but why did you do that?" asked the actress. "Wasn't that

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Freddie, his eyes big and round. "The gobbler was
pinching our cat's tail, and Snoop was scratching the turkey. I had to
squirt water on them to make them stop."

"Oh, I see!" exclaimed Miss Burns with a jolly laugh.

"Well, anyhow, my doll can open and shut her eyes," said Flossie. "So
I don't care!"

"That's enough of that scene," said Mr. Weston. "Now all you children
crowd up around the school steps, as if you were going in after the
last bell had rung. Pretend you are going into school."

The village children were a little bashful at first, but Bert, Nan and
Harry, taking the lead, showed them what to do, and after one trial
everything went off well.

The children grouped themselves about the actress-teacher, who clasped
her arms about the shoulders of as many as she could reach. It made a
pretty scene in front of the old school-house, with the green trees
for a background. The use of the school had been allowed the moving
picture company for the day.

"Now play about, as if it were recess," directed Mr. Weston, after the
first scene had been taken. "Be as natural as you can. And you grown
folks please keep back out of the way," he asked, for Mrs. Bobbsey and
a number of the fathers and mothers had come to see their children
pose for the moving picture camera.

By this time the children had lost their bashfulness, and were acting
as naturally as though they really were at school. They played tag and
other simple games, while the camera clicked their images on the
celluloid film. Miss Burns, as the teacher, took part in some of the
girls' games.

"Now I want a larger boy and girl to walk down the road together, the
boy carrying the girl's books," said Mr. Weston. "You'll do," he went
on to Nan, "and you," to Harry. Soon the two cousins were strolling
along, having their pictures taken.

"I want to go with Nan!" cried Freddie "I want my picture taken some

"Not now, dear," said Miss Burns, who was not in the scene with Nan
and Harry. "Wait a little."

"No, I want to go with Nan now," insisted Freddie, and he broke from
the hand of the actress and rushed after his sister.

"Oh, he'll spoil the picture!" cried Bert, solicitously. "Come back,
Freddie; that's a good boy!"

But Freddie did not intend to come back.

"Nan, Nan! Wait for me!" begged Freddie.

Nan did not know what to do. She had been told to walk down the road,
pretending to talk to Harry, and to take half an apple which he would
hand her, in view of the camera.

"That's all right--let the little fellow get into the picture,"
directed Mr. Weston. "It will make it all the prettier."

So Freddie had his wish, to walk beside his sister. But he had not
gone far before he saw, on the edge of a little brook, a bright red

"I'm going to get it!" he cried. "I can hold it in my hand. It will
look nice in the picture."

"No, no!" cried Nan. "Stay with me, Freddie."

"Going to get the flower!" he shouted, as he ran on ahead.

And, just as he reached the edge of the brook, his foot slipped, and
down he went with a great splash, into the water.

"Oh, Freddie's fallen in! Freddie's fallen in!" cried Nan, rushing

"I'll pull him out!" cried the man grinding away at the crank of the

"No, you stay there and get the moving picture," said Mr. Watson. "It
will make a funny scene, and Freddie is in no danger. The water isn't
deep! I'll get him out!"

"That's the second time Freddie's fallen in," said Bert, as he ran
toward the brook.

"Help me out! Help me out!" sobbed Freddie, splashing about in the



"There you are, my little man! Not hurt a bit! Up again! Out again!"
and Mr. Weston picked little Freddie out of the brook, and set him on
his feet. "All right, aren't you?" asked the moving picture man.

"Ye--yes, I--I guess so," stammered the "little fat fireman," as he
looked down at his dripping knickerbockers. "But I--I'm terrible wet!
I'm awful wet--ma--mamma!" he stammered.

"Never mind, Freddie," Mrs. Bobbsey answered with a smile. "You'll

"I say!" called one of the men who had been turning the crank of the
moving picture camera. "I say, Mr. Weston, I got the picture of the
boy falling in the water on this film. I couldn't help it."

"That's all right," said the manager. "It won't spoil the picture any.
It will only make it look more natural."

