The Bobbsey Twins at Meadow Brook by Laura Lee Hope
Chapter II. New Summer Plans
"Are you hurt?"
Thus came the cries, and as Snap, the dog, rushed in just then, barking and leaping about, he made the confusion all the worse.
Mr. Bobbsey sprang from his chair, lifted Freddie out of the way, and then helped Dinah to her feet. The fat, colored cook looked around in a dazed manner, and Freddie, too, did not seem to know just what had happened to him.
"Oh, don't tell me he is hurt--or Dinah, either!" cried Mrs. Bobbsey, holding her hands over her eyes, as though she might see something unpleasant.
"I--I'm not hurt," said Freddie, "but I--I'm all wet!"
"Bress yo' heart, honey lamb! I'se glad ob dat!" cried Dinah, as she wiped her face on her apron, for the tea had splashed on her.
"Are you all right, Dinah?" asked Mr. Bobbsey, setting Freddie down, for he had caught his little fat son up in his arms.
"Shuah, I'se all right, sah," the colored cook answered. "Jest shook up a bit. I'se so fat it doesn't hurt me t' fall," she explained. "An' I shuah am glad I didn't fall on Freddie. He done knocked mah feet right out from under me!"
"Yes, you shouldn't have turned somersaults in the house," said Mrs. Bobbsey. "That wasn't right, Freddie."
"I--I wasn't exactly turning somersaults," Freddie explained, as he dried his face in his pocket handkerchief. "I was jest rollin' over an' over, like I'm goin' to do down at Meadow Brook."
"Well, it was almost as bad as turning somersaults," said Nan. "My, but I got so excited."
"Pooh! It wasn't anything," spoke Bert. "It's a good thing, though, that it was iced tea, instead of being hot."
"Indeed that was a blessing," said Mrs. Bobbsey, while Dinah began picking up the pieces of the cup and saucer. "You must be more careful, Freddie."
"I will, ma," he promised. "But tell us about Meadow Brook. When can we go?"
"Not until you get a dry suit on, at least," said Mr. Bobbsey with a smile. "You had better change, Freddie. You are all wet from my cup of tea."
"I'll put dry things on him," offered Nan, leading the little fellow from the room. "But don't talk over any plans until I come back," she begged.
"We won't," promised her mother.
And while the house is settling into quietness, after the confusion of the temporary home-coming, and the upsetting of Dinah and Freddie, I will take just a few moments to tell my new readers something about the Bobbsey Twins as they have been written about in the other books of this series.
There were two sets of twins, and that may seem strange until I tell you that Bert and Nan, aged about nine, formed one set, and Flossie and Freddie, aged four years younger, made up the second set. Bert and Nan were tall and slim, with dark hair and eyes, while Flossie and Freddie were fat and short, with light hair and blue eyes, making a very different appearance from the older twins.
Besides the two sets of Bobbsey twins, there was Mr. Richard Bobbsey, and his wife Mary. They lived in an Eastern city called Lakeport, on Lake Metoka, where Mr. Bobbsey had a large lumber business.
I might say that Dinah Johnson, and her husband Sam, also formed part of the Bobbsey household, for without Dinah to cook, and without Sam to do everything around the house, from watering the grass to putting out the ashes, I do not know how Mrs. Bobbsey would have gotten along. And then, of course, there was Snoop, the black cat, and Snap, the nice dog, who had once been in a circus, and could do many tricks.
So much for the Bobbsey family. As for what they did, if you will read the first book of the series, which volume is called "The Bobbsey Twins," you will get a good idea of the many good times Flossie, Freddie, Bert and Nan had.
Uncle Daniel Bobbsey, who was Mr. Bobbsey's brother, and his wife, Aunt Sarah, lived in the country at Meadow Brook Farm. They had a ten year old son, named Harry, and he and Bert were great chums whenever they were together.
The Bobbsey twins often went to the country, and also to the seashore, where their Uncle William and Aunt Emily, as well as their cousin Dorothy, lived, at a place called Ocean Cliff.
You may read of the fun the twins had at these places in the country and seashore books.
Bert, Nan, Flossie and Freddie also had fun at school, and when they went to Snow Lodge they had what were, to them, a wonderful series of adventures, and solved a strange mystery.
Their last trip had been on a houseboat. It was called the Bluebird, and they had voyaged down Lake Metoka to Lemby Creek, and through that to Lake Romano, where they had fine times. There was a mystery on the Bluebird, but Bert, and his cousin Harry, who was with him, found out what made the queer noises.
