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   Chapter 5 CHRISTMAS TREES

The Bobbsey Twins at Cedar Camp By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 11052

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:03


Several things happened all in a moment. The cracking limb, Bert's cries, and the swaying of the bough as it bent toward the ground with the weight of the Bobbsey boy frightened Snoop, the cat. All this did just what was needed, for it so frightened Snoop that down he scrambled out of the tree, not caring whether or not he fell.

Bert, as soon as he felt the tree branch giving way with him, reached out his arms and grasped whatever came first to his hands. This happened to be another branch over his head, so that there he was, his feet on one limb that was slowly bending beneath his weight, and his hands grasping a branch above him.

And, to add to the excitement, Flossie and Freddie, who saw what danger Bert was in, set up a dismal crying.

"Oh, Bert's going to fall! Bert's going to fall!" yelled Freddie.

"Daddy! Mother! Dinah! Somebody! Come quick!" exclaimed Flossie. "Catch Bert before he falls!"

Nan ran out under the tree and stood with her dress held up, as she used to do when her father picked apples and dropped them down to her. Nan may have thought Bert could drop down and she would catch him, as a man jumps into a circus net from the top of the tent. But, again, perhaps Nan was so excited that she really did not know what she was doing.

However, daddy and mother came hurrying to the window, attracted by the cries of the children, and Mr. Bobbsey, seeing just what was needed, said to his wife:

"Run and tell Sam to come here with the ladder. It stands back of the chicken house."

"I will," said Mrs. Bobbsey. So, instead of running out after Mr. Bobbsey to see poor Bert dangling in the tree, she hurried to the rear door and called to Sam, who was working over Mr. Bobbsey's automobile.

"Sam! Sam! Bring the ladder out in front, quick!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey.

"Ladder! De ladder?" repeated the colored husband of fat Dinah. "Am dey a fire some place?"

"No fire!" answered Mrs. Bobbsey. "But Bert is up a tree and he is falling! Mr. Bobbsey wants the ladder to get him down! Hurry!"

"Oh!" answered Sam. Then he hurried to the chicken house, got the ladder, and hurried around to the front of the house with it.

"Can you hold on a little longer, Bert?" asked his father anxiously, as Sam began to raise the ladder up into the tree.

"I-I guess so," was the answer. "Is Snoop all right?"

"Yes, Snoop's all right. He jumped. But don't you jump!" called Nan.

"I-I won't," Bert answered.

Then his father and Sam raised the ladder up into the tree, and a few minutes later they had rescued Bert, helping him so that he could put his feet on the ladder and climb down.

"What made you go up?" asked his mother, when the excitement was all over.

"I went up after Snoop," said Bert. "A strange dog chased him up the tree."

"Well, of course, you meant to be kind," said his father. "But you must be careful when in a tree. Very often a branch may look sound and strong, as though it would hold you up. But when you step on it or pull on it, it breaks. It is always a good plan, if you climb a tree in the woods-or anywhere else-to pull on a limb to test it before you bear your full weight on it. If you hear a cracking sound it means that the branch will break."

"I heard a cracking sound," Bert said. "But that was after I got out on the limb with my feet."

"Then it was almost too late," his father said. "But remember always to test a branch before you trust yourself to it."

The Bobbsey twins and the others went back into the house, and the rest of the Thanksgiving day passed pleasantly. Snoop and Snap had been given especially good dinners in honor of the occasion.

In the morning, when Flossie and Freddie awakened, which generally happened at the same time, the little fellow ran to the window and looked out.

"Oh, look, Flossie! Look!" he cried. "Come and see!"

"Is Snoop up the tree again?" asked the little girl.

"No, but it's snowing! Snowing hard! Now we can have some fun with our sleds! Come on, we'll go coasting!"

Later the two smaller Bobbsey twins, having had their breakfasts, ran out to play in the snow. Quite a little had fallen during the night, and more was coming down. It was just about right for starting to make a coasting hill.

Not far from the Bobbsey home, on a side street, was a hill where the smaller children had their fun. Bert and Nan, with some of the older boys and girls, generally went to a longer and steeper hill some distance away. But this time Bert and Nan had not gotten out their sleds.

"I'm going to wait for Charlie Mason," said Bert. "He said he'd come over as soon as it snowed. We're going to make a bob."

"May I have a ride on it?" asked Nan. "I'll help you get some pieces of carpet to tack on if you'll let me ride."

"Sure we'll let you," agreed Bert. And then he went to telephone over to ask if Charlie were coming.

Meanwhile Flossie and Freddie and some of their friends were having fun on the small hill. Each of the smaller Bobbsey twins had a sled, and the children had races to see who would get first to the bottom of the slope. With merry shouts and laughter they played amid the swirling flakes of white snow.

The fun was at its liveliest, and Flossie and Freddie were among the merriest, when along came Nick Malone, the boy whom Freddie had locked in the tool shed at school.

"Oh, Freddie! Look!" whispered Flossie, dropping the rope of her sled and moving closer to her brother.