"And it's natural for Freddie to be wet;" said Bert, with a laugh.
"He's always playing with that toy fire engine of his, and getting

"But I didn't have the fire engine this time, Bert," said the chubby
little chap. "I--I fell in!"

"You poor little dear!" exclaimed the actress-schoolteacher, putting
her arms around him. "It was all my fault, too!"

"No, it was mine," said Freddie, generously. "I don't mind. I like
being wet!"

They all laughed at this. Mrs. Bobbsey said Freddie wanted to be

A few more pictures were made of the village children, the Bobbsey
twins, with the exception of Freddie, taking part. Freddie was hurried
off by his mother to the farmhouse to be put into dry clothes.

Then, with thanks to those who had helped make the scenes, Mr. Weston,
Miss Burns and the camera man went back to the village hotel where
they were stopping.

"Wasn't it great, Bert!" exclaimed Harry, as he and his cousin
strolled over the fields.

"It certainly was," agreed Bert.

"If we could only see the pictures when they are finished," suggested
Mabel Herold. "It must be queer to see yourself in the movies."

"I think so, too," said Nan. "I'm going to find out where this play
will be shown, in some theatre, and maybe mamma will take us to it."

"I hope she does," Bert said. "It will be fun to see Freddie falling

"Poor little fellow!" murmured Nan.

"But he was real brave," Mabel added.

For several days the Bobbsey twins, their cousin and their country
friends talked of the moving pictures in which they had had a part.
They went again to the valley, where more scenes were being made, but
none were as exciting as the sham-battle.

"Aren't they going to shoot any more guns?" asked Freddie, his eyes
big and shining with the hope of excitement.

"I guess that's all over," spoke Bert.

"And I'm glad of it," Nan declared.

"So am I," exclaimed Flossie, looking around as though she would hear
a boom from a cannon.

One day Bert and Harry went alone to the place where the moving
picture company had erected tents and log cabins in the valley. They
found the men packing things up, taking down the tents and knocking
apart the wooden cabins.

"Are you all through?" Bert asked Mr. Weston."

"All through, my lad," was the answer. "We are going to another place
soon, to get different moving pictures. But we'll be here for a day or
two yet, at least some of the camera men will. They have to take
pictures of a circus parade."

"Circus parade!" exclaimed Harry. "Is a circus coming here?"

"Well, not exactly here," replied Mr. Weston. "But it is coming to
Rosedale--that's the next town--and I am going to have some moving
pictures made of it."

"The circus coming to Rosedale!" cried Bert, looking at Harry. The
same thought came to both of them.

"Let's go!" exclaimed Harry, eagerly.

"If our folks will let us," added Bert.

"Oh, I guess mine will," spoke the country boy. "Circuses don't come
around here very often, and when they do, we generally go. I do hope
they'll let you come, Bert."

"It's going to be a large circus," said Mr. Weston. "They have a good
collection of wild animals."

"I don't believe they can beat our combination of a wild cat, Snoop,
and a crazy turkey gobbler," said Bert to Harry with a laugh, when the
two boys were on their way back to the farmhouse.

Passing along a country road Bert saw something that caused him to cry

"Look, there it is, Harry!"


"The circus! See it!" and Bert pointed to a barn.

"Oh, you mean the circus posters," went on Harry, for Bert had pointed
to the bright-colored pictures advertising the performance. There were
shown men jumping through paper hoops or hanging from dizzy heights on
trapeze bars, ladies riding galloping horses, and all sorts of wild
animals, from the long-necked giraffe to the hippopotamus, who
appeared to have no neck at all, and from the big elephant to the
little monkey.

"Oh, I do hope we can see it!" cried Bert, as he and his cousin stood
before the gay pictures.

"I'm going to do my best to go!" declared Harry.

The two boys hurried home, talking on the way of the circus posters
they had seen, and wondering if there really would be shown all the
wild animals pictured on the side of the barn.

Bert saw his father and mother sitting out in the side yard under a
shady tree, and, running up to them he asked:

"Oh, can't we go? We want to so much! Nan, you ask, too!" he cried.

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey looked at him rather surprised.

"What's it all about?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, with a smile.

"And what am I to ask?"

