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61 Complete Works of Laura Lee HopeBobbsey Twins at Snow LodgeBobbsey Twins in the CountryBobbsey Twins in the Great WestBobbsey Twins in WashingtonBunny Brown and his Sister SueBunny Brown and His Sister Sue and Their Shetland PonyBunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu'sBunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-A-WhileBunny Brown and His Sister Sue at ChristmasBunny Brown and his Sister Sue Giving a ShowBunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big WoodsBunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Sunny SouthBunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping StoreBunny Brown and His Sister Sue on an Auto TourBunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's FarmBunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing CircusSix Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo'sSix Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom'sSix Little Bunkers at Cowboy Jack'sSix Little Bunkers at Grandma Bell'sSix Little Bunkers at Grandpa Ford'sSix Little Bunkers at Mammy June'sSix Little Bunkers at Uncle Fred'sThe Bobbsey TwinsThe Bobbsey Twins at HomeThe Bobbsey Twins At Meadow BrookThe Bobbsey Twins at SchoolThe Bobbsey Twins at the County FairThe Bobbsey Twins at the SeashoreThe Bobbsey Twins in a Great CityThe Bobbsey Twins on a HouseboatThe Bobbsey Twins on Blueberry IslandThe Moving Picture GirlsThe Moving Picture Girls at Oak FarmThe Moving Picture Girls at Rocky RanchThe Moving Picture Girls at SeaThe Moving Picture Girls in War PlaysThe Moving Picture Girls SnowboundThe Moving Picture Girls Under the PalmsThe Outdoor Girls at Bluff PointThe Outdoor Girls at Ocean ViewThe Outdoor Girls at Rainbow LakeThe Outdoor Girls at the Hostess HouseThe Outdoor Girls at Wild Rose LodgeThe Outdoor Girls in a Motor CarThe Outdoor Girls in a Winter CampThe Outdoor Girls in Army ServiceThe Outdoor Girls in FloridaThe Outdoor Girls in the SaddleThe Outdoor Girls of DeepdaleThe Outdoor Girls on Pine IslandThe Story of a Bold Tin SoldierThe Story of a Candy RabbitThe Story of a China CatThe Story of a Lamb on WheelsThe Story of a Monkey on a StickThe Story of a Nodding DonkeyThe Story of a Plush BearThe Story of a Stuffed ElephantThe Story of a White Rocking HorseThe Story of Calico Clown
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The Complete Collection of Laura Lee Hope
Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge
Bobbsey Twins in the Country
Bobbsey Twins in the Great West
Bobbsey Twins in Washington
Bunny Brown and his Sister Sue
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue and Their Shetland Pony
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-A-While
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Christmas
Bunny Brown and his Sister Sue Giving a Show
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Sunny South
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on an Auto Tour
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm
Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus
Six Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo's
Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's
Six Little Bunkers at Cowboy Jack's
Six Little Bunkers at Grandma Bell's
Six Little Bunkers at Grandpa Ford's
Six Little Bunkers at Mammy June's
Six Little Bunkers at Uncle Fred's
The Bobbsey Twins
The Bobbsey Twins at Home
The Bobbsey Twins At Meadow Brook
The Bobbsey Twins at School
The Bobbsey Twins at the County Fair
The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore
The Bobbsey Twins in a Great City
The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat
The Bobbsey Twins on Blueberry Island
The Moving Picture Girls
The Moving Picture Girls at Oak Farm
The Moving Picture Girls at Rocky Ranch
The Moving Picture Girls at Sea
The Moving Picture Girls in War Plays
The Moving Picture Girls Snowbound
The Moving Picture Girls Under the Palms
The Outdoor Girls at Bluff Point
The Outdoor Girls at Ocean View
The Outdoor Girls at Rainbow Lake
The Outdoor Girls at the Hostess House
The Outdoor Girls at Wild Rose Lodge
The Outdoor Girls in a Motor Car
The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp
The Outdoor Girls in Army Service
The Outdoor Girls in Florida
The Outdoor Girls in the Saddle
The Outdoor Girls of Deepdale
The Outdoor Girls on Pine Island
The Story of a Bold Tin Soldier
The Story of a Candy Rabbit
The Story of a China Cat
The Story of a Lamb on Wheels
The Story of a Monkey on a Stick
The Story of a Nodding Donkey
The Story of a Plush Bear
The Story of a Stuffed Elephant
The Story of a White Rocking Horse
The Story of Calico Clown
Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge
[ILLUSTRATION: "You have made a fine shelter," said the hunter.]
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE
LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of the Bobbsey Twins.
COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY GROSSET & DUNLAP.
I. THE RUNAWAYS
II. OLD MR. CARFORD
III. THE BIG SNOWBALL
IV. THE ACCUSATION
V. HOLIDAYS AT HAND
VI. A VISIT TO MR. CARFORD
VII. THE STORY OF SNOW LODGE
VIII. A KIND OFFER
IX. MR. BOBBSEY'S STORY
X. UNWELCOME NEWS
XI. MAKING PLANS
XII. THE LETTERS
XIII. IN A HARD BLOW
XIV. AT SNOW LODGE
XV. THE SNOW SLIDE
XVI. LOST IN THE WOODS
XVII. HENRY BURDOCK
XIX. SNAP IS GONE
XX. THE BIG STORM
XXI. THE FALLING TREE
XXII. THE MISSINC MONEY
"Will Snap pull us, do you think, Freddie?" asked little Flossie Bobbsey, as she anxiously looked at her small brother, who was fastening a big, shaggy dog to his sled by means of a home-made harness. "Do you think he'll give us a good ride?"
"Sure he will, Flossie," answered Freddie with an air of wisdom. "I explained it all to him, and I've tried him a little bit. He pulled fine, and you won't be much heavier. I'll have the harness all fixed in a minute, and then we'll have a grand ride."
"Do you think Snap will be strong enough to pull both of us?" asked the little girl.
"Of course he will!" exclaimed Freddie firmly. "He's as good as an Esquimo dog, and we saw some pictures of them pulling sleds bigger than ours."
"That's so," admitted Flossie. "Well, hurry up, please, Freddie 'cause I'm cold standing here, and I want to get under the blankets on the sled and have a nice ride."
"I'll hurry all right, Flossie. You go up there by Snap's head and pat him. Then he'll stand stiller, and I can fix the harness on him quicker."
