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The Bobbsey Twins in the Country by Laura Lee Hope

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way, and when told how the elm tree had saved it the people were
greatly astonished.

"Look at this," called Tom, as they came to a turn in the road where
the pond ran level with the fields. That was where it was only stream,
and no embankment had been built around it.

"Look!" exclaimed Jack; "the water has come up clear across the road,
and we can only pass by walking on the high board fence."

"Or get a boat," said Tom. "Let's go back to the turn and see if
there's a boat tied anywhere."

"Here's Herolds'," called Harry, as they found the pretty little
rowboat, used for pleasure by the summer cottagers, tied up to a tree.

"We'll just borrow that," said Jack, and then the four boys lifted the
boat to that part of the road where the water ran.

"All get in, and I'll push off," said Harry, who had hip-boots on. The
other three climbed in, then Harry gave a good push and scrambled over
the edge himself.

"Think of rowing a boat in the middle of a street," said Bert. "That's
the way they do in Naples," he added, "but I never expected to see such
a thing in Meadow Brook."

The boys pushed along quite easily, as the water was deep enough to use
oars in, and soon they had rounded the curve of the road and were in
sight of the people looking at the dam.

"What an immense tree!" exclaimed Bert, as they left their boat and
mounted the bank.

"That's what saved the dam!" said Harry. "Now Mrs. Burns can come back
home again."

"But look there!" called Tom. "There goes Peter Burns' chicken house."

Sure enough, the henhouse had left its foundation and now toppled over
into the stream.

It had been built below the falls, near the Burns house, and Peter had
some valuable ducks and chickens in it.

"The chickens!" called Jack, as they ran along. "Get the boat, Harry,
and we can save some."

The boys were dashing out now right in the stream, Jack and Tom being
good oarsmen.

But the poor chickens! What an awful noise they made, as they tried to
keep on the dry side of the floating house!

The ducks, of course, didn't mind it, but they added their queer
quacking to the noise.

"We can never catch any of the chickens," said Harry. "We ought to have
a rope and pull the house in."

"A rope," called Tom to the crowd on the shore. "Throw us a rope!"

Someone ran off and got one, and it was quickly thrown out to the boys
in the boat.

"Push up closer," Tom told Harry and Bert, who had the oars now. Tom
made a big loop on the rope and threw it toward the house. But it only
landed over a chicken, and caused the frightened fowl to fly high up in
the air and rest in a tree on the bank.

"Good!" cried the people on the edge. "One is safe, anyhow!"

Tom threw the rope again. This time it caught on a corner of the
henhouse, and as he pulled the knot tight they had the floating house

"Hurrah! hurrah!" shouted the people.

By this time Mr. Mason and Uncle Daniel had reached the spot in their

"Don't pull too hard!" called the men to the boys. "You'll upset your

"Throw the line to us," added Uncle Daniel,

This the boys did, and as it was a long stretch of rope the men were
able to get all the way in to shore with it before pulling at the

"Now we'll have a tug of war," said Mr. Mason.

"Wait for us!" cried the boys in the boat "We want to have a pull at

All this time the chickens were cackling and screeching, as the house
in the water lunged from one side to the other. It was a large new coop
and built of strong material that made it very heavy.

"Now," said Uncle Daniel, as the boys reached the shore and secured
their boat, "all take a good hold."

Every inch of the rope that crossed the water's edge was soon covered
with somebody's hand.

"All pull now!" called Mr. Mason, and with a jerk in came the floating
house, chickens, ducks and all, and down went everybody that had
pulled. The force of the jerk, of course, threw them all to the ground,
but that was only fun and gave the boys a good chance to laugh.

Just as soon as the chickens reached the shore they scampered for home
--some flying, some running, but all making a noise.

"We may as well finish the job," said Mr. Mason. "Tom, go hitch Sable
up to the cart and we'll bring the henhouse back where it belongs."

By running across the fields that were on the highest part of the road
Tom was able to get to his barn without a boat, and soon he returned
with the cart and Sable.

It took all hands to get the henhouse on the cart, but this was finally
done, and away went Sable up the road with the queer load after him in
the dump cart.

"You had better put it up on the hill this time," Peter told them. "The
water isn't gone down yet." So at last the chicken coop was settled,
and not a hen was missing.

There were many sights to be seen about Meadow Brook that afternoon,
and the boys enjoyed the flood, now that there was no longer any danger
to life.

Bert caught a big salmon and a black-spotted lizard that had been
flooded out from some dark place in the mountains, Harry found a pretty
toy canoe that some small boy had probably been playing with in the
stream before the water rose, and Jack was kept busy towing in all
kinds of stuff that had broken loose from barns along the pond.

Freddie had boots on, and was happy sailing his "ark" up and down the
road. He insisted on Snoop taking a ride, but cats do not fancy water
and the black kitten quickly hid himself up in the hay loft, out of
Freddie's reach.

Little by little the water fell, until by the next afternoon there was
no longer a river running through the roads. But there were plenty of
wet places and enough of streams washing down the rain the gutters to
give Freddie a fine canal to sail boats in.

Nan and Flossie had boats too which Bert and Harry made for them. In
fact, all the girls along Meadow Brook road found something that would
sail while the flood days lasted.

As it was still July the hot sun came down and dried things up pretty
quickly, but many haymows were completely spoiled, as were summer
vegetables that were too near the pond and came in for their share of
the washout.

This loss, however, was nothing compared with what had been expected by
the farmers, and all were satisfied that a kind Providence had saved
the valley houses from complete destruction.



Quiet had settled down once more upon the little village of Meadow
Brook. The excitement of the flood had died away, and now when the
month of July was almost gone, and a good part of vacation had gone
with it, the children turned their attention to a matter of new
interest--the fresh-air camp.

"Mildred Manners was over to the camp yesterday," Nan told her mother,
"and she says a whole lot of little girls have come out from the city,
and they have such poor clothes. There is no sickness there that anyone
could catch, she says (for her uncle is the doctor, you know), but
Mildred says her mother is going to show her how to make some aprons
for the little girls."

"Why, that would be nice for all you little girls to do," said Mrs.
Bobbsey. "Suppose you start a sewing school, and all see what you can

"Oh, that would be lovely!" exclaimed Nan. "When can we start?"

"As soon as we get the materials," the mother replied. "We will ask
Aunt Sarah to drive over to the camp this afternoon; then we can see
what the children need."

"Can I go?" asked Flossie, much interested in the fresh-air work.

"I guess so," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "If we take the depot wagon there will
be room for you and Freddie."

So that was how it came about that our little friends became interested
in the fresh-air camp. Nan and Mildred, Flossie and Freddie, with Aunt
Sarah and Mrs. Bobbsey, visited the camp in the afternoon.

"What a queer place it is!" whispered Flossie, as they drove up to the
tents on the mountain-side.

"Hush," said Nan; "they might hear you."

"Oh, these are war-camps!" exclaimed Freddie when he saw the white
tents. "They're just like the war-pictures in my story book!"

The matron who had charge of the camp came up, and when Mrs. Bobbsey
explained her business, the matron was pleased and glad to show them
through the place.

"Oh, it was your boys who brought us all that money from the circus?"
said the woman. "That's why we have all the extra children here--the
circus money has paid for them, and they are to have two weeks on this
beautiful mountain."

"I'm glad the boys were able to help," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "It really
was quite a circus."

"It must have been, when they made so much money," the other answered.