"For a circus--wild animals--moving pictures--the parade--an elephant
--lions, tigers--everything!" cried Bert, stopping because he ran out
of breath.

"Ask for all that?" exclaimed Nan, wonderingly.

"No, Bert means the circus is coming," explained Harry, with a laugh.
"The moving picture people are going to get views of the parade. The
posters are up on the barns and fences. It's coming to Rosedale, the
circus is, and--"

"Oh, do let us go!" broke in Bert. Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey looked at one
another, questioningly.

"Oh, wouldn't it be just grand!" sighed Nan.

"What is it?" demanded Freddie, toddling up just then. "Is there going
to be a fire? Can I squirt with my engine?"

"Always thinking of that, little fat fireman!" laughed his father.
"No, it isn't a fire, Freddie."

"It's a circus coming!" cried Bert "Can't you take us, father?"

"I'm afraid not, son," he said. "I have just had a letter calling me
back to Lakeport on business."

"Oh!" cried Nan and Bert in a chorus.

"Do we have to go back to the city, too?" asked Bert, after a pause.

"No, I am going to let you and mamma stay here," said Mr. Bobbsey,
"but I have to go. I'll come back, of course, but not in time to take
you to the circus, I'm afraid."

"Mamma can take us," said Freddie.

"Hardly," said Mrs. Bobbsey with a smile. "I want papa along when I
have four children to take to a circus."

"My father will take us," said Harry. "He always goes to a circus when
one comes around here."

"Oh, fine!" cried Bert. "Uncle Daniel will take us! Uncle Daniel will
take us!" and he caught Nan around the waist and went dancing over the
lawn with her.

"Now may we go, papa?" asked Nan, when Bert let her go.

"Well, I guess so," answered Mr. Bobbsey. "Uncle Daniel can look after
you as well as I could."

"If Uncle Daniel goes, it will be all right," Mrs. Bobbsey said.

"And will you go, too, mamma?" asked Bert, slipping up to her, and
giving her a kiss.

"Oh, yes, I suppose I'll have to help feed the elephant peanuts," she

"Hurray! Hurrah!" cried Bert, swinging his cap in the air. "We're
going to the circus! We're going to the circus!"

The children were delighted with the pleasure in store for them. They
talked of little else, and when they found that Tom Mason and Mabel
Herold were also going to the show, they were more than delighted.

"Oh, what fun we'll have!" cried Nan.

"I--I hope none of the wild animals get loose," said Flossie, with
rather a serious face.

"Nonsense! Of course they won't!" cried Bert.

"If they do, I--I'll squirt my fire engine on them!" cried Freddie.
"Lions and tigers are afraid of water."

"But elephants aren't, are they, mamma?" asked Flossie. "I saw a
picture of an elephant squirting water through his nose-trunk just
like your fire engine, Freddie. Elephants aren't afraid of water."

"Well, elephants won't hurt you, anyhow," spoke the little fat fellow.
"And if a lion or tiger gets loose, I'll play the hose on him, just as
I did at The Five-Pin Show."

Mr. Bobbsey was obliged to go back to the city next day, but he said
he would return to Meadow Brook as soon as he could.

"And if you see that poor boy, bring him back with you, and we'll take
him to the circus with us," said Freddie.

"What poor boy?" asked Mr. Bobbsey.

"You know, the one who had the no-good money, and who ran away when we
were out with you in the auto that time, and the two girls in the
boat--don't you remember?" asked Freddie, ending somewhat
breathlessly, for that was rather a long sentence for him.

"Oh, you mean Frank Kennedy, who worked for Mr. Mason," said the
lumber merchant.

"Yes, that's the boy," went on Freddie. "If you see him, tell him to
run this way, and we'll take him to the circus with us."

"Poor boy," sighed Mrs. Bobbsey. "I wonder what has become of him?"

"I don't know," answered her husband. "I'll ask Mr. Mason, if I see
him. He said Frank was sure to come back. It is a hard life for a boy
to lead. Well, take care of yourselves, children, and I'll come back
as soon as I can. Have a good time at the circus."

"We will, papa!" chorused the Bobbsey twins.