Flossie, with a shake of her light curls, and a stamp of her little feet to rid them of the snow from the drift in which she had been standing, went closer to the fine-looking and intelligent dog, who did not seem to mind being all tied up with ropes and leather straps to Freddie's sled.
"Good old Snap!" exclaimed Flossie, patting his head. "You're going to give Freddie and me a fine ride; aren't you, old fellow?"
Snap barked and wagged his tail violently.
"Hey! Stop that!" cried Freddie. "He's flopping his tail right in my face!" the little boy added. "I can't see to fasten this strap. Hold his tail, Flossie."
Snap, hearing the voice of his young master--one of his two masters by the way--wagged his tail harder than ever. Freddie made a grab for it, but missed. Flossie, seeing this, laughed and Snap, thinking it was a great joke, leaped about and barked with delight. He sprang out of the harness, which was only partly fastened on, and began leaping about in the snow. Finally he stood up on his hind legs and marched about, for Snap was a trick dog, and had once belonged to a circus.
"There now! Look at that!" cried Freddie. He's spoiled everything! We'll never get him hitched up now."
"It--it wasn't my fault," said Flossie, a tear or two coming into her eyes.
"I know it wasn't, Flossie," replied Freddie, speaking more quietly. "It's always just that way with Snap when he gets excited. Come here!" he called to the dog, "and let me harness you. Come here Snap!"
The dog was well enough trained so that he knew when the time for fun was over and when he had to settle down. Still wagging his tail joyously, however, Snap came up to Freddie, who started over again the work of harnessing the animal to the sled.
"I guess you'd better stand at his tail instead of at his head," said Freddie. "So when he wags it you can grab it, Flossie, and hold it still. Then it won't slap me in the face, and I can see what I'm doing. Hold his tail, Flossie."
"Then he can't wag it," objected the little girl.
"I know he can't. I don't want him to."
"But it may make him angry."
"Snap never gets mad; do you, Snap?" asked Freddie, and the dog's bark seemed to say "No, never!"
So Flossie held the dog's tail, while Freddie put on the harness again. This time he succeeded in getting it all arranged to suit him, and the frisky Snap was soon made fast to the sled.
"Now get on, Flossie," called her brother, "and we'll see how fast Snap can pull us."
"But don't make him go too fast, Freddie," begged the little girl. "For it's hard pulling in the snow."
"No, I'll let him go slow," promised Freddie. "But it won't be hard work pulling us. My sled goes awfully easy, anyhow."
Freddie tucked Flossie in amid the robes and rugs which the children had taken from the house, near which they had started to harness the dog. Then Freddie took his place in front of his sister, holding to two reins that were fastened to the dog's head. Freddie had made no bit, such as is used for horses and goats, but he thought by making straps fast to a sort of muzzle by which he could guide Snap, by pulling his head to one side or the other.
"All ready, Flossie?" called Freddie, when he himself was comfortable on the sled.
"All ready," she answered.
"Giddap, Snap!" cried Freddie, and, with a bark, off the dog started, pulling the sled and the two children after him.
"Oh, he's going! He's giving us a ride! It's as real as anything!" cried Flossie in delight, holding fast to the sled. "Oh, Freddie!"
"Of course it's real!" said Freddie. "Bert and Nan said Snap wouldn't pull us. but I knew he would. I just wish they could see us now."
As if in answer to this wish a little later, when the two smaller twins had turned a corner, they saw coming toward them their brother and sister Nan and Bert, also twins, but four years older.
"Look, look!" cried Flossie to Nan. "See what a nice ride we're having."
"Oh, look, Bert!" exclaimed Nan, "Snap really is pulling them," and she grasped her brother's arm. Bert was pulling his own sled and that of his twin sister.
"Yes, he'll pull them a little way," admitted Bert, as if he knew all about it, "and then, the first thing they know, Snap will turn around short and tip them into a snowdrift. He hasn't been trained to pull a sled, no matter how many other tricks he can do."
"I trained him myself!" declared Freddie, as he pulled on the lines to bring the dog to a stop. But Snap, seeing Nan and Bert, was eager to reach them to be patted and made much of, so he did not obey the command given by the reins, but kept on.
"Whoa there!" cried Freddie, holding back with all his little strength.
"See, I told you he wouldn't mind," said Bert, with a laugh.
"Oh, but isn't it cute!" exclaimed Nan, flapping her hands. "I didn't think they'd get any ride at all."
"We'll show you! We'll have a fine ride!" panted Freddie, vainly trying to make Snap halt.
Then just what Bert said would happen seemed about to take place. The dog leaped around, and turned short to get nearer to the older Bobbsey twins.
"Look out!" cried Bert, but his warning came too late.
Over went the sled, and Flossie and Freddie were pitched from it into a big, fluffy bank of snow, falling into it deeply, but with no more harm to them than if they had landed on a bed of feathers.
"Oh dear!" cried Flossie, as she felt herself shooting toward the snow.
"Whoa there! Whoa! Don't you run away, Snap!" shouted Freddie. Then his mouth was filled with snow and he could say nothing more.
"Oh, Bert! They'll be smothered!" cried Nan. "Help me get them out!"
Bert was laughing, and trying to defend himself against the jumping up of Snap, who seemed to want to hug the boy with his paws.
"Stop laughing! Help me!" ordered Nan, who was already trying to lift Flossie from her snowy bed.
"I can't help laughing--Freddie looked so funny when he went over," said Bert.
"There's no danger of smothering, though. That snow is as dry as sand. Here you go, Freddie. Give me your hand and I'll pull you out."
In a few seconds the smaller Bobbsey twins stood beside their larger brother and sister, while Snap capered about them, barking loudly and wagging his tail.
"Oh, he's got loose, and the harness is all broken," said Freddie, and tears of disappointment stood in his blue eyes.
"Never mind," said Bert. "I'll help you make a better harness to- morrow, Freddie. That one wasn't strong enough for Snap, anyhow. I'll fix it differently."
"Oh, but we were going to have such a fine ride!" said Flossie, who was also ready to cry. The smaller twins were only about five years old, so it might have been expected.
"Well, come on and go coasting with Bert and me," said Nan, as she patted her little sister's head." We're going over on the long hill. It's fine there, and you'll have just as much fun as if you had Snap to pull you."
"Shall we go, Freddie?" asked Flossie, who generally depended on him to start their amusements.
"I guess so," he answered. "This harness is all busted, anyhow."