"And we are going to help now," spoke up Nan. "We are starting a sewing

"Oh, I'm so glad somebody has thought of clothes," said the matron. "We
often get gifts of food, but we need clothes so badly."

"There is no sickness?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, as they started on a tour
of the camp.

"No; we cannot take sick children here now," said the matron. "We had
some early in the season, but this is such a fine place for romping we
decided to keep this camp for the healthy children and have another for
those who are sick."

By this time numbers of little girls and boys crowded around the
visitors. They were quite different from the children of Meadow Brook
or Lakeport. Somehow they were smaller, but looked older. Poor children
begin to worry so young that they soon look much older than they really

Nan and Mildred spoke kindly to the girls, while Freddie and Flossie
soon made friends with the little boys. One small boy, smaller than
Freddie, with sandy hair and beautiful blue eyes, was particularly
happy with Freddie. He looked better than the others, was almost as fat
as Freddie, and he had such lovely clear skin, as if somebody loved to
wash it.

"Where do you lib?" he lisped to Freddie.

"At Uncle Daniel's," Freddie answered. "Where do you live?"

"With mamma," replied the little boy. Then he stopped a minute. "Oh,
no; I don't live with mamma now," he corrected himself, "'cause she's
gone to heaven, so I live with Mrs. Manily."

Mrs. Manily was the matron, and numbers of the children called her

"Can I come over and play with you?" asked the boy. "What's your name?"

"His name is Freddie and mine is Flossie," said the latter. "What is
your name?"

"Mine is Edward Brooks," said the little stranger, "but everybody calls
me Sandy. Do you like Sandy better than Edward?"

"No," replied Flossie. "But I suppose that's a pet name because your
hair is that color."

"Is it?" said the boy, tossing his sunny curls around. "Maybe that's

"Guess it is," said Freddie. "But will Mrs. Man let you come over to
our house?"

"Mrs. Manily, you mean," said Sandy. "I'll just go and ask her."

"Isn't he cute!" exclaimed Flossie, and the pretty little boy ran in
search of Mrs. Manily.

"I'm going to ask mamma if we can bring him home," declared Freddie.
"He could sleep in my bed."

The others of the party were now walking through the big tents.

"This is where we eat," the matron explained, as the dining room was
entered. The tent was filled with long narrow tables and had benches at
the sides. The tables were covered with oilcloth, and in the center of
each was a beautiful bunch of fresh wild flowers--the small pretty kind
that grow in the woods.

"You ought to see our poor children eat," remarked the matron. "We have
just as much as we can do to serve them, they have such good appetites
from the country air."

"We must send you some fresh vegetables," said Aunt Sarah, "and some
fruit for Sunday."

"We would be very grateful," replied Mrs Manily, "for of course we
cannot afford much of a variety."

Next to the dining room was the dormitory or sleeping tent.

"We have a little boys' brigade," said the matron, "and every pleasant
evening they march around with drums and tin fifes. Then, when it is
bedtime, we have a boy blow the 'taps' on a tin bugle, just like real
soldiers do."

Freddie and Sandy had joined the sightseers now, and Freddie was much
interested in the brigade.

"Who is the captain?" he asked of Mrs. Manily.

"Oh, we appoint a new captain each week from the very best boys we
have. We only let a very good boy be captain," the matron told him.

In the dormitory were rows and rows of small white cots. They looked
very clean and comfortable, and the door of this tent was closed with a
big green mosquito netting.

"How old are your babies?" asked Aunt Sarah.

"Sandy is our baby!" replied the matrons patting the little boy fondly,
"and he is four years old. We cannot take them any younger without
their mothers."

"Freddie is four also," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "What a dear sweet child
Sandy is!"

"Yes," said Mrs. Manily, "he has just lost a good mother and his father
cannot care for him--that is, he cannot afford to pay his board or hire
a housekeeper, so he brought him to the Aid Society. He is the pet of
the camp, and you can see he has been well trained."

"No mother and no home!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "Dear little fellow!
Think of our Freddie being alone in the world like that!"

Mrs. Bobbsey could hardly keep her tears back. She stooped over and
kissed Sandy.

"Do you know my mamma?" he asked, looking straight into the lady's kind

"Mrs. Manily is your mamma, isn't she?" said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Yes, she's my number two mamma, but I mean number one that used to
sleep with me."

"Come now, Sandy," laughed Mrs. Manily. "Didn't you tell me last night
I was the best mamma in the whole world?" and she hugged the little
fellow to make him happy again.

"So you are," he laughed, forgetting all his loneliness now. "When I
get to be a big man I'm goin' to take you out carriage riding."

"Can't Sandy cone home with us?" asked Freddie. "He can sleep in my

"You are very good," said the matron. "But we cannot let any of our
children go visiting without special permission from the Society."

"Well," said Aunt Sarah, "if you get the permission we will be very
glad to have Sandy pay us a visit. We have a large place, and would
really like to have some good poor child enjoy it. We have company now,
but they will leave us soon, and then perhaps we could have a little
fresh-air camp of our own."

"The managers have asked us to look for a few private homes that could
accommodate some special cases," replied Mrs. Manily, "and I am sure I
can arrange it to have Sandy go."

"Oh, let him come now," pleaded Freddie, as Sandy held tight to his
hand. "See, we have room in the wagon."

"Well, he might have a ride," consented the matron, and before anyone
had a chance to speak again Freddie and Sandy had climbed into the

Nan and Mildred had been talking to some of the older girls, who were
very nice and polite for girls who had no one to teach them at home,
and Nan declared that she was coming over to the camp to play with them
some whole day.

"We can bring our lunch," said Mildred, "and you can show us all the
pleasant play-places you have fixed up in stones over the mountain-

One girl, Nellie by name, seemed very smart and bright, and she brought
to Mrs. Bobbsey a bunch of ferns and wild flowers she had just gathered
while showing Nan and Mildred around.

"You certainly have a lovely place here," said Mrs. Bobbsey, as they
got ready to leave, "and you little girls will be quite strong and
ready for school again when you go back to the city."

"I don't go to school," said Nellie rather bashfully.

"Why?" asked Aunt Sarah.

"Oh, I go to night school," said the little girl. "But in the daytime I
have to work."

"Why, how old are you?" asked Aunt Sarah.

"Twelve," said Nellie shyly.

"Working at twelve years of age!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey in surprise.
"What do you do?"

"I'm a cash-girl in a big store," said Nellie with some pride, for many
little girls are not smart enough to hold such a position.

"I thought all children had to go to school," Aunt Sarah said to Mrs.

"So they do," replied the matron, "but in special cases they get
permission from the factory inspector. Then they can work during the
day and go to school at night."

"I think it's a shame!" said the mother. "That child is not much larger
than Nan, and to think of her working in a big store all day, then
having to work at night school too!"

"It does not seem right!" admitted the matron; "but, you see, sometimes
there is no choice. Either a child must work or go to an institution,
and we strain every point to keep them in their homes."

"We will drive back with Sandy," said Aunt Sarah as they got into the

"Can't Nellie come too?" asked Nan. "There is plenty of room."

The matron said yes, and so the little party started off for a ride
along the pretty road.

"I was never in a carriage before in all my life," said Nellie
suddenly. "Isn't it grand!"

"Never!" exclaimed the other girls in surprise.

"No," said Nellie. "I've had lots of rides in trolley cars, and we had
a ride in a farm wagon the other day, but this is the first time I have
ever been in a carriage."