Uncle Daniel readily promised to take the whole family to the circus.
Rosedale, where the show would be held, in the big tents, was not far
from Meadow Brook.

"I'll just hitch up the team to the big wagon," said the farmer, "put
plenty of soft straw in the bottom, and we'll go over in style. We'll
take our lunch with us, and have a good time."

"Is Dinah going?" asked Flossie.

"Yes, I think we'll take her and Martha, too," said Mrs. Bobbsey, but
when Flossie went to tell the colored cook the treat in store for her,
Dinah cried:

"'Deed an' I ain't gwine t' no circus. I doan't want t' be et up by no
ragin' lion who goeth about seekin' what he may devour, laik it says
in de Good Book. Dere's enough wild animiles right yeah on dish year
farm--wild bulls, wild rams an' turkey gobblers, what pulls cats by
dere tails. No, sah! honey lamb--I ain't gwine t' no circus!"



Flossie came back from her talk with Dinah, looking very disappointed.

"What is the matter, dear?" asked her mother, noting the sorrowful
look on the little girl's face.

"Dinah isn't going to the circus," said Flossie, almost ready to cry,
for she was very fond of the faithful and loving colored woman.

"Oh, I guess she'll go with us," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Why doesn't she
want to come?"

"She's afraid of the wild animals," answered Flossie.

"Pooh! I'm not afraid!" boasted Freddie. "You tell her, Flossie, that
I'll take my fire engine along an' scare 'em. Wait, I'll tell her

Out Freddie ran to the kitchen, where Dinah was helping Martha with
the baking.

"Don't you be afraid, Dinah!" he cried. "I won't let any of the wild
animals get you!"

"Bress yo' heart, honey lamb!" exclaimed the colored cook with a laugh
that made her shake "like a bowl full of jelly."

"I--I'll scare 'em off with my fire engine," Freddie went on.

"Will yo', honey lamb? So yo' won't let ole black Dinah get hurted,
eh? Well, honey, lamb, I'd gib yo' all a hug but mah hands am all
flour," and Dinah held them up for Freddie to see.

"Never mind, you can hug me some other time--you can hug me twice to
make up for this," said Freddie. "Now you'll come to the circus, won't

"I--I'll see, honey lamb," Dinah half-promised.

Later Mrs. Bobbsey told the colored cook there would be no danger, and
when Dinah learned that Uncle Daniel was going, as well as one of his
hired men, she made no more objections.

The day of the circus came, bright and sunny. Everyone was up early in
the farm-house, for Uncle Daniel said they wanted to be in time to
see the morning parade. Then they would eat their dinner, which they
would take with them, as though it were a picnic, and go to the show
in the afternoon.

"Oh, I wish papa were here!" sighed Nan, as she and Bert left the
breakfast table.

"Why, you're not afraid, are you?" he asked.

"No, only I'd like him to see the show," she said. Nan was always
thoughtful for her father.

"Yes, it would be nicer if he could come with us," agreed Bert. And
then he forgot all about it, because he and Harry had a discussion as
to whether an elephant or a hippopotamus could eat the most hay.

Work on the farm was almost forgotten that circus day. Uncle Daniel
and the hired man did what had to be done, and then the horses were
hitched to the big wagon, which was filled with straw.

Mrs. Bobbsey and Aunt Sarah were busy dressing Flossie and Freddie.
Bert, Harry and Nan could look out for themselves. Dinah and
Martha were busy in the kitchen putting up the lunch.

"Here comes Tom Mason!" called Bert to his cousin, as he saw the
country boy, dressed in his best, coming up the walk.

"Oh, I do hope Mabel isn't late," exclaimed Flossie. Mabel and Tom
were to go to the circus with Uncle Daniel, as the guests of the
Bobbsey twins.

"There she comes--down the road," announced Harry, after greeting Tom.
"Here comes Mabel!"

The children gathered out on the lawn to wait for the older folks.
Finally everything was in readiness, the wagon, drawn by the prancing
horses, rattled up, and into it piled the children, sitting down in
the soft, clean straw.

"Where's Dinah?" called Flossie.