Sadly he looked at the tangled strings and straps fast to the sled, where Snap had broken away from them. The harness Freddie had made with such care was all broken now.
"Never mind," said Bert again. "I'll make you a better one to-morrow, Freddie. Come along now, and we'll have some fun. And when we get through coasting I'll buy everybody a hot chocolate soda."
"Really?" asked Flossie, her sorrow forgotten now.
"Sure thing," promised Bert.
"Come on, then, Freddie," said his little sister. "We can harness Snap up to-morrow."
The useless harness was taken to the Bobbsey home, not far away, and then the four twins--the two sets of them, as it were--started for the coasting hill, Flossie and Freddie having one sled between them, and Nan and Bert each having one of their own.
On the way to the hill they met many of their friends, also bound for the same place. School was just out and the boys and girls were eager to have a good time in the snow.
"There's Charley Mason!" exclaimed Bert, seeing a boy he knew. "Hello, Charley!" he called. "Going coasting?"
"Sure. Where's the big bob?" For some time before this Bert and Charley had made, in partnership, a large bob sled.
"Oh, I didn't know you'd be out, or I'd have brought it," replied Bert. "Anyhow, I promised Nan I'd coast with her."
"Oh, that's all right. I guess the hill will be too crowded for a bob, anyhow. Danny Rugg was taking his over, though, for I saw him and some of his crowd hauling it from his barn a little while ago."
"Well, let 'em. We can get ours later. Got a new sled?" and Bert looked admiringly at the one Charley was pulling.
"No, it's only my old one painted over. But it makes it look like new."
"We had Snap hitched up, but he broke loose," said Freddie. "But we're going to have a stronger harness to-morrow."
"That's good," said Charley, with a broad smile.
Soon the children were on the hill. There was a large crowd of coasters there, and fun was at its height. There was merry shouting and laughter, and several spills and upsets. As Bert had said, the hill was very much crowded.
"I thought it would be no good for a bob," he remarked.
"There goes Danny Rugg now!" exclaimed Charley." He's giving orders to everyone."
"He'd better not give any to me," said Bert, in a quiet voice, but with determination in his tones.
"Oh, Bert!" exclaimed Nan. "Please don't have any fuss; will you?"
"Not on my part," said Bert "But if Danny Rugg thinks he can boss me he is mistaken."
It was evident that Danny liked to play master. He could be heard giving orders to this one and the other one to get out of the way, to pull his bob around in place, and then to shove it off with its load of boys and girls.
Now, though Danny was a bully, some of the children were friendly with him for the sake of getting a ride on his sled, which was a large and expensive one.
Bert and Nan, and Flossie and Freddie, soon were coasting with their friends, having a good time on the hill. The two smaller twins went down together.
As Freddie came up the long slope, pulling his sled in readiness for another trip, Danny Rugg with his bob reached the head of the slope at the same time.
"Say, Danny, give me a ride this trip; won't you?" begged a small boy, who had no sled, but who often did errands for the bully, and played mean tricks for him that, Danny was too lazy to play himself. "Let me go on your bob?"
"Not this time, Sim," said Danny. "The bob is going to be filled. But here, you can take Freddie Bobbsey's sled. He doesn't want it," and without giving Freddie time to say whether he did or not Danny snatched the sled rope from him and held it out to Sim Watson.
For a moment Freddie was too surprised to utter a protest and then, as he realized what had happened, he cried out:
"Here, Danny Rugg, you let my sled alone! I do want it! Give it back to me!"
"Aw, go on!" said Danny. "You've had rides enough. Let Sim take your sled, or I'll punch you!" and Danny gave Freddie a shove, and held out the rope of the sled to Sim.
"Stop it!" cried Freddie. "I'll tell Bert on you."
"Pooh! Think I'm afraid of your brother. I can handle him with one hand tied behind my back."
"Then it's time you started in!" exclaimed a voice just back of Danny, and the bully turned suddenly to see Bert standing near him, Danny's face flushed, and then grew pale. Before he could make a move Bert grabbed away from him the rope of Freddie's sled, which Sim had not yet taken, and passed it back to his small brother.
"Don't you try that again," warned Bert.
"I will if I want to," said Danny, meanly, "I'm not afraid of you."
"Maybe not," said Bert, quietly, "and I'm not afraid of you, either. But if you take my brother's sled for some of your friends you'll have to settle with me. You leave Freddie alone; do you hear?"
"I don't have to mind you!"
"We'll see about that. Go ahead, Freddie. You and Flossie coast as much as you like, and if Danny bothers you any more let me know."
Danny, with an uneasy laugh, turned aside. Some of his particular chums gathered about him, and one murmured:
"Why don't you fight him?"
For a moment it looked as though there might be trouble, but an instant later all thoughts of it passed, for a series of girls' screams came from midway down the long hill.
All eyes were turned in that direction, and those at the top of the slope saw a team of runaway horses, attached to a heavy bobsled, plunging madly up the hill.
And, right in the path of the frightened animals was Nan Bobbsey, and one or two other girls, on their sleds, coasting straight for the runaways.
A cry of fear came from Bert Bobbsey as he noticed his sister's danger.
OLD MR. CARFORD
"Stop the horses!"
"Yes, grab them, somebody, or they'll run into the girls!"
"Look out, everybody, they're coming right this way!"
"I'm going to get my bob to a safe place!"
It was Danny Rugg who called out this last, and the other boys had shouted the previous expressions, as they watched the oncoming, runaway horses.
Bert Bobbsey had thrown himself on his sled and was coasting toward the group of girls, of whom his sister Nan was one. They were on their sleds in the very path of the team. It seemed that nothing could save them. But Bert had a plan in his mind.
And, while he was preparing to carry it out, I will take just a moment to tell my new readers something about the characters of this story, and the books that have gone before in the series.
Bert and Nan, Freddie and Flossie Bobbsey were the twin children of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bobbsey, who lived in an Eastern city called Lakeport, at the head of Lake Metoka. Mr. Bobbsey was a prosperous lumber merchant. Other members of the household were Dinah and Sam Johnson. Dinah was the cook, fat and good-natured. Sam was her husband, slim and also good-natured. He did all sorts of work about the place, from making garden to shoveling snow.
Then there was Downy, a pet duck; Snoop, a pet black cat, and, of late, Snap, the fine trick dog, who had come into the possession of the Bobbseys in a peculiar manner.