Cousin Dorothy was also a guest on the houseboat trip, and she and Nan, who were about the same age, greatly enjoyed themselves. The Bobbseys, and their country and seashore cousins, had come back from the trip, Dorothy going to her home, and Harry to his, when there happened the little accident to Freddie and Dinah, which I have mentioned in the first chapter of this book.
Now the house was quiet once again. Freddie had on a clean dry suit, Dinah had changed her damp apron for a fresh one, and Mr. Bobbsey was sipping his cup of iced tea, which was not spilled this time.
"Now can you tell us what we are going to do the rest of this summer vacation?" asked Bert.
"Yes," said Mr. Bobbsey, "I can. Your Uncle William, as I started to tell you, before Freddie gave us that circus exhibition, has invited us up to Meadow Brook. And, as I have a little time I can spare from my business, I think I shall take you all down there. We can go to the country and have a fine time."
"We had a good time on the houseboat," said Nan. "It was lovely there."
"Indeed it was," agreed Mrs. Bobbsey.
"And when we found the ghost!" exclaimed Bert.
"Hush! You mustn't say ghost!" cautioned Mrs. Bobbsey, with a smile. "It wasn't a ghost, you know."
"Well, we thought it was--at first," laughed Bert. "Anyhow we'll have some fun at Meadow Brook."
"I'm going to fly a kite!" declared Freddie.
"All right, as long as you don't tie Snoop to the tail of it," said his father.
"And I'm going to feed the chickens," exclaimed Flossie.
"But you mustn't chase the rooster," cautioned her mother.
"I won't," promised the little fat twin.
"Now when are we going?" asked Nan.
"What train do we take?" Bert wanted to know.
"I'll have to see to all that to-morrow," said Mr. Bobbsey. "We might as well go right off to the country, for it is not very pleasant staying in the hot city. We won't need to unpack much, for we'll stay here only this one night. To-morrow morning we shall start for Meadow Brook."
"And are we going to take the Bluebird along?" inquired Flossie.
"No, the houseboat will stay at home this trip," her mother said. "There isn't enough water at Meadow Brook to sail the Bluebird."
They talked over their new summer plans, and the children were delighted at the prospect of going to see their cousin, their uncle and their aunt.
"Dinah is going, isn't she?" asked Nan.
"Oh, yes, we couldn't get along without her," answered Mrs. Bobbsey with a smile.
"And I'm going to take Snoop!" cried Freddie, hugging the big, black cat, which did not seem to mind being loved so hard.
"Well if Snoop goes, then we ought to take Snap, the dog, too," declared Bert. "Snap would be lonesome if he were left behind, wouldn't he?"
"Oh, may we take them both, mamma?" begged Nan.
"Well, I guess so," was the answer, as Mrs. Bobbsey looked at her husband.
"That will be all right," he nodded. "The country is just the place for dogs and cats--it's better for them than houseboats."
"Oh, what fun we'll have!" sang Flossie. "What lovely times!"
"And I'm going to take my fire engine, and squirt water in it from the brook," declared Freddie.
"Well, be careful not to fall in," his father said. "And now I shall have to go back to the office again, to do a little work so as to get ready for going away again. So I'll leave my little fat fireman and fat fairy for a while," and he smiled at Freddie and Flossie, as he called them by their pet names.
As the Bobbseys were to leave town soon, they did not unpack very much from the valises they had brought from the houseboat.
This boat was tied up at a dock in the lumber yard, which was on the edge of the lake. The children spent the morning playing about in the yard, some of their friends, who had not gone away for the summer, coming to join in their games.
After lunch Mr. Bobbsey came up to the house in an automobile, bringing his wife some things she had asked him to get from the store.
"Oh, may I have a ride?" begged Freddie, when he saw his father in the machine, which Mr. Bobbsey and some of the other members of his lumber firm used when they were in a hurry.
"Yes, jump in!" invited his father. "Want to come, Bert?" he asked of the older Bobbsey boy.
"Yes, thank you," was the answer. "Where are you going?"
"I have to go up the lake shore, to a place called Tenbly, to see another lumber dealer on some business," Mr. Bobbsey said. "Where are Nan and Flossie?" he asked his wife, who had come out on the porch just then. "I could take them along also. There is plenty of room."
"Flossie and Nan have gone over to Mrs. Black's house," Mrs. Bobbsey said. "Run along without them. It's just as well. I'd rather they wouldn't be out in the hot sun, as we have to take a long train journey to-morrow."
"All right," agreed Mr. Bobbsey, as he started off in the automobile with Freddie and Bert. "We'll soon be back."
Neither Mr. Bobbsey nor the boys knew what was to happen on that ride, nor how it was to affect them afterward.