"Heah I is, honey lamb," answered the colored cook, as she came out
with a big basket of good things to eat.

"Oh, I'm going to sit next to Dinah!" cried Bert with a laugh. "I
always did like you, didn't I, Dinah?" he demanded.

"Go 'long wif you, honey!" she exclaimed.

"Yo' all doan't git none ob de stuff in dish yeah basket 'till lunch
time--no, suh! No mattah how lubbin' yo' is!"

Off they started, with laughter and shouts, Uncle Daniel and his hired
man sitting on the front seat, taking turns driving the horses.
Freddie wanted to hold the reins, but his uncle said the animals were
too frisky that morning for such little hands.

"When they come back they will be tired, and won't be so anxious to
run away," the farmer said. "Then you may drive, Freddie."

All along the road were circus posters, and at each new one which they
saw the children would shout and laugh in delight. They saw many other
farm wagons going along, also filled with family parties, who, like
themselves, were going to the circus.

"Hurrah for the big show!" Bert or Nan would call out.

"Hurray! Hurray!" the children in other wagons would answer back.
"Isn't it jolly?"

And indeed it was a jolly time for everyone. Even Dinah forgot her
fear of the wild animals when from a distance she caught sight of the
white circus tents with the gaily colored flags streaming from them.

Uncle Bobbsey found a shed, near the circus grounds, where he could
leave the horses and wagon, for he did not want to take the team into
town, for fear the sight of the circus animals, and the music of the
band, and the steam piano, or Calliope, might scare them, and make
them run away.

"We'll watch the parade," Uncle Daniel said. "Then we'll come back
here, eat our lunch, and go to the show in the afternoon."

This plan was carried out, and a little later the children and the old
folks were standing in line in the big crowd, waiting for the circus
parade to come past. Every once in a while someone would step out into
the middle of the street, and look up and down.

"Is it coming? Is it coming?" others in the crowd would ask.

"Not yet," would be the answer.

"Oh, look!" suddenly exclaimed Bert, pointing to the window of an
office building near which they were standing. "There's Mr. Westen
taking moving pictures!"

"Oh, so he is!" cried Nan. And there indeed, with his camera pointed
out of the window, was their old friend.

He saw the children and waved to them.

"Here it comes! Here it comes!" was the sudden cry, and from the
distance came the sound of music.

"The parade has started! The parade has started!" was the cry that ran
through the crowd.

"Oh, isn't this great!" cried Nan, clasping her chum Mabel by the arm.

"It's just lovely!" the country girl said, "and so nice of your mother
and uncle and aunt to ask me."

"Oh, we were only too glad to have you," said Nan, politely, but she
meant it.

Freddie snuggled close up to fat Dinah.

"Don't you be afraid," he said to the black cook. "I--I won't let any
wild animals get you!"

"Dat's a good boy, honey lamb!" she murmured, as she took hold of his

Louder played the music. The children in the crowd began dancing up
and down, so excited were they.

"Here it comes! Here it comes!" they cried over and over again.

Then swept past the horses, gay with plumes, and covered with blankets
of gold and silver, of purple and red. On the backs of the horses rode
men and women with scarlet cloaks, carrying spears tipped with
glittering silver.

Then came a herd of elephants, swinging themselves along, now and then
sucking up dust from the street and blowing it on their big backs to
keep off the flies. Men rode on top of the elephants' heads.

"Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid, Dinah!" said Freddie over and over

Ponies, camels, donkeys, more horses, more elephants and other animals
went past in the parade.

Then came the gilded wagons, filled with gaily dressed men and women
who nodded, smiled and waved their hands at the crowds in the streets.

Bert looked up at the window where Mr. Weston was perched with his
camera, and saw him taking moving pictures.

"Oh, look! There's a lion in a cage!" cried Freddie, suddenly.

Just then the big beast sent out a roar that seemed to shake the very
ground, and he threw himself against the bars of his cage.

"Oh, he's going to get out! He's going to get out!" came the cry and
the people rushed back away from the street.

"No danger! No danger!" shouted the circus men.

"Hold on to me, Dinah!" cried Freddie. "Hold on to me. I won't let him
bite you!"