In the first book of this series, entitled "The Bobbsey Twins," I told of the good times the four children had in their home. How they played in the snow, went coasting, helped to discover what they thought was a "ghost," and did many other things. Bert even went for a sail in an ice boat he and Charley Mason had made, though it was almost more than the boys could manage at times.
The second volume, called "The Bobbsey Twins in the Country," told of the good times the four had when they went to the farm of Uncle Daniel Bobbsey and his wife, Aunt Sarah, who lived at Meadow Brook.
Such fun as there was!
There was a country picnic, sport in the woods, and a great Fourth of July celebration, A circus gave a chance to have other good times, and though once there was a midnight scare, it all turned out happily.
But though the twins had much happiness in the country they were destined to have still more fun when they went to the ocean shore, and in the third book, called "The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore," I related all that happened to them there.
They went on a visit to their uncle, William Minturn, who lived at Ocean Cliff, and their cousin Dorothy showed them many strange scenes and sights. They had most delightful times, and toward the close of their visit there was a great storm at sea, and a shipwreck. The life savers were on hand, however, and did such good work that no one was drowned. And if you want to learn how a certain little girl was made very happy, when she found that her father was among those saved, you must read the book.
Then, after the storm ceased, there were more happy days at the shore. The time for the Bobbseys to leave came all too soon. School was about to open, and even the smaller twins must now settle down to regular lessons.
In the fourth book of the series, called "The Bobbsey Twins at School," there is told of the start for home.
But many things happened before the family arrived. There was the wreck of the circus train, the escape of the animals, the meeting with the very fat lady, and the loss of Snoop, the pet cat. Then, too, a valuable cup the smaller Bobbsey twins had been drinking from, seemed to be lost, and they were very sorry about it.
On the way home something else occurred. They were followed in the dark by some strange animal. At first they feared it was some wild beast from the circus but it proved to be only a friendly dog.
How Flossie and Freddie insisted on keeping the dog, now that their pet cat Snoop was gone, how they named him Snap, and how it was discovered that he could do tricks, are all part of the story.
There were many more happenings after the twins started in at school. Mr. Bobbsey's boathouse caught fire in a mysterious manner. Snap was found to be a circus dog, and it was pretty certain that the fat lady in the train had also belonged to the show, and that it was she who had the valuable silver cup.
In time all was straightened out, and how Snoop came back from the circus in far-off Cuba, how Snap was allowed to stay with the Bobbseys, and how even the cup was finally recovered--all this you will find set down in the fourth book of this series.
And now winter had come in earnest, though even before this story opens the Bobbsey twins had had a taste of snow and ice. The accident on the coasting hill now occupied the attention of all.
"Oh, Nan! Nan will be killed!" cried Flossie, as she stood with Freddie gazing down the slope.
"No, she won't!" exclaimed Freddie, "Bert is going to save her--you'll see!"
"Oh, if he only can!" murmured Nellie Parks, one of Nan's friends.
"I think he will! See, he is coming nearer to them," added Grace Lavine, another friend.
Danny Rugg, mean as he was, was not quite so mean as to discourage this hope. Some of the girls on the sleds that were coming nearer to the rushing horses seemed about to roll off, rather than take chances of steering out of the way of the steeds.
"What can Bert be going to do?" asked Grace. "How can he save them?"
"I don't know," answered Nellie. "Let's watch him. Maybe he's going to stop the horses."
"He'd never dare!" murmured Grace.
"Oh, Bert is brave," was the answer.
But Bert had no intention of leaping for the horses' heads just now. His first idea was to get his sister and the other girls to a place of safety. As he came near to them, his sled going much faster than theirs, he called out:
"Steer to the right! Go to the right! I'll see if I can't make the horses go over to one side."
"All right!" cried Nan, who understood what her brother meant. "Keep to the right, girls," she called to her frightened chums, "and don't any of you fall off!"
Those who had been about to roll from their sleds now held on with firmer clasps. They were close to the runaway team now. Bert was near to them also, and, while wondering to whom they belonged, and whether they had injured their driver or anyone else in their mad rush, he caught up a handful of snow as his sled glided onward.
It was hard work to throw the snow ball at the horses, going down hill as he was, but Bert managed to do it. He had the good luck to hit one of the animals with the wad of snow, and this sent the horse over to one side, its mate following. This was just what Bert wanted, as it gave Nan and the others more room to coast past them.
And this is just what the girls did. Their sleds whizzed past the runaways, one sled, on which Hattie Jenson rode, almost grazing a hoof.
"Now you're safe!" cried Bert. "Keep on to the foot of the hill! You're all right!"
He gathered up another handful of snow, and threw it at the steeds, making them swerve more than ever towards the side of the hill. Then one of the animals slipped and stumbled. This caused them both to slow up, and Bert, seeing this, left his sled, rolling off, and letting it go down without him.
Hardly thinking of what he was doing, he ran for the heads of the horses. Perhaps it was not just wise, for Bert was not very tall, but he was brave. However, he was not to stop the runaways all alone, for just then some of the larger boys, who had been rushing down the hill, came up, and before the horses could start off again several lads had grasped them by the bridles and were quieting them.
"That was a good idea of yours, Bert Bobbsey," said Frank Miller. "A fine idea, lo throw snowballs at them. It made them go to one side all right, and slowed them up."
"I wanted to save the girls," said Bert, who was panting from his little run.
"Whose team is it?" asked another boy.
"I don't know," answered Bert. "I can't say that I ever saw them before. There's no one in the sled, anyhow, though it is pretty well loaded with stuff."
He and the other boys looked into the vehicle. It contained a number of boxes and bags. Then the boys looked down the hill and saw that the girls who had been in danger were now safe. Nan and the others were walking up, dragging their sleds.
The boys then noticed a man half running up the slope. He was waving his arms in an excited fashion.
"I guess that's the man who owns the horses," said Charley Mason.
There was no doubt of it a few minutes later, when the man came close enough to make himself heard.
"Are they all right, boys?" he asked. "Are my horses hurt?"
"They don't seem to be," answered Frank.
"That's good. Are my things all right?"
"Everything seems to be here," said Charley Mason, who was standing beside Bert. "I know who he is now," went on Charley in a low tone to his chum." He's Mr. James Carford, of Newton."
"He's lame," observed Bert, for the man limped slightly.
"Yes, he was in the war," went on Charley. "He's real rich, too, but peculiar, they say."