Aunt Sarah was letting Sandy drive, and he, of course, was delighted.
Freddie enjoyed it almost as well as Sandy did, and kept telling him
which rein to pull on and all that. Old Bill, the horse, knew the road
so well he really didn't need any driver, but he went along very nicely
with the two little boys talking to him.

"We will stop and have some soda at the postoffice," said Mrs. Bobbsey.
For the postoffice was also a general store.

This was good news to everybody, and when the man came out for the
order Aunt Sarah told him to bring cakes too.

Everybody liked the ice cream soda, but it was plain Nellie and Sandy
had not had such a treat in a long time.

"This is the best fun I've had!" declared the little cash-girl,
allowing how grateful she was. "And I hope you'll come and see us
again," she added politely to Mildred and Nan.

"Oh, we intend to," said Mildred. "You know, we are going to have a
sewing school to make aprons for the little ones at the camp."

Old Bill had turned back to the fresh-air quarters again, and soon, too
soon, Sandy was handed back to Mrs. Manily, while Nellie jumped down
and said what a lovely time she had had.

"Now be sure to come, Sandy," called Freddie, "'cause I'll expect you!"

"I will," said Sandy rather sadly, for he would rather have gone along
right then.

"And I'll let you play with Snoop and my playthings," Freddie called
again. "Good-bye."

"Good-bye," answered the little fresh children.

Then old Bill took the others home.



"Let's get Mabel and all the others," said Nan to Mildred. "We ought
to take at least six gingham aprons and three nightgowns over to the

Aunt Sarah had turned a big long attic room into a sewing school where
Nan and Mildred had full charge. Flossie was to look after the spools
of thread, keeping them from tangling up, and the girls agreed to let
Freddie cut paper patterns.

This was not a play sewing school but a real one, for Aunt Sarah and
Mrs. Bobbsey were to do the operating or machine sewing, while the
girls were to sew on tapes, buttons, overhand seams, and do all that.

Mildred and Nan invited Mabel, Nettie, Marie Brenn (she was visiting
the Herolds), Bessie, and Anna Thomas, a big girl who lived over
Lakeside way.

"Be sure to bring your thimbles and needles," Nan told them. "And come
at two o'clock this afternoon."

Every girl came--even Nettie, who was always so busy at home.

Mrs. Bobbsey sat at the machine ready to do stitching while Aunt Sarah
was busy "cutting out" on a long table in front of the low window.

"Now, young ladies," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "we have ready some blue
gingham aprons. You see how they are cut out; two seams, one at each
side, then they are to be closed down the back. There will be a pair of
strings on each apron, and you may begin by pressing down a narrow hem
on these strings. We will not need to baste them, just press them down
with the finger this way."

Mrs. Bobbsey then took up a pair of the sashes and turned in the edges.
Immediately the girls followed her instructions, and very soon all of
the strings were ready for the machine.

Nan handed them to her mother, and then Aunt Sarah gave out the work.

"Now these are the sleeves," said Aunt Sarah, "and they must each have
little gathers brought in at the elbow here between these notches. Next
you place the sleeve together notch to notch, and they can be stitched
without basting."

"Isn't it lively to work this way?" said Mildred. "It isn't a bit of
trouble, and see how quickly we get done."

"Many hands make light work," replied Mrs. Bobbsey. "I guess we will
get all the aprons finished this afternoon."

Piece by piece the various parts of the garments were given out, until
there remained nothing more to do than to put on buttons and work
buttonholes, and overhand the arm holes.

"I'll cut the buttonholes," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "then Nan and Mildred
may work the buttonholes by sticking a pin through each hole. The other
girls may then sew the buttons on."

It was wonderful how quickly those little pearl buttons went down the
backs of the aprons.

"I believe I could make an apron all alone now," said Nan, "if it was
cut out."

"So could I," declared Mildred. "It isn't hard at all."

"Well, here's my patterns," spoke up Freddie, who with Flossie had been
busy over in the corner cutting "ladies" out of a fashion paper.

"No, they're paper dolls," said Flossie, who was standing them all up
in a row, "and we are going to give them to the fresh-air children to
play with on rainy days."

It was only half-past four when Nan rang the bell to dismiss the sewing

"We have had such a lovely time," said Mabel, "we would like to have
sewing to do every week."

"Well, you are welcome to come," said Aunt Sarah. "We will make night
dresses for the poor little ones next week, then after that you might
all bring your own work, mending, fancywork or tidies, whatever you
have to do."

"And we might each pay five cents to sew for the fresh-air children,"
suggested Mildred.

"Yes, all charity sewing classes have a fund," Mrs. Bobbsey remarked.
"That would be a good idea."

"Now let us fold up the aprons," said Nan. "Don't they look pretty?"

And indeed the half-dozen blue-and-white ginghams did look very nice,
for they were carefully made and all smooth and even.

"When can we iron them out?" asked Flossie, anxious to deliver the
gifts to the needy little ones.

"To-morrow afternoon," replied her mother. "The boys are going to pick
vegetables in the morning, and we will drive over in the afternoon."

Uncle Daniel had given the boys permission to pick all the butter-beans
and string-beans that were ripe, besides three dozen ears of the
choicest corn, called "Country Gentleman."

"Children can only eat very tender corn," said Uncle Daniel, "and as
that is sweet and milky they will have no trouble digesting it."

Harry looked over every ear of the green corn by pulling the husks down
and any that seemed a bit overripe he discarded.

"We will have to take the long wagon," said Bert, as they began to
count up the baskets. There were two of beans, three of corn, one of
lettuce, two of sweet apples, besides five bunches of Freddie's

"Be sure to bring Sandy back with you," called Freddie, who did not go
to the camp this time. "Tell him I'll let him be my twin brother."

Nan and Aunt Sarah went with the boys, but how disappointed they were
to find a strange matron in charge of the camp, and Sandy's eyes red
from crying after Mrs. Manily.

"Oh, I knowed you would come to take me to Freddie," cried he, "'cause
my other mamma is gone too, and I'm all alone."

"Mrs. Manily was called away by sickness in her family," explained the
new matron, "and I cannot do anything with this little boy."

"He was so fond of Mrs. Manily," said Aunt Sarah, "and besides he
remembers how lonely he was when his own mother went away. Maybe we
could bring him over to our house for a few days."

"Yes, Mrs. Manily spoke of that," said the matron, "and she had
received permission from the Society to let Edward pay a visit to Mrs.
Daniel Bobbsey. See, here is the card."

"Oh, that will be lovely!" cried Nan, hugging Sandy as tight as her
arms could squeeze.

"Freddie told us to be sure to bring you back with us."

"I am so glad to get these things," the matron said to Aunt Sarah, as
she took the aprons, "for everybody has been upset with Mrs. Manily
having to leave so suddenly. The aprons are lovely. Did the little
girls make them?"

Aunt Sarah told her about the sewing school, and then she said she was
going to have a little account printed about it in the year's report of
good work done for the Aid Society.

"And Mrs. Manily has written an account of your circus," the matron
told Harry and Bert, for she had heard about the boys and their
successful charity work.

Some of the girls who knew Nan came up now and told her how Nellie, the
little cash-girl, had been taken sick and had had to be removed to the
hospital tent over in the other mountain.

This was sad news to Nan, for she loved the little cash-girl, and hoped
to see her and perhaps have her pay a visit to Aunt Sarah's.

"Is she very sick?" Aunt Sarah asked the matron.

"Yes indeed," the other replied. "But the doctor will soon cure her, I

"The child is too young to work so hard," Aunt Sarah declared. "It is
no wonder her health breaks down at the slightest cause, when she has
no strength laid away to fight sickness."