More cages of wild animals rumbled past, but most of the beasts slept
peacefully. Only the lion seemed to want to get out, and far down the
street his roar could be heard.

"He's a new lion," said someone in the crowd. "He isn't used to being
shut up, and he is trying to get out."

"Well, I hope he done stays shut up," murmured Dinah.

The parade came to an end at last, with the steam piano bringing up in
the rear of the procession. The man played puffy little tunes, with a
tooting chorus that made one want to dance.


"Now for lunch, and then to see the big show," said Uncle Daniel, as
he led the way back to where the wagon had been left.

And what a jolly party it was, to sit in the straw and eat nice
sandwiches, pies, cookies and cakes Martha and Dinah had put into the
baskets. There was lemonade, too, and if it was not pink, like the
kind the circus men sold, it was much better and sweeter.

"But when are we going into the circus?" Freddie wanted to know.

"Soon now," said Uncle Daniel.

A little later they made their way to the big tents. First they went
in the one where the wild animals, in cages, were drawn up in a circle
inside. There were lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, rhinocerosi,
hippopotami, and elephants, to say nothing of the cute monkeys.

"Are dem cages good an' strong, mistah?" asked Dinah of one of the
circus attendants.

"Oh, yes," he answered, as he passed a carrot in to one of the

"Well, dat's good," she said. "'Cause I doan't want none ob dem bears
or lions t' come after me when I'se watchin' de circus performers."

"I'll see that none of them get loose," promised the circus man with a
laugh at Dinah's fears.

Then the Bobbsey party went on in to the main tent. I wish I could
tell you all they saw, but I have not the room in this book. There was
a parade around the ring to start with, and then in came rushing the
comical clowns, the men and women who rode on horses and who jumped
from one trapeze to another.

Jugglers they were, men with trained horses, trick ponies, trained
dogs and trained elephants. Some elephants played a ball game, others
turned somersaults. Clowns jumped over their backs, and through paper

"Look here!" Nan would exclaim.

"No, see over there!" Bert would cry.

"Oh, mamma, a man jumped from the top of the tent right into a big
fish net!" exclaimed Freddie.

"Look at the monkey riding on the dog's back," Flossie shouted.

"And see that man jump off a horse and jump on him again backwards!"
called Tom Mason.

"Oh, but look at the cute ponies," sighed Mabel Herold.

There was so much to see and talk about that the children's eyes must
have been tired, and their necks aching before the circus was over.

At last it came to an end with the exciting chariot races, and the
crowd began to leave the big tent.

"Now keep close together, children," warned Mrs. Bobbsey. "You must
not get lost in this crowd."

"Yes, follow me," advised Uncle Daniel.

How it happened they could not tell, but when they reached the
outside of the tent, and found a space where the crowd was not so
thick, Freddie was missing.

"Where is Freddie?" asked Nan, looking about for him.

"Freddie!" exclaimed her mother! "Isn't he here?"

But Freddie was not with them, and with anxious faces they looked at
one another.



"Where can he be?" asked Bert.

"I saw him but a moment ago," said Aunt Sarah.

"An' he jest had hold ob mah hand!" cried Dinah. "Oh, mah honey lamb
am done et up by de ragin' lion what goes about seekin' who he kin
devouer! Oh landy!"

"Quiet, Dinah, please," said Uncle Daniel. For Dinah had called out so
loudly that many in the crowd turned to look at her.

"But I wants Freddie--mah honey lamb!" the loving colored woman went
on. "I wants him an' he's losted!"

"We'll find him," said Uncle Daniel. "Now whom was he with when we
came out of the tent?"

"He had hold of my hand," said Bert, "but he pulled away and said he
wanted to walk with Dinah."

"De lubbin honey lamb!" crooned Dinah.

"Did he come with you, Dinah?" went on Uncle Daniel, trying to find
out exactly who had seen Freddie last.

"Yais, sah, he done comed wif me fo' a little while in de crowd, an'
den he slid away--he just seem t' melt away laik," explained the cook.

"Which way did he go?" Uncle Daniel wanted to know.

"Which way? I dunno," Dinah answered.