By this time aged Mr. Carford was looking over the team and the sled and its contents. He seemed weary and out of breath.
"Yes, everything is all right," he said slowly. "I hope no one was hurt by my runaways, I never knew 'em to do that before. I left 'em outside the store a minute while I went in to get something, and they must have taken fright. I hope no one was hurt."
"No, everyone got out of the way in time," said Bert.
"That's good. Who stopped the horses?" the old man asked.
"Bert Bobbsey," answered Frank Miller. "He warned his sister and the other girls to steer to one side, and then he threw snow at the horses and made them fall down. Then they slowed up so we could grab 'em."
"Ha! Bert Bobbsey did that, eh?" exclaimed aged Mr. Carford. "So this is the second time a Bobbsey has mixed up in my family affairs. The second time," and Mr. Carford looked at Bert in a peculiar manner.
"Did you fall out of the sled, Mr. Carford?" asked another boy, coming up just then.
"No, they started off when I was in the store. Funny, too, that they should. Well, I'm glad there's no one hurt and no damage done. I couldn't walk home to Newton. I'm much obliged to you boys. And to you too, Bert Bobbsey.
"Are you Richard Bobbsey's son?" he suddenly asked, peering at Bert from beneath his shaggy eyebrows.
"Ha! I thought so. You look like him. You do things like him, too, without stopping to be asked. Yes, this is the second time a Bobbsey has meddled with my family affairs. Trying to do me a good turn, I suppose. Well, well!" and he seemed lost in thought.
"What is it? What is the matter?" asked Nan, in a low voice of her brother, as she came to stand beside him. "Is he finding fault because you helped stop his runaway horses?"
"No, Nan. I don't exactly understand what he does mean," answered Bert. "There seems to be some mystery about it."
THE BIG SNOWBALL
For a time Mr. Carford seemed more worried about the possible injury to his team, and the loss of some of his goods in the sled, than he was concerned about thanking the boys who had stopped the runaways. Then, as he found by looking them over, that the horses were all right, and that nothing was missing, he approached Bert and the others, saying:
"Well, boys, I'm much obliged to you. I can't tell you how much. No telling what damage the horses might have done if you hadn't stopped 'em. And I'm glad no one was hurt.
"Now I reckon you boys aren't much different than I was, when I was a youngster, and I guess you like sweets about the same. Here are a couple of dollars, Bert Bobbsey. I wish you'd treat all your friends to hot chocolate soda or candy or whatever you like best It isn't exactly pay for what you did, but it just shows I'm not forgetful."
"Oh, we didn't stop the horses for money!" cried Bert, drawing back.
"I know you didn't," answered Mr. Carford, with a smile," and I'm not paying you either. You stopped the horses, or you tried to stop them, Bert, to save your sister and the other girls. I understand that all right. But the horses were stopped just the same, and please take this as a little thank offering, if nothing else. Please do."
He held out the two-dollar bill, and Bert did not feel like refusing. He accepted the money with murmured thanks, and as Mr. Carford climbed into the sled, limping more than ever after his run up the hill, the aged man muttered:
"The second time a Bobbsey has been mixed up in my affairs. I wonder what will happen when the third time comes?"
Calling good-byes to the boys and girls, and again thanking them for what they had done, Mr. Carford drove off amid a jingle of bells,
"What do you s'pose he meant by saying this was the second time a Bobbsey had been mixed up in his family affairs?" asked Charley Mason of Bert.
"I haven't the least idea. I never knew Mr. Carford before this. I'll ask my father."
"Is that bill real?" asked one boy, referring to the money.
"It sure is," answered Bert, looking at it "Come on to the drugstore and well spend it. That's what it's for."
"Going to treat Danny Rugg, and his crowd, too?" asked Frank Miller.
"Well, I guess Mr. Carford wanted this money to be spent on everyone on the hill, so it includes Danny," answered Bert slowly.
But Danny and his particular friends held back from Bert, and did not share in the treat. Probably Danny did not want to come to too close quarters with Bert after the attempt made to get Freddie's sled.
The excitement caused by the runaway was over now. Bert got back his sled and, as interest in coasting had waned at the prospect of hot chocolate sodas, the crowd of boys and girls trooped from the hill and started toward town, where there was a favorite drug store.
Standing about the soda counter the boys and girls discussed the recent happening.
"What did you think, Nan, when you saw the team coming?" asked Grace Lavine.
"I really don't know what I did think," answered Nan.
"Weren't you awfully frightened?" inquired Nellie Parks.
"Oh, I suppose I was. But I hoped I could steer out of the way, and I remember hoping that Flossie and Freddie were in a safe place."
"Oh,--we were all right," said Freddie quickly. "Flossie and I were watching the horses. This chocolate is awful good!" he added with a sigh. "Is there any money left, Bert?"
"Yes, a little," answered his brother "But you have had your share."
"Oh, if there is any left let him and Flossie have it," suggested Grace. "They're the smallest ones here."
"Yes, do," urged Nellie, and as several others agreed that this was the thing to do, the two little Bobbsey twins each bad another cup of chocolate.
"Though Freddie has almost as much outside his mouth as inside it," said Nan, with a laugh.
Then the merry party of boys and girls trooped homeward, Bert and Nan thinking on the way of the strange words of Mr. Carford and wondering what he meant by them.
Several of the older boys, who knew the old gentleman, told something of him. He was a strange character, living in a fine old homestead. He was said to be queer on certain matters, but kind and good, and quite charitable, especially at Christmas time, to the poor of that country neighborhood.
"We'll ask papa about him when we get home," said Bert. "Maybe he can explain it."
But when the Bobbsey twins reached their house they found that their father had suddenly been called away on a business trip to last for some days, and so they did not see him.
"I haven't the least idea what Mr. Carford meant," said Mrs. Bobbsey, when they had asked her. "I did not even know that your father knew him. I am sorry you children were in danger on the hill."
"Oh, it wasn't much, mother," said Bert quickly, for he feared if his parent grew too worried she might put a stop to the winter fun.
Supper was soon ready and then came a happy period before bedtime-- that is happy after lessons had been learned. Snoop the black cat, and Snap, the smart circus dog, were allowed in the living room, to do some of their tricks, Snoop having been taught a number while with the fat lady in the circus.
Bert fell asleep vainly wondering about the queer words of Mr. Carford, and he dreamed that he was sliding down hill on the back of a horse who turned somersaults, every now and then, into a bag of popcorn.