By this time a big girl had washed and dressed Sandy, and now what a
pretty boy he was! He wore a blue-and-white-striped linen suit and had
a jaunty little white cap just like Freddie's.

He was so anxious to go that he jumped in the wagon before the others
were ready to start.

"Get app, Bill!" he called, grabbing at the reins, and off the old
horse started with no one in the wagon but Sandy!

Sandy had given the reins such a jerk that Bill started to run, and the
more the little boy tried to stop him the harder he went!

"Don't slap him with the reins!" called Harry, who was now running down
the hill as hard as he could after the wagon. "Pull on the reins!" he
called again.

But Sandy was so excited he kept slapping the straps up and down on
poor Bill, which to the horse, of course, meant to go faster.

"He'll drive in the brook," called Bert in alarm also rushing after the
runaway. "Whoa, Bill! whoa, Bill!" called everybody, the children from
the camp having now joined in following the wagon.

The brook was directly in front of Sandy.

"Quick, Harry!" yelled Bert. "You'll get him in a minute."

It was no easy matter, however, to overtake Sandy, for the horse had
been on a run from the start. But Sandy kept his seat well, and even
seemed to think it good fun now to have everybody running after him and
no one able to catch him.

"Oh, I'm so afraid he'll go in the pond!" Nan told Aunt Sarah almost in

"Bill would sit down first," declared Aunt Sarah, who knew her horse to
be an intelligent animal.

"Oh! oh! oh!" screamed everybody, for the horse had crossed from the
road into the little field that lay next the water.

"Whoa, Bill!" shouted Aunt Sarah at the top of her voice, and instantly
the horse stood still.

The next minute both Bert and Harry were in the wagon beside Sandy.

"Can't I drive?" asked the little fellow innocently, while Harry was
backing out of the swamp.

"You certainly made Bill go," Harry admitted, all out of breath from

"And you gave us a good run too," added Bert, who was red in the face
from his violent exercise.

"Bill knew ma meant it when she said whoa!" Harry remarked to Bert. "I
tell you, he stopped just in time, for a few feet further would have
sunk horse, wagon, and all in the swamp."

Of course it was all an accident, for Sandy had no idea of starting the
horse off, so no one blamed him when they got back to the road.

"We'll all get in this time," laughed Aunt Sarah to the matron. "And
I'll send the boys over Sunday to let you know how Sandy is."

"Oh, he will be all right with Freddie!" Bert said, patting the little
stranger on the shoulders. "We will take good care of him."

It was a pleasant ride back to the Bobbsey farm, and all enjoyed it--
especially Sandy, who had gotten the idea he was a first-class driver
and knew all about horses, old Bill, in particular.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" shouted Freddie, when the wagon turned in the drive.
"I knowed you would come, Sandy!" and the next minute the two little
boys were hand in hand running up to the barn to see Frisky, Snoop, the
chickens, ducks, pigeons, and everything at once.

Sandy was a little city boy and knew nothing about real live country
life, so that everything seemed quite wonderful to him, especially the
chickens and ducks. He was rather afraid of anything as big as Frisky.

Snoop and Fluffy were put through their circus tricks for the
stranger's benefit, and then Freddie let Sandy turn on his trapeze up
under the apple tree and showed him all the different kinds of turns
Bert and Harry had taught the younger twin how to perform on the swing.

"How long can you stay?" Freddie asked his little friend, while they
were swinging.

"I don't know," Sandy replied vaguely.

"Maybe you could go to the seashore with us," Freddie ventured. "We are
only going to stay in the country this month."

"Maybe I could go," lisped Sandy, "'cause nobody ain't got charge of me
now. Mrs. Manily has gone away, you know, and I don't b'lieve in the
other lady, do you?"

Freddie did not quite understand this but he said "no" just to agree
with Sandy.

"And you know the big girl, Nellie, who always curled my hair without
pulling it,--she's gone away too, so maybe I'm your brother now," went
on the little orphan.

"Course you are!" spoke up Freddie manfully, throwing his arms around
the other, "You're my twin brother too, 'cause that's the realest kind.
We are all twins, you know--Nan and Bert, and Flossie and me and you!"

By this time the other Bobbseys had come out to welcome Sandy. They
thought it best to let Freddie entertain him at first, so that he would
not be strange, but now Uncle Daniel just took the little fellow up in
his arms and into his heart, for all good men love boys, especially
when they are such real little men as Sandy and Freddie happened to be.

"He's my twin brother, Uncle Daniel," Freddie insisted. "Don't you
think he's just like me curls and all?"

"He is certainly a fine little chap!" the uncle replied, meaning every
word of it, "and he is quite some like you too. Now let us feed the
chickens. See how they are around us expecting something to eat?"

The fowls were almost ready to eat the pearl buttons off Sandy's coat,
so eager were they for their meal, and it was great fun for the two
little boys to toss the corn to them.

"Granny will eat from your hand," exclaimed Uncle Daniel, "You see, she
is just like granite-gray stone, but we call her Granny for short."

The Plymouth Rock hen came up to Sandy, and much to his delight ate the
corn out of his little white hand.

"Oh, she's a pretty chicken!" he said, stroking Granny as he would a
kitten. "I dust love chitens," he added, sitting right down on the
sandy ground to let Granny come up on his lap. There was so much to see
in the poultry yard that Sandy, Freddie, and Uncle Daniel lingered
there until Martha appeared at the back door and rang the big dinner
bell in a way that meant, "Hurry up! something will get cold if you

And the something proved to be chicken pot-pie with dumplings that
everybody loves. And after that there came apple pudding with hard
sauce, just full of sugar.

"Is it a party?" Sandy whispered to Freddie, for he was not accustomed
to more than bread and milk at his evening meal.

"Yes, I guess so," ventured Freddie; "it's because you came," and then
Dinah brought in little play cups of chocolate with jumbles on the
side, and Mrs. Bobbsey said that would be better than the pudding for
Freddie and Sandy.

"I guess I'll just live here," solemnly said the little stranger, as if
his decision in such a matter should not be questioned.

"I guess you better!" Freddie agreed, "'cause it's nicer than over
there, isn't it?"

"Lots," replied Sandy, "only maybe Mrs. Manily will cry for me," and he
looked sad as his big blue eyes turned around and blinked to keep back
some tears. "I dust love Mrs. Manily, Freddie; don't you?" he asked

Then Harry and Bert jumped up to start the phonograph, and that was
like a band wagon to the little fellows, who liked to hear the popular
tunes called off by the funny man in the big bright horn.



"Sometimes I'm afraid in the bed tent over there," said Sandy to
Freddie. "'Cause there ain't nothing to keep the dark out but a piece
of veil in the door."

"Mosquito netting," corrected Freddie. "I would be afraid to sleep
outdoors that way too. 'Cause maybe there's snakes."

"There sure is," declared the other little fellow, cuddling up closer
to Freddie. "'Cause one of the boys, Tommy his name is, killed two the
other day."

"Well, there ain't no snakes around here," declared Freddie, "an' this
bed was put in this room, right next to mama's, for me, so you needn't
be scared when Aunt Sarah comes and turns out the lights."

Both little boys were very sleepy, and in spite of having so many
things to tell each other the sand-man came around and interrupted
them, actually making their eyes fall down like porch screens when
someone touches the string.

Mrs. Bobbsey came up and looked in at the door.

Two little sunny heads so close together!

"Why should that little darling be left alone over in the dark tent!"
she thought. "See how happy he is with our own dear son Freddie."

