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   Chapter 2 LOCKED UP

The Bobbsey Twins at Cedar Camp By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 10969

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:03


"Get him! Get him!" cried Bert Bobbsey, making a dive for the little mouse.

"Oh, don't let him come near me!" screamed Nan, as she left her seat and hurried over toward her mother.

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey. "To be frightened at a poor little mouse!"

The mouse ran under one chair after another, and circled around beneath the dining room table.

"Where's Snoop?" cried Bert, stooping down to watch which way the mouse ran. "Get Snoop in to catch the mouse!"

"Don't let him get me!" begged Flossie, and she ran over to Nan.

"Children, be quiet!" commanded Mr. Bobbsey. "All this excitement over a little mouse! Freddie, you did very wrong to put a mouse in a box and give it to Dinah for a birthday present!" and he spoke rather sternly to the little fellow.

"Am dat mouse mah birfday present?" asked the fat cook, who was huddled against the wall. "If it is I don't want it nohow!"

Isn't it queer how frightened some women and girls are of a mouse? I wonder why that it is? Anyhow, Nan, Flossie and Dinah seemed much frightened, while Bert was more interested in seeing which way the little gray creature ran.

"Get Snoop! Where is Snoop?" asked Bert, calling for the family cat. "Snoop will love to chase this mouse!"

"I help you catch my mouse for Snoop!" offered Freddie.

He had stood, eagerly waiting, to see what would happen when Dinah opened his extra present box. And enough had happened to satisfy even fun-loving Freddie.

"Here, I'll fix that mouse!" cried Mr. Bobbsey. "Let it alone, Bert. I'll drive it out!"

Mr. Bobbsey picked up a small open glass salt dish from the table, and was about to throw it at the mouse under the table.

"Don't do that," said his wife.

"Why not?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, holding the salt dish in readiness.

"Because you'll spill the salt and it will have to be cleaned up."

"I'll get the mouse!" cried Freddie. "I'll get him!"

He ran over to the goldfish tank in one corner of the room. On the table on which the tank rested was a tiny net of cloth on a handle and wire frame. Bert used the net to lift out the fish when he wanted to clean the tank, which he intended doing that day.

"I'll catch the mouse under this!" cried Freddie, grabbing up the little net and trying to dive under the table. But the little fellow slipped, and knocked over a chair. It happened to fall on Flossie's foot. Instantly the small Bobbsey girl set up a cry.

"Oh! Oh, Freddie Bobbsey! Now look what you did! My toenails is all broken! Oh! Oh!"

"Hush! Hush!" begged Mother Bobbsey, hugging Flossie.

"Oh, mah good lan'!" exclaimed Dinah, "I neber did see such a birfday as dish yeah! Nebber in all mah born days!"

Bert caught up his aluminum napkin ring and threw it across the room as the mouse made a dart toward the door leading into the kitchen.

"There he goes!" cried Bert. "No use getting Snoop now!"

"Well, I'm glad the creature is out of the way!" said Mrs. Bobbsey, with a sigh of relief. "Now, Freddie, what possessed you to do a thing like that-to give Dinah a mouse for her birthday?"

"And where did you get it?" asked Bert. "I should think you'd be afraid of it, Freddie."

"He was in the box, and I shut the cover down quick-like that"-Freddie clapped his hands together-"and I ketched him."

"You should say 'caught,'" murmured Nan. "Your teacher wouldn't like to have you say 'ketched,' Freddie."

"Well, I-I got him, anyhow," Freddie went on. "An' I tied some string around the box and I kept the mouse and I thought maybe Dinah would laugh an'-an'--"

Freddie looked around the room. All too much had happened from his little surprise. The whole place was in confusion.

"If dey is any mo' birfday presents like dat," said Dinah, "I reckon I better go!"

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Nan. "Mine is a nice one, Dinah!"

"So's mine!" echoed Flossie.

"An' I've another!" added Freddie. "I'm sorry I scared you, Dinah."

"Well, we'll forgive you this time," said his father. "Bring out the other presents now."

And while this is being done I will take just a moment to tell my new readers something about the children who are to be the main characters in this story.

If you have read the first book of this series, called "The Bobbsey Twins," you have learned that Mr. Bobbsey had a lumber business in the eastern city of Lakeport, on Lake Metoka. Bert and Nan were the two older twins. They had dark brown hair and brown eyes and were rather tall and slim. The younger Bobbsey twins were Flossie and Freddie. They were somewhat short and stout, and had light hair and blue eyes. The children had many good times together and with their playmates, Grace Lavine, Charlie Mason, Dannie Rugg, Nellie Parks and Ruth Nelson. They also had fun with Snoop, their pet cat, and with Snap, their dog.

There are a number of books coming between the first volume and the one just before this. The Bobbsey twins went to the country to visit Uncle Daniel, and at the seashore they stayed with Uncle William. Besides these trips the four children made a voyage on a houseboat, visited a great city, camped on Blueberry Island, went to Washington, and made a trip at sea. They had, a week or so before celebrating Dinah's birthday, returned home after some exciting times out West.