Coasting came to an end the next day, for there was a big snow storm, and the hill would not be in good condition until the white flakes were packed hard on the slope. But there were other forms of sport-- snowballing, the making of forts, snow houses and snow men, so that the Bobbseys and their friends were kept busy.
Then came a little thaw, and the snow was just soft enough to roll into big balls.
"It's just right for making a large fort!" exclaimed Danny Rugg one day, after school was out. "We'll roll up a lot of big balls, put them in lines on four sides and make a square fort. Then, we'll choose sides and have a snow fight."
The other boys agreed to this, and soon Bert and the others, including Danny and his friends, were busily engaged. For the time being the hard feeling between Danny and Bert was forgotten.
The fort was finished, and there was a spirited snow battle about it, one side trying to capture it and the other trying to stop them. Bert's side managed to get into the fort, driving the others out.
"Oh, we'll beat you to-morrow!" taunted Danny, when the battle was over.
The next morning, when the children assembled at school, they saw a strange sight. On the front steps of the building was a great snowball, so large that it almost hid the door from sight. And working at it, trying to cut it away so that the entrance could be used, was the janitor. He was having hard work it seemed.
"Who did it?"
"Who put it there?"
"Say, it's frozen fast, too!"
"Somebody will get into trouble about this."
These were only a few of the things said when the children saw the big snowball on the school steps.
"It's frozen fast all right enough," said the janitor, grimly. "Whoever put it there poured water over it, and it's frozen so fast that I'll have to chop it away piece by piece. All day it will take me, too, and me with all the paths to clean!"
When the classes were assembled for the morning exercises Mr. Tetlow, the school principal, stepped to the edge of the platform, and said:
"I presume you have all seen the big snow ball on the front steps. Whoever put it there did a very wrong thing. I know several boys must have had a hand in it, for one could not do it alone. I will now give those who did it a chance to confess. If they will admit it, and apologize, I will let the matter drop. If not I will punish them severely. Now are you ready to tell, boys? I may say that I have a clue to at least one boy who had a hand in the trick."
Mr. Tetlow paused. There was silence in the room, and the boys looked one at the other. Who was guilty?
For what seemed a long time Mr. Tetlow stood looking over the room full of pupils. One could have heard a pin drop, so quiet was it. The hard breathing of the boys and girls could be heard. From over in a corner where Danny Rugg sat, came a sound of whispering.
"Quiet!" commanded the principal sharply. "There must be no talking. I will wait one minute more for the guilty ones to acknowledge that they rolled the big snowball on the steps. Then, if they do not speak, I shall have something else to say."
The minute ticked slowly off on the big clock. No one spoke. Bert glanced from side to side as he sat in his seat, wondering what would come next. Many others had the same thought.
"I see no one wishes to take advantage of my offer," said Mr. Tetlow slowly. "Very well. You may all go to your class-rooms, with the exception of Bert Bobbsey. I wish to see him in my office at once. Do you hear, Bert?"
There was a gasp of astonishment, and all eyes were turned on Bert. He grew red in the face, and then pale. He could see Nan looking at him curiously, as did other girls. Bert was glad Flossie and Freddie were not in the room, for the kindergarten children did not assemble for morning exercises with the larger boys and girls. Flossie and Freddie might have been frightened at the solemn talk.
For a moment Bert could hardly believe what he had heard. He was wanted in Mr. Tetlow's office! It did not seem possible And there was but one explanation of it. It must be in connection with the big snowball. And Bert knew he had had no hand in putting it on the school steps.
There was a buzz of talk, many whisperings, and some one spoke aloud. It sounded like Danny Rugg, but poor Bert was so confused at his own plight that he could not be sure.
"Silence!" commanded Mr. Tetlow, as the boys and girls marched to their various rooms. "Bert, you will wait for me in my office," he added. Poor Bert looked all around. He met many glances that were kind, and others, from Danny Rugg's friends, that were not. Nan waved her hand at her brother as she passed him, and Bert smiled at her. He made up his mind to be brave. Bert went to the principal's office, and sat in a chair. There was another boy there, who looked at Bert in a questioning manner.
"Are you here to get some writing paper, Bert?" asked the other boy. "Miss Kennedy sent me for some."
"No," answered Bert." I only wish I was. I guess Mr. Tetlow thinks I had something to do with the big snowball."
"I did not!" exclaimed Bert quickly.
The principal entered a little later, gave to the other boy the package of writing paper Miss Kennedy had sent for, and then sat down beside Bert.
"I am sorry to have to do this, Bert," he said, "but this is a serious matter and I must treat it seriously. Now again, I ask if you have anything to say to me? Perhaps you were too worried to stand up before the whole school."
"No, sir," answered Bert, "I don't know that I have anything to say, if you mean about the big snowball."
"Then you deny that you had anything to do with it?"
"Yes, sir. I never helped roll it on the steps." "Do you know who did?"
"No, sir. I haven't the least idea."
"And you were not anywhere near it?"
"Ahem! Let me ask you, have you a knife, Bert?"
Without thinking Bert's hand went to his pocket, and then, as he recalled something, his face turned red, and he said:
"I have one, but I haven't got it now."
"Is this it?" asked Mr. Tetlow, suddenly holding out one.
Bert did not need to give more than a single glance at it to know that it was his knife. It had his name on the handle and had been given him by his father at Christmas.
"Yes, that's mine," he said slowly.
"So I thought. And do you know where it was found, Bert?"
"No, Mr. Tetlow, I haven't any idea."
"Suppose I told you the janitor picked it up on the steps almost under the big snowball? If I tell you that what have you to say?"
"Well, Mr. Tetlow, I'll have to say that I don't know anything about it. I didn't drop my knife there, I'm sure."
"Then some one else must have done it. Be careful now, Bert. I don't want to be hasty, but it looks to me very much as though you were one of the boys who had played this trick--a trick that has made considerable trouble. I am sure there must have been others concerned with you, and I am almost positive that you had a hand in it.
"Now I am not going to ask you to tell tales against your companions. I don't believe in that sort of thing. But I am very sorry that you did not admit at first that you had a share in rolling the big ball. Very sorry, Bert."
"But, Mr. Tetlow, I didn't do it!" cried poor Bert, the tears coming into his eyes. "I don't know how my knife got there, but I do know I didn't help roll that ball. Please believe me; won't you?"
