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   Chapter 6 OFF TO CEDAR CAMP

The Bobbsey Twins at Cedar Camp By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 10067

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:03


Bert and Charlie, with Nan's help, finished the bobsled in time to use on the coasting hill that afternoon and early in the evening. And it is a good thing they had hurried with it, for the next day there came a thaw and the snow began to melt. It melted so fast that by noon there was scarcely enough for Flossie and Freddie to have any fun on even the small hill, and what snow there was had mostly turned to slush.

"Oh, dear," sighed Nan, when she found that she and her brothers and sister had to give up their pleasure, "this isn't any fun!"

"That's right," agreed Bert. "But the winter isn't over. We always have a lot of snow after Christmas."

"And I suppose we ought to be glad there isn't a big storm," went on Nan, when it had been decided to give up coasting and the older Bobbsey twins were dragging home the new bobsled.

"Why ought we be glad?" Bert wanted to know.

"Because if it doesn't storm so much daddy can get his shipment of Christmas trees here and make some money."

"Oh, that's so-I forgot!" exclaimed Bert. "But if the trees do come we can't make that trip with him to the North Woods to see what the matter is. And I wanted to go on a trip like that, for we don't have much school now, on account of the holidays."

"It would be nice to go off somewhere in the winter," agreed Nan. "Remember what fun we had at Snow Lodge?"

"I should say so!" cried Bert. "But there isn't much use talking about snow when it thaws like this," and he stepped into a puddle of slush.

"Oh, be careful!" cried Nan. "You'll get your feet wet!"

"I have rubbers on," said Bert.

There was nothing to do but to leave the bobsled and the other sleds in the shed attached to the garage. There they would stay until more snow came. When Bert went into the house, after putting away the bobsled and helping Flossie and Freddie store away their smaller sleds, he found his mother waiting for him.

"Bert," said Mrs. Bobbsey, "here is a special delivery letter that just came for your father. It should have been delivered at the office, but they sent it here by mistake, and Dinah took it in before I could call to the boy to take it back with him. I called your father up about it on the telephone and he said, if you came in, to have you bring it down."

"I'll go," replied Bert cheerfully.

"Oh, may we go along?" begged Flossie.

"We'll be good!" promised Freddie.

"Shall I take them?" asked Bert of his mother.

"If you want to," she answered. "Does Nan want to go?"

But Nan, as it happened, had some sewing she wanted to do on a Christmas gift for one of her girl friends, so she said she would stay in the house and busy herself with needle and thread. Thus it came about that Bert took the smaller Bobbsey twins down to his father's office.

They went in a trolley car, and, as they always did, Freddie and Flossie became very much interested in everything that happened, from the fat lady who could hardly get on to the scenes in the streets.

There were many trucks and wagons in one street, as the car came nearer that part of Lakeport in which Mr. Bobbsey's lumberyard and office were situated. Finally the street became so crowded with wagons and automobiles that the car had to proceed slowly.

"Oh, Freddie, look!" suddenly called Flossie, pointing out of the window. A big auto-truck, piled high with crates, in which were chickens and ducks, had come to a stop alongside of the trolley car, and so close that, had the window been open, the Bobbsey twins could have reached out their hands and touched some of the fowls.

"I guess they're getting in big shipments of ducks, turkeys and chickens ready for Christmas," said Bert. "Look out there, Freddie!" he suddenly called, and, leaping from his place beside Flossie, Bert made a grab and pulled Freddie off the seat.

Only just in time, too, for at that moment the auto-truck, which had started off after being stalled, lurched to one side, and a corner of one of the chicken crates crashed through a car window, breaking the glass.

Bert had seen the crate of chickens shifting around as the truck started, and had guessed that it was going to slide over and crash against the trolley car, just as it did. So he pulled Freddie away in time.

Some of the passengers in the car screamed, and there was a shout by the conductor and motorman as the glass crashed in the electric vehicle.

And then a funny thing happened. One of the slats of the chicken crate on the auto-truck came loose, and in through the broken window fluttered a hen and a rooster. Right into the trolley they flew, the hen cackling and the rooster crowing!

"Oh, look! Look!" cried Flossie.

"Catch 'em!" shouted Freddie, pulling away from Bert and grabbing for the rooster.

But the rooster did not intend to be caught. Half running and half flying, he "scooted," as Freddie called it, down to the end of the car, and, as the conductor had just opened the door to look out and see what was causing the blockade, the rooster made hi

s escape.