"Oh, perhaps he went back to the animal tent," suggested Mrs. Bobbsey.
She was not really frightened as yet. Often before Freddie had been
lost, but he had generally been found within a few minutes. But he had
never before been lost at a circus. This time he seemed to have melted
away in the big crowd.

"Let's go back to the animal tent," suggested Uncle Daniel. "Freddie
was so taken with feeding the elephants peanuts that he may have gone
back to do that. We'll look."

"Oh, if only dem ugly lions or tigers habn't got him!" sighed Dinah.

"The wild animals couldn't get him, 'cause they're shut up in cages,
aren't they?" asked Flossie.

"Yes, dear," Nan said to her, not wanting her little sister to be
frightened. "No wild animals could get Freddie."

"We'll soon find him," declared Bert.

"We'll help you look," spoke Tom Mason. "Come on, Harry."

The three boys started to push their way back through the crowd toward
the animal tent.

"Now don't you three get lost," said Uncle Daniel.

"We won't!" answered Bert, "but we're going to find Freddie!"

"Oh, where can the darling be?" gasped Aunt Sarah, looking around at
the crowd all about her.

"What is it? What's the matter?" asked several ladies.

"A little boy is lost--my nephew," Aunt Sarah explained.

"Oh, isn't that too bad!" cried the sympathetic ladies. "We hope you
find him!"

Back into the animal tent the Bobbseys and their relatives and friends
pushed their way. It was not easy to work back through the crowd that
was anxious to get away, now that the afternoon performance of the
circus was over.

"He must be in there," said Uncle Daniel. "We'll find him."

Carefully he looked through the crowd of persons who were still in the
animal tent. A number had remained, with their children, to get
another look at the elephants, lions and tigers. Men were feeding some
of the animals, now that there was a little quiet spell, and this was
interesting to the youngsters.

"He doesn't seem to be here," said Aunt Sarah, as she peered through
her spectacles.

"Oh, he must be!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "He can't have gone on ahead
of us, and if he turned back he would have to come into this tent."

"Oh, isn't it too bad!" exclaimed Nan, looking at her brother Bert, as
though he could help. But Bert, Harry and Tom, though they had quickly
made a round of the circle of animal cages, had come back to say that
they found no trace of Freddie.

"I know what to do, mamma," spoke up Flossie.

"What, dear?" asked her mother, hardly knowing what she was saying.

"We ought to get a policeman," went on Flossie. "Policemans can find
losted people. One found me once."

"That isn't a bad idea," spoke Uncle Daniel. "I think perhaps I had
better speak to some of the town constables who are on duty here."

"Suppose we look in the big main tent," said Tom Mason. "Freddie may
have wandered back in there to try and turn a somersault on one of the

"Yes, it wouldn't do any harm to take a look," agreed Uncle Daniel.
"We'll go in the big tent."

Into that large canvas house they went. Men were busy putting away
some of the articles used for the animal tricks, and the balls, hoops
knives and things the Japanese jugglers had used.

"Oh, where can he be?" murmured Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Something the matter, ma'am?" asked the ring-master, in his shiny
tall hat, as he cracked his long whip. "Is someone lost?"

"Yes, my little boy Freddie, and we are so worried about him!"

"Well, don't worry," said the ring-master kindly. "Boys, and girls
too, are lost every day at our circus performances, but they are
always found all right. Don't worry. I'll have some of the men hunt
for him. And you folks come with me. It's just possible he has been
found and taken to the lost tent."

"The lost tent!" exclaimed Uncle Daniel. "Have you lost a tent, too?"

"No, but we have a sort of headquarters tent, or office, where all
lost children are taken as soon as the circus men find them. A woman
in the tent takes care of the little ones until their folks come for
them. Your boy may be there waiting for you."

To the lost tent went the Bobbseys. They found two or three youngsters
there, crying for their fathers or mothers, but Freddie was not among

"Oh, he isn't here!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey, and tears were in her eyes
now. "I wish his father were here," she went on. "He would know what
to do."

"Now don't you worry, ma'am," said the ring-master again. "We'll
surely find him for you. He may have gone in one of the side shows, to

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