You may read about these last adventures in the book just before this present volume. It is called "The Bobbsey Twins in the Great West," and it tells how Bert, Nan, Flossie and Fred

die helped solve a strange mystery about an old man.

It was now fall, and on their return from the West the Bobbsey twins had started to school again. Bert and Nan had gone into a higher grade, and Flossie and Freddie, though they were still the babies of the family, were now somewhat advanced at school, and were in regular classes, attending morning and afternoon, instead of going just in the morning, as they had done while they were still in the kindergarten.

One of the first affairs the Bobbsey twins had taken part in since their return from the West had been Dinah's birthday celebration. Each of the children had bought the cook, of whom they were very fond, a present, but Freddie had provided an extra one, as we have seen.

"Don't ever do it again, Freddie!" cautioned his father, when quiet had once more settled over the household.

"I won't, Daddy," he promised.

"Then you may give Dinah her regular present," said Mother Bobbsey.

Freddie handed the cook a package wrapped in blue paper.

"Is yo' suah dey isn't no mouse in dis?" asked Dinah, pretending to be frightened.

"No mouse!" Freddie assured her. "You open it!"

And when Dinah had done so she found a bottle of perfume, which, she declared, was "jest de sweetest kind what ebber was!" It was exactly what she had wished for, she said.

Then the other presents were given to her. Nan's was a pocketbook, and Bert's a pair of comfortable slippers. Flossie handed Dinah a gay, red silk handkerchief.

"An' when I puts pufume on dat, an' walks out, everybody'll be wishin' dey was me!" declared the fat, black cook. "Dish suah am a lovely birfday!"

There were presents, also, from Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey, and when she had admired everything, and thanked them all, Dinah finished bringing in the breakfast. They all laughed at Freddie's mouse, and he told how he had caught it.

He had had some nuts in a cigar box, and the day before, coming softly up to it, he had seen a little mouse nibbling away among the nuts and shells. As quick as a wink Freddie clapped the cover down, and had caught the mouse fast. Then, without saying anything to anyone about it, he had given it to Dinah.

"Come on, Bert, or we'll be late for school!" called Nan, as she finished her breakfast.

"I'll be right with you," her brother answered. "If Charlie Mason calls tell him to wait. He and I are going fishing this afternoon."

"Can I come?" asked Freddie. "I'll help dig worms."

"Not now," Bert answered. "Maybe to-morrow."

"You wait for me, Freddie!" called Flossie.

"Yes, I'll wait," he promised.

Soon the Bobbsey twins were on their way to school. Bert walked with Charlie Mason and Dannie Rugg, while Grace Lavine and Nellie Parks strolled along with Nan.

"Did you bring your skipping rope?" asked Grace of Nan. Grace was very fond of this fun, though once she had jumped too much and had been taken ill.

"No, I didn't bring it," Nan answered. "I brought a new bean bag, though, and we can play that at recess."

"Oh, that'll be fun!" cried Nellie.

Bert and Charlie were talking about the best place to go fishing. And the younger Bobbsey twins were talking about something else.

"If he does it again to-day, you tell me an' I'll fix him," said Freddie to Flossie.

"I will," his golden-haired sister answered. "Will you make him stop, Freddie?"

"Sure I will! You come and tell me!"

"What is it you are going to do?" asked Nan of her smaller brother and sister. But just then the warning bell rang and they all had to run so they would not be late, and Nan forgot about what she had overheard.

At recess there were jolly times in the school playground. Some of the boys got up a baseball game, and others played marbles, leapfrog or mumble-the-peg. The girls skipped rope or tossed bean bags, while some played different kinds of tag. It was cool, so that running about and jumping made one feel fine.

Suddenly from the lower end of the playground, near the shed where the janitor kept his brooms, a lawnmower, and other things, came a cry of alarm.

"That's Flossie!" exclaimed Nan, pausing in the midst of a bean bag game. "Something's the matter!"

She caught sight of Flossie and Freddie in some sort of a battle with Nick Malone, one of the "bad" boys of the school. Flossie and Freddie seemed to be having a fight with Nick.

However, the battle was soon over. Before Nan reached the scene or could call to Bert to come to her help, Nick disappeared, and Flossie and Freddie, each laughing, ran over to the other side of the yard.

"Oh, I guess they are all right," said Nan, as she stopped running and turned back.

Then the bell rang to call the children in from their play, and they took their places in long lines. A little later Bert and Nan were in their room, saying their lessons, and Flossie and Freddie were with their classmates, getting ready to recite in geography.

Miss Snell, their teacher, looked over the room. She noticed one vacant seat.

"Where is Nick?" asked Miss Snell. "He was here before recess. Did anyone see him go home?"

No one answered for a moment, and then Flossie raised her little, fat, chubby hand.

"Yes, Flossie, what is it?" asked Miss Snell, with a smile.

"Nick didn't go home," said the little girl. "He-he's out in the yard."

"Out in the yard?" exclaimed the teacher. "He should come in!"

"If you please, he can't," said Freddie suddenly. "He's locked up! I locked him up!"

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