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   Chapter 6 OUT OF THE WINDOW

The Story of a Plush Bear By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 7523

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

"Don't squeeze the Bear so hard, Arthur," said a lady who was with the fat boy. "You may break the toy before I have paid for him."

"The Plush Bear is strong and well-made, Mrs. Rowe," said Mr. Mugg. "He is one of the newest of the Christmas toys, and I only put him in the show window this morning."

"And I saw him when I was walking along!" exclaimed Arthur Rowe, the jolly fat boy. "As soon as I saw him I knew I'd like him! Oh, Mother, hear him growl! And see him wave his paws!"

Indeed the Plush Bear was doing all his tricks, for he had been wound up by Mr. Mugg for that very purpose. There he sat on the top of the glass showcase, growling away (make believe of course) and waving his paws like a real bear.

Other persons in the toy store crowded up to the showcase to watch the Plush Bear do his tricks, and Arthur, the jolly fat boy, laughed loud and long as his plaything amused the throng. For the Plush Bear was to belong to Arthur. Passing down the street early that Winter morning, he had seen the toy in Mr. Mugg's window, and had begged his mother to stop and go in and inquire about him.

"Wrap him up, Mr. Mugg, please," said Arthur, when the spring was all unwound and the wheels inside the Plush Bear no longer moved his paws and head and caused him to growl. "Wrap him up, and I'll take him home. I guess Dick and Arnold and Herbert and Sidney will wish they had a toy like this!"

The Plush Bear again felt himself being lifted up by Mr. Mugg, who put him in tissue paper and then in the same box in which the Bear had traveled to Earth from the shop of Santa Claus.

"Good-by, Wax Doll! Good-by, Jumping Jack, Elephant and all my friends," said the Plush Bear to himself as the tissue paper covered his eyes and shut out the sight of the other toys in the store. "Good-by! I don't know when I shall see you again!"

Of course the Plush Bear dared not say this out loud, for he was being watched. And he dared not move of his own accord for the same reason. He felt a little sad at leaving all his toy friends, but he liked the looks of the fat boy, and Arthur seemed like one who would make a kind master.

"Oh, what fun I'll have with my Plush Bear!" said the fat boy, as he walked out of the toy store with his mother. "I'll invite Dick over with his White Rocking Horse, Arnold with his Bold Tin Soldiers, Herbert with his Monkey on a Stick, and Sidney with his Calico Clown. We'll have a lot of fun!"

"I thought you said Sidney's Calico Clown was broken," remarked Mrs. Rowe as she and Arthur got into their automobile.

"Only the Clown's cap was torn off when they were playing circus the other day," said Arthur. "Mirabell's Lamb on Wheels was broken, too, and I guess they're both in Mr. Mugg's toy shop being fixed."

"Indeed they are there," thought the Plush Bear, who could hear all that was said through the tissue paper and his box. "I was talking to the Lamb and the Clown only last night. Well, it will not be so bad if I can see them once in a while. I should also like to meet the Wax Doll again, and the Elephant. I hope nice fat boys get them for presents."

Though it was cold outside of Mr. Mugg's store, the Plush Bear did not feel it. In the first place, he had on his own warm coat, which was almost like fur. Then he was wrapped in paper, and he was in a box, and he was inside the nice automobile. So he was even more comfortable than he had been at the North Pole, and ever so much more cozy than when he was in the igloo of Ski, the Eskimo boy.

"Look, Nettie! Look what I have!" cried Arthur, the fat boy, as he ran into the house as soon as the auto stopped. "I have a Bear that growls!"

Nettie, his little sister, who was running to meet her brother, carrying in her arms

a Rag Doll, stopped when Arthur began to open the bundle he had carried from Mr. Mugg's store.

"I don't like growly bears!" she exclaimed.

"Oh, this bear is nice! He's a Plush Bear," Arthur said. "He wobbles his head and he jiggles his paws, and he growls, but it's only a make-believe growl. Look at my new Bear, Nettie!"

Arthur quickly took the wrappings from the Plush Bear and wound up the spring as Mr. Mugg had shown him. Then, when the Bear was set down on the floor, the toy began to wave his paws, to shake his head from side to side, and from his red mouth came several growls.

"Oh! Oh!" exclaimed Nettie, who had knelt down beside her brother to look at the Bear. "I don't like him when he growls!"

"Oh, he won't hurt you, Nettie!" laughed the fat boy Arthur. "See, he's waving his paw to you, and he only growls like your rubber doll squeaks. My Plush Bear is nice, Nettie."

And when the little girl found that the Bear did no harm, but only growled in a make-believe, jolly fashion, she decided to make friends with him. She sat down on the floor close beside him, and when the clockwork inside the toy had run down, and the Bear was still, Nettie took him up in her arms and loved him.

"Isn't he nice?" asked Arthur.

"Yes, pretty nice," agreed Nettie. "But he isn't as nice as my Rag Doll."

"Well, girls like dolls and boys like Plush Bears. That's the best way, I guess," said Arthur.

Then he and his sister played some more with the Plush Bear, winding him up, listening to his pretended growls, and watching him wave his paws and shake his head.

That night after the children had gone to bed and the Plush Bear was in the closet of the playroom with the Rag Doll, the Bear leaned over and whispered to the Doll:

"What sort of place is it here?"

"Oh, very nice!" the Rag Doll answered. "Two better children than Nettie and Arthur you could not wish for! And every Summer they go to the seashore."

"The seashore? Where is that?" asked the Plush Bear. "Is it near the North Pole?"

"Oh, my, no!" answered the Rag Doll. "It is so long since I was at the North Pole, where I once lived in the shop of Santa Claus, that I have almost forgotten about it. But the seashore is quite different. I have been there with Nettie for two summers. And, now that you belong to Arthur, I suppose he will take you there. It is very jolly down on the warm sand near the sparkling waves."

"I should very much like to see it," said the Plush Bear.

There were other toys in the closet, and they talked and had a good time together that night when Arthur and Nettie were fast asleep.

And then began a happy life for the Plush Bear. The Christmas season came and went, and Nettie and Arthur received other toys, but none that they cared for any more than they did for the Rag Doll and the Plush Bear. During the Winter days and evenings other boys and girls came over to play with Arthur and Nettie, bringing their toys. In this way the Plush Bear again met the Lamb on Wheels and the Calico Clown, each of whom had been made as good as new by Mr. Mugg.

At last the warm days of Summer came, and the Rowe family started in a train for the seashore. Nettie had her Rag Doll, and Arthur carried his Plush Bear. The children had seats near the window in the train, and Arthur held his Bear up to look out. It was a warm day and the window was open.

"Be careful, Arthur!" called his mother. "Don't put your head out!"

"I won't," the fat boy promised. But he did hold his Plush Bear part way out of the window. "I want to let him see things," said Arthur.

Suddenly the train slowed up, and so quickly that the Plush Bear was jerked from the fat boy's hand. Out of the car window fell the Plush Bear!

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