Then she tucked them a little bit, half closed the door, and turned out
the hall light.

Everybody must have been dreaming for hours, it seemed so at any rate,
when suddenly all were awake again.

What was it?

What woke up the household with such a start?

"There it is again!" screamed Flossie. "Oh, mamma, mamma, come in my
room quick!"

Sandy grabbed hold of Freddie.

"We're all right," whispered the brave little Freddie. "It's only the
girls that's hollering."

Then they both put their curls under the bedquilts.

"Someone's playing the piano," Bert said to Harry; and, sure enough, a
nocturnal solo was coming up in queer chunks from the parlor.

"It's a crazy burglar, and he never saw a piano before," Flossie said.

The hall clock just struck midnight. That seemed to make everybody more

Uncle Daniel was hurrying down the stairs now.

"There it is again," whispered Bert, as another group of wild chords
came from the piano.

"It must be cats!" exclaimed Uncle Daniel. "Harry, come down here and
help light up, and we'll solve this mystery."

Without a moment's hesitation Bert and Harry were down the stairs and
had the hall light burning as quickly as a good match could be struck.

But there was no more music and no cats about.

"Where is Snoop?" asked Uncle Daniel.

The boys opened the hall door into the cellarway, and found there Snoop
on his cushion and Fluffy on hers.

"It wasn't the cats," they declared.

"What could it be?"

Uncle Daniel even lighted the piano lamp, which gave a strong light,
but there didn't seem to be any disturbance about.

"It certainly was the piano," he said, much puzzled.

"And sounded like a cat serenade," ventured Harry.

"Well, she isn't around here," laughed Uncle Daniel, "and we never
heard of a ghost in Meadow Brook before."

All this time the people upstairs waited anxiously. Flossie held Nan so
tightly about the neck that the elder sister could hardly breathe.
Freddie and Sandy were still under the bedclothes, while Mrs. Bobbsey
and Aunt Sarah listened in the hall.

"Dat sure is a ghost," whispered Dinah to Martha in the hall above.
"Ghosts always lub music," and her funny big eyes rolled around in that
queer way colored people have of expressing themselves.

"Ghosts nothin'," replied Martha indignantly. "I dusted every key of
the piano to-day, and I guess I could smell a ghost about as quick as

"Well, I don't see that we can do any good by sitting around here,"
remarked Uncle Dan to the boys, after the lapse of some minutes. "We
may as well put out the lights and get into bed again."

"But I cannot see what it could be!" Mrs. Bobbsey insisted, as they all
prepared to retire again.

"Neither can we!" agreed Uncle Daniel. "Maybe our piano has one of
those self-playing tricks, and somebody wound it up by accident."

But no sooner were the lights out and the house quiet than the piano
started again.

"Hush! keep quiet!" whispered Uncle Daniel. "I'll get it this time,
whatever it is!"

With matches in one hand and a candle in the other he started
downstairs in the dark without making a sound, while the piano kept on
playing in "chunks" as Harry said, same as it did before.

Once in the parlor Uncle Daniel struck a match and put it to the
candle, and then the music ceased.

"There he is!" he called, and Flossie thought she surely would die.
Slam! went the music-book at something, and Sandy almost choked with

Bang! went something else, that brought Bert and Harry downstairs to
help catch the burglar.

"There he is in the corner!" called Uncle Daniel to the boys, and then
began such a slam banging time that the people upstairs were in terror
that the burglar would kill Harry and Bert and Uncle Daniel.

"We've got him' We've got him!" declared Harry, while Bert lighted the

"Is he dead?" screamed Aunt Sarah from the stairs.

"As a door-nail!" answered Harry.

"What is it?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey, hardly able to speak.

"A big gray rat," replied Uncle Daniel, and everybody had a good laugh.

"I thought it might be that," said Mrs. Bobbsey.

"So did I" declared Nan. "But I wasn't sure."

"I thought it was a big black burglar," Flossie said, her voice still
shaking from the fright.

"I thought it was a policeman," faltered Sandy. "'Cause they always
bang things like that."

"And I thought, sure's yo' life, it was a real ghost," laughed Dinah.
"'Cause de clock jest struck fer de ghost hour. Ha! ha! dat was suah a
musicanious rat."

"He must have come in from the fields where John has been plowing. Like
a cat in a strange garret, he didn't know what to do in a parlor," said
Uncle Daniel.

Harry took the candle and looked carefully over the keys.

"Why, there's something like seeds on the keys!" he said.

"Oh, I have it!" exclaimed Bert. "Nan left her hat on the piano last
night, and it has those funny straw flowers on it. See, the rat got
some of them off and they dropped on the keys."

"And the other time he came for the cake," said Aunt Sarah.

"That's it," declared Uncle Daniel, "and each time we scared him off he
came back again to finish his meal. But I guess he is through now," and
so saying he took the dead rodent and raising the side window tossed
him out.

It was some time before everybody got quieted down again, but finally
the rat scare was over and the Bobbseys turned to dreams of the happy
summer-time they were enjoying.

When Uncle Dan came up from the postoffice the next morning he brought
a note from the fresh-air camp.

"Sandy has to go back!" Nan whispered to Bert. "His own father in the
city has sent for him, but mamma says not to say anything to Sandy or
Freddie--they might worry. Aunt Sarah will drive over and bring Sandy,
then they can fix it. I'm so sorry he has to go away."

"So am I," answered Nan's twin. "I don't see why they can't let the
little fellow alone when he is happy with us."

"But it's his own father, you know, and something about a rich aunt.
Maybe she is going to adopt Sandy."

"We ought to adopt him; he's all right with us," Bert grumbled. "What
did his rich aunt let him cry his eyes out for if she cared anything
for him?"

"Maybe she didn't know about him then," Nan considered. "I'm sure
everybody would have to love Sandy."

At that Sandy ran along the path with Freddie. He looked like a live
buttercup, so fresh and bright, his sunny sandy curls blowing in the
soft breeze. Mrs. Bobbsey had just called the children to her.

"We are going over to see Mrs. Manily today, Sandy," she said. "Won't
you be awfully glad to see your own dear Mamma Manily again?"

"Yep," he faltered, getting a better hold on Freddie's hand, "but I
want to come back here," he finished.

Poor darling! So many changes of home in his life had made him fear

"Oh, I am sure you will come to see us again," Mrs. Bobbsey declared.
"Maybe you can come to Lakeport when we go home in the fall."

"No, I'm comin' back here," he insisted, "to see Freddie, and auntie,
and uncle, and all of them."

"Well, we must get ready now," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "John has gone to
bring the wagon."

Freddie insisted upon going to the camp with Sandy, "to make sure he
would come down again," he said.

It was only the happiness of seeing Mamma Manily once more that kept
Sandy from crying when they told him he was to go on a great big fast
train to see his own papa.

"You see," Mrs. Manily explained to Mrs. Bobbsey, "a wealthy aunt of
Edward's expects to adopt him, so we will have to give him up, I am

"I hope you can keep track of him," answered Mrs. Bobbsey, "for we are
all so attached to him. I think we would have applied to the Aid
Society to let him share our home if the other claim had not come first
and taken him from us."

Then Freddie kissed Sandy good-bye. It was not the kind of a caress
that girls give, but the two little fellows said good-bye, kissed each
other very quickly, then looked down at the ground in a brave effort
not to cry.

Mrs. Bobbsey gave Sandy a real mother's love kiss, and he said:

"Oh, I'm comin' beck--to-morrow. I won't stay in the city. I'll just
run away and come back."