For a moment the principal was silent. Then he said slowly:
"Bert, I would very much like to believe you, for I have always found you a good, manly and upright boy. But the evidence is strong against you I am sorry to say. And this trick was one I can not easily overlook. Rolling the snowball on the steps was bad enough, but when water was poured over it, to freeze, and become ice, making it so much harder to clean off, it made matters so much worse.
"Besides making a lot of work for the janitor, there was danger that some of the teachers might slip on the icy path and be injured. If your knife had only been found lying on top of the ice I might think you had come up merely to look at the big ball, and had dropped your property there. But the knife was found frozen fast, showing that it must have been dropped during the time the water was poured on the steps. So you see whoever left it there must have been on hand when the trick was played."
"That may be true, Mr. Tetlow!" cried Bert, "but I did not leave my knife there. I remember now--I can explain it! I couldn't think, at first, but I see it now."
"Very well," said Mr. Tetlow quietly, "I'll hear what you have to say, Bert."
HOLIDAYS AT HAND
Bert Bobbsey was thinking rapidly. Something that he had nearly forgotten came suddenly to his mind, and he hoped it would clear him of the accusation.
And what he had seen, that brought back to his mind something that he had nearly forgotten, was the sight of an elderly gentleman driving past the school in a sled. It was aged Mr. Carford, whose runaway team Bert had helped stop that day on the hill.
"Will you let me call in Mr. Carford?" asked Bert of the principal.
"Call in Mr. Carford?" repeated Mr. Tetlow in some surprise. "What for?"
"Because, sir," said Bert eagerly, "he saw me lend my knife to Jimmie Belton last night, and he can tell you that I went on home, leaving my knife with Jimmie."
"Ha! Do you mean to say that Jimmie dropped it in the ice on the school steps?"
"No, Mr. Tetlow, I don't mean to say that. But I can prove by Mr. Carford that I went home last night without my knife. Please call him in."
Bert thought of the strange old man, who had made such an odd remark concerning the Bobbsey family. And Bert was determined to find out what it meant, but, as yet, he had had no chance, as his father was still away on a business trip.
"Very well, we shall see what Mr. Carford has to say," spoke the principal. "And I will have Jimmie Belton in also."
Mr. Tetlow pressed a bell button that called the janitor, and the latter, who was still chopping away at the frozen steps, came to see what was wanted.
"Just call to that old gentleman going past in the bob sled to come in here," said Mr. Tetlow. "He is Mr. Carford."
"Tell him Bert Bobbsey wants to see him," added the boy, amazed at his own boldness.
"Yes, you may do that," said Mr. Tetlow, as the janitor looked toward him. Somehow the principal was beginning to doubt Bert's guilt now.
From the office window Bert watched the janitor hail the aged man, who paused for a minute, and then, tying his team, came on toward the school. Bert's heart was lighter now. He was sure the old gentleman would bear out what he had said, and Bert felt he would be glad to do him a good turn in part payment for what Bert and his chums had done in catching the runaways.
"Mr. Carford," began Mr. Tetlow, who knew the aged man slightly, "there has been trouble here, and Bert Bobbsey thinks perhaps you can help clear it up. So I have asked you to step in for a moment." Then he told about the big snowball, and mentioned how he had come to suspect Bert.
"But Bert tells me," went on Mr. Tetlow, "that you saw him lending his knife to Jimmie Belton last night. May I ask you, is that so?"
"Why, yes, it is," said the aged man slowly. "I'll tell you how it was." He nodded at Bert in a friendly way, and there was a twinkle in his deep-set eyes.
"It was just toward dusk last evening," went on Mr. Carford, "and I was on my way home to Newton. I'd been in town buying some supplies, and near the cross roads I met Bert and another boy."
"That was Jimmie," said Bert eagerly.
"Well, I heard you call him Jimmie--that's all I know," said Mr. Carford. "Bert was cutting a branch from a tree, and when I came up to them I offered them a ride as far as I was going. They got in, and Bert here was whittling away with his knife as he sat beside me. Yes, that's the knife," said Mr. Carford, as the principal showed it to him."
"I was making a ramrod for a toy spring gun I have," explained Bert. "It shoots long sticks, like arrows, and I had lost one of my best ones, so on the way home I cut another. Then just before Mr. Carford gave us the ride, Jimmie came along and asked me to lend him my knife. I said I would as soon as I had finished making my arrow. I did finish it in the sled and I gave him my knife just before we got out."
Mr. Tetlow looked inquiringly at Mr. Carford, who nodded in answer.
"Yes," said the aged man, "that was the way of it. Bert did lend that other boy--Jimmie he called him--his knife. I saw the two boys separate and Jimmie carried off Bert's knife. But that's all I do know. The snowball business I have nothing to do with."
"No, I suppose not," said the principal slowly. "I am sorry now that I said what I did, Bert. But there still remains the question of how your knife got on the steps. Do you think Jimmie had a hand in putting the snowball there?"
"I don't know, Mr. Tetlow. I wouldn't like to say."
"No, of course not. I'll have Jimmie here." The principal called a messenger and sent him for Jimmie, who came to the office wondering what it was all about.
Without telling him what was wanted Mr. Tetlow asked Jimmie this question quickly: "What did you do with Bert's knife fie lent it to you last night?"
For a moment Jimmie was confused. A strange look came over his face. He clapped his hand to his pocket and exclaimed:
"I--I lent it to Danny Rugg."
"Danny Rugg!" cried Bert.
"No, I didn't exactly lend it to Danny," explained Jimmie," for I knew, Bert, that you and he weren't very friendly. But after you let me take it last night, to start making that sailboat I was telling you about, I forgot all about promising you that I'd bring it back after supper. Then Danny came over, and he helped me with the boat. When he saw I had your knife, and when he heard me say I must take it back, he offered to leave it for you when he came past your house the next time."
"And did you give it to him?" asked the principal.
"Yes, I did," answered Jimmie. "I thought he would do as he said. He took the knife when he went home from my house."
"But he never gave it to me!" said Bert quickly.
"I am beginning to believe he did not," said the principal. "I think we will have Danny in here."
The bully came in rather defiant, and stared boldly around at those in the office. Mr. Tetlow resolved on a surprising plan.
"Danny," he said suddenly, "why did you put Bert's knife on the step, and let it freeze there to make it look as though Bert had helped place the snowball in front of the door? Why did you?"