The hen, however, did not seem to know how to get out. She fluttered around, cackling and making a great fuss. The men in the car laughed, and the women held their hands over their hats so the chicken would not light on them.

"Maybe she came in here to lay an egg!" suggested Flossie, laughing.

"I'm goin' to catch her!" shouted Freddie.

"Get her and have a chicken dinner," said the motorman.

By this time the car was in an uproar, most of the passengers enjoying the queer excitement. As for the hen, I do not think she liked it at all, though she had more room than in the crate.

The driver of the auto-truck was talking to a policeman about whose fault it was that the trolley window had become broken, and the motorman and conductor now joined in.

"I've got to get that chicken and rooster back," said the truck driver. "I'll be blamed for letting them get away."

"And we'll be blamed for having a window in our car broken," said the conductor. "It was your fault."

"It was not!" insisted the driver.

Cackling and fluttering, the hen raced about inside the trolley car, and Freddie tried to catch her, but could not. Several of the men made grabs for the lively fowl, but finally she saw the same open door by which the rooster had gotten out, and away she flew.

"She didn't like it in here," observed Flossie.

"I don't blame her," said a woman passenger, laughing. "Poor thing! Her nerves must be all on an edge."

"Let's go and see if they catch 'em," suggested Freddie. But Bert said they had no time for that.

The slipping crate, which had broken the window, was finally pulled back on the truck. The slat was nailed fast so no other fowls could get out, and then the trolley car moved along. The conductor picked up the larger pieces of broken glass and pulled the curtain down over the window to keep out the cold air.

"My, you must have had some excitement," said Mr. Bobbsey, when the children finally reached his office and told him of the accident. "I'm glad Freddie wasn't cut by the broken glass."

"I'm glad, too," said the little Bobbsey boy.

Mr. Bobbsey read the letter Bert had brought him, and then the same worried look Bert had seen before came over his father's face.

"Do you want me to tell mother anything?" asked Bert.

"No, except to thank her for sending me down this letter. Still, you might say to her that I think I shall have to go to Cedar Camp in a day or two."

"Where's Cedar Camp?" asked Bert.

"Where the Christmas trees grow," his father answered, with a smile. "It's where the Christmas trees grow that I hope to have to sell. I haven't got them yet, and I'm going there to see what the trouble is. This letter is about the trees."

"Oh, can't we go and see where the Christmas trees grow?" begged Flossie.

"We like it in the woods," said Freddie.

"I suppose you do," his father answered, smiling. "But the woods in winter are very different from in summer. However, we shall not have any bad storms or severe weather for another month, I think. Perhaps I might be able to take my Bobbsey twins to Cedar Camp," and he playfully pinched Flossie's fat cheek.

"It would be nifty to go!" said Bert. "Do you really think you'll take us?"

"We'll talk it over to-night at home," said his father. "Here, take Flossie and Freddie to the store and get them some hot chocolate," he added, giving Bert some money.

The little Bobbsey twins liked the chocolate very much, but they were so excited, thinking about a possible trip to the North Woods, that they talked of nothing else.

"Do you really think you will have to go?" asked Mrs. Bobbsey of her husband that evening.

"Yes," he answered. "Those Christmas trees have been lost somewhere between Cedar Camp and here, and I must find them, or I shall lose a lot on them. I will go to Cedar Camp in a few days."

"And take us?" asked Bert.

"All of us!" cried Freddie.

Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey looked at one another.

"Would you like to go?" asked Mr. Bobbsey of his wife.

"Where could we stay?" she inquired.

"There is a large log cabin that one of my foremen used to live in," Mr. Bobbsey answered. "The cabin is empty, and we could stay there as long as the weather did not get too cold, and as long as there were no bad storms. I really ought to go right to the woods, so that if I cannot get on the track of the lost shipment of Christmas trees I can start the men to cutting others. So we might as well all go."

"Oh, what fun!" cried the Bobbsey twins.

Since that first fall of snow, which did not last very long, there had been no storms in the region of Lakeport, and Mr. Bobbsey thought he could get to Cedar Camp and return with his family before the really severe winter weather set in. He did not believe it would take long to look up the matter of the delayed shipment of the Christmas trees and straighten it out.

So it was settled, and a few days later, when plans had been completed, the Bobbsey family started for Cedar Camp.

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