So Sandy was gone to another home, and we hope he will grow to be as
fine a boy as he has been a loving child.

"How lonely it seems," said Nan that afternoon. "Sandy was so jolly."

Freddie followed John all over the place, and could not find anything
worth doing. Even Dinah sniffed a little when she fed the kittens and
didn't have "dat little buttercup around to tease dem."

"Well," said Uncle Daniel next day, "we are going to have a very poor
crop of apples this year, so I think we had better have some cider made
from the early fruit. Harry and Bert, you can help John if you like,
and take a load of apples to the cider mill to-day to be ground."

The boys willingly agreed to help John, for they liked that sort of
work, especially Bert, to whom it was new.

"We'll take the red astrachans and sheepnoses to-day," John said.
"Those trees over there are loaded, you see. Then there are the orange
apples in the next row; they make good cider."

The early apples were very plentiful, and it took scarcely any time to
make up a load and start off for the cider mill.

"Old Bennett who runs the mill is a queer chap," Harry told Bert going
over; "he's a soldier, and he'll be sure to quiz you on history."

"I like old soldiers," Bert declared; "if they do talk a lot, they've
got a lot to talk about."

John said that was true, and he agreed that old Ben Bennett was an
interesting talker.

"Here we are," said Harry, as they pulled up before a kind of barn. Old
Ben sat outside on his wooden bench.

"Hello, Ben," they called out together, "we're bringing you work early
this year."

"So much the better," said the old soldier; "There's nothing like work
to keep a fellow young."

"Well, you see," went on John, "we can't count on any late apples this
year, so, as we must have cider, we thought that we had better make hay
while the sun shines."

"How much have you got there?" asked Ben, looking over the load.

"About a barrel, I guess," answered John "Could you run them through
for us this morning?"

"Certainly, certainly!" replied the others. "Just haul them on, and
we'll set to work as quick as we did that morning at Harper's Ferry.
Who is this lad?" he asked, indicating Bert.

"My cousin from the city," said Harry, "Bert's his name."

"Glad to see you, Bert, glad to see you!" and the old soldier shook
hands warmly. "When they call you out, son, just tell them you knew Ben
Bennett of the Sixth Massachusetts. And they'll give you a good gun,"
and he clapped Bert on the back as if he actually saw a war coming down
the hill back of the cider mill.

It did not take long to unload the apples and get them inside.

"We'll feed them in the hopper," said John, "if you just get the sacks
out, Ben."

"All right, all right, my lad; you can fire the first volley if you've
a mind to," and Ben opened up the big cask that held the apples to be
chopped. When a few bushels had been filled in by the boys John began
to grind. He turned the big stick round and round, and this in turn set
the wheel in motion that held the knives that chopped the apples.

"Where does the cider come from?" asked Bert, much interested.

"We haven't come to that yet," Harry replied; "they have to go through
this hopper first."

"Fine juicy apples," remarked Ben. "Don't know but it's just as well
to make cider now when you have a crop like this."

"Father thought so," Harry added, putting in the last scoop of
sheepnoses. "If it turns to vinegar we can use it for pickles this

The next part of the process seemed very queer to Bert; the pulp or
chopped apples were put in sacks like meal-bags, folded over so as to
hold in the pulp. A number of the folded sacks were then placed in
another machine "like a big layer cake," Bert said, and by turning a
screw a great press was brought down upon the soft apples.

"Now the boys can turn," John suggested, and at this both Bert and
Harry grabbed hold of the long handle that turned the press and started
on a run around the machine.

"Oh, there she comes!" cried Bert, as the juice began to ooze out in
the tub. "That's cider, all right! I smell it."

"Fine and sweet too," declared Ben, seeing to it that the tub was well
under the spout.

"But I don't want you young fellows to do all my work."

"Oh, this is fun," spoke up Bert, as the color mounted to his cheeks
from the exercise. A strong stream was pouring into the tub now, and
the wholesome odor of good sweet cider filled the room.

"I think I'll try to get a horse this fall when my next pension comes
due," said old Ben, "I'm a little stiff to run around with that
handle like you young lads, and sometimes I'm full of rheumatism too."

"Father said he would sell our Bill very cheap if he wasn't put at hard
work," Harry said.

"We have had him so long we don't want to see him put to a plow or
anything heavy, but I should think this would be quite easy for him."

"Just the thing for a worn-out war-horse like myself," answered Ben,
much interested. "Tell your father not to think of selling Bill till I
get a chance to see him. I won't have my pension money for two months
yet, but I might make a deposit if any more work comes in."

"Oh, that would be all right," spoke up John. "Mr. Bobbsey would not be
afraid to trust you."

"There now!" exclaimed Ben; "I guess you've got all the juice out.
John, you can fill it in your keg, I suppose, since you have been so
good as to do all the rest. Will you try it, boys?"

"Yes, we would like to, Ben," Harry replied.

"It's a little warm to make cider in July," and he wiped his face to
cool off some.

Ben went to his homemade cupboard and brought out a tin cup.

"There's a cup," he said, "that I drank out of at Harper's Ferry. I
keep it in everyday use, so as not to lose sight of it."

Bert took the old tin cup and regarded it reverently.

"Think of us drinking out of that cup," reflected Bert. "Why, it's a
war relic!"

"How's the cider?" asked the old soldier.

"Couldn't be better," said Harry. "I guess the cup helps the flavor."

This pleased old Ben, for the light of glory that comes to all
veterans, whether private or general, shone in his eyes.

"Well, a soldier has two lives," he declared. "The one under fire and
the other here," tapping his head and meaning that the memories of
battles made the other life.

The cider was ready now, and the Bobbseys prepared to leave.

"I'll tell father about Bill," said Harry. I'm sure he will save him
for you."

"All right, sonny--thank you, thank you! Good-bye, lads; come again,
and maybe some day I'll give you the war cup!" called the soldier.

"That would be a relic!" exclaimed Harry. "And I guess father will give
him Bill for nothing, for we always do what we can for old soldiers."

"I never saw cider made before," remarked Bert, "and I think it's fun.
I had a good time to-day."

"Glad you did," said John, "for vacation is slipping now and you want
to enjoy it while it lasts."

That evening at dinner the new cider was sampled, and everybody
pronounced it very fine.



The next day everybody was out early.

"The men are going to clean the well," Harry told the others, "and it's
lots of fun to see all the stuff they bring up."

"Can we go?" Freddie asked.

"Nan will have to take charge of you and Flossie," said Mrs. Bobbsey,
"for wells are very dangerous, you know."

This was arranged, and the little ones promised to do exactly as Nan
told them.

The well to be cleaned was the big one at the corner of the road and
the lane. From the well a number of families got their supply of water,
and it being on the road many passersby also enjoyed from it a good
cold drink.

"There they come," called Bert, as two men dressed like divers came up
the road.

They wore complete rubber suits, hip-boots, rubber coats, and rubber
caps. Then they had some queer-looking machines, a windlass, a force
pump, grappling irons, and other tools.

The boys gathered around the men--all interested, of course, in the

"Now keep back," ordered Nan to the little ones. "You can see just as
well from this big stone, and you will not be in any danger here."

So Freddie and Flossie mounted the rock while the large boys got in
closer to the well.

First the men removed the well shelter--the wooden house that covered
the well. Then they put over the big hole a platform open in the
center. Over this they set up the windlass, and then one of the men got
in a big bucket.

"Oh, he'll get drownded!" cried Freddie.

"No, he won't," said Flossie. "He's a diver like's in my picture book."