"I--I--" stammered Danny, "I didn't--"
"Be careful now," warned the principal. "We have heard the whole story. Jimmie has told how you promised to leave the knife with Bert, but you did not."
Danny swallowed a lump in his throat. He was much confused, and finally he broke down and admitted that he had been present and had helped roll the snowball on the steps.
"But I wasn't the only one!" he exclaimed. "There was--"
Tut Tut!" exclaimed the principal. "I want no tale-bearing. I think those who did the trick will confess now, after I tell them what has happened. Danny, it was very wrong of you to play such a joke, but it was much worse to try to throw the blame on Bert by leaving his knife there."
"I--I didn't do it on purpose," said Danny. "The knife must have slipped out of my pocket." But no one believed that, for Danny was known to have a grudge against Bert, and that was reason enough for trying to throw the blame on our little hero.
But Bert was soon cleared, for, a little later, when Mr. Tetlow called the school together, saying that he had been mistaken in regard to Bert, and relating what had come out about the knife, several of the boys who, with Danny had placed the big ball on the steps, admitted their part in it.
They were all punished, but Danny most of all, for his mean act in trying to make it look as though Bert had done it.
"Well," said Mr. Carford, as he took his leave, having helped to prove Bert's innocence "this time I have had a chance to do a Bobbsey a favor, in return for one you did me, Bert."
"Yes, sir," answered Bert, not knowing what else to say. He was puzzling over what strange connection there might be between his family and Mr. Carford.
"Come up and see me sometime," said the aged man. "And bring your brother and sisters, Bert. I'll be glad to see them at my place. I'm going to stay home all this winter. I'm getting too old to go to Snow Lodge anymore."
Bert wondered what Snow Lodge was, but he did not like to ask.
Thus was cleared up the mystery of the big snowball, and Bert's many friends were as glad as he was himself that he had been found innocent.
There came more snow storms, followed by freezing weather after a thaw, and the boys and girls had much fun on the ice, a number of skating races having been arranged among the school pupils.
The end of the mid-winter term was approaching, and the Christmas holidays would soon be at hand. Then would come a three week's vacation, and the Bobbsey twins were talking about how they could spend it.
"It's too cold to go to the seashore," said Nan with a shiver, as she looked out of the window over the snowy yard.
"And the country would be about the same," added Bert.
"Oh, it's lovely in the country during the winter, I think," said Nan.
"We could get up a circus in the barn, with Snoop and Snap," said Flossie, who was busy over a picture book.
"Then I'm going to be the ring-master and crack a big whip and wear big boots!" cried Freddie.
"I do hope papa will be home for Christmas," sighed Nan, for Mr. Bobbsey's business trip, in relation to lumber matters, had kept him away from home longer than expected.
"I have good news for you, children," said Mrs. Bobbsey, coming into the room just then with a letter. "Your father is coming home to- morrow."
"Oh, how nice!" cried Nan.
"I hope he brings us something," said Freddie.
"I'll have a chance to ask him about Mr. Carford," thought Bert." I wonder what that old man meant by his strange words?"
A VISIT TO MR. CARFORD
"Freddie, what in the world are you doing?"
"Flossie! Oh dear! You children! You have the place all upset!"
Mrs. Bobbsey, who had come into the big living room, to see the two younger twins engaged in some strange proceedings, paused at the doorway to look on. Indeed the place was upset, for the chairs had been dragged out from against the walls and from corners to be placed in a row before a large sofa. From one corner of this to a side wall was stretched a sheet, and in another corner, in a pen made of chairs, could be seen the wagging tail of Snap, the trick dog.
"What in the world are you doing?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey. "Oh, dear, how I do dread a rainy day!" for it was pouring outside, and the older, as well as the younger twins had to stay in doors.
"We're playing circus," explained Freddie gravely, as he peered between the "bars" of the cage made of chairs. "Snap is a lion," went on the little fellow. "Growl, Snap!"
And Snap, always ready to have fun, growled and barked to satisfy the most exacting circus lover.
"Oh dear!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey. "I'll never get this room straightened out again."
"Oh, we'll fix it, mamma, after the circus," said Flossie sweetly. "Sit down and see the show. I'll make Snoop do some of the tricks the fat circus lady taught her," and Flossie lifting up one corner of the sheet, showed the black cat curled up on a cushion, while back of her, tied by one leg, was Downy the pet duck.
"This was going to be the happy family cage," explained Flossie, "only when we had Snap in here he kept playing with Downy, and Downy quacked and that made Snoop nervous so we couldn't do it very well."
"So we made Snap the lion, and part of the time he's going to be the tiger," said Freddie. "Dinah is going to give us some blueing that she uses on the clothes, and I'm going to paint stripes on Snap."
"Don't you dare do it," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "The idea of painting blue stripes on poor Snap! Whoever heard of a blue-striped tiger?" and she tried hard not to laugh.
"Well, this is a new kind," said Freddie. "Sit down, mamma, and we'll make Snoop do a trick for you. Make her chase her tail, Flossie."
"No, I'll make her walk a tight rope," said the little girl. "That's more of a trick."
Flossie got her jumping rope, which she had little use for now, and tied it from the back of one chair to the back of another, placed some distance away. Then she pulled the rope tight between them, and, taking Snoop up in her arms, placed the cat carefully on the stretched rope.
Snoop stood still for a minute, meowing a little and waving her tail back and forth. Poor Snoop! The black cat did not like to do tricks as well as did Snap. No cats do. But Snap, when he saw what was going on, was eager to show off what he could do.
He leaped about in his chair "cage," barking loudly, much to the delight of Freddie who liked to hear the "lion" roar.
"Go on, Snoop!" called the twins, and gave the cat a gentle shove. Then Snoop did really walk across the rope, for it was almost as easy as walking the back fence, which Snoop had often done. Only the rope was not as steady as the fence. But the fat circus lady had trained the black cat well, and Snoop performed the trick to the delight of the children.
"That is very good," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Oh, see! Snap is turning a somersault in his cage. Poor dog, let him out, Freddie; won't you?"
"He isn't a dog--he's a lion," insisted the little boy. "I dassen't let out a lion, or he might bite you."
But Snap had no idea of playing the lion all the while. Suddenly Downy, the duck, with a loud quack, got her leg loose from the string and flew out across the room. This so surprised Snoop, who had started back over the tight rope, that he fell off with a cry of alarm.
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