"What is it?" asked Freddie, for he was watching Samm

ie Henderson go down hill backward on a "dare."

"It's that-that bad boy!" whispered Flossie. "He might pull my hair!"

"If he does, I'll-I'll--" began Freddie, and then up swaggered Nick.

"Hu! you can't do nothin' to me now," he sneered. "There ain't no teacher or principal here! There!" and he reached over as if to pull Flossie's hair.

"You let my sister alone!" cried Freddie.

"Yah! Yah! Why don't you wear girls' dresses!" taunted Nick. "You're a girl-boy! Girl-boy!"

"I am not!" declared Freddie, while the other coasters gathered around. "You go on away!"

"I'm going to have a coast! Here, I guess I'll take this sled!" cried Nick, and before Freddie could stop him the bad boy caught Flossie's sled from the ground and ran with it toward the top of the hill.

"Here! You come back! You let my sister's sled alone!" shouted Freddie, racing after Nick.

Now Freddie was a good runner, but Nick had the start of him, and reached the top of the hill first. However, Freddie was not far behind, and no sooner did Nick throw himself flat on the little Bobbsey girl's sled, face down, than Freddie made a jump, and right on top of Nick's back he landed!

"Hi! Get off!" cried Nick, his breath rather knocked out of him, for Freddie was a fat, chubby little fellow.

"You get off my sister's sled!" demanded Flossie's brother.

But it was too late for this. It was impossible for Nick to stop now, and down the hill he coasted on Flossie's sled, with Freddie on his back, both boys coasting together!

It was a trick the children often did on the hill, and there was nothing hard about it. Only this time it happened to be an accident, and the two boys were enemies and not friends.

Freddie was so surprised at the sudden and unexpected coast that he just had to hold fast to Nick and he could say nothing more. But when the bottom of the hill was reached, Freddie, being on top, began to pound Nick's back with his two sturdy fists.

"Hey! Quit! Let me up!" begged the bad boy.

"Not till you give me my sister's sled!" insisted Freddie.

"Well, how can I give it to her when you're sittin' on me?" yelled Nick.

With that Freddie got off the other lad's back, allowing him to get up. The other boys gathered around, thinking there might be a fight. But Nick had had enough. He found Freddie braver than he had thought, and turned away, muttering:

"Aw, I only wanted a ride an' I got it!"

"Yes, and Freddie had one too!" laughed Sam Miller.

Nick walked away, and then the younger Bobbsey twins again started coasting, Freddie taking Flossie's sled back to her.

It was still snowing when noon came, and Flossie and Freddie had to go home to lunch. They found Bert and Charlie busy making a bobsled in the back yard. The older boys were fastening together their sleds by a long plank, and Nan was helping by tacking some strips of carpet on the plank.

"Oh, can we ride on that?" asked Freddie.

"Maybe," said his brother. "How's the little hill?"

"Nice," Freddie answered.

"An' you ought to've seen Nick Malone take my sled and Freddie jump on his back!" cried Flossie.

"Is that fellow bothering you two again?" demanded Bert, looking up with a hammer in his hand. "I'll get after him, that's what I will!"

"Freddie got after him," explained Flossie. "Oh, I'm so glad it snows! We're going coasting some more after dinner."

"Sure!" added Freddie.

At the dinner table Bert and Nan noticed that their father seemed worried over something. He went to the window several times to look out at the storm.

"If this keeps up the shipment will never arrive," he said to his wife.

"You mean the Christmas trees?" she asked.

"Yes," answered Mr. Bobbsey. "They are late now, and something seems to be wrong up there in the woods."

"Shan't we have any Christmas tree?" asked Freddie, who did not know just what was being talked about.

"Oh, I guess so," his father said, and again he went to look at the snow.

"Are you going to sell Christmas trees?" Bert asked. He had caught the word "shipment," and knew it had to do with some part of his father's lumber business.

"Yes, I am going into the Christmas tree business this year," said Mr. Bobbsey. "That is, I have bought a large shipment of them to be sent here to me from the North Woods. If they get here in time I can sell them and make some money. But if this snow keeps up, the carloads of trees, or the shipment, will be delayed, and if they don't get here at least a week before Christmas they will be of little use to me. But perhaps the snow will not be as heavy as I fear."

"I didn't know you sold Christmas trees," remarked Nan.

THE CHILDREN HAD GREAT FUN COASTING.

"I never did before," her father said. "It's a new business for me, and I may make a failure of it."

Then the older Bobbsey twins began to understand how it is that snow can bring pleasure to boys and girls, but may often mean trouble for older people in business.

"Well, we'll hope for the best," said Mr. Bobbsey, as he started back to the office after dinner, when the white flakes were still falling steadily. "I may have to go up to the North Woods to see about that shipment of trees if they don't get here soon."

"Could we go?" asked Bert, having a joyful vision of a mid-winter trip to one of his father's lumber camps.

"Well, I'll see," answered Mr. Bobbsey, and Nan and Bert looked at each other in delight.

Some strange adventures were ahead of them, though they did not know it.

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