"Is he, Nan?" asked the other little one.

"Yes, he is one kind of a diver," the sister explained, "only he
doesn't have to wear that funny hat with air pipes in it like ocean
divers wear."

"But he's away down in the water now," persisted Freddie. "Maybe he's

"See, there he is up again," said Nan, as the man in the bucket stepped
out on the platform over the well.

"He just went down to see how deep the water was," Bert called over.
"Now they are going to pump it out."

The queer-looking pump, with great long pipes was now sunk into the
well, and soon a strong stream of water was flowing from the spout.

"Oh, let's sail boats!" exclaimed Freddie, and then all the bits of
clean sticks and boards around were turned into boats by Flossie and
Freddie. As the water had a good clear sweep down the hill the boats
went along splendidly, and the little folks had a very fine time of it

"Don't fall in," called Nan. "Freddie, look out for that deep hole in
the gutter, where the tree fell down in the big flood."

But for once Freddie managed to save himself, while Flossie took no
risk at all, but walked past that part of the "river" without guiding
her "steamboat."

Presently the water in the "river" became weaker and weaker, until only
the smallest stream made its way along.

"We can't sail boats in mud," declared Freddie with some impatience.
"Let's go back and see what they're doing at the well."

Now the big pump had been removed and the man was going down in the
bucket again.

"We lost lots of things in there," remarked Tom Mason. "I bet they'll
bring up some queer stuff."

It took a few minutes for the other man to send the lanterns down after
his companion and then remove the top platform so as to give all the
air and light possible to the bottom of the well.

"Now the man in the well can see stars in the sky," said Harry to the
other boys.

"But there are no stars in the sky," Bert contradicted, looking up at
the clear blue sky of the fine summer day.

"Oh! yes there are," laughed the man at the well, "lots of them too,
but you can only see them in the dark, and it's good and dark down in
that deep well."

This seemed very strange, but of course it was true; and the well
cleaner told them if they didn't believe it, just to look up a chimney
some day, and they would see the same strange thing.

At a signal from the man in the well the other raised the first bucket
of stuff and dumped it on the ground.

"Hurrah! Our football!" exclaimed Harry, yanking out from the muddy
things the big black rubber ball lost the year before.

"And our baseball," called Tom Mason, as another ball was extracted
from the pile.

"Peter Burns' dinner pail," laughed Harry, rescuing that article from
the heap.

"And somebody's old shoe!" put in Bert, but he didn't bother pulling
that out of the mud.

"Oh, there's Nellie Prentice's rubber doll!" exclaimed Harry. "August
and Ned were playing ball with it and let it fly in the well."

Harry wiped the mud off the doll and brought it over to Nan.

"I'm sure Nellie will be glad to get this back," said Nan, "for it's a
good doll, and she probably never had one since she lost it."

The doll was not injured by its long imprisonment in the well and when
washed up was as good as ever. Nan took charge of it, and promised to
give it to Nellie just as soon as she could go over to see her.

Another bucket of stuff had been brought up by that time, and the first
thing pulled out was a big long pipe, the kind Germans generally use.

"That's old Hans Bruen's," declared Tom "I remember the night he
dropped it."

"Foolish Hans--to try to drink with a pipe like that in his mouth!"
laughed the well cleaner.

As the pipe had a wooden bowl and a hard porcelain stem it was not
broken, so Tom took care of it, knowing how glad Hans would be to get
his old friend "Johnnie Smoker" back again.

Besides all kinds of tin cups, pails, and saucepans, the well was found
to contain a good number of boys' caps and some girls' too, that had
slipped off in attempts made to get a good cool drink out of the

Finally the man gave a signal that he was ready to come up, and soon
the windlass was adjusted again and the man in very muddy boots came to
the top.

"Look at this!" he said to the boys' holding a beautiful gold watch.
"Ever hear of anyone losing a watch in the well?"

No one had heard of such a loss, and as there was no name anywhere on
the watch that might lead to its identification, the well cleaner put
it away in his vest pocket under the rubber coat.

"And what do you think of this?" the man continued, and drew from his
pocket a beautiful string of pearl beads set in gold.

"My beads! My lost beads!" screamed Nan. "Oh, how glad I am that you
found them!"

She took the beads and looked at them carefully. They were a bit dirty,
but otherwise as good as ever.

"I thought I should never see these again," said Nan. "I must tell
mamma of this!" And she started for the house with flying feet. Mrs.
Bobbsey was glad indeed to learn that the strings of pearls had been
found, and everybody declared that Nan was certainly lucky.

"I am going to fasten them on good and tight after this," said Nan, and
she did.

Down by the well the man was not yet through handing over the things he
had found.

"And there's a wedding ring!" he said next, while he turned out in his
hand a thin gold band.

"Oh, Mrs. Burns lost that!" chorused a number of the boys. "She felt
dreadful over it too. She'll be tickled to get that back all right."

"Well, here," said the man, turning to Harry. "I guess you're the
biggest boy; I'll let you take that back to Mrs. Burns with my best
wishes," and he handed Harry the long-lost wedding ring.

It was only a short distance to Mrs. Burns' house, and Harry lost no
time in getting there.

"She was just delighted," Harry told the man, upon returning to the
well. "She says Peter will send you over something for finding it."

"No need," replied the other; "they're welcome to their own."

The last part of the well-cleaning was the actual scrubbing of the big
stone in the bottom.

This stone had a hole in the middle through which the water sprang up,
and when the flag had been scrubbed the well was clean indeed.

"Now you people will have good water," declared the men, as they
gathered all their tools, having first put the top on the well and
tried a bucketful of water before starting off.

"And are there really stars in the bottom of the well?" questioned

"Not exactly," said the man, "but there are lots of other things in the
bottoms of wells. You must get your daddy to show you the sky through a
fireplace, and you will then know how the stars look in daylight," he
finished, saying good-bye to all and starting off for the big deep
well-pump over in the picnic grove, that had not been cleaned since it
had been dug there three years before.



"I've got a special delivery letter for you," called the boy from the
postoffice to Harry.

Now when Jim Dexter rode his wheel with the special delivery mail
everybody about Meadow Brook knew the rush letter bore important news.

Jim jumped off his wheel and, opening the little bag, pulled out a
letter for Mrs. Richard Bobbsey from Mrs. William Minturn of Ocean

"I'll take it upstairs and have your book signed," Harry offered, while
Jim sat on the porch to rest.

"That's from Aunt Emily," Bert told Harry when the messenger boy rode
off again. "I guess we're going down to Ocean Cliff to visit there."

"I hope you won't go very soon," replied Harry. "We've arranged a lot
of ball matches next month. We're going to play the school nine first,
then we're to play the boys at Cedarhurst and a picked nine from South
Meadow Brook."

"I'd like first-rate to be here for the games," said Bert. "I'm a good

"You're the player we need then, for Jim Smith is a first-rate pitcher
and we've got really a fine catcher in Tom Mason, but it's hard to get
a fellow to hit the ball far enough to give us runs."

"Oh, Bert!" called Nan, running out of the house. "That was an
invitation for us to go to Aunt Emily's at the seashore. And Cousin
Dorothy says we will have such a lovely time! But I'm sure we could
never have a better time than we had here, Harry," she added to her

"I'll be awfully sorry to have you go, Nan," replied Harry. "We have
had so much fun all month. I'll just be dead lonesome, I'm sure," and
Harry sat down in dejection, just as if his loved cousins had gone

"There's no boy at Uncle William's;" said Bert. "Of course Nan will
have Dorothy, but I'll have to look around for a chum, I suppose."

