Chapter V. Snap Does Trick
 

"We'll have to carry them in," said Mr. Bobbsey, as he looked in the rear of the auto, and saw his two little twins fast asleep on the dog's back.

"I'll take 'em," said Sam kindly. "Many a time I'se carried 'em in offen de porch when dey falled asleep. I'll carry 'em in."

And he did, first taking Flossie, and then Freddie. Then he and Dinah brought in the bundles and valises, while Nan and Bert and Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey followed, having bidden goodnight to Mr. Blake, and thanking him for the ride.

"Where - where are we?" asked Flossie, rubbing her eyes and looking around the room which she had not seen in some months.

"An' - an' where's our dog?" demanded Freddie.

"Oh, bless your hearts - that dog!" cried Mamma Bobbsey. "Sam took him out in the barn. You may see him in the morning, if he doesn't run away in the night."

The twins looked worried over this suggestion, until Sam said:

"Oh, I locked him up good an' proper in a box stall; 'deed an' I did, Mrs. Bobbsey. He won't get away tonight."

"That's - good," murmured Freddie, and then he fell asleep again.

Soon the little twins were undressed and put to bed; Nan and Bert soon followed, but Mr. and Mrs. Bobbsey stayed up a little later to talk over certain matters.

"It's good to be home again," said Mr. Bobbsey, as he looked about the rooms of the town house.

"Yes, but we had a delightful summer," spoke his wife, "and the children are so well. The country was delightful, and so was the seashore. But I think I, too, am glad to be back. It will be quite a task, though, to get the children ready for school. Flossie and Freddie will go regularly now, I suppose, and with Nan and Bert in a higher class, it means plenty of work."

"I suppose so," said her husband.

"But Dinah is a great help," went on Mrs. Bobbsey, for she did not mean to complain. Flossie and Freddie had tried a few days in the kindergarten class at school, but Flossie said she did not like it, and, as Freddie would not go without her, their parents had taken them both out in the Spring.

"There will be plenty of time to start them in the Fall," said Mrs. Bobbsey, and so it had been arranged. And now the four twins were all to attend the same school, which would open in about a week.

Flossie and Freddie were both up early the next morning, and, scarcely halfdressed, they hurried out to the barn.

"Whar yo' chillers gwine?" demanded Dinah, as she prepared to get breakfast.

"Out to see our dog," answered Freddie. "Is Sam around?"

"Yes, he's out dere somewheres, washin' de carriage. But don't yo' let dat dog bite yo'."

"We won't," said Freddie.

"He wouldn't bite anyhow," declared Flossie.

Sam opened the box stall for them, and out bounced the big white dog, barking in delight, and almost knocking down the twins, so glad was he to see them.

"What shall we call him?" asked Freddie. "Maybe we'd better name him Snoop, like our cat. I guess Snoop is gone forever."

"No, we mustn't call him Snoop," said Flossie, "for some day our cat might come back, and he'd want his own name again. We'll call our dog Snap, 'cause see how bright his eyes snap. Then if our cat comes back we'll have Snoop and Snap."

"That's a good name," decided Freddie, after thinking it over. "Snoop and Snap. I wonder how we can make this dog stand on his hind legs like he did before?"

"Bert snapped his fingers and he did it," suggested Flossie. "But maybe he'll do it now if you just ask him to."

Freddie tried to snap his fingers, but they were too short and fat. Then he patted the dog an the head and said:

"Stand up!"

At once the dog, with a bark, did so. He sat up on his hind legs and then walked around. Both the children laughed.

"I wonder if he can do any other tricks?" asked Flossie.

"I'm going to try," said her brother. "What trick do you want him to do?"

"Make him lie down and roll over."

"All right," spoke Freddie. "Now, Snap, lie down and roll over!" he called. At once the fine animal did so, and then sprang up with a bark, and a wag of his tail, as much as to ask:

"What shall I do next?"

"Oh, isn't he a fine dog!" cried Flossie. "I wonder who taught him those tricks?"

"Let's see if he can do any more," said Freddie. "There's a barrel hoop over there. Maybe he'll jump through it if we hold it up"

"Oh, let's do it!" cried Flossie, as she ran to get the hoop. Snap barked at the sight of it, and capered about as though he knew just what it was for, and was pleased at the chance to do more of his tricks. The hoop was a large one, and Freddie alone could not hold it very steady. So Flossie took hold of one side. As soon as they were in position, Freddie called:

"Come on now, Snap. Jump!"

Snap barked, ran back a little way, turned around and came racing straight for the twins. At that moment Sam Johnson came up running, a stick in his hand.

"Heah! heah!" shouted the colored man, "You let dem chillers alone, dog! Go 'way, I tells yo'!"

"That's all right, Sam," said Freddie. "Don't scare him. He's our new dog Snap, and he's going to do a trick," for the colored gardener had supposed the dog was running at Flossie and Freddie to bite them.

Snap paid no attention to Sam, but raced on. When a short distance from where Flosxie and Freddie held the hoop, Snap jumped up into the air, and shot straight through the wooden circle, landing quite a way off.

"Mah gracious sakes alive!" gasped Sam. "Dat's a reg'lar circus trick`- at's what it am!"

He scratched his head in surprise, and the stick he had picked up, intending to drive away the dog with, stuck straight out. In a moment Snap raced up, and jumped over the stick.

"Oh, look!" cried Flossie.

"Another trick!" exclaimed Freddie.

"Mah gracious goodness!" cried Sam. "Dat suah am wonderful!"

Snap ran about barking in delight. He seemed happy to be doing tricks.

"Let's go tell papa," said Freddie. "He'll want to know about this."

"Oh, I do hope he lets us keep him," said Flossie.

Mr. Bobbsey had not yet gone to his lumber office. He listened to what the little twins had to tell them about Snap, who lay on the lawn, seeming to listen to his own praises.

"A trick dog; eh?" exclaimed Mr. Bobbsey. "I wonder who owns him?"

"Maybe he escaped from the circus," suggested Bert, who came out just then to see how his pigeons were getting along.

"That's it!" cried Mr. Bobbsey. "I wonder I did not think of it before. The dog must have escaped from the wrecked circus train, and he followed us, not knowing what else to do. That accounts for his tricks."

"But we can keep him; can't we?" begged Flossie.

"Hum! I'll have to see about that," said Mr. Bobbsey slowly. "I suppose the circus people will want him back, for he must be valuable. Perhaps some clown trained him."

"But if we can't have Snoop, our cat, we ought to have a dog," asserted Freddie.

"I'll try to get Snoop back," said Mr. Bobbsey. "I'll have one of my men go down to the place where the wreck was, today, and inquire of the railroad men. He may be wandering about there."

"Poor Snoop!" said Nan, coming out to feed some of her pet chickens, that Sam had looked after all summer.

"And while you are about it," suggested Mrs. Bobbsey, who was on the front porch, "I wish, Richard, that you would see if you can locate that fat lady, and get back the children's silver cup."

"I will," replied Mr. Bobbsey. "I will have to write to them anyhow, about the dog, and at the same time I'll ask about the cup. Though I don't believe the fat lady meant to keep it."

"Oh, no," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "Probably she just held it, in the excitement over the wreck, and she may have left it in the car. But please write about it."

"I will," promised Mr. Bobbsey, as he started for the office, while the twins gathered about the new dog, who seemed ready to do more tricks.