"Oh, you'll find lots of boys at the beach," said Harry. "And to think
of the fun at the ocean! Mother says we will go to the shore next

"I wish you were going with us," said Bert politely.

"Maybe you will come down for a day while we are there," suggested Nan.
"Aunt Emily isn't just exactly your aunt, because she's mamma's sister,
and it's papa who is Uncle Daniel's brother. But the Minturns, Aunt
Emily's folks, you know, have been up here and are all like real

"We're going away!" exclaimed Freddie, joining the others just then.
"Mamma says I can stick my toes in the water till the crabs bite me,
but I'm going to have a fishhook and catch them first."

"Are you going to take Snoop?" Harry asked his little cousin.

"Yep," replied the youngster. "He knows how to go on trains now."

"Dorothy has a pair of donkeys," Nan told them, "and a cart we can go
riding in every day."

"I'll be the driver," announced Freddie. "And I suppose you'll have a
sailboat, Bert!" said Harry.

"Not in the ocean," said nervous little Flossie, who had been listening
all the time and never said a word until she thought there was some
danger coming.

"Certainly not," said Bert; "there is always a little lake of quiet
water around ocean places."

Aunt Sarah came out now, all dressed for a drive.

"Well, my dears," she said, "you are going to Ocean Cliff to-morrow, so
you can invite all your Meadow Brook friends to a little lawn party to-
day. I'm going down now to the village to order some good things for
you. I want you all to have a nice time this afternoon."

"I'm going to give some of my books to Nettie," said Flossie, "and some
of my paper dolls too."

"Yes. Nettie has not many things to play with," agreed Nan, "and we can
get plenty more."

"I'm going to get all my birds' nests together," said Bert, "and that
pretty white birch bark to make picture frames for Christmas."

"I've got lovely pressed flowers to put on Christmas post-cards," said
Nan. "I'm going to mount them on plain white cards with little verses
written for each friend. Won't that be pretty?"

Then what a time there was packing up again! Of course Mrs. Bobbsey had
expected to go, and had most of the big things ready but the children
had so many souvenirs.

"John gave me this," cried Freddie, pulling a great big pumpkin in his
express wagon down to the house. "And I'm going to bring it to Aunt

"Oh, how could we bring that!" protested Nan.

"In the trunk, of course," Freddie insisted.

"Well, I have to carry a box of ferns," said Flossie; "I'm going to
take them for the porch. There are no ferns around the salt water,
mamma says."

So each child had his or her own pet remembrances to carry away from
Meadow Brook.

"We had better go and invite the girls for this afternoon," Nan said to

"And we must look after the boys," Harry told Bert.

A short invitation was not considered unusual in the country, so it was
an easy matter to get all the children together in time for the
farewell lawn party.

"We all hope you will come again next year," said Mildred Manners. "We
have had such a lovely time this summer. And I brought you this little
handkerchief to remember me by." The gift was a choice bit of lace,
and Nan was much pleased to accept it.

"There is something to remember me by," said Mabel Herold, presenting
Nan with a postcard album.

The little girls brought Flossie a gold-striped cup and saucer, a set
of doll's patterns, and the dearest little parasol. This last was from
Bessie Dimple.

And Nettie brought--what do you think?

A little live duck for Freddie!

It was just like a lump of cotton batting, so soft and fluffy.

"We'll fatten him up for Christmas," laughed Bert, joking.

"No, you won't!" snapped Freddie. "I are going to have a little house
for him and a lake, and a boat--"

"Are you going to teach him to row?" teased Harry.

"Well, he can swim better than--than--"

"August Stout," answered Bert, remembering how August had fallen in the
pond the day they went fishing.

When the ice cream and cake had been served on the lawn, Mrs. Bobbsey
brought out a big round white paper pie. This she placed in the middle
of a nice clean spot on the lawn, and all around the pie she drew out
long white ribbons. On each ribbon was pinned the name of one of the

"Now this is your Jack Horner pie," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "and when you
put in your thumb you will pull out a plum."

Nan read off the names, and each girl or boy took the place assigned.
Finally everybody had in hand a ribbon.

"Nettle has number one," said Nan; "you pull first, Nettie."

Nettie jerked her ribbon and pulled out on the end of it the dearest
little play piano. It was made of paper, of course, and so very small
it could stand on Nettie's hand.

"Give us a tune!" laughed the boys, while Nettie saw it really was a
little box of candy.

"Mildred next," announced Nan.

On the end of Mildred's ribbon came an automobile!

This caused a laugh, for Mildred was very fond of automobile rides.

Mabel got a hobby-horse--because she was learning to ride horseback.

Nan received a sewing machine, to remind her of the fresh-air work.

Of course Tom Mason got a horse--a donkey it really was; and Jack
Hopkins' gift was a wheelbarrow. Harry pulled out a boat, and Bert got
a cider barrel.

They were all souvenirs, full of candy, favors for the party, and they
caused no end of fun.

Freddie was the last to pull and he got--

A bunch of real radishes from his own garden!

"But they're not candy," he protested, as he burned his tongue with

"Well, we are going to let you and Flossie put your thumbs in the pie,"
said his mamma, "and whoever gets the prize will be the real Jack

All but the center of the pie was gone now, and in this Flossie first
put her thumb. She could only put in one finger and only fish just one,
and she brought out--a little gold ring from Aunt Sarah.

"Oh, isn't it sweet!" the girls all exclaimed.

Then Freddie had his turn.

"Can't I put in two fingers?" he pleaded.

"No; only one!" his mother insisted.

After careful preparation Freddie put in his thumb and pulled out a big
candy plum!

"Open it!" called Nan.

The plum was put together in halves, and when Freddie opened it he
found a real "going" watch from Uncle Daniel.

"I can tell time!" declared the happy boy, for he had been learning the
hours on Martha's clock in the kitchen.

"What time is it, then?" asked Bert.

Freddie looked at his watch and counted around it two or three times.

"Four o'clock!" he said at last, and he was only twenty minutes out of
the way. The watch was the kind little boys use first, with very plain
figures on it, and it was quite certain before Freddie paid his next
visit to Uncle Daniel's he would have learned how to tell time exactly
on his first "real" watch.

The party was over, the children said good bye, and besides the play
favors each carried away a real gift, that of friendship for the little

"Maybe you can come down to the seashore on an excursion," said Nan to
her friends. "They often have Sunday-school excursions to Sunset

"We will if we can," answered Mabel, "but if I don't see you there, I
may call on you at Lakeport, when we go to the city."

"Oh yes, do!" insisted Nan. "I'll be home all winter I guess, but I
might go to boarding school. Anyhow, I'll write to you. Good-bye,

"Good-bye!" was the answering cry, and then the visitors left in a
crowd, waving their hands as they disappeared around a turn of the

"What a perfectly lovely time we have had!" declared Nan to Bert.

"Oh, the country can't be beat!" answered her twin brother. "Still,
I'll be glad to get to the seashore, won't you?"

"Oh yes; I want to see Cousin Dorothy."

"And I want to see the big ocean," put in Freddie.

"I want to ride on one of the funny donkeys," lisped Flossie. "And I
want to make a sand castle."

"Me too!" chimed in Freddie.

"Hurrah for the seashore!" cried Bert, throwing his cap into the air,
and then all went into the house, to get ready for a trip they looked
forward to with extreme pleasure. And here let us say good-bye, hoping
to meet the Bobbsey Twins again.

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